David Yap wrote:
I have trained at various dojo here (both Aikikai and Yoshinkan) and I have come across only one dojo whose members (teachers included) do not understand the purpose and intend of the suwariwaza kokyu-ho exercises. Sadly, I felt only muscle but no "ki" from their techniques.
I guess you are referring to my example where the uke doesn't try to extend back at me... Well... this has happened on two occasions with some very senior practitioners. One of them was "testing" my suwariwaza kokyu ho and purposely relaxed her shoulders/arms, so I just couldn't extend into her. That caused some head scratching
Having said that though, training with her was very enjoyable, and I vividly remember how she and I ran in circles doing nikyo ura - she trying to make it difficult for me to make the lock and me trying to lock fast enough to bring her down.
The other was when I was trying to cause my uke to stand up from suwariwaza ryotedori (uke was also in seiza)... I was trying to extend to connect to his center, but he just withdrew his arms... making it difficult.... another lesson for me
In any case, please do not take what I said as an example of how suwariwaza kokyu ho is practiced in my dojo. These are very isolated cases and do not reflect the general practice of suwariwaza kokyu ho where I train. As to what you said about the 'physical' dojo, I guess some places put more emphasis on strength than others. I don't think I'm in a position to judge them. However, I'm happy to say that my class has both ladies and children.
May I take this opportunity to wish you Happy New Year in the Year of the Dog!