Robert A. Nelson
The ability for a person to resist the superior lift of another, is accomplished in more than one way. The principle is nothing supernatural or mechanical. Contrary, it is the application of a leverage and the position in which this force is applied. Other resistance tests direct the forces against a dead center or level, thus eliminating the forces in that direction, et al. , a deflection of force.
1. The Non-Liftab'le Girl
The ability to resist being lifted from the ground is just this; the party doing the lifting is placed in such a position that they cannot get the leverage to lift; that they expend their energy against the leverage rather than the object to be lifted. It would be quite impossible for a person to lift a shovel filled with iron by grasping it at the extreme end of the handle. However, when the proper leverage is secured, the lifting is easy and simple! This illustration represents the operation of the principle to be enacted by the performer, who presents the 'Non-Lift' feature.
Performer bends arms at elbows, extending forearms to the front. The Party assistant (will be known hereafter as the subject) is requested to grasp the performer at the elbows or on the forearm (about 2" from the elbow), and endeavors to lift. The performer leans forward, shifting the center of gravity, and throwing the lifter to a disadvantage. The performer's arms prevent the subject from getting too close to the performer. As the upward lift is applied, the performer should relax the body, forming a 'slump' or dead weight. This is of small consequence, but it is commonly known that a weight with a fixed center of gravity is easier to lift than one that varies.
The performer may fold the arms across the breast and instruct the lifting to be applied at his hips. This, you will note, is impossible. Or the subject may apply the lift under the arms (arm pit) the folded arms of the performer extending out in front a sufficient distance to throw the subject or lifter off his leverage balance. Practice this a number of times in order to make the positions natural. One should also lean a little forward with this method. The lifting should always be attempted from the front, and of course, according to the above specifications. The positions of the performer's arms, etc. , are obscured almost totally from the audience.
The holding of the lifter at a distance 'does the trick'. This position is not realized by the subject during the operation and afterwards, nor seen by the audience. The subject tries to lift and expends great energy, but due to poor leverage, the lift cannot occur.
It is suggested that the subject be allowed to lift the party from the floor, and in doing so, the operator should make this as easy as possible for the subject. Doing this, you come closer to the subject and spring upward when lifted. When you are released and placed upon the floor, you apparently are standing in the same place as before. Contrary, you must endeavor to be back a couple of inches, then looking into the subject's eyes, challenge him to lift you from the floor a second time. With the change in position, this is found impossible. Many a performer for years have been using this test as it is most sensational and offers a reward of $1, 000. 00 to anyone who can lift the performer from the ground against his will. You need not fear to post this challenge, for after practicing this test a minute, or numbers of times you will learn the various positions necessary to counter-act the energy expended against you.
2. The Broom Test
This demonstration is perhaps the most startling of all Resistance Secrets as it employs the combined strength of many persons.
Performer places a billiard cue or broom in open hands, same being held about eight inches in front of the shoulders (same height) the arms being bent at elbows. The portion of the arm (from shoulders to elbow) is against the side of the body. The broom is placed in the performer's open (cupped hands)and the palm facing the audience. The broom handle is placed between the thumb and palm, but not HELD in place.
One or more spectators are requested to come forward and push against the broom. The performer now stands on one foot (right foot is suggested) left foot slightly folded back to aid in balance, with broom in position and defies any number of spectators to push her off her balance.
Spectators grasp the broom in any position (force must be equally distributed) and push with all their might. But in vain, they cannot push her off her balance. A baffling feat - the broom is placed on a dead level and must be held there. The performer's attention should be concentrated on holding the broom in position. A little muscular resistance is necessary. It is absolutely impossible for any number of spectators to push you off your balance as long as the broom is held in position. There will be a tendency on the part of the spectators to push the stick upward or downward (unbeknown to them), at which time the performer will be pushed over. Guard against this.
It would be almost impossible to describe the position that you must attain. Practice a few times and you will immediately know when you have found it. Do not allow them to jerk or suddenly push, throwing you off your balance.
The broom handle is practically on the same level as the shoulders and the persons pushing on same can gain absolutely no leverage. Or rather they cannot gain sufficient leverage to counter-balance the slight muscular effort that you exert to offer their efforts. The force that is exerted against the stick is deflected (thrown into space) and only a very little effort is necessary to combat that force.
We do not attempt to describe the 'why and how' of this startling experiment. Very few know. The forces are deflected, or misdirected off into space. However, disregardless of the 'why-for' the feat is accomplished without difficulty. Considerable practice should be given until the correct position can be immediately secured. Don't lean forward but slightly, and only when a number of persons are used in the experiment.
The effect, briefly, is as follows: Performer places palms against handle of ordinary broom held in vertical position and requests any spectator to push the broom down to the floor. This is found impossible to do, as they cannot move it down one inch, yet the performer apparently supports the broom with open hands. Mode of operation - Request spectator to come forward and assist in the experiment. You now take a broom and with the handle uppermost, keeping the broom in a vertical position, you face the spectator, keeping him somewhat to the left. You extend your right hand, fingers extended along the handle of the broom (nearest floor) allowing the handle of the broom to cross open palm oblong from base of thumb to about tip of third finger.
Left hand takes a position farther up handle on opposite side of broom so when hand is open, finger tips will be about 3" above waist. Handle of broom passing over open left palm in similar position and manner that it does with the right hand. You will now find that with hands in this position the broom is held firmly as though your fingers were encircling it.
Now, instruct the spectator to grasp the upper part of the handle of the broom and without jerking, but with a steady downward pull, to try and move the broom down until it touches the floor. Caution them against jerking, twisting or hanging on the weight of same.
If you have a strong person to assist you, be sure to allow the hands to assume a position farther apart than the one mentioned. It sometimes being necessary to allow a distance of 24" to successfully offset the effort exerted by a muscular assistant, but no matter how strong they are, you can always prevent them from putting the broom down. If You use judgment in placing your hands you will always have the greater power of leverage.
This experiment is always successful when performer acts according to the above instructions. The pressing of the two hands toward each other has a tendency to bring the broom into a position that the downward pressure will be null and void while they exert themselves to the utmost, you are seldom required to utilize but a small portion of your strength to combat it, thereby always holding in reserve enough to completely baffle their efforts, no matter how strenuous. Always insist on the spectator keeping his hands close together and near the top of the handle, for the further away his hands are from yours, and the closer together his hands are kept, the easier the experiment will be for the performer.
Practice this effect a number of times with some friend until you get the knack of bracing yourself properly, how to hold your hands on the handle, how to bring about correct pressure to bear at the right times, how to offset them and eliminate any unfair methods of the spectators, who may attempt to handle their weight and pressure, etc. Always see that your hands are in correct position to get a good contact on the handle of the broom. Your hands should not be too dry or too damp.
This is a 'vest pocket' edition of the Resistance Secrets and one that will baffle the smartest. The operator places the tips of his forefingers together, and the arms bent at elbows, fingers touching should be on the same level with shoulders and about six inches from chest. That is the general position.
Request any spectator to grasp your wrists (this party must stand directly in front of you) and endeavor to pull your fingers apart against your will. At the first attempt, allow them to part, then looking the spectator in the eye, challenge him to pull them apart a second time.
Without any great muscular effort on your part, you can keep your fingers together by pushing directly against each other, and the position in which the spectator is standing does not permit them to exert enough leverage to pull fingers apart, no matter how hard they try, or how much physical energy they expend.
Spectator is not aware of this condition, and feels he does not possess enough strength to pull fingers apart. This is simple and anyone can do it as long as the subject stands in front of the operator and pulls on the wrists.
N. B. Study illustrations shown at the beginning and you will get a better understanding of the respective positions, which are difficult to explain in writing.
Was this article helpful?