Baoding Balls

Discussion in 'Aikido' started by The Lorax, Oct 30, 2006.

  1. The Lorax

    The Lorax Yellow Belt

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    I picked up a set of Baoding Balls at a oriental themed shop in the mall, for those of you who dont know, they're those golf ball sized excersize balls you roll around in your hand. I've been using them a lot lately and have found them to be quite interesting.

    At first you try to use your fingers to push them, after a bit of practice you can spin them around pretty fast. Next you try to spin them in the opposite direction, which is strangely difficult considering it's the same movements. Again, with practice you can push them around pretty well. But something is missing, you still cant get it perfect.

    You begin to really watch them. You realize it isnt the fingers that are doing the moving. By shifting your hand slightly openings appear and allow the balls to roll into them. You realize it's nescessary for both balls to move together at the exact same time and at the same speed or neither will have a place to go. With much practice you can cause the balls to rotate quickly without even appearing to move your hand.

    I'm sorry if this doesnt fall under the category of Aikido per say, but I definitely see a connection. I've found that the Baoding Balls are quite similar to Aikido and I urge those of you who have them to try using them with Aikido in mind. If you dont have them, they only cost a few dollars and they're well worth it, if you cant find them even golf balls will do.

    If this doesnt belong here, move it elsewhere, but I urge you to leave it here. Practicing with these has helped improve my understanding of Aikido very much and I feel it could do the same for others.
     
  2. tshadowchaser

    tshadowchaser Sr. Grandmaster

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    Would you explain how you think that these have helped you understan the art and practice of Aikido
     
  3. Shirt Ripper

    Shirt Ripper Black Belt

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    Try rotating them both directions without letting them touch each other. Or going over and under them, then do that without touching them. There are a few different little tricks you can do, and most don't require a great deal of practice...I enjoy them.
     
  4. shesulsa

    shesulsa Columbia Martial Arts Academy

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    I'm wondering, could you expound on the "Aikido mind" you refer to? The art I train in also uses a lot of joint locks but it not aikido and I'm wondering about the reference?

    Thanks.
     
  5. The Lorax

    The Lorax Yellow Belt

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    Sorry for not being more specific, it's a little hard to explain.
    Basically, the balls operate in the same way that many Aikido techniques do. Learning to use them follows a similar progression to training in Aikido.

    Many beginners try to force the techniques on the opponent, which doesnt work. You also cannot move through the opponent. The same holds true with the Baoding balls. The first thing I tried to do was to force them to move without really looking at why they werent going where I wanted them too. After really looking at it, I realized that I couldnt push them through each other, you've got to get them out of each other's way.

    Another similarity is the subtlety involved. While a technique may look like one thing, the real power behind it is usually a lot harder to see. Countless times I've ended up on the ground without being able to figure out how I got there. The Baoding balls work in a similar manner. You can move the balls with your fingers, but it's always going to be a little clumsy and unpredictable, becuase your focus is in the wrong place. If you realize that it isnt the fingers moving the balls, but slight changes in the slope of your hand, you can move them much more reliably. The techniques usually arent as simple as they look, the orientation of little less noticable things can have a huge effect on your technique. The direction of your palms and feet, exactly where you move your arms, and the precise point that you pivot at are extremly important in some techniques. In both cases it's the little things that make a big difference.

    Another thing that I observed was the effects of going to fast. In randori I get nervous and move faster than I should, I end up moving faster than the attacker and they no longer move with me. For a while I thought I wasnt doing it fast enough because I couldnt seem to get them to follow. I then realized that I was going too fast and they were unable to keep up. To perform a technique properly(especially ones that involve spinning) you must go at the same speed as the attacker or they get left behind and you must pull them along. The same applies with the Baoding balls. One cannot move faster than the other or they will get in each others way, or they will seperate and clash together when one catches up to the other, I see this as the equivilent of using direct force on your opponent to muscle through a technique.

    I've been taught that the basic motion of most if not all Aikido techniques is circular. The Baoding balls are two circular objects moving in a circle, they can be viewed as a simplified version of the cirlces used in aikido. They follow the same rules as our techniques, but sometimes it can be easier to see them since they lack arms and legs to get in the way of what we really need to be seeing.

    I apologize if it's still unclear. Looking back, the original post is a little bit vague. I was at work and it was three in the morning and I had been playing with the Baoding balls for hours, so I was thinking a bit strangely.
     
  6. sjzllc00

    sjzllc00 White Belt

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    If you practise baoding balls, it is better , sitting down and close eyes, you will feel more peaceful. Excercising baoding balls can make your brain health, blood moved, and get good memory and sleep. ​
     
  7. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Senior Master

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    The Baoding ball has a small ball inside the big ball. When you shake it, it will make sound like bell. It's also used to put at the 4 corners of a throwing bag. When you throw that bag among partners, the bell sound can give you warning for safety.

     

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