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Old 02-29-2008, 10:32 AM   #26
dps
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Re: Is it kokyu-nage if you don't use kokyu-power?

Mike,
Are you saying that we should first develope kokyu- power before we attempt to practice kokyunage? If so, how do we develope kokyu-power?

David
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Old 02-29-2008, 10:36 AM   #27
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Re: Is it kokyu-nage if you don't use kokyu-power?

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David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Mike,
Are you saying that we should first develope kokyu- power before we attempt to practice kokyunage? If so, how do we develope kokyu-power?

David
I assume you're asking Sigman not me?

Mike

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
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Old 02-29-2008, 10:38 AM   #28
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Re: Is it kokyu-nage if you don't use kokyu-power?

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Do you think a kokyunage is a kokyunage if it doesn't have the type of power shown in Tohei's "ki tests"?
I had more written here, but I've seen this movie already...

Yes, in Aikido, it's possible to do "kokyunage" without kokyu as you define or understand it. Please see my first post for at least one way this can happen (analogy to zanshin).

It's not how I do it, it's not how I would approve of my students (if I had any) doing it, but then I've stepped outside of mainstream Aikido, so I don't have to worry so much in my own practice about what Aikido should be or how it should or shouldn't be trained. I have a good number of years invested in the art however, and find it fascinating, so here I am.

Chris Moses
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Old 02-29-2008, 10:39 AM   #29
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Re: Is it kokyu-nage if you don't use kokyu-power?

Regarding kokyu-power, here are some things Gozo Shioda said about it:
"Kokyu power is produced when we push ourselves to the limit, making the most efficient use of the capabilities that lie within our own bodies."
"Another important point is that kokyu power is not limited to Aikido alone. Originally, it was certainly a part of all Japanese martial arts."
"As for what Aikido calls "kokyu power," this is something that is inherent in all human beings. It is the manifestation, at will, of power which is derived from the entire body."
"The basis of kokyu power is "center power", which is the power that keeps the body's center line absolutely straight."

Aikido Shugyo: Harmony in Confrontation, Gozo Shioda
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Old 02-29-2008, 10:40 AM   #30
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Re: Is it kokyu-nage if you don't use kokyu-power?

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Christian Schnarr wrote: View Post
Oh mike...
...could you imagine that we agree with your definition of kokyu-nage, but still stick to the widely spread meaning it has more or less to the rest of the people?
No, I can't imagine that at all. If some agrees with my definition, I hope it is because they know it to be true logically and functionally, not because of my good looks and smoothe way with words. Assuming that someone is convinced because of overwhelming logic though, what sort of person would "stick to the widely spread" (i.e., "wrong") meaning just to please other people? Sure such a person who would do that has no personal value at all?

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Mike Sigman
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Old 02-29-2008, 10:41 AM   #31
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Talking Re: Is it kokyu-nage if you don't use kokyu-power?

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Mike Haft wrote: View Post
I assume you're asking Sigman not me?
...you're close to understand the meaning of the word "Mike" ;-)
...what you might have considered as "Mike" in the past is "Haft" in our world ;-)

scnr
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Old 02-29-2008, 10:42 AM   #32
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Re: Is it kokyu-nage if you don't use kokyu-power?

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Sure such a person who would do that has no personal value at all?
Now that is constructive criticism. Why do I keep forgetting that these "debates" are really just Mike handing his wisdom down to us from his ivory tower?
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Old 02-29-2008, 10:42 AM   #33
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Re: Is it kokyu-nage if you don't use kokyu-power?

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Mike Haft wrote: View Post
I assume you're asking Sigman not me?

Mike
Well yea, I thought you were sent to the equivalent of hell in Mike Sigman's world.

David
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Old 02-29-2008, 10:43 AM   #34
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Re: Is it kokyu-nage if you don't use kokyu-power?

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Christian Schnarr wrote: View Post
Hmmm... if I stick close to the words I would say:
A kokyu-nage which has the type of power shown in Tohei's ki-tests is NOT a kokyu-nage. It is something you should name ki-nage (e.g.)
But kokyu-power contains the illustrated (by Tohei) "ki power" as its core basis.

Honestly, I think a lot of people understand very clearly what I'm saying, Christian. And I think that a lot of people can not understand what I am saying because they don't have the basic knowledge to do so. This is not a complicated topic, really.

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Mike Sigman
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Old 02-29-2008, 10:51 AM   #35
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Re: Is it kokyu-nage if you don't use kokyu-power?

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This is not a complicated topic, really.
Didn't Osensei refer to kokyu nage as the 20 year technique?
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Old 02-29-2008, 10:54 AM   #36
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Exclamation Re: Is it kokyu-nage if you don't use kokyu-power?

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
This is not a complicated topic, really.
Just if you are in a world of black and white...

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Honestly, I think a lot of people understand very clearly what I'm saying, Christian. And I think that a lot of people can not understand what I am saying because they don't have the basic knowledge to do so.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rorschach_inkblot_test
We see the same things... maybe we know the same things...
...but which view is right is defined by who is the psychologists and who is the patient...
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Old 02-29-2008, 10:55 AM   #37
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Re: Is it kokyu-nage if you don't use kokyu-power?

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Didn't Osensei refer to kokyu nage as the 20 year technique?
That's generally understood to be iriminage. FWIW

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Old 02-29-2008, 11:01 AM   #38
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Re: Is it kokyu-nage if you don't use kokyu-power?

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That's generally understood to be iriminage. FWIW
You know, that's what I was taught. But then I saw this:
http://www.aikido-world.com/highligh...s/kokunage.htm which confused me a little. That's why I questioned it.
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Old 02-29-2008, 11:07 AM   #39
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Re: Is it kokyu-nage if you don't use kokyu-power?

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Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
You know, that's what I was taught. But then I saw this:
http://www.aikido-world.com/highligh...s/kokunage.htm which confused me a little. That's why I questioned it.
I've never seen that from any other source. I've heard the iriminage = 20 year throw thingy from quite a few sources.

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Old 02-29-2008, 11:36 AM   #40
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Re: Is it kokyu-nage if you don't use kokyu-power?

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Yes, in Aikido, it's possible to do "kokyunage" without kokyu as you define or understand it.
The question was "Is it kokyu-nage if you don't use kokyu-power", but I'll take that as a statement from Chris Moses that kokyu-power is not critical to a technique called a "kokyunage". And BTW... the power/skill that flummoxed you at Akuzawa's would also be "kokyu power", in the general use of the term.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 02-29-2008, 11:52 AM   #41
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Re: Is it kokyu-nage if you don't use kokyu-power?

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
but I'll take that as a statement from Chris Moses that kokyu-power is not critical to a technique called a "kokyunage".
I didn't realize I was on trial here, but whatever makes you feel better. I won't move to have that struck from the record.

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
And BTW... the power/skill that flummoxed you at Akuzawa's would also be "kokyu power", in the general use of the term.
Mike, why do you constantly feel the need to bring this up? That was a year and a half ago (granted, not that long really) but it's old news. Does the fact that since then I've "flummoxed" everyone I've worked out with using this stuff mean that I might have some hint of a clue? You think just maybe that's a possibility? Naw, didn't think so.

Chris Moses
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Old 02-29-2008, 12:00 PM   #42
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Re: Is it kokyu-nage if you don't use kokyu-power?

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
I'm trying to frame a simplistic debate in response to something George Ledyard wrote, if for no other reason that it's an interesting discussion.

The question is whether an *Aikido* technique called "kokyu nage" is a kokyu nage even if you don't use kokyu-power to do it with. That should be a fairly straightforward "yes" or "no" question. Sure, someone could argue that "when you're learning to do it, of course you don't have it down correctly, yet", but the question still devolves to a reasonably straightforward yes or no on that part.

The second part of the question is this: Let's say that you don't have any kokyu power (or you have erroneous or incomplete power that is somewhat aimed at kokyu, but not really kokyu)... does doing the kokyu nage with all sorts of subtleties and "advanced understanding", etc., then make it a kokyu nage? Even though you don't do it with kokyu power.

Again, it's going to be an opinion-driven discussion, but there's a part of it that is worth thinking about. Particularly if you're concerned with spiritual purity!

By the way... please read my tone as good-humoured bantering, not as hectoring.

Best.

Mike Sigman
Hi Mike,
Aikido has a range of development in its waza. What the beginner starts with and an unfortunate number still do much later is basically what I would call the jiu jutsu level of technique. That would be the aspect of technique which depends on an understanding of the merely physical components balance lines, weak spots on the body, locking of joints, etc.

Ideally, through training, this level of technique should be superseded by the ability to use the internal power we've been discussing. But that is largely not happening in Aikido as it should. So "kokyunage" can be done without much in the way of kokyu simply with the application of body movement power on the weak lines of the partner. But technique done in that manner is fundamentally limited. It's only going to work on someone you can outpower. Aiki is joining with the energy of their attack and giving it a new direction. You can see this in the clips of Mifune on YouTube. These gigantic, buff judo boys can't throw him at all then he turns around and launches them effortlessly. That's aiki. That's what Aikido should be but too often isn't.

I stated that I thought Aikido training needs to be turned upside down. That statement was questioned on the other thread. But you are right to ask the question "can it be kokyu nage without kokyu?". The answer is, I think, no. There may be a jiu jutsu version that has the same outer form but that can't be the true kokyu nage.

The way I was trained in Aikido was just about the worst way I could imagine to develop the kind of skills we are talking about. I walked into the DC dojo back in 1976 and simply joined the class. There was no beginner program. Half of the ten or so students were Shodans who had moved there to help Sensei open the dojo. The rest were total newbies like myself. We just got out there and trained. We did an array of waza that was mind boggling, because that was the way Sensei taught. We trained very hard and with great enthusiasm but we trained stupidly.

When you are brand new you are simply incapable of doing technique properly. So each and every repetition is imprinting a wrong habit into the body. I was just at a seminar with Kevin Choate Sensei. He talked about a book by a man named Eric Kandel called In Search of Memory. I haven't read it yet myself but apparently it has quite a bit on how learning takes place in the body and the brain. The salient point that related to what we were doing in the seminar had to do with just how easy it is to imprint a bad habit into the body and how hard it was to reprogram that later on.

If we are striving for technique that is relaxed, then the training needs to be relaxed. If we striving to rid ourselves of fear, then the training needs to not create fear. If we are striving for waza which utilizes internal power, then the training should start with that. Whether it is doing the solo exercises which develop the structure of internal power right from day one or doing paired practice which is designed to imprint certain body / mind skills, it needs to be done right from the start.

We had a bit of discussion a few weeks ago about training with Angier Sensei. We talked about how he would take one simple movement and have you do it for weeks until you really had it in your body. He wouldn't let you do it wrong. He had a whole series of these paired exercises that you had to master before you ever got to do something you might see as a throw.

For most people, spending months, if not years on just the exercises without being allowed to do anything that even remotely looked practical would be unthinkable. I'm not sure that one could operate a dojo at which the rent had to be paid each month by doing that. You simply wouldn't have enough students.

But I understand why he did that. The Systema folks do much the same thing. Their practice is designed to imprint exactly what skills they are trying to teach, whether it's relaxation in the body, psychic connection with the partner, whatever. They don't just jump in and do knife takeaways... they start with a partner exercise in which you simply touch each other with the point of a knife and start to develop sensitivity to the incoming energy. Then they start moving as the knife comes in, just ahead of the tip. Eventually you get to the point at which you start to be able to feel the path of the knife and the intention of the knife wielder. If, at any part of this training it starts to bring up tension, either physical or mental, then they don't move to the next stage but rather back off a little until you have been able to move that tension out of your body. They do not do anything which imprints the wrong lessons into the mind and body.

The way I was taught and the way most people learn their Aikido is to take an outer form, as demonstrated by the instructor, and proceed to manipulate and force your partner into that form, regardless of whether the energy he gave you had anything in common with the energy the instructor's uke gave him. If you deviate from the form the teacher demonstrated, you are corrected.

So, in a school where folks are trying to be very "martial" the partner sees his role as resisting the technique and you learn, right from the very start, to force the technique using precisely the wrong energy in the body and the wrong energy in the mind. In a school which doesn't train that way, what happens is that, since the beginner can't yet do the technique demonstrated by the instructor, it becomes the job of the partner to shape himself or herself into the proper form of the technique. Neither one of these training methods will result in any significant number of students figuring out what the top level folks are doing. The ones who do, either went outside to get some help figuring things out, or they are the intuitive genius types like Saotome Sensei. The rest of the folks are left out in the dark.

If you were local, or I knew someone here who has what you have, I'd invite you to do a class at my dojo weekly. I would incorporate that material into my program at all levels, especially the beginners. Fortunately, since I have a Systema school right on the other side of the wall from my dojo, we get exposure to some of the best people in North America. I can see my instructors incorporating very things they have gotten training with these folks into their classes.

We completely reworked our beginner program. The techniques that they now do for their first kyu test are all static and and all start from the same kosa dori attack. No strikes at all. The entire emphasis is on mental connection and proper relaxation of the body and the mind. We make it as user friendly as possible to avoid all that fear based tension that occurs when people are thrown in over their heads too quickly. Every attempt is made to avoid imprinting the wrong thing because it is far more difficult to un-program later.

I teach all over the country and I see hundreds of Aikido folks at all levels. The vast majority are not training in such a way that they will ever get the skills that their Shihan level teachers have. Much of the training is imprinting, over and over, precisely the opposite of what should be happening. That's why the input you guys are giving is so important. As you stated, you don't really do the waza we do. So when you teach, it gives folks the chance to disconnect from the bad habits because what you are doing is unfamiliar. If you can get them to feel what you are doing and then get that same feel in their own bodies, then there is a good chance that they can run with that and start putting that "feel" into their own waza. That's what happened to me at the Expo after training with Kuroda Sensei. I got the feel of what he was doing and came back and reworked everything I did to make it feel like that.

These discussions tend to end up with folks "taking sides" when there aren't any sides. I have no disagreement with you on the issue of skills at all. You are obviously correct that kokyunage without kokyu isn't REALLY a kokyunage. Aikido with no understanding of "aiki" isn't really Aikido.

In my own case I am pretty angry about it. I spent 25 years training wrong. How good could I have been if I had trained smart right from the start? But it's no ones fault... my teachers taught me the same way they had been taught. I marvel that they got as good as they did training as they did. But it's also the case that very few get to that level and that's why. Most folks simply don't get there because they don't have that innate talent to figure it out without some help. This "steal the technique" attitude is BS as far as I am concerned, it has resulted in thousands and tens of thousands of folks "stealing" the wrong thing. They missed the masterpiece and stole a not very good reproduction.

It's going to take a while to correct this situation on any wide scale. First, there have to be some instructors who are honest enough about their training to be willing to change and go through a retooling of what they have been doing. Then they need to get out there widely and pass on these skills.

Who is going to do that? Well, it has to be us. There is no one else. It's not like the folks back in Japan are training that way and we can rely on them to send folks over here to help us out. Sure there are teachers in Japan who do have these skills to one extent or another. Maybe they come over once or even twice a year for a seminar or two. But the kind of broad exposure to teachers who have the skills we are talking about that will be required to move the art as a whole in a better direction, that will take folks who are here getting out, and getting out frequently, and passing on what they know to the mass of instructors out there running dojos all over the hinterlands. This is a very long term project I think.

So the goal is kokyunage with kokyu, the real masterpiece rather than the fake. It will be interesting to see who's interested in that and who's content with the fake because it was cheaper.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 02-29-2008, 12:23 PM   #43
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Re: Is it kokyu-nage if you don't use kokyu-power?

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Mike, why do you constantly feel the need to bring this up? That was a year and a half ago (granted, not that long really) but it's old news. Does the fact that since then I've "flummoxed" everyone I've worked out with using this stuff mean that I might have some hint of a clue? You think just maybe that's a possibility? Naw, didn't think so.
Chris, please don't think I'm trying to dissuade you of your opinion of things, but in my admittedly different opinion, no one who has been working at this stuff sporadically for a whole year and a half has any business "teaching" it already. They're just starting out. But maybe your upper-end goal is not the same as mine.

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Mike Sigman
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Old 02-29-2008, 12:32 PM   #44
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Re: Is it kokyu-nage if you don't use kokyu-power?

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
What the beginner starts with and an unfortunate number still do much later is basically what I would call the jiu jutsu level of technique.
I understand what you're saying, George, and I would respond that there is in almost every dojo some superficial, token practice of Aiki Taiso... exercises which were *meant* to get beginners started on the correct movement. The fact that people missed it does not mean that Aikido has the failing, IMO.
Quote:
But you are right to ask the question "can it be kokyu nage without kokyu?". The answer is, I think, no. There may be a jiu jutsu version that has the same outer form but that can't be the true kokyu nage.
OK. That pretty much satisfies the previous discussion of whether "No Kokyu, No Aikido" is true, then. That was the point I was trying to make.
Quote:
You are obviously correct that kokyunage without kokyu isn't REALLY a kokyunage. Aikido with no understanding of "aiki" isn't really Aikido.
"Aiki", kokyu, ki, etc., are all so interrelated that for the purposes of this conversation, Ushiro's comments about kokyu are pretty much true. Now could Ushiro, with his knowledge of ki/kokyu things understand the "finer points" of Aikido in the way that, say, Sunadomari does? Absolutely not. But could Ushiro and Sunadomari agree on the essentials and the "finer points" of developing ki/kokyu.... I have no doubt of it.
Quote:
In my own case I am pretty angry about it. I spent 25 years training wrong. How good could I have been if I had trained smart right from the start?
Exactly. That's what I've been trying to say, George. I could also piss and moan about how frustrated I was, but I instead think that there's another guy out there, just like me but younger and still capable of playing the game, and I try to feed him the info that I couldn't get. It's not about me anymore because I'm past it. So I do the best I can. What the hey.

Best.

Mike
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Old 02-29-2008, 12:46 PM   #45
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Re: Is it kokyu-nage if you don't use kokyu-power?

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Chris, please don't think I'm trying to dissuade you of your opinion of things, but in my admittedly different opinion, no one who has been working at this stuff sporadically for a whole year and a half has any business "teaching" it already. They're just starting out. But maybe your upper-end goal is not the same as mine.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
That would be why I don't teach it. I just train. As for being "sporadic", I've consistently spent 4-8 hours a week doing what I've learned in that year and a half. Again, I don't claim that's a massive amount of time, but I don't think it's fair to call it sporadic. I've never claimed mastery, or deep understanding. You seem to miss that I almost always qualify my comments with Aunkai *basics* when I talk about what I've been doing. I'm not on the seminar circuit. Ark was supposedly pleased with what our group had been able to do out here on our own. Of course he didn't come in and say, "Ah, you have all mastered this!" But according to Rob he at least appreciated the obvious effort and improvement that we showed. That's not a huge statement. If I'm lying or even overstating this, I would expect Rob to bring that to our attention. At Ark's seminar at George's I got the same thing over and over again when I worked with new folks, "Hmm, you don't feel like everyone else... You're really hard to move..." All I'm saying is that I don't know *nothing*.

You asked a question, and I answered it as clearly as I could. I'm really tired of your tone. You have never met me or had any interaction with me, yet you make huge leaps of logic about me. I don't appreciate that and it does little to encourage me to enter into the kind of honest and open discourse you claim to be seeking on these forums. Perhaps you need to realize that folks on these forums aren't reacting against the idea of internal skill building or improving themselves or their art, but rather to your patronizing tone and general rudeness.

Chris Moses
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Old 02-29-2008, 01:09 PM   #46
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Re: Is it kokyu-nage if you don't use kokyu-power?

Well, another Chris Moses post that goes unavoidably back to the personal. Good luck in your searches, Chris.

Mike Sigman
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Old 02-29-2008, 01:26 PM   #47
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Re: Is it kokyu-nage if you don't use kokyu-power?

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
I could also piss and moan about how frustrated I was, but I instead think that there's another guy out there, just like me but younger and still capable of playing the game, and I try to feed him the info that I couldn't get.
Now imagine if you were feeding us training insights, stories of your own experiences, and youtube videos of you and your students demonstrating drills we could try out in our dojos, instead of just telling us over and over that we are terrible at these skills.

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Perhaps you need to realize that folks on these forums aren't reacting against the idea of internal skill building or improving themselves or their art, but rather to your patronizing tone and general rudeness.
Yup. Many of us accepted the invitation thinking the buffet was to follow. Still waiting on that.
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Old 02-29-2008, 01:28 PM   #48
ramenboy
Dojo: midwest aikido center
Location: chicago
Join Date: Mar 2004
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Re: Is it kokyu-nage if you don't use kokyu-power?

i was taught that kokyu nage is breath throw. so as we are learning it, and later on, as we're doing it, we're learning to breath 'naturally' and not hold our breath during the movement.

or maybe i wasnn't taught that, that's just what i got out of the lesson :P

i think kokyu nage as the name of a set of techniques, not a literal translation of the japanese word.
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Old 02-29-2008, 01:43 PM   #49
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Re: Is it kokyu-nage if you don't use kokyu-power?

Quote:
Benjamin Edelen wrote: View Post
[[snip gratuitous remarks]]
I guess in a few cases I'm known by my enemies. Benjamin, you post amazingly like Justin Smith.

Regards.

Mike Sigman
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Old 02-29-2008, 01:56 PM   #50
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
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Re: Is it kokyu-nage if you don't use kokyu-power?

Sheesh, another good thread down the drain.

Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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