Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward
I would have described the problem that was displayed in the referenced thread was 'Faith' or 'Belief' in something without empirical knowledge of it, rather than the presence of the word 'ki.' The problem is a lack of skepticism or critical thinking - but that's hardly specific to aikido and (as noted above) not even general to aikido. I would roll my eyes as much over a team prayer before a football game (not being xian).
Personally, however, I find the *concept* of 'ki' beneficial in improving my technique. Whether it has any actual reality, other than a metaphor for the cumulative vectors of force involved or for the body language/intent percieved in an opponent, I don't know.
I've heard similar metaphorical language from horseback riding instructors and crew coaches, though they didn't call it 'ki.'
(apologies for jumping in towards the end, especially w/o having read the entirety of the preceeding argument. Reverting to 'lurk' for this thread).