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Old 07-18-2002, 02:20 AM   #1
DavidM
Dojo: Aikido of Tucson
Location: Arizona
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 32
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Grr! Working with Jo

I just started working with weapons (Only about 3-4 months of Aikido all together) and I have to say I HATE the Jo. The Bokken doesn't bother me at all. It's just the complexity of the Jo, the moves, the strikes, the blocks, etc etc etc. I find myself not liking class when we do Jo work, and even questioning if I should go to class when we have Jo work.

What I'm trying to say is, will my hatred for the Jo go away after enough practice, or will it always be there?

Thanks
David
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Old 07-18-2002, 02:43 AM   #2
erikmenzel
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Dojo: Aikidojo Leiderdorp
Location: Leiden
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Re: Working with Jo

Quote:
David Mason (DavidM) wrote:
I just started working with weapons (Only about 3-4 months of Aikido all together) and I have to say I HATE the Jo. The Bokken doesn't bother me at all. It's just the complexity of the Jo, the moves, the strikes, the blocks, etc etc etc. I find myself not liking class when we do Jo work, and even questioning if I should go to class when we have Jo work.

What I'm trying to say is, will my hatred for the Jo go away after enough practice, or will it always be there?

Thanks

David
Sounds familiar.

I think sticking with it is the only option anyway. Not only for leaning the special jo thingies, but also because a lot of the jo movements help you in the rest of your aikido.

As comfort: after years of training the jo doesnt bother me anymore.

Erik Jurrien Menzel
kokoro o makuru taisanmen ni hirake
Personal:www.kuipers-menzel.com
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Old 07-18-2002, 03:23 AM   #3
Jim ashby
Dojo: Phoenix Coventry
Location: Coventry, England
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 303
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Time

Don't worry, the first five years are the worst. The second five years, they're the worst too. The third five years, you won't enjoy at all. After that it goes downhill.

Just kidding!!

I'm a fan of the jo as a training tool, I'm just crap with it!

Have fun.

Vir Obesus Stola Saeptus
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Old 07-18-2002, 04:54 AM   #4
Tim Griffiths
Dojo: Nes Ziona Aikikai
Location: Suzhou, China
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 188
China
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Re: Working with Jo

Quote:
David Mason (DavidM) wrote:
What I'm trying to say is, will my hatred for the Jo go away after enough practice, or will it always be there?

Thanks

David
Eventually, you'll love the jo.

We hate the things we don't understand. Practice the 20 suburi at home (or your dojo's equivalent - if you don't know them you can find them on this site). It just takes practice.

Tim

If one makes a distinction between the dojo and the battlefield, or being in your bedroom or in public, then when the time comes there will be no opportunity to make amends. (Hagakure)
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Old 07-18-2002, 06:21 AM   #5
Harms
Dojo: Lunds aikido
Location: Lund, Sweden
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 14
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Re: Working with Jo

Quote:
David Mason (DavidM) wrote:
It's just the complexity of the Jo, the moves, the strikes, the blocks, etc etc etc. I find myself not liking class when we do Jo work, and even questioning if I should go to class when we have Jo work.
I can understand you. When I started I was mostly interrested in the sword. In the begining I had real trouble to make the ski and the step at the same time in choku ski. My ski was so slow that it felt like if I would fall on my face if I tried to make the step slow enough

But it gets easier. I can't say when because I don't even know when it got easier for myself. I just realised one day that it wasn't as hard any more. I still don't make perfect ski but it's at least not that bad that I need to feel ashamed every time

My sensei says that weapon training (and I think especially jo) is good for really learn how to move in aikido since you (in the suburi) don't have an uke who you must adjust to.

So just hang in there you will soon get frustrated by other things and remeber if we would like to have an easy solution then we wouldn't be doing aikido

/Tobias
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Old 07-18-2002, 06:30 AM   #6
mike lee
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 646
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jo is beautiful

Mike Lee's patented "learning to love the jo" exercise.

Walk 1 mile a day and carry the jo in your right hand. Hold the jo at the center, with its length being horizontal to the ground. Enjoy the feeling of the jo being perfectly balanced in your hand as you walk. Smile.
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Old 07-18-2002, 08:00 AM   #7
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
Location: Barnegaat, NJ
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 893
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Love and hate are almost the same emotions, a heartbeat apart.

If you really hated Aiki-jo, you would totally ignore it, and practice without the stick.

Practice with and without your jo, it will provide clarity.
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Old 07-18-2002, 08:22 AM   #8
kung fu hamster
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 166
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It's not a lost cause

I too hated jo, especially since I couldn't throw anyone with my clumsy non-understanding of any principles of leverage or ‘ki' extension. My ukes would hang on like gorillas and not budge. However, I became reconciled to the isometric workout it gave my arms when I realized that my ‘wingspans' started firming up, even though I was frustrated at my lack of skill in wielding the jo as a weapon. That still is the case, I continue to have a really tough time working with the jo, but I can train without considering it to be a waste of time. The dedicated effort is what counts - even if I don't comprehend the ‘deep inner secrets' at this time, the teachers keep assuring me that through the body, trial and error, understanding and skill will eventually be acquired.
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Old 07-18-2002, 09:51 AM   #9
SeiserL
 
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Dojo: Roswell Budokan, Kyushinkan Dojo, Aikido World Alliance
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Yep, was not a fan of Jo training when I started. The weapon just didn't seem practical to carry and use. But, with time, it taught me how to extend and apply the principles of Aiki. Worth the time.

Until again,

Lynn

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 07-18-2002, 11:40 AM   #10
Deb Fisher
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 145
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My truly deep resentment has always been toward Bokken (I have very thin wrists), but all weapons work really challenged me for awhile. I knew I was really bad at it because my weapons teacher would (literally) wince whenever I did an awase, and for a number of weeks it was standard for me to keep practicing start-stop after everyone else was allowed to start flowin'.

It was embarassing to be in this remedial weapons class of one, but you know, it made me practice harder and now I love my weapons because I can practice without a mat or an uke. My suburi are much, much better, and yes, I'm sure it's helped everything else.

If I could get better, ANYONE can. Hang in there!

Deb

Deb Fisher
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Old 07-18-2002, 11:53 AM   #11
akiy
 
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I remember Richard Heckler sensei telling us during a class that one of the reasons why he thinks people should train in weapons in aikido is that it enables us all to go through the frustration of learning something new in our lives.

I remember going to a seminar with Nishio sensei after having been pretty experienced with aikido weapons and going through this kind of frustration. After a while, I changed my practice to not just be "learn these new movements" but to work with the frustration I was feeling.

-- Jun

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Old 07-18-2002, 08:37 PM   #12
MaylandL
Location: Western Australia
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 241
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Re: Working with Jo

Quote:
David Mason (DavidM) wrote:
I just started working with weapons (Only about 3-4 months of Aikido all together) and I have to say I HATE the Jo. ... It's just the complexity of the Jo, the moves, the strikes, the blocks, etc etc etc. I find myself not liking class when we do Jo work, and even questioning if I should go to class when we have Jo work.

What I'm trying to say is, will my hatred for the Jo go away after enough practice, or will it always be there?

...
I can understand your feelings - I was in the same position and I am still trying to commit all of the jo and ken techniques and training exercises to memory. The Jo katas and suburi are difficult to learn and remember. But please stick with it (no pun intended) - the rewards in terms of improvement in your aikido is worth the perserverence.

These days I look forward to any opportunity to work on jo and ken because of what this has done for my aikido. Sometimes I ask sensei to observe me doing one of the katas so he can give some tips and advice. I know I'll forget some of the moves because, I haven't committed them all to memory but I keep thinking that before I knew nothing about the katas. Atleast, now I know something and that's a good start to build on

Quote:
Tobias Harms (Harms) wrote:
...

My sensei says that weapon training (and I think especially jo) is good for really learn how to move in aikido since you (in the suburi) don't have an uke who you must adjust to.

...
Absolutely agree. It also emphasises keeping appropriate distance, maintaining the proper posture and stance and extension of Ki. Aiki Weapons training (suburi, kumijo, kumitachi, awase and the jo and ken katas - as well as tanto, jo and tachi dori) is absolutely invaluable. I can vouch for this from personal experience. I like how the weapons techniques has improved my understanding of aikido and open hand techniques.

Both my senseis point out how the use of the ken and jo are similar open hand techniques are to how aikido techniques are performed. Very similar movements and position are used in both situations.

During seminars with Igarashi Sensei, he would start of with ken or jo and then move to open hand techniques and then finish with jo or ken. IT very challenging but ultimately rewarding and enlightening training.

Please persevere with Jo, you will see improvements both in the use of the Jo and how its helps you with your open hand techniques.

All the best for training.

Last edited by MaylandL : 07-18-2002 at 08:49 PM.

Mayland
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