Peter A Goldsbury wrote:
But when you want to pry more closely into the concept of ki, as Mr Sigman seeks to do (and whose concerns I also share), then you need look much more closely at the original Japanese.
"Ki" is at best a vagary of which "kokyu" is a more specific subset. The manifestation of "Ki" in Aikido and other arts has to do with the coordination of the mind and how the body moves or is motivated with strength that involves a sort of myofascial component. Shioda actually acknowledges part of this by indicating people become unaffected by blows, etc., but his books focus on a "ki" that more directly tries to systematize what "kokyu" is, to my mind (I have a caveat about this which I'll get to in a minute).
Tohei focuses on the "kokyu" also, in the main, but he does it in conjunction with the more proper concept of proper mind/body/myofascial "ki" being involved in the formation of kokyu power. I suspect fairly strongly that Shioda knew somewhat more about proper "ki" than is indicated in his books, but I'm dithering about just how he may have known because I have only limited information to extrapolate from.
The question overall may be about Japanese knowledge of "ki" (what they knew and when they knew it), but more specifically I'm focused on this term "kokyu" and its full meaning/derivation. I suspect that this term has to do with the relationship of breathing techniques to the training of the actual "ki", which results in the ability to manifest kokyu. In the real world, people can be taught to do a certain level of kokyu without having learned how to train the pressure and fascia components with the breath, so I tend to separate "kokyu power" from "ki", in terms of training, etc. The upshot of all my comments is that the concept of Ki as a whole I have no problem with, but the etymology of "kokyu" and the history of it in Japan is interesting to me. Any help would be appreciated.
Additionally, I'm having some problem with the term "bakuhatsu ryoku" ("explosive power") as Shioda uses it. I suspect the idea derives from the "fa jin" (literally "attack force", but it means an explosive release of power) concept in Chinese, but I don't see Shioda using what I would technically term fa jin ability, although he appears to be able to use focused power quite quickly.