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Old 12-05-2005, 12:39 PM   #126
roosvelt
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Let's face it, it's simply hard to find good information. And the real killer that I've found over the years that almost equals the *lack* of good information is the huge amount of poor information that all the would-be "experts" and "teachers" throw in... the really hard part is to distinguish between good information and junk information. And most teachers are teaching bogus information, but most students are too loyal to ever understand that fact.... so most students will not try to discriminate in information if it in any ways means questioning what their "teacher" has told them. So they are doomed. The only real hope in most martial arts is for the somewhat new, still curious, students who can focus on reality.

FWIW

Mike
http://www.yiquan.com.pl

I like this free e-book. It only explains about one postrue mainly, and explains in detail that you can practice. What do you think of this book, Mike?
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Old 12-05-2005, 12:50 PM   #127
kironin
 
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Quote:
It seems to usually go back to that one phrase, in good martial arts books...... "unless you already know it, the book doesn't tell you much".
That is really the sentiment about my comment earlier about books. The combination of an exceptional teacher with exceptional understanding that is an exceptional writer who also takes the time to write a book seems very rare to me.

Would I find Carol's first book as useful if it wasn't simply a useful reminder of classes I had with the teacher who was her main source and of various teachings I had many contexts in the style she trained in ? Not sure. but I do know others without my experiences have liked the book and found it useful.

Would it have been better if the teacher whose exceptional knowledge and understanding she drew upon had written a clear book on training exercises. I think so. But he didn't for various reasons and she did and if she hadn't we who remember him wouldn't have anything.

as for the problem of loyal students not questioning what is being taught, all one can do is be a teacher who encourages them to question what is being taught and not tell them but allow them to do and experiment.

for the record only, if anyone really cares, I think chi and ki are basically the same phenomena and I found the discussion of the sumo exercise quite interesting.

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Old 12-05-2005, 06:32 PM   #128
Mike Sigman
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Quote:
Craig Hocker wrote:
Quote:
Mike wrote: wrote:
It seems to usually go back to that one phrase, in good martial arts books...... "unless you already know it, the book doesn't tell you much".
That is really the sentiment about my comment earlier about books. The combination of an exceptional teacher with exceptional understanding that is an exceptional writer who also takes the time to write a book seems very rare to me.

Would I find Carol's first book as useful if it wasn't simply a useful reminder of classes I had with the teacher who was her main source and of various teachings I had many contexts in the style she trained in ? Not sure. but I do know others without my experiences have liked the book and found it useful.
In the case of my quote, the number of indicators in some books is enough to tell me that someone knows pretty much what is really going on. Some books have enough to tell me that the author really doesn't know what is going on. The value of these two books is quite different, regardless of how much they "remind" me of something. The topic at hand is how much value Carol's writings have for the well-intentioned and sincere beginner. Would you say that her books provide functional and useful information for that sort of person or would you "AikiSpeak" and say the books are pleasant in some other sense?

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 12-06-2005, 09:58 AM   #129
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
The topic at hand is how much value Carol's writings have for the well-intentioned and sincere beginner. Would you say that her books provide functional and useful information for that sort of person or would you "AikiSpeak" and say the books are pleasant in some other sense?
IMHO, I would say they have "value" for the "well-intentioned and sincere beginner".

In "Ki in Aikido" chapters cover, explain, and and offer practical exercises for Aikido, extend Ki and Ki breathing, keeping one-point, relax completely, keep weight underside, testing, mind-body coordination, basics, sitting, rolling, standing, tenkan, meditation, and books, movies, and videos.

Likewise, in "Aikido: Exercises for Teaching and Training" chapters cover, explain, and offer practical exercises as an introduction to Aikido, getting started, a brief Ki class, Aikido exercises, rolling and falling and flying, grabs and strikes, lock and throws, weapons and tools and toys, off the mat in real life, and resources.

Coming from an Aikikai style I found the books informative about the Ki-Society organization's teaching principles. The practical exercises gave me more to focus on in my own training. I personally like the combination of Aikikai technical proficiency with Ki-Society principles. (I also like the application of Aiki-jujutsu concepts and Tomiki practicality.) I like the fact that this was not just her personal opinions and observations, but that she included comments from many Aikidoka for the Aikido-List.

IMHO, all books and videos are aimed primarily as reminders and resources for the beginners. They never replace honest and genuine consistent practice and training under a competent teacher over a period of time. It is only from that perspective that you can assess the value of the starting point or material.

These two works have value for what they are and what they were intended to be. I still hold to my recommendation.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 12-06-2005, 10:11 AM   #130
Mike Sigman
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Quote:
Roosvelt Freeman wrote:
http://www.yiquan.com.pl

I like this free e-book. It only explains about one postrue mainly, and explains in detail that you can practice. What do you think of this book, Mike?
I don't see where it has much functionally useful information in it, Roosvelt. The lack of information makes me curious, in fact. There is far better information to be found on Bo Jiacong's DVD's, if you're interested. But even then, you need some help getting past a few hurdles.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 12-06-2005, 10:16 AM   #131
Mike Sigman
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote:
IMHO, I would say they have "value" for the "well-intentioned and sincere beginner".

In "Ki in Aikido" chapters cover, explain, and and offer practical exercises for Aikido, extend Ki and Ki breathing, keeping one-point, relax completely, keep weight underside, testing, mind-body coordination, basics, sitting, rolling, standing, tenkan, meditation, and books, movies, and videos.
OK, Lynn. I've done a few workshops lately where I've taught people within one hour to be able to manifest "ki" so that they could do most of the so-called "ki-tests" in a substantive way. Someone could test them and they can offer good ki/kokyu responses quite well. They also have a good understanding of how and what they are doing, so they can apply the same principles across a spectrum of "tests". Are you suggesting that someone could do the same thing after reading Carol's books? Even more specific, can YOU tell us how to do these things, how the body works when it is being done, etc.?

This would be some good and useful information for the same "well-intentioned and sincere beginners", Lynn... this very forum. If you can point out where that useable information is in Carol's book or explain it yourself, it would be appreciated by many, I am sure.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 12-06-2005, 11:02 AM   #132
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:

This would be some good and useful information for the same "well-intentioned and sincere beginners", Lynn... this very forum. If you can point out where that useable information is in Carol's book or explain it yourself,
Sure I can point out some "useful" information, maybe Lynn Sensei can explain them to me since I have trouble understanding them.

On samurai walk, Carol offered two "useful" analogy.

1. it's the same way a kid play with teddy bear.

I'm too old and dumb to do that, so I won't even try to figure out what that means.

2. It serves the same function as glamour girl (fashion model) walk, to expose less body to your opponents.

I actually turned on TV that night and watched a few cat walk shows in the Fashion TV. Actually it's quite enjoyable though I couldn't figure out its relationship to samurai walk.

On sword cutting, which I think it's important for understanding Aikido.

Carol said the power comes from the base hand. I just can't get it. Maybe Lynn Sensei can put words into her mouth to make it at least sound correct.

IMHO, they're confusing information at best, misleading information to be frank.

There're also other funny ideas which I can't remember without the book in front of me. It makes me wonder if Carol can perform whatever she described in her book, or she just has good imangination.

Don't you guys who know George Simcox Sensei feel obliged to defend his honour by pointing out the correction knowledge from him?
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Old 12-06-2005, 11:05 AM   #133
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
I don't see where it has much functionally useful information in it, Roosvelt. The lack of information makes me curious, in fact. There is far better information to be found on Bo Jiacong's DVD's, if you're interested. But even then, you need some help getting past a few hurdles.

Regards,

Mike
Thanks, I'll try to find it locally. If not, I'll buy it over net.
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Old 12-07-2005, 01:04 PM   #134
tedehara
 
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Quote:
Roosvelt Freeman wrote:
Sure I can point out some "useful" information, maybe Lynn Sensei can explain them to me since I have trouble understanding them.

On samurai walk, Carol offered two "useful" analogy.

1. it's the same way a kid play with teddy bear.

I'm too old and dumb to do that, so I won't even try to figure out what that means.

2. It serves the same function as glamour girl (fashion model) walk, to expose less body to your opponents.

I actually turned on TV that night and watched a few cat walk shows in the Fashion TV. Actually it's quite enjoyable though I couldn't figure out its relationship to samurai walk.
In both cases you swivel your hips as you move. In suwariwaza (samurai walk) your hips swivel from one side to the other side as you move forward.

If you think about it, you're moving from one hanmi position to another, except you're on your knees instead of standing.

BTW fashion models cross-step (step across the forward foot) to accentuate the swiveling of the hips. From a martial viewpoint, this is really bad form because it leads to an unstable position.
Quote:
Roosvelt Freeman wrote:
On sword cutting, which I think it's important for understanding Aikido.

Carol said the power comes from the base hand. I just can't get it. Maybe Lynn Sensei can put words into her mouth to make it at least sound correct...
In cutting with a Japanese two-handed sword, the top hand is the control hand. The bottom hand is the power hand.

The bottom hand swings down naturally. This gives the power to the cut. If the angle of the cut is changed, that is done through the top hand.

If you start in a shomen position (sword overhead) but intend to step forward and cut yokomen (at an angle) then you change the angle of the sword tip by using the top hand. Trying to push the sword into the correct angle using both hands could take too long and your intended victim might be able to counter.

Last edited by tedehara : 12-07-2005 at 01:12 PM.

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Old 12-07-2005, 01:42 PM   #135
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Quote:
Roosvelt Freeman wrote:
1. it's the same way a kid play with teddy bear.

2. It serves the same function as glamour girl (fashion model) walk, to expose less body to your opponents.
I think these two refer to walking same hip/foot and shoulder/hand forward. Models sometimes do this, too, although not in such an obvious way.

kvaak
Pauliina
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Old 12-07-2005, 01:45 PM   #136
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Quote:
Don't you guys who know George Simcox Sensei feel obliged to defend his honour by pointing out the correction knowledge from him?
I don't know if you realize it, but he died some years ago. That's why people who trained with him like the books. They have a context with their teacher in which to view the writing, which is probably why it makes more sense to them than to you.

Ted answered your other questions pretty well...and those answers go a little on point to the discussion. With a framework of training in a dojo under a good instructor, I don't think those particular points would have been lost on someone. Especially the point about the base hand...since even in empty hand waza, there is often a hand that provides a base (as in kotegaishi) and a hand that cuts. I can't speak to the rest of the book though.

Best,
Ron

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Old 12-07-2005, 03:47 PM   #137
Upyu
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

I guess the real question would be is not which hand provides the power etc, (since that's kind of a given for all JMAs, even Kendo) but where the power in the base hand is generated from :-D

The samurai walk, same hand foot thing is all the rage in the sports world these days in Japan. Its called "Namba" aruki (as opposed to Nanpa aruki something compleeeeetely different :-D ) Anyways, this wannabe koryu guy called Koono (甲野) has been tossing book after book after magazine after NHK serial etc etc on the subject.
He even roped in Genki Sudo from the UFC to try changing how he moved (surprise surprise, it gave him more effecient movement for his groundgame as well)
Basically its the way Japanese used to move about 100 years back and is(supposed to be) more biomechanically effecient.
I forget which runner started training using that method, but he placed third in the World Games using namba-hasiri or namba running. Small little asian dude outrunning africans...imagine that lol.
Too bad he didn't do as well in the Olympics.

Anyways, the whole Namba movement is only the tip of the iceberg.
Funnily enough most CMA movements are also "Namba" in nature
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Old 12-07-2005, 04:49 PM   #138
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

I think the namba 'hustle' is interesting. I too have been experimenting with it as I usually place more emphasis than usual on the swinging hip (normal?) method. I think the 'hustle' has more potential than I had originally thought. (for some reason, I call it a 'hustle').

Last summer - I think I wrote this somewhere else - we had a sports day and everyone expected a young guy in our dept. to win the running race as he was fresh out of the marines and as fit as the proverbial fiddle. He set off on the final leg (I think it was the 400m relay) equal against an overwieght looking Chinese exchange student. The Chinese guy ran like an old woman - belly first, head back - and did not swing his hips at all etc. Everyone noticed and started laughing - it really was funny. But the best part was that while he got off ot a slow start he kept it up and ran like like a steam train -- and won! I was really surprised, as was everyone. when jogging inthe morning, I sometimes try it, but first make sure no one is around to see me Also, if you want to run with the namba 'hustle' put your hands firmly on your belly to eliminate arm swing and start slowly.

Sword hands - my take is that the lower hand provides the speed and general direction (by swiveling the bottom left and right) and that the top hand controls the angle/twist of the blade and that power is added by the top hand the moment the cut strikes its target. I should add that when I swivel left or right with my bottom hand it is rather a case of the hand following my hips - if my hips twist left slightly then the bottom sword hand swivels left, meaining the tip of the sword crosses the centre to the right slightly (namba 'hustle' style). Of course, I also like to do exactly the opposite - swinging hips style, cutting left while my hips are turned to the right.

Last edited by Rupert Atkinson : 12-07-2005 at 04:54 PM.

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Old 12-07-2005, 05:02 PM   #139
Mike Sigman
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Quote:
Ted Ehara wrote:
The bottom hand swings down naturally. This gives the power to the cut. If the angle of the cut is changed, that is done through the top hand.

If you start in a shomen position (sword overhead) but intend to step forward and cut yokomen (at an angle) then you change the angle of the sword tip by using the top hand. Trying to push the sword into the correct angle using both hands could take too long and your intended victim might be able to counter.
But.... where does the "Ki" come in?????

Mike
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Old 12-07-2005, 05:29 PM   #140
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
But.... where does the "Ki" come in?????

Mike
It wells up inside as you face your oppoment real or imaginary; as your prepare for action the energy of your whole body comes together with movement originating from the centre; as you strike the energy focuses from your centre, along your extending arms, to the end of the sword, and the path of energy is opened and focused further by kiai. That's how I see it.

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Old 12-07-2005, 05:58 PM   #141
Alfonso
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

doesn't the base hand get power from dropping the hips? if so, the power is primarily gravity.
where does the power come from in raising the sword ?

Alfonso Adriasola
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Old 12-07-2005, 09:17 PM   #142
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
I guess the real question would be is not which hand provides the power etc, (since that's kind of a given for all JMAs, even Kendo) but where the power in the base hand is generated from :-D

The samurai walk, same hand foot thing is all the rage in the sports world these days in Japan. Its called "Namba" aruki (as opposed to Nanpa aruki something compleeeeetely different :-D ) Anyways, this wannabe koryu guy called Koono (甲野) has been tossing book after book after magazine after NHK serial etc etc on the subject.
He even roped in Genki Sudo from the UFC to try changing how he moved (surprise surprise, it gave him more effecient movement for his groundgame as well)
Basically its the way Japanese used to move about 100 years back and is(supposed to be) more biomechanically effecient.
I forget which runner started training using that method, but he placed third in the World Games using namba-hasiri or namba running. Small little asian dude outrunning africans...imagine that lol.
Too bad he didn't do as well in the Olympics.

Anyways, the whole Namba movement is only the tip of the iceberg.
Funnily enough most CMA movements are also "Namba" in nature
Along the lines of shiko, this is also a basic sumo movement.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
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Old 12-07-2005, 10:55 PM   #143
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote:
Along the lines of shiko, this is also a basic sumo movement.
Now we're talkin
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Old 12-08-2005, 05:32 AM   #144
tedehara
 
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
I guess the real question would be is not which hand provides the power etc, (since that's kind of a given for all JMAs, even Kendo) but where the power in the base hand is generated from :-D

The samurai walk, same hand foot thing is all the rage in the sports world these days in Japan. Its called "Namba" aruki (as opposed to Nanpa aruki something compleeeeetely different :-D ) Anyways, this wannabe koryu guy called Koono (甲野) has been tossing book after book after magazine after NHK serial etc etc on the subject.
He even roped in Genki Sudo from the UFC to try changing how he moved (surprise surprise, it gave him more effecient movement for his groundgame as well)
Basically its the way Japanese used to move about 100 years back and is(supposed to be) more biomechanically effecient.
I forget which runner started training using that method, but he placed third in the World Games using namba-hasiri or namba running. Small little asian dude outrunning africans...imagine that lol.
Too bad he didn't do as well in the Olympics.

Anyways, the whole Namba movement is only the tip of the iceberg.
Funnily enough most CMA movements are also "Namba" in nature
Even though suwari waza has been called "samurai walk" in books like Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere, I don't think it is the same thing that you're writing about. Although you do keep your arm with your same side leg while moving.

Suwari waza is a way to get around when you're kneeling. The idea is you're sitting seiza in a traditional Japanese setting, when you have to suddenly move. It's been mentioned that you can do almost every aikido technique from kneeling that you can do standing up.

The samurai walk that you're writing about is the actual way samurai use to walk, keeping the same hand and leg moving together with the hand always in front of the leg. I believe it allowed access to their weapons faster than the modern way of walking, since the hands never swing back.

I should have realized this had become a hot topic in Japan when I hear a senior instructor talking about this in a seminar. You can also see this mentioned in the samurai film The Hidden Blade.

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Old 12-08-2005, 05:34 AM   #145
tedehara
 
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
But.... where does the "Ki" come in?????

Mike
Hi ya Mike
Ki is extended.
It's already there.
kool!

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 12-08-2005, 08:15 AM   #146
Mike Sigman
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Quote:
Rupert Atkinson about Ki in sword wrote:
It wells up inside as you face your oppoment real or imaginary; as your prepare for action the energy of your whole body comes together with movement originating from the centre; as you strike the energy focuses from your centre, along your extending arms, to the end of the sword, and the path of energy is opened and focused further by kiai. That's how I see it.
Hi Rupert: What "energy focuses from your centre"? That's the heart of what I'm trying to ask. How does Ki *functionally* apply to the sword swing? How does it give or add power to the swing? If it's just a matter of how you grip the sword, which hand is the "power" hand, etc., one may as well be the ordinary lumberjack, plying his trade.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 12-08-2005, 08:20 AM   #147
Mike Sigman
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Quote:
Ted Ehara describing Ki in swordswing wrote:
Hi ya Mike
Ki is extended.
It's already there.
kool!
Well, Ki is always "extended", Ted, just as the "heavyside" is always kept down. The mind controls those things. But in a sword swing the Ki is actually applied and it has a large bearing on the sword and the power to the sword. I was asking for someone to *functionally* describe how that works, since it's so important. Surely there are some sword experts or "Koryu" experts or "Ki experts" who can describe this critical application of Ki without necessarily "giving away the store"?


Regards,

Mike
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Old 12-08-2005, 09:27 AM   #148
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Well, Ki is always "extended", Ted, just as the "heavyside" is always kept down. The mind controls those things. But in a sword swing the Ki is actually applied and it has a large bearing on the sword and the power to the sword. I was asking for someone to *functionally* describe how that works, since it's so important. Surely there are some sword experts or "Koryu" experts or "Ki experts" who can describe this critical application of Ki without necessarily "giving away the store"?


Regards,

Mike
Allow me give it a try.

--Keep one-point, wherever it is.
--Keep focus, imagine you cut beyond your opponent.
--Extend Ki, use breathing power.
--Connect the sword to your center. cut with your center.
--Mind, body, spirit become one.

"Ouch", I just twisted my pinky while typing. I'll get back to you to show you how big a Ki expert I am and how deep knowledge i know about ki when I heal my pinky in a few weeks.
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Old 12-08-2005, 10:08 AM   #149
Mike Sigman
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Quote:
Roosvelt Freeman wrote:
--Keep one-point, wherever it is.

--Keep focus, imagine you cut beyond your opponent.
--Extend Ki, use breathing power.
--Connect the sword to your center. cut with your center.
--Mind, body, spirit become one.
OK, but I'm asking the posters on the list who teach or who have years of experience to functionally explain how you *physically* do these things:

1. "Keep the one Point". This can be described with clear words... it doesn't need vagaries or "here's my opinion". It can be explained, particularly by those that profess to understand it. The idea that it can't be explained is the refuge of the BS artists.

2. "Keep Focus". You should "keep focus" when you are cutting celery or stepping onto the escalator, too. So why is "keep focus" anything more than a statement of the obvious?

3. "Extend Ki, use breathing power". Exactly how does someone "extend ki"? Can someone demonstrate it to me? (Yes, I know there are some readers of the forum that can actually demonstrate it, but I'm questioning some of the others who have opined with assertions, both correct and misleading). What is "breathing power" or "breath power".... everyone uses the term, but most of the people I encounter use there shoulders in some variety of forceful move and call it "kokyu power".

4. How does someone "connect a sword to their center"???? How is it functionally done? And I assure you that it's done the same way in Japan and China, so perhaps some Koryu expert can tell us in detail how to do it. Or some "advanced" teacher. This is a simple thing to describe, in reality.... but why can't it be found in the AikiWeb archives?????????????

5. What is meant by "mind, body, spirit becoming one", other than a catchy phrase that Pilates and every other New Age derived trend uses. What does this term mean that makes it remarkably different enough, in reality, that the Asians made a point of referring to it??????

It would be nice to see some of the people who have had the temerity to put up a shingle also have the temerity to tackle these questions on the public forum.

FWIW

Mike "What is the Sound of a Thread Stopping?" Sigman
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Old 12-08-2005, 10:33 AM   #150
roosvelt
Location: Ontario
Join Date: Sep 2005
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Re: Books on Ki by Carol Shifflet

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
OK, but I'm asking the posters on the list who teach or who have years of experience to functionally explain how you *physically* do these things:
:
:
:

5. What is meant by "mind, body, spirit becoming one", other than a catchy phrase that Pilates and every other New Age derived trend uses. What does this term mean that makes it remarkably different enough, in reality, that the Asians made a point of referring to it??????

It would be nice to see some of the people who have had the temerity to put up a shingle also have the temerity to tackle these questions on the public forum.
Sorry, I forgot the catch all phrase. "Just train harder, in 10 years, maybe 20, you'll understand what I said. (though I just lifted those hollow cathy phrases off "aikido for dummy")"
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