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Old 02-01-2010, 01:37 PM   #89
Location: Rotterdam
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 459
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Jonathan Olson wrote: View Post
I do these exercises on my own late at night after putting the kids down to bed. At that moment, it is difficult for me to check myself beyond my bodies internal position feedback. A mirror would help I guess. However, I am doing exercises that are part of my regular aikido training, where I get feedback from my instructors.
Ok, but when you're practicing, how do you differentiate the good reps from the bad reps. Say you do one rep of funegoki undo, then you do another one and you notice the second one was better than the first one, what was it that made the second one better? What qualities were (more) present in the second one?

My model for bokken, and an important model of mine for posture in general, is Claude Berthiaume Shihan. He can be seen teaching bokken suburi here:

I especially like how straight he holds himself and how grounded he is.
Posture: I'd say he should relax his lower back. Check 1:30-1:40 of the video when his side is facing the camera.
Grounded: what are the cues you look for? I'd say that he's got too much isolated arm movement going on, so he can't be grounded very well.

Another model of mine is Harvey Konigsberg Shihan. I consider him a great example of staying relaxed and dropping the shoulders.
His shoulders stay down, sure, but that's not the most important thing. What are your reasons to think the shoulders should stay relaxed? (And I agree they should, but the why is more important than the what.)
And I'd like to see him with a less compliant uke. This one was doing his best to make Harvey Konigsberg look good.

When the istructor telling you to relax is the one that showed you the exercises you use to develop this, when you've been both nage and uke with the instructor for the paired exercises, it is at least possible to hope you are talking about the same thing.
Also, the sensei should be able to see/feel if you're doing it right, so that when you think you feel something, it can be paired with the sensei going "yeah, that's better".

Last edited by jss : 02-01-2010 at 01:39 PM.
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