David Orange wrote:
Some people have pointed out that the Asian masters are teaching a lot of Western science explanations for the old ki things now.
Others have pointed out that there are no old masters like Ueshiba, Mochizuki, Shioda and Saito anymore.
Hmmmm....maybe those two facts are related.
In the old ki paradigm, people knew they were connected to nature and they had to understand by "feeling" things.
In the "alternative" paradigm, they have to understand by explanations.
Maybe the new explanations are just wrong?
Best to you.
It is certainly an interesting area!
Like anything IMO, both approaches have good and bad. I do think the scientific sounding (stress on "sounding") one has more bad, at least as expounded by its loudest proponents.
Some points as I see them:
-this was not the way many awesome martial artists past and present, including the originators of some martial arts, thought or wrote about things (even in times with scientific knowledge being abundant).
-there's somewhat of a 'who cares?' feel to it. For example, do we need vectors to describe the basis for sweeping the floor or understand how it is done? And how is analyzing vectors important when someone is coming to attack you? It is not, paralysis by analysis. You have to 'feel' the situation there, so why not 'feel' to begin with?
-not all people are vector math and physics minded. This approach can impede learning, especially in beginners. It can actually turn people away from taijiquan and aikido.
-despite claims of unusual strength, its promoters might just be waxing romantic about efficient use of normal strength, timing, balance, and relaxation.
-consider punching a bag in a good front stance. Then deliver the same push, but only standing on one foot. This second push is simply not as strong or as easy to do. The vector people would have to explain how the vector strength has decreased even though the same foot is on the ground making the ground-path connection in both cases (http://www.iay.org.uk/internal-stren...sue-4/p21.gif)
-if this scientific sounding qi is present, then it, like all things IMO, can factually be described as an expression of the etheric qi, which is what most traditional and modern sources talk about.
One training partner described his view to me as relaxing every cell of his body. I love that image!! I described my view to him as being what is not allowed in an arm-wrestling match. In a typical match, you basically only use your arm, while it is a foul to use your whole self to efficiently get your opponents' hand on the table. One seeks to put this arm wrestling cheater relaxed whole self into every part of their body. We agreed to postpone our no holds barred match over it.
Some other ones I like to some degree are:
-'external' arts are like getting $100,000 dollars right now, while 'internal' ones are like putting it in the bank.
-'external' arts are self defense, 'internal' arts are heath defense (which includes the self).