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Old 02-12-2010, 07:25 AM   #51
lbb
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Re: What is Ki?

Quote:
Vincent Nikopol wrote: View Post
If one isn't experiencing ki, no definitions can help, because it is an awareness, an experience.
The thing that troubles me about statements like this, though, is that they can easily lead to an "Emperor's suit of clothes" situation. Mind you, it may well be a true statement, but it's also indistinguishable from something that a charlatan could say about some phenomenon that is equally invisible...because it's nonexistent. I don't know how we can talk about things like "ki" in terms like "if you got it, you know it; if you don't know it, you ain't got it", and still avoid charlatanry.
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Old 02-12-2010, 07:51 AM   #52
Nikopol
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Re: What is Ki?

Is it something like runners high?

I won't say, "no"; I can see where that would be an appropriate analogy.

I see looking back through the post that Dirk and David said much the same thing as I, understanding what the Japanese term means and understanding the pitfalls of trying to define it as if it were a concrete property.

What is sight? Here is another thing that is experienced better than it can be described, which also varies in quality and gives us power.

Mary, why be troubled by the words?

The point above all is practice Aikido to attain ki, not to attain definitions.

Last edited by Nikopol : 02-12-2010 at 08:03 AM. Reason: spelling, wording
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:49 AM   #53
C. David Henderson
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Re: What is Ki?

Quote:
Dirk Desmet wrote: View Post
So is it something like Runners High?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endorphin#Runner.27s_high

After long running or training, you come in a special mood where you get aware of a power that your mind isn't working anymore. You keep on running on the power without thinking.
I will, respectfully, say "No" to this analogy.

If "Ki" were merely an endorphin rush, it could not serve much of a role in martial power or effectiveness.

I don't claim to be able to hurl balls of psychic force through my fingertips or lift a car to save a trapped baby or even do the kinds of internal skill manipulations of my body discussed at length elsewhere on this form beyond some basic exercises. (I recommend you check out the archives about "ki" and "kokyu," BTW).

But I have done endurance sports for thirty years, and Aikido for a dozen and counting. The endorphin effect is pleasant, and may help someone find a "second wind" by reducing the experience of suffering. Not much else really.

To me, the question illustrates Mary's point.

YMMV

David Henderson
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Old 02-12-2010, 11:08 AM   #54
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Re: What is Ki?

Quote:
Vincent Nikopol wrote: View Post
Mary, why be troubled by the words?
I already explained why. Was my explanation unclear, or are you saying that I shouldn't care about such things? Hey, some people care about what "ki" is, and that's apparently okay, so why wouldn't it be okay for me to care about the dangers of charlatanry when discussing matters that many people are willing to simply take on faith?

Quote:
Vincent Nikopol wrote: View Post
The point above all is practice Aikido to attain ki, not to attain definitions.
That's "the point" for you, and that's fine. Others have different "points". There is no Aikido Thought Conformity Police that enforces universal agreement on this or any other matter relating to why we practice.

Last edited by lbb : 02-12-2010 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 02-12-2010, 07:35 PM   #55
Nikopol
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Re: What is Ki?

Mary, Charles,

Neither of you seem to know what ki is, so why are you so vocal in insisting what it is not?

Go to the dojo and find out, obviously you are not accepting sincere attempts to answer your questions.

What is ki? You won't find it on the internet.
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:26 PM   #56
eyrie
 
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Re: What is Ki?

Quote:
Vincent Nikopol wrote: View Post
If one isn't experiencing ki, no definitions can help, because it is an awareness, an experience... It simply isn't a thing but a perception, a sensation.
You need to carefully read what Mary is saying, because that's exactly what's wrong with your "definition".

IMO, ki is none of the above. In contextual Chinese usage a "thing" either has qi (Jap. ki) or it doesn't.The thing is, we all have ki. If you don't have ki, you're dead - figuratively and literally.

Quote:
long enough that you start feeling, "aha" ... start feeling the power in movement, start feeling rather than thinking about it... at this point ki exists. "Who feels it knows it," and if you don't feel it it simply does not exist.
Certainly, it has to be felt (IHTBF), but your explanation here clearly demonstrates that you have no real idea what "it" is.

Quote:
When you feel it you will know it and know that the quickest way to understand it is to continue Aikido until you feel it.
Uh.. no. If it were the case, why would there still be a debate/discussion here?

Last edited by eyrie : 02-12-2010 at 10:28 PM.

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Old 02-13-2010, 01:43 AM   #57
Nikopol
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Re: What is Ki?

Yes, I carefully read what Mary was talking about. Trouble is, she is talking about talking and not about ki.

She says: "I already explained why. Was my explanation unclear, or are you saying that I shouldn't care about such things? Hey, some people care about what "ki" is, and that's apparently okay, so why wouldn't it be okay for me to care about the dangers of charlatanry when discussing matters that many people are willing to simply take on faith?" "

But I never said "take it on faith"
I said practice to gain direct knowledge.

That is exactly the opposite of Charlatanism.

"Some people care about ki".

Well, I care about ki. That's why I look for it through Aikido, not talk, and suggest she also try to find it through training.

I know it sounds harsh, but all of the babbling Aikidoka who insist on extending a debate about words, and words of languages they are not intimate with, sort of sours the beauty of Aikido.

I have lived in Japan for over two decades, have taken 100 percent of my Aikido training in Japanese and teach it to Japanese from the ages of 4 to 74, so what do I know, right?

The quickest ... no, the ONLY way to understand ki is to experience it. Because it IS an experience.

"Why is there still a discussion here?"

Because we Westerners don't seem to know how to quiet our minds and our mouths.

The original poster actually asked what exercises he could do to develop ki. He shames us all because that is the real question, he wants to experience ki. I suggest we end the ridiculous bickering and provide him exercises, which believe it or not, are really far more substantial than words.

If we can't demonstrate a little AIki in the forums....
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Old 02-13-2010, 04:21 AM   #58
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Re: What is Ki?

Quote:
Mohammed Akmal wrote: View Post
What is exactly is KI?
As you can see, there is a lot of controversy about that :-)

Let's start with what it is not. It is not a "life force" or "life energy" (we've known there is no such thing for a very long time now). It is not energy, force, power or any other quantity that a physicist would recognise. Aikido movements can be explained perfectly using very ordinary mechanical principles. Anyone who says ki is "real" in this sense is just plain wrong. If they disagree, then they can build you a ki meter, prove it exists and win the Nobel prize for physics along the way :-)

However, a theoretical understanding and an ability to actually perform the movements optimally are completely different. This is true in every field where movements of your body are required, from playing a piano to bowling a cricket ball to performing irimi-nage.

Giving you a set of differential equations for a set of movements is probably not going to help you learn any of them, for example :-) A lot of what ki is (in the martial arts, anyway), IMO, is explaining things in such a way as to help us actually do them. It's clearer to most people to explain unbendable arm as ki (or water, if you prefer) flowing out through your fingertips, than explain exactly what tension to put in each and every muscle in your arm and shoulder and body etc.

Since a lot of aikido depends on (pretty precise) timing of movements, the concept of "flow" is also often invoked in an attempt to explain how that works.

Most importantly, as any elite athlete will tell you, if your mind isn't right, your body won't work right either. So there are issues about controlling your mind (and therefore your body). Athletes talk about "being in the zone", and you'll hear similar things from martial artists. Then there's controlling fear, "flow" in the sense of moving in harmony with uke (and yourself) and many other things.

So when you talk about ki exercises, I think there are lots of different things that people tend to lump together. Some are physical or biomechanical principles, some are mental.

Be aware that there is a mystical streak in many martial artists, and it is stronger in aikido circles, than, say karate circles. I personally don't find that sort of talk very edifying, and it certainly doesn't make concepts like ki easier to understand. IMO you're better off training with someone who can teach you (as opposed to someone else) well, whether or not they talk about ki.

Ki is just a concept (or set of concepts, maybe). If it helps you, use the concept, if it doesn't, then don't :-)
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Old 02-13-2010, 05:40 AM   #59
Nikopol
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Re: What is Ki?

Everything you say is true.

Don't leave out one thing that's so
common its overlooked.

Breathing.

Our Aikido lives on Kokyu.
Kokyuhou, and Kokyuryoku.
Breath Power.

I believe that deep breathing creates a state of
heightened awareness and physical ability.
and this concentration is called ki.

even in English, concentration refers to a mental process
as well as a condition of mechanical energy.

Could you agree with this explanation?

Last edited by Nikopol : 02-13-2010 at 05:42 AM.
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Old 02-13-2010, 08:35 AM   #60
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Re: What is Ki?

Quote:
Vincent Nikopol wrote: View Post
I believe that deep breathing creates a state of
heightened awareness and physical ability.
and this concentration is called ki.
So all the talk about ki in the Oriental martial arts is just a way to say: do belly breathing instead of chest breathing? And how does reverse breathing then fit into this?
Quote:
Vincent Nikopol wrote: View Post
I suggest we end the ridiculous bickering and provide him exercises, which believe it or not, are really far more substantial than words.
And what other exercises would you suggest (besides deep breathing) to experience ki?
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:03 AM   #61
Nikopol
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Re: What is Ki?

Well, don't you do a lot of breathing exercises before class?
Focusing energy in your palms? These are the ki building kokyu exercises, most dojos do them.

Then you do tenkanhou. and (morotedori) kokyuhou.



"Breath throw" at the moment of the throw, arms out palms up, breath in this position, and you will start to feel lots of nice tingly ki in the palms of your hands.

Next, tegatana which focuses that ki forward.

Didn't they teach you this?

Then shower, eat, sleep. Repeat.
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Old 02-13-2010, 01:41 PM   #62
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Re: What is Ki?

Quote:
Vincent Nikopol wrote: View Post
Well, don't you do a lot of breathing exercises before class?
Focusing energy in your palms? These are the ki building kokyu exercises, most dojos do them.

Then you do tenkanhou. and (morotedori) kokyuhou.



"Breath throw" at the moment of the throw, arms out palms up, breath in this position, and you will start to feel lots of nice tingly ki in the palms of your hands.

Next, tegatana which focuses that ki forward.

Didn't they teach you this?

Then shower, eat, sleep. Repeat.
While I was typing a reply, I realized I was posting in the way Oisin Bourke called me out on previously. So I'm just going to stop here instead of asking question after question while you most likely won't write down detailed descriptions of how you think those exercises should be done - because that's how this game usually plays out. (And if you don't think it would have: you don't need my questions to post more information, so feel free to do so.)
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Old 02-13-2010, 02:19 PM   #63
lbb
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Re: What is Ki?

Quote:
Vincent Nikopol wrote: View Post
Mary, Charles,

Neither of you seem to know what ki is, so why are you so vocal in insisting what it is not?
Show me where I "insisted" anything about "what it is not". Go ahead, show me.

Quote:
Vincent Nikopol wrote: View Post
Go to the dojo and find out, obviously you are not accepting sincere attempts to answer your questions.
If I ask you how much 2 and 2 is, and you say "banana", should I accept the answer just because you're sincere about it?

Quote:
Vincent Nikopol wrote: View Post
What is ki? You won't find it on the internet.
Why are you telling me this? I'm not the one who asked, and I think that statement is rather implied in much of what I've said. Lighten up with the preaching and lecturing, will you?

Sheesh almighty.
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Old 02-13-2010, 05:13 PM   #64
Nikopol
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Re: What is Ki?

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Show me where I "insisted" anything about "what it is not". Go ahead, show me.

Sheesh almighty.
下らない!   Mary, this might help you:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histrio...ality_disorder

 
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Old 02-13-2010, 06:01 PM   #65
C. David Henderson
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Re: What is Ki?

Hi Vincent.

Call me David, please.

I said I don't think "ki" as a concept can be explained as a "runner' high." I know what that feels like intimately. I know I've felt that during practice. And I know that experience isn't what people generally refer to when talking about how words like "ki," "Kokyu," and "jin," relate to the martial arts.

Now, if you know what "ki" is, and you disagree, tell me why.

If you can't tell me why, explain to me in what sense you believe you understand the concept of "ki" better than I.

David Henderson
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Old 02-13-2010, 06:22 PM   #66
Nikopol
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Re: What is Ki?

Hi David,

Quote:
I don't think "ki" as a concept can be explained as a "runner' high." I know what that feels like intimately. I know I've felt that during practice. And I know that experience isn't what people generally refer to when talking about how words like "ki," "Kokyu," and "jin," relate to the martial arts.
But let me ask how do you know that experience people generally refer to? I am not challenging you. I don't want you to try to answer that. You would have to infer it from personal experience.

Quote:
Now, if you know what "ki" is, and you disagree, tell me why.
I only disagree with telling people who are starting to see the light in their own way, "that's not ki". Sort of like Aiki is not stopping someone's strength, but leading in the right direction...

Quote:
explain to me in what sense you believe you understand the concept of "ki" better than I.
I shouldn't have implied that I understand the concept better than you, or anyone. I have no knowledge of your knowledge.

But I believe that ki is an enhancement of neuromuscular response and mental perception which can be induced through breathing and movement, essentially what Yoga and Pranayama have been teaching for 3000 years.

And that this physical sensation can be experienced through Aikido training, so no-one has to take it on faith at all.

Is this a satisfactory definition for textbook purposes, or is it not?

I believe that it is. And so I enjoy Aikido with no doubts.
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:31 PM   #67
C. David Henderson
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Re: What is Ki?

To me, it's one thing to say an experience has to be felt first hand to be truly understood, and another to say that because the experience itself is the root of knowledge that all initial guesses as to the nature of that experience are equally valid.

I know what people generally are talking about because I communicate with them using words like "ki." I have some experiences which line up, roughly, with the topic of these communications. I'm not holding myself out to tell someone else what "ki" is because, frankly, its beyond my pay grade.

Nonetheless, I understand when I hear or read something about aikido containing the word "ki" that the other person is trying to communicate something identifiable to me.

It's okay if the picture is fuzzy, because a clear picture of a fuzzy phenomenon is a fuzzy picture.

But that doesn't make the picture arbitrary, such that any fuzzy shape is equal to another in representing the reality to which it points.

You talk about someone trying to construct their own understanding of these concepts, and I understand what you're saying.

I just think that if you take a stick and ask someone if you are pointing at the moon, it makes a difference where the stick is -- roughly -- pointing.

If its an ineffable experience, then communication is pointless. Then ideas about the experience are not simply roads all leading to Rome, but impediments on the journey.

So, I don't think you can have it both ways. Either the concept of "ki" in the context of a martial art is something we can communicate about meaningfully or its not. If it is, then some approximations are better than others; if it's not, then no formulation can suffice. In neither case are all formulations inherently useful.

David Henderson
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:51 PM   #68
C. David Henderson
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Re: What is Ki?

Oh, and Vince,

I just looked at the link from wikipedia you posted; never mind.

No need to respond.

David Henderson
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Old 02-14-2010, 12:54 AM   #69
Nikopol
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Re: What is Ki?

David,

I gave you my definition of ki, posts #66, because you seemed to ask in what sense I felt I understood ki.

I put it in bold type.

Ignoring it, you replied with :

Nonetheless,
something identifiable
a fuzzy phenomenon
any fuzzy shape
pointing at the moon
an ineffable experience
communication is pointless
impediments on the journey.
some approximations.

You insist on pushing a physical phenomenon into the realm of poetry, some mystic paradox,.

Why this resistance?

Am I to conclude that this is a passion with us, to complicate simple matters and refuse to agree, or even listen?

With all respect to the posters, and hope that you find something meaningful in Aikido, I am probably not wrong in concluding that there are thought issues that make dialogue impossible. Some find it mean to name it; the truth is a bitter pill to swallow.

I have emotions too; I want to rise above my own impatience. But if I give you a cup of water, and you spill it out on the ground, don't ask me for another. Sadly I am just the fool to give it to you.

Peace,

Last edited by Nikopol : 02-14-2010 at 01:00 AM.
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Old 02-14-2010, 01:16 AM   #70
Nikopol
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Re: What is Ki?

By the way,

A lot of posters seem to do a lot of demanding,

Quote:
Show me where I "insisted" anything about "what it is not". Go ahead, show me.
Quote:
Now, if you know what "ki" is, and you disagree, tell me why.
Quote:
If you can't tell me why, explain to me in what sense you believe you understand the concept of "ki" better than I.
And then they just take or ignore the answer and go right on bickering. To me that is extremely rude and childish.

You might not like my posts, but I won't make demands on you.
I asked you only one question which I hoped you to answer; that was:
Quote:
Is this a satisfactory definition for textbook purposes, or is it not?
It was not meant as a challenge. I wanted to know if the answer that you requested was satisfactory to you.
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Old 02-14-2010, 02:33 AM   #71
eyrie
 
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Re: What is Ki?

Quote:
Vincent Nikopol wrote: View Post
I believe that ki is an enhancement of neuromuscular response and mental perception which can be induced through breathing and movement, essentially what Yoga and Pranayama have been teaching for 3000 years.
If, (big IF) ki is simply that, where then, does the ki of Heaven and Earth fit into that paradigm?

Ignatius
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Old 02-14-2010, 03:36 AM   #72
Nikopol
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Re: What is Ki?

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
If, (big IF) ki is simply that, where then, does the ki of Heaven and Earth fit into that paradigm?
mental perception = consciousness.

What is it that unites heaven and earth but human consciousness?
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Old 02-14-2010, 04:44 AM   #73
bulevardi
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Re: What is Ki?

Do we all live in that same paradigm ?

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Old 02-14-2010, 07:28 AM   #74
C. David Henderson
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Re: What is Ki?

Quote:
Vincent Nikopol wrote: View Post
David,

Ignoring it, you replied
:

No, I took you to task for taking the indefensible position that any way you talk about it is as valid as another -- you never really addressed that.

Now you have your own definition -- guess that means its not a runner's high, eh? Guess that means not all views are equally valid -- if they were, your definition would be meaningless. That's just logic, friend.

Quote:
You insist on pushing a physical phenomenon into the realm of poetry, some mystic paradox,.
You are, I believe contradicting yourself reather badly -- if its a physical phenomenon in the sense that science addresses, there are right answes and wrong answers. Telling someone with a different hypothesis that you believe NOT to be true that you won't say "no" to their view is, in reality, withholding what you believe to be true. Why?

If it's something that "has to be learned through experience" that might make sense; if its a simple physical phenomenon your response is just misleading someone about something that can be concretely named and described. Why be coy?

By the way, I think "ki" is a concept in a participatory language -- martial arts training -- and doesn't point to one thing like "enhanced neuromuscular response." So, as to your proffered cup, no thanks.

Quote:
Why this resistance?
Why not? Does that make me "histrionic" in your view too?

Quote:
Am I to conclude that this is a passion with us, to complicate simple matters and refuse to agree, or even listen?
Project Much? How's that working out for you?

Fact is, I've listened to alot of hypotheses about "ki" over the years; I listened to your's too, but simply am not convinced.

Quote:
With all respect to the posters, and hope that you find something meaningful in Aikido, I am probably not wrong in concluding that there are thought issues that make dialogue impossible. Some find it mean to name it; the truth is a bitter pill to swallow.
Project Much?

Quote:
I have emotions too; I want to rise above my own impatience. But if I give you a cup of water, and you spill it out on the ground, don't ask me for another. Sadly I am just the fool to give it to you.

Peace
If you want to share, I would respectfully suggest you start by avoiding meaningless platitudes to people looking for answers and snarky gratuitous comments and judgments about others who try honestly to address their questions.

Peace and so long, dude.

Last edited by C. David Henderson : 02-14-2010 at 07:36 AM.

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Old 02-14-2010, 10:09 PM   #75
Nikopol
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Re: What is Ki?

Thank you very much.
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