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Old 08-02-2005, 12:03 AM   #151
sutemaker17
 
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
Alfonso Adriasola wrote:
Some people can be very balanced in some very strange positions .. reminds of me of Saotome sensei doing Kotegaeshi standing on one leg using the other leg as the application of technique..
Alfonso,
There is a difference between balance and posture. If you loose your balance and keep your posture you may still fall-just with posture. If you loose your posture you will still fall-just with gravity.
Just my thoughts
Jason
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Old 08-02-2005, 01:13 AM   #152
James Young
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
Brenda Allen wrote:
Through each portion of every technique that night, his breath was conscious. He knew when he was breathing in and when he was breathing out.....Rather than being a result of doing a technique over and over, he knew when to breathe in and consciously chose to do so. And when to breath out.. Or so it seemed to this then rank beginner...
I think this is a good point Brenda about controlled breathing which we see more advanced people employ. That is, they'll consistently be trying to exhale when throwing, and then going a step further they'll be timing the throw to when the other person is trying to inhale. One of my former teachers talked about this concept a bit. If you can do this it definitely adds some power to many kokyu-nage techniques. I think this is also part of the power of kiai, i.e. to force one to exhale. Other people will even take this further and employ staggered breathing and such so that it is not easy for their opponenent to read and catch their rhythm. I think all of this breathing stuff can be valuable to work on as part of one's technique, but as Mike mentioned, it is only one portion of using kokyu power but I think certain breathing exercises definitely help to cultivate it.
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Old 08-02-2005, 01:24 AM   #153
James Young
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
Alfonso Adriasola wrote:
For the purpose of this discusssion I'm assuming the definition of Kokyu is along the lines of an expression of relaxed "power", or "not major muscle group" power, not going into other aspects of Aikido.. or does Kokyu also encompass what happens at a distance. pre-contact (as in dueling with swords for example)? Or would that be a mix up of more than one concept, like "Aiki" and so on, which would be another interesting discussion to me.
You may be right that it is outside this discussion's take on kokyu, but it is my opinion that kokyu applies to other martial arts where direct contact may not be involved as well. For instance how one swings a sword, i.e using just arm muscles vs using the whole body with kokyu power behind it. I'm not a kenjutsu expert or anything, but I've heard discussion of kokyu in circles of those who practice the sword arts (outside of the aikido context). But I think it can even apply to how one's footwork is established, i.e are you using your leg muscles and kicking off the ground to move fast or are you manipulating your center of gravity to move? Like I said it may be a misapplication of the term, but I've heard the kokyu used to describe such things.
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Old 08-02-2005, 08:07 AM   #154
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
Jason Mokry wrote:
There is a difference between balance and posture. If you loose your balance and keep your posture you may still fall-just with posture. If you loose your posture you will still fall-just with gravity.
They are related in a pertinent way. Excellent posture can be defined by holding yourself in the optimal way to not interfere with your reflexive movements. That reflexive movement is an integral component of balance. As a matter of fact, I would say that this is an approach (maybe not the only or optimal, etc. approach) to getting some conscious control over some body functions which would typically be considered involuntary.

Rob
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Old 08-03-2005, 03:08 AM   #155
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Re: Defining Kokyu

About breathing,

I just remembered reading somewhere in an interview that Seagal sensei said he used to keep his single breath even doing multiple techniques on several ukes. The idea was that he did it fast enough and wanted fluidity.

I guess that is what I'm trying to get at. Mayhaps the technique required has to have such a fast response time to an quick attack that if we are to maintain that breath in-breath out timing, it would not be appropriate. I suppose it would be better served during training on a more step by step approach. If we did try to keep at it, I would suppose you would find yourself hyperventilate if the uke came fast enough at you.

My thoughts anyway.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 12-18-2005, 08:34 AM   #156
Luuz Zwalve-van Minos
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Re: Defining Kokyu

For me, kokyu simply means: power for the body. Such as gas for the engine. So, the quality of this power (i.e. breath) is also very important for the purpose in what you want to do with it.
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Old 12-18-2005, 10:01 AM   #157
ikkitosennomusha
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Re: Defining Kokyu

As mentioned somewhere earlier, I have always took Kokyunage as to mean "Timing or a breath throw". I seriously think timing and our breathing are very much correlatted.

Usually of some attacks I breath in during the deflection and throw upon exhalation. Obviously this could be different in certain situations but this is an example. Now, during exhalation, I am also generating ki. The result is a powerful throw indeed.

So, kokyunage not only is timing as related to the phases of your technique but it is also a breath throw in relation to ki.
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Old 12-18-2005, 09:40 PM   #158
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Timing has nothing to do with it, and the control of their postural integrity does not require specific breathing on your part either. Though there are things you can do in that regard that will enhance things .
The single most important thing in my opinion is that your body can connect with the ground and then with whatever you are connecting with in them..and with nothing stiffening or inhibiting the flow in between. Its like making a river or what we call "a current" in you-that gets transfered to them. It is hard to explain. Well it can be explained but you really have to feel it to learn it.
At a certain point you should be able to feel the stiffness in them and help them to make it go away.
Anyway, timing is...well timing. Great stuff for fighting-but not required as a piece of the puzzle here.
The Seagal single breath through multiple movements for fluidity I discount as well. You should be able to breath naturally through movement and connection and then to breath ..well differently- by choice for certain things
cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 12-18-2005 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 12-19-2005, 03:52 PM   #159
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
Timing has nothing to do with it, and the control of their postural integrity does not require specific breathing on your part either. Though there are things you can do in that regard that will enhance things .
The single most important thing in my opinion is that your body can connect with the ground and then with whatever you are connecting with in them..and with nothing stiffening or inhibiting the flow in between. Its like making a river or what we call "a current" in you-that gets transfered to them. It is hard to explain. Well it can be explained but you really have to feel it to learn it.
At a certain point you should be able to feel the stiffness in them and help them to make it go away.
Anyway, timing is...well timing. Great stuff for fighting-but not required as a piece of the puzzle here.
The Seagal single breath through multiple movements for fluidity I discount as well. You should be able to breath naturally through movement and connection and then to breath ..well differently- by choice for certain things
cheers
Dan
hear hear
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Old 12-19-2005, 09:31 PM   #160
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Nicely written Dan.
FWIW I completely agree.
Gene
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Old 12-20-2005, 09:31 AM   #161
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Re: Defining Kokyu

I still stand behind my ealier post. As in bodybuilding or lifting weights, you brreathing must be controlled to generate the necessary power for the lift. The rule of thumb lets say for example on the bench press, you have a slow inhalation as you lower the weight down to your chest in a controlled movement. Next, you have a forceful exhalation as you blast the weight up and contract the muscle.

The same in aikido occurs. As I recieve nage, I am controlling my breathe, taking in oxygen, etc etc, and when I throw, I exhale to relase the air yielding a forceful throw that works in synergy with my hips/body movement.

I believe controlled breathing is very important. Breathing is also important in meditation and heavily related to aikido training as well. Just my opinion.
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Old 12-20-2005, 10:12 AM   #162
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
I believe controlled breathing is very important. Breathing is also important in meditation and heavily related to aikido training as well. Just my opinion.
Yes. Breathing, and learning how to control it in what ever way your training dictates, is important. However IMHO, the power needed to execute an aikido technique shouldn't require anything other than a calm or natural breathing pattern. Like Dan said, no need to time the breath.

thanks,
Adam
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Old 12-20-2005, 12:06 PM   #163
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
Adam Bauder wrote:
Yes. Breathing, and learning how to control it in what ever way your training dictates, is important. However IMHO, the power needed to execute an aikido technique shouldn't require anything other than a calm or natural breathing pattern. Like Dan said, no need to time the breath.

thanks,
Adam
Perhaps this is true as I do not disput the ability to do so. I only notice that in the moment when you are actually throwing nage, I tend to exhale. Do any of you do the same? Especially if you "kiai", this requires exhalation. I think one purpose of the kiai is to release the power steming from your diaphram. I could be wrong? However, I feel that if one were to inhale while throwing nage, it wold be unnatural. Anyone ever do a really heavy deadlift? Did you ihale or exhale? I think more power comes from exhaling. Am I wrong? I appreciate hearing everyone's perspective on this as it is an interesting read.
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Old 12-20-2005, 12:22 PM   #164
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:

The Seagal single breath through multiple movements for fluidity I discount as well. You should be able to breath naturally through movement and connection and then to breath ..well differently- by choice for certain things
cheers
Happy Holidays,

Dan, unless you learned the specifics of this from Seagal Sensei directly, I would venture to say that any understanding you might have acquired from outside sources is at best incomplete. Studying at his Dojo it took me quite a few years to understand the reasoning for the type of breathing he demonstrated.

A few caveats
  • I do not believe that Seagal Sensei's breathing method to which you may be referring has anything to do with Kokyu, Kokyu-Ryoku, or his Kokyu-Nage or other techniques on anything other than a purely practical level. No mysteries there...
  • this particular breathing method (along with several other physical-based approaches not related to the breath) develops effectiveness for one to be able to eliminate the breath (so to speak) from the technical equation.
  • More specifically - If I have only ten breaths before I am "out of breath" prolonging the time it takes to exhaust each breath is one of the desired results of this method. This method is directly opposed to connecting the breathing to the technique as a manner of increasing the power of the technique - something I believe you are in agreement with. I However disagree with this theory for reasons I have gone into before and probably will at some point again in the future.
  • One of the natural reactions of the body is to stop breathing when initially hit, shocked, scared ...etc. Therefore, training in this manner can afford one an effective means to manage one's own natural defense mechanisms.
  • I would not venture to guess Seagal Sensei's non-physical components, nor how or even if they correlate to breath. However, having the shallowest of understandings of any advanced Tantric or Buddhists (or Taoist, etc.) breathing methods, or even any pranayamic or mantra-based practices, but knowing that Seagal Sensei may, indeed, delve deep into one or more of those subject matters, I would be inclined to believe that he may currently be drawing parallels between things physical and non-physical through unification principles rooted in breathing.

My own personal view on the subject, having practiced the techniques of his old Aikido Tenshin Dojo is that the waza was not based on Kokyu at all. I won't state upon what I do believe they are based simply because I have no way of confirming my opinions at the moment. On a small scale, and people are certainly encouraged to provide opinions either for or against this view, is that breathing is related to movement in that when one breathes, one moves ever so slightly. However slightly it may be, it is detectable, for lack of a better way of stating it, both on a conscious and subconscious level.
Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:

You should be able to breath naturally through movement and connection and then to breath ..well differently- by choice for certain things
I did like and do agree with both of your points here. However, from what Matsuoka Sensei has been demonstrating of late, it has become blatantly obvious that what is natural is not necessarily what we do, or even intuitively understand at any level - even upon deep study and reflection. What has come up is that to do something naturally, one has to be very controlled. However the method of "control" used at each measurable increment of time and or distance is inversely proportional to our desire for success, completion or effectiveness of movement, ergo waza as the "natural" extension of all movement in any martial context.

May everyone find one moment of true peace sometime over the holiday season. Oh how rare and special it really is.



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I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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Old 12-20-2005, 02:24 PM   #165
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote:

My own personal view on the subject, having practiced the techniques of his old Aikido Tenshin Dojo is that the waza was not based on Kokyu at all. I won't state upon what I do believe they are based simply because I have no way of confirming my opinions at the moment.
If you don't want to share, why bother mentioning it?

I remember a few old posts from you with similar theme "i know this, but i won't tell you because ..."

No offence intended. Just having seen a few similar tone from you make me wonder why you bother posting at all.
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Old 12-20-2005, 03:27 PM   #166
eyrie
 
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
Brad Medling wrote:
Perhaps this is true as I do not disput the ability to do so. I only notice that in the moment when you are actually throwing nage, I tend to exhale. Do any of you do the same? Especially if you "kiai", this requires exhalation. I think one purpose of the kiai is to release the power steming from your diaphram. I could be wrong? However, I feel that if one were to inhale while throwing nage, it wold be unnatural. Anyone ever do a really heavy deadlift? Did you ihale or exhale? I think more power comes from exhaling. Am I wrong? I appreciate hearing everyone's perspective on this as it is an interesting read.
Well, lifting weights ain't quite the same as doing ai-ki-do....
As Dan and others have said, breathing has got very little to do with the power in kokyu nage. The power has more to do with using the ground and connecting in the way that Dan described.

Personally, I tend to hold my breath at the moment of kake as it allows me to "pressurize" the power more.

Ignatius
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Old 12-20-2005, 03:31 PM   #167
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
Brad Medling wrote:
Perhaps this is true as I do not dispute the ability to do so. I only notice that in the moment when you are actually throwing nage, I tend to exhale. Do any of you do the same? Especially if you "kiai", this requires exhalation. I think one purpose of the kiai is to release the power steming from your diaphram. I could be wrong? However, I feel that if one were to inhale while throwing nage, it wold be unnatural. Anyone ever do a really heavy deadlift? Did you ihale or exhale? I think more power comes from exhaling. Am I wrong? I appreciate hearing everyone's perspective on this as it is an interesting read.
I agree with you for the most part, Brad. Even if you don't exhale while doing a throw, the "squeeze down" of properly executed musculature will do pretty much as it does in an exhale. However, there are a lot of people who throw or do things with local musculature, so an exhale may not be as important to them (particularly in Aikido where sometimes the "cooperative training" ensures that Uke will take the fall without a lot of exertion).

On the other hand, there is a certain power that is developed by breathing the air (which is what "Ki" really refers to) in certain ways. If you have built up this 'strength' through breathing, you don't necessarily have to use the training-process (the breathing) when you utilize it.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 12-20-2005, 04:11 PM   #168
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Thanks Mike and to all who add their insight. In the moment of truth, there is nothing quite like an explosive "Kiai". During this forceful exhalation, feel the energy flow through you. Do you get the same energy when holding the breath or breathing in? Just curious.

ps. There is no right or wrong from one individual to another as I believe what ever works for you, you should explore.

However, I can relate to most points here. When I was a beginer as I would like to think I am still, I hadd no concept of breathing. Now that I am aware, I try to pay attention to what my norm is while performing a technique. My observations are that when I am in a very light training mode, I breathe as usual and do not pay attention to it really. When I am exerting more power and training more forcefully, I notice when I kiai, I exhale and usually have more power in my technique.

If anyone knows the golden law on breathing while being nage, lets have some quotes so I can see if I need to be training differently??
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Old 12-20-2005, 04:19 PM   #169
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Re: Defining Kokyu

I think you missed Mike's point. When you can feel the energy flow, you can pretty much command it "at will". At the risk of sounding obtuse, it's like reading a book. Once you have gleaned the essence of the book, what need do you have of the book itself?

Ignatius
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Old 12-20-2005, 04:23 PM   #170
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
Roosvelt Freeman wrote:
If you don't want to share, why bother mentioning it?

I remember a few old posts from you with similar theme "i know this, but i won't tell you because ..."

No offense intended. Just having seen a few similar tone from you make me wonder why you bother posting at all.
This is the time of year where everyone gets a pass, so no offense taken... In any case, being a valid retort, since you ask why, I offer this reasoning for my actions:

As I was stating my own personal viewpoint versus encapsulation of material that was explained directly to me by my teacher for the sake of being able to pass it on to others, I did not find it important to state an opinion on something that I have yet to be able to confirm about which I may have some understanding. Seagal Sensei at that time did not teach in such a direct method. What he is doing now I truly could not say. I was not trying to hide anything, nor infer that I knew then or know now anything that anyone else who hasn't traveled a similar path wouldn't easily discover.

Of course, as you have mentioned, I have in the past mentioned things by way of inference. I have done so intentionally simply to encourage anyone interested to write me privately where many of these matters are more appropriately discussed. I am sure there are many here on Aikiweb that would hold up a hand to denote receiving vary candid replies to simple questions posed publicly or in private. This being true whether I knew them previously or not.

I often times reply to private messages at length on points that may seem like mere differences in semantics, but having once spent several hours debating how best to clarify a small aspect of the term "shugyo" for one of our dojo newsletter magazines only to have Seagal Sensei say that the determination that I made based upon the brief comment he made I could not have possibly come up with. So I would say that I do feel the cause is certainly worthy of the effort. I reserve the right to continue my practice of inference at any time, but I ask that if you see me do so, and if you feel inclined or obliged to call me on it that you do so privately, with questions about what it is that I had written so that I may answer you with all of the slatherings of a Martha Stewart Thanksgiving Day dinner extravaganza...

So by way of return, Mr. Roosvelt, while I am curious to read Dan's reply because it was his comments to which I replied, did you have any comment what was in the post?


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Old 12-20-2005, 04:29 PM   #171
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
I think you missed Mike's point. When you can feel the energy flow, you can pretty much command it "at will". At the risk of sounding obtuse, it's like reading a book. Once you have gleaned the essence of the book, what need do you have of the book itself?
Ah, perfect... the answer to your question is to discover that which you wholeheartedly believed you didn't miss. Of course, that realization always comes much, much later.



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Old 12-20-2005, 08:20 PM   #172
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote:
This is the time of year where everyone gets a pass, so no offense taken... In any case, being a valid retort, since you ask why, I offer this reasoning for my actions:
At this time of year, Shaun, I think everyone is grateful that you didn't come down too hard on poor ignorant Roosvelt. Merry Christmas and may the joys of the season be on you, too. These are not just hollow, pretentious words... I'm sincere about them.
Quote:
Of course, as you have mentioned, I have in the past mentioned things by way of inference. I have done so intentionally simply to encourage anyone interested to write me privately where many of these matters are more appropriately discussed. I am sure there are many here on Aikiweb that would hold up a hand to denote receiving vary candid replies to simple questions posed publicly or in private. This being true whether I knew them previously or not..
Those lucky chaps who have been under the light of your benevolence!!! Just out of curiosity, why is it that you feel you can't state your views in the public forum, Shaun?

God bless you, lad. And I'm sincere about that.

Mike
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Old 12-20-2005, 10:03 PM   #173
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote:

So by way of return, Mr. Roosvelt, while I am curious to read Dan's reply because it was his comments to which I replied, did you have any comment what was in the post?

.
No. I have no comments about Mr. Seagal's technique. It never occured to me to look up Mr. Seagal's technique as good/bad example.

What I'm interested in is your take on the title of this thread: kokyu. You sounded you had a different opinion.

Right now, Mike, Rob, Dan and others seem have an agreement about kokyu. I believe they're right. What if they're wrong? It may not matter to me at my current low level. But I'd like to hear different opinion, even the same opinion with different perspective.
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Old 12-23-2005, 04:11 PM   #174
DH
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Shaun
I read what you described- it just doesn't relate to what I understand to be a more proficient use of breath. The use of which is not major or out of balance to body work and mind work- it is just another piece and its not a single thing either-as in "I always breath like this."
FWIW, I don't see any of this as boooga-booga "cosmic stream" stuff. I think it is all natural-just not well known. For me breathing isn't just in- and-out nor that the diaphram "always" does this or that. There are ways to breath.
Sounds funny doesn't it. But so does moving while being still and being still while moving and "loading" myself by not doing anything. All of which are a staple to understand anything relating to center and connection.

Breathing out... and whether or not it is continous through a series of techniques in a single breath is rather meaningless to me. But I think I could show you different ways to breath out-and into, and/or though someone, around someone or down someone. Things which will be rather meaningless for a while.
The diaphram. Seems a shame to reduce breathing to a single organ. There are more subtle things to do with your "breath of life." more expansive, contracting, or compressing. But my argument for the "air" heads (sorry can't resist a good pun) is that it is only a piece of the puzzle and it won't cut it all by itself.
Maybe some will argue.... but I'll argue back.Otherwise all the belly-breathers would be some major martial people- which they are not.

I have always liked the depth, fluidity and expansiveness of transparent power-that feeling of just being "out there-in here" But I think the cart has to come before the horse. Motion in stillness and stillness in motion is a staple of some schools of Daito ryu. I suggest that bodywork training comes first then -a lot- of mental training. Otherwise all someone does -is- breathe. which is just more hot air and a waste of breath..gees I can't stop with the puns
Ok What I mean is there are ways to teach this stuff that can help someone be martial and solid throughout the process so that they are not lacking as they get in touch with how their body connects to the ground, to itself, then to others, then how to push out in a much broader sense.Pretty mundane language for some things that have taken me half a life to learn and I still am.
Again -none of this is booga booga star wars energy you reach out and grab as it flow through you. You practice very hard at it and fail and get better.
cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 12-23-2005 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 12-24-2005, 09:36 AM   #175
Mike Sigman
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Re: Defining Kokyu

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
Otherwise all the belly-breathers would be some major martial people- which they are not.
Hmmmmm. "Ki" is about breathing. Kokyu doesn't have to be about breathing, but you never develop much power in kokyu without the breath training. I don't know of any great Asian martial artists that were NOT breathers, Dan.
Quote:
Motion in stillness and stillness in motion is a staple of some schools of Daito ryu.
Strange, it's a common thing in Chinese martial arts... the exact same thing. Yet you say DR is purely Japanese!!!

Personally, I think you're misunderstanding what the breathing is about, Dan, but that's just my opinion.

Regards,

Mike
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