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Old 11-16-2004, 10:20 PM   #1
Kevin Temple
Dojo: Jinbukan
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Canada
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Whats the deal with Ki?

I have trained (not for very long mind you) in a dojo that doesn't place any specific emphasis on Ki training (I assume that it involves meditation and some form of spiritual awareness training) and I am just wondering what effect it has on aikido. It seems to me that the morality is integrated in every aspect of aikido. The basis for the art (as it seems to me) is finding the least harmful responses to violent situations and gaining a newfound understanding of yourself/others. Excuse me if i sound ignorant but why the emphasis on purely spiritual? I find that Aikido is like some sort of moving meditation, A Ki Dance, if you will. Thats just my outlook on things forgive me if i offend anyone
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Old 11-16-2004, 10:58 PM   #2
Joe Bowen
 
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Re: Whats the deal with Ki?

Kevin,

Don't think that there is anything really offensive in your post and would be surprised if anyone took offense to it. Ki is a difficult thing to understand. I'm not really sure I have a good understanding of it myself. I will tell you that I know it exists and have felt (?) it when being thrown by some pretty old Sensei. I wouldn't even presume to be able to explain it to you, I just know it's there. I would suggest that in the beginning of your Aikido training that you don't need to get too wrapped around that axle about it. I also don't think you need to spend a whole lot of time meditating or engaging in some esoteric form of spiritual training to become aware of it. Its there and you'll find it in time.
Morality is integrated into the techniques of Aikido. From my limited perspective, any Aikido technique is potentially lethal and the morality of the technique shows in nage's choice not to manifest that lethality. If your taisabaki, maai and timing are good, you'll end up in a position to either unleash your power on your training partner or show restraint and execute the technique without the damage. This is the essence of "Aikido is love". Nage makes a choice not to inflict harm. Of course if nage doesn't know how to inflict the harm, then the choice is not there. All of this flows from our ability to control our selves through the integration of our mind and body. That is the "self-victory" that O Sensei refers to. Many places and instructors do not presume to instruct on the spiritual. I like to think that that evolves in time as will the Ki. If you the mind and body are in harmony the Ki will manifest itself. Just train and you will find out. In this way, Aikido is like a moving meditation….

joe
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Old 11-17-2004, 12:59 AM   #3
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Whats the deal with Ki?

Hello,

I think the morality of the art is at one step removed from the art itself. All martial arts are artificial, in the sense that uke and tori always survive to fight (or whatever) another day, so I do not think aikido is particularly special here. Morihei Ueshiba was fond of saying that ai (in aikido) is ai (love), but he could say this because the Chinese characters are read the same way and you should not conclude that he meant what we might mean by the attribution.

Nor does ki play any essential part in this. In other words ki permeates aikido, but this has no intimate connection with the morality or otherwise of the art.

The harder you train the better you willl become and I think this is the force of 'winning in the moment'.

Best regards,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 11-17-2004, 01:17 AM   #4
maikerus
Dojo: Roppongi Yoshinkan Aikido / Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan
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Re: Whats the deal with Ki?

Peter...well said.

--Michael

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 11-17-2004, 10:26 PM   #5
Bill Danosky
 
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Re: Whats the deal with Ki?

From an aikido beginner's perspective, it seems that like any other art, you have to master the basics before you find the essence. But- I was learning Shomenuchi Ikkyo Ura last night and after about the eighth one in a row, I "got it". I don't golf, but people say it's those one or two perfect shots you make in a day that keep you coming back. Is that Ki or Zen?
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Old 11-18-2004, 12:58 PM   #6
mriehle
 
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Re: Whats the deal with Ki?

Quote:
Bill Danosky wrote:
I don't golf, but people say it's those one or two perfect shots you make in a day that keep you coming back. Is that Ki or Zen?
Yes.

Although I'd drop the Zen stuff.

Ki is not Zen. Zen is not Ki.

Ki is.

Zen is religion.

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Old 11-18-2004, 01:16 PM   #7
kironin
 
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Re: Whats the deal with Ki?

Quote:
Bill Danosky wrote:
From an aikido beginner's perspective, it seems that like any other art, you have to master the basics before you find the essence.
yes, Ki is. (not about morality or religion like Zen)

the basics are the essence.

and Ki is part of the basics.

you don't have to find it, it's there all along.

progress is stages of becoming more aware
so your basics become better and better.

mastering the basics is not before
mastering the basics never stops.

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Old 11-18-2004, 01:45 PM   #8
Larry Cuvin
 
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Re: Whats the deal with Ki?

This is another perspective from another beginner: Ki is everywhere, flowing all the time. It is up to you to allow it to flow through your being and move with it. Ki makes the difference between trying your best to keep that unbendable arm from bending or knowing that your arm will not bend. I am in my 40's with lower back problems and I just started Ki Aikido training last summer. If there is one thing that keeps me coming back to the dojo however many times I find my face down on the mat is the 1hour Ki training that I get before we start with the Aikido.
We lead or redirect our opponent's Ki, we move with Ki and perform with confidence. It is not our strength that makes the art powerful but the Ki that we harness and use in the execution on the art.
My daughter and I are up for our blue belt test this December hoping to remember what I just have written.

Hope this ranting make sense.--- Larry
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Old 11-18-2004, 07:02 PM   #9
Joe Bowen
 
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Re: Whats the deal with Ki?

Quote:
Craig Hocker wrote:
progress is stages of becoming more aware
so your basics become better and better.

mastering the basics is not before
mastering the basics never stops.
Well, said. Many times beginners see Ikkyo, Nikyo, Iriminage and think that they are simple techniques. They want to get to more of the sexy "complicated" techniques like Jujinage, Koshinage. But, after practicing for awhile (like years maybe) they begin to realize that there is more depth in the basic "simple" techniques like Ikkyo and iriminage and start to frequently revisit them.

joe
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Old 11-23-2004, 11:08 PM   #10
Huker
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Re: Whats the deal with Ki?

Looks like Jinbukan is rising in popularity....
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Old 11-26-2004, 01:01 PM   #11
TheWonderKid
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Re: Whats the deal with Ki?

Just curious,

I've been studying Aikido a short time and from what little I can gather about Ki, makes it sound something like the Force in Star Wars. Is this really off the mark or analagous at all?
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Old 11-26-2004, 01:18 PM   #12
jxa127
Dojo: Itten Dojo -- Mechanicsburg, PA
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Re: Whats the deal with Ki?

Quote:
Owen Matchim wrote:
Just curious,

I've been studying Aikido a short time and from what little I can gather about Ki, makes it sound something like the Force in Star Wars. Is this really off the mark or analagous at all?
Yeah, I think a comparison with the Force from Star Wars is really off the mark.

I think the concept of ki is an excellent way to think about how the body and mind are integrated, and how one can use that integration to perform technique.

One of the best explanations of ki is in the book, The Spirit of Aikido by Kisshomaru Ueshiba (O' Sensei's son). It's a slim book, but worth more than its weight in gold. Many of the questions that people new to aikido ask all the time, are answered in that book.

Regards,

----
-Drew Ames
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Old 11-28-2004, 11:06 AM   #13
tedehara
 
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Re: Whats the deal with Ki?

Quote:
Kevin Temple wrote:
I have trained (not for very long mind you) in a dojo that doesn't place any specific emphasis on Ki training (I assume that it involves meditation and some form of spiritual awareness training) and I am just wondering what effect it has on aikido. It seems to me that the morality is integrated in every aspect of aikido. The basis for the art (as it seems to me) is finding the least harmful responses to violent situations and gaining a newfound understanding of yourself/others. Excuse me if i sound ignorant but why the emphasis on purely spiritual? I find that Aikido is like some sort of moving meditation, A Ki Dance, if you will. Thats just my outlook on things forgive me if i offend anyone
Perhaps you should visit a dojo that emphasizes ki training and find out for yourself. Some people are able to immediately pick-up on the connection of ki development and aikido training. Others never see any connection.

Books are good guides, but they are just guides. It is up to you to actualize their concepts in your life.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
About Ki
About You
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Old 12-12-2004, 12:52 AM   #14
bryce_montgomery
 
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Re: Whats the deal with Ki?

Quote:
Ki is.
Wow!...That really pretty much sums it up...Sorry I might have thought too much into it, but anyway yeah...
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