|AIKI and its FLAVOUR - 2|
The end product just is .(This final sentence is complete ,so don't ask!)
If you find the above recipe a bit strange, don't worry you're quite normal- its me that isn't. Some of the above ingredients may be a little unfamiliar so I will attempt to elucidate a little more:-
KOKYU - this may be defined as breath power.It is common knowledge to many sportspersons and opera singers that breath must be co-ordinated in order to achieve optimum performance. Japanese Budo takes this a stage further with special exercises or "kokyu-ho".Kokyu is closely linked to Ki and is often described as "how a person uses their Ki".It is said that a master can tell, just from the way a student walks onto the mat, the quality of his/her kokyu .
Breath training is a full time pursuit and can be practised anywhere. Breathing should be through the nose and pushed deep into the hara. The outbreath should be 3 to 5 times longer than the inbreath and only 6 to 8 breaths per minute (or less!) made.In order to facilitate deep breathing attention should be in the hara or more precisely on the one point or "tanden". Exhalation at correct moments of focussing power is much aided by the Kiai- which most of you have heard ,much to your annoyance, resounding around our dojo.
REI - most commonly recognised as the Japanese word for "bow". The meaning of Rei however goes far beyond this simple connotation and represents gratitude and respect, and Aikido begins and ends with respect!. Shinto which provides much of the underlying philosophy of Aikido is strongly founded on a profound respect for all things animate and inanimate in nature since all are imbued with "Kami" or spirit.
Chogyam Trungpa (Tibetan Buddhist Rinpoche) suggests in his book "Shambala-the Sacred Path of the Warrior" that even the details of our daily domestic life are worthy of veneration and as such we can regard them as sacred."Appreciating sacredness begins by simply..........applying awareness to what you do".
Thus we should approach our Aikido with true respect and perform the etiquette "rituals", as well as our partner practice, both with full awareness and with a heart that is "makoto"(sincere).