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 Post subject: Jar Training
PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:06 pm 
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So last week I watched Mr. Gushi pick up the kamae jars. I saw each muscle flex, each tendon on stretch, I saw his veins swell with blood. It helps that he has 2% body fat so I can see all these things.

Then I bought his conditioning DVD from Tsuami and watch him do the jars and watched him poke around on Joe Graziano as he did the jars.

Image

And I think, I get it now.

Now - that might seem a silly thing to say after 10 years in Uechi. But I don't think I ever fully, understood what the jar training was about. That doesn't mean my teacher didn't show me and tell me, I just didn't get it. I not sure I even could have understood it until a couple of years ago - simply because I don't think I knew my own body well enough to find each and every muscle and feel every little tendon.

Sanchin training with nigiri gamae is a very old and very specific training. The teacher touches a muscle to bring the student's attention to it. Then student then adds that muscle to the group of muscles being activated. The jars enhance the gripping and grabbing, help remind the student to keep their shoulders down, and with added weight - add additional stress to the overall body - a body that is already being asked to engage itself at 100%.

I've had a set of jars for a few years and I've used them...but I don't think I've ever used them the way I have in the last week.

I don't know if the jar training is Okinawan or Chinese and I honestly don't care. However, I am starting to believe sanchin is really two forms.

In with the jars training (sanchin nigiri-kami/kamae/game/) - the student is asked to activate 100% of their muslces 100% of the time. Hard, hard, hard qigong. As hard as humanly possible.

In without the jars sanchin (sanchin kata) - the students starts the half hard half soft training - everything can't be hard 100% of the time. Then you go along the Uechi continuum and get to sanseiryu - where things are soft until they need to be hard. (Soft doesn't mean floppy - it means a baseline)

I'm also deepening my understanding of why the two parts of the sanchin training have equal emphasis - even though that doesn't mean equal time.

And I've got a question if anyone could share the answer I'd be grateful.

In watching, in person, Mr. Narahiro Shinjo, Mr. Gushi, Mr. Toyama, and Mr. Gaziano do some or a full kata of the jar training - at some point while on full activation they all did this thing of streching the neck around - some with more motion than others.

Why?

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Last edited by Dana Sheets on Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 12:37 am 
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Location: Milford, MA, US
Hi Dana,

Gushi Sensei has instructed me that in Sanchin testing as well as Sanchin Gami (as he prefers to call it), one should be ready to take strikes to (almost) any part of the body at any time.

My moving of the neck was not so much stretching as it was to help prepare for his testing of this area.

He has also instructed however that it is important to stretch out and rest after Sanchin testing and Sanchin Gami training.

Joe


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 8:17 pm 
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Hi Joe,
Thanks for writing and answering my question. It was fun to see you in the video - and it helps to see images of sunny San Diego when DC is covered in slushy grey ice!

Is the jar training started from the very beginning with new students or is it something that is added in at a later time?

I remember that I learned the basic idea of standing there and holding the jars as a white belt - but I don't know if that's typical.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2007 12:45 am 
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Location: Milford, MA, US
Actually it was filmed in Van Nuys - at the Suiho en Dojo.

Like so many of our "secrets" (e.g., Sanchin) this material is openly presented to even the newest of Uechi practitioners.

Funny how we don't really appreciate it though until a number of years have passed and our depth of study increases.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2007 1:13 am 
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It looks to be a beautiful place. Do you know how Suiho En came to be?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2007 1:17 am 
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http://www.thejapanesegarden.com/

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2007 1:23 am 
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More on who designed the garden:
Quote:

Name: Kawana Koichi (1930-1990)
URL
Country UNITED STATES
Added to JGarden 8/11/2001
Last Updated 1/23/2005
Description Kawana Koichi was one of the great designers of Japanese-inspired gardens in North America. Born in Hokkaido March 16, 1930, Dr. Kawana became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1971. He received a B.S from Yokohama Municipal University in 1951; an M.A. in 1959 and M.F.A. in 1964 from University of California, Los Angeles and a Doctorate from Pacific Western University in 1979. He was a professor and lecturer on Japanese landscape architecture, Japanese art and environmental design at UCLA for 24 years.

Dr. Kawana is credited with designing many of the finest Japanese-inspired gardens in North America including:

* Shofu-en at the Denver Botanic Gardens;
* Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant, Van Nuys, California;
* Seiwa-en at the Missouri Botanical Garden;
* Minnesota Landscape Arboretum at the University of Minnesota;
* Memphis Botanic Garden;
* Sab Diego Balboa Park;
* The Bloedel Reserve, Bainbridge, Washington; and
* Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

Kawana was honored with several award for his contributions to design including Progressive Architecture's design award in 1972; the Companionate of Merit, Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem in Edinburgh in 1974 (Knight's grade in 1990); the Victor M. Carter Diamond Award of the Japan America Society of Southern California in 1980; and the Henry Shaw Medal in 1987.

Displaying a sensitivity toward traditional Japanese design principles and aesthetics, Dr. Kawana was critical of some modern Japanese-style gardens which merely grouped together typical Japanese garden features. His essay "Symbolism and Esthetics in the Traditional Japanese Garden" on the garden�s website is worth reading.

Bibliography
Kawana K�ichi. "The Challenge of Building a Japanese Garden in the United States." Plants & Gardens, Brooklyn Botanic Garden Record: Japanese Gardens. New York: Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 1990.

http://www.jgarden.org/biographies.asp?ID=118

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2007 5:54 pm 
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i'm currently having some problems with my stance. often falling into bad habits when tired or sparring. leaning forward. one of my instructors showed me some photos from an okinawan tournament to demonstrate a better stance. i've also just watched a dvd from the okikukai that showed sanchin gami and it looked like a great way to improve posture / stance.

the video you mention sounds great! where can i get it? http://www.dragon-tsunami.org/ is that where you got it?

tia.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2007 6:50 pm 
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Yes - that's where I bought DVD. They do a good job and their classical fighting arts publication is a pleasure to read.

These are the jars I use:
Image

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2007 7:00 pm 
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And these folks used to make custom jars - but I don't know if they still do or if they were ever any good at it.
http://www.doshinmartialarts.com/Nigiri.htm

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:46 pm 
I want to start using the jars. Does anybody know the company that makes a modern version which you put weights on? I think it is called a "power punches" or something similar


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 7:14 pm 
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Shureido also makes clay jars. I'd really encourage the clay over the metal - the clay has at least a little flex to it - the metal will have no flex and over the long-term. But I don't really know how much different.
http://www.shureidousa.com/training/sanchinjars.html

I've seen the ones you're talking about but didn't find the site in my bookmarks. They look like little barbells with segmented grips.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 8:28 pm 
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here's what I think you're looking for...I'm not sure it is going to do the same thing..but it probably could. My worry is that weird indentation for the thumb - and that the gripping area will be so thin that you'll be digging into the tendons and nerves on the inside of your fingers. Whereas the jar lip has a greater surface area.

http://www.bushipower.com/pbpc.php

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:17 pm 
Thanks Dana :)
they are the ones that I was thinking about..There are some jars at the club I go to, but I don't think anybody uses them, but I'll ask to have a go before I buy a set. The reason that I like the metal ones is that they are easy to get shipped to me, and I can vary the weight and they will also do as a chi-ishi :wink: ...but I'll think about what you said


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:44 pm 
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Be sure to engage your back as much as your front. I find that folks like to focus the muscles they can see in mirror and forget about using the ones everyone else can see. :)
-d

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