PDA

View Full Version : Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


David Yap
11-13-2005, 11:34 AM
Hi guys,

Got this urge to add on my aikido books collection:

Books nowadays are costing an arm and leg; read reviews on Carol Shifflet's books - "Ki in Aikido" and "Aikido Exercises for Training and Teaching". In terms of scarcity ($$$) and choice, which book is a better value for money? Your advice please.

Thank you.

David Y

SeiserL
11-13-2005, 01:05 PM
IMHO, if you are looking at generalized practice I would suggest Aikido Exercises for teaching and Training. If you are looking for the four points of Ki development, I would suggest Ki in Aikido. To be truthful, get both, you won't regret it.

crbateman
11-13-2005, 02:47 PM
Lynn's advice, as usual, is right on. Both books are excellent, and it would be hard to choose between them, so DON'T. Right now, http://abebooks.com has them both listed, gently used, for $11-12 each, plus shipping. Get 'em... (Use the correct spelling "Shifflett" when searching.)

David Yap
11-14-2005, 04:44 AM
Thanks, Lynn & Clark, for your advice.

Think I will get both but the first "Ki in Aikido" is out of stock at Amazon.com

Best training,

David Y

crbateman
11-14-2005, 05:37 AM
Check Abebooks.com (they have used copies of both).

Chuck.Gordon
11-14-2005, 06:32 AM
Also check www.budogu.com. Peter had a few copies last time I talked to him.

BTW, Carol's got another book on the burner, 'Surviving Martial Arts.'

Keep an eye out ...

ian
11-14-2005, 08:36 AM
Hi David,
I must admit I've never seen Carol's book, but I always find aikido books on ki very superficial with esoteric discussion involving curly arrows and how it changes your life rather than on real exercises to develop ki so that you can feel it for yourself. I've not seen one book on the ki exercises used by Ueshiba (except for the 'rowing exercise'). Within ki aikido there also seems to be a focuse on ki 'testing' which seems pointless if there are no exercises on ki development. Personally I got sick of the discussion on ki within aikido and instead read more on ki from chinese sources as I believe they are more direct and truthful in their presentation and are far more authoritative. For example:

Chi Gung: The Way of Energy - Lam Kam Chuen (£10.49)
very effective yet simple chi gung (ki development) exercises which I will guarantee will improve your aikido

Tai Chi Classics - Wai Chun Liao (£12.99)
Writing about tai-chi with discussion on such things as converting chi to jing (power). Also important persepectives on tai-chi movement which is directly applicable to aikido.

I feel if you buy aikido books on ki it may make you feel better about aikido, but I don't think they will affect your aikido in any practical way.

jimbaker
11-14-2005, 12:00 PM
Or you can go directly to Carol: <http://www.round-earth.com/>

kironin
11-14-2005, 02:46 PM
Hi David,
I must admit I've never seen Carol's book, but I always find aikido books on ki very superficial with esoteric discussion involving curly arrows and how it changes your life rather than on real exercises to develop ki so that you can feel it for yourself.


Which is too bad -- I am trying to put this as diplomatically as I can -- since then you wouldn't be passing out an uninformed opinion.

I am not saying the first book is perfect but the book is not a book of esoteric discussion, but a collection of various real exercises used in daily classes in the 1990's when George Simcox Sensei was still alive. Carol simply put a lot of his teaching material into book form and did drawings to illustrate the exercises. Simcox Sensei being the kind of person he was let her do it and never asked for any credit or anything in return other than she do her best at putting it together. She had total control of the project. The exercises are all about feeling it for yourself and put forth in an open ended exploratory sense.

The two books serve different purposes and don't cost much so I would suggest getting both.

Craig

David Yap
11-14-2005, 08:04 PM
...The exercises are all about feeling it for yourself ...

Thanks, Craig. This is exactly what I am looking for. I have come to realize that aikido is first to learn about yourself, then, swapping shoes with others will have a bigger meaning :)

Best training

David Y

roosvelt
11-23-2005, 12:53 PM
Shame on your guys. What a piece of useless book!

One-point is the center of gravity. Kokyu-dosa is to relax and to hug the person behind uke.

The book is a lot of think without any substance. I paied $36 for it. Anyone want this piece of toilet paper, I'll part with $20.

roosvelt
11-23-2005, 12:56 PM
Hi David,
I must admit I've never seen Carol's book, but I always find aikido books on ki very superficial with esoteric discussion involving curly arrows and how it changes your life rather than on real exercises to develop ki so that you can feel it for yourself. I've not seen one book on the ki exercises used by Ueshiba (except for the 'rowing exercise'). .

Ian, you're right on the money.

I bought it based on the recommendation here. It turned out useless book as you said.

kironin
11-23-2005, 03:17 PM
Shame on your guys. What a piece of useless book!

One-point is the center of gravity. Kokyu-dosa is to relax and to hug the person behind uke.


sigh, so little understanding...

one-point is not the center of gravity, though the center of gravity is one place one-point can be. Kokyu-dosa as a practice is a lot more than just one simple visualization. The visualization you give as a defining kokyu-dosa would fail completely with a partner who DID understand one-point.

Many people have liked these books a lot, so I don't think they need defending. They are after all just books and all books are a very poor substitute for the teacher in person.

Craig

crbateman
11-23-2005, 08:14 PM
They are after all just books and all books are a very poor substitute for the teacher in person.True to a point, Craig, but books are an excellent substitute for complete ignorance. Many people, after all, don't have the means or the opportunity to study in person with the teacher who wrote the book. And an author chooses his words carefully for a book, because he wants them to be a lasting reminder of his thoughts. Books reach across miles, time, and even death. Don't expect miracles from them, but give them their due. ;)

Carol Shifflett
11-23-2005, 09:21 PM
Hi guys,
read reviews on Carol Shifflet's books - "Ki in Aikido" and "Aikido Exercises for Training and Teaching". In terms of scarcity ($$$) and choice, which book is a better value for money? Your advice please.


Personally I prefer "Aikido Exercises for Teaching and Training."
Includes ki exercises and mostly I love all the quotes and stories from the Aikido-L -- Jim Baker's Ultimate Martial Art, Wiley Nelson being thrown and pinned by a 3 oz fan-foot gecko, Dennis Hooker's "Climate & Geographic Superiority in Aikido" (and why holding a sword is like milking a cow) and Dr. Wendy on Wounding Energy ("The Physics of Ukemi"), but also general training, and individual practice, and rolling exercises that are in there because they aren't anywhere else -- which is why I put them in. ;-)

And . . . Awwww! You guys are so sweet! Craig and Jim and Lynn and Chuck and CR and all -- Thank you for the kind words!!
Roosevelt I'm sorry you didn't like "Ki in Aikido" and especially sorry that you had to pay $35 for a $19.95 book. (Why?!?) You're very welcome to send it back, I'll be happy to take you up on your $15 offer -- tho I might mention that it's now out of print and the last time that happened copies were going for $70+ on Amazon. Strange, VERY strange, but true. . .

Meanwhile, I'm working on 2nd edition (which will include heretical information on biofeedback and neurology. Any suggestions, corrections or additional exercises are greatly appreciated and as always will include credit to the contributor.

AND must say that it's very startling to log on and find myself a Topic. I am all a-twitter!

Cheers!
Carol Shifflett

crbateman
11-24-2005, 12:35 AM
Meanwhile, I'm working on 2nd edition (which will include heretical information on biofeedback and neurology. Any suggestions, corrections or additional exercises are greatly appreciated and as always will include credit to the contributor.Look forward to seeing it. I'd love to put a review up for you when it's ready. Keep up the good work.

ald1225
11-24-2005, 12:50 AM
Meanwhile, I'm working on 2nd edition (which will include heretical information on biofeedback and neurology. Any suggestions, corrections or additional exercises are greatly appreciated and as always will include credit to the contributor.


2nd Edition to the Ki in Aikido book? Does that mean that you're also going to visit our dojo (VA. Ki society) and share a talk?

Also I would like to ask you where I can find the "biofeedback. I've been looking at this ever since I discovered that a $9.95 Radio Shack.. " that you shared in this post. (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=119485#post119485) Tried looking for biofeedback stuff at their website but could not find it.

Thank you

Carol Shifflett
11-24-2005, 09:13 AM
2nd Edition to the Ki in Aikido book? Does that mean that you're also going to visit our dojo (VA. Ki society) and share a talk?
No need! :-) Just check with your Sensei Gregory et al. As Criag Hocker sensibly pointed out, all I did was record the exercises George Simcox taught us at VKS. It was originally a 2-page handout I put together for students in the county classes. It went into book form after George was diagnosed with cancer. I didn't want them lost or forgotten, but I certainly wasn't the only one and they're in good hands there. I promise to pester them for updates, but plan to add info on biofeedback that they do not do. I imagine there will be the usual indignation ("Hey! That's not Traditional!") but people learn faster with feedback, which is precisely what biofeedback is all about. And although the whole point of ki exercise partners is to serve as human biofeedback sensors, there are other ways to do it.
Also I would like to ask you where I can find the "biofeedback. I've been looking at this ever since I discovered that a $9.95 Radio Shack.. " that you shared in this post. (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=119485#post119485) Tried looking for biofeedback stuff at their website but could not find it.

I don't think Radio Shack sells it anymore. Too bad. Cheap, simple, staightforward. At the time I hooked up some VKS students and had them go through ki exercises / tests / meditations and marvelled at the results. (OTOH, it would never have been "biofeedback"; it would have been "lie detector" or whatever, that is, skin conductance / sEMG. Check their "Electronics Learning Lab" I wonder if the circuit diagram for that device mightn't be included). However, there are other aproaches and the possibilities are growing -- because this stuff works.

Currently the very best low-cost (well, about $150) system I know of is "Into the Wild Divine" It's marketed as a "game" but it's feeding back data on your heart rate and skin conductance / surface electromyography. Again, to play, you MUST learn to relax, you MUST learn to breathe abdominally, etc. etc. I have a blurb on that and ki exercises halfway down the home page on my website at http://round-earth.com with a link to Wild Divine. Or go to the Wild Divine site directly at http://wilddivine.com. Fluffy, New-Age user interface -- but with good hard science behind it.

There is also a product called "RESPeRATE" (available on Amazon.com) which is FDA-approved and marketed for its demonstrated effectiveness in lowering blood pressure. What it's doing is teaching the mechanics of ki breathing and in my opinion, experienced instructors could learn a thing or two from its approach as I did.

EEG Neurofeedback is biofeedback applied to the brain. And folks, I gotta tell you that it is now possible to repair a broken brain. For those of us who were broken, this is the path back to Life and functionality. It doesn't much matter when it happened (tho 6 months or more AFTER the injury is actually better than immediate treatment). It doesn't seem to matter whether the precipitating event was too many breakfalls, too many kicks to the head, auto accidents, high fever or too many recreational drugs in college. It especially doesn't matter whether you call the symptoms migraine or fibromyalgia or sleep apnea or a host of other monikers. Sensei seems a little wafty and confused and emotionally unpredictable and can't handle money and never seems to sleep and growing a Budhha belly and can't stand crowds? Well, it may be because "Sensi is Operating at a Higher Spiritual Plane" and all that -- or it may just be classic garden-variety brain damage. No, the electronics are not Traditional. But there are things far more important than Tradition.

Meanwhile, for more info, see http://www.neurotherapycenters.com. Dr. Mary Lee Esty has offices in Maryland and can provide references to other offices. I have seen some miracles walk out of her office. See also http://EEGinfo.com. I will be putting this in KIA updates whenever that gets done -- and I will certainly be putting it in the much-delayed (due to brain injury) but upcoming (due to brain injury repairs) "Surviving Martial Arts." If any of you should try this approach and have stories to tell, I would love to hear from you!

Cheers!
Carol Shifflett

SeiserL
11-24-2005, 10:46 AM
And . . . Awwww! You guys are so sweet! Craig and Jim and Lynn and Chuck and CR and all --

Meanwhile, I'm working on 2nd edition (which will include heretical information on biofeedback and neurology. Any suggestions, corrections or additional exercises are greatly appreciated and as always will include credit to the contributor.
You are very welcomed for the well deserved credit and compliments. It is easy for some to complain when they never put their own stuff out there for public consumption, consideration, and criticism.

I look forward to your 2nd edition. There is a lot of references for biofeedback and neurological training in Neurolinguistic Programing, Ericksonian hypnosis, and sport psychology. The whole body-mind connection has some strong support far beyond the martial arts. Some great healing and energy stuff.

Wasn't there a third book in the works?

Looking forward to hearing more from you. Again, my compliments on the books.

Carol Shifflett
11-25-2005, 10:59 AM
I look forward to your 2nd edition. There is a lot of references for biofeedback and neurological training in Neurolinguistic Programing, Ericksonian hypnosis, and sport psychology. The whole body-mind connection has some strong support far beyond the martial arts. Some great healing and energy stuff.
Wasn't there a third book in the works?

Thank you Lynn!
There's such a wealth of info out there, outside the dojo -- an important reason for cross-training and reading / studying in various fields (cross-braining?). I hope you will comment on it further! Interesting to see that so many of the exercises that we call "ki" exercises (and inspire the most outraged cries of "fruity!" and "delusional!") are now standard in professional sports training.
KIA won't be back for another year at least -- but in its place, I highly recommend the classic "Inner Skiing" by W. Timothy Gallwey (you can buy it for pennies on Amazon.com). He also did "The Inner Game of Tennis," "The Inner Game of Golf" and has a new one out on "the Inner Game of Work" which is all of these skills applied to daily life. (And per "Blatant Commercial Plug" Book 2 "Aikido Exercises" is still available and yes, I do give wholesale prices to dojos). ;-)

Book 3 is "Surviving Martial Arts -- Mind, Body, & Spirit." I've been "about to finish" it for 3 years now. Maybe this Spring. <sigh> Meanwhile, the manuscript ranges from choosing a dojo to building a spring-loaded mat, why your hakama won't hold pleats, different rolling styles (and the why and illustrated how) for men and women and the ubiquitous female shoulder injury. It is very heavy on muscular injuries, how to fix them and prevent them. See a preview of the head & neck pain section at http://round-earth.com/HeadPainIntro.html. The first 5 muscles shown there will be in the book because:
1. Trapezius is why you get that fish-hook headache with improper jo and swordwork. (Relax the shoulders! Or else!!)
2. SCM is the muscle behind a LOT of dizziness from rolling or headlocks. Click SCM link for info
3. The Scalene pain pattern can be the painful result of too many "neck-a-nage's." The finger portion of the pattern is usually diagnosed as Carpal Tunnel or Thoracic Outlet Syndrome but it's usually merely the downstream symptom of compression of the brachial plexus (the wiring harness for arm/hand innervation) in the neck. Too often that injury is the start of multiple failed and damaging surgeries, a mighty high price for someone to pay because someone else was sloppy and careless with a neck.
4-5 Masseter & Trapezius are the pain and tinnitus you'll get if you go around clenching your teeth. How are you going to have a good class hurting like that? Relax!! Drop Weight Underside! etc., etc. ...because all of these muscles can fire off the others.

There is also a section specifically on head injury. I may post that chapter in its entirety on the website in the next couple weeks as soon as it gets back from the reviewer. Stay tuned! -- because I know all too well that I am not the only head injury in this arena. I am, however, one of the very very lucky ones -- in very large part because of Aikido-L which had EVERYTHING to do with why and how I was able to find my way back out of the dark. I hope to pass that on.
Thank you all! <BOW>

Cheers!
Carol Shifflett

roosvelt
11-26-2005, 12:51 PM
sigh, so little understanding...

one-point is not the center of gravity, though the center of gravity is one place one-point can be. Kokyu-dosa as a practice is a lot more than just one simple visualization. The visualization you give as a defining kokyu-dosa would fail completely with a partner who DID understand one-point.

Craig

Exactly my point.

"One-point is the center of gravity. Kokyu-dosa is to relax and to hug the person behind uke." are quoted from the book.

So you recommended your pal's book without reading it?

Charles Hill
11-26-2005, 08:19 PM
Wow, Carol,

Thanks for the link to your website. There`s a lot of great stuff there. I am looking forward to the publishing of your next book.

Charles

Lyle Bogin
11-27-2005, 05:03 PM
I used the "exercises" book like a manual for a year at least. Still go back to it from time to time as I like the easy to teach approach.

The collection of quotes from the generation that's teaching now, or has very recently left us, is great.

ian
11-28-2005, 07:27 AM
My opinion is that "one-point" is one of those concepts that needs to be explained in a level appropriate way. So to a novice, thinking of it as the center of gravity is a good starting place. What suggestions would you offer for the next levels of understanding? (This question is open to everyone of course...)


Couldn't agree more. Maybe the difficulty is we all have different understanding of what chi/ki is because of different 'level' of understanding or possibly we are actually talking about different things (in which case ki in aikido and chi maybe are different). I completely agree with the idea of biofeedback for ki/chi development, but biofeedback can be appropriate for any method of physical development and not necessarily chi development e.g. weightliting.

My apologies Carol and (Chuck?) for making a comment - I purposely mentioned I hadn't read Carol's book because it is unfair to make a judgement about something I haven't read. I feel many of the responses in this thread are really just cheap shots with an air of I know something you don't - although I always love the free and open banter we get on aikiweb. Although I've been in aikido for many years I'm quite new to chi development. I can say that chi gung has helped my aikido, and I suppose that is what we are really after isn't it - what can we do to improve our aikido. In such a case I suppose it is wrong of me to be disparaging about exercises that (although in my mind are only indirectly related to ki) could still benefit aikido.

I personally feel that there are many excellent aikidoka out there whom I shall never in my lifetime even approach in ability. However I also believe that a large part of what Ueshiba was doing was related to CHI (and he certainly felt that yin/yang was of direct importance). When you see him doing techniques he tends to incorporate the aspects of chi development i.e. blending (sticking), holding down, raising up to cut down, extremely powerful strikes, being able to read people's intentions etc. Doing the opening practise with the spear in my mind is definately related to chi. Indeed I think it would be difficult to say he isn't expressing most if not all of the aspects of the ideals in tai-chi.

As far as I am aware, chi (internal energy) exercises were incorporated into martial arts to improve martial ability from Taoist (alchemic) practices, mostly involving breathing and visualisation to 'feel' and then control the flow of chi around the body. Thus tai-chi is far more than just the physical motions - indeed tai-chi was initially taught to the chinese ruling class AS just physical motions so they wouldn't learn the real utility of it.

Similarly, O'Sensei was a very spiritual person who did alot of ki development exercise. Have these been transferred succesfully in aikido - I would say no. The difficulty is, that now we have broadened the training of aikido we tend to just teach what we were taught in aikido (thus we use ki exercises that were made up in aikido).

I don't necessarily believe that martial arts are really different; don't we all want to be good martial artists - regardless of the martial art? I think the difference in top martial artists in any martial art are extremely superficial. If you are happy to do aikido and maybe consider ki different from chi I would say that is fine, but if you want to be a good martial artist I would say that chi (as in internal energy) is an important aspect of understanding martial arts.

Sorry for the long post. In conclusion - I think we should keep an open mind and use what works, and discard that which doesn't work (even though sometimes fuller understanding can come at a later date). I promise I'll look out for Carol's book and see if it is good/I am ready for it!

P.S. I remember reading about a buddhist and christian who were chatting about a phrase in the new testament which said 'do not give pearls to swine or they will trample them under-foot'. The buddhist understood from this - 'when people are ready for understanding they will accept it' i.e. we can only know what we know and keep enquiring with complete sincerety!

roosvelt
11-28-2005, 09:28 AM
My apologies Carol and (Chuck?) for making a comment - I purposely mentioned I hadn't read Carol's book because it is unfair to make a judgement about something I haven't read. I feel many of the responses in this thread are really just cheap shots with an air of I know something you don't.




Ian and Rob,

You two forgot that it's Carol that wrote a book about Ki to sell for $20, and everyone else just gives out FREE advice. Since Carol is in the discussion, why don't you guys question her?

I'm the sucker who bought her book, why do guys question me? If I watched a movie, "On Deadly Ground" for example, and said "this movie sucks", do you guy think it's fair to ask me to come up with a better movie?

I don't have high hopes from Carol though, since Craig said about her frankly and to the point "sigh, so little understanding...".

Don't you notice that I didn't ask about Ki since there is no clear answer. All I wanted to know is how to do some basic exercise.

On a constructive note, I'll state how I do my standing kokyu-dosa. I have trouble with kneeling version because I'm not flexible enough to sit properly to find a good grounding point. I was hoping to pick up some pointers from the book.

Standing kokyu-dosa.

two phases: loading/receiving phase and unloading/giving phase.

1. In the loading phase, I position myself with back foot 45 degree and front foot straight (but internally inside leg facing uke). palm up with arm above my "center". If my uke pushes my hand below my center, I'll flex my kneels more and get lower internally to create the angle greater than 90 degree (the force of my leg and direction of my arm). I inhale deeply with my stomach. I stack my body to let the uke force from my wrist down to my back foot mainly down to my ball area. Of course my shoulder is down and elbow is down too with unbend able arm form.

2. In the giving phase, I just move my "center"/whole body forward as a unit. Push with my back foot and move my weight to my front foot.

The receiving phase is more important and hard to get into correct position. The giving phase is easy relatively.

Kneeling kokyu-daso.

I have trouble to find equivalent back foot to connect to the ground.

There you have it. My understanding of kokyu-dosa.

**********Carol**********************************************

I'll wait for Carol to give her better version than "hugging the person behind uke". Maybe Craig kind enough to give his version for he seemed to know about it based on his comment "Kokyu-dosa as a practice is a lot more than just one simple visualization. The visualization you give as a defining kokyu-dosa would fail completely with a partner who DID understand one-point.".

Don't' shoot the messenger and demand why it's a bad news. Ask the question directly to the author.

Regards

rob_liberti
11-28-2005, 09:48 AM
Ian and Rob,

You two forgot that it's Carol that wrote a book about Ki to sell for $20, and everyone else just gives out FREE advice. Since Carol is in the discussion, why don't you guys question her?

We already have what Carol presented as how to think about those ideas. You were complaining about the inadequacy so I wanted your thoughts to keep things contructive. It wasn't personal, I would have asked that to anyone (any messenger) who complains without offering an improvement because it seems like you must have some improvement in mind and might just want to have the encouragement to present it. I wasn't shooting at you. Howvever, I'm about to now... Sorry for being blunt, but Carol offered to buy your copy of her book back I suggest that you take her up on the offer, thank her, and stop complaining about a problem that has a clear resolution.

Second your point to Craig was strong, but I think you missed his point about how they were just surface-level explanations of good teachings that were much better to get directly from the source. So, the best resource you have to get information from that source _might_ not feel like you are ready to percieve what he is explaining, but that's just my opinion.

In terms of kokyu-dosa I find I have to find a way to open my arms up (almost have my shoulders and hips as far back as I can get them from my pinkys without straining the arms), keep tension only in my finger tips, thrust (to some degree) energy below my partners center and follow it up and out of them without pushing and while maintaining my ability to atemi at _almost_ any time from either hand or either foot (or knee or elbow).

Rob

roosvelt
11-28-2005, 10:41 AM
Howvever, I'm about to now... Sorry for being blunt, but Carol offered to buy your copy of her book back I suggest that you take her up on the offer, thank her, and stop complaining about a problem that has a clear resolution.



I said "I'd part it with $20" (the face value of the book). Carol said "you're very welcome to send it back, I'll be happy to take you up on your $15 offer".

I'm not sure how to respond to that. Are we haggling about the price?

Carol is selling a product. Any comsumers got a right to give his opinion about the product. If you don't want the opinion, don't sell the product and recall back them all.

Rob, please read the first post of this thread. The original posters wanted opinion about Carol's book. I gave him my opinion after reading the book. If you have different opinion about the book if you ACTUALLY read the book, please state your side.

I didn't repeatedly to state "don't buy that book". It's your demand of my opinion and Ian's commment of "cheap shot" made me write another post. Now, I give you my opinion again, then you told me to "shut up". You're something, Rob.

rob_liberti
11-28-2005, 11:35 AM
Loosing 5 dollars instead of 20 sounds like a good offer to me. I only mean to suggest that you let go of _that_ complaint and save yourselve 15 otherwise lost dollars.

I honestly see your point about the initial posts of the threads. I hope you would agree that we tend to move on from there and try to take them somewhere constructive - which is why they are called "threads". So my request: what would you have liked to see in that book about kokyu tanden ho, etc. seems to be right on target - but you certainly don't have to listen to my opinion.

Rob

Chuck.Gordon
11-28-2005, 12:15 PM
If you want to study Japanese budo, and learn about aiki and ki and all the other principles and ideas, then find a good teacher who teaches these ideas and practices. Study Japanese budo.

If, on the other hand, Chinese arts float your boat, then find a good Chinese style teacher and do a Chinese system.

However, trying to understand Japanese concepts through the medium of Chinese theory doesn't offer much info for most folks who are way beyond the level of most of the folks here.

And it might confuse things for them considerably, until they have a better grasp of the ideas and practices of their core art.

And, vice versa. Do one thing, do it well, and sometime when you have a solid grasp and some semblance of proficiency, then exploration of other systems and theories MIGHT be helpful.

Back on-topic, I don't think Carol ever intended the book as a be-all, end-all on the subject, and in fact, I don't think she intended to WRITE a book, but was merely taking notes for her own benefit. The books were nice by-products.

I found them interesting, and, having known George, enjoyed the anecdotal info immensely. If I hadn't known and spent some time with George and Carol and many of the others mentioned and referenced, I don't know if I would have enjoyed them as much, as the system Carol was coming from had very little in common with mine.

FWIW, I _think_ I actually may have a couple of extra copies around the house somewhere...

ald1225
11-28-2005, 07:49 PM
Hey Carol,
Thanks for your response to my question. By the way are from VA, or did/do you practice at the VKS? Also have you seen this article... Meditate on This: Buddhist Tradition Thickens Parts of the Brain (http://www.livescience.com/humanbiology/051111_medidate.html)

I also checked that RESPeRATE, I too see it as Ki breathing. Have you also seen the "Ki Breathing" by Koichi Tohei which was publish March of this year and translated and uploaded on Shinichi Tohei's Weblog (http://universalmind.way-nifty.com/universalmind_english/specialki_breathing/index.html)

bulevardi
03-08-2010, 04:32 AM
I bought it based on the recommendation here. It turned out useless book as you said.

Same here... I bought the same book because of recommendations I saw on amazon.com
Turned out it really was a waste of time. I'll give it back to nature or recycling factory. Certainly don't want to get this one back on the market to rip off other people.

I don't want to be rude but... let me explain why, don't take things personally.

Things that are explained in the book are just natural science, about gravity, balance,... + additionary imaginary-light-in-your-body-flows.
In fact, in this book, Ki is explained as a bunch of things that already exist, things that humans already know, learned by basic education, and then call that paradigm 'KI' as a new kind of truth.
It's just like giving the name 'furniture' to things we already know: tables, chairs,... at a moment the word furniture didn't exist yet.

The most annoying in the book was that I expected too much I guess. I thought Ki would be explained. I thought the exercises would be explained aswel, in the following:
In the book it's every time said: nage does this, uke does that, ... But the purpose why uke does something isn't explained.
Mostly, it's even just written like this: "nage sits in seiza", "uke tests".
But whát does he test? And how? And why? And if uke tests something, what should be the result? There's no explaination at all that says what should be the good result with that test or the bad result. In that case you don't know what you're doing, why you're doing, and if you're doing something wrong or not.
The most important things lack of information, like knowing how to keep your One-Point, extend Ki etc... "How" is actually not explained. I tried every exercise in the book several times. But by lack of information how to do it, it's not all working like it should. My uke is testing, but what should he be testing? And if the result turns out to wether A or B, is A good or bad? Is B good or bad? We don't know, that's not explained.

Later on, a chapter about meditation, a few pages explaining the obvious what we already know about meditation... and then a bunch of pages about total different daily life situations where is explained that we just have to calm down.
The chapter on aikido itself is just a few pages and contains actually nothing about aikido. Well, the things actually explained you already know by doing aikido on the tatami.
I'm certainly not recommending this book to others. I would be ashamed if it's visibly public in my book shelf.

I now started reading the first pages of Koichi Tohei's book, although my expectations are already lowered right now, I see a book in front of me that is "written" and explaining things a little bit better.
K. Tohei explains actually what Ki is so you can give it a place, the basics, before starting the rest of the book.

Ron Tisdale
03-08-2010, 08:08 AM
I would be ashamed if it's visibly public in my book shelf.

Putting aside what may be perfectly valid critisms (I don't know, I haven't read the book), I'm trying to imagine just what would make me ashamed of having a book visible on my book shelf. Short of some really kinky pornography...I'm not coming up with much. Not every book on my shelf has something in it I agree with. Some of them I out right despise the content.

But they are on my book shelf, and I am not ashamed to have them there.

Best,
Ron (now, whether I would recommend them or not is a whole 'nother nut...)

bulevardi
03-08-2010, 09:20 AM
Putting aside what may be perfectly valid critisms (I don't know, I haven't read the book), I'm trying to imagine just what would make me ashamed of having a book visible on my book shelf. Short of some really kinky pornography...I'm not coming up with much.
Well, I just don't like having books there with content that I don't agree with. If someone is looking what I have there, takes the book out and speaks out loudly: "what a bunch of crap are you reading here?".
If these are pornography books with good photo's, I stand behind it and can recommend it to others. But if it's a book with bad content that I don't want to recommend to others... I don't leave it public. 100% sure people will question the content and I would have to explain why or try defending it.

Ron Tisdale
03-08-2010, 09:42 AM
I would have to explain why or try defending it.

And the problem with that is???

If I kept the book because it is worth defending...then I'll defend it.

If I kept the book because it has a viewpoint or interpretation of facts I disagree with, then I will state that and my reasons for it.

I will NOT be ashamed of having it. And I can eplain that as simply as I have here. MORE knowledge is always better than LESS knowledge. If someone doesn't get that...well...Then I don't want them near my book case in any case. ;)

Sides, if they take exception to a book on my shelf, it's a sure segway to a great conversation! :D

Best,
Ron

bulevardi
03-08-2010, 09:50 AM
Or trying to place the porn books on eye-heights and the less interesting books at the bottom shelf behind other books.

Like in a supermarket, where the most expensive products and brands are placed on eye heights so they are taken more easily than the less expensive ones.

lbb
03-08-2010, 10:32 AM
But they are on my book shelf, and I am not ashamed to have them there.

Hey, I've got a copy of Joe Hyams' Zen and the Martial Arts kicking around somewhere. Ashamed of it? Hell no, I didn't write it, the embarrassment is all the author's -- or should be. It's a sterling example of what not to do.

SeiserL
03-08-2010, 03:23 PM
And let those of you who have written anything step forward and say where your work is on other's shelves!!

Sorry, perhaps you don't appreciate the courage it takes to put something out there. My compliments to all who at least attempt to have something to offer.

I am not ashamed of any books on my selves. I am proud that at least I read and attempt to learn from others.

Keith Larman
03-08-2010, 03:59 PM
And let those of you who have written anything step forward and say where your work is on other's shelves!!

Sorry, perhaps you don't appreciate the courage it takes to put something out there. My compliments to all who at least attempt to have something to offer.

I am not ashamed of any books on my selves. I am proud that at least I read and attempt to learn from others.

Standing ovation...

crbateman
03-08-2010, 04:15 PM
IMHO, books exist to give the reader something to think about. Those on my shelf are testimony to nothing more than the fact that I have done exactly that.

Just as each of us is entitled to his/her own opinion on this forum, so is each author entitled to the same consideration in his/her book. To deny that is to deny one's own right to opine. Perhaps, Dirk, you might consider walking a mile in Carol's shoes...

bulevardi
03-09-2010, 02:50 AM
I don't see the point going further off-topic on that one single phrase about wether you place it on a book shelf or not...
I just used that one to make my statement that I don't recommend it to others. Anyway, just forget that phrase.
Maybe try discussing the book further for those who read it, instead of walking away from the content of the book and going into another discussion.

@Lynn Seiser: I already read lots of books, and I can say that it's good that people have something to offer. I have tons of books here on my shelf that I really like to recommend and where I learned something from, but I dislike books with lack of information so you can't do anything with the content they offer.
I sometimes question publishers if they really read the books before they start publishing them. Lots of good professional writers get sometimes a 'no' from publishers and have to start writing again if their story isn't good enough... but for some books, apparently, content seems not important.

Mark Peckett
03-09-2010, 06:22 AM
The annoying thing about ki is that it has to be experienced - books can only point you in a direction that the author has found useful. Rather like that book that has the answer to all those zen koans - just because you read the answers doesn't make you enlightened. Now can anybody tell the sound of one hand making an unbendable arm?

Ron Tisdale
03-09-2010, 08:00 AM
Uh, yeah, it's the sound of me doing hayaku ukemi...
:D
B,
R (posted with ki...just to get somewhere near the topic)

jxa127
03-09-2010, 09:01 AM
Carol Shifflet hasn't posted since last year, which is a shame because she had very interesting posts.

I would be interested in learning from those who've read both, how the exercises in Carol's books compare to the sorts of exercises that O Sensei did as described in Ellis's Hidden in Plain Sight.

Regards,

C. David Henderson
03-09-2010, 10:26 AM
Hi Dirk,

If I recall, this was one of the books you purchased when you were asking about ki in another thread. Your critique raises some questions in my mind; perhaphs you can say more --

Things that are explained in the book are just natural science, about gravity, balance,... + additionary imaginary-light-in-your-body-flows.
In fact, in this book, Ki is explained as a bunch of things that already exist, things that humans already know, learned by basic education, and then call that paradigm 'KI' as a new kind of truth.
It's just like giving the name 'furniture' to things we already know: tables, chairs,... at a moment the word furniture didn't exist yet.

Given what youv'e been reading and thinking about, how would you put it then?

The most annoying in the book was that I expected too much I guess. I thought Ki would be explained.

Have you looked at some other work lately that did what you consider a better job of explaining it?

In the book it's every time said: nage does this, uke does that, ... But the purpose why uke does something isn't explained.
Mostly, it's even just written like this: "nage sits in seiza", "uke tests".
But whát does he test? And how? And why? And if uke tests something, what should be the result? There's no explaination at all that says what should be the good result with that test or the bad result. In that case you don't know what you're doing, why you're doing, and if you're doing something wrong or not.

Do you think that after you've studied and trained longer, some of these issues may be more self-evident? A number of pretty experienced martial artists who read this book liked it; is it possible they had a context in which to undersand what was being expressed?

The most important things lack of information, like knowing how to keep your One-Point, extend Ki etc... "How" is actually not explained. I tried every exercise in the book several times. But by lack of information how to do it, it's not all working like it should. My uke is testing, but what should he be testing? And if the result turns out to wether A or B, is A good or bad? Is B good or bad? We don't know, that's not explained.

Two questions -- do you think you can learn these skills by reading, and how long do you think it's reasonable to practice the exercises before you see some development? If you read up on internal training threads here, you'll see that it takes a fairly long time before results begin to manifest themselves perceptably.

I now started reading the first pages of Koichi Tohei's book, although my expectations are already lowered right now, I see a book in front of me that is "written" and explaining things a little bit better.
K. Tohei explains actually what Ki is so you can give it a place, the basics, before starting the rest of the book.

What language in his book struck you as a good explanation of ki?

Do you think if you reread the first book after finishing Tohei's book it might make better sense to you?

Respectfully.

jss
03-09-2010, 11:09 AM
Do you think that after you've studied and trained longer, some of these issues may be more self-evident? A number of pretty experienced martial artists who read this book liked it; is it possible they had a context in which to undersand what was being expressed?
If the answer to both questions is yes, the next question is what context of understanding is involved here and what's the shortest path to be able to share in that context.

Two questions -- do you think you can learn these skills by reading, and how long do you think it's reasonable to practice the exercises before you see some development? If you read up on internal training threads here, you'll see that it takes a fairly long time before results begin to manifest themselves perceptably.
Sure, but incorrect training won't get you anywhere and that's the issue Dirk mentioned: there's not enough information in the book to decide if you're training correctly or incorrectly. I don't think it's reasonable to ask him to invest x hours of practice in something that has a very limited chance of success because it lacks sufficient means of self-assessment and self-correction.
Or ... all this ki stuff is easier than Dirk thinks it is and the descriptions in the book do give him a reasonable chance of success. But that's not a bet I would be willing to take.

C. David Henderson
03-09-2010, 11:25 AM
Hi Joep,

Your point about context is spot on, and a good point to think about.

As to your comment about percieved lack of detail re. the exercises -- fair enough, and I haven't read the book, so I can't argue the point one way or another. I guess, though, if the answer to the first set of questions is "yes," it has implications here too.

I suspect in any event it would be difficult to avoid "incorrect training" problems when working from any book, for the reasons often mentioned, including IHTBF.

Regards,

jss
03-09-2010, 12:40 PM
..., and I haven't read the book, so I can't argue the point one way or another.
Me neither! :D

I suspect in any event it would be difficult to avoid "incorrect training" problems when working from any book, for the reasons often mentioned, including IHTBF.
Agreed.

bulevardi
03-09-2010, 01:05 PM
Sure, but incorrect training won't get you anywhere and that's the issue Dirk mentioned: there's not enough information in the book to decide if you're training correctly or incorrectly. I don't think it's reasonable to ask him to invest x hours of practice in something that has a very limited chance of success because it lacks sufficient means of self-assessment and self-correction.

Indeed.
As an example, I've been playing the guitar for already lots of years now. And if I wanted to learn a new technique (e.g. arpeggios), reading the book is not enough. Practicing was the big task. Training finger skills and techniques takes long if you want to let it sound correctly. And I really know that just reading a book won't work.
But you can't start practicing just out of the blue without knowing how to do the technique. That's why I read some books about those guitar techniques before practicing them.

If only in these books was told "play the arpeggio". That's just like saying: "hold one-point" or "let the ki flow".
If it's not explained how, you can't practice on the technique either. Well, you can try figure it out somehow but maybe you're doing the wrong things then...

Do you think if you reread the first book after finishing Tohei's book it might make better sense to you?
Well I hope so.
I'll let you know when finnished reading.

SeiserL
03-09-2010, 02:33 PM
but for some books, apparently, content seems not important.
IMHO, just because I didn't like the book or didn't get something new out of it doesn't mean it doesn't have something to offer some one. Perhaps just not me.

Perhaps I should question more why I didn't get something out of it rather than did the author, editor, or publisher put something in it.

IMHO, content is always important.