KI (Muscle, Breath & Mind Control)
This chapter deals with a concept that is unfamiliar to many Americans, but understood and practiced by most Orientals. The concept of Ki is 3000 years old and was developed by the Buddhist monks of the Sholan Monastery of China.
Let us define the term in words that you can understand. Ki is a product of three separate forces.
(1) Muscle control, meaning the instantaneous tightening of specific muscles at the instant of impact.
(2) Breath control, meaning the movement of the breath, forcibly, at the instant of impact to allow the muscles full contraction, and to strengthen the concentration of the mind.
(3) Mind control, meaning the specific concentration of the mind toward a specified area of the body about to be hit.
Separately these three forces constitute parts of your body, but when they are joined together they take on a single identity of a new force, called Ki. Ki can be used to protect you from receiving an injury associated with a punch or a blow, to increase your determination, give you courage, improve your skills, add to your strength, and develop your concentration.
Why does your Ki work? It works because you are using all the powers of your body to prevent an injury, not just your muscle. Too many people think that muscle alone can prevent an injury from a blow. But two examples prove the fallacy of this belief. Your leg is all muscle and if someone were to hit you in the leg very hard, you would at the least get a bruise, perhaps a charley horse, or a muscle injury. That is because it is actually too much muscle and as such cannot give any with the blow. It is like a tree that got covered with snow and finally the weight of the snow breaks the tree down, while a smaller more flexible tree can bend and touch the ground and not break. Your leg has all muscle and no give, so a hard blow breaks the muscle tissue and causes the bruises. It is also possible to make the stomach very hard by the use of sit ups and leg ups and if you tighten it you can let someone punch you in the stomach. However take a deep breath of air into your stomach and let someone hit you in the stomach. A very slight blow would cause a significant amount of damage because the air acts like a balloon and explodes or pops in the stomach area causing internal damage. Again let us suppose that you can take a punch in the stomach and you have let most of your air out. But before you are ready for the punch, someone comes up and asks you a question, momentarily distracting your attention, and you are suddenly hit. Needless to say, you could be very seriously injured because your mind was not prepared for the blow. So you can see it takes all three techniques to protect the body from the effects of getting hit. First, you must have adequate muscle and muscle control so that you can tighten and contract the muscles at the point of the impact of the blow.
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