Re: Possible Ki & Kokyu Workshop
I had a little covey of emails from the local "death threat" godan asking me if I'll wear a gi, etc., at this workshop, and a number of other foaming-at-the-mouth remarks. But it's a good question. First of all, it's *IF* this workshop takes place (i.e., if we have enough people, can find a location, etc.). Secondly, no, I have no plans to pack my gi, hakama, etc. This workshop, as I envision it, will take a lot of 2-man exercises that will start very simply and gradually progress in complexity to develop some understanding and a modicum of skill in how ki and kokyu and related things work. The need to do ukemi will pretty much be non-existent... we could do this on a wooden or carpeted floor, no problem. So a bunch of us standing around in keiko-gi's is not necessary, even though some people cannot imagine an Aikido-related workshop where the usual uniform and rituals aren't present. ;^)
I remember when I first went to learn Chinese martial arts in a parking lot with an older Chinese gentleman, after my maybe 24 years in Japanese martial arts, wearing a gi, etc. It was sort of a mental shock, doing a martial art without any paraphernalia or bowing rituals, etc. Then again, it helps you concentrate on the subject.
There's a memory I have of a certain Aikidoist I used to know who was with me at a workshop by Yoshimitsu Yamada. We were doing some bokken work and this guy was picked as Uke during one turn by Yamada. He (the guy I'm talking about) kept doing all the hyper bowing and cooing you see some people do when handing over a bokken, placing it on the ground, etc. Finally, Yamada just stopped and looked at him and said, "It's just a stick. Quit bowing so much."
If it happens, it will be a "it's just a stick" workshop. No gi's. No bowing. Just talk and work.