If you're not working at doing nothing, then you are so not understanding the flow of Nature. In fact, you become the antithesis of that flow. The more we spin from the center of natural flow, the tighter our tether stretches, and we will be drawn back to nothingness by living rightly, or it will snap and we will extinguish ourselves. There is no “solution;” it’s a myth.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Tracking III: Movement Indicators

Movement Indicators

Anyone who has been the least bit interested in Tracking, and has looked into the science and art as presented by Tom Brown Jr., has heard of Pressure Releases. I started trying to figure these mystical Pressure Releases (more commonly known as PRs in the tracking-circle) since I was a kid. I am now in my twenty-fifth year of working on this puzzle. I started learning from the books by Tom, which presented the concept without too much detail. Mostly, as I struggled to understand what exactly he was seeing in a mere footprint that could tell him vast and detailed stories of the subject and the environment surrounding the subject, I was going by faith. I only attended the Tracker School, Inc., in New Jersey when I was in my early twenties. By that time, I had become extremely proficient in the survival skills (I had already done a primitive year in the woods in New Hampshire), and I was becoming increasingly aware of the workings of the PRs. In fact, by the time I began taking the classes at the school, I was using them more as a system of validation than a resource for information, particularly for anything that was already covered in the books. I took the basic information and concepts from the books, and I ran with it, and I began to see things that weren’t in the texts, which started me on this path of exhausting, infuriating, research and development with no way to find any validation except to find proof in the tracks.

Though the Tracker School takes the student to a certain degree of Tracking knowledge, there seems to be a cut-off point for the information. Not only have I tried to speak to Tom personally in the workshops, to no avail, but I’ve actually mailed and emailed drawings and my own definitions of these things that I’ve found in the tracks that seem to be consistent with particular conditions and circumstances. Regardless of whether I was “right” or “wrong” in the school’s eyes, I never heard anything back, except from one former instructor who confirmed one of the prs that I found, but admitted that the pr information seemed to be locked up pretty tightly at the school otherwise, and he had no other information available.

Therefore, since I have attempted to make contact several times, to no avail, I could only continue to work on this study of Tracking by creating my own version of maps, concepts, definitions, and names for my discoveries. By no means am I the creator or inventor of these things in Tracking, whether you call them Pressure Releases or Movement Indicators. In fact, the Pressure Releases number in the thousands in presentation, and they were established by Apache Trackers (on our continent, anyway) over generations. I am attempting to put together whatever I can in a few decades, and I’m not sure I’ll come close to thousands. I do, however, have a good handful, and I’ve established what I feel is a pretty solid foundation for my interpretations. I have attempted to give different names to everything from what the Tracker School uses so as not to be claiming anything that I didn’t actually earn. I admit out front and off the bat that I learned the basic PRs that are found in Tom Brown Jr.’s book: The Science and Art of Tracking, from Tom Brown Jr. However, as far as Tracking goes, all other information regarding Fine-motor and Visceral Movement Indicators, as well as the mapping of zones of the body, are by my own research into other concentrations, such as kinesiology and gait analysis, as well as—and for the most part—practical and empirical investigation, or, good old trial and error. Nobody stood over my shoulder, and nobody gave me any information regarding the intricacies, details, or advanced principles of Tracking. The advanced concepts are my own work. Further, because of this, I’m going to take out some of the advanced details and descriptions I had in this writing for a couple of reasons.

1. It has taken a lot of time and effort (and ridicule and heckling) to develop what I’ve accomplished so far. I figure that if someone else is out there teaching it to the military and police, and making millions of dollars on the information, I’d rather keep the details to myself and a very close few.

2. If you are truly passionate about it, then you can either figure it out like I’ve been doing, or you can make a decent donation toward helping my family live in this god-forsaken system and toward helping me establish my Communal Village. I’ve already given lots of information out to many people for free, and it hasn’t helped my family avoid discrimination and persecution, so I guess I’m done with that, sorry.

3. Yeah, the military and police thing? I’m not into giving even more power of information to the very entity that forces me and my family to compromise our beliefs, integrity, and health (you’ll know exactly what I mean if you read the other articles in the blog). So I’m not about to make myself a hypocrite and give this stuff out for the government to abuse. Look at what they did with Einstein’s work.

So, why am I writing this, then? Because I’ve been teaching and talking about this stuff for decades, and I’ve developed some really good concepts and practices (including Clock-Tracking and the Golden Ratio Height formula), and I figure that even if I don’t so much care about making millions for selling the information, I still would like it to be known that I did this. Even if it’s just that my grandchildren find my buried and tattered writings one day in the future, I want them to know that I was one of the forerunners in putting together this information about Tracking while most people thought Tracking was little more than identifying and following footprints. I’m putting it out because there are so many would-be Trackers out there who claim they can see things (“head-turns” is a really common one) regularly in the tracks, yet they’re asking what these more intricate and delicate indicators are. This tells me that something doesn’t jive. Reading “head-turns” accurately and consistently is not as easy as folks would like to believe it is if you don’t know what to look for. And if you only practice what’s in the books, you don’t really know yet what to look for. But that’s okay; just don’t get cocky.

This article was meant to go into Wikipedia, so it’s somewhat clinical, I suppose. If it makes it, cool. But since I am the only resource for the majority of the information here, there’s nothing to cite, and I don’t have the funding or the connections to gain any “official research date from an accredited agency” or any garbage like that, so I don’t believe it will hold up on Wikipedia. It is what it is. If you don’t buy it, it won’t hurt my feelings.

Movement Indicators—a term coined by Jeff Rychwa, for use in Tracking, to describe the responses and reactions of any substrate or surface to the influence of an applied force, typically associated with the force of a subject’s foot upon a surface. A movement indicator, or MI, is the simple result of physical force—in this application, a force of kinesiology, various gait patterns, and physiological affects—applied to a surface or substrate so that the reaction of the applied movement is recorded in a meaningful, legible way.

There seem to be three categories of MIs: Gross Motor, Fine Motor, and Visceral. As well, there seem to be three zonings or “maps” that generally coordinate these movements and influences with particular regions aligning with the body of the maker of the tracks. For example, a gross-motor movement of the right leg being placed forward of the horizontal centerline of the left foot will display movement indicators within the ball-mount and digital areas of the left foot track. However, general indicators of issues regarding the right leg, such as a muscle injury, will present within the heel area of the right foot track. Further, a movement or injury on one side of the body will show counter- or compensatory-indicators either on the opposite side of the coordinating track, or even in the opposite track altogether. This is particularly prominent with issues or injuries compromising leg functions.

Gross-motor and Fine-motor MIs seem to present as “hard” influences upon the substrate, while Visceral MIs seem to present as “soft” influences. In other words, the action of propulsion in a substrate such as dampened beach sand will cause a recoil in the substrate, which can be seen as a portion of sand being pushed backward due to wasted energy in overcoming inertia that breaks the substrate’s coefficient of static friction. The amount of substrate and the degree to which it is dislodged and moved is directly proportional to the amount of energy is used to overcome inertia and the friction in order to propel the body in a particular direction. Other elements must be considered, as well, such as the content of the substrate regarding moisture and other impurities such as rocks and foreign objects. Further, slope of the substrate and other topographical conditions must be accounted in determining the proportion of recoil to acceleration in any given track.

It seems that animals, particularly quadrupeds, move in a way that eliminates recoil, or severely hampers recoil, as they move their center of gravity in a more efficient and unified way than humans, who contrarily move in a series of stalls and starts, dropping the center of gravity into a deceleration, only to throw the body forward and push off again into an acceleration. Recoil is common in human gaits, and it seems to testify to the inefficiency of human movement as a condition of our species moving away from it natural tendencies.

Visceral MIs are the most erratic, difficult to see, and difficult to interpret of the Movement Indicators. The Viscerals are also the most difficult to convince an increasingly untrusting and skeptical society of their existence. Even in reading Viscerals and pointing them out to individuals, many subjects are loathed to accept their validity, similar to the way society has taken on difficulty in accepting many relatively far-fetched truths when introduced, such as the Earth being round, or the existence of germs, bacteria, and even atoms.

Viscerals appear to be created of energy influences primarily. Gross-motor MIs are large, physical movements of leverage and torque, whereas Fine-motor MIs are more subtle, dealing with seemingly isolated musculoskeletal and skin movements, while Viscerals are caused by fluctuation of energy, perhaps even blood circulations and otherwise invisible shifts of fascia, ligaments, and muscle fibers. However, the influences of energy seem to be logical as energy flowing throughout the body does cause things to function and malfunction; simply look at twitching muscles, the heart beating, and even random pains and itches. These are all directly related to neural transmissions by way of electrical and chemical impulses. Another grossly simplistic model of such energy transfer is found in creating static electricity by running a plastic comb through dry, clean hair several times, then holding the comb within a half-inch of a smoothly flowing trickle of water from a sink faucet. The electricity will bend the stream of water. It seems to follow that energy will directly translate from the body to the substrate with which it makes contact, leaving various patterns upon the substrate, thus indicating particular conditions within coordinating zones of the body. This part of reading the Movement Indicators in Tracking is closely related to Reflexology and other studies of energy flow and manipulation from around the world.

An example of a Gross-motor MI would be the recoil of acceleration upon the sole of the track, in the form of the substrate being pushed backward for a forward acceleration. An example of a Fine-motor MI would be the feathering of the substrate (particularly damp sand), caused by skin movement in response to the torque of the upper body and head twisting in a particular direction. An example of a Visceral MI would present as a rectangle or “boomerang” shape in the sole of the track within the zone of the bladder area indicating the bladder being full to some degree.

To make things more complicated, since the body functions as a closed system of checks and balances, there will thusly be MI that must present in order to back-up other MIs in any particular movement. The numbers of back-up indicators for any particular movement or condition would logically be staggering, depending upon the depth and size of indicators one would choose to incorporate into a reading for increasing detail and accuracy of the reading of the tracks. This is where the task of attempting to recognize, define, and coordinate all of these MIs--particularly considering that compensatory MIs can cause confusion in and of themselves—becomes intimidating at times, and daunting at best.

Composition of Visceral MIs can be of extremely fine particles of sand or dust. However, even a basic shape can show up in a particular zone as a dust-line shape, a crevasse shape, a butte, or a depression. These subtleties lend a great deal of confusion to the process, let alone finding coordinating MIs to pinpoint a particular, coordinating condition or action. Fortunately, as the body is systemic and stems from the nervous system for function, Jeff speculates that tying together MIs in order to develop more accurate and detailed readings will be much “easier” based upon the logic of synergy rather than trying to read each MI as its own entity.

It is worth mentioning Identifiers here, as well. Identifiers present in the tracks in the same way that MIs do, except Identifiers seem to appear consistently in a particular track (always in the right footprint, for instance) and for a particular subject, no matter what action the subject performs. In other words, Identifiers look similar [to Jeff] as typical MIs, but they don’t have function. Identifiers can be created by a blatant injury or anomaly, such as a wound to the sole of the foot, or a wart, for example, or by a particular deformity, anomaly, irregularity, or other condition or pathology particular to an individual. There seem to be several Identifiers in any given track, and, since they are consistent and “fixed” to the track of that subject, the combination of them may be used as a reliable method of identification for an individual that may not be found in any other individual of that species, much like a human fingerprint.


Anonymous said...

What are some exersices I could do in my tracking box?

Ten Fires said...

Fingerprint Tracking: Delineate a square of six inches or twelve inches after smoothing out your sand. (Try moist and dry sand for all exercises.) Have someone gently place a fingerprint--lighter than a mouse's step--in the square. Find it.

Clock-Tracking: Step in with one foot in the middle of a "clock." Turn to one-o'clock and take a casual walking step. Study the MIs. Then do all of the increments around the clock. Go around with easy turns, then go around with pivots, then even do cross-overs and study the differences.

One of the most important things you can do is just walk through the box, then draw the tracks. Draw everything, and do this a few times, and with several subjects. The more you draw the baseline of walking tracks, the easier shifts, anomalies, and changes will be to pick up.

Otherwise, just play with the substrate in the box. Use your thumb or a pencil or whatever, and make twists, presses, gouges, and lifts, and see what makes the substrate do specific things. What kinds of MIs always show up when you press straight down in the sand versus when you press and twist? There is limitless information to be gained in these few concepts.