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Old 07-05-2012, 02:45 PM   #101
phitruong
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Re: Ki to the Highway

Quote:
Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
The solution is simple... stuff an aikidoka into the LHC. We'll get our answers on way or another!
LHC = large house of coffee? little hot chick? large home charger? light house chemise?

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
http://charlotteaikikai.org
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:47 PM   #102
OwlMatt
 
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Re: Ki to the Highway

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
why would the burden of the proof be on the believer? if because of my belief, i can get my stuffs to work and you don't believe and can't get it to work. why would it me to prove it to you? for example, if the fire walker that can walk across the burning coals and doesn't get burn, but you can't. why would the fire walker has to prove in some physics/chemistry/biology/whatever to you? take something closer to home, taking Ikeda sensei when he said "i moved my inside", is it his burden to prove to you that his techniques worked and your couldn't because he actually either moved his inside or not?
Of course, no proof is required for anyone to believe what they want to believe. If all you have to say is, "I believe X, and you can't prove otherwise," then of course you are correct.

But If I say (as I did) that there is no such thing as ki, anyone who wants to dispute that is burdened with evidencing the existence of ki. You can't dispute my disbelief by saying that I can't prove it. In a contest between belief and non-belief, the burden of proof is on belief.

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Old 07-05-2012, 03:04 PM   #103
phitruong
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Re: Ki to the Highway

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Matthew Story wrote: View Post
In a contest between belief and non-belief, the burden of proof is on belief.
why would there even be a contest between belief and non-belief? belief isn't science, why would you want to use science to prove or disprove a thing that's not science? i remembered reading something that stated "you should believe in god." the logic is, if god doesn't exist, then you have nothing to lose. but if he/she/it exists and you don't, then you are screw.

so if you don't want to use the word "ki", and say you have to teach the native, how would you explain some of the stuffs that part of the language. i mentioned that "khi" in my language is the same as "ki" or "chi". khi hau = weather (the states of the air outside). if i don't use khi, then the word "hau" meant your rear-end. kinda hard to talk about your rear-end.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 07-05-2012, 04:25 PM   #104
PaulF
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Re: Ki to the Highway

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
why would there even be a contest between belief and non-belief? belief isn't science, why would you want to use science to prove or disprove a thing that's not science?
Spot on, ships that pass in the night. If you're going to be a believer go for fideism not some half arsed attempt to give reasons for belief.

Quote:
i remembered reading something that stated "you should believe in god." the logic is, if god doesn't exist, then you have nothing to lose. but if he/she/it exists and you don't, then you are screw. )
Pascal's wager. Thing is for it to be compelling we have to agree that there's a roughly equal probability to god's existence vs non-existence and that the payback on infinite paradise hugely outweighs the payback on having a good time right here right now. I know where my money is (on a bottle of single malt).
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Old 07-05-2012, 05:58 PM   #105
OwlMatt
 
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Re: Ki to the Highway

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
why would there even be a contest between belief and non-belief?
As I keep saying, the contest starts when someone disputes my claim that ki doesn't exist.
Quote:
belief isn't science, why would you want to use science to prove or disprove a thing that's not science?
What makes a martial arts technique work is science. If we're talking about people being physically affected in observable, measurable ways, we are talking about science. When you throw someone in the dojo, the question of what makes it work is a scientific one. You can't take science out of a discussion of ki unless you abandon the assertion that ki does things (like moving someone) that are observable and measurable in a scientific way.
Quote:
i remembered reading something that stated "you should believe in god." the logic is, if god doesn't exist, then you have nothing to lose. but if he/she/it exists and you don't, then you are screw.
Pascal's Wager. I'm not really a fan, because it doesn't address the problem of deciding which God to believe in. But I'm not sure how it applies here.
Quote:
so if you don't want to use the word "ki", and say you have to teach the native, how would you explain some of the stuffs that part of the language. i mentioned that "khi" in my language is the same as "ki" or "chi". khi hau = weather (the states of the air outside). if i don't use khi, then the word "hau" meant your rear-end. kinda hard to talk about your rear-end.
The problem with ki isn't that it's in another language. Kotegaeshi is in another language. The problem with ki is that it's a vague, mysterious word with no agreed-upon definition that is used to explain things that don't need explaining.

Last edited by OwlMatt : 07-05-2012 at 06:10 PM.

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Old 07-05-2012, 06:40 PM   #106
danielajames
 
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Re: Ki to the Highway

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Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
Actually, following up myself...

You would need not only to convert someone else's push into a vertical component, but actively having an upwards component without yourself at all times (really a downwards component within yourself than creates a resultant upwards component). Trying to establish a vertical component upon contact is really really hard to do unless you don't already have one set up.
How one is grounding a push is half the answer, the other half is changing how the other person is generating their power, as they have the same biomechanics problems with horizontal power. (Maybe this is why you are saying too?)

Vertical power into the ground is great as the ground can 'push back' with effectively infinite power (it holds up sky scrappers and mountains with little effort) or alternatively redirection into the up direction can store energy (as a raised mass = potential energy)

best,
dan

Daniel James, Brisbane Aikido Republic: AikiPhysics, Aikido Brisbane news,
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Old 07-05-2012, 07:18 PM   #107
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Re: Ki to the Highway

Everything that exists is inside the realm of physics, more or less by definition. But that's not the same as saying that everything can be explained very well using only the language and concepts of physics. I can't explain beauty using only the language of physics. Does that mean that beauty is a useless term?

I think "martial ki" refers to a special coordination between mind and body that can be learned. I don't think it's beyond scientific measurement. The difference can be physically felt by other people, so I think that, in principle, scientists should be able to measure its external effect in terms of force and motion. But it's probably quite hard to scientifically describe and quantify the difference between "normal" body mechanics and body mechanics with "martial ki" in a way that is of practical use for martial arts training.

The problem is a mismatch between information and learning. For example, how would you scientifically distinguish a good dancer from a bad one? Surely the difference could be measured by collecting physical data from sensors and video and analyzing it, but this still leaves the problem of translating the measurements to training guidance for those aspiring to become good dancers. I think a dancing teacher would do a much better job using language and concepts that have little to do with science. Ki is such a concept.

BTW: I think initially the term aikido was intended to specifically refer to this special coordination between mind and body. I know that the founder himself added more meanings as the years went by and many translations / explanations have been given by countless other people, but I'm thinking something like synthesis spirit way, or more explicitly the way of using spirit for synthesis [of mind and body]
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Old 07-05-2012, 07:45 PM   #108
gregstec
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Re: Ki to the Highway

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Matthew Story wrote: View Post
science will never know all things for sure - things change all the time - up unto a few years ago, medical science did not know that the fascia in the body was interconnected into one piece - today that is becoming evident and that is at the core of developing internal martial art skills.

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Matthew Story wrote: View Post
Not only is it not a guarantee, but popular sentiment has been wrong in the case of nearly every major scientific discovery in history. If popular sentiment had been right, there would have been nothing to discover. Popular sentiment, in short, provides no meaningful evidence for anything except popular sentiment.
You are looking at what I said from a history perspective - I made the original comment from the laws of probability perspective - keep in mind that in all myth, there is some basis of truth; things just get morphed over the years to suit changing needs.

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Matthew Story wrote: View Post
I understand that, but we are on opposite sides of an argument, right? In order for that to continue, each of us must be asserting that the other is wrong.
there is no argument here - I believe you believe there is no such thing as ki and all I am telling you are reasons why I believe there is.

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Matthew Story wrote: View Post
You don't think muscles can cause someone to feel they're changing direction? Other people's muscles change my direction in the dojo all the time. I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here.
never said muscle can't do that - you are looking at things from an external martial perspective of movement in technique; I am not - I am coming from the internal perspective of energy movement; which of course leads to physical movement, but I am not talking about that part of the process at this time.

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Matthew Story wrote: View Post
Citation needed
. no citation needed - it is pretty common knowledge within the internal MA circles that tensed muscles stop the flow of internal energies at that point.

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Matthew Story wrote: View Post
"How can your thought model control the other person's thoughts or will?"
I assumed that's what you were saying in the above sentence. Am I misunderstanding you?
yes, you are - I don't have a thought model - I have a ki model, and that is where the interchange of control take place at the ki step in my model - that is one area where ki provides an answer to me in my model that a model without ki does not - it you have a model that can do that, I am all ears.

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Matthew Story wrote: View Post
Non-belief doesn't need evidence. I have no evidence that there isn't a ghost named Norman flying around putting ideas into people's heads, but I choose not to believe in Norman because of the absence of evidence. It is up to the Normanist to prove that Norman does exist; it's not up to me to prove that he doesn't.

Again, this discussion dies unless you're asserting that I'm wrong. Are you or aren't you? If not, then there's no point in continuing. If so, then back to that burden of proof.
I am not saying you are wrong in the fact that you do not believe ki exist - all I am saying is that I do and giving you some reasons as to why - as I said, no argument here

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Matthew Story wrote: View Post
We certainly do change as we learn, and I do like to keep an open mind. But let me ask you this: have you ever heard of anyone "discovering" ki, that is, coming to believe in ki on their own without being taught about ki by an instructor? I think the answer to that question is a clue to the likelihood that I'll ever have such an experience.
Yes, the first person that came up with it

Greg
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:53 PM   #109
Tom Verhoeven
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Re: Ki to the Highway

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Dave de Vos wrote: View Post
Everything that exists is inside the realm of physics, more or less by definition. But that's not the same as saying that everything can be explained very well using only the language and concepts of physics. I can't explain beauty using only the language of physics. Does that mean that beauty is a useless term?

I think "martial ki" refers to a special coordination between mind and body that can be learned. I don't think it's beyond scientific measurement. The difference can be physically felt by other people, so I think that, in principle, scientists should be able to measure its external effect in terms of force and motion. But it's probably quite hard to scientifically describe and quantify the difference between "normal" body mechanics and body mechanics with "martial ki" in a way that is of practical use for martial arts training.

The problem is a mismatch between information and learning. For example, how would you scientifically distinguish a good dancer from a bad one? Surely the difference could be measured by collecting physical data from sensors and video and analyzing it, but this still leaves the problem of translating the measurements to training guidance for those aspiring to become good dancers. I think a dancing teacher would do a much better job using language and concepts that have little to do with science. Ki is such a concept.

BTW: I think initially the term aikido was intended to specifically refer to this special coordination between mind and body. I know that the founder himself added more meanings as the years went by and many translations / explanations have been given by countless other people, but I'm thinking something like synthesis spirit way, or more explicitly the way of using spirit for synthesis [of mind and body]
For a number of years I taught Aikido to professional dancers. Most of them trained in different styles of modern dance. One of these methods involved the notion of dancing from ones organs. They would start a class with very small deliberate movements, movements that at first could hardly be seen by a person watching. They imagined that their organs were initiating the movement. Normally we are hardly conscious of our organs and the last thing that we would want is that our kidneys are moving around in our body. The teachers and dancers knew this very well. They used it strictly as an image, as a metaphor (I would not even call it a concept) to improve their way of movement and to physically and mentally understand their movements better.
There really would have been no point in doing medical tests to find out if their kidneys or liver, etc were really moving.

To add to this; a better scientific understanding of something does not always lead to an improvement in body movement or in a healing process. Images, phantasy, metaphor, myths, even reading a book, watching a movie or listening to music may bring better or quicker results.
The Tour de France has begun this week and that reminds me of Lance Armstrong who won the Tour by using music.

Tom
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:28 AM   #110
OwlMatt
 
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Re: Ki to the Highway

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Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
yes, you are - I don't have a thought model - I have a ki model, and that is where the interchange of control take place at the ki step in my model - that is one area where ki provides an answer to me in my model that a model without ki does not - it you have a model that can do that, I am all ears.
My model doesn't need to do that unless you've got some good evidence that this "ki step" exists and is necessary. I think you are artificially inserting ki into a process that works just fine without it.

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Old 07-06-2012, 02:16 AM   #111
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Ki to the Highway

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Matthew Story wrote: View Post
The problem with ki is that it's a vague, mysterious word with no agreed-upon definition that is used to explain things that don't need explaining.
I'm not sure I agree. I can buy it being a mysterious word with loose definitions ("intelligence" comes to mind as another, perhaps lesser, example), but it's used to describe things that I think do need explaining, but the mystery of it is perhaps accepted too readily as an excuse to stop thinking about it.
Perhaps the ambiguity of the term is a little like "mind."
Quote:
wikipedia wrote:
Whatever its relation to the physical body it is generally agreed that mind is that which enables a being to have subjective awareness and intentionality towards their environment, to perceive and respond to stimuli with some kind of agency, and to have a consciousness, including thinking and feeling.
Sounds like the brain to me. Clearly "mind" detracts from learning about brain function...except that it doesn't always; sometimes it provides a new lense which inspires new understanding.
If mind can be described as an amalgamation of certain neurological functions (which are not agreed upon within different schools of thought as to which ones comprise it), perhaps ki can be described as an amagamation of mind and body functions. So here we would have two terms used to loosely describe some sets of phenomina with no agreed-upon definition.
The example you gave of the guy moving kids with his ki seems rather dubious and reminicent of Dillman and his knockout punches that only work on his own students (i.e. classic conditioning). These don't disprove anything, of course. People do get knocked out all the time...I was knocked out a few minutes after I dislocated my patela (I'm a sissy though). That's an obvious example that "odd" knock-outs can exist, but perhaps ki isn't so obvious...kinda of like the potential varieties of Higgs-Boson particles (LHC = Large Hadron Collider...or possibly Left-Handed Corn, which is much tastier than Right-Handed Corn ).
When it comes to evidence-based approaches I'm not sure you can assert there is no flying spaghetti monster; all you can do is describe what model seems to help you understand phenomina the best and draw correlations. Asserting there is no Ki is the same as asserting there is no God: maybe; impossible to know given our current resources. I see assertions in either case as belief, not disbelief.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 07-06-2012, 04:18 AM   #112
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Ki to the Highway

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Matthew Story wrote: View Post
I think you are artificially inserting ki into a process that works just fine without it.
As I wrote above:

It is very very interesting, to practice qi gong the way I learn it, to practice aikidō the way I learned it:
No talking of ki/qi. Not at all. Just bodywork. Aligning the body, becoming what we call "permeable", searching for the "perfect" movement. Getting aware of the body. (The body, nothing else.) ... I am not able and don't want to describe our whole training process. No talking of ki/qi. Never. It works just fine without it. Just bodywork. Doing this for over 18 years now. In different ways.

It is certain forms of body work that lead to certain ways of understanding qi/ki. Not the other way round. You use your body. You use your intent. And maybe you come to find, what is called qi/ki. And if so it will strike you that your personal experience is identical with a lot of things that are to read in old texts. (Or good modern ones ...)
You will understand from personal experience. You will not get anything from "artificially inserting" it. And you will also come to know, that qi is not defined as "what can not be caught by modern science". It is just something that is very complex.
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Old 07-06-2012, 06:53 AM   #113
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: Ki to the Highway

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
It is very very interesting, to practice qi gong the way I learn it, to practice aikidō the way I learned it:
No talking of ki/qi. Not at all. Just bodywork. Aligning the body, becoming what we call "permeable", searching for the "perfect" movement. Getting aware of the body. (The body, nothing else.) ... I am not able and don't want to describe our whole training process. No talking of ki/qi. Never. It works just fine without it. Just bodywork. Doing this for over 18 years now. In different ways.
So you avoid usage of the term like Matthew Story, but your motivation is different. You don't deny its existence.
Your policy partly acknowledges Matthews position, in that understanding its meaning does not help to acquire this specific body quality. Only specific body work does.
I mostly agree with that, but I do think that knowing the term could help a little to guide one's training. In this thread for example this small exchange was helpful to me:

Quote:
Dave de Vos wrote: View Post
I also feel sensations in my tissue when training, which over time has gradually expanded from the outside of my lower arms to my torso. This is not very useful (that I know of) but I think it is a part of the process.

I think my connections are getting better and I think I'm making some progress in developing and using dantien, but again, this is very gradual. Sometimes in aikido I try to consciously use my body the way I train, but that's not easy. I guess I have to solo train more until it becomes like second nature. Also, I'm only 4 kyu in aikido (since last month) so aikido by itself is already quite a challenge.
Quote:
Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
just my opinion, but the connection you mention in the first sentence above is hugely important, huge! As it relates to what you said in the second in regards to using your body that way when you do aikido, you should be working to feel that sensation or connection in everything you do, before, during and after. IMO, the whole second nature stuff will never happen until you start feeling those things outside of solo exercises doing every day life stuff. So work what you have, what you can feel and just continue to build.
While ki was not mentioned here, I think of these sensations as ki effects, side effects of training this body quality. I think that identifying it like that helps a bit to guide my training and motivate me to keep going.

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
It is certain forms of body work that lead to certain ways of understanding qi/ki. Not the other way round. You use your body. You use your intent. And maybe you come to find, what is called qi/ki. And if so it will strike you that your personal experience is identical with a lot of things that are to read in old texts. (Or good modern ones ...)
+1

Last edited by Dave de Vos : 07-06-2012 at 06:58 AM.
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:09 AM   #114
chillzATL
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Re: Ki to the Highway

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Matthew Story wrote: View Post
The problem with ki isn't that it's in another language. Kotegaeshi is in another language. The problem with ki is that it's a vague, mysterious word with no agreed-upon definition that is used to explain things that don't need explaining.
I can get that you don't like the ki model or whatever, but to say that it doesn't need explaining? Really? There are plenty of examples, both in and out of martial arts, where mental visualizations produce physical results. Whether it's someone visualizing water flowing from their arm which makes it harder for someone to bend, a guy taking a cannonball to the gut while visualizing a furnace and bellows in his stomach or someone lifting an object off another person in an emergency that they couldn't budge in any other situation, the mind plays an interesting and not completely understood role in the coordination of the bodies systems. That we can, to some degree, condition and train this and have it produce physical results is pretty interesting stuff to me, regardless of whether or not I know exactly how it works. I don't think ki/chi/intent/etc are attempts to explain why this thing happens, it's just a way to get someone else to feel it too and at that point why is still interesting, but not entirely needed.
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:09 AM   #115
OwlMatt
 
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Re: Ki to the Highway

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
I'm not sure I agree. I can buy it being a mysterious word with loose definitions ("intelligence" comes to mind as another, perhaps lesser, example), but it's used to describe things that I think do need explaining, but the mystery of it is perhaps accepted too readily as an excuse to stop thinking about it.
Perhaps the ambiguity of the term is a little like "mind."
I agree that there is sometimes a usefulness to ambiguous terms, but I've never seen anything in aikido that needed more explanation than science could provide. Can you give an example?

Quote:
Sounds like the brain to me. Clearly "mind" detracts from learning about brain function...except that it doesn't always; sometimes it provides a new lense which inspires new understanding.
If mind can be described as an amalgamation of certain neurological functions (which are not agreed upon within different schools of thought as to which ones comprise it), perhaps ki can be described as an amagamation of mind and body functions. So here we would have two terms used to loosely describe some sets of phenomina with no agreed-upon definition.
I think mind is a philosophical concept which works because it stays on its own philosophical and psychological plane. The reason ki stumbles where mind doesn't is that ki crosses over into the realm of physics, a world of measurable math.
Quote:
The example you gave of the guy moving kids with his ki seems rather dubious and reminicent of Dillman and his knockout punches that only work on his own students (i.e. classic conditioning). These don't disprove anything, of course.
You're right. It's not intended so much to disprove as to illustrate the dangers of leaving supernatural beliefs unquestioned. When someone tells us they can do something with ki, we need to be wondering what this ki is and how it works. And if there are no answers, then we ought to be questioning the reasoning behind bringing it up at all.
Quote:
People do get knocked out all the time...I was knocked out a few minutes after I dislocated my patela (I'm a sissy though). That's an obvious example that "odd" knock-outs can exist, but perhaps ki isn't so obvious...kinda of like the potential varieties of Higgs-Boson particles (LHC = Large Hadron Collider...or possibly Left-Handed Corn, which is much tastier than Right-Handed Corn ).
Odd knockouts can exist. I certainly don't dispute that.
Quote:
When it comes to evidence-based approaches I'm not sure you can assert there is no flying spaghetti monster; all you can do is describe what model seems to help you understand phenomina the best and draw correlations. Asserting there is no Ki is the same as asserting there is no God: maybe; impossible to know given our current resources. I see assertions in either case as belief, not disbelief.
And here I have to disagree. It's like my example from earlier: I assert that there is an invisible ghost named Norman who puts ideas in your head. It's impossible to know that I'm wrong, and our science of how the brain formulates ideas is certainly incomplete, so why don't you believe in Norman? The obvious answer is that you have no reason to believe in Norman. It is not an assertion of belief to say that Norman doesn't exist; it's a reasonable conclusion based on the available evidence.

In all things, the absence of a reason to believe is reason enough not to believe. Otherwise, UFOs, Bigfoot, astrology, 9/11 conspiracy theories, and Jim Green's telekinesis are all of inherently equal value to the science and history they dispute. It is not an assertion of belief to say these things aren't real; it's a reasonable conclusion based on evidence. And I think the same can be said of ki.

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Old 07-06-2012, 09:20 AM   #116
OwlMatt
 
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Re: Ki to the Highway

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Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
I can get that you don't like the ki model or whatever, but to say that it doesn't need explaining? Really? There are plenty of examples, both in and out of martial arts, where mental visualizations produce physical results. Whether it's someone visualizing water flowing from their arm which makes it harder for someone to bend, a guy taking a cannonball to the gut while visualizing a furnace and bellows in his stomach or someone lifting an object off another person in an emergency that they couldn't budge in any other situation, the mind plays an interesting and not completely understood role in the coordination of the bodies systems. That we can, to some degree, condition and train this and have it produce physical results is pretty interesting stuff to me, regardless of whether or not I know exactly how it works.
I think you misunderstand me. I'm not saying that these things don't need to be explained at all. I'm saying that what we know of science explains them without resort to a belief in ki. It absolutely is interesting stuff, amazing stuff, and I think it is a privilege to study it and practice it.
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I don't think ki/chi/intent/etc are attempts to explain why this thing happens, it's just a way to get someone else to feel it too and at that point why is still interesting, but not entirely needed.
Even though this kind of use of the word ki is certainly a lesser offense than talking about mysterious supernatural forces, I still think it unnecessarily muddies the water. In the training I've done with Ikeda Shihan, he's always been able to convey that feeling you're talking about without falling back on so vague a word as ki, and his English isn't nearly as good as ours. If he doesn't need ki to explain himself, then I don't see how any of us do.

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Old 07-06-2012, 10:01 AM   #117
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Re: Ki to the Highway

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Matthew Story wrote: View Post
I think you misunderstand me. I'm not saying that these things don't need to be explained at all. I'm saying that what we know of science explains them without resort to a belief in ki. It absolutely is interesting stuff, amazing stuff, and I think it is a privilege to study it and practice it.

Even though this kind of use of the word ki is certainly a lesser offense than talking about mysterious supernatural forces, I still think it unnecessarily muddies the water. In the training I've done with Ikeda Shihan, he's always been able to convey that feeling you're talking about without falling back on so vague a word as ki, and his English isn't nearly as good as ours. If he doesn't need ki to explain himself, then I don't see how any of us do.
Except that science doesn't explain it, not the how and why.

and I disagree completely about Ikeda sensei. I've been to his seminars and I enjoyed it, he has strong aikido, but the one thing that disappointed me was his inability to explain what he wanted people to do without using vague feelings. How is "move inside" any better than "extend ki" or "bring chi here"? At the seminar I attended there was only one of his students there who could replicate what he was doing to any degree, physically, and that student is involved in outside training that revolves around the ki/chi/intent model. Nobody else (of his students) could do what he was doing, most had no clue what he was even asking of them and the few that seemed to have a grasp of it weren't given anything to work on outside of doing techniques to help them develop that grasp into something physical.

IMO the chi/intent model could have filled in that gap for them and as esoteric as it may seem on the surface, with practice and conditioning could have produced physical connection in them that they could use to make sense out of what he does. It's only mystical until you can produce something physical with those visualizations. I no longer subscribe to any other version of ki.
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:10 AM   #118
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Re: Ki to the Highway

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Matthew Story wrote: View Post
In the training I've done with Ikeda Shihan, he's always been able to convey that feeling you're talking about without falling back on so vague a word as ki, and his English isn't nearly as good as ours. If he doesn't need ki to explain himself, then I don't see how any of us do.
what he shown and discussed are the how-to do things in his system. his system has a name, but you won't get him to say it.

here is a question or two..or maybe even two and a half and could even be three. if i remembered correctly (losing grey matter by the pound), Takeda called his system aikijujutsu. He used the word "ki" in it. then Ueshiba the senior, called it aiki budo. damn, there's that "ki" word again! then modern day, it called aikido. crap! that's word ki again. i suggested somewhere on aikiweb that we should just called it aido, the art of love, with the karma sutra as the core student manual. of course folks would say that we are deviants. so i think we should just call it "do". that's way we can just do do.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:41 AM   #119
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Re: Ki to the Highway

Below are some excerpts on the subject from various sources on the internet. In general, I am very much aligned with the Taoist view on things as qi being a life force energy - where I vary a little is on the types of of qi. I agree with the differences in what they are saying, I just like to look at that as different applications or uses of qi where qi is fundamentally the same in all. The other area that is personal is just the way I like to classify the qi energy flow as another form of energy yet to be defined.

Enjoy!
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Within the framework of Chinese thought, no notion may attain such a degree of abstraction from empirical data as to correspond perfectly to one of our modern universal concepts. Nevertheless, the term qi comes as close as possible to constituting a generic designation equivalent to our word "energy". When Chinese thinkers are unwilling or unable to fix the quality of an energetic phenomenon, the character qi inevitably flows from their brushes. "
—Manfred Porkert,

Mencius described a kind of qi that might be characterized as an individual's vital energies. This qi was necessary to activity, and it could be controlled by a well-integrated willpower.[17] When properly nurtured, this qi was said to be capable of extending beyond the human body to reach throughout the universe.[17] It could also be augmented by means of careful exercise of one's moral capacities.[17] On the other hand, the qi of an individual could be degraded by adverse external forces that succeed in operating on that individual.[18]

Not only human beings and animals were believed to have qi. Zhuangzi indicated that wind is the qi of the Earth.[19] Moreover, cosmic yin and yang "are the greatest of qi."[20] He described qi as "issuing forth" and creating profound effects.[21] He said "Human beings are born [because of] the accumulation of qi. When it accumulates there is life. When it dissipates there is death... There is one qi that connects and pervades everything in the world."[22]

Central to Taoist world-view and practice is qi (chi). Qi is life-force -- that which animates the forms of the world. It is the vibratory nature of phenomena -- the flow and tremoring that is happening continuously at molecular, atomic and sub-atomic levels. In Japan it is called "ki," and in India, "prana" or "shakti." The ancient Egyptians referred to it as "ka," and the ancient Greeks as "pneuma." For Native Americans it is the "Great Spirit" and for Christians, the "Holy Spirit." In Africa it's known as "ashe" and in Hawaii as "ha" or "mana."
In China, the understanding of qi is inherent in the very language. For instance: The literal translation of the Chinese character meaning "health" is "original qi." The literal translation of the character for "vitality" is "high quality qi." The literal translation of the character meaning "friendly" is "peaceful qi."

The capacity to perceive the flow of qi directly -- to actually see or feel it -- is something that can be cultivated through training in qigong or acupuncture. Like any skill, some people are better at it than others: for some it seems to come "naturally," for others it's more of a challenge. Even if it's not consciously cultivated or acknowledged, most of us can tell the difference between someone who has "great energy" and someone from whom we feel a "bad vibe." And most of us are able to notice, when we enter a room, whether the atmosphere seems relaxed and uplifted, or tense and heavy. To the extent that we notice such things, we are tuning into the level of qi.

We might be in the habit of perceiving our world in terms of solid shapes and forms. What Taoism teaches is that we can train ourselves to perceive in other ways; and a good place to start is with our own human body. Though we may now experience our body as being rather solid, at a molecular level it is comprised mostly of water -- a very fluid substance! And at an atomic level it is 99.99% space -- a vast (and infinitely intelligent) emptiness.

Taoism and Experiencing Qi or Chi Power


Taoism beliefs and philosophies have had a huge influence on ancient Chinese healing practices. These practices, therefore, focus on the patient as a whole and the body's ability to self-heal. tai chi is the set of easy to do stretching and extension exercises with many health and meditative benefits.
According to, tai chi is gentle, adaptable to all ages and capabilities and has a history of treating ailments such as arthritis, hypertension and body pains.

Taoism is indeed, fascinating and intriguing for the Western world and the concept of chi has led to many interesting discussions, debates and books. Essentially, chi is life force and Taoism believes that it is possible to channel this life force using gentle exercises and meditative practices such as those of tai chi.


Basic Qigong Axiom: Energy Follows Attention


In spite of their differences, there are basic mechanisms that are common to all forms of qigong. The primary axiom of qigong practice is "energy follows attention." Where we place our awareness -- our conscious attention -- is where will flow and gather. You can experiment with this right now by closing your eyes, taking a couple of deep breaths, and then putting your attention, your mental focus, into one of your hands. Hold your attention there for thirty seconds to a minute, and notice what happens.

You may have noticed sensations of warmth, or fullness, or a tingling or magnetic feeling, or a sense of heaviness in your fingers or palm. These are common sensations associated with a gathering of qi in a particular place in our body. Each person's experience, however, is unique. What's most important is simply to notice what it is that you are experiencing, and to develop some kind of confidence in this basic principle of qigong practice: energy follows attention. In the Hindu systems this axiom is rendered, with the Sanskrit terms, as: prana (life-force energy) follows citta (mind).

Breath As A Conduit For Linking Energy & Awareness


What is the mechanism by which "energy follows attention"? In the initial stages of practice, this has a lot to do with the physical breathing process. By learning to rest our attention on the cycling of the inhalations and the exhalations -- merging our mind with the movement of the breath -- we activate a capacity for our mental focus to be able to guide the movement of qi.

The Chinese word "qi" is sometimes translated into English as "breath" -- but this is not, in my opinion, the best choice. It's more useful to think of qi as energy plus awareness. The physical breathing process is used to guide awareness into a union with life-force energy -- the offspring being what is pointed to by the word "qi." As this union of life-force energy with awareness is stabilized within the bodymind of the practitioner, the physical breath becomes (over years of practice) more and more subtle, until it is absorbed into what is called embryonic breathing.
Greg
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:06 AM   #120
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Re: Ki to the Highway

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
what he shown and discussed are the how-to do things in his system. his system has a name, but you won't get him to say it.

here is a question or two..or maybe even two and a half and could even be three. if i remembered correctly (losing grey matter by the pound), Takeda called his system aikijujutsu. He used the word "ki" in it. then Ueshiba the senior, called it aiki budo. damn, there's that "ki" word again! then modern day, it called aikido. crap! that's word ki again. i suggested somewhere on aikiweb that we should just called it aido, the art of love, with the karma sutra as the core student manual. of course folks would say that we are deviants. so i think we should just call it "do". that's way we can just do do.
Phi, you have to go back even further. Back to when the heavens and the earth formed that started it all. What was man to do? He couldn't move heaven and he couldn't move earth. He just stood there dumbfounded going, Gee, what do I do? Gee ... and then the lightning hit him, caught him on fire, and he screamed "Gee!" (which at the time was written "ji"). He started dancing around, slapping his body, screaming until the rain put out the fire. This started the worship of the gods. Ka was fire and Mi was water. You see, he was screaming kami while he was on fire, hoping that someone would understand and help him put out the fire. No one did. They all thought it was some new ritual dance for a new god. That's how Shinto started.

This madman realized that he had to make heaven and earth one. 1+1=3 (that was also the beginning of math) and man was the bridge between heaven and earth. Heaven plus Earth with Man in the center was three. The madman realized that you have fire and water ji, ethereal and congealed ji, etc. The eight ji become one. So, then you have 8+8=3. Math didn't really take off too well back then.

Now, some illiterate simpleton comes along and listens to this rambling madman. The simpleton hears qi this and qi that, heavens, universes, and earth and decides that this madman must mean qi is all life energy in all living things. But when the Simpleton tries to test the madman, Simpleton finds that the madman has some mad skillz. Thus the beginning of the martial arts. Other men came along and wanted to learn these cool, new skillz.

So, you see, because of one madman and a lightning strike, we have religion, math, God, spirits, and martial arts.

Now, the qi spreads like wildfire. Not many have the skillz the madman had, but that's okay, because everyone has chi. Yes, it changed again. Then, it landed on Japan's shores. Of course, nothing outside Japan could be holy or right, so the Japanese created "ki". Except a rare few students had survived through the ages and still had mad skillz. These few tossed around the chi-heads as if they were rag dolls. Laughing all the way to the bank, these few mad skillzers agreed whole heartedly that their skills were ki influenced. After all, way back in the beginning it was the "Gee", written "ji" that had started it all.

By the time Takeda had actually gone past his Oh Gee moment, he came full circle with Deguchi. Deguchi was a chi-head of a new sort but his views were taken from the old ways. The old ways could be traced back to the madman, the simpleton, and ji/qi/chi/ki. So, when Deguchi suggested a name change to aiki, Takeda could only agree. The harmony of all the contradictory ki was exactly what he was doing. Earth Martial Gee met Heaven Simpleton Qi in Takeda and Deguchi. Ueshiba was the bridge between the two. Their meeting was what drove Ueshiba nearly crazy and he had had enough of both of them after that. Besides, he was going to be a Budo Sensei, that illustrious and famous career in Japan at that time.

Well, we know the rest after that. History was made. Ueshiba became the famous Golden Cloud Farting Buddha Sensei. The actual reason for WWII was because of this, but that's another story...

Mark
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:33 AM   #121
MM
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Re: Ki to the Highway

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Phi, you have to go back even further. Back to when the heavens and the earth formed that started it all. What was man to do? He couldn't move heaven and he couldn't move earth. He just stood there dumbfounded going, Gee, what do I do? Gee ... and then the lightning hit him, caught him on fire, and he screamed "Gee!" (which at the time was written "ji"). He started dancing around, slapping his body, screaming until the rain put out the fire. This started the worship of the gods. Ka was fire and Mi was water. You see, he was screaming kami while he was on fire, hoping that someone would understand and help him put out the fire. No one did. They all thought it was some new ritual dance for a new god. That's how Shinto started.
Just a quick note here. The new religion which brought forth Christians wanted to have their own, special take on how everything was formed. So, when they first started, they told people that what the madman really said after getting hit with lightning was, "Jesus" not Gee. Then, when he caught fire, it was "Save me", not kami. He was screaming so people didn't really understand his gibberish clearly. He was really saying, Jesus Save Me. Men should pray to Jesus for divine inspiration and grace.

That wasn't going very well for them, so they decided to chuck it all and create their own Genesis. One that had to do with a garden. That was boring, so ... well, that's another story ...
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:00 PM   #122
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Re: Ki to the Highway

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
That wasn't going very well for them, so they decided to chuck it all and create their own Genesis. One that had to do with a garden. That was boring, so ... well, that's another story ...
so where does the Glee stuffs come about from the origin of Oh Gee? which resulted in the movie Magic Mike which my wife wants to check out.... i meant protesting with her friends.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:17 PM   #123
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Re: Ki to the Highway

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
so where does the Glee stuffs come about from the origin of Oh Gee? which resulted in the movie Magic Mike which my wife wants to check out.... i meant protesting with her friends.
Oh! You want the female version? We all know it was the men who came to mess everything up from the beginning. While the illiterate simpletons - just to clarify, in the woman's views, all men are illiterate and simple - were watching the madman dance around on fire, they saw him trying to rip off his flaming clothes.

So bewildered and bedazzled was this act that the women thought it was dancing. Many mumbled, "Oh, that's so hot". Some women thought the madman was shouting, "Glee" and was ecstatic at his prancing and preening before them. Others watched as strong, muscled (yet illiterate and simple) men aped the actions of the madman, without the catching on fire part, of course.

Naturally, what followed after that were acts of a different sort and all involved were filled with qi. The women wanted the performance to be reenacted. The men, well, they were rewarded afterwards, so they went along with it.

Now you have movies like Magic Mike which harken back to the days of old when one crazed madman was struck with lightning. They eventually named the madman as "Dale". His primary follower was so much like him that they said he was just a "Chip" off the old madman. The act of Chip-N-Dale was born. Women swooned. It is so still today.
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:26 PM   #124
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Re: Ki to the Highway

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Matthew Story wrote: View Post
I agree that there is sometimes a usefulness to ambiguous terms, but I've never seen anything in aikido that needed more explanation than science could provide. Can you give an example?
I don't think it's about "needing" more explanation; it's about a choice in conceptual terms. The main reason it's present is because it's part of the original terminology used by the founder and other subsequent Japanese techers. It remains partly out of a sense of tradition, but I've been prefering to frame it in terms of choice (or trying to) because I think it ultimately comes down to that, particularly when we're talking about non-Japanese interactions.
I agree with the purposes behind a "no-nonsense" approach to learning, whether it's the internal or the external aspect of Aikido, but I see a potential purpose/value to a more roundabout method as well and leave it to the individual to judge according to personal taste and applicability. I personally am very attracted to poetic and/or vague language because I believe the emotional and abstract processes of brain are powerful tools for generating creative and visceral learning.

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I think mind is a philosophical concept which works because it stays on its own philosophical and psychological plane. The reason ki stumbles where mind doesn't is that ki crosses over into the realm of physics, a world of measurable math.
I'm not sure I understand your meaning. Both philosophy and math are abstractions of reality; they cross over to the realm of physics any time someone applies them to behavior. Do you mean to say that they employ more logic-based processes of directly assertaining validation? I would agree, but only insofaras we're looking at "mind" in terms of the scientific processes of psychology and related fields. Most people don't have that background to apply to their understanding of mind, but they use the word commonly because it's a convention of language. "Ki" is also a convention of language, albeit one which has a much more limited context for semantic development for non-Japanese speakers, let alone non-Japanese language speakers.

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You're right. It's not intended so much to disprove as to illustrate the dangers of leaving supernatural beliefs unquestioned. When someone tells us they can do something with ki, we need to be wondering what this ki is and how it works. And if there are no answers, then we ought to be questioning the reasoning behind bringing it up at all.
Agreed.

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And here I have to disagree. It's like my example from earlier: I assert that there is an invisible ghost named Norman who puts ideas in your head. It's impossible to know that I'm wrong, and our science of how the brain formulates ideas is certainly incomplete, so why don't you believe in Norman? The obvious answer is that you have no reason to believe in Norman. It is not an assertion of belief to say that Norman doesn't exist; it's a reasonable conclusion based on the available evidence.
Belief is the absence of knowledge. If it is impossible to know, any assertions made are a belief. I'm not saying all beliefs are equally reasonable. I'm saying they're all unknown. I believe deeply in the importance of suspending belief in order to evaluate things. It creates massive cognitive dissonance, but it's the only way I know how to authentically evaluate my role in understanding the world around me. It leaves everything on VERY uncertain terms, despite my also having a strong sense for various degrees of probability. The only thing I know is I know nothing...which I guess means I don't know I don't know...ya know?
Take care,
Matt

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Old 07-06-2012, 03:32 PM   #125
graham christian
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Re: Ki to the Highway

Ki or spiritual cannot be measured until you enter quantum mechanics and then you cannot measure it but only the effect of it.

Simply put by yours truly....there is physical and thus quantity. Then there is non physical and thus quality.

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