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Old 08-28-2009, 10:31 AM   #39
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Well, let me redefine my post.

Instead of using shiko as an example, let me insert a technique.

So, we start working, say, cross-hand wrist grab kotegaeshi.

1. In the beginning, you're trying to just get the upper cross contradictory intent going out/in the arms. In this version of the technique, you have right hand, right foot forward. As the grab comes in, you step back with your right foot, turning. Your left hand comes across to create the kote gaeshi fit. You turn back towards uke and apply the technique. As you move, you try to keep that upper cross contradictory intent.

As a note, what I found, personally, was that I was using habits that were in direct opposition to training internals. For example, on the step back, I turned with shoulders and hips aligned. So, for me, to do that while trying to focus on cross body work was, well, not helping me at all in getting better at internals. Other people's experiences vary.

Okay, back to the technique. So, you've worked part 1. On to the next.

2. Now you focus on adding the spine up/down/together contradictory force. As uke grabs your wrist, you hold both sets of intents (upper cross and spine) and work through the technique.

As a note, I found that keeping internals going while moving was very hard in the beginning. As in near impossible hard. So, again, it wasn't helping me get better at internals.

3. Add in cross body work. Add in turning from the waist (very defined and doesn't mean just turning your upper body). So, now, uke should feel a very pronounced difference in your movements. You should be starting to keep your upper body centralized and force should be going from right hand to left foot.

As a note, I found that keeping all this going while also working on timing and exact body placement was very hard. Trying to work on the timing of moving just as uke grabbed so that I could "lead" uke was interfering with working on all those internals mentioned above. Mental intent and focus is critical and when you shift focus towards *when* you need to start your physical movement, well, it takes away from internal training. Add in that when you physically want to lead someone, you have to work not only on that timing, but also on some fairly specific body placements. Step too far and uke detaches. Don't step far enough and uke overwhelms you. Etc. So, I found that working both at this point was at odds with each other. Not to mention that when working internals, I was finding that timing didn't matter as much, nor where you stepped.

4. Let me shift focus here. Go back to shiko and paired exercises. Both are actually geared towards the whole range of internal exercises. They are built to house the internals. Techniques as I've seen/done them are not. There is more of an emphasis on timing, body placement, hip-driven movement, shoulder-hip being inline and together, etc. You get an idea, I hope, of what I came against trying to do both.

I found that once you have a beginning in the internal training, you don't move the same or do the techniques as you did them before. Which brings us to your question/thread. Just how do you apply that to techniques?

So, I go back to the technique above. Please note, that I am *not* doing techniques here. I am merely working internal stuff in various ways in an environment where I have energy, a load from uke, and movement.

Here are some examples of how I'm training.

Throughout everything, there are certain things that I won't add in, but I make an assumption that I'm keeping them going. Those things that I keep going are: contradictory forces in upper cross and spine, and cross line body pathways.

1. As uke grabs, my intent goes down into the ground, out under uke, and then up into uke. Sometimes I add more of this kind of intent. The effect is to "float" uke, so that when I move, uke's power base is gone and uke moves with me.

2. As uke grabs, I turn my spine to the right while sending intent out and around to the right. This, hopefully, gets uke to start moving to my right which is where the technique is going. As I fit my left hand for kote gaeshi, I switch and turn my spine to the left and send intent out and around to the left to turn uke back the other way.

3. Either of the above as a start. Then as I start to complete kote gaeshi, I send intent up, out over uke, and down into uke. This hopefully will "crush" uke downwards.

4. As uke grabs, I open my right hip and close my left hip. After I step, I switch and open my left hip and close my right.

5. As uke grabs, I use downward spirals in my right hand. After I step, I switch and use downward spirals in my left hand. Or vice versa.

6. Combine 4 and 5.

7. Combine 1-5.

8. Add in other various internal stuff... mix and match as wanted.
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