View Full Version : IP/Aiki From a Scientific Point of View.

2nd March 2014, 20:40
Hello everyone,

I have just recently became aware of the internal aspects of the martial arts. I come from a very limited background of gendai jujutsu training with little to no mention of "Ki" or anything similar. About 6 months ago, I read a post by Dan Harden on Aikiweb and it opened my eyes to a ton of new information. Although I haven't been able to get my hands on any internal guys yet, (waiting desperately for Dan to email me back about attending a seminar) I have read anything I can get my hands on about the subject. I just finished reading Transparent Power by Kimura Tatsuo and Hidden in Plain Sight by Ellis Amdur. Both very insightful books. I also have read hundreds of posts by numerous people on various internet forums, websites, etc. I'm 18 and live at home with my father(Just got accepted to USF so not for long! :D) who is a very smart individual. He has an engineering degree and is very knowledgable in numerous fields of science. I have shared with him the information I've gained about the Internal aspects of the martial arts and tried to explain to him what little I can with my limited understand. Although he is polite and humors me, he wants concrete evidence that this stuff exists. He also asks why no scientists have done any studies on the subject and why it is not more widely known. So the purpose of this thread is to examine the IP/Aiki stuff scientifically, and if you have it, any articles, videos, personal stories, etc.. that might shed some light.

Michael Zeiters

P.S. I read on an old Aikiweb thread that a kinesiology professor from the US went to see Ark from the Aunkai and was totally amazed by what he experienced. Can anyone back this up? Maybe Rob John would know...

Cady Goldfield
3rd March 2014, 04:20
Hi Michael,
You and your father ask some good questions. There have been studies done on internal power, but the problem is that because there are so few sources of information as to what, exactly, the internal practitioners are doing within their bodies to create structure, generate power, and enact connectivity, that researchers are "flying blind," so to speak. I've often thought that it would make a great master's or doctoral thesis for someone.

Here's a study that was done at Stanford University not too many years ago. Graduate students did an experiment at the Motion and Gait Research Laboratory -- they hooked up motion-capture sensors to tai chi/baji master Chen Xiang and tried to track the source of his power as he demonstrated some explosive "fajing" strikes. All they were really able to pick up, though were the overt movements of his joints, and some of the other more obvious body movements. Their conclusions were based on what they could see, which didn't provide the entire picture. Even so, it's an intriguing study.

Here's the basic story: http://med.stanford.edu/mcr/2008/taichi-0507.html


Here's the actual research and report: http://www.taichikungfu.org/upfiles/files/Biomechanics%20of%20Tai%20Chi.pdf

And, here's the video:


Hope you can get to one of Dan's seminars when he is in Florida. If I'm not mistaken, he gets there a least a couple of times a year.

3rd March 2014, 13:26
Thanks for the info Cady, it's too bad they didn't discover more. Honestly I have all the proof I need that it's real, but I thought it would be interesting to see if there was any "scientific proof" that it exists. I saw another video about a study done on a Qigong master in Indonesia. I'll post it if I can find it. Maybe some of the more experienced guys on here like yourself can verify it's validity.

On another note, I hope I can get to one of Dan's seminars too. My goal is to try and attend 2 a year. Ever sense I came across his post on Aikiweb, I've become obsessed with attaining some level of internal strength. I'm aware of the difficulty, but I'm more than ready to take up the challenge.

Happy Training,
Michael Zeiters

Cady Goldfield
3rd March 2014, 16:24
Is John Chang the person you're thinking of? From what I've seen of his demos, a lot of what he does is kind of suspect. One mention I did find about a scientific study of his work, is a snippet stating that while he was able to "light up a standard LED, it did not register on a voltmeter."

Also, apparently, he is not performing public demos anymore because his (no longer living) teacher disapproves.

Your best bet, IMO, is to get acquainted with some good, solid internal basics with someone who can explain to you -exactly- what to do with your body to create the state and qualities of internal power and connectivity. They are quite specific and succinct, and there's no mystique once they are pointed out to you. Just a lot of hard work. I think that if Chen Xiang had told the researchers how he was doing what he does, it would have changed their approach to their study. ;)

3rd March 2014, 17:38
Yes, that was him. He looked a little fishy to me from the start.

I totally agree. That's the main reason I want to see Dan. Hopefully he'll be able to put me on the right track and the rest will fall into place. I have no problem with working hard and staying committed. I'm willing to go the extra mile and work as hard as I need to progress.
Ironically, I was always frustrated with my previous art and the lack of solo training it offered. Now, I'll have a lot to do when I'm bored in the dorm room, and better yet, a training parter who's only a couple of feet away. I can see it now, "hey dude, lemme try this on you..." :laugh: