1. gpseymour

    gpseymour Grandmaster

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    I'm not translating the word when I say that. I'm replacing the concept. In most cases where Qi (Ki) is referenced in JMA, the most realistic explanation of what's being done isn't really "extending energy", but changing body structure through changing intent. I still use the term "Ki", but my students understand it to be a shorthand for those structural and intentional concepts.
     
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  2. mograph

    mograph Master Black Belt

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    The definitions of the words "qi" and "ki" have soft edges (for lack of a better term). They're also context-dependent, like many East-Asian concepts, yes?
     
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  3. Nobody Important

    Nobody Important Black Belt

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    No offense meant here, but when the word is used as a catch all it becomes ambiguous and all encompassing. People then appoint several definitions of it that do not exist. This leads to confusion & mystery. There are specific words to describe specific actions & energy usage in MA, for some reason most are ignored and replaced with Qi. I don't know if this is out of convenience or ignorance.

    Anyways, I'm glad you educate and make a distinction to an extent for your students, I'm sure they appreciate it as well.
     
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  4. mograph

    mograph Master Black Belt

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    Jins, yes?
     
  5. Nobody Important

    Nobody Important Black Belt

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    Yes, Jin, Jing, Li, Liqi, Yi etc.
     
  6. gpseymour

    gpseymour Grandmaster

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    As I pointed out, I'm not attempting to define it. I deal with a common usage of the term. I explain what the term is shorthand for in their training, rather than try to expunge it (which would mean no more shorthand).
     
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  7. gpseymour

    gpseymour Grandmaster

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    And most get lost in the transition to the US, where there are other terms that overlap, but don't entirely replace them. In the end, most of the terms that survive will be mis-used a generation or two later.
     
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  8. mograph

    mograph Master Black Belt

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    It's unfortunate that we have to translate these terms, rather than simply train usage of the original Chinese/Japanese term. I think we lose more in the translation because of our attachment to ill-matching concepts evoked by the English translation.

    You know, the concepts that come up when we try to translate qi, rather than just say something like, "That thing you're doing there? They call that using your qi."

    Another example is "push hands." I think it's better to learn it and call it "chi sao," (Cantonese) and recognize that different styles (e.g. Wing Chun vs. Yiquan) do it slightly differently.
     
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  9. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng Sr. Grandmaster

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    I prefer 推手 Tuīshǒu (Mandarin)

    But you are correct, things get lost in translation, especially when you start crossing cultures as diverse as China and North America. And I've done Taijiquan Tuīshǒu against Wing Chun Chī Sáu and they are rather different...yet have their similarities
     
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  10. mograph

    mograph Master Black Belt

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    Sure, Tuīshǒu is fine. My teacher called what we do Chi Sao once, but it's a kind of eggbeater (horizontal axis) thing. I think he called it that not as a reference to Wing Chun, but as a reference to a general set of pushy-handsy exercises ... and he's from Hong Kong, hence the Cantonese.

    I see one term as Mandarin, one term as Cantonese, but both describing a series of exercises that are similar, but with variations due to region and style practised.
     
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  11. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yup, My Yang Taijiquan Shifu was raised in Hong Kong, sometimes it took me a minute or two to figure out what he was saying.... example Yingyi..... which i Xingyi....
     
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  12. mograph

    mograph Master Black Belt

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    Oh, yeah. "Pik Kuen" and such.
     
  13. mograph

    mograph Master Black Belt

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    Checking in: are we getting somewhere?
     
  14. gpseymour

    gpseymour Grandmaster

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    What, you were expecting something useful to come out of a thread? That's hardly our goal here at MT! :p
     
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  15. Juany118

    Juany118 Senior Master

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    Well there is Qi but let me explain what I mean. If you look at the "realistic" things that Qi accomplishes it is largely simply a culture with a less advanced science. I usually use the "breath throw" of Aikido as an illustration as it is often described in this manner...

    As your opponent attacks inhale, absorbing his Ki. Then as you execute the throw exhale using your opponents Ki to power the throw. In reality you are A. Using the momentum (physics) of your opponent but B. The breathing is actually important. By exhaling as you execute the throw you relax the diaphragm allowing for a more fluid and wider range of motion (biology) with which to execute the throw. However principles physics and biology were not as advanced so we get Qi/Ki/Chi as the explanation.
     
  16. JP3

    JP3 Purple Belt

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    Yep.

    I watched a Windsong Dojo (Oklahoma City) seminar in which George ledyard (aikido dude of some reknown) gave us an explanation in which he used a Chinese medicine phrase which had everyone on the mat cringing and squirming as they knelt watching and waiting.

    Here's George's info: http://asu.org/senior_instructors/george-ledyard-sensei/

    George said, "At the first instant, when you establish the connection to uke, you should already have, or immediately should, open up your heart chakra."

    People were like... really. Open up your heart chakra. WTF is a heart chakra and how do I find one in Oklahoma Arkansas or Texas.

    George had run across this before and while he delivered the line straight-faced, deadpan... he broke into a grin and laughing, said, "Sorry. I mean, stand up straight, pull your shoulders back and grab good posture. Same thing."

    He went on to describe how many of the Chinese medicine terminology... when translated from what they say... into what they mean... makes perfect sense from a Western science, physical, measurable world, point of view. IF you can get it translated, which is the hard part.

    I'm with you, Gerry. For me, I call it, feel it, describe it as Ki is when you do it right, and everything falls into place and everything is in its place . The technique comes off without hardly any noticeable effort on tori's (nage's) part, seeming to effortlessly send uke across the room with the artist seeming to hardly move. Or, if projection isn't the goal, to drop the person at the artist's feet, crumpled into a submitting heap, unable to continue the attack for whichever reason befell them.

    It's not the Force at all. Though it might be fun to "Get the glow!" This last for you The Last Dragon fans... I've felt it, and it is a neat feeling, simple to explain, hard to understand.

    Your posture and position is correct, uke has lost theirs and being disadvantaged, the minimal effort (force) you exert in this or that vector causes a chain of events magnified by uke's own musculoskeletal system, gravity or both, and ... something happens which is well nigh perfect technique.

    Just the other day I was involved in a pre-class randori session with my nidan student, who was amping the speed up. A self-test exercise I suppose. It was fun, and we were both laughing as things flashed into place, almost, and were defeated and dealt with faster and faster.

    As an aside, you know the problem with fast practice? K.E. = (0.5)M times V(squared) Speed kills, because it's an exponential increasor of the kinetic energy involved... plus, you can only comprehend things as fast as you can take in the info and evaluate it.

    Anyway, we're pretty close to "This is getting stupid" speed, but pretty far from DropBear's "Full Noise" or as I call it "Full-tilt boogie" speed.... still, he was going too fast for him. In my mind,t hat's OK as he needed to find that out and I wasn't going to hurt him, intentionally anyway. No, that's not foreshadowing.

    So, there's this Tomiki technique called Gaden-ate (low strike) which is a misnomer of naming convention, as it's less a strike in what we Westerners think of as a strike than it is... maybe a hockey check into the board? A sideways belly-bump? It is similar in position to, but not execution of, a sukui-nage (scoop throw) for those of you who know that. Instead of scooping them up and dropping them on their back, which is fun in my opinion... you don't scoop at all, as it's considered bad form, you merely check them laterally to their back corner -- which you've already broken their posture and the drop is just an uncontrolled backfall into their away from torie back corner. Usually gentle. Usually.

    Back to my guy & I... we're moving too fast for safety, though we Are having fun, and he steps across me attempting to either get across my face for Gyakugamae-ate (what we call the eye-flash, then head control backfall takedown that a lot of styles do) or if he gets my hand/arm controlled the wakigatame arm bar. I felt him and not thinking about it put my arm against his chest and slid across and into him for the gaden-ate.

    Boom!

    So, I checked him with my bod against his, no big deal 240 vs. 230 (lbs), I had neatly tucked him into his right rear corner and his posture was blown before he realized it and his feet broke traction-friction with the mat. Up he went and off he flew. What I did to him was maybe worth about a 3, maybe 4 foot of flight distance.

    Problem was, his own body reacted... badly.. to the throw, and being surprised he didn't open, relax and accept the fall. Oops. His abs tensed up, his head snapped around looking for the floor and he snapped his body open into a sprawled falling osture. Each and all of those vectors accentuaded the slight Up vector I'd given him as he cleared my leg, which had been behind his legs. So, instead of 3, 4 feet.... He went 8 or 10. We walked the distance off afterwards. To me, it didn't feel like anything much, no sense of expended effort, no exertion, no muscular thrust involved. To him, he said it was like getting hit by a car whose front bumper was covered in pillows.

    I took offense at that last bit, I admit. I am not covered in pillows, nor do I resemble a pillow in any way, shape or form.

    Still, for me... that was Ki.
     
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  17. Midnight-shadow

    Midnight-shadow Purple Belt

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    There are 2 ways I can describe Qi. The first is as another way of saying someone's spirit or willpower. The stronger someone's spirit, the better they are able to deal with adversity. Qi is the same principle.

    The other more practical way is as to say that Qi is like potential energy, stored inside every living thing. It is the energy that allows you to move. You cannot see it but you can feel it.
     
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  18. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    Spirit, is one of five fitnesses, but this definition sounds good to me. Your diet can be a factor, which has nothing to do with your attitude; so, I think Qi is a little bigger than, just your spirit. On the other hand, a bad diet will lower your spirit; so, you are not wrong, in the least. :D
     
  19. oaktree

    oaktree Master Black Belt

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    神 And 气, 意志 one is shen other is qi and other is yizhi. Shen is best translated as spirit, qi as energy, yizhi as willpower。
     
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  20. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    In the end, it is what you bring to the fight. :D
     

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