Discussion in 'Chi - Ki - Qi - Universal Life Energy' started by PhotonGuy, Oct 11, 2013.
You might want to read Flow by Csikszentmihalyi.
I think this is a different concept. Being 'in the zone' is probably more the state where all distractions are eliminated and the focus is squarely on the task at hand. What that generally means is the total coordination of mind and body.
I practised visualisation many years ago as a gymnast. That meant that when I was competing I could just let go of everything and perform to the best of my ability. There is a similarity here with Aikido. The secret is to be able to perform without thinking, but there is also a major difference. Our application of Ki involves the separation of mind and body and that is achieved through total relaxation.
If you want to understand more of Ki you might like to chase up Stanley Pranin's interviews with Koichi Tohei. I have just reread them and there is one fascinating comment. Tohei says he didn't join Ueshiba to learn Aikido. He just wanted to learn how Ueshiba was generating the power in his techniques, the Ki. I didn't join Mal to learn Aikido either. I just wanted to learn how to generate that power without effort in my karate. Of course Tohei went on to form the Ki Society where in fact he didn't teach Aikido at all, just the Ki.
As I said, different concept but interesting to read.
Is it all concept?
I believe so. No amount of putting yourself 'in the zone' will help if you aren't at your peak of fitness and you haven't prepared yourself for the competition. It may make you feel that you are doing well but the results may show otherwise. Regardless of being 'in the zone', you still are producing your maximum physical effort.
Adding Ki to your martial art training, at least Ki as I have experienced it, enables you to perform your techniques without physical effort. That is referred to in Stanley Pranin's interview with Koichi Tohai. It is a matter of relaxation, something you see in Tai Chi as well as top Aikido. The more relaxed you become, the more powerful your technique, different to being 'in the zone'.
Maybe the zone is not the best description, as it will have differing meanings as well. I found that in that state ( 'the zone') the effort needed to excel was less than normal and I could take everything in and feel clear and not step wrong and still have reserves.
When I'm focused, I have a completely different mind set and cannot see clearly outside of that focused parameter, I tend to work hard for a good result, I may get to the same place as "in the zone", but I'm spent mentally and psychically.
Can you explain intent with Ki?
Not really in a definitive way. What I was offering was a choice of ways to describe Ki. There is so much mystic mumbo jumbo associated with Ki that I was just putting out terms that may gel with different people. As to intent ... it is the intent to attack your opponent's centre that would fit the bill. Any technique you like to look at will have points where there can be a physical clash. By redirecting your mind to destroying your opponent's centre or structure you can avoid the physical clash that occurs when you are focused on the technique.
Thanks and makes sense. I will if I can find that interview
I may have been able to word that better if it sounds like an oxymoron. I have read about TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and Taoist health practices, and while I'm still trying to look for objective Western-style research into cases, papers and manuscripts on things like Qi and Qi Gong, I'm hooked to it all.
Is this related to or works with relaxed technique?
For example. a technique I'm rather fond of is with a straight wrist grab, maneuver the held hand as if to throw a frisbee, then use circular motion to bring the arm and hand around across the partners shoulder area in a similar shape to a cat roll (for arm position), at the same time your free hand is guiding neck of the partner to bring their balance off. As your held arm makes contact over the shoulder you can just take their center of balance and they fall. Or you can potentially use a strong level of intent and really drop your partner hard. Is this along the lines? Is it the transfer of intent to your opponent, in line with how they perceive you as a threat. One of our principles opens with a strike to the face, if I pull the strike or have it stop short to the side the partner can react and fight my technique, but if I strike for the face and only pull short very close and they have not been able to read my intent, they normally give up their center very quickly in reaction and the remained of my technique can flow unhindered.
Am I on the right line, or is it more physical than mental?
I think we are talking about what in Aikido we call Iriminage. We practise it from where our wrist is held or without contact. We don't normally train it where we hold the wrist. But, regardless of who is holding, the first point of resistance is when you 'throw the frisbee'. For me than is a soft extension. If you try to use strength it will normally fail against a non-compliant partner.
We do train Iriminage with the hand on the neck but that is not my preferred option. For most people 'guiding' means pulling or pushing which is a physical act and triggers the second point of resistance. If you try to pull or push on the neck again, you will be stopped. For it to work against a resisting partner you need to extend out and go around the strength as you bring his head toward your shoulder.
The final part with the arm across the head or chest is the third and fourth points at which the technique fails against resistance, firstly as you bring your arm in and secondly the actual takedown. If you push with your arm or use any force, it will fail. This part of the technique is achieved by moving your centre causing you partner to fall without any strength being applied. If you want to be nasty, this is where you hit them with kokyu or the breath throw. Actually, the arm doesn't even need to be near his face or chest for the technique to work.
So, how does this apply to using Ki? Your description is physical. All along the way your partner is being physically challenged. If you are bigger and stronger, you will probably prevail. What I have described is what I would call using Ki. In a similar vein this technique is basic in Karate and Krav as well, although I teach it a little differently in Krav. However, I still teach the technique without using strength. It takes a while to learn and it does take a good teacher but once you have an understanding of this technique you can apply the same principle to a wide range of other techniques.
To be fair, on the street against an untrained person this technique would probably work using physical strength. When you train it in class with a partner who knows what you are doing, you will be stopped if your technique is not spot on.
Thanks, I think you have described exactly what I was trying to say with more clarity. I'm currently working my way out of the physicality of it, trying to advance on to more relaxed technique and proper application of Ki.
I may have to see if I can find a Korean translation of the names you have.
Choose how you want to word it Hey you're place in the martial arts and how you see it. I don't understand any of it. I would read up on it, but my mind is pretty closed. You know what it can't all be hocus pocus so perhaps I should delve in a little way, at least until my ears start bleeding
With all that hocus pocus over Chi, Jing, Shen, the twelve channels and small circulation!
And few choice Jet Li films by the sounds of it!
I am certainly no expert, but I believe chi is similar to the inner condition, mental state, and emotional state one feel like if you are say shooting free throws in basketball and are just in such a great zone you almost cannot miss or when you are jogging and feel like you can go on forever or when you are focused on doing a puzzle and the pieces just seem to come very easy much more so than normal. Like most things, the more you do and the deeper compassion you have for it, something grows from that and in MA it is called Chi. I can feel it sitting here typing on my PC right now.
Separate names with a comma.