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#85743 - 04/26/04 01:39 PM Now that's what I call Ki
Bossman Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 1785
Loc: Chatham Kent UK
I wrote this about 6 years ago, but it still has value....


Well, I’m not a scientist, or an intellectual, or a historian so I can’t give those views, but then I think that those have been pretty well covered and I’m not about to argue with them.

I can only give my humble opinion (IMHO in Internet speak) for what it’s worth (FWIW in Internet speak).

Speaking of the Internet, my “net friend” (what a nerd I’m getting), a Japanese senior grade Shito Ryu stylist living in the US and self proclaimed “Devils Advocate” concerning issues like Ki, asks whether anyone can make a pencil move by just using Ki - any takers?

The best translation that I can come up with for my understanding of the word Ki is “animation”. It is the way that you “animate” your mind, your awareness, your postures, your movements, your eyes, your breath etc. When you can co-ordinate these animations and function to your optimum, then you have Kiai. When you can do this continuously, then you are a person of Aiki.

This “it” factor that all the sportsmen rave about, that “moment” that everything just “becomes one” and they perform their best….. As Martial Artists we have understood that in the form of “Kiai” for generations!

My “Devils Advocate” friend says that is just awareness, concentration, co-ordination, training etc. And I say yes! Yes! Yes! Kiai! Of course it’s the same, we are speaking in different languages! It’s not just those things, it’s the way we “animate” them!

Of course these qualities can be separated, broken down, analysed and explained scientifically (apart from the “original life” thing, but let’s not get religious) but for our purposes “Ki” (or “animation”) covers it quite well.

Remember my story of the rose, (you don’t? you must have missed an issue!) On finding a beautiful rose the scientist picks it, takes it back to his laboratory and breaks it down find its component parts. The artist sees it as it is in all of its fragility and draws it and writes songs and poetry about it. The mystic sees the entire universe in it. As Martial Artists we need to be a combination of all three.

When you “animate”, you “emanate” and we are able to influence our emanations by our ability to animate. Our “aura” can feel threatening, nasty, sexy (I’m still working on that one), peaceful, pleasant and so on, depending on our ability to control our thoughts and emotions, this is where our meditation and training can help.

If the ultimate way to win a fight is not to fight, then it depends on our abilities to influence people on a subtle level (the art of fighting without fighting…..) so that they don’t want to fight in the first place.

We can also help to heal in this way (Reiki) by influencing people on a subtle level. Sometimes just being with someone who has a peaceful, tranquil, positive aura is healing in itself. Sometimes just a touch or to be held can be a healing. Sometimes just the right word at the right time can do it. Any of these things can influence someone to begin the self-healing process, often we just need a “jump start” from someone else.

The more senior a Martial Artist becomes, the more he/she should be able to influence people and situations to “heal and harmonise” on this subtle level. It’s a case “Doctor, first heal thyself”, only when we have undergone the right training first with ourselves can we influence others on a positive level. There’s nothing worse than someone offering to “heal” your headache when they are undergoing a nervous breakdown themselves! And there are plenty of those “New Age” nutcases around!

Ki is a good subject for Martial Artists to discuss because it makes us look at all the essential qualities that we need to possess. We need to doubt, we need to challenge, we need to verify and we need to keep an open mind.

I am probably one of the world’s biggest cynics, so my explanation is based only in my own opinion and that is drawn from my own experiences, if we have any “pencil movers” I would be pleased to see them demonstrate their abilities. This is to take nothing away from Ki, my whole life and training is based around the “quality animation” that is my translation of it. I just feel sorry for the “Walter Mitty” brigade of life’s losers that think that they can get some sort of “superhuman” power without having to put in any effort and “attract girls” and “drop any man with a touch”…..

To “open your channels”, work on my 4 x 4. The directional pressure of the feet against the floor, the postural alignment of the body, correct breathing and the awareness and concentration of the mind. This will give the optimum and complete use of the body, breath and mind, try too hard and you will fail, try too little and you will fail, practise resolutely over a reasonable period of time and your patience will pay off. Every practise session will give you an improvement, whether you feel it at the time or not.

Remember that your enemies are dullness and dissipation, you want animation and concentration. Remember to have a happy demeanour, with liberal sprinklings of patience and tolerance, gentleness and compassion. All these qualities are signs that you are able to “yield” to the flow of what’s natural and right and instinctively do the right thing at the right time with the right amount of effort in the most natural manner.

Now that’s what I call “Ki”.

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#85744 - 04/26/04 01:55 PM Re: Now that's what I call Ki
the504mikey Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 06/19/03
Posts: 790
Loc: Louisiana, United States
[QUOTE]
Remember that your enemies are dullness and dissipation, you want animation and concentration. Remember to have a happy demeanour, with liberal sprinklings of patience and tolerance, gentleness and compassion. All these qualities are signs that you are able to “yield” to the flow of what’s natural and right and instinctively do the right thing at the right time with the right amount of effort in the most natural manner.

Now that’s what I call “Ki”.
[/QUOTE]

Bossman,

Thanks for sharing this article with us. This last part really spoke to me.

[IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]

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#85745 - 04/27/04 01:22 AM Re: Now that's what I call Ki
nekogami13 V2.0 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 2643
Loc: Texas, USA
I can buy into that definition of ki, I also accept kempoman's definition. His is a little more simplistic(on the surface).

I appreciate the article.

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#85746 - 04/27/04 11:44 AM Re: Now that's what I call Ki
Kempoman Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/15/00
Posts: 1484
Loc: Houston, TX
Resisting the incredibly large URGE to respond to the pure CRAP that has been posted on this forum lately I will choose to post this here in Bossman's thread and I have also e-mailed the webmaster for the site asking him to add me as the moderator of this section so that some form of order can be restored.


[QUOTE]Originally Posted by Bossman
The directional pressure of the feet against the floor, the postural alignment of the body, correct breathing and the awareness and concentration of the mind. This will give the optimum and complete use of the body, breath and mind...[/QUOTE]

I am in complete agreement with this position and would add the following...

...Connective tissue strength/conditioning.

Have you ever actually seen how strong any of the great apes are? I have watched a 150 lb orangutan pull a 400 lb sumo wrestler off of a platform in a tug-o-war like he was swatting a fly! It was over in less than 5 seconds and there was no noticable effort on the part of the orang. Why? I think that it has everything to do with tendon/ligament/fascia strength and conditioning. These guys hang and hang and when they are through hanging they go and hang some more. Ever tried it? Hang for five minutes. Can't do it? Why not Mr. Muscles? Those big dang muscles must be good for something. How about something simple like grip strength? Lets take squeezing a pair of hand grips. What will make your grip stronger, 50 reps or 1 rep that lasts for as long as it would take to make fifty reps?

What holds you together? What connects muscles to joints? When you get old do you want big saggy muscles or big strong tendons/ligaments?

I make a case that the stronger that your connective tissue is the easier it is to do what Bossman describes in his previous post. Now normally this takes a natural course over about 10 years in the IMA's.

How many of you train the post or zhan zhuang? What is it supposed to do? Many say that it is the core training and will yield great martial power, but few ever gain it. Why? Because 90% of you out there are not doing it correctly. Think about the above stated material and go back to your zhan zhuang training and see if you can incorporate it.

I am very apprehensive about putting this here on this message board (due to all of the fruits and nuts), but there are those out there who are really looking for 'the stuff'. Look here.

There is a faster way to get there.

How about some comments?

BTW neko are you in Houston?

Scott

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#85747 - 04/27/04 01:07 PM Re: Now that's what I call Ki
Lo C'hi Offline
Member

Registered: 10/27/02
Posts: 88
Loc: L.I.,N.Y.
That was a good read, Bossman.
I usually put breathing first, but your example from the ground up ,4x4, was excellent.


I have seen the term "train the post" or post standing before , but no specific postures or methods were ever mentioned. If you or Kempoman have a moment, could you guys provide an example or refer me to a book with details?

Thanks and regards.

Al

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#85748 - 04/27/04 07:09 PM Re: Now that's what I call Ki
nekogami13 V2.0 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 2643
Loc: Texas, USA
Yep kempoman, I am in deed in the wonderful bayou city of Houston.

Have been contemplating emailing you for location of a good IMA teacher.

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#85749 - 04/28/04 08:36 AM Re: Now that's what I call Ki
Kempoman Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/15/00
Posts: 1484
Loc: Houston, TX
I just got that feeling from your posts. Feel free to e-mail me. There are only a few IMA teachers around here but there are a couple of great ones.

Scott

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