Thread: Ukemi and Kokyu
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Old 02-12-2007, 08:24 PM   #8
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,511
Re: Ukemi and Kokyu

Dan Harden wrote:
No. Not at all. I can have someone stand there and I'll show them how to NOT take Ukemi while I increasingly test them. And do it with them not falling once....t. So there goes that idea.
....mmmm.....but if you are trying to throw them, will they fall?

Everyone I ever worked with tried to throw me. Some I could easily resist. Some I couldn't.

I remember getting into some real bad social trouble with some people who advertised, "Aikido can be mastered without vigorous physical conditioning." I just said, "Well, your idea of what a master is must be very, very low. It takes vigorous physical conditioning to even get into the same room with a real master."

So, sure, there are plenty of people who can't throw me. But I know some real masters who can, regardless of what I do.

good old Dan Harden wrote:
Spoken like a true believer David. Come on Bud. Think man! you know I love ya but this won't do. Do you think you need to fall down to take his technique?
There was a guy a few years back for whom I took unnecessary ukemi. I didn't want to humiliate him, so I just went limp and he still had to give it two or three shots. But I'm well known for "heavy resistance" and widely criticized for that. But when the guy can take you off your feet, you're in the air. And I don't know many people who don't fall after the become airborne.

Dan Harden wrote:
Tell me, does he need to fall down to take yours?
Not always. But in helping me develop, all the shihans at the yoseikan (and even Mochizuki sensei, more than once) took ukemi for me from time to time. It's the only way to develop real follow-through for a throw.

Mochizuki sensei actually took ukemi for me the first time I ever met him. He was 73, I was 23. I was ikkyu and he was judan and he took ukemi for me.

Dan Harden wrote:
Is your head... a means or way to meet in the middle and learn to stand up and receive in a whole different way?
Well, I'm looking forward to the day when I can meet you and you can show me. I have no doubt that I can learn a lot from you and I've developed a lot of trust for you. So I can conceive ot that, yes.

However, my biggest point is that we can develop kokyu through the physical practice of rolling and falling. I teach students to release an unbroken stream of breath from the beginning of a roll until they are back on their feet again. And that breath must be of varying intensity at various points in the roll--for instance, when you're going over your shoulders: there is a tendency for the body to collapse at that point and increasing the force of the breath (using kokyu) you can maintain the structure of the body and not only not collapse, but roll more smoothly and silently.

In other words, we can learn how to use kokyu by using it as we roll--not just by feeling a master's technique. And when we learn to use kokyu to roll properly, we can transfer that ability to use it in techniques.

Best to you.


"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"
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