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Old 04-01-2006, 10:14 PM   #1
kokyu
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Thick forearms

After training for a relatively short while, I've noticed that many Aikido veterans have very thick forearms - like "tree trunks" as one friend put it.

Out of curiosity, do people develop these forearms because of certain exercises (e.g. morotedori kokyu ho, kokyu dosa), bokken suburi practice or just everyday training?

Thanks.
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Old 04-01-2006, 10:48 PM   #2
Rupert Atkinson
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Re: Thick forearms

I would say, on average, there are more big forearm people in Aikido than in other arts.

I put it down to lots of breakfalling and slapping the mat - I think Aikidoka do a lot more than in other arts, plus a little nikyo and sankyo, of course. But then, I have come across the occasional Taichi person with big forwarms too ...

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Old 04-01-2006, 11:47 PM   #3
aikidoc
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Re: Thick forearms

I think it is more likely due to using the forearms and wrists more - kokyu ho hand position. Just MHO
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Old 04-02-2006, 12:53 AM   #4
B.J.M.
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Eek! Popeye Aikidoka

Oh boy, it's late.....

I've noticed that doing alot of cuts with the bokken, (or bokken training in general such as kumitachi ), really build up the forearms.

Take a look at Chiba sensei or Shibata sensei's forearms; they're HUGE!!

What I've also noticed is that most advanced aikidoist also develope "hair cuffs" on the wrists. Don't worry ladies, I've only really seen it on the men.

I do agree on the "kokyu hands" also helping in the development of the forearms and wrists.
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Old 04-02-2006, 03:23 AM   #5
batemanb
 
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Re: Thick forearms

Tai no henka is excellent for developing the forearms, especially doing it with gorilla uke`s that hold on tight . Bokuto suburi also develops the same muscles well.

As for the "hair cuffs", I `ve seen this and have my own set. A long time ago I was visiting an acupuncture sensei here in Kobe (where I am this week) he was also a chiropractor and 7th dan karateka. He told me that the body develops hair in order to protect itself, given the amount of katatedori I`ve experienced in the last 14 years, I can well believe that, just glad I don`t have anyone grabbing my back .

rgds
Bryan

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Old 04-02-2006, 05:01 AM   #6
kokyu
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Re: Thick forearms

Quote:
Bryan Bateman wrote:
Tai no henka is excellent for developing the forearms, especially doing it with gorilla uke`s that hold on tight . Bokuto suburi also develops the same muscles well.

As for the "hair cuffs", I `ve seen this and have my own set. A long time ago I was visiting an acupuncture sensei here in Kobe (where I am this week) he was also a chiropractor and 7th dan karateka. He told me that the body develops hair in order to protect itself, given the amount of katatedori I`ve experienced in the last 14 years, I can well believe that, just glad I don`t have anyone grabbing my back .

rgds
Bryan
Interesting... I haven't noticed those hair cuffs before. I should try looking out for those. As for the acupuncture sensei, is he the one that works near Nakao Sensei's shop?
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Old 04-02-2006, 09:51 AM   #7
Eddie deGuzman
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Re: Thick forearms

A funny and timely thread. Friday one of the older guys in the dojo showed me his hairy wrists and said it was because he was brutalized while training in the old days. This makes me believe his hairy little story.
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Old 04-02-2006, 10:47 AM   #8
Lyle Bogin
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Re: Thick forearms

It's from all of the gripping.
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Old 04-02-2006, 12:20 PM   #9
Ben Eaton
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Re: Thick forearms

Seems reasonable that it's from all these things, but it does make it hard to grip sensei's wrists when he's demonstrating if you can barely get your hands round them!
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Old 04-02-2006, 12:57 PM   #10
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Thick forearms

I shave my wrist!
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Old 04-02-2006, 02:14 PM   #11
James Kelly
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Re: Thick forearms

Sorry to say, I've seen the hair cuffs on women too. And on men who are otherwise hairless...

As to the big forearms... a true story -- a high ranking guy I know, his forearms are so big he has to get specialty suits and shirts made so he can fit them in the cuffs.

You only get big forearms by using your fingers and wrists so nage with a gorilla uke is not going to make them bigger. Trying to resist that gorilla while he's nage, that'll make them bigger. But in my experience, the guys with the biggest forearms do a lot of sword work or do specific exercises to strengthen their grip. But it's interesting that there are some equally high ranked folk who do as much sword work as the next guy and don't have the Popeye arms. I wonder if it's more about how they train.

Anyone know if O Sensei was purported to have big forearms?
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Old 04-02-2006, 04:40 PM   #12
seank
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Re: Thick forearms

Quote:
Bryan Bateman wrote:
told me that the body develops hair in order to protect itself
I also wonder whether this might be a similar effect to shaving; the hair being worn off at the follicle level and growing back thicker, or with more than one hair growing in place.

I've been training for two and half years and already have noticeably hairier wrists...

As I was told when I first started Aikido, make sure you don't pick a fight with someone who was large forearms and hairy wrists
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Old 04-02-2006, 05:05 PM   #13
PhilMyKi
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Re: Thick forearms

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
I shave my wrist!
So do I Actually I test my open razor on it! But I have noticed an increase on hair on my wrists from what Bryan refers to as gorilla ukes.

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Old 04-02-2006, 05:47 PM   #14
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Re: Thick forearms

Quote:
Soon-Kian Phang wrote:
Interesting... I haven't noticed those hair cuffs before. I should try looking out for those. As for the acupuncture sensei, is he the one that works near Nakao Sensei's shop?
There are a couple of acupunturists training with Nakao Sensei, but it wasn`t any of them . It was the family doctor out in the sticks.

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 04-02-2006, 05:48 PM   #15
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Re: Thick forearms

Quote:
Philip Purcell wrote:
So do I Actually I test my open razor on it! But I have noticed an increase on hair on my wrists from what Bryan refers to as gorilla ukes.
And you`re not a gorilla are you Phil?

I bet you shave your chest too Do you go in for waxing like Mark?

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Old 04-02-2006, 05:52 PM   #16
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Re: Thick forearms

Quote:
James Kelly wrote:
You only get big forearms by using your fingers and wrists so nage with a gorilla uke is not going to make them bigger. Trying to resist that gorilla while he's nage, that'll make them bigger.
I`ve been training for 14 years now, and beingquite lanky don`t have particularly big forearms. However, when I lived in Tokyo for a couple of years, we did a hell of a lot of Tai no henka, it was during this time that I started to develop the old Popeye forearms, they`re just not that obvious .

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 04-02-2006, 06:23 PM   #17
PhilMyKi
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Re: Thick forearms

Quote:
Bryan Bateman wrote:
And you`re not a gorilla are you Phil?

I bet you shave your chest too Do you go in for waxing like Mark?
It is funny because it is true Actually shaved it once after one of the bigger guys grabbed a handful - got ribbed big time. Decided it is better to be a bit of an ape

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Old 04-02-2006, 09:04 PM   #18
xuzen
 
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Re: Thick forearms

My sensei said before that his sensei i.e., Shioda Kancho has forearm/wrist that are disproportionately huge for his size. He said that it is probably from his Kendo days. I think it is true, ken suburi will strengten forearm and wrist.

Other activities that will make huge forearm...
1) Slapping the mat hard during ukemi
2) Grabbing tightly as uke
3) Ken/jo suburi

Of the above, IMO #3 is the greatest contributor.

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Old 04-03-2006, 05:47 AM   #19
PhilMyKi
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Re: Thick forearms

Here is a good one ... I have just been told that my forearms are bigger than the biceps of most of the guy's in the office and it my hands look like a couple of frozen chickens (in size, not all plucked)!

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Old 04-03-2006, 08:23 AM   #20
kokyu
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Re: Thick forearms

Quote:
Xu Wenfung wrote:
My sensei said before that his sensei i.e., Shioda Kancho has forearm/wrist that are disproportionately huge for his size. He said that it is probably from his Kendo days. I think it is true, ken suburi will strengten forearm and wrist.
Quote:
Bryan Bateman wrote:
Tai no henka is excellent for developing the forearms, especially doing it with gorilla uke`s that hold on tight . Bokuto suburi also develops the same muscles well.
From the comments so far, it looks like ken suburi is the reason for many people's 'Popeye' forearms...

Also, it's been some time since I've heard people talk about 'gorilla ukes'. I remember a changing room conversation... "I wasn't feeling too well today, so I was lucky not to have got a 25-year old gorilla as a partner"... I remember turning around to look at the speaker, and he looked every inch a gorilla himeself

Funnily enough, this thread has made me examine my wrists more carefully, and realized I've got hair cuffs too! I don't have hairy arms, but long hair growing around my wrists - about the same area as that taken up by a katatedori grip... now if only I could get 'em forearms
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Old 04-03-2006, 08:26 AM   #21
pezalinski
 
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Re: Popeye Aikidoka

Quote:
As for the "hair cuffs", I`ve seen this and have my own set. A long time ago I was visiting an acupuncture sensei here in Kobe (where I am this week) he was also a chiropractor and 7th dan karateka. He told me that the body develops hair in order to protect itself....
So we finally have an excuse for back hair, too, huh? For protecting us against all of those falls....

Last edited by pezalinski : 04-03-2006 at 08:32 AM.


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Old 04-03-2006, 04:10 PM   #22
Saturn
 
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Evil Eyes Re: Thick forearms

I think thick forearms are annoying for when doing Yonkyo.

Stop thinking and the mind begins to think for itself.
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Old 04-03-2006, 04:23 PM   #23
aikidoc
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Re: Thick forearms

I don't buy the slapping the mat-maybe pushing yourself up off the mat after would do it.

Hair is not supposed to grow more with shaving or stimulation. Maybe you've just got hairy wrists-better than hairy palms I guess
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Old 04-04-2006, 02:06 AM   #24
Dirk Hanss
 
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Re: Thick forearms

Quote:
Trevor Wolfe wrote:
I think thick forearms are annoying for when doing Yonkyo.
I have an aikido follow with thick and strong forearms and wrists. I do not have problems doing yonkyo on him. He has some problems, as I often press harder than needed while I do not feel the yonkyo point

Kotegaeshi and shihonage are much more difficult. I have to hold his wrist very firm to not loos it and in shihonage I nearly have to dislocate his shoulder - his arms are not flexible at all.

They are all beginner's faults, but on "normal" uke, I do not have these problems - maybe others

Dirk
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Old 04-04-2006, 08:21 AM   #25
kokyu
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Re: Thick forearms

Quote:
Dirk Hanss wrote:
I have an aikido follow with thick and strong forearms and wrists. I do not have problems doing yonkyo on him. He has some problems, as I often press harder than needed while I do not feel the yonkyo point
This is off the track, but that's interesting. From what little I know, and what I've been told, it's supposed to be easier to do yonkyo on people with thin forearms... In any case, I think the lock is more important that hitting the nerve as discussed here
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