Thread: Defining Kokyu
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Old 07-17-2005, 10:02 PM   #57
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
Re: Defining Kokyu

David Valadez wrote:
Does not that "jo-trick" fall outside of basic biomechanics however (if you do believe in that sort of thing)?
Not really. It's the same basic idea of bringing "that from which the center is drawing its power" (in this case, the ground) to some part of the body or a weapon being held by the body. It's an extreme trick. When someone originally asked me about how to do the "jo trick", I was thinking of some pictures I had seen in books where a student was pushing from the front. After I realized that they were referring to something different (I have been out of the Aikido mainstream for a long time) I joined AikiWeb and Aikido Journal forums to see if someone could privide pictures. Watching the videos of O-Sensei, I knew immediately what he was showing, but because I couldn't believe he had access to the sort of training it usually comes from, I began formulating ways that he might have been able to approach the trick differently. Now, after having had a lot of information input from books, videos, members of this list, etc., I just accept that he had access to a certain method of training, which is a surprise to me.

But basically, the answer is that the jo-trick is just another variation of kokyu tricks, of which the "ki tests" are also a member. So is any kokyu throw or any other movement in Aikido. The argument would be how sophisticated the level of kokyu skills must be to be considered "acceptable".
An interesting thing... Once I had an opportunity to talk firsthand to a student of a well-known teacher that does this trick currently.
Watching O-Sensei do the trick, it was legitimate, even though the uke(s) were over-acting. However, having seen too many cases where bona fide demo's were faked by some teachers and students, I can't just accept out of hand that this "well known teacher" was legitimately also doing the same trick. Frankly, I'd be interested in who the teacher was... if it was a westerner, my warning flags would go way up because to do the trick legitimately would take knowledge of something I don't think is very commonly known, even in Japanese Aikido circles. I'd like to see/feel him do the trick.
Another kind of related point -- for me at least -- is that I would like to leave space for the fact that basic waza are themselves outlets for developing kokyu-ryoku (as many have said). The flip-side of this is to note that while someone might be able to do the "unbendable arm" under its normally accompanying conditions such a person is not then primed to demonstrate kokyu-ryoku under more intense or spontaneous conditions. The same thing can of course be said for training in kihon waza, but it would seem that such "cool ki tricks" have even further to travel before they could really demonstrate a kokyu-ryoku that is of actual value (e.g. operable under spontaneous martial conditions) and/or REAL.
I agree with you. I was just saying that someone with "really good" kokyu skills should be able to do ki tricks without too much difficulty because he/she would understand how fairly pure kokyu skills work. Knowing how kokyu works and having some reasonable skills will not allow you to do the jo-trick because that involves a kind of training that enhances the "strength" of the connection from the center of the body to the extremities. So it's a matter of conditioning level, but not a matter of any difference in the basic principles.


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