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Old 10-18-2005, 10:41 AM   #8
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
Re: Kokyu explanation

Hi Rob,

Because so much of this is still in investigation phase, I don't know how much my elaboration will help. But let's give it a try.

In the Yoshinkan, we focus on a very square (hips facing forward) kamae, as opposed to the hamni you see in many styles of aikido. The idea is supposed to help to learn centerline, focus, to build kokyu etc., but all of those things also require that you be relaxed (one particular sore spot in my technique and personal bearing). So I've been experimenting on just how and what you 'relax' in what seems like such a powerfull yet not really natural (for me) stance.

Dropping the shoulders at the same time you bring them back and 'close the spine' seems to take the power out of the shoulders and allow me to relax my arms as well. I seem to have an easier time absorbing my partner's power, and transmitting the power of the ground through my structure when I do this. Closing the waki seems to add to this...if the elbows come out away from my body it changes the amount of tension they carry.

Fred Little was working with me at Abe Sensei's seminar, and as I was struggling with some of the technique, he suggested that I bring my shoulder blades together, and it seemed to make a huge difference right then. Then he reminded me about 'closing your waki'...kind of like trying to hold a couple of small nuts in my armpit without dropping them. Peter Goldsbury has also mentioned the waki, as have some others. Ellis Amdur has added the eight brocade exercises/warmups to some of his teaching I believe, and has spoken of chinese arts that focus on the power and use of the spine in different ways. These are some of the things that brought this to my attention.

Often lately, in katate mochi / katate dori technqiues, instead of immediately flowing with my partner's incomming power, I will try to simply maintain my kamae using these additions, and absorb their power without moving. I try to use this body alignment to allow my focus to channel the incoming power to my hip, or my back foot, or my front foot...depending on what I need to do. In some nikkajo waza, the hip focus works best. In some pivoting on the front foot waza, the front foot is best since the wieght must be forward to pivot, so I channel their power to that foot. In other cases (kaiten nage) I'm pivoting on the back foot, so it helps to put thier power there.

I hope this helps somewhat...again, I'm not very good at this yet...very much a work in progress.


Last edited by Ron Tisdale : 10-18-2005 at 10:44 AM.

Ron Tisdale
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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