Tag Archives: breath

Solo Training for Kokyu-ryoku and Ki in Daito-ryu Aiki Budo

Daito-ryu Aiki Budo 118 Techniques

Daito-ryu Aiki Budo 118 Techniques (大東流合気武道百十八ヶ条)
by Yoshihisa Ishibashi (石橋義久)

Yoshihisa Ishibashi (石橋義久) was born in Tokyo in 1938 and started training in Daito Ryu at the Daitokan dojo in 1964, learning Aiki Budo and Ono Ha Itto Ryu Kenjutsu directly from Sokaku Takeda’s son Tokimune Takeda. In 1969, together with Yoshimi Tomabechi (苫米地芳見) and Katsuyuki Kondo (近藤勝之), he opened the Katsushika Branch Dojo in Tokyo and was its first head instructor. He received an Ono Ha Itto Ryu license from Junzo Sasamori (笹森順造) and has a breadth of experience from zen to judo, kendo, Shorinji Kempo, and Chen Tai Chi.

The “118 techniques” in Daito-ryu cover the techniques contained in the Hiden Mokuroku (秘伝目録) certificate , from Ikajo to Gokajo, and were taught as the core curriculum of Tokimune Takeda’s Daito-ryu Aiki Budo. The book “Daito-ryu Aiki Budo 118 Techniques” (大東流合気武道百十八ヶ条) was written by Yoshihisa Ishibashi and published in Japanese in 2015 by BAB Japan publishing company (BABジャパン出版局), which also publishes the popular martial arts magazine Gekkan Hiden (月刊秘伝 / “Secret Teachings Monthly”).

This is the English translation of a section from Ishibashi Sensei’s book that deals with solo training exercises for the development of breath power (“Kokyu-ryoku”) and Ki development.

You may also be interested in “Sagawa Yukiyoshi, Masaru Takahashi and Breath Training in Daito-ryu” for a look at breath training in the tradition of Yukiyoshi Sagawa. Continue reading »

Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha en Aun [Dutch Version]

Kongo-rikishi Guardian Kings

Kongo-rikishi beelden aan de poort van de Horyuji Tempel

*This is a Dutch translation of the article “Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun – Some thoughts on breathing in Aikido training.“, courtesy of Ernesto Lemke of Seikokan Aikido.

Enkele gedachten over ademhaling in Aikido training

De Kongo-rikishi beelden die de poort naar het binnenste heiligdom van de Horyuji Tempel bewaken zijn de oudste in Japan. Van deze ‘Bewaker Koningen’ wordt gezegd dat zij meereisden met Shakyamuni Boeddha om als zijn lijfwachten te fungeren.

De rechter (Misshaku Kongo) heeft zijn mond open, symbolisch voor de eerste letter van het Sanskriet alfabet (’A’). De linker (Naraen Kongo) heeft zijn mond gesloten wat de laatste letter van het Sanskriet alfabet voorstelt (‘un’).

‘A-un’ wordt normaal gesproken gebruikt om de ademhaling van het bestaan voor te stellen – het Universum zoals die bestaat tussen de gecombineerde In-Yo tegenstellingen.

In het Westen wordt dit soms uitgesproken als het Indiase ‘Om’ of ‘Aum.’

In China wordt dit geassocieerd met Heng-Ha ademhalingsoefeningen binnen de….krijgskunsten. Er zijn beelden genaamd Heng Ha Er Jiang (哼哈二将, de twee Generaals Heng en Ha).

Om terug te keren naar Aikido – hier is iets interessants van de Aikido Grondlegger Morihei Ueshiba:


De krijgskunst van Takemusu is de kracht van het principe van A-un ademhaling (kokyu)  Continue reading »

Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun, Part 2

Heng Ha Er Jiang, from Fengdu China

Heng Ha Er Jiang (哼哈二将, the two Generals Heng and Ha), from Fengdu China

Breathing deeper…

Above are two more Kongo-rikishi (“Guardian King”) statues of the type that we talked about in Part 1 of “Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun“.

This time the statues are from the ghost town of Fengdu China – which is an entire city modelled on the Chinese Hell of Taoist mythology, built more than 1800 years ago. The City of Ghosts was a place of worship before the flooding of the Three Gorges due to the Three Gorges Dam Project. Today it mostly lies underwater – except for the sections that have been reconstructed (with some of the original structures used) for the tourist industry.

In the picture above the General Heng stands on the right – 哼, for inhaling. Note that his mouth is closed and his abdomen is contracted (this is the Naraen Kongo in Japan, with his mouth closed in the “un” syllable of “Aun”).

The General Ha stands on the left – 哈, for exhaling. Note that his mouth is opened and his abdomen is expanded (this is the Misshaku Kongo in Japan, with his mouth open in the “A” syllable of “Aun”).  Continue reading »

Aiki, Iki, Kokyu, Heng-Ha and Aun – Part 1

Kongo-rikishi Guardian Kings

Kongo-rikishi statues at the gate of Horyuji Temple

Some thoughts on breathing in Aikido training.

The Kongo-rikishi statues that guard the gate to the inner sanctum of Horyuji Temple are the oldest in Japan. These “Guardian Kings” were said to have traveled with Shakyamuni Buddha, in order to act as his bodyguards.

The one one the right (Misshaku Kongo) has his mouth open in the first letter of the Sanskrit alphabet (“A”). The one on the left (Naraen Kongo) has his mouth closed, representing the last letter of the Sanskrit alphabet (“un”).

“A-un” is generally used to represent the breadth of existence – the universe existing between the combined In-Yo opposites.

In the west this is sometimes pronounced as the Indian “Om” or “Aum”.

In China this is associated with Heng-Ha breathing exercises in the practice of…martial arts. There the statues are called the Heng Ha Er Jiang (哼哈二将, the two generals Heng and Ha).

Getting back to Aikido – here’s a short tidbit from Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba:


The martial art of Takemusu is the power of the principle of A-un breathing (kokyu)  Continue reading »