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Old 04-28-2006, 05:32 AM   #26
Mike Sigman
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Jory Boling wrote:
So, are there are a couple of you online here, that could have a "football player" push on the far end of the jo and demonstrate it? If you ever get around to making a short video of it, I'd like to see it.
Well, there's limits to these things... they're meant to show a principle, but not to absurd limits. When Tohei has a partner pushing on his forearm, it's meant to show HOW a strength is done and not to imply that Tohei could withstand the onslaught of a push from an angry NFL linebacker.

Ueshiba took a somewhat well-known demonstration of what in China would be "Hun Yuan strength" and embellished it with a jo extension... a little bit of a showoff and you can see he never really pulls it off well without some aid, willing students, light pushes, etc. Still, he had unusual strength to even do it as much as he did.

Against a football player, it simply wouldn't work..... and nobody has implied that it would.

Regards,


Mike
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Old 04-28-2006, 05:50 AM   #27
Richard Langridge
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

I think one has to be careful when suggesting that the uke is "helping" O-sensei. Sure he's holding the jo in a ridiculus place, but beyond that I think it's genuine. The human aspect of the "trick" is powerful: For a start the uke probably has great reverence for O-sensei, and hence probably does not believe that he can actually shift the jo. Also, this belief will be reinforced when he tries to push the jo and is surprised by how ineffective his efforts are. Again, I imagine this would lessen his will to give it everything he's got.
I dunno, maybe that's all just rubbish...
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Old 04-28-2006, 06:32 AM   #28
DH
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Now that the truth of this trick is out people should get down to work. Obviously there are folks who can do it and who are predisposed to teach it as well. Rupert being one of them. So I would say go and find them if you don't know these skills. When you go you push-just as in anything in training- its more important to understand what is making it work in the first place. And the real work begins "outside" the trick. Once things are in line and your body understands.

Now in fighting? The principles inherent make a tremendously effective stab with a spear, a punch or projection. and........depending on your skill and size-in fighting- will stop a football players drive. I have. I also stop my 279 lb 6'4" jujutsuka's tackle. In light of the recent challenge thread I just couldn't resist poking.

For every person -if they have never done this type work-their power will begin to improve and then increase over time. Period.
There are many more ideas and ideals to human movement and efficiency of transfering power or redirecting. As well as to just flat out hit or kick-all based on similar mechanics. In ground work the principles hold true-some are easier since the path or current is shorter. But in an of themselves the training excercises don't teach one to fight. They are helpful and healthful to living and balance. Fighting is fighting-a different thing.
As much as I slam wussy Aikido that "thinks" its strong-as opposed to guys who train hard and have a balanced view of things. I also have many times advocated that Aikido COULD be exceedingly powerful-said it many times-with this type of training. Those who do-do this type of training know what I mean. This training that was imparted to Ueshiba M. from Takeda S. and ALL of which most likely came to Japan from China.

Last edited by DH : 04-28-2006 at 06:35 AM.
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Old 04-28-2006, 09:36 AM   #29
Jim Sorrentino
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Dan,
Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
Now in fighting? The principles inherent make a tremendously effective stab with a spear, a punch or projection. and........depending on your skill and size-in fighting- will stop a football players drive. I have. I also stop my 279 lb 6'4" jujutsuka's tackle. In light of the recent challenge thread I just couldn't resist poking.
Since you're unwilling to accept my invitation (on said challenge thread), please take a video of you doing this, and post it to AikiWeb. Granted, it would be in your dojo, under circumstances that you control, and like any other martial arts movie, subject to viewer skepticism --- but it would be a start. And it is long past time for you to put up.

Sincerely,

Jim
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Old 04-28-2006, 10:11 AM   #30
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

I am going to admit my ignorance on this whole issue. One I am really intriqued...and not sarcastically, but really out of my own ignorance...what does all this stuff do for you, or what does it prove/test?

Unbendable arm, the Jo trick etc.

Mike I historically respect your opinions on KI etc, I may not always understand them, again probably my own ignorance on these deep issues, as I have not studied them. That and I am not an intellectual or an erudite.

so, in my simple mind, you do things for a reason.

I think I get the concept of the JO trick and unbendable arm, but not sure why it is so damn important to ANYTHING.

If you can redirect energy and are efficient then what difference would the size of an individual make?

Mike wrote:
Quote:
Against a football player, it simply wouldn't work..... and nobody has implied that it would.
So either it works or it doesn't right? "Sometimes" does not enter into my small mind when you are talking about things that seemingly should be absolutes such as CHI, KI, etc as you guys refer to it.

I'd buy "sometimes" if you are saying "well theorectically it should not matter if you perfect things, and have the perfect conditions", but many people ellude to some degree of mastery of some elusive thing only mastered by those few...yet in my experiences...not one ever demonstrates this theory.

Reminds me of Cold Fusion Theory.

So if I do unbendable arm...then kick the guy in the groin and break his focus does it still work???? Yes I entered a new parameter in the equation. Which is exactly my point. Isolated demonstrations of things prove that you have mastered nothing but being able to set the conditions properly to have a efficiently predicatble result.

I'd really be impressed if someone could do unbendable arm while I kicked him as hard as I could in the groin then punched him in the face.

What is more impressive is seeing someone truly mastering himself and who knows how to appropriately respond and react to another human being and the parameters/conditions he/ or she presents.


Again, I am not trying to be sarcastic. I simply want someone to explain/quantify in very, very simple terms that an Infantry soldier of my basic thought process can wrap my mind around of what it is that these things do for you or prove.

We all get caught up in the air of intrigue, emotion, and mystery of this conceptually fascinating stuff, but I doubt anyone really understands what really is being discussed.
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Old 04-28-2006, 10:13 AM   #31
DaveS
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Mike: I'm sorry if this has been done before, but do you view ki as being essentially bound up with micro-muscular motion and control over the body which is at a level below what is visible (or even obviously detectable) but still essentially a consequence (on a level that we don't currently understand) of gravity, Newton's laws and so on, or would you consider it to be complimentary to these ways of looking at things - 'something else'?
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Old 04-28-2006, 10:52 AM   #32
Mike Sigman
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
what does all this stuff do for you, or what does it prove/test?

Unbendable arm, the Jo trick etc.
Hi Kevin:

Well, essentially it makes you stronger and gives you and advantage over an opponent. Howe does it do that? I may have to ramble a bit, but I'll give it a try so that it makes sense in an obvious and practical way.

Think of a native porter carrying a load on his/her head. The load is allowed to go straight to the ground through the skeletal structure, so the main expenditure of energy is no longer holding the load up, but is only in stabilizing the skeletal structure so that it carries the load. Can you see the benefit? The load, if it could feel things, would feel this extremely solid support underneath it, while the native porter feels like he is getting a lot of carrying power for not so much energy expenditure.

Now let's just hang a load from a rope at about the head height of the native porter and let him get under it, align himself, and then straighten cleanly into the load with his head. The load will feel this tremendous force of the ground straightening into it from below and the hit will be devastating if the native porter kept a good alignment. This hit again was very powerful, yet it required mainly the straightening out of a structure that was simply conveying the ground to the load. Let's call a path that conveys the ground a "ground-path".

When you see Tohei of someone holding out his forearm for his uke to push on, he is actually doing a version of the native-porter&load thing, only he is "bending" his ground-path or forming a groundpath to his forearm. If you were to draw the actual path, it would come up Tohei's back leg (in most cases) to his middle, and then go from his middle seemingly across the air to his forearm. The path doesn't really go across the air, but the mind can set up resultant forces so that for all practical purposes Tohei lets a push to his forearm push directly into his hara. Tohei is essentially showing how to use the force of the ground or the force of his weight do his work so that his muscles don't have to exert so much brute power.

One of the cool side-effects of this ability to make force-paths is that you can get very sophisticated in your ability to generate these paths and you can learn to generate a path in response to an incoming force from an opponent and manipulate *some* of what he's doing by mixing your forces with him, borrowing his forces, etc.

The Misogi breathing, stretching and compressing exercises, etc., are a way of building up the myo-fascial structures in the body (think of it as strengthening something like pliable living rawhide by continuously stretching, contracting, working it, etc.). These structures in the body, as they get stronger, make you very strong. The saying is that "the ki by itself is not too strong, but ki with muscle is very strong". To keep it simple, let's just say it augments the force stuff in the first part, although it's a very interesting and complex phenomenon, on the whole.

A lot of ki demonstrations are simply to show that someone has developed these skills, not to show something that is particularly devastating in combat, Kevin. For instance, if Tohei can stand and show a powerful and solid path in the face of a push to his arm, you should be able to extrapolate that he can retract and store along that path and then suddenly push or hit by "straightening out the ground".... and that's the essence of kokyu power. He hits with the ground; an ordinary person uses brute strength. You could say, "yeah, but I'm a big boy and I can hit pretty hard anyway" and I would say "sure, but if you learned to use this stuff you'd be far more stronger for the amount of bulk that you have."

Anyway, that's a quick attempt at answering your question, Kevin. Hope it helps.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 04-28-2006, 10:56 AM   #33
Mike Sigman
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
David Sim wrote:
Mike: I'm sorry if this has been done before, but do you view ki as being essentially bound up with micro-muscular motion and control over the body which is at a level below what is visible (or even obviously detectable) but still essentially a consequence (on a level that we don't currently understand) of gravity, Newton's laws and so on,
The answer is yes. Although to get the full-blown phenomenon, you have to strengthen some parts of the body that we never think about in normal western physiology, at least not in this way.

One of the things I learned the hard way was that many of the Asian descriptions of what was going on were wrong because they were described in the terms of an old paradigm (ki/qi) that simply didn't exist. But if you look past the erroneous paradigm, the phenomena are there and they discovered them and developed them a long time ago, when the study of the body and how it worked were part of a cultural focus.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 04-28-2006, 11:23 AM   #34
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Thanks for the information Mike!

So really sounds like Yoga can do the same thing for you right?

To me just sounds like proper body mechanics etc. correct?

Do you use the word "internal"? does it apply to this?

So, nothing mysterious. We all have some degree of understanding of it. Some better than others correct.

If I understood this COMPLETELY though to a fairly degree of proficiency though, i'd be a damn good fighter though right? Logic would seem to follow?

Therefore, if Saotome sensei understood and could demonstrate this better than I, then even at his age he could probably defeat me correct?

Or do the other factors such as speed, agility, body weight..all play a factor in this? OR do they represent the "imperfection/error" in someones skill? Does this make sense???

I mean if I was a perfectly efficient model, then all these things would be irrelevant correct?

I think that why we do martial arts over say yoga is that martial arts teaches us how to "gap" these inefficiencies. If we did not have them...then we could become martial artist simply through studying yoga right?

Let me know if I am a complete idiot here!
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Old 04-28-2006, 11:24 AM   #35
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
The answer is yes. Although to get the full-blown phenomenon, you have to strengthen some parts of the body that we never think about in normal western physiology, at least not in this way.

One of the things I learned the hard way was that many of the Asian descriptions of what was going on were wrong because they were described in the terms of an old paradigm (ki/qi) that simply didn't exist. But if you look past the erroneous paradigm, the phenomena are there and they discovered them and developed them a long time ago, when the study of the body and how it worked were part of a cultural focus.
Cool, thanks!

I suppose it's similar to the way that westerners are quite happy with the concept of 'gravity' and the basic laws describing that even though it's known to be inaccurate, and has been superceded by general relativity. But it'd be more or less impossible (or at least impractical) to do the maths to explain relativistically how to make a plane stay up, so we use gravity instead.

Out of interest, has there been much research done on finding out (if and) how ki effects can fit into a western physiological / scientific framework?
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Old 04-28-2006, 11:49 AM   #36
Mike Sigman
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Thanks for the information Mike!

So really sounds like Yoga can do the same thing for you right?
No. Although originally yoga is derived from the same core "tricks" of body development. But western yoga seems devoid of it, period.
Quote:
To me just sounds like proper body mechanics etc. correct?
No, it is beyond normal "body mechanics". Think of it as an addition to "proper body mechanics".
Quote:
Do you use the word "internal"? does it apply to this?
In a way, although it's a semantics discussion I don't want to get into too much. What you're calling "proper body mechanics" would be considered "external strength". The things I was talking about take a while to *develop*... they aren't part of any corrections to proper body mechanics, Kevin.
Quote:
If I understood this COMPLETELY though to a fairly degree of proficiency though, i'd be a damn good fighter though right? Logic would seem to follow?
These skills would improve anyone's fighting and strength. But without good fighting skills, this stuff alone isn't enough. The point is that Aikido, Taiji, and other arts aren't considered complete without these kinds of skills because their core concepts were designed to work with this form of strength.
Quote:
Therefore, if Saotome sensei understood and could demonstrate this better than I, then even at his age he could probably defeat me correct?
I don't know. As I said, these strengths are additional to your fighting, not replacements for any expertise. Saotome knows more about these things than he shows most westerners, though, IMO. But that's another story.
Quote:

Or do the other factors such as speed, agility, body weight..all play a factor in this? OR do they represent the "imperfection/error" in someones skill? Does this make sense???

I mean if I was a perfectly efficient model, then all these things would be irrelevant correct?
No.... these are additives above and beyond those things, Kevin.
Quote:
I think that why we do martial arts over say yoga is that martial arts teaches us how to "gap" these inefficiencies. If we did not have them...then we could become martial artist simply through studying yoga right?

Let me know if I am a complete idiot here!
You should go see Chen Xiao Wang when he visits Germany this year. It will open your eyes to what these additives can do.

All the Best.

Mike
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Old 04-28-2006, 11:55 AM   #37
Mike Sigman
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
David Sim wrote:
Out of interest, has there been much research done on finding out (if and) how ki effects can fit into a western physiological / scientific framework?
Hi David:

You know, there is no one thing called "Ki". That comes from an old way of explaining how things worked and anything they didn't know how it worked they attributed the forces to "Ki" and then posited some universal force called "Ki".... ergo, everything was explained! What we're talking about is a few body phenomena that are jumbled together and called "Ki", but we're only interested in a few of them. The 2 major body phenomena called "Ki" that we're interested in are the force-manipulating skill and the fascial/strength skill. Since they are intertwined to a degree, they're lumped together as "ki", for instance, in Tohei's terminology.

That being said, have these skills been studied in the West? No. Although there is some research on a couple of aspects of the fascia stuff.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 04-28-2006, 12:06 PM   #38
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

I'm reminded of the very newbie question I asked Rob John in Tokyo: "So, what happens when two guys who know this stuff go against each other?"

The answer, of course, was "Well, the stronger, faster, smarter guy wins."

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
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Old 04-28-2006, 12:13 PM   #39
Mike Sigman
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote:
I'm reminded of the very newbie question I asked Rob John in Tokyo: "So, what happens when two guys who know this stuff go against each other?"

The answer, of course, was "Well, the stronger, faster, smarter guy wins."
Hi Josh:

It's even more realistic than that, actually. Let's say that I use these skills in some relatively safe format like stand-up wrestling or push-hands. And with people my size or even somewhat bigger I tend to win. But I can probably do that with only a moderate development of those skills because in these safe formats, I'm not really put to the test.

Suddenly, I'm confronted by a 300-pound Sambo fighter who is really mad at me. Will these skills help me. Maybe, if I get a chance to use some portion of them. Will I win the fight? Probably not. Just because these additive things are helpful, it doesn't mean that they are the end-all decider of a fight, by any means. To get too far into that kind of "well he uses internal strength so he's unbeatable" baloney would remind me of the types of discussions young kids have about jet planes and things.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 04-28-2006, 12:46 PM   #40
Talon
 
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
David Sim wrote:
Cool, thanks!

I suppose it's similar to the way that westerners are quite happy with the concept of 'gravity' and the basic laws describing that even though it's known to be inaccurate, and has been superceded by general relativity. But it'd be more or less impossible (or at least impractical) to do the maths to explain relativistically how to make a plane stay up, so we use gravity instead.

Out of interest, has there been much research done on finding out (if and) how ki effects can fit into a western physiological / scientific framework?
I'm not sure why planes are such a mystery here. Its perfectly explainable and quite basic why planes fly. Of course the reason is the airfoil of the wing generates the air on top to travel faster than the air on the bottom creating low pressure on top of the wing and high pressure on the bottom. This pressure differential pushes the wing up, therefore the plane goes up. What is so mystical about that? And what is inaccurate about gravity or Newton's laws? Am I missing something here?

Now the jo trick to me is still mistycal, because redirecting of forces to the ground while someone pushes on a cantelever (arm and jo) is something that I don't comprehend at all...Thats a trick allright and I must say I'm still very skeptical.
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Old 04-28-2006, 04:43 PM   #41
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Mike do you have a schedule for Chen Xiao Wang? it is not listed on his website. I am interested.

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Proper body mechanics to me are the alignment of body, mind, and energy responding with the appropriate response to that of your opponent. I have no concept/distinction of external strength or internal. There is only an easy way to move someone, and a hard way using muscular strength. Yes, maybe it is semantics.

However, I don't think there is anything "secret" or "mystical" or hidden about it. Hidden to the person that cannot see it, but it is there and some people intuitively figure things out, to others it requires conscious thought to get there.

you confirm this for me when you say that "this stuff isn't enough alone." (to fight). So what I have learned from my aikido instructors and BJJ instructors would fit the bill as they work to connect all these things in an efficient matter.

I can understand the concept of alignment of energy. I understand chakras etc...and have and do experience this "stuff" all the time, but not a real big deal as everyone makes it out to be. I simply need to practice more, and seek out those that have a better understanding of it and can correct my mistakes/practice.

Western yoga is devoid of it??? Not in my experiences either. My wife practices ansusara yoga under John Friend, he gets it. Tara Brach, Krishna Das (the Singer), John Schumacher....you telling me these quality individuals from the west "don't get it?"

Yea maybe the local health club...sure, they may only be concerned with core strength and flexibility, however even then...they have to adhere to some of the core principles at some point.

My wife and I do talk about the differences in martial arts and yoga. I think there is a distinction since we can assume that while yogis can understand the same energy, mind, and spiritualty that MA practice can offer....we can't imagine that alone would make them a good/efficient fighter.

No, why? simply because that in itself is not enough to fight. So, while you certainly may improve personally through the practice of MA and Yoga....it is not related enough to fighting to really have any huge impact on the MA and how well you do or are as a Martial Artist.

What is important, is the how you experience, empathize, and learn to respond to others and their "whole". Martial artist that have more experiences and more focused and proper training, will percentage wise respond more positively appropriate to the situation.

There are many, many factors that come into play in what makes some one respond in a particular way. paradigms, hang ups, perceptions, physical limitations, genetics, emotions, habits...all that "stuff" that makes us a human being. It is not a huge secret.

What makes it a secret is that there are so many factors, so many things happening at all levels from the microscopic level/sub atomic, to the macroscopic level that we cannot completely wrap our little brains around everything that is happening. However, many of us "teach" or "conditional" ourselves through experiences/practice to react or respond a certain way.

So you see, it is real easy for me, you, or anyone to theorize, conjecture, or conceptualize a few things that are going on. We then lump everything else into the category of "stuff". We can learn a few "tricks" like the JO trick. Set up the conditions in which we can perform this "trick" to demonstrate how well we "understand" these mysterious things....then we cop out because we really don't know what we are talking about, then say well, you have to spend years understanding the internal "stuff".

We set up a brass ring for people that they can never acheive. They desperately want it. We become snake oil salesman essentially peddling our "tricks", fancy words, jargon, and attitude. We set the stage in kung fu outfits, hakama complete with the all the trappings. Slap on the black belt, lights camera, action...then when they ask the hard questions about what is going on...we simply explain it away as "eastern" , KI, Internal Stuff... and THAT becomes the brass ring.

They fall prey to the irrational thought and perception (cognitive dissonance) and become lemmings chasing this "objectified" concept...that they can never acheive in the way that they think it will come to them.

In the end...all it really boils down to...is happiness is what they are looking for! With the expectations that training with a particular master, or a particular person, or meditating five hours a day, deep breathing, 1000 bokken cuts...blind practice, filling out the attendance card after every class will bring them to this mystical end state.

Okay...I am rambling so I will now stop. Just got on a thought process. Not accusing you of being anything but true and honest...I know you will probably concur somewhat with the observations I make from past threads and conversation.

I do follow eastern philsophy and believe in many of the things you label "internal" however, I suppose I am simply offering caution not to fixate (objectifiy) on the concept as it is dangerous to your personal development because it means absolutely nothing! That is the whole paradox of the issue!

I suppose what I am really saying is just because someone can't do "unbendable arm" or the "jo trick" doesn't mean anything other than they can't do those things. If they can do it, well it means that they simply can do it. It is not a measure of how well they understand the "internal" aspects of martial arts or KI...simply that they understand or have learned the conditions in which you can perform those stunts. Again, I offer, I will be impressed if anyone can do it once I change the input or parameters to the equation.

However, Mike, you freely offer that it will fail probably if a 300 lb dude is pushing on you. If it was an absolute, quantifiable, objectifiable "thing" AND you could align it, channel it, or what not separate from all the other criteria...logic has it that other inputs such as 300lbs pushing on you could be controlled or managed.

Thanks for the disussion..and sorry for the long rambling post.
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Old 04-28-2006, 05:02 PM   #42
DH
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

I suppose what I am really saying is just because someone can't do "unbendable arm" or the "jo trick" doesn't mean anything other than they can't do those things. If they can do it, well it means that they simply can do it. It is not a measure of how well they understand the "internal" aspects of martial arts or KI...simply that they understand or have learned the conditions in which you can perform those stunts. Again, I offer, I will be impressed if anyone can do it once I change the input or parameters to the equation.

However, Mike, you freely offer that it will fail probably if a 300 lb dude is pushing on you. If it was an absolute, quantifiable, objectifiable "thing" AND you could align it, channel it, or what not separate from all the other criteria...logic has it that other inputs such as 300lbs pushing on you could be controlled or managed.



Kevin, May I? I'm sure Mike will reply.
That is precisely the point. They are in a sense just tests for where each person is in training certain skills. I have joked that with some people I know in SMR they'd just whack you in the head with the Jo. But the flip side-once you realize they are not anything other than tests, They can and do impart skills relavant to fighting arts. But being good at one does not make you good at the other.
That they are easy to show someone to do (to a small degree at the beginning) the rest just becomes improving on your skills. At a point you can hold back more pressure but only if it is controlled (in a way).
Now with pushing on "people" it becomes more relavent as there are more and more things one can do to resist, redirect, generate power back etc. As the years go by you can in fact resist allot of pressure, but the sensitivity the relaxation offers helps to "read" the guy. Similar to what you feel in grappling arts. Again being able to "test it"-is not a test of fighting skill just structure and aligiment. Some-like me. Have chosen to incorporate these skills into -our- fighting arts. So where does one draw the line? See what I mean? If you can do the Jo trick, you can punch with many of the same skills? There are others of course to connect the body.

Overall using the body with these various skills is a very proficient way to maximize power. But there are many good fighters who could care less.

cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 04-28-2006 at 05:07 PM.
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Old 04-28-2006, 05:13 PM   #43
Mike Sigman
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Mike do you have a schedule for Chen Xiao Wang? it is not listed on his website. I am interested.
Hmmmm. Here's the one I normally look on for his schedule:
http://www.chenxiaowang.com/
But I don't see anything in Germany, which doesn't sound right since he has such a strong organization in Germany. Then again, I'm not part of the group, so I don't know what all may be happening.
Quote:
Yes, maybe it is semantics. [[snip]] Western yoga is devoid of it??? Not in my experiences either. My wife practices ansusara yoga under John Friend, he gets it. Tara Brach, Krishna Das (the Singer), John Schumacher....you telling me these quality individuals from the west "don't get it?" [[snip]]I think there is a distinction since we can assume that while yogis can understand the same energy, mind, and spiritualty that MA practice can offer....we can't imagine that alone would make them a good/efficient fighter. [[snip]]I suppose what I am really saying is just because someone can't do "unbendable arm" or the "jo trick" doesn't mean anything other than they can't do those things. If they can do it, well it means that they simply can do it. It is not a measure of how well they understand the "internal" aspects of martial arts or KI...simply that they understand or have learned the conditions in which you can perform those stunts. Again, I offer, I will be impressed if anyone can do it once I change the input or parameters to the equation.
Kevin, no offense, but it's been obvious to me for some time that you don't really understand what I'm talking about, and that's probably because you've never really experienced it. However, I appreciate your willingness to go look, for instance, at someone like Chen Xiao Wang. I guarantee that you will be impressed that the human body can be trained to that level. I'm hard to impress... but I know when I see something functional and real, even if I had scoffed beforehand.
Quote:
However, Mike, you freely offer that it will fail probably if a 300 lb dude is pushing on you. If it was an absolute, quantifiable, objectifiable "thing" AND you could align it, channel it, or what not separate from all the other criteria...logic has it that other inputs such as 300lbs pushing on you could be controlled or managed.
Well, my comment was that while this stuff is interesting, very helpful, is an advantage in physical situations, and some other positives, it is not the magic bullet that makes someone invincible. In other words, there are realistic limits to it... that's a necessary caveat to reality. I try to be very realistic.

All the Best.

Mike
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Old 04-28-2006, 06:01 PM   #44
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Dan, Mike thanks for the replies and your patience.

No offense taken Mike. I don't understand and frankly I am trying to understand. I am trying to break it down into simple logic and look for contradictions to my thought process so I can better evaluate and understand. Again, appreciate your patience.

A number of years ago I worked for a day or two with Tuey Staples in St Louis with Tai Chi. Ironically I was visiting a friend from my old dojo that was Studying aikido with Irene Wellington. They both found a great deal of value in what he had to teach to spend a fair amount of time focusing on it. I didn't work with him enough to really understand things, but enough to feel how strong and responsive he was and it was "different".

Again, thanks guys for trying to take the time to explain. I am not scoffing at the ability or proficiency of these guys....what I am having a hard time with is the etiology, explaination, and rational that is offered concerning the concepts.
I have been with a few other taichi guys, but frankly found it to be a waste of time as they were simply going through the motions.
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Old 04-28-2006, 06:35 PM   #45
Mike Sigman
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
No offense taken Mike. I don't understand and frankly I am trying to understand. I am trying to break it down into simple logic and look for contradictions to my thought process so I can better evaluate and understand. Again, appreciate your patience.
No problem, Kevin. I don't deal in "energies" or anything, so we're basically left with some physical skills that really have to be felt to be explained. The problem is that people hear explanations in terms of what they already know. The two big problems I see are (1.) that people don't know these things, so it's impossible to communicate until you establish a common terminology or (2.) that people know some of the rudiments so they tend to block out the conversation or deeds beyond that because they get stuck on "Oh yeah, I know about that stuff" and they never progress. I'm just as guilty as the next guy for having trapped myself that way at times.
Quote:
A number of years ago I worked for a day or two with Tuey Staples in St Louis with Tai Chi. Ironically I was visiting a friend from my old dojo that was Studying aikido with Irene Wellington. They both found a great deal of value in what he had to teach to spend a fair amount of time focusing on it. I didn't work with him enough to really understand things, but enough to feel how strong and responsive he was and it was "different".
I've met Tuey a couple of times and he doesn't do what any real Taiji experts do (or at least he didn't when I met him some years ago). He seems to have interpretted a lot of the terminology in his own unique way... and I'm not the only person that has noticed that, so I feel fairly safe in commenting on it.
Quote:
Again, thanks guys for trying to take the time to explain. I am not scoffing at the ability or proficiency of these guys....what I am having a hard time with is the etiology, explaination, and rational that is offered concerning the concepts.
I have been with a few other taichi guys, but frankly found it to be a waste of time as they were simply going through the motions.
Well, if you judge Taiji by most of the practitioners, it appears to be a pretty useless art, I agree. No argument and on offense to me. And I agree that what needs to be done is meet sometime and try to establish a base descriptive terminology.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 04-28-2006, 06:56 PM   #46
DH
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Kevin...What is reeeaally going to get your goat...... Man I hope you have a sense of humor.
Know what the most common phrase I have heard in the CMA so far?
" Most guys don't get internal power."
I died laughing and gave my best "OY!"
Before you shoot -ME-go read. Read all the CMA forums and Mike Sigmans comments as well.
Let the sarcasm-or frustration- begin.

Anyway, the skills are just not trained there in great numbers as well-or so I'm told. The one great thing is that you can't fake it. It takes only a few seconds or a minute tops and you know where their power is coming from. Again.......still not talking about fighting that is a different (and more fun for me) venue that you "use" these skills in...or not.

If you do BJJ have you heard of Tim Cartmel? He is supposedly working the internal aspects of CMA in BJJ.I don't know anything other than that, and he is supposedly are type. Likes to mix it up.
You are going to have a tough time meeting folks who can use it. I am waiting for some experiences this year as I have had some personal invites from some low level teachers to meet some high level guys. I get along well with these guys-even when I critisize somethings. They are a very practical bunch so far. But I am told they are as rife with internal bunnies as the Aiki arts with Aiki-bunnies Even in the internals of Xing-I, Bagau and Taiji and lessor known ones. I wouldn't know yet. I've met guys so far who's hands were as empty as many other artists in external arts. Heavy hands is a very good sign.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 04-28-2006 at 07:11 PM.
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Old 04-29-2006, 07:57 AM   #47
Brad Darr
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Hello all,
Mike I really enjoyed your description in post #32, it is for my money one of the most straight forward descriptions of what is going on I have read. Have you considered writing more and maybe sending it to Jun I would really enjoy reading more. Anyway I think I get it but I may be totally wrong, so here is a question, is this the same thing when a person pushes something really large like a car or boulder or elephant or something, if the body is working in the proper way you describe would we simply be pushing the object with the earth? Does that come across?
Also Hiroshi Ikeda Sensei often talks about "putting you weight on" so when uke grabs katatedori it feels like the whole or most of the body weight of nage is on top of them but there is no push from the arm. The image I have is nage standing on the outstretched arm of uke and the "weight" of nage drives the person down. I have felt this done by Ikeda Sensei quite a few times so it definately feels like his whole weight or more! My question then is this something similar, is he reversing the effect you describe, the force traveling up the backleg down his arm into the grab of uke? Or is it something different and how would you describe it?
Thanks again I think this thread is one of the best I have read so far, it hasn't degenerated into the "Is ki real" debate and the arguments that ensue. Thanks again and sorry if I didn't really undertand and am babbling.

Brad

the edges of the sword are life and death
no one knows which is which
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Old 04-29-2006, 08:41 AM   #48
Mike Sigman
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Brad Darr wrote:
so here is a question, is this the same thing when a person pushes something really large like a car or boulder or elephant or something, if the body is working in the proper way you describe would we simply be pushing the object with the earth? Does that come across?
Hi Brad:

Yes. Although if I'm pushing something like that, I usually just put my mind to paying attention that my hands are easily and firmly connected to my hara and I pay attention to pushing with my hara. The power from the ground to the hara is fairly obvious. Someone with a tendency for high blood-pressure (hypertension) is supposed to keep their attention on the center of the soles of the feet and the connection to the hands.
Quote:
Also Hiroshi Ikeda Sensei often talks about "putting you weight on" so when uke grabs katatedori it feels like the whole or most of the body weight of nage is on top of them but there is no push from the arm. The image I have is nage standing on the outstretched arm of uke and the "weight" of nage drives the person down. I have felt this done by Ikeda Sensei quite a few times so it definately feels like his whole weight or more! My question then is this something similar, is he reversing the effect you describe, the force traveling up the backleg down his arm into the grab of uke? Or is it something different and how would you describe it?
Well, if you look at the fourth paragraph of post #32, I mention that Tohei either lets the force of the ground OR the force of his weight do the work (sometimes it can be a combination of those 2, out in some of the horizontal ranges).

Generally speaking forces of this sort using the earth or the weight (which is where the "Ki of Earth" and the "Ki of Heaven" idea comes from) to provide power for a human can be thought of as 4 general forces:
Up
Down
Away from the Body (Push)
Toward the Body (Pull)

Since "Away from the Body" and "Toward the Body" can really be done (a.) to the front (b.) to the rear (c.)to the left side) (d.)to the right side, those 2 directions (away and toward) really become 4 directions. So in terms of force directions there are 6 directions... all other directions can be described and manifested as aspects of the 6-directions of forces. (Just as an aside, if you watch this sort of thinking develop, it follows the yin-yang cosmology of "from nothing comes the Tai Chi (the Yin Yang) which splits to 4, to 6, etc.).

OK, so all forces of "Up", "Away from the Body" and "Toward the body" are really just paths that the mind sets up which derive their power from the ground.

http://www.neijia.com/JinVector.jpg shows a figure with several different directions dotted in. You should be able to just stand there and form any of those directions (or the many more potential ones) of force at will. That is the core of the "mind-body" thing.

The oddball is any direction downward. You have to learn to form connections or paths from your center of weight to anywhere on your body at will. In fact, that potential should always be there ("heavy side down") so that it's hard to lift your arms to an opponent and he can have his weight on you when he touches you.

http://www.neijia.com/DownWeight.jpg

I suspect that if you grab Ikeda Sensei with a downward weight to your grab (I would do that just as an experiment if I were his student) he'd switch to something else. Different people have different tactics on the grab, but "down and toward a direction where uke has no support" is usually a pretty good on.

All the Best.

Mike
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Old 04-29-2006, 12:31 PM   #49
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Mike, thanks for pointing that out wrt Tuey. Appears I have some exploring to do if I want to learn more. Thanks again!
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Old 04-29-2006, 02:40 PM   #50
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
The point is that Aikido, Taiji, and other arts aren't considered complete without these kinds of skills...
I'd like to read up on these skills some more. Where does O'Sensei specifically mention the kind of skills you are referring to that render aikido incomplete without them?

(I left out taijiquan since it is a very old martial art, founder unknown)


Thanks.

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"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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