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Old 01-30-2006, 03:14 AM   #1
reyne caritativo
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right way of doing sitting kokyu-ho

hello there! i'm new here in aikiweb forums and i would like to know what is the right way of doing sitting kokyu-ho? does uke need to tighten the grip and use force so that nage will have a hard time doing this exercise or should uke allow nage to move in order to make a throw? i've been practicing aikido since 1994 and i still have a hard time doing this exercise especially if the uke is very strong. am i doing it wrong or is it uke's fault for resisting?
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Old 01-30-2006, 07:10 AM   #2
Jorge Garcia
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Re: right way of doing sitting kokyu-ho

I think that the understanding of this technique will differ somewhat so the advise you get might not be totally uniform. There are different ways of doing it based on how you are being held. My Sensei shows those from time to time but in the standard kokyu-ho, but with regards to the strength being used against the person, he never needs to change and he teaches us that it can always be done, regardless of how hard uke holds. So far, that has also been my experience. Having said that, I must reemphasize that much of what will be said may depend on how they execute this technique to start off with.
I also never understood this technique until I met my current teacher. He believes in it's fundamental importance so much, that he starts every class with it.
Best,

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 01-30-2006, 07:30 AM   #3
roosvelt
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Re: right way of doing sitting kokyu-ho

Quote:
Reyne Caritativo wrote:
hello there! i'm new here in aikiweb forums and i would like to know what is the right way of doing sitting kokyu-ho?

Search the forum, Mike Sigman, Ron, Teo said something very useful about Kokyu-ho.

Quote:
does uke need to tighten the grip and use force so that nage will have a hard time doing this exercise or should uke allow nage to move in order to make a throw? i've been practicing aikido since 1994 and i still have a hard time doing this exercise especially if the uke is very strong. am i doing it wrong or is it uke's fault for resisting?

Uke is supposed to resist.

Having said that, for beginners, Uke shouldn't use maximum force. Uke should use "correct" force to allow nage to experiment with "ki" instead of muscle. Also, like most aikido excercise, it's not a "ki" connection for nage only, Uke should should try to find the right "ki" connection with his own body first too.
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Old 01-30-2006, 08:49 AM   #4
Adman
 
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Re: right way of doing sitting kokyu-ho

Quote:
Uke is supposed to resist.
I guess that depends on how you view resistance. In our dojo we make it a practice not to "resist" anything (that's my story and I'm sticking to it). Kokyu-ho (we call it "kokyu-dosa") is no exception. Of course, that doesn't mean uke is a push-over. Hold soft, hold hard, use strength, remove all unnecessary tension -- whatever you like (as uke). Nage should be able to perform the exercise.
Quote:
Having said that, for beginners, Uke shouldn't use maximum force. Uke should use "correct" force to allow nage to experiment with "ki" instead of muscle. Also, like most aikido exercise, it's not a "ki" connection for nage only, Uke should should try to find the right "ki" connection with his own body first too.
Well said!

thanks,
Adam
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Old 01-30-2006, 09:03 AM   #5
bratzo_barrena
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Re: right way of doing sitting kokyu-ho

In sitting kokyu-ho, usually there's a tendency to grab very strong and hold the wrists down, so Uke doesn't let Tory perform the movement. If Uke is pressing down there are ways to perform a technique and break his/her balance.
But we must remember that Kokyu-ho is not an exercise to train the strength of the arms, but an exercise to train the center/balance. So in the BASIC kokyu-ho, Uke doesn't press down, because in this fashion, he/she only controls Tory's arms, but doesn't affect Tory's center/balance. Uke should grab the wrists and press forward, with the intention of breaking Tori's balance (push Tori in his back).
From this situation, Tori has to redirect Uke's force, keeping a balanced center, redirecting Uke's force up, with the kokyu-ho movement, and the is Tori who is able to breack Uke's balance. Remember. It is not for training muscular strength, it is for training the center.
If Tory is correctly centered and balanced (pressing his/her center forward and down) he/she should be able to resist Uke's push, no matter how strong he/she pushes. Now, this has nothing to do with magic or some kind of mystical force; it's just physics. As Uke pushes forward, Tory channels this strength through his/her body towards the ground, making him/her very hard to move.
Now to unbalance Uke, Tory should keep pressing his/her center forward and down, but his/her arms make 2 important movements to take Uke off balance:
1 A circular movement forward and up from the shoulder
2 A rotational movement from the elbow up to the hand, so the palm of Tory's hand face Uke (with this movement one could bend the elbows a little to help take Uke's center up)
These movements should take Uke up and off balance, so now Tory keeps pressing forward from the center (keeping the center low) and to the side he/she chooses to throw Uke.

Bratzo Barrena
Instructor
Aikido Goshin Dojo
Doral, FL
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Old 01-30-2006, 06:51 PM   #6
kokyu
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Re: right way of doing sitting kokyu-ho

In my limited experience, the center-to-center connection in sitting kokyu-ho is important. After taking uke's balance, it should be the movement of your center to the side that causes uke to move to the side and down.

The following books have good explanations and solutions for various "problems" in sitting kokyu ho:
(1) Total Aikido by Shioda Gozo
(2) Living Aikido by Bruce Klickstein
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Old 01-30-2006, 08:11 PM   #7
eyrie
 
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Re: right way of doing sitting kokyu-ho

Most people talk about kokyu-ho from the nage's perspective. Well, what about uke?

IMHO, uke should also be practising their kokyu and center connection as well. Especially when your balance has been "taken", you as uke should be using kokyu and center to get back up and/or off balance nage from the ground position.

Unfortunately, most uke think that when they are off-balanced, that is the end of the exercise. They disconnect and then everyone re-adjusts their seated position and then start again. Which IMHO, is incorrect.

Ignatius
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Old 02-01-2006, 01:02 AM   #8
Sonja2012
 
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Re: right way of doing sitting kokyu-ho

Liked your post, Ignatius.

I agree: uke should not try and hold/push down the hands but rather try and hold nageīs center (which if I understood it right others have described as center to center connection?). And then stay connected.

I have been trying to explain this to the beginnerīs group that I teach, but find it very difficult to find the right words/pictures to go along with them "feeling" it when I or some other more advanced student does it on them. Any tips?
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Old 02-01-2006, 03:57 AM   #9
eyrie
 
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Re: right way of doing sitting kokyu-ho

Well, Sonja, how are you explaining it?

Ignatius
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Old 02-01-2006, 05:27 AM   #10
kokyu
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Re: right way of doing sitting kokyu-ho

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
IMHO, uke should also be practising their kokyu and center connection as well. Especially when your balance has been "taken", you as uke should be using kokyu and center to get back up and/or off balance nage from the ground position.
Some ukes purposely don't extend enough, so when I extend forward, I can't seem to catch hold of their center.

I'm curious about off-balancing nage from the ground position. Would you mind elaborating?
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Old 02-01-2006, 10:00 AM   #11
Alec Corper
 
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Re: right way of doing sitting kokyu-ho

No disrespect intended, just curious. When people ask technical questions I wonder if they have asked their Sensei first. If my students have a question about what we are doing I expect them to ask me since i am resposible for the overall level and direction of instruction, as well as the individual progress of each member of the dojo. Issues such as resistance , non-resistance, slow or fast, is it for uke or tori, or both equally and differently, surely a student should begin at home and then widen the search?

If your temper rises withdraw your hand, if your hand rises withdraw your temper.
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Old 02-01-2006, 03:41 PM   #12
eyrie
 
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Re: right way of doing sitting kokyu-ho

Assume for a moment Alec, that Soon-Kian is your student. How would you respond?

Ignatius
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Old 02-01-2006, 06:19 PM   #13
kokyu
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Re: right way of doing sitting kokyu-ho

Quote:
Soon-Kian Phang wrote:
Some ukes purposely don't extend enough, so when I extend forward, I can't seem to catch hold of their center.

I'm curious about off-balancing nage from the ground position. Would you mind elaborating?
I'm not sure if Alec is referring to me... but the first situation happened during a seminar with people from other dojos, and I just happened to remember it when reading this thread...

As for the second question, I'm asking Ignatius to elaborate on what he said...

Alec, you are right in asking your question... but then again, your comment probably applies to many of the people in the Techniques section... so why do you think so many of us pose our questions here?

I suspect part of the answer lies in teaching style... In most of the dojos I've trained in, we tend to concentrate on our techniques, until the Sensei comes over and corrects us. In other words, the direction is Sensei to student and not student to Sensei. It's rare for us to go up directly and ask the Sensei a question on technique.

Even in the Aikikai Hombu Dojo, people with 25+ years of experience tend to discuss techniques among themselves. I have never seen a senior (or junior) student directly ask any Shihan a question. In the same manner, posing a question in the forum is similar to asking fellow aikidoka their opinion about my own problems. I know there are a lot of experienced students on-line and I have gained immensely from their answers to my questions and the sharing of knowledge.

Looking forward to Ignatius' response

Last edited by kokyu : 02-01-2006 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 02-01-2006, 06:57 PM   #14
eyrie
 
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Re: right way of doing sitting kokyu-ho

Let's assume for the moment that you have some ability in manipulating uke's center using kokyu. I have already elucidated the principles involved in previous posts, as have others. Now simply reverse the role - you as uke, with your back on the ground, try and find the kokyu path thru nage's seated center and off balance them. So, rather than give you the answer, perhaps you could tell me in your own words what you would do in that situation.

Ignatius
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Old 02-01-2006, 07:13 PM   #15
kokyu
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Re: right way of doing sitting kokyu-ho

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
Let's assume for the moment that you have some ability in manipulating uke's center using kokyu. I have already elucidated the principles involved in previous posts, as have others. Now simply reverse the role - you as uke, with your back on the ground, try and find the kokyu path thru nage's seated center and off balance them. So, rather than give you the answer, perhaps you could tell me in your own words what you would do in that situation.
Ok... I have to try this at my next keiko... I suspect this is going to be very difficult... reminds me of the time when I tried to lift uke to a standing position from suwariwaza ryotedori. I still haven't figured that one either...
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Old 02-01-2006, 07:28 PM   #16
eyrie
 
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Re: right way of doing sitting kokyu-ho

If you can apply kokyu in seiza, you should be able to apply kokyu from any position, in any context. Even if you're doing simple tachi-waza like katate tori or even kata tori, if tori isn't capturing your center at or before the moment of contact, you as uke, should be able to find the kokyu path to their center and off balance them instead. Just because you're uke, doesn't mean you're not training kokyu either!

Ignatius
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Old 02-01-2006, 07:35 PM   #17
kokyu
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Re: right way of doing sitting kokyu-ho

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
If you can apply kokyu in seiza, you should be able to apply kokyu from any position, in any context. Even if you're doing simple tachi-waza like katate tori or even kata tori, if tori isn't capturing your center at or before the moment of contact, you as uke, should be able to find the kokyu path to their center and off balance them instead. Just because you're uke, doesn't mean you're not training kokyu either!
You are absolutely right... but not everyone trains that way... this is related to kaeshiwaza... not something emphasized in the dojos I've trained in...

It's always interesting to hear other people's ideas and try them out in keiko... looking forward to my next practice. Thanks

Last edited by kokyu : 02-01-2006 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 02-01-2006, 08:05 PM   #18
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: right way of doing sitting kokyu-ho

Quote:
Soon-Kian Phang wrote:
Some ukes purposely don't extend enough, so when I extend forward, I can't seem to catch hold of their center.
If that happens, you could always try going for their throat. Most ukes will start extending wonderfully.

kvaak
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Old 02-01-2006, 11:10 PM   #19
David Yap
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Re: right way of doing sitting kokyu-ho

Quote:
Soon-Kian Phang wrote:
Ok... I have to try this at my next keiko... I suspect this is going to be very difficult... reminds me of the time when I tried to lift uke to a standing position from suwariwaza ryotedori. I still haven't figured that one either...
Hi Phang,

Curious with what you've said; where do you train and with whom? In your posts, you've frequently mentioned Aikikai Hombu, so you should be (or originally) an aikikai stylist. I have trained at various dojo here (both Aikikai and Yoshinkan) and I have come across only one dojo whose members (teachers included) do not understand the purpose and intend of the suwariwaza kokyu-ho exercises. Sadly, I felt only muscle but no "ki" from their techniques. For them, good aikido mean strong physical strength and not surprisingly you wouldn't any ladies or children in the class.

Regards

David Y
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Old 02-01-2006, 11:59 PM   #20
kokyu
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Re: right way of doing sitting kokyu-ho

Quote:
David Yap wrote:
Hi Phang,
I have trained at various dojo here (both Aikikai and Yoshinkan) and I have come across only one dojo whose members (teachers included) do not understand the purpose and intend of the suwariwaza kokyu-ho exercises. Sadly, I felt only muscle but no "ki" from their techniques.
Hi David,

I guess you are referring to my example where the uke doesn't try to extend back at me... Well... this has happened on two occasions with some very senior practitioners. One of them was "testing" my suwariwaza kokyu ho and purposely relaxed her shoulders/arms, so I just couldn't extend into her. That caused some head scratching Having said that though, training with her was very enjoyable, and I vividly remember how she and I ran in circles doing nikyo ura - she trying to make it difficult for me to make the lock and me trying to lock fast enough to bring her down.

The other was when I was trying to cause my uke to stand up from suwariwaza ryotedori (uke was also in seiza)... I was trying to extend to connect to his center, but he just withdrew his arms... making it difficult.... another lesson for me

In any case, please do not take what I said as an example of how suwariwaza kokyu ho is practiced in my dojo. These are very isolated cases and do not reflect the general practice of suwariwaza kokyu ho where I train. As to what you said about the 'physical' dojo, I guess some places put more emphasis on strength than others. I don't think I'm in a position to judge them. However, I'm happy to say that my class has both ladies and children.

May I take this opportunity to wish you Happy New Year in the Year of the Dog!
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Old 02-02-2006, 02:09 AM   #21
Alec Corper
 
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Re: right way of doing sitting kokyu-ho

OK, Ignatius, I'll be a good sport. I would suggest that he step back from the kokyu ho exercise for a while and begin with how to rise from seiza using his tanden rather than leading his body with his shoulders. To assist in this I would ask a fellow student to take hold of his obi and gently exert pressure in a simultaneously forward and rising movement to help him to feel the relationships between the core muscle group of stomach, back and thigh, and how the mental intention to recruit these first reduces the inclination to operate with arms and shoulders first. As the feeling of awareness of this area grows then move into the first stage of standing from seiza onto one knee. This exercise help to build kokyu through the centre as opposed to wrist and arm action.
I would also suggest a return to torifune with a partner offering resistance to both the forward and backward movement until the student begins to understand the need to take up the slack in the partners arms before moving their body, and how to close the openings between wrist and shoulder and then between shoulder and centre. After the student feels some change in these two exercises I would ask them to work in two different ways with help from their partners: first without any attempt to use technique but simply rise out of seiza with the feeling gained from the first exercise and without any thought of their arms being held, simply extend up and forwards towards the armpits of their partner. Important here is to keep their armpits closed and maintain the curve in their tegatana. The next time I would ask their partner to hold more strongly and then tori needs to concentrate on lowering thier elbows in order to increase the curve of the tegatana whilst visualizing a spherical path towards their partners armpits. Once they begin to see a reaction in the shoulders of their partner add in part one and see what happens.
David, with respect, I think too many people concentrate on ki before they understand that subtle muscular control underlies the extension of kokyu, it is not magic, just training.
regards, Alec

If your temper rises withdraw your hand, if your hand rises withdraw your temper.
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Old 02-02-2006, 02:46 AM   #22
Alec Corper
 
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Re: right way of doing sitting kokyu-ho

Hello Soon-Kian,

"Alec, you are right in asking your question... but then again, your comment probably applies to many of the people in the Techniques section... so why do you think so many of us pose our questions here? "

I don't know, thats why I asked. I also see a value in swapping ideas but the fact is you can't do Aikido in print or word, no matter how clear, otherwise mail order "Masters" would be everywhere.
Whoops, what am I saying, they are! Seriously I meant what I said although I have tried to give a small answer, but a half hour of practise together would do much more and out of respect for your teacher, give him or her that option.
P.S. someone said it's difficult to ask questions of teachers, that has never been my experience within the Aikikai, it is a question of timing. If your teacher does not welcome questions I would have a few.
regards, Alec

If your temper rises withdraw your hand, if your hand rises withdraw your temper.
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Old 02-02-2006, 05:33 AM   #23
kokyu
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Re: right way of doing sitting kokyu-ho

Quote:
Alec Corper wrote:
Hello Soon-Kian,

I don't know, thats why I asked. I also see a value in swapping ideas but the fact is you can't do Aikido in print or word, no matter how clear, otherwise mail order "Masters" would be everywhere.
Whoops, what am I saying, they are! Seriously I meant what I said although I have tried to give a small answer, but a half hour of practise together would do much more and out of respect for your teacher, give him or her that option.
P.S. someone said it's difficult to ask questions of teachers, that has never been my experience within the Aikikai, it is a question of timing. If your teacher does not welcome questions I would have a few. regards, Alec
Point taken Alec. Maybe it's just a cultural or customary thing. In all the dojos I have trained, it's a bit rare for a student to approach the Sensei after training and ask questions about technique. Even during training, it's a custom to wait for the Sensei to make comments about one's movements. In fact, my first Sensei was very strict about protocol and would tell us things like "please remember, there is a hierachy here". Because I trained under this Sensei for some time, I gusss my thinking has been shaped in that way. Please do not take my comments as a reflection on my current Sensei.

Having said this though, I have trained in two different Aikikai dojos in America and I admit that the atmosphere is very different. There is more on-the-mat discussion between the partners and greater emphasis on a two-way flow. So, I can appreciate your point of view - and I do realize your dojo is in the Netherlands.

Thanks very much for your extended reply on improving one's command of kokyu.

Well... I've given my comments on why people ask questions in the 'General/Techniques' section of this forum. Would be nice if those who posted questions could share their opinions as well...

Last edited by kokyu : 02-02-2006 at 05:41 AM.
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Old 02-05-2006, 07:14 PM   #24
David Yap
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Re: right way of doing sitting kokyu-ho

Quote:
Soon-Kian Phang wrote:
Hi David,
May I take this opportunity to wish you Happy New Year in the Year of the Dog!
Hi Soon Kian,

Happy and Properous New Dog Year to you too. May you have enjoyable years of training ahead.

Best training

David Y

Last edited by David Yap : 02-05-2006 at 07:17 PM.
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