Mathew McDowell wrote:
Would you say that you build up ki, or that you begin to understand ki and were it is within yourself?
Is your opinion that ki is something you build, or something you always had and learn to nurture?
Everyone has an opinion, I want yours without statisics, and martial trivia.
Well, let me take out the "forces" part of ki, the "jin/kokyu" things for a second, in order to make things clearer. [It's a justifiable thing to excerpt because you can build up Ki and not have any 'forces' skills, as was demonstrated when Tohei pushed over those monks to prove god-knows-what] If you take that part out, you're left with an ability within the fascia and autonomic muscle functions that is somewhat related to the way a horse can quiver it's flanks, etc. (there's more to it than that, but I'm simply hurrying to make a point so I'm oversimplifying). The Chinese view is that a pronounced ki development is something man used to have, but he evolved away from it, so you have to deliberately develop this vestigial ability that we all have.
So the vestigial ability is there in all people; stronger in some than in others ("hereditary qi"). Once you understand that, it should be obvious that if you know how to acquire this latent ability, you can revive it and even strengthen it. It's sort of like a system of the body that helps a lot, even in its vestigial state, when we're younger, but which atrophies with age and lack of use as we get older.
Since the Asians tossed in several separate-but-related body concepts under the umbrella-term of "ki/qi", the topic is more complex than is implied in my example, but generally what I said is true.
Weirdly, at least for me with my engineering background, a lot of folk-tale things like "auras", raising the testicles before combat, standing on one leg against a push, etc., etc., all turn out to be aspects of "ki", all under one roof. I've had enough of my previous pooh-pooh's come back to haunt me that I'm now willing to listen to any wild-goose tale and consider the possibility that at some time it may have been related to some practical function which is not apparent in the superficial story.