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Old 02-01-2010, 08:08 PM   #90
eyrie's Avatar
Location: Summerholm, Queensland
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,126
Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Jonathan Olson wrote: View Post
As for illustrating posture. My model for bokken, and an important model of mine for posture in general, is Claude Berthiaume Shihan.... I especially like how straight he holds himself and how grounded he is.
I'm not sure if you're associating posture with being grounded. But, the "straightness" of one's posture isn't the key dimension by which "grounded-ness" is determined. Neither is it necessarily an indication of how "grounded" someone is. One *could* be in an entirely awkward posture and still be "grounded". So, obviously "straightness" of posture is not a prerequisite for "grounded-ness". And if so, what is the criteria for having grounded-ness? What does being "grounded" mean? Is having the "right" posture and being "grounded" a criteria for kokyu development? And in particular kokyu-ho? If so, on what basis - since posture is not a prerequisite? If not, then what constitutes the primary elements of/for kokyu development? That is the point of this discussion.

I have had instructors that tended to be on the more nitpicky side of things and that spend a lot of time trying to show and explain details. I never said they restricted themselves to vague explanations. It's just that some things are hard to communicate though words, especially when there isn't a known shared experience. When the istructor telling you to relax is the one that showed you the exercises you use to develop this, when you've been both nage and uke with the instructor for the paired exercises, it is at least possible to hope you are talking about the same thing.
Well, that's a communication issue, which is neither relevant to nor advances the discussion here.

Also, the sensei should be able to see/feel if you're doing it right, so that when you think you feel something, it can be paired with the sensei going "yeah, that's better". I've had my instructor demonstrate a technique while exagerating my mistakes (often posture related) to show me what I was doing wrong.
No argument there. Any good teacher should be able to see/feel and correct the student's mistakes. That many may do the former and not the latter, leaving the student to fumble along, is the reason we are still having these discussions, one year later.

Then there is the pressure test. Often, the biggest, strongest guys have the most trouble with kokyu-ho because they can muscle past most people rather than using the more relaxed integrated power that I feel the exercise aims to develop.
In the interests of averting the commonly experienced communication issues you've just described, perhaps you would care to explicate what the basis for this "relaxed", "integrated", "power" involves?

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