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Old 05-18-2006, 12:33 AM   #251
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Robert John wrote:

Quote:
it's funny that while I'd never really done grappling work extensively before, I was able to roll into the local gracie academy here in Tokyo and roll on par with some of the blue belts. (Something I've mentioned in other posts). The skills that Mike, Dan etc have been talking about directly apply to the ground as well
And its a good thing too, otherwise I probably would've had my ass choked out in under 30 seconds if I didn't have a smattering of these skills
How long have you been studying aikido?

I find it interesting that you use as a gauge of your abilities a Japanese BJJ Blue Belt student. The average BJJ Blue belt has been studying off the street about 1 to 1.5 years in the art.

I have no issue with the transference of skill, in fact I received my BJJ Blue belt with about 6 months or training, my first stripe after about 1 solid year of training. I attribute it to my aikido background.

But what does that say about my 8 plus years of aikido skills and so-called internal training as it applies to ground grappling and fully resistive training? (I don't just ground grapple in BJJ/MMA). It is important, but in reality, it was not all that big of a deal.

Point is, these guys (blue belts) don't worry about "internal" training and "Jo tricks" and yet we have people with years of experience that use the average American BJJ student as a gauge for their ability in internal training!

This logic is what has me confused about the value of the "Jo trick" when we are talking physcial martial ability. I am not talking about theoretical understanding or mental, spiritual aspects...simply physical abilities in actual application.
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Old 05-18-2006, 06:32 AM   #252
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Jim Sorrentino wrote:
Robert,I'll ask you what I have asked Dan H. and others: put a video on YouTube of Akuzawa doing the jo trick (and you, if you can do it), and post the link here. Otherwise, it's just talk.
Jim, I thought about posting one after you and I exchanged emails the other day, but unless we do as Wendy Rowe suggested and indicate who is pushing the jo at what angle and at how much force, we won't know a lot. If someone DOES do that, then the cry will come, "Why can't they withstand the push of 3 NFL linebackers (which of course O-Sensei never did, that we have records of). It gets down to Tohei withstanding a forearm push while standing on one leg. He's making a point about how he deliberately sources the ground in an angle from his foot.... but there will be people who focus on the "trick" and want to drive a '55 Chevy Pickup into his forearm sneer at him if he can't withstand that..... I.e., some people will deliberately work all day to miss an obvious point without realizing exactly who it is they're making look like an idiot.

Last night as I was going to sleep I was thinking about submitting a still photo of me doing the jo trick, but with my partner pushing the jo while standing on the wall next to me.... I thought a little PhotoShop might be fun. But then I fell asleep.

Mike
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Old 05-18-2006, 06:37 AM   #253
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
This logic is what has me confused about the value of the "Jo trick" when we are talking physcial martial ability. I am not talking about theoretical understanding or mental, spiritual aspects...simply physical abilities in actual application.
Kevin, normally with Chinese martial artists who have developed this kind of training, the essential trick is that they stand there, make a fist, and stick their arm straight out in front of them and the ask someone to try to knock their arm up, down, or sideways. Seriously... you can't move some of these guys. What is the value of this martially, since it's the same thing as the jo trick, except Ueshiba basically just embellished the trick? It shows a strong mofo, Kevin.... someone with a strength that can be used martially that most people don't have. What else can I tell you? It's like the way some fighters demonstrate various other tricks to show that they're strong. Someday we'll meet and over the beers that you buy me, I will give you my thoughts on the subject.

Regards,

MIke
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Old 05-18-2006, 07:25 AM   #254
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Kevin

I think you will find Rob was using his example of rolling with them as his experimenting with these skills in the ground game. Perhaps the fact that he doesn't have a jujutsu background and he could walk in and play by just using his body skill training was his point, which he has been up front about before. Not that he was a better fighter...he is experimenting and learning. It will be fun to see him 5 years from now if he keeps it up. Training in internal skills, and training in fighting.
See ...there it is again. That inescapable point that keeps rearing it practical head; Skills only...not a measure of fighting ability per se...but can be used in a fighting sense. Can't make someone a fighter, but will improve fighting. Oops....logic alert. Mundane practicality.

And his teacher doing the jo trick with his pinky...do you think he is trying to say he can beat people up with his pinky? I mean is that what you think his point is? What my point is? How many times did I say "Most guys I know will hit me over the head with the stick and walk away." Its just an exercise to demonstrate to YOURSELF where you are progressing with your...........body skills.

Seems to me someone talks about the "practical" potentials of these skills..and everyone goes off to la la land, wait.... lets explore that;
In this thread we have talked about shoveling, pitching hay, wearing armor, pushing cattle in a stall, all manner of practical uses for using your whole body and NOT just your arms and shoulders or just driving with flexed ass, hips, or legs. And as a reply we hear; "Ki"... and "magic nonsense", hippy ki crap, with no practical use etc etc.

Next up I discuss how the connections in the body make a more powerful punch or low line kick, throw resistance, lock resistence, better strength on the ground with a path from the knees to hand or chest, or for a better or more usable strength that is relaxed and better able to read an opponent in a grappling sense. Basically a better strength to knock someone out, choke em out, resist being thrown, throwing, or being unlockable your self.
then get as a reply;
"What good is it in a fight?"

Over and over I have stressed that these skills are a practical means to increase strength or work load. From everyday balance to better shoveling and hauling. Tossing a bale or tossing johnny more efficiently. In short what I am, and have been discussing is practical body mechanics. Relagating the discussion to etherial "ki" debates has been your bent-not mine bud.

If you have learned how to stack someone or to smash them or to post you have learned principles of mechanics and how they effect two bodies in conflict. Likewise, internal skills are principles that will make your body more efficient to handle load stress or deliver power.

Some may be better then others at fighting, others better at internal skills but can't deliver in a fight as well, they are tow different topics that can interelate very well. But they don't have to
They can just make a better laborer. Which is probably where they were first discovered
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 05-18-2006 at 07:33 AM.
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Old 05-18-2006, 07:59 AM   #255
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Guys I am all over it when you are talking theorectical and training. Where I start having issues is when you cross over to "reality"

Point in case, Mike's explaination above on the Un-bendable arm. Strong in which way? Again, no issue demonstrating the strength of alignment, concentration etc...from a static view point.

Can I move one of those guys...absolutely...no problem...I will move any one of them. Strength is realitive to the defined parameters and the situation at hand.

Can I move one of them within the restrictions of the exercise...probably not.

However once you cross over from the theorectical to reality, well all bets are off.

If I pick up a baseball bat....or bring out Chuck Liddell, or a weapon...well we just changed the parameters and I'd say they would probably fail to demonstrate much of anything at all.

It is all a matter of perspective.

It is not a big deal really, unless you are talking about transferring this stuff to a real situtation (however you define real)...then we have varying degrees of success and transferability of skills.

As in the other thread dealing with Matt Thornton, I think this is his point basically when he addresses martial arts and the issues he has with it. I have the same issues.
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Old 05-18-2006, 08:00 AM   #256
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Once again, I am not saying this stuff as no application in training. Just not a direct transferrence to effectiveness necessarily. I think Robert John demonstrates this in his example.
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Old 05-18-2006, 08:49 AM   #257
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Once again, I am not saying this stuff as no application in training. Just not a direct transferrence to effectiveness necessarily. I think Robert John demonstrates this in his example.
Kevin... if I took your attitude, I'd say that weight training and getting strong has no proven benefit in a fight. Case in point, I grab a guy that works out in the gym and I put him in the ring with Chuck Liddell. Liddell kicks his butt. Kevin says, "See, weight training doesn't work when you put it to the test". I give up, Kevin. You don't grasp the concept and I'm not anxious enough to explain it 30 times. As a matter of fact, Kevin, since Chuck Liddell can kick YOUR butt, why do you even do martial arts????.... it obviously doesn't work for you. But hey..... since Chuck Liddell can kick Osama's butt, let's send him a message that says the jig is up.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 05-18-2006, 08:55 AM   #258
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
But hey..... since Chuck Liddell can kick Osama's butt, let's send him a message that says the jig is up.
And the address is ????

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 05-18-2006, 09:06 AM   #259
Jim Sorrentino
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Mike,
Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Jim, I thought about posting one after you and I exchanged emails the other day, but unless we do as Wendy Rowe suggested and indicate who is pushing the jo at what angle and at how much force, we won't know a lot. If someone DOES do that, then the cry will come, "Why can't they withstand the push of 3 NFL linebackers (which of course O-Sensei never did, that we have records of). It gets down to Tohei withstanding a forearm push while standing on one leg. He's making a point about how he deliberately sources the ground in an angle from his foot.... but there will be people who focus on the "trick" and want to drive a '55 Chevy Pickup into his forearm sneer at him if he can't withstand that..... I.e., some people will deliberately work all day to miss an obvious point without realizing exactly who it is they're making look like an idiot.
I agree --- but, a little video is better than nothing, which is what we have right now. I found the previous videos of Akuzawa that Rob posted pretty interesting. The video of Chen Xiao Wang doing fa jin is interesting, and worth watching. And when someone claims repeatedly, in several different forums, that he can do something... well, I'd like to see it.

Jim
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Old 05-18-2006, 09:17 AM   #260
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Jim Sorrentino wrote:
The video of Chen Xiao Wang doing fa jin is interesting, and worth watching. And when someone claims repeatedly, in several different forums, that he can do something... well, I'd like to see it.
I agree with you, Jim. There's a CXW workshop on the weekend of July 21-23. What you need to do go, put up with the basic stuff he's forced to review over and over again because there are always beginners at the workshops and then politely slip in a "excuse me, but could you show me some stuff, etc.?". http://www.chenxiaowang.com In the "workshops" section.
I think if you play your cards right, you'll actually see what is meant by a lot of the conversation you've heard. And BTW.... that fajin video was taken this January... he's 60 years old.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 05-18-2006, 09:50 AM   #261
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
However once you cross over from the theorectical to reality, well all bets are off.

If I pick up a baseball bat....or bring out Chuck Liddell, or a weapon...well we just changed the parameters and I'd say they would probably fail to demonstrate much of anything at all.
Kevin, you're just too short-sighted. The world is NOT just some MMA contest. What about the "real world" outside of Chuck Liddell's limited usefulness. Does he have power skills that are this useful??????

http://www.neijia.com/fajinUseful.mpe

Regards,

Mike
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Old 05-18-2006, 10:12 AM   #262
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

There is an account of Greece's greatest boxer, in the old days of the Olympiad. He was undefeated without ever striking a blow. Supposedly, he stuck his two arms straight out, and kept moving into his opponent's space - and they would punch and punch and all they would hit was his arms - hour after hour, until they collapsed with exhaustion. (sounds pretty boring to watch). I can't remember the reference - it was in a 50 year old book on feats of strength throughout world history at the gym I work out.

Best

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Old 05-18-2006, 02:24 PM   #263
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Ellis, that sounds like fiction,
modern fiction,
but it sounds great.
Such a technique would not work at all in giving him victory in pankration or whatever, which is why I douby its antiquity.
Probably some academic misunderstanding and mistranslating practical stuff, which happens a lot anyway.
If you could find the reference that would be something fun to investigate ...
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Old 05-18-2006, 02:40 PM   #264
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

I will have to catch up on the video later when I can get on my wife's computer.

I completely understand the world is not a MMA contest...trust me on that one please.

I think you really are missing my point. When you cross over to reality or fighting, I am talking strictly the physciality of fighting..not the full spectrum of all that entails conflict...simply someone wanting to kill you, or you are a police officer arresting someone...well I get very pragmatic about things.

I can say the same thing about push hands. The world is not one big push hand contest!

again, I think we simply differ about the realitive value of these things as it applies to the reality of fighting.
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Old 05-18-2006, 02:44 PM   #265
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Ellis, sounds like a submission wrestling match I had with a German Olympic caliber Judoka. He grabbed my GI and stiff armed me, locked my collar down and pushed me around the mat for 6 minutes, until I got frustrated and tried something and he Ippon'd me and won.

Not much of a submission fight, he won with fighting his judo strategy.

I have since learned how to defeat his Judo! I don't play his game any longer!

Rules matter a great deal in contest that is for sure! They can change everything!
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Old 05-18-2006, 03:24 PM   #266
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Seriously... you can't move some of these guys. What is the value of this martially, since it's the same thing as the jo trick, except Ueshiba basically just embellished the trick? It shows a strong mofo, Kevin.... someone with a strength that can be used martially that most people don't have.
I think Kevin's, and others', point is that "can" is the key word here.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 05-18-2006, 03:33 PM   #267
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Sort of Justin...simply that I have never seen any of these guys enter and respectable fully resistive event and demonstrate that it contributes in some statisitically significant manner. (like that...statistics )

I am not saying that there are not some benefits, just not enough to make it of any great significance in engagements or acts of combat, battles, or fights.

Once we get back to talking DO...I am all good to go again!
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Old 05-18-2006, 03:50 PM   #268
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Jim Sorrentino wrote:
Robert,I'll ask you what I have asked Dan H. and others: put a video on YouTube of Akuzawa doing the jo trick (and you, if you can do it), and post the link here. Otherwise, it's just talk.

Jim Sorrentino
I'll see if I can't get video of it at the next seminar.
I assume you've already seen the other videos of him on youtube

All these tricks do is demonstrate a principal, nothing more. Making it easy for the external viewer to see what's going on is an "art" in itself

I do have another video up which might be more interesting for those who know what they're looking at.
It's a vid of Ark "resisting" a push by two people(although he's not really resisting), while he stands feet parrallel, knees locked, hands extended.
The direction he's being pushed in "should" physically be the direction he's weakest in, but he doesn't get pushed over(Remember, he's got his knees locked, feet shoulder width, and parrellel).
Anyways if people are interested, I'll see if I can't edit out the boring bits and post it.
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Old 05-18-2006, 04:01 PM   #269
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Once again, I am not saying this stuff as no application in training. Just not a direct transferrence to effectiveness necessarily. I think Robert John demonstrates this in his example.
Actually I found a pretty direct transferrence to effectiveness when I choked out some ex-marine (about 190-95 lb) who has about 2.5 years of ground experience. By all rights I should have been choked out. But somehow it was really easy to get his back on the ground and snap that RNC on him.

What's funny is that (and I commented on this before), with all my standup training, I thought I would be uncomfortable on the ground. Surprise surprise, I wasn't, in fact I was immediatley comfortable on the ground. On top of which most of the ground moves made sense, if you applied internal physical principals to them (tho I still find a lot of the BJJ moves overly complex...)
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Old 05-18-2006, 04:03 PM   #270
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Mike Sigman wrote:

Quote:
Kevin... if I took your attitude, I'd say that weight training and getting strong has no proven benefit in a fight. Case in point, I grab a guy that works out in the gym and I put him in the ring with Chuck Liddell. Liddell kicks his butt. Kevin says, "See, weight training doesn't work when you put it to the test". I give up, Kevin. You don't grasp the concept and I'm not anxious enough to explain it 30 times. As a matter of fact, Kevin, since Chuck Liddell can kick YOUR butt, why do you even do martial arts????.... it obviously doesn't work for you. But hey..... since Chuck Liddell can kick Osama's butt, let's send him a message that says the jig is up
Not good logic.

Since Chuck Liddell can kick my ass and I value the type of training that he does as being pretty close to the real deal, then I would do whatever Chuck Liddell says to do, and study with those that are like minded and like skilled.

Chuck Liddell lifts weights, runs, and does other training things. He is a good role model to follow. If he told me to go study tai chi with "such-and-such" tai chi master as that will give you an edge in being a better physical fighter...then I'd do it.

Unfortunately, I have not found anyone that can and has demonstrated the ability to hold there own in a field of resistive fighting to make that recommendation so I have not found it to be of value. Again, the day they do, then I will be all over it.
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Old 05-18-2006, 04:15 PM   #271
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

BJJ Overly complex?

It is all about learning to move in relation to what the other person is doing. Much like push hands! Cept you are on the ground or in a clinch typcially against someone that is really fighting back with everything.

It does look like a series of very complex moves when you first engage it. What I found though is that it really is about the appropriate response to a input from your opponent through proper alignment, positioning of your center etc.

I rarely think about "moves" or "technique" To me, it is much like aikido except it is at a different range. Probably why you found you did so well with it.

Your experience parallels mine. I choked a few guys out with little or no experience in it. To be honest, the first time I experienced it, I choked the guy out and dismissed it as being something worth studying since it seemed so easy with only my aikido background. A few months later, I was taken to school by a few other guys that were a little better. Opened my eyes!

If you label what we do in aikido as typically being internal...I would agree with you, they are very applicable..just a different range and set of conditions that you need to further refine to be proficient at that range.

Conceptually I don't separate internal and external or objectify the whole ki process..it all simply rolls into proper body mechanics and principle of dynamic movement...they are universal and learned from repetition...doing the same correct thing over and over and over until you finally figure it out.
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Old 05-18-2006, 04:59 PM   #272
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
BJJ Overly complex?

It does look like a series of very complex moves when you first engage it. What I found though is that it really is about the appropriate response to a input from your opponent through proper alignment, positioning of your center etc.
Actually I was referring to the moves that they teach the beginners here. I was getting the same results with simpler moves, but I do agree with you that its mainly an exercise in what you described. And as such its a chance to play in the "sandbox" and test out new body skills.


Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Conceptually I don't separate internal and external or objectify the whole ki process..it all simply rolls into proper body mechanics and principle of dynamic movement...they are universal and learned from repetition...doing the same correct thing over and over and over until you finally figure it out.
I don't either, but I think the main part where we differ is in the approach to training. If you focus too much on dynamic movement, it becomes hard to understand how to move correctly, much less strengthen the connections that need to be strengthened etc.
The arena of dynamic movmenent is really a playbox for me, nothing else. A necessary one to be sure.
But the real meat of the training tends to be in the solo exercises.

Like you said though, if you can't bring them to bear in a dynamic situation, its worthless.

Ark will probably be doing another seminar sometime nextyear in Holland. I'd recommend you look us up. He most definitely uses this stuff in a free form format
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Old 05-18-2006, 06:14 PM   #273
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Robert, thanks for the info on Ark...I will have to see if I can make it.

Solo exercises. You know I used to do alot of these. Still do on occassion, but these days I am not feeling the value as much as working with a partner. I'd choose working with a partner any day over solo exercises.

I do work on ashi taisho a fair amount. In fact, It takes me about an hour to mop the dojo floor and I do this as a training exercise using correct transferrence of weight and posture.

again, these days, I am not feeling the value of it as it relates to much of anything. I'd rather practice these things with a person...i.e. push hands style.

Our beginners in BJJ we teach basic guard stressing posture, we have some drills, but mainly we work on proper body posture and position working on correct alignment and weight distribution in the various dominate positions. It is more about feel than anything else. it is tempting to get focused on technique...but I find this also true in aikido.
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Old 05-18-2006, 07:45 PM   #274
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Kevin, out of curiosity tho, what kind of solo work did you use to do?
Are you talking footwork type stuff, bokken swinging done for movement etc etc?

Or more basic stuff like Shiko stamping, spear thrusting etc (those're just examples) to buildup and strengthen the necessary connections in the body?
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Old 05-18-2006, 08:36 PM   #275
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Alright some video for those that have time to kill

http://www.badongo.com/vid/120586

It's a vid taken earlier last year of the push demo I elaborated on earlier.
The small guy pushing him(miyagawa), while not big, is pretty strong for his size, not to mention someone who made it to the Kyokushin Finals here in japan (Did kyokushin for about 8 years).

Physically Ark should be weakest heel to toe, but he's still able to manipulate Miyagawa and toss him around a bit, while staying planted, with knees locked.
It's not a pretty demo, no one goes flying through windows, but if you know what you're looking at, you'll realize how hard it is to do. Actually if you have any doubts try and do it yourself

PS
He does the same thing to people that weigh about 200 lb, and ironically it gets easier with people that're more "built".
I''ll post video of that when we take it, especially since we have a new muscle head in the class
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