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fullerfury 12-28-2002 10:33 AM

I have felt Ki only once

I have always been a serious skeptic when it comes to the common theme floating around Aikido dojos where Ki is described as that intangebile unseeing entity which makes a good technique into a great technique. I have always felt that great technique is a result of proper hamni, balance, physics and breaking of uke's balance. I still believe firmly that this is the case however...

I did experience the unexplainable once...which I can only explain as some manifestation of Ki energy. A number of years back I was cross training my Aikido at a dojo outside of my home school. I would visit this school from time to time and was impressed with the instructor's ability. At the time he was godan. His techniques did not seem as dynamic as what I was used to, but he had a sense of real focus and charisma on the mat... and seemed to control his uke's quite well...especially his pins...very unorthodox, but extremely effective. Anyways, he called me up one day to demonstrate a technique. It was a variation of an irmi kokyu throw from a static grab. He entered in the traditional katate dori irmi nage (entering behind uke) and took my balance, one hand extending my grabbing hand and the other gently controlling my kneck. He paused and turned to the students in attendence and began to explain the following. While keeping control at my neck with his one hand, he lowered his other and took his free hand. As I could not see what he was doing, but only heard him describe it to the students, He waived his hand below and from the lower part of my back up just below the lower back a number of times - right around the base of the spine. As he did this he said that uke should be feeling a tingling, almost light and lifting sensation.
And damned if I didn't feel exactly that...a light tingling sensation which made me want to float or move...I was amazed, and bewildered...for this is nothing that I have ever experienced before, neither before or since in any training - Aikido, Tae Kwon Do, or any other activity. He finished the throw and that was the end of the demonstration. I never got the opportunity to ask him more about this, and no longer visit his dojo.

Has anyone felt something like this before? This, for me, is the truest form of Ki that I have been able to witness. I am still a skeptic on Ki, but ever since that day I have trained with an open mind.

Jeff Tibbetts 12-28-2002 11:18 AM

what a great post© By establishing yourself as a skeptic you give your story so much more credibilty© First off, let me say that I don't see that much difference in the first paragraph between what you think Ki is and what you think makes a technique effective© Is not hanme, posture, balance and timing a way to make sure that your Ki is able to work properly? I think that this is a semantics issue, Ki is when all those things come together and the technique works, if you want to think that's not spiritual than don't, but you'll get the same results© What you're talking about in the second paragraph is what you were thinking Ki should be© Well, there's a trick here© Ki is a great many things, one of those is a direct sort of psychic ability, which was clearly what was happening in your case© There is one parrallel that I can draw to something that I expierienced© I used to go to Rennaissance Festivals when I was kid, and there was this one booth called Angel Swrod that made the most amazing western weapons I've ever seen© The booth owner used to do demonstrations, one of which involved a large two-handed broadsword© He would tell you to hold out your hand and close your eyes, then he would point the sword and various places of your body, and you could FEEL it, it was really creepy© He would just say "where is it?" and you would know© He could do this to your back as well, and even those who said they couldn't feel it could at least feel it in the palm of their hand© I still don't know why this worked, other than maybe air pressure changes or something, but you could just as easily call it Ki©

Thalib 12-28-2002 05:51 PM

Being born and raised in the eastern world, surrounded by mysticism, I myself never been a skeptic of Ki. There are many interpretations of Ki. Some take it to the extreme mystical or supernatural, some take it to the physical aspects of it.

In Aikido we develop Ki from the outside towards the inside. We have to understand the physical side of Ki in order to understand the spiritual part of it. But, we will not be able to understand Ki if we are not able to accept the spiritual part of it.

My study of Ki is helped by training with Ki-no-Kenkyukai, although I am under Aikikai. It is quite regretful that Tohei Koichi-sensei had to leave Aikikai to build his Ki training methods for Shin-shin-toitsu Aikido/Do and Ki-no-Kenkyukai.

There is an element of physical form that let Ki flow naturally. That's why we learn many techniques when we first join Aikido. Then we are taught the mental aspect of it. Only when we understand these two aspects, the body and mind, we will be able to understand and accept the spiritual part.

The Aikido that my sensei taught now is quite different than the Aikido I remembered 5 years ago. I will not go into details, but it is now starting to resemble what Watanabe-shihan (Akuma-shihan) sometimes demonstrates. I'm quite amazed although not surprised how fast my sensei evolved. I've been with him since the first year he got his shodan, I witnessed him "grow" and "grew" with him. I do believe that this is because he is quite a spiritual person yet he is also a rational and logical thinker.

Well that's my story, anybody else? Perhaps the people at Honbu would like to enlighten us on Watanabe-shihan. Watanabe-shihan's uchi deshi perhaps, by some chance is a member of this forum?

Bruce Baker 12-29-2002 12:26 PM

seeing is believing
As skeptics we do tend to work with words as abstract thoughts until we experience something unknown, then give it a term we can associate with the phenonmenon, such as Ki.

Let me put it this way, how many types of electricity are there?

AC current, DC current, Static electricity, RF waves that interfere with our radio signals, and of course that strange manifestation, human body electricity or bio-mechanical energy that drives the human body. Lets not even get into the lightning, Aurora Borealus, and other natural electrical phenonmenon found in nature.

The fact that certain individuals can direct this polarity to particular areas, either through mental concentration or keying on a thought to prompt a reaction, should not be so far fetched.

Static electricity? Ye-ouch! Although it is pretty neat for sticking balloons on the ceiling by rubbing them on a wool sweater or your hair. Magic? Hocus Pocus? No more than finding the uses and ways to use the electrical energy that surrounds us, is in us, the same that gives men / women a difference in polarity.

It is fine to be a skeptic, skeptics make great scientists .... so we really can find out what the heck Ki is from and how we can use it.

As far as our perception of this mystical force? Well ... maybe it is no more mystical than starting fire by learning to rub two sticks together to make fire. Some people don't get it.

Isn't that why God made matches, butane or Zippo lighters, propane self igniting torches, and other such conveniences?

Then again some people can light that fire using them old sticks?

locknthrow 12-31-2002 02:35 AM

I had a strange experience once. I work for a shipping company (that wears brown) and one day I was walking by the conveyor belt. a package was coming down and I just absently brushed it aside with my fingers. It was about the size of a cigar box. It went about a foot and a half or two feet. I thought it was empty because all I felt was cardboard. Well another guy goes to move it and he just slaps it with his hand. It doesn't move. He looked at me real surprised and asked, "how did you do that?" I just smiled at him because I figured he had touched the wrong box. Well when the box got to me and I picked it up to put it in a truck it weighed like 20 or 30 lbs! I certainly couldn't flick it with my fingers?!?!!?! This has always been strange to me.

locknthrow 12-31-2002 02:59 AM

Oh yeah one more thing. This guy at work showed us this thing that he didn't understand either. You need 5 people to do this. You put one person (the heaviest if you want) in a chair. The other 4 people stand at the guy's elbows and knees. The guy by his left elbow paces TWO fingers under his elbow (the outside or "point" of elbow). The guy by his left knee places TWO fingers under his left knee. The other two people on the guy's right do the same thing. Then you all try to pick him up out of the chair. You won't get very far. Then one person places their hand palm down as close to the top of the guy's head as possible WITHOUT touching it. The guy next to him places a hand on top of first guys hand (palm down) as close as possible without touching. Then the next guy does the same. You go around with this twice till you have both hands in the "pile" of hands. Make SURE they do not touch! If they do you have to start over. Then the person with his hand on top of the "pile" (He would have been the last person to put his hand in) takes his hand off, then the next guy at the top of the pile takes his off and so on untill it goes around twice again and every takes both hands off. (It should go in reverse order of the way they put their hands on, only take ONE hand off in a turn) Then use your same two fingers on the elbow or knee you picked up before and try to pick the guy in the chair up again.

What do you think will happen? The first guy we used weighed about 250 lbs. The first time we didn't move him a fraction of an inch. The second time after stacking hands this guy goes up like 2 or 3 feet in the air!!! We just stood with our mouths open. Everybody got a turn in the chair. While they were about to do me I got an idea to try the Aikido exercise where you "think down" you know when some one trys to pick you up imagine you are rooted to the ground. I didn't say anything to them because I didn't want to leave any "suggestion" in their mind. They could only pick me up a couple of inches. I weighed something like 175 lbs at the time.

I didn't give much thought to "ki" before this but that did make me think. Especially after the "thinking down" bit with the chair trick.

Has anybody heard of this chair thing or know why it works? Try this with some friends. If I didn't explain it well let me know and I'll try to do a better job. Don't "think down" till they lift you up one time. It feels very strange.

BTW these guys weren't Aikidoka they were just some guys at work. We thought the guy showing us this thing was full of crap so I don't think we were "expecting" it to work.

Any thoughts?

locknthrow 01-12-2003 01:11 AM

wow!!!! NOBODY tried it!!! I can't believe it...

Lyle Bogin 01-12-2003 10:45 AM

I've never thought of Ki as mystical. Just a bit difficult to access.

akiy 01-12-2003 11:01 AM


Lyle Bogin wrote:
Just a bit difficult to access.


I wrote the following a back in 2001 in these Forums:

I remember a story told by George Simcox sensei who was at the dinner table with Koichi Tohei sensei when a reporter asked Tohei sensei if he could move (if I remember correctly) a salt shaker across the table with his "ki." Tohei sensei smiled and said, "Why, of course!" Tohei sensei then reached out with his hand, picked up the salt shaker, and put it down across the table.

-- Jun

Lyle Bogin 01-12-2003 11:45 AM

Food for thought :).

Jimro 01-12-2003 04:25 PM

About Angel Sword Forge,

The weapons they make are made of "Living Steel" which has a magnetic field extremely similar to that of a human being. The forging of living steel causes the molecules to "crystalize" into one single unit so the blade is extremely strong and sharp.

So feeling the broadsword with your eyes closed was only the interaction of two magnetic fields, the human's and the swords. How we feel something enter our magnetic field is beyond me.

Try holding the tip of a butter knife half an inch in front of the top of your nose centered between the eyebrows. You will feel something. It gives me a headache.

There are a plethora of theories as to what ki is, but most everyone agrees that training 'ki' will help your aikido.

Good luck in trainin.

Tadhg Bird 01-12-2003 07:24 PM

I beleive in the reality of ki. It seems as time goes on I become more and more aware of the ki within and without me.

I remember the first time ki spontaneously manifested in me outside an Aikido context.

I was practicing western style sword fighting. I thrust with my sword, and I felt ki boil in my belly, flow up my body, through my arms, and through my sword into the chest of my opponant. His legs kicked up in the air, and he sailed back several feet. I KNOW I'm not physicly strong enough for that feat, it had to be energy.

pointy 01-13-2003 03:37 AM

in response to the original post -

_luckily_ i get that kind of stuff all the time. at least twice a month maybe? sometimes more often than that. (unfortunately i've never had the specific experience that you had). and most usually when practicing directly with sensei. the dojo i practice in is a USAF dojo.

maybe im just a weirdo, hmmm

occasionally it's a kind of thing that i dont even realize happened until later on in the day. sometimes there are big things that i notice right away. and yeah, sometimes a senior person will say they are going to do something specific and then would feel it right there, i guess in a way similar to what you felt. Jim Baker Sensei comes to mind...

i have found that people are already able to do these things. i mean beginning students. even though they may not know it yet, they move with ki during their techniques every now and then. when i try and stay sensitive to it sometimes i can pick out something that they're doing that feels funky but in a good way.

like you said, being open to it helps.



p.s. something makes me feel hesitant about sharing specific stories here. if you're interested in specifics, feel free to email me,

aikigreg 01-13-2003 10:38 AM

I've felt it a few times in relation to Aikido technique. Mostly in regards to ukemi - I've found myself suddenly on my back staring at the ceiling with no knowledge of having felt application of technique.

The other was having a godan attack me with shomenuchi, and I was responding with ikkyo. Without feeling him every touching me, he flew backwards 5-6 feet and smashed into a wall - HARD.

Jeff Tibbetts 01-14-2003 02:37 AM

James, I didn't know that© That is extremely cool, and that answers a question for me at the same time© Thanks©

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