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 Post subject: One for the chisters
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:05 pm 
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As a very young martial arts student, I bought into the martial mystique. After going through my own self-created Shaolin experience which involved intensive study of martial arts, music, and biomedical engineering, I came out of the academic experience with a strong desire to blow away the mystique - one foo-foo claim at a time.

Some of you know I wince when someone uses the chi or qi word. I try to be silent when a guest in someone else's school. Even people who believe in Santa Claus have things to teach you. But if asked, I give my opinion. And when dealing with a competent martial artist who uses chi-speak, I often can squint my mental eyes and figure out what they see and how their magic works.

That said... I came across this article today in the Wall Street Journal. It's about "wireless" charging devices for cell phones, etc. Not really, but... It is kinda neat and certainly convenient. Understand that my undergraduate minor was in electrical engineering, so the wheels turn in my head when I see such a device. The article gives just enough information for this engineer to figure out how they did it.

Nevertheless... the designers must have been martial artists and/or had a clever sense of humor. I'll highlight the part I'm talking about.

- Bill
WSj wrote:

March 25, 2011, 10:30 AM ET

Worth It? Cutting the Charging Cords

By Emily Glazer

Powering up devices has become essential, so wouldn’t it make your life easier if you could do it without the mess of cords?

Energizer’s Inductive Charger allows those with an iPhone 3G, 3Gs, 4 or BlackBerry Curve 8900 to charge wirelessly – although it doesn’t eliminate the need for cords entirely; you still must plug in a charging dock station and place the phones on it.

“Wireless is not power shooting across the room,” says Energizer’s Brand Manager Cari Curtis. “That’s, in part, why we call it inductive. We don’t want to deal with any misconceptions.”

The $89 charging station can accommodate two phones on its surface charging zones along with one device through a USB port. It also requires sleeves or BlackBerry replacement doors for phones. Those cost $34.99 each.

After snapping in the sleeve (which fits just like a case) on your smartphone, you place your phone on the Inductive Charger’s black surface. The sleeves have built-in Qi (pronounced CHEE) technology — the universal charging standard developed by the Wireless Power Consortium. The consortium includes more than 70 companies from device manufacturers like Motorola, carriers like Verizon, component manufacturers like Texas Instruments and consumer-oriented companies like Energizer.

When your phone is charging, a blue light will shine on the Inductive Charger. The blue light turns off to signal that the device is finished charging.

My Wall Street Journal colleague Katie Boehret first looked into wireless chargers three years ago, and re-examined why they hadn’t taken off about six weeks ago. Part of the problem, she said, was that there isn’t one standard, though Qi is gaining ground. Turns out some phones with Qi built into them are slated to come out, so you wouldn’t need a sleeve.

Ms. Curtis says if this technology holds up as the wireless standard, the charger will be useful for years to come on a variety of devices – something that could justify its price tag.

Energizer, the first to offer Qi-certified products, says it also hopes other devices with the technology will catch on. The maximum power for Qi is 5 watts, so mp3 players, GPS devices, bluetooth gadgets and digital cameras could work with it. Tablets, on the other hand, are usually at least 10 watts.

I mostly used the Inductive Charger at home because it isn’t something you’d easily fit into a smaller bag. While it isn’t too heavy, it is about the size of a tablet. But Energizer says in mid-October there will be a cheaper, slimmer and lighter single-phone model for people who may want to bring their charger on the go.

I liked the fact that the inductive charging zones don’t require locking your phone into an exact spot. If I needed to take a phone call, send a text or check email, picking up my phone and putting it back down wasn’t a whole to-do.

“We wanted freedom,” Ms. Curtis says. “That’s why we call them zones. Consumers can …drop phones down and leave them charging. It’s one less thing to worry about.”

My sister, friends and I could use the dock simultaneously — and I even had my iPod charging via the USB charger to see if it could power through. (It did.)

But Energizer does not have any sleeves for Androids or replacement doors for other BlackBerry models, which I found to be a major gap. Energizer would not comment on any future plans.

So is the Energizer Inductive Charger worth it? You’d have to dish out more than $100 to get the charger plus a sleeve or replacement door. But if you use more than one device or your family and friends would benefit from a communal station, this could be for you. I’ll pass for now, but I’m eagerly awaiting more Qi-specific devices.
- WSJ


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:14 pm 
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It's a simple inductive charger. current through the coil in the "Qi" base creates magnetice pulses picked up by the coil in the phone and converts magnetic pulses to current that charges the battery.

Thay had to name it something.

chee, wizz. :D


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:23 pm 
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Kevin Mackie wrote:

Thay had to name it something.

chee, wizz. :D

Chi wizz indeed!

I'm wondering if anyone filed to copyright the name. That could get interesting... Imagine all the granola eaters who couldn't use the name any more for their martial "secret sauce." :lol:

It is however a "universal charging standard developed by the Wireless Power Consortium." So I imagine they're giving everyone free reign to use the name - so long as the name refers EXACTLY to the agree-upon technical standard.

Glad you figured it out as well, Kevin. It brings back memories of my undergraduate course in magnetoelectric devices.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:00 pm 
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No chi????? That's it I'm quitting!!! 8O 8O :wink:


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:07 pm 
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Pffft... I charge my devices by holding them in my hand, out in the sun, and blowing on them with my chi! (Damn cell-phone hasn't worked in years, but that's beside the point... I use my CHI!)

:lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:13 am 
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Panther wrote:
Pffft... I charge my devices by holding them in my hand, out in the sun, and blowing on them with my chi! (Damn cell-phone hasn't worked in years, but that's beside the point... I use my CHI!)


:lol:

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 Post subject: Re: One for the chisters
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:32 am 
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I still think that the belief that chi is imaginary is hypocritical, in a way. Just because there is no current scientific model or description of it is not enough to deny its existence. If you stick to the traditional model, its pretty consistent among serious practitioners (as opposed to the obvious charlitans wearing yellow jumpers). Consistent practice in a given art results in a consistent set of experiences.

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 Post subject: Re: One for the chisters
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 2:15 pm 
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NEB wrote:

Just because there is no current scientific model or description of it is not enough to deny its existence.

There's no need to deny a thing if there's nothing presented, is there?

This is an old argument. You can't deny chi because you can't prove it doesn't exist!!! Nice try... Show us something that *is* chi, and we can have a conversation. The Wireless Power Consortium came up with a standard and called it Qi (chi). That, sir, was definable and measurable, and is a rose by any other name.

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Martial magic? Not so much. "Hide the ball" logic is wallowing in martial mystique - something I'm committed to busting.

Meanwhile... here were the most successful chi busters of our generation. This was the best martial laboratory money could buy.

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Got magic? Bring it in the ring, baby! Those results - or lack thereof - are both definable and measurable.

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Martial magic shows (a.k.a. "demonstrations") are just that. They sell memberships to the martial school the way P T Barnum sold tickets to his circus.

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But they don't get you out of the ring alive and they don't save your life on the street. At some point we martial instructors are duty bound to teach truth. To do otherwise is to invite trouble from an ever-more-scrutinizing public. At some point, the ambulance-chasing attorney of a martial arts student who got a severe beat-down is going to bring one of these chi-meisters into a court of law. And I'd buy tickets to see that show.

- Bill


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 Post subject: Re: One for the chisters
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:58 pm 
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Quote:
There's no need to deny a thing if there's nothing presented, is there?

This is an old argument. You can't deny chi because you can't prove it doesn't exist!!! Nice try... Show us something that *is* chi, and we can have a conversation. The Wireless Power Consortium came up with a standard and called it Qi (chi). That, sir, was definable and measurable, and is a rose by any other name.


I know far too well that I will never convince anyone of the existence of chi. And I'm not really trying to do so. I'm simply pointing out that the people who originally came up with the model of chi as a medical system were on to something. There are hundreds, thousands really of practices that are said to develop chi. Consistent training in these practices usually has a predictable result. But to the nay-sayer, these experiences are dismissed as hallucinations or drug flashbacks. When evidence doesn't support the theory, they throw out the evidence.

That's what happened to me. Maybe 15 years ago I was walking to a local park and doing a simple standing practice in front of a tree. I went every day for about 30 minutes, and after a few weeks of this, various phenomena began to take place. I recently mentioned a particularly intense experience in this forum and was essentially passed off as a crackpot. It was far more likely that I was hallucinating than having an experience, however esoteric, that many individuals have had before me as a result of consistent standing practice.

Scientific types love to refer to "anecdotal evidence." I'm sure that, more often than not, there is an explanation for most apparent phenomena, but there are many cases where these anecdotes have some truth to them. And what I'm relating here is an experience that anyone can have who cares to undergo the practice. All it is said to be is an unblocking of what is called chi resulting in a group of sensations that sound familiar to anyone who's been there before. Pretty impressive when it happens to you, but we're not talking about special powers or the ability to toss anyone (who is also wearing a yellow robe) around without touching them. There are some practices that result in heavy handedness, where the practitioner's strikes seem to get much harder or weightier.

I have no explanation of how any of this works, but I have been around people who train this way for dozens of years, and while none of them claim to be able to fly, or shoot fireballs out of their arse, they do develop strong root (4 men unable to lift them off the ground) and incredible striking power. Of course, incredible striking power is attainable to anyone who trains in any one of literally dozens of hard style martial arts (like karete, boxing, etc.). But those practices are more ordinary and therefore not in question.

NB

nb

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 Post subject: Re: One for the chisters
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:36 pm 
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NEB wrote:

I know far too well that I will never convince anyone of the existence of chi. And I'm not really trying to do so. I'm simply pointing out that the people who originally came up with the model of chi as a medical system were on to something.
To the degree that they were, then the scientific method validated "it" and "it" became standard of care. To the degree that they weren't, then it became one of many examples of the placebo effect.

The placebo effect isn't necessarily a bad thing. Western medicine uses it all the time. It's described by many valid labels such as mind-body medicine (the power of positive thinking to heal) or bedside manner (the ability of a person with high emotional intelligence to affect change).

NEB wrote:

There are hundreds, thousands really of practices that are said to develop chi.
Develop what???

You have to define "it" before you can claim that a practice develops "it." Otherwise "the practice" is just one of many ordinary training methods that any educated teacher, trainer, or sports psychologist can use to enhance the performance of an athlete. And these methods are documented both on the first principles level (how it works) and on the practical level (efficacy).

The existence of a training method causing a positive and measurable benefit is no justification to wrap the "chi" label on it. You must FIRST define what "it" is before you can take credit for changing "it".

NEB wrote:

Consistent training in these practices usually has a predictable result. But to the nay-sayer, these experiences are dismissed as hallucinations or drug flashbacks. When evidence doesn't support the theory, they throw out the evidence.
You NEVER should throw the evidence out. That's the post hoc rationalization method of diehard chi-sters. A scientist instead weighs evidence and - if warranted - throws the theory out. That is the scientific method.

NEB wrote:

That's what happened to me. Maybe 15 years ago I was walking to a local park and doing a simple standing practice in front of a tree. I went every day for about 30 minutes, and after a few weeks of this, various phenomena began to take place.

***
Before going any farther, here are the relevant questions:

1) Define the "various phenomena."

2) To what degree were these phenomena useful for your martial practice?

Look, ma, no need to invoke the "chi" word!

NEB wrote:

Scientific types love to refer to "anecdotal evidence."
Let's be precise. Scientific types point to the limitations of anecdotal evidence.

Anecdotes are useful to the degree that they suggest underlying phenomena. But to decipher mechanism and causality, one must climb the scale from anecdotes to broader (epidemiological) empirical evidence to (sometimes blinded or double-blinded) properly designed randomized controlled trials to a repeat of the latter by an independent party.

NEB wrote:

I'm sure that, more often than not, there is an explanation for most apparent phenomena

***
If you don't believe that, then your ability to master the universe around you is by definition limited.

NEB wrote:

All it is said to be is an unblocking of what is called chi resulting in a group of sensations that sound familiar to anyone who's been there before.
Guess what? I sometimes use that explanation as a tongue-in-cheek exercise. In other words, I reproduce said phenomena and teach my students how to do the same. Once done, I then throw the label at it, showing them how metaphors can be useful, but are severely limiting if you want to master the principles involved and generalize their applications. That IMHO is good teaching. Withholding "the secret sauce" is not.

NEB wrote:

I have no explanation of how any of this works
Come back when you do. That's what this Forum is all about. We want to understand the how. Without the how, you have nothing to pass on to the next generation.

NEB wrote:

... but I have been around people who train this way for dozens of years, and while none of them claim to be able to fly, or shoot fireballs out of their arse, they do develop strong root (4 men unable to lift them off the ground)
Stop right there. This is a circus trick. It's been discussed here many times. Even George (who remains more or less agnostic on most such subjects) can explain the trick.

More importantly, how does this help you in the ring? And how can this help you on the street?

NEB wrote:

and incredible striking power.
Mike Tyson had incredible striking power. He needed no magic. He did however need a fireplug body (strong core strength), proper conditioning (aerobic and neuromuscular) and knowledge of how to use it all (energy transfer via means such as sequential summation of motion).

NEB wrote:

Of course, incredible striking power is attainable to anyone who trains in any one of literally dozens of hard style martial arts (like karete, boxing, etc.). But those practices are more ordinary and therefore not in question.
Then please explain the need for phenomena that AREN'T ordinary.

And for the record, "ordinary" is a value judgement. It is not an objective description of natural phenomena.

- Bill


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 Post subject: Re: One for the chisters
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:10 pm 
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Modern martial artists are much better educated in the fighting arts, so can more easily challenge unsubstantiated assertions. Western martial artists also have demonstrated their abilities both in the "hard" and the "soft" styles, so there isn't the need to find people to learn from whose sole qualification is different ethnicity and a language barrier.

More importantly our creative culture has never been intimidated by "the impossible." We have instead been about the possibilities.

Here is my counter to anyone who wants to show the value of a "chi practice" that allegedly gives them the ability not to be lifted. I instead invoke the possibilities. Oh and it took me 20 seconds to Google a source.

How to Flip Somebody Bigger Than You

No magic is involved; it's simple physics, understandable by a junior in high school. The goal is to get your centers of gravity as close as possible and then to get your center (or part of your body) under their center of gravity. When you do this, rotating their body in space is made much, much easier. Newtonian physics gives the how. It's all about leverage, and making gravity work for you.

Once you intuitively understand the how, then the sky's the limit. For example...

Animated Throwing Techniques of Judo

- Bill


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 Post subject: Re: One for the chisters
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:34 pm 
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Quote:
Develop what???

You have to define "it" before you can claim that a practice develops "it."

The existence of a training method causing a positive and measurable benefit is no justification to wrap the "chi" label on it. You must FIRST define what "it" is before you can take credit for changing "it".


Since there's no adequate scientific description of "it" how do I describe it? I can give you the various definitions found in the Chinese classics, but you already know those (vital life force/energy and the like). I doubt they really know what it is either, but they know how to do stuff with it. Like fire to a cave man. He knew how to make it and he knew that it made meat taste better and could burn things down and really hurt when he touched it, but he surely didn't know what it was. So maybe, other than the definition found in the old classics, I really don't know how to describe chi. But that does not make it imaginary or a placebo. Its an experiential thing, and its not just my experience. If you follow the directions and do a particular chi training exercise correctly there's no reason why you wouldn't have the same experiences that others do, even if you didn't want to have them or knew exactly what it was. Maybe the best I could offer is some kind of operational definition.

Its not that the training justifies the "chi label," more the other way around. From my perspective, I follow directions and have a specific result. I imagine the first people to work these exercises out discovered what they did through trial and error and then tried to explain what was happening to them based on their sensations, etc.

This is where the boundaries of this kind of conversation lie. One person can have reliable, repeatable experiences and the other one can dismiss them in any number of ways, due to lack of a scientific model of what the experiences are. Nothing I can do about that. I can't compete with your (or any scientist's) knowledge and education in these matters, but I CAN do a simple chi-gung and have a familiar experience, and watch as that experience intensifies with ongoing practice.

Quote:
You NEVER should throw the evidence out. That's the post hoc rationalization method of diehard chi-sters. A scientist instead weighs evidence and - if warranted - throws the theory out. That is the scientific method.


But I submit that that is exactly what was done. I MUST have been hallucinating because there's no such thing as chi, or because standing-training is bunko and the experience I described sounds like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo. Or I had a LSD flashback (which, as I said at that time, is impossible due to my never having done acid). I got lots of definitions and descriptions of Closed Eye Hallucinations, but no one, for even a minute, though that perhaps there is something to these training methods. Whether "chi" or not, whatever it might be, just maybe something that "I" (insert name here) don't know about this. That kind of total dismissal is pretty limiting.

And I've been guilty of the same thing, so I get it on some level. When I hear ghost stories and that kind of thing its all I can do to prevent my eyes from rolling right into my head.

Quote:
Before going any farther, here are the relevant questions:

1) Define the "various phenomena."

2) To what degree were these phenomena useful for your martial practice?

Look, ma, no need to invoke the "chi" word!


I went through that before in the forums...described sensations of what felt like warm liquid pouring down my arms, preceded by a major "headrush" with lots of tingling sensations and blinding light in my (at the time closed) eyes. There was more to it but I don't want to go on and on about it again. The same thing happened the next day but less intense, and then never happened again. All very consistent with what a lot of other people have felt after doing that practice a bunch. As far as how useful the experience was to martial arts practice, at that time I wasn't training in Uechi/Goju, only doing Taiji and other internal things. I would liken it more to a yogic type of thing than anything else, maybe. Although I have never done Indian yoga in a serious way, I hear that some of those people have some similar experiences.

Quote:
Stop right there. This is a circus trick. It's been discussed here many times. Even George (who remains more or less agnostic on most such subjects) can explain the trick.

More importantly, how does this help you in the ring? And how can this help you on the street?


I would like to hear Sensei Mattson's explanation, I don't mean that in a sarcastic way. In any event, strong root makes one harder to take down, and aids in the application of good striking technique (energy transfer via means such as sequential summation of motion).

NB

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 Post subject: Re: One for the chisters
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:51 am 
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I've been guilty many times of feeling a euphoric feeling after a good workout at the Dojo... Part of it was from the brutal Kotekatai and Ashikatai performed that night, if not just all out rock em sock em Kumite.. The feeling was spurred on by what I call endorphins.. Maybe the Doctor would be so kind to explain what endorphins are very molecularity close to in comparison.. Maybe I even had a shot of adrenaline!!! And I know I had a couple of shots of either Uechi Gusari or Habu Sake after just to loosen up the stiff joints.. :lol: :lol: :lol:
I'm just saying.. I think that there is something called Chi ( or Ki in Japaneses) It literally means unseen energy... And my opinion of what that means is just this.. After I've done the same Kata more than 20,000 times, and spent the other good part of the night hitting a Makiwara, or perfecting my timing and distance with a partner, And all that has bult up after many many years... Then you will think that I have "UNSEEN ENERGY" when Bill and I know that it is only the energy that is inside all of us, that most have not taken the time or effort to cultivate as a Power Lifter would cultivate a Bench Press... The believers have something to believe in... The realization of years of hard work... That's it..

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 Post subject: Re: One for the chisters
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:34 am 
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Thanks for the posts guys!

These last two posts deserve some thoughtful comments. However I've been up to my eyeballs in work and such. Even river water! I sent some photos of the banks of the Ohio River to some of my friends Monday, and saw ABC News just this morning (Wednesday) with their reporter at the exact location of my shot (at 4th and River Road, where there used to be an intersection).

I know people who do things that give joy and meaning to their lives sometimes want to hold on to old paradigms because that's the way the world was presented to them. But when clinging to those old views of the world prevents progress, that in my opinion is when it becomes something more than a quaint conversation about whether or not some badly translated concept from an ancient culture becomes less vehicle and more mental barrier. This is when all good minds should ask the hard questions and challenge the status quo.

More later.

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- Bill


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 Post subject: Re: One for the chisters
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:33 am 
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Stay tuned, NEB. I found some really enlightening research that's worth sharing.

Bill


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