Re: Jo tsuki
Just fwiw we tend to end with the end of the jo just a hair lower (closer to the tanden/one-point/hara) than in the photo and in tight with the body. Although it does vary a bit from strike to strike however especially with the issue of target.
I've beaten a tree senseless myself. And I fully agree about alignment of the arm but that needs to be in context with the entire body alignment, weight settled down, etc. We commonly do the tests Walker talks about in our dojo to emphasize moving from the center and being fully supported throughout a tsuki. We'll have students do the tsuki then freeze. Next we test in both directions along the jo. Can we push in (are they fully in control and supported in the strike)? Can we pull them forward easily (meaning they might have overextended). So it is about power generation and maintaining it throughout the strike, not just at the end. We'll also sometimes have someone brace themselves at the end of the jo just before the tsuka (holding the end carefully so you don't get poked or slapped with the jo) and have them try to do the tsuki. If they try to do it just with their arms or they try to do "twirly" stuff they're basically stuck. This just isn't a test they can pass with muscle strength. If they can start the tsuki from their center the rest comes along just fine. One sensei of mine has a habit of saying that all the power comes from the center and the rest of the body is just directing it. Same with the tsuki for us.
And about needing to "get it out there" to really strike. Well, I'd have to say that much of the jo work in Aikido isn't about really learning to become sojutsu experts. It is about learning to generate power, movement, and all that other stuff we do in aikido. Most targets I've been taught on the tsuki are for "soft" targets -- throat, face, stomach, etc. Others are more strikes to harder things -- yokomen, legs, down on the wrists, etc.
Last edited by Keith Larman : 08-12-2007 at 11:35 AM.