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Old 02-28-2008, 07:10 AM   #4
Dojo: Aunkai, Tokyo
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 591
Re: New interview with Christian Tissier Shihan (in English!)

Read the interview, and thought it was interesting from the standpoint that I think that its these kind of statements that serve to cloud a lot of the issues surrounding Ki/Kokyu within Aikido. (From a third person perspective, from someone outside)

Especially from a high ranker (7th dan). :-p

Interviewer: About natural principles, we often hear about Ki, the energy flow. You don’t speak much about it though…

Tissier: No I don’t. The reason is that it is a very confusing notion. I have seen quite a bit in Aikido, I have met quite a few Senseis and I must say that the ones who speak of it the most are often the ones who have the poorest technique. Of course, this is not true for everybody but Ki is not tangible. Ki is within us. There is Ki everywhere, either we know how to use it or we don’t. The fundamental issue with Ki is its flow. In terms of Aikido vocabulary, we have Ki and Kokyu, which is the vehicle for Ki. The translation of Kokyu is “breathing” but to be more accurate, in reality, Kokyu is the exchange between the two.
The bottom line is that if you practice with your stiff shoulders up to your ears, the Ki won’t flow, any acupuncture practitioner will tell you. As a consequence, until the technique is perfect, there will be no Ki, no natural flow. To me, people who really have Ki don’t feel it because everything happens naturally within them.
We could of course develop exercises such as the ones proposed by Qigong in order to specifically work on breathing. We could also specifically work on flexibility or other things but to what end? I consider Aikido as a whole system that as been well thought. It is therefore useless to concentrate on only one aspect of the art, in particular if it is to the expense of practice time. If we have to specifically work on flexibility, we can go to a specialist, same for breathing but we should not mix everything up.
To get back to the Ki I prefer not to say too much about it as I think the discourses about this topic are often very misleading.
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