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Thread: Dit Da Jow

  1. #1
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    Question Dit Da Jow

    I am a karate practitioner, kyokushin, and am now starting to study about ancient shaolin methods of liniment use, mainly in iron palm. There is a connection in that in karate we also hit bags of metal shot, repeatedly, and also break stones, etc... I understand that this is a deep tradition in chinese medicine and martial arts of this kind, using herbal liniment. They say that this is one of the secrets to being able and having longevity in your old age while doing iron palm, in china. I thought that it would be quite applicable and found advertisements online for dit da jow, the name of the kind oif ligament, not only for iron palm, but for makiwara as well (for those who don't know, makiwara is a special flat board attached to a woden beam that you practice hitting repeatedly in karate, it is an old okinawan training tool). I was surprised to find out that other practitioners of karate had the same idea as me and am now wondering if there was a similar such linament used by opther practitioners of karate, especially seeing that all oriental medicine has its roots in china, traditional korean and japanese medicine are their modified version of the original chinese medical practice. Does anybody have any information on this by any chance?
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    I don't have any historical insights to offer, but I can say that there are numerous medicinal texts in Korean, and some in Japanese, all written in Chinese characters. Korea and Japan were, for varying periods and extents, the recipients of benign or aggressive Chinese cultural exchange. This included Chinese social constructs such as Confucianism, its arts and sciences -- including medicine and anatomy, character-based writing system, agricultural products, garden design, music, etc.

    On a more contemporary level, there was a lot of "cultural overlap" among MA students, back when I was a karate and CMA student, with karate and other JMA students frequenting the Chinese herbal shops in Boston's Chinatown to buy dit da jow (lit. "bruise hit wine").

    Not sure whether it promotes longetivity, but the theosulphates and other sulpher-related compoinds in dit da jow do break down ruptured red blood cells and allow the body to readsorb them, speeding up the healing process. There may be other metabolic dynamics in play, but my understanding that this is dit da jow's main function.

    When I trained in CMAs, I used "jow" copiously and got a recipe from one of my teachers that involved a long list of various herbs, suspended in a clear alchohol such as vodka or gin. It definitely sped the healing process considerably -- bad bruises healed in a third of the time they'd normally take. Downside is, you have to massage it into the bruise so it can sink in subcutaneously. When the bruise is new and tender, this is almost as unpleasant as whatever was the cause of the bruise in the first place!

    Quote Originally Posted by brendan V Lanza View Post
    I am a karate practitioner, kyokushin, and am now starting to study about ancient shaolin methods of liniment use, mainly in iron palm. There is a connection in that in karate we also hit bags of metal shot, repeatedly, and also break stones, etc... I understand that this is a deep tradition in chinese medicine and martial arts of this kind, using herbal liniment. They say that this is one of the secrets to being able and having longevity in your old age while doing iron palm, in china. I thought that it would be quite applicable and found advertisements online for dit da jow, the name of the kind oif ligament, not only for iron palm, but for makiwara as well (for those who don't know, makiwara is a special flat board attached to a woden beam that you practice hitting repeatedly in karate, it is an old okinawan training tool). I was surprised to find out that other practitioners of karate had the same idea as me and am now wondering if there was a similar such linament used by opther practitioners of karate, especially seeing that all oriental medicine has its roots in china, traditional korean and japanese medicine are their modified version of the original chinese medical practice. Does anybody have any information on this by any chance?
    Cady Goldfield

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    Default Dit Da Jow

    Uechi Ryu founder Kambun Uechi was said to have an extensive manual on using Kampo(Chinese Medicine) for various training injuries and such. Many of the Okinawan Sensei I have met over the years had herbal knowledge and used liniments and herbs for training, yet did not teach it very openly for some reason.

    The Bubishi has a collection of formula as well.

    I make and sell Dit Da Jow and have been doing so for over 15 years. I trained in Uechi Ryu Karate as a youth and then moved onto Chinese styles which I teach presently.

    You can PM here or email me off forum for more information.

    Good Dit Da Jow is no longer relegated to dark and dingy herb shops.

    Derek Steel, my friend and Daito Ryu teacher has used my formulas with great success.

    let me know how I can be of service to you.

    Be well, train hard and heal quickly.

    Dale Dugas
    Last edited by Dale Dugas; 10th August 2008 at 11:51.
    Dale Dugas, MAOM, Cipl. OM, Lic. Ac.
    Coiling Dragon Herbs

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    Personally, I don't think that the use of linaments is 100% necessary for makiwara training, iron palm, etc. Understand that at the time, linaments were the only medicine available. Ice and warm heat can be obtained from many sources.

    If you think it will somehow make your practice better, I would stick with more modern methods of recuperation. However, if you are more interested in the history of it, then try to find a practitioner of Chinese Medicine, as he or she would have more complete knowledge on the subject of healing with herbs and linaments than most MA teachers.
    Glenn R. Manry

    ---Iaijutsu, don't forget the doorman.

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    Dit Da Jow works but what it is made of was always a mystery. We always thought it smelled like ground up cockroaches and opium, laced with Kikkoman soy sauce. After banging one’s knuckles on a makiwara then applying Dit Da Jow one could use a file and shape the knuckles very nicely.

    I never really ever smelled opium, but Palmetto bugs do actually smell badly!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DustyMars View Post
    Dit Da Jow works but what it is made of was always a mystery. We always thought it smelled like ground up cockroaches and opium, laced with Kikkoman soy sauce.
    Actually, wingless cockroaches are an important trauma herb and often show up in both external trauma liniments and formulas used for internal use. In fact, I've got a gallon jar out in the storage room right now filled with 'em, mixed with pyrite in 100 proof alchohol. They are used to heal fractures, disperse swelling and bruising and treat pain.

    Also have a really nice ant tincture, too.
    Josh Lerner

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    Quote Originally Posted by gmanry View Post
    Personally, I don't think that the use of linaments is 100% necessary for makiwara training, iron palm, etc. Understand that at the time, linaments were the only medicine available. Ice and warm heat can be obtained from many sources.

    If you think it will somehow make your practice better, I would stick with more modern methods of recuperation. However, if you are more interested in the history of it, then try to find a practitioner of Chinese Medicine, as he or she would have more complete knowledge on the subject of healing with herbs and linaments than most MA teachers.
    Liniment use is actually something that is not talked about much in Okinawa I remember hearing that Sensei Higaonna of Goju Ryu uses a Chinese oil after he beats his hands up. Go figure....

    Funny that people over here in the Western world seem to think causing bruises, which are hematoma (blood clots) over time are something to just ignore. Chinese medicine addresses it and says NEVER to leave a bruise alone but to treat any and all of them as a piece of the clot could potentially break off and travel to your brain, heart or lungs and cause you to be injured or die.

    Ice and heat alone are not even in the same league as using dit da jow. It is more like saying kindergarten is comparable to high school.

    Too many people from all styles have used it and seen how it can help. Ignoring such evidence is rather foolish.

    be well, train hard and heal quickly.

    Dale Dugas
    Dale Dugas, MAOM, Cipl. OM, Lic. Ac.
    Coiling Dragon Herbs

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua Lerner View Post
    Actually, wingless cockroaches are an important trauma herb and often show up in both external trauma liniments and formulas used for internal use. In fact, I've got a gallon jar out in the storage room right now filled with 'em, mixed with pyrite in 100 proof alchohol. They are used to heal fractures, disperse swelling and bruising and treat pain.

    Also have a really nice ant tincture, too.
    YUK! My old buddy, Hawaiian kajukenbo guy, would come up with a bottle of that stuff and would joke about what it was made of. We had a great time discussing it over jugs of Texas beer back in the days.

    The only time I would smell a Palmetto bug was when they would wake me up staring at me eye(s) to eye. Glad I moved away from Miami!

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    Default Mr. Dugas...

    It seems obvious that you are a traditional advocate of Dit Da Jow and that you obviously have tried to expert yourself in making itas well. Why don't you educate us a bit more in its benefits and the different kinds of Dit Da Jow that were traditionally used, for I have heard that there are several differet kinds with several applications to them. One famous one, which I don't know much about, is the 8 immortals elixir/Da Jow, not sure, I've heard both. Is it an elixir or a Da Jow?
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    Brendan Lanza

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    A great resource about Chinese medicine for martial artists (including the liniment being discussed) is the book "A Tooth from the Tiger's Mouth". The Author is Tom Bisio, who is a highly accomplished martial artist and Chinese medicine practitioner working out of New York City. I have personally had him treat me, and I personally recommend Chinese medicine over western medicine for bone, joint, and sinew issues (I come from a western medicine family). I always have a bottle of Die Da Jiu in my training bag and first aid kits.

    Marc Abrams
    Dr. Marc Abrams
    www.aasbk.com

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