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Old 02-20-2013, 12:37 AM   #1
Michael Varin
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Ki and "Connective Tissue"

In another thread,

Quote:
David Orange wrote:
It's how they use that tendon strength.

There may be some traces of IS in ancient wrestling when Hercules lifts his opponent off the ground, breaking his ground connection, at which time the opponent lost all his strength.

However, in IS, the tendon and sinew are seen as part of a whole complex web unlike I've ever heard it described in athletics.

Further, in IS, this entire "connective tissue" system is the medium of "ki" in the body. Ki flows through the fascia/connective tissue. This also explains why some acupuncture points are on nerve points but others are not. The western approach is that these must be imaginary points and that only the nerves have any capacity to conduct energy, and that can only be electrical energy. But ki is in the whole connective tissue complex all the time. Traditional approaches moved and balanced the body in specific ways to shift the efforts from muscle to the connective tissue via ki movement.

That's a big difference in usage and the quality of the results can't be attained by Western sports and athletic methods. Otherwise, judo would have improved remarkably after its inclusion in the Olympics. Instead it became more like wrestling and less like an Asian fighting art, this according to Minoru Mochizuki.

So the use of the connective tissue in IS is completely different from Western sport and athletics.

David
What is ki?

Does it only exist within the fascia? How do we know?

How does it flow?

How is ki related to "IP/IT/IS"?

What is its function?

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:52 AM   #2
sakumeikan
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Re: Ki and "Connective Tissue"

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
In another thread,

What is ki?

Does it only exist within the fascia? How do we know?

How does it flow?

How is ki related to "IP/IT/IS"?

What is its function?
Dear Michael,
You might as well ask yourself the question 'Who /Where /Is there a God?'Ki is a very complex issue.My view is you either subscribe to the concept or you do not.Its a sort of a Belief system.
Perhaps Ki exists everywhere, sustaining the Life force of everything,from rocks,
trees, rivers, human beings , animals and the very air we breathe?Cheers, Joe.
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:52 PM   #3
graham christian
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Re: Ki and "Connective Tissue"

Rather than asking "what is Ki?" as just saying so leads to nothing most can relate to in practice I would say it's better to give something that someone could at least relate to and then through practicing that be able to feel and understand Ki better and especially feel and understand what it isn't.

You cannot physically create Ki, you cannot mentally create Ki, it is spiritual. It takes spiritual perception to recognize it.

As it is something you can perceive a good place to start is 'the energy of goodness'.

In use it actually relates more to kindness.

It can flow through the whole body so relating it only to certain 'connective' parts is a limited view.

What is God? Just add another 'o'.

What principle is vital to the practicing of it? Non-resistance.

My simplicity.

Peace.G.
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:36 PM   #4
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Re: Ki and "Connective Tissue"

"Connective tissue" in the sense of ki tends to refer in the micro sense to the skin, the tendons, the ligaments, the muscles, including in the macro sense also the bones as they all work together in a connected body to assist in managing the balance forces of ground/gravity and any other forces brought to bear. This kind of ki can be conditioned in terms of thickness and elasticity to better convey receiving and issuance of force even as skill is built to more ably generate and receive power. To maximize this connected type of movement the body tends to primarily open or close as a single unit. There's more (how the forces are explicitly managed/generated, how sophisticated and articulated the middle is engaged as the controller, etc.) but that's a starting point.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:03 PM   #5
graham christian
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Re: Ki and "Connective Tissue"

Quote:
Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
"Connective tissue" in the sense of ki tends to refer in the micro sense to the skin, the tendons, the ligaments, the muscles, including in the macro sense also the bones as they all work together in a connected body to assist in managing the balance forces of ground/gravity and any other forces brought to bear. This kind of ki can be conditioned in terms of thickness and elasticity to better convey receiving and issuance of force even as skill is built to more ably generate and receive power. To maximize this connected type of movement the body tends to primarily open or close as a single unit. There's more (how the forces are explicitly managed/generated, how sophisticated and articulated the middle is engaged as the controller, etc.) but that's a starting point.
So Ki in this sense is physical? It can be conditioned in terms of thickness etc? Just asking.

Peace.G.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:31 PM   #6
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Re: Ki and "Connective Tissue"

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
So Ki in this sense is physical?
I am unaware of anything that actually exists which is not ultimately physical.

Ki, in the several generations of discussion that have previously occurred here, was offered by the more or less community verified "subject matter experts" as more of a Dumbo's Feather than a measurable phenomenon. This is made particularly obvious as one encounters more and more factually irreconcilable explanations of human anatomy and the tortured use of physics and engineering terminology in even the best formulated verbal and written explanations.

Before the latest iteration of the discussion, however, I could never have imagined the depth to which some people are willing to investigate just how Dumbo's Feather physically enables flight.

Last edited by bkedelen : 02-20-2013 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:46 AM   #7
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Re: Ki and "Connective Tissue"

Quote:
Benjamin Edelen wrote: View Post
I am unaware of anything that actually exists which is not ultimately physical.

Ki, in the several generations of discussion that have previously occurred here, was offered by the more or less community verified "subject matter experts" as more of a Dumbo's Feather than a measurable phenomenon. This is made particularly obvious as one encounters more and more factually irreconcilable explanations of human anatomy and the tortured use of physics and engineering terminology in even the best formulated verbal and written explanations.

Before the latest iteration of the discussion, however, I could never have imagined the depth to which some people are willing to investigate just how Dumbo's Feather physically enables flight.
Dear Benjamin,
Dumbos Feathers aiding flight?I always thought that Dumbo's ears were the primary things that enabled Dumbo to fly ?Must check my old copy of the Walt Disney classic. Joe.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:53 AM   #8
Walter Martindale
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Re: Ki and "Connective Tissue"

Dumbo, according to wikipedia, carried 'what he thinks of as a magic feather' but the oversized ears were what he used to fly in the animated feature.

"Dumbo's Feather" - magical belief?
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:08 AM   #9
Walter Martindale
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Re: Ki and "Connective Tissue"

(just a clarification - I checked wikipedia to confirm my shaky memory that dumbo carried a feather because he believed it made him fly) Do some of us believe "ki" makes us fly when truly it's training, meticulous attention to our movement and our interaction with our partners, and hard work?
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:06 AM   #10
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Re: Ki and "Connective Tissue"

A Dumbo's Feather is symbolic of an entry point, in the form of a deliberate falsehood, which (due to its very strangeness) provides access into a skillset which would be otherwise inaccessible. Those who have studied Buddhism will recognize this type of instruction as a form of upaya: skillful or expedient means.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:42 AM   #11
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Re: Ki and "Connective Tissue"

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
So Ki in this sense is physical? It can be conditioned in terms of thickness etc? Just asking.

Peace.G.
In the sense that ki is related to connective tissue in the body, yes, while from a martial perspective it's a physical manifestation of intention coupled with physical action. It can be conditioned over time and skill can be built in better coordinating it's use for beneficial effects and application. From a body cultivation perspective it's an exercise in conditioning and coordination purity with some skill-building towards optimal use being by products of the transformative effect.

Basically, there's strength (alone from an IS perspective), there's strength + skill (alone from an IS perspective), there's strength + skill + coordination (alone from an IS perspective), then there's strength + skill + coordination + application from a martial arts perspective --> the latter being where your IS practice is embedded into how you've trained to express your practice of a martial system (that may also have sport or sparring or matches of some kind with varying degrees of competition to measure different aspects of your training).

That's at least how I understand it from a "classical" view spanning Chinese and Japanese martial system perspectives. Different practices and methods of cultivation may have aspects of the full complement of internal strength skills (my baseline is as defined in 6-harmony neijia arts such as Chen taijiquan) as probably best defscribed at MikeSigman.blogspot.com

Even today, some of the discussions and efforts at investing more recognized internal methods back into aikido (I know, I know, some say it was never gone, I appreciate the perspective even if I don't agree) are often talking about partial implementations, so to speak - where "ki" may be used to describe only the intention-force-management piece. Or the aiki taiso may be re-looked at for "ki building" as in how they work to better manage balance and build internal connection.

When people are having discussions about "ki" in aikido - I tend to look at it from the perspective of whether it's being measured against the "classical" view (as a set of strength, skill and body movement principles) or if it's more a philosophy or belief system. Understanding that even in the classical view, that a philosophy and belief system were eventually also layered on top (which I think is why the waters get muddied between mechanics and philosophy), I'm more interested in the concrete body mechanics around their expression. So even new methods of describing things, to me, should at least adhere or relate to some of the older methods at the very basic principles - even if the scientific understanding of what's going on may have become more advanced or sophisticated with more recent revelations of biology, chemistry, physics, etc.

FWIW
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:44 PM   #12
graham christian
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Re: Ki and "Connective Tissue"

Thanks Budd. That's answered my question. Thanks for your perspective on the matter too.

Peace.G.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:02 PM   #13
graham christian
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Re: Ki and "Connective Tissue"

I was confused by the terminology re: dumbo's feathers and even after the explanation don't get it. So there you are. I mean, I've seen a dragon fly, I've seen a horse fly, but I think I will have seen everything when I see an elephant fly...boop be doo....

Peace.G.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:46 PM   #14
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Re: Ki and "Connective Tissue"

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
I was confused by the terminology re: dumbo's feathers and even after the explanation don't get it. So there you are. I mean, I've seen a dragon fly, I've seen a horse fly, but I think I will have seen everything when I see an elephant fly...boop be doo....

Peace.G.
Graham,
Do elephants wear trousers?Do they zip up the fly?Same with Dumbos Feathers, is Dumbo a Burlesque Queen a la Dita Von Teese?I saw the Marx Brothers in Horse Feathers, Cannot recall Dumbo having feathers.Cheers, Joe
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:39 AM   #15
graham christian
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Re: Ki and "Connective Tissue"

I was just told you can't actually see his feathers cos he packed them away in his trunk.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:31 PM   #16
David Orange
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Re: Ki and "Connective Tissue"

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post

What is ki?

Does it only exist within the fascia? How do we know?

How does it flow?

How is ki related to "IP/IT/IS"?

What is its function?
A lot of what you see in the movies as "hard training," such as holding the horse stance, etc., is involved with stressing the muscles until you learn to rely on the fascia. And the reason they do that is so that you will be very aware of that level (though they may not tell you what you're supposed to become aware of). But a good teacher can lead you through that to experience the fascia in a direct way. And after a certain amount of that, you might start feeling the ki.

For me, that was some of what the Aunkai exercises did. But in my case, I was aware and thinking about the fascia for a while before I did a lot of those exercises. So I think a lot of the old traditional stuff was about making you feel it by giving you something you couldn't avoid feeling.

As for what is ki....from my perspective, I think it's pretty well covered in the "Ki Eureka" thread, but here's some more. Does it only exist in the fascia? Well...yes and no.

I think this is a pretty clear summary of traditional cosmology on that: first is non-existence. We are not. The door from non-existence to existence is "kokoro," or heart (or mind).

What comes through the "portal" of kokoro into "existence" is ki.

Kin cannot come into this world without form, so it emerges from kokoro as a body and this body forms a mind.

The mind is made out of the same stuff the body is, a coalescence of worldly material around this original formless ki. The body is made of ki and then the mind emerges as a part of the ki/body complex.

So do we say it only exists in the fascia? Well, it permeates the whole body...and so does fascia. The fascia connects and unifies all parts of the body, but the ki connects the mind to the body in a way that nerves cannot. I think ki provides a medium by which the whole body knows anything that touches the ki in any place: the touch is instantly known throughout the entire ki. So the whole body knows as soon as any part of the ki knows. And that's a different kind of "unifying the body."

I think the main use of the ki is to provide awareness throughout the whole body at once, making the body light and easy to coordinate, also easy to switch to heavy and hard for others to move.

My endeavors in IP/IS lead me to think that continual reduction of muscular effort allows ki to flow more easily and freely (and thus with more power). Reduction of muscular effort draws everything more and more back to the center. I say this because I have found myself consciously changing my impulses from sending effort and preparation into my arms to leaving the arms completely relaxed and free of effort. I think more of using the main body to achieve my intention than of using the arms. So my mind/nerve power/ki don't rush into my arms anymore but stay in my center.

I hope this ads some useful perspective.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

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Old 02-23-2013, 12:26 PM   #17
David Orange
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Re: Ki and "Connective Tissue"

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
In another thread,

What is ki?

Does it only exist within the fascia? How do we know?

How does it flow?

How is ki related to "IP/IT/IS"?

What is its function?
Now I'm going to look back to the very roots of my aikido experience, to a document we called "Bearden's Manual." This was written by Capt. Thomas E. Bearded, US Army, stationed at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, where he also trained with Capt. Sadayuki Demizu, Japanese Air Self Defense Force, aikido sandan, and son-in-law of Minoru Mochizuki.

When some officers at Redstone learned of Demizu's aikido knowledge, they encouraged him to teach and he taught for some time at a rec center on base. Glenn Pack, a graduate student at the University of Alabama, was a teenaged student in Demizu's class, allowed access because his father worked on the base. Pack distributed Bearden's manual to the early generations of yoseikan aikido students at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa

Thomas Bearden was US Army Captain, experienced in judo, I believe, and he was a nuclear engineer. Pack and I explored writing a comprehensive book about yoseikan aikido to be largely based on Bearden's manual and we went to visit him to discuss this and aikido history. It was like meeting Robert Heinlein. He spoke at length about free energy concepts and UFOs. Though retired already as Lt.Col. at that time, he still had an office at Redstone. He is apparently today a highly regarded figure among those involved in free energy, Tesla concepts and UFOs. Look him up on Wikipedia. His manual on aikido reveals nothing like that. It is written as the main document for the military officers who would be training with Demizu and it was undoubtedly filed with the Army for various uses. It's organized I, II, III, a., b., c., 1., 2., 3. for 32 pages, translating Demizu's knowledge of aikido (from training with Minoru Mochiuzki and Kyoichi Murai). It was probably written about 1966. I first encountered it in 1975. Col. Bearden gave me his permission to distribute the whole manual as I wished and to incorporate it in any book I wanted to write as long as I credited him where due. It's actually standard for literary work, but this was an unpublished manual.

So how did a military officer teach other military officers aikido? The manual begins by defining both aikido and ki:

II. GENERAL

a. AI-KI-DO : Three Japanese words which mean "the high moral Way of union of Ki."

1. AI - the union of two ki's meeting; entering into and deflecting the opponent's Ki.

2. KI - spiritual energy; body energy flow, controlled by the quiet mind.

3. DO - The Way, or high moral road of seeking enlightenment and self-mastery

This was how it was defined for the US Army by a Captain in the Japanese military studying rocket and missile technology.

The aikido he taught was much more mainstream in appearance than the yoseikan budo that supplanted it when Patrick Ague was sent at Thomas Bearden's request to Mochizuki. Demizu's aikido pretty well matched all the other aikido you could see. The pace may have been tougher with multiple military captains with black belts going full tilt...

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

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Old 02-23-2013, 12:30 PM   #18
David Orange
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Re: Ki and "Connective Tissue"

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
My endeavors in IP/IS lead me to think that continual reduction of muscular effort allows ki to flow more easily and freely (and thus with more power). Reduction of muscular effort draws everything more and more back to the center. I say this because I have found myself consciously changing my impulses from sending effort and preparation into my arms to leaving the arms completely relaxed and free of effort. I think more of using the main body to achieve my intention than of using the arms. So my mind/nerve power/ki don't rush into my arms anymore but stay in my center.
Not to say that there's no extension of the ki into the arms and legs, but it goes there in a different way, now, more like an observer than a commander--not to put my arms on hyper-alert but to make them receptive to very subtle efforts and contacts.

FWIW

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

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Old 02-23-2013, 03:05 PM   #19
David Orange
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Re: Ki and "Connective Tissue"

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
In another thread,

What is ki?

Does it only exist within the fascia? How do we know?

How does it flow?

How is ki related to "IP/IT/IS"?

What is its function?
How does it flow? That's an interesting question. It leads to another: "Why do we even think that it does flow?"

The answer, of course is that, "Well...everyone says it flows."

And who said that first?

It must have been the taoists and creators of traditional Chinese medicine.

Acupuncture and shiatsu are both based on the theory that qi (ki) flows through the body in regular cycles along well established pathways with "points" at which the flow may be sped up, slowed down or stopped. This has been shown to ease inflammation, invigorate weak organs or eliminate pain for dental or surgical application. So I am impressed that their theory has substance.

My understanding of this is that, since ki is life energy itself, it has to be in the whole body all the time or the part where it was not would die, which is an irreversible process. So life has to be in the whole body all at once. But it also moves through the body and an expert Chinese doctor can tell exactly where it is in the body at any moment. If this seems strange, then explain the question of locating a "nuclear particle" at any particular instant. The nuclear "particle" has been explained as actually being a spherical "shell" of energy that "condenses" at a given location on the sphere to appear as a "particle" but it is really more like a wave in a body of water, a movement within a substance which appears fleetingly at one place, then another. So I see ki as being both everywhere in the body at once, all the time, but also being somehow concentrated at a point that move in a regular cycle through the various meridians of the body.

On the other hand, for IP/IT/IS, we can use the mind to direct the ki to any part of the body instantly. And that directing is an expression of intent. But while ki is never released from the body, intent can extend to infinity, which can have a great effect on someone has no strong ability to focus his intent.

As for actual physical delivery of power, I don't think there's really a difference in what reaches the attacker, only the purity of it. And that means purity of force.

Rob John addresses this in his thread on "Weight Transfer." The question is how to get "all" of your intended effort to the target without losing a lot through disorganization.

Supposedly, Ark tells people their nervous systems are like dial-up internet connections while he is using fiber optics. It's not that his nervous system is really different but IP/IS work is really largely about "connecting the dots" so that both information and power flow within the body without confusion or blockage. Here an analogy to water might be better than electricity. While your electrical connections can be good or bad, there's either current going or not. If we consider water, imagine that your main line puts water into a sump type of place where the open ends of the pipes to the rest of the house have open ends. When you turn on the water, the main line starts filling the sump until it gets high enough flow into the other pipes of the house. You can imagine that when you turn on your shower, the water flow will be pretty poor. The problem is that while the water can get from the main to the shower line, it's not properly connected. You won't get out what you expect at the end and you'll lose water in the process.

The body/mind organization of most people is a lot like that. A push from the foot loses effectiveness in the foot first, then the ankle, up the leg, in the lower back, etc., etc., losing a little more at each point so that it's quite weak at the end. IP/IT is concerned, among other things, with getting all the connections "tightened up." Actually, I think the usual term is "take the slack out" because being "tight" is not what we want. But we want a firm connection and maybe a little stretched but not strained.

This process can be undertaken entirely by "the mind" but its nature does not allow it to reach directly into the body. If the mind attempts to understand the body, it has to work within its own rules. It does some things and doesn't do others. For one thing, the mind does not "feel." This is an important place where we can clearly distinguish mind and ki. The ki, in IP/IS, is used to "feel" within the body without having to have some nerve impulse. The mind can detect both nerve impulse and the "feelings" of ki. Usually, people believe that it is the mind that is feeling, but it is not. The nerves feel and the ki feels, but the mind can only receive the impressions from those feelings and it organizes that information and takes action on it.

So we use the ki to let the mind in on the deeper secrets of the body and in that way, through serious effort, the mind "becomes one" with the body because it can enter any place in the body through the ki.

When the mind and the ki work together, the mind can penetrate the entire body and can recognize where connections are too slack.

Going beyond just this basic outline sketch, you need a real teacher to show you directly what's what but I think this is a good entre for putting these concepts into perspective and place.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

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Old 02-23-2013, 04:31 PM   #20
David Orange
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Re: Ki and "Connective Tissue"

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
So we use the ki to let the mind in on the deeper secrets of the body and in that way, through serious effort, the mind "becomes one" with the body because it can enter any place in the body through the ki.

When the mind and the ki work together, the mind can penetrate the entire body and can recognize where connections are too slack.
To finish the whole thought, when the mind becomes that wise to the body and ki, it is fit to direct them and not before. We can do many things in the name of harmonizing and directing ki and the body, but most of them are fanciful because the mind really floats along in confusion about what ki even is and what its flow is like. The only way to know is to apply the mind to observation of the ki for a while. Sometimes this is stimulated by stressful exercises and the softest can be the most painful for the mind--pain being not the actual feeling but a kind of friction set up by the mind trying to escape from the serious focus.

When the mind fully penetrates the body and ki and is in constant harmony with them, we can seek to understand six harmonies and other things related to dantien, etc. But finally, we get to the old saying that the mind leads the ki and the ki leads the body.

Mike Sigman added something to that a while back that I think I understand now. Mind leads ki and ki leads body are only two harmonies. Aren't there supposed to be three? The first is a division of mind into heart (kokoro) and what we think of as mind. That second type of mind is purely calculational and intellectual. But the real essence of life and self comes from kokoro, which is the heart, the origin of all our feelings and desires and impulses. Most of us wage a lifelong war between mind and heart (heart or head). Some fall to one side and, with no restraint on their kokoro and its impulses, become horrible criminals. Some with no restraint on their kokoro become saints, geniuses...insane. So it is vital that the rational mind have final sway over the wild and powerful heart, to tame it like a lion domesticating itself. Most lions now are in protected preserves for fear of their life, anyway. The result of a kokoro tamed by the rational mind is "I" in Japanese and "Yi" in Chinese. Taming one's own heart can allow one at least to walk at one's own discretion among men and not be injured nor accused. Maybe. Deep and subtle attention to ki and its movement as the source of physical action is a deep expression of this congruency of self, the mind and emotions, the mind and the spirit, the spirit and the body. One becomes truly "one" instead of a conglomeration of mysterious and maybe dubious parts.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

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Old 02-24-2013, 10:30 AM   #21
David Orange
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Re: Ki and "Connective Tissue"

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David Orange wrote: View Post
When the mind fully penetrates the body and ki and is in constant harmony with them, we can seek to understand six harmonies and other things related to dantien, etc. But finally, we get to the old saying that the mind leads the ki and the ki leads the body.
Anyway, after all is said and done, right or wrong, I have to go back to the words of Richard Kim, menkyo kaiden in daito ryu from Yoshida Kotaro. Paraphrased, Kim said something like, "It all comes down to the moment when you give your opponent your best shot and it either ends the fight or it doesn't phase him."

The whole purpose of budo is to ensure that the person of "do" remains safe and secure and that the irrational attacker is locked down immobile to be dealt with by proper authority. Well, or dead, if there is no other way. Mochizuki Sensei stressed that we must do no more harm than necessary to stop the attack. But the truth is, we have to stop an attack. Our metric of success is first: no injury to us or to the ones we defend. Second: as little injury as possible to the attacker. It is very good to think of having no enemy, but pathetic to have to maintain that delusion after the attacker kills your loved one. This is not to focus on killing but to make absolutely clear the continuum. Carpenters and masons use "level" as their prime reference for everything in the world. It exists on a continuum from "level" (exactly horizontal to gravity) to "plumb" (exactly vertical in gravity). Foundations must be level and walls must be plumb, but there are uses for every degree of variation between level and plumb. inclines for walking, "fall" for site drainage, pitch for roof angle. We cannot know only "level" to measure the world. We must understand and be able to work with the proper techniques for every angle and purpose.

So in budo, we work on a continuum from perfect universal peace and passive, relaxed stillness to decisive end of violence through physical and personal response. Because we are first decent people whose kokoro responds to love and generosity with love and gratitude and we love our families and peaceful times; and second, rational people who act for reasonable purposes, we always want peace. But we must understand that we are on that continuum. When one's own dignity and freedom or that of one's loved ones, or the innocent stranger are too severely impinged, it is unnatural simply to allow it. That is why laws arose, but budo arose from lack of law as individuals formed the Japanese society and created sumo, jujutsu and kenjutsu for actual fighting (bujutsu). Budo evolved out of bujutsu as a way for strong fighters to become moral leaders of strong fighters. These were the deepest and most spiritual of the fighters--not intellectuals with weak bodies, but hardened fighters who saw the need for a moral path in human life. Just as "level" is useless without "plumb," though, they knew that "peace" is useless without justice. You can live in "peace" under a terrible ruler, but it's not really peace. The entire environment must be somewhat subdued for real peace even to be possible. One can attain deep peace even in bad times, but it remains incomplete when the environment is at war.

Obviously, one can't go out and subdue the entire environment, though it makes for good (or at least sometimes funny) cinema. Or, anyway, one can't subdue the entire environment by force or violence. I think the best way is to remain strong, aware and friendly to everyone in my neighborhood. However, strange things happen in neighborhoods, often with people passing through. When such people (or even our neighbors) get an idea to push someone around, we have to be peacemakers. Mochizuki Sensei had a commendation from the Prime Minister of Japan for negotiating with the students occupying Tokyo University in the 1960s. And that's not code for "beating the stew out of the students." He talked with them. He used to tell me how he protected cities from Communist attacks in Mongolia during the war by helping the rural people outside the cities. This is how budo works.

But: when the rubber meets the road (as Kim might have said), it all comes down to that moment when the bully attacks you and you give him your best shot. Who will be left standing?

If you like to use the term "budo," you need to know this means training in such a way as to assure that your best shot will put the attacker down (even if that means just holding him in sankyo). You don't do more than necessary to stop him, but whatever you do must work. Those are the level and plumb of budo.

From there, budo becomes not only a collection of techniques that we "learn" by repeating them in dance fashion, but a vast ocean of technique and method, from aikido, judo, karate, jujutsu, boxing, wrestling, fencing, savage, xing yi, tai chi, bagua, shoaling and dirty criminal street tactics. Everything from horizontal to vertical and back, both above and below the earth.

And the last point is that IP/IS is a deep place in budo training where we learn to get closer and closer to delivering 100% of your effort to the place we intend it to apply.

When we say we direct our ki to our hand, we're thinking of making the hand light to move but heavy to hit. We don't put the ki into the hand so we can hit the attacker with our ki, but to activate not only the hand but the whole bodypath from grounded foot to the hand. Then when the hand hits the attacker (or we apply sankyo), we have the effect Shioda called shuuchu ryoku or "concentrated power." And I never saw anyone of any size fail to go down if Shioda hit them. Indeed, I don't think anyone ever saw Shioda really "hit" anyone except maybe a few times he mentions in his autobiography.

Anyway, hitting, throwing, holding are all the same in aikido, as much as that can be forgotten.

But the purpose of all the IP/IS/IT, as I understand it, is to be able to use the intrinsic qualities of the upright body to deliver maximum possible power with absolute minimal exertion.

Letting the muscles ease into tanren strength and letting the ki lead the body are ways to make the whole body congruent and martially effective. The mental/ki efforts are demanding but they are probably the essence of the deepest meditation. Peace without strength is irresponsible and is not budo.

Finally, IP/IS was not part of the techniques of aikido as I learned them but I felt its subtle presence in the aikido, judo and karate at the yoseikan. I, unfortunately, mistook that for conventional western athletic strength and I tried to achieve it by harder and harder muscular training (trying to use no strength in my aikido technique, however). If I had only know then...

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:38 AM   #22
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
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Re: Ki and "Connective Tissue"

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
When the mind fully penetrates the body and ki and is in constant harmony with them, we can seek to understand six harmonies and other things related to dantien, etc. But finally, we get to the old saying that the mind leads the ki and the ki leads the body.
Anyway, after all is said and done, right or wrong, I have to go back to the words of Richard Kim, menkyo kaiden in daito ryu from Yoshida Kotaro. Paraphrased, Kim said something like, "It all comes down to the moment when you give your opponent your best shot and it either ends the fight or it doesn't phase him."

The whole purpose of budo is to ensure that the person of "do" remains safe and secure and that the irrational attacker is locked down immobile to be dealt with by proper authority. Well, or dead, if there is no other way. Mochizuki Sensei stressed that we must do no more harm than necessary to stop the attack. But the truth is, we have to stop an attack. Our metric of success is first: no injury to us or to the ones we defend. Second: as little injury as possible to the attacker. It is very good to think of having no enemy, but pathetic to have to maintain that delusion after the attacker kills your loved one. This is not to focus on killing but to make absolutely clear the continuum. Carpenters and masons use "level" as their prime reference for everything in the world. It exists on a continuum from "level" (exactly horizontal to gravity) to "plumb" (exactly vertical in gravity). Foundations must be level and walls must be plumb, but there are uses for every degree of variation between level and plumb. inclines for walking, "fall" for site drainage, pitch for roof angle. We cannot know only "level" to measure the world. We must understand and be able to work with the proper techniques for every angle and purpose.

So in budo, we work on a continuum from perfect universal peace and passive, relaxed stillness to decisive end of violence through physical and personal response. Because we are first decent people whose kokoro responds to love and generosity with love and gratitude and we love our families and peaceful times; and second, rational people who act for reasonable purposes, we always want peace. But we must understand that we are on that continuum. When one's own dignity and freedom or that of one's loved ones, or the innocent stranger are too severely impinged, it is unnatural simply to allow it. That is why laws arose, but budo arose from lack of law as individuals formed the Japanese society and created sumo, jujutsu and kenjutsu for actual fighting (bujutsu). Budo evolved out of bujutsu as a way for strong fighters to become moral leaders of strong fighters. These were the deepest and most spiritual of the fighters--not intellectuals with weak bodies, but hardened fighters who saw the need for a moral path in human life. Just as "level" is useless without "plumb," though, they knew that "peace" is useless without justice. You can live in "peace" under a terrible ruler, but it's not really peace. The entire environment must be somewhat subdued for real peace even to be possible. One can attain deep peace even in bad times, but it remains incomplete when the environment is at war.

Obviously, one can't go out and subdue the entire environment, though it makes for good (or at least sometimes funny) cinema. Or, anyway, one can't subdue the entire environment by force or violence. I think the best way is to remain strong, aware and friendly to everyone in my neighborhood. However, strange things happen in neighborhoods, often with people passing through. When such people (or even our neighbors) get an idea to push someone around, we have to be peacemakers. Mochizuki Sensei had a commendation from the Prime Minister of Japan for negotiating with the students occupying Tokyo University in the 1960s. And that's not code for "beating the stew out of the students." He talked with them. He used to tell me how he protected cities from Communist attacks in Mongolia during the war by helping the rural people outside the cities. This is how budo works.

But: when the rubber meets the road (as Kim might have said), it all comes down to that moment when the bully attacks you and you give him your best shot. Who will be left standing?

If you like to use the term "budo," you need to know this means training in such a way as to assure that your best shot will put the attacker down (even if that means just holding him in sankyo). You don't do more than necessary to stop him, but whatever you do must work. Those are the level and plumb of budo.

From there, budo becomes not only a collection of techniques that we "learn" by repeating them in dance fashion, but a vast ocean of technique and method, from aikido, judo, karate, jujutsu, boxing, wrestling, fencing, savage, xing yi, tai chi, bagua, shoaling and dirty criminal street tactics. Everything from horizontal to vertical and back, both above and below the earth.

And the last point is that IP/IS is a deep place in budo training where we learn to get closer and closer to delivering 100% of your effort to the place we intend it to apply.

When we say we direct our ki to our hand, we're thinking of making the hand light to move but heavy to hit. We don't put the ki into the hand so we can hit the attacker with our ki, but to activate not only the hand but the whole bodypath from grounded foot to the hand. Then when the hand hits the attacker (or we apply sankyo), we have the effect Shioda called shuuchu ryoku or "concentrated power." And I never saw anyone of any size fail to go down if Shioda hit them. Indeed, I don't think anyone ever saw Shioda really "hit" anyone except maybe a few times he mentions in his autobiography.

Anyway, hitting, throwing, holding are all the same in aikido, as much as that can be forgotten.

But the purpose of all the IP/IS/IT, as I understand it, is to be able to use the intrinsic qualities of the upright body to deliver maximum possible power with absolute minimal exertion.

Letting the muscles ease into tanren strength and letting the ki lead the body are ways to make the whole body congruent and martially effective. The mental/ki efforts are demanding but they are probably the essence of the deepest meditation. Peace without strength is irresponsible and is not budo.

Finally, IP/IS was not part of the techniques of aikido as I learned them but I felt its subtle presence in the aikido, judo and karate at the yoseikan. I, unfortunately, mistook that for conventional western athletic strength and I tried to achieve it by harder and harder muscular training (trying to use no strength in my aikido technique, however). If I had only know then...

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:57 PM   #23
oisin bourke
 
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Re: Ki and "Connective Tissue"

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David Orange wrote: View Post
This process can be undertaken entirely by "the mind" but its nature does not allow it to reach directly into the body. If the mind attempts to understand the body, it has to work within its own rules. It does some things and doesn't do others. For one thing, the mind does not "feel." This is an important place where we can clearly distinguish mind and ki. The ki, in IP/IS, is used to "feel" within the body without having to have some nerve impulse. The mind can detect both nerve impulse and the "feelings" of ki. Usually, people believe that it is the mind that is feeling, but it is not. The nerves feel and the ki feels, but the mind can only receive the impressions from those feelings and it organizes that information and takes action on it.

So we use the ki to let the mind in on the deeper secrets of the body and in that way, through serious effort, the mind "becomes one" with the body because it can enter any place in the body through the ki.

When the mind and the ki work together, the mind can penetrate the entire body and can recognize where connections are too slack.

Going beyond just this basic outline sketch, you need a real teacher to show you directly what's what but I think this is a good entre for putting these concepts into perspective and place.

David
That's the clearest, most succint description I've read. I've mentioned before, but you should really read Tatsuo Kimura's book on aiki. What he writes is uncannily similar (albeit much more vague).
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Old 02-24-2013, 02:24 PM   #24
David Orange
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Re: Ki and "Connective Tissue"

Quote:
Oisin Bourke wrote: View Post
That's the clearest, most succint description I've read. I've mentioned before, but you should really read Tatsuo Kimura's book on aiki. What he writes is uncannily similar (albeit much more vague).
If I had any ability at this, I could tell you whether what I said is true...

But thanks.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:29 PM   #25
Carl Thompson
 
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Re: Ki and "Connective Tissue"

Thank you David

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
Mike Sigman added something to that a while back that I think I understand now. Mind leads ki and ki leads body are only two harmonies. Aren't there supposed to be three?
Would you relate this to rei-ryoku-tai?

Carl
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