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Old 11-28-2005, 08:48 AM   #26
rob_liberti
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Quote:
Ian and Rob,

You two forgot that it's Carol that wrote a book about Ki to sell for $20, and everyone else just gives out FREE advice. Since Carol is in the discussion, why don't you guys question her?
We already have what Carol presented as how to think about those ideas. You were complaining about the inadequacy so I wanted your thoughts to keep things contructive. It wasn't personal, I would have asked that to anyone (any messenger) who complains without offering an improvement because it seems like you must have some improvement in mind and might just want to have the encouragement to present it. I wasn't shooting at you. Howvever, I'm about to now... Sorry for being blunt, but Carol offered to buy your copy of her book back I suggest that you take her up on the offer, thank her, and stop complaining about a problem that has a clear resolution.

Second your point to Craig was strong, but I think you missed his point about how they were just surface-level explanations of good teachings that were much better to get directly from the source. So, the best resource you have to get information from that source _might_ not feel like you are ready to percieve what he is explaining, but that's just my opinion.

In terms of kokyu-dosa I find I have to find a way to open my arms up (almost have my shoulders and hips as far back as I can get them from my pinkys without straining the arms), keep tension only in my finger tips, thrust (to some degree) energy below my partners center and follow it up and out of them without pushing and while maintaining my ability to atemi at _almost_ any time from either hand or either foot (or knee or elbow).

Rob
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Old 11-28-2005, 09:41 AM   #27
roosvelt
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
Howvever, I'm about to now... Sorry for being blunt, but Carol offered to buy your copy of her book back I suggest that you take her up on the offer, thank her, and stop complaining about a problem that has a clear resolution.
I said "I'd part it with $20" (the face value of the book). Carol said "you're very welcome to send it back, I'll be happy to take you up on your $15 offer".

I'm not sure how to respond to that. Are we haggling about the price?

Carol is selling a product. Any comsumers got a right to give his opinion about the product. If you don't want the opinion, don't sell the product and recall back them all.

Rob, please read the first post of this thread. The original posters wanted opinion about Carol's book. I gave him my opinion after reading the book. If you have different opinion about the book if you ACTUALLY read the book, please state your side.

I didn't repeatedly to state "don't buy that book". It's your demand of my opinion and Ian's commment of "cheap shot" made me write another post. Now, I give you my opinion again, then you told me to "shut up". You're something, Rob.
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Old 11-28-2005, 10:35 AM   #28
rob_liberti
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Loosing 5 dollars instead of 20 sounds like a good offer to me. I only mean to suggest that you let go of _that_ complaint and save yourselve 15 otherwise lost dollars.

I honestly see your point about the initial posts of the threads. I hope you would agree that we tend to move on from there and try to take them somewhere constructive - which is why they are called "threads". So my request: what would you have liked to see in that book about kokyu tanden ho, etc. seems to be right on target - but you certainly don't have to listen to my opinion.

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 11-28-2005 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 11-28-2005, 11:15 AM   #29
Chuck.Gordon
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

If you want to study Japanese budo, and learn about aiki and ki and all the other principles and ideas, then find a good teacher who teaches these ideas and practices. Study Japanese budo.

If, on the other hand, Chinese arts float your boat, then find a good Chinese style teacher and do a Chinese system.

However, trying to understand Japanese concepts through the medium of Chinese theory doesn't offer much info for most folks who are way beyond the level of most of the folks here.

And it might confuse things for them considerably, until they have a better grasp of the ideas and practices of their core art.

And, vice versa. Do one thing, do it well, and sometime when you have a solid grasp and some semblance of proficiency, then exploration of other systems and theories MIGHT be helpful.

Back on-topic, I don't think Carol ever intended the book as a be-all, end-all on the subject, and in fact, I don't think she intended to WRITE a book, but was merely taking notes for her own benefit. The books were nice by-products.

I found them interesting, and, having known George, enjoyed the anecdotal info immensely. If I hadn't known and spent some time with George and Carol and many of the others mentioned and referenced, I don't know if I would have enjoyed them as much, as the system Carol was coming from had very little in common with mine.

FWIW, I _think_ I actually may have a couple of extra copies around the house somewhere...

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Old 11-28-2005, 06:49 PM   #30
ald1225
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Hey Carol,
Thanks for your response to my question. By the way are from VA, or did/do you practice at the VKS? Also have you seen this article... Meditate on This: Buddhist Tradition Thickens Parts of the Brain

I also checked that RESPeRATE, I too see it as Ki breathing. Have you also seen the "Ki Breathing" by Koichi Tohei which was publish March of this year and translated and uploaded on Shinichi Tohei's Weblog
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Old 03-08-2010, 03:32 AM   #31
bulevardi
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Quote:
Roosvelt Freeman wrote: View Post
I bought it based on the recommendation here. It turned out useless book as you said.
Same here... I bought the same book because of recommendations I saw on amazon.com
Turned out it really was a waste of time. I'll give it back to nature or recycling factory. Certainly don't want to get this one back on the market to rip off other people.

I don't want to be rude but... let me explain why, don't take things personally.

Things that are explained in the book are just natural science, about gravity, balance,... + additionary imaginary-light-in-your-body-flows.
In fact, in this book, Ki is explained as a bunch of things that already exist, things that humans already know, learned by basic education, and then call that paradigm 'KI' as a new kind of truth.
It's just like giving the name 'furniture' to things we already know: tables, chairs,... at a moment the word furniture didn't exist yet.

The most annoying in the book was that I expected too much I guess. I thought Ki would be explained. I thought the exercises would be explained aswel, in the following:
In the book it's every time said: nage does this, uke does that, ... But the purpose why uke does something isn't explained.
Mostly, it's even just written like this: "nage sits in seiza", "uke tests".
But whát does he test? And how? And why? And if uke tests something, what should be the result? There's no explaination at all that says what should be the good result with that test or the bad result. In that case you don't know what you're doing, why you're doing, and if you're doing something wrong or not.
The most important things lack of information, like knowing how to keep your One-Point, extend Ki etc... "How" is actually not explained. I tried every exercise in the book several times. But by lack of information how to do it, it's not all working like it should. My uke is testing, but what should he be testing? And if the result turns out to wether A or B, is A good or bad? Is B good or bad? We don't know, that's not explained.

Later on, a chapter about meditation, a few pages explaining the obvious what we already know about meditation... and then a bunch of pages about total different daily life situations where is explained that we just have to calm down.
The chapter on aikido itself is just a few pages and contains actually nothing about aikido. Well, the things actually explained you already know by doing aikido on the tatami.
I'm certainly not recommending this book to others. I would be ashamed if it's visibly public in my book shelf.

I now started reading the first pages of Koichi Tohei's book, although my expectations are already lowered right now, I see a book in front of me that is "written" and explaining things a little bit better.
K. Tohei explains actually what Ki is so you can give it a place, the basics, before starting the rest of the book.

Last edited by bulevardi : 03-08-2010 at 03:38 AM.

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Old 03-08-2010, 07:08 AM   #32
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Quote:
I would be ashamed if it's visibly public in my book shelf.
Putting aside what may be perfectly valid critisms (I don't know, I haven't read the book), I'm trying to imagine just what would make me ashamed of having a book visible on my book shelf. Short of some really kinky pornography...I'm not coming up with much. Not every book on my shelf has something in it I agree with. Some of them I out right despise the content.

But they are on my book shelf, and I am not ashamed to have them there.

Best,
Ron (now, whether I would recommend them or not is a whole 'nother nut...)

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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Old 03-08-2010, 08:20 AM   #33
bulevardi
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

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Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Putting aside what may be perfectly valid critisms (I don't know, I haven't read the book), I'm trying to imagine just what would make me ashamed of having a book visible on my book shelf. Short of some really kinky pornography...I'm not coming up with much.
Well, I just don't like having books there with content that I don't agree with. If someone is looking what I have there, takes the book out and speaks out loudly: "what a bunch of crap are you reading here?".
If these are pornography books with good photo's, I stand behind it and can recommend it to others. But if it's a book with bad content that I don't want to recommend to others... I don't leave it public. 100% sure people will question the content and I would have to explain why or try defending it.

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Old 03-08-2010, 08:42 AM   #34
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Quote:
I would have to explain why or try defending it.
And the problem with that is???

If I kept the book because it is worth defending...then I'll defend it.

If I kept the book because it has a viewpoint or interpretation of facts I disagree with, then I will state that and my reasons for it.

I will NOT be ashamed of having it. And I can eplain that as simply as I have here. MORE knowledge is always better than LESS knowledge. If someone doesn't get that...well...Then I don't want them near my book case in any case.

Sides, if they take exception to a book on my shelf, it's a sure segway to a great conversation!

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 03-08-2010, 08:50 AM   #35
bulevardi
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Or trying to place the porn books on eye-heights and the less interesting books at the bottom shelf behind other books.

Like in a supermarket, where the most expensive products and brands are placed on eye heights so they are taken more easily than the less expensive ones.

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Old 03-08-2010, 09:32 AM   #36
lbb
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
But they are on my book shelf, and I am not ashamed to have them there.
Hey, I've got a copy of Joe Hyams' Zen and the Martial Arts kicking around somewhere. Ashamed of it? Hell no, I didn't write it, the embarrassment is all the author's -- or should be. It's a sterling example of what not to do.
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Old 03-08-2010, 02:23 PM   #37
SeiserL
 
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

And let those of you who have written anything step forward and say where your work is on other's shelves!!

Sorry, perhaps you don't appreciate the courage it takes to put something out there. My compliments to all who at least attempt to have something to offer.

I am not ashamed of any books on my selves. I am proud that at least I read and attempt to learn from others.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 03-08-2010, 02:59 PM   #38
Keith Larman
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
And let those of you who have written anything step forward and say where your work is on other's shelves!!

Sorry, perhaps you don't appreciate the courage it takes to put something out there. My compliments to all who at least attempt to have something to offer.

I am not ashamed of any books on my selves. I am proud that at least I read and attempt to learn from others.
Standing ovation...

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Old 03-08-2010, 03:15 PM   #39
crbateman
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

IMHO, books exist to give the reader something to think about. Those on my shelf are testimony to nothing more than the fact that I have done exactly that.

Just as each of us is entitled to his/her own opinion on this forum, so is each author entitled to the same consideration in his/her book. To deny that is to deny one's own right to opine. Perhaps, Dirk, you might consider walking a mile in Carol's shoes...
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Old 03-09-2010, 01:50 AM   #40
bulevardi
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

I don't see the point going further off-topic on that one single phrase about wether you place it on a book shelf or not...
I just used that one to make my statement that I don't recommend it to others. Anyway, just forget that phrase.
Maybe try discussing the book further for those who read it, instead of walking away from the content of the book and going into another discussion.

@Lynn Seiser: I already read lots of books, and I can say that it's good that people have something to offer. I have tons of books here on my shelf that I really like to recommend and where I learned something from, but I dislike books with lack of information so you can't do anything with the content they offer.
I sometimes question publishers if they really read the books before they start publishing them. Lots of good professional writers get sometimes a 'no' from publishers and have to start writing again if their story isn't good enough... but for some books, apparently, content seems not important.

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Old 03-09-2010, 05:22 AM   #41
Mark Peckett
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

The annoying thing about ki is that it has to be experienced - books can only point you in a direction that the author has found useful. Rather like that book that has the answer to all those zen koans - just because you read the answers doesn't make you enlightened. Now can anybody tell the sound of one hand making an unbendable arm?
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:00 AM   #42
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Uh, yeah, it's the sound of me doing hayaku ukemi...

B,
R (posted with ki...just to get somewhere near the topic)

Ron Tisdale
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:01 AM   #43
jxa127
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Carol Shifflet hasn't posted since last year, which is a shame because she had very interesting posts.

I would be interested in learning from those who've read both, how the exercises in Carol's books compare to the sorts of exercises that O Sensei did as described in Ellis's Hidden in Plain Sight.

Regards,

----
-Drew Ames
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Old 03-09-2010, 09:26 AM   #44
C. David Henderson
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Hi Dirk,

If I recall, this was one of the books you purchased when you were asking about ki in another thread. Your critique raises some questions in my mind; perhaphs you can say more --

Quote:
Dirk Desmet wrote: View Post
Things that are explained in the book are just natural science, about gravity, balance,... + additionary imaginary-light-in-your-body-flows.
In fact, in this book, Ki is explained as a bunch of things that already exist, things that humans already know, learned by basic education, and then call that paradigm 'KI' as a new kind of truth.
It's just like giving the name 'furniture' to things we already know: tables, chairs,... at a moment the word furniture didn't exist yet
.

Given what youv'e been reading and thinking about, how would you put it then?

Quote:
The most annoying in the book was that I expected too much I guess. I thought Ki would be explained.
Have you looked at some other work lately that did what you consider a better job of explaining it?

Quote:
In the book it's every time said: nage does this, uke does that, ... But the purpose why uke does something isn't explained.
Mostly, it's even just written like this: "nage sits in seiza", "uke tests".
But whát does he test? And how? And why? And if uke tests something, what should be the result? There's no explaination at all that says what should be the good result with that test or the bad result. In that case you don't know what you're doing, why you're doing, and if you're doing something wrong or not.
Do you think that after you've studied and trained longer, some of these issues may be more self-evident? A number of pretty experienced martial artists who read this book liked it; is it possible they had a context in which to undersand what was being expressed?

Quote:
The most important things lack of information, like knowing how to keep your One-Point, extend Ki etc... "How" is actually not explained. I tried every exercise in the book several times. But by lack of information how to do it, it's not all working like it should. My uke is testing, but what should he be testing? And if the result turns out to wether A or B, is A good or bad? Is B good or bad? We don't know, that's not explained.
Two questions -- do you think you can learn these skills by reading, and how long do you think it's reasonable to practice the exercises before you see some development? If you read up on internal training threads here, you'll see that it takes a fairly long time before results begin to manifest themselves perceptably.

Quote:
I now started reading the first pages of Koichi Tohei's book, although my expectations are already lowered right now, I see a book in front of me that is "written" and explaining things a little bit better.
K. Tohei explains actually what Ki is so you can give it a place, the basics, before starting the rest of the book.
What language in his book struck you as a good explanation of ki?

Do you think if you reread the first book after finishing Tohei's book it might make better sense to you?

Respectfully.

David Henderson
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Old 03-09-2010, 10:09 AM   #45
jss
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Quote:
Charles David Henderson wrote: View Post
Do you think that after you've studied and trained longer, some of these issues may be more self-evident? A number of pretty experienced martial artists who read this book liked it; is it possible they had a context in which to undersand what was being expressed?
If the answer to both questions is yes, the next question is what context of understanding is involved here and what's the shortest path to be able to share in that context.

Quote:
Two questions -- do you think you can learn these skills by reading, and how long do you think it's reasonable to practice the exercises before you see some development? If you read up on internal training threads here, you'll see that it takes a fairly long time before results begin to manifest themselves perceptably.
Sure, but incorrect training won't get you anywhere and that's the issue Dirk mentioned: there's not enough information in the book to decide if you're training correctly or incorrectly. I don't think it's reasonable to ask him to invest x hours of practice in something that has a very limited chance of success because it lacks sufficient means of self-assessment and self-correction.
Or ... all this ki stuff is easier than Dirk thinks it is and the descriptions in the book do give him a reasonable chance of success. But that's not a bet I would be willing to take.
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Old 03-09-2010, 10:25 AM   #46
C. David Henderson
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Hi Joep,

Your point about context is spot on, and a good point to think about.

As to your comment about percieved lack of detail re. the exercises -- fair enough, and I haven't read the book, so I can't argue the point one way or another. I guess, though, if the answer to the first set of questions is "yes," it has implications here too.

I suspect in any event it would be difficult to avoid "incorrect training" problems when working from any book, for the reasons often mentioned, including IHTBF.

Regards,

David Henderson
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:40 AM   #47
jss
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Quote:
Charles David Henderson wrote: View Post
..., and I haven't read the book, so I can't argue the point one way or another.
Me neither!

Quote:
I suspect in any event it would be difficult to avoid "incorrect training" problems when working from any book, for the reasons often mentioned, including IHTBF.
Agreed.
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Old 03-09-2010, 12:05 PM   #48
bulevardi
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Quote:
Joep Schuurkes wrote: View Post
Sure, but incorrect training won't get you anywhere and that's the issue Dirk mentioned: there's not enough information in the book to decide if you're training correctly or incorrectly. I don't think it's reasonable to ask him to invest x hours of practice in something that has a very limited chance of success because it lacks sufficient means of self-assessment and self-correction.
Indeed.
As an example, I've been playing the guitar for already lots of years now. And if I wanted to learn a new technique (e.g. arpeggios), reading the book is not enough. Practicing was the big task. Training finger skills and techniques takes long if you want to let it sound correctly. And I really know that just reading a book won't work.
But you can't start practicing just out of the blue without knowing how to do the technique. That's why I read some books about those guitar techniques before practicing them.

If only in these books was told "play the arpeggio". That's just like saying: "hold one-point" or "let the ki flow".
If it's not explained how, you can't practice on the technique either. Well, you can try figure it out somehow but maybe you're doing the wrong things then...

Quote:
Do you think if you reread the first book after finishing Tohei's book it might make better sense to you?
Well I hope so.
I'll let you know when finnished reading.

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Old 03-09-2010, 01:33 PM   #49
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Quote:
Dirk Desmet wrote: View Post
but for some books, apparently, content seems not important.
IMHO, just because I didn't like the book or didn't get something new out of it doesn't mean it doesn't have something to offer some one. Perhaps just not me.

Perhaps I should question more why I didn't get something out of it rather than did the author, editor, or publisher put something in it.

IMHO, content is always important.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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