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Old 01-29-2010, 04:52 PM   #80
eyrie's Avatar
Location: Summerholm, Queensland
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,126
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

OMG, Dirk, you've resurrected a zombie thread...

Dirk Desmet wrote: View Post
I have some questions about some magic things happening in my dojo.
There is no such thing as magic. Magic tricks are just that... tricks and illusions.

The sensei is telling to work with your center. An inner power coming from your belly, I suppose. For what I could make up, it's about breathing via your belly and from that point creating a power. But it's totally not working with me. How can you practice this?
Ah yes, the old "use your hara" trick. Pity, it's about as helpful as breathing fire thru your nostrils and levitating. When people talk about using their center, they usually can't/won't tell you "how". For one, it takes time and directed practice to develop the hara, and secondly, if you're not told how... good luck with that. I suggest you go back thru the forum and search for various past discussions on the topic of ki/kokyu/jin - especially those posted by Mike Sigman, Rob John and Dan Harden. There are a multitude of ways to practice developing power. It's too long and complicated to describe in a single post... as there are many layers to it. But as a starting point, power development in Aikido is vastly simplified in the forms of 2 primary exercises - funekogi undo for forward/backward power, and bokken suburi for up/down power.
For example with kokyu-ho. You have to unbalance or move your opponent from a static moment, without using your arms or forces or muscles. Somehow, the others cn create such a power from their belly with a breath-trick. But it isn't working as I try it.
I already asked much people, but none can explain hw to do so.
Funny that... Kokyu-ho is slightly more complex, because the premise is to absorb (ground) and redirect the other person's forces, by using your weight and the ground as support, and the unity of your body connection (what Mike terms the "suit"), together with the breath, which is a power adjunct to help pressurize and maintain the cohesiveness of the "suit". There's a lot happening in kokyu-ho that is hard to understand without breaking it down and doing it statically in a limited format.

I haven't read the whole thread yet, but I have large interest in that kokyu technique that I want to read some books about it.
Maybe things about Ki in Aikido (C. M. Shifflett) or Ki in Daily Life (Koichi Tohei) or good references?
Good luck with that. I wouldn't waste my time with it. You won't find anything more than the general admonitions to relax (which has already been discussed to death in this thread and others), and breathe (also covered here and elsewhere).

Also, for general techniques in Aikido they're always talking about 'use your center'. Don't use power, but your center has to do it. I already know now that I have to point my center to the opponent, but while doing a turn or a tai sabaki it's not always possible. Or can someone explain me how to use my 'center' in lots of Aikido techniques? In my dojo, no one can explain what that center is. Is it my belly? Do I have to behave my belly different while doing the same technique?
That's pretty telling. It's actually the tanden no seika, or dantien (in Chinese). It's a hard, articulate muscle-like structure that's located approximately 4 fingers width below your navel and 1 fist deep in the body. Like any other "muscle" in your body - including your brain, unless you physically and consciously exercise it, it's not going to develop. Good luck with that too.

It's a lot more involved than just "use your center". If only it were that simple. Your best bet would be to search for previous discussions on this topic, particularly the baseline skillset thread. Long read, but lots of good information tidbits.

Also, find Mike Sigman's posts about jin and getting your "foot in the door". Starting anywhere else is a waste of time. Everything builds on jin and builds on everything else (See Rob John's post specifically talking about how developing one aspect develops another and feeds back into itself).

Good luck.

Last edited by eyrie : 01-29-2010 at 04:55 PM.

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