Rowing verses using oars.
I wonder how many people who start the Rowing exercise in Aikido actually have rowed, or pulled a big oar, more than twelve feet to propell a water craft?
It isn't the easiest thing to do. In fact, it takes more than just muscle to pull, or push an oar, depending on if you are standing, sitting, facing forward, or astern.
Many of the empty, imagined, movements I see in practice are quite comical from the standpoint that no matter how serious people try to be in the application of force, their stance, balance, muscle movement can not sustain more than a few minutes of rowing resistence in a real oar pulling situation. Perhaps this is why O'Sensei would stess this exercise as building ones strength, ki from this exercise.
If something with constant resistence, with force enough to knock you off your feet, can be met with proper stance, and opposing movement of speed with strength, then we begin to realize the practical application of static rowing exercise.
My point being, we should probably give a little push to each person to see if they have stability while exercising? An old trick, but quite an effective training tool in using rooting to attain a firm base.
If you have a friend with a rowboat, try rowing forward or backward for five to ten minutes ... it will definitely enlighten you as to the beginnings of out static exercise, verses the real thing. In fact, if you apply the same techniques in rowing, although the rythym will be different, you will find your exercise less strenuous, and you will be able to row for longer periods of time.
If you have friends with bigger boats and they have larger oars ... are you gonna get your eyes opened trying to row a twenty foot boat!
Then there are the rowing machines in the exercise rooms ... if nothing else, you will learn to use your entire body to row.
Use your entire body?
Sounds like an Aikido principle, doesn't it?