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Old 07-15-2005, 10:27 AM   #1
Mike Sigman
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Defining Kokyu

(Transferred from "Highest Level" thread)
Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
I give example after example of people doing things at least beyond what I would consider normal strength, and you seem to suggest that those examples are probably not quite kokyu movement yet.
Maybe if we try to define the term "kokyu" in terms of the power, i.e., "kokyu ryoku", we could get more of a consensus conversation, Rob. I did a quick Google on the term and I noticed that there are actually a number of definitions floated out there by "ranking" members of the Aikido community. I sort of surprised at how many people think kokyu power is focused on the inhale and exhale and how many suggestions revolve around "breathe in and then breathe out" when doing techniques. If that was the case, most sports people would exhibit "kokyu power" and it wouldn't be a very big deal.

How about if we take some basic kokyu throw, something simple, and discuss it in terms of how the power is generated in order to see if we can come up with a consensus definition? Just about any throw can be termed a "kokyunage", I suppose, so how about suggesting one that you think would be a fairly straightforward discussion because of its simplicity?

Incidentally, I found this quote from Saito that I thought was interesting and which has a direct bearing on kokyunage:
(from Traditional Aikido Vol. 5, p. 36,) "Aikido is generally believed to represent circular movements. Contrary to such belief, however, Aikido, in its true Ki form, is a fierce art piercing straight through the center of opposition."

Regards,

Mike
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Old 07-15-2005, 10:40 AM   #2
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Kokyu means breath. Read the Aikiwiki.
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Old 07-15-2005, 11:05 AM   #3
Mike Sigman
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
Benjamin Edelen wrote:
Kokyu means breath. Read the Aikiwiki.
Qi/ki means "air". Wonder why? Do you only breathe on kokyu throws? What is a kokyu-nage? Why would it be associated with "breath"? When I shut a car door, I tend to use "kokyu power" just for practice. Do you think I just "breathe" at the correct time?

Mike
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Old 07-15-2005, 11:06 AM   #4
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Many professional athletes study Aikido and/or it's principles. There is a notable Japanese baseball player who studied Aikido with Osensei for the purpose of improving his batting skills. I am not convinced that just because athletes utilize an Aikido principle, that principle ceases to become remarkable. Kokyunage is a catch-all technique name. Any technique that is not an obvious variation of a core technique is usually referred to as kokyunage. Indeed all Aikido techniques utilize breath power, and I do not believe that kokyu nage either uses kokyu more than other throws, or that it uses kokyu exclusively, ignoring other Aikido principles. Saying that we mis-define "kokyu" because kokyunage more than just breath power is like saying that we mis-define "irimi" because iriminage is more than just stepping forward.
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Old 07-15-2005, 11:14 AM   #5
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
Benjamin Edelen wrote:
Many professional athletes study Aikido and/or it's principles. There is a notable Japanese baseball player who studied Aikido with Osensei for the purpose of improving his batting skills.
You mean Tohei, right?
Quote:
I am not convinced that just because athletes utilize an Aikido principle, that principle ceases to become remarkable. Kokyunage is a catch-all technique name. Any technique that is not an obvious variation of a core technique is usually referred to as kokyunage. Indeed all Aikido techniques utilize breath power, and I do not believe that kokyu nage either uses kokyu more than other throws, or that it uses kokyu exclusively, ignoring other Aikido principles. Saying that we mis-define "kokyu" because kokyunage more than just breath power is like saying that we mis-define "irimi" because iriminage is more than just stepping forward.
You don't know much about kokyu, Benjamin. Do some research.

BTW, I did some more googling. It's pretty amazing how many different definitions of "kokyu" there are. I found "momentum throw", "timing throw", "breathing throw", "breath throw", etc., so far. It's pretty interesting. I found some Ikeda students saying that Ikeda called it a "timing" throw, BTW. Get with the program.

Mike
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Old 07-15-2005, 11:24 AM   #6
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Mike, those are good questions. The idea of breath power itself must contain and rely upon other aikido principles. Breath has an inherent timing element, and therefore is almost synonymous with timing. In addition, humans cannot do many things very well while breathing in, so it is important to control your own breathing patterns in order to facilitate action and control tempo. As any athlete will remark, breathing speed and control is directly connected to relaxation, not just during meditation, but at all times. Someone who can breathe evenly during a tense situation can think more clearly, react more precisely, and can keep his body from becoming stiff.
Of course breath has a deeply spiritual element as well. Respiration is synonymous with life, and represents the ebb and flow of all things in the universe. Sound (especially vowel sound) is connected to divinity in all cultures, from the tetragrammaton (YHWH = IAUE, the name of the Hebrew god) to the kotodama of Aikido itself. Sound is only possible through breath, and sound can only be made during half of the breath cycle, which demonstrates the equal and opposite power of silence. Osensei believed that different movements were a physical expression of different holy sounds (vowel sounds and their combinations), and that all movements in the universe have sounds associated with them. This in and of itself is why every technique can be called kokyunage.
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Old 07-15-2005, 11:31 AM   #7
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Re: Defining Kokyu

In my experience Ikeda Sensei's kokyunage is such a delicate weave of so many different ideas, abilities, movements, and subtleties, that it utterly defies categorization.
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Old 07-15-2005, 12:23 PM   #8
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Just for starters, you might want to read some of Shioda's stuff on kokyu power and the way he attempts to break it down in his books (I feel pretty sure that Shioda had a more sophisticated understanding than is shown in the simplified writing in his books).

Also, this is pretty good, although it's so general I can't tell if the author understood much:

http://24.21.240.92/chinkon-kishin.htm

Here's part of an interview with Kenji Ushiro that I recommend you go to Aikido Journal to read: This "breathing," or kokyu, is not so much the kind of breathing that involves respiration by bringing air in and out through your nose and mouth; it's more the kind you do with your body as a whole. If you can cultivate that kind of kokyu, then energy (ki) begins to flow through your body and that flow of energy helps you develop abdominal and back strength. (Because this strength is created through the breath I refer to these as abdominal and back "power" instead of abdominal and back "strength.") This process leads to a kind of "zero power," that you can use, say, to neutralize the power of an incoming punch by just making light contact with it. Even if your opponent comes in with a strong, sharp attack, you simply absorb that energy. And if you absorb it with more energy than he is coming in with, he is suddenly and momentarily deprived of his breath, which immobilizes him there for a moment.

Striking using this kind of kokyu is also very different than striking that relies on the power of strength. A strike done with kokyu extends more than one done with muscle power, and it also doesn't incite any particular urge to block it in the opponent.

In Shindo-ryu karate we use kata to cultivate this kind of kokyu.

Moving from reliance on muscle strength into the realm of kokyu is an incredible turnaround, a wholesale change of method and effect. You could say that this is a kind of energy or potential inherent in traditional kata.


FWIW

Mike
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Old 07-15-2005, 01:55 PM   #9
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Re: Defining Kokyu

I've only trained with Ushiro sensei a few times during the past three Aiki Expos, but I'll get the chance to do so again in a couple weeks at the Summer Camp in the Rockies. I've also read a bit from his books (in Japanese), although not enough to make much comments. Mike, if you have any specific questions that you would like me to ask of him, please let me know and I'll see what I can do. (One clarification I did get from him a few years back was whether he meant purely "breathing" when he talked about "kokyu," since so many of the translators kept using the term 'breath" whenever he used that term. His answer was, as I expected, "no.")

As an aside, I remember the late George Simcox sensei (6th dan, Ki Society) talking about how he wondered if the physical breath really was tied into the ability to produce strength in the human body. He asked his son (who was either really into body building or weight lifting) to try lifting a heavy weight while breathing in, breathing out, and holding his breath. To his surprise, he reported that there really wasn't any difference.

And, as a linguistic aside, "kokyu" can mean much more than "breath." Simplistically, the "ko" in this term basically means, "to invite," and "kyuu" means "to suck." Interestingly enough, one of the definitions you can find of "kokyuu" in addition to "breath; respiration" is "knack; trick; secret (of doing something)." It's also used in phrases such as, "kokyuu ga au" (with "au," once again, using the same character as "ai" in "aikido") which basically means that two people's relationship/rhythm are very well matched.

-- Jun

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Old 07-15-2005, 02:06 PM   #10
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote:
And, as a linguistic aside, "kokyu" can mean much more than "breath." Simplistically, the "ko" in this term basically means, "to invite," and "kyuu" means "to suck." Interestingly enough, one of the definitions you can find of "kokyuu" in addition to "breath; respiration" is "knack; trick; secret (of doing something)." It's also used in phrases such as, "kokyuu ga au" (with "au," once again, using the same character as "ai" in "aikido") which basically means that two people's relationship/rhythm are very well matched.

-- Jun
It can also be used as "timing", as in "aun no kokyu".

Best,

Chris

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Old 07-15-2005, 02:32 PM   #11
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Wow. cool discussion.

I enjoyed the excerpt from the article about ki power.

I would humbly add that half of ki is receptivity; in contrast with raw power, that has it's place, but ain't necessarily the best cut of meat off the cow.

Billybob
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Old 07-15-2005, 02:47 PM   #12
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Re: Defining Kokyu

For me Ushiro-sensei was definitely one of the highlights of the last Aiki Expo. Since my experience is limited in other martial arts outside of aikido, I didn't expect to see a karate teacher to emphasize kokyu so much, but he definitely has a level of kokyu mastery that most aikido teachers don't have, let alone karate teachers. I would definitely recommend him for anyone interested in the subject.

If we limit our understanding of kokyu to the more literal definitions of breath or breath timing I think we will be missing a lot. Obviously kokyu in the aikido context means so much more and has many more dimensions that it does become somewhat difficult to define succinctly. Although breath timing or breath power is important, it is only a small element of the big picture.
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Old 07-15-2005, 02:52 PM   #13
Mike Sigman
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote:
I've only trained with Ushiro sensei a few times during the past three Aiki Expos, but I'll get the chance to do so again in a couple weeks at the Summer Camp in the Rockies. I've also read a bit from his books (in Japanese), although not enough to make much comments. Mike, if you have any specific questions that you would like me to ask of him, please let me know and I'll see what I can do. (One clarification I did get from him a few years back was whether he meant purely "breathing" when he talked about "kokyu," since so many of the translators kept using the term 'breath" whenever he used that term. His answer was, as I expected, "no.")
Hi Jun:

I'd be interested, if it's possible without being pushy or undiplomatic, to get a sense of the tradition from which his kokyu training comes from. The Okinawan traditions related to ki and kokyu (note that it's no coincidence that everyone uses those same 2 terms to describe the same phenomena and abilities) are pretty much unapologetically derived from traditions stemming out of the Yi Jin Jing and also the Marrow Washing classic.

O-Sensei's ki and kokyu practices are purportedly derived from Shinto (specifically the Hada traditions of the Kojiki), but I think there are too many of his comments and practices that mirror the Chinese practices for the same skills to possibly overlook. Pictures of Ueshiba involved with the mudras, "powers" that exactly mimic Chinese descriptions of those powers, ki demonstrations that mirror Chinese demonstrations of and for the same things... it's simply impossible to wave those off as coincidence, particularly in light of the use of "ki" as a cultural basis borrowed directly from the Chinese. In short, Okinawan karate practices overtly come from China, Ueshiba's appear to come from China due to too many similarities, and I'm curious about what Ushiro Sensei will say about his traditions.

Incidentally while I'm thinking about it, "Fune Kogi Undo", while it is called a "rowing exercise" is such an obvious copy of a very common jin/kokyu/ki development exercise used in *many* Chinese arts, that I suspect it's basically a borrow, as well.

Given all the more-than-probable Chinese background, I look at the Dan Penrod article at
http://24.21.240.92/chinkon-kishin.htm and I read things like:

Ten-no-kokyu: Breath of heaven
The breath of heaven involves the deep inhalation, with the hands together in front of us, raising the hands in ten-no-kokyu (breath of heaven) posture, together and over the head. We then proceed to the breath of earth...

Chi-no-kokyu: Breath of earth
The breath of earth involves exhaling slowly and bring the hands down in chi-no-kokyu (breath of earth) posture. The hands are brought down the sides of our body as though pushing down the universe until the hands come back together in front of our abdomen to complete the circle.


Generally, the cycle of ten-no-kokyu and chi-no-kokyu is repeated 3 times in succession. When practiced by itself, there is usually a quiet pause of kishin at the end of the breathing cycle. When combined with the other exercises the transitions change and the kishin may move to the end of the combinations.

Furitama, torifune, and ibuki are often practiced together in various combinations. Sometimes the furitama is interwoven with ibuki. Other times furitama is interwoven with torifune. These practices vary a great deal from aikido association to aikido association as well as from dojo to dojo even within associations.

It's interesting to note that aikido associations heavily influenced by Koichi Tohei (Ki Society, AAA, Seidokan, etc...) practice a great many other kihon undo ki or aiki-taiso exercises that Tohei embraced and extended... said to help manifest ki and focus on the one point. As his interests shifted from the old Shinto ways and his attention became focused specifically on the principles of ki, he took some of the old chinkon-kishin exercises and modified them to compliment his newly codified catalog of ki exercises.



What I notice is the pictures and descriptions of the Heaven and Earth breathing and they are right out of very common Chinese practices. There's actually a lot more going on in that breathing with the circular exercises than just breathing and no, I don't want to go into them. It's a way of building up your power (if I explained it fully, everyone would say, "of course... that's obvious). So it's a power that is based on breathing practice to build it up (technically I think it could be a complex discussion because, as I've noted, you can build up ki without building up the kokyu power that the Chinese call "jin"). Obviously, O-Sensei did the more martial approach that practices both ki and kokyu-power in his exercises. So his power could easily be described as "breath power" involving "inhale and exhale" (remember "ki" and "air" relationship with "breathing") and of course when you use it you get most power on the exhale, so you have to be aware of the timing of that power.... i.e., there are indeed connotations of "breath" and "timing" in "kokyu", but it's just easier to skip all that and focus on the core power of kokyu and avoid the complex explanations.

Given the Chinese commentaries on qi, breathing, jin, etc., from which I'm fairly sure the Japanese practices derived, I'd bet with reasonable confidence that the relationship of kokyu power to "breath" is pretty much as I've laid it out. At least it's plausible, covers the conditions in place, and it gives a good target for people to try and work at and disprove.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 07-15-2005, 03:02 PM   #14
Mike Sigman
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
James Young wrote:
Since my experience is limited in other martial arts outside of aikido, I didn't expect to see a karate teacher to emphasize kokyu so much, but he definitely has a level of kokyu mastery that most aikido teachers don't have, let alone karate teachers.
That's exactly the point. There's too much control on the tap of knowledge for ki and kokyu development in Aikido... and it winds up making "most aikido teachers" look like chumps in the martial arts world.

Mike
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Old 07-15-2005, 04:08 PM   #15
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
Benjamin Edelen wrote:
In my experience Ikeda Sensei's kokyunage is such a delicate weave of so many different ideas, abilities, movements, and subtleties, that it utterly defies categorization.
Then how do you analyze it? How do you expect to learn it? It's nice that you appreciate your sensei's aikido, but you're not there as a spectator. If you're a student, you've got to get down to the nuts-and-bolts of learning.

Several years ago I read Center:The Power of Aikido written by two of his students, then I went to Ikeda's seminar. What they wrote and what he did was significantly different. I hope that's not happening to you.

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Old 07-15-2005, 04:29 PM   #16
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Re: Defining Kokyu

What was said and what was different?

David M. Valadez
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Old 07-15-2005, 04:35 PM   #17
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Usually, I just translate it into Latin first, then English: "Kokyu"- "in spirare" - "inspiration".

I suspect that Ueshiba's use of "kokyu" was closer to way "spirare" came to be used, relating it to the indwelling of the spirit or to the breath of God. He had a Numious experience and used the language of his religion and martial culture to describe it. Perhaps he and the Western philosophers were describing the same experience, filtering it through their different languages and cultures.

Maybe it's a conspiracy, which is to say they "breathed together".

Jim Baker
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Old 07-15-2005, 04:58 PM   #18
Mike Sigman
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
Jim Baker wrote:
Usually, I just translate it into Latin first, then English: "Kokyu"- "in spirare" - "inspiration".
The root word is "spiro, spirare" simply meaning "breathe". Like in "Dum spiro, spero" ("While I breathe, I hope", often translated as "While I live, I hope").
Quote:
I suspect that Ueshiba's use of "kokyu" was closer to way "spirare" came to be used, relating it to the indwelling of the spirit or to the breath of God. He had a Numious experience and used the language of his religion and martial culture to describe it. Perhaps he and the Western philosophers were describing the same experience, filtering it through their different languages and cultures.

Maybe it's a conspiracy, which is to say they "breathed together".

Jim Baker
Depends on what you're smokin', I guess.

Mike "Try not to inhale so much" Sigman
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Old 07-15-2005, 08:18 PM   #19
Rupert Atkinson
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Re: Defining Kokyu

I see it this way. The exercises proabably came first and someone down the line probably thought what shall we call these? - "OK - kokyu exercises" etc, so I wouldn't get too stuck in translation of meaning.

To me, kokyu exercises compliment the techniques. They isolate certain movements and allow us to practise simple things - coordinating our bodies and getting our breathing rhythm in order. In Goju-ryu Karate they have Sanchin kata - their form of kokyu-ho, if you like, which is of course related to Karate movement - (shameless plug - in my book, I call that kind of training dynamic tension - full power slow muscle movement). And we have ours, which are softer exercises, yet, after training for some time, we become quite poweful. I say, and I say it strongly knowing some disagree, the power developed in kokyu-ho / kokyu-nage later crosses over to technique - to me, that is its purpose. And if done well, aiki develops. Aiki is a consequence of kokyu-ho/kokyu-nage (in Aikido), it is not a consequence of the techniques, which in the 'beginner' form, are just mechanical. Kokyu allows us to bridge the gap - to steal a phrase from Wing Chun. Further, to me, Aikido is now The Way of Aiki, and nothing else. No peace, no love, nothing else (there 'can be' just the same amount of love in any activity - even tennis etc). Develop aiki and put it into everything you do - Aikido, Jujtusu, Judo, Karate, whatever.That doesn't mean I am an expert, but this has become my direction - before, I was just lost for years, training hard and heading nowhere. I can see that clearly now. Kokyu-ho / kokyu-nage are very useful. In Japan, other Jujutsu arts all have their own versions, albeit with different names. I have a good collection but am always looking for more.

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Old 07-15-2005, 09:52 PM   #20
Mike Sigman
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
Rupert Atkinson wrote:
I see it this way. The exercises proabably came first and someone down the line probably thought what shall we call these? - "OK - kokyu exercises" etc, so I wouldn't get too stuck in translation of meaning.
Good start. To me, this all gets tricky because of the different levels of expertise, the different "grades" of kokyu, ki, manipulation, etc. What I think came first were skills derived from farming, repetitive labor, whatever, refined over a number of generations and added to with some combination/degree of voluntary control of normally involuntary body responses.
Quote:
To me, kokyu exercises compliment the techniques. They isolate certain movements and allow us to practise simple things - coordinating our bodies and getting our breathing rhythm in order. In Goju-ryu Karate they have Sanchin kata - their form of kokyu-ho, if you like, which is of course related to Karate movement - (shameless plug - in my book, I call that kind of training dynamic tension - full power slow muscle movement). And we have ours, which are softer exercises, yet, after training for some time, we become quite poweful.
I think there's a couple of things here. Roughly speaking, Kokyu power has to do with using your middle to do things and letting your extremities (or any part of your body in many cases) act as "transmitters" of that power. But the power of the middle really comes from the ground and weight (even though some of this is referred to as "ki", real "ki" is sort of a separate topic from kokyu power... except in the ki paradigm, which is why it gets sort of confusing). If you let stiff joints or isolated normal movement get between the ground or weight and the middle.... or if you let stiff joints or isolated normal movement get between the middle and the hands (say you use your shoulders for power), you lose the purity of the kokyu power. Since different people will have different levels of this "purity", gradations creep in. Karate tends to use kokyu power combined with muscular power, resulting in a more linear/less-pure form of kokyu-power. Good Aikido is more toward the relaxed, "pure" use of kokyu power. Taiji goes for an even purer form. And so on. Who's right? Who's to say. The more subtle skills involving meshing of the involuntary body with kokyu useage anywhere in your body tend to be an aspect of "soft" and "relaxed" practice. Tohei goes toward the subconscious-weighted use/development of kokyu (I honestly don't think Tohei lets out a lot of what he does for the actual ki training). It's because Tohei approaches ki/kokyu development with that "subconscious" tinge that his Aikido might be considered by some to be somewhat different from Ueshiba's Aikido, which might be considered somewhat different from Shioda's Aikido, etc., but in the big picture I see them just as slight variations of the same basic theme.

Sanchin kata, which derives from Southern White Crane and related arts (Southern Mantis, etc.), is actually a "hard style" martial qi/ki development coupled with kokyu practice. The qi development is a hard qigong, based on the body "closing"... what softer styles would consider overkill and crimping the 'purity'. There are a number of approaches to ki and to kokyu and everyone thinks theirs is the best.
Quote:
I say, and I say it strongly knowing some disagree, the power developed in kokyu-ho / kokyu-nage later crosses over to technique - to me, that is its purpose.
Actually, in correct practice, you should be developing them at the same time. That's why Sanchin, for instance is done first, before the other katas. That's why you do standing, basic exercises, etc., at least a year before you're allowed to start pure Chinese martial arts. This idea that you learn the external techniques and guess the rest seems to be for the tourists.
Quote:
And if done well, aiki develops. Aiki is a consequence of kokyu-ho/kokyu-nage (in Aikido), it is not a consequence of the techniques, which in the 'beginner' form, are just mechanical.
Well, I think "Aiki" is a sophisticated and almost instinctive combination of your kokyu with the forces of an opponent/uke. First you learn kokyu and ki skills, then you learn sophisticated applications and power development which allow you to do powerful "aiki", IMO.
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Old 07-16-2005, 06:49 AM   #21
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Re: Defining Kokyu

All good points.

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Old 07-16-2005, 07:30 AM   #22
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
What was said and what was different?
One of the things that struck me as different, was that there was no mention in the book about taking up slack before doing a technique. Ikeda Sensei specifically mentioned taking up slack in one technique. He didn't use those words, but indicated with a gesture and mentioned what he was doing. Since most techniques fail because slack is improperly taken up, I thought that was kinda important.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 07-16-2005, 07:57 AM   #23
tedehara
 
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Re: Defining Kokyu

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Mike Sigman wrote:
...Tohei goes toward the subconscious-weighted use/development of kokyu (I honestly don't think Tohei lets out a lot of what he does for the actual ki training). It's because Tohei approaches ki/kokyu development with that "subconscious" tinge that his Aikido might be considered by some to be somewhat different from Ueshiba's Aikido, which might be considered somewhat different from Shioda's Aikido, etc., but in the big picture I see them just as slight variations of the same basic theme...
Much of what Tohei has written is introductory material. The idea being you join the Ki Society if you're interested in pursuing this activity to gain access to more information and have people to practice with. There are also several books which haven't been translated into English. His recent book on Ki Breathing came out within the last few months in Japanese.

Since he is a native Japanese speaker, and Japanese is considered a vague/poetic language, this might be the source of your belief he is "hiding" something. You might find William Reed's books more precise for an English reader. Reed is an American who has worked as a professional translator and is a member of the Ki Society who has close access to K. Tohei.

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Old 07-16-2005, 08:50 AM   #24
Mike Sigman
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Re: Defining Kokyu

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Ted Ehara wrote:
Much of what Tohei has written is introductory material. The idea being you join the Ki Society if you're interested in pursuing this activity to gain access to more information and have people to practice with. There are also several books which haven't been translated into English. His recent book on Ki Breathing came out within the last few months in Japanese.

Since he is a native Japanese speaker, and Japanese is considered a vague/poetic language, this might be the source of your belief he is "hiding" something.
Japanese language has little to do with my impression. I'm just going by how little the Ki-Society people seem to know, by a lot of reading, etc. When I see things like this (from one of Reed's articles) my bullshit-meter begins to quiver:

Nevertheless, Ki testing is a skill which in the wrong hands can produce distorted results. Individual variations, carelessness, bad habits, and egos alike can interfere with Ki testing and reduce its value as a teaching tool. Without proper understanding these distortions become magnified over time.

Many students find that they can pass a Ki test in the dojo, but not at home. Or students become accustomed to the testing style of their own instructors, but find that they cannot pass the tests of a visiting instructor. The ultimate surprise comes when they find that what has worked for years in the home dojo doesn't work at all when tested by a visiting instructor from Tokyo. This can lead people to assume that Ki testing is either subjective or a matter of the instructor allowing the student to pass just to prove a point. Instructors should be careful to emphasize the objective and progressive elements of Ki testing, and not let it degenerate into a game of subjective feelings and vague notions.


Quote:
You might find William Reed's books more precise for an English reader. Reed is an American who has worked as a professional translator and is a member of the Ki Society who has close access to K. Tohei.
I'm a player, Ted. Tell me which one of Reed's books you think is the best and I'll buy it. If I'm pleasantly surprised, like I was with the recommended Shioda tape and book or like I was with the recommended Sunadomari tape, I'll be more than happy to express my positive opinion. I'm also happy to personally meet with some knowledgeable Ki-Society member and give my opinion, as well.

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Old 07-16-2005, 02:21 PM   #25
Mike Sigman
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Re: Defining Kokyu

The idea for this thread was to try and discuss what people say or think they are doing when they do a kokyu nage or they use kokyu power for something. I like the "beyond normal strength" idea in a way, but it's not very specific. Surely if someone is doing a kokyu throw, they can analyse what they are doing and describe why it would specifically rate a special name. If it's not different than a throw using "normal" body mechanics, there would be no need to call it a "kokyu throw".

I was trying to think of some one or two standard kokyu throws that would be easy to discuss because we don't want to cloud the discussion with overly complex body mechanics. How about the kokyu throw where you have uke's right wrist in your left hand, you place your right hand on the inner part of his right elbow joint and kokyu (like he did tsuki, you capture it during tenkan, turn him, place your right hand inside his elbow (or close by) and step/move forward and throw him sort of backwards with a kokyu throw? Would that one work? Is it clear enough? Anyone want to comment on how that throw should work in order to be a kokyu throw?

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