I Don't Want To Eat My Vegetables
So... It's the beginning of a new year. I was able to attend the first class of the new year. In days past Sensei Mulligan would have us do a class with 5th kyu techniques. The past couple years he's decided to do have a class instead on ki exercises.
This is one of those classes that's probably good for you but you don't really want to do. Thank god it's only once a year.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that you shouldn't consider ki during practice. A whole class focusing on it is like being a kid and forcing you to eat your vegetables.
I had varying degrees of success with the various exercises. I think I've seen all of them at one time or another. Some of them in my mind have practical value. Staying relaxed is very important.
However there was one exercise where you drop your arm on top of your uke's outstretched arm. You can supposedly force uke's arm down just by letting your arm drop. I challenge anyone to do this exercise and actually force my arm down. When it didn't work in class for some people, it was said that uke was using ki while extending the arm. If this is the case, then either some of us are bad uke's, or this exercise is less useful. Personally, I don't care how much ki you use. If you get a really strong person who locks his arm, you aren't going to move it by just relaxing and dropping your center. You may get a fall out of it.... but you will never move his arm. I'm just not a believer.