Hi everyone, I'm new here
I just have practiced Aikido in about a month, and begin to read some book about it. I found that Ki is the essential of Aikido, but in my dojo, my sensei hasn't mentioned much about it.
Once, I asked him about practicing Ki, he said Ki is like Chi Gong - some kind of Chinese martial art focus on breathing - and danger to practice without great instructor. He also said that someone had some kind of mental damage while practicing by himself, before.
But if it's a danger thing why O' Sensei never mention about it. O Sensei said that Aikido can be practiced by anyone, why can a thing like that carry a serious danger?
I really don't know if that man who had the mental damage learn Ki from Tohei's books or elsewhere. But I have some questions still stuck in my mind. What's the different between Ki in Aikido and Chi in Chi Gong? Can I practice Ki by following Tohei's book? Because I don't think I can find someone to teach me about Ki around my place.
P/s: I am sorry about my writing. I'm really not good at english.
Hi and welcome to Aikiweb
Tohei's books are a good place to start. It was reading his "Aikido in Daily Life" that got me to start practicing aikido 21 years ago.
Following instructions from his book can lead to learning and discovery, however, this will be limited. There is nothing like finding a good teacher to help in your progress. I was lucky, I found a teacher who had spent years directly with Tohei.
I can't imagine how one could be damaged by practicing any of the methods that Tohei suggests (and nearly everything he does suggest ki-wise comes from Nakamura Tempu's Japanese Yoga).
I have however, been warned about some of the Chi Gong breathing exercises, I was also told of the negative effect they can have, if not taught/practiced correctly. So your teacher is correct to council caution.
My advice FWIW is to relax and not worry too much about ki at this point, it is going to take all of your effort just to figure out where your hands and feet go and how to fall correctly. Ki is as much about obtaining a 'correct feeling' in your practice, which is one of relaxed, dynamic concentration. It will come in time if you keep practicing.
Chi/Ki same thing.