A most mystical concept that is responsible for heightened energy, awareness, and just about anything else that is not understood in one's study of the Martial Arts.
It is unfortunate that most instructor's fall back on, 'Do this exercise and you will know when it happens.'
It is the purpose of this article to set forth, in definitive and easily understood terms, the exact nature of Ki in the Martial Arts.

Ki is Intention.
Intention is: a plan of action; design.
But, more than this, accept this writer's definition: Intention is the manifestation of the human spirit.
Consider the following examples of how individuals can build Ki in their Arts and lives.
A superior cook creates superior food because he 'puts himself into his work.'
A superior mechanic fixes cars that stay fixed because he invests himself with a sound knowledge of mechanics, and applies that knowledge exactly.
A superior Martial Artist involves himself in the analysis of body motion to the exclusion of time.
It is important to exclude time because that means the Artist is doing the Art purely, without distraction.
Simply, if one is aware of time, then that awareness is not being invested into the Art, and therefore the Art will not manifest it's rewards to that person.
To put it another way, if the student suddenly blinks and realizes that two hours has passed and he was never aware of the passing, then he has invested himself properly into the Art.
Intention, you see, must be pure. Time is a fine measuring stick when assessing Martial Purity and the degree to which one has invested himself in his Art.

If you study an Art that is sound then your spirit will manifest as Ki.
How does one define a 'Sound Art?'
The methodology must be simple and logical, and scientifically accurate according to the principles you are about to read.

Principle One: All parts of the body must support one intention. This is 'Coordinated Body Motion.' This means you must analyze the mass, muscle, shape, etc., of every single body part, and learn to move every body part in harmony with every other body part. And every body part must ascribe to a specific plan.
This has been stated previous in your favorite magazine, so I won't beleaguer you.

Principle Two: The body is a machine. The legs are the grounds, the Tan Tien is the core of the motor, by shifting weight one causes positive/negative energy flow through the legs, which activates the Tan Tien to create that specific Energy which is most agreeable to the Martial Arts.
(There are other types of Energy, but if you master this one by adhering to the principles I am describing then those other types of energy will 'Teach themselves' to you.)

Let's talk about the second principle.
A machine is: A system formed and connected to alter, transmit, and direct applied forces to accomplish a specific objective.
Thus, a machine can be used (must be established) to enhance Intention.
In the Martial Arts this means that one can use the body to enhance one's Intention.

Let's examine a few examples of how this might work.
If your stance is a 'Fighting stance,' and is not used to connect you to the planet so that the machine of your body can better function, then your Art is not True. (True: proper alignment or adjustment.)
If your Intention is to 'Beat your fellow man,' (or achieve some other nefarious purpose or glory) then your Intention is not aimed at a more pure objective, such as mechanical perfection and manifestation of Ki; thus, you betray the goal of growing your Ki.
I should add the aside that being able to fight well enough to subdue an opponent is a fact easily achieved through a True Art, and a goal not worthy of much more than passing note. There is much more to the Art than beating your fellow man.

Principle Three: Art is geometry.
Leonardo Da Vinci once achieved entrance to a locked city by proving himself; he simply drew a perfect circle on the gate to the city. The gatekeeper bowed to such perfection.
Superior Japanese swordsmen, when they practice, imagine a sword forever, and a reality in two equal parts.
A Pa Kua stylist, or Aikidoist, involves himself in the perfection of circles, spirals, and so on.
Even the operator of a simple projectile weapon, such as a pistol, knows that he must construct an imaginary line to his target, and that that line must be straight.

Let's talk about the perfection of geometry.
Geometry is best achieved through the medium of space. Pure emptiness, which can only be imagined, is the best canvas for arcs and intentions that split that false realm known as reality.
How does one achieve that perfect emptiness, and so construct a canvas worthy of pure Intention?
By losing oneself in the practice of the Martial Arts so that there is no perception of time.
Work, without regard to reality, absolves one of reality.

Principle Four: without virtue there is no Ki.
This principle is so self-evident, so universally manifested, that it shouldn't need to be said.
But, we are on Earth.
When one considers the Martial Arts one should think in terms of far goals.
The Intention to create a Perfect Punch is admirable, but the end of your punch, no matter how forever, is the end of your Art. A swordstroke that divides reality into two equal parts is nifty, but time ends, and so does the sword stroke.
What weapon can you use that is sharper than a sword, yet will not end?
Hit an opponent with friendship and he will succumb.
Destroy an enemy with love and he is yours forever.
Slay an army with logic, and that army will forever protect you.

Let's talk about Virtue.
Virtue is: effective force or power to produce a definite result.
How many individual virtues can you name?

In conclusion: the Martial method can be used to create a strong body which, when aligned, will manifest the Intention of the human being. The Intention of the human being is best served by Virtue.
Use the weapon to study virtue and your Art will never end.
And that, my friends, is the Ki to the Universe.

Monster Martial Arts