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Old 08-27-2009, 11:24 AM   #9
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
One technique that seems (at least to me) to have a good oppotunity to test the product of this type of training is Tenchinage. Here we have the opportunity to use sinking (aiki sage) and rising (aiki-age) power, as well as winding, splitting uke's body and power along the central axis, using the power of the in breath while connecting that to outer movement, and other things as well, I'm sure.

I would greatly appreciate any relevent additions to this topic.

Hi Ron,

Here's my training thoughts. From a beginner, mind you.

1. I first started learning how to build a pathway inside my body. In other words, working with a push coming into my outstretched right hand and letting that energy go into the ground under my left foot.

That didn't help with any techniques, for example tenchi nage. I needed to move to do the technique. When I moved, I lost those pathways. Never mind the fact that I still had tons of slack in my body.

2. I was also working on contradictory forces. So when working on that same push to my right hand, not only was the force going into me, but I was using intent to send energy out my arms.

That didn't help with any techniques, for example tenchi nage. I needed to move to do the technique. When I moved, I lost those pathways and that intent on contradictory forces. Never mind the fact that I still had tons of slack in my body.

3. I was working on contradictory forces in the spine. And you get the point.

4. Now, add in the shiko exercise. I'm trying to do 1-3 throughout the exercise. It's helping me to get better and I'm using simple movements with no external pressure or energy.

5. Okay, so then I start trying to learn how to send intent outwards more. Simple paired exercises, connecting to a partner helped to work on this. Light pushes to start with and focusing intent or multiple intents.

6. Add #5 into shiko exercises.

7. Progressing to trying to learn spirals. Holding multiple intents in contradictory directions. Add to shiko.

8. Working on lower cross in hip area. Trying to learn open/close of hips. Add to shiko. Failing miserably trying to keep everything going in this simple exercise.

9. Add in the spine pull as the focus to raise legs. Add to shiko.

I'll stop there. My point is that in one exercise, shiko, I have found a vehicle for all internal exercises. Not only that, but there are other exercises that I do, like shiko, that also encapsulates internal training.

Focusing on shiko, though, what does it give me? Well, I don't have to worry about outside pressures interacting with me. I don't have to worry about outside energy overloading me. I am forced to focus on me and internal mechanics.

As I progressed through those solo exercises, I also worked on paired exercises to help identify, strengthen, and work those internal areas. And this gave me a way to get outside pressure and outside energy to load my system to the point of failure and work through that.

And now, I'm working on "technique", like tenchi nage. Only I really don't work it as a technique at all. I see aikido techniques as a vehicle for training aiki. What I mean by that is now that the solo and paired exercises are coming along, I have another step in my training. Simple dynamic movement under load and pressure. Not technique. I don't want to think that I'm trying to do something to someone because that kills everything I'm training in internal skills.

The short answer to your question is, yes. Tenchi nage can be a great vehicle to use to work aiki.

For me, though, I wasn't ready to do that until after I trained in solo and paired exercises. Even now, I don't view them as techniques, but simple dynamic exercises. Once I get better, I'll try better dynamic environments ... all the while still working all previous exercises.

Everyone works and trains differently. I had trouble trying to do Aikido techniques while working solo and paired exercises. I quit doing techniques and for me, it helped exponentially. Other people are doing other things.
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