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"Nai Ki" in Ju-no-kata and Ki in general Wide-ranging debate beyond Ju-no-kata considerations Rate Topic: ***-- 5 Votes

#1 User is offline   Mike Sigman 

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 06:37 PM

From the introduction to Trevor Leggett's book on Ju no Kata 1964:

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Stylization
Look at Figure 3. Here the man is extending his arm, which he takes round in a big circle, finally forming the hand into a fist and directing it at the opponent. This is the first move of one of the Junokata sequences. The preliminary action is, of course, quite artificial and would never precede any real blow. There are a number of such moves in Junokata, and some people wonder why they are there.

One purpose is to train what is called Nai-ki, or 'inner energy'. When making the big circle of the arm, draw in the breath and feel the energy running right down to the extended finger-tips till they tingle with it. Perhaps our present physiology has no satisfactory explanation as yet, but it is a fact that students who practice these methods do display exceptional energy and fine coordination even into old age. The subject deserves further investigation, but meantime the practice is there to be taken advantage of.


This little clue confirms a lot about the unusual movements in many of the kata, BTW. Ki-wise, this is more sophisticated (if I extrapolate it aright along the usual ki-skills training methods) than I would have guessed was in Judo. Apparently knowledge of this type of training is mostly lost, nowadays. Good thing that Trevor Leggett took the time to mention it and to indicate that the how's and why's were seemingly lost as recently as 1964.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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#2 User is online   JFTW 

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 08:08 PM

Quote

"Look at Figure 3. Here the man is extending his arm, which he takes round in a big circle, finally forming the hand into a fist and directing it at the opponent. This is the first move of one of the Junokata sequences. The preliminary action is, of course, quite artificial and would never precede any real blow. There are a number of such moves in Junokata, and some people wonder why they are there.

One purpose is to train what is called Nai-ki, or 'inner energy'. When making the big circle of the arm, draw in the breath and feel the energy running right down to the extended finger-tips till they tingle with it. Perhaps our present physiology has no satisfactory explanation as yet, but it is a fact that students who practice these methods do display exceptional energy and fine coordination even into old age. The subject deserves further investigation, but meantime the practice is there to be taken advantage of."


I have always been curious about the significance and implication of that particular passage in Leggett's Ju No Kata book "Demonstration of Gentleness".

Ellis Amdur makes a reference to the same passage in in a comment to an Aikido Journal article :

"Mr. Meot -
I have also read Harrison’s wonderful account. One small point - words like judo and jujutsu were used, at the time, much more interchangeably. Kunishige practiced a traditional jujutsu school - no longer extant - not Kano’s judo. What is fascinating is that his use of the phrase, aiki-no-jutsu, in most people’s minds, the exclusive patent of Daito-ryu, particularly since he uses it to decribe much the same kind of skills. However, there is another seciton of the book which describes a Kodokan teacher who had acquired special skills regarding center (hara) which are also in the same vein. Finally, in Trevor Leggett and Kano’s book on the Ju no kata, it is explicitly stated that the large movements of the arms, for example, have no combative application, but are for the creation of internal energy.
Best

Ellis Amdur"


When Leggett talks about "inner energy", I assume he is talking about chi/ki/qi...?
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#3 User is offline   Mike Sigman 

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 08:38 PM

View Postjudo for the west, on Jul 15 2008, 02:08 PM, said:

I have always been curious about the significance and implication of that particular passage in Leggett's Ju No Kata book "Demonstration of Gentleness".

Ellis Amdur makes a reference to the same passage in in a comment to an Aikido Journal article :

"Mr. Meot -
I have also read Harrison’s wonderful account. One small point - words like judo and jujutsu were used, at the time, much more interchangeably. Kunishige practiced a traditional jujutsu school - no longer extant - not Kano’s judo. What is fascinating is that his use of the phrase, aiki-no-jutsu, in most people’s minds, the exclusive patent of Daito-ryu, particularly since he uses it to decribe much the same kind of skills. However, there is another seciton of the book which describes a Kodokan teacher who had acquired special skills regarding center (hara) which are also in the same vein. Finally, in Trevor Leggett and Kano’s book on the Ju no kata, it is explicitly stated that the large movements of the arms, for example, have no combative application, but are for the creation of internal energy.
Best

Ellis Amdur"


When Leggett talks about "inner energy", I assume he is talking about chi/ki/qi...?
Yes. "Inner energy", "internal strength", etc., is all about those particular body methods. Feldenkrais apparently attempted to quantify and analyse some of the skills (which he undoubtedly saw) that are part of the suite of things called ki, rei-ki, kokyu-ryoku, and so forth. Even the descriptions of Kunishige's powers/skills falls without the slightest question into the traditionally displayed examples (the ones Harrison saw him do). These groups of skills and training methods are basically the same within the Asian martial arts, although everyone has their own idea of the "best way" to do them, train them, describe them (terms, visualizations, etc.), and so on.

Seeing that bit by Leggett suddenly gave me a bit more insight into why the movements were so exaggerated/stylized in the Judo kata, Kito-ryu kata, and so forth. An interesting approach and probably representative of something or some interpretation from way back. Fascinating stuff. It's like being able to see something that happened at *least* a couple of hundred years ago, through a lens, dimly.

FWIW

Mike

This post has been edited by Mike Sigman: 15 July 2008 - 08:39 PM

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#4 User is offline   Inferus 

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 09:48 PM

Hanon-sensei would be best to answer this. He is expert in Ju No Kata. He won't admit it however. :-)
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#5 User is offline   Geoff 

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 09:56 PM

Hi Mike,

I agree with inferus, if you search through some posts from Hanon Sensei you will find some excellent instructions on the performance of Ju No Kata including apropriate visualisations and intent for each technique, I think you will find his insight into Ju no kata both enlightening and helpful - I know I have

This post has been edited by Geoff: 15 July 2008 - 09:59 PM

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#6 User is offline   Mike Sigman 

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 10:33 PM

View PostGeoff, on Jul 15 2008, 03:56 PM, said:

Hi Mike,

I agree with inferus, if you search through some posts from Hanon Sensei you will find some excellent instructions on the performance of Ju No Kata including apropriate visualisations and intent for each technique, I think you will find his insight into Ju no kata both enlightening and helpful - I know I have
I'm always more than willing to look and listen, so I'll look for some of those posts. And I'll give my opinion. Is "Hanon" a real name or is that another pseudonym? I.e., if I do a Google search for additional articles, am I wasting my time? You guys will have to excuse me, but I'm not used to the idea that respected martial artists use handles while at the same time claiming expertise. It's outside of my limited experience in martial arts.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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#7 User is offline   Mike Sigman 

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 10:47 PM

View PostMike Sigman, on Jul 15 2008, 04:33 PM, said:

I'm always more than willing to look and listen, so I'll look for some of those posts. And I'll give my opinion. Is "Hanon" a real name or is that another pseudonym? I.e., if I do a Google search for additional articles, am I wasting my time? You guys will have to excuse me, but I'm not used to the idea that respected martial artists use handles while at the same time claiming expertise. It's outside of my limited experience in martial arts.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
OK, I see a number of responses from "Hanon" in the long thread on Ju-no-Kata. While they are good responses and very nicely worded, they're about a different topic than what I'm pointing at.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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#8 User is offline   Hanon 

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 01:25 AM

View PostMike Sigman, on Jul 15 2008, 11:33 PM, said:

I'm always more than willing to look and listen, so I'll look for some of those posts. And I'll give my opinion. Is "Hanon" a real name or is that another pseudonym? I.e., if I do a Google search for additional articles, am I wasting my time? You guys will have to excuse me, but I'm not used to the idea that respected martial artists use handles while at the same time claiming expertise. It's outside of my limited experience in martial arts.

Regards,

Mike Sigman


Mr "Sigman",

If you desire to make friends here and join this forum judo family you cant realy expect to make 54 posts and have us listen to you any more than you listen to us. Would you consider that a just comment?

Here we learn from those who show in their posts and the manner of posting what rank they are regrdless of said rank or name etc. I have no desire to have you read my posts nor impress you with what basic little knowledge I have. Others appear to find some of my work here of benefit and thats a great bonus and honour for me. I certainly never claim any expertise in judo as I simply dont have it, easy.
As for your opinion on my posts I may assure you I shall read them and offer you a much greater respect than you have shown toward me. I need to learn and enjoy doing so so please write away and teach.
We dont know each other so can only judge our ability by the depth and knowledge of our posts, lets see what you add to that pool here, I have certainly done my part. :hap:

Welcome to this family and I hope we shall soon become friends and I may learn much from you. :manoyes:

Regards,

Mike Hanon. Non expert in Kodokan judo.

This post has been edited by Hanon: 16 July 2008 - 01:26 AM

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#9 User is offline   Mike Sigman 

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 03:40 AM

View PostHanon, on Jul 15 2008, 07:25 PM, said:

Mr "Sigman",

If you desire to make friends here and join this forum judo family you cant realy expect to make 54 posts and have us listen to you any more than you listen to us. Would you consider that a just comment?

Here we learn from those who show in their posts and the manner of posting what rank they are regrdless of said rank or name etc. I have no desire to have you read my posts nor impress you with what basic little knowledge I have. Others appear to find some of my work here of benefit and thats a great bonus and honour for me. I certainly never claim any expertise in judo as I simply dont have it, easy.
As for your opinion on my posts I may assure you I shall read them and offer you a much greater respect than you have shown toward me. I need to learn and enjoy doing so so please write away and teach.
We dont know each other so can only judge our ability by the depth and knowledge of our posts, lets see what you add to that pool here, I have certainly done my part. :hap:

Welcome to this family and I hope we shall soon become friends and I may learn much from you. :manoyes:

Regards,

Mike Hanon. Non expert in Kodokan judo.
No offense, Mike. I was asking an honest question and the puzzlement over who is who on this forum is not something unusual or only noticed by me. I've asked long-term members who CK and NBK are, for instance, and they don't really know... what are the credentials of someone who is anonymous? What sort of "family", like this person "NBK", calls someone "cowboy" and takes a shot about "selling Tai Chi workshops"? Would you consider it offensive if I said something about you "selling Judo workshops"? See my point? That's why I prefer to stay away from personal discussions.


After two posters (your students?) suggested that you were knowledgeable about the "nai ki" aspects of Ju-no-kata, I did a Google search for "Hanon Sensei" (*before* I made my post); the replies I got referred me back to JudoForum posts, not to a school or anything else. So I had no idea whether you were a real person or another anonymous identity. I looked at your profile... nothing informative there either; basically blank. Again... it was an honest and logically serviced comment, as far as I can tell, when I tried to find out if you were a real name or a pseudonym.

If you'll look at my post, it was in response to two people who vouched for your knowledge of Ju-no-Kata. I went and looked and my only comment was that your comments were not on topic with the point I was trying to make. "Impress"? That's extraneous even. If you have something about "nai ki" to add to Trevor Leggett's comments, I'd enjoy hearing it. If you really have some good information and understand the ki body-mechanics, I'll be happy to let you discuss those aspects on the QiJin forum, which is a very focused, substantive discussion forum involving many Japanese martial arts and in which this topic is discussed.

Do you, or anyone here, have any comments about "nai ki"? I think this is a serious topic. Perhaps if you don't, you could say why you don't think "nai ki" is important to your understanding of Ju-no-kata? Perhaps Trevor Leggett's understanding was incomplete, complete, right, wrong?


And seriously, if you have some contributive knowledge you can show, you're more than welcome on QiJin. I personally guarantee you that no anonymous person (there are no anonymous posters on that forum) will call you "cowboy" or accuse you of "selling Judo workshops" or anything along those lines... there is no one that makes personal remarks on that forum. The topic is adhered to. I realize that a lot of people in martial arts want a social conformity, but I'll have to say up front that I respect knowledge and skills as more important than any worries about social order, etc.

Can we discuss the "nai ki" comment about Ju-no-Kata, please?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

This post has been edited by Mike Sigman: 16 July 2008 - 03:42 AM

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#10 User is offline   Inferus 

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 08:23 AM

Mike Sigman, there are very good explanations as to who all the people who you have mentioned are. One thing I would say is that you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover. All the people you refer to, despite having false names here, are very easily verifiable. All have demonstrated, in their posts, just how knowledgeable they are. Some of us have also met them and saw their pretty belts :-)

This post has been edited by Inferus: 16 July 2008 - 08:25 AM

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#11 User is offline   Hanon 

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 12:34 PM

View PostMike Sigman, on Jul 16 2008, 04:40 AM, said:

No offense, Mike. I was asking an honest question and the puzzlement over who is who on this forum is not something unusual or only noticed by me. I've asked long-term members who CK and NBK are, for instance, and they don't really know... what are the credentials of someone who is anonymous? What sort of "family", like this person "NBK", calls someone "cowboy" and takes a shot about "selling Tai Chi workshops"? Would you consider it offensive if I said something about you "selling Judo workshops"? See my point? That's why I prefer to stay away from personal discussions.
After two posters (your students?) suggested that you were knowledgeable about the "nai ki" aspects of Ju-no-kata, I did a Google search for "Hanon Sensei" (*before* I made my post); the replies I got referred me back to JudoForum posts, not to a school or anything else. So I had no idea whether you were a real person or another anonymous identity. I looked at your profile... nothing informative there either; basically blank. Again... it was an honest and logically serviced comment, as far as I can tell, when I tried to find out if you were a real name or a pseudonym.

If you'll look at my post, it was in response to two people who vouched for your knowledge of Ju-no-Kata. I went and looked and my only comment was that your comments were not on topic with the point I was trying to make. "Impress"? That's extraneous even. If you have something about "nai ki" to add to Trevor Leggett's comments, I'd enjoy hearing it. If you really have some good information and understand the ki body-mechanics, I'll be happy to let you discuss those aspects on the QiJin forum, which is a very focused, substantive discussion forum involving many Japanese martial arts and in which this topic is discussed.

Do you, or anyone here, have any comments about "nai ki"? I think this is a serious topic. Perhaps if you don't, you could say why you don't think "nai ki" is important to your understanding of Ju-no-kata? Perhaps Trevor Leggett's understanding was incomplete, complete, right, wrong?
And seriously, if you have some contributive knowledge you can show, you're more than welcome on QiJin. I personally guarantee you that no anonymous person (there are no anonymous posters on that forum) will call you "cowboy" or accuse you of "selling Judo workshops" or anything along those lines... there is no one that makes personal remarks on that forum. The topic is adhered to. I realize that a lot of people in martial arts want a social conformity, but I'll have to say up front that I respect knowledge and skills as more important than any worries about social order, etc.

Can we discuss the "nai ki" comment about Ju-no-Kata, please?

Regards,

Mike Sigman


Hi Mr Sigman,

Thank you for your reply. You will find that in all groups in society there is a social order. Here on the forum all posters have to earn their repsect by how and what they write. Some posters write using a pseudonym. I support those who do. You will find, however, that we do know each other as at the ranks you are talking about the world of judo is small. Please accept that just because some members do not know who A or B are does not mean that honourable poster is a myth or not known to those who count.
I see you have got your fingers burned in certain posts. I can understnad this as you do seem to write in a confrontational manner? Judo is about attack and defence and when you make verbal judo if you attack you must expect to be countered. I have no right whatsoever to suggest this to you but with respect I think you perhaps need to join here and work amoung us and earn your 'corn' as we have all done over the years. I may assure you the posters you mention are very knowledgable and highly respected members here, no need for me to endorse them they do that in the manner they post and with the knowledge they write with. Pleased we are able to discuss this, clears the air for all concerned. There is social order in knowledge and I respectfully suggest you respect that here? eh.

To the debate regarding nai ki. It is a shame Leggett sensei died before he wrote an addition to his much earlier works. Sensei had over the years gained so much more depth of knowledge and understanding of judo in particular the area you now discuss. I enjoyed my conversations with Sensei and found him so knowledgeable it made me feel truly infantile in terms of judo.

Nai ki is part of judo and the ju no kata and other kata give the pupil a chance to train in and understand just how their body and mind need to work in harmony with each other and then in harmony with that of a partner and indeed life.
I am certainly not up to the task of explaining nai ki in any depth being very much a pupil of judo myself and what I write on any subject here should and must be questioned and studied and never taken as correct. I warn you of this now.

Lets look at Ju no kata and its applications. The physical aspect of Ju no kata is incredible, the excercise may be learned and practiced by non judoka as purely a physical and calming activity for all who desire to learn it. Then we take the excercise and use it in judo as a kata. Fist we train for many years in the physical aspects and this is demanding in itself. I have no idea what your experience is in this kata as your bio is also rather empty but if I am 'teaching a sensei to suck eggs' please forgive the impertinence on my part.

So as judoka at every level we learn and grow as we practice this kata we will take something more from it. Eventually I have no idea what will come of my learning and practice and I am still enjoying the training. To date I may write that the concept of nai ki has been best explained and learned during my time with this kata.

Sorry must go be back later

This post has been edited by Hanon: 16 July 2008 - 02:52 PM

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#12 User is offline   Inferus 

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 12:51 PM

Hanon-sensei,

Just so you know, Mike Sigman is a 'internal' martial arts instructor. He is a strong believer in chi cultivation in taiqiquan, etc. Google his name to find out more! Why he didn't openly mention this is beyond me!

Regards
Craig
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#13 User is offline   Mike Sigman 

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 01:56 PM

View PostHanon, on Jul 16 2008, 06:34 AM, said:

Hi Mr Sigman,

Thank you for your reply. You will find that in all groups in society there is a social order. Here on the forum all posters have to earn their repsect by how and what they write. Some posters write using a pseudonym. I support those who do. You will find, however, that we do know each other as at the ranks you are talking about the world of judo is small. Please accept that just because some members do not know who A or B are does not mean that honourable poster is a myth or not known to those who count.
I see you have got your fingers burned in certain posts. I can understnad this as you do seem to write in a confrontational manner? Judo is about attack and defence and when you make verbal judo if you attack you must expect to be countered. I have no right whatsoever to suggest this to you but with respect I think you perhaps need to join here and work amoung us and earn your 'corn' as we have all done over the years. I may assure you the posters you mention are very knowledgable and highly respected members here, no need for me to endorse them they do that in the manner they post and with the knowledge they write with. Pleased we are able to discuss this, clears the air for all concerned. There is social order in knowledge and I respectfully suggest you respect that here? eh.
I don't think there is anyone I know who doesn't realize that there is a 'pecking order' game to be played on most "martial" forums. And anyone who doesn't play is going to be considered to have an "attitude" and others will attempt to force him/her to conform, etc. It's interesting, it's unfortunately common, and frankly my approach to try to engage quickly and directly so I can get information without having to be drawn into "super-tribe" games. If people in Judo want to proudly proclaim that social games are paramount, I consider it their business; I simply try to avoid getting involved. I hope you'll see my side of that. My view of Judo is that it is an inextricable part of a general subset of the larger Asian martial-arts picture. I don't do "my style" stuff because it seems rather fantastic to me.

I had an interesting conversation with Karl Geis many years ago. At the time I was doing Aikido and I stopped by his dojo in Houston so I could see what his Tomiki group was practicing and how they practiced. We started talking (I'd actually met Karl at some Judo tournaments many years before, but I didn't think it was important to mention to him). After a few minutes of friendly conversation he suddenly thought to ask me who I studied with and I told him that I was with an Aikikai group in town He immediately said, "Aw, you guys are all xxxholes" and I just shrugged and smiled. He wasn't talking about anything I said or did, but he was referring to the general tenor of feelings he's captured from having talked to a number of Aikikai people. I knew exactly what he meant. I thought most Aikikai guys xxxholes, too, although I didn't say anything about Geis' remark nor did I say anything about the silly games that too-many Aikido people tend to play. I was simply there to get information and I don't like to get dragged in to personal characterizations when I'm looking for information. It simply wastes time. So is it possible to stick to the subject of the thread and not get drawn off into social and personal comments?

BTW.... asking direct questions about basic topics can *appear* to be confrontational, but often it's just basic questions that someone would expect self-styled experts to answer easily. In debate there is a known tactic of attempting to shift away from a question which is uncomfortable by attacking some other point (sadly, often it is a personal attack). I would hope to avoid that. Trust me, there are martial forums where the moderator simply requests that a poster get off the personal-orientation and back to the topic.

Quote

To the debate regarding nai ki. It is a shame Leggett sensei died before he wrote an addition to his much earlier works. Sensei had over the years gained so much more depth of knowledge and understanding of judo in particular the area you now discuss. I enjoyed my conversations with Sensei and found him so knowledgeable it made me feel truly infantile in terms of judo.

Nai ki is part of judo and the ju no kata and other kata give the pupil a chance to train in and understand just how their body and mind need to work in harmony with each other and then in harmony with that of a partner and indeed life.
I am certainly not up to the task of explaing nai ki in any depth being very much a pupil of judo myself and what I write on any subject here should and must be questioned and studied and never taken as correct. I warn you of this now.

Lets look at Ju no kata and its applications. The physical aspect of Ju no kata is incredible, the excercise may be learned and practiced by non judoka as purly an physical and calming activity for all who desire to learn it. The we take the excercise and use it in judo as a kata. Fist we train for many years in the physical aspects and this is demanding in itself. I have no idea what your experience is in this kata as your bio is also rather empty but if I am teaching a sensei to suck eggs please forgive the impertinence on my part.

So as judoka at every level we learn and grow as we practice this kata we will take something more from it. Eventualy I have no idea what will come of my learning and practicve and I am still enjoying the training. To date I may write that the concept of nai ki has been best explained and learned during my time with this kata.
Well, my question was, and still is, about the functional aspects of "nai ki". If you'll remember, some experts have mentioned that there is no discussion of ki in Judo. This seems to indicate that there's more to the subject so I was trying to get a bit more of a definitive answer about what it is, how it's done, and so forth. There's no point in pushing the question too far because it seems pretty clear that there seems to be little information about the topic in the Judo community, even among some of the experts. This actually tells me most of what I want to know, because my focus is in general trying to pin down how this knowledge was lost and about when it happened.

If Trevor Leggett had the general words to explain about the nai ki (and his explanation is actually a very plausible one that I think is probably some truism he heard in his past), then it seems likely that the general loss of nai ki or other ki information died out *after* Kano died but before Leggett wrote that book on Ju-no-Kata. I'm trying to pin that down. So far it appears that on the subject of ki, Leggett had some information, Feldenkrais had some, Harrison had some, but there is none now, in the Judo community. The Kata's pretty obviously had ki/ju as a focal point. But that seems to be as far as current knowledge seems to go, unless I'm mistaken. I was hoping that I was mistaken, frankly.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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#14 User is offline   Mike Sigman 

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 02:06 PM

View PostInferus, on Jul 16 2008, 06:51 AM, said:

Just so you know, Mike Sigman is a 'internal' martial arts instructor. He is a strong believer in chi cultivation in taiqiquan, etc. Google his name to find out more! Why he didn't openly mention this is beyond me!
Er, some of the past posts have indicated that information (notice NBK's personal shot at me about seminars), so it was no mystery. Besides, I'm a martial artist and I sign my own name when I talk to other martial artists, so it can be looked up (Googled,etc.) at any time. However, none of that is germane to the actual topic, "nai ki in Ju-no-Kata" except for the fact that I've got many years of experience in training and practicing the skills that are often referred to by the umbrella-term "ki" (but other terms are used at times, too).

Ellis Amdur did a treatment/thesis once on Aikido Journal that was titled "Hidden in Plain Sight". I think it's probably a good read that relates well to this discussion about whether any of the ki-related physical skills were ever in Judo. But again, I was hoping someone had something substantive about the topic.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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#15 User is offline   Inferus 

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 02:24 PM

Mike S,

Whilst what you write is partly true, one reason why the higher up Judoka do not talk about ki/controlled breathing as it is simply too complicated a subject to not only write about on here, but also that there are few on here who are actually at a level whereby they would understand. If you take your time to read the Ju No Kata thread, Hanon does actually touch on the correct breathing for Ju No Kata. Ju No Kata is a very peaceful kata, and the sheer essence of the kata (as I understand it) is the learning of force.

In CMA this is known as an Internal Martial Art, whereby, one that focuses on internal development and redirection of power, that is what Ju No Kata embodies. When performed, Uke and Tori should be using their energy/force to move. It is not a dance, but an application of forces. Uke is not supposed to be just placing his hands in the correct places, but attempting to apply force to tori.

This is obviously my own interpretation, and those more knowledgeable than me may shoot me down. :)
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