Principles Of Ki

KI also know an “Qi” in Chinese, is a life force or spiritual energy often translated as “energy flow”, “air”, or “breath”. Simply put, ki is the flow of energy that sustains life. Most traditional Asian cultures in China, Japan, and Korea believe that ki is central in many aspects of life including health, wellness, luck, and posterity. According to Asian doctrine, when ki accumulate there is life, when it dissipates there is death. There is one ki that connects and passes through everything in the world and flows freely in a natural and unrestricted environment.

Our body has natural patterns of ki that flow and circulate in conduits called meridians. Symptoms of various illnesses are often believed to be the product of disrupted, blocked, or interrupted energy flow through the body’s meridians, as well as deficiencies or imbalance of ki. When ki becomes blocked, the rest of the body that was being nourished by the continuous flow now suffers. Illness and disease can result if the flow is not restored. Traditional Chinese medicine often seeks to relieve these imbalances by adjusting the circulation of ki in the body using a variety of therapeutic techniques. Some of these techniques include herbal medicines, martial arts training, moxibustion, massage, or acupuncture to clear blockages.

Many factors can influence the flow of ki such as physical health, personal attitude, emotional or mental stimulation, and correct breathing. To the martial artist, ki is central to understanding our connection between the mind and body. Through mental focus, relaxation, and breathing techniques, a person can become more aware of both the internal and external forces that play upon our well being.

There are several methods to help develop and improve internal ki. The Hapkido practitioner may harness the energy stored in a special area in the lower abdomen or tan jon, and utilize this energy in their martial technique, usually by employing special breathing techniques also found in the Buddhistic meditation practices.

Meditation techniques can help quiet the mind and calm breathing. For the practitioner, ki travels more freely when both the mind and body are relaxed. Anytime you are engaged in the activity of concentrating on your breathing, you are in escense meditating. This period of meditation allows the body to perform many of the same functions and processes which occur during sleep, creating more rest for the body.

The practice of building ki via breathing exercises, deep relaxation and meditation can cause profound physiological changes. After sufficient practice and ability to feel the ki develops. Sensations such as tingling, warmth and heaviness of the limbs are common. As the ability to circulate ki develops, one may feel warm waves of energy moving through the body in harmony with the movements. The sense of touch is enhanced, along with dramatically improved balance and coordination. These skills then enable improved martial arts performance.