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Beyond the Bale : June 2017
“S tand and deliver! Ned Kelly said stand and deliver, or suffer the consequences. Well the consequences for shearers if they don’t stand and deliver the sheep from the pen properly is that they could get injured and be out of a job.” So says Pera Davies, a shearer of 38 years who has shorn nearly two million sheep in his career. Pera has developed a technique – which he calls ‘Stand and Deliver - Shear- jitsu’ – that makes the catch and drag (which is where injuries often occur) easier on the shearer’s body. He also emphasises the importance of body management and provides advice on how to best manage shearers’ time during smoko, which includes a simple 15-minute stretching and relaxation regime. “In 1986 to 1989 I suffered severe back injuries from shearing that prevented me from working. My brother, who runs karate dojos, suggested I learn ju-jitsu and together we were able to adapt some ju-jitsu techniques to the catch and drag,” Pera said. “Shear-jitsu is about longevity, health and wellness. Since I’ve been using it over the past 28 years, I haven’t had a back injury and I’ve suffered no back pain at all.” In collaboration with Pera, AWI has produced four short ‘Stand and Deliver – Shear-jitsu’ training videos that complement AWI’s other SHEAR-JITSU HELPS PREVENT INJURY TO SHEARERS A new series of four training videos highlights ways that shearers can prevent injury and increase the longevity of their careers. The videos feature Pera Davies who developed the ‘Stand and Deliver - Shear-Jitsu’ technique which is a new way to perform the catch and drag. shearer training videos available via the AWI website. CATCHING PEN DYNAMICS A key element of Shear-jitsu, explained by Pera in one of the videos, is the best way for the shearer to move a sheep from the pen to the stand. “Shearers have traditionally dragged the sheep from the pen to the stand in a rotation – a curved direction – meaning the shearer is leaning over (to the left or right) and thereby putting their back, knees, hips, shoulders and elbows at an unnatural and potentially damaging angle. Pera Davies demonstrating his technique of moving sheep from the pen that minimises potential injury to the shearer. Pera Davies demonstrating two of the stretches that shearers can do during smoko to help recover from the hard work of shearing. 48 ON FARM