Judo IQ

Can you use Chi/Qi Energy for Judo?

Ever wondered whether qi energy was at play in Judo? Say no more, your question has been answered!

While in my late teens I came across the concept of chi or qi energy. This idea that we all have an internal energy system that is tangible and manipulated for various applications such as healing or self-defence. A fascinating idea and one that granted hope to the bullied in life (yes, count me in that category).

Kung fu, Wushu and similar chinese martial arts seemed very heavily based on this. On further reading I found this prevalent in many Japanese martial art styles such as Aikido. This was all around the time when Steven Seagal was doing the rounds on the cinema screens with his heavily choreographed Aikido prowess. MMA wasn’t yet so big on the scene.

Foray into Qi-Gong

I attended a number of Qi-Gong workshops back then. If anything I found the movements were very fluid and gave my back a good stretch after hours of sitting in sub-standard seating in my dorm room. I never felt any amazing energy flow but it certainly was relaxing. If there was ever any feeling of other worldliness and euphoria it was during some of the breathing exercises but I put this down to oxygen depletion than anything else. Try getting close to choked out in Judo – that spinny feeling was exactly what I was feeling.

To this day, there has never been a proven presence of chi. Never, under scientific, controlled conditions has anyone ever produced chi on demand. On this point, a magician and skeptic called James Randi put together an award to anyone who could demonstrate supernatural or paranormal ability under agreed-upon scientific testing criteria way back in the 1960s. It was known as the One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge. Over 1000 people applied and to date noone ever succeeded, the award officially ended in 2015.

How does this relate to Judo?

Judo is a hard martial art which relies on a lot of physical ability and strategy. One thing that doesn’t come up until much later on in training (particularly on the recreational level) is the aspect known as Judo IQ. If you’re familiar with Judo you know that throwing someone is a challenge, especially when they’re resisting. However Judo IQ comes into play when you suss out ways to get your opponent to move in specific positions that are opportune for you to throw them. A classic example is the o-uchi gare feint which (when successful) squares people up and presents an opportunity for various hip throws. There are countless other things that seem magical to the uninitiated (ooooh! are they reading my energy system?) but after a significant amount of exposure and technical proficiency become a common means of show-casing higher levels of Judo ability.


I liken this to cold-reading. If you’ve ever been to a psychic reading and convinced by what the psychic is telling you, you need to remember that there’s a skill to it. It’s not a skill granted to you from the after-life/other worlds/witch doctors/indian shamen etc, it is a complete set of psychological tricks used to manipulate the victim into providing more and more information.

Naturally, I would like to reach out to anyone who can definitively prove that chi exists. The world is waiting..

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