And since the topic title is about kokyu development for aiki in Aikido, why not stick to the really basic stuff, like... er... kokyu-ho instead? I mean, isn't that the entire point of kokyu-ho; for kokyu development? Or am I missing the context because I wasn't at the seminar?
I agree. Tenchinage involves both "heaven" and "earth" at the same time. Why not just do "earth" (the groundpath, jin, Yang Qi, etc.) instead of trying to do both at once as a first start?
This is why I so often simply ask people to just "push me" as a first evaluation of what they can do. It's easy to feel the development that they have for just the one skill. If they have very good development, it's easiest to *then* jump to something else in terms of evaluation.
Speaking of development, that reminds me of one of my old favorite anecdotes (I'm sure that I've told it before, but just roll with me). One of my teachers was very well known in mainland China in martial-arts circles. When he first came to the U.S., a Chinese man from Taiwan issued a challenge to him to push-hands. My teacher was a little discomfitted because while he did push-hands OK, he admitted that it was not his specialty and that he only did it "so-so". We were all at a friend's house when the doorbell rang and my teacher was introduced to the challenger and they shook hands. After the handshake, my teacher passed by me on the way to the push-hands room and whispered to me sotto voce, "no problem". He easily and diplomatically handled his challenger.
My point is that the initial probe is always for basic skills and then work upward. If someone doesn't have the basic skills, by inference their upper-level skills are going to be lacking, no matter how "powerful" they are, how much of a push they can take, and so on. It's the purity of the skills that determines the ultimate higher levels.