Moses Jenkins wrote:
I apologize for this step back, but if we could look at a re-clarification of the subject of Qi. If we could rid ourselves of extraneous material and focus solely on martial/practical Qi. That is intentionally setting aside the Chinese medical paradigm of Qi (let it live in its own world). As well as setting aside the other realms of the esoteric Qi paradigm (as being to broad and un-substantive for any definitive qualification). Personally I have had and continue to have a most difficult and frustrating time sorting out the mystical from the practical. I often wonder if the reason for, at least an aspect of the Qi paradigm, was to intentionally limit the accessibility of the higher levels of the pugilistic arts. As for what reason this may have been done, add your own thoughts. In reading this thread I find the concept of "functional Ki" seems to make sense, i.e. keep it practical. That is a paradigm using structure, vectors, gravity, and lastly cognitive awareness of these continually changing processes as a mode leading to higher martial expressions. Is this in line conceptually with "functional Ki"?
Hmmmm. Let me try to be as simple as I can (it will help me formulate my thoughts).
The Chinese developed a view of the world that sees things and explains things in terms of a catch-all word they called "Qi". Sort of a unified theory using super-strings, if you will. That's confusing to what we're trying to say because some aspects of physics, physical laws, etc. get snared in the terminology. So keep that in mind.
There is/was an almost worshipped bit of body-technology which apparently came from ancient India, in some form. That view of the body focused on mechanisms which we see, to some extent, in our western technology, but which we never associated in any grouping of phenomena in the West. And it's best to view it that way.... we see and explain the world as a certain "grouping" of phenomena based around western technology; the "qi paradigm" saw the world and explained it based on a different grouping of phenomena. Unfortunately, the qi-paradigm as a whole doesn't withstand the reproducibility criterion (of western science) as well as western science does, but that doesn't mean they don't have something to say.
The Chinese medical explanations of health, etc., actually are part of the Qi/Ki that we're calling "functional Ki" in this thread. Take a look at:
In essence, they're finally seeing a system of logic to acupuncture meridians and the common factor is fascia and fascial planes (and of course, some of the points are just neural nexi or other things). Some of the current theories about direct-current properties involved in the fascia can be read in the book I mentioned the other day, "Energy Medicine" by James L. Oschman. The functional Qi/Ki things have to do with fascia, as well, plus some thrown in physics and the mind manipulating some physical tricks AND some voluntary controls of normally autonomous body functions. I.e., except for the screwed up definitions which attribute things too vaguely and too broadly to "Qi" or "Ki", the hopelessly mystical-sounding "Ki" stuff is not all that mystical and falls within the realms of physical laws that we recognize.
That being said, we're back to the "how to" world of Ki things and functional usage. I can explain how and show how to do most of these things, but to do them right involves some practice (surprise!!! It's amazing how many people think they can do something once they understand it academically, but it always takes practice). What's interesting to me is to hear other peoples' thoughts and approaches and to see if anyone has some extended knowledge of the traditional practices associated with Aikido. So I'm enjoying the discussion and listening to explanations like Craig's or others, because the only way to learn is to keep talking and working.