Had an interesting encounter today: I met someone for the first time and tried some IT on him—a law enforcement officer at least 20 years younger than I, with a background in wrestling and boxing, with older brothers into the same thing, one of them going to UFC. This officer has trained extensively with his UFC brother and in Brazilian jujutsu. He's in pretty good shape--looks strong and like a fighter with visible scars on his face. He's maybe four inches shorter than I, but probably close to my weight--all in muscle.
After we talked awhile, I asked if he'd like to try the push-out exercise (from Aunkai). He eagerly accepted.
I wanted to see if I could tell any difference in my push-out since my recognitions about ki—and with an experienced street fighter with no prep for what I was going to do.
So we stood face to face and I pulled my hands back and let him extend his arms to me. And then I pushed out. It was very interesting. He had no idea how to source any power with all mechanical advantages removed. He leaned on me a lot and I showed him how this would be a great opening for o goshi or tai otoshi. I didn't lean into him at all and though I really went back to my heels, I still didn't lose the advantage. I was always able to push him out. I explained how I was letting all his force go right to my feet instead of letting it catch somewhere higher up my body. I even bent backward and was able to push him out. I did notice some involvement of ki, but it wasn't making any big difference in my push-out. It was making a contribution, though, and I think that little by little that contribution will increase.
I showed him this because he was complaining of injuries including cartilage and tendons. I stressed that the ability to apply this in fighting was another thing, but that it was definitely good for his cartilage, tendons and general health. He suggested starting classes.
So I'd count that as a pretty big success. The ki aspect was really mostly in that he felt like talking to me about martial arts when I hadn't mentioned it and he'd never met me before. But he felt a connection and that's what got it going.
Best to all.
this is a really interesting thread you started, thanks.
The experience you describe above and your thoughts on your own personal dicovery of ki are broadly similar to my own. I used to think if ot a something 'separate', but now experience it as nothing of the sort. For me, ki and mind are inexticably linked, and unless the body is utilised correctly, ki/mind cannot be fully brought into play. So work has to be done on achieving correct posture, relaxed shoulders etc, but the real stuff starts with intent which is jenerated in the mind.
Recently I found I could describe some of this to my class in a different way than I had before. And I offer it as an opportunity for you to try out and let me know what you experience from your perspective. Let me say though, I have only done this with my own students and have not tested it out on an outsider like you describe in your post above.
I have uke hold my wrists and push them towards my body, trapping them at the top of leg groin area ( a groundpath is established of course). Then I imagine this - My arms are like two ropes and have no strength of their own. My one point/hara/dantien call it what you will is like a balloon that has pressure inside it. The pressure from the uke on the outside is eqaul to the pressure from the hara on the inside, there is equilibrium and my hands are 'trapped' between the two opposing forces. Then and this is where the interesting stuff starts, I mentally increase the pressure/ki from the inside, so the balloon starts to get bigger and bigger. At all times I feel my hands and arms are like innocent bystanders, as they remain squashed between uke and the internal pressure of the balloon. As a connection has already been made with uke at the start, I never fail to move uke backwards with surprising ease.
Similar to the exercise you describe ( I've seen it on vid). But maybe with the difference of my weird way of thinking.
I love this stuff, it is what keeps me going and looking for more effective ways of doing things.
It is good that there are people honestly searching for things that others don't believe exist or dont want to believe or can't be bothered to put the time in to discover. In reallity though if it works it works. How we describe it will be subjective and hopefully some will manage to objectify what is realy going on.