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Old 12-27-2012, 12:49 PM   #1
S.fort
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O'Sensei and Kokyu Nage

I would like to discuss this quote from a interview with Yasuo Kobayashi:

Quote:
Q: Is that so - did that have the freestyle (jiyu-waza) demonstrations so common in Aikido at that time?

A: No, that began after the examination system was established. When the membership began to increase a system of kyu and dan examinations was instituted, and the uchi-deshi would take ukemi. However there were never more than around five uchi-deshi, so they could not partner up with the expanding number of students and the students were made to partner with each other for ukemi. At that time freestyle was added as an item on the examination. We held demonstrations from the time that I started, but since basic techniques alone were thought to be boring it was decided to show kokyu-nage as well. Until that time kokyu-nage was not done often in the dojo.

Q: Why was that?

A: O-Sensei did not like kokyu-nage very much. "What good is simply throwing around people like that?" was his thinking. However it was good for training, so it was added to the normal practice. Aiki-nage was much the same - behind the scenes of how freestyle became introduced these kinds of things happened. While we're discussing this, as far as I know koshi-nage was not practiced much in the beginning. After Nishio and Kuroiwa researched it independently other instructors began to steal their techniques.
http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/...of-the-founder

I was really puzzled when i read this, every movie i saw O'Sensei doing empty hand techniques looked like he was doing kokyu nage most of the time. Even in the 1935 Asahi Film he seems to use kokyu nage the majority of the time.

So what you think about this? O'Sensei was using another technique during the films that i'm wrong interpreting as kokyu nage? Or O'Sensei used kokyu nage all of the time but didn't want his students using it for some reason?
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:56 PM   #2
JW
 
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Re: O'Sensei and Kokyu Nage

Quote:
Sylvio Mafort wrote: View Post
Even in the 1935 Asahi Film he seems to use kokyu nage the majority of the time.
I agree, and that film even has a section explicitly entitled "Kokyu nage," so it's not the case that we are interpretting his movements wrong.

Kobayashi sensei also reiterates here, saying that kokyu nage was discouraged before the mid 1950s: "techniques like Kokyu-nage were only done after we started giving demonstrations," in the section about training after 1955. "So, if you did those techniques in front of Ueshiba O-Sensei you would be scolded. He'd say things like - it's just impossible to throw anybody that way."

I think it's certainly likely that since Kobayashi sensei started in 1954, maybe what he says is true regarding a subset of the timeline of aikido. Which might mean that in 1935, kokyu nage did exist, but only in a way that didn't "stick" permanently in the training regimen. (Maybe even then it was not something that O-sensei had the students do.)

I think the quotes are interesting. My current interpretation is that O-sensei was perfectly confident in what he was doing, but saw what his students were doing as something different altogether: "it's just impossible to throw anybody that way." (i.e. "what I was doing to throw people is not that.")
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:39 PM   #3
Chris Li
 
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Re: O'Sensei and Kokyu Nage

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
I agree, and that film even has a section explicitly entitled "Kokyu nage," so it's not the case that we are interpretting his movements wrong.

Kobayashi sensei also reiterates here, saying that kokyu nage was discouraged before the mid 1950s: "techniques like Kokyu-nage were only done after we started giving demonstrations," in the section about training after 1955. "So, if you did those techniques in front of Ueshiba O-Sensei you would be scolded. He'd say things like - it's just impossible to throw anybody that way."

I think it's certainly likely that since Kobayashi sensei started in 1954, maybe what he says is true regarding a subset of the timeline of aikido. Which might mean that in 1935, kokyu nage did exist, but only in a way that didn't "stick" permanently in the training regimen. (Maybe even then it was not something that O-sensei had the students do.)

I think the quotes are interesting. My current interpretation is that O-sensei was perfectly confident in what he was doing, but saw what his students were doing as something different altogether: "it's just impossible to throw anybody that way." (i.e. "what I was doing to throw people is not that.")
It may be less a matter of whether or not Kokyu-nage itself existed as it was a matter of Ueshiba discouraging it everyday practice because people weren't able to do it correctly yet. Also from that interview:

Quote:
Kobayashi: He would do techniques that were similar to Irimi-nage, but we were just imitating those things for the demonstrations. So if we did those things during training we would be scolded.
My impression from hearing this same story at various different times from Kobayashi is that he felt that Ueshiba was doing something different, but when the students tried to imitate it they were reaching above their pay grade - so to speak.

However, since the demonstrations required flashier techniques they were added anyway. Then they started to practice them in the dojo, even though the techniques were still really out of reach of their abilities. And so it goes...

Best,

Chris

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Old 12-28-2012, 10:11 PM   #4
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Re: O'Sensei and Kokyu Nage

All you need to do is look at "Budo Renshu". You can see several examples of kokyu nage, and examples of koshi nage as well.

Of course, what we are calling kokyu or koshi nage could be different. But classic examples of kokyu and koshi nage are shown.

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Old 12-29-2012, 08:52 AM   #5
chillzATL
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Re: O'Sensei and Kokyu Nage

and then there's the video of him demonstrating and then taking ukemi for a kid doing...kokyunage, obviously enjoying himself the whole way. Is it any wonder we sit around arguing about what aikido is?
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