When you begin to feel like you are a tough guy, a warrior, a master of the martial arts or that you have lived a tough life, just take a moment and get some perspective with the following:
I've stopped knives that were coming to disembowel me
I've clawed for my gun while bullets ripped past me
I've dodged as someone tried to put an ax in my skull
I've fought screaming steel and left rubber on the road to avoid death
I've clawed broken glass out of my body after their opening attack failed
I've spit blood and body parts and broke strangle holds before gouging eyes
I've charged into fires, fought through blizzards and run from tornados
I've survived being hunted by gangs, killers and contract killers
The streets were my home, I hunted in the night and was hunted in turn
Please don't brag to me that you're a survivor because someone hit you. And don't tell me how 'tough' you are because of your training. As much as I've been through I know people who have survived much, much worse. - Marc MacYoung
WARNING, CAVEAT AND NOTE
The postings on this blog are my interpretation of readings, studies and experiences therefore errors and omissions are mine and mine alone. The content surrounding the extracts of books, see bibliography on this blog site, are also mine and mine alone therefore errors and omissions are also mine and mine alone and therefore why I highly recommended one read, study, research and fact find the material for clarity. My effort here is self-clarity toward a fuller understanding of the subject matter. See the bibliography for information on the books. Please make note that this article/post is my personal analysis of the subject and the information used was chosen or picked by me. It is not an analysis piece because it lacks complete and comprehensive research, it was not adequately and completely investigated and it is not balanced, i.e., it is my personal view without the views of others including subject experts, etc. Look at this as “Infotainment rather then expert research.” This is an opinion/editorial article/post meant to persuade the reader to think, decide and accept or reject my premise. It is an attempt to cause change or reinforce attitudes, beliefs and values as they apply to martial arts and/or self-defense. It is merely a commentary on the subject in the particular article presented.
Note: I will endevor to provide a bibliography and italicize any direct quotes from the materials I use for this blog. If there are mistakes, errors, and/or omissions, I take full responsibility for them as they are mine and mine alone. If you find any mistakes, errors, and/or omissions please comment and let me know along with the correct information and/or sources.
“What you are reading right now is a blog. It’s written and posted by me, because I want to. I get no financial remuneration for writing it. I don’t have to meet anyone’s criteria in order to post it. Not only I don’t have an employer or publisher, but I’m not even constrained by having to please an audience. If people won’t like it, they won’t read it, but I won’t lose anything by it. Provided I don’t break any laws (libel, incitement to violence, etc.), I can post whatever I want. This means that I can write openly and honestly, however controversial my opinions may be. It also means that I could write total bullshit; there is no quality control. I could be biased. I could be insane. I could be trolling. … not all sources are equivalent, and all sources have their pros and cons. These needs to be taken into account when evaluating information, and all information should be evaluated.” - God’s Bastard, Sourcing Sources
“You should prepare yourself to dedicate at least five or six years to your training and practice to understand the philosophy and physiokinetics of martial arts and karate so that you can understand the true spirit of everything and dedicate your mind, body and spirit to the discipline of the art.” - cejames
“All I say is by way of discourse, and nothing by way of advice. I should not speak so boldly if it were my due to be believed.” - Montaigne
Ki [気], what is it .... really.
Ki is a combination of things with the three main essentials being "spirit, mind, and body." This is insufficient to convey a meaning understandable to all who practice martial arts.
So, lets start with spirit. How does one develop and strengthen spirit and how does that add to ki in the overall fundamental meaning of energy? Mind-set, attitude and intestinal fortitude to name a few. Development of the spirit through these and other traits that strengthen the mind and by that strengthen the body.
Have you ever witnessed a person of large size with an appearance of great strength who when confronted by the unknown huddles and sniffles like a new born scared baby? When you defeat an opponent who outweighs you is it strength of body, mind or spirit - try spirit, that attitude and belief of self that allows you to do amazing things.
Ki is composed of spirit.
Now, how about the mind. The level of strength within the mind governs how the body acts, reacts or takes actions. It can make the difference in whether one can move mountains or simply roll up on the floor in a ball and become like a child. Tasking and straining the mind can be done by confronting your greatest fears and by physically taking your body, thus your mind, to beyond its perceived limits into exhaustion - shugyo.
Witness how masters of marital arts in the late or winter years of life can still take on young strong athlete type martial artists with apparent ease or stop an attacker by their mere presence.
Ki is composed of mind.
Third, lets talk about body. This one is last but important for it has effects and affects all three for it is how we handle our bodies that brings about a stronger spirit and mind. It is tasking the body to do things that are perceived as far and above individual capability to demonstrate that there are no limits of the body thus the spirit and mind that cannot be reached if all three are wholeheartedly and holistically practiced, trained and applied in both martial arts and life.
The body needs a variety of things to become strong and to be able to endure and act at its absolute peak. Mental attitude is first for it feeds a stronger chemical dump from the brain and other chemical body producing areas for maximum body efficiency in everyday activities to combat modes. Then there is its yin of fuel, the foods that are burned by the body to give the cells, muscles, bones, mind and spirit the fuel to generate the fire that is energy - ki.
What you put in for fuel is also a determinate as to energy levels and how well that energy is dispersed to the body, mind and spirit. The body also needs a mixture, like fuel and air for the combustion engine, so proper breathing methods are necessary to get the right mixture's to burn the fuel that runs the body, mind and spirit.
Mix in a bit more mechanics so the body is at its best, i.e. learning and applying fundamental principles that maximize the bodies functioning in all area's of physical movement, etc. Things like economic movement, body alignment and posture are but a few directly affecting the body and its efficiency. This efficiency also determines the amount of energy applied in movement and in the final technique application. The more the body or fundamentals are deviated from in application the greater the drain of energy internally that will not be applied externally and efficiency drops burning fuel inefficiently taking away maximum energy consumption and use.
Ki is composed of the body.
This explanation is far from complete. Ki is not some mystical energy that is like magic but a completely physical and psychological manifestation of efficiency that promotes what can be perceived as magical actions. Ki is what is generated and used when the mind perceives a great danger that allows small petite women to lift a car to save a child, their child. The difference is spirit and mind because the body when treated and used justly, correctly and efficiently can already do wondrous things.