Friday, February 24, 2012

February 2012 Test Results

The following students were promoted as follows (in alphabetical order by first name):

Adena Hefner – Yellow/white stripe

Alessandro Ipson – Orange/white stripe

Alex Austin – Purple/white stripe

Alex Munzon – Green/white stripe

Andrew Kim – Purple

Ava Erb – Yellow

Ava Hinojosa – Blue/white stripe

Avi Litvak – Yellow/white stripe

Benjamin Goodman – Yellow/white stripe

Boudi Al sadoun – Purple/white stripe

BrandenEsrawi – Blue/white stripe

Daniel Spivak – Yello/white stripe

Daniel Weiner – Orange

Daniel Yoo – Purple/white stripe

Edward Farladanskiy – Yellow/white stripe

Emily Kotick – Purple

Ethan Kim – Yellow

Eve Moshay – Purple

Gregory Forston – Purple/white stripe

Henry Fried – Blue

Henry Kraft – Green/Black stripe

Isaac Armsterdam – Blue

Jack Cheng – Yellow

Jacob Munzon – Yellow

Jacob Ruskin – Purple/white stripe

Jared Munzon – Yellow

Jaxon Tonley – Orange/white stripe

Joey Austin – Purple/white stripe

Joseph Lee – Red/black stripe

Mateo Gomez Li – Yellow

Max Goodman – Yellow

Miles Lin – Orange/white stripe

Molly Litvak – Yellow/white stripe

Nao Hirschfeld – Yellow

Natanel Ohana – Orange/white stripe

Nathan Gendler – Purple

Nicolas Grib – Red/Black Stripe

Phil Singleton – Green/black stripe

Sandra Bhatia – Purple

Sara Weinberg – Blue

Sarah Haber – Yellow

Sky Nahum –Yellow/white stripe

Steven Aceti – Orange

Sukari Frain – Yellow/white stripe

Tristan Ka – Orange

Valery Steinberg – Red/White stripe

Wyatt Edwards – Purple/white stripe








Basic Principles of Ki - What is ki

As I sat sipping my White Lotus tea, which by the way I highly recommend, somehow remembered a book I read a very long time ago about ki. The title of the book was Ki in Daily Life by Koichi Tohey, an Aikido master and is probably out of print by now (it was published over 30 years ago). He has great insights about meditation and martial arts. I looked for the book in Master Chong’s extensive collection of martial arts literature and found it. So for your benefit and giving all the credit to Sensei Tohey, here is a passage from Chapter 4, The Basic Principles of Ki, enjoy it and think about it.

The Basic Principles of Ki

Although from ancient times the world ki has been in wide use in the Orient for a wide number of things, from the ki of the universal to everyday things around us, many people who use the word do not realize to what extent everyday ki is connected with the ki of the universal, or even that the two are connected at all.

The basic nature of ki

As our five senses tell us, the universe in which we live at present has color and form; but, what is the real nature of this universe?

Anything that has form must have a beginning. For example, the sun is said to be blazing now, but there must have been a beginning to the fire. There must also have been a fire, before the fire started. If we trace the origins of all things, we reach a point at which nothing existed. On the other hand, nothing cannot give birth to something. Zen uses a term mu, which means nothingness, but not a complete nothingness; that is, the Zen mu means a state in which, though nothing exists, there is still something.

Mathematically speaking, the basic entity of mathematics is the number one. The earth is one. A pebble is one. If it is reduced to half, what remains is also one. If it is reduced by half infinitely, it does not become zero (italics mine). If there is one, half of it always exists. Ki is the infinite gathering of infinitely small particles. In this way the sun, the stars, the earth, plants, animals, and human mind and body are all born of the ki of the universal.

From ki, the real substance of the universal, came movement and calm, joining and breaking apart, tensing and slackening, and many mutual actions which gave the present universe its form. Ki has no beginning and no end; its absolute value neither increases nor decreases. We are one with the universal and our lives are part of it. Since before the beginning, and even now, its absolute value exists as a solid fact within which birth and growth and death and dissolution continue to take place.

The Christian church calls the universal essence God and its action God’s providence. In other words, God exists in this world and God’s providence is a never-ending process.

In Ki Society, we make a distinction between the ki we use every day and the universal ki—the real essence of the universe. We call the working of the universal the rules of the universe.

Our lives were born of ki, to which they must someday return. Seen with the eyes of the body our lives seem to disappear at death, but from the view point of the spirit, nothing disappears at all. We have existed before and will continue to exist in the hereafter. Looking at something with the eyes of the spirit means viewing it from the viewpoint of its real essence. From the point of the real essence of the universal, all of us, the whole world, all humanity, are of the same womb with trees, grass, everything, even the clouds and the mist. Can a reason exist then for fighting or hatred? You will first be able to understand the spirit of loving and protecting all things and the injunction against fighting if you look at the question from the viewpoint of the basic essence of the universal ki.

Our lives are like the amount of water we might take from the great sea and hold in our hands. We call this “I”. Yes, it is the same as calling the water “our water” because we hold it in our hands. On the other hand, from the standpoint of the water, it is a part of the great sea. If we open our hands, the water will fall back to the sea; even as it remains in our hands it is in conflux with the outer great sea. If we refuse to let the water flow with its own, it will go stale.

Our lives are a part of the universal ki enclosed in the flesh of our bodies. Though we say this is “I”, viewed with the eyes of the mind, it is actually the ki of the universal. Even though it is now encased in flesh, it is in conflux with and active as a part of the universe. When we breathe, we breathe the ki with our entire body. When the conflux of our ki and that of the universal is unimpaired, we are in good health and are lively. When the flow is dulled we become listless and when it stops, we die.

In the training of ki we always practice sending forth ki, because when we do so, the ki of the universal can enter our bodies and improve the conflux between the two. If we stop the flow of ki, new ki cannot enter and the flow becomes poor. For this reason, practice emphasizing the sending forth of ki to improve not only martial art techniques, but also at facilitating the conflux of our ki with that of the universal. This is an extremely wholesome way to make the maximum of one’s life power.

For centuries, the Japanese have said that to die is as to go home, but without firm convictions it is impossible to assume this attitude. We are one with the ki of the universal, and to die is only to return to it. We should use all of our power while we are alive and all of power after death. This indestructible faith is essential to success.

(From Ki in Daily Life, by Koichi Tohey)