Re: Tori Fune
QUOTE="Ian Dodkins (ian)"]What is the point of the rowing excercise? Although I can understand the idea of hip stability, why would you pull your hands in a straight line directly back to your hips (which would surely bring an attacker directly into you). Pretty much everything I do in aikido I have my hands in front of my centre, but generally extending away from my body.
Well, at least the way Koichi Tohei Sensei has been teaching the rowing exercise for some time, you do not pull your hands straight back to your hips. That would be considered incorrect. Instead your hands simply drop down to the side of your legs (with a heaviness in the tips of the fingers) and then rise straight up to your hips as the hips start to shift forward. when the hips stop going forward the hands extend out straight but with downward angle. This extension can be very swift/explosive, but it should also be without tension. Hands float at full extension with the shoulders opening as the hips shift back and then the cylce continues.
If I was standing in a boat seems like it would go forward, thrust starting with my legs. :-)
We test this motion in aikido by having someone grab both wrists strongly and brace themselves to try to stop/resist your movements the best they can as you try to row as relaxed as possible starting from any point. Do it well and you remove their balance.
It's a fundamental part of a number of our kokyunages so there can be a really important point to doing it and learning it correctly.