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Old 02-29-2008, 08:46 AM   #8
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
Re: Is it kokyu-nage if you don't use kokyu-power?

Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
IMHO, yes.
It is kokyu-nage in its initial physical form while learning.
It is kokyu-nage when you learn and apply kokyu-power.
And they are different.
Well, I tried to intercept that argument in my original post. If you follow that line of reasoning, there is absolutely no reason to name the application "kokyunage" since you don't need kokyu-power to do it.

I think what really happens is that many westerners learn some Japanese words as names for things. A rei is a bow. A hakama is a black, cool-looking samurai pants. A front-punch is a Tsuki. And so on. Just names. A "kokyu" throw is really just a general name to the vast number of westerners who practice Aikido.

If you push enough, you'll get people who define kokyu, in the sense of kokyu-ryoku , as breath. "Watching the breath". The in-out of breath (that's actually not bad, but it's not complete). Or just "breathing".

The breath and breathing have a lot to do with the power of kokyu, but it's more in the sense that the breathing practice, for instance like Tohei's breathing exercises, develop a kind of power in the body. That's why the power is called "breath" power... it's developed from breath practice. But it's not the core power and you can develop kokyu power, to a certain extent, without spending so much time doing the complementary breathing exercises (although you'll need them if you plan to go very far).

Some people say Kokyu is about "timing". Well, but what "power" isn't about timing? Sure kokyu is dependent upon timing. But that doesn't define kokyu power in itself.

What I'm getting at is that "kokyu" is not just a name applied vaguely to some sort of techniques. It's a defining criterion of those techniques. If, as some people suggest, the defining criterion is not really necessary, then it's pointless calling it a "kokyunage". Call it what you want. It seems that many people in Aikido simply define things like they want to anyway and claim that it's "just as valid" because they "feel it" so strongly.

But at some point in time the question arises about the people who claim to love and cherish Aikido as Ueshiba's art. If they care so much, why do they just shrug when others of the community treat Aikido like a New Age plaything?
I often kid that unless its otherwise specified, its kokyu-nage.
Exactly the point I was making. What throw in Aikido is NOT a kokyu throw? Except for some of the "ki throw" category, of course, but they're a special case of "aiki", regardless.

So if a real kokyunage has to have real kokyu in it, how dependent is Aikido on having ki/kokyu skills? It's the basic building block from all things stem.


Mike Sigman
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