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Old 07-06-2012, 08:20 AM   #116
OwlMatt's Avatar
Dojo: Milwaukee Aikikai
Location: Wisconsin
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 401
Re: Ki to the Highway

Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
I can get that you don't like the ki model or whatever, but to say that it doesn't need explaining? Really? There are plenty of examples, both in and out of martial arts, where mental visualizations produce physical results. Whether it's someone visualizing water flowing from their arm which makes it harder for someone to bend, a guy taking a cannonball to the gut while visualizing a furnace and bellows in his stomach or someone lifting an object off another person in an emergency that they couldn't budge in any other situation, the mind plays an interesting and not completely understood role in the coordination of the bodies systems. That we can, to some degree, condition and train this and have it produce physical results is pretty interesting stuff to me, regardless of whether or not I know exactly how it works.
I think you misunderstand me. I'm not saying that these things don't need to be explained at all. I'm saying that what we know of science explains them without resort to a belief in ki. It absolutely is interesting stuff, amazing stuff, and I think it is a privilege to study it and practice it.
I don't think ki/chi/intent/etc are attempts to explain why this thing happens, it's just a way to get someone else to feel it too and at that point why is still interesting, but not entirely needed.
Even though this kind of use of the word ki is certainly a lesser offense than talking about mysterious supernatural forces, I still think it unnecessarily muddies the water. In the training I've done with Ikeda Shihan, he's always been able to convey that feeling you're talking about without falling back on so vague a word as ki, and his English isn't nearly as good as ours. If he doesn't need ki to explain himself, then I don't see how any of us do.

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