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Old 10-19-2005, 04:10 AM   #18
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
Re: Kokyu explanation

Ron Tisdale wrote:
Combined with this are statements from Chida Sensei, one of the top shihan in Yoshinkan, who has made statements about 'taking the slack out of' the relationship between shite and uke. In other words, there needs to be a certain amount of relaxed (?) tension between shite and uke so that their centers are connected so that when you move, uke must move if the connection is maintained.
A good friend of mine who has studied predominantly with Ikeda Sensei has told me that "Keep tension!" was a common admonition of Ikeda's for a long time." If there is not a good, slightly stretched, connection from your center to your hand, you cannot move your hand with your center; if there is not a good connection to your opponent's center, you cannot control his center with your center. The connection will either be yang (kokyu path through the bones) or yin (connection through the slight tension along the outside of the body). This same idea is why the fingers are held open and extended, BTW.
Relax the shoulders as much as possible. The kokyu / ki / Aiki power seems to get stopped in shoulders if there is any tension there at all.
I don't know if it gets "stopped", i.e., if that's the best terminology. If you push a wall with relaxed kokyu, you can track the path of power from the ground to midsection and then straight out to the hand on the wall from the midsection. I.e., it is the shortest path from the ground and the "controlling" area is the mid-section/hara. If somehow the shoulder became involved in the actualy initiation of power, the "shortest path from the ground" is no longer valid, so you have diluted or ruined your path of "pure" power.
Close the spine. There was a marked difference in my sucsess at Abe Sensei's technique when I relaxed the shoulders in combination with closing the gap between the shoulder blades. This helped not only with Abe Sensei's technique, but with Yoshinkan waza as well.
If you think about it, this "close this, close that" approach is radically different from the "relax" approach of for instance Tohei. In other words, I think people are beginning to highlight the different approaches to ki/kokyu now that is within the higher ranks.
Focus on the big toe...that's where the power seems to come from. Keep your weight centered on the ball of the foot beneath the big toe, and try to structurally align everything between there and your contact with uke.
I just mentioned this on another list. My only comment here is that there is both a yin and yang connection to the toe.

Very good post, Ron. Thanks.

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