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07-27-2001, 11:10 PM
I believe that the term "aiki" has been around for a long time, well before the founder of aikido used it to name his art. I read an interesting book on Sagawa sensei of Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu in which the author described Sagawa sensei's use of "aiki" as "the invisible power," able to throw people across the room with just the faintest touch; uke's power would become totally and completely extinguished at first touch...

I know a lot of people use the term "aiki" in the lovey-dovey sense, but does anyone have any other thoughts on the meaning of "aiki"?

-- Jun

07-28-2001, 12:19 AM
Originally posted by akiy
I know a lot of people use the term "aiki" in the lovey-dovey sense, but does anyone have any other thoughts on the meaning of "aiki"?

-- Jun

I hate to keep referring to the same tome but in Dueling with O'Sensei, Ellis Amdur quotes O'Sensei as saying something along the lines of "aiki is the practice of blending and harmonizing with someone to get them to do what you want." I may not have that exactly right as my books are boxed up but I think that gets the gist of it across.

07-29-2001, 09:41 AM
Interesting. I've heard "aiki" defined by others basically as a dominating force -- none of this "blending" and "harmonizing" stuff.

Any thoughts?

-- Jun

07-29-2001, 12:15 PM
Hi Jun
Well, it is, isn't it?
Use aiki to get the result you want.
Aiki-Budo, Aiki-Jutsu? Used to defeat the enemy. AikiDo...? Used to get the result you want.
Here's a new discovery for me, in Nikkyo.
(I know, everyone has done it this way, I just see it differently now :))
Apply nikkyo just a little, to buckle uke's knees just a tiny amount, release the nikkyo, as uke 'stands up' (it really isn't a big movement at all,) enter with tenchi/irimi/kokyu. Much more gentle, and working with a totally natural reaction to the nikkyo. So MY purpose is... Ju? Aiki?
neither! My purpose is (I have no idea!!!) whatever my purpose is.
I could just nikkyo my attacker and teach him a lesson, but that's one step back.
So aiki is the 'move' (or motion!) but my motivation is the Do. However, being totally imperfect :( the Do is harder than the Aiki. Which makes aikido harder for me to learn. Blah blah blah....
Sorry for yapping.

07-29-2001, 06:12 PM
fromThe Mysterious Power of Ki by Kouzo Kaku - relating an interview with the late Ueshiba Kisshomaru (pgs 143-144).

What, then is 'aiki'? How do people who devote themselves to training their body and mind through Aikido actually experience 'aiki'?...
Thus, people experience aiki in different ways, and this is only natural; feeling is a personal experience that depends upon a person's character, personality, physical attributes and environment.
Although there are subtle difference in the way people describe aiki, I have no doubt that they are all experiencing true aiki. As each person progresses in their training, the differences between the individual perceptions of aiki become smaller until eventually all paths converge to arrive at a single state.
Ultimately, there is only one state of ki. My father had the following to say about the ultimate state of ki which he had himself attained:

'Through physical training I reached the ultimate understanding of budo. Once the essence of budo had been thus revealed to me, I realized that a person's body and mind and the ki which unites the two should be brought into perfect harmony, and that these three elements should be further unified with the activity of the universe. It is possible to unify one's mind and body and, subsequently, the universe, through the expert use of ki.'

Aiki is, therefore, the unification of the ki which is the basis of the life-force and is made manifest by subtle breath control with the ki which is the basis of existence and which permeates the entire universe, and aiki is to become one with the universe itself.

This is probably the clearest understanding that I've read from the late Doshu on aiki and ki. His earlier book The Spirit of Aikido gave a traditional 'no explaination is acceptable' argument. Also in this interview he relates his father's (O Sensei's) understanding of the topic. Note that he is also talking about two levels of aiki:

The personal individual level (mind and body)
The universal level (becoming one with the universe)

If you're still interested in all this KI/CHI/QI stuff, you can visit CKS Annex: Defining the Life Force (http://www.geocities.com/tedehara).

Chuck Clark
07-29-2001, 10:01 PM
I think from a budo viewpoint, aiki means to blend your spirit with the opponent's and dominate their spirit, intent, will, posture, etc. I have felt this done from some distance with just a look by senior budoka.

When combined with proper physical technique such as kuzushi, tsukuri, etc. you should be able to achieve control at first touch.

The word "harmony", in my understanding, means simply "good timing and fitting." Any moralistic or philosophical attitudes vary from person to person.

Some teachers have also taken the larger view to include "becoming one with the universe", etc.


07-30-2001, 03:09 AM
Originally posted by akiy
Interesting. I've heard "aiki" defined by others basically as a dominating force -- none of this "blending" and "harmonizing" stuff.

Any thoughts?

-- Jun

Maybe this could sound interesting to Aikiweb folks.

(from Endo Sensei's Site: http://member.nifty.ne.jp/aikido_sakudojo/Shihan16E.html ).

While practicing in this state, I realized that techniques consisted of the relationship between my partner and myself. While executing techniques focusing my consciousness on my relationship with my partner, just for an instant, I was able to experience a state beyond words. All of my consciousness disappeared and it was as if I was riding upon some immense flow. In that state, although I had no consciousness, I could see my partner's movements well and my body moved naturally and accordingly. I also noticed that I had become positive, optimistic, and diligent all the time. I could feel an all- pervading energy that was always pulsing within my partner. I went through many trials of trying to negate any selfish or self-centered consciousness, and instead focusing on my partner. This led to being able to experience the sensation of moving naturally and without any distinction between my partner and myself. From these experiences, I became convinced that I had discovered the direction of seeking the Tao.