Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Kiaaa-HA! Grand Master Pete and Yung Kwang Gojo Soo Fu Do

I ran across this before I discovered "Enter the Dojo", and I think it's every bit as funny and on-target.  Even though it looks like they've given up developing more content, it's worth your time to check out everything they did.

This is the story of Grand Master Pete and Source's Yung Kwang Gojo Soo Fu Do at Source USA Martial Arts.


Grand Master Pete has studied 11 different martial arts, is in dozens of martial arts organizations and halls of fame, and has a list of accomplishments that includes "Helped bruce lee get into the movies" (sic) and "Trained Elvis Presley under the direction of Ed Parker".

Grand Master Pete has developed the best home study course ever.  You too, can be a martial arts school master!




Grand Master Pete has a cadre of excellent instructors to assist you in your martial arts learning journey.  Here they are in a variety of inspiring martial arts poses.



The kid is their their "S.W.A.T. Team Leader" and teaches the adults class on Friday and Saturday nights.

Just like "Enter the Dojo", this was produced by real martial artists from a real martial arts school - a normal one - in Milwaukee, WI (Sorce Martial Arts).  Thus, they hit home on a number of topics near and dear to the martial arts community, including:
  • Ridiculous name for the martial art (S.Y.K.G.S.F.D. is a great abbreviation, no?)
  • Online video instruction
  • "McDojos" and franchised martial arts schools that don't require any actual martial arts knowledge
  • Colorful gis and foam weapons
  • Instructors who claim to have studied (and mastered) dozens of martial arts
  • Belt stripes - lots and lots of belt stripes
  • Championships and Halls of Fame in fake or "pay for play" organizations
  • The Elvis Presley Connection
  • The Bruce Lee Connection
  • Kid black belts teaching 
I'm sorry it didn't take off as well as "Enter the Dojo" did, because this is very, very on-target.

I suspect it didn't resonate as much as "Enter the Dojo" because it's a little too self-referential.   Non-martial artists might not get that Source USA is a parody - the targets that Source USA is skewering actually do look exactly like this, so it's not perfectly clear it's a joke to outsiders.

I hope someday they'll offer up an update at Source USA Yung Kwang Gojo Soo Fu Do. Maybe Grand Master Pete and Master Ken could meet!

Before I end this post, I just have to share one more video.  You can see them all on their site or at You Tube.  I love this one because, well, it's making fun of my art.  Also, do these guys look like they're guiding an airplane into the gate, or what?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Why Study Double Sticks at all?

Modern Arnis is typically an art of the single stick.  Many training groups only use double sticks to do a few sinawali drills (coordinated "weaving" patterns).  I think fighting with two weapons is much harder than one, and have come to appreciate the advantage of the empty (or "alive") hand.

However, I do enjoy working double sticks as well.

At Hidden Sword Martial Arts, we do a lot of double stick work (my teacher, Mark Lynn, talks about that on his blog).  We have continued that tradition of double-stick training at Mid-Cities Arnis.

Here's a double helping of PAIN!
One obvious advantage of working with two sticks is that it trains both hands at the same time in a very efficient manner.  We get a LOT of reps with both hands. I am much stronger with my weak side hand now than when I started.  This may be the single primary benefit of double stick training.

Another advantage is that double stick work translates very smoothly into empty hand techniques.  Some of our most basic two-stick techniques, like the "Combative Responses" borrowed from Kombatan, directly translate to useful empty handed techniques for self defense.

Combative Response #1

It's also easy to adapt other arts weapons, such as tonfa, sai, and kama, to our techniques and training methods.  My teacher and I have demonstrated this principle to our Kobudo friends many times.  If you can do it with sticks, you can do it with any of the other double handed weapon sets.  This makes the Filipino Martial Arts and our training methodology very flexible in terms of application.

Finally, two sticks vs. a single stick is an interesting way to solve problems of inserting and chaining together techniques and patterns.

Here's a clip of my instructor teaching a drill where we have one person with two sticks attacking someone with one from a few years ago (yes, that's me driving).  It is reminiscent of tapi-tapi drills isn't it?  This two vs. one stick drill progression starts pretty early in our curriculum.


In this drill, it's much, much harder to be the attacker, or driver (two sticks) versus the defender (one stick), as you have to think ahead.  This is valuable mental training for when we get to concepts such as baiting later on.  It's also what we use to prep our students to perform tapi-tapi - the mental skills, as well as physical skills.

Finally, double stick training is just plain fun, especially when you explore different sinawali patterns that are out there (or make up your own).

So get out there, pick up both sticks, learn some great skills, work both hands, and have a great time!

If you train in the Filipino Martial Arts, how much double stick training do you do?  

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Modern Arnis: Forms (or Anyos) with Bob Quinn

Many, if not most, Filipino Martial Arts don't have forms, but Modern Arnis does (as does Kombatan) - they're called "anyos" in our art.

I have been told that the story behind them in Modern Arnis is thus:

The Professor, once he started to expand his art to the United States, was asked by all the karate/tae kwon do/what have you guys he had forms, as that was - and still is - expected of martial arts in the US.

The Professor said, "Why, yes, yes we do!" and proceed to make them up!

I hope someone more knowledgeable than I will fill me in on whether or not this is true, and how they came to be over time. I don't know the story behind them in Kombatan, so if someone can enlighten me, I'd appreciate it.

Not all Modern Arnis and Kombatan schools teach or use the anyos.  Many think they're just not necessary. However, my teacher +Mark Lynn at Hidden Sword Martial Arts does use them, and I've found the material interesting and useful, especially as a teacher.

Having both the stick (well, actually, sword) and empty hand forms have given our school something to compete with at tournaments if we wish.  We competed for the first time in fall 2013 at the AKATO tournament and did very well, especially in the weapons competition (of course).

The video I want to share showing the four "baston" anyos we perform features Master Bob Quinn, who unfortunately died in 2010.  I use this video he left behind as a reference for how I like to do them myself -  it's one of my favorites and we are all poorer with his passing.

Master Bob Quinn. Click here to learn more.
We came up with a modified version of the four anyos into a one big "competition" anyo that I competed with at my first tournament ever - yes, I'm such a genius that I wait to compete in my first martial arts tournament as a black belt.  Hey, I won second place.  Take that, toothpick bo flippy guy!

Enjoy!



Saturday, February 15, 2014

When Mat Time is Family Time

Like many adult women, I initially got involved in the martial arts via my family.

My daughter started up first, then a few years later, my husband started, and then I was the last one to join in a few months after he stepped on the mat.

I very much enjoy the fact that our entire family has essentially the same hobby.  My daughter is studying Tae Kwon Do, while my husband and I are studying Modern Arnis.  We all study at the same school under the same teacher.  Our youngest daughter wants to start class as soon as she's old enough.

Younger Daughter demonstrating a Dos Manos drill.
That's one of the great things about the martial arts.  It's usually something an entire family can do together, each with their own individual achievements.

However, there are pros and cons to training with family.

PROS:

  • Mutual support  system: We all understand the issues and problems each of us struggle with, because we're all doing essentially the same thing.  We can talk to each other about issues we're having and because we have deep knowledge of the subject, we can genuinely be very helpful.
  • Martial Arts Geekery: We always have someone we can discuss the martial arts with - yes, when you're geeky about it as we all are, it's important!
  • Equipment:  we can share some equipment, especially weapons (that helps save money, believe me).
  • Schedules: while we have different "martial arts" nights, we all have essentially the same schedule and we're not going different directions every night of the week.

CONS:

  • Hypersensitivity to criticism: I think, when you are in a close relationship, it's easy to take constructive criticism in an training environment personally. It *feels* hurtful, even if it's no different than what someone completely unrelated to you might say.
  • Imbalance of Power:  If both partners of a couple are training together, this can be very difficult. On the mat, one person may have higher rank and knowledge than the other. Off the mat, the couple should be essentially equals.  Sometimes, it's difficult to make a distinction between the two situations - accepting the higher/lower status on the mat and the equal status off the mat (one bleeds into the other).  It may drive one half of the couple to quit training to save the relationship.
  • Schedules: since you're all doing the same thing all the time, it leaves little time to get other stuff done (like laundry!)
Do you train with family? What do you like and dislike about it?  I'd love to know!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Shenanigans! Thomas Daw and the MFMA

Online martial arts schools.  Belt mills and buying into "Halls of Fame".  Black belt/sash in lots of styles. 10th Dan by age 30.  All this comes together in today's Shenanigans.  Note:  All images and videos from Mr. Daw are used here for review and parody purposes under fair use.

Check out our friend Thomas Daw.

Because it's really impressive to twirl  foam nunchaku
with no actual strikes when you're blindfolded.
Mr. Daw sells online martial arts courses on Ebay and via his web site.  He has taken down his YouTube channel, but much of the content was archived on this channel here.

As of January 2014, here is what he claims (captured from his web site):


Hokay.  Founded three different martial arts in ten years?  "Recognized Internationally"? "Certified Knife Master and Kamas Instructor"?   And he mastered all those arts and stuff by the age of 30?  Impressive.

This sentence is the one that cracks me up the most in his bio:  "It was no surprise that when Master Thomas approached Doryoku Ryu for a job as assistant teacher he was told he was over-qualified."  Riiiggghhtt.

Well, claims are one thing, but let's go to the videos and watch him in action.  Mr. Daw has many videos showing his martial arts mastery.  Well, actually, many videos claiming mastery and trying to sell his home video study course and fighting with the guys over at Bullshido (where I first learned of this guy), but there are a few videos in which he actually does something that might be vaguely "martial artsy".

Let's try this one:


My questions:
  1. Where's the power?  No strikes are delivered with any power at all.  According to his bio, he's a Black Belt in TKD that he earned at age 16, which I actually somewhat believe, looking at what he does, because it looks like bad TKD combined with a poor understanding of Tai Chi and Kung Fu. TKD white belts hit with better technique than this. My six year old TKD white belt daughter punches with more force and intent than this.
  2. Are all of the strikes supposed to be delivered in horse stance?  I mean, horse stance?  Really?
  3. Why does he not use his hips and legs in any strike? Does he think that strikes are from the arm only?
  4. Why are all his strikes coming from the waist?  Does the concept of a "fighting stance" and "chambering" elude him?
  5. What does he believe he is hitting with these strikes?  What's the bunkai?  Does he in fact know the word "bunkai"?
  6. Has he, in fact, actually ever hit anything with these strikes?  I see a punching bag there in his basement, but I don't think he's tried to hit it with many of these strikes, because it looks to me like he'd really hurt himself.
  7. Does he teach his students to stand in one place at all times?  Looks to me like he does (see other videos of him below).  It could be the constraint of doing this by himself in a very small basement, so he has to set his camera and fit the frame, but... you can't teach people properly this way (if he's interested in that, which I doubt).
Here's what "Grand Master" Daw teaches his SIXTH DAN students (to be honest, I doubt he has any...):


Now, I'm not an expert by any means, but I'm pretty sure strikes shouldn't look like you are swatting away gnats from your head.   THIS IS HIS SIXTH DAN "KATA".  Sixth. Freaking. Dan.

Well, never mind punching in the air, what about self defense?  That's what it's all about, right?  Here's some self defense "techniques".



This video reminds me of TKD one-steps.  Sloppily performed, no power, bad technique, zero understanding of human anatomy, off balance, and against an opponent-that-is-apparently-either- a-broken-store-mannequin-or-a-corpse TKD one-steps.

One more, because it's a doozy.


You can be better with one hand than most are with two.  Okay - but why?  And secondly, why do you remind me of this?



Learn how to kick like they do in the movies?  You mean, completely unrealistically and for entertainment purposes only?

For the rest of the video...  yes, that's the same nunchaku form you did blindfolded.  It's not very impressive, sir, especially with trainer foam nunchaku.  My older daughter did better in competition when she was seven.

Then he does single sinawali with a short club (I think he must have seen an FMA video on YouTube once) and then tries some tonfa-ish strikes with the same club, and then he BADLY plays around with tonfa (I'm embarrassed for him on this one, it's truly awful).

Then he flails around at high speed (Hurticane, anybody?), and the combos... oh, just...



One more video - this one is audio only, and this is the one that explains the rest.  Listen to the whole thing.


So, Daw claims that in-person training is a scam and that by training two-three times a week, you can be 1st Dan black belt in six months.  Other styles are just dragging it out to make money off you, and his style - again, a few months - is practically a bargain.



Well, to be fair, in HIS style(s), I don't know it would take all of six months to master.

This man calls himself a GRAND MASTER.  The truth is that he bought his Grandmaster-ship from a well known belt mill in the USA.  He knows next to nothing about the martial arts, and sending him a single solitary cent in any currency would be wasted.

Shenanigans, Mr. Daw.  SHENANIGANS.

UPDATE: NOVEMBER 2015

A few updates and an edit or two to fix broken links and whatnot.

Mr. Daw pointed out the Snake Fist video I had in this post was not Snake Fist Karate.  I stand corrected - it looked like something legitimate and completely not made up in the video I shared, versus anything I have ever seen from Mr. Daw. I would hate for the competent martial artist in that video to be in any way associated with Mr. Daw accidentally.  So I have removed that video from this post.

Mr. Daw tried to get the Guinness Book of World Records to certify him as the fastest or bestest puncher-er (or something). They refused.  I'm not quite sure what Mr. Daw thinks this proves.

This is what Mr. Daw, himself (here), posted that Tom Ibsen at Guinness said:

Dear Thomas Daw,

Thank you for your enquiry.

This is not something we can monitor at Guinness World Records. We cover a huge number of records in different category areas, not just martial arts. While we certainly do not underestimate your proposal, we think that it is a little too specialised for a body of reference as general as Guinness World Records.

Although we are not currently able to accept your proposal for a new record, we will keep your details on file and will let you know if our decision changes in the near future.

Yours sincerely,
Tom Ibison
Guinness World Records
What this actually proves is that the folks at Guinness have a very nice and well-written form letter to reject inquiries of this kind.  And sorry for linking there, the text makes the eyes bleed, I know.  The concept of mixed case, much like much of the fundamentals of the martial arts, has escaped Mr. Daw.

Mr. Daw has joined the Black Dragon Fighting Society.  If you don't know what that is, it's basically a fraud organization picking off the carcass of Count Dante.  It's a belt mill associated with such luminaries as Ashida Kim.  Because if you want to go somewhere for legitimacy, it's a society associated with Ashida Kim, right? Riiigght.  The primary qualification to join the BDFS is making sure the check clears.

Mr. Daw has not, in the years since this post was originally made, posted a single video of himself training with another live, breathing human being.  Fake testimonial videos where he used an online text-to-voice app and then claimed it was a student of his?  Yep.  Written hit pieces at fiction sites under a fake name? Oh yeah.  Created free site after free site yelling in all caps and claiming how awesome he is?  Definitely.

But an actual video of Mr. Daw with another human being doing some martial arts training?  Nope.

I don't even ask for alive training - just a video of "Grand Master" Daw actually training with another person.  A man, a woman, a child , his mom, his dad, one of his siblings, some bum off the street - anybody.  I'm pretty sure I'll be waiting a few more years on that one.

I'd also love to see a video of him actually punching his punching bag, but I won't hold my breath on that either.

Mr. Daw remains, as of this writing, the David Brent of the martial arts world.  Except David Brent would kick his butt.



UPDATE: MARCH 2017

Mr. Daw has decided to go on another out-of-the-blue spasm of death threats and shenanigans, aimed at a single individual, Dale Dugas.  He does this every few months.

He mentions me on rare occasion (Hi Tommy!) but most of his impotent ire is aimed at Dr. Dugas.  Dr. Dugas is a legitimate practitioner of Iron Palm techniques and of Southern Mantis Gung Fu, and is also a well respected herbalist and acupuncturist (licensed in Florida), known in many martial arts circles for his excellent Dit Da Jow.  Here's the link to screen shots of Mr. Daw's rantings, if you want to know what kind of person "Grand Master" Daw really is.


Hey, Black Dragon Fighting Society folks - you guys proud he's one of yours?

It's interesting that he's made sure that he only attacks people who live a continent away, isn't it?  It's not like Mr. Daw will ever have the funds to travel outside of Cornwall (stocking shelves at the local do-it-yourself hardware store can't pay much, especially for a guy in his 30's, even if he lives with Mum).  And as much as many of us would love to meet Mr. Daw in the flesh, the expense to get to such a small corner of the world is a bit much for us normal, non-Grand Master types.

Here's a new video from Mr. Daw.  He has this stuff on his free Wix page (come on, Tommy, domains aren't that pricey) HERE, behind his usual walls of poorly punctuated text. Be sure to mute your sound as he's added a soundtrack from one of those free text-to-voice services to make it sound "professional".

I am amazed that after all this time he's still as bad as he was years ago.  You would think, even if a person were working solo but hitting the bags, you'd see some improvement, but NOPE.



I still believe Mr. Daw doesn't ever hit or kick that heavy bag he owns. It's impossible to do so and have that terrible of a technique. 

I will repeat my request to him - post video of yourself hitting and kicking your bag, using the techniques you show in your videos (and if you think I haven't seen one of your courses, sir, think again, because I have, and it was hilarious).

Let's see what a Grand Master can do to a bag.  You don't even have to demonstrate on a live human being, much less one that is resisting, because we both know how that one will turn out, don't we, "Grand Master" Daw?

Again, I won't hold my breath.


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Hitting the Bags

In Modern Arnis, we  train "alive", in that much of what we do involves pairs of people trading off hitting each other, versus hitting or kicking in the air.

Like most martial arts, we are holding back a bit, and not coming with as much force as we might in real life, because we don't want to hurt our partner.  This is a learning situation, not one in which we are trying to "gotcha" our training partners - well, not usually, anyway.

Starting (almost) day one, we are always faced with the possibility of injury, mostly that of getting hit with a stick, or worse (and yes, it's worse) injuring a training partner because we aren't hitting with the appropriate force or the right target or angle.  It's one of the things we have to overcome to do our martial art - the fear of injury.

When you work with weapons making contact, the risk of serious injury goes up considerably.

However, it's also important for us to be able to hit things as hard as we like, without the worry of hitting our partner.  Thus, we hit the bags, both with sticks, and as you can see here, empty hand, too.

Yes, we do hit stuff without a stick!
Especially when you're new, you have to let some of the pressure of defending perfectly and the fear of harming your training partner.  That is the fun of hitting the bags, the "letting go" for a little bit and just coming as hard and fast as you can.

So it's fun, and as we all know, it's good exercise too.

I'm teaching today.  Guess what we're doing.

Chuck likes hitting stuff.







The Need for Flexibility in the Martial Arts

It's not uncommon, in some martial arts schools, to insist that a technique be performed only one specific way by all students. While this is especially true in forms (and that's a rant for another day), I've been taught this to be true in self defense techniques as well in my martial arts journey.

Take this group: do you think that every technique would work equally well for each person?

Our Arnis class circa 2011-2012.
I'd be the shorty in the red pants in the back.
The male blue belt (Mr. Stick Chick) and the arnisador I'm playing with are about the same height and weight, but I'm noticeably shorter, smaller, and weaker in upper body strength, and the guy in the black and white pants is middling height and very fit and strong.

So, should we all use the exact same techniques all the time?  Obviously, the question is no!

Here's one simple example. Let's take what we call the #1 combative response:

Empty hand interpretation, of course...
Typically, we train that you block with the same side hand on the incoming attack, and you strike with the opposite side hand.  As you can see here, the #1 target we teach is the face, head, or neck.

However, perhaps the defender in the gray shirt, who is not much taller than I am, has a better target available on the torso - the palm-heel he is delivering isn't as strong as it could be if both partners were of similar height. It might be best for the defender to alter the target for the counter-attack based on where he can deliver the most damage - in this case, the solar plexus, the ribs, or the groin.

Perhaps, versus a very tall opponent, the #1 combative response isn't the best choice at all - he could choose to palis-palis (go with the force), passing the incoming weapon over his head, for example, which opens up a host of targets for counterattack (and has the advantage of moving away from the area of attack by the other hand/foot not being engaged).

Does that render the #1 combative response invalid and something he shouldn't train?  Of course not!  Just because it does not work well for him versus this specific opponent, does not mean it might not work very well versus someone else.

My instructor +Mark Lynn  at Hidden Sword Martial Arts says he heard +Datu Hartman explain it thus (paraphrasing, of course), in context of "category completion":

Let's say you learn four techniques well enough to teach them (call them #1, #2, #3, and #4).

For me:
  • "A" technique (the one that works best in most situations) might be the #3 technique
  • "B" technique (next best) might be the #2 technique
  • "C" technique (not a go-to unless a specific situation arises) might be #4 technique
  • "D" technique (not something to choose) would be the #1 technique
I need to know all four, because for a student who is taller, stronger, shorter, or weaker than I, the order of preference may be different.  I should "complete the category" so that I understand all the variants.

To be fair, sometimes, it makes no sense to do something purely for category completion's sake - such as supported blocking against the low strikes to the knee, where a different block (a straight on force-to-force block, for example) would always be better.  Still... just because it's not ideal for you, does not mean it wouldn't work well for someone else or in a different context, and thus, you should complete the category.

My instructor has been a martial artist for 30 years, and is always training to learn new things - it's one of my favorite things about him.  In class, it is not unusual for someone to come up with something he'd never seen or considered before (because they aren't him - they aren't his size, don't have his experience, don't have his strengths and weaknesses).  He's always delighted by this and adds this to his toolbox when it happens.  This is, in my opinion, one of the major things that makes him an excellent martial artist and teacher - his flexibility of mind.

I aim to that same level of flexibility, so that someday, I can be a good martial artist and a good teacher to my future students.

What do you think?  What's the downside to flexibility in training?  Is there a one best way that you've found?  I'd love to know!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Modern Arnis: Master Ken Smith

Today I want to feature an excellent martial artist and Modern Arnis player: Ken Smith.

Image from Master Smith's Google Plus Page
Ken Smith is a MOTT - a Master of Tapi-Tapi - and I love how smooth and fast he flows.  Very enjoyable video to watch.

Master Smith is really good at incorporating the teachings of kyusho and pressure points into Modern Arnis applications in particular, and I use his videos as a reference point often.

First up - the Kitchen Sink.  This is just why our art is so darn fun.  It's hard NOT to smile when you get to do this sort of thing.



This sort of thing just makes me giddy.

Next - in our classes, we refer to this as one of our "policing techniques".  Watch how he gets the lock.



He also incorporates one of my favorite kicks (mule kick to the back of the knee).

See more of Master Smith's videos at his YouTube channel, or find him at his web page http://modernarnisacademy.com/


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Two Handed weapons training - why bother?

You might know that I've added on studying the Jo in my training.  If you've never studied it, the Jo is a two-handed short staff that legend has it designed specifically to fight against a two-handed Japanese sword.  The techniques you are taught greatly mimic that sword in many ways.

I mainly study Modern Arnis, where the weapons work is generally with one-handed weapons (stick, knife, short sword or machete).  The idea is that the empty hand is available to grab and punch in concert with the weapon.  I find one-handed weapons to be very practical, especially in modern times.  There are numerous environmental tools that can be adapted to what I've learned (everything from a pen or pencil, to a racquetball or tennis racket, to an umbrella or cane, or even a laptop or a backpack or lunch tray).

From top to bottom: (A) Bo (B) Jo (C) Bahi-Bahi Arnis stick
(D) Everyday rattan Arnis stick (E) Short club from
a sawed-off pool cue I keep in my house for defense
I have had (brief) training in the Bo, but to be honest, it's not my favorite weapon, as I find it huge, heavy and impractical for my personal strategy of self defense. I do not - and will not - use a small "toothpick" type Bo, which is about the size of a Jo anyway.  I never walk around with anything as big as a Bo, nor is one generally available in my environment (unless you count a floor lamp, I suppose).

I took up the Jo because I think the shorter staff has practicality in modern times. The Jo is about as long as a walking stick I use to hike with, or a broom handle, or even an (unbroken) pool cue.

Also, as someone interested in weapons in general, I wanted to learn two-handed techniques in case the need ever arose and such a tool was available.  Remember, a part of my personal self defense strategy is, whenever practical, to use my environment to arm myself versus an attacker. So, it's unwise to not have experience in longer weapons.

So, while my key strategy is based on a shorter stick (or equivalent) where I can use one-handed techniques, I'm studying Jo to add skill with longer weapons to my arsenal.

I'll study a bunch of other weapons in the due course of time (including the Bo), because it generally interests me, but in my opinion, what I'm learning in Arnis, plus the Jo, adds up to a pretty good weapons-based self defense strategy that does not include firearms.

What I have learned thus far?
  • The Jo has a lot of techniques where you switch grips.  That's not an easy thing to do, especially in the middle of delivering a strike.  This shows the flexibility of the short staff, as you can actually do these changes in grip relatively easily, since the Jo is not very heavy.
  • I have to remember, when thrusting with the Jo, to twist my hands so that they are both positioned on top of the Jo (palm down).  In Arnis, we often twist the opposite direction (you end up palm up).
Do you practice the Jo? Have you adjusted from single handed weapons to two-handed weapons (or vice-versa)?  What difficulties did you encounter?  I'd love to know!