definition of Aikido

Discussion in 'Aikido' started by dasgregorian, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. dasgregorian

    dasgregorian Guest

    I realize the "do" part of Aikido means basically 'the way of'... similar to "karate-do" being 'the way of the open hand' and "kendo" the way of the sword, "bushido" as 'the way of the warrior'.... So what is the actual definition of "aiki?" I've been told it's something similar to 'flow.' So Aikido could be translated as 'the way of flow?'
     
  2. theletch1

    theletch1 Grandmaster

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    The general translation is somewhere along the lines of "The way in harmony with universal energy." "Ai" is harmony and "ki" is much like the chinese "chi"...that ephemeral, universal, internal energy that is in everything in the universe.
     
  3. dasgregorian

    dasgregorian Guest

    wow, I didn't know it broke down that far. I knew 'Ki' was similar to the concept of 'chi' but, If I'm not mistaken can't "Ai" be translated as 'love' too? I remember seeing a shirt that said I (japanese symbol for Ai) Anime... girlfriend (who speaks japanese) said it meant I love anime, and it's pronounced "Ai"... or is that a different word?

    (My current Sensei refers to Aiki as meaning harmony)
     
  4. kilo

    kilo Yellow Belt

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    I prefer the more technical but boringly long version of "The Way of Blending with the Opponents' Energy (so that you can kick their butt)." :supcool:
     
  5. JAMJTX

    JAMJTX Blue Belt

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    The sums it up quite well. My own words would have been much the same.

    DO is "path" more than "way" but "way should be interpreted as "way of life" or "a path that you take in life". This is an interpretation based on the usage as pertains to Budo, rather a translation.
     
  6. Yari

    Yari Master Black Belt

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    I agree. But I also agree with the translation to "path". Many times I feel that the translation from Japanese you need to know in which context the words are used.

    /Yari
     
  7. theletch1

    theletch1 Grandmaster

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    Agreed on the path translation as well. I've even heard someone say that "Do" could as easily translate to the broader definition of "lifestyle" or "way of life". As for "Ai" being harmony or love...when you're truly in love with someone you'll find that harmony so I can see where that dual translation would come in.
     
  8. Yari

    Yari Master Black Belt

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    But I think a lot of people forget that harmoni isn't necessary positiv. Harmoni is a relative word. And harmoni is open for peoples own interpertation.

    /yari
     
  9. Henderson

    Henderson Master Black Belt

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    What WE think is the definition of Aikido is really irrelevant. O'Sensei's definition is the one that matters. What did he claim as the definition of Aikido?

    Respects,

    Frank
     
  10. theletch1

    theletch1 Grandmaster

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    I don't know that I agree with that completely. As each of us evolve with in the art it we should make the art our own and as such the definition may be a little different for each of us. To stick strictly to the definition that was given by someone else, even by O'sensei, is to hold back a little on the art and not become one with it. The aikido that I study is not an O'sensei substyle so don't take it as being offensive if I've come off here as callous or disrespectful...that was not the intention.
     
  11. Henderson

    Henderson Master Black Belt

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    No offense taken.....I don't even study Aikido. Just wanted to add a twist to the discussion.

    Frank
     
  12. Yari

    Yari Master Black Belt

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    I don't agree at all. What we think is most rellevant. It's what we think that defines Aikido. Osensei might have some plan/thoughts/even the concept himself, but what we have is only what he expressed either by words or by techniques. And even that is up to discussion. So in the end it's a question of what YOU think about it. And I belive it's that way for all styles.

    /Yari
     
  13. Henderson

    Henderson Master Black Belt

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    Very true, very true. But I was under the impression this thread was started requesting a definition of Aikido, and the word Aiki in particular. It seems to have morphed into a discussion of interpretation and evolution of the art. On these grounds, I do believe it is the current practitioners' opinion that is relevant.

    Man, I love rational conversations! Much better than the last forum in which I was involved.

    Respects,

    Frank
     
  14. jujutsu_indonesia

    jujutsu_indonesia Black Belt

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    Aiki is the energy that is produced when two "swords" meet. Aiki Jutsu is the art of utilizing this energy. Aiki Jujutsu is Jujutsu with the addition of Aiki. Or so my sensei said.

    But everytime he explains Aiki stuff he is more joking than being serious I think. for example, he once explained Aikido as "the martial art for people who want to be Steven Seagal". I know he was joking, but I am sure not many people will find the joke funny.
     
  15. Yari

    Yari Master Black Belt

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    Yes, I agree. I think that people forget that definitions are inventet by humans so that they can understand the world. So in a sense we are always creating our own definition of things...... But I know that is getting a bit philosphical.

    /yari
     
  16. TheBattousai

    TheBattousai Guest

    To toss my two cents in, I believe the translation works like this:

    Ai - Harmony, esotiricly speaking love
    Ki - Spirit, energy (energy of the universe)
    Do - duh!, way (I think everyone nows that)

    so it can be translated the harmonious spirit way or the way of the harmony (or harmonious) spirit.

    What is important is to understand the philosophy trying to that Osensai was trying to teach, which is that one should be in harmony with the spirit of the universe, for if one was in perfect spiritual harmony with the universe, one could blend and become the universe. That is also why its a good reason to think of Ai as love as well, because love is what comprises as the spirit of the universe. In the situation of being attacked, you must have love for your opponent or you will not be with the universe, but when you are, what opponent can defeat the universe.
     
  17. Yari

    Yari Master Black Belt

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    So what is the univers?

    /yari
     
  18. theletch1

    theletch1 Grandmaster

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    I am the universe...at least I think that's what O'sensei said. As for my personal view on what the universe is, well, I'll type that out when I have a couple extra hours on my hand.
     
  19. Yari

    Yari Master Black Belt

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    :)


    I understand, but still the concept of using the univers as a postive reference, is something I don't understand. How can the univers be positiv?

    /Yari
     
  20. TheBattousai

    TheBattousai Guest

    Positive in a loving sense and attitude. Think along simple terms for now like keeping your head cool. You don't want to do something on an impulse and in anger, like what your opponent is doing. Plus, you should never want to really hurt anyone. With the attitude part, your positive, that you don't what someone hurting you either.123
     

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