By now you should have figured out that in the west, "ki" is the proverbial Emperor's Suit of Clothes. It is something I have and that you don't, something that makes me superior to you. It is proof by definition. Ki, and the concern over it, and the worshipful belief in it, and the hook-line-and-sinker swallowing of claims about it, probably do more harm to martial arts practice in the West than anything else. Mind you, there may be some thing called "ki" that is more than the end product of a bowl of beans...but if so, it's very much being overshadowed by the foolishness committed in its name.
Hmm...Yet in Asian
martial arts, it is rarely in dispute after hands on. Everyone knows then, who has it and who is full of it.
Why is that?
Ki was measured as strength and aiki as control. Is it a coincidence that the modern people who want to make it something spiritual have nothing worth seeing in person? They cannot deal with real stress, stop no one with decent power, and essentially have shamed the name of Ki power. Wherever, whenever, I hear "Ki" mentioned by Westerners... I expect to see and feel MAers with nothing to show for their beliefs. And I have never once been disappointed.
....overshadowed by the foolishness committed in its name
It is the "gentle people" in aikido and Taiji who are committing an affront to the idea of ki, the effective use of ki (really aiki) and ruining the most effective model the Asian arts have.
Again, no one cares if these gentle folk (who can't really pull of anything effective) want to dress up and play Samurai and run around. Who cares. I only care when these gentle folks then overstep their bounds and demand to be counted as equally effective to those who have and know what ki and aiki is and moreover test themselves in stressful environments.
What happened to intellectual honesty?
I know plenty of people who do not do aikido for martial effectiveness and could care less. What's wrong with just stating that?
The ki wars demonstrated in the past (and it was echoed in the westerners training in Chinese arts) that those arguing for ki had nothing in person. The new guys do! And just like Ueshiba and Takeda and everyone else who could actually walk their talk, they are putting their asses on the line...in public to show just that.
It is very Asian
It has an established history in the arts
It is honorable
It is ballsy
It is irrefutable...in person where it counts.
Others remain all talk and are easily offended for being called on it. I say it was them who contributed to harming the reputation of aikido and worse aiki
in aikido as well as the true power and quality of Taiji.
I don't really worry about the ner do wells in Aikido, as they and their efforts are going to be phased out over time. They will increasingly avoid those training aiki, for the simple fact that, face to face, there simply is nothing they can do to stop anyone who actually has
This new movement, of putting ki and aiki back into aikido, is the best thing that has ever happened to aikido in the modern era. It's drawing many people together to explore aiki, now in a truly effective way. As eleven Shihans have told me to my face. "This is what I joined aikido to find"
. I think it's worth celebrating.