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Old 02-01-2011, 03:40 PM   #1
RonRagusa
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 624
United_States
Offline
One Hundred and Eighty

Below I've listed all of the Ki development exercises that we practice at our dojo (it is possible that there are a couple that I have neglected to include; the list keeps growing as Mary and I look for ways to challenge ourselves and our students). We use these exercises as teaching tools to help students grow in the following areas: how to establish and enhance correct feeling associated with coordination of mind and body, development and strengthening of correct feeling while stationary or in motion, body core strengthening, introduction to technique basic movements, increased awareness of moving from the center, a way of moving such that the extremities arrive and leave last, establish and maintain a connection with a partner while stationary or in motion, having body parts move independently while simultaneously maintaining a unified structure, there's more but you get the idea. The exercises all are designed to have the student look inside and realize that strength is generated from the coordination of mind/body.

When I began my training I thought these exercises were to be used for warming up and pretty much missed the point. I'd go through the motions always looking to get to technique which I thought of as the real stuff. Looking back I laugh, realizing now that the very purpose of the exercises was the mind/body coordination that I was defeating in my zeal to get to technique practice. When that all changed I began to get "heavy"...

Ki Development Exercises

Solo --
1. Rowing motion
2. Ikkyo one direction
3. Ikkyo two directions
4. Ikkyo four directions
5. Ikkyo eight directions
6. Sayu undo
7. Sayu undo with side step
8. Swing arms side to side
9. Forward extension
10. Roll backward come back to sitting
11. Roll backward and stand
12. Wrist curl
13. Low wrist break
14. High wrist break
15. Wrist stretches
16. Tenkan
17. Irimi
18. Ude furi undo
19. Forward & back rolls (large & small)
20. Empty hand free movement

Partnered Stationary --
1. Unbendable arm
2. Immovable arm from outside
3. Immovable arm from inside
4. Weight underside
5. Vertical arm lift/pull
6. Collarbone push
7. Lower back push
8. Upper back push
9. Upper chest push
10. Kata tori push left & right stances
11. Kata tori push natural stance
12. Kata tori push one foot
13. Katate tori push left & right stances
14. Katate tori push natural stance
15. Katate tori push one foot
16. Ryote tori push left & right stances
17. Ryote tori push natural stance
18. Ryote tori push one foot
19. Upper arm grab bring along
20. Chin lift
21. Seiza front push
22. Seiza rear push
23. Seiza knee lift
24. Seiza hand lift
25. Seiza head push
26. Ukemi front push
27. Resist roll back and stand
28. Palm to palm stiff arm push left & right stances
29. Palm to palm stiff arm push natural stance
30. Palm to palm stiff arm push one foot
31. Palms to palms unbendable arm push left & right stances
32. Palms to palms unbendable arm push natural stance
33. Palms to palms unbendable arm push one foot
34. Suspend nage between 2 chairs (sitting on nage optional)
35. Random continuous pushing to different parts of nage's body

Partnered Motion --
1. Katate tori move uke backward
2. Katate tori draw uke in
3. Katate tori enter to uke's side
4. Ryote tori move uke backward
5. Ryote tori draw uke in
6. Ryote tori enter to uke's side
7. Two uke katate ryote tori weight underside sink to the mat
8. Ikkyo exercise through partner's arm (up and down)
9. Lift partner's arm after ikkyo exercise
10. Kata tori tenkan, partner tests after the turn
11. Tenkan .partner says stop somewhere in the action and then tests immediately for one point
12. Nage does any throw and uke gets up and tests for one point
13. Bring uke along without forcing
14. Weight underside 2 uke nage moving and stopping
15. Random continuous pushing to different parts of nage's body while nage moving

Solo Weapons --
1. Multi step random forms with jo staff
2. Multi step random forms with bokken
3. Multi step random forms with two bokken
4. Free movement with jo staff/bokken/2 bokken
5. 1000 strikes
6. Day long bokken/jo staff carry

Partnered Weapons --
1. Lead uke w/ jo staff
2. Partnered jo staff leading
3. Push/pull bokken
4. Lift jo staff
5. Push down on jo staff
6. Push jo staff into nage
7. Pull jo staff away from nage

(Original blog post may be found here.)
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Old 02-01-2011, 03:59 PM   #2
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
Location: Devon
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,219
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: One Hundred and Eighty

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post

When I began my training I thought these exercises were to be used for warming up and pretty much missed the point. I'd go through the motions always looking to get to technique which I thought of as the real stuff. Looking back I laugh, realizing now that the very purpose of the exercises was the mind/body coordination that I was defeating in my zeal to get to technique practice. When that all changed I began to get "heavy"...
Hi Ron,

I had to smile when I read this, as I felt exactly the same. As warm up exercises, they are quite frankly pretty rubbish aren't they? But they all, if taught and practiced properly, there to help the student move towards the mind/body co-ordination that is required to practice aikido.

My own teacher goes as far to say that 'aikido is a series of dynamic ki development exercises'. I think I am at a point where I can see the truth in this. These Tohei created/inspired exercises are definitely a force for positive learning in aikido. I can't imagine having reached the understanding I have without them (an impossible hypothisis to verify).

Thanks for posting, I recognise just about all of them.

regards,

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:13 PM   #3
RonRagusa
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 624
United_States
Offline
Re: One Hundred and Eighty

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote: View Post
My own teacher goes as far to say that 'aikido is a series of dynamic ki development exercises'. I think I am at a point where I can see the truth in this. These Tohei created/inspired exercises are definitely a force for positive learning in aikido. I can't imagine having reached the understanding I have without them (an impossible hypothisis to verify).
Hi Mark -

I like that. It's gratifying to know that internal training in Aikido is alive and well; and not just in my small corner of the world.

Best,

Ron
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