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  • Questions from the Jodo Numpty

    I thought I'd have my own thread where I can ask dumb questions and embarrass myself - hope you don't mind...

    Seiteigata gohonme: when uchidachi makes his initial thrust, he* is deflected/covered(?) by shijo and then his sword is struck down by the jo.

    Q1) is it possible for shijo to move fast enough from the initial deflection/cover to the downward strike so uchidachi isn't left standing there like a complete muppet awaiting shijo's attack? Or have I got the riai completely wrong?

    * his/her/its/whatever.

    Cheers in advance...

  • #2
    I have been taught several ways to counter. The first is the one you are describing (strike down the sword). The second is to strike at the wrists instead of the sword in the same manner.

    The third is to strike to the uchidachis head when standing in the "covering-the-sword" position. You start the same way: Draw back and cover the sword then at lightning-speed in the same body position you whack the swordsman in the head with your jo using your right hand only. If done correct the uchidachi will barely have finished his thrusting movement as he gets his head bonked.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Fred27 View Post
      Draw back and cover the sword then at lightning-speed in the same body position you whack the swordsman in the head with your jo using your right hand only. If done correct the uchidachi will barely have finished his thrusting movement as he gets his head bonked.
      Aha ok. 'Lightning Spped' is what I am missing here. I usually leave uchidachi standing there like a plum while I fumble around trying to get my left hand back on the bloody jo.

      Cheers Fred.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ScottUK View Post
        Aha ok. 'Lightning Spped' is what I am missing here. I usually leave uchidachi standing there like a plum while I fumble around trying to get my left hand back on the bloody jo.

        Cheers Fred.
        Just to clarify: The above method is an application, not the way its supposed to be done. I also get the impression I didnt make myself clear. Its very difficult explaining stuff like this on paper (so to speak).

        I'm gonna try and dig something up so I can be precise.

        Comment


        • #5
          Ok, I think I know how to do this know.

          Load this clip and pause it at time index 05:28.
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_FPa7H70G8

          Imagine you are the jo. From that position as shown in the frozen state of the clip you can do as you have always done and turn your body towards the swordsman and smack down the sword. Or you could remain exactly as your are (body-wise) and let go of the jo with your left hand and use your right hand and smack the swordsman in the head with the jo. A slight leaning makes it easier to reach and all of this can be done VERY fast. But please note, this is just the application I'm describing, its not the way the kata goes.

          *edit*
          The speed of the "omote" series, of which "sakan" belongs to, are deliberate slow (realtively speaking) and steady with lots of kime. The smacking of the sword is done for training & safety purposes..(being hit on the wrist isn't fun, especially not with the amount of power involved). In chudan and ran ai series you will encounter higher speeds with minimum amount of time to react and do your thing with the jo.

          There! Hope I made some sense..I havent had enough coffee today.
          Last edited by Fred27; 30th July 2008, 09:22 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            I think (Fred, correct me if this li'l kohai is wrong) that it's not so much speed (and yeah, these should be done relatively slowly and increase with speed naturally as you become more familiar, yeah?) but as the reduction of length of the ma-aku? I'm just starting to reduce these as I start training for my shodan and only for the first five kata which I'm more familiar with, not with six that I've only learn relatively recently. I'm still taking that nice and slow.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Newbie View Post
              but as the reduction of length of the ma-aku? I'm just starting to reduce these as I start .
              I think I'm the wrong peep to ask...I must regretfully admit I cannot remember what "ma-aku" means

              Comment


              • #8
                It only recently came to Australia (as far as I'm aware). It's like jo-ha-ku (sp?) but for pauses. So instead of slow/medium/fast movement, it's short, medium or long pause. But by reducing these with grade and experience, what I mean is one of my 1 count pauses, would be a 2 count pause for a higher grade, and my 2 count pause would be a 3 count pause for someone junior to me. Well, I think that's how it works, anyway. I'm sure I'll get told off if I'm wrong

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Newbie View Post
                  It only recently came to Australia (as far as I'm aware). It's like jo-ha-ku (sp?) but for pauses. So instead of slow/medium/fast movement, it's short, medium or long pause. But by reducing these with grade and experience, what I mean is one of my 1 count pauses, would be a 2 count pause for a higher grade, and my 2 count pause would be a 3 count pause for someone junior to me. Well, I think that's how it works, anyway. I'm sure I'll get told off if I'm wrong
                  Oh! Yeh that makes sense.

                  The closest thing I've come to the ma aku is when performing the kuri tuske, kuri hanashi and tai atari. The manouver you do when "catching" the sword are done in three different ways, each faster than the previous.
                  In the first stage you do the "beginner" way for the duration of omote. Once in second stage, normally right after you hit Chudan series for the first time, you learn the second and more swifter version of catching the sword. Third stage is when you hit ran ai in which case you perform it the third way which is very fast.

                  Another related example is found in our sword-work. Its a bit complicated since we have a few mixed doctrines in our group about this, but generally the beginner sword always cuts from jodan unless the kata specifically requires otherwise (like tsuba wari). Eventually, as the swordsman gains more experience and confidence, he/she starts to cut directly from hasso, even in tsuki zue. As a cut from hasso requires less time to execute, the time available for the shidachi to react is also less so it requires both partners to have more than average experience.

                  Those are the examples I can think of that we use in our group. Sorry for the long post
                  Last edited by Fred27; 31st July 2008, 12:20 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ScottUK View Post
                    Seiteigata gohonme: when uchidachi makes his initial thrust, he* is deflected/covered(?) by shijo and then his sword is struck down by the jo.

                    Q1) is it possible for shijo to move fast enough from the initial deflection/cover to the downward strike so uchidachi isn't left standing there like a complete muppet awaiting shijo's attack? Or have I got the riai completely wrong?
                    I think you can ask this same question throughout the entire practice of jo. There are places where tachi simply sits around waiting for jo to hit him. In fact you can make that same observation in any paired weapons practice that is not "freestyle". It's the way we have to practice for 1. safety and 2. the ability to study more than a couple of different techniques that work really well at full speed.

                    The way to think about this is to imagine applying any koryu sword or stick-work in a kendo situation. How many of the cool techniques would work if the tachi was free to simply move the blade and smack us while we're doing some sort of switching of our hands or shuffling of our feet.

                    Which of course is a great way to check on the reality of our practice.

                    In this specific case Fred et al. have suggested doing a different technique/application or speeding up. May I suggest you simply don't pause, think of the shift back, checking of the blade and strike down on the blade as a continuous movement. If tachi continues to thrust or returns to a chudan position the technique can be done without modification. If he moves the blade anywhere else you can strike some other available target without much of a change in the technique.

                    If you're having trouble finding the jo with your left hand perhaps you should examine where the jo is moving. If it wanders off the attack line than it may be difficult to find, but if the tip of the jo stays on the attack line it's right out front where our left hand tends to be comfortable... shouldn't be hard to find.

                    To get back to this whole "pause and wait" thing again, I think you're looking at the reason shinai kendo was developed in the first place. It is a simple answer to "what works?" Check out this url I noticed on e-budo, http://www.wklok.com/mylife/2008_06_...kai/Page2.html down at the bottom are videos of yet another group on the way to inventing Kendo.

                    Here's how it goes. Solo practice is just swinging at the air and where's the target.

                    Let's go to paired practice (with wooden weapons for safety) so we can find the targets and the distance.

                    But we can't swing or react at full speed for safety reasons so let's get some padding on our partner so we can react at full speed without worrying too much if we tap them accidentally in our excitement.

                    But we can't swing at full power through the target which means we're still not at full speed so let's modify the weapon a bit further to make it flexible and now we can swing through and see how things go at full reactive speed.

                    But we're still anticipating because it's kata practice so let's put both sides in the padding and the safety weapons and remove that foreknowledge of the kata, let's go freestyle but of course we still have to restrict the targets to the areas we have padded.

                    But now we are having problems because the techniques are severely restricted to things that are very fast and very simple and a lot of the students are only practicing stuff that "works" under our new practice conditions so let's do some solo practice to learn how to grip and cut and let's do some paired kata practice to expand the technical repertoire... and get out of the hot padding while doing the kata since we don't have to protect ourselves when we both know the pattern, timing and outcome.

                    Full circle.

                    Kim Taylor

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Fred27 View Post
                      The closest thing I've come to the ma aku is when performing the kuri tuske, kuri hanashi and tai atari. The manouver you do when "catching" the sword are done in three different ways, each faster than the previous.
                      In the first stage you do the "beginner" way for the duration of omote. Once in second stage, normally right after you hit Chudan series for the first time, you learn the second and more swifter version of catching the sword. Third stage is when you hit ran ai in which case you perform it the third way which is very fast.
                      Ma-oku is not related to speed - it is a pause or interval such as the moment when you are puting the jo away and you are waiting for the tachi to concede / shift his weight. The pause happens while you wait on events, like in iai where you pause over the fallen opponent before noto, or a really short one where you decide, 'yes I must cut him he is not giving up'.

                      But to get back to ScottUK's question, from the perspective of my limited experience, in sakan the uchidachi is supposed to stand there like a complete muppet.... It is an omote kata - there is no need for combat effectiveness, it is just teaching you a couple of new transitions.

                      As Kim Taylor said
                      I think you can ask this same question throughout the entire practice of jo. There are places where tachi simply sits around waiting for jo to hit him
                      and this is especially common in the omote kata that make up 2/3 of the seitei curriculum but you also see it at the start of ranai.

                      Sometimes it is for teaching/learning purposes, sometimes it is necessary for safety, sometimes it is necessary because of the depowering, where since the jo did not disable or cripple the tachi you have to move to the next phase by agreement like at the beginning of tachiotoshi - since the awase at the start does not finish with the jo trying to smash the sword out of the air but rather with a meeting and settling, the sword then has to stand there and let the jo step around and strike at them before reacting.

                      Aden

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Aden View Post
                        But to get back to ScottUK's question, from the perspective of my limited experience, in sakan the uchidachi is supposed to stand there like a complete muppet.... It is an omote kata - there is no need for combat effectiveness, it is just teaching you a couple of new transitions.
                        Ah that makes sense, thanks. Sometimes I think we look too hard for bunkai/riai only to find it ain't what we expected.

                        Originally posted by Aden View Post
                        As Kim Taylor said and this is especially common in the omote kata that make up 2/3 of the seitei curriculum but you also see it at the start of ranai.
                        As uchidachi against Ranai for the first time last weekend, I'll use my zero hours of jo experience and disagree. After the jo was withdrawn from up my nose, I found it extremely disabling to have the jo stuck in my wakibara. There wasn't a lot I could do except retreat to draw the sword. Definitely not standing like a muppet there...

                        Originally posted by Kim Taylor View Post
                        If you're having trouble finding the jo
                        Naah, I was paraphrasing for my lack of ability. Finding the jo ain't a problem (it's in my bag in the corner of the room, see? ) but jo handling is a different kennel of dogs. I keep falling off the end due to primate-esque arms! I'll get over it in time...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Scott..before this thread is finished..I just gotta ask: What the hell does "numpty" mean?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            This thread will never finish. I have loads of Q's on jodo.

                            Numpty? Try here. I feel that explanation #2 is the best one, although a bit harsh.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ScottUK View Post
                              This thread will never finish. I have loads of Q's on jodo.

                              Numpty? Try here. I feel that explanation #2 is the best one, although a bit harsh.
                              Explaination 2 eh?
                              "A person who never has or never will have a f*ing clue what he is doing" That pretty much sums up what I feel like when I pick up my jo....or my bokuto...or iaito....

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