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Old 01-31-2010, 07:39 PM   #86
JO
Dojo: Aikikai de l'Université Laval
Location: Sainte-Catherine-de-la-J.-C., Québec
Join Date: Jun 2000
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Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
In that case, perhaps you could enlighten us as to why kokyu-ho is *the single most important exercise*? In what way? How? Rather than simply making such a broad claim, explicate it. Let the inner scientist out. Explain how and why. Otherwise, it just comes across as "no big deal. I already do *that*" - which neither progresses the discussion, nor helps anyone (e.g. Dirk).
The best I've been able to put body knowledge into words, I've already put in my post to Dirk. I have trouble showing and saying what I mean in person when working one to one with my kohai, let alone in type. But here goes nothing. I consider kokyu-ho to be the most important exercise because it is the exercise we do that most singles out and focusses on that feeling of relaxed strength that I consider to be at the heart of all well executed aikido techniques. It removes worrying about position, "real world application" or other such mental distractions, so that you can focus on how you are holding yourself, removing the tension from your joints (I have the most trouble with my shoulders), generating power from your center (as opposed to muscling through with yours arms and shoulders). These things help develop a way of holding yourself and of moving. When you start to feel these things, the sensei saying things like "relax", "use your center", "keep extension" stops being gibberish and starts to make sense as you can tie it to actual body feelings you are familiar with.

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
Well? You're evading the question. Why is it important? What is so intriguing about my mentioning these 2 exercises, and what relevance do they have to the IS/IT discussions here - if any? What do they develop? How does that work?
I don't really know what relevance these two exercises have to IS/IT, you brought them up. I have no knowledge of the IS/IT world outside of what I've read here or in HIPS. I use these two exercises a lot because I consider that they help develop the right posture and body feeling for aikido. Much along the same lines as I mentioned above for kokyu-ho. I guess what caught my attention was someone specifically mentioning my two "favourite" solo aikido techniques as the simplified starting point for power development. Maybe you can see how this would increase my interest in the topic (see my final paragraph below).

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
I'm not entirely certain how I should read your last sentence - it comes across as a "touch hands" challenge, or that you already know/have aiki, and these IS/IT discussions are irrelevant to you, or that people who "claim" such skills don't know aiki, or all of the above? BTW, repeating the same sentence, isn't the same as clarifying it.

FWIW, I don't claim any level of skill in anything. But you're most welcome to visit and "touch hands" anytime.
Would it help if I used curious instead of intrigued? I'm certainly not issuing any kind of challenge, nor am I claiming any ability or knowledge on the topic. Just stating a curiosity about all this IS/IT stuff, because it seems to connect to things I consider important to aikido training. I would love to feel any of those who claim these abilities to see how different, or how similar, it really is from what I've felt from various akidoka. I think "touching hands" is the only way to know.

If I saw no link to my aikido training, I would probably ignore it. I like what I do, I would like to do it better, I have limited interest in going off in another direction. For example, I could read a thread about all the hard physical training and high intesity sparring that MMA professionnals use to turn themselves into some of the most fit and strong athletes around, but I wouldn't really see the relevance to aikido. Sure I wouldn't mind being physically stronger, but I don't consider that kind of strength to be central to aikido. But seeing others discussing exercises I regularly do in an IS/IT context, makes me think that these things may actually relate to my training in ways that would make me better at aikido generally and in aspects of aikido that I take to heart specifically (such as staying centered, staying relaxed, being strong without tension or aggression). So I am intrigued, I am curious.

Jonathan Olson
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