Kokyu: The Ai of Aikido.
This thread follows on from my last one on spiritual principles applied. I will give my view on Kokyu and explain what it is, how to understand it and why it is the reason Aikido is different (or can be) to most other martial arts and also why it can also be a martial art of no competiton, no fighting, harmony.
For those of you who have trained with exceptional teachers and experienced the so called unbelievable aspects of it then I hope this may help you understand what they did or where they were coming from.
Love. A well documented term used by O'Sensei and thus much debated. Well I am saying here that he was indeed meaning love for love is a spiritual truth and if you are honest then it is something you want, you desire, in fact I am saying here it is another aspect of the spiritual you. So if you lack it in truth you lack being in touch with your own True Nature.
Kokyu is an expression of your own true nature, of love. Love is your spiritual breath.
So the first aspect of Aikido I will relate this to is SPACE.
You have your own spiritual space and for the sake of harmony with your body you generally have it at about arms distance around you. Your personal space. You can feel when someone moves into it, it is indeed real but the question is do you keep it? Love equates with space and to further understand you would need to look at the qualities of love. What does love do?
It embraces, in fact it is all embracing, it is the Ai of Aikido.
So now to how this translates as a principle to be followed and practiced in Aikido. Well many Aikidoka talk about and discuss the concept and indeed reality of connection and thus are entering the beginning of the reality of Kokyu. The problem with using the word connection is that it doesn't translate very well as a firm principle of action and so I use a different term and that is BE WITH.
Your whole attitude, your intention, your desire, your purpose if you follow the way of your true nature, the way of love, the way of Ai therefore would be to BE WITH.
Now I am categorically stating here that if you want to experience those 'magical' calm yet definite, soft yet strong aspects of Aikido then you would have to practice from the view and intention of being with.
When you look at entering in Aikido then you are talking about entering anothers space. Thus you enter with your space, you also keep center, and you join with their space, it is an action of sharing space. In fact if you enter in order to be with then you will notice there is no against in Aikido, there is no fight, there is only joining and when you move to be with you are thus entering the field of harmony and the other person has no one to fight.
This is the way of Kokyu with the mysticism removed. It is you practicing from that viewpoint and finding out the power of your own space, the power of love, the joy of Aikido.
So let acceptance be your center and be with be your kokyu and experience a rehabillitation of you.