Funakogi Undo.

Rowing exercise. This is a great way to learn to apply power with your whole body coordinated. Need to open a sticky drawer and want to appy mind/body principles while you do it? Read on.

Double click the black & white picture above to play a video of Funakogi Undo, single click to stop. If the mini-video didn't download automatically, you can get it while you're reading. It's only 84 K.
(Get the most recent Quicktime plug-in for best performance.)

How to do it.
Stand with your left foot in front, hips and shoulders square to the front. Curl your wrist and hold them at hip level.
Move your hips forward slightly. Smoothly extend your wrists out.
Leaving your arms extended, start to move your hips back.
Keeping your wrists curled, bring your arms back to your sides. Repeat steps 2-4 several times, then switch sides.
  • Keep your chest out, your eyes (and mind) forward.
  • The power for this exercise - and really, for all aikido - comes from One-Point, the center of balance for the body that is located between the hips. Move One-Point smoothly forward and back, and let the motion of your hands follow.
  • Leave your hands open as you extend your arms forward. Close them into a light fist as you bring them back to your sides.
  • Remember - you're only moving air. Don't use any unnecessary muscle to do this exercise.
  • So how does this apply to opening a sticky drawer? Stand with one foot forward. Grasp the handles of the drawer. Move your hips back first, then bring your hands (grasping the drawer) toward your hips. This is a lot easier than just pulling with the muscles of your arms.
  • What can you expect to get out of this ki exercise? A feeling that your mind and body are moving comfortably as one.
  • Try to apply the idea of using the power of One-Point in all that you do. When you open a door, when you serve a tennis ball, when you lift something heavy. Don't make a big deal of it. Just pay attention to how One-Point can help.
  • You can work with a friend to get better at this ki exercise. Follow the directions from above, only this time, have your friend stand facing you, holding both of your wrists. Now, when you move forward, your friend pushes against your wrists to make it harder. When you move your wrists back toward your hips, your friend resists by gently pulling. Try doing the exercise by just moving your arms. Try again moving your hips. Which is better?
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