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Old 08-27-2009, 10:29 PM   #26
eyrie
 
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Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Nice story! Haven't heard that one before... (not really)

Moral: If you can't pass the handshake test, don't bother testing your techniques... ?

But we digress... what I meant to say (and I left it out before about uni-directional training) - and as you have said so yourself many times before, is that there's a logical progression to the skills development. So, maybe sticking to simple single directional exerises or "sections" of techniques in which power is expressed in one direction only, as a first start, may be better than something a little more complex as tenchinage.

Coz I think "techniques" are as far away as you can get from truly developing kokyu than other more direct methods. Sure, you might develop *some* kokyu as a result, but I feel that the focus on technique obscures that particular aspect of training and development.

Ignatius
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Old 08-27-2009, 10:33 PM   #27
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Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
it happened to be a technique I was taught years ago as a case study in learning to do as little as possible with the hands and simply moving the entire body in a unified fashion -- a ki test of sorts.
Hi Keith:

Well, it could be a ki-test of sorts, I guess, but the ground goes up to the upper hand in such a way that a "ki-test" by a partner would find it rock solid and a separate "ki-test" would find the lower hand impossible to lift. So the full test would be to have both of these things present at once. All I was saying was that for starters, in line with what Ron was asking, I would simply suggest a test of one of the elements rather than both at the same time.

Best.

Mike
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Old 08-27-2009, 10:41 PM   #28
Keith Larman
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Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Hi Keith:

Well, it could be a ki-test of sorts, I guess, but the ground goes up to the upper hand in such a way that a "ki-test" by a partner would find it rock solid and a separate "ki-test" would find the lower hand impossible to lift. So the full test would be to have both of these things present at once. All I was saying was that for starters, in line with what Ron was asking, I would simply suggest a test of one of the elements rather than both at the same time.

Best.

Mike
Yeah, true enough. I just got on a riff when they started talking about tenchinage as it is a favorite of mine. No, not a good starting point for something like this -- but great as an advanced application with lots to think about and resolve.

By the way, I had a kid's class working on testing one-point at the shoulder (one spot we normally do it), then moved out to the bent arm and did it again. Then added the light pull and had them focus on what was happening in their bodies and how they could ground both. Some of the the kids pick it up a faster than us old farts...

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Old 08-27-2009, 10:43 PM   #29
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Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

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Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
Moral: If you can't pass the handshake test, don't bother testing your techniques... ?
Exactly. If you don't pass the simple handshake test (or the simple "push" test that I use because it's a tad more comprehensive) you can't do the higher-level stuff no matter how strong you are personally. Normal strength fades with age; this type of strength is considered an "investment for old age" as both Shioda and Ueshiba noted (actually, it's a famous statement).

Can I use just this type of strength singularly to win the Olympics power-lifting championship? No. If I did use this strength though, it would boost my ability overall, no doubt, but that's not the main point. And Aikido isn't built on just strength and power alone, anyway.

But anyway... now the reason for the famous Asian "dead-fish handshake" should be apparent.

Best.

Mike
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Old 08-27-2009, 10:46 PM   #30
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Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
By the way, I had a kid's class working on testing one-point at the shoulder (one spot we normally do it), then moved out to the bent arm and did it again. Then added the light pull and had them focus on what was happening in their bodies and how they could ground both. Some of the the kids pick it up a faster than us old farts...
But the kids are "tighter" and more pliable than the old guys. As a person gets older his "suit" degrades and gets leaky (and other things, but enough), etc. Hence the idea generally that we lose our qi as we get older. So a kid being naturally "tighter" than an older person... that's to be expected.

Best.

Mike
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Old 08-27-2009, 10:49 PM   #31
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Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

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But anyway... now the reason for the famous Asian "dead-fish handshake" should be apparent.
Unfortunately, that wouldn't work at a job interview...

Ignatius
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Old 08-27-2009, 10:55 PM   #32
Fred Little
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Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Frankly, Fredly, I think that the multiple factors are exactly why I wouldn't recommend Tenchinage as a very beginning case study. But since you bought the last beer and may inadvertantly buy the next one, I'll let it pass.

Best.

Mike
Hey Mike. Whatever you do, please don't treat a mere descriptive rationale for a phenomenon as if it were a wholesale endorsement of a pedagogical method!

Regards,

Fred

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Old 08-27-2009, 10:57 PM   #33
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Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

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Hey Mike. Whatever you do, please don't treat a mere descriptive rationale for a phenomenon as if it were a wholesale endorsement of a pedagogical method!

Regards,

Fred
Oh, no one on this forum would *ever* do that, right?

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Old 08-28-2009, 06:56 AM   #34
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Hey, thanks guys...we've got a good set of folks here to discuss this.

Quote:
why not stick to the really basic stuff, like... er... kokyu-ho instead? I mean, isn't that the entire point of kokyu-ho; for kokyu development? Or am I missing the context because I wasn't at the seminar?
Well, the reasons I didn't pick kokyu nage are:

Too many damn versions of things called kokyu nage...especially the one where you just muscle the guy to the floor!

It was used in one of Mike's seminars.

I am perfectly fine with what ever waza y'all want to pick. Let's try the one handed kokyu nage form that is just the bottom hand from tenchi nage if you like. What I do want is for us to start discussing the transition from the development exercises to either a section of or a whole actual aikido waza. Waza is (in my opinion) the single worst way to **develop** these skills...but in the end, that is the finished product (in a sense) that most of us are aiming for. I don't think it hurts to start to talk about how the different exercises develop a skill, and how that skill is used in practice.

I'm totaly open to what ever direction we take as long as we discuss some frakin details...

Best,
Ron

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Old 08-28-2009, 07:20 AM   #35
C. David Henderson
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Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
If someone doesn't have the basic skills, by inference their upper-level skills are going to be lacking, no matter how "powerful" they are, how much of a push they can take, and so on. It's the purity of the skills that determines the ultimate higher levels.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
Hi Mike,

In this context, when you talk about power, is it in the sense that includes "external" strength -- driven by engaging extrinsic muscle groups?

Or, going back to the quote in the OP, is it murkier than that?

Regards,

David
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Old 08-28-2009, 07:50 AM   #36
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Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
David Henderson wrote: View Post
Hi Mike,

In this context, when you talk about power, is it in the sense that includes "external" strength -- driven by engaging extrinsic muscle groups?

Or, going back to the quote in the OP, is it murkier than that?
Hi David:

Well, using a simple two-handed push as an example (probably the easiest example to use): Ideally, in terms of the Yin-Yang cosmology you'd like to utilize the power from the solidity of the ground and the power from the weight of the body to do most of the work. The contributions of the "intrinsic strengths" of body (not counting much on the normal use of muscle) would then be brought into play using the "intent" to direct the body, the support from the ground and the power of the weight, as need be and in the direction(s) that you want. Those are the ideal powers; the use of muscle is secondary and considered the 'coarser' way to go. That description would be Earth, Heaven, Man, respectively.

Best.

Mike
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Old 08-28-2009, 07:55 AM   #37
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Hi Ignatius, I just realized that you wrote kokyu ho not kokyu nage...

Kokyu ho dosa in Doshinkan has 10 different very specific variations, with very specific outer physical details. Same issue as kokyu nage really...if you'd like, pick a basic kokyu ho (say, from a static grasp and hold) and describe the basic physical parameters you'd like to limit the discusion to, and then we can get into the "inner workings" so to speak.

Best,
Ron

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Old 08-28-2009, 09:11 AM   #38
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Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Thank you.
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Old 08-28-2009, 09:31 AM   #39
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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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Old 08-28-2009, 09:34 AM   #40
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Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

how about start with this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1DeDi9EU4s#t=4m26s

should be simple, no?
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Old 08-28-2009, 10:09 AM   #41
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Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post

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.

.
how's about do that without moving your feet, yet creating the same affect as moving your feet? use uke's arm as your arm, i.e. uke's shoulder is your hand, the place where you both connect is the elbow. and in order to accomplish that you have to do what?
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Old 08-28-2009, 11:03 AM   #42
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Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

A clarification for my last post. I'm not saying that timing and body movement,etc aren't important. I only make the distinction that when I was working on internal stuff, the other parts were interfering with that kind of training - for me. I still view timing, body movement, flow, etc as important.
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Old 08-28-2009, 11:06 AM   #43
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Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
how's about do that without moving your feet, yet creating the same affect as moving your feet? use uke's arm as your arm, i.e. uke's shoulder is your hand, the place where you both connect is the elbow. and in order to accomplish that you have to do what?
If I didn't move my feet, then it wouldn't be looked at as a "normal" aikido technique for *training*. I'm sure quite a few Aikido people out there can do that technique without moving. I'm just viewing this as training.

But, if I did want to do that without moving, I'd still do the same things I'm doing while moving: contradictory forces, cross line body pathways, turn at waist, spirals, intent, spine turning, breath, hara, open/close, etc. All within me.
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Old 08-28-2009, 12:30 PM   #44
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Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Well, for myself, I have notes about doing some rather simple things sometime in the future after I have a little more time to feel more comfortable with the new feelings. One would be a very simple ikkyo from kosadori -- Some of those "reeling" exercises (I think they were called) remind me very much of really basic movements to doing ikkyo in that case. On the very advanced side one for one heck of a test one could extend that into futari ikkyo.

Other things include simple hijiotoshi type techniques. Rooting into the ground then dropping everything as one integral piece.

More tools in the toolbox...

But I always harp on our aikitaiso and test them rather extensively (to the dismay of some students). I've increased my testing a bit and added a few things lately due to experiences. New ways of explaining helping the students understand what's going on.

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Old 08-28-2009, 01:51 PM   #45
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Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
how about start with this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1DeDi9EU4s#t=4m26s

should be simple, no?
Yeah. So ...

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-28-2009, 02:11 PM   #46
C. David Henderson
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Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Mark,

Thanks for taking the time for your posts. Very detailed, specific, and informative.
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Old 08-28-2009, 02:21 PM   #47
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Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

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David Henderson wrote: View Post
Mark,

Thanks for taking the time for your posts. Very detailed, specific, and informative.
Yes. Thank you!
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Old 08-28-2009, 02:34 PM   #48
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

I'm sorry I haven't been able to contribute much today...work got in the way!

More this weekend or Monday...

Best,
Ron (TGIF)

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Old 08-28-2009, 06:08 PM   #49
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Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

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I just realized that you wrote kokyu ho not kokyu nage... Kokyu ho dosa in Doshinkan has 10 different very specific variations, with very specific outer physical details.
NP Ron... I'm not familiar with how the Doshinkan does it 10 different ways, but I would suspect it comes from DR (maybe?), and it'd be in the 10 basic directions? I assume that's done in seiza? In any case, wouldn't it be variations on the same thing? I.E. at a fundamental level, expanding the groundpath in *any* direction, and using the breath to hook up the "suit"?

So, technically speaking, all those variations of kokyu-nage would essentially be variations of the same thing, would it not?

OK, maybe make it a little simpler... let's take a really basic exercise like funekogi undo where you're expanding/contracting in one plane only... same idea? How about doing funekogi without moving at all? I.E. simply stand as you would as if in preparation to do funekogi, BUT without the forward/backward rowing motion? What would you be training then? How would you be training? What is it you're working on?

Then, if you want to talk about "testing", have someone hold your wrists and push gently, straight in with a constant force, whilst in that position. Can you bounce/push/throw them off - without moving? How much arm/shoulder are you engaging? Where is your power coming from? And how is that the same/different to basic kokyu-ho where you simply throw the uke up and back, or to the side?

Ignatius
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Old 08-28-2009, 06:21 PM   #50
eyrie
 
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Re: Kokyu development for Aiki in Aikido

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
So, we start working, say, cross-hand wrist grab kotegaeshi...
Wow... what a long post... See, the problem with describing the "internals" of doing a technique (whether you're training the "internals" or just "technique") is just that... it's too complicated. You kinda lost my already short attention span at the first paragraph... Imagine having to describe this to a class, much less on a forum. It simply won't work.

Maybe take a very small section of the technique and try to describe what's going on. Using the example of kotegaeshi (not a good example IMHO, but worth trying as a thought experiment), perhaps just limit it to a singular aspect - either the entry, the middle, or the exit?

IOW, treat it like a problem solving exercise - break it up into smaller, more manageable chunks.

Ignatius
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