Monday, October 14, 2013

Interesting phenomenon - the toe-jo conjunction

A while back I was talking with or watching a video of an aikido instructor - I can't remember who - might have been Nick Lowry or George Ledyard.  Anyway, they were talking about a curious kinesthetic phenomenon in which people are able to extend their sense of proprioception outside their body.  Sounds like some astral projection hoohoo, but go with me a bit here.
The demonstration they used was for tori to get a connection with uke through a wrist grab, close their eyes, and then proceed to reach with the free hand to touch uke's opposite shoulder or knee or free hand.  I've tried this game with several folks - some beginner white belts, and more often than not, so long as there is a connection tori can either reach directly to a target or get real close.
I recently discovered another example or demonstration of what I think is the same phenomenon.  I carry a jo with me whenever I go for a walk - partly as a dog-warder, partly as an exercise weight, and partly just to get used to the weight and balance of the stick.  I have found that I can hold the stick near one end, drop the tip, and kick the tip back upward.  I almost never miss.  Toe always meets jo, even when holding the dog leash with the other hand, walking on uneven surfaces, looking somewhere else, or changing where I hold the jo.
I need to run this game with some other folks to see if it's just me or if it is something everyone can do naturally or if it is a training effect.

Want to discuss this blog post? 

Patrick Parker
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