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Old 09-23-2002, 05:17 PM   #1
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
Location: Barnegaat, NJ
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Hands as weapons

You know, there is this stigma of deadly hands of martial arts, but aren't nearly all hand techniques taken from weapons?

I guess it could be the what came first, the chicken or the egg question, but really, aren't the knife hand, and the knuckle punch aimed at the same targets as weapons practice?

The entire range of strikes, thrusts, and defensive/ offensive movements with weapons are designed to strike pressure points when blades are not cutting?

How to fore is the use of hands simular in relations to weapons training?

My experience is from first practicing karate then coming to aikido, so my experience is to use hands as weapons before using bokken or jo. Still, there are so many simularities of training, learning proper striking angle, direction, and effective use of force ... hands can actually be more effective than weapons.

I know a lot of you older guys/gals have seen pieces of this, but how many of our younger practitioners have seen this in their practice?
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Old 09-23-2002, 09:59 PM   #2
SeiserL
 
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IMHO, I wouldn't necessarily say that the hands are more effective than weapons. Guess its depends on how well trained those hands are and if they are empty or holding a weapon.

I come from the FMA (Filipino martial arts of kali, escrima, arnis) and we train the weapons first.

Until again,

Lynn

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 09-24-2002, 01:00 AM   #3
Anat Amitay
Dojo: Nes- Ziona, "the red house"
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hi Bruce

In our dojo we train both empty handed and with weapons and a new student can start weapons from his first week.

I know that working with weapons effects alot of my empty hand techniques and makes them better.

For example- suburi number 1 with bokken- it seems like a simple movement (raising the sword and bringing it down) but there is much more to it- not to put stress on the shoulders, let the hands fall in a normal way, near the body and not extended forward etc... Then when you do empty hand techniques that have that movement of the hands, you begin to understand why that technique wont work when you bring up your shoulder, when you work with the force of your hands and not your center...

I believe weapons training isd very important and helps in understanding many of the empty hand techniques. I am not sure, but I think that many also came from weapons movements and were diverted into empty hands.

All this I'm saying after just a bit less than 3 years training and I have been doing weapons all this time soon.

Also, a guy from my dojo that started 2 months before me, moved to another city and started training there. He said they don't work with weapons at all and that they don't understand the importance of body and hand movement in certain techniques, which we understood through weapons training.

Well, hope I didn't bore you!

Anat
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Old 09-24-2002, 02:46 AM   #4
Mr. P
 
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Anyway, the only thing I'm sure is empty hands techniques are armed-hands-techniques-diverted.

Our Sense´ often shows us the relation between the two "styles" (showing techniques once with a weapon, once without).

IMHO, I think weapons are good to see problems in postures, etc. ... With a weapon, I cannot lie : if the weapon move isn't efficient, so is my hand one.

So, I think weapons are more "powerful" than hands but need to be more mastered...

Mr. P

Never pay attention to someone using smileys...
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Old 09-24-2002, 03:05 AM   #5
mike lee
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
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Cool ouch!

Years ago when I first came to Asia, I trained at a place that used real tatami. It was a pretty hard surface, and when it's new it's very hard.

My teacher emphasized a lot of breakfalls. I trained for one hour in the morning and three hours at night. I can't even imagine how many breakfalls I took in a day, but I'm sure it was in the hundreds.

Anyway, I began training in November. One night in spring, after returning home exhausted, I washed my gi and went to bed. Just as I was falling asleep, a mosquito landed on my cheek. I slapped it reflexively and almost knocked myself out. I realized at that moment that all of those breakfalls had truned my hands into weapons.

Last edited by mike lee : 09-24-2002 at 03:08 AM.
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Old 09-24-2002, 08:53 AM   #6
akiy
 
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I remember hearing about Mas Oyama training with makiwara to the point that he couldn't straighten his hands -- they were turned into weapons, but they no longer had the full function of hands any more.

My karate teacher was pretty famous for his ability to break things. There were very impressive pictures of him around the dojo, one in which he was breaking a stack of three one-foot thick ice blocks. His hands, too, were quite gnarled, although still (somewhat) functional.

I prefer to keep my hands as they are -- hands. I don't care to make it into a "weapon" of any kind. Sure, at this point, I could probably hurt someone with my hands, but it's becauce I've learned (to a point, at least) how to use my entire body in doing so -- just like the rest of aikido.

One of the senior students here warns about the misconception that we have to train differently in practicing aikido weapons than what we normally do in empty handed practice. Both are there to cultivate the same principles.

Lastly, some koryu folks I know believe empty-handed training derived from weapons training rather than the other way around...

-- Jun

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Old 09-24-2002, 09:05 AM   #7
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
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Thanks for the replys, but I was refering to the option of hands doing everything the weapons do, and vice versa.

One of the first things I learned in using the hands is that they, like weapons, are merely an extension of the body, so when you are practicing with your weapons there should be no difference as if you were empty handed.

Energy is sent to the end of the weapon and beyond, to give it strength, so too without the weapon the same principles apply.

Whether you are using a tool to work, a weapon to practice, or simply exercizing, the hands should be treated with the same extension as the weapon, and the weapon or tool being used with the same extension as the hand.

Hopefully, we won't put total emphasis on breaking things with our hands, or mauling them with training, but that option and insight to using them is there.

Last edited by Bruce Baker : 09-24-2002 at 09:14 AM.
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Old 09-28-2002, 08:39 AM   #8
j0nharris
Dojo: Kododan Aikido USA
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Quote:
Bruce Baker wrote:
Thanks for the replys, but I was refering to the option of hands doing everything the weapons do, and vice versa.

One of the first things I learned in using the hands is that they, like weapons, are merely an extension of the body, so when you are practicing with your weapons there should be no difference as if you were empty handed.

Energy is sent to the end of the weapon and beyond, to give it strength, so too without the weapon the same principles apply.
When teaching tai jitsu, we sometimes show how it is the same as weapons technique.

But when I teach weapons class (Iwama Ryu), I always show that the particular strike, parry, etc. is exactly the same energy used in the applicable tai jitsu. This seems to be particularly useful to newer students, as it was to me when I started, so that weapons training gives them a beter sense of what empty hand can feel like.

Happy training,

-jon

jon harris

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Now, who took my @#$%! map?!
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Old 09-28-2002, 11:01 PM   #9
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Well for the most part you hold all weapons in your hands, so in a since they become an extension of your hands and body, so yes all weapons techniques can be related to hand techniques.

That said, each weapon adds a different dynamic to the equation and amplfies strengths/weaknesses and allows you to take advantage of the length, weight, sharpeness, or shape of the weapons...so the tactical application of using a weapon will certainly modify the way you would use it in battle.

Obviously, you would not throw a handgun or swing it. Same with a bow and arrow....however, the breathing techniques, postures, ma ai, focus...you know the principles we learn all apply!

With the Bokken and Jo, they are obviously, more closely related to the hand in the use, so I find that they really do complement empty hand practice very well. Infact they increase the risk factor and their is much less room for error so when you practice your technique must be better than without the weapon in your hand, so I feel they really enhance your training!

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Old 10-01-2002, 04:48 PM   #10
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
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I have reacquired an interest in archery, and I do not use sights or extended aiming techniques, but find I have better accuracy if I walk about and snap shoot at the target.

(30 to 40 yards)

Maybe it is just me, or the fact that I am trying to use the inner sense to reach the target rather than the outer senses targeting and sighting, but this is also the factor that occurs when there is no time to aim, just to feel where you should shoot.

The feeling of using this gut feeling extension is no less valid than using the extension of hands, weapons, or creating iron arm or iron body.

Of course, I am no longer young or healthy. I am fighting a few internal organ problems, so maybe I am relying on more than the strength of your human body that many people rely on.

It is not a bad thing to do high repetitions wtih light weights to strengthen your body, but when that physical strenght is gone, what then? Can you muster the inner strength?

Weird as it may sound, it is also the inner strength that will drive you to go far beyond the physical pain of repetition exercises, so I think it is a very good training ground to get a footing upon your inner strength.

How do you think a two hundred twenty pound man can push a six hundred pound box across the floor? ( the sound OH doesn't hurt either.)

Never forget weapons are the extension of you, and you are able to extend yourself with physicality as well as inner strength with these weapons too.

(If you want two more sounds to movement, Long vowel U for down, and short o like the word who for up, see if saying these sounds helps your movements.)
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Old 10-01-2002, 07:36 PM   #11
G DiPierro
Location: Ohio
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Quote:
Jun Akiyama (akiy) wrote:
One of the senior students here warns about the misconception that we have to train differently in practicing aikido weapons than what we normally do in empty handed practice. Both are there to cultivate the same principles.
There is a famous teaching, often ascribed to O Sensei, that says that when holding a sword, one should move as if empty-handed, and when empty-handed, one should move as if holding a sword.
Quote:
Lastly, some koryu folks I know believe empty-handed training derived from weapons training rather than the other way around.
This is true. Aikido is derived from the classical Japanese tradition which was, for historical reasons, based primarily on weapons. In other traditions, such as kungfu or Okinawan karate, empty-handed training may be the primary form.
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Old 10-15-2002, 06:10 AM   #12
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
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Also remember that the blunt weapons or sticks are striking at particular points to the body that are also susseptable to jabs, thrusts, and strikes with the hands, which should enlighten you to the fact that empty hand practice and weapons practice are complimentary.

I am not saying you should beat yourself up to the point that the hands are deadened objects of flesh, but then again, you should have some concept of taking movements from weapons practice and applying it to empty hands too.

You don't always have a weapon, but you always have your hands and feet with you ... unless you want to go into amputation or birth defects, but I would leave that small percentage alone. They always have friends with hands and feet who are willing to step in.
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Old 10-15-2002, 09:21 AM   #13
SeiserL
 
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IMHO, the hand that holds the weapon is always the weapon.

In FMA (Filipino martial arts: Kali, escrima, and arnis) we start with weapons (sticks and blades) and then transfer those same techniques to the hands.

I agree about the over conditioning. I have friends who can barely walk or hold a pencil because to too brutal breaking training. Which is great if you don't intend to live into arthritis.

Until again,

Lynn

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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