Thread: Defining Kokyu
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Old 07-18-2005, 11:06 AM   #72
Drew Scott
Dojo: Chicago Aikikai
Location: Chicago
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 34
Re: Defining Kokyu

Mike Sigman wrote:
Just as a rough idea of "shifting force directions and responsibilities, try this:
[example snipped]
You just shifted the load-bearing responsibilities by adjusting the force vectors within your body. Your "mind" arranged it.

This makes a lot of sense to me and seems to fit in line with what I described earlier. You are realigning your body so as to maximize the efficiency of your musculature, skeletal structure, etc. If I'm understanding the example correctly, it seems to me to be a physical phenomenon based in understanding your body and the forces being exerted on it and then applying your increased understanding and improved mind-body connection to make it possible.

David Valadez wrote:
However, in the total video from which the pic is taking, and in the one that Mike has provided, you can see that Uke is/are perpendicular to Osensei. There is no shift in angles or "lost" position that the picture or the video/pic is hiding. It is what is, and (sorry to say) it is as I described it.
Using VLC I was finally able to watch the video. To my eye, it appears that Uke is dropping down into a "lunge" position and exerting virtually no lateral force on the Jo. I'd have to compare this to the same demo being done in O'Sensei's younger days, as his age and reputation may have changed the nature of it, but it looks pretty unconvincing in that PARTICULAR clip.

David Valadez wrote:
Your other example Drew, I would say, is different from what Osensei was doing - in that the positing of your hands/arms allows for you to capitalize upon uke's energy such that it now pushes you downward instead of just backward. In my opinion its a variation on "A" frame architecture. We build structures according to that technology all over the place. It is quite a well-known part of the natural world.
I guess what I was getting at is that so far in my limited experience, my sense of much of the "power" of Aikido is that it could be expressed as a deep understanding of the structures and forces at work in both participants, combined with a relaxed unification of strength and structure within Nage to produce the maximum effect on Uke with the minimum localization of effort in Nage. If that makes any sense... I don't have all the vocabulary I need for some of this, and my experience is limited.

David Valadez wrote:
I can grasp that kokyu-ryoku can allow one to withstand more horizontal resistance than usual (i.e. than without kokyu-ryoku), but once you start reversing distal-end lever concepts and/or the structural integrity of a one inch diameter piece of wood that is 51 inches in length - that's another thing entirely.
I'd sure like to submit these demonstrations to some scientific process. Without more data, however, these videos raise a red flag for me. However, I'm not sure that the theoretical forces involved would actually be beyond the capacity of a jo or bokken to withstand. I've put a heck of a lot of force on them attempting to straighten unwanted warpage... they're tough.

David Valadez wrote:
As I said, this jo trick stuff was being practiced at a time when Osensei was being put up as a political/social/cultural icon.
Once you start faking things, you don't really have a place where you can stop and say, "Oh wait a minute - this is TOO fake."
In this way falsehood perpetuates itself.
Our modern sensibilities and our good faith in the history of art almost force us to look for things that are not present in these examples. We seek out explanations (i.e. there must be a slight angle difference than what the camera's eye is showing, etc.) and/or even suggest that such things are beyond our comprehension (i.e. we no longer have access to this kind of development, etc.).
Please forgive the self-serving "snips". I think you make valid points here, and I'd like to emphasize the phrase "our good faith in the history of the art". Just as falsehood tends to self-perpetuate, so too does "faith", and for similar reasons. The more you place your "faith" in something or someone, the harder it becomes to accept information which runs counter to that faith. Aikidoka are not alone in their tendency towards this. I think it's part of human nature to seek information which confirms our own beliefs and to avoid information which conflicts with them.

In case your statement about "angle difference" is in reference to my posts, I'd like to clarify that I have no stake in the validity of the Jo exercise demonstrated. :-) I am intensely curious about it, however, and I'm therefore (as far as I can tell, being inside my own motivations) looking for as much information as possible about what is physically occuring in the images presented. I'm aware that is exceedingly difficult without context (such as the information that the image I was seeing was at the point of transition into a throw).

David Valadez wrote:
Spirit possession was a big part of Omoto-kyo discourse. In fact, there would be no Omoto-kyo if it were not for spirit possession.
Is it possible for an individual to be expressing something they understand to be literal truth which is, in fact, merely an image/metaphor they have unconsciously adopted in order to make sense of their experiences? For example, I find that some techniques do seem to require less physical effort when I imagine, for example, that "energy is flowing out the ends of my fingertips". Although I suspect this is simply a physiological change being created as my mind attempts to externalize the metaphor, I can imagine that after years of using the metaphor and experiencing results, I might easily come to believe that there actually is invisible energy flowing from my fingers (whether there is or not, I can't confirm from experience).

This is a long-winded way of saying that it may be possible for us to experience what the original practitioners believed was possession by a spirit, but dispense with their unconsciously adopted metaphor due to our new context. Similarly, we may be able to experience the supernormal feats of our predecessors, but find physical principles at work where once we required a mystical context for understanding.

Or maybe I'm just finding more ways to justify the delusions. Great conversations though. Apologies if anything I'm inserting into this dialogue is unwelcome.

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