Mike Sigman wrote:
My point is that we're not talking about "crowd pleasers"... we're talking about a set of skills that add substantively to someone's power in martial arts. And we're not even discussing the complete spectrum contained in these skills.
As I originally indicated, if someone really has appreciable kokyu power, they should be able to demonstrate the "parlor trick" varieties without any great difficulty. Using the same powers within your Aikido is, of course, the next step up. What's interesting is to see these very widespread and common powers and demonstrations within many Asian martial arts being dismissed as "crowd pleasers" and "parlour tricks".
There's more to it. Just because some people have made "ki" into some sort of "woo woo" topic shouldn't stop anyone from looking around their wrong perspective and taking a look at why so many generations of martial artists in Asia have considered "ki" things so important.
Your point is good and its fairly obvious that you have much more experience in the study of what is "ki" and what isn't "ki" than I do.
My understanding of the "ki demonstrations" that I have seen is that they look fairly difficult and make people go "wow" but are really not that difficult. I mean, I can do nikajo on one leg and have people pick me up and then sink so they can't hold me any more and I can be pretty unmovable...
What I can't do is move like Chida Sensei or Inoue Sensei or Ando Sensei. As you stated...that might be considered the next step...how to bring this "ki power" into your Aikido.
Since I can do some of these things I am looking for something more when I watch a demonstration of Aikido. And I think that both Peter and I are taking the position that when we see a "ki demonstration" and a dynamic, flowing "Aikido Demonstration" then we get more out of the latter than the former and a better idea of someone's ability.
That all being said...I also think you are right in that there is too much "woo-woo" wrapped up in this KI word and that there must be something in it somewhere. Which is why I would go to the workshop (aka...that other thread) if I was in a position to do so. I would like to know what should be and should not be put under the "Ki Category". Besides, anything that can help my Aikido is well worth looking at and can't be all bad