What is Ki (Chi) Energy?


"The consciousness of self is the greatest hindrance
to the proper execution of all physical action."

KI Energy is the unseen life force in your body and everywhere. It is a universal energy that penetrates everywhere uniting all the manifestations of the universe, visible or invisible. Mostly in Japan it is refered to as "Ki" , China it is refered to as "Chi" or "Qi" and in Sanskrit it is known as "Prana".  When cultivated, it can be used for healing, breaking or self defense purposes. The healing arts include Accupuncture, Shiatsu massage (accupressure), Reiki and Chi Kung.  These arts work with the Ki energy meridians throughout the body to clear stagnant or negative energy in the meridians or through special breathing and other excercises to cultivate Ki.  In the same token, with regards to self defense - one may use these same points to restrain, knockout or kill (Dim Mak) an opponent. .When utilizing your Ki for effective striking or breaking in the Martial arts, it must first be cultivated, then exercised so that the mind and body become one. All true strength is a product of KI rather then muscle. A Martial Artist who has learned this is able to calm his mind, lower his center of gravity and strike out with the power of many men. While an opponent only using muscle power strikes out aimlessly and ineffectively.

With proper breathing techniques, you can increase your strength more then 5 times it's normal level. Your strength can be broken down as:            



  Physical power (conscious mind) 15%  

KI power (subconscious mind) 85%




Proper breathing

Patterned breathing serves as a bridge between mind and body. It is a way to bypass conscious thought. Patterned deep breathing will not only keep you calm and composed, but will also liberate your KI and allow it to flow, making it available to use in a focused manner (Kokyu). Proper breathing helps to unify the mind and body. This bypasses conscious thought. With the mind and body acting as one, you are able to tap into your KI Energy and direct it at will.





The ancient Masters noticed that animals reaction times were much faster than man's. They also had more endurance and were fiercer fighters. They could be quieter or louder. The ancient masters believed this was because the animals were more at one with themselves. The animals Ki (Chi) flowed undivided and focused exactly as intended. They came to the conclusion that animals possessed this unique ability because they weren't burdened with something that we all have: consciousness.

That means that in animals nothing intervenes between stimulas and response, idea and action, and mind and body. Their breathing pattern was different then man's. Animals faced with danger composed themselves by taking a deep breath , then lashed out as they exhaled sharply. Many animal moves intrigued the ancient masters and some eventually became the basis for various Martial art styles. There are many old Kung Fu styles that base moves on the Tiger, Crane, Snake, Monkey, and even Praying Mantis.

Here is a good example of using one's Ki energy while taking a Zen approach to a situation:

If I were to look at a car and tell myself that I'm going to lift it, I wouldn't be able to because of the conscious thought to do it. But if a loved one or anyone for that matter was under the car, I would lift it and get him/her out from under it, because in an emergency I would have bypassed the conscious effort to do so. So you see.. The conscious mind is the limitator. Constantly reminding us of our physical limitations. The same intristic energy that allows you to lift a car off someone in an emergency is in you all the time.

When using KI energy for Tomashowari (breaking) you must also have conditioned your hands. The breaking photo above is shown only to illustrate how KI can be used in a focused, controlled manner.


Master Christian 1992

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