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Old 11-18-2003, 03:59 PM   #26
sanskara
 
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Quote:
Dennis Hooker wrote:
"Ki" is a word and only a word. You need not have ever heard the word to experience that physical and philological power the word references in Aikido. Proper training will get you there without ever talking about it. As Allen Watts said "You can't get wet by saying the word water"
Perhaps. But if it's just a word, meaning that it doesn't really matter, then why do some have an aversion to its inclusion, utterance, and indulgence within the Aikido curriculum?

Just as it can be argued that too much emphasis can be put on Ki at the expense of other aspects of Aikido practice, so can too little. In that sense, going through great pains to avoid such a concept so rudimentary to the philosophical underpinnings of an art (note its inclusion in every manifestation of the name, Ai-KI-do, Ai-KI-jujutsu, Ai-KI-budo, etc) raises many questions.

Do some avoid the concept of Ki because they're more comfortable with gross motor kinesthetics? Or some because of the political rift between Tohei and their current organization demands it be so? Is it a fear of becoming a New Age Aikibunny that causes some to eschew investigation?

I would suspect that if Ki were just a word and that it's inclusion in the art was merely symantic or irrelevant to Aikido's practice, that there would be more indifference to it. What I see all too often in discussions, however, is strong feelings on one side of the ideological fence or the other, and very little gray area represented.

Regards,
James Bostwick
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Old 11-19-2003, 04:36 AM   #27
David Yap
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Quote:
Dennis Hooker wrote:
"Ki" is a word and only a word. You need not have ever heard the word to experience that physical and philological power the word references in Aikido. Proper training will get you there without ever talking about it. As Allen Watts said "You can't get wet by saying the word water"
Greetings,

ai-KI-do. How long have you been practising or how long have you been pretending to practise aikido?

KI - is just a "generic" oriental term for energy. Everything that we do requires energy no matter how big or small the effort. In other word, we can also term "effort" as "ki".

In a dojo, when a person attacks you with the intent to hit your body, the attack is sincere, he puts his mind, body & spirit behind that attack, you will feel him and act accordingly. His ki (energy) is obvious. When a person pretends to attack, you will almost feel nothing and sometimes you just don't feel like reacting at all (no attack, no defence required). Ai-ki literary means drawing in the energy.

When someone throws you in the air, you commit yourself to break the fall, when your hand touches the ground with mind, body & spirit behind it to minimise the impact - that's ki. When someone pretends to fall (giving you a charity fall), immediately you will sense it - you don't feel the energy of his fall. Funny thing - aikido begins with ukeme - the more you do it (ukeme), the more and quicker you will understand about the technique and aikido.

If you train in dojo where philosophy of the teacher is aikido is anything to any people -then the chances of you feeling ki is almost nil. Most time you are either playing at "practising" aikido or trying to find someone to do aikido with.

KI is simple, why make it complicated?

My sens at the end of a ki draining day.

Happy playing

David

Last edited by David Yap : 11-19-2003 at 04:43 AM.
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Old 11-19-2003, 06:41 AM   #28
Dennis Hooker
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"Greetings,

ai-KI-do. How long have you been practising or how long have you been pretending to practise aikido?"

David Yap

Well let's see? I have been practicing (practising?) for about 40 years! How about you?

Dose the saying "A rose by any other name" ring a bell? In fact several of the Japanese Shihan I have studied under have different ideas of what the "Ki" in ai-Ki-do stands for. You can call the art of aikido by any name as long as you practice the proper principles hell call it ai-chi-do if you want. Its just a word.

Dennis Hooker

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Old 11-19-2003, 09:59 AM   #29
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I'll also mention that the term "aikido" and others would probably be broken up by Japanese budo folks into "aiki" and "do" rather than "ai", "ki", and "do."

The phrase "aiki" has been around for many hundreds of years, long before Morihei Ueshiba was born. There are many definitions to them that are used in these classical arts including such as (paraphrased out of my memory) "utterly dominating one's enemy so they have no power to fight," "moving in such a way to negate all of your partner's strength so you can crush them," and such.

I think this is the same sort of thing where people define "ai" as "blending" or "harmony" when, in the Japanese language, it more connotes "to fit", "to match," or "to join together" (as in the context of two gears coming together rather than two liquids "blending")...

Just my thoughts,

-- Jun

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Old 11-19-2003, 04:05 PM   #30
sanskara
 
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Jun Akiyama (akiy) wrote:
I'll also mention that the term "aikido" and others would probably be broken up by Japanese budo folks into "aiki" and "do" rather than "ai", "ki", and "do."
I can't speak for anyone else, but my purpose in emphasizing the Ki in Ai-Ki-Do in my previous post was not to present an interpretation of historical symantics, but simply to make the case that someone, somewhere, at sometime, thought it would be a good idea to describe a martial concept as "the joining or fitting of two opposing forces (Ki, if you will) for the purpose of neutralizing physical conflict, attaining victory in battle, etc." In other words, somebody with martial credentials subscribed to the concept of Ki and it influenced their training and nomenclature. Why not call it ai-ryoku? Why bother with the term Ki if what is meant is chikara? So the choice in charaterization is important.

Now, we can argue as to whether or not the prefix "ai", or the same trailing as a suffix invalidates the concept of Ki as biological energy, intention, or whatever. In my mind, that's neither here nor there. What I personally find interesting, however, is the philosophical and pedagogical polarization that occurs at the mere mention of the word.

As stated earlier, I think this happens for at least two prominent reasons: 1. It's associated with Tohei, an individual who is estranged from mainstream Aikido. And since most Aikidoka are good little soldiers, they believe and do what they're told--the vertical political hierarchical structure of training ensures this. If therefore their organization is pro-Tohei, there's a good chance they're also pro-Ki; anti-Tohei, anti-Ki. 2. Our culture can't seem to get a handle on the concept of Ki. It's either supernatural (as demonstrated by the popularity of Dragonballz) or the nonsense of simpletons (as suggested by CSICOP and its subscription base), but there seems to be little room or middle ground for any other interpretation, be it derived from solid training, or wishful ideology.
Quote:
I think this is the same sort of thing where people define "ai" as "blending" or "harmony" when, in the Japanese language, it more connotes "to fit", "to match," or "to join together" (as in the context of two gears coming together rather than two liquids "blending")...
A better analogy might be people's misinterpretation of the "ai" character in Aikido as the homonym meaning "love." Because if I'm reading you correctly here, you're suggesting that there's been some license taken with the Japanese language in the mainstream Aikido culture, especially in regards to Ki. I'm not sure that's necessarily at the root of the Western concept of Ki, however. I think it's clear to most that definitions of said same vary from person to person and art to art within the context of traditional Budo and Bujutsu--nevermind the Chinese influence and it's impact on Japanese arts.

Therefore, I'd suggest that most draw validity from their training experiences, or vicariously secondhand, through others in their social circle. Consequently, I'd be slow to make too many sweeping judgements about just what was in the mind of your average Yawara practitioner, circa Tokugawa or Meiji Restoration, and its disparity from the conventional martial zeitgeist as the culprit for current concepts of Ki. A fair amount of people could quite understandably care less what used to be, as it's what IS that impacts and influences their training preferences. More importantly, historical accounts will differ, leaving plenty of wiggling room in interpreting the past for present-day purposes.

Last edited by sanskara : 11-19-2003 at 04:11 PM.

Regards,
James Bostwick
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Old 11-19-2003, 07:44 PM   #31
David Yap
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Quote:
Dennis Hooker wrote:
"Greetings,

ai-KI-do. How long have you been practising or how long have you been pretending to practise aikido?"

David Yap

Well let's see? I have been practicing (practising?) for about 40 years! How about you?

Dennis Hooker
My apologies, Dennis sensei/sempai. I really need to honk my skills in using the icons here. My post was not meant to dispute yours in anyway. It so happened that your post was the last one on the board when I posted. I hitched a ride on it forgetting to remove quotes of your post.

In a way, my post trys to enhance yours. One should not be too concerned with the term "KI" - continue and proper training (not playing) will get one there. In my post I was also describing what one would feel in a proper training and what is not felt in a play acting of aikido - hence, I have begun the post with this line, "ai-KI-do. How long have you been practising or how long have you been pretending to practise aikido?" to those who have not come to grasp the term "KI".

To answer your question, you have a 5 years edge on me as far as MA is concerned.

Regards

David

Last edited by David Yap : 11-19-2003 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 11-20-2003, 08:37 AM   #32
Dennis Hooker
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Hay David, hope life is treating you good this fine November morning.

I really do suppose that people have to use some sort of words to communicate ideas but I think it is not always necessary. Heck, sometimes I think words muddle the learning process. Folks can set around and talk about Ki and analysis it and verbally dissect it tell the cows come home but in doing so they will never know it. An experience that will always standout in my mind is the one time I was tossed ass over end by K. Tohei Sensei. No need to discuss ki after that. Just laying hands on so many of those old boys was enough to get the idea and keep it foremost in my mind. I seen dojos where talk was the principle means by which they sought to understand Aikido and I guess I believe more in the sweat factor.

Take care friend

Dennis

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