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Pdella
01-18-2006, 01:58 PM
In my class the other day, we practiced feeling other peoples' intentions/energy. We stood with our eyes closed and sensei focused his energy/intention on one part of our body, and we were supposed to go with whatever we felt, do whatever seemed natural. Well, the rest of the class responded in various ways, some moved far away from the energy, some moved around it, etc. I just stood there, because I didn't feel anything. My teacher suggested I just relax more and let my senses open more.

Any suggestions?

Jorge Garcia
01-18-2006, 02:11 PM
That's beyond me but I would respect anyone who can really do that.

Erik
01-18-2006, 02:40 PM
My suggestion is that you were the only one there not bullshitting himself.

And, I'd suggest a better practice, put the sensei, or someone, behind a curtain, and see how people react or don't react based on whether or not the sensei is there, isn't there, or someone else is there. You'll have to keep some tight controls but if you can do that what you'll find is that people suddenly aren't so sensitive afterall. Of course a curtain and the ill intentions of the testers will no doubt damage the ki flow. :rolleyes:

I've done similar exercises to the one described, one specifically where you attacked from behind, and were supposed to sense the attack. Interestingly, the room was filled with shadows and mats make noises so there were all kinds of cues to when the attack was happening. Now, I'm all for that kind of sensitivity training (awareness of surroundings and similar) but it wasn't being sold that way. So when I started taking those variables out (attacked towards the sun, attacking quietly, etc) people's performances declined drastically including the sensei's. Well, when that started happening, the teacher made the argument that he was accurately reading my intention to attack...and of course when the person moves the attacker tended to move so basically I needed some big boots to wade through what was being passed around on that mat.

At best people can read someone's intention based on sounds, touch, visual cues and similar things which can produce remarkable and surprising results but it ain't energy shooting out of some sensei's butt.....well, that actually can move people....

Aiki LV
01-18-2006, 03:20 PM
I will never understand why people have to say something is "bullsh**. Just because you have not experienced it or don't believe in it does not make it false right off the bat. I personally don't believe in everything someone tells me or demonstrates, but that doesn't mean it is crap. If something works for someone else good for them. I'm not going to be purposefully insulting because I don't agree. Perhaps I lack the experience to feel what they feel or maybe my lack of openness is getting in the way as well. Saying that something isn't for me and My suggestion is that you were the only one there not bullshitting himself. is quite different. I guess my rambling point is why can't we respect each other here? Why must we resort to being insulting when we don't agree with a certain style or training method? Why not just try to be respectfully in your opposition.

bkedelen
01-18-2006, 03:21 PM
I agree with Erik. The power of Aikido is the power of the natural world, not a supernatural power. It is the application of everyday movement which brings about extraordinary results. Diddling each other with mental energy may yield amazing results to someone other than me, but in my experience, it one of few red herrings in my exploration of the rabbit-hole.

bkedelen
01-18-2006, 03:26 PM
Speaking of red herrings, Mindy's argument that Erik is wrong because she found his argument insulting is a perfect example of the logical fallacy informally known as the red herring.

Mark Uttech
01-18-2006, 03:43 PM
In a thread like this, I always think about going outside and feeling the energy of the wind. It seems to set aside everything else. In gassho.

Aiki LV
01-18-2006, 03:46 PM
WOW, did I ever say he was wrong? I would like you to point out to me where I directly stated he was wrong. Way to twist what I said. You obviously missed the intention of what I was going for, but that's okay. Saying being insulting isn't necessary does not equal wrong. I was simply making a suggestion. Thanks for the reason & logic lesson though, reminds me of college. Have you taken symbolic logic?

James Davis
01-18-2006, 04:47 PM
WOW, did I ever say he was wrong? I would like you to point out to me where I directly stated he was wrong. Way to twist what I said. You obviously missed the intention of what I was going for, but that's okay. Saying being insulting isn't necessary does not equal wrong. I was simply making a suggestion. Thanks for the reason & logic lesson though, reminds me of college. Have you taken symbolic logic?
You never said he was wrong. Not once. :drool:

Keep standing up for yourself and others. You can't get walked on unless you lay down. ;)

crbateman
01-18-2006, 04:56 PM
In a thread like this, I always think about going outside and feeling the energy of the wind. It seems to set aside everything else. In gassho.Pretty good amount of wind right here in this thread... ;)

batemanb
01-19-2006, 01:44 AM
I agree with Erik. The power of Aikido is the power of the natural world, not a supernatural power.

Surely the power of KI is natural energy? Don't recall O Sensei calling it supernatural, wasn't he an advocate of the harmony of nature?

rgds

Bryan

Demetrio Cereijo
01-19-2006, 11:05 AM
In my class the other day, we practiced feeling other peoples' intentions/energy. We stood with our eyes closed and sensei focused his energy/intention on one part of our body, and we were supposed to go with whatever we felt, do whatever seemed natural. Well, the rest of the class responded in various ways, some moved far away from the energy, some moved around it, etc. I just stood there, because I didn't feel anything. My teacher suggested I just relax more and let my senses open more.

Any suggestions?

Try to resurrect Benjamin Franklin (http://www.pbs.org/benfranklin/l3_inquiring_mesmer.html).

bkedelen
01-19-2006, 11:07 AM
The intent of your post was clearly to diminish Erik's position in the discussion. No post yet made, including yours, has been offensive (by which I mean no personal attacks were made, and no inappropriate content was referenced). If we are not allowed to call bullshit in martial arts (the ancient mainstay of the parlor trick) discussions, then this forum will become much less useful.

Aiki LV
01-19-2006, 12:21 PM
The intent of your post was clearly to diminish Erik's position in the discussion.

I find it interesting that you would make that claim. You don't know me and as I stated earlier you missed my intention completely. I don't quite understand why you feel the need to beat the point about my intention to death. For the record I don't wish to "diminish" his position. I was addressing the language he used and the attitude associated with his choice of words. Now if you choose to you can once again question my motives, say what you want I really don't care. I think we have gotten a little off track here. ;) We will just have to agree to disagree. Happy training :)

Ben Eaton
01-19-2006, 12:51 PM
Before someone announces this thread formally hijacked...

I would have a problem at this early stage in my training and indeed, my life, believing that people could have a "sense" of the next move, like a mild precognitive ability, but I wouldn't say that it just plain isn't possible.
That to me would suggest a mind completely closed to ideas outside their own sphere of understanding, which in my opinion is not the way to approach any kind of training which does involve a mental element, or how to approach anything in life. Open mindedness isn't a skill as such, it's a way of thinking and generally people with open minds are better off for it.

But you do have senses other than your eyes with which to guess the next move with, and I think experience would play a part in predicting what someone is going to do/what attack is coming next.

Erik
01-19-2006, 02:51 PM
It's always interesting in these sorts of threads to see how people respond and what they respond to. I used the word I used precisely because it accurately conveys how people often respond to their own experiences.

I 100% guarantee that I could find and convince people that I have precognitive / supernatural abilities. I couldn't do this with everyone or maybe even most people but I could do it with enough people, eventually, to fill a small dojo with em. Don't believe me? Ask yourself how many people pony up money to Jeane Dixon....or ponied up to Mesmer...

Now imagine you are a new aikido student and you walk into my dojo. I'm sitting there with students flinging themselves through the air as if by magic (been there, seen it, done it myself, more than once) but you ain't getting it. So do we do that student any service whatsoever by feeding him more nonsense about being sensitive, or, do we call it straight for what it almost certainly is? I think we do a student a grave disservice if we do anything else.

Secondly, just because people are bullshitting themselves doesn't make them bad. Human beings are notorious self-bullshitters to such a degree that we should trust our experiences substantially less than we do. Which hits to the crux of the problem and the solution. Any teacher claiming to be able to do what this guy was claiming ought to be able to do it under more substantive and rigorous situations than a dojo. If all he can do is that bullshit mentioned by the original poster he's got nothing even worth discussing because it's a truly lame expression of ability totally lacking in even basic controls.

Thirdly, on the near precognitive abilities, please don't mistake skill for magic. I've played basketball with top-flight players and they flat-out see things before I do. They did it, frankly, because they were just better than I am, and played more than I did. While it can seem like magic, skill is simply skill, and very highly skilled individuals often perform at such a level that it seems like magic.

Also, I'm all for awareness practices but don't purport that it's, oh I don't know, ki shooting out fingertips, when it can be explained in many other far more likely ways. An open mind wouldn't rush to the assumption that it's ki moving those people but rather would engage in a rigorous examination of the process the likes of which this guy's instructor, and just about any believer, wouldn't dream of doing. By the way, I can't remember this sort of thing ever being tested this way in the context of a dojo environment.

Back to work...

Mary Eastland
01-19-2006, 03:52 PM
I can tell where peoples centers are when they are training. Does that count? I can feel ki when people extend it and I can feel when they aren't
Mary

Esaemann
01-19-2006, 03:57 PM
Not sure who might be familiar with Cheng Man-Ching (CMC), but if so, this may have some meaning.
Also, would like to stipulate that my instructor said this and I haven't seen the source of the comment myself.
CMC had stated that there is some type of electomagnetic signal (or whatever you call the brain activity) that happens in the brain a fraction (maybe 0.5) of a second before one thinks of moving, say his hand.
Is there scientific reasearch behind this? (thinking outloud)
Can you feel another person's energy? Perhaps after many years of dedicated practice, but I would think one must be able to feel one's own first.

Choku Tsuki
01-19-2006, 04:15 PM
I've made a person feel something without touching them. They have to have to see me. Try this some time:

-locate and walk on a crowded street
-make eye contact with someone directly in front of you (best if you're on a collision course)
-aim your center at their center

I don't do this all the time. I work in Times Square (where the ball drops on New Years Eve); lots of people around at lunch time. Sometimes I get to practice this. When done with sincere and focused intent, I think your unwary training partner 'feels' your 'energy.'

Try it.

--Chuck

Mark Uttech
01-19-2006, 04:21 PM
I think it has something to do with 'connection', but I'm never sure. Something like this belongs in the 'Never Sure' category.

Aristeia
01-19-2006, 04:22 PM
Mary, when you say you can tell when someone is extending Ki is that if they are in physical contact with you or from across the room?

If you decide that they are or are not extending Ki, how do you find out if you are correct?

James Kelly
01-19-2006, 04:38 PM
I've made a person feel something without touching them. They have to have to see me. Try this some time:

-locate and walk on a crowded street
-make eye contact with someone directly in front of you (best if you're on a collision course)
-aim your center at their center

I don't do this all the time. I work in Times Square (where the ball drops on New Years Eve); lots of people around at lunch time. Sometimes I get to practice this. When done with sincere and focused intent, I think your unwary training partner 'feels' your 'energy.'
Yeah, but that's just because you're really scary looking. I'd get out of you way if I saw you coming at me in times square... lol

bratzo_barrena
01-19-2006, 04:47 PM
My two cents,
Ki is not something in itself, Ki is a consecuence, an state.
A consecuence of focusing body, mind and spirit (intention/will) to achieve certain goal. In whatever field you are, not only aikido, in any sport or activity, for that matter, you can achieve ki.
So ki is an state in which your body, your senses, mind, will, all of what you are is aimed to achieve certain goal.
For example, a heavyweight lifter, when he is going to lift the weight, he aligns his body in the optimal position for that purpose, also concentrates his mind in lifting the weight, his will/intention is to lift that weight, so he generates this "supernatural" stength/power to lift that weight. But in reality is not supernatural, and is not magic.
Take the same heavyweight lifter, trying to lift the same weight, but this time have him standing in an awkward position, he will not be able to lift the same weight, beacuse his body is not properly aligned, even though his mind and will are focused to lifting the weight.
So, Ki is a state in which a person is focusing all what he/she (body/mind/spirit/will/intention) is to achieve certain goal in any activity in life.
But ki is not a supernatural energy, all migthty power, that one can feel and/or project at will, Jedi style, that's a lot of bullshit.
Ki cannot be measured, felt, projected or otherwise in itself because is not something in itself, it is just an state.
Like love, anger, happinness, etc. They are states, they exist, but are states. You can't measure love in itself, or happines in itself, but you can understand love by its phisical manifestation (like a hug or a kiss), and what you can measure is the physical maifestations of love, i.e. the strengh of a hug, the duration of a kiss, in the same way you can measure the physical manifestations of ki, in the heavyweight lifter example, would be the force generated to lift the weight.
So ki is an state, a consecuence, not a spernatural force. Also Ki has physical limitations.
Using the same heavyweight lifter example, he alings his body, focuses his mind, and his will to..... stop an incoming train. Well, he's just going to be crushed.
I tryed to be as clear as possible, but english is not my native languaje

Bratzo Barrena
Instructor Aikido Goshin Dojo
Doral FL

deepsoup
01-19-2006, 05:37 PM
-locate and walk on a crowded street
-make eye contact with someone directly in front of you (best if you're on a collision course)
-aim your center at their center

<snip>
When done with sincere and focused intent, I think your unwary training partner 'feels' your 'energy.'


Hmm...
Eye contact and physical posturing among primates with a highly evolved social structure.

I'd offer the alternative theory that there's some (surprisingly primative) non-verbal communication taking place here. Congratulations, Chuck, your extended ki makes you an alpha male - you're the biggest chimp in Times Square!

Mary Eastland
01-19-2006, 07:59 PM
Mary, when you say you can tell when someone is extending Ki is that if they are in physical contact with you or from across the room?

If you decide that they are or are not extending Ki, how do you find out if you are correct?

When I go to grab them I am already off balance. You know the feeling where you would rather not attack...cause of how nage feels??
Mary

Qatana
01-19-2006, 08:14 PM
When I go to grab them I am already off balance. You know the feeling where you would rather not attack...cause of how nage feels??
Mary

Sometimes when Sensei is taking ukemi he'll say " I wouldn't Want to attack you" which I always find amusing as he is 6' 2 and I am 5' 3 and he Knows he can squash me with one little finger but I think he is commenting on nage's Presence.
We work with energy but we don't call it ki so I'm not sure its my ki he's feeling or if I am just able to project a "don't mess with me' attitude.
But then there's the times you look at the car next to you and the driver turns and looks you right in the eye, or vice/versa....

James Smithe
01-19-2006, 09:55 PM
This is a perfect example of bullshido. Peter you're instructor needs to personally meet an experienced practioner in Aikido so he can beat his ass and see if can feel his energy. Dude get out of that school now it's total bullshido. Oh wait let me explain what bullshido is.
Bullshido+Bullshit =Bullshido. I would say bulldo but it's not as cool.

James Smithe
01-19-2006, 09:56 PM
You don't have to give up Aikido just choose another school.

Shannymara
01-20-2006, 12:45 AM
I think it's really sad that so many people seem to think there's not much going on other than physics and normal nonverbal communication. I am a scientist by education and a left-brained, analytical thinker. Yet I am certain there is something else going on with "energy". I don't pretend to understand it, but I know it's real because of experiences I've had. And this is nothing to do with being brainwashed or tricked by my own expectations.

My most recent experience that was unmistakably related to "energy" was about a week ago in the dojo. My wrist was sore from being cranked on pretty hard, and I asked him if he would fix it for me. What I expected him to do was just rub it between his palms. What he did was simply put his hands around it and hold still, very gently with almost no pressure. After about 3 seconds my wrist and hand suddenly felt really hot, and simultaneously I felt an intense, pleasurable rush through my whole body. It was so intense that I actually swooned. I put my hand on his back, said "Oh my God," and almost fell down. Then he walked off. Wow. Just... wow. My wrist felt absolutely fine, and I felt sort of high for a few hours after that.

Now, that happened without me having any expectations about it. It took me totally by surprise. I've had several other intense experiences along those lines over the years. Go ahead and flame me if you want, but I'm a believer. I hope those of you who insist on reducing things to terms you already understand have the fortune to experience this someday, because it is a wonderful feeling.

James Smithe
01-20-2006, 12:59 AM
This is what you said.
felt sort of high for a few hours after that.
I will assume you were high when you typed what you said above.

crbateman
01-20-2006, 03:08 AM
Shannon, I think you may have had a "kiatsu" experience. Tohei Sensei wrote a book years ago about it, and the book is still available from many sources, in case you want to read about it.

Mary Eastland
01-20-2006, 07:17 AM
One time at a beginner's class the instructor demonstrated how we were to do tenkan from katate tori. A doubting, really angry kind of guy got up and grabbed my wrist really hard....as he grabbed I curled my wrist and extended ......he flew off and fell down. If I had not been there I would not believe it myself.
His energy felt really negative and he was so surprised. As were the insturctor and I...because it seemed like I did not do anything.
Mary

James Smithe
01-20-2006, 07:55 AM
Mary I think you're talking about something completely different from what the first guy was talking about. The first post was bullshido what you're talking about is believable.

Mary Eastland
01-20-2006, 08:45 AM
Mary I think you're talking about something completely different from what the first guy was talking about. The first post was bullshido what you're talking about is believable.

Maybe James or maybe not......I don't have definite answers I just train and am open to possiblity.

Mary

DaveS
01-20-2006, 09:22 AM
I think it's really sad that so many people seem to think there's not much going on other than physics and normal nonverbal communication.
Bear in mind that Erik's posts haven't flat out denied any possibility of something outside of physics and nonverbal communication, just stated that examples that he's seen in the vein of what the OP was talking about have actually been more consistent with this explanation than with the 'sensing ki' explanation. And that to explain things by a mysterious and hard to pin down 'energy' that can be explained more simply is at best unneccessary and at worst damaging.

Erik
01-20-2006, 10:33 AM
I think it's really sad that so many people seem to think there's not much going on other than physics and normal nonverbal communication. I am a scientist by education and a left-brained, analytical thinker. Yet I am certain there is something else going on with "energy". I don't pretend to understand it, but I know it's real because of experiences I've had. And this is nothing to do with being brainwashed or tricked by my own expectations.

My most recent experience that was unmistakably related to "energy" was about a week ago in the dojo. My wrist was sore from being cranked on pretty hard, and I asked him if he would fix it for me. What I expected him to do was just rub it between his palms. What he did was simply put his hands around it and hold still, very gently with almost no pressure. After about 3 seconds my wrist and hand suddenly felt really hot, and simultaneously I felt an intense, pleasurable rush through my whole body. It was so intense that I actually swooned. I put my hand on his back, said "Oh my God," and almost fell down. Then he walked off. Wow. Just... wow. My wrist felt absolutely fine, and I felt sort of high for a few hours after that.

Now, that happened without me having any expectations about it. It took me totally by surprise. I've had several other intense experiences along those lines over the years. Go ahead and flame me if you want, but I'm a believer. I hope those of you who insist on reducing things to terms you already understand have the fortune to experience this someday, because it is a wonderful feeling.

Shannon, if you are really a "scientist" then you should know better....but, alas, some of the most easily fooled people over the years have been scientists...

By the way, I'm not saying you didn't experience the experience just that if you believe such a thing actually happened, think up a meaningful method of testing, repeat as needed, submit it to peer review, and put the topic to rest. If you are a scientist by training then you know that the standard is much higher than what you've just submitted.

Just for fun...

http://www.thewavemag.com/pagegen.php?pagename=article&articleid=23855

Erik
01-20-2006, 10:35 AM
Bear in mind that Erik's posts haven't flat out denied any possibility of something outside of physics and nonverbal communication, just stated that examples that he's seen in the vein of what the OP was talking about have actually been more consistent with this explanation than with the 'sensing ki' explanation. And that to explain things by a mysterious and hard to pin down 'energy' that can be explained more simply is at best unneccessary and at worst damaging.

Yup!

Demetrio Cereijo
01-20-2006, 10:38 AM
I ki blasted a guy last saturday. :)

Well, not really a "ki blast" but raising my eyebrow was enougt to stop his attempt of taking my bokken away from my hands.

James Davis
01-20-2006, 11:57 AM
In my opinion, ki is just a different way of explaining proper technique to an aikido student. When your mind, body, and spirit are in alignment, that usually means that the bones in your hand are in proper alignment too. Personally, as an assistant instructor, I've had more success telling people how to extend their ki, than trying to explain physics and body mechanics to them.
Karateka have a better chance of sending that hand through a board if their mind, their intent, is on the other side. People can study our movements with slow motion photography and attribute everything we do to physics and body mechanics, but when I'm in the middle of randori I don't have time to think about it that in-depth...

...so I just extend my ki.

As for "feeling" an attack coming, I think that the original poster's sensei could have used different words to get his student to concentrate on the impending attack. When we still our bodies and our minds, when we stop all that blasted thinking, we open ourselves up to other things. It could be explained by something as simple as hearing their foot leave the mat, or a quick intake of breath when they step in to strike; Maybe it could be something different, something more. I don't know. The minute that I say I do know, the minute that I close my mind to possibilities, my aikido will suffer. Good luck to all of you. :)

Pdella
01-20-2006, 12:12 PM
Thanks for all the feedback. As an essentially rational, analytic person, I wonder: How do you explain that in double-blind scientific studies, religious people who ask God to heal them actually heal more quickly than non-religious people? (both groups have same diagnoses, same medical treatment, same level of disease, etc.)

My explanation is that we do not know everything there is to know about the human mind, although everything we know indicates that it is a powerful organ. Who knows what it can do?

Erik
01-20-2006, 12:22 PM
Thanks for all the feedback. As an essentially rational, analytic person, I wonder: How do you explain that in double-blind scientific studies, religious people who ask God to heal them actually heal more quickly than non-religious people? (both groups have same diagnoses, same medical treatment, same level of disease, etc.)

My explanation is that we do not know everything there is to know about the human mind, although everything we know indicates that it is a powerful organ. Who knows what it can do?

Placebo.

Not a bad thing, by the way, but not the same thing as an instructor shooting ki towards a student, which interestingly, not a single person has been able to meaningfully address.

Also please source those studies because prayer has had a abysmal track record when faced with actual rigorous scrutiny. Although some guy did write a book about it a few years back and my guess is that most people just extrapolated book == best seller == true.

deepsoup
01-20-2006, 12:39 PM
How do you explain that in double-blind scientific studies, religious people who ask God to heal them actually heal more quickly than non-religious people? (both groups have same diagnoses, same medical treatment, same level of disease, etc.)

You don't seem to understand what a "double blind" trial is - its not possible to conduct a proper one in this case, because the point of double-blind trials is to control for the "placebo" effect.

In a "double-blind" trial, there is a real treatment measured against a placebo (pretend) treatment. Neither the patient, nor the person directly administering the treatment knows which is which, hence "double blind".

This is necessary because patients who believe they're getting an effective treatment tend to experience some benefits even when they're not actually getting any treatment at all.

That explains why you can't double-blind trial the patients' own prayer - because you can hardly ask them to pray and not tell themselves that they're doing it.

It also explains why the religious people you mention experience some benefit, they believe they're getting an effective treatment. (Regardless of whether or not they actually are.) Placebo.

Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with a placebo - just because its fake medicine doesn't mean it can't have real effects.
Its a treatment that was actually often used before we questioned our doctors to the degree we do now. Back in the 50's it wasn't uncommon for British GPs to actually send someone to a pharmacist with a prescription for a placebo, and the pharmacist would dispense sugar pills.

Of course you can do a proper double blind trial where someone else prays on the patients' behalf. Its been done quite a few times, and shows that prayer has no effect.

How do you account for the fact that God hates amputees (http://whydoesgodhateamputees.com/)?

Sean
x

edit: Hey, Erik... SNAP!

Erik
01-20-2006, 12:41 PM
As for "feeling" an attack coming, I think that the original poster's sensei could have used different words to get his student to concentrate on the impending attack.

Well, I've got a second to post while things reboot here at work.

Based on what I read the teacher is not teaching his students to focus on an impending attack. I'm all for the type of study you described but this teacher had the students close their eyes and move wherever they moved based on what they thought they sensed. I've seen that stuff done before and it's just plain rife with opportunities for self-delusion because there are no controls on the experience. In other words, you can't "ever" know if you actually felt something because people will just start moving while imagining that they felt something. This, unfortunately, validates both the teacher's delusions and the students.

The only way to "know" is to engage the process in meaningful testing which is "never" done in this type of dojo, or frankly, any dojo.

Erik
01-20-2006, 12:42 PM
Damn you Sean!

I was saving that site for later.....

:D

Shannymara
01-20-2006, 01:02 PM
I suppose I should add that I agree there is a lot of "bullshido" out there, and that what the original poster described sounded pretty suspicious to me. But then again, I wasn't there.

I am really a scientist. I studied physics for several years, then cognitive science, then finally settled on meteorology, which is what I'm degreed in. I worked in a federal research lab for 4 years in a research position before I decided to switch paths again. And - I haven't gotten high via ingestion of substances for a long, long time.

I don't claim what I experienced would stand up to scientific standards of proof, nor do I feel it's important that it do so.

James Smithe
01-20-2006, 02:53 PM
don't claim what I experienced would stand up to scientific standards of proof, nor do I feel it's important that it do so.
But your a scientist it's your job to do so.

Ron Tisdale
01-20-2006, 03:30 PM
What's your job? Are your required to do it when you're not getting paid?

RT

James Smithe
01-20-2006, 03:59 PM
I'm saying he's a scientist he has to think logically about certain things. Jobs cross over into your normal life. My dad is an engineer. When something is broken in the house he automatically fixes it because he's trained to fix things when they are broken.

Janet Rosen
01-20-2006, 04:37 PM
I'm saying he's a scientist he has to think logically about certain things. Jobs cross over into your normal life.
they CAN. but it is pretty presumptious to tell a person that he HAS to.
I don't see anything wrong with a person from any background having an experience and simply accepting it. The person who described it made no attempt to couch the description in religious or supernatural terms. Just described to the best of his abilities what he experienced. Come to think of it, that's how a lot of science starts :-)

Shannymara
01-20-2006, 06:26 PM
I'm a "she", not a "he". Thanks. :)

Pdella
01-20-2006, 06:41 PM
You don't seem to understand what a "double blind" trial is.... etc.


Nope. Whether a technically "double-blind" study or not, my point is valid b/c it is the equivalent; the patients receive exactly the same level of medical care (whether that's nothing or something is irrelevant for these purposes, my understanding is that both have been done in various studies). The so-called Placebo Effect is exactly what I'm talking about. It sounds like you have researched the issue and are aware that scientists have struggled to explain the Placebo Effect. How do YOU explain it?

Another issue that others have brought up:

It is silly to assume that just b/c you can think of some physical or scientifically established way to explain the phenomenon means that it is bullshit, fake, pseudo-science, or religious. It takes a small amount of competence to realize two things quite quickly: (1) No one knows every aspect of scientific research that exists at the present time in all fields, biology, physics, etc. and (2) the study of the world is continually changing, in 20 yrs scientists will undoubtedly have decided that our views in 2006 were limited by our ignorance of certain scientific phenomena. Thus, there could easily be a physical/scientific explanation of almost any phenomena regardless of whether one person is aware of such explanation. No?

Erik
01-21-2006, 10:02 AM
I don't see anything wrong with a person from any background having an experience and simply accepting it. The person who described it made no attempt to couch the description in religious or supernatural terms. Just described to the best of his abilities what he experienced. Come to think of it, that's how a lot of science starts :-)

Nor do I, it's when they start reaching conclusions that the problems begin.

Janet Rosen
01-21-2006, 07:17 PM
Nor do I, it's when they start reaching conclusions that the problems begin.
no arguement there.

Edwin Neal
01-23-2006, 03:17 AM
I think i avoided this thread for this long because I "felt" exactly what it was about... magic or just my preternaturally sharp mind, you decide... I tend towards the bullshido veiw... I have met some (especially american) sensei's who get all into the "mystical-magical" nature of aikido... this is just BS... some form of ego ie i know a secret and thus am superior to mere mortals, become my disciple and you can be special too... aikido is nothing magical... training in sensitivity to your surroundings is essential... many times i have seen the fight coming and either avoided or finished it... not supernatural just alertness and training... try playing ball with Michael Jordan and you'll think he is more than human, but he is just way more skilled than the rest of us... to the original poster you did the right thing by being HONEST... how many of you have ever seen a George Dillman seminar they do this kind of self deceit all the time, but ALWAYS have an excuse as to why it didn't work in your particular case... use your brains people... there ARE more than one born every minute... ;)

George S. Ledyard
01-23-2006, 12:21 PM
I've never quite understood why some epeople are so invested in "not being fooled". I have seen people ignore some of the most beneficial things because they didn't understand it and so rejected it out of hand...

It's like Homeopathy... no one has the least idea why it works. The manner in which they produce the remedies is counter intuitive. Yet the system has been around for over two hundred years and millions of people's direct experience, my one and my family's included, attest to the fact that it works.

Chinese medicine is another example... it is a system of medicine based on a set of theories that can't be verified Western scientific methods. The meridians, the energetic points used in acupuncture, acupressure, moxabustion, etc. cannot be located in any physical manner through surgery. You can't find a physical structure called a meridian but they aer use all the time.

Training the "intuitive: or "psychic" aspects of the martial arts is as old as the arts themselves. Consciousness is just another sort of energy and the fact that we haven't yet figured out how to measure it with a machine doesn't mean that it isn't functioning in various ways that we have yet to understand.

People who reject this type of thing out of hand have only a shallow experience of martial arts training. Most classical styles, which prepared warriors for the "life and death encounter" had very sophisticated methods for training the psychic, or intuitive, aspects of the art. One of my teachers told us about traveling on the Tokyo subway and practicing how to project his attention... He would focus on someone and "will" them to look at him. The more difficult one was to focus on someone and "will" them to not look at him. He would then proceed to make himself more and more noticeable while willing them to not look up.

The first sword class I ever took from this teacher involved standing in front of him as he stood in Jodan no Kamae and would try to sense the instant he made the decision to attack. If I "got it" I cut him just as he started to move.

Another exercise that exists is to use mirroring... one stands across from his opponent and mirrirs him in every aspect. You duplicate his breathing, you match his movements, etc. At the point in which you have totally matched the opponent you can suddenly make a movement and he will be caught by it and will move as well.

I told one of my students about this and he said he knew the technique... He is a very successful trial lawyer and this is a technique he uses to lead witnesses in the direction he wants them to go. This is not some New Age guy but a very practical fellow.

The Russians have never taken the position taken by the rest of Western science and have been quite open to all sorts of energy and psychic research... There are all sorts of psychic elements in the Systema and the are quite systematic about how they teach these elements. Vladimir and Michael are simply amazing in this regard.

I co-taught a seminar in Berkeley at Kayla Feder sensei's dojo in which another teacher did all sorts of "energy" exercises. At one point I was blind folded and he stood in front of me. I held both my hands out in front and he told me to withdraw whichever hand I felt him reach for. I was relaxed and open, not trying too hard, as instructed. At one instant I felt a distinct twinge in my left hand and was about to pull it back when I got a string feeling I should pull back my right hand which I did. When I opened my eyes, he had indeed, been reaching for my right hand. When I told him about "feeling" something in my left hand he smiled and showed me how he had initially reached towards my left hand but had switched in mid-movement to my right hand. There is no doubt in my mind that I felt his intention in doing this. There were people watching and he wasn't able to "fake" his explanation. Everyone in the room experienced various aspects of the same thing as we did these exercises with each other.

This level of psychic intuition was considered crucial in the days in which everyone knew technique. Your enemy was another professional who had also trained since child hood in the same basic techniques you had. Surprise was an element that could allow one person of equal or even lesser skill to kill another. So it was an indispensable element in all training to be able to sense another's intention so that no one could ever get the drop on you.

Mochizuki sensei told one of the many stories about O-sensei related to this area... the deshi had been encouraged to try to attack O-Sensei any time they thought he was "open". No one could even get his door open more than a crack at night without his opening his eyes, no matter how deeply asleep he seemed to be... Well, Mochizuki sensei and one other deshi had accompanied O-sensei to some big party... they were off on the side doing their deshi thing, waiting to be needed... observing O-sensei deep in conversation with a friend, Mochizuki Sensei looked at his fellow deshi and said "I bet we could get him now!" At that instant, O-Sensei turned and looked directly across the room at Mochizuki Sensei and then returned to talking. The number of these stories by the deshi are too numerous to discount.

Sokaku Takeda was also able to function at this level. One of his students recounted taking an acquaintance to meet Takeda Sensei. They had just stepped into the room when Takeda Sensei angrily yelled at the "guest" and told him to get out. Back on the street the deshi started to apologize for his teacherís unexplained behavior when the friend said "No, please take me back inside so I can apologize..." It turned out that the friend had heard about Takeda Sensei's great skill and intended to test him by striking him when they bowed. When they re-entered the room, Takeda Sensei looked at the friend and then said, "Ok, you may come in now". Sensing ones "intentions" was considered essential for survival by these people and the trained to do it.

It is so interesting to me to see how invested many people are in not seeming gullible or foolish. It causes them to reject anything they don't understand. History is replete with examples of strong resistance to all sorts of ideas, especially by the established experts of that time, which are now simply considered fact. I have no doubt that at some point in the future this will happen in the area of psychic energy. In the mean time, those who reject these ideas out of hand and are so invested in not "being fooled" simply hurt themselves and intentionally keep their own training on a lesser level than they might otherwise attain.

Erik
01-23-2006, 03:03 PM
You can't find a physical structure called a meridian but they aer use all the time.

If we can't find a meridian then how do we know that we use them?

Esaemann
01-23-2006, 03:08 PM
Amen.

Qatana
01-23-2006, 03:18 PM
My Sensei uses a lot of energy work in the dojo. So does his. I'd LOVE to see/hear any of you debate this with Bob Nadeau.
Thank you Ledyard Sensei. I hope to train with you in the spring...

Erik
01-23-2006, 03:31 PM
Amen.

Thanks!

I thought my question was a good one too. :)

MikeLogan
01-23-2006, 04:17 PM
We need at least one more eric (or erik) before we can rationally coin the phrase "a doubting eric"

It's called empirical evidence, I'm not saying much here, because I've never needed / had the facile opportunity to experience acupuncture. I can't comment, but because it sounds funny you can rationally tuck it away with other stuff you'd don't want to deal with? Have you got first hand experience of some form of treatment involving meridians from which to banish it as bunk?

btw, that amputee site is kindof funny in that the last chapter presents a set of beliefs as delusional as the rest may possibly be.

But, I will generally agree with your very first post Erik.

Edwin Neal
01-23-2006, 05:07 PM
With respect, most of the experiences and sophisticated methods of training ( i prefer mental or spiritual to psychic please) can be explained in ways other than resorting to some sort of "hype"... it is evident from my personal experience as well as most of the other doubters that there is a level of intuition or sensitivity that becomes more highly developed with practice, but please try not to candy coat it with "Psychobabble"... if you played ball with Michael Jordan he would seem to guess your intention almost magically, but he is just better and more experienced than us... as to homeopathy and chinese medicine and therapuetic touch and all other "alternative" medicines these can be explained by means other than "supernatural" ... the placebo effect has been cited in earlier posts... as to the "methods" SOME "teachers" use to train this "energy reading"... well I suggest that time would be better used by meditation or practice of waza as the "effects" that are being billed as mystical or supernatural powers arise naturally out of practice of any disipline be it basketball, examination of witnesses, or aikido... there is a distinct difference between appearing foolish and being a fool... i am sure i have appeared foolish trying to grasp the aspects of some techniques, but we were given a brain and the power to reason... lets try to use them... if anyone thinks we should do otherwise then they are probably a fool and i suggest they should go join George Dillmans organization... He is a fool who fools the fools who foolishly follow him with their brains in Neutral Or Reverse...

DaveS
01-24-2006, 09:01 AM
It's like Homeopathy... no one has the least idea why it works. The manner in which they produce the remedies is counter intuitive. Yet the system has been around for over two hundred years and millions of people's direct experience, my one and my family's included, attest to the fact that it works.
To clarify - homeopathy works in the sense that having a homeopathic treatment tends to improve your speed of recovery. However, every reputable double blind test that's been done with homepathic remedies has shown that replacing the remedy with tap water doesn't change this effectiveness. Thus, while we may not understand why homeopathy works (I'm not sure how well the mechanisms by which the placebo effect operates are understood), we do know that the explanation via trace amounts of remedies, the memory of water and so on don't effectively predict what actually happens, and should therefore be rejected. We're not rejecting things because we don't understand them, but because they make predictions which are provably incorrect.

Again, this is similar to what Erik was saying in his reply to the OP. If we come across something (in MA or elsewhere) which is allegedly being done by some means that doesn't jive with western science, then one of the first things to do is ask whether it really is inexplicable, or whether there's a simple conventional explanation. If there is, then it seems reasonable to call bullshit on anyone mystifying it. This is almost the diametric opposite of ignoring things because you don't understand them.

kironin
01-24-2006, 10:27 AM
part of the reason the placebo effect works is that we now know that the immune system and the nervous system are in direct communication. Your nervous system, "your belief" can have a direct effect on your immune and hormonal systems. In illness, for some, it might be enough to tip the balance, for others it might not be. It may come down to your personal genetic variability. Other ways the placebo effect works is in reducing the perception of symptoms such as pain but actually prognosis of the outcome is not changed, just the perception. ("I feel better now after I had been taking this for a week...").

We know that in any population a certain percentage will get better, feel better, show improvement, even if nothing is done. No treatment, no sugar pill, nothing. In some cases it may be very low percentage (cancer remission) and in other cases a high percentage (back pain). So most often, the placebo effect, giving someone a sugar pill or tap water, is really just a perception effect. A perception that with treatment I am feeling better, when medical tests show no improvement. The set that feels better overlaps with the set that shows improvement regardless of any treatment, and the result is you will have people taking something that is no better than doing nothing but have gotten better and therefore become a believer in a therapy that for the general population is no more likely to help than doing nothing. There is no deep mysteries in the placebo effect. After all most of the time, all doctors are doing is buying your body time to heal itself. The idea that sometimes your body succeeds without intervention
is not so surprising. For lesser things, that's actually happening for all of us everyday. Afterall, life expectancy has gone way up in last couple of centuries due to development of modern medicine, better understanding of nutrition, and public health such as building sewers and water treatment plants. During all those centuries that we had these "alternative medicines" from China or wherever - the human life expectancy had not changed since the Bronze Age (35 yrs.).

As we move to medicine that is based on your personal genetics in the coming decades, we will get better at determing what medicines/treatments now showing a significant effect for a population will have the best chance of working for you as an individual.

kironin
01-24-2006, 10:43 AM
as for the original post,

learning to relax more such that you are more "in tune" with you senses or that you are more aware of what is going on around you is good training. The tendency in conflict situations is to have tunnel vision and become less aware. Sensing someone's Ki, feeling/percieving intent or an attack is simply this, being more receptive through your senses to what is going on around you. It's increasing your perception of natural phenomena.

However if you shutdown one of your senses such as closing your eyes or your ears, don't expect to be as successful in that perception. What you can work on is good, develop using your sense of touch and or hearing.

Qatana
01-24-2006, 11:22 AM
hmmm, isn't everything we experience as living beings "perception of energy"?
I can feel sunlight without having to know how it works.
I can see different seemingly solid things vibrating at different energetic frequencies=this would be perception of color.
Pain is simply a series of electrical impulses following a path, therefore pain is not real?
So maybe intense concentration simply opens Doors to Perception that are still unmeasureable.remember that 300 years ago pretty much All science was either magic or alchemy, or an act of god.

Edwin Neal
01-24-2006, 10:35 PM
Jo you are absolutely right; however i feel that too many times what is basically common sense, and a natural process, or effect, to those of us dicussing this is "over-mystified" by some people... that being said i use the word KI to explain certain aspects of aikido, but i feel i do so responsibly... i don't make patently absurd claims or practice "mumbo-jumbo"... my favorite illustration for this type of thing is George Dillman (did you already guess that?), although i have encountered it in aikidoka as well... as you said ki is a general way of referencing natural energies and processes that occur all around us... as to intense concentration this is a diffucult idea--- don't we first develop MUSHIN, then concentrate or focus (KIME) that energy and awareness... i can't cut open a person and remove your CHAKRA, but as a method of generally indicating a portion of the body the concept is useful... words are sometimes poor conveyors for very broad concepts, and sometimes people get caught up in the nomenclature... my favorite example is from my college philosophy professor take the word RED... if you think of all the possble shades of red (nearly infinite) and add all the OBJECTS that could be red, past present or future this concept appears to be so broad as to be meaningless... yet we all understand (in our individual way) what we mean when we say red... i find that the over mystification of aikido is a veiled attempt to boost EGO ( in the broad sense)... aikido is fundamentally simple and accessible to all by Osensei's design, attempts to make it more mysterious go counter to what i feel was the founders intent...

Edwin Neal
01-24-2006, 10:49 PM
to sensei Ledyard

:hypno: I've never quite understood why some epeople are so invested in "not being fooled".

:ai: with respect... WHAT are you talking about??? the entire practice of aikido is about not being fooled, about perceiveing reality as it really is... we as aikidoka are completely invested in the pursuit of not being fooled!!! :cool:


"The Art of Peace is not easy. It is a fight to the finish, the slaying of evil desires and all falsehood within. On occasion the Voice of Peace resounds like thunder, jolting people out of their stupor."
-O'Sensei