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Old 01-11-2011, 08:03 AM   #1
Mary Eastland
 
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Ki Exercise Exchange

I don't eat sugar so a New Year cookie exchange doesn't work for me…how about a favorite Ki exercise exchange?

Here is a one I have been doing every morning. Stand in natural stance, hands at your side. Swing both hands up in front of your chest, gathering energy. Then settle that energy into your body while hands slide into the prayer position in front of your chest. Feel the energy sifting down through your body.
As your hands go into the prayer position… slowly lift one foot… bringing your mind back to your center if you begin to lose balance. Feel how easy it is to keep your balance. Stand that way for some seconds. Put that foot down and lift the other foot as you again sweep your hands gathering energy… your hands again end in the prayer position. Feel the ease of standing on one foot. Stay that way for a few seconds…settled in on one foot. Now slowly come back to both feet, dropping your heavy arms to each side, feeling your body shift at your hips. Do you feel heavy and rooted? Can you feel the movement of your energy? Can you feel the slight shifts your body intuitively makes?

Do you have a favorite Ki exercise to share?
Mary
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:12 AM   #2
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

I put my ki inside the lock, hey presto! It opens the door........wow!!
The door has ki which throws throws me 'cause I lent against it, and my wife says "Bloody fool! Forget your tea flask?.......
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:55 PM   #3
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Quote:
Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe wrote: View Post
I put my ki inside the lock, hey presto! It opens the door........wow!!
The door has ki which throws throws me 'cause I lent against it, and my wife says "Bloody fool! Forget your tea flask?.......
Hi Tony:

Herbert Spencer once said:

"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance--that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
Did you try the excercise I mentioned?
Otherwise...go do your own thing and leave this thread be.
Mary

Last edited by Mary Eastland : 01-11-2011 at 01:56 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:04 PM   #4
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Hi Tony:

Herbert Spencer once said:

"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance--that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
Did you try the excercise I mentioned?
Otherwise...go do your own thing and leave this thread be.
Mary
Yes and all the other ki exercises too Mary......

I is so dumb and ignorant it makes me yawn.....
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Old 01-11-2011, 03:20 PM   #5
Alfonso
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhmjnYKlVnM


Alfonso Adriasola
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Old 01-11-2011, 06:30 PM   #6
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Quote:
Alfonso Adriasola wrote: View Post
Feels like it.....
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Old 01-12-2011, 03:03 AM   #7
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
... how about a favorite Ki exercise exchange?
...
Do you have a favorite Ki exercise to share?
Please excuse me:
We don't have such excercise in our aikido.

If you don't mind I would like to learn, what connection you see between such an excercise and the practice of aikido?
What do you think is the "benefit" of such exercises for practicing aikido?

And may I ask whether you do such exercises as part of your regular training? (Which line of aikido do you practice?)

Best wishes,
Carsten
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Old 01-12-2011, 03:41 AM   #8
Upyu
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Here is a one I have been doing every morning. Stand in natural stance, hands at your side. Swing both hands up in front of your chest, gathering energy. Then settle that energy into your body while hands slide into the prayer position in front of your chest. Feel the energy sifting down through your body.Do you feel heavy and rooted? Can you feel the movement of your energy? Can you feel the slight shifts your body intuitively makes?
Mary
If you substituted the term "weight," "pressure," or "force," for "energy," then you might open the door to something basic, but worthwhile to talk about (for those unfamiliar with this "crap".)

But until you can describe what you're doing in more physical terms, I think you're going to be met with a fair bit of sarcasm, even from proponents of IS.

Picking apart what causes someone to be "heavy" and "rooted," and how you can drop your center of gravity without bending the knees, would be far more productive imo.

And why do it every morning?
Why not every other day? Or once on Tuesday and twice on Sunday

Last edited by Upyu : 01-12-2011 at 03:43 AM.
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Old 01-12-2011, 06:00 AM   #9
Hellis
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Whatever is good for you.......I prefer the " Exchange & Mart " so much more for so little.

Henry Ellis
http://aikidoarticles.blogspot.com/
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Old 01-12-2011, 06:30 AM   #10
Janet Rosen
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
If you substituted the term "weight," "pressure," or "force," for "energy," then you might open the door to something basic, but worthwhile to talk about (for those unfamiliar with this "crap".)

But until you can describe what you're doing in more physical terms, I think you're going to be met with a fair bit of sarcasm, even from proponents of IS.

Picking apart what causes someone to be "heavy" and "rooted," and how you can drop your center of gravity without bending the knees, would be far more productive imo.
YMMV but I have no trouble with the shorthand "energy", I know what she means by it.

I also have never had a problem when instructors have used metaphor or visualization to convey a sense of what my body is doing. Different people really do learn body stuff differently. Some people learn best when told to engage their lats and extensors, while others lack the body awareness to understand what that means (my husband and my sister are utterly confounded by the concept that for any given action there are actually multiple muscle combinations to enact it) - but that person may be able to follow through on a suggestion to let their arms float up as if holding a huge inflating beachball - while a third person might connect with the more Pilates-style directive to "move down in order to move up."

I have a pretty good awareness of my internal landscape, if you will, but frankly I have no idea which muscles are behind the changes I feel when I feel myself connecting with the earth through my feet and dropping my center as I walk onto the mat, or what muscles are working or not working in order for me to have intent as I approach my partner or zanshin after throwing somebody. But I know that the changes I make in breathing, posture, and muscle use based on shorthand reminders to myself like "weight underside" or "extend ki" improve my ability to connect with a partner and to throw him by the many small changes I make in my mind/body. As I said, YMMV, but shorthand metaphors do work for me.

Where I train, the "ki exercises" are essentially body movements that are the building blocks of the movements done in taking a partner's balance and throwing, so if done w/ attention to detail, they do build muscle memory of proper movement and body use w/o the pressure of another person - essentially a one person kata done at the start of each class as a preparation. And I find that doing them mindfully, not by rote, helps me also work on specific aspects, like intent or weighting or extension, so that over time I can self-correct more quickly when doing aikido technique.

(I think my late teacher would laugh her ass off if the use of metaphor and ki exercises made her an "aikibunny" since she both learned from and instructed many law enforcement professionals over the years, and insisted that there be martial effectiveness in aikido)

Finally... may I ask that a basic level of civility to each other be maintained? Thanks.

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 01-12-2011, 07:16 AM   #11
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

I like using the standard warm up exercises as solo training to apply the 4 principles.

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 01-12-2011, 07:20 AM   #12
Janet Rosen
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Please excuse me:
We don't have such excercise in our aikido.

If you don't mind I would like to learn, what connection you see between such an excercise and the practice of aikido?
What do you think is the "benefit" of such exercises for practicing aikido?

And may I ask whether you do such exercises as part of your regular training? (Which line of aikido do you practice?)

Best wishes,
Carsten
Carsten, good questions... I've answered the best I can; Mary will likely have her own reply.

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 01-12-2011, 07:32 AM   #13
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Finally... may I ask that a basic level of civility to each other be maintained? Thanks.
That appears to be beyond the abilities of some of our members, who lately seem to believe that they were put on earth to tell others how worthless and wrong everything they do is.
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Old 01-12-2011, 07:34 AM   #14
RonRagusa
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
But until you can describe what you're doing in more physical terms, I think you're going to be met with a fair bit of sarcasm, even from proponents of IS.
I think you're missing the point of the original post Rob. It appears to me that the OP is calling for a simple sharing of peoples' Ki exercises not a debate as to which metaphors best describe Ki.

When a beginning student asks the question 'What is Ki?' I like to proceed as follows:

I have the student stand in natural stance. Then I'll touch the top of her head and ask her to concentrate on the spot I just touched and don't move. I'll push gently just below her collarbone back and slightly down towards her spine. Invariably she will lose balance. After bringing her back to natural stance I'll ask her to concentrate a point about 2 inches below her navel, relax and don't move. I'll test her again with the same force I applied in the first instance. Most often she will keep her balance and not move. If she loses her balance we go back and do it again. Shortly she will find the correct feeling and not move when I push. Continued practice will enable her to strengthen her ability to absorb increasing amounts of force applied.

The exercise is simple, direct and very effective in getting the student to directly experience Ki via the coordination of mind and body.

Ron
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:16 AM   #15
Janet Rosen
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
It appears to me that the OP is calling for a simple sharing of peoples' Ki exercises not a debate as to which metaphors best describe Ki.
Yep. I'm pretty bugged by this recent trend and am about to start a new thread.....

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:48 AM   #16
Diana Frese
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

I used both approaches, the ki metaphors and the just train, in the classes I taught at the local YMCA where I taught years ago.

My husband needs to study for a job related test on this computer so I'll study the thread later and maybe give a couple of examples later. In the meantime, here are two contrasting examples from the ABC's of Aikido my assistants presented me with after I returned from summer camp their first year or so in Aikido.

"A is for Aikido , it's non-violent to learn,
B is for bash, but only when it's your turn
C is for class, which we never will skip
Because D is for Daian and your arm she will rip"

Who knows if they were kidding?

Later, D.
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:55 AM   #17
Diana Frese
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Oops, sorry, forgot the verse about ki

"K is for ki, some have it, they think,
But if they do not, they wind up and krink"

I don't know if they made up that word, but I kinda knew what they meant. Anyway this should let you know I really tried to teach from both approaches.

Thanks for both points of view, I will read with interest
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:00 AM   #18
David Orange
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

I think the big problem here is in trying to isolate "ki" and bring it into the body from outside, as a separate thing, and then trying to deal with it as a separate thing.

Yes, there is ki of the universe, but for real usage, we need to begin with the ki inside our bodies. In that case, it's important to understand that ki exists as a sort of overlap between the mind and muscles. It travels through the fascia, the muscles, the bones, the skin, the blood, etc., but the "useable" part is between the mental intention and the muscular work. "The mind leads the ki, the ki leads the body."

To raise the arms and "gather energy" is a sort of nice metaphor, but it reminds me of going to church and seeing people with their hands raised to "feel the holy spirit" like it's thick as butter and they can "feel" it with their hands. They actually wave their hands around as if they're stirring something. Nice sentiment. I'd really love to be sunk in a lake full of pure holy spirit. But since it's all within you anyway ("The kingdom of heaven is within you"--Jesus), then the imagery of "gathering energy" with your hands may be less helpful than it seems.

Maybe if you just switch the emphasis from "feeling" an imaginary "energy" that you can gather to actually feeling your own weight in your hands, feeling the weight of the blood in your fingers...then the exercise changes to something useful.

All the rest of the things you mentioned--feeling weight underside, feeling the small adjustments the body automatically makes--are very good.

But the ki we really need and can most effectively interact with is that which is inside our bodies and which cannot be separated from the space between the fascia and the mind. And you can get a lot from searching for that and learning to recognize the difference between the mind and the ki.

But all the weight-underside stuff is great.

For other great stuff, look into silk reeling and traditional tai chi.

Happy New Year.

David

Last edited by David Orange : 01-12-2011 at 09:05 AM.

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Old 01-12-2011, 09:16 AM   #19
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Hi David:
Did you try it?
Mary
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:18 AM   #20
Janet Rosen
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
"The mind leads the ki, the ki leads the body."....For other great stuff, look into silk reeling and traditional tai chi.
Yep to both the quote and the suggestion.
The little exposure I've had both to tai chi and, via Mike Sigman, specifically to silk reeling, have helped me develop a better sense/feel for what to be aiming towards while doing the standard ki exercises. As others have said elsewhere, it's theoretically "all there"...

Janet Rosen
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:18 AM   #21
Diana Frese
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Now that I've probably managed to annoy both sides of the debate, here's an example:

To test balance two ways, first tell the student to imagine they might have left the stove on at home, and then place your hand on the person's shoulder and try to have them lose balance.

Then tell them to imagine there's something they really want at the other end of the room and then test their balance.

I'm sure you can think of examples of visualization, for those of you interested in ki exercises. Many of you probably use this balance test already and have for years. It was often useful in the YMCA class

As a teacher, I found it was often a problem to teach people to focus forward and this example helped. Especially getting people to focus forward while stepping back.
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:31 AM   #22
Janet Rosen
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

The paired practice I've been doing in my beginner's class for older or mobility challenged folks is the one where you have the jo held in place horizontally between you about shoulder level, not grasping it but using your palm or tegatana (I prefer latter) to keep it suspended. With guidance and reminders to maintain the 4 principles (and to keep breathing....), we start slowly moving around the mat for a couple of minutes. Besides the 4 principles, it is a very good way to practice how to stay extending forward while moving backwards/receiving energy, and also seems somehow easier for newbies to find center to center connection when mediated via the jo.

Janet Rosen
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:36 AM   #23
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Please excuse me:
We don't have such excercise in our aikido.

If you don't mind I would like to learn, what connection you see between such an excercise and the practice of aikido?
What do you think is the "benefit" of such exercises for practicing aikido?

And may I ask whether you do such exercises as part of your regular training? (Which line of aikido do you practice?)

Best wishes,
Carsten
Hi Carsten:
I train at a small dojo in Berkshire County, Mass USA. My husband Ron Ragusa started this style after studing with Shuji Maruyama (Kokikai Aikido) for 25 years.
Maruyama was a student of Ueshiba and Tohei.
So we are an offshoot of Ki Society and Kokikai.
We trained under the 4 principles of Kokikai:
1. Keep one point.
2. Progressive relaxation.
3. Good posture
4. Positive mind.

We learned a series of Ki exercises to practice every day to make us healthier and to develop strong centers. We were taught if you had one of the 4 principles you had them all.
Two examples of Ki exercises are: rowing motion and ikkyo exercise. There is at least one video of Tohei doing ki exercises on Youtube.
Ki exercises help a student to develop correct feeling which is then incorporated into technique.
I believe this provides a complete training system for compassionate practice and effective self defense.
Mary

Last edited by Mary Eastland : 01-12-2011 at 09:38 AM. Reason: spelling!
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:41 AM   #24
Larry Cuvin
 
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

I normally do ki breathing, formal or informal just to remind me to relax, at home, at work, while driving and especially when I feel I'm becoming tense.

In Ki Society, we are taught Ki Sho Tenketsu: Ki goes, mind follows; where mind goes body naturaly follows.

Plus Ki
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:51 AM   #25
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Mary, one class last week we had uke execute a 'bad' ryokatatetori grip on nage...meaning uke is stiff/tight from neck to hands.
The exercise is for uke to progressively relax starting at the top (neck, shoulders, triceps, biceps, elbows, shoulders, wrist) but to keep a firm if not firmer grip on nage's wrist. Nage provides feedback on the experience.
A few were able to relax to the shoulder and upper arm region.
The goal is to be able to put your mind where you want it. From a martial standpoint, to be able to have freedom of movement when needed.
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