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Mary Eastland
07-12-2013, 01:49 PM
If you were going to rename aikido in the language of your country what would it be?

I like "Principles for Awareness and Safety." To me that is American for Aikido, incorpating self-defense and the spiritual side.

lars beyer
07-12-2013, 02:29 PM
If you were going to rename aikido in the language of your country what would it be?

I like "Principles for Awareness and Safety." To me that is American for Aikido, incorpating self-defense and the spiritual side.

Being born in a nation which is considerably smaller than most mega nations like the US I would say:
Even the weak can overcome the strong :-)
Best
Lars

( I know this is an academic discourse.. so no pun intended.. :-P and I apologise in advance off course :-D )

Hellis
07-12-2013, 04:14 PM
If you were going to rename aikido in the language of your country what would it be?
.

Self-Defense

Henry Ellis
Co-author `Positive Aikido`
http://britishaikido.blogspot.com/

Dan Rubin
07-12-2013, 05:14 PM
Even the weak can overcome the strong

Even the weak can overcome the wrong.

Peter Goldsbury
07-12-2013, 07:12 PM
合気道: it does not need renaming here. :D

bkedelen
07-12-2013, 08:03 PM
Even the weak can overcome the wrong.

Love it.

My contribution:
Dignity System

aikishihan
07-12-2013, 08:19 PM
What Peter said.

Rupert Atkinson
07-12-2013, 10:43 PM
It is the way of aiki in what ever language you choose to name. The target is aiki, and the techniques provide the method to find it.

Phil Van Treese
07-12-2013, 10:49 PM
I would call it "Der Aikido"

Carsten Möllering
07-13-2013, 12:57 AM
It is the way of aiki in what ever language you choose to name. The target is [I]aikisic.
You can write aiki romanized or in kanji. You can write it with greek letters or whatever.
But it stays allway aiki. So we say "Der Weg des aiki".
Renaming or "translating" this term allways will loose it's true meaning or understanding.

Peter Goldsbury
07-13-2013, 03:31 AM
It is the way of aiki in what ever language you choose to name. The target is aiki, and the techniques provide the method to find it.

Hello Rupert,

How are things?

I think Japanese is commonly thought to be fairly flexible on how the elements of a compound word can be subdivided, especially for words like 合気, which are not in common use. I have had many discussions about this with Japanese colleagues who profess Japanese language and linguistics. Morihei Ueshiba does not use the term consistently and in terms of kotodama the term 合気道 could be broken down into its three elements, with each element given its own interpretation. I think the problem for Mary E (I am sure she will come back and correct me if I am wrong) is that 合気 and 合気道 lack a commonly accepted English translation and so need to be replaced by an acceptable definite description. As I stated in my earlier post, we do not need to do this here in Japan, since 合気 and 合気道 do just fine.

Best wishes,

PAG

Basia Halliop
07-13-2013, 02:28 PM
I wouldn't try to give it a descriptive name or a name that tried to sum up what it was in the name. I'm quite happy to stick with a name that isn't descriptive in my language.

PeterR
07-13-2013, 04:42 PM
The great thing about English is that it has no shame in borrowing words especially if there is no equivalent already there.

We borrowed beserk, amok - why not aiki.

sakumeikan
07-13-2013, 05:34 PM
Hi Guys,
Some Aikido on you tube should carry the name Ball Room Dancing as a substitute for Aikido.Another possible name isthe British pastime known as The Floral Dance.Cheers, Joe.

aikishihan
07-13-2013, 07:35 PM
It began as "aikido" here, and nothing has happened to warrant any changes. Perhaps the name changes should signify how far from the original interpretations have proliferated. Zannen da.

Mary Eastland
07-13-2013, 07:56 PM
Or perhaps it is okay to talk about things. No changes have to be made... we can just have a conversation. Sometimes listening to what other people have to say helps me learn or think about a subject in a new way.

And Joe, what you had to say has nothing to do with the thread.

Isn't Aikiweb about conversations?

And Peter, thank you for how you put that...

Rupert Atkinson
07-13-2013, 09:35 PM
Hello Rupert,

How are things?

I think Japanese is commonly thought to be fairly flexible on how the elements of a compound word can be subdivided, especially for words like 合気, which are not in common use. I have had many discussions about this with Japanese colleagues who profess Japanese language and linguistics. Morihei Ueshiba does not use the term consistently and in terms of kotodama the term 合気道 could be broken down into its three elements, with each element given its own interpretation. I think the problem for Mary E (I am sure she will come back and correct me if I am wrong) is that 合気 and 合気道 lack a commonly accepted English translation and so need to be replaced by an acceptable definite description. As I stated in my earlier post, we do not need to do this here in Japan, since 合気 and 合気道 do just fine.

Best wishes,

PAG

Hi Peter, spent several months in Japan last year - and managed to get to the big course last Sept. - Saw you but only briefly - you are too busy! Now back in NZ. Anyway - aiki - to me it is THE thing we need to be aiming to get. Not the waza. I have been after it since about 2000 and have learned a lot. It is definitely worth chasing. Next time we meet I'll show you what I have discovered, if you ask :-) Explaining is impossible. Sad thing is though, people are happy with their waza so don't seem interested - why - because it destroys their concept of waza completely. And I mean completely. Just my 2c.

RonRagusa
07-13-2013, 10:45 PM
I was taught that ‘Aikido’ broken down into its component parts could be translated as ‘the Way to Union with Ki’. However, while Ai and Do are replaced with Way and Union respectively, Ki has no substitute. Over time I have developed my own functional definition of Ki as power generated by correct feeling, which is engendered by a coordinated mind and body.

Therefore if I were to translate, ‘rename’ in the OP, Aikido into English I would say “the Way (Do) of Unifying (Ai) mind and body so as to experience the power of correct feeling (Ki).”

Ron

Rupert Atkinson
07-13-2013, 11:45 PM
I was taught that ‘Aikido’ broken down into its component parts could be translated as ‘the Way to Union with Ki’. However, while Ai and Do are replaced with Way and Union respectively, Ki has no substitute. Over time I have developed my own functional definition of Ki as power generated by correct feeling, which is engendered by a coordinated mind and body.

Therefore if I were to translate, ‘rename’ in the OP, Aikido into English I would say “the Way (Do) of Unifying (Ai) mind and body so as to experience the power of correct feeling (Ki).”

Ron

I think you are over intellectualising it. It is - the Way of Aiki. And aiki is what aiki is. You can't translate it - you have to search for it and put it (aiki) into your Aikido techniques. Then, you have Aikido. If you put it into your Jujutsu techniques, then you have Aiki-jutsu. There is no reason why you could not put it into Judo either. Without aiki all you have is a bunch of waza. You may develop some aiki accidentally as you train, but if you recognise Aikido as the Way of Aiki, you will target it (aiki) and be more likely to succeed. And to those who ask, 'What is aiki?' ... it means they are 'off the track' for sure, and I could not easly answer as words are useless. But 'What is aiki?' is the only question they should be asking. Then, they are ready to seek.

I am now of the opinion that you could do Aikido for 50 years and simply, not be doing Aikido at all.

Peter Goldsbury
07-14-2013, 12:13 AM
Hi Peter, spent several months in Japan last year - and managed to get to the big course last Sept. - Saw you but only briefly - you are too busy! Now back in NZ. Anyway - aiki - to me it is THE thing we need to be aiming to get. Not the waza. I have been after it since about 2000 and have learned a lot. It is definitely worth chasing. Next time we meet I'll show you what I have discovered, if you ask :-) Explaining is impossible. Sad thing is though, people are happy with their waza so don't seem interested - why - because it destroys their concept of waza completely. And I mean completely. Just my 2c.

Hello Rupert,

Yes, I remember we had a brief conversation at the Yoyogi Centre in Tokyo and, yes, I will certainly ask you what you have discovered when we next meet. Some of my Dutch friends are studying aiki and those who are members of the dojos I look after do so with my strong encouragement. The problem with waza, however, is that Morihei Ueshiba used them throughout his life. He might well have used them as vehicles for doing something else, but he still used them. The question then is: was he using the term in the commonly-accepted sense of 'techniques', or was his concept more inclusive?

The 'Way of Harmonizing Ki'-type explanation / translation occurs on the Aikikai's website, but only in the English section. It is symptomatic of a way of thinking according to which it is thought necessary to have a nice, tidy explanation of how all the parts of a compound word written in Chinese characters fit together. People often do this with the constituent parts of a character and the temptation here is to believe that after you have gone through this procedure you have a deeper understanding of the word. I think the tendency is less common here and I think the reason is that compound words written in Chinese characters are just words, after all, with definite meanings, of the type you can find in the dictionary.

Best wishes,

PAG

Carsten Möllering
07-14-2013, 03:34 AM
And Joe, what you had to say has nothing to do with the thread.It has.
Joe's statement pierces right through to the very core of the hermeneutic aspect: If you try to rename something that already has a name on it's own - maybe because this name is not easy to use or you don't undertand it or it does not belong to your world in which way ever - your renaming will only reflect your understanding of the renamed phenomenon. The new name will tell something about you. But not about the phenomenon itself.

Isn't Aikiweb about conversations?To me saying "I don't agree" oder simply "no!" is a very important part of conversation. When I read your question about "renaming" aikidō it made me sad. The longer I practice aikidō the more I understand that it is important to look for the true meaning of this two kanji aiki in my practice. It is a search for what it is, how it works and so on. The moment you/I describe aiki in your/my own word and rename it, this search is over. Without hving reached it.

At last:
Every phrase given in this thread to "rename" aikidō - also yours, Mary, and Ron's - can mean/describe a different budō also or simply a certain way of life. None of them exclusively describes what aikidō is - in my eyes.

Mary Eastland
07-14-2013, 07:11 AM
Wow Carsten..you are taking this a lot more seriously than I meant it. If you reread my first post you might see the lightness in the language I used.

Aikido is a fine name, really.

Often people ask me what I do don't understand when I say Aikido...so I was just thinking on Aikiweb about how to explain it in American English in a few short words. The way of peace or the way of harmony really dos not seem to help them understand.

RonRagusa
07-14-2013, 07:30 AM
At last:
Every phrase given in this thread to "rename" aikidō - also yours, Mary, and Ron's - can mean/describe a different budō also or simply a certain way of life. None of them exclusively describes what aikidō is - in my eyes.

Carsten -

Unfortunate that you can't see the alternate usage of the word rename (translate) because you are missing the point of the thread. No one is looking to rename Aikido in the sense of "let's not use the word Aikido any more let's say ... instead." You and others have chosen to zero in on a single word in the OP and use your interpretation of its usage in order to prove a point. Others, Henry Ellis in particular, saw the point immediately and responded in a way that furthers the discussion as it was originally intended.

Rupert -

Thanks for your feedback. Your insistence that Aiki cannot be translated is just a way of metaphorically putting your head in the sand and making believe the discussion isn't there. Words aren't useless, they are tools for understanding. This is a discussion board, not the mat. It's a place where words are used in order to further understanding of this art that we all practice.

Ron

Gary David
07-14-2013, 10:13 AM
I think you are over intellectualising it. It is - the Way of Aiki. And aiki is what aiki is. You can't translate it - you have to I think you are over intellectualising it. It is - the Way of Aiki. And aiki is what aiki is. You can't translate it - you have to search for it and put it (aiki) into your Aikido techniques. Then, you have Aikido. If you put it into your Jujutsu techniques, then you have Aiki-jutsu. There is no reason why you could not put it into Judo either. Without aiki all you have is a bunch of waza. You may develop some aiki accidentally as you train, but if you recognise Aikido as the Way of Aiki, you will target it (aiki) and be more likely to succeed. And to those who ask, 'What is aiki?' ... it means they are 'off the track' for sure, and I could not easly answer as words are useless. But 'What is aiki?' is the only question they should be asking. Then, they are ready to seek.

I am now of the opinion that you could do Aikido for 50 years and simply, not be doing Aikido at all.

Yesterday in the morning class I now have returned to conduct I started off by saying that I was going to "share" my "vision" of Aikido with them.....I was not going to "give" them my "version" of Aikido. To me sharing is different than giving and having a vision of something is different that having a version.

To me waza is hooked to version and is only a tool to move past as a single focus. As a major focus waza ties one to the version being taught and slows the process of individual vision.

Aiki and what it opens up should be the focus after initially getting past waza. As my friend John has noted....the levels are waza, movement, internal training and Aiki.

I agree with Rupert....and what he sez fits with Johns progression. Most start with waza and never leave it. Add in some movement that is necessary to make the waza work in the training area...............

Of course this has all been discussed many times here........with each of us remaining on the side of the discussion that we have always taken.

I am ok with that. 40 years on I am still trying to polish my vision of Aikido......

Respectfully Irreverent

Gary

Carsten Möllering
07-15-2013, 03:36 AM
I'm not sure, but maybe you didn't get my point.

I'm not talking about how to label aikidō. I don't care how to name it. I myself use terms like internal work or internal art, japanese budō, integration of in and yo and some more terms like that, when asked what I am teaching.
The name/label "aikidō" is only important to me, when asked, to which ryū/school/line of tradition - whatever you call it - I belong.

What I'm saying that you loose what - at least to my understanding - aikidō actually is, when you try to "explain it in a few short words". Whatever explanation/translation/periphrasis you will get, it will match you and your understanding of aikidō. But it will not match what aikidō is beyond your own experience and understanding.

When I translated aikidō into "my own language" and condensed it into "a few short words" as a beginner, my words where fundamentally different from how I translated it some years later. And looking back now on both versions, I can only be indulgent my former me ... I didn't know anything back then ... "Like it is allways in life, I think."

Mary, you are right: I did not get the lightness in your words. I think this is due to two reasons. First I mostly do not get the nuances of the foreign language. But sencond and more important I think, hermeneutics, translating, the usage of words ... all this, to me is a very serious issue. Our words, ours usage of words creates the world we live in.

Ron, as I said, I wanted to refer to translating aikidō and did not mean to discuss a new label or something like that.
I have the opinion that there are certain terms that cannot be translated i.e. brought into one's own language without loosing their meaning.

A more easygoing example is "hakama". Sure there exist some German words which come near. But none of them really fits. None of them really says just unmistakeable "hakama". There simply is no such word because there is no such piece of clothing in our culture. Every German word would cut off the meaning of "hakama" that goes beyond our own culture.

Accordingly we don't use the male ("der") or female ("die")definite article, which we have in German. But we use the neuter ("das") article, which indicates that there is no German equivalent for the foreign word:
Die Hose (trousers)
Der Hosenrock (pantskirt)
Das hakama


When you try to translate dō, you have to start with relating it to the dao in the chinese classics and to trace it's path from there to the usage in the japanese arts in general and the gendai budō in particular.
When you try to translate ki, you have to follow a simliar route: How is it related to the qi mentioned in Chinese texts and practiced in Chinese arts?
When you try to translate aiki, you have to talk about in and yo and their integration. Aswell as about the union of heaven-earth-man and a lot of other hings like that. Is the forumla "ki shin tai ichi" related to the work with and union of jin, qi and shen in Chinese arts? ...

Hellis
07-15-2013, 04:06 AM
Hi Carsten

With respect, you do seem to be making hard work of a simple question.

I took Mary's post as no more than a light hearted `question`, that is why I simply answered " Self-Defence" . If anyone asks me " what is Aikido ? " I keep it simples - that is my basic answer, followed by an invitation to visit the dojo and watch a class.

Henry Ellis
Co-author `Positive Aikido`
http://britishaikido.blogspot.com/

Peter Goldsbury
07-15-2013, 04:27 AM
Hi Carsten

With respect, you do seem to be making hard work of a simple question.

I took Mary's post as no more than a light hearted `question`, that is why I simply answered " Self-Defence" . If anyone asks me " what is Aikido ? " I keep it simples - that is my basic answer, followed by an invitation to visit the dojo and watch a class.

Henry Ellis
Co-author `Positive Aikido`
http://britishaikido.blogspot.com/

Hello Henry,

I hope you are well.

By chance, this was the name (in Japanese) that we chose for an aikido course in the culture centre where I instruct. We have two courses and we could not use the same name for both, so we chose 護身術, or goshinjutsu, which in the dictionary is given as the art of self-defence.

Best wishes,

PAG

Hellis
07-15-2013, 06:02 AM
Hello Henry,

I hope you are well.

By chance, this was the name (in Japanese) that we chose for an aikido course in the culture centre where I instruct. We have two courses and we could not use the same name for both, so we chose 護身術, or goshinjutsu, which in the dictionary is given as the art of self-defence.

Best wishes,

PAG

Hi Peter
I am reasonably well despite the insurmountable odds.:)

Always refreshing to read your to the point responses. I am often amazed at the lengthy academic essays on Aikiweb to what is often a simple question on Aikido.

It makes me appreciate my early teachers who trained us hard without the need of sitting in a circle listening to lengthy lectures on love and harmony.

I am now even starting to appreciate my early formative years sitting daily in bomb shelters rather than being over educated. The common sense and strict discipline of those early years appear to have served me rather well in my life.
Kind regards
Henry Ellis
Co-author `Positive Aikido`
http://britishaikido.blogspot.com/

Carsten Möllering
07-15-2013, 07:09 AM
... you do seem to be making hard work of a simple question.
Yup. That's me ... definitely ...
"Stop thinking!" as my wife uses to say ... :o

Here in Germany "Self Defense" is a specific branch of the MA. There schools for aikidō, MMA, Taekwondo ... , Self Defense, ... .
Self Defense is characterized by preemptive action and "ultimate effectivity": They explicetly teach how to destroy an attacker.

I've been teaching kind of self-protection or assertiveness training for some years in my job. It was based on my aikidō. And it was important to assure, that I don't teach Self Defense. Because the gyu who did the course before had done so and had taught too brutal things to our colleagues.

Bernd Lehnen
07-15-2013, 07:18 AM
Well,
I'd go with Henry and Peter here and no need to contradict Mary or Ron.
Lots of common sense and free spirit.
Always good, to my mind.

Best,
Bernd

Mary Eastland
07-15-2013, 07:27 AM
Now that's what I talking about, Carsten...who knew what self- defense meant where you are from....:)

Hellis
07-15-2013, 07:33 AM
Self Defense is characterized by preemptive action and "ultimate effectivity": They explicetly teach how to destroy an attacker.
.

Carsten

Now you are talking good old Aikido - no luvvies - no ribbon dancing - no breathing through ones toes - no touch throws with a nod of the head which is bad for uke if tori has a twitch.

Henry Ellis
Co-author `Positive Aikido`
http://britishaikido.blogspot.com/

Gerardo Torres
07-15-2013, 12:47 PM
I think Henry Ellis and Peter Goldsbury make very good points in the sense that "self-defense" is how one could best describe aikido if somebody asked them to describe "aikido" in their native tongue or in layman's terms. I've seen "self-defense" used to describe aikido in various books and dojo websites; sometimes they use "self-protection" which has spiritual connotations. Pretty much any MA could be taught, or at least marketed, as a personal self-defense method, so nothing unusual about that. I personally see "self-defense" as a broad term with different applications depending on context: anything from western boxing and grappling systems, to CMA, to combatives and krav maga; even iaijutsu was adequate self-defense some place and at some point in history.

I personally don't have straight or simple response when people ask me what aikido is. Sometimes I say something like "umm, it's like judo, with throws and stuff, and some wrist locks, but without competitions (not true of all styles I know)". Doesn't sound very appealing I know. :) Sometimes I say "arms-length grappling with sword attacks", to differentiate from the closer range grappling of judo and bjj, and to emphasize that the traditional aikido attacks come from sword/weapons culture. In fact technically speaking, Daito ryu and koryu jiujutsu aside, kogusoku (semi-armored grappling) is the closest thing I've seen to standard aikido fare. Maybe I should answer "aikido is like kogusoku but without skewering the attacker" Wait, what? :D.

PeterR
07-15-2013, 04:57 PM
distance judo

Dan Rubin
07-15-2013, 07:51 PM
Aiki = united states

The name of my organization: United States of ..., wait, that one's taken.

Carsten Möllering
07-16-2013, 12:43 AM
... no breathing through ones toes ...I've become one of those "breathing through ones toes (actually it's the sole of the front foot)"-type over the years.;)
It's refreshing.

Hellis
07-16-2013, 01:54 AM
I've become one of those "breathing through ones toes (actually it's the sole of the front foot)"-type over the years.;)
It's refreshing.

Carsten

I assume you wear special wooly socks for these techniques ? :)

To be honest nothing in the name of Aikido surprises me anymore - Aikido to music - wooly hats - Aikido with multi-coloured ribbons - teachers asking students to bring apples to the dojo so they can knock them off each others heads with their Ki - Ki teachers that can knock students off their feet from a distance of 20 feet with a ``Ki Blast `` maybe he was wearing your socks ????:D

I actually did have a student join my dojo, he said his teacher had said that in the next lesson he was going to teach them to breath through their toes - he decided it was time to move on.

Henry Ellis
Co-author `Positive Aikido`
http://britishaikido.blogsot.com/

Carsten Möllering
07-16-2013, 07:32 AM
... he said his teacher had said that in the next lesson he was going to teach them to breath through their toes - he decided it was time to move on.Sure! As I said: It's the soles! Not the toes. :p

Nobody can breath through their toes! How should that be possible???:confused:
... through the toes ... some are really mad ... or charlatans ...
I would have left that teacher too.

hehehe somewhere in a video Endo sensei talks about how to be, talks about breathing through one's heels, want's to show ... suddenly halts everything! ... "Ahem ... not that there are really any respitory organs in our feet!" And looks around interrogativly as if he wanted to say "Everybody knows that?"

phitruong
07-16-2013, 10:00 AM
i have been ordering a dozen of donuts and a dozen of donut holes. i am trying to see which donut holes fit into which donuts. so far no luck. so i have to try again and again. i am sure that eventually i will find the hole that fit into the donut. so in my language, aikido is the way to fit donut holes into donuts, with a cup of coffee on the side to help smooth thing out. :D

zen koan: if a donut without hole appeared and nobody noticed, would it still be there when one does? or is it a Heisenberg, where one can either have the donut or observe, but not both?

James Sawers
07-16-2013, 12:05 PM
That would be Schrödinger's Donut.........

Conrad Gus
07-16-2013, 12:48 PM
zen koan: if a donut without hole appeared and nobody noticed, would it still be there when one does?

In Canada this is called a Boston Cream and it is DELICIOUS.

phitruong
07-17-2013, 02:05 PM
That would be Schrödinger's Donut.........

i thought Schrodinger's Donut involved putting a cat inside a donut box to see if it would still alive or dead or really pissed off. :D

James Sawers
07-18-2013, 04:57 PM
i thought Schrodinger's Donut involved putting a cat inside a donut box to see if it would still alive or dead or really pissed off. :D

Depends if you had left the donut in there too.............

Mary Eastland
07-18-2013, 09:50 PM
Why don't you all start a new thread for your humorous exchange?