The source of Chi, a Biological *and* metaphysical explanation?

K-man

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
6,193
Reaction score
1,221
Location
Australia
I'm still trying to get the voices in my head to start paying rent.... :idunno: :lol:

Have you threatened them with eviction?
icon10.gif
 

Aikicomp

Purple Belt
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
308
Reaction score
10
Location
NW NJ
Actually, if you want to talk about 'insulting and offensive', one thing that always bothers me in these types of discussions is that they almost always degenerate at some point to a knee-jerk reaction to questions and criticisms from some ardent ki-believer, with the upshot that we non-believers have some defect because of our western mindset and our unwillingness to accept your premiss. Why do you assume that those of us who reject the existence of this force/energy called 'ki' do so out-of-hand, or for a lack of serious reasons, or because of an unwillingness to believe, or because we haven't researched it enough? Did it even occur to you that many of us have researched it and have sought evidence, and instead of finding evidence for the existence of 'ki' have found positive evidence that it doesn't meet any of its alleged claims?

As a physicist I can tell you that there is no force or energy (in the usual, accepted meaning of the word) that is both unmeasureable and can have a positive, macroscopic effect on your martial arts practice. The sizes of the forces involved in classical Newtonian physics (mainly gravity in this case), along with conservation of momentum, conservation of energy, application of the Impulse-Momentum theorem, and the use of the body's natural 'simple machines' account for everything you need to explain all of the phenomena actually measureable in the ring.

Small changes to the em field in your blood stream that might possibly allign your water molecules in certain areas of your body, fringe magnetic fields from neurons firing in your brain, and quantum mechanical tunnelling of stray elecrtons in your bones may actually occur, but not on a level to negate, enhance, or alter the basic Newtonian physics of what is happening. Think 'orders of magnitude' differences in size. It is a rule worth remembering in experimental physics and practical applications of any type that you cannot get a primary response from a secondary effect.

In general, you do yourself, your beliefs, and your arguments for them a great disservice when you use words that have specific meanings in ways other than or contrary to those specific meanings. When you call 'ki' a 'force', you are saying something, whether you realize it or not. You are saying that 'ki' can exchange energy and/or momentum, can accellerate masses, can be predicted and/or modeled, and usually, that it can be measured. When you call it an 'energy', you are claiming it is conserved, it can do useful work, and it can be transformed into other forms of energy. So, if you are going to use words to describe 'ki' that mean explicitly that it will do something, don't blame us science geeks when we ask the question, "What does it do?"

If you are commenting on my posts, all I was doing was trying to explain how I used Ki, what I was told it was and how I practiced and developed it, being as honest and forthcoming as possible and it seemed that some posters put forward that I was using "magic tricks" and implying that I was some kind of BS artist tricking people and myself in some way for my own ego boost. That is what I found insulting and offensive.....NOT anyone's non belief in it.

I don't care if anyone believes it or not makes no difference to me at all. I was just trying to share what I have learned with other people. Using words that, as you said, have specific meaning like magic tricks or tricks does have a specific meaning and intention and again that is what I found to be insulting and offensive.

I would love to give my students a more detailed explanation of what ki is but, Universal energy focused by the mind is all I have. I am not a physicist like you and have no clue about newtonian or quantum physics, although I am a Stationary Engineer (High pressure boilers, steam turbines and ammonia refrigeration) and do have to live in the physics realm (Boyle's law, charles law, potential and kinetic energys, shear, longitudinal and compressive stresses, ect.) as well as chemistry, thermodynamics and fluid dynamics so the science aspect is not beyond my way of thought.

If I offended you or anyone else in this thread it was not my intention.

Michael
 

JadecloudAlchemist

Master of Arts
Joined
Feb 12, 2007
Messages
1,877
Reaction score
82
Location
Miami,Florida
I think it is unwise to use a paranormal sounding term,
Who said it was a paranormal word.

There is no English equivalent for the catch-all idiomatic expression ki.
Hey look an English equivalent word when you said there was none but you then said the word talk about irony.

these false explanations and beliefs in magic energy forces tapped by acupuncture needles and then broadcast out over the airwaves to convince us that we never really went to the moon and that Elvis is alive.
Thats the problem You think this is what Qi is and then get mad because you can't find something to fit your defination its like trying to prove a negative. Who said Qi was a magic energy force didn't you say it just means energy?

There either is something that the word ki points to which is not explained by our best physical theories,
See in Japan and China they did not speak English they spoke Chinese and Japanese so they did not know how to say the English word energy instead they spoke Chinese and said Qi and the Japanese said Ki.
who ask for basic standards of proof
What proof do you want? I already define the word literally meaning steam from rice that exist go cook rice to see. I showed the word means energy and if we are talking about human energy well heat is a form of energy in the form of temperature. So there you go proof of Qi(energy)
 

Ninjamom

2nd Black Belt
Joined
May 29, 2006
Messages
882
Reaction score
84
Location
Solomons, MD, USA
If you are commenting on my posts, all I was doing was trying to explain how I used Ki, what I was told it was and ..... some posters put forward that I was using "magic tricks" and implying that I was some kind of BS artist tricking people ........ That is what I found insulting and offensive.....NOT anyone's non belief in it.

>
>
If I offended you or anyone else in this thread it was not my intention.

Michael
Thank you, Michael. That was very kind and gracious of you to even consider that you might have offended someone and to seek to set the record straight. I fully appreciate your position, and your feeling of being insulted when your beliefs and/or personal integrity are challenged. My post was actually in direct response to your comment, but probably 'amped up' a notch because I have heard so many people so often take a similar-sounding approach, where they are in fact making large assumptions about the integrity and motives of the 'non-ki-believers'.

I would love to give my students a more detailed explanation of what ki is but, Universal energy focused by the mind is all I have. I am not a physicist like you and have no clue about newtonian or quantum physics, although I am a Stationary Engineer (High pressure boilers, steam turbines and ammonia refrigeration) and do have to live in the physics realm (Boyle's law, charles law, potential and kinetic energys, shear, longitudinal and compressive stresses, ect.) as well as chemistry, thermodynamics and fluid dynamics so the science aspect is not beyond my way of thought.
Very interesting! Your list of areas of expertise brings up what is actually my biggest single concern in the whole 'ki' discussion. In all the areas you listed (Boyle's Law, Charles' Law, theories of stress/shear, energy, chemistry, thermo, fluids), the scientific method allows us to do one very important thing: make predictions. For instance, between Boyle's and Charles' laws, I can take any closed system of known pressure, volume, and temperature, and tell you what happens when I change the pressure and volume. Or change the temperature and volume. Or change the temperature and pressure. If I couple that with the known stress data, I can even tell you if the pipe welds will fail at specifc temperatures.

The same thing happens with the theories of chemistry, thermodynamics, and fluid dynamics. I can predict if a certain airfoil will give enough lift to make a plane fly. I can use these theories to 'tweek' fuel mixtures for the most efficient burn rates and control of engine temperature. In other words, I can use these scientific theories and explanations to make improvements.

Now consider again Newtonian physics and body mechanics. I can actually use these theories to make measurable improvements in my martial arts. Being somewhat on the smaller side, I know that I have to lower my center of gravity if I want to knock someone over, and that I need to increase my speed to make up for my lower mass. To throw or sweep, I need to make more efficent use of gravity by getting my opponent's center of gravity somewhere other than over his own feet. To apply joint locks on someone much larger than I am, I have to keep my arms/hands closer to my centerline, to make more efficient use of leverage. Likewise, I can get more power in kicks and punches by adding torque from my lower body/hips.

Now here's my concern about the ki discussion. (Kudos to you if you are still reading this!) Consider again the concept of 'ki'. Can you make a list of specific predictions along the lines of, "If you do a., b., and c., your martial arts performance will improve by x., y., and z.," using only the theory of ki? If you cannot, then that would not prove ki doesn't exist. However, it would prove that ki is irrelevant to my study of martial arts.

And when I say 'irrelevant', please don't take that as a judgemental or harsh word - I personally love studying about the Mayan culture and history. (These are the people who gave the world both chocolate and vanilla, for goodness sake!!) But I honestly have to say that my study of Mayan civilization is irrelevant to my practice of the martial arts.


Who said Qi was a magic energy force ?
JCA, I think it was you, in an earlier post, who asked a question along the lines, "What do the non-believers in ki actually think ki is?" I actually think this is one of the biggest obstacles to an intelligent discussion about ki/chi/qi. Who said ki was a magical energy? Several others on many other forums. Several people in this thread have said it's an energy, that it's a force, that it is unmeasureable, and that it will improve your martial arts practice. In fact, if you ask everyone on this thread who believes in ki, what their definition of ki is, you will get just as many different answers. This makes any attempt at discussion of ki impossible.

Could I please request that the folks on this thread who believe ki exists get together and come up with some kind of 'working definition'? It doesn't have to be perfect, but if you could get a list of four or five things about ki that you all agree on (what it is, what it's like, what it does), then we could have a discussion, limited to only those particular aspects of ki.

I already define the word literally meaning steam from rice that exist go cook rice to see. I showed the word means energy and if we are talking about human energy well heat is a form of energy in the form of temperature. So there you go proof of Qi(energy)
Actually, chi/qi doesn't mean steam-coming-from-rice or energy, even though the symbol is a picture of steam over a rice pot. The actual word means 'breath' (much like 'pneuma' in Koine Greek means 'breath', and therefore by extension, 'spirit'). For instance, if you want to talk about the wind or weather in Chinese, you would talk about the 'breath (qi) of heaven'. I agree that 'breath', 'wind', 'energy', and 'spirit' all exist, but I see any attempt at trying to link all those very different concepts together by use of a single all-encompassing term as artificial.
 

JadecloudAlchemist

Master of Arts
Joined
Feb 12, 2007
Messages
1,877
Reaction score
82
Location
Miami,Florida
JCA, I think it was you, in an earlier post, who asked a question along the lines, "What do the non-believers in ki actually think ki is?" I actually think this is one of the biggest obstacles to an intelligent discussion about ki/chi/qi. Who said ki was a magical energy? Several others on many other forums. Several people in this thread have said it's an energy, that it's a force, that it is unmeasureable, and that it will improve your martial arts practice. In fact, if you ask everyone on this thread who believes in ki, what their definition of ki is, you will get just as many different answers. This makes any attempt at discussion of ki impossible.

Qi and Ki do not translate as Magic energy. If you are going to use magic in the term with Qi or Ki you would have to use Ling(supernatural in Chinese) or Majyutu(magic) in Japanese. Shugendo monks use the term "Gen" to mean Magic as well.

Actually, chi/qi doesn't mean steam-coming-from-rice or energy, even though the symbol is a picture of steam over a rice pot.
If we look at the radicals and make up the word Qi we get Mi,Yun,Chih. Thistranslates literally as steam from cooking rice. The Hanzi for breath would be Xi or correctly Bi Xi meaning nose breathing in Japanese the word would be Hana iki (nose breathing)The Ki in iki is in fact a different Kanji then the Ki meaning energy.
you would talk about the 'breath (qi) of heaven'
This would be in Chinese Tian Qi in Japanese Tenki which does literally mean Heavens energy not breath if a native read it. If we translate that into modern english it would translate as weather like you said. But IMO I feel Tian Qi and Tenki represent all energies in that area same as Bi Qi or Chikyuu ki(meaning Earth energy) would represent Geothermal and all of Earth energy produced.

I agree that 'breath', 'wind', 'energy', and 'spirit' all exist, but I see any attempt at trying to link all those very different concepts together by use of a single all-encompassing term as artificial.

Breath as I said before is Xi or iki or kokyuu. Wind in Chinese in is Feng(like Feng Shui) in Japanese it is Kaze. Energy in Chinese is Qi in Japanese it is Ki. Spirit in Chinese is Shen in Japanese it is Seishin. So no Qi does not mean any of those it simply means energy you need to put another word next to it to dicuss what type of energy. I also want to address that when talking about Qi you have the medical side of TCM and the Religious side. How much of this influence the martial is debatable. However IMO the Qi that was used in martial is talking about weight lifting type calisthenics and it is doubtful there was any supernatural meaning except used in the religious setting like Taoism.

Taoist thought Farts were Qi escaping which is why they avoided the Onion family.
 

K-man

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
6,193
Reaction score
1,221
Location
Australia
Guys, for a while there I thought we were bashing our heads into the wall. Now I feel this discussion is really starting to achieve something.
icon14.gif


Really interesting reading.
 

K-man

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
6,193
Reaction score
1,221
Location
Australia
Now consider again Newtonian physics and body mechanics. I can actually use these theories to make measurable improvements in my martial arts. Being somewhat on the smaller side, I know that I have to lower my center of gravity if I want to knock someone over, and that I need to increase my speed to make up for my lower mass. To throw or sweep, I need to make more efficent use of gravity by getting my opponent's center of gravity somewhere other than over his own feet. To apply joint locks on someone much larger than I am, I have to keep my arms/hands closer to my centerline, to make more efficient use of leverage. Likewise, I can get more power in kicks and punches by adding torque from my lower body/hips.

Now here's my concern about the ki discussion. (Kudos to you if you are still reading this!) Consider again the concept of 'ki'. Can you make a list of specific predictions along the lines of, "If you do a., b., and c., your martial arts performance will improve by x., y., and z.," using only the theory of ki? If you cannot, then that would not prove ki doesn't exist. However, it would prove that ki is irrelevant to my study of martial arts.

JCA, I think it was you, in an earlier post, who asked a question along the lines, "What do the non-believers in ki actually think ki is?" I actually think this is one of the biggest obstacles to an intelligent discussion about ki/chi/qi. Who said ki was a magical energy? Several others on many other forums. Several people in this thread have said it's an energy, that it's a force, that it is unmeasureable, and that it will improve your martial arts practice. In fact, if you ask everyone on this thread who believes in ki, what their definition of ki is, you will get just as many different answers. This makes any attempt at discussion of ki impossible.

Could I please request that the folks on this thread who believe ki exists get together and come up with some kind of 'working definition'? It doesn't have to be perfect, but if you could get a list of four or five things about ki that you all agree on (what it is, what it's like, what it does), then we could have a discussion, limited to only those particular aspects of ki.

The first paragraph here is obviously the starting point. This is what we learn from a very early age when we are wrestling in the schoolyard and rough and tumble with our mates. We study it in more depth in the martial arts, especially in wrestling (if you consider wrestling a MA), judo, jujitsu, grappling etc. As you rightly point out, we drop our COG to increase stability, we use speed to increase the effect of mass, we develop torque from hips and waist to increase power in our strikes and kicks. All this is measurable and all this fits comfortably within our current understanding of body mechanics. However, there is an elephant in the room that most people ignore. There will always be someone bigger, stronger and faster than any of us. That problem will increase exponentially as we get older. Now we all probably realize that as we get older, and I put myself in that older category, we use our brain more to supplement our physical ability. We don't waste energy jumping around as much, we don't do flashy kicks that use lots of energy, we move off the line (tsabaki) more and we learn to absorb rather than clash. Call it experience or what you will, it is still able to be explained by logical mechanical theory. But we still end up the same ... older, weaker and slower.
In the words of the old song (paraphrased and modified) "Is that all there is to MA? Is that all there is?"

Here is the point where most of my friends from years back have said "I'm too old for this s**t. My body won't take any more!" And, I think that is sad because I believe shifting to a softer form of MA can prolong our lives as martial artists. Now, softness is also explained by body mechanics. The next step in my exploration of the MAs was being introduced to a very talented aikidoka who teaches ki and it has tranformed my ideas and changed my teaching.

Now we come to your really big question, what is ki? As you point out ask ten people and you will probably get ten answers. In my understanding of ki I can think of at least three or four statements , some of which may even seem contradictory. How can I state those thoughts in a logical way that other people with no experiece of ki could understand?

I will start by listing two. The first is the conventional form of ki we were taught in karate over the past 30 years to my knowledge and probably before that. We were taught that if we developed 'ki' body and ki was strong. The more the ki the stronger we become. Ki gave us the power to break boards, overcome opponents etc. You can still explain this in rational terms and equate ki with determination. When somebody loses the will to fight or the will to live they have lost their ki.
The second is harder to accept. Along the same thought process though is the concept that if we could use our thought processes or ki to overcome our opponent's mind and influence or remove his ki, could we remove his will to resist? Remember the initial concept here, body + ki = strong .. body - ki = weak.

I have deliberately not defined ki but just described a couple of concepts that others may like to expand on. :asian:
 

morph4me

Goin' with the flow
MT Mentor
MTS Alumni
Joined
Sep 5, 2006
Messages
6,779
Reaction score
122
Location
Ossining , NY
I'm going to take a shot here and theorize that early martial artists found that they could do incredible things when they relaxed and balanced, and when they moved their bodies as a unit. They also found that these things happened when they were breathing and moving a certain way, but the didn't make the connection between their physical performance and their mental state, or that they didn't know how to explain it, so the used the commonly undertstood concept of ki to explain what they did. Over the years language changed, tranlations and mistranslations came into effect and the word ki, came to mean something entirely different. As I look at the discussion to this point, I'm beginning to think that everyone is describing opposite sides of the same coin.
 

bluekey88

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 26, 2007
Messages
2,056
Reaction score
89
I will start by listing two. The first is the conventional form of ki we were taught in karate over the past 30 years to my knowledge and probably before that. We were taught that if we developed 'ki' body and ki was strong. The more the ki the stronger we become. Ki gave us the power to break boards, overcome opponents etc. You can still explain this in rational terms and equate ki with determination. When somebody loses the will to fight or the will to live they have lost their ki.
The second is harder to accept. Along the same thought process though is the concept that if we could use our thought processes or ki to overcome our opponent's mind and influence or remove his ki, could we remove his will to resist? Remember the initial concept here, body + ki = strong .. body - ki = weak.

I have deliberately not defined ki but just described a couple of concepts that others may like to expand on. :asian:

Thanks for some ieas of what Ki does.

However, neither of those phenomenon need Ki as an explanation. I break a board by moving my strikign surface fast through the board. If I move fast enough and impart enough kinetic energy into the board, it will start to bend. If enough energy goes into the baord, this bending will eventually exceed the baord's ability to rebound back into shape and it will break. to mvoe fast and precisely, this takes a certain mental focus, lack of fear...etc...but no special energy, no special explanation. I'll leave it to exile and ninjamom to best explain what I'm groping at here. :)

In your second phenomenon, you're getting into the realm of psychology (my field). Intent, focus, state of mind,...all of that has so much to do with how one performs. In the end, these nebulous psychological concepts can ultimately be reduced to phsycial process (the interaction of neurons, neurotransimetters, hormones, etc. in perhaps one of the most complicated computing systems in existence, the human brain). I don't see that as Ki. Or more precisely, I don't need Ki to explain what you are describing.

In fact, the two examples you posted really talk about two different things. One is a physical process (breaking a board), the other addressing mental processes (state of mind, focus. intent). I;d say, while related, are really two different things and I feel having one catch-all concept is at best, messy.

To those who feel my earlier posts were inuslting. I'm sorry. It never was my intent to come off as disrespectful. When I referred tyo tricks and magic, it is because I see some of the standard Ki demosntrations as being best explained in those terms. I was not trying to say the Ki believers are huxsters. In fact, most people I know who have done these demonstrations believe in what they are doing. I was and am simply saying that I think the explanation is something other than ki.

Again, there are some fascinating phenomenon in the world and all i wish to do is understand them. to do that, I feel it is necessary to avoid imprscise or clouded theories that get in the way of said understanding.

Peace,
Erik
 

K-man

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
6,193
Reaction score
1,221
Location
Australia
However, neither of those phenomenon need Ki as an explanation. I break a board by moving my strikign surface fast through the board. If I move fast enough and impart enough kinetic energy into the board, it will start to bend. If enough energy goes into the baord, this bending will eventually exceed the baord's ability to rebound back into shape and it will break. to mvoe fast and precisely, this takes a certain mental focus, lack of fear...etc...but no special energy, no special explanation. I'll leave it to exile and ninjamom to best explain what I'm groping at here. :)

In your second phenomenon, you're getting into the realm of psychology (my field). Intent, focus, state of mind,...all of that has so much to do with how one performs. In the end, these nebulous psychological concepts can ultimately be reduced to phsycial process (the interaction of neurons, neurotransimetters, hormones, etc. in perhaps one of the most complicated computing systems in existence, the human brain). I don't see that as Ki. Or more precisely, I don't need Ki to explain what you are describing.

In fact, the two examples you posted really talk about two different things. One is a physical process (breaking a board), the other addressing mental processes (state of mind, focus. intent). I;d say, while related, are really two different things and I feel having one catch-all concept is at best, messy.
As I said, there are multiple explanations as to what people understand as ki. It is always going to be 'messy' as nothing is clear cut.
Once again, I was deliberately using the most simple explanations that most people can grasp. The board breaking involves us to strengthen our resolve and in this case my mind is on the other side of the board, where I want my hand to end up. I am not really paying attention to the face of the board. My belief is that my fist will carry through to the point I have in mind and nothing in the way will stop that happening. Same concept, just a little more developed.

The second concept is the one that seems to upset most people. That is that we can use our thought processes to disrupt the thought processes of another. Now if phycology is your field I would be delighted to read your thoughts on this aspect. :asian:
 

Aikicomp

Purple Belt
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
308
Reaction score
10
Location
NW NJ
Thank you, Michael. That was very kind and gracious of you to even consider that you might have offended someone and to seek to set the record straight. I fully appreciate your position, and your feeling of being insulted when your beliefs and/or personal integrity are challenged. My post was actually in direct response to your comment, but probably 'amped up' a notch because I have heard so many people so often take a similar-sounding approach, where they are in fact making large assumptions about the integrity and motives of the 'non-ki-believers'.

Your welcome and thanks.

Very interesting! Your list of areas of expertise brings up what is actually my biggest single concern in the whole 'ki' discussion. In all the areas you listed (Boyle's Law, Charles' Law, theories of stress/shear, energy, chemistry, thermo, fluids), the scientific method allows us to do one very important thing: make predictions. For instance, between Boyle's and Charles' laws, I can take any closed system of known pressure, volume, and temperature, and tell you what happens when I change the pressure and volume. Or change the temperature and volume. Or change the temperature and pressure. If I couple that with the known stress data, I can even tell you if the pipe welds will fail at specifc temperatures.

Yes indeed. Kinda like what happens in a High pressure boiler at 100psi (water and steam) and you have a sudden drop in pressure (to 0 psi) without a corresponding drop in temperature. I can definately predict that BAD BAD things will happen very quickly, not to mention violently. LOL

The same thing happens with the theories of chemistry, thermodynamics, and fluid dynamics. I can predict if a certain airfoil will give enough lift to make a plane fly. I can use these theories to 'tweek' fuel mixtures for the most efficient burn rates and control of engine temperature. In other words, I can use these scientific theories and explanations to make improvements.

Now consider again Newtonian physics and body mechanics. I can actually use these theories to make measurable improvements in my martial arts. Being somewhat on the smaller side, I know that I have to lower my center of gravity if I want to knock someone over, and that I need to increase my speed to make up for my lower mass. To throw or sweep, I need to make more efficent use of gravity by getting my opponent's center of gravity somewhere other than over his own feet. To apply joint locks on someone much larger than I am, I have to keep my arms/hands closer to my centerline, to make more efficient use of leverage. Likewise, I can get more power in kicks and punches by adding torque from my lower body/hips.

All very true and I also totally agree with all you have said in the above paragraph, it's what I teach to my students. In fact Judo (throws and groundwork) and Aikido joint locks and manipulation depend upon the principles that you have stated. No argument here at all.

Now here's my concern about the ki discussion. (Kudos to you if you are still reading this!)

Yes I am

Consider again the concept of 'ki'. Can you make a list of specific predictions along the lines of, "If you do a., b., and c., your martial arts performance will improve by x., y., and z.," using only the theory of ki? If you cannot, then that would not prove ki doesn't exist. However, it would prove that ki is irrelevant to my study of martial arts.

That's a tough one but, I'll try.

In Aikido, for example, when doing techniques (by using the above examples in your post concerning Newtonian physics) you compromise your opponents balance by using harmony and timing, then at the proper time, when they are weakest, you complete your technique. Do this to 20 people (just movement and technique alone) and you will become winded and tired. Now what I can predict is that by you using Ki all through and/or at the moment of completion of technique, after the same 20 attacks you will not become winded or tired.

The night I took my Aikido Shodan test I went to class not expecting to be tested because I was very sick (chest cold, coughing, shortnes of breath the whole nine yards) and my teacher saw fit to make me test and to top it off, I was "lucky" enough to have a whole class there to be my uke. I then realized why he chose to test me that night, Nick knew the only way I could get through the test (in the state I was in) was to use Ki in my technique and not to rely on strength or physical power. After 100 attacks he stopped the test, I Sensei ni reied to him, he hugged me, shook my hand and passed me.

Was I tired? No. Was I winded? Yes, a little. Could I have gone through 100 attacks without using Ki in my techniques. No way.

Another time my daughter and I were on my roof cleaning our gutters. She slipped and started sliding off the roof, I grabbed her by the wrist as she was going off the roof I wound up face down on the roof with only my arm over the edge. Noone else was home at the time so I had to hold my daughter's wrist (, she was holding my wrist as well but could not continue because she got tired and did not have the strength as well as being scared to death.) with her hanging off the roof for 10 minutes until somebody called the police and they could get my ladder up to get her down.

Could I have held her up using strength? No. (she weights 90 lbs)
Was it something biological? (kinda like the mom lifting a car thing) Possible, although not probable.

All I know is that I applied Ki the same way I always did using the ring and saved my daughter's life.

And when I say 'irrelevant', please don't take that as a judgemental or harsh word - I personally love studying about the Mayan culture and history. (These are the people who gave the world both chocolate and vanilla, for goodness sake!!) But I honestly have to say that my study of Mayan civilization is irrelevant to my practice of the martial arts.

I understand the context you are using, no prob.

I do not know if this is the kind of thing you're looking for, but, it's a couple of examples I can relate from personal experience of how using Ki helped me.

Michael
 

Aikicomp

Purple Belt
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
308
Reaction score
10
Location
NW NJ
To those who feel my earlier posts were inuslting. I'm sorry. It never was my intent to come off as disrespectful. When I referred tyo tricks and magic, it is because I see some of the standard Ki demosntrations as being best explained in those terms. I was not trying to say the Ki believers are huxsters. In fact, most people I know who have done these demonstrations believe in what they are doing. I was and am simply saying that I think the explanation is something other than ki.

Again, there are some fascinating phenomenon in the world and all i wish to do is understand them. to do that, I feel it is necessary to avoid imprscise or clouded theories that get in the way of said understanding.

Peace,
Erik

Thank you I appreciate your response. Sometimes the typed word is difficult to interpret as far as intent and may sometimes be taken the wrong way. It seems this is what I did, I apologize.

Is Ki some mystical, magical phenomenom? I doubt it.

Is Ki (by name only) sometimes used by some in a situation where people will be awed by the persons "apparent" powers when they are really using the physics applications you and NM speak of. Unfortunately Yes.

Then there are those of us who do speak of it as honestly and openly as possible and are looking for the same explanations and origins for the phenomenon that is called Ki.

I think it has more to do with mental or nuerological focusing of it than anything else.

An analogy I like to use is Ki is like the water in a fire hydrant (potential energy) our minds are like the fire truck's pump (vessel or medium) and application of ki (kinetic energy) is like the water exiting the firehose.

Water from a hydrant really has no focus it's just there, its when it is focused and applied through a medium it then has the avenue to put out fire.

Ah hell, it's late and I'm tired. I hope this makes sense to someone other than me. LOL

Michael
 

bluekey88

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 26, 2007
Messages
2,056
Reaction score
89
The second concept is the one that seems to upset most people. That is that we can use our thought processes to disrupt the thought processes of another. Now if phycology is your field I would be delighted to read your thoughts on this aspect. :asian:

Welp....in the situation you describe...all explanations I have heard of regarding htis seem to fall into two basic camps. In one camp, the peson focusing their ki/intent/will, etc. is somehow imparting that onto their opponenet and mentally attacking them in a way. I don't buy it. Why? Because in studies of this, when the person doing the intent and focus is out of sight of the target, invariably nothing happens. So, there cannot be some manipulation of energy between two beings in this case.

The other explanation is that we, as human beings, take in a vast amount of information through our senses. Some of this info we process at a "concious" level. That is we are aware of th eincoming information and are able to think about it...what is called meta-cognition...thinking about thinking. BUT, there is vastly more incoming info 9stilumus) that we take in but do not process conciously. Like an ice berg, what we are aware of is the tip, the rest is beneath the surface. Some of this stimulus we can choose to attend to (listen for the buzz of flourescent lights somtimes. If you think about it, you'll hear it...otherwise it doesn't enter the realm of consiousness much). In fact, it is thought that the sensory integration issues foten seen in Autism and some forms of schizophrenia is due in part to a break down of this stimulus filtering system (basically, these people are less/more able to filter some stimuli and are either hyper-sensitive or hypo-sensitive to stimuli)

It is this natuaral ability that allows us to attend to a conversation in a crowded room, pick out the faces of familiar people in a crwod, etc. it's a survival trait. So, we are taking more info in thatn we are conciosuly aware of...this information is still processsed and there are sections of the brain that kick in when they pick up on danger signals, etc. We read non-verbals (body language, expression, etc.) tone of voice, etc. so, in a martial context, if I am focused, my intention to act is strong, my willingness to do bodily harm is uncompromised....people can read that. they might not be conciously aware of it...but they can read that. My oppionenet may be able to read 9if they have trained and practiced) any change in my intentions, any waivering of my resolve...perception is one of the thigns that comes with expertise. (lots of studies have looked into how experts don;t think differently than novices, jsut more efficiently due to how they chunk information and the amount of information they have access to due to their expereince). I don't see this as ki...no energy beyond light/sound/smell...the mundane senses tha allow us to perceive the world.

Humans are INCREDIBLY perceptive. One interesting study showed that men could detect a woman in an large arehouse 70-80% of the time. More so if sjhe was at th height of her fertiltiy cycle...this was most likely due to pheromones. It's really amazing...byt not what I'd call "ki."

In the end, I'll buy that I can focus my ki and influence others when it can be shown that someone is doing that on an unsuspecting, neutral party that cannot see the focuser. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, any time this has been attempted, it has failed. Thus, other explanations that are consistent with the observations need to be sought. The research leads to eprceptions, attribution bias, social pressure to conform, etc.

Peace,
Erik
 

Ninjamom

2nd Black Belt
Joined
May 29, 2006
Messages
882
Reaction score
84
Location
Solomons, MD, USA
me said:
Consider again the concept of 'ki'. Can you make a list of specific predictions along the lines of, "If you do a., b., and c., your martial arts performance will improve by x., y., and z.," using only the theory of ki? If you cannot, then that would not prove ki doesn't exist. However, it would prove that ki is irrelevant to my study of martial arts.



That's a tough one but, I'll try.


In Aikido, for example, when doing techniques (by using the above examples in your post concerning Newtonian physics) you compromise your opponents balance by using harmony and timing, then at the proper time, when they are weakest, you complete your technique. Do this to 20 people (just movement and technique alone) and you will become winded and tired. Now what I can predict is that by you using Ki all through and/or at the moment of completion of technique, after the same 20 attacks you will not become winded or tired.
>
>
I do not know if this is the kind of thing you're looking for, but, it's a couple of examples I can relate from personal experience of how using Ki helped me.

Michael

Close - the kind of examples I'm asking for are more like specific things that I can do. It's hard to explain, because if you tell me to 'use my ki', and none of us on this thread can even agree on what ki is, I am at a loss for how to go about using it. In other words, it doesn't help me to improve my martial arts practice.

However, if you tell me that concentrating on a certain place/site/location, or moving my arms in a certain manner, or taking three big breaths and one little one will increase my ki and then my martial arts practice will improve, then I can try those specific steps and see if they improve my practice or not.

I bolded a specific sentence in your response. I wasn't quite sure - are you saying that using harmony and timing in aikido is using Newtonian physics, or are you saying that using harmony and timing is what you mean by using ki?
 

Aikicomp

Purple Belt
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
308
Reaction score
10
Location
NW NJ
Close - the kind of examples I'm asking for are more like specific things that I can do. It's hard to explain, because if you tell me to 'use my ki', and none of us on this thread can even agree on what ki is, I am at a loss for how to go about using it. In other words, it doesn't help me to improve my martial arts practice.

However, if you tell me that concentrating on a certain place/site/location, (this is more of the idea mental imaging is how you first learn to use it) or moving my arms in a certain manner (there is no special way of moving body parts it's normal movement with Ki added to it)or taking three big breaths and one little one will increase my ki and then my martial arts practice will improve, then I can try those specific steps and see if they improve my practice or not.

Unfortunately, there is nothing that I type on here (I could try but, it would not be really clear) to help you to develope Ki (as I understand it and how it was taught to me). I would have to walk you through it and show you the exercises and then you'd have to practice it in order to develope it and make it stronger. It is mental not physical, although when used in conjunction with technique it becomes and presents itself in physical way.


I bolded a specific sentence in your response. I wasn't quite sure - are you saying that using harmony and timing in aikido is using Newtonian physics, or are you saying that using harmony and timing is what you mean by using ki?


This is what I meant. I should have also added using re-direction to compromise their balance as well. When they are at their weakest you would not use strength to throw them, you would use normal technique with Ki added to it.

As I said before it's a hard thing to relate through the typed word and anything I have said probably confused you more (my fault, sorry). If you ever find yourself in NW NJ let me know and I can show you what I have been taught. My brother lives in MD and I visit him once in a while. If you are close to him when I come down I can let you know (if you wish) and maybe we can spend an hour or two working on it. If there are any Aikido schools around you I'm sure they will help you to understand it also. As goofy/silly/cliche as it sounds...it's really something that has to be felt in order to be learned and to be appreciated. Sorry I could not have been more help.

Michael
 

Latest Discussions

Top