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Old 10-25-2005, 09:12 AM   #51
Mike Sigman
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Re: Kokyu explanation

Quote:
Fred Little wrote:
Did you miss the first line about "vast oversimplification?"

It sounds a lot like you are simply projecting your own desire for the triumphal validation of a particular totalizing system onto my occasional crazyquilt banners.

It's undoubtedly true that the use of "ki" in Japanese is much broader and cruder than the precise usages of "ki" in Chinese, going all the way back to the Yellow Emperor's Classic.

I would be very surprised if the usages of "jin" in Chinese weren't also vastly more precise than the general uses of "kokyu" in Japanese, but it would take a good bit of several kinds of study for me to say much more than that.
Hi Fred:

Asides aside, my point was *still* the questioning of why vagaries are constantly being used instead of factual discussions.

Insofar as, for instance, "kokyu", I know pretty exactly why the term for 'breath' is used to describe this power which has jin as its essence. I've laid out enough of the reason before (it, like many other things from me and many others, now resides in the archives for future generations to read). There is a bit more to it which is crucial, but I've never pretended to tell all I know, even though I have taken pains to tell exactly how many basic and checkable things are done. I would be tickled to death to see other people contribute in the same vein with factual how-to's and less "feels good".
Quote:
I would be further surprised if there weren't individuals in Japan who had good solid Chinese educations, both scholarly and martial, and got it, but rather than laying it out for their students in plain, precise language, intentionally draped their teaching in obscure, vague, or simply incorrect explanations for the express purpose of maintaining their own positions as teachers in perpetuity.
I agree
Quote:
That's what the whole iemoto system in particular, and Japanese culture more generally, is about.

But at the end of the day, however well or badly drawn, the map is still not the territory.

And I'm not even trying to draw a map, I'm just finding my way over the next ridge and dropping a few marks along my path.
If a beginner has a map that shows him where to go look for the treasure, that's a lot more valuable than vague directional hand-waves from people who have never been to where he wants to go.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 10-25-2005, 10:36 AM   #52
Fred Little
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Re: Kokyu explanation

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Hi Fred:

Asides aside, my point was *still* the questioning of why vagaries are constantly being used instead of factual discussions.
Multiple reasons:

1. Protection of material regarded as proprietary.

2. Intentional creation of mystique.

3. Firm belief in a pedagogical method that develops intuitive or inferential knowing out of training without the provision of an analytical framework to students along the way.

4. Unwillingness to acknowledge cultural borrowing.

5. "Fuzzy understanding." This may include practitioners who have genuinely developed such skill through a process that is osmotic or inferential.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Insofar as, for instance, "kokyu", I know pretty exactly why the term for 'breath' is used to describe this power which has jin as its essence. I've laid out enough of the reason before (it, like many other things from me and many others, now resides in the archives for future generations to read). There is a bit more to it which is crucial, but I've never pretended to tell all I know, even though I have taken pains to tell exactly how many basic and checkable things are done. I would be tickled to death to see other people contribute in the same vein with factual how-to's and less "feels good". I agree If a beginner has a map that shows him where to go look for the treasure, that's a lot more valuable than vague directional hand-waves from people who have never been to where he wants to go.

Regards,

Mike
When we get to statements like "this power that has jin as its essence" we get to just the kind of "essentialist notion" that makes me very leery of misplaced reductionism. In this specific instance, while I'm open to the strong probability that study of the very well developed Chinese theory and method of developing "jin" is an excellent tool for the development of a significant subset of the skills encompassed by "kokyu," I would also argue that similar study of the fundamentally Indic theory and method of "AUM/AUN" is also required to get the full sense of "kokyu" as used by the founder of aikido, and while there's certainly some overlap, there are also some areas that "AUM/AUN" covers that "jin" doesn't.

So I study both and honor fundamental conditions like reason 1 where that was a basic prerequisite condition under which information was shared.

As I've said in the past, I think that competent authorized instruction in several basic mikkyo practices is useful.

You've said much the same thing about competent instruction in certain CMA.

I'm not competent or authorized to teach either, but I do think that those who sincerely seek that kind of instruction can find it.

Best,

FL
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Old 10-25-2005, 10:51 AM   #53
Mike Sigman
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Re: Kokyu explanation

Quote:
Fred Little wrote:
Multiple reasons:

1. Protection of material regarded as proprietary.

2. Intentional creation of mystique.

3. Firm belief in a pedagogical method that develops intuitive or inferential knowing out of training without the provision of an analytical framework to students along the way.

4. Unwillingness to acknowledge cultural borrowing.

5. "Fuzzy understanding." This may include practitioners who have genuinely developed such skill through a process that is osmotic or inferential.
I don't cavil with any of your points, Fred, I'm just suggesting specifically that we should be able to do better in these forums. The reason we can't, for the most part, is, in my opinion, #.6, people don't really know the subject and they're reduced to pretending they do rather than openly, as a group, searching out the information for the good of their art.
Quote:
When we get to statements like "this power that has jin as its essence" we get to just the kind of "essentialist notion" that makes me very leery of misplaced reductionism.
Fine. I can show you easily and convincingly the logic behind the statement, though, and I offer to do so. Isn't that a step forward?
Quote:
In this specific instance, while I'm open to the strong probability that study of the very well developed Chinese theory and method of developing "jin" is an excellent tool for the development of a significant subset of the skills encompassed by "kokyu," I would also argue that similar study of the fundamentally Indic theory and method of "AUM/AUN" is also required to get the full sense of "kokyu" as used by the founder of aikido, and while there's certainly some overlap, there are also some areas that "AUM/AUN" covers that "jin" doesn't.
No, they're all inter-related. Even "OM" (the original Indian version of "AUM") has a relationship that is easy to show as part of "jin". BTW, I hope you understand that these methods to developing power in Chinese martial arts also use/used sounds and breathing techniques. When I say "essentially jin", I'm comfortable in including all the peripheral aspects into the central argument.

Nice debate.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 10-25-2005, 11:12 AM   #54
Fred Little
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Re: Kokyu explanation

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
I don't cavil with any of your points, Fred, I'm just suggesting specifically that we should be able to do better in these forums. The reason we can't, for the most part, is, in my opinion, #.6, people don't really know the subject and they're reduced to pretending they do rather than openly, as a group, searching out the information for the good of their art. Fine. I can show you easily and convincingly the logic behind the statement, though, and I offer to do so. Isn't that a step forward? No, they're all inter-related. Even "OM" (the original Indian version of "AUM") has a relationship that is easy to show as part of "jin". BTW, I hope you understand that these methods to developing power in Chinese martial arts also use/used sounds and breathing techniques. When I say "essentially jin", I'm comfortable in including all the peripheral aspects into the central argument.

Nice debate.

Regards,

Mike
Hey Mike:

I'll openly concede that my knowledge of CMA is limited, but that's a matter I'm (very) slowly rectifying. As for showing the logic of your statement, go for it, I'm all ears.

On CMA training methods using sounds and breathing methods, sure. But there's more to it than that, some of which I know was once available in Buddhist circles in China. How and where those additional elements might have persisted is an open question, but I'm open to hearing about that too.

As for OM/AUM/etcetera.....to even begin to understand the full set of relationships implicit in that system, a skeletal understanding of the Sanskrit syllabary is a prerequisite, and that is neither Japanese nor Chinese, though the knowledge found its way to both places.Kukai insisted that Chinese Characters are an inferior mode of representing thought and language which distort meaning as much as they convey it, in part because ideograms don't convey sounds or the interrelationships between sounds in the way Sanskrit/Siddham structure does at every level.

Best,

FL

FL
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Old 10-25-2005, 11:29 AM   #55
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Kokyu explanation

I guess this last series of posts falls under the heading of "more prodding from Mike"

Once we get past the prodding part, can we get back to any specifics in the things I did/didn't 'conflate'? Again, I have claimed no expertise in this area; I'm simply referencing the different aspects I have become exposed to, and listing the sources for the information. So for instance, if someone wants to go somewhere for information on the 'eight brocade' exercises, they could write Ellis Amdur, or better yet, attend some of his workshops, and judge for themselves how relevant his take on them might be to this area of kokyu.

I am in no sense trying to mystify anything...and have claimed no expertise...so if someone with information to add wants to add it, feel free. In my opinion, that would raise the level of this and other conversations quite a bit. We then might not get sidetracked with some of the posturing...no offense.

Best,
Ron

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Old 10-25-2005, 11:43 AM   #56
Mike Sigman
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Re: Kokyu explanation

Quote:
Fred Little wrote:
I'll openly concede that my knowledge of CMA is limited, but that's a matter I'm (very) slowly rectifying. As for showing the logic of your statement, go for it, I'm all ears.
I meant literally "show", Fred. I can physically lead you through a series of steps and you'll get an "of course" moment out of it. Like most things, the magic vanishes and the peripherals focus into one picture, once you're shown how. Up until someone shows how the magic trick is done, it remains mystifying.... then it becomes obvious upon revelation.
Quote:
On CMA training methods using sounds and breathing methods, sure. But there's more to it than that, some of which I know was once available in Buddhist circles in China. How and where those additional elements might have persisted is an open question, but I'm open to hearing about that too.

As for OM/AUM/etcetera.....to even begin to understand the full set of relationships implicit in that system, a skeletal understanding of the Sanskrit syllabary is a prerequisite, and that is neither Japanese nor Chinese, though the knowledge found its way to both places.Kukai insisted that Chinese Characters are an inferior mode of representing thought and language which distort meaning as much as they convey it, in part because ideograms don't convey sounds or the interrelationships between sounds in the way Sanskrit/Siddham structure does at every level.
I think you're missing the forest while you focus on the trees, in this instance. Breathe in while pulling your stomach/abdomen area in at the same time. Focus on the fact that you've increased the pressure in the intra-abdominal area (you can also pull up slightly on the perineum area to hold the pressure from "leaking" in that area.... and yes, now you know why there are these strange admonitions to tighten the anus or pull up on the perineum). While you're holding the abdominal pressure, let the sound "Aaaaaaaaaah" slowly come out while you focus on the effect that has and where it has it in the pressurized abdomen. Stop and change the sound to "Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" and watch where the pressure shift goes. You should be able to extrapolate the general idea to a small extent from that example. Exact sounds be damned. ;^) It's all part of a larger picture and why the dantien/hara is developed as the center of power. And I'm not trying to be cryptic... I just realize that the full effect of what's going on is best demonstrated in person. Still, I gave a concrete example that has substantive results and which can be discussed on a forum without really needing foreign words for anything other than reference.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 10-25-2005, 12:26 PM   #57
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Kokyu explanation

Bingo! That's what I was looking for! Thank you, Mike.

Best,
Ron

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Old 10-25-2005, 01:00 PM   #58
Fred Little
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Re: Kokyu explanation

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
I meant literally "show", Fred. I can physically lead you through a series of steps and you'll get an "of course" moment out of it. Like most things, the magic vanishes and the peripherals focus into one picture, once you're shown how. Up until someone shows how the magic trick is done, it remains mystifying.... then it becomes obvious upon revelation.
And that would be most interesting, the trick is getting us both in the same room at the same time. But if we get over that hump, by all means, I would love to see what you have to show.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
I think you're missing the forest while you focus on the trees, in this instance. Breathe in while pulling your stomach/abdomen area in at the same time. Focus on the fact that you've increased the pressure in the intra-abdominal area (you can also pull up slightly on the perineum area to hold the pressure from "leaking" in that area.... and yes, now you know why there are these strange admonitions to tighten the anus or pull up on the perineum). While you're holding the abdominal pressure, let the sound "Aaaaaaaaaah" slowly come out while you focus on the effect that has and where it has it in the pressurized abdomen. Stop and change the sound to "Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" and watch where the pressure shift goes. You should be able to extrapolate the general idea to a small extent from that example. Exact sounds be damned. ;^) It's all part of a larger picture and why the dantien/hara is developed as the center of power. And I'm not trying to be cryptic... I just realize that the full effect of what's going on is best demonstrated in person. Still, I gave a concrete example that has substantive results and which can be discussed on a forum without really needing foreign words for anything other than reference.

Regards,

Mike
This is a fine example of an instructive application at the basic physical/biomechanical level.

One way to engage with some of the other levels is to find a qualified instructor in Gachirinkan meditation, which is among the most openly taught practices of Shingon Buddhism and is also found in the Tendai tradition.. This practice was almost certainly part of the Founder's early Shingon education, since there is documentary evidence of his initiation into "higher" teachings for which it is a prerequisite. It was also on the somewhat eclectic menu of practices that were part of Oomoto-kyo. Among the buildings destroyed in the Second Oomoto Incident was the Gekkyu-den, which seems to have been a site of Gachirinkan practice.

While this, and other practices in that tradition, are often advertised as promoting immediate tangible benefits, those immediate benefits are generally regarded as byproducts of the practices, rather than the purpose of the practices, which has a broader scope than the simple (mind you, simple doesn't mean easy) development of physical power..

The tricky bit is that a qualified instructor -- which means "fully ordained priest authorized to teach" -- who feels that the applicant is only seeking the immediate benefits of the practice may decline to teach him or her.

My take is that with this, as with some other practices in his repertoire, the Founder didn't teach any of his students precisely because he honored his vows; anybody who wants the material has to go to the same place he went, in several senses of the word "place."
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Old 10-25-2005, 01:07 PM   #59
Mike Sigman
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Re: Kokyu explanation

Quote:
Fred Little wrote:
One way to engage with some of the other levels is to find a qualified instructor in Gachirinkan meditation, which is among the most openly taught practices of Shingon Buddhism and is also found in the Tendai tradition.. This practice was almost certainly part of the Founder's early Shingon education, since there is documentary evidence of his initiation into "higher" teachings for which it is a prerequisite. It was also on the somewhat eclectic menu of practices that were part of Oomoto-kyo. Among the buildings destroyed in the Second Oomoto Incident was the Gekkyu-den, which seems to have been a site of Gachirinkan practice.

While this, and other practices in that tradition, are often advertised as promoting immediate tangible benefits, those immediate benefits are generally regarded as byproducts of the practices, rather than the purpose of the practices, which has a broader scope than the simple (mind you, simple doesn't mean easy) development of physical power..

The tricky bit is that a qualified instructor -- which means "fully ordained priest authorized to teach" -- who feels that the applicant is only seeking the immediate benefits of the practice may decline to teach him or her.

My take is that with this, as with some other practices in his repertoire, the Founder didn't teach any of his students precisely because he honored his vows; anybody who wants the material has to go to the same place he went, in several senses of the word "place."
Well, again we're sort of back to vagaries. What other benefits? I know some other benefits, but I can functionally relate them back as usual to the functional core, even though they may sound unrelated to the casual listener.

Insofar as Ueshiba not teaching parts of his own art because he was keeping his vows, makes you wonder why he even bothered, doesn't it?

Regards,

Mike
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Old 10-25-2005, 02:43 PM   #60
Don_Modesto
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Re: Kokyu explanation

Quote:
Fred Little wrote:
One way to engage with some of the other levels is to find a qualified instructor in Gachirinkan meditation, which is among the most openly taught practices of Shingon Buddhism and is also found in the Tendai tradition.. This practice was almost certainly part of the Founder's early Shingon education, since there is documentary evidence of his initiation into "higher" teachings for which it is a prerequisite. It was also on the somewhat eclectic menu of practices that were part of Oomoto-kyo. Among the buildings destroyed in the Second Oomoto Incident was the Gekkyu-den, which seems to have been a site of Gachirinkan practice.
Damn, Fred! Where do you get this stuff?

...and more importantly, when is your book coming out? Sign me up.

I'm serious.

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
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Old 10-25-2005, 02:54 PM   #61
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Kokyu explanation

Hi Don, not only that, he can RUMBLE too!

Good stuff,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 10-25-2005, 03:16 PM   #62
Fred Little
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Re: Kokyu explanation

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Well, again we're sort of back to vagaries. What other benefits? I know some other benefits, but I can functionally relate them back as usual to the functional core, even though they may sound unrelated to the casual listener.

Insofar as Ueshiba not teaching parts of his own art because he was keeping his vows, makes you wonder why he even bothered, doesn't it?

Regards,

Mike
Mike:

Keep your eye on the prize: Sokushin Jobutsu.

The rest, up to and included full mastery of "jin" or "kokyu" are mere trinkets and baubles, however functionally related to the mundane core which is your primary object of interest.

But there's no need to take my word for anything. Instruction can be found, the practice can be done, you find it beneficial or you don't.

Ueshiba talked to his students at great length about many of the vaprous and esoteric aspects of his understanding. Most of them were too dense, or sleepy, or hungover, or dogmatically modern, or just plain disinterested in anything beyond simple jujutsu to open their ears, to ask the right questions, or to follow the pointers he gave them. So it goes.

If nothing else, he kept a bunch of badass young thugs off the street and in the dojo where they could beat on each other instead of innocent folks who got in their way, convinced them there was a path other than simple thuggery, and that alone is more than most people do in one life.

You're talking about structural engineering. I'm talking about architecture. I see the first as necessary for the second to be functional, but not enough to make it touch not only the sky, but truth and beauty.

But truth and beauty can be intoxicating delusions, which is why a structural engineer is always required to sign and seal the final plans.

Love ya, babe....
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Old 10-25-2005, 03:41 PM   #63
Mike Sigman
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Re: Kokyu explanation

Quote:
Fred Little wrote:
Keep your eye on the prize: Sokushin Jobutsu.
Why not Taoist Immortality? Or other esoteric ideals? Have you reached Buddha-hood that you're speaking from experience?
Quote:
The rest, up to and included full mastery of "jin" or "kokyu" are mere trinkets and baubles, however functionally related to the mundane core which is your primary object of interest.
Are these, by any chance, baubles and trivializable trinkets that you already happen to have? If so, name me one student of yours who has these things, since you are an instructor with his sign hanging out.

I think we may be talking past each other (correct me if I'm wrong) in the sense that you're accepting a spiritual connotation about some of these "trinkets and baubles" because they were couched in spiritual terms, in those olden days. Let me remind you that common illnesses were also couched in spiritual terms in olden days and that they can now be discussed pretty accurately using "engineering terms", as horrible as that might sound to someone who prefers his explanations be wrapped in obscurity.
Quote:
But there's no need to take my word for anything. Instruction can be found, the practice can be done, you find it beneficial or you don't.
That's precisely the point I've been trying to make, Fred. This "take my word for it that such-and-such works or feel good" needs to be laid aside in favor of someone laying out some demonstrable facts. I will study levitation with someone only after I'm convinced they know what they're talking about and that they can demonstrate it. In other words, I'm encouraging you to offer substantive explanations in place of poetry.
Quote:
You're talking about structural engineering. I'm talking about architecture. I see the first as necessary for the second to be functional, but not enough to make it touch not only the sky, but truth and beauty.

But truth and beauty can be intoxicating delusions, which is why a structural engineer is always required to sign and seal the final plans.
I'll take your word for it, Fred. Without the laws of physics, there would be no architecture to build either a log cabin or a castle.

Mike
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Old 10-25-2005, 10:04 PM   #64
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Kokyu explanation

Quote:
Well, again we're sort of back to vagaries. What other benefits? I know some other benefits, but I can functionally relate them back as usual to the functional core, even though they may sound unrelated to the casual listener.
I don't follow you. To me it sounds like you're being vague here. If the casual listener hears something which seems unrelated when it in fact is related, that is by definition, a vague statement:"Not clearly expressed; inexplicit." I am inclined to think I'm missing the point...it seems to me he was merely referencing a school of thought about ki/kokyu while suggesting people study directly with them instead of speaking for them.

Quote:
Insofar as Ueshiba not teaching parts of his own art because he was keeping his vows, makes you wonder why he even bothered, doesn't it?
Are you asking why Ueshiba Sensei didn't just turn people away who wouldn't learn the "higher" aspects of his art (or were somehow unbefitting as students of this part)? I may be delusional, but it seems to make perfect sense to me. If I indeed understand your meaning: why wouldn't you teach someone one valuable lesson they can or should have, just because of another they can't or shouldn't have? Seems character is built upon many small facets of knowledge, and as such, every lesson learned brings us closer to those "higher" lessons you seem to be hinting at as the "better" way of understanding ki/jin/kokyu/etc.
Sorry for my ignorance,
Matt

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Old 10-25-2005, 10:46 PM   #65
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Re: Kokyu explanation

Quote:
Why not Taoist Immortality? Or other esoteric ideals?
Can you point me to a place which can scientifically/objectively define "jin"? I have no idea what that term means or if I know what it is by another name.

Quote:
...a spiritual connotation about some of these "trinkets and baubles" because they were couched in spiritual terms, in those olden days. Let me remind you that common illnesses were also couched in spiritual terms in olden days and that they can now be discussed pretty accurately using "engineering terms",
So are you arguing that kokyu, etc. aren't spiritual qualities? How do you describe spiritual qualities in scientific/engineering terms?

Quote:
That's precisely the point I've been trying to make, Fred. This "take my word for it that such-and-such works or feel good" needs to be laid aside in favor of someone laying out some demonstrable facts.
How on earth can we do that online?

Quote:
In other words, I'm encouraging you to offer substantive explanations in place of poetry
This seems a good place for me to ask you, since you seem to display an understanding, to do exactly this. I don't speak Chinese. Can you offer a substantive description of "chi," "jin," and "dantien?" And since this is an Aikido forum, what terms do they fall under that are Japanese?
Take care,
Matt

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Old 10-26-2005, 08:21 AM   #66
Mike Sigman
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Re: Kokyu explanation

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote:
So are you arguing that kokyu, etc. aren't spiritual qualities? How do you describe spiritual qualities in scientific/engineering terms?
Without intentionally being cute, Matt, why don't you first tell me what "spiritual qualities" means, in a substantive way. Can you define them? If they're definable......
Quote:
This seems a good place for me to ask you, since you seem to display an understanding, to do exactly this. I don't speak Chinese. Can you offer a substantive description of "chi," "jin," and "dantien?" And since this is an Aikido forum, what terms do they fall under that are Japanese?
I've tried to leave reasonable accurate descriptions and how-to's on a lot of these things during *this* tenure on AikiWeb. You'd have to do a search, if you're interested.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 10-26-2005, 11:42 AM   #67
Fred Little
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Re: Kokyu explanation

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
I've tried to leave reasonable accurate descriptions and how-to's on a lot of these things during *this* tenure on AikiWeb. You'd have to do a search, if you're interested.

Regards,

Mike
Mike,

I've followed your posts on these topics fairly consistently. I don't think the question posed was unreasonable at all.

Perhaps I missed it, but I have yet to see a post that has an "accurate description" that is expressed in plain english and provides an objective basis for the identification and evaluation of "jin" along empirical rationalist lines of the kind you continually press.

It's really no more than you've asked of anyone else.

If you could point all of us to a post in which you have already answered the question, that would be a big help.

Fred Little
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Old 10-26-2005, 01:59 PM   #68
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Re: Kokyu explanation

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Fred Little wrote:
Perhaps I missed it, but I have yet to see a post that has an "accurate description" that is expressed in plain english and provides an objective basis for the identification and evaluation of "jin" along empirical rationalist lines of the kind you continually press.

It's really no more than you've asked of anyone else.

If you could point all of us to a post in which you have already answered the question, that would be a big help.
I damned if I do and damned if I don't on this one... either I take the time to write it out or I go search the archives for things I know that I've already written!

"Jin" is the pinyin for the word which originally has become part of the New Age culture because it was translated as "Energy". Hence you read a lot of stuff about "the ward-off energy", etc., in many Taiji books, "feel the energy", etc. However, that word "energy" was decided upon by a number of earlier translators, none of whom had any real martial skills, and it turns out to have been seriously misleading.

A more accurate definition from the choices available would have been a translation implying that "jin" is a trained-force-skill with perhaps a hint of "force vector" in it. When you use "jin" you use a strength skill which has been developed through practice, as opposed to "brute strength". Since the main "jin" that is chronicled in Chinese martial-arts-related articles is the "jin from the ground, controlled by the waist, manifested in the hands", it also has a close relationship to the idea of qi/ki and strength, which are always related. So it's really impossible to have a "jin" which is not an expression of "qi/ki" and a lot of confusion ensues. Tohei showing his "ki" is actually demonstrating his "jin" or his "kokyu ryoku". Often if you re-read an translated article and insert the words "strength-skill-controlled by the mind" for 'qi/ki', you can suddenly see the pragmatics involved in a heretofore mystical-sounding passage.

Under the umbrella-term/paradigm of "qi/ki" is also the idea of qi/ki being a part of the connective-tissue functions of the body. For instance, some Chinese used to postulate that an "iron shirt" (trained method of becoming resistant to blows, etc.) worked because the qi in the connective-tissue rose to meet any incoming blow. The idea of the connective-tissue, tendons, etc., being associated with qi goes back to the Yellow Emperor classic (i.e., this stuff has been around a long, long time). Because the connective-tissue can be trained by manipulating the breath and pressures/tensions in the body and because this enhanced conditioning also adds greatly to your strength, it naturally enhances your "jin" power. So "breath" in conjunction with well-developed "jin" is indeed "breath power". In fact this association of breath and jin is completely standard and common... the Japanese choice of the term "kokyu" is blatantly understandable in this light.

A caution should be made that "jin" is also the pinyin spelling for a different word (a different tone is used in the pronunciation) meaning "semen" or "sexual essence"... and a lot of people reading about "jin" and "qi" need to decide which of these meanings actually applies to what they're reading. Don't forget that the ultimate goal of most meditations is to literally raise "semen" or "sexual essence" up the spine (hey, the idea comes from India) and into the cranial cavity called the "shen" (shin in Japanese). Thence comes "enlightenment".

That's a thumbnail sketch, Fred. I could expand on something if there's a question.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 10-26-2005, 07:50 PM   #69
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Re: Kokyu explanation

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Without intentionally being cute, Matt, why don't you first tell me what "spiritual qualities" means, in a substantive way. Can you define them?
I'm sorry, but "cute" is an intention I cannot help but maintain. I mean no disrespect though.
Quote:
"...a spiritual connotation about some of these "trinkets and baubles" because they were couched in spiritual terms, in those olden days. Let me remind you that common illnesses were also couched in spiritual terms in olden days and that they can now be discussed pretty accurately using "engineering terms", "

me:"So are you arguing that kokyu, etc. aren't spiritual qualities? How do you describe spiritual qualities in scientific/engineering terms?"

I was responding to your use of terms and asking you to clarify what you mean. I already understand my own sense of things, I'm trying to understand yours. To answer your question though: no I don't think spiritual qualities can be described in a substantive way, thus to ask for such a thing regarding "ki" "kokyu" etc. is misguided. My implied point is that you seem to be asking for something which is impossible. I view the imprecise language you seem to be criticizing as the only honest way of attempting to describe these things, such as Ki, which, per my understanding, are by nature mystical things and can only be understood by practicing them. The imprecise/subjective language is a systematic vehicle for generating creative thought. You seem to be saying one can articulate these things (like disease can be) in scientific/objective terms. I'm asking you to do so.

Quote:
I've tried to leave reasonable accurate descriptions and how-to's on a lot of these things during *this* tenure on AikiWeb. You'd have to do a search, if you're interested
I get the feeling that to search through these archives would take more time than I have available to me...and I have a lot of time available to me during the day-time. I'm looking for a succinct description, a trademark of scientific language which I am sorely lacking, but which, if I'm understanding correctly, you seem to be saying you have.
Sincerely,
Matt

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Old 10-26-2005, 08:07 PM   #70
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Re: Kokyu explanation

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Matthew Gano wrote:
To answer your question though: no I don't think spiritual qualities can be described in a substantive way, thus to ask for such a thing regarding "ki" "kokyu" etc. is misguided. My implied point is that you seem to be asking for something which is impossible. I view the imprecise language you seem to be criticizing as the only honest way of attempting to describe these things, such as Ki, which, per my understanding, are by nature mystical things and can only be understood by practicing them.
Well, can we describe what Ki can do, in the various usages of the term? In the body sense, such as resistance to blows, increased strength, increased health, resistance to puncture wounds, increased "magnetic feeling", etc., yes, we can. If we know what the characteristics of the particular thing we're calling "ki" are, then we can describe and quantify it. I.e., you don't need vague mystical terms in these discussions, IMO. On the other hand, would you concede that people wanting to pretend they understand ki, kokyu, etc., might often resort to vague terms? I think so. Would people who also really know how to do them, hide that knowledge with obscure terminology? I think so.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 10-26-2005, 08:23 PM   #71
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Re: Kokyu explanation

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I damned if I do and damned if I don't on this one... either I take the time to write it out or I go search the archives for things I know that I've already written!
Well, I for one appreciate your time, effort, and self-imposed damnation.
Quote:
However, that word "energy" was decided upon by a number of earlier translators, none of whom had any real martial skills, and it turns out to have been seriously misleading.
Good to know...so jin is not a form of energy (except "perhaps" kinetic or potential)?
Quote:
A more accurate definition from the choices available would have been a translation implying that "jin" is a trained-force-skill with perhaps a hint of "force vector" in it.
So jin is a term reflecting willful coordination of deep-muscle tissues? Not sure I understand your phrase "...with a hint of 'force vector' in it," though. You mean jin is the coordinating ability, but also maybe including the resultant movement, or intended direction of movement, itself?
From all this it seems jin is a non-entity..not a thing, but an organizational relationship...a quality of an existing thing (the human body), much like color or shape, but of course, much much more complicated. Is this a valid desription?

So what is qi/ki? Are they able to be described objectively?
Take care, and thanks again,
Matt

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Old 10-26-2005, 08:28 PM   #72
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Tongue Re: Kokyu explanation

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Matthew Gano wrote:
You seem to be saying one can articulate these things (like disease can be) in scientific/objective terms. I'm asking you to do so.


I get the feeling that to search through these archives would take more time than I have available to me...and I have a lot of time available to me during the day-time. I'm looking for a succinct description, a trademark of scientific language which I am sorely lacking, but which, if I'm understanding correctly, you seem to be saying you have.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Mike just defined it pretty much as such? (Despite his comment on searching the archives for his past articles)

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
A more accurate definition from the choices available would have been a translation implying that "jin" is a trained-force-skill with perhaps a hint of "force vector" in it.
I'll go on to say that the trained force skill he refers to is still a manifestation of using our muscles/tendons/bone structure in a more refined way. (It's trained in a different way than we normally associate with power)

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Because the connective-tissue can be trained by manipulating the breath and pressures/tensions in the body and because this enhanced conditioning also adds greatly to your strength, it naturally enhances your "jin" power.
Isn't this pretty much what you were looking for?
Granted its not the most precise definition, but it's grounded in human physiology, and not unexplainable terms.


The more esoteric defitions you refer to I think, come as a result of a "flip" in thinking that occurs when you train your body this way.
But even that I think, is still more or less a concrete "feel".
People can be extremely creative when it comes to describing things though

Last edited by Upyu : 10-26-2005 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 10-26-2005, 08:39 PM   #73
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Re: Kokyu explanation

Doh, looks like you just hadn't seen his reponse yet.
Sorry Mathew ^^;

I'll interject here, while Japanese doesn't have an exact term for Jin, they do often use the term "hiriki" or "elbow power" (referring to the specialilzed type of power you use when you train the body using the bow, or other weapon).

And from my experience, it's basically yes, a willfull coordination of deep muscle tendon (rather than muscle itself).

The Qi/Ki paradigm that Mike refers to (correct me if I'm wrong here Mike) is connecting that Jin/hiriki with the power developed by specific breath related exercises. (thanks by the way for the hen/ha type hint that you gave earlier, realized some more stuff today )

The breath related exercises develop a type of power/skill that is used in conjunction with your already developed Jin/Hiriki skill.
I'll also bet, unless you already have structure/Jin/Hiriki skill, 10-1, doing the breath exercises won't be nearly as useful, and any skill gained from it will be kind of dicey...
It's why even the old JMA peeps used to train simple weapons until their legs gave out. They had to first develop a solid structure/hiriki before you could even begin to seriously start to develop the breath power which combined was referred to as "ki/qi"

Just my two cents

*Ohh mann... getting ready for the hot seat
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Old 10-26-2005, 08:52 PM   #74
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Re: Kokyu explanation

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Well, can we describe what Ki can do, in the various usages of the term?
Is ki a thing or an idea about things? What I take as being at least part of this issue is whether or not ki exists as an objective thing, but I may well be injecting my own questions into the complicated conversation you've been having.

Quote:
you don't need vague mystical terms in these discussions, IMO
I think what I'm trying to get around is the idea that there is one set of language that can be used to describe these apparently difficult "things." If one can describe and quantify something using its resultant behaviors, then how is that much different than describing kokyu or ki by describing the sensational effect, particularly given people share similar sensations? Plato used alegory to describe knowledge and it was successfull in articulating it to me. This was basically a myth he created and in this sense, while mystical/mythical language may or may not be "needed", when it is used, it's not in itself inferior to objective language, which you seemed to be saying.

Quote:
On the other hand, would you concede that people wanting to pretend they understand ki, kokyu, etc., might often resort to vague terms?
No argument there, though I'd add that anyone wanting to pretend such a thing would certainly be malicious. I think in most cases erroneous knowledge would be in the form of an honest assumption. It's easy for people to see they know something and then assume that knowledge is itself very large. It's the relative nature of perception.

Take care!
Matt

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Old 10-26-2005, 09:04 PM   #75
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Re: Kokyu explanation

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Just my two cents
Beats my wooden nickle!
I do feel as though I'm starting to get a sense of this conversation though. It's tough coming in the middle like this, so i appologize for that. I know it can be annoying. I'm also very much a neophyte and patching the holes in my ability to clearly decipher and articulate things (certainly the down-side to too much subjectivity).
Thanks for your thoughts!
Matt

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