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Old 11-07-2007, 02:23 PM   #26
Toothpaste
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

Might come as a shock to some of you, but ki doesn't exist - there is no invisible force that can be summoned by mind-power to make you heavier than you should be.

Ki, if anything, can be used as a metaphor only - a metaphor that helps to trick the mind into only using muscle groups that are needed as opposed to trying to use everything and using excess energy. Teaching it as a physical force is venturing into the realm of delusion.

But where does that leave us? I do not throw my uke with my ki; I exploit the known mechanics of the human body in such a way as to take uke off-balance. My feet are kept firmly on the ground through good footwork and solid technique.

As for big people lifting you off the ground from behind, you're not in a very good situation - you're in a situation where everything you've learnt goes out the window because you have no footwork, you have no posture, you have no nothing. You'd be better off talking to the guy rather than extending your ki.

Peace be with you.
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Old 11-07-2007, 03:48 PM   #27
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

Quote:
Paul Seto wrote: View Post
From all the techniques I've seen so far, nage always has their feet firmly planted on the ground.
Not mine. I'm always moving. Even when it looks like my feet are "planted," my hips and knees are moving. When you plant your feet, you start wrestling with upper body strength.

I won't even touch the "ki" stuff.

Michael Hacker
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Renshinkan
http://renshindojo.com/

自由心流合気武道 - 鍛心館
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Old 11-07-2007, 04:57 PM   #28
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

Quote:
Matthew Bowen wrote: View Post
Might come as a shock to some of you, but ki doesn't exist - there is no invisible force that can be summoned by mind-power to make you heavier than you should be.

Ki, if anything, can be used as a metaphor only - a metaphor that helps to trick the mind into only using muscle groups that are needed as opposed to trying to use everything and using excess energy. Teaching it as a physical force is venturing into the realm of delusion.
Ok. I hesitate to get into this, and there's not any real way to respond without a negative valance.... How to proceed without turning this into a big Ki war.... I've been teaching Aikido for 25 years. I've studied or been exposed to Many different styles and approaches, from extremely physical/technical to very esoteric. One thing I've learned is embodied by this old saying:

"An interesting thing about life is, for every truth that is real for one person, somewhere in the Universe the exact opposite is likely to be true for someone else. And that somewhere may be very close at hand."

I personally accept many beliefs, many perspectives, and I have had many experiences outside of the "norm." I am known in the LA area for teaching Aikido with Ki (not Ki Society per se.) I've had old Chinese acupuncturists who I don't even know refer people to me to learn about energy. Some of them have been quite good martial artists in Krav, BJJ, etc. They all ended up studying under me.

I'm not saying this to toot my own horn, just to make a point. For you to make such definitive statements here, as if you know the ultimate truth about it and for everyone everywhere, to me, is.... well, many things but I'll just say, arrogant beyond belief.

Quote:
But where does that leave us? I do not throw my uke with my ki; I exploit the known mechanics of the human body in such a way as to take uke off-balance. My feet are kept firmly on the ground through good footwork and solid technique.

As for big people lifting you off the ground from behind, you're not in a very good situation - you're in a situation where everything you've learnt goes out the window because you have no footwork, you have no posture, you have no nothing. You'd be better off talking to the guy rather than extending your ki.

Peace be with you.
The remainder of your post corroborates my previous sense of your arrogance. And real inexperience. This last scenario is one of the Best ways to practice - when thigs are Not going right - how do you still do Aikido. You do not "have no nothing" - you have a lot to work with if you have the experience and training. The real world is very different than the dojo environment.

Peace be with you as well.

Last edited by Aiki1 : 11-07-2007 at 04:59 PM.

Larry Novick
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ACE Aikido
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Old 11-08-2007, 03:45 AM   #29
Mark Freeman
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

Quote:
Matthew Bowen wrote: View Post
Might come as a shock to some of you, but ki doesn't exist -
Then why practice an art that is called Ai - Ki - Do which I believe roughly translates out to "the way of harmony with ki"? Perhaps you should rename the art you do as Aido which will then reflect more accurately reality as you see it.

regards,

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 11-08-2007, 04:43 AM   #30
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

Oh goody, popcorn time for another ki-scuffle - right ladies, gentlemen and shodothugs lets have your bets in:
  • 7/4 (Fav) Moderate poster with: "we should all respect each others position as we're all just students"
  • 6/1 Dead hard with " ki, load of bollocks, just use atemi"
  • 9/2 Fluffy bunny with "ki exists cos sensei ses so and Atlantis was next to Western Supermare"
  • 4/1 Silent with a big stick and "ki exist, you haven't felt it, I hit you you feel it"
  • 10/1 (outsider) Happy to be here with "I don't know much but I think... and how long does it take to get a black belt?"
  • 3/1 (dark horse) Big Jun with "stop doing this to my threads you bastards and you're all banned anyway"
  • 13/4 random silliness riding "aikiweb, you've gotta laugh haven't you"
  • 2/1 Real world experience romping in with "try ki in sparring hur hur"
  • 100/1 Never happen with "ki exists, here's the video showing it, here's a step-by step book on how to achieve it and you don't ever have to meet me in person"
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Old 11-08-2007, 05:16 AM   #31
Mark Freeman
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

It's odds on that the bookie will walk away with all the money

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 11-08-2007, 07:01 AM   #32
DH
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

Perhaps the trouble is many who talk about it, just don't have much to really talk about in the first place. And that is why the naysayers were and are correct.
If I were to judge KI as a reality by those I have met in Ai...Ki... do ? I wouldn't have much of anythng positive to say either....hmmm....
So in many respects it is understandable why the naysarers think they are correct-they keep meeting and feeling Budo wankers wearing fifth dan and shihan ranking who just aren't worth much.

Then again you had three folks who never met each other come here and talk about things and now about a hundred or so people from here -including some very serious nay sayers- have all gone to meet these guys. Some have now met and trained with all three
No one.....not one...has come back to say anything other than it is true, usable, and it is a powerful addition to any art to help make you a better you in what you do.

A wise Sensei once said
"Everyone talks
You, shugyo
Years go by
People are still talking
Then you get up to demonstrate
Then everyone knows the truth....."

Its a great model to keep your nose to the grindstone and do the work, so you don't end up like so many aikido dans, with essentially nothing much at all worth showing anyone in the first place
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Old 11-08-2007, 09:11 AM   #33
Mattias Bengtsson
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

Quote:
Ian Hurst wrote: View Post
Oh goody, popcorn time for another ki-scuffle - right ladies, gentlemen and shodothugs lets have your bets in:
  • 7/4 (Fav) Moderate poster with: "we should all respect each others position as we're all just students"
  • 6/1 Dead hard with " ki, load of bollocks, just use atemi"
  • 9/2 Fluffy bunny with "ki exists cos sensei ses so and Atlantis was next to Western Supermare"
  • 4/1 Silent with a big stick and "ki exist, you haven't felt it, I hit you you feel it"
  • 10/1 (outsider) Happy to be here with "I don't know much but I think... and how long does it take to get a black belt?"
  • 3/1 (dark horse) Big Jun with "stop doing this to my threads you bastards and you're all banned anyway"
  • 13/4 random silliness riding "aikiweb, you've gotta laugh haven't you"
  • 2/1 Real world experience romping in with "try ki in sparring hur hur"
  • 100/1 Never happen with "ki exists, here's the video showing it, here's a step-by step book on how to achieve it and you don't ever have to meet me in person"
Think you forgot the:
  • 7/3 Han Solo "Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.
    -You don't believe in the Force, do you?
    -Kid, I've flown from one side of this galaxy to the other, and I've seen a lot of strange stuff. But I've never seen anything to make me believe that there's one all-powerful Force controlling everything. There's no mystical energy field that controls MY destiny."

Uke Iacta Est
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Old 11-08-2007, 10:04 AM   #34
tedehara
 
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

Quote:
Matthew Bowen wrote: View Post
Might come as a shock to some of you, but ki doesn't exist - there is no invisible force that can be summoned by mind-power to make you heavier than you should be.
Some people do have the ability to relax themselves enough so they do feel heavier. A relaxed body is harder to lift than a tense one.

Quote:
Matthew Bowen wrote: View Post
Ki, if anything, can be used as a metaphor only - a metaphor that helps to trick the mind into only using muscle groups that are needed as opposed to trying to use everything and using excess energy.
Isn't learning how to use your body efficiently an important part of martial arts? If someone practices decades to learn mind and body coordination, where is the trick in that? It's not something that can be immediately realized just through a different approach. Therefore it's not a trick.

Quote:
Matthew Bowen wrote: View Post
Teaching it as a physical force is venturing into the realm of delusion.
Even though I disagree with traditionalists who view ki as an objective energy, I think that teaching it as a force is very effective way. The thing that stops me from seeing ki as an objective force are the findings of western science. Yet if you want to venture into what appears to be the realm of delusion, look at the current theories of quantum mechanics in physics.

Quote:
Matthew Bowen wrote: View Post
But where does that leave us? I do not throw my uke with my ki; I exploit the known mechanics of the human body in such a way as to take uke off-balance. My feet are kept firmly on the ground through good footwork and solid technique.
That is one analogy, but here is another:
Quote:
Kanshu Sunadomari wrote:
The words of the Founder explain this clearly. He stated that once one has cultivated kokyu [breath power] and reached a level capable of harmonious connection with one's partner, there is no longer need for kata [set form]. From this point on, one reaches a state such as the Founder describes in which techniques emerge freely and form is insignificant. Enlightenment through Aikido pg. 136
Quote:
Matthew Bowen wrote: View Post
As for big people lifting you off the ground from behind, you're not in a very good situation - you're in a situation where everything you've learnt goes out the window because you have no footwork, you have no posture, you have no nothing. You'd be better off talking to the guy rather than extending your ki.

Peace be with you.
Performance anxiety is a big problem for many people. It doesn't matter if you're taking a test or speaking before a group of people. Even though you've studied the material or know what you plan to say, anxiety takes over and you're unable to perform as well as you should have. Within a martial context, performance anxiety could result in a wrong move or simply choking with fright.

The way to overcome anxiety is to relax. Traditionally the ability to relax is developed through ki or kokyu training. From a traditional viewpoint talking is also a form of ki extension.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
About Ki
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Old 11-08-2007, 12:33 PM   #35
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

Ki, Aiki, Yoshki Tomiki.... they all have Ki in them!!!

Its all about the BUSHI experience, train hard and make no excuses when people dont fall down....

Heiho wa heiho nari - Otake Risuke
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Old 11-08-2007, 12:36 PM   #36
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

PS Matt I'll show you my Ki on Friday.... RAHHHH!

Heiho wa heiho nari - Otake Risuke
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Old 11-08-2007, 12:46 PM   #37
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

I think it's a good idea to go and see what people are doing, in general, but in the context of using/training "ki", it's critical. You can get an idea by how they describe it, but there's a reason for the saying "It has to be felt".
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Old 11-08-2007, 01:17 PM   #38
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

Is ki "real"? A year ago I thought this whole discussion was a pile of crap, and while I still don't believe in ki as some sort of mystical energy, I have discovered there really is something to the phenomenon of ki.

The problem with this discussion is that most people who talk about ki/chi really have no ability to manifest it in themselves, as has been said. So all you hear is empty esoteric phrases.

But if you can find a teacher who can actually manifest this stuff for real, you'll find much of what is written about ki actually does describe real, literal, practical feelings, and not just vague imagined visuals. Ki-as-simple-metaphor doesn't explain all the weird sensations you'll start experiencing if you "properly" practice the various ki-exercises (but most people don't practice them correctly).

But what causes it? That's a good question. I know it's still controversial, but I subscribe to the theory that much of the phenomenon surrounding ki/chi relates to activity of the fascia. (Look up some of threads in the "Non-Aikido Martial Traditions" forum for more information.) Even if that theory doesn't hold true, there is still something different about "using ki" that can't be explained as simple metaphor.

--Timothy Kleinert

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Old 11-08-2007, 02:07 PM   #39
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

The problem I have with it, is that you are almost engineered to show this pious attitude to this mystical energy that the bushi rarely talked about. In the whole of the Gorin no Sho, Musashi, never mentions this 'energy'. He talks purely of, posture, speed, power and psycological mind games. Now if Ki is a roll up term for all these, then it doesnt do the individual elements justice.

To fell a grown person with 'ki', no touch throws have to be engineered. The ukes, from their first lesson, are programed to give a set of responses to stimuli. I remember talking to a BJJer about newaza, and he said that Judoka would, when in a losing situation, try to get on all fours. In a Judo match matte (sp) would be called and the bout would be restarted on their feet. However, when rolling with BJJer the judoka would still give his back and get tapped out. Obviously due to the nature of Judo, the phenomal fitness and power of these gents and ladies allows them to re gig their thoughts to not give away such silly tactical errors. But back on point, to program yourself to fall over before anything has really happened is due to the social/psycological control within the dojo, not due to technical prowess.

Just some thoughts.

Heiho wa heiho nari - Otake Risuke
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Old 11-08-2007, 02:59 PM   #40
Timothy WK
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

No-touch throws are an entirely different matter. Most are fake or, to be less snarky, based on conditioned responses. There are some "real" ways to do it, but that's a different discussion.

Japan seems to have a mixed relationship with ki. Though some would argue that ki skills were more widespread in the past, it appears that not everyone had them. Japanese martial arts are a weapons-based culture, and you don't need special body skills to kill with a blade or arrow. (Though they don't hurt, look up Tetsuzan Kuroda---the foot, pinky, and hand thing are all done with "ki" I'm pretty sure.) So it seems that most traditions tried to get their practicioners up and running with practical techniques, and reserved the ki stuff---which takes time to develop---for their "secret" teachings.

Whether Musashi had these skills I don't know. But given the secretive of Japanese martial arts, it's questionable whether he would have openly discussed them.

Ellis Amdur has written on this topic a bit, I'm not sure if it's all on his blog or if a lot of it is in forum posts.

It's worth noting that this is the reverse of many Chinese systems. It seems that many Chinese systems try and develop the ki-related body skills first, and technique second.

Something that's fairly unique about Daito-ryu, though, is that Takeda seemed to teach these skills outright, at least to his primary students. Ueshiba certainly passed on these skills to some of his students, though it's questionable how many of today's practicioners can manifest these abilities.

--Timothy Kleinert

Aikido & Wujifa qigongs
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Old 11-08-2007, 03:14 PM   #41
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

Quote:
Timothy Walters Kleinert wrote: View Post
Is ki "real"? A year ago I thought this whole discussion was a pile of crap, and while I still don't believe in ki as some sort of mystical energy, I have discovered there really is something to the phenomenon of ki.
...
But what causes it? That's a good question. I know it's still controversial, but I subscribe to the theory that much of the phenomenon surrounding ki/chi relates to activity of the fascia. (Look up some of threads in the "Non-Aikido Martial Traditions" forum for more information.) Even if that theory doesn't hold true, there is still something different about "using ki" that can't be explained as simple metaphor.
True, better to explain it as real physical movement. You have a point, but the fascia (even the contractile types) communicate a form of motion, and the motion does real work. Whether exceedingly small or very, very large it is the same form of motion. I dwell on various aspects of that in my blog entries.

It is the quality and type of this motion that is a physical thing and affects things physically. Through the fact that adaptive minds both perceive and anticipate certain forms of motion for purposes of stability, using this form of motion one can manipulate the mind though the body, and the body through the mind, as well. Nothing more complicated than that, which is, of course, only the beginning of much complication.

It is tensile, and yet it can both extend and contract. And unless it communicates freely (under guidance) through the structure of the body, it cannot do work. To do work properly, all the joints have to cascade with the same rotation, rather than rotating against one another (internal leverage). The problem is that internal leverage (counter-rotating joints as in ordinary press or curl in weightlifting, for instance) stops this form of motion from freely communicating. If Ki stops moving from positive to negative and back again, Ki dies. It is form stored in an unending motion, and when in form is a motion even when it appears not to be moving. (think standing waves)

It must communicate from the center of the body where it begins to the extremities and beyond (say into a weapon or an opponent) where it can do actual physical work, and back again where it does the reverse form of work.

If we had no skeletons at all we could not do internally leveraged mechanics. Our levers would be absent. But we still could do this form of work with our limbs, like the octopus has done for hundreds of millions of years.

Your attention to the fascia has some real significance in that light. But the form is just as important as the tone used to achieve it -- because we still have levers -- and if we deviate from the necessary form, they get in the way. We train both to avoid this deviation for ourselves and to learn to exploit it in others.

The deficit in people who have not trained and do not use what is termed "KI" is primarily the fact of using leveraged musculature across the joints of the limbs vice this different way of doing work. It is not the musculature that is the problem per se. Muscles are used in Aiki. Muscles are just interwoven fascial tissue, after all. But they must be used in a form that avoids the engaging of the lever mechanism (for ourselves) and exploits engagement of it in others, to break their form and make them into a mechanism. "Muscle" as is usually spoken of to be avoided, is the use of the joint leverage mechanism by the muscles, and not the use of the muscles themselves.

There seem to be three basic approaches to relieving the deficit:

One focuses on the form of the motion by relaxing the limbs and maximizing their extension, and then later finding the manner of "firming" the structure to that form in other configurations but without adding back in any internal leverage.

Second, isolating and eliminating the internal leverage in joints and across the joints in the body in a firm and definitively formed manner to begin with, and then later, once internal leverage is identified and gone, allowing for more freely formed movement (which is inherent in the nature of the movement, properly done).

Third, an approach to the principle of the movement addressing the the form and function of the motion simultaneously with refining the type of tone used to employ it more effectively. This approach has a greater emphasis on weapons, (weapons have no muscles and so the principles have to be the same between the weapons and the body work, and so one corrects the other.)

In broad strokes the first is Tohei's/Ki Society approach. The second is in more line with that of Yoshinkan, and also related to Aunkai and others in the current "internal arts" vogue. The last is, in various degrees of difference across a spectrum, that of more generic Aikikai, and under that, specifically of Saotome and Saito. I trained primarily the third way. I have no doubt that properly done, any of them can be effective, and that poorly done all of them are equally ineffective. The question is more one of convenience and fit to the needs of a given student.

That's how I see it, anyway.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 11-08-2007, 03:28 PM   #42
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

Quote:
Christopher Gee wrote: View Post
The problem I have with it, is that you are almost engineered to show this pious attitude to this mystical energy that the bushi rarely talked about. ... But back on point, to program yourself to fall over before anything has really happened is due to the social/psycological control within the dojo, not due to technical prowess.
Reversal begins in executing ukemi -- taking what is given and then taking it someplace else. That does not happen unless you first take what is given fully, and receive it without hesitation. That's why it is useful to train that way. Other things need training in different ways, but there is a powerful point to teaching and training "preemptive" ukemi and it does not lie in aggrandizing the ego of the thrower.

Once the attack is"received" by nage and technique applied with ukemi -- the training for nage then instantly shifts to proper follow-up, which is to say learning zanshin, because nothing is actually decisively over -- psychologically and logistically much more like a real encounter than a one-off attack/throw.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 11-08-2007, 04:09 PM   #43
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

Okay, as expected, peoples' nerves have been twitched, but that's to be expected of all touchy subjects.

Larry Novick, if I came across as arrogant, forgive me - that was not my intention. I think perhaps we're not meeting eye-to-eye because of a definition of terms. I'm not claiming that I know the ultimate truth of everything, just that ki, when talked about as a physical energy force, does not exist. It'd be fairly awesome if it did, but since it doesn't, let's not delude ourselves.

Quote:
Then why practice an art that is called Ai - Ki - Do which I believe roughly translates out to "the way of harmony with ki"? Perhaps you should rename the art you do as Aido which will then reflect more accurately reality as you see it.
Hi Mark. I practice aikido for three main reasons: physical development, social development and intellectual development. I don't feel I'm being hypocritical by practicing aikido and not believing in invisible, undetectable-by-science energy forces that bind the universe together, and in order to get the most out of my training, I don't feel I have to manipulate this invisible "force". I train hard, keeping my feet grounded firmly in the planes of reality.

Quote:
Some people do have the ability to relax themselves enough so they do feel heavier. A relaxed body is harder to lift than a tense one.
Thanks for the reply, Ted. I think we need to understand a fundamental principle of science here. "Weight" is a phenomenon brought about by the effect of gravity on an object with mass. On this particular planet, with my particular mass, I am being pulled by gravity at a force of 1G. If we're going by Newton's laws, we can use the equation (simplified) F = mg, where F is the magnitude of the gravitational force between the two point masses, m is the object's mass, and g is the gravitational constant. Using this formula we can calculate the force at which I am being pulled to the ground (F) in Newtons. Tensing and relaxing does not change my body's mass or this planet's gravitational pull, therefore F (my weight) will remain the same.

I do agree with you that relaxing is important, though. Tensing muscles uses more energy than keeping them relaxed, relaxing while controlling one's breathing is very important in stressful situations, and relaxed muscles can be moved quicker.

Quote:
But if you can find a teacher who can actually manifest this stuff for real, you'll find much of what is written about ki actually does describe real, literal, practical feelings, and not just vague imagined visuals. Ki-as-simple-metaphor doesn't explain all the weird sensations you'll start experiencing if you "properly" practice the various ki-exercises (but most people don't practice them correctly).
I'd very much be interested in witnessing a true manifestation of these forces, but until I do, I'll remain skeptical - skeptical until I see some evidence (not a youtube video).

Quote:
PS Matt I'll show you my Ki on Friday.... RAHHHH!
I'm looking forward to it! See you on the mat.

Peace.
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Old 11-08-2007, 06:22 PM   #44
Mark Freeman
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

[quote=Matthew Bowen;193552]
I'm not claiming that I know the ultimate truth of everything, just that ki, when talked about as a physical energy force, does not exist. It'd be fairly awesome if it did, but since it doesn't, let's not delude ourselves.[/QUOTE}

Just a few thoughs
Dark energy and dark matter make up approximately 90+% of the known universe. Without it, the whole damn shooting match doesn't work in the way our intellects can understand. It is there, but we have as yet, not been able to quantify it by measuring instruments. This matter/energy has to have a profound effect on the remaining few percent that we and ali we can percieve make up.
Is Ki somehow a description of the early searchers understanding of some underlying enrgy that pervades all things? My guess is that those past martial arts / budo men intrinsically understood, through years of practice, some underlying energy that pervades everthying.

Religous folk believe that there is a god that is 'in everything'. Maybe the sages and see'ers did find a way of tapping into 'that which is in everything.'?

I'm not saying that ki = dark matter / dark energy,but I don't discount the possibility. Holding the known universe in place is pretty awesome in my book.

Quote:
Hi Mark. I practice aikido for three main reasons: physical development, social development and intellectual development. I don't feel I'm being hypocritical by practicing aikido and not believing in invisible, undetectable-by-science energy forces that bind the universe together, and in order to get the most out of my training, I don't feel I have to manipulate this invisible "force". I train hard, keeping my feet grounded firmly in the planes of reality.
Good for you Matthew,

I agree that aikido provides these things, however, physical developement can be found in many places, social too, and I would have thought, that the dojo is not the best place for intellectual growth either Aikido provides many things on many levels to many people, the three that you mention and more, once the lower levels are mastered you move on, looking for the 'real' essence of the art.

My own experience leads me to agree with something that Erik said:
Quote:
In broad strokes the first is Tohei's/Ki Society approach. The second is in more line with that of Yoshinkan, and also related to Aunkai and others in the current "internal arts" vogue. The last is, in various degrees of difference across a spectrum, that of more generic Aikikai, and under that, specifically of Saotome and Saito. I trained primarily the third way. I have no doubt that properly done, any of them can be effective, and that poorly done all of them are equally ineffective. The question is more one of convenience and fit to the needs of a given student
I reckon that to do 'good' aikido, the body mechanics, posture and muscle 'condition have to be 'just right' Erik put it into his customary detailed explanation of precicely how they work. The mind must be in complete accord with the body, with relaxed focus extended out into the world. Without the correct mental posture, the 'non - resistant' art of aikido is hard to make progress in. Timing is everything. And for me the terms ki/mind/feeling are all interchangable.
Most of us students struggle for many years practicing aikido but not doing aikido. We are too busy thinking about the technique, where our hands are, where our feet are, trying to protect ourselves, trying to maintain our balance and relxation in ever more dynamic situations. This is normal, and there are no real shortcuts, you just have to go through it, right guys? The top aikidoka from both ki and non ki traditions can do it, the rest are trying to learn what they do.

One of the teachers that I go to,hardly ever uses the term 'ki' he uses the term 'feeling'. Another uses the term often. They both can do what I feel is 'good' aikido. The ony way I have to measure that subjectively is that, with many of the people I practice with, I can 'stop' their technique by finding the 'holes' by very focussed non resistant ukemi. With my teachers I can't 'yet'

Non of this proves that 'ki' exists, but for many aikidoka from O Sensei on down, acting 'as if' it is there, affected their practice on many levels.

Quote:
I'd very much be interested in witnessing a true manifestation of these forces, but until I do, I'll remain skeptical - skeptical until I see some evidence (not a youtube video).
I'm looking forward to it! See you on the mat.
Peace.
Nothing wrong with being sceptical - I say the same thing about God, but that doesn't mean that he/she doesn't exist

regards,

Mark

Last edited by Mark Freeman : 11-08-2007 at 06:36 PM.

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Old 11-08-2007, 07:59 PM   #45
Nikopol
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

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Paul Seto wrote: View Post
I'm two months into Aikido and had a question regarding Ki.

From all the techniques I've seen so far, nage always has their feet firmly planted on the ground. For Ki energy to be used, must nage be grounded?

Paul
You probably are not in Yoshinkan if you use the term nage, instead of shite, but in Yoshinkan, you as shite want to keep both feet in contact with the tatami at all times. This is the only way to have the correct stance, which is that of holding and cutting with a sword.

The idea that ki flows through the body, from the ground, to the ground, is one way to look at it. But in yoshinkan it is a matter of style, and a mechanical consideration: more surface area = more stability.

I am not sure I agree with the assertion that this makes you less mobile. Your feet are not velcro'd to the mat; your ability to move from that stance will be determined by the width and angle of your foot placement, the height of your hips.

I am less qualified to comment on Aikikai, but while the basic principle still applies I think you will not fail a test just because your back heel is off the mat after a throw.

To summarize I am saying that there are definite points of style and mechanical considerations that call for the grounding of the feet, but as to whether ki flows more efficiently when you are low and grounded... you must try it and ask yourself if it feels that way to you.

I personally think it does.
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Old 11-08-2007, 08:28 PM   #46
Nikopol
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

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Matthew Bowen wrote: View Post
Might come as a shock to some of you, but ki doesn't exist - there is no invisible force that can be summoned by mind-power to make you heavier than you should be.

Ki, if anything, can be used as a metaphor only - a metaphor that helps to trick the mind into only using muscle groups that are needed as opposed to trying to use everything and using excess energy. Teaching it as a physical force is venturing into the realm of delusion.
Damn. Also don't want to stir things up but ki does exist. Perhaps not understanding what it is causes people to deny it.

"An invisible force summoned by mind power"? Not sure where this definition came from.

But I suppose that definition could describe courage, honor, loyalty, intuition, love, anger , etc. I guess none of these things exist either.

Let's move away from the comic-book understanding of ki, shall we? Away from Yoda lifting X-wing fighters in a swamp.

One might as well say that 'ideas' don't exist. Yet they keep us all quite busy here.
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Old 11-08-2007, 08:31 PM   #47
dps
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

"I am convinced that there are universal currents of Divine Thought vibrating the ether everywhere and that any who can feel these vibrations is inspired."

"Imagination creates reality."

”Richard Wagner 1813-1833



“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough”

Albert Einstein

David

Last edited by dps : 11-08-2007 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 11-09-2007, 03:05 AM   #48
Toothpaste
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

Quote:
Vincent Nikopol wrote: View Post
Damn. Also don't want to stir things up but ki does exist. Perhaps not understanding what it is causes people to deny it.

"An invisible force summoned by mind power"? Not sure where this definition came from.

But I suppose that definition could describe courage, honor, loyalty, intuition, love, anger , etc. I guess none of these things exist either.

Let's move away from the comic-book understanding of ki, shall we? Away from Yoda lifting X-wing fighters in a swamp.

One might as well say that 'ideas' don't exist. Yet they keep us all quite busy here.
What I meant by "an invisible force summoned by mind power" is that people believe they can "extend" or manifest an energy they refer to as ki, as if it were a physical force. I've not got a problem, as I said, with people using it as metaphor for things like calmness, good posture and a good budo-face, but the idea that ki can make people heavier or can move someone without touching them, is fiction, just like Yoda fighting X-Wings in a swamp.

As for ki describing "courage, honor, loyalty, intuition, love, anger", I'm all for that. These are all very important qualities that should be manifested whilst practicing aikido, but, as I said, the some peoples' idea that ki is a physical force is what doesn't sit comfortably with me.

Quote:
Just a few thoughs
Dark energy and dark matter make up approximately 90+% of the known universe. Without it, the whole damn shooting match doesn't work in the way our intellects can understand. It is there, but we have as yet, not been able to quantify it by measuring instruments. This matter/energy has to have a profound effect on the remaining few percent that we and ali we can percieve make up.
Is Ki somehow a description of the early searchers understanding of some underlying enrgy that pervades all things? My guess is that those past martial arts / budo men intrinsically understood, through years of practice, some underlying energy that pervades everthying.

Religous folk believe that there is a god that is 'in everything'. Maybe the sages and see'ers did find a way of tapping into 'that which is in everything.'?

I'm not saying that ki = dark matter / dark energy,but I don't discount the possibility. Holding the known universe in place is pretty awesome in my book.
Thanks for the reply, Mark. Dark matter is something theorised to exist to help make the universe make more sense. Unlike "ki", it cannot be "controlled" by the human mind and projected at things or used to make one become heavier or lighter at will. I very much accept the possibility that dark matter exists because of the extensive scientific research by some of the brightest minds on the planet that has been put into understanding what the universe is and how it works. Ki, on the other hand, seems only to be recognised by psuedo-scientists and practitioners of alternative healing.

The fact that "religious folk" believe in deities unrecognisable by science in no way lends any credence to the existence of ki. I'm sure someone out there believes an invisible unicorn lives in their back garden, but people can believe things as much as they want and it won't magic things into existence. Unless there is good reason to believe something, it is wise not to believe it. Nobody should believe in something simply because it can't be disproven - it's a logical fallacy.

Quote:
"I am convinced that there are universal currents of Divine Thought vibrating the ether everywhere and that any who can feel these vibrations is inspired."

"Imagination creates reality."

"Richard Wagner 1813-1833

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand."

"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"

Albert Einstein

David
Richard Wagner and Albert Einstein were very intelligent, creative individuals - that's for sure - and what they say is very valid. Wagner may well have believed in divine thoughts vibrating through the universe, but the fact remains that he lived in the 1800s. Aristotle lived at 350BC and had some great scientific ideas - his proposed theory of elements, for example. These are two very smart individuals indeed, and I tip my hat to them, but we can't base our current, scientific thoughts on those of eras gone by.

As for, "Imagination creates reality", I'm sure he did not mean this literally - he was talking about music; he was talking about his compositions starting as abstract thoughts before he wrote them down on paper to make them reality.

Albert Einstein has contributed so much to modern science, and I espescially admire the last quote you posted. But, as with Wagner, I don't think he meant "imagination will take you anywhere" literally. Also, I'm not sure that Einstein believed in ki.
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Old 11-09-2007, 03:25 AM   #49
dps
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

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Matthew Bowen wrote: View Post
Albert Einstein has contributed so much to modern science, and I espescially admire the last quote you posted. But, as with Wagner, I don't think he meant "imagination will take you anywhere" literally. Also, I'm not sure that Einstein believed in ki.
Imagination as motivation to go beyond that which you know.
If you stop at that which is known you do not learn, you do not grow.

David


Wow that rhymes without me trying,

Last edited by dps : 11-09-2007 at 03:27 AM.
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Old 11-09-2007, 03:42 AM   #50
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Imagination as motivation to go beyond that which you know.
If you stop at that which is known you do not learn, you do not grow.

David
I wholeheartedly agree.
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