Originally posted by abarnhar
...Is there any practice on/off the mat that you found especially helpful in developing your ki and calmness?
This may sound strange and puzzle those who take the martial arts on a physical level. The two practices I've noted throughout the Japanese martial arts, which help develop your ki and calmness is Breathing Exercise and Meditation
. These two practices, which can easily be done together, form the real difference between bujitsu and budo.
I prefer the Ki Society's way of breathing exercise
and ki meditation
, because of its simplicity. However, almost any form of breathing exercise, which promotes abdominal breathing will help. Most of the forms of meditation in the Japanese martial arts comes from Zen, which promotes relaxation and awareness.
I had an opportunity to attend a seminar by Shinichi Suzuki, 8th Dan Ki Society. He used to do one hour of breathing exercise a day. If he missed a day, he did two hours the next day. However since he retired, he was doing three hours a day.