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Old 07-04-2012, 06:49 AM   #44
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Dojo: Milwaukee Aikikai
Location: Wisconsin
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 401
Re: Ki to the Highway

Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Well, actually plenty of people agree on how to define it, even if many people (not all) have a vague sense of what it represents or have diverging definitions. Particularly, people who share the same phenominological experiences, will share understanding of their given conceptualization.
Then what is that definition?

To me it's not unlike saying 1+1+x=y
I may not have all the values pinned down, but it's a start. The semantics of a lot of words strike me as being similar in nature...particularly the ones denoting more abstract concepts.
But aikido is not abstract. An aikido technique, when performed correctly, produces a specific, measurable, physical result. What place has abstraction in there?

Well, we already have words to describe the different aspects of biomechanics, why do we need a term which references them all at once?
It is sometimes useful to reference them all at once. The reason that logic doesn't extend to ki is that the word ki doesn't explain itself. The Greek roots of biomechanics make it abundantly clear to anyone who speaks a language that makes a lot of use of Greek (like English and most Slavic and Romance languages). I can simply say the word and everyone knows what I'm talking about and, just as importantly, what I'm not talking about. Not so with ki.

Why have synonyms for that matter? Just more clutter, if I'm understanding your reasoning here.
Specificity and clarity are not clutter. The subtle differences between synonyms allow us to convey nuance.

The problem with ki isn't that it is a word for something else. The problem with ki is that, when used, it makes things less clear; it is a stumbling block to communication rather than an aid to it. (Note here that I am referring specifically to ki as we use it in the martial arts, not the many ways it is used in the Japanese language.)

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