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Old 08-02-2005, 07:21 AM   #1
Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer
Dojo: Shi Zen Ryu
Location: Leiden
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 11
Netherlands
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Hachi no ji jo suburi

Before I pose my question, it seems polite to briefly introduce myself, for this is my first posting on these forums, although I have passively been enjoying these forums for quite some time and I am very grateful for everything I learned from all your contributions. My name is Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer. I have been doing aikido for about six years now, so I am very much a beginner. I train at Shi Zen Ryu dojo in Leiden, the Netherlands, with Tom Verhoeven sensei.

My question is about the name of the jo suburi called "hachi no ji", which would translate as "figure eight". As you know, the technique consists in holding the jo in one hand and making it swirl in vertical circles alternately along both sides of the body. Then, in fact, both ends of the jo describe a pattern similar to the figure 8 (one circle left of your body, one circle right, and the point where they meet exactly in front of you). So it seems quite obvious that this movement is called "figure eight", except that in Japanese eight is not written as 8. Yet, the description seems too perfect not to derived from the western figure 8. Alternatively, the name could have been derived from the Japanese character for eight, which consists of two oblique vertical strokes, somewhat like this: /\. I can imagine that hachi no ji refers to this pattern, because the vertical circles described by the jo follow the path of the two strokes in the character. However, this seems less fitting and less apropriate as a name than a reference to the western 8.

I am completely aware that there are more important things in life than this, but I am just curious. Does anyone know whether the name hachi no ji is derived from the Japanese character eight or the western figure 8?
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Old 08-02-2005, 09:39 AM   #2
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
Location: Wisconsin
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,224
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Re: Hachi no ji jo suburi

When I read your description and then look at the kanji, if most certainly looks like the answer to your curious question is right there.
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Old 08-02-2005, 07:57 PM   #3
Mashu
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 106
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Re: Hachi no ji jo suburi

Maybe it is the secret bee swarm defence.
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Old 08-02-2005, 08:19 PM   #4
Michael Varin
Dojo: Aikido of Fresno
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 567
United_States
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Re: Hachi no ji jo suburi

Ilja,

The name 'katate hachi no ji gaeshi' comes from the movement's similarity to the kanji. Most people assume it has to do with an 8 turned on its side, but that is incorrect. Making fancy circles with the jo should not be the emphasis. The kanji is showing the lines of the two strikes that are delivered to the head and/or hands of an opponent.

Michael
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Old 08-04-2005, 06:59 AM   #5
Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer
Dojo: Shi Zen Ryu
Location: Leiden
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 11
Netherlands
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Re: Hachi no ji jo suburi

Thanks very much indeed for the very illumating answers.
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Old 01-18-2016, 11:48 AM   #6
edshockley
Dojo: Aiklikai of Philadelphia
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 92
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Re: Hachi no ji jo suburi

Shihan's HenrySmith, Nizam Taleb and Paul Manogue taught me but for some reason reading Shihan Saito still reminds me about katate hachi no ji gaeshi and the five movements from hasso gaeshi...
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Old 01-22-2016, 10:01 PM   #7
jamesf
Dojo: Kitsap Aikido, Poulsbo, WA
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 50
United_States
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Re: Hachi no ji jo suburi

I'm curious, since the five Hasso (八相 - "八-appearance") Gaeshi movements immediately follow Katate Hachi-no-ji (八の字 - "八's shape") Gaeshi, did Saito-sensei name it this just to avoid confusion with the Hasso movements? Is there a linguistic reason that keeps hachi-no-ji and hasso from being used interchangeably? Finally, could he have intended a double entendre when naming the movement? (Would such a thing even fit his personality?)
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Old 12-17-2016, 11:50 AM   #8
edshockley
Dojo: Aiklikai of Philadelphia
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 92
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Re: Hachi no ji jo suburi

Because of my aphasia/stroke I forget every letter and word. I just did the jo numbers 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 22, 28 and 31 last Sunday at Aikido of Philadelphia. (I still do not remember the 18.) I now know English ok but almost no Japanese any longer yet. I will put the things I learned from my Shihan in pictures or video parts soon and I can at least send the "jo 9". This is the one when I was taught that there are several ways to do "hasso." There were two people attacking. (Omote and ura)
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Old 12-19-2016, 07:19 AM   #9
MRoh
Location: Düsseldorf
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 203
Germany
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Re: Hachi no ji jo suburi

katate hachi no ji gaeshi
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Old 08-28-2018, 10:57 AM   #10
Ethan Weisgard
Dojo: Copenhagen Aiki Shuren Dojo
Location: Copenhagen
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 177
Denmark
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Re: Hachi no ji jo suburi

Quote:
James Frankiewicz wrote: View Post
I'm curious, since the five Hasso (八相 - "八-appearance") Gaeshi movements immediately follow Katate Hachi-no-ji (八の字 - "八's shape") Gaeshi, did Saito-sensei name it this just to avoid confusion with the Hasso movements? Is there a linguistic reason that keeps hachi-no-ji and hasso from being used interchangeably? Finally, could he have intended a double entendre when naming the movement? (Would such a thing even fit his personality?)
There has been a quite a bit of writing here and on other forums about Hasso / Hasso Gaeshi / Hasso no Kamae.

A quick summary: one interpretation of the term Hasso in Japanese brings you into some quite deep and esoteric Buddhistic meanings of the word, that relate to some very interesting areas, which are way too complex to delve into here. It's worth Googling, however!

The other main line of interpretation is more pragmatic, and is based on the idea that the Hasso no Kamae has the arms creating the angles found in the kanji of "hachi".

So following this line of interpretation, the Hasso Gaeshi (gaeshi meaning "turn") could indicate that the turning movement leads you into Hasso no Kamae.

If you look at the Hasso Gaeshi movement itself, it is the second (returning) strike of the Hachi no Ji Gaeshi jo suburi. So in my opinion it doesn't seem to fit with the actual movement itself being Hasso - "resembling hachi" since the first half of the hachi is missing :-) It seems to refer to this movement bringing you into the Hasso no Kamae position.

I have spent some time researching this subject myself, and have found these to be the two main theories regarding the term Hasso Gaeshi.

I will gladly welcome more interpretations from anyone out there!

I really regret not having this quest for a definition/explanation of this term while I was training under Saito Sensei. I have been meaning to ask Inagaki Sensei and Isoyama Sensei about it, but have missed the opportunities (read:forgotten!) every time I meet them :-)

In aiki,
Ethan

Last edited by Ethan Weisgard : 08-28-2018 at 11:00 AM. Reason: spelling mistake
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Old 08-29-2018, 05:44 AM   #11
JJF
 
JJF's Avatar
Dojo: Vestfyn Aikikai Denmark
Location: Vissenbjerg
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 801
Denmark
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Re: Hachi no ji jo suburi

Quote:
Ilja Pfeijffer wrote: View Post
Before I pose my question, it seems polite to briefly introduce myself, for this is my first posting on these forums, although I have passively been enjoying these forums for quite some time and I am very grateful for everything I learned from all your contributions. My name is Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer. I have been doing aikido for about six years now, so I am very much a beginner. I train at Shi Zen Ryu dojo in Leiden, the Netherlands, with Tom Verhoeven sensei.
Dear Ilja. Unfortunately, I am not familiar with the jo movement you mention, but I know Ethan W. and would recommend that you pay attention to his postings as they reflect a long and dedicated effort to uncover the details of Aikido. Especially as it was formulated by Saito Sensei.

I myself am influenced by the also late Nishio Sensei and have a different approach to the use of jo and bokken. But I happen to go to Leiden for a three day seminar in about three weeks. Maybe we could find a chance to practice together if you think I would be allowed to visit?

Best wishes

Jørgen Jakob
Vestfyn AIkikai

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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