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-   -   Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11127)

kocakb 10-12-2006 12:04 AM

Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei
 
Hi Fellows,
You all may have watched the video of K. Tohei (http://www.aikidojournal.com/downloa...a=video&id=29), performing some of Ki exercises...Yesterday, I came across on Criss Angel, an illusionist, on TV. He was doing the same thing, and behaving like he has magic powers :) I searched it on youtube, and here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WECwe...=Criss%20Angel

My question is, do you practice (or how often) Ki exercises in your dojo? I can not stand "nailed" like Tohei (and O'Sensei, you know his pics, he's sitting and ukes are trying to push-pull him)...I think these exercises could help to improve the effectiveness of our techniques.

I am only able to do the "unbendable arm" and did it during a gokyu training. The nage could not bend my arm while we were on ground...The guy asked sensei for help, I let my Ki flow through my fingers :cool: , my sensei tried to bend my arm gently and threaded with his knee on my neck thereafter. What I have learned; Sensei has more Ki :uch:

crbateman 10-12-2006 03:20 AM

Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei
 
The subject of Ki (qi, chi, etc.) is a controversial one, even within Aikido. Many swear by it, others swear AT it. Many feel it is fundamental, others scoff that it doesn't exist. Those in Tohei Sensei's Ki Society (Ki no Kenkyukai) have spent the bulk of their training embracing and developing it.

Rather than incite a controversy in this thread, I'll just stay on-topic here by saying that I have seen dojos outside the Ki Society where Ki training is also an integral part of the curriculum, and other dojos where Ki gets little or no mention at all. It is a very subjective thing. Many are getting Ki training without recognizing it as such.

And your Sensei doesn't have more Ki than you... He just knows how to use his better... :p

raul rodrigo 10-12-2006 06:22 AM

Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei
 
Angell is converting the horizontal force of the push into a vertical one, diverting it into the ground. (its vital that his hands are on uke's elbow, it helps him divert the force downward) Its a trick that Shingo Nakao Shihan showed to my sensei. Though we haven't done it with ten people pushing. I've seen an aikido shihan, Motohiro Fukakusa, do the unliftable body trick. I have no idea how he does it.

Ecosamurai 10-12-2006 06:58 AM

Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei
 
Quote:

Raul Rodrigo wrote:
Angell is converting the horizontal force of the push into a vertical one, diverting it into the ground. (its vital that his hands are on uke's elbow, it helps him divert the force downward) Its a trick that Shingo Nakao Shihan showed to my sensei. Though we haven't done it with ten people pushing. I've seen an aikido shihan, Motohiro Fukakusa, do the unliftable body trick. I have no idea how he does it.

All of those things are standard Ki Society exercises and are not particularly difficult to do if you are relaxed and coordinated. I'd wager that most of the aikido teachers you may have seen doing such things picked it up from Tohei Sensei, he was after all the aikikai chief instructor so his influence would have travelled quite far. Of course there's no way to verify that other than asking the sensei concerned where he/she learned to do it.

With regard to the horizontal force, only the first two or three people really make a difference, all the rest are just pushing each other and not really contributing to the force placed upon him, adding extra people makes it look more impressive but thats all it does IMO.

Mike

Guillaume Erard 10-12-2006 07:20 AM

Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei
 
Although I am understand the basic concepts of vital energy and so on, I have never experienced such a Ki demonstration myself. All I have seen came form from O Sensei and Tohei's videos. I really wish I could have witnessed such a thing but as a scientist, I find it hard to believe since no study has ever shown the manifestation of theis Ki.
The thing that bemuses me the most is the video where OS holds a stick pushed at a 90 degrees angle by several students. Did he actually control his Ki or his student's mind? We might actually be looking at the wrong person during these exercises...

Does anyone here has personnally experienced (or mastered??) one of these exrecises?

As for the guy's video, he also walks up walls in another video... gravity is one thing I DO believe in... :)

Ecosamurai 10-12-2006 07:43 AM

Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei
 
Quote:

Guillaume Erard wrote:
as a scientist, I find it hard to believe since no study has ever shown the manifestation of theis Ki.
The thing that bemuses me the most is the video where OS holds a stick pushed at a 90 degrees angle by several students. Did he actually control his Ki or his student's mind? We might actually be looking at the wrong person during these exercises...

Does anyone here has personnally experienced (or mastered??) one of these exrecises?

I can do all the things seen in the video, admittedly I've not tried it with that many people pushing but certainly if you can handle two people (which I have done in the past) it shouldn't make a difference, the 'tricks' aren't very hard and I'm not a particularly advanced student either for that matter. The jo trick I have never tried so I'm at a loss to explain it but maybe I'll do some investigating on the subject.

I too am a scientist by trade and I personally have no problem with the concept of ki as being anything other than scientific, I do not regard it as mystical. I prefer to think of 'ki' as being 'mind', and just as gravity is a force which only affects things which have mass, ki may be construed as a force which only affects things which have 'mind'.

Anyway, got to go, back to work...

Mike

kocakb 10-12-2006 07:53 AM

Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei
 
Quote:

Guillaume Erard wrote:
Does anyone here has personnally experienced (or mastered??) one of these exrecises?
As for the guy's video, he also walks up walls in another video... gravity is one thing I DO believe in... :)

I have one of the books of Tohei, if you read the book, you feel it is very easy to do the unliftable body etc. He wrote that you should just relax and imagine that your feet are rooting deep to the ground...but I have never been able :D
the same thing for the unbendable arm: you should extend your arm and imagine an object in front of your fingers. You should try to push the object with your fingers (or imagine something flowing out through your finger point...It works, tested and approved ;)
and the guy, Criss, sure he is just an illusionist but knows every Ki exercise (the program on TV was longer than the Clip, he showed more tricks, which I are also in Tohei's book).

raul rodrigo 10-12-2006 07:54 AM

Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei
 
Quote:

Mike Haft wrote:
All of those things are standard Ki Society exercises and are not particularly difficult to do if you are relaxed and coordinated.
Mike

How do you do the unliftable body trick? And please don't say 'just keep One Point.' It doesn't really help. I mean I can do the push trick without needing to refer to the One Point.What do you visualize? How is the lifting energy of the ukes dissipated?

R

Guillaume Erard 10-12-2006 08:01 AM

Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei
 
Quote:

Mike Haft wrote:

I too am a scientist by trade and I personally have no problem with the concept of ki as being anything other than scientific, I do not regard it as mystical. I prefer to think of 'ki' as being 'mind', and just as gravity is a force which only affects things which have mass, ki may be construed as a force which only affects things which have 'mind'.


Mike

I like your vision about Ki, it pleases my brain; however, I have met so called "Ki specialists" who told me that Ki was much more than that without explaining me in clear, concise English what they were talking about.

Since you can achieve these exercises, could you please explain to me how you physically perform them? Let's take the one with people pushing in front of you. Do you concentrate on "the one point" as Tohei says or is it all just a matter or redirecting the force? If the latter, we are therefore talking about a physical trick aren't we?

Guillaume Erard 10-12-2006 08:05 AM

Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei
 
I also find Tohei's book a bit obscure. It seemed to me he should have written a book prior to Ki In Daily Life about what is the one point and how to concentrate on it (but I guess that is to encourage you to join the Ki society).

Joe Jutsu 10-12-2006 08:06 AM

Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei
 
Well, I was sort of put on the spot the other day in a class that I assist. I'd really only successfully done the unliftable body "trick" once, and sensei pulled the two biggest guys in the class to lift me. To my relief, I correctly demonstrated this phenomena. You have to remain relaxed, any tension in your body will make your body rigid and easily moved. What I did was really keep my weight underside, and almost imagine myself as a shock absorber with a little bit of give. I also visualized a connection between my hands and my feet, as well as my feet and the floor. The look on these guys faces was awesome, especially since I let them lift me the first time and then changed my mind, which is really what's being tested here. I highly recommend checking out a Ki Society dojo if you are really interested in this sort of thing. Any legitimate instructor should have no problem demonstrating and helping you learn to do this. It's not something that you have to be godan to pull off by any means! (I'm a kyu FYI).

kocakb 10-12-2006 08:14 AM

Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei
 
Quote:

Guillaume Erard wrote:
I also find Tohei's book a bit obscure. It seemed to me he should have written a book prior to Ki In Daily Life about what is the one point and how to concentrate on it (but I guess that is to encourage you to join the Ki society).

The book I have is translated into Turkish as Ki Energy: 4 Basic Application To Unify Mind and Body (http://www.ideefixe.com/tanim.asp?si...T&referer=1122)
There is written that the one point is a few cm below your belly-center. To concentrate, he wrote that you should concentrate on the whole universe and minimizing it to one-single point.

Guillaume Erard 10-12-2006 08:16 AM

Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei
 
Quote:

Bülent Koçak wrote:
The book I have is translated into Turkish as Ki Energy: 4 Basic Application To Unify Mind and Body (http://www.ideefixe.com/tanim.asp?si...T&referer=1122)
There is written that the one point is a few cm below your belly-center. To concentrate, he wrote that you should concentrate on the whole universe and minimizing it to one-single point.

Hence my word "obscure" :D

kocakb 10-12-2006 08:19 AM

Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei
 
Quote:

Guillaume Erard wrote:
Hence my word "obscure" :D

:o

Ecosamurai 10-12-2006 08:55 AM

Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei
 
Quote:

Guillaume Erard wrote:
Since you can achieve these exercises, could you please explain to me how you physically perform them? Let's take the one with people pushing in front of you. Do you concentrate on "the one point" as Tohei says or is it all just a matter or redirecting the force? If the latter, we are therefore talking about a physical trick aren't we?

Think of it like this. Ever tried to lift someone who was unconcious? Hard isn't it? they seem really heavy. In order to lift someone you need to transfer force into their body, this is acheived by the use of your limbs as levers. If their body is tense, then the force you apply will be more easily transferred into them and as such they will be able to be lifted. If they are relaxed it becomes much harder (but not impossible).

Same thing when being pushed. You redirect the force in this instance (as you correctly mentioned) into your one point, and thus it travels through you into the floor. Pushing the floor over is obviously impossible, hence you do not move when pushed.

The important thing is to remain calm, relaxed and to stand up straight and keep a good posture. If your knees are locked then you are like a car without suspension so make sure they aren't, likewise your elbows. Your heels should be resting just above the floor and your weight should be on the balls of your feet. Imagine all the force being applied to you as going straight through you into your belly. If you're doing this correctly you will feel your feet being pressed into the floor when your partner(s) applies force to you.

The hardest part is not letting your mind drift. Keeping it in your one point is easy until someone touches you but when you feel that your mind tends to drift towards the part of your body they are touching.

Other than that there's not much I can tell you by writing it on the internet, best bet is to go to a ki soc dojo near you and ask the instructor.

Mike

graham 10-12-2006 09:04 AM

Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei
 
Quote:

Raul Rodrigo wrote:
How do you do the unliftable body trick? And please don't say 'just keep One Point.' It doesn't really help.

Hi Raul,

My 9-year old daughter does this and it's great to see the look on people's faces! :)

Here's the stages she goes thru in her mind to prepare herself:

1) Think of one point. (Sorry! It helps her when it comes to keeping weight underside and not thinking about the other persons strength.)

2) Completely relax.

3) (Her arms are straight down, btw, not bent...) Fire flames out of her finger-tips and...

4) As she is lifted she shoots off into space.

She could do this within 10 minutes of her first lesson! It was a while before I realised that not all styles of Aikido do this sort of thing. They are certainly more than gimmicks, as we use unbendable arm (for example) all of the time.

raul rodrigo 10-12-2006 09:08 AM

Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei
 
Thanks for the inputs, Mike and Graham. Will give it a try.

DonMagee 10-12-2006 09:17 AM

Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei
 
With the trick with a group of people all trying to push you back, I have been able to do 3 or 4 people before I even knew what ki was. The trick for me was 1) hands on their elbows, and 2) pick the weakest person and put them in front. The people behind the first person only add a marginal amount of force to the initial pusher. After that it was just saying relaxed and leaning slightly forward. My record was 4 guys.

pointy 10-12-2006 11:49 AM

Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei
 
i can do the pushing trick standing on one foot. it's so easy it's rediculous, anyone could do it.

CitoMaramba 10-12-2006 11:51 AM

Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei
 
Quote:

Raul Rodrigo wrote:
How do you do the unliftable body trick? And please don't say 'just keep One Point.' It doesn't really help. I mean I can do the push trick without needing to refer to the One Point.What do you visualize? How is the lifting energy of the ukes dissipated?

R

Raul, Batobalani Sensei regularly does the unliftable body demo (it's not a trick) at his dojo in Urdaneta. It's only 3 hrs away from Manila

Cito

raul rodrigo 10-12-2006 06:24 PM

Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei
 
Quote:

Cito Maramba wrote:
Raul, Batobalani Sensei regularly does the unliftable body demo (it's not a trick) at his dojo in Urdaneta. It's only 3 hrs away from Manila

Cito

HI CITO:

Thanks. Fukakusa Shihan did it for us using two big uke during a seminar in Manila last year. The trouble is, his explanation doesnt really help you understand what he was doing. Does Batobalani explain it?


R

Laurel Seacord 10-12-2006 08:07 PM

Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei
 
As some have mentioned, it is not a "trick". In addition to the mechanics of relaxation, one of my teachers recently explained that your posture/attitude is communicating to the people trying to lift you that it's an impossible task.

CitoMaramba 10-12-2006 11:06 PM

Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei
 
Quote:

Raul Rodrigo wrote:
HI CITO:

Thanks. Fukakusa Shihan did it for us using two big uke during a seminar in Manila last year. The trouble is, his explanation doesnt really help you understand what he was doing. Does Batobalani explain it?


R

Yes. But words alone are insufficient. It has to be felt. It is kuden.

Cito

CitoMaramba 10-12-2006 11:20 PM

Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei
 
By the way, Raul, I am not deliberately trying to obfuscate, it really has to be felt to be understood and replicated. For what it's worth, I have noticed that those from a Ki no Kenyukai background or those who experienced Koichi Tohei Sensei's teaching first hand have a better grasp of doing the demo. We had a beginners class at the club here in Plymouth (Ki Society influenced) and they were all doing the unliftable body demo during the first session (myself included). Fukakusa Shihan and Batobalani Sensei were both taught by Tohei Sensei.

raul rodrigo 10-13-2006 09:41 AM

Re: Criss Angel and Koichi Tohei
 
I understand, Cito, and I know you well enough to know that you're not trying to give me a hard time. you're just telling it like it is. Perhaps the trouble was that I wasnt the uke for Fukakusa when he did the "unliftable" demo, so i couldnt have felt what he was doing. And he didnt do it again when he visited Manila in June 2006, so I didnt get to follow it up. (instead he confused and bewildered us in many other ways). On the other hand, I did do the ukemi for my sensei for the push trick, many times, so now I can do that pretty well.

best,

R


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