I don't think of Ki as another form of energy. I feel that Ki is when the body and mind are in sync, through proper posture and breathing. The purpose of Ki exercise is to devolop Mushin. Or to state it another way when you are in Mushin you are extending Ki. I don't give Ki to much credit as a super energy source that will cure the ill or give you super powers.
My personal definition of Ki exercise is to get to a state of mind. Have you ever had the experience of having the attacker seemingly moving in slow motion and you have a lot of time to set up the perfect response? I think that is the most common experience, and by training in Ki you are able to get that ability frequently.
Glad to see you're posting here!
In the Ki Society and related styles of Aikido, Ki Development is a separate program of training. Ki breathing, ki meditation, ki exercises, kiatsu-ho (accupressure) and ki testing are taught separate from aikido training. Then in the aikido practice, ki testing (see: http://www.aikiweb.com/spiritual/reed2.html)
is used to determine if you're practicing correctly.
Personally, I tend to agree with you, in that it's better to consider such stuff as mind and body coordination, rather than try and lump it all under the concept of Ki
Actually, the theories on Ki by Koichi Tohei, 10th dan, head instructor under O Sensei and founder of Intl. Ki Society, originated from Tempu Nakamura of Tempukai (see: http://www.michionline.org/spring00/page12.html
). Tempu Nakamura is known in Japan like Norman Vincent Peale or Dale Carnegie is in the USA. Nakamura's organization (Tempukai), taught a Positive Mental Attitude for living and is well known in the Japanese business community.
While many of O Sensei's students complained of not understanding O Sensei explanations of his aikido, Koichi Tohei Sensei wrote that he could make sense of O Sensei's aikido by applying the practices and theories of Nakamura Sensei. Of course, Tohei Sensei and others have since added on their own theories & training methods to their program of aikido practice.
While I have seen time subjectively slow down, this hasn't occurred on the mat, but in the "real world". Each time it was a highly intense episode of life. I see it more like your body telling you - Better be Careful!
[Edited by tedehara on February 25, 2001 at 09:08am]