View Full Version : Taigi, Ki, and Time
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06-05-2005, 01:21 PM
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. Hi Ted:
Not wanting to wreck the other thread with a tangent, I thought I'd start a new one and ask you about the above comment you made. How does Ki singularly affect the time of a Taiji kata performance? I.e., can I do a Taigi without Ki and finish at the same time as someone who is using Ki? Is that possible? If that is possible, then I'm unclear why time and ki are looked at as a relationship. Thanks.
06-05-2005, 07:47 PM
Not the original poster, and by no means a taigi expert, but....
I'd have to say that you can speed up a taigi several different ways, some of which do not imvolve improving your ki extension. The partners can make their ma'ai shorter; uke can train his abdominal muscles to come up from the mat faster; nage can do the techniques smaller. Of these, probably only the middle one will be okay with the judges....
My experience is that strong connection with partner, so that I feel like I always know where he is, shaves off a couple of seconds per throw and makes the taigi look better rather than worse. Also, strong connection allows you to start the movement of the technique while uke is still approaching, and not just run into him; this shaves seconds too. I'd think of both of these as ki extension.
I'd say that you can achieve the same timing without improving ki extension, but generally at the expense of some other aspect. I train with someone who can "play the Minute Waltz in 45 seconds" but only with a fleet-footed partner with some tolerance for discomfort.... The senior people with more grasp of ki feel much less rushed when hitting the same times.
06-05-2005, 08:05 PM
Thanks, Mary Kaye. In other words, it is more of "using ki" during the Taigi than "extending ki". In which case, I understand and agree *sort of* with the idea. Of course, the judges looking for other things than just time makes me feel a lot better.
I looked briefly at some of the "old Taigi" that Ted recommended on a German website. Some of it was OK, but with a too-dramatic-too-helpful partner, some of it was pretty good... and a couple of things made me sit up and vow to watch them again as soon as I have a few free minutes. There's a problem with what I see some of the Japanese doing that I've never seen Americans do... and I'm not sure most Americans have the background to know how to generate those kinds of forces. My thought was something like... "so that's what those throws are really about; the American versions I've seen for so many years totally miss the point". In other words, there's some sort of disconnect between what I'm seeing some of the Japanese do and what I've seen *multiple* Americans do for many years; to be fair, I may have missed it at some demonstrations with people like Yamada, Kanai, etc., because the uke's were westerners and their perception of the technique made Yamada or others' appearance give the wrong impression.
Anyway, I'll look at it some more. Thanks for your clarification.
06-06-2005, 12:54 AM
Some caveats on your conclusions:
Ki Society and Aikikai practice can look pretty different: especially stance, footwork, and use of up-down versus spiral movements. This is more true for recent material.
Taigi are stylized--the cooperation you see in the film clips is encouraged there where it wouldn't necessarily be in regular practice. In addition, some throws have a "taigi version" which illustrates important principles but is not terribly practical. The kaitenage in Taigi #1 is an example. It's very hard to do this throw in a way that doesn't allow uke to get into mischief while he's behind you, but it's a great teaching throw for the principle of leading smoothly.
If you wanted to see a more recent and longer version of the taigi, Ki Society sells a nice tape. I drool over the ukemi on that tape, and also the dojo that allows them to throw people twenty feet without encountering a wall....
06-06-2005, 05:44 AM
If you wanted to see a more recent and longer version of the taigi, Ki Society sells a nice tape. I drool over the ukemi on that tape, and also the dojo that allows them to throw people twenty feet without encountering a wall....Mary Kaye I bought one of the tapes recently because I wanted to see the 22 Jo (I haven't opened the tape yet because I've been busy). Are the techniques on the tapes demonstrated by Kashiwaya (I've met him a few times and worked out at his dojo when he was in Boulder) or by Japanese from the headquarters dojo? I'm particularly interested in a tape/DVD of some of the higher-ranking home-dojo types doing the same Taigi that everyone else does. Many thanks.
06-06-2005, 08:55 AM
The SoCal Ki Society identifies the tapes as being by Kashiwaya sensei. The dojo is clearly Ki no Kenyukai HQ, though; nothing else is that big. I have been told that the main uke is Shinichi Tohei sensei, Koichi Tohei sensei's son.
Taigi are a Ki Society tradition and you're unlikely to find them elsewhere, unless perhaps in one of the schools influenced by Ki Society. I can't find that anyone has ever published a video of the International Taigi Competitions, which is too bad--I'd love to see them.
06-06-2005, 09:10 AM
I can't find that anyone has ever published a video of the International Taigi Competitions, which is too bad--I'd love to see them. Thanks for the info, MK. If you by chance to find a source for tapes that show some of the Japanese-trained dans performing, I'd love to hear about it so I can purchase a copy.
06-06-2005, 09:54 AM
Taigi are stylized--the cooperation you see in the film clips is encouraged there where it wouldn't necessarily be in regular practice.
I like idealized better. YMMV.
In addition, some throws have a "taigi version" which illustrates important principles but is not terribly practical. The kaitenage in Taigi #1 is an example. It's very hard to do this throw in a way that doesn't allow uke to get into mischief while he's behind you, but it's a great teaching throw for the principle of leading smoothly.
Ah yes. We use to often refer to "the taigi version." However, the more I train/practice the taigi ... well, lets just say I seldom refer to "the taigi version" these days.
... throw people twenty feet without encountering a wall....
No kidding! :D Something to be said though, about learing to throw in an over-sized shoe box.
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