John Matsushima wrote:
While many good examples were cited on achieving kokyu, I think what I'm looking for with this thread is more along the lines of a short explanation, such as kokyu is.....
I'm still puzzled on where the term "breath" fits into all of this. Is it perhaps meant as a spiritual or philosophical reference, and not a literal one as relating to the practical application? I'm afraid that from my experience I can't agree that it means coordinating breathing with techniques, or simply kiai.
"Kokyu", i.e., the "breath" part refers to the power available as you develop your physical "ki". Abe Sensei refers to "holding" your breath, which is a little inaccurate when you say that in English, but he's referring most closely to the why's and where's of it being called "kokyu" power. Frankly, you have to build up to it before you can use it.
All I'll say is that it's related to why the kanji for qi/ki is *often* best translated as "pressure". Insofar as the actual power itself, the essential power used in "kokyu", it would be called "jin" in the Chinese. The point being that you cannot really separate the terms "kokyu" and "ki"... they are part of each other, as far as functional usage is concerned. Tohei's "ki" that he shows, for example, going in and out of the arms in the wrist exercises, is actually the direction of the kokyu forces... so you can see how it gets confusing.
My recommendation is to go beyond the definitions and get someone who knows how to show you how. That in itself can be problematic, given how few people in Aikido seem to have any substantive skills in these areas.