Re: The aikido experience and kotodama
Hi Scott, I have found my self in a similar position as you. My personal feeling is that Kototama is very important to my person practice for a number of different reasons.
Recently I have been in Iwama, for the past two months and lucky that the ichiban also practices kototama. When I came he had been practicing for a while teaching himself from John Stevens books and You tube clip. We practice kototama twice daily at the Aiki Jinga in Iwama. However there were a couple of fundamental flaws in his self taught practice that perhaps may be of use to you too.
He did not use a full voice. For me this is a must, it does not mean shouting but rather the vibrations emanating from deep inside your core from your Hara and as loud as is natural without forcing. As you practice and develop the full voice can become more quiet and still have a powerful resonance.
The next thing to be aware is that kototama should be practiced with your back passage held closed - firmly at powerful points end Kiai for instance. That is to say your pelvic floor should be shut. The powerful expansive force does not just go up and out of your mouth. This also applies to powerful Kiai or Kiai training.
There are some wonderful old clips of Nakazono practicing Aikido and Ichimura Sensei too (Henry Ellis Channel). Nakazono's Aikido is graceful fluid and full of understanding. Something to aspire towards.
Last edited by Keithjohngates : 05-28-2009 at 11:29 PM.