Zen and hai are ways of developing the inner ki of the individual; they are therefore basic elements of Taiki-ken. But the development of inner ki alone does not constitute a martial art. To lesser or greater extents, ki exists in all animals. In order to convert ki into part of a martial art, the person must be able to use it to generate explosive bursts of power without conscious thought at the moment when he comes into contact with an attacking opponent.
Neri trains the outer part of the person, the muscles of his body. It might be called a training method for attacks and defenses. The word neri itself is a Japanese term applied to the act of kneading as practiced on clay by the potter. Just as the potter presses and stretches clay from all sides, so neri is applied to all parts of the body to develop strength, toughness, and resilience. It does not prescribe training for special parts of the body for use in specified defenses against given kinds of attacks. As I have said, it strives to produce bodily flexibility and toughness; consequently, the kinds of neri training used may vary with the person involved.
The following four kinds of training methods are used in kneading the body into good condition: mukae-te, harai-te, sashi-te, and daken. In the early stages, practice slowly and gradually build up speed. The degree of perfection of an individual's neri can be clearly seen by observing the way he executes the tanshu (see p. 1 53).
This method is termed mukae-te (meeting hand) because, when an opponent attacks, the arms go forward, within the person's limits of defense, to meet the attack. The word mukae-te is used to describe methods of warding off the opponent's attack as well.
The characteristic merit of mukae-te is reduction of the maximum strength of the opponent's strike.
Although this is similar to Basic Movement III (see p. 32), the ways in which the arms are pulled inward and pushed forward differ. From the original position (Fig. 1), pull your right arm upward and inward to a position at the side of your right ear (Figs. 2 and 3). Then, as you pull your right foot inward, push your right hand to the front and pull your left hand toward you (Figs. 4 and 5). The remainder of the practice method consists in repetitions of these movements (Figs. 6 through 9). It is important in this method to turn the palm of the hand forward to agree with the forward push. The body motions and the pushing of the hands and arms must be coordinated.