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Old 02-23-2011, 12:37 AM   #1
Benjamin Mehner
Dojo: Salt Lake Aikikai, Zen Bu Kan
Location: Midvale, Ut
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I thought ki was fake.

Before I took Aikido I took Karate at a commercial competitive dojo. Then I took baguazhang, or however you spell it, under a skilled master with not so skilled assistants. Then one day a friend handed me "The Art of Peace" and showed me some youtube videos.

After a few months I found the right dojo and my friend gave me his dogi. After a few lessons I realized that ki was real.

After a while I began to understand how to use ki a little bit.

Recently I have become aware of my center, and I haven't even been to my dojo in a while. I've only used one point meditations and practiced with my friend on the cold hard ground outside.

First I though ki was fake then I misunderstood what my center is, I hope I gain even more insight.

Looking back I think I could have learned a thing or two about ki and my center from the baguazhong, but it didn't click until I took Aikido. Have any of you had an experience like mine?

Let silence be my mantra.
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Old 02-23-2011, 03:29 AM   #2
Hellis
Dojo: Ellis Schools of Traditional Aikido
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Re: I thought ki was fake.

Quote:
Benjamin Mehner wrote: View Post
.

Have any of you had an experience like mine?
No !

Benjamin
With respect, I would suggest you forget about `ki` for the time being and study some good Aikido basics.

Henry Ellis
http://aikido-books.blogspot.com/
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Old 02-23-2011, 06:21 AM   #3
dps
 
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Re: I thought ki was fake.

No, the first martial art that I learned was Aikido.

Ki is learned through practicing the basics which i learned from the beginning of my practice.


dps

Last edited by dps : 02-23-2011 at 06:30 AM.

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Old 02-23-2011, 08:47 AM   #4
Larry Cuvin
 
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Re: I thought ki was fake.

Hi Benjamin. My answer is no. Aikido is the first martial art (and the only one) I have formal training on but since I train in Ki Aikido, the first thing we experienced and learn (as in the first class demo) is how to use your center, relax and extend ki (even for just a short period of time). We have ki training first hour followed by another hour of aikido. Been at it for six years so I'm still a noob.

Plus Ki
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:57 AM   #5
ChrisHein
 
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Re: I thought ki was fake.

Remember when you decided ki was fake? Now you have a different perspective. That was because you opened your mind. Make sure you KEEP the OPEN Mind part.

Don't become 100% set on any idea, if something seems right, go with it, but ask why while you're doing it. Always ask why. The open mind is the most valuable thing you could possibly gain, don't let go of that, no matter what you think is important down the road.

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Old 02-23-2011, 10:38 AM   #6
Benjamin Mehner
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Re: I thought ki was fake.

Quote:
Henry Ellis wrote: View Post
No !

Benjamin
With respect, I would suggest you forget about `ki` for the time being and study some good Aikido basics.

Henry Ellis
http://aikido-books.blogspot.com/
Thank you for your advice, I know a bit about you and have respect for your opinion. I only wish I could follow your advice and get some good practice. School and work are getting in the way of going to my dojo, and I don't want to practice at any of the other ones around here.

I think I've spent too much time thinking and reading about Aikido and not enough time doing it.

Let silence be my mantra.
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:53 AM   #7
PhillyKiAikido
 
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Re: I thought ki was fake.

I do. Ki/Qi/Chi is not something hard to feel, it's something very common and natural in life. OSensei said he was born with Ki. It shouldn't take much time for a martial art students to feel Ki or somthing different with his body, given the training is right. Baguazhang is an internal martial art, I think it helped you get the feeling. I agree that one should be open-minded, that means respecting the reality, not trying to deny, forget or ignore.

One thing I want to add is you should be under the guidance of some experienced masters, or you may have big troubles if you practice the wrong way. IMHO, Ki Society's Ki training goes on the safe side, so the effect is not that obvious to everybody, but it'll be obvious after a few years.

My two cents.
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:09 AM   #8
phitruong
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Re: I thought ki was fake.

for an art that has ki in the middle of the name, one would have thought the old guy knew something, right? otherwise, we would only have aido. love is good and all, but sometimes you need a good irimi smack down.
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:20 AM   #9
Diana Frese
Dojo: Aikikai of S.W. Conn. (formerly)
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Re: I thought ki was fake.

I was very fortunate to be at NY Aikikai many many years ago when I was in my twenties, and we were exposed to both approaches in the following way, after the initial intro the last three months I was at Cornell.

There, the judo in the women's phys ed building was very systematic, there was a numbered series of techniques for each, knee, hip, shoulder, etc. but some of us also went downtown to the teacher's cousin's class. Aikido was also taught but the only thing I remember was flying through the air, he was French, and he taught us by using the fact that we were also studying judo and could take ukemi. I remember it was often hard to know where and how he wanted us to roll or fall .... And I remember the phrase, "Look for the shape of the movement...." But after three months came graduation....

At NY Aikikai we were exposed to the concept of ki by Tohei Koichi Sensei himself who visited for about four months and taught many of the classes. His book Aikido in Daily Life was just published then, I think it's now called Ki in Daily Life unless there has been a further revision of the title.

At the time, Yamada Sensei already had many excellent assistant teachers, including Lou Kleinsmith who had come from judo and was also an assistant teacher at Chen Man-Ching's Tai Chi studio "downtown" as his students called it.

Perhaps the main things we learned were to not be stiff, the "relax completely" one of the four basic points, and to think of your center -- Keep one point ------ from the Ki instruction. Also to extend ki, to not struggle with the partner.

These points were very valuable, though I confess I was a person who tenses up under pressure and have to remind myself not to.

As many of you know, Yamada Sensei is famous for powerful kokyu ryoku movement (so when he mentioned the phrase either speaking to us or in a printed interview or article we knew exactly what he meant) I think one of the subtitles of one of his books is The Arts of Power and Movement. (We simply have to get our books out of the family storage locker!)

Ukemi, I confess, was never easy for me. Once when the fall out of one of the techniques made me feel a bit balky, Sensei commented, back in the days when he had an accent, "Don't scared, even you stiffened up I gotta throw you anyway." He wasn't being mean, I had been practicing for at least a couple of years and judo before that, so I should have known better. After all nobody dragged me to class almost every day..... we were all just fascinated by aikido, and in my case, i never would have believed when I was a klutzy teenager that in my twenties I would learn the closest thing to flying....

I guess all I'm trying to say, is practice a lot. I was fortunate to find a dojo with a lot of great people and a great head instructor, and visiting instructors.....

"The basics," David mentioned. Yamada Sensei mentioned that before the testing at Summer Camp 1973, then in the late seventies or early eighties at a demonstration with other shihan at a rented space with room for the general public to watch, he chose Basic Technique for his portion of the exhibition.

Starting in 1975 I got an opportunity to teach at the local Y here, they were looking for classes to fill the new building. When we were a Y course I called it Introduction to Aikido. Then we became an Aikikai and paid a nominal rent. Several years later, my husband tells me now, when he tried Aikido as something his karate teacher at college had mentioned, I always emphasized the basics.

From his background, he had been practicing Shotokan for years with strong emphasis on basic techniques. Fortunately I always had good people to work with, so I said they were helping me with my homework. And the ki exercises I remembered were very helpful too.

Sorry this got so long, but I wanted to express some gratitude for many people who helped along the way.

Last edited by Diana Frese : 02-23-2011 at 11:23 AM. Reason: clarification : attending for three months
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:26 AM   #10
Diana Frese
Dojo: Aikikai of S.W. Conn. (formerly)
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Re: I thought ki was fake.

Thanks, Ting and Phi, I was still writing while you were posting.
I like your posts!
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:39 PM   #11
Don Nordin
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Re: I thought ki was fake.

Benjamin,

I have only been practicing Aikido for about 18 months, so I do not have anywhere near the experience of many others on this board. All I can offer to is that there is no majic in any of this it is all about practice. There a few chapters in the book "Moving Towards Stillness" that may interst you. The short version is put down the baggage, leave it at the door of the Dojo, and train. The rest will come with time.
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:53 PM   #12
Hellis
Dojo: Ellis Schools of Traditional Aikido
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Re: I thought ki was fake.

Benjamin

"" I think I've spent too much time thinking and reading about Aikido and not enough time doing it. """""
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That simple statement tells me that you are a sensible young man.
You have the time to find the right dojo ` for you `...
Good luck
Henry Ellis
http://aikido-books.blogspot.com/
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Old 02-23-2011, 03:28 PM   #13
Benjamin Mehner
Dojo: Salt Lake Aikikai, Zen Bu Kan
Location: Midvale, Ut
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Re: I thought ki was fake.

Quote:
Henry Ellis wrote: View Post
Benjamin

"" I think I've spent too much time thinking and reading about Aikido and not enough time doing it. """""
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That simple statement tells me that you are a sensible young man.
You have the time to find the right dojo ` for you `...
Good luck
Henry Ellis
http://aikido-books.blogspot.com/
Thank you. I forgot to add that your first response to me reminded me of what my sensei said when I asked about satori. He looked at me kind of funny and told me not to even bother thinking about it yet.

I think I have found the right dojo, its a pretty traditional place affiliated with the Hombu dojo. I have a lot of respect for my sensei and my dojomates.. Its just that I'm going to culinary school right now and It has taken me away from my dojo. It's been kind of depressing, not being able to be training with my friends, but cooking is the only thing I've ever enjoyed doing for a living. Right now school must come first so I can advance my skills in the culinary arts.

Let silence be my mantra.
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:41 PM   #14
Gorgeous George
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Re: I thought ki was fake.

Quote:
Benjamin Mehner wrote: View Post
I think I've spent too much time thinking and reading about Aikido and not enough time doing it.
Ditto.

...but the more I practice, the more I think.
How's that for a koan?
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Old 02-24-2011, 04:34 PM   #15
Mossy Stone
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Re: I thought ki was fake.

I had quite the opposite experience, having encountered the use of Ki before being introduced to the term. When I took an Aikido class in college, as I sat listening, I had several moments where I said to myself "Oh, so THAT is how..."

In a lot of ways, my short time studying Aikido brought together a lot of my previous learnings in various disciplines, and I found myself translating Ki and other concepts to such things as boxing, kickboxing, and even taking it beyond that, using Aikido concepts and applying them to verbal interractions. It is amazing how much further you get with people when you 'blend' their intent with yours, rather than confronting them with it.
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Old 02-27-2011, 01:33 PM   #16
Aikido-Sensei
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Re: I thought ki was fake.

i think that sometimes people don't understand or forgot the yin-yang symbol.

There is a good in bad and bad in good, i believe that aikido makes the "bad" fight to a "good" one - in other words - AI KI DO.

Watch Aikido videos on Aikido Sensei - Aikido Videos
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:59 AM   #17
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: I thought ki was fake.

Is electricity fake? One can see the results it produces yet one can't see the current.

Ki is the simply the result of a unified mind and body. I can feel when it is present in another and truly believe in it. So no, Ki is not fake.

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Old 02-13-2019, 10:13 AM   #18
Derek
 
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Re: I thought ki was fake.

There is no replacement for practice (except more practice). Don't get caught up in the cerebral aspects at this stage. There are lots of things to consider, but really just practice and let it "gel" I tell my students to practice and do a techniques a few hundred (thousand) times and then they may begin to understand what questions to ask of me (and themselves)

Derek Duval
Godan
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Old 02-28-2019, 04:19 AM   #19
Bernd Lehnen
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Re: I thought ki was fake.

Please scroll and have fun...


China, Chi, and Chicanery: Examining Traditional Chinese Medicine and Chi Theory
2 Feature
3 Peter Huston
4 Skeptical Inquirer Volume 19.5, September / October 1995

https://www.csicop.org/si/show/china..._theo#foot er
1

The Roots of Qi - CSI - Committee for Skeptical Inquiry

https://www.csicop.org/sb/show/roots_of_qi

Claims of Chi: Besting a Tai Chi Master
Investigative Files
Joe Nickell
Skeptical Inquirer Volume 41.1, January/February 2017

https://www.csicop.org/si/show/claim..._master#footer

Best,
Bernd

Last edited by Bernd Lehnen : 02-28-2019 at 04:25 AM.
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Old 06-20-2019, 02:35 PM   #20
gezznz
Dojo: Kyu Shin Do Aikido/Auckland
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Smile Re: I thought ki was fake.

Yes! For those who are sensitive enough, you can feel ki on day one.

It depends very much on whether the teacher understands ki or not.

There is nothing mystical about it, ki has been used as a concept for thousands of years, in virtually all cultures.

The teaching of ki changes students' aikido from merely mechanical movements to graceful flow. Obviously this takes time. I have found that, while a beginning student can feel ki on day one, it takes several months or years to understand it and to practise it. It is a felt understanding, not one that can be learned intellectually over a weekend.

Thank you for sharing, I can see it has triggered a variety a responses!

Best regards,
Gerald

---
www.mindbodyaikido.com

Last edited by gezznz : 06-20-2019 at 02:39 PM. Reason: Correct typo, add website
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Old 06-21-2019, 06:20 AM   #21
Bernd Lehnen
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Re: I thought ki was fake.

Quote:
Gerald Lopez wrote: View Post
Yes! For those who are sensitive enough, you can feel ki on day one.

It depends very much on whether the teacher understands ki or not.

There is nothing mystical about it, ki has been used as a concept for thousands of years, in virtually all cultures.

The teaching of ki changes students' aikido from merely mechanical movements to graceful flow. Obviously this takes time. I have found that, while a beginning student can feel ki on day one, it takes several months or years to understand it and to practise it. It is a felt understanding, not one that can be learned intellectually over a weekend.

Thank you for sharing, I can see it has triggered a variety a responses!

Best regards,
Gerald

---
www.mindbodyaikido.com
Hi,
So, what is it then, this Ki ?

You say, it's a concept, which means an abstract or generalized idea.
And you say, it's a felt understanding.

In written Japanese we find two logographs:
氣 is the traditional Chinese character and also the old Japanese kyujitai kanji
気 is the Japanese shinjitai (new character form) kanji, simplified from 氣 (米 → 㐅) in the 1946 Toyo kanji list.

In fact, it's a polyseme. It can take on a lot of meanings, which may be related.
A meme to which other memes have to be added to make it more precise.

In Western athletic training, the classical view of Qi/KI hardly matters. In physiologically oriented experiments, in which Asian martial artists stated, to concentrate their Qi/Ki in certain parts of the body, e.g. in their arms or legs, thermal imagers showed that there was an increased muscle tension right there, which was prepared for particular performance. From a purely physiological point of view, Qi /Ki could therefore also be described as a simple muscle tension, which is deliberately controlled by nerve impulses and, above all, concentrated.

Best,
Bernd
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Old 06-23-2019, 07:56 PM   #22
gezznz
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Re: I thought ki was fake.

Quote:
Bernd Lehnen wrote: View Post
Hi,
So, what is it then, this Ki ?

You say, it's a concept, which means an abstract or generalized idea.
And you say, it's a felt understanding.
Yes, Bernd, it is both!

Ki, and its equivalents, qi, prana, etc, have been mentioned in literature spanning thousands of years; so, as a concept it has been discussed extensively. It has also been the basis of health systems that are still in use.

This is not to say it has not been questioned and challenged - the Vitalism vs Atomism/Mechanism debate has raged in ancient Greece and India for centuries. However, both the Vitalism and the Atomism theories are just that - models that have some coherence and some evidence to "prove" their existence.

As W. Edwards Deming, adviser to Japan after the war, said, "All models are not true; but some are more useful than others."

Koichi Tohei taught that ki is a highly useful model for understanding aikido and performing it excellently. Not only that, he believed it is also a useful basis for self-mastery and personal transformation. Tohei was the first person to articulate Ueshiba's teaching in terms of ki, and to develop a system to learn and practise ki.

In his 1961 book Aikido: The Co-ordination of Mind and Body for Self-Defense ("Supervised by Morihei Uyeshiba"), Tohei said that ki was one of the most frequently used words in Ueshiba's dojo at the time, in expressions like ki wo neru (to train your ki), ki wo totonoeru (to prepare your ki), and ki wo dasu (to pour forth ki).

It therefore comes as a surprise that, on Ueshiba's death, his son Kisshomaru and other instructors went into denial about ki, and effectively told 10th dan head instructor Tohei to pack and go. I rather suspect that, as Japan was then going through immense technological development through the adoption of Western mechanistic philosophy and methods, they dropped the "esoteric" side of aikido in order to appear progressive.

I have heard mechanistic teachers say, "Don't worry about ki, you may or may not get it - one day." Why wait? Why not develop ki now?

The best way - actually the only way - to understand ki is through felt experience. In my experience, when aikido is performed with awareness of ki, it is qualitatively different. The movements become smoother, and almost effortless. One has access to a different mode of power. For example, a petite student came up to me once to ask how to deal with a beginner, a tall largely-built man, who was holding her wrist very tightly. I asked him to hold me, and sure enough, it was tight and he was immovable. I decided to relax and use ki, and he flipped over and landed on all fours. Only experiences like these enable a person to validate the effectiveness of using ki in aikido. This is what Tohei calls mind-body coordination. Ki is the interface between mind and body, and is the vehicle to integrate them such that the result is greater than the sum of the parts.

On the side of the uke, when I was thrown by my teacher, I never felt any strength or resistance. Therefore there was nothing to resist. I just felt my attack being absorbed, dissipated or diverted, I moved comfortably and willingly, and only realised the power of the throw when I landed on the mat.

Developing sensitivity through the awareness of ki is crucial for instant response to an attack. We are taught to extend ki when facing an attacker - in fact at all times in one's daily life. Then one can detect the opponent's ki - their intention to attack - even before they have physically started the attacking movement. If one has a mechanistic approach to aikido, "If one reacts only after he sees his opponent's hand or feet move, he will be too late." (Maruyama, Aikido with Ki, 1984)

Thus, Ueshiba said,
"Seeing me before him,
The enemy attacks.
But by that time
I am already standing
Safely behind him."


My contention is that aikido was meant by its founder to be a means of personal transformation and individuation. This means that a holistic approach is needed: one that integrates body, mind and subtle energy - ki. It involves opening oneself up to a way of thinking, feeling and practising that is sometimes vague, sometimes seemingly beyond reach, yet sometimes very clear and tangible. Ki is not easy to grasp, it takes time, and it needs a sense of letting go rather than intellectual analysis. To have a mechanistic, reductionist approach to aikido reduces it to physical techniques and nothing else. That is why many people misunderstand aikido in relation to "self-defence," and why there is so much confusion about the purpose and modern-day relevance of aikido.

Best,
Gerald

https://www.mindbodyaikido.com
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Old 06-29-2019, 05:01 PM   #23
gezznz
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Re: I thought ki was fake.

Hi Bernd,

I did write a lengthy reply to your question and comments, but the moderator has not approved it. In it I tried to expand on ki as a concept and as a felt experience.

Sorry.

Best regards,
Gerald
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Old 06-30-2019, 09:56 AM   #24
RonRagusa
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Re: I thought ki was fake.

Quote:
Gerald Lopez wrote: View Post
Hi Bernd,

I did write a lengthy reply to your question and comments, but the moderator has not approved it. In it I tried to expand on ki as a concept and as a felt experience.

Sorry.
Jun disapproved of your post? Could you PM it to me, I'm interested in your view on the nature of Ki.

Ron

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Old 07-02-2019, 05:19 PM   #25
dps
 
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Re: I thought ki was fake.

From Aikiweb

http://www.aikiweb.com/language/ki_phrases.html
................................................................................ .............................................
So, what does "ki" mean in "aikido," anyway? There's been a lot of discussion and even some heated arguments over this Japanese term.

In essence, the character ki means:

spirit, mind, soul, heart
intention
bent, interest
mood, feeling
temper, disposition, nature
care, attention
air, atmosphere
flavor
odor
energy, essence, air, indications
symptoms
taste
touch, dash, shade, trace
spark, flash
suspicion

However, I think that there is some good in taking a look at how we, the Japanese people, use the term in everyday life. I think that a lot of people attribute a whole lot of esoteric meaning behind words that aren't all that esoteric; this is the reason why I chose very common Japanese words to illustrate how we use this term in our everyday life. After all, isn't that what we hope to do in the first place in aikido -- use "ai" and "ki" in our everyday lives?

Here are some contexts in which the word "ki" and some of its derivations are used in everyday Japanese.

Japanese Phrase Kanji Literal Translation Definition
Gen ki "source/foundation of ki." one's health
Byou ki "ill ki." to be sick
Ten ki "heavenly ki." the weather
Ki ga tatsu "the ki stands upright." to get angry
Ki wo tsukeru "to put on (or to have) ki" to be careful; to be attentive
Ki ga kiku "the ki is used a lot" to be empathetic
Ki ga susumanai "the ki does not go forward." to not want to do something
Ki ga sumu "the ki is finished or used up." to feel fulfilled
Ki ga tsuku "to have "ki" put onto you." to notice
Ki ga tsuyoi "the ki is strong." to be headstrong
Ki ga yowai "the ki is weak." to be like a coward
Ki ga tooku naru "the ki goes far away." to become lightheaded
Ki ga nai "to have no ki" to have no interest in something
Ki ga nukeru "the ki becomes missing." to lose hope
Ki ga mijikai "the ki is short." to be short tempered
Ki ni sawaru "something touches the ki." to find something irritating
Ki ni naru "to become ki" to have something nagging or on one's mind
Ki wo kubaru "to pass out ki (to people)" to attend to other people's wishes

http://www.aikiweb.com/language/ki_phrases.htmldps

dps

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