Sounds like you are referring to Seichii Sugano Shihan's 5 paired bokken exercises--ichi no ken through go no ken, which were taught widely by Sugano in Australia, and I think are still taught widely in Australia by his son, I think his name is Jikou?
We are doing a lot of work on these right now at NY Aikikai as Sugano Shihan recently passed away and left very little by way of videotape of this legacy. Here is one video that gives a bit of information. Toward the end he goes over some of the paired exercises that make up the ken series:
They're amazing exercises, not the same as suburi or kumitage because while they are somewhat scripted, they depend much more on reaction and relationship than form. Sugano talks in the youtube clip about "feeling pressure on your body" and forcing movement in the exercise by breaking maai rather than starting because nage has signaled readiness by presenting an opening. This emphasis on forcing and reacting is quite strong, and in my limited experience somewhat unique. It's been positively affecting my training.
AAAHHHH! Someone does know what I'm talking about (Thats a relief!) Thanks heaps Deborah. I'll go through that ref. you posted.
yes, I agree with what you wrote (and to an extent also what Cliff wrote about sword exercises. It has been pointed out numerous times to me about our exercises (by the instructiors) that 'This is NOT sword fighting!"
The 'feeling pressure' thing is interesting. Also a type of reverse pressure, like getting sucked into an attack, like a vacuum. I felt it, didnt lknow why I did it, just drawn forward.
How would you desribe the first few moves of Ichi no Ken? (I'm not assuming any particul;ar way is right or wrong as Instructors may use variations to teach different things. But I would be interested to hear your take on it. Jikou has visited and done some training with us a while back, - I cant remember if we went through these exercises with him though, it was some time ago.