What is Extending Ki?

When Ki is stuck, we cannot use our mind freely, but if we can extend Ki, then Ki will begin flowing again. When we extend Ki, as a result, new Ki always comes to us.

I have learned Ki Aikido since when I was 2 years old. When I was a child, I was not sure of how to extend Ki or what is Ki.

One day, I happened to meet a person who was about to take a Shodan exam. He had trained very hard in preparation for this test. Unfortunately, shortly before taking his exam, he had a car accident, got hurt badly, and, as a result, he became handicapped. His doctors said he could never recover use of his body again.

People at the dojo thought “He will not be able to join classes any more.” However, he showed up with a nurse-attendant and asked that he be allowed to take the exam as planned. He admitted that he would not be able to move on the mat at all, but he said that he could, at least, count with Ki-Ai.

The instructors at the dojo were confused by this, and were concerned that they might need to refuse his request. They felt that they could not make an exception only for him.

Koichi Tohei Sensei heard of this and said to them, “What are you teaching in the dojo every day? This man cannot do the techniques because of the accident. However, he does not despair at his life, he does not give up, and not only that, but he wants to discover what he can do, and is eager to do his best. You must know that this is extending Ki.”

At the exam he counted very well.

Koichi Tohei Sensei smiled and said “You have passed the Shodan exam,” and praised him that he was truly extending Ki in life. The handicapped student, with tears in his eyes, promised, “I will continue extending Ki.”

The purpose of practicing Ki Aikido is to extend Ki. I was first taught this as a matter of knowledge, but since then I have learned deeply what is extending Ki.

We sometimes face adversity in life and, as a result, feel like there are too many impossible things surrounding us. At this moment we can choose whether we focus on what we cannot do, and be depressed about it, or find out what we can do, and do the very best we can. This choice will make a huge difference in our life. When times are difficult, we need to remember extending Ki.