What Is Ki Energy

Japanese calligraphy of the Ki character.
Japanese calligraphy of the Ki character.

Ki Energy is a mysterious, mystical life-force that connects all living things.

Ki is the Japanese pronunciation, Chi or Qi is the Chinese (Mandarin language) pronunciation. And in Hong Kong, where I once lived, I learned that the Cantonese (Kwantung language) way of saying it is Hei.

They all refer to the same Ki Energy … the breath of Life.

Koichi Tohei Sensei believed in Ki so much that he broke away from Aiki Kai organisation after the death of Aikido founder, O-Sensei Morihei Uyeshiba, and founded the Ki Society.

This school of Aikido concentrated on Ki training more than any other style of Aikido.

I met my first Aikido Teacher, Virginia Mayhew, in Hong Kong in 1967. She taught me to understand Ki as follows… (This is what she learned from Koichi Tohei Sensei, when he was chief instructor at Morihei Uyeshiba’s own dojo.)

Ki Energy flows through every living thing. The universe is made out of Ki. We are all interconnected, every human being and every animal, because we have this Ki energy, this invisible but very real life-force.

When someone wishes to attack me, they must first extend their energy field of Ki towards me. If I am relaxed and in tune with my own Ki, I can blend my Ki with theirs… So my Ki energy adds to their Ki energy and I can guide both streams of energy (force) to wherever I want it to go.

This is the essence of Circular Movement in Aikido.

Virginia Mayhew taught me that a good Aikido practicioner is always mindful of their One Point. This is what Yoga people call the Hara, an energy center located two inches below the navel. When you do your Aikido correctly, your psychic center of gravity is located at your One Point.

She said this is one reason why the Hakama (the Samurai split skirt) is tied so that the knot in front presses on the wearer’s One Point… It is a reminder to keep your Ki Energy centered there.

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