Posted On:2/10/2003 2:14pm
This forum is good for me. I have an online community for my art that I frequent, but I don't feel as free to be an idiot like I do here. Here, I can knock around useless ideas or whatever among respectable martial arts thinkers, without giving a **** if I'm perceived as a jackass. After all, this is Bullshido. Here comes another long winded thread.....
Ki, Chi, Gi, whatever you want to call it. The 'mystic energy' or lifeforce that one supposedly cultivates from doing martial arts. We all know the term, as vaguely defined as it is, but some of us aren't quick to believe in magic of it all.
Well, at least I'm not. I've had one Gumdo instructor that would talk to me about energy fields. His life and career is martial arts, but I never really bought it. The second Gumdo instructor, the one to whom I'm deeply dedicated, is a computer guy with a physics degree. This really shows during his instruction since he would sometimes mention physics terms like 'angular momentum' when talking about sword motion. I think he has hinted at what I'm about to say about Ki, but we've never talked at length about this, and now that he's in Florida, we may never do so until a long while from now.
I just don't buy into Ki as a real energy. Yet, I do believe Ki works. Let me give you my background in Ki. Being a traditional martial art, Haidong Gumdo does do meditiation, breathing and other Ki developing practices. Ki, as it is used in my art, comes from your center of gravity, through your arms and into the sword helping make a cut. That's over simplified, but suffices for my purpose here. I use Ki but, perhaps in part because my dad is a university science professor, I haven't been raised to believe in mystical, unvisible energies. It's just not in me.
Here is what I take Ki to be. It's not real, yet you can feel it and use it. It's useful without actaully being 'real' per se. I think that it's a system rolled into one, useful to an extent, yet not real in the sense that it is thought of as being. I'll make illustrations of other examples before comming back.
Video games. I assume you've all played one at one time (if not too much of the time, like myself). Simple scenario: You have an army man on the screen and he's dodging slow moving bullets. You see a bullet comming at your GI JOE and you move to the right to successfully avoid it. Is there really an army man on the screen? No. Is there really a bullet moving towards him? No. Is there anything remotely real on the screen? No. What is it all? It's a bunch of 1's and 0's inside of the computer and these are displayed as individual pixels showing forth differnt colors of light. The army man and the bullet are all a constructed illusion, made up of pixels, to make us think that this is an army man and a bullet on the screen. If were weren't fooled into thinking this, if we only saw pixels and no army man, we cannot dodge the non-existant, illusionary bullet and the computer would end our game. Being fooled, being sucked into the illusion is useful, considering we want to make it to the next stage in the game. In fact, our mind is working to see this army man. It's not treating it as an illusion, but rather the recontruction of a pattern so that we can sucessfully deal with it.
Another example, a little more real world is you don't get that last one. A house is really nothing more than a load of bricks and mortar. Why do we see a house instead of a load of bricks? The organization of it all when we see it leads us to say that it's a house. The bricks are put together in a system. We perceive and understand that all those individual parts comprise a system we call a house. It's useless to think of each individual brick rather than thinking of all of them as part of one complete whole. If we don't, that is when we don't see the forest for the trees. Yet, the house is still little more a bunch of bricks
This is what I, at my current lack of understanding, believe Ki to be. Ki is a system. It is comprised of the laws of physics and other natural laws, in fact multiple systems at once. See, the ancient Chinese masters didn't know that breathed oxygen helps fuel the breakdown of body sugar and such that gives a person energy. All they knew is that when you breath air (chi or qi, for those who like pinyin) it gives you energy (chi). You don't need to know about Glucose and Galactose and ATP or what not to get an overall view of how the system works or, better yet, how you can use it. You're seeing an illusion because you don't see the individual parts in play. Yes, illusion is perceiving things that aren't totally accurate. Air isn't energy itself but it holds energy and it doesn't hurt or harm us to not know that.
This could be taken alot further, but Ki, as I see it, is us perceiving physical laws into one system. There is physics at work when I put my center of gravity into a cut, letting my arms connect with my center, and I am able to cut better. The ancients knew the system, that if they connected their center of Ki better to the sword then it gave better results than cutting with the arms alone. Again, very simplified, but this works for here.
Angular momentum, breathing, focus of the mind, I think those are all parts of Ki. Stold and I were chatting earler this morning on this idea and he brought up the issue of biology. I guess that can be part of Ki as well. I've seen a TV program on TLC try to describe Ki as a brain function, alpha waves, that increase aim and steadiness. I guess this could be part of this system I'm talking about. It is useful to think of all of the parts of Ki, as I've descibed it, as a system, unless you want to have to think about angular momentum, intertia, potential energy, kinetic energy, alpha waves, Glucose, ATP, etc., etc. all at once. We can only look at the forest and not each tree. That makes this 'illusion' useful; not bad at all. You can feel Ki, you can use Ki. Ki is as real as our mental contruction of a house, yet it's not exactly what many people claim it to be. Yet, it is useful.
Now, I'm saying that Ki is useful 'if' you keep it within its bounds. I'm still not convinced that you can use Ki to shoot Haduken fireballs and DBZ Kamehameha. Heh, believe me, if you could, I'd be the first in line to learn how. But let me open that up again. I don't doubt that there are things beyond science's current grasp. Perhaps there -is- a great deal from the human body and mind that is left unlocked or unexplained. This said, if you can fly using Ki, please show me how.
Here is an example of Ki training in my art, just for kicks:
Ki or not, all I know is that guy has something going on that I don't at this point yet have goning on for myself.
Please, if you made it this far, beat around and shoot holes though my ideas as much as you like. I'm sure I'm not the first to write something like this, so if any other proceedings have come to with some valuable info, I'd be glad to hear it.
Posted On:2/10/2003 2:39pm
I'd recommend that you look up Wastrel's comments on ki/chi. I don't care to revisit the topic, but in my opinion, you are simply projecting your own beliefs into the concept. People actually believed in some sort of nebulous energy that gave life, could be focused for healing, and be used to take life. The exact belief varies but it remains that it is simply superstition. To inject modern science into it is the same as building a steel structure within a crumbling wooden one. It might give the appearance that the wooden one is sound, but it is actually a form of deception because it is the new steel structure that provides the support.
In the end, so much of what you are doing is a sort of justification for the retaining of a superstition by attempting to incorporate modern science, but it does justice to neither. Ki/chi should simply be recognized for what it is and modern science should be recognized for what it is. Ki/chi was a part of a spiritual means of explaining phenomena. Science is a systemized means of explaining phenomena through empirical analysis. Understand that they have nothing to do with each other, otherwise.
Posted On:2/10/2003 2:51pm
Posted On:2/10/2003 2:53pm
ki fire ball!!!!!!!! I have realultimate power.
Posted On:2/10/2003 3:02pm
Yup, I gave a long time ago trying to figure out what the hell Chi was. All I know is that its very religious in concept, and religion and science just doesn't go well together. So for us, it either helps us as Martial Artists or it doesn't. Simple as that.
I'm having trouble finding The Wastrel's comments. Is there at least a lead on the title of the thread(s) to facilitate my search querries?
Posted On:2/10/2003 3:14pm
Let me quickly comment, thought it's without further reading.
I don't see your comment as valid at all, Sheol. Natural phemonena was always considered mystical until it was given scientific understanding. The sun was a god that travelled in a chariot through the sky, until we learned better. Hell, Canada Geese travel south for the winter to the same spots every year by 'mystical means'. I don't see how explaining this phemonenon by saying that it's because of instinct by way of genetic coding that lets them do that is putting a steel structure under a crumbling wooden one. It's giving reason for the phemonenon rather than just calling it magic.
That is what my attept on Ki is trying to reach. Even more than that, my post was trying to explain why we can perceive the system and why it is useful, even though we don't understand it. We eat food and magically **** an hour later. We use use Ki and magically break bricks with our fist. I don't see how giving either a scientific backing is putting up a false support for something that doesn't work.
Edited by - Ken Oh on February 10 2003 14:27:12
Reading FD cause cancer
Posted On:2/10/2003 3:28pm
Style: Muay Thai and boxing
Ken Oh, I have the same view toward Ki. But I thinks it is almost useless in fighting because it would take some time to get ki charged. I can break a brick with my palm heel easily and if I could hit that hard in real fighting, it would probably kill a person instantly. What keep me from being able to hit that hard is, it take time for Ki to get running.
In my own words how I describe ki is:
You force your body to make aderliene rush higher. Once it get high enough, you move it to certain part of your body so whole energy would flow into that part. As the energy flow into that part and the muscle that make the part move, it would get stronger than normal. As you strike with part of your body, the aderliene would go in action and your body part would hit with much harder impact.
That is just the simple way I describe aderliene rush.
"I would rather admit I am a lousy student than say I am the best, because once you think you are the best, there is no reason to continue learning."
I would pick bag work over masturbating, fighting over sex, and KOing someone over having a orgasm!
Posted On:2/10/2003 3:36pm
God!!! Wastrel, Omar here it goes again. I guess I'll just stay out this time.
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