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moon in the water Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 04-26-2010 11:46 PM
the water does not try
to reflect the moon
and the moon has no desire
to be reflected
but when the clouds clear
there is the moon in the water
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 155
Comments: 1,111
Views: 1,044,126


In General Good teachers. Great teachers. Entry Tools Rating: 5 Stars!
  #22 New 10-01-2010 10:45 AM
Good teachers. Great teachers. My first teacher Kinjo Asoh Sensei (7 dan) was maybe a little unusual when he started aikido in the 1950s. He was 53 years old. The younger students were in awe of this older guy who trained even harder than they did (I know because some of them told me). They called it eight days a week then. Every day once plus one extra training.

There are celebrations next year for the fiftieth anniversary of O Sensei's trip to Hawaii. So he went in 1961. Asoh Sensei went to see him off. O Sensei called him aside and told him he had to do everything he could to catch kokyu ryoku. "Kokyu ryoku is everything," he told him.

O Sensei told him that several times over the years but Asoh Sensei remembered that time especially. He told me the same thing. I have to get kokyu ryoku. Kokyu ryoku is everything and without it aikido is nothing. My second teacher Sadateru Arikawa Sensei (9 dan) told me almost the exact same thing.

So what is it? Kokyu ryoku. Breath power. O Sensei said it was everything. If you can catch it aikido becomes so easy and so simple.

To get it you have to lose power. All power. If you try to do a technique with even a little power still remaining you will block yourself and block your own progress.

A jujutsu/judo teacher showed me a technique from a kata recently. The technique was completely effective. There was no weak point (suki) anywhere. But it hurt. I have noticed this before with senior koryu people. You can't reverse the technique. Everything is accurate. But taking the ukemi hurts. It's not their fault. If that's all they've ever seen or ever felt that's the way they are going to do the technique.

But one day you will feel real aikido. Real breath power. It won't hurt. Anywhere. You don't know what's happening. You follow the technique because you don't have any choice. Not because someone is making you do something but because that's what you want to do. The technique feels good. Wonderful even. The difference between uke and tori becomes blurred. You're the uke but you're part of the technique. You're doing the technique together. Time stops. It's a kind of magic.

So that's how you can tell the difference between a good teacher and a great one.

And how to lose power? Well that's your problem.

Very, very cool ink work: 'Irimi, the union' used by kind permission of BudoK chan 0_o.... http://www.flickr.com/photos/mononokenjoy/4718719681/, photostream http://www.flickr.com/photos/mononokenjoy/. Thanks!

niall matthews 2010
Views: 6140 | Comments: 23

RSS Feed 23 Responses to "Good teachers. Great teachers."
#8 10-05-2010 04:22 AM
niall Says:
Thanks for that, Bjorn.
#7 10-05-2010 12:11 AM
Very nice article, thank you.
#6 10-04-2010 07:51 PM
niall Says:
Thanks, Erik!
#5 10-04-2010 01:01 PM
Very nice article, and the images are coool!
#4 10-04-2010 09:17 AM
niall Says:
Thanks, Chris - glad you liked it.
#3 10-04-2010 05:21 AM
chris wright Says:
Thank you for sharing a wonderful story Niall.
#2 10-02-2010 02:48 AM
niall Says:
Thank you very much, Rayleen. Great comment.
#1 10-01-2010 08:05 PM
I like your article, it's what I've been contemplating lately. I think it's total acceptance of the technique, I'm not there yet. I'm still a pretty awkward beginner, not relaxed but getting more so. It's something to strive towards. There have been a couple of times where I felt something truly great, I know it's there. I agree that it comes from kokyuho and the "the loss of power". Only way to get there is to train, and train some more. BTW, love that ink drawing.

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