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ross_l
02-04-2003, 12:37 PM
I was reading an interesting interview with Morihiro Saito Sensei and he said that as uchi deshi, "We carried iron jos to make our arms stronger, swinging them and dragged them noisily behind us as we walked."

Has anyone ever heard of this before? Do any dojos continue this practice?

Larry Feldman
02-04-2003, 01:45 PM
One of my teachers does for his own training. He worked up to the Iron Jo from a wood one with progressively heavier Jo.

Fred Little
02-04-2003, 03:09 PM
I was reading an interesting interview with Morihiro Saito Sensei and he said that as uchi deshi, "We carried iron jos to make our arms stronger, swinging them and dragged them noisily behind us as we walked."

Has anyone ever heard of this before? Do any dojos continue this practice?
I attempted this kind of practice for a short time, using the steel bar from a set of barbells, primarily working on simply entering & thrusting then withdrawing into a rising block.

But unlike the other respondent's instructor, I hadn't worked up to it carefully and began to notice serious elbow strain within 10 days. So I laid off. It took about two months for my elbows to return to full strength and function.

I think it can be good practice if:

1) You work upwards in total weight carefully and gradually.

and

2) You have an instructor who can catch basic form faults early.

If you add too much weight too quickly, or aren't careful with your form, or both, long-term damage can result; several senior practitioners have advised me that they casued themselves permanent damage by overly enthusiastic practice with an overly heavy jo or suburito at one point in their careers.

Be careful.

Fred Little

Arianah
02-04-2003, 09:38 PM
It certainly seems like it would be excellent for strength, but I wonder if it would really be good for practice. My instructor did a lot of kumitachi with a suburito for a while. When he had to use one of the much smaller and lighter bokken when practicing it while visiting another dojo, he found that he was overcompensating in his movements since he was used to a heavier ken, where those more exaggerated movements were necessary. Sort of like expecting to lift a full carton of milk and finding out it is empty. If you over-practice with a heavier "jo" would it produce the same results, where you have to tweak your muscle memory when you get a wooden jo in hand? :confused:

Sarah, pondering

ian
02-20-2003, 07:00 AM
I gave up using a heavy suburi bokken due to the reduction in speed. I think heavy items can sometimes result in you fixing your feet and focusing on the upper body instead of the lower body.

Recently I have completely changed ny training and focussed more on speed of foot movement and building up core muscles (chi kung, lots of stomach exercises, bokken cutting with normal wright bokken, rowing and swimming). In fact I try not to do weight bearing strength exercises but only strength exercises that utilise my own body weight (e.g. press-ups, pull-ups, dips).

I have noticed a large imporvement in my aikido; I have more control over my body, Im' faster, I'm lighter, and I'm not top heavy (I used to do weights).

ian
02-20-2003, 07:01 AM
P.S. I also found elbow strain with a heavy bokken.

happysod
02-20-2003, 08:01 AM
I've tried using heavier weapons to improve, but found the process deeply unsatisfying. I think it's quite an old-fashioned way of improving set muscle groups which can be much better targeted with modern gym machines. Also, I was taught that your "weapon of choice" should be one that fits you in terms of balance and weight, rather than one you have to fight with.

Having said this, my own experience with longer weapons is so-so as it's not an arena I find very enjoyable, so perhaps I've just not been diligent enough in my practice to gain the benefits? Heavier knives don't really do much other than slow response time or occasionally give you more options on defense.

Ron Tisdale
02-20-2003, 09:20 AM
I like working the iron jo, but I think the cautionary tales above should be carefully considered. If you choose to use one, I would start very slowly, doing only basic stances and strikes, and not using any power. A lot of the problems come from stopping the movement of the heavier jo, not from just moving it around. I only ever practise one kata with the iron jo. It is a series of strikes used in our style. And I don't perform it fast or with any real power, just for form. I even leave some of the strikes out now, because some of them put too much strain on my joints (I assume that over time, I'll be able to do more).

I've found that the work with the iron jo is sucessful in building whole body strength, and giving improved speed, power and form to my usual jo work. Of course, your milage may vary.

Ron Tisdale

Ta Kung
02-20-2003, 10:38 AM
Screw the iron jo... I want one in GOLD! He he he! I'm from holland, isn't that WEIRRRD?

/Austin P. :)

Sven Groot
02-24-2003, 05:25 AM
He he he! I'm from holland, isn't that WEIRRRD?
No it's not, I am too. :D

Anyway, I've never seen anyone use an iron jo. I would imagine however, that if used in practice, it would get horribly dented. Steel would be much better than iron for this.

I have seen a bamboo jo once. That's much lighter than a wooden one.

I any case, I was told the main purpose of trainin with a suburi to is that it more closely approximates the actual weight of a steel sword, not to build arm strength.

I don't think that applies to a jo though.

erikmenzel
02-24-2003, 06:53 AM
Screw the iron jo... I want one in GOLD! He he he! I'm from holland, isn't that WEIRRRD?

/Austin P. :)
Isnt it funny how the goldmember character in the Austin Powers movie doesnt seem to resemble a dutchman at all. Everything about him is wrong, the looks, the walk and the talk.

From my dutch perspective he resembles the SWEDISH (bork bork bork). :D :D :D :p

G R D :cool:

Ta Kung
02-24-2003, 09:25 AM
Erik, you're actually on to something here. I noticed how he said "Fasha" all the time, instad of Father. That's how we say it in Sweden (Farsa). It's slang, but everyone understands what it means. We do not go crazy when we hear the word gold, though. And we don't smoke cigars when we eat pancakes. :)

/Patrik

ian
02-24-2003, 12:40 PM
I have seen a bamboo jo once. That's much lighter than a wooden one.
yep - the 1st jo I bought was 'japanese bamboo'. It is ridiculously light - like it is made out of polystyrene. However it also dents easily. I've been told it is better for jo-taking rather than jo-jo techniques, since it is very springy and gives a lovely whiplash motion (however I've just found it a waste of space).

Ian