Getting in Touch With,
and Channeling Your Ki
Master Constantino Terrigno - 6th Dan
Editor - Tang Soo Do World
personal quest in the spiritual and metaphysical realm began roughly 30
years ago and, in no small way, was instrumental in my undertaking the
study of martial arts.
broached subjects such as mind control, visualization, quantum physics,
astral projection, remote viewing and parallel universes to name a few.
As diverse as the topics were, I've found one common thread among them -
each is directly linked to some facet of Energy. Without the benefit of
a teacher, I studied all I could to learn more about the universe, our
place in it and the true extent of human capabilities. So it was with
great excitement and anticipation that I accepted Grandmaster Andy Ah
Po's invitation to attend his Chi Gong symposium during the weekend of
May 29th to June 1st, 2008. It would be the first time I would bridge
the gap between theory and actual practice under the tutelage of someone
renown for his capabilities in this area.
nineteen of us in attendance and it was an auspicious gathering since it
was the first time a group encompassing seven different organizations
took part in a shared learning experience. Of those seven, five were
represented by the founders themselves. This turnout is a testament to
the great respect accorded Grandmaster Ah Po for his experience and
knowledge, and the fact that the symposium was held in Sedona, Arizona,
a well-known "energy center" in the U.S., was icing on the cake.
Grandmaster Ah Po comes from a native Hawaiian Warrior as well as
"Kahuna" class and since age 6, has been schooled in the "Huna"
"The word 'Huna' means 'secret' and is taken from
the Hawaiian word 'Kahuna' which means 'keeper of the secret".
It is therefore the "secret science or practice of the control of
the Universal life energies through the control of mind and breath",
and is the focus of this article. I was about to become not only a
further witness, but a participant in the exercise of just a few of
these carefully guarded secrets. The terms and phrases in bold, italic
print are those Grandmaster Ah Po used throughout the sessions. I
include them to preserve the essential flavor that made his
made clear to us at the start that Ki, Chi or "Mana" (internal
energy or life force) cannot be developed. Since it already
resides in each of us, our goal was to develop a higher level of
conscious awareness to access and utilize it for positive purposes.
To succeed we had to be "open to change", to "look
and listen with the intent to learn" and to "trust our
day did not begin with esoteric Chi Gong exercises as one might expect,
but with intense physical training. A full nine hours of it with an
emphasis on proper breathing. The primary vehicle for that was forms
practice. We practiced slow, we practiced fast and we practiced very
hard. Always we were asked to concentrate on our breathing and to pay
attention to the tempo of the form as it is directly related to breath
control. What I thought I knew about proper breathing in forms practice
was quickly made obsolete.
that in addition to the Weh Ga Ryu (external energy) and Neh Ga Ryu
(internal energy) methods, there was a third that Grandmaster Ah
Po called Chung Ga Nyu (Ryu). It is a blend of the two and is a more
natural method. Because forms each have their own distinct
characteristics, we learned to experience the differences and exhibit
them in a manner that now became not only technically correct but as he
would often say,
"characteristically correct". For instance, you can't do Neh
Gung breathing with Weh Gung applications. Quoting the late Great
Grandmaster Hwang Kee, his direct instructor since 1972, Grandmaster Ah
Po stressed the importance of performing techniques in their proper
"The internal organism must work in concert with the external. Much
like humans, when you're out of character there is an imbalance. Be on
the outside as you are on the inside and there will be no conflict
between form and technique. In this way, Tang Soo Do helps develop
character - your true character, not a fake one." One more
important, often overlooked point - the preparation, or Jhoon Bee
(ready) position is the first application in the generation of Chi Gong
and should mirror the correct characteristic of the form as well.
understand the Chung Ga Nyu method, we worked for a long time on Tae Ki
Kwan, a form created by Grandmaster Ah Po for that sole purpose. While
an active method, its soft techniques and economy of motion allowed us
to experience natural movement and breathing. I, as well as others I
spoke to, felt a sense of calm and ease in its performance, and this
sensory awareness greatly assisted me in later exercises.
energy is available to us in limitless supply. We can receive it, give
it to others, or store it for later use. Our health and well-being is
determined by the quality and quantity we have. It can be measured and
photographed by scientific instruments (as in Kirlian photography) and
can also be seen by the highly trained eye such as Grandmaster Ah Po's.
It is also referred to as the aura. It is an energy field that surrounds
all living things and which we all experience on an unconscious level.
In one sense, I equate it to the commanding presence or magnetic
qualities that attract us to some people. In negative terms, it's a
feeling that something is not right or trustworthy about a person.
Either way, it is an exchange of energy, yet most people don't recognize
it as such.
personal research has shown that energy exchange is not just a localized
event but can actually take place across vast distances. Furthermore,
the volume can also be turned up through group dynamics. In one forms
session we were asked to be aware of and keep pace with each other. When
we tuned in, I noticed that this synchronization allowed me to tap into
the energy of those around me. It was like locking into an unseen force
that propelled me along with less effort than before. In another
exercise we performed a basic form continuously, at a quickened pace and
without pausing until told to stop. I don't know how many repetitions we
did, but the exercise lasted three minutes. After about two minutes I
was clearly past the physical and onto the mental level. Here again, the
group tempo and energy served as a regulator and while I was beginning
to tire, I noticed I wasn't even breathing hard. I venture a guess that
Grandmaster Ah Po was also extending his Ki to us.
a naturally occurring phenomena. Unfortunately, humans have taken
themselves out of the natural environment and created an artificial one
and consequently lost their connection with universal energy. We built
upon and paved over our natural surroundings with asphalt, concrete and
steel, thereby insulating ourselves from the flow of energy. To
reconnect, we need to re-establish direct contact with nature. Visit the
shore, climb a mountain, stroll through an old growth forest, walk
of "grounding" or "rooting" is
another way to not only improve our awareness of earth's energy but to
stabilize us, just as a solid martial arts stance would do for our
technique. Poor posture or body alignment while in motion also impedes
the flow of Ki. To experience this we practiced basic kicks by taking
the movement through the body's center line. This not only improved
balance and accuracy, but made the kick more efficient, with less
dissipation of the kick's energy. It also allowed better utilization of
the waist (Hu Ri), a signature of Tang Soo Do.
also be accessed through visualization. The use of imagery focuses our
thoughts and magnifies our intentions. It is also a key to maintaining
balance. Moo Sang, or guided imagery is the process of
walking through a scene we create in our mind or one that is created for
us by a narrator. The experience elicits a
physiological outcome or Yu Sang which can be calm
or highly charged. Two exercises that demonstrated this had us seated
with eyes closed. In the first, Grandmaster Ah Po verbally led us
through a beach scene complete with sights, sounds and smell. The result
was a feeling of peacefulness and calm energy. The second trip was up
the side of a volcano and of course, had the opposite effect - one of a
more active, tense energy.
of the exercise was to to create an emotional response that had a direct
bearing on our physical state. We are familiar with the three states or
"selves" that we possess - physical, mental and spiritual. Grandmaster
Ah Po pointed out that in Huna practices, a fourth, emotional self
exists and all four are necessary for well-being and the positive flow
of Ki. The visual exercises were therefore designed to gain
control over emotions in order to affect the physical and as a result,
we were able to create a specific state of mind, it was time to receive
and extend Ki. The operative concepts were
"energy flows where attention goes" and "focus on the
result, not the process". Again seated and with eyes closed, we
were asked to find Grandmaster Ah Po as he moved noiselessly around the
room. When we felt we had "located" him we were to point in his
direction. Interestingly for me, I pointed directly at him every time.
From my position, it was difficult to tell if the others had similar
success but judging by those I could see, they too found him more often
than not. To add a degree of difficulty, two other Grandmasters then
moved around the room with him and we were to find only Grandmaster Ah
Po. I missed only once out of what I believe was four attempts.
next segment Grandmaster Ah Po would send directed attention to only one
of us in the group. If we "felt" we were being looked at we were to open
our eyes immediately. If you did not, a rubber ring was tossed in your
direction to confirm you were the target. A number of us then got a
chance to be the sender. I found it was far easier for me to send rather
than to receive and this might be true for most. When we send we are in
control and focus more. When receiving we tend to override our
intuition. In other words, we anticipate (think) rather than react
(feel) as we often do in life and in martial arts practice, especially
Up to now,
we had mixed success in energy awareness and transfer and there is
always a question in your mind "was it luck, coincidence, etc.?" There
is nothing more exciting however than visual confirmation when it comes
to energy control. Our next two exercises showed without question we
were able to affect the physical in a measurable way.
symposium we were asked to bring a wristwatch-type heart rate monitor.
Using the volcano and beach imagery we attempted to both raise and
lower our heart rate. The point was to "replicate your emotions"
in order to achieve the desired result and the results were fairly
noteworthy for me, changing the rate by up to 10 beats in each instance.
We then tried to change the rate by at least a specific number and I was
able to achieve a 12 beat drop within four seconds. Grandmaster Ferraro
who has practiced Chi Gong for eight years, was able to record a +20
nothing can compare with the last exercise we performed - that of
physically affecting an external object, in this case a plant.
Grandmaster Ah Po is truly adept at this and demonstrated it repeatedly
throughout the sessions. When our turn came, we broke off into three
groups and simply extended our open hand towards the plant to within
roughly eight inches while charging ourselves internally either by the
volcano scene or some other method. The results were startling. I was
able to do it about 30 - 40 percent of the time. On two occasions, I was
stunned by the amount of motion in the plant leaves, as if a soft wind
had blown by.
in my group was having some difficulty. Grandmaster Ah Po unexpectedly
grabbed him and vigorously rubbed his face with his hand, charging him
with his Ki. When he tried again, the plant moved!
Ah Po performing a selective brick break
other demonstrations and exercises performed such as the unbendable arm.
But I won't soon forget the sensation of being taken down by Grandmaster
Ah Po. I was asked to attack him from a fighting stance. All I clearly
remember is my initial forward movement, his hand over my face and
picking myself up off the floor. I never saw him move toward me. The
after-effect was also interesting. I could feel where his fingertips
were on my face for about fifteen minutes. The sensation was one of both
pressure and tingling.
What Does it
never go in expecting to do any of what we did on the first try or even
in the two days we had. Constant intense practice is required over a
long period of time. But despite that, what (I) we were able to
experience in such a short time is irrefutable evidence that energy can
be accessed and channeled in many ways. So the symposium was an
unquestionable success from my standpoint. It was also a new stepping
off point for me as I continue my study of Tang Soo Do and of the
spiritual and metaphysical.
of its ultimate meaning, in my case it serves to underscore the
important notion that if energy is everywhere and it flows through us
all, then we are in fact all connected and drawing not only from the
same energy pool, but the same universal mind. It is available to us to
make remarkable changes in our personal lives for the better.
Consequently, if we change our thoughts and lives, we can ultimately
change our world. And that's a reassuring thought for anyone.