Friday, February 22, 2008

Stahara, Ki (Chi) and Loins

In the Eastern arts, ki (Chinese, chi) is a term that represents the force that is centered in the stahara or loins. Since you may translate ki either as spirit or as force/power, you can view the concept either mystically or in terms of physics. Those who view it mystically sometimes make rather fantastic claims about the feats they can perform, which leads some conservative Christians to label the whole concept as demonic.

In Secrets of JuJitsu, Smith uses the term stahara for the abdominal region, the source of one's purely physical (non-mystical) strength and power. Modern athletes and fitness experts refer to this as your core. They have come to recognize the importance of the core in generating power for all kinds of movement from home-run hits to knockout punches.

A few years ago, I started working on an annotated version of Smith's book. Here is my note on the stahara:

The Stahara corresponds to the Biblical concept of the loins. The loins seem to include the pelvis and abdominal region up to the diaphragm. The Bible associates the loins with strength and power (Job 40:16; Proverbs 31:17). A loosening of the joints of the loins signifies weakness and fear. (Daniel 5:6).

Since the loins represent man’s center of mass, strength and stability, it is little wonder that Paul enjoins the Ephesians to cinch up their loins with truth. Spiritually, our strength and stability derives from tightly binding truth to the core of our being.

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