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Old 05-08-2006, 04:18 PM   #176
tarik
 
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

I've been reading, but had little to add or comment on, so I just wanted to express appreciation to Mike, Dan, Chuck, and Dennis, and many others for a great and thoroughly educational thread.

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 05-09-2006, 08:23 AM   #177
Mike Sigman
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Tarik Ghbeish wrote:
I've been reading, but had little to add or comment on, so I just wanted to express appreciation to Mike, Dan, Chuck, and Dennis, and many others for a great and thoroughly educational thread.
Hi again, Tarik:

Well, it seems the interest died out on AikiWeb. If you're interested in other places where these things are discussed with more focus and interest on the how-to's, etc., email me privately and I'll point you.

All the Best.

Mike
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Old 05-10-2006, 05:27 AM   #178
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Well, it seems the interest died out on AikiWeb. If you're interested in other places where these things are discussed with more focus and interest on the how-to's, etc., email me privately and I'll point you
My interest didn't die out, it just sounded after all this discussion that there wasn't that much I could get without having someone physically show me. If you know of other sources of information though I'd be glad to have a PM to Mike thanks..
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Old 05-10-2006, 11:14 AM   #179
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

No PM's guys. I'm interested in researching this more as well. Post all relevant links on here please for all to explore.
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Old 05-10-2006, 11:19 AM   #180
Jim Sorrentino
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

I went to the woods for a few days. I see that things have not changed much.

Mike Sigman referred to a conversation with me in which I mentioned an Okinawan Uechi-ryu instructor kicking a hole in a 55-gallon oil drum with his big toe. IIRC, it was 20-gallon "jerry can" (the kind one sometimes sees on the back of US military jeeps). It was in Okinawa in 1981, the instructor was Yonamine-sensei, and the occasion was a Uechi-ryu demo at the wedding reception of one of Kanei Uechi-sensei's senior students. BTW, Yonamine-sensei started this demo by breaking a four-foot long 2x2 over the big toe of his other foot, which he held out extended in a front kick position.
Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
Ron
If you haven't fallen asleep. You're going to crack up. Standing in a room of 20 somethings... none of which did Aikido. All doing the Jo trick. So can two of the CMA people I know .....Oooh! ahhh!
Dan, I noticed you have started citing YouTube videos in some of your posts. I'm glad to see that you are starting to learn how to show, as well as tell. Would you please take a video of your room full of 20-somethings doing the "jo trick", post it to YouTube, and send us the link? While you're at it, I would still like to see a video of you taking down the 6'4", 279-lb. jujutsuka who is attempting to tackle you. I believe it was back around post #30 that you said you could do that. If I remember correctly, you mentioned that it was a real-world, fighting application of the "jo trick". If you need some help with the technology, just ask one of the 20-somethings.
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Old 05-10-2006, 11:23 AM   #181
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Paul Nowicki wrote:
No PM's guys. I'm interested in researching this more as well. Post all relevant links on here please for all to explore.
I don't know about the "guys", but I've already begun a discussion on QiJing because of the 2 complexities in the analysis that Ueshiba contributed. If you want, I'll put you temporarily on QiJing to follow the discussion, but you'll have to promise you'll stay your own sweet self and nitpick mechanically so that the discussion stays honest. I.e., it's not a list where everyone is expected to agree. Email me if you want: mikesigman at earthlink dot net .

Mike
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Old 05-10-2006, 11:29 AM   #182
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Jim Sorrentino wrote:
Mike Sigman referred to a conversation with me in which I mentioned an Okinawan Uechi-ryu instructor kicking a hole in a 55-gallon oil drum with his big toe. IIRC, it was 20-gallon "jerry can" (the kind one sometimes sees on the back of US military jeeps).
Geez, Jim... that guy was a wimp, then. The guy I was talking about did a 55-gallon drum. The problem with some of these really phenomenal guys is that's all they can do, though, so we have to all decide exactly how much of ourselves we're really willing to invest.

The other point I'd mention with the toe kicking stuff is that my sensei just as a matter of demonstration one night kicked a hole through a thick tatami mat with his toe.... but I noted that his toes were short and stubby and not like some of the long joints many of us westerners have. Not something I'd bother to train when I could buy a pair of steel-toed boots.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 05-10-2006, 12:15 PM   #183
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Re: Any instructors here ever challenged?

Quote:
wendyrowe wrote:
...As an engineer, I can easily imagine that there are unexpected torques involved because of the movements of the person holding the jo and the way he moves it. My guess is that the people trying to grab and hold the jo are expecting to feel force exerted against their hold in a particular way so they brace against that, but instead it moves differently so they can't hold it...
Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
...It's not that hard, Wendy. You should already know how these things are done on at least a basic level, IMO... since they're core to Asian martial arts and certainly core to even basic Aikido. There are a fair number of readers of the thread that already know how the basic mechanics work already, but maybe it'll be helpful to do a quick incremental analysis of the basics and then go to the jo-trick (since it's just a sort of extension of the basic idea)...
I didn't respond to this since I didn't want our readers' eyes to glaze over as they had to slog through more engineering musings; but since I wouldn't want people to think we're losing interest in the thread, here goes:

Although the forces are simple when viewed in broad terms, one can't really know exactly what's happening without precise in vivo measurements of those forces. Biomechanical/Biomedical Engineering is very complex because the systems involved have so many degrees of freedom (from lots of joints controlled by muscles able to exert forces in many different directions, and by the flexibility of the "rigid" parts of the system). And the simplifications used to get a handle on the system (even just used in our heads as we try to understand what we're seeing) can be misleading if they ignore variables that turn out to have non-negligible effects. If we see something that doesn't seem possible, we're probably interpreting incorrectly what we're seeing. That's why I want force sensors: not because I'm clueless but because I crave precision.
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Old 05-10-2006, 01:32 PM   #184
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

I don't know how to do "Jo Trick". I've been reading the "ki" stuff for a while here, and been doing some "ki" excercises. That's what I've found out.

1. I've given up "standing like a tree" and "boat rowing" excercises. I'm way too busy with my job and family. My mind just isn't calm enough for me to experience the benefit.

2. I do bokken excercises more. I try to do it daily. It fits my busy mind better. I don't know how much "ki" stuff I can get out of this though.

3. I do similar excercise recommended by Rob. I did some modification though. I stand in front of a wall, an inch away, keep my hand in my chest, then squad dwon and up.

4. I tried to push rocks in my back yard. But it's killing my back. Now I'm building a chest high parallel bar. I plan to put a heavy log on it, and push it daily. If I can't find a log heavy enough, I plan to "in-print" some heavy dumb bell into the log.

Any other suggestions about simple "ki" exercises? Thanks.
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Old 05-10-2006, 01:37 PM   #185
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Ted Ehara wrote:



Thanks for the comments Ted.

This doesn't answer the question of "internal though".

I train my guys in my Battalion in an "over stress" model, where we subject them to pressures nearing that of actual fighting or combat. They learn how to manage fear, emotion, and stress in a fight. They learn how to remain calm and all that stuff.

However, I am sure that someone would say "thats not INTERNAL".
You are simulating combat conditions for training. Soldiers are expected to function as members of a team and as individuals in those conditions. You are correct in that this is not internal training. Internal training concentrates only on the individual. It probably comes from the tradition of individual fighting on feudal, Asian battlefields. People did not fight in units, but as individuals.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
No one has yet come forward to define what it is. Everyone will talk around the subject, those that say the understand it come across as in an authoritarian manner on the subject, yet it has yet to be defined/quantified as to what exactly is meant by the term. Mike Sigman comes the closest, but I still am lost as to what it means. Maybe as he states, I "don't get it".
Nobody defines what is internal because there is no standard definition. My personal interpretation of internal training is that it effects the psychological make-up of the individual. Other people may add different components to this training. Some, like Mike, suggest there is a physical development within the body. Still others may suggest there is a spiritual development. I currently find the physical and spiritual development concepts speculative and just settle for psychological development.

Most of what internal training focuses on is developing internal power. The Chi/Qi/Ki theories of oriental medicine and martial arts are central to a traditional approach for training. Several practices like meditation and breathing are common approaches to development. These practices are not popular in martial arts training and (as Mike notes) makes this almost a discipline within a discipline.

So why do all this extra training? Really top martial artists have taken this approach to their arts. This way of training appears to have produced almost super-human results. Since internal training develops the individual, it stands to reason that it would try to teach a person to the extreme.

How are you able to detect if someone has had this type of extreme training? Koichi Tohei said that you cannot see the mind, but you can see the body. So you can "see" a person's mind by their body movement. Their actions and the way people use their bodies will reveal their mental states. Movement will also reveal their mind/body training. Also the movement in martial arts is different than movement in dance. There has to be power behind the movement, rather than the movement alone. This power can be felt by an observer.

There once was a samurai who had fought several successful duels. When he was asked how he was able to best his opponents, he replied it was simple. When he approached his opponent, he would tap the tip of his blade to his opponent's tip. If the sword acted normally, then he knew he would win. However, if he discovered his opponent was extending ki through the tip, he would throw his sword at the other swordsman and run away.

What do I think this type of training is actually doing? K. Tohei wrote, "Mind and body are originally one." To understand that statement you have to realize what he is not saying:
  • He is not saying that in the past, people long ago had mind/body coordination.
  • He is not saying that when you were an infant you had mind/body coordination.
He is saying you have mind and body coordination - Right Now!

So why aren't we all walking around like legendary warriors? It's because we're letting our consciousness get in the way of ourselves. If we could just let go and act naturally, we would have this power, because that is the way the mind and body are set-up as. We're trying to reclaim our natural heritage.

Last year my sensei and I did a demo at a church on the west side of Chicago. A young 20ish Chinese gal also did a Tai Chi demo. I knew she was good just by looking at her. But when she did two forms, I began to realize just how good she really was. I had never seen anyone do Tai Chi that well. It was several levels above anything I had seen before. My sensei agreed with my assessment. He said she could be the best he's ever seen, or certainly the best he's seen in the last forty years.

I was later told that she was an acknowledged master in her style. She doesn't even teach Tai Chi and is a student at a local university.

We all have different traditions, various theories, ways of training, even different ideas of what the "goals" are in internal training. However when you see someone who is truly good, then there is no dispute.

Last edited by tedehara : 05-10-2006 at 01:50 PM.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 05-10-2006, 01:58 PM   #186
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Thanks for taking the time to respond Ted.

minor comments. Not that it really pertains to anything substansive, but soldiers on ancient asian battlefields fight the same way soldiers today do they fight as individuals and as units. Soldiers are always a part of a unified and coordinated effort of some sort. Methods and tactics may vary based on technology, but the same basic thing is going on.

Also what you describe as internal can be seen in our world class athletes. Basketball, football, soccer, track and field etc. They all practice on things that could be defined as internal methods, visualization, meditation, and physical drills and exercises in an attempt to pull everything together in one complete package to best exploit the human body to some great physical feat.

So, I submit that there is nothing special about asian martial arts or chinese martial arts in this respect.

In fact you can get down right internal about bocci ball! Ever watch those old guys focus!!

I do find that Martial arts, aikido in particular has helped me in many of the ways you describe so yes, in that respect it is special to me. I also think martial arts do a wonderful job of focusing simply on the dynamic movements that best allow us to us our bodies...but so does yoga, feldenkrais and other such practices.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond!
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Old 05-10-2006, 02:12 PM   #187
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Ted Ehara wrote:
You are simulating combat conditions for training. Soldiers are expected to function as members of a team and as individuals in those conditions. You are correct in that this is not internal training. Internal training concentrates only on the individual. It probably comes from the tradition of individual fighting on feudal, Asian battlefields. People did not fight in units, but as individuals.

Nobody defines what is internal because there is no standard definition. My personal interpretation of internal training is that it effects the psychological make-up of the individual. Other people may add different components to this training. Some, like Mike, suggest there is a physical development within the body. Still others may suggest there is a spiritual development. I currently find the physical and spiritual development concepts speculative and just settle for psychological development.
Ted, I disagree pretty strongly with what you're saying.

First of all, what is being called "internal" body mechanics is pretty widely known in Asia. In the Chinese Army, they train these sorts of things routinely using breathing exercises and related techniques. So the application for the military is pretty widely known and accepted over there. Over here, the background information is quite sparse. So sparse that Kevin can't envision anything other than what he's familiar with, so he's basically in the mode of "I've never had any experience with it, you can't be talking about something I don't know about, so therefore you must be talking about something I know of". ;^)

In Chinese martial arts tournaments there are, as I've mentioned before, a number of defined and associated phenomena with "qi" and "internal" development:
(1.) The skin becomes resistant to puncturing and tearing.
(2.) The body becomes able to absorb heavy blows.
(3.) strength is increased due to the development of fascia-related structures in the body.
(4.) Strength is increased due to the ability to manipulate paths with the body/mind.
(5.) Measureable electro-magnetic field around the body is increased.
(6.) There seems to be an immune-system function tied into the fascia-structure strengthening.

Those factors pretty well define what "internal strength" does. The practice of these things goes back well before the systematic study of "science" as we know it, so the training factors and body involvement gets mired in the pre-science terminology of ki/qi, but the phenomena are there and are measureable. None of it is mysterious when adequately defined and explained. Tohei's "ki tests", if you'll compare are bound up in the descriptions I gave above. Think of it as a nifty way to improve strength and health without doing excessive cardio or spending so much time at Gold's Gym.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 05-10-2006, 02:53 PM   #188
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:

So, I submit that there is nothing special about asian martial arts or chinese martial arts in this respect.

When you can push/pull a 18 wheel truck with your iron crotch, then I believe you.
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Old 05-10-2006, 04:20 PM   #189
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
So, I submit that there is nothing special about asian martial arts or chinese martial arts in this respect.
Hi Kevin:

How would you explain this in terms of "normal" body mechanics?

http://media.putfile.com/yiquan-push
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Old 05-10-2006, 04:30 PM   #190
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

I thought I'd never say this on aikiweb, but based on what you guys are describing, seems to me that we'd see one of these guys with all these abilities enter the octagon and prove to guys like Chuck Lidell that they are amateurs compared to what they know from the
"internal arts".

Guys I don't doubt there are benefits and that there is something behind these ancient practices. I believe in many, many things associated with the benefits to be gained through meditation, proper diet, physical exercise, things that you call "KI exercises", yoga asanas and what not.

However the last several post have still not offered much that leads me to believe that their is anything special about asian arts over say big irish guys that can pull 18 wheelers with their crotches. (I have to admit, I haven't seen that!).

Yes to be quite honest, and I really hate to admit it....but the day I see a fat old chinese man in his 60's enter the octagon and beat a guy like Chuck Lidell with something other than what we normally see, is the day I will believe that their is something unique and special about CMA or so call "internal training".

That said, I do believe there are things to be gained from such training. I have seen Yogi's slow their heart rates down. They have the ability to control many physical aspects of their bodies through constant training. Endure hot beds of coal and what not.

So contrary to what Mike purports that I don't seem to grasp. Frankly think I do. I simply think that there is nothing unique about these practices over say yoga, feldenkrais, or any other practice that is designed to condition and unify the mind, body, and spirit.

I have experienced such things. I have witnessed western athletes that have never even probably talked to a chinese master do similar things.

So again, I submit, there is nothing uniquely special, other than maybe a particular methodolgy that allows for the development of various aspects of the mind, body, spirit connection.

If there was, I'd believe we would have seen by now some cross over of some shaolin monk fighting in the Octagon, or dominating in some olympic contest of strength. China has a good olympic team, but I believe you will find that most of them train in many traditional western ways. However, admitedly, I have not researched this enough to offer that opinion, so I am definitely open for rebuttable in this area!

Sorry for the negativity. You guys had me convinced for a few days, however in light of these current discussions, I am not convinced. Maybe my logic is totally wrong in this area. Set me straight if it is! I respect your opinions, and obviously there is no need for you guys to "win" me over if you don't feel like wasting your time!

Thanks!
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Old 05-10-2006, 04:35 PM   #191
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Mike,

I will have to look at it tommorrow at work. I have linux here at the house and it does not support the plug-in on the link. I will take a look and respond!

Thanks for continuing to discuss with me!

I do think that much of this discussion will be a waste of time unless I met face to face with you and worked with you over time etc, as we are talking very conceptually and that allows for a great deal of misinterpretation and misunderstanding!

Keeping an open mind...and offering what I hope is constructive opposing thought!
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Old 05-10-2006, 04:38 PM   #192
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Mike, BTW are you familiar with Gene Frantz? I think I have his name right. I have a book down on my nightstand. I am going to peruse it over the next few days and see what I can glean from it to ask some questions!

What is your opinion of Mr Frantz if you know of him?
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Old 05-10-2006, 04:39 PM   #193
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
I simply think that there is nothing unique about these practices over say yoga, feldenkrais, or any other practice that is designed to condition and unify the mind, body, and spirit.

I have experienced such things. I have witnessed western athletes that have never even probably talked to a chinese master do similar things.

So again, I submit, there is nothing uniquely special, other than maybe a particular methodolgy that allows for the development of various aspects of the mind, body, spirit connection.
So, Kevin, you were saying it's normal "body alignment" and stuff like that at first. How do you explain what this guy is doing in terms of normal "what any good athlete can do" conditioning? I'm curious.

http://media.putfile.com/yiquan-push

Regards,

Mike
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Old 05-10-2006, 04:41 PM   #194
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Mike, BTW are you familiar with Gene Frantz? I think I have his name right. I have a book down on my nightstand. I am going to peruse it over the next few days and see what I can glean from it to ask some questions!

What is your opinion of Mr Frantz if you know of him?
Let me see if I can channel this from you, Kevin. Are you talking about Kumar "Gu Ma" Frantzis, the guy who told everyone in Beijing that he was "America's greatest martial artist" and whom Feng Zhi Qiang, a man in his 60's at the time, threw on his butt?

Mike
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Old 05-10-2006, 04:43 PM   #195
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

LOL, I am tired...just went down and looked at the book. B.K Frantzis. not Gene Frantz...I think he is an actor right?

Anyway, it has been a few years since I read his book, I am going to look through it again. What do you think of his work if you are familiar with it?
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Old 05-10-2006, 04:45 PM   #196
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Yea...I that is the guy. So I gather that his work is not worth reading?? is that correct?
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Old 05-10-2006, 04:46 PM   #197
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
LOL, I am tired...just went down and looked at the book. B.K Frantzis. not Gene Frantz...I think he is an actor right?

Anyway, it has been a few years since I read his book, I am going to look through it again. What do you think of his work if you are familiar with it?
That's Kumar Frantzis, the guy I just mentioned... "America's greatest martial artist". Every martial artist in China is aware of "Gu Ma".

And no, I don't mind you keeping the discussion alive, as long as you don't mind me jerking on your leg a little bit.

Mike
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Old 05-10-2006, 04:51 PM   #198
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

No I have thick skin...and I am sincere in my questioning...not looking for an argument, really wanting to understand!

So, is his book worth anything. I am going to re-read it over the next couple of days and pull some info etc for discussion from this. It might be helpful. Want to know if you think his work is a fair representation of what we are talking about though!
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Old 05-10-2006, 05:01 PM   #199
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Want to know if you think his work is a fair representation of what we are talking about though!
Not really. He knows what we're talking about, to some degree, but what he does know he doesn't really tell people how to do. I think mainly because he wasn't shown too much (he is not a pleasant person, from accounts of his teachers)..... if you don't know much, you don't/can't tell much. Sort of like an Aikido teacher I had who knew how to do basic jin-alignment, but wouldn't show anybody how to do it because it was the only real stick he could hold over peoples' heads. Luckily the guy ticked me off so much that I left Aikido instead of hanging around him for years trying to get what turned out to be just the beginning basics.

Mike
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Old 05-10-2006, 05:35 PM   #200
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Roosvelt Freeman wrote:
When you can push/pull a 18 wheel truck with your iron crotch, then I believe you.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFfhxVmdXZ4&search=Chris%20Crudelli%20Mind%20Body%20kickass%20Moves%20Si fu%20William%20Wan%20Martial%20Arts%20QiGong%20QiGung%20Fut%20Gar%20Kung%20Fu

if this link doesn't work, try searching for "iron penis" (can i say that on here?) on youtube.com
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