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Old 01-13-2011, 11:07 AM   #51
Keith Larman
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Oops... The point being that the mind gives the intent which allows one to "extend ki". Personally I think it *should* be about everything happening at once, simultaneously, all the time and is more about developing a different physicality, structure, alignment, etc. But to "get" there one has to adopt various methods of engaging so others can feel what you're talking about.

Or something like that.

Or now that I reread this and my last post... I give up. I'm gonna go work instead.

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Old 01-13-2011, 11:16 AM   #52
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

I just did that Keith, very interesting...I could feel the change...it was like my finger came alive...and i could see and feel clearer(sort of, don't yell at me everybody) ;o)
One time at a camp my teacher told me to make the spot under my shoulder where uke was pushing really hard, feel like a piece of steel and repell him with it...I did and he moved off me like he was pushed. I had only moved very slightly and the pain of the hard push in that area went away.
Mary
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:27 AM   #53
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

It's interesting to watch people holding themselves together mentally in ways they have never done before or thought possible, then in seeing them moving. This past weekend I got a young man to generate great stability standing in Mabu. He was using mental intent which controlled his body in a certain manner. He was focusing and doing extremely well. All of a sudden people were laughing because he was so focused on working on certain points that he completely forgot he was being pushed on with ever increasing force. When he looked around at everyone...he lost his intent...he got knocked back on his heels and fell apart. Over time that connection becomes conditioned.
.
It is worth mentioning that while certain aspects become automatic, others latent conditioning; always it is the mind that controls change. It's not just about projecting all-out or all-in. Nor will that solve all of your problems. The beauty and the complexity is in the quality of change...to make change, at speed, at a touch and to be able to follow that control.
Cheers
Dan
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:41 AM   #54
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
I just did that Keith, very interesting...I could feel the change...it was like my finger came alive...and i could see and feel clearer(sort of, don't yell at me everybody ) ;o)
One time at a camp my teacher told me to make the spot under my shoulder where uke was pushing really hard, feel like a piece of steel and repell him with it...I did and he moved off me like he was pushed. I had only moved very slightly and the pain of the hard push in that area went away.
Mary
Hello Mary
Okay...so don't yell at me either.
You are discussing concrete results aren't you? Are you yourself open...to the idea that someone else might know a better way?
Are...we...all open...to the idea that generations of people before us were all working this stuff out with concrete results in mind too, and that they might have arrived at conclusions as to what is better than others?
It's good to have an open mind about things, but you can end up stumbling around trying to explain and figure out why every time something rolls off the table it ends up on the ground...only to discover the answer was all laid out long before we showed up to the party.
How do we arrive at a point where we can talk about what actually is better without hurt feelings or "attachments" to things we have been doing for decades?
I will be the first to admit I am learning and trying hard to figure out how to be better at getting that message across while preserving the dignity of someone who really was not being too efficient at their work. So far, I've yet to meet the aikido teacher who after training with me wanted to EVER go back to what they were doing before. But heres the thing, When I met the man who showed me these things ...I...didn't want to change and thought I knew better. I even quit once because I was convinced I knew a better way.
In the end he was right and I was wrong. and there actually WAS a better way to do things after all.
I am going to earnestly try to get better at expressing that, as it started with my own failure in being convinced that there were many ways and not an already established foundation..
Please do not read negativity in this post-or at least accept that it is NOT my intent to do so! Were we to meet and you had a better way..I would do it in a heart beat. Why? Because...we...are all after concrete results and not about dividing ourselves into camps, right?
All the best
Dan

Last edited by DH : 01-13-2011 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:50 AM   #55
Keith Larman
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
I just did that Keith, very interesting...I could feel the change...it was like my finger came alive...and i could see and feel clearer(sort of, don't yell at me everybody) ;o)
One time at a camp my teacher told me to make the spot under my shoulder where uke was pushing really hard, feel like a piece of steel and repell him with it...I did and he moved off me like he was pushed. I had only moved very slightly and the pain of the hard push in that area went away.
Mary
Glad you could feel it.

We broke away from Ki Society, wow, 30 years ago this year. Our late Sensei, Rod Kobayashi, changed the translations of the 4 principles slightly to reflect his understanding of what Tohei meant in Japanese with his principles. Remember we are dealing with translations here.

He kept "Keep one-point".

But he changed "Weight underside" to "Settle down". I think there were some extra connotations of "settle down" in English that Kobayashi liked. But it also reflected to some extent the idea that it's not about getting everything low, but to let things settle into their "proper" place. Of course that begs the question of what "proper" means, but that's for another discussion.

He changed "relax completely" to "controlled relaxation". Which I think was a good change as well since it conveyed the meaning of relaxing the muscle but not losing control.

But the one pertinent to this discussion was "extend ki". Kobayashi preferred "let your ki flow" as a better translation/rendering of the principle in English. Extend tends to imply a single direction. Or a "aim and fire" kinda thing. My understanding of the principle involves more of a notion of simply "engaging" as in the example I gave above. In general it doesn't have a single direction but involves being in a state all over in all directions at once all the time.

Anyway, this is all my understanding mixed with my own WAS (wild *ssed speculation), especially after having spent a bit of time scratching the surface of stuff being taught by some of the wild and crazy guys out there doing IS stuffs.

Kinda interesting sometime to look back on what you learned and find that some things may have been there all along "hidden in plain sight" (Now where have I heard that before?).

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Old 01-13-2011, 12:36 PM   #56
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
Heh, that goes without saying, I'm sure you know.

And if you develop enough power to send me to the moon I'll market you as the new alternative energy source.
Get werkin on that backbow of yours
i know that and you know that, but other folks might not. i don't want folks to complaint to me that i didn't give all the relevant information which force me to be oliver newton john and get physical!
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Old 01-13-2011, 12:37 PM   #57
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Kieth, that's a good start in the whole "extension" process and how the baby steps can be trainined. As that gets refined your body gets more connected as a single unit - which then allows the increasingly trained legs and middle to convey the powers of the "ki of heaven/earth" throughout the connected body (via breath, intent, etc.).

I generally think *any* ki exercise needs to be concretely be contributing towards the above in a measurable way - such that it becomes your body's natural mode of operation. These days specific exercises that I like to tune this stuff would be letting my body "hang" on virtually anything I touch . . ..almost to the point where I'm off balance, then staying at the near-tipping point for an uncomforable bit. Another is to touch something/anything/anyone and immediately have my middle/hara connected in such a way that when I move (depending on which of us/things are more grounded) either me or something/someone will be pushed away - then hovering at that tipping point for an uncomfortable period of time.

Both these exercises (along with the basic foot in the door exercises that start to rewire your body) will train "extending ki" as part of your intent. The idea is to get so subtle and powerful in your expression that nobody sees you "change" your ki, but it can be brought to and through any point in space in an instant.
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Old 01-13-2011, 12:50 PM   #58
Keith Larman
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Mary, another quick thought.

Next time you're in the dojo practicing some wrist grabbing technique, extend your arm the same way as in the exercise *before* being grabbed. See if you feel more solid and connected at the very moment they touch you. Now try to keep that feeling throughout the execution of the technique. Ideally that feeling should be everywhere allowing you to move "unified" with a minimal amount of muscle, leaning, etc.

Just fwiw.

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Old 01-13-2011, 01:03 PM   #59
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Mary, another quick thought.

Next time you're in the dojo practicing some wrist grabbing technique, extend your arm the same way as in the exercise *before* being grabbed. See if you feel more solid and connected at the very moment they touch you. Now try to keep that feeling throughout the execution of the technique. Ideally that feeling should be everywhere allowing you to move "unified" with a minimal amount of muscle, leaning, etc.
Just fwiw.
True... accept that there are ways to do THAT. that are not at all limited to "just" extending or absorbing, asagao (morning glory hand) being an outward example of what is going on... on the inside. Again all-out or all-in is really a VERY simplistic starting point, necessary yes, but just a first step. Even with that, you can have all manner of errors and breaking points appearing in your body that prevent you from moving on. There are established and defined things others before us identified as obstacles and things to look for and avoid. You can literally beat yourself up inside and greatly diminish power-out or the ability to make change by "moving" the wrong way internally.
Just sayin
Dan

Last edited by DH : 01-13-2011 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 01-13-2011, 01:06 PM   #60
Keith Larman
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
True... accept that there are ways to do THAT. that are not at all limited to "just" extending or absorbing. Again all-out or all-in is really a VERY simplistic starting point, necessary yes, but just a first step. Even with that, you can have all manner of errors and breaking points appearing in your body that prevent you from moving on. There are established and defined things others before us identified as obstacles and things to look for and avoid. You can literally beat yourself up inside and greatly diminish power-out or the ability to make change by "moving" the wrong way internally.
Just sayin
Dan
No argument and no doubt about it, just trying to give something as a starting point for a conversation... Or maybe hopefully a small aha moment for someone. If not.. No worries either.

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Old 01-13-2011, 01:11 PM   #61
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Mary, another quick thought.

Next time you're in the dojo practicing some wrist grabbing technique, extend your arm the same way as in the exercise *before* being grabbed. See if you feel more solid and connected at the very moment they touch you. Now try to keep that feeling throughout the execution of the technique. Ideally that feeling should be everywhere allowing you to move "unified" with a minimal amount of muscle, leaning, etc.

Just fwiw.
You mean there are people NOT doing that extension/having intent the moment they decide to offer the arm for a grab? EEK!

Re "wt underside" vs. "settle down" - interesting. I find working w/ newbies that on basic exercises the former is a handy phrase for what becomes a dropping relaxation and the feelin of extending via extensors rather than thrusting out from stiff shoulder and engaging flexors. But certainly settling down is a good reminder as well.

Janet Rosen
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Old 01-13-2011, 01:37 PM   #62
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Our whole training is based on this...Dan, I respect your ideas...everytime you are invited to the Berkshires you dissapear or change the subject. Is it becuase Ron and I have invited you to exhange ideas and not be students? I think if you visited us with an open mind you might be surprised.
We are training in the parameters in what we believe Aikido to be...I think that is different than what you are doing. The development of a strong center is part of the process...not the only focus of it.
Mary
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Old 01-13-2011, 01:39 PM   #63
Keith Larman
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
You mean there are people NOT doing that extension/having intent the moment they decide to offer the arm for a grab? EEK!
Actually didn't mean to imply that. Just meant to use the initial exercise and try to instantiate the same feeling backwards from it. For all I know that's what they're already doing, just basically making the initial thought more complete.

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Old 01-13-2011, 01:41 PM   #64
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

That is the way i took it,Keith...it is all about the connection...it's nice to talk about without the thread going into poo...
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Old 01-13-2011, 01:49 PM   #65
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Our whole training is based on this...Dan, I respect your ideas...everytime you are invited to the Berkshires you dissapear or change the subject. Is it becuase Ron and I have invited you to exhange ideas and not be students? I think if you visited us with an open mind you might be surprised.
We are training in the parameters in what we believe Aikido to be...I think that is different than what you are doing. The development of a strong center is part of the process...not the only focus of it.
Mary
Oh heck no Mary
I have been very very busy.
I am very open to sharing ideas. Since I don't think any one person has it all, and also even with a common goal I think we will find that people can have neat little tricks and tips they developed to get it.

Remember...and no kidding...I don't have "students," nor any agenda of making students either. Here is a an idea to help frame my mindset. I have closed my dojo twice when too many people were showing up, I refuse to be called sensei and I don't charge money for local people to train. SO that sort of blows up the recruiting idea doesn't it? EIther that or I suck at it.
Do I have to come alone or can we have a dojo meet up? I Have some great guys and gals who might want to make the trip out to the beautiful country.
I will P.M my cell and info.
Hey I also offered to meet you here as well and you never showed .
All the best
Dan
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Old 01-13-2011, 02:33 PM   #66
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

We have a dojo right at our house. I thought about coming out your way...but I am 53 and want to keep training until I am least ninety...I wasn't sure what I would be walking into.
mary
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Old 01-13-2011, 02:47 PM   #67
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
We have a dojo right at our house. I thought about coming out your way...but I am 53 and want to keep training until I am least ninety...I wasn't sure what I would be walking into.
mary
Oh Good God...erase any thoughts of worry. I have two smaller women who train with me in their 40's and they are in one piece and would kick my ass if I every hurt you!! I'm more afraid of them than they are of me. Seriously though, we don't need to do anything even approaching martial arts technique so that's not even a concern, and hey...after meeting me..you would crack up at the very idea of being nervous about me. I'll give you fifteen minutes before you guys feel comfortable enough to start laughing.
What we do makes you healthier and stronger. Like I said, if you are working on a ki model and we are as well, it stands to reason we can talk and work on some level. Think of how many mental and physical "tricks" you have worked on to reach those concrete goals? See what I mean?
All the best
Dan
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Old 01-13-2011, 02:49 PM   #68
Marc Abrams
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
We have a dojo right at our house. I thought about coming out your way...but I am 53 and want to keep training until I am least ninety...I wasn't sure what I would be walking into.
mary
Mary,

You would be walking into a place where there is humor, honesty, caring and great learning. I believe that what Dan can teach us can truly assist us in being able to practice until at least ninety !

Marc Abrams
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Old 01-13-2011, 03:10 PM   #69
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
mind creates emotions? you got anything on that for light reading? very interesting in those sort of things. not in psychology fields, but just interest in it.
Any of the cognitive psychology text.
I prefer the work in NLP.
Check the library.

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 01-13-2011, 03:13 PM   #70
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
I'm pretty sure Lynn's comments, being based on a scientific approach, can be described as a "concrete physical process" too. Doesn't that suggest the difference must be described somewhat differently, then?
Lets not forget the concept of body and mind unification.

IMHI, our physical structure, alignment, and movement should be in the same direction as our intent, intensity, and aim.

Lynn Seiser PhD
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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 01-13-2011, 03:31 PM   #71
Keith Larman
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Freaky! Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

I think some of the real greats in Aikido built a body and set of abilities through whatever means they used to get there. Tohei started off with Judo, a very strong build, low center of gravity, then went into some shinto rituals as well as yoga. So here's a guy who worked very hard, became extremely proficient in a variety of things before he started Aikido, and he managed to move forward very quickly. If he built up all these internal connections, abilities, etc. through his training then what we see in his principles are his *take* on what he felt and were his way of trying to communicate the essence of what he thought he was doing. So he's describing things in the terms he understood in the way he understood them.

So 'extending' ki "feels like" what I described above in a very limited way. It was his way of describing the feelings he had in his body when he did these things. The problem, of course, is that if one requires some significant amount of training to develop the underlying physical structures in order to do these things then most who weren't "forged" through the same training/experiences may not be able to feel what seems intuitively obvious to those who have. So Tohei came up with his tests in order to help "stack the deck" and allow people a glimpse of what was underlying what he was doing.

What I mentioned to Dan is that these greats developed abilities and used whatever words they had to try to describe what they felt. The disconnect is that the students, absent that underlying physicality, have no idea what the hell the guy is talking about. Or else they end up focusing on the mystical side of things and miss an entire spectrum of very real things going on. So we get the "omote" of what they were doing without all the underlying, chewy, tasty bits that made it *really* good.

So things like "mind/body unification", "intent", "extending ki" etc. all described actual things they were doing physically with very real "stuff" and really in fact had nothing to do with "sending energy" or "Flowing energy", etc. It had more to do with an inability to convey a genuine physical phenomena since what they feel in their bodies is absent in the bodies of the students.

So while the ki exercises are great tools, they have to be done in a certain way to really get any benefit from them. There are so many traps and hazards along the way to get deluded that one must be very careful and hopefully have a good teacher to help you get there.

So the exercises like Phi mentioned, silk reeling, universal exercises, mabo, some of the cool stuff I've seen Toby Threadgill do (forgetting the names, sorry), exercises for walking, stretching, suburi, all done correctly aren't really about "getting ki to flow" but are really about building a physicality that is able to do things that "feel like" ki is flowing (when lacking a better vocabulary to describe it).

Or this might just sound seriously reasonable to me now because I just took a serious painkiller...

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Old 01-13-2011, 03:42 PM   #72
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
Any of the cognitive psychology text.
I prefer the work in NLP.
Check the library.
thanks. will have to check that out.
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Old 01-13-2011, 03:50 PM   #73
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
So things like "mind/body unification", "intent", "extending ki" etc. all described actual things they were doing physically with very real "stuff" and really in fact had nothing to do with "sending energy" or "Flowing energy", etc. It had more to do with an inability to convey a genuine physical phenomena since what they feel in their bodies is absent in the bodies of the students.

So while the ki exercises are great tools, they have to be done in a certain way to really get any benefit from them. There are so many traps and hazards along the way to get deluded that one must be very careful and hopefully have a good teacher to help you get there.

So the exercises like Phi mentioned, silk reeling, universal exercises, mabo, some of the cool stuff I've seen Toby Threadgill do (forgetting the names, sorry), exercises for walking, stretching, suburi, all done correctly aren't really about "getting ki to flow" but are really about building a physicality that is able to do things that "feel like" ki is flowing (when lacking a better vocabulary to describe it).
couldn't have said it better (maybe with an accent )

one of the reason i stayed away from talking about ki/chi flow and such, because folks have the tendency to go mystical and spiritual on me. if that works for folks, great, but not work for me.
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Old 01-13-2011, 04:10 PM   #74
DH
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

A couple of people have noted that they are:
"Working on a strong center."
"Extending ki."
"Being strong and stable."

IP is not aiki, It is a critical and essential part but it is not aiki and never will be. It is just a first step. It's one of the reasons I differentiate what Tohei was doing from Ueshiba and why I say "Nage...moving around uke.... is full speed in the wrong direction."
Cheers
Dan
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Old 01-13-2011, 04:12 PM   #75
Janet Rosen
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
So 'extending' ki "feels like" what I described above in a very limited way. It was his way of describing the feelings he had in his body when he did these things.... So things like "mind/body unification", "intent", "extending ki" etc. all described actual things they were doing physically with very real "stuff" and really in fact had nothing to do with "sending energy" or "Flowing energy", etc. It had more to do with an inability to convey a genuine physical phenomena since what they feel in their bodies is absent in the bodies of the students....So while the ki exercises are great tools, they have to be done in a certain way to really get any benefit from them. ..... aren't really about "getting ki to flow" but are really about building a physicality that is able to do things that "feel like" ki is flowing (when lacking a better vocabulary to describe it).

Or this might just sound seriously reasonable to me now because I just took a serious painkiller...
Yknow, Keith, you just might need to take painkillers more often (JUST KIDDING!!!!) because I think you are right on - its what I mean when I talk about shorthand or metaphor describing an actual physical change.

Janet Rosen
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