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#1 2011-02-23 16:42:20

Karmajampa
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From: Aotearoa (NZ)
Registered: 2006-02-12
Posts: 574
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Chinese Balls

I have just started using two pairs of 'Chinese Balls' to exercise my hands, So far I like the idea, it feels like they increase the flexibility of my thumb and fingers and release tensions.

Anyone else had experience with them ?

Kel.


Kia Kaha !

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#2 2011-02-24 05:24:05

Glenn Swann
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From: Central New Jersey
Registered: 2008-03-01
Posts: 151
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Re: Chinese Balls

yes, i use them sometimes and often recommend them to both shakuhachi and taiji students who are having hand tension issues. you basically HAVE to relax your fingers to do them properly.  they stimulate hand points nicely while building dexterity in the fingers as well.... it helps if you think more of relaxing hand/finger  muscles in sequence to make them move rather than pushing them around. usually folks start with moving them around touching, then graduate to no clangs or bangs, not touching.
good article-
http://www.qi-journal.com/Culture.asp?N … .D=Article


I followed rivers, I followed orders,I followed prophets, I followed leaders
I followed rivers, I followed highways,I followed conscience,
I followed dreamers... And I'm back here,
and I'm back here... At the edge of the sky       (New Model Army)

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#3 2011-02-24 14:24:59

Karmajampa
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From: Aotearoa (NZ)
Registered: 2006-02-12
Posts: 574
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Re: Chinese Balls

Thanks Glen, yes, relaxing the hand is indeed  a key. My forearms are feeling the exercise.

K.


Kia Kaha !

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#4 2011-02-25 01:48:33

Daniel Ryudo
Shihan/Kinko Ryu
From: Kochi, Japan
Registered: 2006-02-12
Posts: 355

Re: Chinese Balls

I also use these from time to time to loosen up my fingers; you can do the same thing with golf balls if you don't have the Chinese ones; they don't make the cool chiming noise though.  One of my bands has an old studio building crammed between a golf range and a cemetary so sometimes we collect the spares and try to think of uses for them...juggling is another thing...  Interesting article, Glenn; I'll have to try working with the three balls.

Last edited by Daniel Ryudo (2011-02-25 01:56:55)

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#5 2011-02-25 02:11:45

Karmajampa
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From: Aotearoa (NZ)
Registered: 2006-02-12
Posts: 574
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Re: Chinese Balls

I have just made eight out of clay, drying them slowly, they are solid, think after shrinking they will be of relevant size, they will be strong after firing but could well break if dropped onto hard surface, we shall see.

Whimsical ?

I am told that walnuts are also used, different sizes, they can be fairly large.

K..

Last edited by Karmajampa (2011-02-25 02:22:50)


Kia Kaha !

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#6 2011-02-25 08:39:11

mrwuwu
Member
From: Chicago, Illinois
Registered: 2007-11-23
Posts: 160

Re: Chinese Balls

Although these sets of Chinese metal heath balls are relatively inexpensive new,  in many city Chinatowns they vary from $7.99 to $12.99,    the budget conscious and the curious may find many of these items in thrift shops for a dollar or two in mint condition because the balls are an iconic travel gift to relatives when returning from a trip to China and the giftees have no idea what to do with them or don't need the benefits.  Also the weeks needed for the learning curve is lengthy, many  people give up just after an hour or two.   I have collected quite a few sets and sizes over the years in the one and two dollar range just because I thought they were way cool  and have never needed to use them til now that I study shakuhachi everyday and age and work has caught up with my hands.     I think Perry Yung should contact his peeps and have a special commemorative Chinese iron health ball made with his hanko or his photo portrait on it.  I would pay full price!   smile


" You know, it's been three years now, maybe a new teacher can help you? ...... " Sensei

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#7 2011-02-25 10:08:18

Yungflutes
Flutemaker/Performer
From: New York City
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 1040
Website

Re: Chinese Balls

mrwuwu wrote:

I think Perry Yung should contact his peeps and have a special commemorative Chinese iron health ball made with his hanko or his photo portrait on it.  I would pay full price!   smile

Thanks Mr Wuwu, I've been secretly (well..) working on something more lucrative while still staying in the realm of martial and mental health: a new weapon design - two shakuhachi tied together that doubles as nunchaku.

(Of course, all proceeds will go to the Albert Einstein Institution, a nonprofit organization advancing the study and use of strategic nonviolent action in conflicts throughout the world...)

wink


"A hot dog is not an animal." - Jet Yung

My Blog/Website on the art of shakuhachi...and parenting.
How to make an Urban Shakuhachi (PVC)

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#8 2011-02-25 10:47:03

Jam
Member
From: Oxford, England
Registered: 2009-10-02
Posts: 254

Re: Chinese Balls

Yungflutes wrote:

Thanks Mr Wuwu, I've been secretly (well..) working on something more lucrative while still staying in the realm of martial and mental health: a new weapon design - two shakuhachi tied together that doubles as nunchaku.

wink

I'm intrigued...

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#9 2011-02-25 17:51:44

Yungflutes
Flutemaker/Performer
From: New York City
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 1040
Website

Re: Chinese Balls

Jam wrote:

Yungflutes wrote:

Thanks Mr Wuwu, I've been secretly (well..) working on something more lucrative while still staying in the realm of martial and mental health: a new weapon design - two shakuhachi tied together that doubles as nunchaku.

wink

I'm intrigued...

I always thought it would be nice to play beautiful music to an opponent before he /she gets clubbed wink


"A hot dog is not an animal." - Jet Yung

My Blog/Website on the art of shakuhachi...and parenting.
How to make an Urban Shakuhachi (PVC)

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#10 2011-02-25 19:29:15

mrwuwu
Member
From: Chicago, Illinois
Registered: 2007-11-23
Posts: 160

Re: Chinese Balls

Ya' see,  Perry,  Mother Nature always goes full circle and we hear the sound of the wind thru the bamboo, again, just like the very first inspired maker, right before it hits our noggin.   I christen them the Yung Shaku Nuckus!    I had bought quite a few poorly sounding flutes before I found your website,  so I will convert those to a more useful purpose than sitting in my humidity box. smile

Last edited by mrwuwu (2011-02-25 19:38:15)


" You know, it's been three years now, maybe a new teacher can help you? ...... " Sensei

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#11 2011-02-26 10:57:50

Yungflutes
Flutemaker/Performer
From: New York City
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 1040
Website

Re: Chinese Balls

mrwuwu wrote:

Ya' see,  Perry,  Mother Nature always goes full circle and we hear the sound of the wind thru the bamboo, again, just like the very first inspired maker, right before it hits our noggin.   I christen them the Yung Shaku Nuckus!    I had bought quite a few poorly sounding flutes before I found your website,  so I will convert those to a more useful purpose than sitting in my humidity box. smile

I like the name!

Of course I was only joking and alluding to the folkloric myth about the Samurai using the shakuhachi as a weapon.  However, I did make a set once for a performance piece. They make really neat sounds swinging through the air.


"A hot dog is not an animal." - Jet Yung

My Blog/Website on the art of shakuhachi...and parenting.
How to make an Urban Shakuhachi (PVC)

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#12 2011-02-26 15:48:22

mrwuwu
Member
From: Chicago, Illinois
Registered: 2007-11-23
Posts: 160

Re: Chinese Balls

Folkloric myth? sad


" You know, it's been three years now, maybe a new teacher can help you? ...... " Sensei

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#13 2011-02-28 10:28:17

lowonthetotem
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From: Cape Coral, FL
Registered: 2008-04-05
Posts: 529
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Re: Chinese Balls

I hear Chineese Balls are smaller, on average you know.  Not meant as an indictment of anyone specifically.


"Turn like a wheel inside a wheel."

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#14 2011-02-28 10:35:49

radi0gnome
Member
From: Kingston NY
Registered: 2006-12-29
Posts: 1030
Website

Re: Chinese Balls

lowonthetotem wrote:

I hear Chineese Balls are smaller, on average you know.  Not meant as an indictment of anyone specifically.

Since you didn't include a smiley... I notice that these metal balls come in various sizes. How do you determine what size is appropriate for your hand size? This is an actual, real question I have.


"Now birds record new harmonie, And trees do whistle melodies;
Now everything that nature breeds, Doth clad itself in pleasant weeds."
~ Thomas Watson - England's Helicon ca 1580

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#15 2011-02-28 14:30:00

Karmajampa
Member
From: Aotearoa (NZ)
Registered: 2006-02-12
Posts: 574
Website

Re: Chinese Balls

At first the balls I have, two pair, frelt large and my dexterity was clumsy, but very quickly that improved and movement is now fluid, in one direction, so I am practicing reversing the direction, slowly that becomes less clumsy.

If you can practice with something else like golf balls, then have a 'hands-on' feel of some metal balls, you should have a better idea of what is suitable.

I also notice that if I overdo the exercise period I could enter RSI territory.

K.


Kia Kaha !

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#16 2011-02-28 15:34:50

mrwuwu
Member
From: Chicago, Illinois
Registered: 2007-11-23
Posts: 160

Re: Chinese Balls

Hi, RadiOgnome,  There is no " appropriate" size,  all the links seem to say start small to speed up the learning curve, meaning to be able to spin them without contact from one another,  and once you are more adept, to increase ball size and difficulty.         Oddly enough , the large ones seem easier, but then I found out to ideally spin them without the balls touching one another in one hand  is impossible without months  of practice.         Youtube has tons of great videos, and some sellers have videos of recommended ball size per small, medium,  and large hands.        Also Google Baoding Balls, Chinese Health Balls, Iron Baoding Balls,  etc.       I think to imitate some of the hand dexterity in some of these videos will take as much time and study as does shakuhachi. sad      But it is cool and my hands and fingers do feel less tight after practice, besides flute practice I will probably have to give up movies to spend the hours needed to learn  the secrets of the Iron Baoding Balls!

Last edited by mrwuwu (2011-02-28 15:37:30)


" You know, it's been three years now, maybe a new teacher can help you? ...... " Sensei

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#17 2011-02-28 18:13:55

Jam
Member
From: Oxford, England
Registered: 2009-10-02
Posts: 254

Re: Chinese Balls

lowonthetotem wrote:

I hear Chineese Balls are smaller, on average you know.  Not meant as an indictment of anyone specifically.

Goddamn I smirked at that. I'm disappointed with myself!

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#18 2011-02-28 20:02:36

J Ross
Member
From: Vancouver,Washington USA
Registered: 2010-12-18
Posts: 74
Website

Re: Chinese Balls

I have had a pair of these sitting around for many years and never used them until I read this thread.They have always been a trinket on the shelf yet now after a bit of time rolling them around I feel the muscles in my hand and arm getting sore.What a great way to work out! Thanks for the thread about these "balls of fire" :-)

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