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Here are a few jo refinemnts I learned this week during our Monday and Wednesday class:
- the but end of the jo, depending on which end it up :-), should always be covered by your grip, especially when tsukiing.
- when raised for a block, bring both hands together, switch hands and slide the hand to the very end of the jo; when striking yokomen or shomen, that back hand provides all the power while the hand in front offers direction
- there are many jo handling exercises; try and practice them all until you don't drop the jo on the floor
- when swinging the jo, watch out for others next to you
- when sensei uses you as uke to show a technique to the class, don't let him knock the jo arbitrarily from your hands (it's embarassing)
After two lessons of jo training, my new, beautiful jo is dinged, scarred and dimpled. :-( In addition, I need to apply some linseed oil as it feels tacky due to sweat and humidity. I must admit, I like jo work more so than bokken - but don't tell anyone.