PDA

View Full Version : Poll: Is there a universally accepted definition of the term "aikido"?


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


AikiWeb System
08-06-2006, 10:53 AM
AikiWeb Poll for the week of August 6, 2006:

Is there a universally accepted definition of the term "aikido"?

I don't do aikido
Yes
No


Here are the current results (http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=335).

ESimmons
08-06-2006, 01:11 PM
I think you should start adding "who cares" as a poll option.

Mark Uttech
08-06-2006, 09:14 PM
Adding "who cares" as a poll option is irrelevent because it includes everyone who doesn't vote.

ESimmons
08-06-2006, 10:04 PM
Adding "who cares" as a poll option is irrelevent because it includes everyone who doesn't vote.

No, it will only include those who feel the poll is irrelevant. Those who don't vote will not suddenly start voting because of an added option.

dps
08-06-2006, 10:51 PM
No, it will only include those who feel the poll is irrelevant. Those who don't vote will not suddenly start voting because of an added option.Then maybe all polls should have a question, " Is this poll irrelevant?" :) :)

Aristeia
08-06-2006, 11:25 PM
I'm often confused by the addition of the "i don't do aikido" option for the same reason.

MarkDole
08-07-2006, 03:45 AM
I think everything is aikido what is in harmony with aikido principles.

Richard Langridge
08-07-2006, 04:24 AM
I'm amazed that so many people voted "yes", given that you never hear the same definition of aikido twice.

Dirk Hanss
08-07-2006, 04:36 AM
I'm amazed that so many people voted "yes", given that you never hear the same definition of aikido twice.
As long as the definition is vague enough, it should be generally accepted. Only when it comes to details, arguments start.
"Aikido is a martial art as taught by the founder O'Sensei Morihei Ueshiba and his disciples".

Who does not accept this?

Well "real Aikido is only my aikido, the aikido taught by my sensei, his sensei and O'Sensei, when he taught Real Aikido". Now you can argue ;)

Dirk

Aristeia
08-07-2006, 04:38 AM
"Aikido is a martial art as taught by the founder O'Sensei Morihei Ueshiba and his disciples".
what qualifies as one of his disciples?

Amir Krause
08-07-2006, 06:25 AM
"Aikido is a martial art as taught by the founder O'Sensei Morihei Ueshiba and his disciples".

Who does not accept this?


Korindo Aikido followers, who acknowledge some connection between Sensei Minoro Hirai (Korindo founder) and Ueshiba but do not consider Hirai to be a follower or disciple of Ueshiba.

I believe there are some other groups of similar concept. People who study Aikido martial arts that may be connected to Ueshiba in some way or not (heard there is some Daito-ryu derivative also calling itself Aikido).

By making such a definition, you are already making some assumptions not everyone agrees with.


Amir

P.S.
If you wonder about the history of Korindo, please search other threads in this forum and in E-Budo. As it is off-topic.

Charles Bergman
08-07-2006, 09:41 AM
I think the best definition of aikido I have seen is in former Doshu K. Ueishiba's book in which he deifines aikido as "The Way of Hramony with Ki."

Typically, you are not supposed to use a term to define a term, but he spends a lot of time discussing the concept of Ki, and how hard it is to actually define. Understanding what "Ki" is, is the point of aikido training, and comes with practice and study.

Dirk Hanss
08-07-2006, 10:44 AM
what qualifies as one of his disciples?
Now you are going into details, which are not generaly accepted ;)

Dirk

aikidoc
08-07-2006, 10:54 AM
This could get complex. I think a good definition of aikido must link the way of harmony with ki, aiki principles, and Ueshiba and/or desciples in some manner. Otherwise, arts such as Systema would fall in the definition. To me, if there is no linke to Ueshiba it should not be called aikido (I know some will disagree with that). Those arts should be linked to aikjitsu or aikibudo.

Dirk Hanss
08-07-2006, 11:01 AM
Korindo Aikido followers, who acknowledge some connection between Sensei Minoro Hirai (Korindo founder) and Ueshiba but do not consider Hirai to be a follower or disciple of Ueshiba.

(...)
By making such a definition, you are already making some assumptions not everyone agrees with.


Amir

P.S.
If you wonder about the history of Korindo, please search other threads in this forum and in E-Budo. As it is off-topic.

Amir, you are pointing your fingers, where it hurts :drool:

I did not want to add "and similar arts", as some people would reject many of those arts as aikido.

But why does Korindo call itself "Aikido", if it does not refer to one of the Aikido sensei?

If you really want to spoil my deinition, you might even ask if "martial art" is a term to define aiki-DO. A WAY is never an art.

Charles', i.e. Kisshomaru's definition is probably better than mine. In any case the higher the level the easier you find common sense.


As there is no trademark, you could say
"Aikido is everything that is called :ai: :ki: :do: ", but I would use the term only if ...

best regards

Dirk

Amir Krause
08-07-2006, 11:07 AM
I think the best definition of aikido I have seen is in former Doshu K. Ueishiba's book in which he deifines aikido as "The Way of Hramony with Ki."

Is this not a translation of the term Aikido ?

Amir

Ron Tisdale
08-07-2006, 12:14 PM
But why does Korindo call itself "Aikido", if it does not refer to one of the Aikido sensei?

The term aikido was first used as a general category for a grouping of martial arts. Basically I believe it pointed toward arts that were not competitively oriented, and had links to koryu, though they were practiced as modern arts. In a general sense of course, and with all the usual caveats. Aikido Journal has some good articles on how the name was given.

The founder of Korindo aikido did train for a time with Ueshiba Sensei, but apparently he considered himself a contemporary more than a student.

Best,
Ron

David Yap
08-08-2006, 05:19 AM
I think the best definition of aikido I have seen is in former Doshu K. Ueishiba's book in which he deifines aikido as "The Way of Hramony with Ki.".Then again, his definition of "Ki" and Tohei's might differ. One might have claimed to have more "Ki" than the other (just speculative :D )

Best training

David Y

dps
08-08-2006, 05:37 AM
Is this not a translation of the term Aikido ?

AmirDoes the translation of Ai, Ki, and Do vary when you consider them in terms of body, mind, and spirit? For example Ai for the body is different than Ai for the mind and Ai for the spirit. When you discuss the meaning of the words should you consider if the discussion is about the body, mind or spirit?

jss
08-08-2006, 08:53 AM
I don't think Aikido should be broken up in ai-ki-do.
I think it should be aiki-do, the way of aiki. Aiki being quite a complicated subject, but only when explaining 'aiki', one should mention 'ai' and 'ki'.
So the universally accepted defenition should mention aiki and do.

And someone mentioned that a sufficiently vague definition could lead to agreement. Unfortunately such a definition could be nothing else than a bad definition. Vague defintions always are.

Don_Modesto
08-08-2006, 09:51 AM
I think the best definition of aikido I have seen is in former Doshu K. Ueishiba's book in which he deifines aikido as "The Way of Hramony with Ki."

Is this not a translation of the term Aikido ?

Amir
Tautology. Yes.

"KI" discussions are great for this: Black Boxes, Tautology, and Reification.

Btw, interesting thread deriving from this nonsense question, no?

These polls remind me of Andre Breton, one of the founders of Surrealism. He used to lead his followers out on rock hunts. The putative purpose was to find that "guru rock" (my term) which would answer the question which the followers came to it with. This antecedent to the host of creativity books and techniques we find on the shelves of Borders, et al.

These equally silly (evocative) questions Jun asks are the (to some) abrasive which inspires the oyster to create the pearl. (Wow. I can't tell--did I avoid mixing metaphors?)

dps
08-08-2006, 11:30 AM
I don't think Aikido should be broken up in ai-ki-do.
I think it should be aiki-do, the way of aiki. Aiki being quite a complicated subject, but only when explaining 'aiki', one should mention 'ai' and 'ki'.
So the universally accepted defenition should mention aiki and do.

And someone mentioned that a sufficiently vague definition could lead to agreement. Unfortunately such a definition could be nothing else than a bad definition. Vague defintions always are.
Aikidoka that I have read about or talked to seem to agree on a definition of Do in Aikido as O'Sensei's way, or path. That mainly leaves a discussion of aiki. Does your meaning of Aiki change from when you are practicing techniques ( body) to when you are reading, researching or talking about Aiki in relation to mind and spirit?

Don_Modesto
08-08-2006, 02:53 PM
I don't think Aikido should be broken up in ai-ki-do.
I think it should be aiki-do, the way of aiki. Aiki being quite a complicated subject, but only when explaining 'aiki', one should mention 'ai' and 'ki'.
So the universally accepted defenition should mention aiki and do.Personally, I like this. But I think it's wrong.

One Mr. Tanahashi, IIRC, defined it your way in Susan Perry's Remembering O-Sensei: Breath Unification Method, but he's the only person I've seen do this.

I once facetiously asked Stanley Pranin if we could define aikido as the way to unbalance your opponent (functionally the same as Tanahashi's definition), and he unsmilingly dunned me that Osensei explicitly meant AI and KI and DO, the way of harmony of spirit, i.e., Osensei punned on the historical meaning of aiki making it a DIFFERENT meaning than had theretofore been accepted for aiki.

jss
08-08-2006, 03:53 PM
Does your meaning of Aiki change from when you are practicing techniques ( body) to when you are reading, researching or talking about Aiki in relation to mind and spirit?I believe 'aiki' should first be discovered and explored in techniques. This implies body, mind and spirit, although I see no point in mentioning this. The reason for this is that I see too many people going philosophical/spiritual on aikido to a degree that is not justified by the quality/quantity of their practice. Those people would get the same results from folk dancing; unfortunately nobody is selling folk dancing in this way... And doing a 'martial' is just so much cooler.

jss
08-08-2006, 04:01 PM
I once facetiously asked Stanley Pranin if we could define aikido as the way to unbalance your opponent (functionally the same as Tanahashi's definition), and he unsmilingly dunned me that Osensei explicitly meant AI and KI and DO, the way of harmony of spirit, i.e., Osensei punned on the historical meaning of aiki making it a DIFFERENT meaning than had theretofore been accepted for aiki.
I don't know exactly what to reply to this, so just some remarks.
To me it is still not entirely clear how the name 'aikido' came to existence. But iirc O-sensei did use 'aiki' and 'aiki' seems to be a bigger problem than 'do'.
Perhaps we need to differentiate between the martial and spiritual ideas of O-sensei. (Don't ask me how, this is tricky stuff.) The martial aiki seems to come with some modification from daito-ryu. The term 'aikido' was accepted in the early 1940s (correct me if I'm wrong). If O-sensei became more spiritual in his later years, perhaps it was then that he began to explore the spiritual side of the martial aiki and started talking about ai-ki-do.

Don_Modesto
08-08-2006, 04:11 PM
To me it is still not entirely clear how the name 'aikido' came to existence. But iirc O-sensei did use 'aiki' and 'aiki' seems to be a bigger problem than 'do'.Me, either. But according to sources, Hirai Minoru, acting as go-between for Osensei and the Butokukai came up with the name and Osensei agreed. But how Osensei used the term, and how everybody else did, can easily be two different things. (Evidently, DR came to be called "aikijujutsu" at the suggestion of Osensei and the third of the aikido triumvirate, Deguchi Onisaburo, whom Takeda didn't like.)

If O-sensei became more spiritual in his later years, perhaps it was then that he began to explore the spiritual side of the martial aiki and started talking about ai-ki-do.I would doubt this. He was always a pretty spiritual person. I would tend to think, rather, that he found ways to pun new meanings into old and took advantage of that as much as possible. Thus aiki-->ai & ki. Just my two cents, though.

Thanks for the response.

dps
08-08-2006, 05:07 PM
Perhaps we need to differentiate between the martial and spiritual ideas of O-sensei. (Don't ask me how, this is tricky stuff.) The martial aiki seems to come with some modification from daito-ryu. The term 'aikido' was accepted in the early 1940s (correct me if I'm wrong). If O-sensei became more spiritual in his later years, perhaps it was then that he began to explore the spiritual side of the martial aiki and started talking about ai-ki-do. This what I am thinking too. It seems to me that O-Sensei's early Aikido emphasis was on the developement of the physical aspects (body) and less on the spiritual and as he developed the physical aspects the spiritual aspects become more relevant to him.

Aikido is a parallel of his developement that he gave us in hopes we could acclompish the same developement he did in a shorter time.

Did the Aiki that O-Sensei learned from Takeda Sensei have any spiritual aspect? What was Takeds Sensei's religous or spiritual beliefs?

markwalsh
08-08-2006, 05:58 PM
Name anything that's universially accepted. Friendly challenge...

I know there's people way smarter than me out there, so I'm confidant we'll get something. What ya got!!!?!!!

Charles Hill
08-09-2006, 01:08 AM
Thanks to the work of people like Stan Pranin and John Stevens, it is clear that for Morihei Ueshiba's art had a spiritual base right from the beginning. He joined Omoto-kyo as a young man, which encourages its members to explore spirituality through the medium of art. O'Sensei's "art" was martial and his Aikido was an expression of his spirituality right from when he joined in his 30's.

For me the question of a universal definition starts with whether one considers Morihei Ueshiba to be the base, or beginning (perhaps there is a better way to state this?) of Aikido. If one person answers "yes" and another "no" I think the discussion kind of grinds to a halt.

Charles Hill

Brad Pruitt
08-09-2006, 01:24 AM
Name anything that's universially accepted. Friendly challenge...

I know there's people way smarter than me out there, so I'm confidant we'll get something. What ya got!!!?!!!
How about Love ?

dps
08-09-2006, 02:03 AM
Thanks to the work of people like Stan Pranin and John Stevens, it is clear that for Morihei Ueshiba's art had a spiritual base right from the beginning. He joined Omoto-kyo as a young man, which encourages its members to explore spirituality through the medium of art. O'Sensei's "art" was martial and his Aikido was an expression of his spirituality right from when he joined in his 30's.
Yes O'Sensei was a spiritual person from when he was a little boy but his start into martial arts was not to express his spirituality but to develope enormous physical strength and martial skill because of his father's trouble with rival political foes hiring thugs to beat his father up. In 1915 he met Sokaku Takeda and was taught Daito Ryu Aikijutsu. In 1920 he met Wanisburo Deguchi and became a follower of Omoto-kyo. It was 1925 when he had his spiritual conversion to all budo is God's love and the 1940's when he took the name of Aikido as the name of his art. So the beginning of his journey was not of spiritual origin it but desire for physical ability. The spiritual came out as he got older and during the developement of his art.

If universally means those outside of Aikido then definately there is no consensus of the meaning.

markwalsh
08-09-2006, 08:51 AM
How about Love ?

That would have been my first pass, but then I remembered all the people out there who have great difficulty saying "Yes" to it. It's the light not the darkness that scare us and all that...

How about frozen pizza isn't as good as fresh.

dps
08-09-2006, 09:16 AM
That would have been my first pass, but then I remembered all the people out there who have great difficulty saying "Yes" to it. It's the light not the darkness that scare us and all that...

How about frozen pizza isn't as good as fresh.Digiorno frozen pizza :)

Don_Modesto
08-09-2006, 11:36 AM
Yes O'Sensei was a spiritual person from when he was a little boy but his start into martial arts was not to express his spirituality but to develope enormous physical strength and martial skill because of his father's trouble with rival political foes hiring thugs to beat his father up.I agree, but I think this oversimpifies. I don't think there was that much of a contradiction in Osensei's mind between body and spirit.

The spiritual came out as he got older and during the developement of his art.In the Shingon Buddhist tradition, to which he was initiated at 7, and it's "secular" offshoots in the form of MICHI such as poetry, Noh, carpentry, etc., one infuses one's practice of the profane with the sacred. This is done in manners considered laughable today, such as punning (the word IS the THING, of course and contra our modern sensibility disallowing the map as the territory), numerology, et al. but it is/was the currency of mystical pursuit. I doubt myself that there was such a breach in the man's practice of bujutsu over and against spirituality. We see how seamlessly he taught his precious budo to the wildest factions of reaction during the 15 Year War, e.g.

Charles Hill
08-09-2006, 08:34 PM
one infuses one's practice of the profane with the sacred.

I would even go so far as to say it was the opposite for Morihei. It is my understanding that Onisaburo encouraged his followers to use what they were good at and interested in and make that the vehicle of their spiritual practice. It is my impression that the spiritual was by far more important than the martial, the quote of dressing the old bujutsu in new clothing and all.

I think that Morihei was a lifelong follower of Onisaburo's, who, like any good teacher, encouraged his students to become independent of him. It is now obvious that the Aikikai severely downplayed the influence of Sokaku Takeda. I think the same was done of Omoto.

Charles

Don_Modesto
08-09-2006, 09:41 PM
Don J. Modesto wrote:
one infuses one's practice of the profane with the sacred.


I would even go so far as to say it was the opposite for Morihei. It is my understanding that Onisaburo encouraged his followers to use what they were good at and interested in and make that the vehicle of their spiritual practice.
Didn't you just repeat what I said?

Charles Hill
08-10-2006, 06:32 AM
Hi Don,

I don't think so, but I could be wrong. If one infuses the profane with the sacred, that sounds to me like the profane is primary or fundamental. I see it as M. Ueshiba considering the spiritual primary and the martial secondary. We know that Sokaku was unhappy with changes Morihei made, yet Morihei did not change back and in fact went even further with changes after the war. An interesting question is, would he have changed things if Onisaburo had told him to. For example, that martial arts are wrong and you should drop them. Of course, we don't know the answer, but I suspect he may have made those changes.

From my reading of your post, I felt that this was somewhat different than what you wrote. If I misread your post, my apologies.
Charles

Don_Modesto
08-10-2006, 10:02 AM
If one infuses the profane with the sacred, that sounds to me like the profane is primary or fundamental....From my reading of your post, I felt that this was somewhat different than what you wrote. If I misread your post, my apologies.
CharlesHi, Charles,

No harm done. I see the distinction you make. It's very subtle. Probably subtler than my thinking.

As always, thanks for the response.

markwalsh
08-10-2006, 01:54 PM
No more takers on the challenge to name anything that is universally accepted?

Basia Halliop
08-10-2006, 03:49 PM
The sky is blue?

Ron Tisdale
08-10-2006, 03:51 PM
Nobody get's out alive...NOBODY!!!

Hmmm....
B,
R

dps
08-10-2006, 03:53 PM
The sky is blue?
What shade of blue?

markwalsh
08-10-2006, 04:01 PM
Mum's colourblind

Basia Halliop
08-11-2006, 12:10 PM
Mum's colourblind

:D

dps
08-11-2006, 12:46 PM
The sky is blue?
Says who?