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Old 07-05-2007, 09:10 AM   #1
Christopher Gee
 
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Ki and Koryu?

My question is, did the koryu jujutsu/kenjutsu arts ever talk about Ki the way that O Sensei and Tohei sensei did, in the sense that it could be 'extended' in a Jedi fashion?

Is this approach to Ki from O Sensei a post war creation as a result of Taisho and nationalist policies? Just a thought.

I have currently had my love for a Aikido re-ignited post a very low point with my previous organisation. When I read about the Koryu styles, namely Katori Shinto Ryu and Daito Ryu there is very little mention of 'Ki'.

I'd appreciate the education on this topic.

Chris
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Old 07-05-2007, 09:21 AM   #2
Mike Haftel
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Re: Ki and Koryu?

To my understanding, Ki was talked about in a much different way, if at all, in the Koryu Bujutsu or Kobudo of Japan.

I'm currently reading a book called "Classical Fighting Arts of Japan: A Complete Guide to Koryu Jujutsu" by Serge Mol.

In it, Mol describes the historical origins of various terms such as Aiki, Ki, Wa, Yawara, Yawaragi, Yawaraka, etc.

According to Mol, it seems that Ki, Wa, and Aiki had very different connotations and meanings in the Koryu.

Plus, the focus of those arts are/were much different than the Gendai Budo, such as Aikido. The utilization of essoteric "forces" such as "Ki Power" were....well....somewhat ridiculous in the context of the old bugei. People were training so they wouldn't die in military combat. They studied more than just for self-defense and for personal self-discovery/perfection.

I could be wrong, though.
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Old 07-05-2007, 12:50 PM   #3
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Ki and Koryu?

Quote:
talk about Ki the way that O Sensei and Tohei sensei did, in the sense that it could be 'extended' in a Jedi fashion?
Sorry...that just caught in my...throat. Are we sure that Ueshiba and Tohei Sensei ever talked about anything in a "Jedi" fashion???

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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Old 07-05-2007, 12:59 PM   #4
Paul Sanderson-Cimino
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Re: Ki and Koryu?

Whoa Ron! You have a birthday cake next to your name!

Now be a good Yoshinkan student and cut it into 45-degree sub-sections.
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Old 07-05-2007, 03:01 PM   #5
tedehara
 
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Re: Ki and Koryu?

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Sorry...that just caught in my...throat. Are we sure that Ueshiba and Tohei Sensei ever talked about anything in a "Jedi" fashion???

Best,
Ron
Both Morihei Ueshiba and Koichi Tohei had distinctive views about ki. Athough K. Tohei was the founder's student, he was also influenced by others like Tempu Nakamura.

While many people equate George Lucas' Force with Ki, Chi or Prana, the actual origins are different.

Quote:
Ted Ehara wrote:
In Skywalking: The Life and Films of George Lucas, Dale Pollock wrote that "Lucas's concept of the force was heavily influenced by Carlos Castaneda's Tales of Power, an account of a Mexican Indian sorcerer, Don Juan, who uses the phrase 'life force'."3

However, Lucas said that he had read extensively on myth and mythology theory,"...as many as fifty books. I basically worked out a general theory for the Force, and then I played with it."4

As the concept continued to evolve, Lucas would define the source of the force in the story meeting transcripts as: "The act of living generates a force field, an energy."5

By the third draft of the manuscript, Lucas would have Ben Kenobi tell Luke Skywalker, "It is an energy field in oneself, a power that controls one's act yet obeys one's commands. It is nothing, yet it makes marvels appear before your very eyes. All living things generate this force...".6
from May the Force Be With You

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Old 07-05-2007, 03:13 PM   #6
Christopher Gee
 
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Re: Ki and Koryu?

I apologise for my flipent comment with regards to Ki, thats my personal opinion.... I should be more objective.

So what sparked the change for 'Ki' training to be explicit? When I talk about Ki I dont mean teaching it through Shugyo or Zanshin or other principles. I mean Ki as in Ki tests, following your Ki, extending your mind... etc.

Chris
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Old 07-05-2007, 04:30 PM   #7
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Re: Ki and Koryu?

Ki, Aiki, and gokui have intrinsic meanings in the koryu that utilize that nomenclature. If I were you, I would approach Ellis Amdur or Toby Threadgill for a more informed answer.

Mike Ellefson
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Old 07-05-2007, 09:47 PM   #8
kironin
 
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Re: Ki and Koryu?

One thing that needs to be researched to the extent Stanely Pranin did on Ueshiba, is the life of Tempu Nakamura and exactly what was he teaching when he returned from his studies in Tibet and how did it evolve over the next couple of decades into the 1950's when a number of Aikido students were training at the Tempukai.

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Old 07-07-2007, 10:08 PM   #9
tedehara
 
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Re: Ki and Koryu?

Quote:
Christopher Gee wrote: View Post
I...So what sparked the change for 'Ki' training to be explicit? When I talk about Ki I dont mean teaching it through Shugyo or Zanshin or other principles. I mean Ki as in Ki tests, following your Ki, extending your mind... etc.

Chris
Ki training probably became explicit because aikido moved westward. Within the Japanese culture the understanding of ki is implicit. In the west there is no tradition of ki, so an instructor had to become explicit so the student can comprehend. Koichi Tohei remarked that American students always asked questions. He would take a non-traditional approach to ki training and develop a curriculum that would parallel the aikido training.

When he started the Ki Society one would gain rank in both ki development and aikido. A student would need a certain ki rank before they became eligible to test for an aikido rank. From what I've seen of traditional training, the feeling is that there is no need to teach ki development, since it should grow naturally as one practices.

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Old 07-07-2007, 10:20 PM   #10
tedehara
 
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Re: Ki and Koryu?

Quote:
Craig Hocker wrote: View Post
One thing that needs to be researched to the extent Stanely Pranin did on Ueshiba, is the life of Tempu Nakamura and exactly what was he teaching when he returned from his studies in Tibet and how did it evolve over the next couple of decades into the 1950's when a number of Aikido students were training at the Tempukai.
One of the easier ways of understanding Tempu Nakamura for an English reader is to read the works of H.E. Davey. He's an American Tempukai member who has published several books on the subject and has his web sites at http://www.michionline.org/ and http://www.senninfoundation.com/

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Old 07-08-2007, 10:14 PM   #11
kironin
 
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Re: Ki and Koryu?

Quote:
Ted Ehara wrote: View Post
One of the easier ways of understanding Tempu Nakamura for an English reader is to read the works of H.E. Davey. He's an American Tempukai member who has published several books on the subject and has his web sites at http://www.michionline.org/ and http://www.senninfoundation.com/
While these are good resources, I think it would still be interesting to have a more rigorously reseached historical biography of his life. What Davey describes begs for more investigation especially since in many ways if you believe what is written, there is a much more to find admirable in the life he lived than what we glean from Stanley Pranin's investigations of how Ueshiba lived his.

Certainly someone who is represented by this sort of portrait transformation of outlook, "During the Russo-Japanese War, he used his sword in battle and earned the rather dubious nickname "Man-Cutting Tempu." Yet after returning from India, he stressed love and protection for all creations, and during W.W.II saved the life of a downed American pilot, whom Japanese villagers were beating.", is worth more than a single insiders bio.

The various influences and how that evolved into what he was teaching Teaching Tohei and aikidoka in post-war Japan hasn't been really touched at all. Though he was ten years older the Ueshiba, he died just a few months shy of when Ueshiba passed away.

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Old 07-08-2007, 10:56 PM   #12
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Re: Ki and Koryu?

Quote:
Ted Ehara wrote: View Post
Ki training probably became explicit because aikido moved westward. Within the Japanese culture the understanding of ki is implicit. In the west there is no tradition of ki, so an instructor had to become explicit so the student can comprehend. Koichi Tohei remarked that American students always asked questions. He would take a non-traditional approach to ki training and develop a curriculum that would parallel the aikido training.
I have always found this sort of statement hard to swallow, because a) it implies that the Ki Society in Japan has no need of explicit non-traditional training because the students are Japanese. Ki training is just for us backward Westerners. I think there is ample evidence that this is not the case. and b) seems more likely that in dealing with Americans who not only had the temerity to ask questions but to actually expect answers, Tohei found it useful to draw upon his training in with Tempu Nakamura, a teacher who himself was partly the product of Western experiences and Western empiricism as reflected is his approach to yoga. When students caught on faster he realized he was on to something and it changed his approach to teaching.

Quote:
From what I've seen of traditional training, the feeling is that there is no need to teach ki development, since it should grow naturally as one practices.
From a koryu perspective, it's really laughable to call anything about aikido "traditional". Daito Ryu itself has very little claim and perhaps none to anything traditional. The osmosis approach is a highly questionable approach in a gendai art where teaching large groups of people who practice relatively infrequently in their spare time is far more often the norm than the occurence of full time one-on-one apprenticeships. Plus the fact that koryu tend be more explicit in what they teach than the "traditional" aikido approach. Someone going to battle needs to learn quickly and doesn't have the luxury of taking 20 years to develop.

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Old 07-09-2007, 12:26 AM   #13
Chris Li
 
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Re: Ki and Koryu?

Quote:
Ted Ehara wrote: View Post
One of the easier ways of understanding Tempu Nakamura for an English reader is to read the works of H.E. Davey. He's an American Tempukai member who has published several books on the subject and has his web sites at http://www.michionline.org/ and http://www.senninfoundation.com/
Koichi Tohei published an interesting book (in Japanese) called "Ki no Kakuritsu" ("The Establishment of Ki") in which he recounts his experiences with Morihei Ueshiba and Tempu Nakamura.

Best,

Chris

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Old 07-09-2007, 08:37 AM   #14
tedehara
 
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Re: Ki and Koryu?

Quote:
Craig Hocker wrote: View Post
I have always found this sort of statement hard to swallow, because a) it implies that the Ki Society in Japan has no need of explicit non-traditional training because the students are Japanese. Ki training is just for us backward Westerners...
While we might need ki training because westerners have no tradition of ki, the Japanese need to train because they do. While they have this implied understanding of ki, they need an explicit knowledge to investigate it and utilize it in daily life.

The Japanese situation is usually given as fish's awareness of water. While a fish lives and dies in water it probably doesn't have a great awareness of it, since water is so closely tied to it's daily living. Within the Japanese culture, this understanding of ki is expressed as part of the everyday language. To really examine it, you have to discuss it and try using it in your daily life.

The Ki Society's understanding of ki is nontraditional and needs to be explained especially to the average Japanese. If you look at older Chinese and Japanese texts they make many assumptions about the reader's understanding of ki. These assumptions cannot be made for a modern person either western or Japanese.

Quote:
Craig Hocker wrote: View Post
...From a koryu perspective, it's really laughable to call anything about aikido "traditional". Daito Ryu itself has very little claim and perhaps none to anything traditional. The osmosis approach is a highly questionable approach in a gendai art where teaching large groups of people who practice relatively infrequently in their spare time is far more often the norm than the occurence of full time one-on-one apprenticeships. Plus the fact that koryu tend be more explicit in what they teach than the "traditional" aikido approach. Someone going to battle needs to learn quickly and doesn't have the luxury of taking 20 years to develop.
Since I don't practice any koryu art, I can't say how they instruct. I have heard from several sources who consider their approach "traditional" the idea that ki development occurs naturally through practice. Therefore according to this viewpoint there would not need to be a separate course for ki development.

As Chris Li has pointed out, Koichi Tohei has written about Tempu Nakamura in Japanese. Tempukai, the organization that Nakamura Sensei founded exists today. The information is available. The research and translation needs to be done to bring this information to a wider audience. What you are asking for is a lot of work from someone.

Last edited by tedehara : 07-09-2007 at 08:40 AM.

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Old 07-11-2007, 12:25 AM   #15
yosushi
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Straight Face Re: Ki and Koryu?

People have to juggle work, family life, aikido. Is that more relevant now than in pre-war Japan ?
Could this need for explicit teaching on ki,
come from modern life,
with ( I suppose ) less people able to train daily for long period of time, or not able to live at the dojo or nearby?
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