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Old 05-16-2003, 01:11 PM   #1
ian's Avatar
Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,654
ki development

How important is ki/chi development in your aikido and do you notice a real change in the effectiveness? (now I'm not talking about ki testing - all you ki-aikido people out there!)

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Old 05-16-2003, 01:37 PM   #2
Sven Groot
Sven Groot's Avatar
Dojo: Shi Zen Ryu, Leiden
Location: Leiden, the Netherlands
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 23
You may want to check out articles like 'The value of Ki study' and related articles in the 'Spiritual' section of this website.
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Old 05-16-2003, 02:26 PM   #3
Dojo: Hacienda LaPuente Aikikai
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 50
About eight years ago, I decided that I needed to find out a lot more about the ki part of Aikido than I was getting from my Aikido teachers. I think the prevailing beliefs that I encountered in Aikido were along the lines of : development of ki comes of its own accord through normal training, or it's too esoteric a subject to talk about, or there's really no such thing, etc.

I began to suspect that people who should be in a position to know a lot about it possibly didn't. The one's who did discuss it seemed to rely more on the standard kind of "Aikido" responses, which seemed an awful lot like cliches to me.

So I began a personal path of research into the subject. After a few years, I found out that there is quite a bit to know, and that a lot of what is commonly passed around in Aikido is insufficient.

I have arrived at the study of qigong specifically, through a deep, broader study of Tao.

Having practiced Taoism for several years I believe has had a tremendous impact on my life. I also believe that through qigong, my Aikido has become markedly improved. And as an added bonus I haven't been sick in all that time (I'm a public school teacher and am exposed to lots of communicable junk daily).

Not to be evangelical about it, but there is a LOT, I mean thousands of years, of research by highly achieved individuals into qi development and its relationship not only to martial arts, but health, longevity, sexuality, and spirituality. And much of this is available to those who would chose to seek it out.

It's certainly not a path for everyone. And I'm sure that lots of great Aikidoka don't do much specific ki development work beyond regular dojo training. No reason why anyone should, unless they really want to.

Personally, I find it very enjoyable and helpful.

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Old 05-16-2003, 10:50 PM   #4
Jeff Tibbetts
Dojo: Cedar River Aikikai
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 142
What types of exercises really have helped you to increase your feeling of Ki? I know there are a lot of books and research on the subject, but what do you think has helped you the most? It's a subject that just flat-out isn't addressed much for many reasons. But I suppose I'd listen to another Aikidoka quicker than others.

If the Nightingale doesn't sing-
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Old 05-17-2003, 05:02 PM   #5
Marty's Avatar
Dojo: Southside dojo
Location: Kalamazoo Mi, USA
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 30
I am with Jeff in my interest, I have been focusing on ki for about 1.5-2 years of 3 years of training and I feel a difference, even people feel different.. I noticed this when I did a qigong practice that is called armor protection I really felt weird. it cuts you off form perceiving ki, I felt that people were 2 D I could remember that this is how things were before I started aikido. my sense of it is that training with intent on ki is one major way to develop it and there are some other things like closing your eyes and making a mental ball around you then having someone punch you SLOWLY but with intent and you touch the fist before it hits you (yes with your eyes still closed). But other things are just like try to extend and feel people's intent... I don't know maybe others have more stuff.


"The chief requirement of a good life, is to live without any image of oneself."

Iris Murdoch
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Old 05-17-2003, 09:20 PM   #6
tedehara's Avatar
Dojo: Evanston Ki-Aikido
Location: Evanston IL
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 826
Jeff Tibbetts wrote:
What types of exercises really have helped you to increase your feeling of Ki?...
Ki in Aikido - A Sampler of Ki Exercises has just been re-released. That's a good book to look at for ki development exercises.

Of course, qi-going exercises are also good for ki development. ORE (Oneness Rhythm Exercise) which the Ki Society has been using, originated from a qi-going exercise series.

Tai-Chi and Aikido, when performed at its highest level, demands that the martial artist moves with mind/body coordination. Threfore ki development exercises help the practitioner to move in a relaxed, natural motion. Many of the movements in both arts are extremely difficult to perform unless the person does it with a natural movement.

Like Tom mentioned, this is one way to approach Aikido. It is certainly not the only way.

For myself, it does explain how things "work" in a technique. This approach gives me a direction in analyzing my mistakes.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
About Ki
About You
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Old 05-18-2003, 09:33 AM   #7
Bronson's Avatar
Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,677
some other things like closing your eyes and making a mental ball around you then having someone punch you SLOWLY but with intent and you touch the fist before it hits you (yes with your eyes still closed).
WHAT?!?!?! That can't work. You don't know what you're talking about. You're just an aiki-fruity


"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 05-18-2003, 01:57 PM   #8
mike lee
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 646
ki is vital

Using relaxed power and proper breathing (ki) is the only possible way to advance one's skill in the art of aikido. Any other approach wastes too much energy and the body remains too rigid, making it unstable and susceptible to injury. (Ever notice that the stiffest, tensest people in the dojo are the ones that are always getting hurt?)

Training to exhaustion can teach one to use ki if you don't give up and stop moving. (Never think or say, "I'm tired." This is a sure way to stop your ki with your own mind!)

This is why I think judo practiioners are often very good at aikido. Judo training can be very tough and demanding, especially if you are preparing for competition. They naturally learn to relax, breath and conserve their energy during long, hard training sessions and during a bout, otherwise they would quickly become exhausted.

This is why it's important to use ki during training and to train very hard without ever quiting. In an actual street situation, you don't want to exhaust your energy, because then you can't fight!
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