Cosmology Recap, Kokyu Intro

Hi Everybody,

In this brief talk I attempt to quickly recap the basic structure of the Ueshiba’s cosmology and its relationship to how he typically described Aiki, and how those two things relate to Kokyu.  I’m not going into depth, rather I hope to help readers understand how Ueshiba’s cosmology, understanding of Aiki and the concept of Kokyu all relate to the solo body movement exercises I learned from Shirata sensei.  Hopefully the talk will also help readers to understand the vital relationship of push tests with the solo body movement exercises specifically, and kokyu, Aiki, and Cosmology in general.

I also suggest that readers study this post by Chris Li:  Aikido Sangenkai In particular, be sure to scroll down to articles appendix:  Dobun by Morihei Ueshiba.  Perhaps in a later post I will explain how the Kagura Mai is a model exemplifying everything discussed here.

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12 thoughts on “Cosmology Recap, Kokyu Intro

    1. Remember the story about the person that wanted to master the sword? He went to the teacher that he wanted to learn from and asked how long it would take. The teacher gave him an approximate time which didn’t satisfy the student. So the student said, “How about if I studied twice as hard?” And the teacher doubled the time. So the student said, “How about if I study three times as much?” And the teacher tripled the time.

      I’ll eventually get to all of the TDD. But becoming familiar with them all will not accelerate one’s mastery. If one could truly understand and do TDD #1, one wouldn’t really need the rest. And, until one can truly understand and do TDD #1, one cannot truly understand and do the rest.

      I was familiar with them all for decades. That was very helpful but it did not lead me to a full understanding. I needed a bit more vital input and I needed to go back and reassess.

      When I experienced a higher clarity I didn’t go back and start practicing all the TDD again. I waited until I thought I might be able to do TDD #1 productively. After that I progressed to TDD#2 & 3. I skipped over TDD 4 – 6 for a period to concentrate on TDD 7 & 8. Lately, I’ve done 4 – 6 again. But I almost always end up back at TDD #1,#2. There are other exercises that I find beneficial too. Some were taught to me by Shirata sensei, some by Dan, and some I made up on my own. These were all made up by someone at some time to satisfy a need.

      One thing is for certain, one doesn’t “know” any of these until one can do them with Aiki. To do them with Aiki, one must “be” Aiki.

      I only claim to “know” both the TDD and Aiki to the extent that I can “do” the TDD and Aiki. I surely do not know them in their fullness.

      What I have observed, what I recommend, and what I try to practice is working on one small piece until I “can do” to some appreciable level. This “doing” informs my understanding of the bigger picture and inevitably leads me to further questions and further training.

      I literally know thousands of techniques. I don’t train them. I don’t even teach them anymore. I am concentrating on the “one” to strike the “ten thousand.”

      I appreciate your enthusiasm. I recommend directing it all towards a small target and never giving up until you figure out for yourself what it takes for you to achieve the results you desire. I am convinced that you know what I am talking about. You couldn’t possibly have accomplished all that you have without doing just that.

      Respectfully yours,

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Thanks for this explanation, Allen. Very clear, and now I have some questions!

    I’m trying to understand the relationship between your explanation of Aiki 2 and 3 (using the “Palantir”) on the one side, and your final remark on “unleashing the force” on the other. Because in my understanding, using the methaphor of a spinning sphere, both Aiki 2 and Aiki 3 are about redirecting an incoming force.

    With Aiki 2, you’re redirecting with a tangential force, resulting in a “clean” redirection of the force. So the object that delivers the force basically gets sent along the resultant force vector.

    With Aiki 3 you’re redirecting using a tangential, rotating plane. Showing my age here, but a record player comes to mind. So basically the object delivering the force would get sent along the resultant force vector, but also be all twisted up.

    Am I on the right track here? Because then the factor that would result in a greater effect on the object delivering the force would be the rotational velocity of the sphere, right? So the people that can unleash great force “spin” faster? If that makes sense, what does that mean if we’re talking about a human body instead of a spinning sphere?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Dick,

      Thank you for your terrific question!

      Aiki #1 equates to what, as far as I can gather, a lot of martial arts refer to as “internal power.” It is not non-resistant in the same manner as Aiki #2 and #3. However, Aiki #1 can be used to create substantial force and that, coupled with high level martial skill (or low level opponents) can make one a force to be reckoned with.

      Aiki #2 and #3 have unique potentials, first necessarily inside one’s self, and then potentially outside one’s self.

      The fact of Aiki #2 and #3 creating non resistance enables one to handle forces inside the body without resistance. This has health benefits and also enables one to generate force without the normal internal resistance one often dampens that force within one’s body. The other benefit is the use of angular momentum. Acceleration is enhanced and when the angular momentum is channeled through smaller circles the speed increases. Also, mv = mv so when mass is converted to velocity as it travels to the outer appendages. You, Robert, Walter, Sy, Tom and the other engineers can explain that better than I can I’m sure. But it is what allows the Taichi guy to punch at 12x his body mass. Imagine 12x your body mass being delivered in an area of about 4 square cm. No thank you!

      Then there is one more added bit. Consider that force being delivered in such a manner that it would encounter little resistance outside the body. That could be in the form of atemi or a technique that transfers a spiral to another’s body. After our last training I think you can.

      So, done well, a lot of force can be generated (centered force that doesn’t require commitment or wind-up), and that force can be delivered where there is (theoretically) no resistance. This results in a lot of power (work over time) because of the overall efficiency of the thing.

      For us, the (archaic) assumption is multiple opponents, with bladed weapons and lethal intent. If one is to have any chance of surviving such a (realistic) encounter, the above would be of great benefit considering that one’s life would likely hang upon decisive action taken in fractions of seconds. Remember Yukawa died, Ueshiba had life long injuries, and Takeda recovered in a hospital after such adventures. I’d rather write a blog!

      I use the analogy of a stealth bomber. It has a tremendous payload, which it (theoretically) can deliver un-opposed.

      Weaponized Aiki is a thoroughly horrible thing. But of course we humans have utilized our ever growing technology to evolve weaponized horror WAY beyond that. Unfortunately our baser instincts haven’t evolved as quickly.

      Please let me know if I didn’t answer your question.


      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think you did!

        One thing that occurred to me after your remarks on angular momentum and the rotating sphere metaphor. For this to work, the sphere has to spin in a special way, right? It can’t be pulled along by the edge, but it has to be driven from the core. So there has to be a strong connection between the core and the surface. That’s where Aiki 1 comes in, right?

        We could picture a sphere thats connected to it’s core with elastic cords that have a tension strong enough to transfer the movement of the core to the surface. That way, if the core moves, everything moves.

        And at the same time there is Kokyu, that is needed to keep the sphere from being deformed by an outside force.

        So for Aiki 2 and 3, the presence of both Kokyu and Aiki 1 is necessary. Aiki 1 to drive the movement, and Kokyu to transfer the movement effectively to an outside object.

        Is this a good way to think about it?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oops 14x his body weight!

        Since there is no Kokyu Ryoku without tissue recruitment, involvement, usage, and adaptation, tissue recruitment, involvement, usage and adaptation are virtually synonymous with Kokyu Ryoku. There is, of course, simple pneumatic pressure, etc. that can be used too. But the Big Bang for the buck is in the tissue recruitment, usage and development.

        Yes, we strive for a one to one ratio from center to circumference. Think of car wheels and tires. The wheel has some “give,” but it is hardly noticeable. The tire has more give, but to be functional it can’t have a lot. Oops work calls. More later!

        As for your last paragraph, I would say: Aiki 1 is really necessary for Aiki 2 & 3 to have much viability. Kokyu is a good means to develop Aiki 1. It can do more of course.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Allen,

    thank you so much – this is clarification I have sought after for literally more than a quarter of a century (without quite knowing that this was what I was lookinig for 😉 – but that’s probably part of the process!) !

    In continuation of Dick’s last post (the centre being connected to the surface), the elastic tissue must be exactly what kokyu is designed to strengthen (I believe?).
    Then, kokyu exercises would seem to form the foundation for the rest – and thus also for the TDD (?).
    This being (perhaps?) the case, might it be possible to persuade you to make a basic-basic-basic video concerning breathing practice?

    (On one hand I am loath to ask, since you are already sharing so generously – on the other hand, since there is so much material out there from well- (and sometimes ill-) meaning but misguided people, you are one of the very, very few people I trust to have the understanding to provide a truly expedient answer, so having waited for twentyseven years I hope for your forgiveness for bombarding you with my questions.)

    Gratefully yours – Christian
    (And warm regards from Sif as well!)


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