ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Aikido Techniques: Ki - The Fundamental Building Block

Updated on August 31, 2011

Obi Wan and Luke Skywalker

May the Force Be With You

Because I am a huge George Lucas fan, I will relate some of the concepts to you in the context of Star Wars.   "A New Hope" began with, Ben Kenobi telling Luke that the Force is an energy field and their source of power.  I imagine ki to be similar in the respect that it is also an energy that flows through us and is a source of power.  I have heard many stories of people generating unbelievable strength in survival situations.  If asked to do this in our everyday lives most would agree that the goals are unattainable. Ki training is an attempt to harness this huge source of power as we practice the art.  We in Aikido believe that ki originates our center, or One Point, which is our center of mass.  "Extend Ki" is one of the Four Basic Principles of Aikido and signifies the projection of this power.  Aikido techniques focus on blending with and redirecting the ki of our partners to achieve control or neutralization. 

Tohei Sensei - Ki Aikido Demo

Ki Extension - The Unbendable Arm

One of the ways Aikido techniques illustrate the power of ki extension is through the development and testing of the unbendable arm. In the attached video, Tohei-Sensei demonstrates unbendable arm, unliftable body, and a few other examples of the power of ki extension. Standing in a well-balanced posture with an arm extended in a relaxed manner you imagine that your center is the reservoir for a vast ocean of water, which can be "directed" by your mind to flow out your extended arm as if to put out an imaginary fire against the wall. You will find that it will be more difficult to bend your arm in this situation than if you were trying to hold it straight with conscious strength. It is analogous to a fire hose, which is supple and bendable when not full of water (in fact it is made ready to use by the firefighters by folding the hose upon itself). However, once the hose is "charged" with water from a hydrant, it becomes so stiff that it will not distort even if one drives a car over it.

Aikido Techniques: Leading and Harmonization of Ki

Application of Ki Extension

Overcoming an adversary is easy if you are bigger, and stronger, but much more challenging if you are on the other end of that equation.   Women may be considered to be at a disadvantage when confronted by a male of the same approximate height and weight because the male normally will have greater upper body strength.  Utilizing the power of ki extension along with proper body movement can help to overcome this apparent advantage, which is why women tend to internalize these principles earlier than men.  The principle is the same when a smaller man practices with a larger, stronger man.  ConclusionKi flows through all of us.  Training in Aikido helps us to develop and potentially harness the power extension resulting in less reliance on conscious physical strength to overcome the power of a given attack.  


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Thank you for visiting my hub. Always good to see a fellow Martial Artist explaining the internal power-"Ki"-"Chi" It's a great force indeed, Once you are able to channel it. Very nice hub.

    • thacker profile image


      9 years ago

      Hey aikidk01,

      Great hub love the star wars clip! Good use of common experiences to illustrate your point! Love your work keep up the great work./


    • Denny Lyon profile image

      Denny Lyon 

      9 years ago from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

      Most interesting internal tutorial! I'm more familiar with Tai Chi since I lived in Taiwan. This was a real treat to live of yet another spiritual disipline, thanks.

    • aikidk01 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Jim10 - It is interesting to see that we may have an untapped source of strength that we might learn to call upon.

    • jim10 profile image


      9 years ago from ma

      Great video demonstration. I have learned Karate and some of the stances seem to work this way. But, it doesn't seem to be specifically taught like in Aikido. This must be how the people are suspended by spears and bend swords at the tips with their bare skin works too.

    • jkudo23 profile image


      9 years ago from Carlsbad, California

      Nice analogy between "the force" and "ki"!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)