Thread: Tori Fune
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Old 06-12-2003, 08:24 PM   #20
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 498
Re: Re: When is rowing not Rowing

Craig Hocker (kironin) wrote:
This is not meant to argue, I am just genuinely curious about this view at appears to be a bit 180 from my training. While we certainly have breathing exercises, when it comes to movement Koichi Tohei Sensei's attitude to this seems to be to disagree and we don't teach any special breathing practice with the rowing exercise. A natural relaxed breathing is expected. He has said that tying a specific breathing pattern to movement is a weakness that can be exploited by an opponent. I have no trouble relaxing and tossing someone around who tries to stop me from the doing the rowing movement and I have never done it with anything other than natural breathing rhythm not tied to the movement itself.
I could say a lot here, ...on second thought, given your good intentions, and sincere question, I won't. I will say that this is the difference between "KI" & "KOKYU" It is like heads and tails on a coin in that:

1. You can't separate the two and still have any value.

2. They are made of the same thing. However, they are clearly not the same.


3. The actual point where one meets the other could be argued by philosophers until the end of time.

However, this material is best discussed in person, and on the mat with practical examples.
what does proper breathing mean here ?

Actually, with regards to the section of my post that you quoted, I was talking about "rowing" as in a boat that is in the water. I was not speaking of Torifune-no-Gyo. However, most "oarsmen" have very developed upper bodies, and these are the easiest body types to defeat because 99% of the time they will rely on strength and the other 1% of the time you can force them to go back to using their power, and then you have them right where you wanted them in the first place.
does it mean specific inhalation and exhalations at certain points in movement or something else.

All "do" are different expressions of Breath control. For example, the breathing one discovers in calligraphy is the same that is in aikido. However, it is the pause in breathing (not simply "stopping") that is significant, and takes a lifetime of dedication and struggle to move towards mastery. Misogi was O-Sensei's path. Aikido was a form of Misogi. The unification of body and mind comes from breath control. This can be traced back through all forms of martial arts - back through China, and back to India and the studies of the Yogis. Movement without understanding the breathing that is behind it is simply movement, empty and nothing more. One who has movement (even unified movement) as the only tool in his toolbox, may easily be overtaken by one who has an intermediate level of understanding Kokyu. This can be found right in the pages of Kojiki - the source of O-Sensei's Aikido.

Relaxation & letting go of physical power + unification and alignment of the chakras are only the first steps to take. My only question to you would be, once you have achieved that, where do you go from there with your training?

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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