Thread: Ki is Kindness.
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Old 12-02-2010, 07:27 PM   #8
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
Re: Ki is Kindness.

Charles David Henderson wrote: View Post
I understand what you are saying, and I think it's a very nice ambition (but see, "Are we that good?"). I also understand the underlying values reflect a prominent view in some circles, and I don't want to focus on (or dispute) that.

However, while I'm seldom sure what folks mean when they talk about "ki," the statement "ki is kindness" I find about as easy to understand as the statement "heat energy tastes good."

Do you think that budo styles which teach how to harm are devoid of "ki?"

Did Takeda train his students, including O Sensei, how to use ki?

If so, then the spiritual element of aikido to which you're alluding seems like it needs a different conceptual scaffolding.

I may, of course, be mistaken.
Hi Charles.

Thanks for your response, I'll try to answer you as best I can. I just had a look at the post you mentioned so I understand what you mean there.

As to my view on budo styles which teach how to harm are devoid of Ki, well, good question.

If the sole purpose of a so called budo style is to harm and thus all techniques and movements have that as their goal then yes, I consider they are devoid of Ki. They are following a negative line of thought and negative energy which is of the mind and not the true spirit. Such is my view.

Did Takeda train his students, including O'Sensei how to use Ki? Well I have no idea on that, I don't even have an opinion on it.

As to the spiritual element to which I am alluding needing a different conceptual scaffolding? Yes, I agree and I do have one.

So I hope that answers those questions for you and understand that even that rather short, slightly curt, explanation would lead to other questions about my view.

For a taster of my view on what you have already mentioned above ie: the statement of Ki is kindness I ask you to do the following execise;

Imagine a mouse or some other animal or even a person, let's say an old lady in the street.(or anywhere for that matter)
O.K. So now imagine doing something really mean to that old lady.....

Now on doing that exercise notice what energy you feel, what energy effects you feel on your body, whether your body tightens to any degree, o.k.

Now do the exercise using the same image but this time imagine yourself doing something kind for the old lady and once again feel the energy as a result, feel the change in your spiritual space, feel the energy effects on your body and whether it tightens or relaxes.

This is what I call the first differenciation and experiencing the feeling of Ki. In fact I point out that when a person intends to harm they thus tense up and in so doing revert to force, or another way of putting it, revert to constricted Ki. They are blocking their own Ki and thus not developing it and getting used to using it and so will have extreme difficulty ever understanding what it is.

From this view you can imagine what happens when they pick up a sword to practice. Of course they tighten up and grip it too hard and have trouble doing a smooth powerful cut for even their shoulders will be too tight for the sword has this unerring ability to trigger off harmful images in the mind and fear of harming etc. etc.

Hence I tend to say things that may sound totally rediculous to some and like some kind of zen koan to others for instance when I tell my students that there are many blades you can cut with. You can cut with the blade of anger, the blade of fury, the blade of evil itself, but the must powerful and the sharpest blade of all is the blade of kindness.

Anyway, just my view, my way.
Keep living it. G
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