George S. Ledyard wrote:
I finally got the chance to train a bit with Mike this summer and he was kind enougth to outline his descriptive vocabulary for me and show me exectly what he meant. So I have a much clearer idea what he means when he posts now.
I enjoyed it, too. Let me try to interject something here about the language and descriptive vocabulary. There are a number of approaches to these body-strength skills. Ueshiba had one. Tohei had one, but it is slightly different. Good karate has a related usage of these skills, but it is different and "harder". I have one... but I keep trying to get softer and softer in my movement-training because I now understand how that works and why it is important. Dan has an assuredly different approach than I do. Akuzawa, from what I can gather in reading and watching vids, has a somewhat different approach based on the old Shaolin tenets ("Shaolin" is NOT a bad word).
The point I'm getting at is that the basic principles are going to be the same in all the honest examples of these skills, but then there is going to be some divergence. I think the first thing everyone should do is get a grasp of the core vocabulary about the basic "mind-directed forces" and the development of the "ki" part of the body. Then and only then should the different divergences get much discussion. What I'm afraid of is an example of some Aikido practitioners grabbing a few ki/kokyu skills, maybe mixing them with a little of the muscular stuff they already do, and then passing it on to an unwary group of up-coming students.
I.e., this is not a simple topic and it's worthwhile taking some time to get the alphabet and terms right, as you suggest. Very worthwhile... almost imperative.
My 2 cents.