The following is an excerpt from Chapter 10 of our book,
Martial Arts America:
A Western Approach to Eastern Arts (p.138).
As a viable part of the martial artist's arsenal, chi, and specifically noncontact chi,
is dubious, at best — at least as long as its proponents continue to babble definitions that defy
understanding and claim examples of its power that remain clearly in the unproven realm of folklore.
Until proof is presented — not "more" proof, for we have none, as yet — we will have to settle for a
chi that is a synergistic, near-perfect union of mind, body, and spirit for the accomplishment
of a specific task — which in our case is effective self-defense. This kind of logical definition
removes the shroud of mystery from the elusive chi and strips it of its undeserved "metaphysical" label.
Ed Parker summed it up beautifully when he said, "It must be remembered that whenever a subject develops
definable qualities, when the unknown becomes known, the mysticism disappears. Martial arts are a real
and tangible subject." A real and tangible definition of chi actually facilitates sound martial
art study, for it makes the student work as much on perfecting his technique as he does on his physical
conditioning. The axiom "perfect technique comes from perfect practice" is as true today as it ever
was. Chi or no, there is still no shortcut to real martial skill.