what is chi/ki

Contributors offers insight into the non-physical side of the Martial Arts, often ignored when discussing self-defense.

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what is chi/ki

Postby hoshin » Tue Jun 22, 2004 5:11 pm

i am wondering what people think chi really is.

this can be a very confusing subject because the asian idea of chi/ ki is used to explain many concepts.

1. as a life force (the magic that keep us breathing,, science has been able to make a heart pump and the nerves respond ect ect, but we still cant bring total life back once it has gone.

2. kinetic energy (basicly hitting power, why some people can hit harder than others. also in aikido the kinetic force moving torward you being guided in another direction.

3. interactive emotional energy,,(music bands talk about taking the audience energy and passing is back to them,, asian culture also talks about the "ki" of the room in training. sometimes it is energized sometimes it is laid back.

4. internal emotional energy.. (somedays you feel good,some days you dont)

are there other concepts i have missed? what are peoples thoughts and comments on chi?

Last edited by hoshin on Fri Jul 29, 2005 6:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby TG » Sat Jun 26, 2004 5:42 pm

Two thoughts:
#1: The continously moving focus of power and balance within the body; directed by the mind.

#2: If you could take a pair of tweezers and dissect your body atom by atom, you would wind up with a pile of atomic dust, in which no atom is alive, yet all are you.

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Do the terms used have any basis in reality?

Postby HALFORD E. JONES » Thu Jul 01, 2004 1:07 am

:D It seems to me that quite often mere repetition of certain words,which seem to be representative of concepts, are taken to mean that such things exist! One can convince oneself of things by discussing a lot of theories and ideas,masked as 'truisims' and when one encounters others using the same terms, based sometimes on reading, sometimes on vague feelings or emotional states, combined with intellectual posturing, then one is often convinced they are on the right track and there really is something to what is being said! :wink: I know :wink: , I do it all the time!
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Postby 2Green » Thu Jul 01, 2004 2:23 am

Quote:"Do the terms used have any basis in reality?" (Halford E Jones)
What "reality" are you referring to, Mr. Jones?

I believe you are correct when you say people discuss concepts based on words which they interpret differently...yes this causes confusion.
I believe Chi is one of those words. No one can define it adequately to someone who has not experienced it, or believe they have.

Like love, or revelation, or insight, there are many things which can be learned, but not taught. They are "real" only to the person experiencing them; no one else can "objectively" experience them in order to verify their "reality".

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Postby hoshin » Mon Jul 12, 2004 4:23 pm

after 20 years in the martial arts, i still have yet to experience some kind of magical "chi" and have yet to have someone succesfully demonstrate it to me. i even spent 3 years practicing shin shin toitsu aikido which is all about "chi/ ki" . every example of ki that they practice can be explained with simple Newtonian physics.

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Postby HALFORD E. JONES » Sat Jul 17, 2004 3:59 am

translated from Japanese to English with the meaning of 'circulation',possibly 'flow' and refers ,according to some apparently, to blood pressure or blood circulation,which also would involve 'pulse'. I have not looked at this aspect for some years now but I recall Dr. Taniguchi discussing it in some of his works and writings in Seicho-No-Ie. :wink:
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Postby jorvik » Sun Jul 18, 2004 4:52 pm

check out my post "Chum-Kee seeking the bridge".that goes into what I think Ki/chi is.basically a lot of things developed over time to become one cohesive whole :roll:
But I still ask those same questions myself :? .why for example are there martial arts ( usually the most effective )that never mention chi/ki :? boxing,savate,Muay-Thai, greco roman wrestling??
There are things to ponder though. every week I go swimming with my family :D .soon I go on vacation.and I swim in the sea.the difference is that in the local pool I can "feel the bottom".in the sea, I cannot :) ...not many folks realise that tactile senses such as "feeling the bottom" exist.....I do Tai-Chi, when I do pushing hands it's like swimming in a pool..when somebody attacks me with a punch ( it may be.....(and I say only may :roll: ) like swimming in the sea. :lol: )
Now for myself I've identified one thing that I didn't know before.in the future maybe I'll develop it even more.but it's not magic.
A tale.
I went to an Aikido Dojo
The Sensei was old and fat, professed to like Beer ( where I come from, that means you can drink a lot/frequently do/and think that anybody who doesn't is odd. :wink:)
Anyway he got some young guy to make a straight down sword cut at him ( shomen).he stepped in caught the sword hand and slowly lowered it down.then he began to talk .saying about mind and intention, and how if he had been of a mind he could have thrown the guy as soon as he'd attacked.a fairly unremarkable throw :wink: ....but that the guy still had that intention in him, he still felt that that was the way he should have been thrown.....suddenly the old Sensei lifted up the guy's arm and brought it down....the same throw that he would have done but without the attacker, attacking...the guy flipped over as if he had charged in.very cool to watch 8) :wink:

Postby hoshin » Mon Jul 19, 2004 2:52 pm

just a couple of thoughts here;
boxing and roman greco wrestling i belive are modern versions of pankration ( greek sport fighting from around 350bc). they held a belief system of what is now our science.
asian fighting arts and their culture hold to a belief system based on chi.
i belive these two systems hold the same ideas and principals. only because of our historical backrounds we percieve them as different concepts.

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Postby Bruise* Lee » Thu Nov 04, 2004 3:18 pm

Like Aloha, "KI" is not something that can have a universal meaning.

I have seen small people generate lots of power in striking and throwing that is initially said to be the result of qi, but later demonstrations and explanations by the instructors show it to be a matter of skeletal alignment, correct coordination of the body, and subtle mechanics.

FOr the last 5 years or so I have practiced weight lifting. I have experienced myself and seen many others be stuck on a weight, have some music play that evokes a strong emotional feeling and then easily accomplish that lift. Emotions can alter strength, energy and power. Likewise certain mental images (meditations) can do the same.

However some of it is not so easily explained. I have known of "miraculous" healings of broken bones, cancers and other illnesses that to the best of educated men can opnly be attributed to faith, qi or some other unknown force.

The mind has some effect on all of our cells. I saw a study in which they touched people under hypnosis with a pencil and told them it was a red hot poker and their skin blistered. Likewise as a part of my martial arts training I have experienced taking strikes to al parts of the body - throat, testes, face, etc with no injury.

The one that seems to intrigue others the most is wllfully taking a kick or series of kicks or punches to the testes. At times the kick does not land square on, it hits the thigh or the buttocks, and so the lack of testicle rupture is easily explained by the fact it missed. I have in fact had a number of people whose aim is so bad that their kicks hit my inner thigh, usually with no consequence - however one time a kick hit me in the thigh and for no reason I can explain I bruised there and the muscle became very stiff and was injured. I have had a large number of people insist that we must be taping our testicles up, etc - but this is not the case.

The first time I took a kick to the throat and I felt the kick smash my nuts, or the first time I took a punch to the testes and felt the same thing - and had no cramping, no loss of breath, no panic - it was the weirdest thing. I cannot explain it. I got hit as a kid and felt it way up in my stomach, felt a cramping and like doubling over. When I was in a combat ki (iron body) state I have never felt that although I am sure I have taken several hundred kicks to there. I cannot explain it.

Its easy to explain the lack of injury when someone misses, however even though I was trained to do it, and have done it, I cannot explain why I did not have any real pain or injury when I am struck in a Ki state. I can only call the experience a part of Ki/Qi - as the analytical part of my mind is still at a loss of how I can feel a kick land against my perineum and groin with enough impact to lift my feet off the ground, feel all the soft tissue smash against me - and have no pain or injury.

Likewise I have been tapped in the throat at times and choked, eyes watered etc. But when I was in a combat ki or near combat ki state I have taken strikes while relaxed and felt amused. I don't know what it is after more than a decade of being trained in this Ki method, but there is something that can be tapped into that is not easily explained by mechanics, anatomy etc. Its not that I am uneducated - I graduated wtih honors from a University with many hours in the sciences such as physicals and anatomy. I have beena chiropractor for over 15 years and had extensive anatomy lessons, including dissection and now at 43 am in my 4th year of medical school - and still am at a complete loss to explain what I have experienced when someone did not miss, connects real squarely and yet there is not what I would call pain and no injury.

I have seen Ki demos where someone is blindfolded and a person projects ki at them and they feel it or they are swayed backwards. I have never experienced this, just watched it, so it is another one that I would like to know what is happening - is it subtle cues and communication like a magician or is something happening?

I prefer to stay open minded - not only does it make life more exiting but todays science fiction is often tomorrows science.
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Postby jorvik » Fri Nov 05, 2004 9:06 pm

nice post :) .interesting and informative.
I don't think that anybody really knows what Ki/chi/Qi/Hara is and you can mix it in with other stuff as well.............Barakah, which is breath to the Sufis or Prana to the yogis.worth dicussing though check out my first article here re projecting chi
http://uechi-ryu.com/oldsite/empty_forc ... _force.htm
that was what brought me to these fora :wink:

Postby JimHawkins » Sun Nov 14, 2004 5:05 pm

Hi George and group:

After doing CMA and teaching at the school for years I think I finally came to at least a partial conclusion on this:

90% of Wing Chun is contact tactile training. Because of this when you teach (or learn) Wing Chun or in my case Ving Tsun, there is one word which is used over and over and over and over again. That word is energy:

"Your energy isn't right..."

"You're using dead energy..."

"Your energy isn't staying on the line..."

"Why is your energy going in that direction?"

"You were using too much energy..."

"Use forward spring energy..."

Really you wouldn't believe how many times this word is used in class - a close second would be the word relax which of course makes reference to the student's energy. 8O

Now the Chinese word for this term as it is used here I believe would be ……. in Mandarin Chi.

So I submit that whatever it is that we are talking about in the examples above is chi. Which also means, I think, that it is quite real, at least within this context.

"Receive what comes, stay with what goes, upon loss of contact attack the line" – The Kuen Kuit
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Postby Rick Wilson » Mon Nov 15, 2004 6:49 am

Jim: Excellent comments. :D
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