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Benjamin Mehner
02-23-2011, 01:37 AM
Before I took Aikido I took Karate at a commercial competitive dojo. Then I took baguazhang, or however you spell it, under a skilled master with not so skilled assistants. Then one day a friend handed me "The Art of Peace" and showed me some youtube videos.

After a few months I found the right dojo and my friend gave me his dogi. After a few lessons I realized that ki was real.

After a while I began to understand how to use ki a little bit.

Recently I have become aware of my center, and I haven't even been to my dojo in a while. I've only used one point meditations and practiced with my friend on the cold hard ground outside.

First I though ki was fake then I misunderstood what my center is, I hope I gain even more insight.

Looking back I think I could have learned a thing or two about ki and my center from the baguazhong, but it didn't click until I took Aikido. Have any of you had an experience like mine?

Hellis
02-23-2011, 04:29 AM
.

Have any of you had an experience like mine?

No !

Benjamin
With respect, I would suggest you forget about `ki` for the time being and study some good Aikido basics.

Henry Ellis
http://aikido-books.blogspot.com/

dps
02-23-2011, 07:21 AM
No, the first martial art that I learned was Aikido.

Ki is learned through practicing the basics which i learned from the beginning of my practice.


dps

Larry Cuvin
02-23-2011, 09:47 AM
Hi Benjamin. My answer is no. Aikido is the first martial art (and the only one) I have formal training on but since I train in Ki Aikido, the first thing we experienced and learn (as in the first class demo) is how to use your center, relax and extend ki (even for just a short period of time). We have ki training first hour followed by another hour of aikido. Been at it for six years so I'm still a noob.

ChrisHein
02-23-2011, 10:57 AM
Remember when you decided ki was fake? Now you have a different perspective. That was because you opened your mind. Make sure you KEEP the OPEN Mind part.

Don't become 100% set on any idea, if something seems right, go with it, but ask why while you're doing it. Always ask why. The open mind is the most valuable thing you could possibly gain, don't let go of that, no matter what you think is important down the road.

Benjamin Mehner
02-23-2011, 11:38 AM
No !

Benjamin
With respect, I would suggest you forget about `ki` for the time being and study some good Aikido basics.

Henry Ellis
http://aikido-books.blogspot.com/

Thank you for your advice, I know a bit about you and have respect for your opinion. I only wish I could follow your advice and get some good practice. School and work are getting in the way of going to my dojo, and I don't want to practice at any of the other ones around here.

I think I've spent too much time thinking and reading about Aikido and not enough time doing it.

PhillyKiAikido
02-23-2011, 11:53 AM
I do. Ki/Qi/Chi is not something hard to feel, it's something very common and natural in life. OSensei said he was born with Ki. It shouldn't take much time for a martial art students to feel Ki or somthing different with his body, given the training is right. Baguazhang is an internal martial art, I think it helped you get the feeling. I agree that one should be open-minded, that means respecting the reality, not trying to deny, forget or ignore.

One thing I want to add is you should be under the guidance of some experienced masters, or you may have big troubles if you practice the wrong way. IMHO, Ki Society's Ki training goes on the safe side, so the effect is not that obvious to everybody, but it'll be obvious after a few years.

My two cents.

phitruong
02-23-2011, 12:09 PM
for an art that has ki in the middle of the name, one would have thought the old guy knew something, right? otherwise, we would only have aido. love is good and all, but sometimes you need a good irimi smack down. :)

Diana Frese
02-23-2011, 12:20 PM
I was very fortunate to be at NY Aikikai many many years ago when I was in my twenties, and we were exposed to both approaches in the following way, after the initial intro the last three months I was at Cornell.

There, the judo in the women's phys ed building was very systematic, there was a numbered series of techniques for each, knee, hip, shoulder, etc. but some of us also went downtown to the teacher's cousin's class. Aikido was also taught but the only thing I remember was flying through the air, he was French, and he taught us by using the fact that we were also studying judo and could take ukemi. I remember it was often hard to know where and how he wanted us to roll or fall .... And I remember the phrase, "Look for the shape of the movement...." But after three months came graduation....

At NY Aikikai we were exposed to the concept of ki by Tohei Koichi Sensei himself who visited for about four months and taught many of the classes. His book Aikido in Daily Life was just published then, I think it's now called Ki in Daily Life unless there has been a further revision of the title.

At the time, Yamada Sensei already had many excellent assistant teachers, including Lou Kleinsmith who had come from judo and was also an assistant teacher at Chen Man-Ching's Tai Chi studio "downtown" as his students called it.

Perhaps the main things we learned were to not be stiff, the "relax completely" one of the four basic points, and to think of your center -- Keep one point ------ from the Ki instruction. Also to extend ki, to not struggle with the partner.

These points were very valuable, though I confess I was a person who tenses up under pressure and have to remind myself not to.

As many of you know, Yamada Sensei is famous for powerful kokyu ryoku movement (so when he mentioned the phrase either speaking to us or in a printed interview or article we knew exactly what he meant) I think one of the subtitles of one of his books is The Arts of Power and Movement. (We simply have to get our books out of the family storage locker!)

Ukemi, I confess, was never easy for me. Once when the fall out of one of the techniques made me feel a bit balky, Sensei commented, back in the days when he had an accent, "Don't scared, even you stiffened up I gotta throw you anyway." He wasn't being mean, I had been practicing for at least a couple of years and judo before that, so I should have known better. After all nobody dragged me to class almost every day..... we were all just fascinated by aikido, and in my case, i never would have believed when I was a klutzy teenager that in my twenties I would learn the closest thing to flying....

I guess all I'm trying to say, is practice a lot. I was fortunate to find a dojo with a lot of great people and a great head instructor, and visiting instructors.....

"The basics," David mentioned. Yamada Sensei mentioned that before the testing at Summer Camp 1973, then in the late seventies or early eighties at a demonstration with other shihan at a rented space with room for the general public to watch, he chose Basic Technique for his portion of the exhibition.

Starting in 1975 I got an opportunity to teach at the local Y here, they were looking for classes to fill the new building. When we were a Y course I called it Introduction to Aikido. Then we became an Aikikai and paid a nominal rent. Several years later, my husband tells me now, when he tried Aikido as something his karate teacher at college had mentioned, I always emphasized the basics.

From his background, he had been practicing Shotokan for years with strong emphasis on basic techniques. Fortunately I always had good people to work with, so I said they were helping me with my homework. And the ki exercises I remembered were very helpful too.

Sorry this got so long, but I wanted to express some gratitude for many people who helped along the way.

Diana Frese
02-23-2011, 12:26 PM
Thanks, Ting and Phi, I was still writing while you were posting.
I like your posts!

Don Nordin
02-23-2011, 01:39 PM
Benjamin,

I have only been practicing Aikido for about 18 months, so I do not have anywhere near the experience of many others on this board. All I can offer to is that there is no majic in any of this it is all about practice. There a few chapters in the book "Moving Towards Stillness" that may interst you. The short version is put down the baggage, leave it at the door of the Dojo, and train. The rest will come with time.

Hellis
02-23-2011, 01:53 PM
Benjamin

"" I think I've spent too much time thinking and reading about Aikido and not enough time doing it. """""
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That simple statement tells me that you are a sensible young man.
You have the time to find the right dojo ` for you `...
Good luck
Henry Ellis
http://aikido-books.blogspot.com/

Benjamin Mehner
02-23-2011, 04:28 PM
Benjamin

"" I think I've spent too much time thinking and reading about Aikido and not enough time doing it. """""
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That simple statement tells me that you are a sensible young man.
You have the time to find the right dojo ` for you `...
Good luck
Henry Ellis
http://aikido-books.blogspot.com/

Thank you. I forgot to add that your first response to me reminded me of what my sensei said when I asked about satori. He looked at me kind of funny and told me not to even bother thinking about it yet.

I think I have found the right dojo, its a pretty traditional place affiliated with the Hombu dojo. I have a lot of respect for my sensei and my dojomates.. Its just that I'm going to culinary school right now and It has taken me away from my dojo. It's been kind of depressing, not being able to be training with my friends, but cooking is the only thing I've ever enjoyed doing for a living. Right now school must come first so I can advance my skills in the culinary arts.

Gorgeous George
02-23-2011, 05:41 PM
I think I've spent too much time thinking and reading about Aikido and not enough time doing it.

Ditto.

...but the more I practice, the more I think.
How's that for a koan?

Mossy Stone
02-24-2011, 05:34 PM
I had quite the opposite experience, having encountered the use of Ki before being introduced to the term. When I took an Aikido class in college, as I sat listening, I had several moments where I said to myself "Oh, so THAT is how..."

In a lot of ways, my short time studying Aikido brought together a lot of my previous learnings in various disciplines, and I found myself translating Ki and other concepts to such things as boxing, kickboxing, and even taking it beyond that, using Aikido concepts and applying them to verbal interractions. It is amazing how much further you get with people when you 'blend' their intent with yours, rather than confronting them with it.

Aikido-Sensei
02-27-2011, 02:33 PM
i think that sometimes people don't understand or forgot the yin-yang symbol.

There is a good in bad and bad in good, i believe that aikido makes the "bad" fight to a "good" one - in other words - AI KI DO.