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Training: The underlying TiersEdit
The training for Kimagure is brutal and dangerous, with rigorous and regimented training a daily part of life. Kimagure consists of three segregated teaching units, called "Tiers". These Tiers of Kimagure train the initiate in the ways of the art, while simultaneously training him in its philosophy. They are as follows:
- Physical Mastery
- Martial Mastery
- Mystical Mastery (Ki Gong)
Each Tier has a purpose, each of them has a use, each has its goal. Without the mastery of all three, the mastery, not to mention the understanding of Kimagure is impossible.
The First Tier: Physical MasteryEdit
Physical Mastery is absolutely essential to Kimagure. Before one can even begin to learn the martial arts, the body itself has to be conditioned to withstand the rigorous requirements of said arts. Not to mention flexibility, endurance, and agility requirements. While such things can indeed, and are traditionally taught while training a student in an art. The Demici's found it far more effective in physically conditioning the initiate separate from his combat training. In the end though, rigorous and brutal training is just a daily part of Kimagure life, and is practiced daily to maintain fitness. The first Tier is divided up into seven regiments: Strength, Endurance, Agility, Balance, Acrobatics, Stealth, and Strengthening of "Ki". Typically a master will have a set routine or way of training each trait to a student. The following is the traditional way taught by Demici's, though individual masters may teach otherwise.
Strength plays a small, but vital role in Kimagure. For, while one doesn't have to great strength to damage an opponent, it is a desirable trait to aid the initiate in his future trials. Strength training is usually the first thing an Initiate undergoes on being accepted as an Initiate. Typically, the master will lead the Initiate to a steep hill, or a cliff, and tell him to walk to the bottom. At the bottom, a massive boulder will sit, attached to it; four heavy tempered durasteel chains. At the ends of these chains are loops, one loop for each limb of the sentient (providing it is humanoid of course). The Initiate will then be told to take a hold of two of the loops in his hands, and to place his legs through the other two. Then to climb up the hill. Many times, the initiate will claim this is impossible; for indeed, the boulder is incredibly large, many times weighing several thousand pounds. The master is adamant however, and eventually, the Initiate will try to move the boulder up the hill. The master, typically, will sit in the shade and drink tea watching this spectacle. At the end of the first day, the Initiate, if he's very lucky, may have moved the stone several inches. Usually however, he fails to move it at all. This process is repeated for many many days, until the student is able to pull the boulder to his master. The student, thinking himself rid of physical training, is of course cocky and arrogant. The master is quick to remedy this. Taking the initiate to the other side of the hill, he reveals the previously unknown cliff face that they are perched on, and would simply point at the boulder on the ground far below. The student would then travel to the bottom of the cliff, and would harness himself to the rock via the four chains. Now, the distinction between the cliff training, and the hill training needs to be made clear: the hill training is used specifically to strengthen the legs, arms, and torso. Cliff training is made to strengthen the arms, and more specifically; the hands. After several more months, the Initiate will eventually make his way to the top of the cliff, with the boulder attached. It is here, that the master tells the Initiate he has finally made it through the first phase.
While it is arguable that strength training teaches the Initiate endurance, the simple fact of it is that tugging stationary on a heavy object, is very different from constant movement. For one, the lungs must be acclimated, and secondly, the body must be conditioned physically against the urge to rest. As such, Endurance training is rather simple. The Initiate is taken to a large waterfall. At the top of the waterfall, a series of watermills; one at either end of waterfalls mouth, turn a central axis made out of wood. This device not only serves as a means of irrigation, but also as a means of training students. The mills are usually halted, and the student is told to make there way to the center axis (Which is typically a log two feet in diameter). He is then told to stand on the log, and then the mill is started up with no explanation. If the student is smart, hell realize he's expected to stay on top of the log, without falling off. In essence; a Kimagure style treadmill. The speed that the axis turns is controlled by the master via watergates, with the master typically working the mill while the Student runs. While this is also an excellent way to teach balance, its primary function is endurance, as non stop constant running is required. After several weeks or months, after the Initiate can stay on top at the highest speed, the Initiate is once again led to a second device. The device in question is actually a stone mill; two large heavy stones, in between which grain is put so it can be ground en mass. Typically the top half of the stone is turned by a team of people, as it is very heavy to turn by a single person. The initiate is of course told to turn the mill himself. By was of a series of four handles mounted vertically into the mill, the Initiate will stay stationary, and physically use his arms to manually turn the mill. He is told to mill all the grain within the warehouse which is usually three hundred sacks, containing fifty pounds of grain each. The process takes two to three weeks, depending on the student. At the end of the training, he is told to stop, and is given a loaf of bread made out of the grain he ground. The gesture is more symbolic than a teaching tool, basically; congratulations and good job. He then advances to the next phase.
Agility training takes place within a closed room. This room is filled with a ten by ten grid of ten foot tall wooden poles, that are one and a half feet in diameter. Out of these poles, smaller wooden poles stick out of the pole horizontally, ranging in length from anywhere from two to six feet long. In essence, one the student is inside of the room, the door is shut, then locked, and the poles are activated. Water from the endurance mill is syphoned to this room, which in turn turns gears beneath the floor. These gears then turn the poles, which spin the poles at varying speeds. In other words, the student, standing in the middle of the room, will be bombarded from every direction by swinging and sweeping poles. The poles, as they are ten feet high, and rest flush against the ceiling in pivots, are unable to be climbed. As such, it is up to the student to move and get out of the way, or be whacked. The poles have three setting, low, medium, and high. The student will start on low, in which the poles will make one revolution every one and a half seconds. Once mastered, and the student is easily able to dodge the poles, he then advances to medium, in which the poles make one revolution every second. Once mastered, he is finally moved on to high, where the poles make a single revolution every half second. After mastering, he then graduates from the room, to the real challenge. He is taken to a secondary room, in which a platform is suspended in the air by twelve tall poles. In total, the platform is twenty feet off the ground; high enough to break bones if you fall, but not enough to kill. The platform is square, with it being oddly segmented into smaller and smaller squares, with there being three squares total. The students is told to climb the to the top of the platform, and to stand in the center. On doing so, his opponents walk into the balcony lining the upper half of the room. From the ground, it is impossible to see, but once climbing the platform a rail free balcony lines the outside of the room, on it, several trainers stand with long poles. The rules are simple; you may not grab the poles, you may not grab the trainers, you may not leave the platform, you may not attack the trainers or the poles, you may not break the poles. Everything else is permitted. And, when the student is ready, the exercise begins. Initially, the students starts with four trainers, with four poles, with the platform having all three segments. (In total the platform is eight feet by eight feet, with two of the segments being two feet large.) Each trainer will stand at one point of the compass, and will attempt to swing, thrust, prod, tap, bash, smite, or otherwise use any range of motion to contact the pole with the student. It is the Students job to either block these poles, or to avoid them altogether. At this level, the trainers only use simple wooden poles. After he can easily avoid and block the poles from the four trainers, he moves to eight trainers, with four at each corner of the compass, and one trainer in the north east, south east, south west, and north west corners respectively. Also, a single segment of the platform will be dropped to the floor (Via the poles holding each segment up will be released, allowing them to fall into hole sin the floor, lowering the segment to the ground. Effectively subtracting two feet from the perimeter of the platform. This time, the Trainers will use metal poles, as well as poles that have loops afixed to the end, to snag or otherwise grab ahold of limbs, making it so that the student has to fight without that limb. Once again, the student will train until mastered, in which he will move to sixteen trainers. with half the room with eight trainers, and the other half with eight trainers. Another segment of the floor will be dropped, removing another two feet, forcing him to move on a square four feet in diameter. At this stage, the trainers may use shock poles to jolt the student, as well as poles with loops. If he can manage to master this phase. He then graduates from Agility training.
Balance is basically a modification of the same techniques used in Agility. The student is taken to an indoor room. This room is filled with a grid of poles, all of them twenty feet tall, all of them six inches in diameter. The grid is approximately one hundred by one hundred poles. The student is then told to step onto the poles (The poles are lined in a pit in the floor, making stepping onto them easy.) the student does so, with one foot on one pole, and the same with another. The master then leaves the room, and closes the door. He then signals the mill, who diverts water into the room...turning gears, and suddenly making the poles move. Basically, the water turns gears, which in turn either move the pole up, or down. The range of motion is anywhere from two to ten feet either up or down. Thus forcing the student to either catch his balance, or to move to another set of poles. The poles have three settings, low, medium, and high. With the poles moving more frequently and more randomly with each setting. If the student can stay on the poles for the period of an hour straight (for each setting), then he passes. He then moves to the second phase. The student is then led to the all to familiar agility platform. Though this time with a twist; instead of a platform, where is instead a ten by ten grid of twenty poles. The student will then climb to the top of the poles, and balance very much like he did in the first room. Trainers, once again will line the balcony, armed with poles, and will try to hit the student. The student, while agile enough to maneuver around the poles, will have to cope with his precarious footing. The scenario is exactly the same as the agility scenario, only with each setting, poles are not subtracted.
Acrobatics is a vital role in Kimagure. In fact more akin to Free running than actual gymnastics, Kimagure teaches the use of ones surroundings and the environment for defensive movement. A person, for example, if he was confronted with a sealed door, with a small window above it, would have to stop running away from an enemy, and would have to either bash or summarily break the door down. A person trained in Kimagure's unique acrobatics, would simply run, temporarily grab ahold of the door seal, and fling himself feet first through the window itself, without having to stop. It also makes normally inaccessible things and unreachable places (Such as rooftops, or the sides of buildings) accessible to Kimagure practitioners, thus giving a means to scale or otherwise traverse the terrain around them. The strength, agility, and endurance needed for the extended movements required are already acheived by the student. This scenario, and indeed the remaining scenarios are filled by the role of the master. The master will train the student in basic acrobatic movement: summersaults, rolls, flips, and of course, falls. And in short, train along side the student himself. As the student progresses, he will move on to more and more difficult scenarios. For instance, the teacher may begin with a short wall of a meter, but, eventually, once mastered, will move to a skyscraper or cliff face. The instructions for Acrobatics are very short, as, most in part, it is up to the master himself to show the vast array of movements that are possible - far too many in of themselves to put down in text.
Stealth is also a highly vital role in Kimagure. Besides teaching a practitioner the means of physical stealth, it also teaches the student patience, perseverance, and a calm, clear mind. Typically, a master will assign an object...anything from a stone, to a personal object of the students, and then keep it on him at all times. This is where the challenge is. No one can truly teach another to be stealthy. Even if a student goes through the movements, and disperses his weight properly to be completely silent, there is always the chance, that unconsciously, when he is not thinking about it, he will lapse back into his old way of moving. By stealing something of great value to the student, the student is not only motivated to get it back, but, after failure after failure, will gradually reteach his body how to move. This is basic foot work, however. After the object is finally stolen, or at least close, the master will then show true concealment...hanging onto ceilings...fitting himself inside of small objects...using the cover of darkness, and his surroundings to his advantage. Many times, the master will construct an obstacle course, which the student is to navigate without being detected. The master, of course, will put multiple traps, detectors, and even scent smelling animals in the students way, letting the student work out how to get around them. In the end, the student comes out with an in depth knowledge of stealth, and is able to silently move about, and generally remain undetected by those without auditory enhancement.
- Strengthening of "Ki"
I will note, that when I speak of a real world substance in this section, an attached citation link will follow each word. IE; if I speak of "Dogs", one only has to click on the numbered citation link to gain info on the subject. Now, without further ado, let us begin.
In this section, I will speak about "Ki". Ki is named after the oriental belief in "Qi" (also known as Chi:) Qi is believed by the chinese to be the life force of just about anything, from animals, to stones, to the grass and the wind. Qi pervades everything, and connects everything. This is why I chose a kind of old style approach of Martial arts to Star Wars. Qi, in many ways, can be interpreted as the force. As such, when I speak of "Ki" or "Inner strength", Im merely talking about the the bodies natural force reservoir, which is not touched by the mind. You see, when a force user uses the force he usually uses his mind to manipulate the force around him, rather than inside of him. This is what I refer to when I speak of "Ki"; the natural reservoir the body creates itself, which is typically untouched by the mind. Think about it. Does a force user draw on the force stored in his own body to create a force push? No. He uses his mind to affect the force around him to create a force push. The force doesn't come from himself, but rather, his mind acts as a conduit for the force. What about force lightning? Again, the mind is used as a conduit to store external force power inside of his body, then releasing it. While the power does indeed come out of the body, it does not generate from there. Now that we are clear on the term, I will begin with how one can strengthen his own Ki. Ki, or the internal force reservoir, can be heightened and strengthened through meditative martial arts, very much in a identical way as the Matukai achieved. This process is not an easy one however. When I read this, I equate this to a real world meditative art known as Qigong , or even Tai Chi Chuan . Through controlled and highly practiced movements, practitioners have been able to gain a higher level of control over there bodies, for most Tai Chi practitioners, many who have had crippling arthritis have claimed a complete disappearance in pain, a boost in the clarity and swiftness in there thoughts, and better health as far as chronic and joint related problems. This is mainly attributed to a release of stress, allowing practitioners to literally clear the mind in several seconds, and rather have there minds focussed on several things, focus on a single problem at a time. Also, by learning such control, it allows the mind to transcend pain, in a scientific term, it basically increases the pain tolerance of the mind, rather than making pain disappear altogether. As far as health, the gentle movements of Tai Chi gradually acclimate old joints and ligaments in directions and rotations that they haven't been through in years, gradually stretching them out and working them over day after day. The result is less joint problems. Now, as far as Qigong is concerned, it shows many of the same characteristics. However, it is Hardcore Qigong  that I will be focussing on in this section. Now, one thing must be grasped; Qi is a proven scientific concept. Specific movements and ations of the body promote increased electrical current within the body, indeed, centering from the abdomen. My goal in this section, is to teach aspects of both of these arts to a student, garnering not only said increase, but also an increase in the force. Let me explain.
The student, at mastering the six other aspects of the first tier, will then be shown the movements of what I have dubbed "Kima Gun". Kima Gun is a mix of martial movements, combined with controlled breathing, and rigorous mental exercise. The result (which can literally take years to develop, let alone master), is a complete reduction in pain by way of boosting the minds pain tolerance, a rejuvenation of the joints via the gentle movements and exercises, a clearer and swifter mind, and a heightened connection to the force. Now, it should be noted that this heightened connection is not a permanent thing, and that Kima Gun must be practiced daily, for years, to maintain a stable connection to the force. Now, the effects I have just described are how Kima Gun affects a non force sensitive being. Kima Gun would affect a force sensitive in a deeper more profound level; complete disappearance of pain via a rise in pain tolerance, unprecedented control over ones emotions, rejuvenation, and even reconstruction of the joints and ligaments themselves, via the force flowing through ones body as Kima Gun is practiced (A kind of low level pervading force healing), and a deeper connection to the force. Now this deeper connection is not stronger. But deeper. A person practicing Kima Gun will exhibit a hypersensitivity to the force, and even developed highly advanced precognition in a manner similar to the Gray Paladins. It is due mostly in part of Kima Gun that highly developed connection develops, strengthening not only the body and its physical power, but also developing this hypersensitivity. This hypersensitivity, in turn, will develop the precognition, the ability to stop telekinetic attacks, and the numerous abilities of the Matukai such as the unnatural rigidity, the purging of disease and sickness, the control over the bodies temperature, the preternatural speed and agility, the immunity to poison, the ability to detect injuries and poisons and disease, no matter how miniscule, and even enhanced and sustained stamina. All of these things give rise from a hypersensitive, inward view of the force, rather than outward. Granted, these abilities gradually develop as long as Kima Gun is practiced, and in extension; Kimagure. The downside however, is that no external abilities are able to be used. Due to this hypersensitivity, this highly developed inward sensitivity, the ability to control more mundane things such as telekinesis, force lightning, and etcetera, are lost. Only powers that enhance the body physically, such as force speed, jump, valor, reflex, and psychometry are able to be used. Nothing energy based, and nothing involving the extension of the mind out of the body is permissible. Now, in addition to Kima Gun's beneficial boost through the force, is also the physical benefits. Students, once introduced to the basics of Kima Gun, will begin with neck hanging, rigorous punching routines, ankle hanging, head beating, and kicking routines. These routines as demonstrated in this example;. Will gradually build up strength in the more vulnerable parts of the body, such as the wrists, knuckles, feet, shins, neck, and head. These practices are to be exercised daily alongside of Kima Gun practice. In the end, enormous strength, even further augmented by the force can be exerted, giving the wielder the ability to strike through light durasteel, shatter stone, and withstand edged weapons (non vibro, as the vibrations will cut through anything, no matter how rigid), with not only his fists, but other parts of his body as well. It should be noted though, that to withstand a bladed strike, it must be a portion of the body covered in muscle, as a strike to the head would cut through skin. In the end, the abilities that Kima Gun grants are: A hypersensitivity to the force, the ability to stop telekinetic attacks, unnatural control over the emotions, unnatural rigidity, the purging of disease and sickness, the control over the bodies temperature, preternatural speed and agility, immunity to poison, the ability to detect injuries and poisons and disease, no matter how miniscule, enhanced and sustained stamina, incredible striking strength, the ability to incredible blows to the head, stomach, neck, legs, forearms, and fists, due to the unnatural rigidity of the matukai, augmented further by the Kima Gun training, the ability to withstand strikes from bladed weapons in the neck, stomach, abdomen, sternum, forearms and upper arms, legs, and thighs. Again, credited to the Matukai / Kima Gun rigidity, and again; only on non vibro-weapons. In addition, extreme flexibility, and vanishing of any joint pain. However, the downside of Kima Gun meditation is: that no external applications of the force may be used with the exception of force: Alchaka, Anya-seff, Animal Friendship, Art of the Small, Battlemind, Beast Language, Bellow, Body, Comprehend Speech, Comprehension, Crucitorn (which is somewhat redundant), Empathy, Far Sight, Form, Hassat-durr, Hibernation Trance, Psychometry, Reflex, Speed, Tapas (Again, redundant), Valor. Any other moves other than these, and one simply cant practice Kimagure. Its Kimagure, and its moves, and these, or none at all. There are several exceptions to this, which will be explained later.
The Second Tier: Martial MasteryEdit
The Second Tier is Martial Mastery. Now that the first tier has been mastered, the student may progress to the second. Martial Mastery begins with the student being shown the four styles of Kimagure. From there, he is taught the three stances of each style, in addition to the strikes, blocks, and saves associated with each. Each style tends to embody an attribute of human and animal character. With one stance being built around aggressiveness, another defense, another around mobility and stealth, and so on. As such, each stance is named after a particular animal of the galaxy, which best suits the attributes of that style. Typically, a student will only choose a single Style, or will be assigned a style for himself. It is a rare thing for a student, unless he is trying to achieve grandmaster, to master all four styles. They are as follows.
- Way of the Divto (Speed and Maneuverability, Water)
- Way of the Katarn (Stealth and Lethality, Wind)