It had to happen eventually- chi
What's the opinion, y'all? I understand that I don't exactly live in a very Oriental environment, meaning that my exposure to Chinese martial arts beyond my own is fairly limited, so I'm speaking out of what little experience I have and I guess some general knowledge. Plus, I'm fairly devout in my atheism, so I don't buy 'mystical energies' without some skepticism.
My opinion on the matter is that Chi originated as a stand-in concept for what we now know thanks to Science. Where as someone with a thorough understanding of anatomy or physics might say 'punching like this allows better muscle usage' or 'this generates better momentum', the ancient Chinese would observe the effect (punching with said style is a heck of a lot more effective than say, some other style) and have less scientific knowledge to explain why- so Chi comes in. They may have explained the greater force of a punch by saying it gathers/channels greater Chi.
The same goes for Qigung exercises, where they would say that a certain exercise and breathing a certain way cultivates greater chi, we might say that breathing a certain way massages the organs, or gives greater bloodflow, and that the certain exercise relaxes your abdomen whilst working the legs or somesuch.
As for such things as 'chi attacks' and 'dim mak', I don't really have much of an explanation as to what is really happening, but again I'd suggest it's the ancient Chinese speculating afterwards about someone suddenly dropping dead, or delayed KOs, or whatnot. We've already got a better thread on Dim Mak, so that isn't really the point of this one.
Also something interesting is the idea of certain foods and behaviours bringing about better Chi- again I'd suggest this is Chi being used in place of modern concepts of proper nutrition and whatnot.
The more mystical uses of Chi I would suggest (such as Feng Shui, etc) are baseless superstition, since I doubt certain sizes of doors have any scientifically feasible effect on one's luck.
What are you guy's thoughts on the matter?
"Chi means air. How do you cultivate Chi? Breathe so you don't die." -- Moy Yat
actually, I agree with Tom.
Chi has been and always will be one of the things that so many people claim is there but just can never prove.
Chi is breath. Chi is life energy. Different exercises are targeted at doing different thing with "Chi." Some such things are "cultivating," "tricking," "circulating" and "drawing" chi. Chi is said to flow through meridians. These meridians and the "flow" is the root of acupuncture/pressure.
I think it has to do with a state of mind. A oneness with your body through years of training. A mind body relationship. Years of perfecting body situational awareness. Chi manifests itself as a variety of things in the realm of sensation. It can be characterized as heat or magnetism. Ever since I was a kid, I could feel something that felt like a magnetism type deal when I bring my hands close together. What the **** is that? I never knew anything about what chi was when I was a child discovering my physical body.
So, my opinion is that chi is something. What exactly? I don't know. Every living person is supposed to have it. As far as chi attacks go, I covered my thoughts on that over on the other thread.
“We are surrounded by warships and don’t have time to talk. Please pray for us.” — One Somali Pirate.
Spiritual or not, there undoubtedly is some physiological basis to chi, even if it is psychosomatic. Things like breathing properly or using your center or whatever just make dense. But dim mak is just exaggerated pressure point BS.
My experience within the martial arts and the little medical experience I have would describe chi / ki as the following:
This being said, "chi" is not magical. While some tenets of various religions/beliefs would help in ones health it would be wrong to call it spiritual. Anyone with the proper training could increase or cultivate "chi" Some develop faster, or more based upon their overall health, strength, coordination etc. as one can imagine by examining all the variables that come into consideration when examining what chi is.
- Proper form, utilizing physics through physiology
- Proper breathing, oxygen supplied by the bloodstream fuels the muscles allowing them to do the work needed as well as fuels other systems noted further down
- Healthy circulation system to properly supply the oxygen
- Healthy balance between the adrenal and adrenaline systems as well as other endocrine and lymph systems
WARNING : Long-haired history stuff!!
The dynamics of Life-energy (Chi), its nature, flow, impedance and so forth have been used to explain health, or its lack for a great many generations in Asia. Its not altogether uniquely Chinese but a lot of people refer to "Chinese Medicine" in the general sense when they start talking about it.
Now, in the 18th century---- 1700-s----- there were a number of experiences such as the TAIPING Rebellion and the Opium Wars that thoroughly shook the Chinese people's confidence in their own government. People began to look to societies such as the WHITE LOTUS and BIG SWORD societies for help and protection. These societies looked for ways to connect-up the two biggest and most respected areas of Chinese culture in everyday life --- Martial Arts and mysticism. Putting these two things together, a lot of practices that had some authentic basis such as physical conditining and Chinese medicine got "pushed-over the edge" as it were. For instance, if a little conditioning could stop a punch, and more conditioning could stop a kick, it just followed that a whole lotta conditioning could stop a bullet, right? The same thing happened with things like accupuncture and accupressure. If a PP could couse a result, and a number of PP could cause dramatic results, then a whole lot of points, under VERY SPECIAL circumstances, could cause death, right? The fact that occasionally a person died from what we now know to be concusions, sub-dural hematoma, ruptured cardial sacs and the like just supported the idea.
Unfortunately people have been selling the whole DIM MAK thing for many years now as a kind of mystical short-ctu to "ultimate power". Fact is that even if such skills DID exist it would take an unbelieveable amount of time and commitment that practically noone would be willing to give to it. Fact is that most people bearly make it to regular classes in the average MA as it is. FWIW.
I believe that chi exists as a life force or energy, but some of the claims about it are hard to swallow. I hear a lot of talk, but I don't see the hard evidence for it being responsible for things like deflecting bullets or protecting people from getting run over by 18 wheelers.
There are a lot of "myths" and exploitations that really give chi a bad name. Many, such as, deflecting bullets, getting run over by 18 wheelers, balancing on prone on 5 speartips, having a melon on one's stomach sliced in two with a sword, etc. are nothing more than charlatan gimmicks and side show tricks that can be (and some have been) reproduced by magicians and others with no martial (nor chi) training that employ simple rules of physics or clever sleights of hand. Look up "Skills of the Vagabond" by a Dr. Leung Ting for more great trickery and deception one might find at your local McDojo.
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