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#356732 - 08/29/07 01:47 PM Re: what can you actually do with chi? [Re: MattJ]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
although thats true Matt, you can also get the same placebo effects using non-chi mindsets. In healing for instance, the American Indians had their faith in various spirits to protect them (giving no credit to the opiates and hallucinegens they ate and smoked of course). Does belief in those spirits 'cure' them to better effect than Chi-based healing? probably about the same. which is the placebo itself. therefore, Chi-theory is exchangeable with other belief/concept methods to get the same effect. "Mommy kisses the wound, and it feels better." or the adult version: "I paid $1000 for 3 months of a reputable chi-circulation therepy, so I feel better."

as far as the physical side:
what is it we tell someone who is breaking a board for the first time? is it "use your chi" ? or is it "aim past the board" ? The psychological factor is very real, I'm not denying that. If someone trained in terms of Chi, then the advice 'use your chi to break the board' will help them as much as a non-Chi artist hearing 'aim beyond the board'.

question is, things being equal, will either necessarily be able to hit harder than the other? If not, then what can one claim over the other as far as concepts used in training method?

The other thing is, if Chi as a training concept REALLY gave any kind of edge in physical training, then we'd hear alot more boxers, gold medal olympicsts, navy seals, weightlifters, etc, praising it's concept while demonstrating it's effect.

...then the argument becomes: well, they ARE utilizing their Chi, but they just don't know it. ok. then that begs the question: maybe 'it' only gives the edge when we don't think in it's terms, in which case I'm doing things right by not using chi concepts ...but it becomes trying to disprove a negative - can't be done, so Chi survives that line of questioning.
actually, thats how all non-things survive: not being able to disprove them. prove that there wasn't an extra-terrestrial recovered in the desert during the 1950's: you can't so people still visit area 51 wearing tin-foil hats looking for answers.

skilled magicians are amazing to watch - doesn't mean magic is real.

we are all suceptable to psychological deception. maybe I'm equally and oppositly deceived about Chi...but I'm just an "Occam's Razor" kind of guy.

#356733 - 08/30/07 06:44 AM Re: what can you actually do with chi? [Re: Ed_Morris]
JKogas Offline

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
Isn't it possible that "chi" is just a poetic expression that describes something natural, such as plain physics for example?

It seems to me that sometimes a LACK of "scientific" understanding finds as scrambling for terms to fill that gap in our knowledge, leaving us with things like "chi" to explain something?

Of course I'm not arrogant enough to think that our scientific knowledge couldn't perhaps "get in the way" of the poetic either. Perhaps there are things we don't understand or, perhaps aren't able to measure.

However, I'm not seeing anyone doing a thing with chi (like throwing people across a room) that isn't done with just an intuitive understanding of plain old physics.


#356734 - 08/30/07 07:18 AM Re: what can you actually do with chi? [Re: JKogas]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
At last someone is getting it! John I could quite possibly kiss you!

It is simply a couple of thousand years worth of collective clinical observation of natural phenomena. Observing natural constant patterns of influence that produce predictable consistent results. As I have said til I'm blue in the face that it is just a model of observation that does produce consistent results when used by people who understand the model of observation for what it is. Only the idiots who don't understand the model either demand proof of its existence or try and microwave food with their hands. It's all natural. Just the result of sitting back and actually looking at how the world around us works, but using analogy to ease understanding rather than equation. Filling in the gaps is a brilliant way of describing. With Shiatsu I've helped people who have come to me from Physio's, Osteopaths and Chiropractors....filling in the gaps allows me to treat far deeper and more holistically than many purely "science" based therapists (and any idiots planning on describing what Shiatsu is and isn't please don't!).

Bridging the gap John...nicely said!
Gavin King
Follow me on twitter @taichigav

#356735 - 08/30/07 07:54 AM Re: what can you actually do with chi? [Re: JKogas]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
true. and I'm not saying there is anything wrong with poetic concepts to describe nature. and I'm not trying to lose business for the Chi-folk making a living. I choose to see the poetry in science and physics. my point is, who is winning the gold medals? The chi-based trained or the physics-based? which is curing ailments and advancing beyond the limits of what we thought was possible? western-style medicine or TCM? Do chi-believers (or believers of any poetic concepts for that matter) live longer or higher-quality lives?

Thruout history, things/methods become obsolete as new understanding and practices emerge. This is why when you look at the progression of Chinese medicine, it always has to reinvent itself to keep up somewhat with western sensibility based on scientific discovery. After it reinvents itself into a concept that fits better, it still is the first to claim it's 'ancient knowledge'.

example of 'modernized ancient':
acupuncture and connecting the needles to a low voltage battery.

#356736 - 08/30/07 03:42 PM Re: what can you actually do with chi? [Re: beltlevel]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3119
Loc: East Coast, United States

I believe I understand completely what Ed is saying. I ask by way of response, if we merely called aspects, elements of a particular technique by merely another name would that suffice to derail the discomfort with the fundamental concept? If instead of Chi for which I have no cultural context nor parody for understanding it... if I merely called it framework micro-mechanics instead... is that sufficent?

Now let me try probing some of the ~intangible~ aspects of technique...

Mental focus...what happens to a physical technique if instead of the target, I am mentally concentrated on reliving a great joke, or a funny scene from a movie I saw last night while demonstrating my best particular technique? Now remove that image, and concentrate solely on the dead weight of the movement only, its correct mechanics (ie being in ones own skin), and focused only on that alone? Is your/my power the same or different by altering something so simple?

What happens if you think of a very precise spot behind yourself when throwing your strongest punch?! Will that possess the same or a different degree of power if then INSTEAD you focus, imagine, punching through my body say I doon't know maybe twelve inches out my back say?

What does one call that ? Is that "chi" or one aspect of it perhaps...


#356737 - 08/30/07 03:59 PM Re: what can you actually do with chi? [Re: Ed_Morris]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3119
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Ed:

Ugggh, I should try and read ALL the posts before I reply, I apologies for echoing your views...

Perhaps the answer is whether someone understands the concept for whatever level they are at? If I have a decent framework I know what we are trying to achieve and how that is done. If I can get it via the CHI explaination, woderful, great. If that doesn't work, I need to ask you further, until I can/do achieve a basic framework of understanding. Understand and I can practice XYZ on my own small why's, hows, and whats...

I do not like the term CHi myself... it makes me leery. But if used I hope someone will indulge me until I can understand what the idea they are trying to use/teach means.

Does nobody any good if the limit of my explaination is a dead end & cyclically used vague term. I have been yin-yanged to death in many conversations with earnest practitioners but they were incapable/unable to use alternate words to explain their ideas. They were using empty platitudes...

Most unfortunate...

#356738 - 08/31/07 04:19 AM Re: what can you actually do with chi? [Re: beltlevel]
taekwonjohn Offline

Registered: 05/08/07
Posts: 10
Glad to hear you trained taekwon do . Did you find it joining with tai chi, or rather conrtadictory?
I think tai chi has bigger developing values, as you master your body and the mind, and the cooperation of them , so that they move together - like the wheels of a car.
Slow movements remain longer in the memory, they show you, that good travel is more imoportant than reaching a destination.
When you master some elements of internal arts, you will find you can apply them to life, to work, to your hobbies.
It's not easy, but it's worth it.
Keep on rolling :-)

#356739 - 08/31/07 07:11 PM Re: what can you actually do with chi? [Re: Ronin1966]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia

I do not like the term CHi myself... it makes me leery. But if used I hope someone will indulge me until I can understand what the idea they are trying to use/teach means.

Hmmm, leery and yin-yang in the same post? Well, how bout this then Jeff? Chi is like what those little blue pills do to you - only better.

#356740 - 08/31/07 09:12 PM Re: what can you actually do with chi? [Re: eyrie]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
LMAO... That's classic, Eyrie...

If I can stop giggling and get back to the discussion, I would pose a question to those that attribute everything to physics and mechanics and science. One of my jujutsu teachers went to Japan on a trip, and as he was leaving, one of the masters at the school came up to shake hands with him. As he did, he put his other hand over his wrist and got a concerned look on his face. "You have bad kidney..." is what he said to him, and told him to go to a doctor when he got home.

Sensei followed his instructions, and when he was tested, he had a low grade kidney infection and several kidney stones forming... none of which had caused him the slightest problem, but the old jujutsu master could sense it from his meridians.

Now, that could be attributed to a number of things, but it falls on my list of things that make me go "Hmmmmm...." and wonder how he did it. Now, I know for a fact that it happened, but I don't have an explanation... What's the "scientific explanation" of this one? I attribute it to the old Sensei being able to sense a disturbance in his ki flow in his meridians, but I'd have to hear the scientific explanation to "understand it".

Just curious...

What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

#356741 - 08/31/07 09:38 PM Re: what can you actually do with chi? [Re: wristtwister]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
I've heard many stories like that. You know how when you touch someone you can instantly determine where they're holding tension, or where they are putting their weight? But, to be able to discern something like this... with pinpoint accuracy... WOW... that's something.

Like, an old jujitsu sensei once said to me, we have no need for weathermen - if you want to know whether it's going to rain or not, just ask an old man with arthritis...

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