Lynn Seiser wrote:
Please write a summary for those of us who cannot attend. Deepest appreciation.
I'd love to see Mike's Aikido.
I know Ki and Kokyu are very important, but often have trouble getting my mind to formulate the map for my body to follow from the words I read.
Well, just to be clear, the Austin workshop is more on overall internal strength and is not as strong on the specific applications of internal strength to Aikido. The idea of a "Ki and Kokyu Workshop" that I offered to do in this thread was with the application of Ki and Kokyu specifically as it would apply to Aikido. So there will be some differences.
The general "internal strength" skills are, as I've said before, pretty much throughout Asian martial arts and are the foundation or many different martial arts.
Because these skills are used in so many different martial arts, it's justified in thinking of them as something of (1.) a way to move (from the center, yes that old trope) and (2.) a way to condition the body for greater strength around that unusual way to move.
In some martial-style cases, it's arguable that "well, if I go to Gold's Gym, run a lot, etc., I'm strong enough that I can use our techniques and applications well enough that I don't need to know this ki and kokyu stuff". And I'd have to agree that that's a true statement, with the only caveat being that it's not a true copy of the original art, if the original art had ki and kokyu skills built into it. I.e., it becomes a moot point about whether someone *needs* these skills.
In the case of Aikido, Taiji, Xingyi, and a number of others, there is no real way to argue that you can do the techniques, etc., without really needing ki and kokyu. In the cases where the whole theory of the art is built around ki, kokyu, the six directions, etc., anyone who has even a moderate grasp of the place of those skills in Asian martial arts will know that it's specious to argue the skills aren't needed.
Anyway, the lucky thing about the workshops is that they are intended only to teach the basics of movement and power, i.e., to get people started in those movements/skills/conditionings and not as a showcase for really high-level skills in Aikido, Karate, Taiji, Xingyi, etc.