Kokyu nage for me, as far as the physical side of Aikido goes, seems the most esoteric and difficult aspect of the art to examine. There is always such a narrow channel of movement that needs to be traversed for the technic to work. What it has developed or should I say continues to develop in me is timing, a sensitivity to uke’s intent and ki sensitivity. But to achieve this awareness I have to remain relaxed, calm and that is not always easy if someone is coming to get you with a lot of energy. Also, so much of kokyu has to do with expansion and ki extension. Sempai was saying one should visualize extending the ki two or 3 feet beyond your arms and hands. That REALLY helped me to understand the dynamic aspect of kokyu throws. There needs to be a dynamic quality to the throw. Collapsing the body is what you absolutely do not want to do when an attack or conflict is coming your way. You meet it, digest it, and then move. Kokyu technics can be found in all Aikido technics and I think that is what I most got out of class tonight. It goes back to an earlier entry where I talked about the difficulty of unbalancing uke. If this unbalancing aspect is not in place then kokyu nage will be ineffective. The kokyu challenge is that nage (receiver) really gets one chance at that initial moment of connection to make this unbalancing happen. However, with Aikido if the unbalancing does not happen one can transition into another technic.
It was a good class. I speak for my fellow Aikidoka at Shobu Aikido in saying that our thoughts and prayers are with Isabella, Jay Sensei, and Karen during this time of transition.