View Poll Results: What is chi/ki to you?
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At 1.2 million currently, depending on what I ate for breakfast
Requires me to register my hands as lethal weapons
An energy field that surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together
The secret to my martial art
Makes me better than I was before. Better, stronger, faster
A chinese concept for unknown phenomenon
The tickling sensation at the back of my throat
Thread: Poll: What is chi/ki to you?
6/30/2013 9:58pm, #61
6/30/2013 11:15pm, #62
- Join Date
- Jan 2010
- Southeast WI
6/30/2013 11:24pm, #63
6/30/2013 11:53pm, #64
7/01/2013 5:48am, #65
- Join Date
- Aug 2007
But this concept of ki is not just a simplification, but also adds some statements - in this case that exercises of channeling ki lead to a better punch. Those can be (and probably have been) tested and falsified.
After that, you have to drop those statements.
In the end, Chi is just a concept with too many definitions; some of them useful, some useless, some trivial, some just plain bullshit.
If we really want to discuss chi, we should collect all those definitions and discuss them seperately.
Because I'm bored, here are some definitions that seem to be around:
Chi1: A logogram meaning "steam rising from rice", meaning being alive, what W. Rabbit says
Chi2: Subject of phenomenal perception - similar to some concepts of "soul" in the western cultures. "What makes us more than an automaton/a philosophical zombie (yes, that term exists)". Similar to Chi1, but reduced to percieving qualia (google it).
Chi3: psychological temperaments; emotions
Chi6: the electrial currents running through your nerves
Chi7: something like the above, but with "energies", not in a physical sense. What TCM uses.
Chi8: a field of esoterical energy, an "aura"
Chi9: biomechanical concept of physical force. Like as in a punch you use a certain set of movements to put as much bodyweight into it as possible, you could see that as a point (of ki) traveling from your foot throught your body to your fist.
Chi10: magical force - what Jedis and Liu Kang use
Chi15: 22nd letter of the greek alphabet
And any combination thereof.
Last edited by nils; 7/01/2013 6:18am at .
7/01/2013 6:45am, #66
- Join Date
- Aug 2007
From those definitions, 3,4,5,6,11,12,13,14 and 15 are trivial. If you want to say "breath", just use the english word for it.
Nr. 7 can be researched by experiment. As far as I know, some studies suggest that TCM produces measurable results, while others do not. Still, since the human body is a highly complex system, even if it were proven that TCM works, that does not mean that it works the way the philosophy behind it assumes ist does. At this point there is no evidence that I know of that points to the existence of some kind of nonphysical energy.
Definitions 8 and 10 lack evidence. Either no such thing exists or aquiring magical powers leads to not competing in martial arts or partaking in any kind of scientific experiment whatsoever.
Definition 9 can be useful to explain some concepts of bodymechanics, but I'd prefer to use terms that are more exact.
16 and 17 have been discussed in this thread.
This leaves definitions 1 and 2, which is what the whole "philosophy of mind" is about. Discussing that would probably be too much off-topic, since it has not much to do with martial arts.
7/01/2013 1:28pm, #67
Pushups; I googled "Qualia".
Nils' post is insightful. The term chi/ki/qi (being as old as it is) has had more theories, bullshit, and New Age quackery tacked onto it than most words I can think of.
From the start, 氣 was a simple observation. The ancient Chinese noticed the steam from rice looked like your breath on a cold morning and somebody made a connection, and drew a picture of "Chi". Now, rational, science-minded folks know there is no direct link between boiled water vapor and all the complexities required to power a human being, but to the ancient Chinese, the picture was enough to convey this simple idea.
Fast forward several thousand years and suddenly this once simple idea is today used as a justification for a hundred different weird concepts, ranging from somewhat anatomical to the metaphysically absurd.
The irony is that the same concept exists in other ancient cultures (e.g. Indian, Jewish, Latin), but none of their terms for life-breath (prana, ruach, nephesh, spiritus) have taken hold on popular culture as "Chi". And so they have not been similarly bastardized (or maybe they have and I just don't know because I don't read New Age crap).
I use the term "chi" (actually "hei") because the language of my art is Cantonese, and so are the names of all exercises/techniques. I stopped wondering what Chi was when I realized it needed no further explanation than 氣, and I just keep training without worrying about my 氣.
Last edited by W. Rabbit; 7/01/2013 1:33pm at .
7/01/2013 1:45pm, #68
- Join Date
- Feb 2009
- Bay area, ca
I don't know much about Chi but Chinese herbal medicine is awesome!
7/01/2013 1:47pm, #69
What is cheeky to me?
Umm........most of AssCowboy's avatars?
7/01/2013 1:53pm, #70