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tedehara
01-22-2005, 04:50 PM
The Ki Society has its own breathing exercise and meditation. I was wondering if any other groups/styles have their own forms of breathing exercise and/or meditation? Perhaps you practice a form whose origins are from outside of Aikido, like breathing exercise from Qigong or meditation from Zen. If you can give a short description, it can help satisfy my curiosity.

Or is there any place for this in your training?

Thanks in advance.

Mike Sigman
02-07-2005, 02:26 PM
I think that if you draw back and look at the "big picture", you'll find that all the breathing exercises and "meditations", when done correctly, are related. The breathing serves to physically strengthen a part of the body makeup and the "meditation" is for getting the subconscious more involved in strengthening the relationship between the mind and the part of the body makeup that you were strengthening with the breathing.

FWIW

Mnemos

Nick P.
02-07-2005, 03:24 PM
In our dojo, we do no breathing exercises of any type.
Not to hijack the thread, but do those that do do breathing exercises also do weapons?

pezalinski
02-07-2005, 04:10 PM
In our dojo, we do no breathing exercises of any type.
Not to hijack the thread, but do those that do do breathing exercises also do weapons?

YES. :D

Can't cut well without breathing well.

bryce_montgomery
02-07-2005, 08:46 PM
Our dojo doesn't do much breathing exercises or meditation but I personally have dabbled in zazen meditation a time or two...

As I said...a time or two. So I'll let someone that knows more about it tell you how it goes...

Bryce

Charles Hill
02-07-2005, 11:16 PM
Yes, but our shihan only explains it once a year at the yearly koushukai. I seriously doubt people are paying attention. So when we do the exercise during warmups, I have noticed that most aren`t doing it correctly. So maybe the answer to your question is also no.

While sitting seiza, we reach up with both arms, streching up and breathing in. We make fists and bring the arms down to where our fists are about to our ears, holding the breath, and focusing on our lower abdomen. Then we breathe out while lowering our hands.

I`d say our style is pretty conservative Aikikai Honbu.

Charles

MaryKaye
02-08-2005, 02:39 AM
I'm in a Ki Society dojo; we do breathing exercises a couple of times a month, weapons a couple of times a month (sensei's whim on both of them; sometimes it's more often, sometimes less).

I learned one at Maui Ki Society which looks and sounds way too much like a cat coughing up a hairball; I'm sure it's useful, but I had trouble keeping a straight face!

We also do bell-ringing misogi, which is a form of active meditation. My home dojo only does it a few times a year, mostly around the New Year; pity, because it gets a lot easier with practice.

Mary Kaye

ian
02-08-2005, 04:07 AM
In aikido we sometimes do short breathing exercises before lessons and a very brief (2 mins) zazen period sometimes, though there isn't too much stress on getting it 'perfect' - more just for stretching/relaxation.

Rarely I mention breathing in relation to timing (although I stress breathing out during throws so you don't get winded!)

I'm sure you know Ted, that Chi Gung is a great source of info on breathing exercises and the many different 'ways' of breathing. Generally I go for in thru nose, push breath down into hara whilst expanding stomach, and as you breath out thru mouth you push stomach forward more (into centre).

What does the ki society do?

PS. yes we do weapons (almost entirely bokken, and specifically to develop unarmed techniques and body response)

SeiserL
02-08-2005, 09:34 AM
We do a simple breathing exercise as part of every session warm-up.
Breathe in when blending, out when executing.
No formal meditation, but I personally practice Zazen.

Mike Sigman
02-08-2005, 01:05 PM
Yes, but our shihan only explains it once a year at the yearly koushukai. I seriously doubt people are paying attention. So when we do the exercise during warmups, I have noticed that most aren`t doing it correctly. So maybe the answer to your question is also no.

While sitting seiza, we reach up with both arms, streching up and breathing in. We make fists and bring the arms down to where our fists are about to our ears, holding the breath, and focusing on our lower abdomen. Then we breathe out while lowering our hands.

I`d say our style is pretty conservative Aikikai Honbu.

I'd say that functionally, that type of qigong is probably the most effective and the most common of the pressure gongs. You have to know how to contain it, though, and how to focus on what is being stretched and pressurized. The only quibble I'd have with that type of gong is that, in my opinion, it would be better to do it standing so that you could add a slight squat and pressurize the legs. Legs are the hardest to develop the ki.

FWIW

Mike ;)

tony cameron
02-08-2005, 05:01 PM
i practice Pan Gu Shengong Qigong daily which incorporates a very Aiki/ Ki society type of breathing exercise. it is very effective in the areas of health, energy, stamina, and balance, and it is extremely simple to perform. the 1st form (moving form) takes about 20 min. soon i will learn the non-moving form. for more info: http://pangu.org

best regards to all,
tony

tedehara
02-09-2005, 06:24 AM
...I'm sure you know Ted, that Chi Gung is a great source of info on breathing exercises and the many different 'ways' of breathing. Generally I go for in thru nose, push breath down into hara whilst expanding stomach, and as you breath out thru mouth you push stomach forward more (into centre).

What does the ki society do?...The Ki Society uses abdominal breathing with the inhalation from the nose and the exhalation from the mouth. Breaths are slow with periods of interchange. In general I've noticed the Ki Society tries to simplify the execution of techniques/exercises. Breathing, like everything else, is subject to ki tests. You might be breathing or meditating and an instructor will give you a ki test to see if you're doing it correctly.

The ki meditation comes from zazen, although it's not as physical. The main purpose is to relax while meditating. There are two forms of ki meditation, expansion and contraction. These forms mirror the breathing process of inhalation and exhalation. Like Mike noted, these are really two sides of the same coin, if done correctly.

I usually practice breathing exercise first. It's a physical way to relax the body. I can then follow-up with meditation to relax the mind. The Ki Society recommended times has changed over the years. There are also different ways to do this. Standing and sitting seiza are some ways William Reed recommended in Ki : A Practical Guide for Westerners.

Led by Suzuki Sensei, the Maui Ki Society advocates one hour of breathing daily. I've also read of Japan doing a quieter form of breathing and that K. Tohei was emphasizing the periods between the breath. I think it was to insure people extend ki and don't "collapse" between breaths.

kironin
02-09-2005, 08:03 AM
I usually practice breathing exercise first. It's a physical way to relax the body. I can then follow-up with meditation to relax the mind. The Ki Society recommended times has changed over the years. There are also different ways to do this. Standing and sitting seiza are some ways William Reed recommended in Ki : A Practical Guide for Westerners.

Led by Suzuki Sensei, the Maui Ki Society advocates one hour of breathing daily. I've also read of Japan doing a quieter form of breathing and that K. Tohei was emphasizing the periods between the breath. I think it was to insure people extend ki and don't "collapse" between breaths.


Actually at the Instructor's intensives I have been to, it's the opposite. which I prefer. You begin with Ki meditation and natural breathing. basically getting your mind calm/relaxed and eventually transition into Ki breathing. With the mind calm, the body relaxes right away and I find Ki breathing more natural and longer.
Usually sitting at least 30 minutes.

I think the periods between breaths also prevent you from going into a trance state which would be counterproductive to opening your awareness.
Keeps you at a conscious level.

The nice thing about this practice is it is training you can do everyday.
Hard to be at the dojo everyday for most of us.

Mike Sigman
02-09-2005, 11:12 AM
Actually at the Instructor's intensives I have been to, it's the opposite. which I prefer. You begin with Ki meditation and natural breathing. basically getting your mind calm/relaxed and eventually transition into Ki breathing. With the mind calm, the body relaxes right away and I find Ki breathing more natural and longer.

The general rule for most "meditation" (I hate to call it that because sometimes it's meditation but sometimes it's actually focused intent) practices that include breathing and other things is that first there is a quietness and relaxation, shutting out thoughts, etc., in order to gain a rapport with the subconscious. Sort of like the access you gain using a pendulum, oui-ja board, or similar things, if you've ever done it. Once the rapport is established and allowed to strengthen itself, then usually the breathing and/or kokyu practices (which you can do even seated with your eyes closed) begin. The rapport is one of the key elements so I'd agree that's the usual start. However, if you're having trouble settling your mind down, I'd also agree that doing some slow, focused breathing is a good way to settle the mind and then begin the rapport. ;)

FWIW

Mike

kironin
02-09-2005, 12:39 PM
actually the best, is to get up early, go do river misogi in a cold mountain stream, get out walk back to the dojo and sit down in seiza and do Ki meditation flowing into Ki breathing.

fond memories of steam rising off my head


then of course a full day of Aikido practice follows
:D

Mike Sigman
02-09-2005, 04:08 PM
actually the best, is to get up early, go do river misogi in a cold mountain stream, get out walk back to the dojo and sit down in seiza and do Ki meditation flowing into Ki breathing.

fond memories of steam rising off my head


then of course a full day of Aikido practice follows
:D

Somehow, Buffalo Bayou doesn't strike me as the equivalent of a colde mountain stream, though. ;)

Mike

kironin
02-09-2005, 05:47 PM
Somehow, Buffalo Bayou doesn't strike me as the equivalent of a colde mountain stream, though. ;)

Mike


no, in Texas and Hawaii you have to put ice cubes in the bath tub.
:p

Mike Sigman
02-09-2005, 07:04 PM
Speaking of Misogi techniques and cold mountain streams and ki and kokyu, I went to look at Craig's home dojo website and the page on Ki had the following:

"Extending Ki is a natural state that we knew intuitively as babies, but as we have grown up in the hectic modern society of today we have forgotten how to let the Ki of the Universe flow through us."

The Chinese version of this comment refers to "Early Heaven" versus "Later Heaven" powers. So you have a lot of people naming their schools "Early Heaven Such and Such" and so on. However, the literal translation is not what the idiom actually refers to. What they mean is that we all have instinctive strengths and reactions when we're born and we all learn to move and act differently with "normal" strength and reactions. If we want to regain the instinctive strengths of man, we have to practice correctly to train them back and we have to do it enough so that they again become instinctive.

But on another level, there's more to it. Misogi breathing and other Ki exercises, along with Kokyu practice are methods for regaining the innate powers that we've lost as humans. I.e., the saying is that animals have strong Ki powers (animals are unusually strong for their sizes while man is weak for his size), but man has lost them through evolution (this is what the sentence I quoted was referring to, really). The breathing and stretching (as animals do, to keep themselves toned) and subconscious-strengthening of Ki exercises has this re-acquisition in mind.

Just a thought along the lines of the thread.

Mike

Mike Sigman
02-15-2005, 05:34 PM
no, in Texas and Hawaii you have to put ice cubes in the bath tub.
:pI used to live in Houston in the 70's and 80's and I competed in the first Houston Triathlon. We used Buffalo Bayou as a kayak course (it was run, bike, kayak) through the park (Memorial Park??). Turns out that even as stagnant as Buffalo Bayou looks, there's some sort of Gar fish in it and those suckers are BIG.

Mike

James Lavin
02-17-2005, 04:53 AM
Yes, but our shihan only explains it once a year at the yearly koushukai. I seriously doubt people are paying attention. So when we do the exercise during warmups, I have noticed that most aren`t doing it correctly. So maybe the answer to your question is also no.

While sitting seiza, we reach up with both arms, streching up and breathing in. We make fists and bring the arms down to where our fists are about to our ears, holding the breath, and focusing on our lower abdomen. Then we breathe out while lowering our hands.

I`d say our style is pretty conservative Aikikai Honbu.

Charles



some people know but cannot teach this

some people do not believe this is inportain

there are various ways to do the breathing

as you get older you will understand the value of this breathing

i do 15/20 minutes a day

jim :ki: :grr:

bogglefreak20
02-18-2005, 05:49 AM
In our dojo, we do no breathing exercises of any type.
Not to hijack the thread, but do those that do do breathing exercises also do weapons?


We have both breathing excercises and weapon practice at our dojo.

During the summer vacations (end of June through end of August) we have only breathing excercises once a week for 2 hours in the nature. We also do some Ki tests there. The reason for that is that schools are closed during the summer and our dojo is located in a gym at a certain elementary school.

Qatana
02-18-2005, 12:50 PM
In the dojo we do the exercise Charles described, but we have not in my two years of training ever had it taught or explained to us.

I have been practicing Vipassana meditation for 17 years. We focus on the breath, wherever we feel it in the body. I personally do kinda of a hum, vibrating my hara on the exhale, or if I need to center almost a sigh.

Ted, what exactly about zazen is physical? The practice is almost exactly like Vipassana-Sit.Breathe. Breathe again. Breathe again. Pay attention to the breath. Sometimes in zen they count ten breaths and start over.

tedehara
02-20-2005, 12:47 AM
...Ted, what exactly about zazen is physical? The practice is almost exactly like Vipassana-Sit.Breathe. Breathe again. Breathe again. Pay attention to the breath. Sometimes in zen they count ten breaths and start over.Sometimes when they teach zazen, they become physical in that they are very precise in the posture. Nostrils line up over the navel, chin tucked in and a ram-rod straight back. The Ki Society goes for a natural sitting form with the chin out and a straight back. The main purpose is to allow the person to relax.

Mike Sigman
02-21-2005, 01:55 PM
The Ki Society goes for a natural sitting form with the chin out and a straight back. The main purpose is to allow the person to relax.Hmmmm. There is a physical reason for Ki development why the head should be held up and the chin slightly in. Do you know who started this "chin out" protocol, Ted?

Mike

tedehara
02-21-2005, 02:47 PM
Hmmmm. There is a physical reason for Ki development why the head should be held up and the chin slightly in. Do you know who started this "chin out" protocol, Ted?

MikeI would have to assume it is K. Tohei.

Mike Sigman
02-21-2005, 03:08 PM
I would have to assume it is K. Tohei.Can anyone point me to a reference in which Tohei espouses letting the chin out, please? Thanks.

Mike

tedehara
02-27-2005, 04:42 AM
Can anyone point me to a reference in which Tohei espouses letting the chin out, please? Thanks.

MikeK. Tohei suggested sitting in seiza to do ki meditation in Book of Ki. People sit in seiza everyday and never tuck in their chin. Sitting cross-leg or sitting in a chair are other ways you can do ki meditation. The idea is to relax and sit naturally. These different ways of sitting are all subject to ki tests.

When you take some formal posture, you usually introduce some tension in the body. This makes it hard to pass a ki test. During one period, K. Tohei was ki testing zen priests in Japan. I heard none of them passed. I believe their practice of taking a formal posture had much to do with this.

Further information on ki meditation can be found in Ki : A Road That Anyone Can Walk and Ki : A Practical Guide to Westerners by William Reed.

Mike Sigman
02-28-2005, 04:48 PM
K. Tohei suggested sitting in seiza to do ki meditation in Book of Ki. People sit in seiza everyday and never tuck in their chin. Sitting cross-leg or sitting in a chair are other ways you can do ki meditation. The idea is to relax and sit naturally. These different ways of sitting are all subject to ki tests.Hmmmmm. Now we're into the almost unavoidable mixing of the difference between "Ki" and "Kokyu", Ted. One thing I'm sort of interested in now is to talk to someone like Tohei or a disciple of his who is demonstrably an accurate follower of Tohei's methodology and beliefs. There's is a minor problem, as I've noted before, in calling the let's say "solidity" you feel when pushing Tohei's forearm "Ki". It's technically an offshoot of the general idea of Ki, but it's misleading to continually refer to it as "Ki". What I'm wondering is "who is off-base in this definition... the followers of Tohei or Tohei himself?". In other words, has Tohei essentially taken "Ki" and made a definition that has a shade of removal from the original concept, or if I talked to Tohei himself and I discussed the standard differences between "Ki" and this "solidity", would he say "of course!", indicating that the error is among some of his folllowers? As I've said before, these things actually have a pretty rigid logic to them and it's difficult to get away with personal interpretations once you fix into any part of the algorithm of Ki.When you take some formal posture, you usually introduce some tension in the body. This makes it hard to pass a ki test. During one period, K. Tohei was ki testing zen priests in Japan. I heard none of them passed. I believe their practice of taking a formal posture had much to do with this.What you just said is a prime example of the misunderstanding of what "Ki" is, that I mentioned above, Ted. There is a real and demonstrable reason why the chin is tucked in for development of actual Ki, not the "solidity" portion of "kokyu" that you're calling "ki".

Regards,

Mike Sigman

tedehara
03-01-2005, 02:54 AM
...What you just said is a prime example of the misunderstanding of what "Ki" is, that I mentioned above, Ted. There is a real and demonstrable reason why the chin is tucked in for development of actual Ki, not the "solidity" portion of "kokyu" that you're calling "ki".

Regards,

Mike SigmanThen "What is a real and demonstrable reason why the chin is tucked in for development of actual Ki?". What is your definition of ki and kokyu? How are they different in the above instance?

PeterR
03-01-2005, 03:47 AM
Ki wars?

Mike Sigman
03-01-2005, 08:32 AM
Then "What is a real and demonstrable reason why the chin is tucked in for development of actual Ki?". What is your definition of ki and kokyu? How are they different in the above instance?Well, wait a minute, Ted. Before I get dragged into explaining something that will take me forever to write and even then might not be clear to someone just reading it, let's re-focus on the question that I originally asked..... WHERE does Tohei say that the chin should not be tucked in? In what book, speech, etc.? That was what I asked. Your reply was:

K." Tohei suggested sitting in seiza to do ki meditation in Book of Ki. People sit in seiza everyday and never tuck in their chin. Sitting cross-leg or sitting in a chair are other ways you can do ki meditation. The idea is to relax and sit naturally. "


That doesn't show Tohei saying to relax such that the chin goes forward, so before we start a discussion of why the chin comes in, let's deal with first things first. :)

Mike

kironin
03-01-2005, 02:43 PM
That doesn't show Tohei saying to relax such that the chin goes forward, so before we start a discussion of why the chin comes in, let's deal with first things first. :)
Mike

I would like to see you guys demonstrate in person what you mean by "chin tucked in" or "chin out",

otherwise I am staying out of this discussion.
:D

Mike, you could come to the national conference in June in Las Vegas and ask Tohei Sensei's son.

personally my chin is where it is so I don't create tension.
oops
Craig

Mike Sigman
03-01-2005, 03:14 PM
I would like to see you guys demonstrate in person what you mean by "chin tucked in" or "chin out",

otherwise I am staying out of this discussion.
:D

Mike, you could come to the national conference in June in Las Vegas and ask Tohei Sensei's son.

personally my chin is where it is so I don't create tension.
oops
CraigThe conference idea is tempting, although I am in the middle of a novel that takes place in Las Vegas and I just privately swore to myself that I would never go there again. ;) Is there a URL with some info? I'll look at it.

The question I was asking was in response to the idea that Tohei directly promulgated the "chin not held in" idea. That is what interested me about Ted's remark and why I asked the question.

In regard to "not creating tension", that's sort of in line with my comments somewhere previously about what "relax" really means. To someone who has practiced a given posture, for example, he will feel that he is "relaxed" while a beginner to that posture might feel some strain and tension. I.e., the idea of "relax" is actually subjective; if you're really relaxed, you would crumple to the floor. So there is always a certain amount of tension, even if you personally indicate that you try to avoid tension. The other side of the coin is that some tension is actually desirable and a "good" posture may include as much tension as is required to sustain that posture. I think you see the point, so I won't belabor it more than necessary. Tucking the chin in serves a purpose... that's why I was curious if Tohei actually was on record somewhere to get rid of that particular item.

FWIW

Mike

kironin
03-01-2005, 04:20 PM
so I don't create tension.



so I don't create "added" tension

so I don't create "unecessary" tension

etc.


Information on Las Vegas conference
Ki Society USA 2005 Conference (http://ki-aikido.net/2005NatlConf.html)

Mike Sigman
03-01-2005, 08:53 PM
Information on Las Vegas conference
Ki Society USA 2005 Conference (http://ki-aikido.net/2005NatlConf.html) Thanks. I looked at it and it seems to be an in-house presentation for the inculcated. If it was more of an "exposition", I'd probably consider it. I'm daring like that. ;)

Mike

roosvelt
11-08-2005, 09:37 AM
Generally I go for in thru nose, push breath down into hara whilst expanding stomach, and as you breath out thru mouth you push stomach forward more (into centre).



Let me know if I get it right?

"inhale, expanding stomach; exhale, push stomach out more."

How can you expand your stomach indefinitely? At some time point, either at beginning of inhale or end of exhale you have to put stomach back to normal?

hungary mind wants to know.

Mats Alritzson
11-08-2005, 03:39 PM
How can you expand your stomach indefinitely? At some time point, either at beginning of inhale or end of exhale you have to put stomach back to normal?

That's because they count ten breaths and then start over. :D

Saturn
11-09-2005, 07:50 AM
The trick with expanding and contracting is it looks like belly dancing.

1. Focus on your belt knot, or your pants strap where your Hara is.
2. Expand at that point to inhale sitting straight.
3. Allow your lower stomach to expand all the way and let the expansion move all the way to the top of your chest, like a wave so you get the maximum amount of oxygen, leaning back and tilting your head back helps.
4. Return to straight position and hold for two or three seconds to allow the oxygen time to saturate your lung lining.
5. Start exhaling from your Hara pushing your stomach out to a point of tension so the oxygen clears out beginning at the top of your lungs due to the effect of your Hara.
6. Slowly your contraction should make it down to your Hara (remember, like a belly dancer) so that your stomach tenses contracted completly
7. Lean forward to help completly clear out carbon.
8. Return to sitting straight holding for two or three seconds.
9. Repeat

Remember to move your muscles like a wave, or a Snake.

roosvelt
11-09-2005, 08:42 AM
3. Allow your lower stomach to expand all the way and let the expansion move all the way to the top of your chest, like a wave so you get the maximum amount of oxygen, leaning back and tilting your head back helps.



I see. Here you pull down your diaphram and let air fill the lung.



5. Start exhaling from your Hara pushing your stomach out to a point of tension so the oxygen clears out beginning at the top of your lungs due to the effect of your Hara.



Here you push up your diaphram to purge the air out of your lung.

Basically, you keep your chest normal, push your stomach out to a ball shape, and use your stomach muslce to move your diaphram up and down to breath.

Thanks. It makes perfect sense.

dj_swim
11-09-2005, 10:17 AM
Ki wars?

:D

Thanks, I really needed that today...

-Doug

Saturn
11-09-2005, 04:38 PM
After reading the basic breathing instructions, check out my thread "Zazen Meditation, Haragei and Focus". Oh, and don't forget, in through nose, out through mouth. Tense up the throat a bit, as has been said before you should sound a bit like Darth Vader. This is so you can prolong your breath.