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Old 02-04-2008, 01:26 AM   #176
TomW
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Re: Chinkon Kishin

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
We can also call the sea dry, but that doesn't make it so. You mean to say that the small degree of non-equilibirum in normal functions can be discounted. In a nonlinear system we are expressly training to drive outside the "normal" parameters it cannot be discounted without some significant evidence of no effect. Differences in initial conditions far too small for trivial measurement can have hugely disproportionate results.

Really? Then why train at all?

Micrometers in the soleus and gastrocnemius still allow for hip sways the width of the space between the hip joints or better. The sways are only partially damped by ankle stiffness, and the micrometer movements of the soleus, for example, merely initiates the sagittal sway/countersway, it does not actuate it through the entire range of motion like a hydraulic piston -- never mind the torso core controlling the other major pendulum attached to the top of the hips.

Not mine. In this case, that would be Loram, Magnaris, et al.
Again pedantic Erick, but as Loram, Magnaris, et al suggest here in their analogy for us laymen:

Quote:
Here is a simple analogy that illustrates the impulsive ballistic nature of the process. Imagine trying to maintain a heavy ball as still as possible on a hillside. The ball is controlled by striking it with a bat at a relatively fixed rate. The motion of the ball will be caused by the blows themselves. It will move sometimes up the hill (because the effect of the blows are greater than gravity) and sometimes down the hill (effect of blows less than gravity), but not in any regular way. It can be maintained near the top of the hill or near the bottom or at any point in between. To do this, the batter has to judge the size of each blow. We suggest that in essence it is this never ending, trial and error process which has to be carried out in human standing. The process of loss of balance and regaining balance has to be repeatedly solved under the ever changing conditions of balance and we suggest that this is a skilled, trial and error activity that improves with experience rather than a reflex process.
balance is a learned exercise of the subconscious, (teach your children to walk?) and if this is so, (and again is a reasonable assumption, since we subconsciously manage to not topple over on a daily basis) it is not beyond the realm of possibility to further refine the balance process through training to attain results well beyond the norm? Otherwise, why train at all?

And NEVER say never:
Quote:
Literally, bipedal equilibrium is a moving target you approach but NEVER get to, and are always in the process of not falling away from.
You can't know this with any amount of credible certainty. It is quite possible that the random perturbations will cause the pendulum to attain equilibrium, if only momentarily.

All this aside, I have been slightly perplexed by your refusal to accept any idea that is outside your ability to comprehend through nonlinear dynamics. Until I read your post here:

Quote:
You do not understand because you fundamentally mistake my purpose and methods. I am fully aware that there is an adversarial view among the usual suspects here. Not only do I have no wish to convert them to my way of thinking, I welcome their adversarial posture. THAT IS WHY I expound -- to see if a known and motivated opposition to my views comes up with something objective to rebut any points I have posited. That is the only test I am interested in here, and it routinely satisfies the need. By saying this plainly, of course, some may likely ignore me completely out of some misguided spite ("Shun! Shun the non-believer! Shuuuuun!) , but I do not take you, Tim, as that kind of adversary.
I now realize you aren't here looking for a model that explains what we do, (I may be a little slow at times), you're looking for a model that counters what you do. I'm not interested in providing that for you (though I think your angular momentum theory has some holes). If your model is working for you, you should use it. Personally don't care to convert you any more than you me, my posts were merely a disinformed attempt to offer some clarity. Indeed I will ignore you hence, though not out of spite, misguided or otherwise, your discourse is simply not relevant to my training.

Back to sitting on my hands.

Tom Wharton

Kodokan Aikido - Puttin' the Harm in Harmony,
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Old 02-04-2008, 05:17 AM   #177
eyrie
 
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Re: Chinkon Kishin

Wow... 176 posts over 7 pages... of nothing remotely related to the topic.

Chinkon kishin is basically a mediumistic method for spirit invocation and divine possession.... something Deguchi Onisaburo learnt from a disciple of Honda Chikaatsu, and had spent a number of years experimenting in a mountain cave before he met Nao Deguchi.

From what I gather, from various sources, it is largely based on various Shinto shamanistic "purification" rituals, with a bit of the occult and Shingon Mikkyo estoerica thrown into the mix.

Whilst some of the ritual movements *can* be used as "exercises", I think that martial application was not a specific goal of the method. Recall... it is a method for invoking the spirits and kamigakari - spirit possesion.

Ignatius
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Old 02-04-2008, 06:53 AM   #178
Mike Sigman
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Re: Chinkon Kishin

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
Wow... 176 posts over 7 pages... of nothing remotely related to the topic.

Chinkon kishin is basically a mediumistic method for spirit invocation and divine possession.... something Deguchi Onisaburo learnt from a disciple of Honda Chikaatsu, and had spent a number of years experimenting in a mountain cave before he met Nao Deguchi.

From what I gather, from various sources, it is largely based on various Shinto shamanistic "purification" rituals, with a bit of the occult and Shingon Mikkyo estoerica thrown into the mix.

Whilst some of the ritual movements *can* be used as "exercises", I think that martial application was not a specific goal of the method. Recall... it is a method for invoking the spirits and kamigakari - spirit possesion.
Hi Ignatius:

I agree that Chinkon Kishin is not martial per se, but I suspect that there is a lot more to this and is a very overlooked part of the Ueshiba story. CK may not have been "martial", but it definitely was more that a "cleansing" or "purification" ritual.

In terms of "possession", I've been introduced to some old Chinese qigongs that also involve "possession", but what they do is establish a relationship between "automatic movement" (as in automatic writing, pendulum swinging, etc.) and the essential part of ki/qi. There are some offshoot groups/cults in China that also go into the same sort of "possession", but without going into it, I can see a possibly strong relationship to O-Sensei's view.

Incidentally, I note again this excerpt from the first "Interview with Koichi Tohei" at Aikido Journal:

Quote:

Before the war Sensei taught at the Naval Staff College, where he had Prince Takamatsu (a younger brother of the Showa emperor) as one of his students. On one occasion the prince pointed at Ueshiba Sensei and said, “Try to lift up that old man.” Four strong sailors tried their best to lift him but they couldn’t do it.

Sensei said of that time, “All the many divine spirits of Heaven and Earth entered my body and I became as immovable as a heavy rock.” Everybody took him literally and believed it. I heard him say that kind of thing hundreds of times.

For my part, I have never had divine beings enter my body. I’ve never put much stock in that kind of illogical explanation.

Once when I was with Sensei in Hawaii, there was a demonstration in which two of the strong Hawaiian students were supposed to try to lift me up. They already knew they couldn’t do it, so they didn’t think much of it. But Sensei, who was off to the side watching, kept standing up and saying, “Stop, you can lift Tohei, you can lift him! Stop, make them stop! This demonstration’s no good!”

You see, I had been out drinking until three o’clock in the morning the previous evening, and Sensei knew what condition I had come home in. He said, “Of course the gods aren’t going to enter into a drunken sot like you! If they did they’d all get tipsy!” That’s why he thought they would be able to lift me.

In reality that sort of thing has nothing to do with any gods or spirits. It’s just a matter of having a low center of gravity. I know this and it’s what I teach all my students. It wouldn’t mean anything if only certain special people could do it. Things like that have to be accessible to everyone if they’re to have any meaning.
My point is that there is a lot of talk about how these were religious rituals (in the "there, that's settled" way of some westerners), but in reality, the Chinkon Kishin training was the core of the power in Aikido. And of course, the problem seems to be in our getting a clear view of exactly how these strengths were perceived. I'd also like to know how Takeda perceived his use of the strengths, out of curiosity, but I doubt we'll get many clues.

Best.

Mike
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Old 02-04-2008, 09:38 AM   #179
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Re: Chinkon Kishin

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Which is why the statement needed to be clarified. While the reading you find plausible is so, if read loosely and in a larger conversation where his referents were clearer, Chris did not seem to making an off-hand comment but rather a considered one, and his referents were not clear. So I ASKED if that was what he meant, and we clarified it. I do not take that as needless argument-mongering, but relevant discussion.
Actually, that's not the case. You did not ask for a clarification, you simply said, "There is a significant distinction between our experiences, " and moved on. More avionics if memory serves.

I was the one who requested clarification, in the form of multiple choice in the hopes that the response would be as clear as possible. You did not ASK for clarification, but rather jumped at the seeming chance to demonstrate how I had not understood the exercise. Big difference. But like Tom mentions. Since your motives are not the kind of thing I look for in online discourse, this thread will probably be our last fencing match.

Chris Moses
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Old 02-04-2008, 10:00 AM   #180
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Re: Chinkon Kishin

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
My point is that there is a lot of talk about how these were religious rituals (in the "there, that's settled" way of some westerners), but in reality, the Chinkon Kishin training was the core of the power in Aikido. And of course, the problem seems to be in our getting a clear view of exactly how these strengths were perceived. I'd also like to know how Takeda perceived his use of the strengths, out of curiosity, but I doubt we'll get many clues.

Best.

Mike
Hi Mike, good points here. Like you mentioned earlier in this thread (and like I've been saying for years) one of the possible problems with the transmission of the core or Aikido, may very well have been with how Ueshiba interpreted his own training. Like your story with Tohei illustrates, Ueshiba seemed to genuinely think that what he (and his students) were doing was calling the powers/aspects of the kami into their bodies to accomplish amazing feats of awesomeness. When an unclean soul could replicate these feats, he couldn't just say, "Ah, that Tohei, he's gotten really good, he can even do this hung!" but became agitated at the challenge to his world view.

Your discussion of possession reminded me of a story Mary Heiny told at a seminar a number of years ago. I'll relate it, since it also shares a common source (Hikitsuchi Sensei) and may in fact have been Chinkon Kishin, I'm not sure. Appologies in advance for anything I may get wrong in the retelling, I'm sure I'll miss a few details.

So Mary and Jack Wada were visiting Shingu to study with Hikitsuchi Sensei. Apparently they had been working on some ritual/practice (chinkon kishin?) that was designed to draw the kami down to the practitioner. Apparently, back at their hotel (outside of Shingu, I'm afraid that I forgot which town) Jack decided to head up to the roof and do some homework with this new practice. A little while later Jack comes running into Mary's room, completely white and terrified looking. He claims that he's drawn some horrible 'black' creature/kami thing down and it's after him. Mary looks outside the room and claims to have seen/sensed this malicious blackness down the hall. They're both freaking out at this point. She said that the blackness thing was headed down the hall towards them when it stopped outside of the door of fellow inn-guest Meik Skoss. Suddenly Meik opens his door and oblivious to their urges to stay in his room, walks out into the hall into the space where the blackness thing is. At which point (from Mary's view) it dissipates and Meik asks them why they're making so much noise. The end. Nothing bad happened to Meik or Mary or Jack. When they told Hikitsuchi about it later, he told them that they were foolish to use the ritual at their inn, because that part of Japan was known for its evil-black kami and that the practice should only be done in a place that was already purified like a dojo. Meik was apparently quite unimpressed that he had walked through an evil kami and went back to his room.

Moral of the story? Maybe, ignore the kami and they can't hurt you?

Chris Moses
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Old 02-04-2008, 10:09 AM   #181
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Re: Chinkon Kishin

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Suddenly Meik opens his door and oblivious to their urges to stay in his room, walks out into the hall into the space where the blackness thing is. At which point (from Mary's view) it dissipates and Meik asks them why they're making so much noise.
The end. Nothing bad happened to Meik or Mary or Jack. Meik was apparently quite unimpressed that he had walked through an evil kami and went back to his room.

Moral of the story? Maybe, ignore the kami and they can't hurt you?
The end?
Well, if you know Meik, you might have just explained decades of impish behavior. No need to tell Diane.
Dan
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Old 02-04-2008, 10:32 AM   #182
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Re: Chinkon Kishin

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The end?
Well, if you know Meik, you might have just explained decades of impish behavior. No need to tell Diane.
Dan
I assure you, that thought has NEVER crossed my mind...

Chris Moses
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Old 02-04-2008, 11:14 AM   #183
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Chinkon Kishin

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
I was the one who requested clarification, in the form of multiple choice in the hopes that the response would be as clear as possible. You did not ASK for clarification, but rather jumped at the seeming chance to demonstrate how I had not understood the exercise. Big difference.
No one here maintains that what we talk about is commonplace, so it is a source of misunderstanding not to be careful in defining terms, especially when analogies are recurrently stated to be the preferred mode of thought. I have more patience with that than most people -- because I know it controls perceived outcomes, and perceived outcome is of no interest to me. I took the plain SVO statement of what you said as what you meant -- which is the reverse of my understanding of what drives the system (as I took you to mean by "amplify"). I understand now you meant something different by that. Merely trying to nail down the concrete statement intended, on the exact subject of the discussion topic, given your actual words, is neither a personal attack, criticism or gamesmanship.

I understand the manipulation of kinetic energy and mass transfer through the frame -- in terms of both dissipation and concentration -- to use both small movements "amplified" , and large movements "diminished". The flower both opens and closes again, depending, and in a very well-defined form. "Amplify" can refer to the energy of the motion, often inverse to its physical size, and how I would use the term. It can also refer to its physical dimension, which you seemed to mean, which makes it an ambiguous term in this context. Both aspects are present, mechanically speaking, as I view the operation of the chinkon kishin kokyu undo.

Let me ask my earlier question another way, and in line with your analogous experience -- instead of mine:

Are amplifying and distortion, to your way of thinking, similar to, respectively, driving and damping signals in the wave-form?

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 02-04-2008, 11:58 AM   #184
Blake Holtzen
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Re: Chinkon Kishin

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Hi Blake:

Actually, the silk-reeling stuff is a slightly different play on the basic principles (although the basic principles are the same), so I'd prefer not to clutter up the discussion with silk-reeling (six-harmonies movement).

The Douka Dan cites is fine, IMO, but it's fairly ambiguous. It's one of those "I know the secrets and you can tell by my correctly-worded hints" sort of things that is common in a lot of Asian writings. But then the drawing and the description/translation Dan shows are not correct, so I asked for an explanation.

The theory of the "cross" has to do with actual connections in the body. Those connections are coordinations between certain of the muscle-tendon connections. Without trying to develop the theory and how it works (it's very practical), I'll just say that if you misunderstand how this part of it works, then you're headed down a cul de sac. All of this stuff fits together into one very logical development of body skills. There is no "here's my take on it" to it.

Here's the pertinent diagram:

http://www.neijia.com/FrontConnect.jpg

When you talk about "ki" in the martial arts and "ki" in traditional medicine, it's the same basic "ki/qi". The paths and connections that it works in are set in stone and they represent the way the body is hooked up, both physically and "energetically".

FWIW

Mike
Hello Mr Sigman,

That picture looks familiar...did you steal it from a Mantak Chia book??

Im curious if the bodycross that Dan Harden wrote is essentially the same as say, chen style's "Lazily tying back coat", as far as weighted/empty "sides" of the cross? The connections (from my limited experiance) are from the right fingerips through the arm, down the torso to the lower dantien; and from the lower dantien through the left leg through the foot and into the ground through the bubbling well point.

Maybe Dan Harden could expand a bit on the illustration he provided... Also, is "shiko" the sumo foot stamp thing? My japanese is terrible...

Thanks

-Blake
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Old 02-04-2008, 12:21 PM   #185
ChrisMoses
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Re: Chinkon Kishin

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
As you point out, any amplified system introduces distortions, some desirable, others less so. I think the analogy of a guitar sting being amplified is quite good for this discussion. Depending on one's skills, the distortion introduced into the amplification of the hara's movements is quite variable.
That's what I said already. I don't know why you want more, or what you're after. I already said that as a movement paradigm, it's not what I'm really working on anymore. Aikido is not a sine curve. You can calculate the exact trajectory that a basketball needs to follow to go into the net. If you can't actually get your body to throw it along that path, you still lose the game. We put men on the moon using a Physics model that we knew was wrong. It was close enough.

Finally though, since you keep on bringing up how completely ambiguous my initial statement was, let's all just look back at what I said...

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
If one was using the 'one point' paradigm, you could easily practice it as a way of using the limbs to amplify the movements of the hara (kokyu undo, stirring the pot...).
So, here I specifically linked my take away with the idea of the 'one point', a fairly common thread in aikido circles, where movement and concentration is focused on (a version of) the dantien/hara. Then I talked about "using the limbs to amplify movements of the hara". This implies that the hara moves first, since there needs to be an initial signal in order for any amplification to occur. Then I gave two specific examples (one common to almost all aikido) and one specifically from the chinkon kishin, where the hara moves and then that movement is extended/continued/AMPLIFIED by the arms or limbs. Stirring the pot is a better example of this, because the arms have a fairly large and complex motion relative to the very small circular movement of the one point.

I can concede that there may have been some ambiguity in my choice of terms, but I also insist that I made every effort to be clear. You are looking for holes to exploit in language rather than understanding. Now that you understand what I meant, please move on, it's kind of tiring.

Chris Moses
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Old 02-04-2008, 12:49 PM   #186
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Re: Chinkon Kishin

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Blake Holtzen wrote: View Post
Also, is "shiko" the sumo foot stamp thing? My japanese is terrible...

Thanks

-Blake
Shiko is sumo stompy thingy.

Chris Moses
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Old 02-04-2008, 12:54 PM   #187
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Re: Chinkon Kishin

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
CK may not have been "martial", but it definitely was more that a "cleansing" or "purification" ritual.

In terms of "possession", I've been introduced to some old Chinese qigongs that also involve "possession", but what they do is establish a relationship between "automatic movement" (as in automatic writing, pendulum swinging, etc.) and the essential part of ki/qi. ... in reality, the Chinkon Kishin training was the core of the power in Aikido. And of course, the problem seems to be in our getting a clear view of exactly how these strengths were perceived.
Lord help me, I agree with Mike. If you trained and trained and found your body increasingly responding to martial cues without your conscious direction, in the same way your steps catch you from falling without thinking when you stub your toe walking, a traditional mind might very well ascribe the action to some outside "divine " direction. The reason for ascribing them to "divine" causes is in what was not perceived. "Spooky" things (or divine, take your pick) seem to violate causation -- almost the definition of nonlinear systems. It is very much about ascribing causes to action that we can know in result but not directly in operation.

We take so much for granted that we should really examine and appreciate more deeply. You have absolutely no doubt when it is missing, as in this sad and extreme example of a Turkish family with a genetic flaw or developmental problems that has removed the ability to stand or move upright. The PBS program, Nova, examined their situation and I saw it recently :

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/allfours/about.html

The reason why I am examining the balance system so closely is that it is just that "spooky" in terms of how much exceedingly complex work is done that we do not think about much, if at all. The study I cited and those leading up to it showed that a hundred year old assumption about passive ankle stiffness or lower leg muscles as linear "springs" causing bipedal stability is unsupported (pun intended). We cannot consciously react in real-time to accomplish anything equivalent knowingly, and have very great difficulty even acknowledging how much is occurring almost literally right under our feet at every moment we remain upright -- only because we don't have to think about it. So we assume stability is trivial and true because it is our normally perceived condition, but in fact it is not trivial or true, but only the limit of what we perceive of an incessant motion below our level of ordinary direct perception.

You can believe me or disbelieve me, but I tell you the shapes of those little circuits of our shifting balance are at a larger scale the same pattern of shapes in the kokyu undo. It took someone a great deal of careful observation "of the divine" to scale up the physical dimensions of those workings that we see sketched in the kokyu undo.

To me that gives another meaning to the concept of "harmonic" in this area -- finding correct low frequency, "long" shapes of the same type that are consciously trainable. Those can thus harmonically key to the imperceptible high frequency short shapes, and by this sympathetic modification slowly alter those that actually do the unseen work -- and perhaps make them responsive and accessible to different cues -- martially important cues. Self-similarity of pattern across scales is a known characteristic of nonlinear systems, so it is an approach with some reason for confidence in applicability. The kokyu undo have no monopoly on that, surely, but they do have a pedigree with proven performance resulting, and a common reference system.

If sensitivity is developed to see correct shapes "propagating" in an ever narrower band toward the higher frequency ranges as training progresses, there is a degree of confidence that the training is working. Mike's "teacher test" seems, to me, one example of that, actually.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 02-04-2008 at 12:59 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 02-04-2008, 04:30 PM   #188
TomW
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Re: Chinkon Kishin

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Your discussion of possession reminded me of a story Mary Heiny told at a seminar a number of years ago. I'll relate it, since it also shares a common source (Hikitsuchi Sensei) and may in fact have been Chinkon Kishin, I'm not sure. Appologies in advance for anything I may get wrong in the retelling, I'm sure I'll miss a few details.

So Mary and Jack Wada were visiting Shingu to study with Hikitsuchi Sensei. Apparently they had been working on some ritual/practice (chinkon kishin?) that was designed to draw the kami down to the practitioner. Apparently, back at their hotel (outside of Shingu, I'm afraid that I forgot which town) Jack decided to head up to the roof and do some homework with this new practice. A little while later Jack comes running into Mary's room, completely white and terrified looking. He claims that he's drawn some horrible 'black' creature/kami thing down and it's after him. Mary looks outside the room and claims to have seen/sensed this malicious blackness down the hall. They're both freaking out at this point. She said that the blackness thing was headed down the hall towards them when it stopped outside of the door of fellow inn-guest Meik Skoss. Suddenly Meik opens his door and oblivious to their urges to stay in his room, walks out into the hall into the space where the blackness thing is. At which point (from Mary's view) it dissipates and Meik asks them why they're making so much noise. The end. Nothing bad happened to Meik or Mary or Jack. When they told Hikitsuchi about it later, he told them that they were foolish to use the ritual at their inn, because that part of Japan was known for its evil-black kami and that the practice should only be done in a place that was already purified like a dojo. Meik was apparently quite unimpressed that he had walked through an evil kami and went back to his room.

Moral of the story? Maybe, ignore the kami and they can't hurt you?
Chris,

If I recall correctly, the ritual in question was the kotodama portion of CK. SU-O-A-E-I.

Tom Wharton

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Old 02-04-2008, 04:51 PM   #189
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Re: Chinkon Kishin

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Tom Wharton wrote: View Post
Chris,

If I recall correctly, the ritual in question was the kotodama portion of CK. SU-O-A-E-I.
And I thought that was how you called hogs...

/ba dum chick! Thanks folks, I'm here all week.
//glad someone else had heard that story though and had a better memory than myself.

Chris Moses
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Old 02-04-2008, 08:11 PM   #190
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Chinkon Kishin

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Hi Mike, good points here. Like you mentioned earlier in this thread (and like I've been saying for years) one of the possible problems with the transmission of the core or Aikido, may very well have been with how Ueshiba interpreted his own training. Like your story with Tohei illustrates, Ueshiba seemed to genuinely think that what he (and his students) were doing was calling the powers/aspects of the kami into their bodies to accomplish amazing feats of awesomeness. When an unclean soul could replicate these feats, he couldn't just say, "Ah, that Tohei, he's gotten really good, he can even do this hung!" but became agitated at the challenge to his world view.

Your discussion of possession reminded me of a story Mary Heiny told at a seminar a number of years ago. I'll relate it, since it also shares a common source (Hikitsuchi Sensei) and may in fact have been Chinkon Kishin, I'm not sure. Appologies in advance for anything I may get wrong in the retelling, I'm sure I'll miss a few details.

So Mary and Jack Wada were visiting Shingu to study with Hikitsuchi Sensei. Apparently they had been working on some ritual/practice (chinkon kishin?) that was designed to draw the kami down to the practitioner. Apparently, back at their hotel (outside of Shingu, I'm afraid that I forgot which town) Jack decided to head up to the roof and do some homework with this new practice. A little while later Jack comes running into Mary's room, completely white and terrified looking. He claims that he's drawn some horrible 'black' creature/kami thing down and it's after him. Mary looks outside the room and claims to have seen/sensed this malicious blackness down the hall. They're both freaking out at this point. She said that the blackness thing was headed down the hall towards them when it stopped outside of the door of fellow inn-guest Meik Skoss. Suddenly Meik opens his door and oblivious to their urges to stay in his room, walks out into the hall into the space where the blackness thing is. At which point (from Mary's view) it dissipates and Meik asks them why they're making so much noise. The end. Nothing bad happened to Meik or Mary or Jack. When they told Hikitsuchi about it later, he told them that they were foolish to use the ritual at their inn, because that part of Japan was known for its evil-black kami and that the practice should only be done in a place that was already purified like a dojo. Meik was apparently quite unimpressed that he had walked through an evil kami and went back to his room.

Moral of the story? Maybe, ignore the kami and they can't hurt you?
Interesting. I read this post yesterday and mentioned chinkon kishin to the doctor who gives me kanpou yaku treatment. His wife immediately gave me a lengthy explanation of the dangers of chinkon kishin. She stressed that it was absolutely crucial to do misogi first and that chinkon kishin needed to be done with a teacher. Why? Because the ritual was an invitation to a kami to take possession of the person and it was essential to have the right kami, in particular not an oni (devil), which could have devastating consequences.

I was fascinated by all this, and can imagine Meik's robust reaction. However, I have been arguing in my columns that we have to take O Sensei and what he created in its cultural context. From reading his writings I am certain he carried the same theological baggage as my doctor's wife, who is an 'ordinary' Japanese with no martial arts training at all. O Sensei's world was full of kami and oni and so one can perhaps see why O Sensei placed so much trust in Onisaburo Deguchi, and also why he never taught the exercise, since it was so private.

By the way, Carmen Blacker's The Catapla Bow is essential reading here.

Regards to all,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 02-04-2008, 09:54 PM   #191
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Chinkon Kishin

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
.. mentioned chinkon kishin to the doctor ... His wife immediately gave me a lengthy explanation of the dangers of chinkon kishin. ... and it was essential to have the right kami, in particular not an oni (devil), which could have devastating consequences.

... I am certain he carried the same theological baggage .. so one can perhaps see why O Sensei placed so much trust in Onisaburo Deguchi, and also why he never taught the exercise, since it was so private.
Most important traditions have bases in fact, whether their traditional understanding is necessarily empirical or not.

If, indulging my supposition, chinkon kishin is a way to directly affect the body's balance and coordination system, then her caution from the tradition is well-taken. Poorly done, it could just as easily disrupt ordinary coordination as it could broaden or deepen it. That disruption could lead to all sorts of clumsiness and greater likelihood of injury, which would naturally be ascribed to evil kami let in by a poorly advised practice.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 02-04-2008, 09:59 PM   #192
Mike Sigman
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Re: Chinkon Kishin

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Lord help me, I agree with Mike. If you trained and trained and found your body increasingly responding to martial cues without your conscious direction, in the same way your steps catch you from falling without thinking when you stub your toe walking, a traditional mind might very well ascribe the action to some outside "divine " direction. The reason for ascribing them to "divine" causes is in what was not perceived. "Spooky" things (or divine, take your pick) seem to violate causation -- almost the definition of nonlinear systems. It is very much about ascribing causes to action that we can know in result but not directly in operation.
Just to be clear, I'm not quite talking along that line. In the wider Asian view, things like a pendulum swinging in your fingers when you ask it a question, automatic writing, "intuition", a woman lifting a car off of a child in a wreck, etc., are a valid part of ki/qi and also can be construed as "possession". In the same vein, the ferocious strength needed in an emergency, in great anger, etc., can be ki or it can be a form of possession. It's hard to delineate, sometimes.

Some groups, cults, etc., tend to try to develop these "powers" and the question is "which is ki/qi and which is 'possession'?". There is an attendant discussion about ghosts, 'evil spirits', ancient warriors, good spirits, and so on. All of this is part of a known set of phenomena in Asian cultures, both in the past and in recent history.

We in the West have various overlapping ideas in sympathetic magic, pendulums/oracles/automatic-behavior and so on. There is a peripheral discussion of some of these things in Julian Jaynes' book The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind:
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http://www.bizcharts.com/stoa_del_so...onscious3.html

Now what was this bicameral mind? Jaynes briefly discusses brain biology--in that there are three speech areas, for most located in the left hemisphere. They are: (1) the supplemental motor cortex; (2) Broca's area; and (3) Wernicke's area. Jaynes focuses on Wernicke's area, which is chiefly the posterior part of the left temporal lobe. It is Wernicke's area that is crucial for human speech.

Pursuing the bicameral mind, Jaynes focuses on the corpus callosum, the major inter-connector between the brain's hemispheres. In human brains the corpus callosum can be likened to a small bridge, a band of transverse fibers, only slightly more than one-eighth of an inch in diameter. This bridge "collects from most of the temporal lobe cortex but particularly the middle gyrus of the temporal lobe in Wernicke's area." And it was this bridge that served as the means by which the "gods" who dwelled in one hemisphere of the human brain were able to give "directions" to the other hemisphere. It is like thinking of the "two hemispheres of the brain almost as two individuals." Hence the bicameral mind! [Ibid, p. 117]

Archaic humans were ordered and moved by the gods through both auditory hallucinations and visual hallucinations. The gods mainly "talked" to them--but sometimes "appeared," such as Athene appeared to Achilles. And "when visual hallucinations occur with voices, they are merely shining light or cloudy fog, as Thetis came to Achilles or Yahwey to Moses." [Ibid, p. 93]

Jaynes believes in the mentality of the early Mycenean that volition, planning and initiative were literally organized with no consciousness whatsoever. Rather such volition was "told" to the individual--"sometimes with the visual aura of a familiar friend or authority figure or 'god,' or sometimes as a voice alone." [Ibid, p. 75]

Now Jaynes thinks the great agricultural civilizations that spread over much of the Near East by 5000 b.c.e. reflected the bicameral mind. These civilizations were rigid theocracies! They were reminiscent of the Queen Bee and the bee-hive. These bicameral societies reflected "hierarchies of officials, soldiers, or works, inventory of goods, statements of goods owed to the ruler, and particular to gods." [Ibid, p. 80]

Jaynes contests that such theocracies were the only means for a bicameral civilization to survive. Circumventing chaos, these rigid hierarchies allowed for "lesser men hallucinating the voices of authorities over them, and those authorities hallucinating yet higher ones, and so" to kings and gods. [Ibid, p. 79]
But in relation to ki/kokyu skills, I can see a probable connection and pathway to the way the skills would have been perceived by some people as quasi-religious "possession", kami, and so on. It's an interesting thought. On the other hand, Tohei's description of unliftable body, in that AJ interview, was simply sinking the center... very pragmatic. So not everyone in Japan looked at these skills as metaphysical.

It's an interesting topic.

Mike Sigman
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Old 02-04-2008, 10:15 PM   #193
eyrie
 
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Re: Chinkon Kishin

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
CK may not have been "martial", but it definitely was more that a "cleansing" or "purification" ritual.
Probably... but without some sort of context or reference, cultural or otherwise, we're just guessing. If I am correct, the chinkon rite of purification is essentially a funeral rite in which the departed souls are "pacified". It is closely associated with tama furi (shaking the spirits) - which is used to invocate the departed soul of the dead or to energize a weakened spirit (as in someone on death's bed - I think). As for there being more to it than meets the eye.... probably... BUT unless one has been initiated, immersed in or and is an indigene of the culture, one is merely engaging in "external and meaningless" ritual movements.

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In terms of "possession", I've been introduced to some old Chinese qigongs that also involve "possession", but what they do is establish a relationship between "automatic movement" (as in automatic writing, pendulum swinging, etc.) and the essential part of ki/qi. There are some offshoot groups/cults in China that also go into the same sort of "possession", but without going into it, I can see a possibly strong relationship to O-Sensei's view.
Granted, but for most westerners brought up in a Christian world view, the blend of Shinto, Buddhist, and Neo-Confucianist beliefs of Japanese society is largely a culturally foreign concept. My understanding is that this philosophical/belief system forms the basis of many koryu doctrinal teachings.

I recall some bersilat practitioners engaged in similar practices involving spirits, demons and trances...

Speaking of possession... reminds me of my Confirmation... here I was, a young lad of 14, watching the priest perform the "scared ritual" and half expecting his invocation of the Holy Spirit to suddenly enter my body. How disappointed I was, as I slowly watched the priest mumble some incoherent latin as he walked past me.... and.... I felt... nothing. Absolutely... Nothing. Either the priest was bogus or I didn't believe enough. I'm leaning towards bogus...

But all this talk of mind-bending, head twisting, demonic possession and green ki projectile vomiting makes me think of that poor little girl Carrie...

Last edited by eyrie : 02-04-2008 at 10:20 PM.

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Old 02-04-2008, 10:21 PM   #194
Mike Sigman
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Re: Chinkon Kishin

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
So Mary and Jack Wada were visiting Shingu to study with Hikitsuchi Sensei. Apparently they had been working on some ritual/practice (chinkon kishin?) that was designed to draw the kami down to the practitioner. Apparently, back at their hotel (outside of Shingu, I'm afraid that I forgot which town) Jack decided to head up to the roof and do some homework with this new practice. A little while later Jack comes running into Mary's room, completely white and terrified looking. He claims that he's drawn some horrible 'black' creature/kami thing down and it's after him. Mary looks outside the room and claims to have seen/sensed this malicious blackness down the hall.
Jack Wada? The Barrish guy? The one who used to go on and on about Yoda and "energy work"? I think I'll pass on this one and just catalogue it away under "the Wada/Heiny Story".

Mike
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Old 02-05-2008, 12:29 PM   #195
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Re: Chinkon Kishin

Just a theory ...

What if Ueshiba empowered the Chinkon Kishin rather than the other way around. What if there were spiritual exercises in Oomoto kyo, but they were practiced as normal, spiritual exercises. In other words, not very martial at all. So, here comes Ueshiba who has a martial background and is learning solo exercises from Takeda. Ueshiba is working on building this "secret of aiki" as he put it. And then, some time after meeting Deguchi, Ueshiba realizes that he can incorporate the very basis/foundation that these solo exercises work on in his body -- in effect, he can incorporate them into the Chinkon Kishin. And thus, Ueshiba the spiritual martial artist is born.

It would explain how Ueshiba went off on his own tangent with researching these skills (as other students of Takeda did). It would explain why Deguchi's followers never attained mastery in these skills as Takeda's students did. And it would explain Ueshiba's views on kami, uniting with the universe, etc, all the while explaining why he was so powerful.

Mark
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Old 02-05-2008, 12:40 PM   #196
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Re: Chinkon Kishin

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Just a theory ...

What if Ueshiba empowered the Chinkon Kishin rather than the other way around. What if there were spiritual exercises in Oomoto kyo, but they were practiced as normal, spiritual exercises. In other words, not very martial at all. So, here comes Ueshiba who has a martial background and is learning solo exercises from Takeda. Ueshiba is working on building this "secret of aiki" as he put it. And then, some time after meeting Deguchi, Ueshiba realizes that he can incorporate the very basis/foundation that these solo exercises work on in his body -- in effect, he can incorporate them into the Chinkon Kishin. And thus, Ueshiba the spiritual martial artist is born.

It would explain how Ueshiba went off on his own tangent with researching these skills (as other students of Takeda did). It would explain why Deguchi's followers never attained mastery in these skills as Takeda's students did. And it would explain Ueshiba's views on kami, uniting with the universe, etc, all the while explaining why he was so powerful.
I *generally* agree with a theory somewhat along those lines, although I wouldn't put anything down as set in stone. The Chinkon Kishin stuff, any way you cut it, is a form of qigong. Insofar as "ritual purification", most decent qigongs start with some form of "out with the old/bad qi, in with the new/good qi". I.e., there is always a "ritual purification"... just depends on how much emphasis you want to put on it. And more often than not it is done in concert with the Heaven breathing and earth breathing. There's really nothing unusual about Misogi and Chinkon Kishin except the heavy emphasis on the aspect of "religion". The core part, the strengthening parts, are the important parts, or there wouldn't be any such exercise with the various movements, sounds, etc.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 02-05-2008, 02:47 PM   #197
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Re: Chinkon Kishin

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
I *generally* agree with a theory somewhat along those lines, although I wouldn't put anything down as set in stone. The Chinkon Kishin stuff, any way you cut it, is a form of qigong. Insofar as "ritual purification", most decent qigongs start with some form of "out with the old/bad qi, in with the new/good qi". I.e., there is always a "ritual purification"... just depends on how much emphasis you want to put on it. And more often than not it is done in concert with the Heaven breathing and earth breathing. There's really nothing unusual about Misogi and Chinkon Kishin except the heavy emphasis on the aspect of "religion". The core part, the strengthening parts, are the important parts, or there wouldn't be any such exercise with the various movements, sounds, etc.

FWIW

Mike
Along those same lines, I think it is important to remember that the general outline of the Chikon Kishin practice is not Aikido specific, Omoto specific, or even Shinto specific. Within Japan one can find many variations of this practice with slight variations in order, verbiage, object(s) of concentration, etc. The practice, while remaining virtually identical is known by different names as well.

So, it already is a vehicle being used by diverse groups with diverse understandings to serve their diverse purposes. One more extrapolation wouldn't be unique, and a martial connection wouldn't be unprecedented.

The fact of Chikon Kishin's movements being used for secular martial/kiko ends is already established when one considers Tohei (probably one of the widest known non-religion based Aikido instructor) using chosen Chikon Kishin components for that very purpose.

So one sees Chikon Kishin and Chikon Kishin-like movements being used in an Aikido context both in a religious way and in a secular way. I guess a question that could be legitimately (outside of the inheritance/transmission context) asked is, "Is it working?" Are the religious and/or secular goals being achieved via this practice? And if not, why not?

Another interesting question comes to mind as well. If Ueshiba wasn't pushing his religious beliefs onto his students and Aikido is supposed to be religiously inclusive rather than exclusive, why were these practices continued by non-Omoto students of Aikido? Or more to the point, why did Tohei extract components of Chikon Kishin practice and interject them into Aikido (assuming that Tohei did this and not Ueshiba himself) and why did Ueshiba LET him do so? What possibly could have been the point or purpose? If it was pointless or purposeless wouldn't this be seen as a kind of mockery? Wouldn't as pious of a religious personage as Ueshiba have been highly offended?

Just some random thoughts.

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Old 02-05-2008, 03:12 PM   #198
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Re: Chinkon Kishin

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Allen Beebe wrote: View Post
Along those same lines, I think it is important to remember that the general outline of the Chikon Kishin practice is not Aikido specific, Omoto specific, or even Shinto specific. Within Japan one can find many variations of this practice with slight variations in order, verbiage, object(s) of concentration, etc. The practice, while remaining virtually identical is known by different names as well.

So, it already is a vehicle being used by diverse groups with diverse understandings to serve their diverse purposes. One more extrapolation wouldn't be unique, and a martial connection wouldn't be unprecedented. The fact of Chikon Kishin's movements being used for secular martial/kiko ends is already established when one considers Tohei (probably one of the widest known non-religion based Aikido instructor) using chosen Chikon Kishin components for that very purpose.
Well, the exact relationship in the precursor Buddhism is probably something to look at. Take a look at the Kongourikishi statues (the A-Un gods, aka "Buddha's Warrior Attendants"). These are the Yin-Yang powers that appear to have originated in India, but were commonly seen in China and Japan, too:

http://www.koumatsuba.zansu.com/kongourikishi_as2.JPG
http://www.sendai-biyori.com/news/im...0722083747.jpg

"A" and "Un", like in "Aunkai". The point is, how do you differentiate these obviously warlike statues of Buddhism into "secular" and "religious"? I doubt that the differentiation is all that clear, so for Ueshiba to use Chinkon Kishin training and say that he adopted "religious" practices is not a definition we could do easily.
Quote:
Another interesting question comes to mind as well. If Ueshiba wasn't pushing his religious beliefs onto his students and Aikido is supposed to be religiously inclusive rather than exclusive, why were these practices continued by non-Omoto students of Aikido? Or more to the point, why did Tohei extract components of Chikon Kishin practice and interject them into Aikido (assuming that Tohei did this and not Ueshiba himself) and why did Ueshiba LET him do so? What possibly could have been the point or purpose? If it was pointless or purposeless wouldn't this be seen as a kind of mockery? Wouldn't as pious of a religious personage as Ueshiba have been highly offended?
Well, it's pretty clear that these are body-training exercises and that's what Ueshiba used and so to teach "Aikido", that's what Tohei had to use.

YMMV

Mike
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Old 02-05-2008, 03:35 PM   #199
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Re: Chinkon Kishin

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Well, the exact relationship in the precursor Buddhism is probably something to look at. Take a look at the Kongourikishi statues (the A-Un gods, aka "Buddha's Warrior Attendants"). These are the Yin-Yang powers that appear to have originated in India, but were commonly seen in China and Japan, too:

http://www.koumatsuba.zansu.com/kongourikishi_as2.JPG
http://www.sendai-biyori.com/news/im...0722083747.jpg

"A" and "Un", like in "Aunkai". The point is, how do you differentiate these obviously warlike statues of Buddhism into "secular" and "religious"? I doubt that the differentiation is all that clear, so for Ueshiba to use Chinkon Kishin training and say that he adopted "religious" practices is not a definition we could do easily. Well, it's pretty clear that these are body-training exercises and that's what Ueshiba used and so to teach "Aikido", that's what Tohei had to use.

YMMV

Mike
Uh huh. Off hand, it seems like the preponderance of the evidence seems to point in that direction (at least as far as Chikon Kishin goes.)

BTW, your Sendai-biyori link brings back nice memories of that pretty city.

Last edited by Allen Beebe : 02-05-2008 at 03:37 PM. Reason: I'm not so smart.

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Old 02-05-2008, 04:38 PM   #200
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Re: Chinkon Kishin

I should have mentioned that the statue with the mouth open is the exhale/release/unwind of "A" ("Ha" for the Chinese) and the one with the closed mouth is "Un" ("Heng" for the Chinese), which is the inhale/store/wind-up. This is still part of the core "breath power" conditioning of the body.

FWIW

Mike
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