definition of Aikido

amir

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The standard answer for "aikido" is:
Ai - Harmony
Ki - Chi, Japanese concept of universal energy in all living matter... (borrowed from the Chinese concept)
Do - Way of life, as in Budo.

The difficulty with Japanese is that often several words are written in a different way, but pronounced the same. This is true for "Ai", another word that is pronounced the same way means love, and for "Do" another way that is pronounced the same way means path.

Amir
 

theletch1

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Yari said:
:)


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
The universe, IMHO, is neither positive nor negative. It simply IS. As aikido-ka we strive for balance in all things. Light means nothing without the dark. Good means nothing without the bad and so on. I believe that this also explains your statement that some folks don't see harmony as a good thing? The dark, the bad, the evil are all things that few people relish but are all as needed as the light, the good, and the just. If the universe is to be used as an example for anything it should be used as an example of balance and not simply for good.
 

Hand Sword

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From my experiences with Aikidoka, I would say my definition of Aikido is the art of moving out of the way!
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nikkunotenken

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I happened to come across this thread during a google search and thought I'd register and offer some clarity and the definition I know.

Amir touched on a lot of this very lightly, but I thought I'd offer a bit (well... a lot i guess...) more clarity.
The standard answer for "aikido" is:
Ai - Harmony
Ki - Chi, Japanese concept of universal energy in all living matter... (borrowed from the Chinese concept)
Do - Way of life, as in Budo.

The difficulty with Japanese is that often several words are written in a different way, but pronounced the same. This is true for "Ai", another word that is pronounced the same way means love, and for "Do" another way that is pronounced the same way means path.
Amir

First to clarify, the Kanji for "Ai" is a different kanji than that of the "Ai" associated with love. For those who don't know, there are two ways to read kanji in japanese. The first is reading the "onyomi" or the chinese meaning. In japanese, you read the onyomi version when you have multiple kanji together to form a word (as you would in chinese). For example, when you read "Aikido" you are reading each character's "
"onyomi". The second method for reading kanji is the "kunyomi" or the Japanese meaning.The kunyomi is read (generally) when the kanji is being used alone (there are some special exceptions, such as japanese names...). For example the kanji "[SIZE=+1]愛[/SIZE]" is read as "mederu" (love) in kunyomi, but read as "ai" (also love) in onyomi. Possibly a better example is the "Ai" used in "Aikido". The kanji "[SIZE=+1]合[/SIZE]" is read as "katsu" or "gatsu" in onyomi, but is read "au" in kunyomi (which becomes ai due to verb conjugation). I hope that explains a bit about reading kanji, and clarifies the differences in the two "ai"s...


On to the definition of "aikido"...
A good translation/definition of "Aikido" exists on the wiki:
Aikido (合気道, aikidō?) is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. Aikido is often translated as "the Way of unifying (with) life energy"[1] or as "the Way of harmonious spirit."[2] Ueshiba's goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury.

The word "aikido" is formed of three kanji:

The meaning of Aikido that I learned while training is essentially the same as "the Way of harmonious spirit" (its been a couple years since I last studied).



The standard answer for "aikido" is:
Ki - Chi, Japanese concept of universal energy in all living matter... (borrowed from the Chinese concept)
Amir
One thing I' like to mention is that the conecpt of "Chi" isn't specifically "Chinese", it's origins lie in the origins of Taoism. Also, I feel like "borrowed" isn't really the right word (I know I'm getting picky, but I can't help it). Many of these ancient concepts spread to places like Japan and Korea when the Chinese invaded said areas. This is the reason that the Japanese and Korean use the Chinese definitions of words in their own languages, and why many of the "Eastern" philosophies are very similar.



While reading a few books about Aikido (written by John Stevens Sensei, my sensei's sensei, who studied under Osensei before he passed on) I (again this is from my studying) learned that Aikido is very much a personal artform. As with many aspects of Japanese culture, Aikido revolves around Buddhism (particularly Zen Buddhism) which focuses on inward meditation. One of the classic chants used in "warmups" for Aikido is a phrase coined by Osensei "Masakatsu agatsu" which he defined as "true victory is victory over oneself". I believe that this is one of the key elements in Aikido's mental/spiritual areas. One must master oneself in order to harmonize with "ki". (As a note, I would recommend that anyone interested more in the mental/spiritual aspects of Aikido or even some of Aikido's history, look into John Stevens' books. He has a good biography on Morohei Ueshiba Osensei titled "Abundant Peace" as well as a great translation of Osensei's "The Art of Peace"
 

nikkunotenken

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The universe, IMHO, is neither positive nor negative. It simply IS. As aikido-ka we strive for balance in all things. Light means nothing without the dark. Good means nothing without the bad and so on. I believe that this also explains your statement that some folks don't see harmony as a good thing? The dark, the bad, the evil are all things that few people relish but are all as needed as the light, the good, and the just. If the universe is to be used as an example for anything it should be used as an example of balance and not simply for good.

This is, esentially, the definition of "Yin and Yang", the "light and dark" (so to speak) forces of "ki"/"chi" (the universal energy). This definition of "ki/chi" is a large part and link to the "harmony" in Aikido. I think it's also important to recognize that this idea of "ki/chi" is also very closely related to Zen buddhism and also "Bushido" (one of the major backin ideals of Aikido and essential to Aikido's development and creation).
 
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