Technique of the month
Benefits of Kokyu Dosa
By Bruce Bookman
Kokyu dosa is one of the most fundamental aikido techniques. It is the practice of sitting in an upright position on your knees (seiza) in front of eachother while one partner holds the other's wrist. The person who is being held (nage) makes a triangle with their fingers as they lift their hands, throwing their partner (uke) to the side.
Kokyu is literally translated as breath power. Internal energy is another way to describe it. Dosa just means exercise. Kokyu dosa is an exercise that helps us generate our internal energy rather than using our muscular strength alone. Just sitting on the mat in seiza helps us to get grounded. Think of a tree with its large roots extending into the ground. Before Uke grabs your wrists, fill your hands with energy by imagining that you are breathing with your hands until you feel a relaxed openness in both arms. This feeling works its way up your arms until you feel open and grounded throughout yourself. Next, press into your partners hands to feel their resistance. When you press forward, feel a slight tension in your belly which means that your hands and center are connected. When you feel ukes strength keep your hands in place while lowering your elbows slightly. You will have uprooted your partner making it easy to direct them off balance.
As a result of repeated practice of Kokyu dosa, you will get in touch with your core strength, ground yourself and run powerful energy through your body. If done correctly, the more your partner resists by using force against you, the easier they will topple. The interesting part of this kind of training is to see how being grounded and using your core strength helps you in your daily interactions off the mat.
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