Re: Ki to the Highway
Everything that exists is inside the realm of physics, more or less by definition. But that's not the same as saying that everything can be explained very well using only the language and concepts of physics. I can't explain beauty using only the language of physics. Does that mean that beauty is a useless term?
I think "martial ki" refers to a special coordination between mind and body that can be learned. I don't think it's beyond scientific measurement. The difference can be physically felt by other people, so I think that, in principle, scientists should be able to measure its external effect in terms of force and motion. But it's probably quite hard to scientifically describe and quantify the difference between "normal" body mechanics and body mechanics with "martial ki" in a way that is of practical use for martial arts training.
The problem is a mismatch between information and learning. For example, how would you scientifically distinguish a good dancer from a bad one? Surely the difference could be measured by collecting physical data from sensors and video and analyzing it, but this still leaves the problem of translating the measurements to training guidance for those aspiring to become good dancers. I think a dancing teacher would do a much better job using language and concepts that have little to do with science. Ki is such a concept.
BTW: I think initially the term aikido was intended to specifically refer to this special coordination between mind and body. I know that the founder himself added more meanings as the years went by and many translations / explanations have been given by countless other people, but I'm thinking something like synthesis spirit way, or more explicitly the way of using spirit for synthesis [of mind and body]