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Old 03-10-2006, 10:32 AM   #35
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
Re: Ki and Technique...

Lynn Seiser wrote:
where have you found specific historical reference that Ueshiba specifically studied Chinese martial arts or cosmology?
Well, wait.... I never said Ueshiba studied Chinese martial arts or cosmology, nor did I imply it. However, a number of posts on these forums (see some of Ellis's stuff) have mentioned the wide relationships and there is a broad literature (not to mention how obvious it is even in casual reading) discussing the borrowing of Chinese Buddhist thought and Chinese cosmology by the Japanese in Buddhism and Shintoism. Shinto was originally an animist belief system, but it changes in many sects to a cosmology based on the wuji, taiji, liangyi, sixiang, etc., of Chinese cosmology. I'll be glad to expand a little bit if you'll tell me where you're losing the thread of thought, Lynn, but I assumed most people understood that the clear parallels between Chinese cosmology and Japanese cognate were there.

If nothing else, there should be an epiphany simply from the fact that the Japanese use the same ki/qi paradigm that is used in China. Ki/qi is not like, for instance, a hair-style, kimono, alphabet or something stand-alone which was borrowed as a convenient term.... Ki/qi is a keystone of the Chinese cosmology; the fact that the Japanese use the term "ki" should imply the rest of the cosmology is there.

Ueshiba's writings directly and indirectly (through Shinto, Buddhist, etc., cognates derived from Chinese cosmology, etc.) use the Chinese cosmology and perspectives.

I once posted the URL of a picture of Tohei standing behind Ueshiba's (seated) right shoulder. I did this to show how the Japanese martial arts have borrowed from the Chinese traditions even down to the smallest details of protocol and tradition, such as a disciple only being pictured in certain ways in relation to the master. The modern times seem to have forgotten the extreme depths of borrowing during the past ages... something Ellis Amdur has posted about a few times, noting particularly the Edo Period, but it was common at other times, as well.

It is common in the Chinese martial arts to show that everything "correct" follows the dictates of the cosmological harmony. To that effect, martial arts allude many of their tenets and principles to Chinese cosmology ("Tai chi huan", "Baguazhang", "Liangyiquan", etc.). Ueshiba's use of the "Ki of Heaven", "Ki of Earth" (do a Google on those terms but use "qi", if you want to see the basic cosmological theories) in relation to the "Divine Will", combining them for power, the "eight powers", etc., are a dead giveaway that Ueshiba is borrowing from the common Chinese references which also refer to elements of ki and power principles.

Is someone "wrong" for not knowing these things, Lynn? No. We have to all learn these things at one time or another; I take pride in how much I learn every year, not in what I already know.


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