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antdigoh
05-30-2005, 10:06 PM
Deaths of some great sense-is have somewhat alarmed me, noticed that most of them died of fatal diseases, if not cancer, massive heart attacks and other terminal illnesses. These consequences have worried me a bit, so I did my own research and analysis silently with regards to practicing aikido.

Mine is just of word of advise and should served as brotherly concern if not some sort of warning. It's up to you guys I just wanted to share my views and conclusions...

Please refrain from focusing on one point, especially to those practicing ki development, or to the higher ranking Aikidoka. There's so much to understand about ki, it's principles and practices. My esoteric inclinations has drawn me to this sports that I have come to love.

I do practice hatha, arhatic and raja yoga, I'm on my higher stage of meditations, so I needed a higher degree of physical exercises/activities. And I chose Aikido for it is somewhat congruent to my spiritual principles. It is a must before and after meditation that we do some simple stretching or rigid exercise to facilitate the flows of energy that has down-poured upon us during a meditation. Since we consider aikido as a meditation in motion, during that moment we are only concern on focusing on one point or the center. Thus we are on a meditative trance in keeping one point. In yoga one point corresponds to the sex chakra or the sex energy center. There are seven major chakras or energy centers, these energy centers controls our vital organs. When we keep one point, we activate that energy center only (which controls our reproductive organs), we tend to forget the other six energy centers. These energy centers should be aligned or incoherence in motions, for the energy passes through these centers(chakra). If we activate only one chakra and the others not, there's a great danger of damaging the internal organ/s being controlled by those certain energy centers.

These what might have happened to those great sensei who have passed away, because for me theirs is not just an ordinary deaths...

bkedelen
05-30-2005, 10:19 PM
This forum gets harder for me to read every day.

Mashu
05-30-2005, 10:33 PM
Thanks for the heads up there Antonino.

:)

PeterR
05-30-2005, 10:42 PM
Of course the one point is very Toheiesque. Not something that can easily be attributed to all Aikidoka - no matter how they died.

Lan Powers
05-30-2005, 10:54 PM
Of course, being of a generation that is commonly in the "later" part of the average lifespan of the public at large could be a big part of that.

But it would be interesting to know if the Deshi's have a longer lifespan than others of their age from less active, athletic lifestyles. (I suspect that is the case, but may be just wishing it to be so)
Lan

PeterR
05-30-2005, 11:11 PM
Good point.

Shioda G., Ueshiba M., and Tomiki K. lived to a ripe old age. Shioda G. lived a pretty unhealthy life - I bet it was the cigarettes that killed him not the "one point".

Rupert Atkinson
05-31-2005, 12:48 AM
Interesting that they died of fatal diseases.

I think that once people have reached the six score plus ten, they should forget about stats. I mean, we all die, and we have to die of something. As we live longer and longer it obviously means we are doing better but at the end of the day, we have to die of something. Maybe it is good to die suddenly of a massive heart attack when you're old rather than wait for death to slowly creep up while incapacitating you for years.

Anyway, the original poster cited six other important points - so, what are they? Where are they? Anyone interested in the so called 'one-point' should surely be interested if there are another six.

Janet Rosen
05-31-2005, 01:16 AM
Um, they died of fatal diseases? Anything that kills you is a fatal disease.
Outside of war zones or underdeveloped countries that have infectious disease problems, cancer and heart disease are the major killers of most people.
I'm sorry, as a public health nurse, I have to bluntly say that this is just silly.

Rupert Atkinson
05-31-2005, 01:31 AM
[QUOTE=Janet Rosen]
... cancer and heart disease are the major killers of most people.
QUOTE]
That's just what I mean - there's nothing else to kill us! And if we get rid of these two, what will we die of?

Infamousapa
05-31-2005, 01:34 AM
A word of concern to all that practice meditation and take it to an all out extreme.Do not dwell on KI as the essence of life and death..Practice the martial art and follow principles...But when one gets too into the mistic inner energy..You might think you have entered a path of spiritual enlightment that makes you see things in the true...Jesus is the only way,the truth and the life..Emptying yourself thru meditation makes you vulnerable to evil spirits..I dont mean to get religous on you all but threads like these just make me want to quit practicing Aikido at times..But then again I just focus and go to class as a hobby and train hard and put all that bothers aside..Many of these meditation practices teach to renew the spirit thru inner energy and chi<>ki>.I mean i know Aikido is a art that emphasizes KI..Just leave it at that..

antdigoh
05-31-2005, 01:39 AM
1) The crown chakra at the top of the head - controls the brain
2) Ajna chakra (browse) - controls the pituitary gland
3) Throat chakra - thyroid gland
4) Heart chakra - the heart
5) Solar Plexus chakra - this affect diapragm area / the stomach / the intestines / the liver and the panceas...
6) Sex chakra - the reproductive organs (the so called one point)
7) Root chakra - at the end of the spine (the "sleeping serpent of fire" lies)

stuartjvnorton
05-31-2005, 02:51 AM
Mmm, I like Yogo.
Chocolate is my favourite.

Alex Megann
05-31-2005, 03:40 AM
Mention of Tohei Sensei makes me think, too. Isn't he eighty-five now?

Focusing on One Point intensively during (from what I hear) a life lived to the full in many ways hasn't finished him off yet...

Alex

Chuck.Gordon
05-31-2005, 03:46 AM
Um. Sure ....

Right.

Ahem.


Chuck

Alex Megann
05-31-2005, 03:54 AM
..Emptying yourself thru meditation makes you vulnerable to evil spirits..I dont mean to get religous on you all but threads like these just make me want to quit practicing Aikido at times..

I keep coming across this idea that meditation is about emptying the mind. This seems to be a preconception held by people who have not practised meditation with a proper teacher. I suspect it is also an inaccurate polemic spread by those within parts of the evangelical Christian movement, intended to sow distrust. To me this seems to come from the same place of fear and distrust as something I was told personally recently: that yoga is "introducing Hinduism through the back door".

Meditation, as I understand it, both in the yogic and Christian traditions, is a very personal practice of letting go of the debris of everyday living, and learning to see more clearly the true essence of things. This is nothing like emptiness.

Alex

Michael Holm
05-31-2005, 05:35 AM
6) Sex chakra - the reproductive organs (the so called one point)


Which ki aikido dojo practice that "one point" is the same as the "sex chakra" ??

We don't :D

happysod
05-31-2005, 05:40 AM
So if I read this correctly, aikido is the art of practicing dim mak on yourself?

Which ki aikido dojo practice that "one point" is the same as the "sex chakra" ?? I've now got some very strange images burned into my retina, thanks (must go get my chakras realigned)

Stefan Stenudd
05-31-2005, 05:43 AM
Meditation, as I understand it, both in the yogic and Christian traditions, is a very personal practice of letting go of the debris of everyday living, and learning to see more clearly the true essence of things. This is nothing like emptiness.Alex, that's neatly put. I agree. It's about relating to everything, not making it nothing.

About chakra, I would say that the second one is far from only related to sexuality, in the very complex Indian tradition. And if it were, I would not mind a bit ;)

Personally, I would rather link the root chakra, if any particular one of them, to sexuality. That's where the genitals are, and isn't the coiled up serpent, rising by stimulation, an obvious metaphore of at least male sexuality?

Sex might not prolong your personal life, but it definitely prolongs life as such :)

Fred26
05-31-2005, 06:45 AM
Mention of Tohei Sensei makes me think, too. Isn't he eighty-five now?

Focusing on One Point intensively during (from what I hear) a life lived to the full in many ways hasn't finished him off yet...

Alex

I believe he is. And f I remember correctly, Tohei hasn't exactly been a health-freak either.

But I guess thats the way life is. Some have healthy life-styles but die young anyways, while other people who keeps abusing their bodies in one way or another lives to a very ripe old age. :)

Matt Molloy
05-31-2005, 07:48 AM
Deaths of some great sense-is have somewhat alarmed me, noticed that most of them died of fatal diseases, if not cancer, massive heart attacks and other terminal illnesses. These consequences have worried me a bit, so I did my own research and analysis silently with regards to practicing aikido.

You did your research and analysis silently eh? Pity you couldn't keep quiet.

Mine is just of word of advise and should served as brotherly concern if not some sort of warning. It's up to you guys I just wanted to share my views and conclusions...

And satisfy your own ego.

Please refrain from focusing on one point, especially to those practicing ki development, or to the higher ranking Aikidoka. There's so much to understand about ki, it's principles and practices. My esoteric inclinations has drawn me to this sports that I have come to love.

I do practice hatha, arhatic and raja yoga, I'm on my higher stage of meditations,

"Higher"......Hmmm. You could be said to be high certainly.

so I needed a higher degree of physical exercises/activities. And I chose Aikido for it is somewhat congruent yada...Yadda....half baked spiritual rubbish...these energy centers controls our vital organs. When we keeblah....blah....yet more semi-concious ramblings.....possibly should read a medical text or two before posting..... These energy centers should be aligned or incoherence in motions, for the energy passes through these centers(chakryadda...yadda...still going and going...won't shut up.....determined to show himself up....hose certain energy centers.

These what might have happened to those great sensei who have passed away, because for me theirs is not just an ordinary deaths...

Somebody call the men in white coats. We've got a live one here!

People live. People die. All the semi literate pseudo scientific psychobabble in the world won't change that.

One point?

Why not go and do some serious training?

Second thoughts...Just go.

Cheers,

Matt.

Mashu
05-31-2005, 08:35 AM
A word of concern to all that practice meditation and take it to an all out extreme.Do not dwell on KI as the essence of life and death..Practice the martial art and follow principles...But when one gets too into the mistic inner energy..You might think you have entered a path of spiritual enlightment that makes you see things in the true...Jesus is the only way,the truth and the life..Emptying yourself thru meditation makes you vulnerable to evil spirits.

I keep coming across this idea that meditation is about emptying the mind. This seems to be a preconception held by people who have not practised meditation with a proper teacher. I suspect it is also an inaccurate polemic spread by those within parts of the evangelical Christian movement, intended to sow distrust.
Jesus and evil spirits aside, I think the advice in the first quote is fairly sound as certain meditative practice can leave the practitioner very open to another's control and conditioning or to some sorts of delusions.
To me this seems to come from the same place of fear and distrust as something I was told personally recently: that yoga is "introducing Hinduism through the back door".

That's just wrong. :)

Be mindful!

Patrick Allen
05-31-2005, 08:54 AM
The bottom line is that life is a terminal condition

Anat Amitay
05-31-2005, 08:58 AM
Rupert A. wrote: That's just what I mean - there's nothing else to kill us! And if we get rid of these two, what will we die of?
hmmm.... old age? :D
As for the rest of the thread- not all senseis go on "spiritual paths" and not all believe in them (so Tony S., don't quit Aikido, you might just lose a great MA! ;) )
people die because they die- how many in your dojo practice 2-4 times a week, but after class go to the local pub and drink 4 half liters of beer (just does wonders to your liver... :crazy: ). How many smoke? (and if it's just cigarretes it's "good")
It's known that some old senseis used to indulge in wonderful competitions like who can drink the most sea water and so... I can't say any of these activities are healthy.
People don't neccesarily lead a healthy life just because they do Aikido, and so they might die at an early age or not.
It also depends on the genetics we get and the surroundings we live in (air pollution, correct diet and so).
As for the chakra's- some believe in them, others don't. I'm not saying either, I never got to actually be explained enough to "take sides".
Each person should live as they see fit, and that's fine. If they die at an early or old age, some would say "only he above knows that".

p00kiethebear
05-31-2005, 09:02 AM
I didn't think keeping your one point was supposed to prevent disease and make you live forever = / (but then again i've heard of "taoist immortal breathing exercises")

Aikidoka die of disease just like every other human on the planet. Nothing different about it.

Mike Sigman
05-31-2005, 09:06 AM
Meditation, as I understand it, both in the yogic and Christian traditions, is a very personal practice of letting go of the debris of everyday living, and learning to see more clearly the true essence of things. This is nothing like emptiness. Hmmmm.....Yogic and "Ki" practices of meditation all are ultimately aimed at taking the "essence" of life, bringing it up the spine, and "awakening" the higher conscience. The "emptying the mind", etc., is part of the process of approaching those controls. The metaphors of "heaven" and "earth" also play into this belief system (analogy within analogy), BTW.

The "reproductive chakra" has its analogue in the "lower dantien" (not the middle dantien that Tohei is talking about focusing on) and there is the same idea of mind, essence, spine (through the "Gate of Life", etc.) that there is in yogic tradition. Take a look at some of O-Sensei's doka and writings ... I think there's more than a comment or two, if you look for them, in "The Essence of Aikido" the mentions these relationships, even though they're cloaked in Japanese terminology, etc. They still derive from the Chinese ideas, which in turn derived from the ancient Indian ideas.

In other words, it's not "spiritual" in the seraphic western sense to do this type of meditation.... there is a common mix-up of the "purifying and sanctifying yourself" idea in western thought with the "get in touch with your inner body control mechanisms" of the eastern approach to meditation. They're not the same thing.

Again, I think the theoretical part of these things is interesting, but it has to be understood that the seemingly esoteric ideas of "meditation", "dantien" (or "chakras"), "ki", and so on, are all rooted in tangible phenomena and observations from the physical world. And the old saying of "if you know it, you can do it; if you can't do it, you don't know it" holds true. ;) And even if you know it and can do it, you're not necessarily assured of a long life. Introduce me to one Taoist Immortal.

MIke

Stefan Stenudd
05-31-2005, 09:11 AM
I didn't think keeping your one point was supposed to prevent disease and make you live forever = / (but then again i've heard of "taoist immortal breathing exercises")Apart from breathing exercises, the religious taoists made potions supposed to bring immortality. They contained some heavy metals, which were of course very powerful in sending people on to that beyond, which is called eternal :)

I have yet to hear of any method with a high probability to extend people's lives substantially.

kironin
05-31-2005, 10:54 AM
Good point.

Shioda G., Ueshiba M., and Tomiki K. lived to a ripe old age. Shioda G. lived a pretty unhealthy life - I bet it was the cigarettes that killed him not the "one point".


and Tohei Sensei, the man who has kept one point for 65 years of his 85 years is still going.

quite a bit of heavy drinking over several decades can be added in to the mix for most of these Sensei's too.

any smoking of course has a big impact on heart disease and cancer. More so now than we even thought a few years ago.

kironin
05-31-2005, 10:58 AM
Meditation, as I understand it, both in the yogic and Christian traditions, is a very personal practice of letting go of the debris of everyday living, and learning to see more clearly the true essence of things. This is nothing like emptiness.

Alex


As the Desert Fathers would say "Bingo!"

:D

kironin
05-31-2005, 11:03 AM
I believe he is. And f I remember correctly, Tohei hasn't exactly been a health-freak either.


Yes, there are infamous stories of him drinking the students under the table and then tossing them around at 6:30 AM class.

He has been off the booze for a number of years per Doctor's orders.

of course, heavy drinking is not exactly anything new in Japanese culture.

Mike Sigman
05-31-2005, 11:29 AM
Yes, there are infamous stories of him drinking the students under the table and then tossing them around at 6:30 AM class.

He has been off the booze for a number of years per Doctor's orders.

of course, heavy drinking is not exactly anything new in Japanese culture. Whoa!!! Let's not pick and choose what we admire and emulate, now! If Tohei does ki, let's do ki... if Tohei drinks heavily, let's knock a few down!!! ;)

Mike

Mike Sigman
05-31-2005, 11:50 AM
Meditation, as I understand it, both in the yogic and Christian traditions, is a very personal practice of letting go of the debris of everyday living, and learning to see more clearly the true essence of things. This is nothing like emptiness.

AlexAs the Desert Fathers would say "Bingo!"

:D Given the number of people who "meditate" but seem clueless about the true essences of so many things.... ;)

Mike

Fred26
05-31-2005, 02:34 PM
Yes, there are infamous stories of him drinking the students under the table and then tossing them around at 6:30 AM class.

He has been off the booze for a number of years per Doctor's orders.

of course, heavy drinking is not exactly anything new in Japanese culture.

I must confess I'm a bit in the dark bout his current medical condition and his medical history. Is it true he has suffered a series of strokes during the years, and that he has been in a wheelchair since the late 1980's?

Michael Neal
05-31-2005, 03:30 PM
thanks for entertaining me today :)

kironin
05-31-2005, 04:00 PM
I must confess I'm a bit in the dark bout his current medical condition and his medical history. Is it true he has suffered a series of strokes during the years, and that he has been in a wheelchair since the late 1980's?

I can't tell you exactly when he was or was not in a wheelchair. Yes he has suffered some strokes, he has bounced back from them and his mind is clear from what I understand. How far his recuperation from the last stroke has progressed I cannot say. My Dad for example started out with the right half of his body paralyzed and unable to swallow (no gag reflex) and progressed over 6 months to walking and eating solid food. His mind and humor never left him. Impossible to know without being there exactly where Tohei is at physically without talking to his doctors and seeing the medical reports. My experience with my Dad taught that the doctors really don't know how far a recovery can go.

The picture on this page is from May,1999 shows him standing with a cane (front row, 2nd from left)
http://www.oregonki.org/inst.html

Jeanne Shepard
05-31-2005, 06:08 PM
Which one of my chakras controls world events?

Jeanne

Mike Sigman
05-31-2005, 06:29 PM
Which one of my chakras controls world events? I think the common wisdom is that it's the swadisthana center. ;)

RebeccaM
06-01-2005, 12:23 AM
Wow, and here I was thinking senseis die because that's what everything that is alive does...

Exactly what is "one point" anyways? Is that your center?

tedehara
06-01-2005, 01:25 AM
Wow, and here I was thinking senseis die because that's what everything that is alive does...

Exactly what is "one point" anyways? Is that your center?
One point is a term used by Koichi Tohei. Others might describe it as your center/centre, dan tien or hara. Of course they would be wrong. ;)

kironin
06-01-2005, 01:52 AM
One point is a term used by Koichi Tohei. Others might describe it as your center/centre, dan tien or hara. Of course they would be wrong. ;)

Ted is being a bit cryptic. ;)

They would be wrong because you can place your one point at your body center, at the top of your head, on the floor, center of gravity (which can be outside your body), across the room, etc. It's a beginner's misunderstanding to equate it with center, dan tien or hara easily made because putting your one point in your lower abdomen is good starting point for learning basic movements and breathing exercises. It most definitely is not a particular chakra/point on the body. It might be better understood as a focal point of awareness which guides your movement or response but that description doesn't quite cover all the bases.

Michael Neal
06-01-2005, 09:09 AM
my chakra told me that there are some unstable people here

Mike Sigman
06-01-2005, 09:31 AM
Ted is being a bit cryptic. ;) I'm sure he will make an excellent teacher. ;) They would be wrong because you can place your one point at your body center, at the top of your head, on the floor, center of gravity (which can be outside your body), across the room, etc. It's a beginner's misunderstanding to equate it with center, dan tien or hara easily made because putting your one point in your lower abdomen is good starting point for learning basic movements and breathing exercises. It most definitely is not a particular chakra/point on the body. It might be better understood as a focal point of awareness which guides your movement or response but that description doesn't quite cover all the bases. How about covering some of the bases, Craig? If you "place your one point" at the top of your head, on the floor, etc., does it relate back to any particular places in your body or is it just a free-floating point?

The idea of "keep your mind in your dantien" is pretty much akin to "keep your one point", although neither one of those statements says in full all the things you can do when you understand it. Both "chakra" and "dantien" have their origins as implying places from which the body powers focus. For instance, the "hara" or "dan tien" in the middle of the body (it's more correctly the "middle dantien", "main dantien", etc.) is a focal point for the powers of "heaven and earth" when you utilize them; i.e., it is not just a point that is in limbo from which you bend and direct things. All points of power have to be based on some reference point of power.

Above that middle dantien is the dantien in the chest area... however, the chest dantien is a secondary power point that is controlled by the middle dantien's power. My comment being that no point is free-floating. So would you mind clarifying, since you're a scientist, what you mean when you say you put a point at the top of your head, on the floor, etc.? Also, I take your comment that it is a "focal point of awareness", but "awareness" doesn't effect any forces, such as are demonstrated in ki-tests, etc.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

kironin
06-01-2005, 10:29 AM
So would you mind clarifying, since you're a scientist, what you mean when you say you put a point at the top of your head, on the floor, etc.? Also, I take your comment that it is a "focal point of awareness", but "awareness" doesn't effect any forces, such as are demonstrated in ki-tests, etc.



to say "no point is free floating" indicates such a deep misunderstanding that I wonder if I will be able to clarify anything for you given this conviction. To a scientist the term "awareness" itself is a ill-defined word and a major area of research so I haven't really done much other than move the confusion to a different term but for some it may convey a different sense of what one point is and get them thinking in the right direction. Ki tests are about testing a person's state of mind at that moment.

now my time to be cryptic ;)
The one point is center of the universe. There are an inifinte number of one points.

Practice rather than words leads to understanding.

Stefan Stenudd
06-01-2005, 10:43 AM
From what I understand, Tohei sensei uses a definition of "one point" (seika no itten, I assume), which is quite his own - or at least far from the traditional meaning of tanden, the center.

I have seen the term seika tanden - what would that mean, then?

Tanden, with its kanji components to be read appx. "the red rice field", is traditionally regarded as a center of great power. Most budo that I know of, traditionally teaches to do all movements with tanden as the base and the "motor".

PS: Jun, I'd love to see icons for tanden in kanji - but that's probably just me...

Stefan Stenudd
06-01-2005, 10:47 AM
now my time to be cryptic ;)
The one point is center of the universe. There are an inifinte number of one points.That's no mystery at all. Einstein taught us that all the movements in the universe are related to each other. There is no one center of it. You can use any point as its center, even earth, so the geocentric perspective is no longer obsolete. On the other hand, it complicates calculations of celestial mechanics tremendously :)

Mike Sigman
06-01-2005, 11:18 AM
So would you mind clarifying, since you're a scientist, what you mean when you say you put a point at the top of your head, on the floor, etc.?to say "no point is free floating" indicates such a deep misunderstanding that I wonder if I will be able to clarify anything for you given this conviction. Regardless of my unfortunate "deep misunderstanding", Craig, let me note the saying at the top of the webpage: "AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information." You made an assertion about placing the "one point" where you want it and I've asked you politely to clarify. Just for the moment, assume that you're not so far above me intellectually and skill-wise that my "deep misunderstanding" prohibits me from comprehending a good explanation, please. To a scientist the term "awareness" itself is a ill-defined word and a major area of research so I haven't really done much other than move the confusion to a different term but for some it may convey a different sense of what one point is and get them thinking in the right direction. There are actually a few other bona fide scientists on this forum, Craig, and they represent different fields of study. So for you to indicate that all "scientists" define a term in a certain way seems a bit out of place and still doesn't answer the direct question that I asked. Ki tests are about testing a person's state of mind at that moment. Really? You test a "state of mind"? How do you do that? Do you do it in a way that involves physical testing of some sort? now my time to be cryptic ;)
The one point is center of the universe. There are an inifinte number of one points. You may need to clarify. According to the logic of the explanations you have written, a practitioner can now place the literal center of the universe where he wants it. I dispute that and ask you to support your assertion. Practice rather than words leads to understanding. I also dispute that assertion. :) Would you say that incorrect practice leads to understanding? Or do you mean correct practice? Have you attended seminars in which explanations were given? Would you amend your statement to say that understanding is the result not only of practice but of correct teaching and explanations? Practice and accomplishment do not exist in a vacuum, IMO. :)

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
06-01-2005, 11:40 AM
From what I understand, Tohei sensei uses a definition of "one point" (seika no itten, I assume), which is quite his own - or at least far from the traditional meaning of tanden, the center. Actually, and I haven't looked in a while but I think I remember fairly well, the original use of "one point" (Craig is indicating something new may have transpired) was very much in line with the traditional usage in relation to "dan tien". There is a theoretical "point" at the center of the dantien, but not all views of the dantien subscribe to that viewpoint. In his earlier books, particularly when he described this "point", Tohei was pretty clear that he was talking about the dantien. As I've noted in other places you can figuratively "put your dantien" someplace, but it involves force manipulations that someone who really understands can easily describe. Tanden, with its kanji components to be read appx. "the red rice field", is traditionally regarded as a center of great power. Most budo that I know of, traditionally teaches to do all movements with tanden as the base and the "motor". I think "tan den" is the pronunciation of the words "dan tian" which is the "cinnabar field" (note that cinnabar, mercuric oxide, is red) which refers to a more or less "field of change" or the place where changes take place (cinnabar easily reverts to liquid mercury when heat drives off the oxygen in combination). The "dan tian" has a basis in actual physical fact and can be considered a physical "ball" bounded by the diaphragm, the pelvic floor, the abdominal muscles, and the lower lumbar vertebrae (the "mingmen" area) in the spine. There is a theoretical "point" in the center of that "ball", but to dwell on the "point" too much is to miss the sophiticated development and usage of what the dantien can do, how it does it, etc., IMO. ;)

FWIW

Mike

tedehara
06-01-2005, 11:45 AM
I didn't think I was being cryptic. I thought I was being honest. :)

Central to the concepts of center/centre, dan tien or hara is that it is a person's center of gravity. A beginner is also taught the same idea about one point. However one's center of gravity is on only in the area of the lower abdomen, if they are standing upright. If you change the shape of the body, the center of gravity moves.

This center of gravity is the point that the body will move around. If you change the shape of the body, like leaning forward to tie one's shoe laces, then the center of gravity shifts. This is how parachutists maneuver in free fall. They change the shape of their body, so they can get different rotations or go in a desired direction.

The center of gravity for a given object can be outside of that object. Using the shoe tying example, your center of gravity moves outside your body as you lean forward. This is high school physics.

Traditional eastern concepts about chakra, center, hara or dan tien have been as static points of power. However Koichi Tohei is not a traditionalist. The way he presents his concept of one point is psychological. It is a place you can focus your mind. However you can focus your mind anywhere inside or outside your body.

This is the source of much confusion. For a traditionalist who understands the concepts of chakra, center, hara or dan tien, K . Tohei's idea of one point seems similar to traditional teachings, but it is not. That is why Mike is talking about points of power, while Craig is talking about awareness.

Clear as mud? :confused:

Mike Sigman
06-01-2005, 12:06 PM
Central to the concepts of center/centre, dan tien or hara is that it is a person's center of gravity. I disagree with you. Although a person's center of gravity is generally in that area, the center of gravity, as you have noted below, is a relative thing. I've never heard a serious discussion about the dantien in which it being the "center of gravity" was of primary importance or central to the concept, frankly.This center of gravity is the point that the body will move around. If you change the shape of the body, like leaning forward to tie one's shoe laces, then the center of gravity shifts. This is how parachutists maneuver in free fall. They change the shape of their body, so they can get different rotations or go in a desired direction.

The center of gravity for a given object can be outside of that object. Using the shoe tying example, your center of gravity moves outside your body as you lean forward. This is high school physics. Not only is it high-school physics, it is also beside the point, if you'll pardon the pun. :) Traditional eastern concepts about chakra, center, hara or dan tien have been as points of power. However Koichi Tohei is not a traditionalist. The way he presents his concept of one point is psychological. It is a place you can focus your mind. However you can focus your mind anywhere inside or outside your body. I can focus my mind on the rings of Saturn, but it doesn't do anything, so I would ask that you clarify your use of the term "anywhere". I can also, by using my mind, effect physical changes in various locations (in my body; outside my body if I am touching some portion of that place "outside").

Insofar as Koich Tohei not being a traditionalist, certainly he is or he wouldn't be using the term "ki" and all its attendant terminlogy, usages, and demonstrations. What Tohei does is take the "ki" that was already a part of Aikido, add a lot of self-help psychology, etc., and turn it into a quasi-religion. He's not the first person to make ki into a quasi-religion, BTW. It's simply a variation of a theme that is encountered in other Asian countries, including India. This is the source of much confusion. For a traditionalist who understands the concepts of chakra, center, hara or dan tien, K . Tohei's idea of one point seems similar to traditional teachings, but it is not. That is why Mike is talking about points of power, while Craig is talking about awareness. I can pretty easily establish that chakra's are "points of power" and that the "dan tian" is also a "point of power" and that the concept derives originally from India. I'll be happy to do so, if you'd like. In other words, I won't just assert things or speak cryptically ... and I'm asking you and Craig, if you really understand these things, to try and explain a few simple concepts that have been brought up by your own declarative statements. :)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

rob_liberti
06-01-2005, 12:07 PM
That was an awesome post, Ted!

I think we learn things on all levels, but are mainly aware of the levels we tend to trust the most. So, I'm sure that Tohei sensei learned on the body skill level, but felt he made the most break-through type progress on the phychological level and so focused on teaching that way. This kind of thing happens all of the time in all sorts of ways. I think that's pretty much the lesson I'm getting from aikido these days - is that it's about building trust in all sorts of things both internal and external.

Rob

Adman
06-01-2005, 03:10 PM
Howdy, folks. A long time lurker here on these forums, with hardly a post to my name. Just thought I'd try my hand at chiming in.

Ki tests are about testing a person's state of mind at that moment.Really? You test a "state of mind"? How do you do that? Do you do it in a way that involves physical testing of some sort?
I'm guessing you already know the answer Mike ;) Yes. The famous "ki test," for lack of a better description, is on the surface a physical one. And as I think you already know (since I've heard you explain in your own words in other threads) the test is not given with strength, but with a relaxed body. Only the weight of the person's arm giving the test (more or less), is needed for optimal biofeedback (at least as I understand it). As it was explained to me, we cannot directly "touch" the mind. We are, however, able to test the body and attempt to become a mirror of the mind with which we are testing. So if the person receiving the test's mind is calm, then the push, or ki test, will have no effect. If the person has any desire to push back or to become passive, then the person will be moved or become tense.

Of course, as has been mentioned, for a standing test ... to help calm the mind, one can focus on the one point in the lower abdomen. If one is sitting cross legged, then one would perhaps focus on the one point existing on one of the ankles or below it. From this position, a ki test could then be applied while the person leans back, while focusing on the one point moving out further in front.

I think I'll stop there. Writing is not my strong point, and I'm not even sure if what I've mentioned is even approaching answering the question asked. Or maybe I've just repeated what's already been said. In any case, I'll wait for Craig and/or Ted's replies.

thanks,
Adam
(Darn! I hit the "Submit Reply" button!)

Stefan Stenudd
06-01-2005, 03:44 PM
I think "tan den" is the pronunciation of the words "dan tian" which is the "cinnabar field" (note that cinnabar, mercuric oxide, is red) which refers to a more or less "field of change" or the place where changes take place (cinnabar easily reverts to liquid mercury when heat drives off the oxygen in combination).I would say that tanden is transcribed from the Japanese, and dantian from Chinese (pinyin transcription). Tan/dan indeed means cinnabar, but its foremost meaning used like this is simply red, the color, not the cinnabar chemical properties.
Thus: the red rice field.
I would say that the color is used to imply "fiery", i.e. a source of great power.

I include the kanji for tanden/dantian, though in a rather free calligraphic version of mine, for your amusement.
http://www.arriba.se/budo/images/Tanden-shodo.GIF

Michael Neal
06-01-2005, 03:44 PM
This article is on Yoga but I find that it applies very much to this topic and some of the "spiritual" aspects of Aikido

http://www.yogajournal.com/views/319_1.cfm?ctsrc=nls154

Some highlights, these quotes pretty much sum up my feelings on this subject, just substitute Aikido for Yoga.

I am not a yoga kinda guy. Yoga people are sensitive, aware, largely sober, slender, double-jointed humorless vegans who are concerned with their own spiritual welfare and don't hesitate to tell you about it. They are spiritually intense and consequently enormously boring in the manner of folks who, in their own self-absorption, feel you ought to be alerted as to the quantity and texture of their last bowel movement.

The Enlightened Masters I have read are invariably incomprehensible and entirely incapable of constructing a single coherent English sentence. I'm not discussing someone like Erich Schiffmann, who's actually a very good writer. What I'm talking about here is Flat Out Enlightenment, which is mostly unintelligible gibberish and reads to me like someone swimming through a thick custard of delirium.

Mike Sigman
06-01-2005, 04:14 PM
The famous "ki test," for lack of a better description, is on the surface a physical one. And as I think you already know (since I've heard you explain in your own words in other threads) the test is not given with strength, but with a relaxed body. Only the weight of the person's arm giving the test (more or less), is needed for optimal biofeedback (at least as I understand it). As it was explained to me, we cannot directly "touch" the mind. We are, however, able to test the body and attempt to become a mirror of the mind with which we are testing. So if the person receiving the test's mind is calm, then the push, or ki test, will have no effect. If the person has any desire to push back or to become passive, then the person will be moved or become tense.

Of course, as has been mentioned, for a standing test ... to help calm the mind, one can focus on the one point in the lower abdomen. If one is sitting cross legged, then one would perhaps focus on the one point existing on one of the ankles or below it. From this position, a ki test could then be applied while the person leans back, while focusing on the one point moving out further in front. Hi Adam:

I understand what you're saying and I've done these same things for many, many years. On a substantive level, a ki-test is purely physical. Naturally there's more to it than that, which is why you can get so many people who demonstrate a "ki test" by showing a similar "resistance" yet they're doing it completely wrong.

The point is that there IS a right way to do a ki test and it DOES involve resistance and/or forces... just a special kind of coordination to bring about those forces. That resistance can be measured and felt, so the laws of physics apply to it, no matter what mental visualizations you're using to create that correct resistance. I personally can think of several good visualizations that work... but I like ones that work in just a few minutes, not the ones that are so vague that the students are spending months trying to get just minimal results.

You, Ted, and others seem to favor a vague imagination that results in the body finally learning to do what you want it to do, in a relaxed way (I *hope*.... I'm going to be disappointed if I drop into someone's dojo someday and find out they were only talking the theory while doing something else). Regardless of what you're visualizing, though, your body must be accomplishing certain things for the forces to manifest themselves... and that's where we should be able to have a common conversation as opposed to mysterious discussions that always hint at secret knowledge, vague visualizations, yada, yada, yada. (This is the place for someone to hop in, if they believe it, and insist the forces the tester is feeling are due to "ki" and not physically explainable kinesiology).

Craig mentioned that he could place the "one point" where he wanted it. I'm trying to get him to elucidate more so I can get a better grasp of his visualization. That's all, just his visualization. If he can do the ki tests, then regardless of whatever visualization he uses I already know what he's doing physically.

This thing about a "state of mind"... you can't feel it. You *can* feel some very subtle things once you develop the skills (it's called "listening" by the Chinese), but that's most likely an interpretation of data and nothing at all to do with any perception of someone's "state of mind" (if someone wants to bet against me, we can set up some double-blind tests pretty quickly and I've already been there). On the other hand, I can put two fingers on a plum or a tomato and tell you how ripe it is.... scarey, huh? Our tactile senses are very complex and sophisticated.

My personal suggestion is that instead of focusing on the visualization, people should spend a lot more time examining what is going on and how it works... I think progress lies more in that direction and less in the direction of emptying the mind and visualizing the center of the universe. ;) If I had to point to any one thing wrong with what I'm hearing, it's the fact that a deliberate, focused "intent" (what O-Sensei called the "divine will") isn't being used and vague visualizations are taking its place. Great progress can be made quickly once the body and the will coordination are learned. :)

Regards,

Mike

Mike Sigman
06-01-2005, 04:20 PM
I would say that tanden is transcribed from the Japanese, and dantian from Chinese (pinyin transcription). Tan/dan indeed means cinnabar, but its foremost meaning used like this is simply red, the color, not the cinnabar chemical properties.
Thus: the red rice field.
I would say that the color is used to imply "fiery", i.e. a source of great power. Hi Stefan:

I think a quick Google search will show you that "cinnabar", etc., is the accepted meaning, implying a transmutation. ;) I include the kanji for tanden/dantian, though in a rather free calligraphic version of mine, for your amusement.

Nice. Very bold. :)

Mike

Adman
06-01-2005, 04:57 PM
Hi Mike,
You, Ted, and others seem to favor a vague imagination that results in the body finally learning to do what you want it to do, in a relaxed way ...
I can't speak for Ted, but I do not favor vague imaginations :rolleyes:. Nor do I only use visualization for learning balance/mind/body coordination, whatever. I was also not trying to be vague in what I wrote. I was actually trying to describe the thought process involved, that I've learned, when focusing on the one point. It's just another tool. So, perhaps I've missed the point of your question.
The point is that there IS a right way to do a ki test and it DOES involve resistance and/or forces..
Of course. However, for clarification are you focusing on the person giving or receiving the ki test? Or both? Giving a good ki test is, I think, more difficult than receiving one. Learning how is not immediately difficult, but can take some time to refine. And it can be taught without any mention of the "one point".
and that's where we should be able to have a common conversation as opposed to mysterious discussions that always hint at secret knowledge, vague visualizations, yada, yada, yada.
I was only addressing part of a question. I wasn't attempting to define a teaching curriculum. I'll see if I can be more on target, next time.
Craig mentioned that he could place the "one point" where he wanted it. I'm trying to get him to elucidate more so I can get a better grasp of his visualization. That's all, just his visualization
And that's all I was offering. Well, at least my visualization. :) You *can* feel some very subtle things once you develop the skills (it's called "listening" by the Chinese)

Actually, I was going to mention "listening" (with quotes), but I felt my post was already too long.
My personal suggestion is that instead of focusing on the visualization, people should spend a lot more time examining what is going on and how it works...
Visualization is not all that I do. So I guess I can say it's not my "focus". Like I said it's just a tool.
If I had to point to any one thing wrong with what I'm hearing, it's the fact that a deliberate, focused "intent" (what O-Sensei called the "divine will") isn't being used and vague visualizations are taking its place.
Well, once again, sorry if I was being vague. Focusing on the one-point should not be vague when visualized.

Okay, this has gotten too long. I'm off to happy hour!

thanks,
Adam

Stefan Stenudd
06-01-2005, 05:38 PM
I think a quick Google search will show you that "cinnabar", etc., is the accepted meaning, implying a transmutation. ;) A Google search can show just about anything you want ;)
Any Japanese or Chinese dictionary will translate it "red", particularly in combination with other words. For example, see Nelson, 2nd revised edition, 163, p.82. "Cinnabar" is not implying a transmutation, primarily, but simply that substance, which is red in color.

Mike Sigman
06-01-2005, 05:41 PM
Giving a good ki test is, I think, more difficult than receiving one. Learning how is not immediately difficult, but can take some time to refine. And it can be taught without any mention of the "one point". Excellent. I was talking about doing ki tests. If doing them can be taught without any mention of "one point", would you mind explaining how a very simple ki-test, say pushing on Tohei's forearm while he stands on one leg, is done? I can't seem to get a coherent answer from anyone on something even as simple as this one. And it's not very mysterious, once you learn how. Certainly anyone who can do it well, can analyse their body mechanics and articulate them. :)

Regards,

Mike

Mike Sigman
06-01-2005, 05:43 PM
A Google search can show just about anything you want ;)
Any Japanese or Chinese dictionary will translate it "red", particularly in combination with other words. For example, see Nelson, 2nd revised edition, 163, p.82. "Cinnabar" is not implying a transmutation, primarily, but simply that substance, which is red in color. Hi Stefan:

But I was not talking about how the term was used generally; I was talking about how it's translated in respect to the "Dan tien". The accepted reference is to the old alchemical connotation with cinnabar. ;)

Mike

Stefan Stenudd
06-01-2005, 06:33 PM
I was talking about how it's translated in respect to the "Dan tien". The accepted reference is to the old alchemical connotation with cinnabar. ;)Hi Mike,
I see. But isn't the concept dantian older than the alchemy in question?
My question is not at all rhetorical, I just don't know. I have a feeling, though :)

Mike Sigman
06-01-2005, 11:17 PM
Hi Mike,
I see. But isn't the concept dantian older than the alchemy in question?
My question is not at all rhetorical, I just don't know. I have a feeling, though :) Logically, it's not. I have never seen it translated as anything but the cinnabar translation with the alchemical context. You are the first person I have ever seen insist that it means "red". :)

I suspect this whole concept comes via India, but it's hard to say. The Chinese system is more simple and functional than the Indian system we now see (India's system may have been less complex in the past, though). The idea of the middle dantien being the area of mixing and change is quite old. I have a number of translated texts from the old Chinese and they all refer to the cinnabar/alchemy/elixir connotation.

FWIW

Mike

Adman
06-02-2005, 12:49 AM
Mike,
If doing them can be taught without any mention of "one point", would you mind explaining how a very simple ki-test, say pushing on Tohei's forearm while he stands on one leg, is done?
You may have already seen this article:
A Test Worth More than a Thousand Words (http://www.aikiweb.com/spiritual/reed2.html) by William Reed.

It covers a lot of things I would probably muddy up in explaining.

But, if asked, I would say something to this effect when describing how to do a basic standing ki test:
[disclaimer]I am not intending to be the authority on the subject - just my take on it.[/dislaimer]

Stand up on toes. Then settle straight down, heels touching lightly, without shifting back. You should be able to stand on your toes again without leaning forward.
Take note of your posture. Are the knees and ankles relaxed? The entire body should not be leaning forward at the ankles. Rather it should be bent slightly at the waist.
Take a half step forward (hanmi) at an angle towards the person to be tested, with the leg closest to them. Take note of posture once more.
Test with a relaxed cupped hand (not crossing body), touching fingers first, at the shoulder of the person being tested, and with a steady light pressure, push straight back.
From there, the article link above explains different levels of testing, intent in testing, etc.

From the above, I would add while testing, make sure your elbow is relaxed and comfortably down (it wouldn't be straight down at this angle of testing). While practicing the test, the person being tested can brush down on the testing hand. It shouldn't be moved. I would also add that I'm sure I'm missing something.

The posture of the tester should remain constant. No leaning in to add momentum to the test. Instead, you should feel any "rebound" from your test, directed into your back leg down through your heel. The test should be practiced to be as consistent as possible.

Standing up on toes is just a tool to get you started and is eventually dropped when the person has developed the right sense of posture.

Speaking of posture. When all is said and done and both parties have it, the only thing left is the mind. The "mirror" analogy I mentioned earlier allows the person being tested to know what's going on in their mind. It's not meant as a way for the person testing to know for certain the other's state of mind. However, like your ripe fruit example, the person testing should (if they're "listening") be able to to feel tension, passiveness, apprehension, etc. So maybe some insight is revealed.

Now, if I was to test Tohei sensei in the manner you described? I'd change from a push, to a grasp and push (this time with elbow straight down) and wonder what in the hell am I doing here?

thanks,
Adam

happysod
06-02-2005, 04:17 AM
Typical aikiweb, a moron posts and a serious discussion breaks out...

Adam, nice take on the test, I'd also agree strongly with a previous post which said the person testing often has the hardest task and needs to know what they're doing. Ki tests with beginners is always a rather strange experience as you can pass a beginners test with strength and rigidity.

Concerning the one-point/focus debate, we're possibly slack in our usage of the terms but we consider the one-point a fixed point under the navel (the point normally covered by the palms in tai-chi when doing the final relaxation breaths) and focus as a pure visualization, so movable.

On a related point, does anyone else use terms like anchors and props?

Mike Sigman
06-02-2005, 12:57 PM
Mike,

You may have already seen this article:
A Test Worth More than a Thousand Words (http://www.aikiweb.com/spiritual/reed2.html) by William Reed. It's an interesting article, although I have no idea of William Reed's background, etc. My opinion, having finally read the criteria for "ki development" ranks, is that Ki Society stuff is too slow and is not really about teaching Ki Society members how to really do things. If someone wants to rebutt me with something more than innuendo, mysterious remarks, and simply asserting that I wouldn't understand, I'd be willing to listen. But, if asked, I would say something to this effect when describing how to do a basic standing ki test:
[disclaimer]I am not intending to be the authority on the subject - just my take on it.[/dislaimer]

Stand up on toes. Then settle straight down, heels touching lightly, without shifting back. You should be able to stand on your toes again without leaning forward.
Take note of your posture. Are the knees and ankles relaxed? The entire body should not be leaning forward at the ankles. Rather it should be bent slightly at the waist.
Take a half step forward (hanmi) at an angle towards the person to be tested, with the leg closest to them. Take note of posture once more.
Test with a relaxed cupped hand (not crossing body), touching fingers first, at the shoulder of the person being tested, and with a steady light pressure, push straight back.
From there, the article link above explains different levels of testing, intent in testing, etc.

From the above, I would add while testing, make sure your elbow is relaxed and comfortably down (it wouldn't be straight down at this angle of testing). While practicing the test, the person being tested can brush down on the testing hand. It shouldn't be moved. I would also add that I'm sure I'm missing something.

The posture of the tester should remain constant. No leaning in to add momentum to the test. Instead, you should feel any "rebound" from your test, directed into your back leg down through your heel. The test should be practiced to be as consistent as possible.

Standing up on toes is just a tool to get you started and is eventually dropped when the person has developed the right sense of posture.

Speaking of posture. When all is said and done and both parties have it, the only thing left is the mind. The "mirror" analogy I mentioned earlier allows the person being tested to know what's going on in their mind. It's not meant as a way for the person testing to know for certain the other's state of mind. However, like your ripe fruit example, the person testing should (if they're "listening") be able to to feel tension, passiveness, apprehension, etc. So maybe some insight is revealed. Thanks for the description, Adam. I think that approach is vague, etc., and perhaps I'll meet up with a Ki-Society member at some time and demonstrate what I'm talking about. It could be a fun discussion. Hmmmmm.... let me add that while I think the Ki-Society approach *appears* to be far too slow and vague, learning correctly is not something you can do in a quick show-and-tell. I think I can convey the overall picture in a couple of 6-hour days, but learning how to do this stuff takes practice. Getting a grasp of the basics can do a lot for someone really interested and curious enough to keep looking. My experience has been that "instructors" who are looking to "add in" some of this stuff into their "already fine martial arts" are simply wasting their times.... their body mechanics are already so fixed that only one in a thousand can go back and correct things, IMO.

FWIW

Mike

tedehara
06-03-2005, 02:16 AM
I disagree with you. Although a person's center of gravity is generally in that area, the center of gravity, as you have noted below, is a relative thing. I've never heard a serious discussion about the dantien in which it being the "center of gravity" was of primary importance or central to the concept, frankly.
The Complete Idiot's Guide to T'ai Chi & Qi Gong pg. 22 ...Our dan tien, or center of gravity, is located about 1 1/2 to 3 inches below the navel near the center of the body-our vertical axis, or our line of posture...
...I can focus my mind on the rings of Saturn, but it doesn't do anything, so I would ask that you clarify your use of the term "anywhere". Anywhere it is effective.
...Insofar as Koichi Tohei not being a traditionalist, certainly he is or he wouldn't be using the term "ki" and all its attendant terminlogy, usages, and demonstrations. Newton used the western tradition of mathematics to create the calculus. Its creation changed mathematics. Newton was not a traditionalist, but an innovator.

Koichi Tohei is similar in that he innovates. He introduced ki testing, kiatsu-ho, ki development exercises and other practices to his style of aikido. His organization is not called the Ki Society, but is actually the Ki Research Society. A strange name if he is a traditionalist.
...What Tohei does is take the "ki" that was already a part of Aikido, add a lot of self-help psychology, etc., and turn it into a quasi-religion. What K. Tohei and other instructors of his generation (e.g. Tomiki, Shioda and Saito) did was to give structure to learning aikido. Before that, aikido was a subjective experience. It was taught more like ju-jutsu. They developed specific approaches to learning the art.

Because his other two teachers, Tetsuju Ogura (misogi) and Tenpu Nakamura (yoga meditation and breathing exercise) did spiritual practices, his style reflects that training. One could argue that these were quasi-religious practices to start.

He's not the first person to make ki into a quasi-religion, BTW. It's simply a variation of a theme that is encountered in other Asian countries, including India.Certainly groups like Li Hongzhi and Falun Gong (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/1223317.stm) keep ki/qi/chi on the front page.

I can pretty easily establish that chakra's are "points of power" and that the "dan tian" is also a "point of power" and that the concept derives originally from India. I'll be happy to do so, if you'd like. In other words, I won't just assert things or speak cryptically ... Then answer two west vs. east questions.

Western science can pick-up subtle electrical patterns on the human body. Yet there are no corresponding patterns in energy or chemical flow which match the traditional patterns of energy as described in Chinese meridians or Indian chakras. If these are points of power, why hasn't there been any discovery of related power patterns in Western science?
If you believe that eastern power as described in chakras or meridians are a subtle energy, doesn't that lack of detection indicate it is not a substantial force in the human body?

and I'm asking you and Craig, if you really understand these things, to try and explain a few simple concepts that have been brought up by your own declarative statements. :)
I cannot speak for Craig, but I believe I and others have tried our best to answer your questions. However our answers do not fit your requirements. Perhaps these answers are not for the questions you seek.
Introduction to The Body: Towards an Eastern Mind-Body Theory by Yuasa Yasuo pgs. 1-2
...Eastern philosophies generally treat mind-body unity as an achievement, rather than an essential relation. This insight relates a number of formerly disconnected observations about Asian culture. First, it is clearer why meditation and philosophical insight are inseparable in the Eastern traditions: wisdom must be physically as well as intellectually developed. Truth is not only a way of thinking about the world; it is a mode of being in the world, part of which includes one's own bodily existence. Thus, meditation and thinking are not to be separated.

Second, if the unity of mind and body (or "body-mind" in the Japanese idiom) is achieved, insights can be tested by deeds. This point explains why satori in Zen Buddhism is verified by action rather than by asserted propositions. Furthermore, this achieved unity accounts for the immediacy and physicality in Zen descriptions of enlightenment: the Zen Buddhist's goal is said to be knowing the truth as one knows the water to be cold when one drinks it. That is, knowledge of the truth is a psychophysical awareness beyond mere intellection...Answers are not in books or on a forum. They are achieved through training.

Mike Sigman
06-03-2005, 09:26 AM
Although a person's center of gravity is generally in that area, the center of gravity, as you have noted below, is a relative thing. I've never heard a serious discussion about the dantien in which it being the "center of gravity" was of primary importance or central to the concept, frankly.The Complete Idiot's Guide to T'ai Chi & Qi Gong pg. 22 ...Our dan tien, or center of gravity, is located about 1 1/2 to 3 inches below the navel near the center of the body-our vertical axis, or our line of posture... Hmmmm.... I rest my case, Ted. Bill Douglas is a guy with no credentials, no real knowledge, etc., in Taiji who promoted himself to some publishers, started the "World Tai Chi Day" that attracts the New Age crowd, etc. His central idea is that Taiji is good for "stress relief". He's parroting the same rubbish about the "center of gravity" that a lot of amateurs do, but he's totally clueless about what qi, jin, etc., are. Do you really think that the dumb-ole-Asians were too stupid to find a simple way of naming the center of gravity and instead chose to name the area "dan tien", referring to "change" and body technology, because they weren't as smart as the amateurs? It might help you to get an understanding of the concept of body movement in the ki paradigm and you'll understand why "center of gravity" is a side issue to the discussion. I would ask that you clarify your use of the term "anywhere"Anywhere it is effective. How about clarifying the conditions for it being effective, then, since it's still vague. Newton used the western tradition of mathematics to create the calculus. Its creation changed mathematics. Newton was not a traditionalist, but an innovator. True. Newton discovered and rigorously proved some totally new concepts, as history shows. In no way does Koichi Tohei's accomplishments put him on a level with Sir Isaac Newton, Ted. Let's don't even go there, if we're going to have a rational discussion. Koichi Tohei is similar in that he innovates. He introduced ki testing, kiatsu-ho, ki development exercises and other practices to his style of aikido. Ted, Tohei modified the style of teaching. That's all he did. There are ki development exercises in the Aiki-Taiso (that's what they're for!!!), suburi, kokyu-ho-dosa, etc. In other words, he focused more on Ki, but he did not introduce any basic function to Aikido that was not already there... unless you want to argue that O-Sensei didn't espouse the use of Ki in his Aikido? His organization is not called the Ki Society, but is actually the Ki Research Society. A strange name if he is a traditionalist. Er, it's a not uncommon thing in both Japan and China to name an offshoot a "research society". ;) What K. Tohei and other instructors of his generation (e.g. Tomiki, Shioda and Saito) did was to give structure to learning aikido. Before that, aikido was a subjective experience. It was taught more like ju-jutsu. They developed specific approaches to learning the art. Different people modify their Aikido in different ways, Ted... but that doesn't mean they have come up with something new. Tomiki combined judo with Aikido; Shioda tried to codify Aikido, etc.... but those are varying approaches, not radical innovations. Because his other two teachers, Tetsuju Ogura (misogi) and Tenpu Nakamura (yoga meditation and breathing exercise) did spiritual practices, his style reflects that training. One could argue that these were quasi-religious practices to start. Sure, but Tohei has added his own quasi-relgion to the original Aikido. It's quite a marketing tool. I think it might be illuminating for you to visit with some of the better level Chinese martial artists who have great qi skills, Ted. It might help you put into perspective that what Tohei does/sells/teaches is not a radical innovation in the Asian world of qi and qigongs.
Then answer two west vs. east questions.

Western science can pick-up subtle electrical patterns on the human body. Yet there are no corresponding patterns in energy or chemical flow which match the traditional patterns of energy as described in Chinese meridians or Indian chakras. If these are points of power, why hasn't there been any discovery of related power patterns in Western science?
If you believe that eastern power as described in chakras or meridians are a subtle energy, doesn't that lack of detection indicate it is not a substantial force in the human body?
OK, I'll respond. Notice I won't just go silent with potentially embarrassing questions, the way Craig and you sometimes do... and I won't give cryptic, supercilious answers trying to imply that you aren't in on the secrets, etc. If you know these things, Ted, it will be apparent in your answers and how factually you can respond.... I don't accept, and neither do others, I think, that mysterious and supercilious non-answers indicate knowledge or skills of any sort. That works for the in-house believers, not with the outside world, IMO.

Your first and second questions both assume that "power" = "electrical patterns" and you're basically wondering why electron flow hasn't been shown as a major component of the qi-paradigm. How many times have I said that "qi" is an umbrella term that includes a number of "unknown forces" on this list? I've also said (and it can be easily checked) that the qi paradigm derives from the flow of strength, within the human body (remember my thumbnail sketch of the musculo-tendon "channels" and how they evolved into the acupuncture meridians?). In other words, the basic assumptions of your question are meaningless. There is already established that a low-voltage current actually does take place within the fascia system (see James L. Oschman's book for a number of sources), so electron flow is *one component*, but the total discussion of "power" has to include strength, lines of strength, blood sugar, the central nervous system interaction, and other components. For instance, the "power" of the swadisthana chakra has to do with it being a center of several body functions that are loosely termed "power", but that doesn't mean we need to get out the milliamp-meters. I cannot speak for Craig, but I believe I and others have tried our best to answer your questions. However our answers do not fit your requirements. Perhaps these answers are not for the questions you seek.
Answers are not in books or on a forum. They are achieved through training. I say that's a dodge, Ted. I've been involved in hundreds of ki and kokyu type discussions over the years and no one who knows anything has to resort to that sort of vague obfuscation.... common ground and a viable discussion can quickly and easily be found among people who really have any knowledge of the basics. What you're apparently doing is thinking that the specific in-house beliefs and rituals of the "Ki Research Society" are somehow representative of the greater body of ki knowledge ... not even close. The question is whether you want to adhere to the idea that the real stuff only comes through Tohei's mouth or whether you're really interested in the subject (as opposed to the religion) enough to get out there and look around. Face it.... you cannot stop the progress that is going on around you and if you choose to hide your head in the sand the current positions of the Ki Society become untenable. I suspect that the Ki Society (I mean Tohei's heirs who control it) will gradually be forced to disclose more and more of whatever information they know. However, I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts that they actually only have limited ki knowledge, compared with the whole corpus. Instead of playing word-games that pretend you're on the real track, I suggest you go outside of the Ki Society and start doing some research. I'll be glad to make some suggestions where to look.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

rob_liberti
06-03-2005, 09:34 AM
I'll be glad to make some suggestions where to look.Sounds good to me. Please do so.

Rob

aikigirl10
06-03-2005, 09:40 AM
Tony Sapa wrote: Do not dwell on KI as the essence of life and death..

I completely agree w/you tony. its good to see some people here who believe that life and death are in the hands of only God. :)

Stefan Stenudd
06-03-2005, 10:02 AM
"qi" is an umbrella term that includes a number of "unknown forces"Mike makes a number of valuable and interesting statements. The qi-umbrella perspective makes me think about :ki: :ai:, kiai , and :ai: :ki:, aiki.

If you allow me to simplify, I like to explain kiai as a joining of :ki: (all it stands for and other resources) within oneself, for one specific purpose - in other words, making oneself becoming optimally efficient. To think that this only involves breath-power, would be to lessen one's capacity. It incorporates all, and a focus on :ki: (however one defines it) serves as a help to make the effort all-encompassing.

Again simplifying, aiki is the same done, involving a partner. Optimizing the dynamics between tori and uke, if you like. Focusing on the :ki: (however one defines it) of oneself and of the partner, helps in making the effort all-encompassing.

Regarding :ki: and Tohei sensei, it would be terribly misleading to present him as any kind of originator of it, in any way - inside or outside aikido. I mean, it's called ai:ki:do.
The term ki-aikido often used about Tohei sensei's school is bewildering to me. Is it like New York, New York - so damn big, they had to name it twice?

kironin
06-03-2005, 10:06 AM
This is the source of much confusion. For a traditionalist who understands the concepts of chakra, center, hara or dan tien, K . Tohei's idea of one point seems similar to traditional teachings, but it is not. That is why Mike is talking about points of power, while Craig is talking about awareness.


I liked Ted's response so much, I didn't see much point in responding after that. After all Mike will continue arguing way past the time the cows come home and are in the barn (this is Texas).

When I was referring to "scientists", I was referring to scientists whose area of expertise would involve studying awareness. Scientists would have gotten that because they understand that they are not experts in areas outside their field even if they hold an opinion as a layman about the topic. Making an issue of that ...
well, I don't have to argue right now for the sake of arguing.

go to run...

Mike Sigman
06-03-2005, 10:14 AM
The qi-umbrella perspective makes me think about :ki: :ai:, kiai , and :ai: :ki:, aiki.

If you allow me to simplify, I like to explain kiai as a joining of :ki: (all it stands for and other resources) within oneself, for one specific purpose - in other words, making oneself becoming optimally efficient. Hi Stefan:

I agree with your definition up to the point above. A ki-ai harnesses the middle, the fascia/muscle component, vibration, etc., to accompany the kokyu and assorted other body tricks in order focus power. I.e., it is a name that refers to a specific general function, regardless of the component kanji. Again simplifying, aiki is the same done, involving a partner. Personally, I'd suggest that "Aiki" refers to using your own ki/kokyu to convert an opponent's attack. In other words, just because the same two kanji appear in both words, the substantive meaning is not the same. Regarding :ki: and Tohei sensei, it would be terribly misleading to present him as any kind of originator of it, in any way - inside or outside aikido. I mean, it's called ai:ki:do.
The term ki-aikido often used about Tohei sensei's school is bewildering to me. Is it like New York, New York - so damn big, they had to name it twice? Well, to be fair, I think it simply refers to "Aikido with Ki emphasized". :)

All the Best.

Mike

Mike Sigman
06-03-2005, 10:24 AM
I liked Ted's response so much, I didn't see much point in responding after that. Er, where have you "responded" to anything substantively, Craig? Take a look at your posts and what you've done with most of my direct questions...it's all archived. From a discussion standpoint, you make assertions and avoid questions. Shifting the topic to me and "arguing til the cows come home", i.e., trivializing a discussion you're obviously uncomfortable with, seems a little off-topic, IMO. When I debate real "scientists", usually there is something more substantive than just assertion and trivializing. Shall we return to the topic and the unanswered questions (see post #45 and at *least* respond to the question about ki-tests and state of mind).

Regards,

Mike Sigman

RebeccaM
06-03-2005, 10:29 AM
Western science can pick-up subtle electrical patterns on the human body. Yet there are no corresponding patterns in energy or chemical flow which match the traditional patterns of energy as described in Chinese meridians or Indian chakras. If these are points of power, why hasn't there been any discovery of related power patterns in Western science?
If you believe that eastern power as described in chakras or meridians are a subtle energy, doesn't that lack of detection indicate it is not a substantial force in the human body?

It's been a fascinating discussion, and I'll return to lurking shortly, but please guys, let's avoid interpreting negative data. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. There'a all sorts of reasons why ki-detection experiments have failed, and it ranges from bad detection methods to ki not existing, but there's no way to know. Science is filled with examples of things that people thought didn't exist simply because they weren't looking in the right place in the right way.

happysod
06-03-2005, 10:43 AM
Rebecca, have to disagree with you here. The initial assertion is that ki does exist in some tangible form so mentioning a failure of quite a standard test to correspond with current "ki etc theory" concerning energy patterns within the body is valid.

If Ted was using this as a basis for disproving the existence of ki at all, I'd agree with your point.

Mike Sigman
06-03-2005, 10:44 AM
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. There'a all sort sfo reasons why ki-detection experiments have failed, and it ranges from bad detection methods to ki not existing, but there's no way to know. Science is filled with examples of things that people thought didn't exist simply because they weren't looking in the right place in the right way. That's a good comment, Rebecca. However, the problem is really not about "measuring ki" when you understand that "ki" is a generic term that equates to "unknown forces" that would include specific things like blood sugar, electricity, momentum, paths of strength, teleportation, prescience, and so on. In other words, given all the things the term "ki" refers to in the western technology paradigm and English, it's sort of an absurdity to test for any single thing called ki. Even when you get to the specific body factors that are within the umbrella term "ki", thus greatly narrowing the component factors, you have still at least a handful of factors that you'd be trying to measure as one thing... and so it's still impossible to "measure ki". We can, though, measure those component factors individually.

FWIW

Mike

rob_liberti
06-03-2005, 12:17 PM
teleportationIf that is not a typo, then in your list of suggestions where to look for people outside of ki society that you feel are good at ki, please highlight the teleporters. I'd like to meet them, maybe they can just pop in to see me in my office for a moment.

Seriously, how did teleportation become as aspect under the ki umbrella?

Rob

Mike Sigman
06-03-2005, 12:39 PM
Seriously, how did teleportation become as aspect under the ki umbrella? A magician's trick that seems to involve "teleportation" was explained in terms of using ki. Of course it was a trick, but since it was an "unknown force", it legitimately falls under the heading of "ki". It becomes clear that a test for a single something called "ki" is absurd when you understand that "ki" was a catchall for all "unknown forces".

tedehara
06-04-2005, 10:46 PM
Hmmmm.... I rest my case, Ted. Bill Douglas is a guy with no credentials, no real knowledge, etc., in Taiji who promoted himself to some publishers, started the "World Tai Chi Day" that attracts the New Age crowd, etc… You said there was no relationship between center of gravity and dan tien. When I come up with a quote that equates them, you attack the expertise of the writer. What you say could be very true. What I know is that his definition of dan tien is in a book that has been printed in the hundreds of thousands. I think you might be very busy explaining your interpretation to the next generation of Tai Chi and Qi Gong practitioners.
…Ted, Tohei modified the style of teaching. That's all he did…Different people modify their Aikido in different ways, Ted... but that doesn't mean they have come up with something new. Tomiki combined judo with Aikido; Shioda tried to codify Aikido, etc.... but those are varying approaches, not radical innovations… Presently there is a thread asking about Ueshiba and healing. The founder did not incorporate healing into aikido, but it is part of the Ki Society curriculum because Koichi Tohei put it there. Shioda created his own distinctive katas and Tomiki introduced judo style training. My reasoning says that they created these things for their respective styles. There was nothing comparable in the founder's training. It was not a modification because there was nothing in place to modify.
Sure, but Tohei has added his own quasi-relgion to the original Aikido. It's quite a marketing tool. I think it might be illuminating for you to visit with some of the better level Chinese martial artists who have great qi skills, Ted. It might help you put into perspective that what Tohei does/sells/teaches is not a radical innovation in the Asian world of qi and qigongs… Falun Gong also known as Falun Dafa could be the largest Qi Gong organizations in the world. They are persecuted by the Communist Chinese government. Meanwhile their leader Li Hongzhi, has moved to New York, New York (one is a city name, the other is a state name -- Stefan). He is presently writing about aliens cloning humans and controling the world. The whole situation could be laughable except for the fact that people are getting tortured and dying because of their belief in qi.

If you know anything about qi in China, you know it's a source of fraud. "Qi" masters regularly entertain the superstitious populace with amazing stunts of qi. So I don't have your automatic admiration for Chinese "Qi" masters.

That said, I do know there are very good Chinese martial artists who can do authentic demonstrations of qi. However they only have the opportunity to work with a few of their students. This brings us back to the Ki Research Society.

What K. Tohei did was take his top people and have them work on problems as a team. For example, when the Taigi was being created, he had his top people do the various attack/technique combinations. These people all finished a specific taigi within seconds of each other. If you had a strong pair extending ki well, the result was fairly consistent time wise, even though this was unplanned. This fact was included in the final Taigi.

For example taigi one (Katate-Tori same side wrist grab) has six techniques, which are performed on both left and right sides. The timing starts when the pair bows in and ends when the pair bows out. The pair has 58 seconds to complete taigi one with a plus or minus 2 seconds leeway. This time factor is something that would probably be missed if the taigi was created by a single person or smaller group.

Overall, it seems you're taking a simplistic approach to complex problems. The fact that you were unaware of Will Reed (http://www.stlki.org/reed.shtml), indicates you are making assumptions based on very little knowledge about K. Tohei and his organization. It seems you're also unaware of the complexities that your assumptions bring.

Let us assume that qi "is an umbrella term that includes a number of ‘unknown' forces." Further that this qi paradigm appears as a pattern within the human body. What pattern do you chose to study? Is the pattern of Indian chakras or Chinese meridians? Does this qi paradigm incorporate both the patterns of charkas and meridians or is the optimal pattern different? What will be the criteria that you will use in making this judgment?

Mary Eastland
06-05-2005, 07:59 AM
[QUOTE

For example taigi one (Katate-Tori same side wrist grab) has six techniques, which are performed on both left and right sides. The timing starts when the pair bows in and ends when the pair bows out. The pair has 58 seconds to complete taigi one with a plus or minus 2 seconds leeway. This time factor is something that would probably be missed if the taigi was created by a single person or smaller group.

Hi Ted:
When you do the above do you have an uke or are you doing the movements as a kata? And is there a place where there is a video of this or more information?
Thanks,
Mary

Mike Sigman
06-05-2005, 08:10 AM
You said there was no relationship between center of gravity and dan tien. No, I did not. You're deliberately attributing something wrong to what I said. When I come up with a quote that equates them, you attack the expertise of the writer. What you say could be very true. What I know is that his definition of dan tien is in a book that has been printed in the hundreds of thousands. I think you might be very busy explaining your interpretation to the next generation of Tai Chi and Qi Gong practitioners. Hmmmm... I don't know of any serious Taiji or qigong practitioner who takes Bill Douglas as an authority on Taiji, Ted. How seriously would you take a western Aikido practitioner that no one knows, who calls Aikido a "stress relief" exercise, but who convinces a publisher to let him author "An Idiot's Guide to Aikido"????????????? Presently there is a thread asking about Ueshiba and healing. The founder did not incorporate healing into aikido, but it is part of the Ki Society curriculum because Koichi Tohei put it there. Shioda created his own distinctive katas and Tomiki introduced judo style training. My reasoning says that they created these things for their respective styles. There was nothing comparable in the founder's training. It was not a modification because there was nothing in place to modify. "Healing" has been a part of Ki for a very long time, Ted. Without knowning any specifics, I will bet you big money that the idea of "ki and healing" were well-known to Ueshiba. Besides, adding bits and pieces to of new things is exactly what I mean by "modifying"... but Ki practices were already in Aikido, Ted, unless you want to dispute it. I just don't see the point. The core of Aikido has not changed under Tohei, despite his different focuses and ways of changing the teaching method. I respect him for that. Falun Gong also known as Falun Dafa could be the largest Qi Gong organizations in the world. They are persecuted by the Communist Chinese government. Meanwhile their leader Li Hongzhi, has moved to New York, New York (one is a city name, the other is a state name -- Stefan). He is presently writing about aliens cloning humans and controling the world. The whole situation could be laughable except for the fact that people are getting tortured and dying because of their belief in qi. How does this have anything to do with the discussion at hand??? Besides, LOTS of people in China believe in qi and are not persecuted. I don't know much about Falun Gong and from what I've heard I'm not too interested in devoting any effort in that direction. If you know anything about qi in China, you know it's a source of fraud. It's a source of fraud in Japan and the US, too, Ted. Fraud and dishonesty and popular beliefs abound in many fields. Do you think I couldn't find a Ki Society fraud? Or an Aikikai fraud? Heck, I might even be a fraud. You should try and expose me with some facts, as I have asked for repeatedly. ;) What K. Tohei did was take his top people and have them work on problems as a team. For example, when the Taigi was being created, he had his top people do the various attack/technique combinations. These people all finished a specific taigi within seconds of each other. If you had a strong pair extending ki well, the result was fairly consistent time wise, even though this was unplanned. This fact was included in the final Taigi. Can you explain for me what you mean by "extending ki", Ted? Thanks. It seems you're also unaware of the complexities that your assumptions bring. Why not point out those complexities and let's discuss them, Ted, instead of just making another assertion. List the problems and complexities you see in what I write and let's see if we can reconcile them. AFAIK, the only thing that will prevent us from reconciling issues in a discussion of Ki will be if you don't understand Ki and are following some sort of dogma with, perhaps, a misunderstanding. I'm assuming, based on what I know and have read, that Kohei's ki-power is legitimate. But let's discuss with facts, Ted... not assertions. If discussion won't do it, because of complexities, I can perhaps arrange a personal meeting where you can show me what you can do and I can show you what I can do. If we can do the same things in even one area, we can arrive at terms, I am certain. :) Let us assume that qi "is an umbrella term that includes a number of ‘unknown' forces." Further that this qi paradigm appears as a pattern within the human body. What pattern do you chose to study? Is the pattern of Indian chakras or Chinese meridians? Does this qi paradigm incorporate both the patterns of charkas and meridians or is the optimal pattern different? What will be the criteria that you will use in making this judgment? I'm not Chinese, Ted... or Indian. I have simply remarked on what "qi" means in the Chinese paradigm and I have not stated or indicated that I believe in that paradigm. I look at "qi" and "prana" as attempts to explain observed phenomena by people in the past. I try to explain those phenomena in terms of the western science paradigm since that is the one with which I am most familiar. If someone says "extend ki", I want them to explain it to me in something other than their gibberish understanding of a paradigm they don't really understand. ;)

All the Best.

Mike

Stefan Stenudd
06-05-2005, 09:14 AM
New York, New York (one is a city name, the other is a state name -- Stefan).Please, grant me some knowledge. I knew that. The joke is one used by New Yorkers.

tedehara
06-05-2005, 12:41 PM
...Hi Ted:
When you do the above do you have an uke or are you doing the movements as a kata? And is there a place where there is a video of this or more information?
Thanks,
MaryHere is the link to the old taigi videos

http://www.toitsu.de/taigi/taigi.htm

The following videos show the old taigi. If your
connection to the internet is not fast enough, it is
better to download the files first and play the local
copy. You need Windows Media Player 9 or higher to
watch them.

Some of them are by Kenjirô Yoshigasaki, I also think
some of them are by Maruyama.

tedehara
06-06-2005, 08:51 AM
... I'm not Chinese, Ted... or Indian. I have simply remarked on what "qi" means in the Chinese paradigm and I have not stated or indicated that I believe in that paradigm. I look at "qi" and "prana" as attempts to explain observed phenomena by people in the past. I try to explain those phenomena in terms of the western science paradigm since that is the one with which I am most familiar. If someone says "extend ki", I want them to explain it to me in something other than their gibberish understanding of a paradigm they don't really understand...You are not explaining ki/qi using the western science model, since science looks at known forces that it can quantitatively analyze. If what you have done so far is to "...explain observed phenomena by people in the past...." then what is your explanation of ki/qi, or do you have one?

Mike Sigman
06-06-2005, 09:08 AM
You are not explaining ki/qi using the western science model, since science looks at known forces that it can quantitatively analyze. If what you have done so far is to "...explain observed phenomena by people in the past...." then what is your explanation of ki/qi, or do you have one? ??? I have explained some things, using physical terms like "force", "vector", etc. and how to do them. I have said perhaps 3 or 4 times that "ki" is a catch-all term into which a number of factors (mostly unknown forces) were lumped. So when you say "define ki" all I can say is that it's a catch-all term. If you take a specific phenomenon that is considered to be "ki" (but is in reality only one of a number of things that are called "ki") and then say "what is your explanation", we have a discussion basis. So you'll have to pick a component and ask me for my explanation.

However, let's note that I asked you a question, first. I asked you to clarify what you mean by "extend ki". Since ki is a vague term with many components, what you're saying is meaningless. By pinning down exactly what you mean by ki and "extending" it, we can have a discussion that might clarify a few things. At the moment I'm wondering about the broadness of the meaning of "extend ki". You are apparently including the idea of "using" ki as being part of "extending" ki. The core question is probably "what do you do in order to extend ki", the way I see it.

Mike

kironin
06-06-2005, 12:28 PM
Er, where have you "responded" to anything substantively, Craig? Take a look at your posts and what you've done with most of my direct questions...it's all archived. From a discussion standpoint, you make assertions and avoid questions. Shifting the topic to me and "arguing til the cows come home", i.e., trivializing a discussion you're obviously uncomfortable with, seems a little off-topic, IMO. When I debate real "scientists", usually there is something more substantive than just assertion and trivializing. Shall we return to the topic and the unanswered questions (see post #45 and at *least* respond to the question about ki-tests and state of mind).

Regards,
Mike Sigman


what you should ask is if I give a rat's ----

on my priority list, spending time making long posts on a website is not on the front page. I have a limited time to pay attention to this and many more compelling things that need doing. I am already out of time for this by the time I read your post. Read into that what you will.

tedehara
06-07-2005, 09:01 AM
??? I have explained some things, using physical terms like "force", "vector", etc. and how to do them. I have said perhaps 3 or 4 times that "ki" is a catch-all term into which a number of factors (mostly unknown forces) were lumped. So when you say "define ki" all I can say is that it's a catch-all term. If you take a specific phenomenon that is considered to be "ki" (but is in reality only one of a number of things that are called "ki") and then say "what is your explanation", we have a discussion basis. So you'll have to pick a component and ask me for my explanation.

However, let's note that I asked you a question, first. I asked you to clarify what you mean by "extend ki". Since ki is a vague term with many components, what you're saying is meaningless. By pinning down exactly what you mean by ki and "extending" it, we can have a discussion that might clarify a few things. At the moment I'm wondering about the broadness of the meaning of "extend ki". You are apparently including the idea of "using" ki as being part of "extending" ki. The core question is probably "what do you do in order to extend ki", the way I see it.

Mike
If you define ki as an objective force or in your case, a collections of forces, you're still confronted with several basic questions.

How do I reconcile Ki/Qi/Chi with the findings of modern science?
How do I justify the pattern of energy, either chakras, meridians or other pattern(s), that I believe is worth practicing?
What will be my criteria for judging this energy if I am not using the ones from modern science?

I would like to note that you have not answered any of these questions, despite your many responses.

I have not answered your question on extending ki for two reasons:

It will have to be an extended post.
The answer will probably not help you in any way.


I am reminded of the exchange between Lt Kaffee (Tom Cruise) and Col. Jessep (Jack Nicholson) in the film ‘A Few Good Men'.

Col. Jessep: You want answers?
Kaffee: I think I'm entitled.
Col. Jessep: You want answers?
Kaffee: I want the truth.
Col. Jessep: You can't handle the truth.

Are you sure you want this?

Mike Sigman
06-07-2005, 09:29 AM
If you define ki as an objective force or in your case, a collections of forces, you're still confronted with several basic questions.
[list]
How do I reconcile Ki/Qi/Chi with the findings of modern science? WHICH of the various ki phenomena are you talking about, Ted? I thought I made it clear that you're talking about various phenomena with Ki. For instance, two of the many contributing phenomena to Ki would be what we would explain as the effects of blood sugar on our energetic level and the effects of heredity on how lively and spry someone is. That's just 2 of many. So when you take a group-term like "ki" and say "how do you reconcile Ki with the findings of modern science", it gets exasperating because it's not a specific enough question to answer. Which particular aspects? Describe them.
How do I justify the pattern of energy, either chakras, meridians or other pattern(s), that I believe is worth practicing? What "pattern of energy" are you talking about, Ted? There is the Indian view, the Chinese view, and some variants. For instance, even though the Indian description of the *perceived* "energy" is different from the description of the Chinese view there is no "Ha! I understand the *real* energy and you don't!!!" crap. Everyone who really does it accepts that there is some subjectivity to what they "perceive". So you can "justify" what you're talking about by reading some of the texts which I have listed numerous times on this forum. An open discussion might help with not only yours and my understandings, but also the understandings of other people who are interested in Aikido and in the topic. What will be my criteria for judging this energy if I am not using the ones from modern science? Hopefully, whatever criteria you use in private, you will attempt to use western-science-derived terminology on this forum so we have a common ground for discussion. I would like to note that you have not answered any of these questions, despite your many responses. Go back and look at my posts where I have discussed electron flow in fascia, the central nervous system, research on acupuncture meridians in relation to fascial planes, James Oschman's book with annotated sources, etc. I'm not sure what you're "noting", but I've certainly discussed aspects of this before and you have been completely silent. I have not answered your question on extending ki for two reasons:
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It will have to be an extended post.
The answer will probably not help you in any way. Yes, well, I've come to expect the implied putdowns as part of many Aikido posts, but that sort of behavior needs to be left outside the discussion of issues, Ted.I am reminded of the exchange between Lt Kaffee (Tom Cruise) and Col. Jessep (Jack Nicholson) in the film ‘A Few Good Men'.

Are you sure you want this?I"m sure you enjoyed the movie and that it was something that adds deeply to your life-philosophy, Ted. Yes, I'm ready. I've been ready. I'm waiting with bated breath to see if you can rationally present your views on Ki. I'm know for a fact that others are, too.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

rob_liberti
06-07-2005, 10:48 AM
Ted, I really agree with what Mike said here about how "An open discussion might help with not only yours and my understandings, but also the understandings of other people who are interested in Aikido and in the topic." I am very curious. However, to be fair, I remember writing something very similar to Mike when he decided we were talking past each other... In that situation he decided to drop it, and I'm guessing that's how you feel about this current discussion.

Rob

Mike Sigman
06-07-2005, 11:09 AM
Rob, what is it going to take to get you to stop this constant "get at Mike", "get even", or whatever it is that you keep trying to do?

rob_liberti
06-07-2005, 12:26 PM
What I wrote supported both your position and Ted's. It was not disrespectful or inaccurate. I thought you might have written something along the lines of, "Hey Ted, Rob is interested too so please try to explain futher, but I understand if you just want to let it drop." Sorry for the confusion.

Rob

Mike Sigman
06-07-2005, 02:03 PM
Ted, I should have been clearer in tying in the first part of my last response to you: the phenomena of ki/qi are plural and I'll be glad to discuss any of them with you... but the thrust of my original question was to do with "extend ki", as you term it, while you're obviously referring to something to do with physical motion. I don't mind discussing the "etheric" ki (or "true ki", if you prefer), but the physical ki is what I'm interested in when you say someone, for instance, "extends ki" in a Taigi performance. I just don't want to lose sight of that part of the discussion.

Mike

tedehara
06-08-2005, 09:17 AM
Caveat Emptor
This information is not an official Ki Society explanation of "Extending Ki", but is my own personal, current misunderstanding. If you use this information to do something stupid with disastrous results that is your fault. If you use this information to do something fabulous with successful results I will take full credit.Four Basic Principles note 1

Keep One Point.
Relax Completely.
Weight is Underside.
Extend Ki.


Extend Ki is one of the four basic principles. It is also a principle of the Mind with Keep One Point. The four basic principles can be viewed as a transaction. If you have one of the principles, you have them all. If you extend ki, you are also maintaining the other three principles. However if you are not extending ki, you have also lost the other three principles.

Extending Ki (from the fifteen five principles) note 2

Centrifugal power is working.
Have merciful eyes and gentle body.
Be most calm.
Be happy without worry.


References to extension also appear in various other sets of the fifteen five principles.

The demonstration of extending ki is usually done using the unbendable arm. The subject holds out their arm, keeping a slight bend at the elbow joint. The tester uses both hands to bend the subject's arm in towards their shoulder. The subject tries to resist using just strength, but usually fails because the tester is using two arms to one.

Next the subject again holds their arm out with a slight bend at the elbow joint. This time the subject imagines water or energy coursing through their arm and spouting out their fingertips. Another way is to imagine reaching for something. The tester again uses both hands to try and bend the subject's arm towards their shoulder. This time the subject succeeds in keeping the arm extended although they use less effort. By extending the focus of their mind instead of just using strength, the subject maintains mind and body coordination.

The sun shines. Birds sing. The student smiles with glee. People, who do not see how this relates to aikido, muscle their uke into the mat. End of "Extend Ki" Lite Version.

Trouble in River City - While able to keep an unbendable arm with one arm, the subject tries to use both arms with a tester on each arm and fails. It becomes apparent that the mind switches between the two arms and cannot extend ki using both arms.

After some experimentation it becomes clear that if the subject holds out their arms and relaxes completely or thinks of one point, they can maintain the two unbendable arms. The fault is in thinking, "Now I am extending ki." This is not an act that is performed, but if one is relaxed completely, ki will be naturally extended.

Although the Ki Society does not change the four basic principles (4. Extend Ki) it adds the commentary "Ki is Extended" to indicate the natural extension of ki.

This commentary can be seen as having a relationship with the Ki Saying "Mind and Body were (are) originally one." note 3 There are two common misinterpretations concerning this saying. "Originally" is seen as a reference to ancient people. In ancient times, people had mind/body coordination. "Originally" is also seen as a reference to infants. As a new-born child you had mind/body coordination. Both interpretations are mistaken.

What Koichi Tohei is saying is that, "Originally as in ‘Right Now!' you have mind/body coordination." Your natural state is of the mind and body being one. Therefore any additional action will only diminish your power. The four basic principles are seen as guidelines to lead you back to this specific physiological/psychological state.

In the advanced ki tests, the tester extends ki towards the subject. The advice given to pass is to do nothing. By relaxing and doing nothing, you let your natural ki extension manifest itself in its most powerful, primal form.

If your test was as if the tester was totally ignore and you imagine yourself just standing alone, that would be the best results. There is no redistribution of pressure or bracing against a possible push. You simply put yourself into a natural state of being.

The skies darken. The forest is quiet. The student is puzzled and scratches his head. People who do not see how this relates to aikido, muscle their uke into the mat. End of "Extend Ki" full version.

Notes

Tohei, Koichi "Ki in Daily Life", Kin No Kenkyukai H.Q. Tokyo Japan, 1978, pg. 27
Reed, William "Ki : A Road That Anyone Can Walk", Japan Publications, Tokyo Japan, 1992, pgs. 80-83
Tohei, Koichi "Shokushu (http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Dojo/1804/soa2/soa2-6.html#soa2_6.2.4) - Unification of Mind and Body"

tedehara
06-08-2005, 09:35 AM
errata
The first of the fifteen five principles for Extending Ki is Be unconscious of your body.

rob_liberti
06-08-2005, 09:43 AM
Ted, what the heck is "fifteen five"?

Rob

Mike Sigman
06-08-2005, 10:13 AM
Next the subject again holds their arm out with a slight bend at the elbow joint. This time the subject imagines water or energy coursing through their arm and spouting out their fingertips. Another way is to imagine reaching for something. The tester again uses both hands to try and bend the subject's arm towards their shoulder. This time the subject succeeds in keeping the arm extended although they use less effort. By extending the focus of their mind instead of just using strength, the subject maintains mind and body coordination. Thanks, Ted. Basically, you have said that by imagining a certain scenario, something happens that introduces a real and palpable force that a partner can feel. If a partner can feel it and it opposes his attempts to bend someone's arm, then an ordinary weight-scale or other devices can measure the change in resistive forces. The question now becomes: "What is causing the resistive forces? Is it a measureable dynamic involving some form of muscle contraction, or something along those lines? Or is it some mysterious Force that has entered your body because of your correct mindset and that force (or *something* other than your physical body) is countering the pulldown of your opponent." Can you give us an idea of what you think is physically happening, Ted? I think the most productive conversation will go in that direction. Trouble in River City - While able to keep an unbendable arm with one arm, the subject tries to use both arms with a tester on each arm and fails. It becomes apparent that the mind switches between the two arms and cannot extend ki using both arms.

After some experimentation it becomes clear that if the subject holds out their arms and relaxes completely or thinks of one point, they can maintain the two unbendable arms. The fault is in thinking, "Now I am extending ki." This is not an act that is performed, but if one is relaxed completely, ki will be naturally extended. I have encountered something quite similar. A newbie can demonstrate power in one arm, or some limited manner (doesn't have to be just in an arm) and they can't do it in a more complex manner. After they train correctly and practice (i.e., they become more familiar and more experienced) they can exhibit these things in complex manners...like doing it in two arms... it just implies some practice. They may not think "one point", but they are indeed relaxing, keeping their qi sunk, and their mind iis automatically performing in the unusual method of establishing relaxed paths of force to where they are needed. Naturally, like in any skill, the amount of force generated along relaxed paths is limited at first and workouts are kept to a "no-load" condition so that the body can adjust to this different mode of movement and handling things. So we have two scenarios of doing two things... are those things the same? If they are the same thing (and it would be surprising if two people doing relaxed "unbendable arms" weren't doing the same thing *and* a number of other "ki tests"), then what is the commonality? HOW does this work in actuality, Ted? Are you positing an unknown force or do you think it's physical?

Secondly, you're saying "This is not an act that is performed, but if one is relaxed completely, ki will be naturally extended." Surely you realize that there are a lot of "relaxed" people (let's say people who do meditation, etc.) who can't do the "unbendable arm" trick? Wouldn't you agree that there is more to it than just being completely relaxed?In the advanced ki tests, the tester extends ki towards the subject. The advice given to pass is to do nothing. By relaxing and doing nothing, you let your natural ki extension manifest itself in its most powerful, primal form.

If your test was as if the tester was totally ignore and you imagine yourself just standing alone, that would be the best results. There is no redistribution of pressure or bracing against a possible push. You simply put yourself into a natural state of being. The essence of the discussion, going back to the Taigi demonstration, is that "extending ki" somehow affected the timing of the performance of a given Taigi. I would say "using ki", etc., as a preference to "extending ki" because it's a too-broad and too-vague statement. Also, "simply put yourself into a natural state of being" sounds good, but let's go back again to the idea of someone just being relaxed and keeping their focus on their center, as meditaters, yogis, etc., do.... they still can't resist a push. The question again is "what is physically happening?", Ted. There's more to it than can be covered by "natural state of being". Remember you objected to my saying that Tohei's ki things were too vague? I mean it in the same sense that your explanations are using very vague terms. If these things (or *some* of these things, if you'd prefer) are in the physical world, subject to the laws of physics, we should be able to put a handle on them, I think. I can do these things and somewhat more, Ted... so let's dispense with the idea Craig offered that I wouldn't understand and try to look at it as finding a commonality in terms.

"Extending Ki" contains, I think (based on what I've gathered so far), the reason why Tohei was reportedly able to duplicate the jo trick. I.e., I think "extend ki" contains more than you realize at the moment. If it contains all these things, then the vagueness of applying it to a Taigi performance should be easily agreed as a valid perspective, wouldn't you agree?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
06-08-2005, 10:31 AM
errata
The first of the fifteen five principles for Extending Ki is Be unconscious of your body. Let me throw this out for a thought-starter, Ted. There is an admonition when working with qi, among the Chinese, to more or less focus on what you want it to do and to ignore the body and what is going on in the body. The shortened version in the classical literature is more like "don't think about the body; don't think about the qi". I.e., these things will distract you.

However, there is no implication of just zoning out in the original statement and the reality is that it's just a caution not to put your mind on making the qi things happen. Do you see how a slight change in the reading of "be unconscious of your body" can shift the meaning of a statement? Look at the translation of the "Eight Powers" by John Stevens I mentioned yesterday... his translation threw me for a second until I cross-checked. That slight change of translation resulting in a totally different take on the meaning of a phrase is very common in the Asian-to-English translations. I would suggest that great care is needed in reading translations.... you always need to think "what would this mean if the meanings within the translation are changed?"

FWIW

Mike

Pauliina Lievonen
06-08-2005, 02:47 PM
I was wondering about something - typically I've seen unbendable arm done with the arm raised to horisontal. Is it practiced or done with the arm hanging as well? Because the first difficulty I see is that people don't often lift their arms very efficiently, that is, they engage the flexors of the arm too much (in various individual patterns) and that of course will affect how effectively the extensors can work.

kvaak
Pauliina

Pauliina Lievonen
06-08-2005, 08:03 PM
Errr... just read what I wrote again... didn't mean to sound like I was advocating that all the folks who do unbendable arm should be doing it differently or anything. I was just thinking about the mechanics of the situation. I was thinking that a thought along the length of the arm, like water hose or reaching for something, in part cab help to make the lifting/keeping the arm horizontal more efficient.

kvaak
Pauliina

Mike Sigman
06-08-2005, 10:19 PM
Errr... just read what I wrote again... didn't mean to sound like I was advocating that all the folks who do unbendable arm should be doing it differently or anything. I was just thinking about the mechanics of the situation. I was thinking that a thought along the length of the arm, like water hose or reaching for something, in part cab help to make the lifting/keeping the arm horizontal more efficient. Hi Pauliina:

I just went and had my wife attempt it (she's pretty strong) with my arm hanging at my side. I can still make it unbendable just hanging there with her pulling my wrist with one hand and pushing on the elbow with the other. Naturally she got irritated and started trying various methods to beat me... nice to have a competitive wife. ;)

Mike

tedehara
06-10-2005, 06:54 PM
Ted, what the heck is "fifteen five"?

RobThe fifteen five principles are fifteen sets of five principles that cover various subjects in Shin Shin Toitsu. See cited reference for further explanation.

tedehara
06-10-2005, 06:56 PM
I was wondering about something - typically I've seen unbendable arm done with the arm raised to horisontal. Is it practiced or done with the arm hanging as well? Because the first difficulty I see is that people don't often lift their arms very efficiently, that is, they engage the flexors of the arm too much (in various individual patterns) and that of course will affect how effectively the extensors can work.

kvaak
PauliinaThere is a test for weight is underside. which tries to move the wrist to the shoulder joint when the arm is by your side in a hanging position.

tedehara
06-10-2005, 07:03 PM
Let me throw this out for a thought-starter, Ted....Right now I'm pressed for time. Also I am not one for philosophical dialogs. At .33 posts per day, my replies would too little and too late.

Mike Sigman
06-10-2005, 07:40 PM
Also I am not one for philosophical dialogs. . Or even practical ones, it seems, when pressed for explanations. It appears I was wasting both my time and yours.

Mike Sigman