Ki (Ch’i or qi (氣), in Chinese culture) means energy. In martial arts chi represent a combination of martial arts physiology, sport psychology, and high technique skills.
Ki is very much connected to the mind. You could say that Ki-force is the same as Mind Power in action or produced Optimal Situational Self-confidence. In other words, Ki-energy in Martial Arts, are equivalent in the world of sports as sport psychology.
The philosophy states that Ki is a vital invisible force that circulates in the body’s invisible meridians (also earth has meridians). When the energy flows through the body’s meridians, the body is in balance and you feel good.
When attacking the body you stop the energy flow, and with for example acupuncture, Shiatsu (massage), Qi Gong or T‘ai Ch‘i (Grand Ultimate), you start the energy flow.
You go to the doctor in order to get your body in balance, to be healthy and to get good energy flow.
Ki is Mind Power in action
If we choose to study ”Ki” from a traditional sport perspective, you end up in the area of sport psychology, where you for example with the help of meditation can train your focus (to remove the unnecessary thoughts, and visualize reaching the goal).
Mind Power means learning to use the power of your own mind to create positive and powerful images. For example; you are in a fight and you say to yourself; ”I’m better than you, I shall win!”
Imagine a long distance runner standing on the World Championship arena, with thousands of people watching him; some of them are wanting him to win, others are wishing for him to fail. What would happen if he started thinking thoughts like: I am not going to win, I cannot do this, and I am not good enough. I am going to trip on my own feet and fall on my nose! I am not going to win… and so on. Without a doubt, he will not win. And he is probably going to trip on his feet and fall on his nose too! Why? Because that was the message he sent to his brain, it was the inner vision he created for himself.
Instead, he should have created a vision where he could see himself passing all the other runners, without even being tired at all, and still having a lot of energy when he passed the finishing line, as number one.
The point of this example is, that the mental image or vision that you create in your mind, will eventually come true.
The same rules and principles applies to the next example, which most of us can probably relate to. When you were a child and didn‘t want to go to school, maybe you told your parents that you had a very bad headache, so bad that you could hardly stand it.. In reality you were completely healthy, of course, but you really tried hard to be convincing when you spoke about your headache. After a while, you actually begun to feel a slight headache coming over you, and in a matter of minutes, there it was: a full blown headache! Your thoughts and focus on the imagined headache had created one in reality! The good thing however, is the fact that since you are the master over your own thoughts, you can choose to think positive thoughts instead of negative ones, concentrate on health instead of illness, success instead of failure and so on. You will become what you think you will become!
A lot of people spend their lives wishing and hoping for certain things to happen, or for things to change. Others take action and make things happen, make things change. The main difference is that some people have mental blockings, holding them back from doing what they really want to do. But I firmly believe, that the only blockings that exists, are those which you create for yourself!
There really are no limits to what you can accomplish, if you set your mind to it! All you need is determination, attitude and creativity. So clear your mind of negative thoughts, always aim for the top, and never doubt yourself! Sometime we see Martial Arts masters who can perform amazing techniques such as breaking bricks and more.
When we are studying Martial Arts at higher degrees, we learn to think in a certain ways based on Eastern philosophies, in order to learn to control the unseen Ki-force. What we actually learn is to focus mentally, and after a long period of practice we achieve this incredible force in our techniques, and we can execute all of our techniques in a way that our Ki precedes and controls the actual movement.
This also means that if we adopt the philosophies and strongly believe in the mystical energies, it gives us the capacity to do things that is beyond the reach of ―normal humans. It gives us the power to control the experience of pain, to overcome physical and mental limitations, to be healed and to heal others, because we believe in it.
We can even knock people out without even touching them, if they also believe in it, that‘ll say. This means that when a high ranked instructor demonstrates a No Touch Knockout and the Uke is KO‘d, a form of hypnotic suggestion occurs.
Simply stated; the students expect what is going to happen and they are expected to react in a specific way as they have heard the instructor explain. Then they just react to the suggestion.
When this happens in hypnosis demonstrations on stage by magicians, which aren’t using hypnosis at all, they just give suggestions and people who are ready to believe that kind of thing react to it.
For the same reason, some Martial Arts students experience that they can feel the ”force” such as by focus on an energy ball, or, that they can feel the presence of another person in the room, even if they do not see each other. On the other hand, there are practitioners who don’t feel anything at all even if they try. They simply aren’t strong enough in their faith or intuition. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
So, when I decided to conduct the market research, I decided that only practitioners with a technical knowledge of minimum 1st Dan and who were physically trained were allowed to participate. The reason for this was that we wanted to see how important a person’s thoughts are, how they can affect a person’s performance and abilities.
A funny thing is that after the students had responded to the market research, I reached a counter-attack technique that works against someone trying to perform a No Touch Knockout, and the students experienced a new ’wow’ experience.
Learn to use the force
It is important to remember that Ki in martial arts is a combination of martial arts physiology, sport psychology, and high technique skills and not only mental training.
In order to work with energy, you have to be able to Concentrate and to use your Mind Power.
You also have to understand how the energy works and that energy is all around us, always and everywhere. The energy that you send out always tries to come back to you again.
You also have to add the correct breathing technique, also called deep-breathing. When you control these three basic techniques, you may begin learning how to use energy for different purposes.
Ki training is good for all martial art practitioners and the benefits are many:
– Understand the underlying philosophy behind the techniques
– A correct focus!
– A correct breathing technique
At the highest level, your techniques should be performed in a way where your Chi precedes and controls the actual movement.
When we believe in ourselves, we increase our chances for success. But it is important to understand that faith cannot be measured, which is the fundamental difference between faith and science. Faith is relying on something that cannot be proven. Meanwhile, the belief, based in the power of thought, the common denominator for all belief systems. But it can become dangerous when a person fails to ex. get well, then other believers can always claim that ”he was not strong enough in his faith.”