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Old 01-06-2016, 03:05 AM   #1
chris87
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How do i know when i can feel KI?

hey guys ive practicing aikido for a short while of 6 months and ive read up about this amazing power and im new to all this and wondering what KI actually feels like when one eventually becomes aware of it

thanks
chris
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Old 01-06-2016, 05:21 AM   #2
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: How do i know when i can feel KI?

Quote:
Christian Brownlow wrote: View Post
hey guys ive practicing aikido for a short while of 6 months and ive read up about this amazing power and im new to all this and wondering what KI actually feels like when one eventually becomes aware of it

thanks
chris
Hello again,

I have been living in Japan for over 35 years now and I teach aikido to Japanese students in Japanese. I think it is fair to state that I have managed to avoid using this term and I have never heard it used in any special sense in any Japanese dojo where I have trained. However, I have trained with -- and taken ukemi from -- many aikido teachers who were / are direct students of Morihei Ueshiba and I have a good idea what it feels like.

The problem is that there is no acceptable English translation and so the word is used in its original Japanese, but without all the linguistic cultural baggage that comes with it. A similar term is budo, which is what aikido is supposed to be, and people will go into great -- and, in my opinion, relatively useless -- detail in trying to explain in English how and why a do is different from a jutsu.

When it is time, you will be much better off studying the concept of aiki and for this, of course, you will need to go back to the roots of aikido.

Best wishes,

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 01-06-2016 at 05:23 AM.

P A Goldsbury
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Old 01-06-2016, 04:45 PM   #3
Sojourner
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Re: How do i know when i can feel KI?

Hi Christian,

Maybe one answer to your question is that there could be some merit in going along to a club where they have a focus on it and give it a try? At the Ki Fed they open the nights with Ki exersizes and then move onto Aikido training with the practice of Ki. I am not overly familiar with precise locations in the UK, but this one might be a good starting point? - http://kifederationofgreatbritain.co...ame/harrogate/
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Old 01-07-2016, 12:59 AM   #4
Currawong
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Re: How do i know when i can feel KI?

My original teacher in Australia would always start people off doing the "unbendable arm" exercise, allowing them to begin to feel "relaxed power". A similar exercise is the one where you lay flat and imagine you are are a bar of steel while two people lift your head and feet respectively, and your body doesn't bend, despite their being no tension. I gather there may be some kind of scientific explanation for what is going on now.

I do remember an episode of Stan Lee's Superhumans about a man who could make himself magnetic at will and hold a frypan to his head and whatnot. A doctor measured that he had developed what appeared to be an electromagnetic ability through meditation. I imagine that focussing our intent repeatedly during training we develop an ability to move energy through our body in uncommon ways.

I have always noticed that my hands become flushed whenever I "extend ki", a term which I don't use now at all after discovering more fundamental aspects of Aikido that were important, such as developing a good awareness of one's body posture and stance and practicing well-centred movement, as any ability with "ki" is useless without an ability to direct it where it is required.

You'll be learning to move yourself and your training partners through precise curves in space while maintaining complete relaxation, rather like a great penman can draw precisely the right curves on paper* but in a three-dimensional space, intuitively guided by an internal awareness developed over many years.

Did someone say something about ki?

*There are some great Youtube videos on penmanship if you haven't seen it before.
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Old 01-07-2016, 11:53 AM   #5
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: How do i know when i can feel KI?

What an interesting question.

I can’t remember when I first felt ki, but I do remember the first time I trusted feeling centered.

I was at a summer seminar training with my good pal, Gary. We were both brown belts. Maruyama, Sensei came by and said kick. I kicked and then placed my foot down and waited for him to test me at my shoulder. I decided to just feel centered instead of trying to keep my balance the old way; trying to grip the mat with my toes. And lo and behold: I easily kept my balance even though Sensei pushed vigorously. He mumbled something that sounded positive and moved on. I was left with a sense of wonder, possibility and accomplishment.

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Old 01-07-2016, 01:15 PM   #6
lbb
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Re: How do i know when i can feel KI?

Never mind about ki. Ki is a modified version of the emperor's suit of clothes. It may exist. It may not exist. But many people can't or don't perceive it, and (unlike in the old story) that doesn't make them dolts. More likely, it makes them honest.

Claiming to see something that you can't really see (clothes or ki) is self-deception and attempted deception of others. Trying to see something that may not be there, or that you may not be equipped to perceive (not now or not ever, doesn't matter) is a vain effort and a waste of time. Doing tricks that don't actually prove anything, and then nodding your head and agreeing that they prove the existence of something that may not exist, is charlatanry.

You don't need ki. Just train and focus on less sexy, less mystical-sounding goals: correct execution, correct body movement. These are things that you can't sit around and talk about and make unfalsifiable claims about; you have to get your butt on the mat and actually do something, and try for a long long time to get it right, and never be able to stop trying. Maybe ki exists, and if so, maybe it'll come into your aikido some day. If it did, and you didn't know it, if didn't yell out, "Aha! Ki!", would it matter?

Ki may exist, but if it does, I'm convinced you won't find it by chasing it or peering at it or telling yourself that yes, you really do feel it. And if you feel that you're lacking something because you can't see these amazing clothes that everyone's talking about, well, you need to get over that.
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Old 01-07-2016, 05:14 PM   #7
kewms
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Re: How do i know when i can feel KI?

Chances are, you've already felt it, you just used a different word.

In Japanese, 気 is used in hundreds of different words, mostly having to do with mood, energy, spirit, stuff like that. If you've stood on a cliff overlooking the ocean and filled your lungs with the clean, salt air, you've "experienced" 気 in a way that a Japanese person would recognize.

In the aikido context, it can be a useful shorthand for describing a variety of physical phenomena having to do with attention, body structure, and mental focus. It can also be a mechanism for collective self-delusion. If you find it useful, great. Just make sure that your stuff still works on people who don't feel "it" when you wave your fingers at them.

Katherine
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Old 01-08-2016, 07:00 AM   #8
phitruong
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Re: How do i know when i can feel KI?

another acceptable translation is gas. as in after you have a large meal of bean, cabbage and cheese. this is where the no-touch throw stuffs come about. it's deadly at 10 paces in enclosed space. the counter for this ki is to open all the doors and windows, might want to kick in the big fan too. but whatever you do, DO NOT light a candle or use any sort of open flame!

have you ever wonder why we wear the hakama? it really is a device to contain and slow dispersing the ki leak during practice; thus the two big vents on both side of the hips.

"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 01-08-2016, 07:47 AM   #9
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: How do i know when i can feel KI?

Ki does exist. And it can be felt and not felt. Some styles of Aikido do not acknowledge ki and it seems almost like a dirty word.

I feel ki when I train and I can feel when I lose it. In our style we train in a way that blends with uke and does not force uke at all.

When the conversion goes to no touch throws I have nothing to add because I have no experience with that.

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Old 01-08-2016, 08:37 AM   #10
lbb
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Re: How do i know when i can feel KI?

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
I feel ki when I train and I can feel when I lose it.
I'm sure your partners can feel when you lose it too *cough* or perhaps there's another sense involved. Tip o' the hat to Phi. "Losing ki", wow, that's...one way to put it. "Wow, Mary just lost her ki, open the window!"
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:16 AM   #11
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: How do i know when i can feel KI?

That was really rude. I ignore Phi because he seems to have never left 7th grade. I hope the laugh you got over that was worth it. Has it ever occurred to you, Mary that you just don't know what we are talking about. Why don't you ask you teachers about it sometime?

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Old 01-08-2016, 09:39 AM   #12
RonRagusa
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Re: How do i know when i can feel KI?

Quote:
phitruong wrote:
another acceptable translation is gas. as in after you have a large meal of bean, cabbage and cheese. this is where the no-touch throw stuffs come about. it's deadly at 10 paces in enclosed space. the counter for this ki is to open all the doors and windows, might want to kick in the big fan too. but whatever you do, DO NOT light a candle or use any sort of open flame!

have you ever wonder why we wear the hakama? it really is a device to contain and slow dispersing the ki leak during practice; thus the two big vents on both side of the hips.
Quote:
lbb wrote:
I'm sure your partners can feel when you lose it too *cough* or perhaps there's another sense involved. Tip o' the hat to Phi. "Losing ki", wow, that's...one way to put it. "Wow, Mary just lost her ki, open the window!"
Christian - Should you continue your pursuit of Ki development in conjunction with your Aikido, you'll surely run into more nonsensical, ill informed derisive, views such as those above. Aikido people come in all stripes and as you will find "there are none so blind as those who will not see". (John Heywood)

Don't let the foot stompers sway you, there's a lot more to Aikido than technique.

Ron

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Old 01-08-2016, 11:29 AM   #13
Hellis
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Re: How do i know when i can feel KI?

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
another acceptable translation is gas. as in after you have a large meal of bean, cabbage and cheese. this is where the no-touch throw stuffs come about. it's deadly at 10 paces in enclosed space. the counter for this ki is to open all the doors and windows, might want to kick in the big fan too. but whatever you do, DO NOT light a candle or use any sort of open flame!

have you ever wonder why we wear the hakama? it really is a device to contain and slow dispersing the ki leak during practice; thus the two big vents on both side of the hips.
Hi Phi

I trust this explanation comes from years of serious study without any damage to the tatami ?
Made me laugh anyway, I hope we both can be forgiven for having a sense of humour ?

Henry Ellis

Co-author of `Positive Aikido`

http://kazuo-chiba-sensei.blogspot.com/
http://rik-ellis.blogspot.com/
http://henryellis-aikido.blogspot.com/
http://britishaikido.blogspot.com/
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Old 01-08-2016, 12:43 PM   #14
nikyu62
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Re: How do i know when i can feel KI?

"You will feel ki when it smacks you upside the head"......me
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Old 01-08-2016, 01:28 PM   #15
phitruong
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Re: How do i know when i can feel KI?

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
I ignore Phi because he seems to have never left 7th grade.
preposterous!
ridiculous even! i have you know i have not got out of 5th grade!
most absurd!

"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 01-08-2016, 07:40 PM   #16
Walter Martindale
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Re: How do i know when i can feel KI?

Ki... Well... Once a long time ago I was told I had strong "chi" by a woman member of our dojo. I understand that "chi" and "Ki" are supposed to be equivalent. But I still don't know what it is. Except perhaps Phi's explanation... :-)
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Old 01-08-2016, 07:59 PM   #17
robin_jet_alt
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Re: How do i know when i can feel KI?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Chances are, you've already felt it, you just used a different word.

In Japanese, 気 is used in hundreds of different words, mostly having to do with mood, energy, spirit, stuff like that. If you've stood on a cliff overlooking the ocean and filled your lungs with the clean, salt air, you've "experienced" 気 in a way that a Japanese person would recognize.

In the aikido context, it can be a useful shorthand for describing a variety of physical phenomena having to do with attention, body structure, and mental focus. It can also be a mechanism for collective self-delusion. If you find it useful, great. Just make sure that your stuff still works on people who don't feel "it" when you wave your fingers at them.

Katherine
I spent at least a day trying to think up something intelligent to write, but I think you nailed it much more succinctly than I could.
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Old 01-09-2016, 05:55 AM   #18
Michael Douglas
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Re: How do i know when i can feel KI?

I'm surprised there are this many replies ... to an unanswerable question.
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Old 01-09-2016, 07:52 AM   #19
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: How do i know when i can feel KI?

Quote:
Christian Brownlow wrote: View Post
... wondering what KI actually feels like when one eventually becomes aware of it
Look for a qi gong teacher and practice qi gong. You will learn "what ki actually feels like" immediately.
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Old 01-09-2016, 08:28 AM   #20
rugwithlegs
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Re: How do i know when i can feel KI?

FWIW, from a Chinese martial arts teacher of mine, the actual character for Ki is a wood burning stove with a pot of rice on top. The lid on the rice pot is jumping up as it cooks. I use the idea as structure (pot, stove body) and internal intention/imagery (fire) can lead to something more (hard inedible seed becomes nourishing and softer). So, steam, vapor, etc and something that could be defined by physics and psychology with extensive lectures but not helpfully. If your mind is on something else instead of your movement, then it's not coordinating with your movement - much as a debate on the nature of fire does not cook my lunch.

Kisshomaru Ueshiba's book on Aikido did have a dozen or so examples of how ki is used in Japanese language, and like has been said here it's not all Jedi Voodoo. It's just "Mind and Body working together can do more." Tohei's original work was on Mind and Body Coordinated, which is not so magical sounding.

Much the same as my first curling coach told me to keep my eyes on the rock when I threw it, and to try to see the throw before I made it. My cross country coach recommended we go home and see the course and rehearse in our mind, and my biathlon coach recommended all the same stuff - becoming a better shot wasn't only a matter of wasting millions of bullets. A boxer might not believe in Ki, but will talk about timing and targets, punching through the target, having your shoulder behind your hands, etc. Most Olympic sports do some version of mind and body exercises in training.

Unbendable arm is a use of imagery. In seeing yourself touching the wall behind your partner you are developing a mindset helpful in striking through a target, and it is a way to trick your body into relaxing muscles antagonistic to the motion - you have roughly four times as many muscles and ligaments as you do bones, and most are not consciously controlled by you or anyone naturally, but many can be, and usually indirectly.

If you are an athlete already, or a dancer, or have a focused mind and good structure, then you may never feel anything new, you would just have some new engrams to work on.

If you are wanting to have Kung Fu Panda Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon Ki and want to know how to chase that, I got nothing.
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Old 01-09-2016, 10:16 AM   #21
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: How do i know when i can feel KI?

Quote:
John Hillson wrote: View Post
It's just "Mind and Body working together can do more." Tohei's original work was on Mind and Body Coordinated, ...
Just to get you right:
Do you think this understanding of ki as structure and coordination of body and mind is equivalent to the understanding of qi used in arts like qi gong or nei gong? Or do you think the understanding of ki in aikidō is different from the understanding of qi in arta like qi gong or nei gong?
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Old 01-09-2016, 10:31 AM   #22
PeterR
 
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Re: How do i know when i can feel KI?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Chances are, you've already felt it, you just used a different word.

In Japanese, 気 is used in hundreds of different words, mostly having to do with mood, energy, spirit, stuff like that. If you've stood on a cliff overlooking the ocean and filled your lungs with the clean, salt air, you've "experienced" 気 in a way that a Japanese person would recognize.

In the aikido context, it can be a useful shorthand for describing a variety of physical phenomena having to do with attention, body structure, and mental focus. It can also be a mechanism for collective self-delusion. If you find it useful, great. Just make sure that your stuff still works on people who don't feel "it" when you wave your fingers at them.

Katherine
Nicely put. Years ago I was invited to a Ki Society dojo near Osaka (quite an effort to get there). The head teacher was one of the few who I've seen control me with little to no body movement with my host saying very few of his students could do the same but I digress. When in turn I brought him to my home dojo the guy watched the performance of the deshi and afterward he sincerely said he had never seen such powerful ki before. Now the thing is Ki is never mentioned in the dojo and I never understood the context but after that conversation I felt I began to understand.

I don't think you can ever feel Ki flowing from you or into you but it is possible to feel its expression. The power of action through technique rather than muscle. Get to that point and you will feel Ki.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 01-09-2016, 04:17 PM   #23
rugwithlegs
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Re: How do i know when i can feel KI?

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Just to get you right:
Do you think this understanding of ki as structure and coordination of body and mind is equivalent to the understanding of qi used in arts like qi gong or nei gong? Or do you think the understanding of ki in aikidō is different from the understanding of qi in arta like qi gong or nei gong?
if I google qigong or chi gung, I get the same characters. Stove, fire, rice pot. I know some teachers offer more than that. The understanding I offered is common sense, scientifically valid, and very useful for health and martial training. When I teach I am able to correct structure, or I can correct a poor understanding or offer an image to facilitate the understanding. I can correct mental mistakes or physical ones.

I do not know how to correct spiritual mistakes; I cannot even prove they even exist. At my level, I cannot help a student with such things. O Sensei is said to have claimed precognitive flashes that allowed him to dodge bullets and sword strikes - I am not there. I don't have all the answers, but I do believe many things are possible. I don't know that such Ki compensates for a wild-horse mind and poor integration.

And, the OP has trained for six months in Aikido. Looking over older posts, he has a karate background. My understanding is that the characters for Kiai and Aiki are the same. At least I know he has some training - it is a pet peeve to have a new student with terrible posture and ADHD get grumpy because I tell them to stand up straight instead of something more mystical.

Of course I like to think there is more. I don't know how to reliably use it or teach it.
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Old 01-10-2016, 07:03 PM   #24
lbb
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Re: How do i know when i can feel KI?

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
That was really rude.
No, it really wasn't, but if you're bound and determined to take offense, I can't stop you. Whatever you think of Phi's maturity level, he is correct about one of the meanings for the word "ki". There's a more serious point behind the joke, and there's nothing offensive about it -- it's just truth.
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Old 01-10-2016, 08:27 PM   #25
RonRagusa
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Re: How do i know when i can feel KI?

Quote:
John Hillson wrote: View Post
If your mind is on something else instead of your movement, then it's not coordinating with your movement - much as a debate on the nature of fire does not cook my lunch.

It's just "Mind and Body working together can do more." Tohei's original work was on Mind and Body Coordinated, which is not so magical sounding.

Unbendable arm is a use of imagery. In seeing yourself touching the wall behind your partner you are developing a mindset helpful in striking through a target, and it is a way to trick your body into relaxing muscles antagonistic to the motion - you have roughly four times as many muscles and ligaments as you do bones, and most are not consciously controlled by you or anyone naturally, but many can be, and usually indirectly.

If you are an athlete already, or a dancer, or have a focused mind and good structure, then you may never feel anything new, you would just have some new engrams to work on.
Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote:
I don't think you can ever feel Ki flowing from you or into you but it is possible to feel its expression. The power of action through technique rather than muscle. Get to that point and you will feel Ki.
Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote:
in the aikido context, it can be a useful shorthand for describing a variety of physical phenomena having to do with attention, body structure, and mental focus.
Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote:
I decided to just feel centered instead of trying to keep my balance the old way; trying to grip the mat with my toes. And lo and behold: I easily kept my balance even though Sensei pushed vigorously.
Christian - I'm not sure if you're still following this thread. I hope so because there's some pretty good stuff being posted here, a representative few of which I have noted above.

A common theme is that Ki is a result of proper integration of body and mind that produces performance in diverse activities, Aikido which is but one example, that is demonstrably superior to performance without that same level of integration.

Tohei was of the school that asserted that this mind/body coordination is present in all of us to greater and lesser degrees and that it can be trained and strengthened via a whole slew of exercises and tests. Other teachers have since added to his original Ki syllabus so that today there are a large number of exercises designed to facilitate coordination of mind and body.

The answer to your question about what Ki actually feels like can be easily demonstrated to you at any dojo where mind/body coordination exercises are practiced in a matter of minutes. Once you feel mind/body coordination and learn to apply it to your Aikido you will begin to appreciate all that the study of Aikido has to offer.

Good luck with your training.

Ron

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