View Single Post
Old 02-23-2005, 03:06 PM   #31
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
Re: Functional Ki Skills

Moses Jenkins wrote:
Looking back at your original post discussing Tohei's four points, please allow me to switch genres to the Chinese arts, it seems (from understanding your previous writings on the subject) that you are referring to a "PengJing" characteristic via an Aikido explanation. Would this be fair to assume? Please correct me if I am wrong.
Well, the substantive parts of Ki, kokyu, etc., are the same substantive parts as in Qi, peng jin, etc.... i.e., the "names" don't particularly mean much because all the related phenomena are the same. They have to be, unless you want to posit they're something entirely different, of course.

The only issue I have with some of the Ki terminology is that it's more primitive and has an artificial religious connotation. Granted there are some Chinese views of Qi which have religious or "spiritual" connotations, but to a lesser degree. Part of the looming problem is that modern skilled practitioners with very remarkable powers in Qi, internal strength, etc., are avoiding the term "Qi" and are going to discussions of "internal strength", "cerebral cortex", etc. I.e., it will work its way into the Japanese descriptions fairly soon now and will have an effect on "Universal Ki" discussions. Heads up!
What I am most curious about is the nature of this fascial (structural/weight bearing) relationship to the mind (cognitive faculties). Is this type of structure/movement indicative of itself, or is dependent upon an additional factor, such as Qi? Assuming this is related to other factors related to fascial structure, i.e. the iron bridge and the unbendable arm, etc. Also are we speaking of Qi as a function of Yi?
It's a complex topic. Really, there are 2 separable discussions that have to do with "jin" and "Qi". "Kokyu" power is the closest idea of what jin is, but there is a slight distortion (actually, that's one of the reasons I got into these discussions... to see if anyone had a clearer idea of Kokyu variations in order for me to get more of a feel of what and how the Ki transmission came through Japanese lines).

Technically "Ki" as a body trait involves the 4 or 5 skills that I enumerated in another post (with Jin/Kokyu being part of what I called "strength"). But if you'll allow me to split the 2 apart for conversational purposes (they actually can be separate, yet intertwined), let me roughly describe Ki as the subconscious/myofascial relationship that qigongs, etc., develop, while Kokyu has a basis in the mind's ability to recruit different musculatures while changing the origins of forces.

A lot of the aspects of Qi/Ki development are apparently missing from the Japanese experience. Someone mentioned an Aikikai technique (I've seen this one, in years past) of raising the arms over the head and then clinching the fists while drawing the arms down. This is a classic functional qigong. It's related to the famous qigong where weights are lifted by a rope tied to the genitals and many various other qigongs, if you understand the principles. It's even related to the way that the body will harden the area over an appendicitis as a protective measure.

On the jin/kokyu side, I can see where I'm going to potentially have a problem about "relaxation" and "ki". But basically, you can think of it as forming paths. The idea that someone just relaxes and "extends ki" and people have difficulty pushing them is OK up to a point, but if that were strictly true you wouldn't need postures or you wouldn't notice that some foot positions were more awkward than others, would you? I can withstand pushes from all sorts of angles, but I am helped by understanding how relaxing and "sinking", letting the body automatically shift vector forces, etc., work in the physical world. Notice in this video clip that Saito (?) or someone is pushing O-Sensei... watch the adjustments and slight lean.

The "structure" you're asking about can be done by the mind assigning paths of muscle, but it is also augmented by the development of "Ki/Qi" like I briefly mentioned in the paragraph above plays a role and strengthens the "paths". I hope that was a clear enough answer to your question ... rushing around too much today.


Mike Sigman
  Reply With Quote