We talk about ki a lot in Aikido, but what is it really? It’s called different things in different cultures, but in the Japanese culture it is called ki (pronounced like the word key) and it means energy. It is the energy all things have and it is what we practice to control within ourselves when we train. The energy we have inside us helps us do things and it is this energy that allows us to do extraordinary things when we learn to use it properly and to control it.
I have found it incredibly helpful in my own training to visualize my energy as something I can actually see and feel. I think of my energy as water. Sometimes this water is coming out of a hose (extending energy through my arms) and other times my energy is like an ocean wave building up steam and then crashing down (when the motion is much bigger and uses the entire body). Visualizing your energy as something tangible (something you can touch, see, or feel) can help your mind focus on your energy because you are “seeing” it flowing and allows you to concentrate on the technique not the other person. When you focus on your own motion you have greater success with the technique because you are not “forcing” it, but allowing your energy to flow easily around the attacker.
I’d like you to think of your energy and decide what you want it to “look” like. Giving it a form may help you visualize your energy flowing when you do techniques. Be sure it is something that you can see or feel so you will be able to quickly “see” or “feel” your energy when you need it. There are no limits on what your energy can look like as long as it makes sense to you.
Think about it and if you’d like to share it with me I’d love to hear what form your energy takes.
Teresa Mastison Sensei