View Full Version : What is ki ?

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06-21-2003, 09:36 AM
I have noticed after reading the messages posted on the thread "Ki in scientific thought", that the questions: does ki exist ?, can science measure ki?, is ki ostensibly paranormal?, should one believe in ki? are equivalent to the questions: does "abcdefg" exist?, can science measure "abcdefg"?, is "abcdefg" ostensibly paranormal?, should one believe in "abcdefg"? The word "Ki" means so many different things to so many different people, that a person must first define what ki means for him or herself, and than explain it to others, before asking or answering any of these questions in the forum.

In this thread I would like you to answer this question :

In your a´kido training, on the mat, in the dojo, whether you're a student or a teacher, whether you're a beginner or not, whether you believe in it or not, whether it exists or not, whether you like it or not, what does ki mean to you? if your a student, what do you think of when the teacher mentions ki and if you're a teacher what exactly are you trying to teach when you're teaching your student about ki? I don't want to know what it means (I don't want a study of the origines and different meanings of the word), but what you think of, when you here or say the word, or if you think of different things depending on the contexts, what are those things in there context.

P.S. There is no right or wrong, good or bad answers, there are only perceptions.

Thor's Hammer
06-21-2003, 09:49 AM
Unification of mind and body.

Charles Hill
06-21-2003, 10:42 AM
I think there is a fundamental problem in using a word as educational tool if that word is not clearly defined and understood through experience by the student. The fact that we are using a Japanese word, indicates to me that the whole thing is inscrutable.

I believe that if a person has an understanding of "ki" and wants another person to understand it, the only way is to have that person do things that engender a "ki" experience, and then point to that experience and say to the person, "What you are experiencing is ki."

To go the other way, that is start with a verbal concept of ki and then endeavor to have a person experience it, is near to impossible. I have heard someone describe ki as like being in love, inexpressable in words, but when you're in it, you know it.


06-21-2003, 02:06 PM
Unification of mind and body.

06-21-2003, 02:35 PM
I don't believe ki can be explained in words, although a simple definition for students may suffice. For them, I call it "intent" or "momentum".

Really, I think ki is learned through experience. Those who are saying "mind-body unification" have learned that application of ki through experience, but there are millions more.

So what is it? Who cares? Why limit it with words? (Now if I can just find that nail and my jello square...)


06-22-2003, 02:30 AM
i think of ki being the energy uke gives to me in an attack, and then the extra energy i give back to him in performing the throw.

a combination of extension and stability, when rather than using individual muscles the body is unified and power flows from the ground.

mike lee
06-22-2003, 03:42 AM
Unification of mind and body.
Ki is always present in a person's body, regardless of whether or not the "mind" and body are "unified" (whatever in the world that means).

Mel Barker
06-22-2003, 11:00 AM
..."unified" (whatever in the world that means).
From Merriam-Webster:

unified - verb, made in to a unit or a coherent whole.

ki - not listed. Must not exist. ;)

Mel Barker

06-22-2003, 12:27 PM
Ki is always present in a person's body, regardless of whether or not the "mind" and body are "unified" (whatever in the world that means).
he was asking about daily practice, something he seems to prefer to talk about rather than do.

I'll give you a really really basic example -

nage is trying to think about which pin to use at the very moment uke has just grabbed his arm. Nage's mind is not unified with what the body is experiencing. Ki is present but not focussed.

as far as what unified means or the whole topic, you might want to do some research on your own about what Tempu Nakamura, Tohei Sensei and others have taught since you are trying to teach aikido.