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Old 04-27-2006, 09:58 AM   #2
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Paul Nowicki wrote:
You mention that the Joe Trick is done easily by a number CMA people they'd probably laugh at us for thinking its something out of the ordinary. I personally have not had the pleasure of viewing or feeling the joe trick in person. Furthermore, I'm a strong believer in Newton's laws and gravity. It has to be some trick since its pretty obvious that the person/s pushing on the end of the joe have a mechanical advantage. I personally will not believe in such a thing untill I see it / feel it myself or untill someone explains to me the rules of this exercise. Perhaps the people are not really pushing on the Joe, but merely attempting to twist it out of the person's hands. Otherwise, I don't see how it can be done. Some of the things described by people on here (ie. the balancing on the rear legs of a chair while a big guy pushes and maintianing balance) really make me think that in some parts of the World perhaps physics and gravity do not exist. Or perhaps its more of mind trick than a physical feat. Anyone care to elaborate?
Well, obviously it's something out of the ordinary or it wouldn't be shown in demonstrations. It's a variant of a well-known type of "ki" demonstration. And trust me, most CMA'ers I know can't do it. In fact, most of the average western CMA'ers are floundering around with as few qi skills as most Aikidoists have. What you're watching is the beginning of a lot of these body conditioning tricks making it out into the open.

However, in relation to the jo-trick, let me say a couple of words. The heart of the skill involves shifting the responsibility for the load-bearing (due to the push) from the jo to one of the feet. This involves the mind's ability to redirect forces and force-sourcing at will. So does, for example, Tohei's trick of standing on one leg and having an uke push on his forearm... Tohei allows the load-bearing to go in a straight path to his foot.

Naturally, that's cool, but the shoulder still has to be under stress during this push, while at the same time the shoulder should not be contributing any muscular initiative of the responding force (that's where training the actual "ki" comes in, but that's another story).

So the *trick* is that Tohei redirects forces and that can be taught fairly quickly, in a rudimentay fashion to most beginners. Conditioning the shoulder and the rest of the body to transmit these forces in a relaxed fashion is a bona fide part of the trick though, and so the more conditioned the shoulder and body is to perform this sort of stunt, the more incoming force on the forearm someone can take.

So a beginner may *know* how and be able to mildly exhibit the push-on-the-forearm-one-leg trick, but he can't do it as well as Tohei, for example. Same with the jo-trick. Part of what Ueshiba was showing off was his redirection abilities *in conjunction* with the fact that he had an unusually strong and trained ability to spread the load across his body. So someone could know how to do the jo-trick and exhibit it to some degree without necessarily being able to demonstrate it to the peak level Ueshiba could have done during his prime years. Don't forget that not only did Ueshiba have high skills in these ki abilities, he also had a very small (he was only 5-feet tall.... so the moment-arm against him was less than on a long-limbed person), very powerful frame.

Just a dose of reality.

Again, doing a few of these tricks does not mean someone has a high level of the useable skills in the trick-bag of ki and kokyu forces. Doing the "jo-trick" or the "one-leg-trick", etc., does not signal anything more than maybe a foot in the door.

My 2 centavos.


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