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IvLabush
05-19-2021, 12:24 AM
I still think that Aiki is keystone of Aikido but it's explanations too blurry. Please share your thought about Aiki and difference between Aiki and Yawara. MA experience doesn't matter everyone's free to join discussion.

mathewjgano
05-20-2021, 11:53 AM
I still think that Aiki is keystone of Aikido but it's explanations too blurry. Please share your thought about Aiki and difference between Aiki and Yawara. MA experience doesn't matter everyone's free to join discussion.

I'm ignorant, but the phrase that keeps coming to mind is "whole body/self."

I don't know what Yawara is...can you explain it to me please?

...The little handle thing? What do you mean?

PuppyDoggie
05-20-2021, 04:29 PM
Aiki to me means synchronization.
Everything about its softness, timing, and going with your partner's energy is all synchronization to me.

As to the difference between Aiki and Yawara, did you mean Yawara as the other term for Jiujitsu or the religious symbol/tool? To me it makes no sense to compare Aiki to the symbol/tool. If you are referring to Yawara as Jiujitsu, they are just as soft as Aiki to me but Jiujitsu includes offense movements. I see no other difference besides the label, name, and words used to describe them.

IvLabush
05-21-2021, 12:38 AM
I don't know what Yawara is...can you explain it to me please
Yawara to me has same meaning that Ju or Jiu. Same kanji 柔 as in judo.

IvLabush
05-21-2021, 12:53 AM
If you are referring to Yawara as Jiujitsu, they are just as soft as Aiki to me but Jiujitsu includes offense movements.
Ueshiba did attacking moves after war as before war. He grab guys and throw them away. I could provide video reference if you need that.

Eric Jones
05-21-2021, 10:19 AM
You pull I push. You push I pull. That's all Aiki is to me.

Alex Megann
05-21-2021, 03:04 PM
Some would define aiki as the management of opposing forces in a connected body.

Alex

PuppyDoggie
05-21-2021, 05:01 PM
Ueshiba did attacking moves after war as before war. He grab guys and throw them away. I could provide video reference if you need that.

I believe you; I think I've seen similar footage of Ueshiba grabbing and throwing before.

What I meant by offense movements were strikes that make contact like punching and kicking, which aiki doesn't really teach but assumes the practitioner already knows? Jiujitsu has a lot more contact and is in my opinion "rougher" than aiki.

I like the you push I pull idea :)

Rupert Atkinson
05-22-2021, 12:59 AM
Just check out my book link - the whole thing is towards understanding aiki.

lars beyer
05-22-2021, 07:25 AM
I dont speak from authority, but I guess its about opposing forces in me and you (thee.. )- the simultaneous being of “two”.

Cheers

IvLabush
05-24-2021, 03:42 AM
You pull I push. You push I pull. That's all Aiki is to me.
That's very interesting and exactly as it said in Judo about Ju (柔) idea. Do you think Aiki and Ju is the same?

Some would define aiki as the management of opposing forces in a connected body.
That's quite interesting too. Is Aiki inside of someone's body?

Just check out my book link - the whole thing is towards understanding aiki.
Many thanks. I found person that tell no stories about mystical energy.

I dont speak from authority, but I guess its about opposing forces in me and you (thee.. )- the simultaneous being of two.
Sounds familiar. Where is the center of those opposing forces?

Thomas Christaller
05-24-2021, 09:04 AM
Just check out my book link - the whole thing is towards understanding aiki.

Thanks for the link to your book. I started to read it and already the text under "Contents" where you describe the principles you got me hooked to it :-)

mathewjgano
05-24-2021, 03:54 PM
Yawara to me has same meaning that Ju or Jiu. Same kanji 柔 as in judo.

I think aiki is learned however one learns it, but I'm told ju and aiki aren't the same.

I couldn't say for sure, but my guess is aiki is more nuanced.

I think labels often fall short though.

...at the end of the day: does it work? What work does it do?

lars beyer
05-25-2021, 12:47 PM
That's very interesting and exactly as it said in Judo about Ju (柔) idea. Do you think Aiki and Ju is the same?

That's quite interesting too. Is Aiki inside of someone's body?

Many thanks. I found person that tell no stories about mystical energy.

Sounds familiar. Where is the center of those opposing forces?

The center is in me- if you aske me offcourse :-)

Kafastomp
05-25-2021, 02:17 PM
To me Aiki is a lifestyle: It doesn't matter where you are inside the dojo or community.
when fellowship with people ,or stuck in an awkward situation . How you react when someone confront you ?

dps
05-30-2021, 05:41 AM
Aiki is how your body maintains it's balance. You use aiki by fnding a way to force your opponent off balance or catching your opponent off balance to apply technique.

dps

IvLabush
05-31-2021, 01:43 AM
Aiki is how your body maintains it's balance. You use aiki by fnding a way to force your opponent off balance or catching your opponent off balance to apply technique.

dps
To me aiki is not common to all MA but balance maintenance is the keystone most of it.

mathewjgano
06-02-2021, 01:21 PM
To me aiki is not common to all MA but balance maintenance is the keystone most of it.

I think it depends on how specific we get. I think aiki is accessible by us all and that one can find it in any practice if one pays enough attention. As with all things, it is easier to learn something if an expert provides guidelines.

Setok
06-06-2021, 03:25 PM
I would say the whole push/pull is really missing the core. As was mentioned, judo has exactly the same philosophy, as do other grappling arts.

Having visited many places to learn aikido, I’ve seen many ways of training and understanding the art, as well as its parent art. Some approaches are more evasive, while other are more direct. However the one tactical commonality which is almost universal is the sense of creating one body from two, which is then moved. This is a very different feeling from an art that uses efficient leverage to heave over a sack of potatoes, or which uses powerful strikes to create damage. It can also be achieved in different ways, but if even momentarily you are creating that singular body, then to me that creates a feeling, and it is a feeling, of that enigmatic aiki.

IvLabush
06-08-2021, 05:17 AM
I think aiki is accessible by us all and that one can find it in any practice if one pays enough attention.
I'm not sure if it's possible to learn aiki from MA experts never heard about it and practiced it in some MA curriculum. You don't ask for aiki to capoeira experts don't you?

Eric Jones
06-08-2021, 07:53 PM
Some people have commented on my "you pull I push comment." I'll give you an example. If you pull me I'm going to kokyunage you into the ground.

IvLabush
06-10-2021, 10:58 PM
If you pull me I'm going to kokyunage you into the ground.
You can do osotogari with same idea and call it Judo. In your understanding Judo and Aikido are the same by ideas?

dps
06-11-2021, 09:11 AM
I'm not sure if it's possible to learn aiki from MA experts never heard about it and practiced it in some MA curriculum. You don't ask for aiki to capoeira experts don't you?

In Aikido the Japanese word "aiki" is used to describe how your body maintains it's balance. In other physical endeavors they use different words to describe the same phenomenodps

dps
06-11-2021, 09:35 AM
I'm not sure if it's possible to learn aiki from MA experts never heard about it and practiced it in some MA curriculum. You don't ask for aiki to capoeira experts don't you?


In Aikido the "Japanese" word "aiki" is used to describe how your body maintains it's balance.
In other physical endeavors they use different words to describe the same phenomenon.


"Other activities, from tightrope-walking to judo to Okinawan karate to tango to running with the ball in American football, all have distinctive strategies for maintaining balance which respond to the specific demands of the activity, but are also shaped by indigenous analysis by expert practice (Downey 2008) and cultural constraints, such as notions of ‘right form.’"

Balance between cultures: equilibrium training

https://neuroanthropology.net/2008/11/30/balance-between-cultures-equilibrium-training

The Japanese word "aiki" is used to describe the "distinctive strategies for maintaining balance which respond to the specific demands of " Aikido.

dps

Eric Jones
06-11-2021, 09:52 AM
You can do osotogari with same idea and call it Judo. In your understanding Judo and Aikido are the same by ideas?

I don't understand the question. Are you saying we shouldn't take advantage of our opponents momentum in Aikido?

IvLabush
06-15-2021, 12:18 AM
I don't understand the question. Are you saying we shouldn't take advantage of our opponents momentum in Aikido?
No from your words I understand that there's no difference between that to do so there's no difference between Judo and Aikido techniques leading by same idea (push when pull or pull when push). If so I see no difference between Judo and Aikido at all.

2 dps
That was interesting input 'cause I see a lot of talks about balance in aiki discussion. Balance inherent to almost all MA training. With that aiki training exists in all MA but it's not true. For example capoeira guys have one of greatest body balance I ever saw jump in one hand and flips around but they never heard about aiki. Is it possible to practice aiki without aware that it exists?

PuppyDoggie
06-15-2021, 05:14 AM
Is it possible to practice aiki without aware that it exists?

I think so.

Just like with electricity. You can use electricity to turn on your computer without being aware that electricity exists or is real.

Bernd Lehnen
06-15-2021, 10:52 AM
No from your words I understand that there's no difference between that to do so there's no difference between Judo and Aikido techniques leading by same idea (push when pull or pull when push). If so I see no difference between Judo and Aikido at all.

2 dps
That was interesting input 'cause I see a lot of talks about balance in aiki discussion. Balance inherent to almost all MA training. With that aiki training exists in all MA but it's not true. For example capoeira guys have one of greatest body balance I ever saw jump in one hand and flips around but they never heard about aiki. Is it possible to practice aiki without aware that it exists?

You are absolutely right. It is "Aiki" that makes all the difference and without "Aiki", aikido is often even the weaker sister of Judo.
But what is "Aiki".
Many have the right words, know all the buzz-words but no "Aiki". They can talk about it cleverly, but they don't know what it is and when you meet them they sell you their snake oil but just do the usual again and nothing extraordinary.
There are obviously very few who can walk their talk and translate their words into convincing deeds.
Still, some may exist...
I only know of one.

Best,
Bernd

IvLabush
06-16-2021, 02:54 AM
2 Bernd Lehnen
It's quite hard to talk about aiki without understanding Japanese culture and language 'cause of other languages limitations and cultural differences. Anyway I'm curious what other folks think about aiki that actually makes Aikido that it is.

Bernd Lehnen
06-16-2021, 06:45 AM
2 Bernd Lehnen
It's quite hard to talk about aiki without understanding Japanese culture and language 'cause of other languages limitations and cultural differences. Anyway I'm curious what other folks think about aiki that actually makes Aikido that it is.

On the contrary, because there are evidently quite a few who have an opinion on Aiki and also take great pleasure in talking and writing about it.

Incidentally, the Japanese are no better off with AIKI and neither their language nor their culture help them, even if some might like to believe that this is a manual skill reserved only for them. Often times, they even have a harder time thinking in new, unusual ways because that would make them stand out. And a nail that protrudes has to be hammered in, as is well known ...
But their budo people are often really exceptionally good craftsmen and, as one can well observe in judo, when it matters to them, they also train to the utmost. But what does that have to do with "Aiki"?
My Aikido teacher, whom I still appreciate really very much, often said that you have to be trained to the possible limit.
From then on, aikido would really start ...

IMHO, it is not worth talking about "Aiki" as long as you have not felt it.

Though Ellis Amdur has written an exceptionally interesting book about his journey and research into those things and though there he may have given us some good guidelines and provided an inkling to the idea,
in the end you also may find out:
IHTBF.
It has to be felt.
And that has very little to do with language and cultural barriers. Even students of Sagawa, whose art is said to have been based essentially on "Aiki", apparently find it quite difficult to convey "Aiki" through language.
Of course, one could always say that they actually didn't want to, but we shouldn't make it that easy for them and ourselves.

Best,
Bernd

#

dps
06-16-2021, 11:02 AM
I think so.

Just like with electricity. You can use electricity to turn on your computer without being aware that electricity exists or is real.

Electricity is a theory.

You can use electricity without knowing or understanding the theory of electricity.

Understanding the theory of electricity helps to better use electricity.

Aiki is just a theoretical explanation of the physical reality.

dps

jonreading
06-16-2021, 01:22 PM
The timing of this thread along with a sister thread asking about power...

I have never been asked to lift my arm with **Balance**, or use my **Blending** to raise my sword.
Without the concept of knowing that "on" did something to make my computer work, how could I know to open the electric circuit to start my computer? Without knowledge of electricity, wouldn't my expectation be that the computer would just work?

Going through the exercise or cross-examining what we define as aiki gives us the opportunity to review what we know against those opinions. If the limit of your experience is blending, why should I be surprised when you have opinions about non-compliant uke who are immoveable... without the dependency of your partner, you don't have energy to work with... if you don't have aiki, why would I expect your description of aiki to be anything concrete? Aikiweb used to be a forum where we could challenge each other to look harder for what we are trying to accomplish and connect with ideas.

As aikido people, we should be able to concretely define what we do, why we are distinguished from other arts, and why we believe that gives us a unique advantage in the marketplace of martial arts. What you say and what you can do is important in the context of what [presumably] you teach and reproduce.

I happen to think Aiki is a body management system. A non-conventional method of moving your body. I train under that belief, I can reproduce it in others, and it is consistent within my understanding of our sister arts as something that can uniquely define us.

tlk52
06-16-2021, 01:57 PM
I think that aiki has to do with internal training ie independent use of the center, etc..and not martial technique or athleticism

Eric Jones
06-26-2021, 06:35 PM
No from your words I understand that there's no difference between that to do so there's no difference between Judo and Aikido techniques leading by same idea (push when pull or pull when push). If so I see no difference between Judo and Aikido at all.


I know this isn't what your getting at. But an aikido person fighting looks like a judo person fighting. Most people don't realize this because they have a romanticised idea of what aikido looks like in a confrontation.

Mary Eastland
06-27-2021, 06:51 AM
Aikido is not fighting. That is just a basic idea of the art. It is self defense and not about sport. If you are Tomiki style that is different and you can't talk about the aikido I practice and the aikido you practice as the same thing because it isn't.

Eric Jones
06-27-2021, 04:13 PM
When you're defending yourself let's say self defense you're struggling against another person. It's not going to look pretty like the flowery stuff you practice in your dojo.

dps
06-27-2021, 05:54 PM
Aikido is not fighting. That is just a basic idea of the art. It is self defense and not about sport. If you are Tomiki style that is different and you can't talk about the aikido I practice and the aikido you practice as the same thing because it isn't.

If you are saying Tomiki style and Aikikai style are different as far as fighting, self defense or sport, I would disagree. I studied Aikido in both styles and the principles practiced were the same. The names of the techniques were different, the techniques were similar. I practiced both as a martial art for self defense neither one did I practice as a sport.

I can play baseball as a sport but use how to swing a bat in a fight.
I can play frisbee as a sport but throw a frisbee like object in a fight ( Which came first, the frisbee or the shuriken.).

It's why you use what you know that determines if your fighting or playing sport.
dps

mathewjgano
06-29-2021, 01:29 PM
I was going to start a new thread but maybe it's more useful not to?

A) Mary, I am sure you've described your meaning well in thousands of words, not unlike many of us here, but for the sake of argument, would you please tell me about your sense of what it means to say that Aikido is not about fighting? I'm suddenly thinking about a story regarding Nidai Doshu being asked about his pacifist father which describes O Sensei as not being a pacifist. Another allegory is of peace being made by those who can.

B) Some would say Aikido is fighting and not fighting at the same time. Some would say it is fighting because people can get hit. Some would say it's not fighting because ideally there shouldn't be any resistance. Some would say Aikido is not fighting because we feel at peace. And I am certain there are more iterations which suggest more than I can call to memory.

I've shown people videos of me taking ukemi and they said, "dang you got your ass whooped." To which I replied, "sorta." I didn't get my wrist broken, for example. I moved with the pressure and really didn't get hurt at all. Granted this is all in the stylized practice of Aikido, but I also grew up an 8 year old wrestling with 12 year olds, never mind the next 4 years. I'm not good at this. I'm ok enough by my own standards having experienced my experiences.

...kind of a self referencing metric, but I do try...and at least I recognize that mine is a self-referencing metric, no matter how much I may have reached outside my own experiences (I seem to keep coming back to my own experiences).

Some might say this whole webpage is an exercise in blending. Some might not though. Some folks operate as if they've won an argument without really even engaging anyone at all. Some amazing skills are powerhouses of physical ability yet seem unable to reach some people. All of us are simply speaking from our own perspective, together.

Some folks are thrown and say you didn't connect properly. Some folks throw and didn't connect better than they could have. Some folks are good at making bridges which span these gaps better than others. Most of us seem to be blind people feeling a rather more complicated elephant, proverbially speaking.

I've been dropped on my back because I didn't know a better way to not hurt someone; I've maybe lost arguments because I didn't have a better argument. "IRL" I would have *possibly* landed on a neck with my full weight; this doesn't seem to translate well into words though.

Most of the time I am simply ignorant and seeking a better way; which is a process.

What is aiki to me? It is a process of understanding nuances we all have access to. But that suggests that doing aiki is more about the verb and less the noun. It necessarily means I am not doing the noun version well enough. I don't care about aiki as a thing because my sense is that even the best are still trying to understand it better. I.E. it's more about the verb than the noun.

What is aiki to me? it is only counter intuitive until it becomes intuitive...which I *feel* I am trying to reclaim.

At the end of the day it is a star by which to navigate a ship; an unattainable destination but a path to solid land none the less...if you pay proper attention (whatever "proper" means).

...that proverbial path; not some proverbial destination.

Yeah, some can teach it better than others. Some can learn it better than others too.

Best to you all!

Mary Eastland
06-29-2021, 04:23 PM
Aikido for me, is using a unlimited set of strategies to keep myself safe. I practice principles and techniques on the mat so I can live a certain way. I pay attention to my surroundings, am conscious of my posture and attitude all day, every day. I am not perfect at it. It is very challenging and it provides me with a framework of ideas and practices to live by.
Fighting to me means: what happens in the ring or between 2 people who understand they are partaking in a sport.
Thank you for asking Mathew.

IvLabush
06-30-2021, 07:57 AM
Wow, ladies and gentelmans, this thread was not about which one Aikido is truly Aikido I started it for other reason!

Eric Jones
06-30-2021, 03:27 PM
Aikido for me, is using a unlimited set of strategies to keep myself safe. I practice principles and techniques on the mat so I can live a certain way. I pay attention to my surroundings, am conscious of my posture and attitude all day, every day. I am not perfect at it. It is very challenging and it provides me with a framework of ideas and practices to live by.
Fighting to me means: what happens in the ring or between 2 people who understand they are partaking in a sport.
Thank you for asking Mathew.

Fighting is also defending yourself against an attacker outside your dojo who means you harm.

Kafastomp
07-01-2021, 10:10 AM
Aiki to me is a lifestyle: when understanding what you learn and use it on your surrounding. What I mean surrounding in the Dojo outside the dojo.
I work with some people have anger problem , I `m aware of that but sometimes you cannot control the situation.
eg, Some get in to a fight , there was yelling and bushing around. Somehow without the knowledge of the situation I walk by it and joke to one guy [ without knowing he is angry] smiles brother is Friday". He respond and get hold of my shirt ,try to push me against the wall. I can feel his energy ,instead of go against his energy I redirect him by turning toward his right hand which he hold me with. In the end he was facing the wall and I am standing behind him.
The angry guy burst out laughing and look at me ,"thankyou for not hurting me.
You live what you learn .
Thanks

jonreading
07-01-2021, 04:18 PM
Wow, ladies and gentelmans, this thread was not about which one Aikido is truly Aikido I started it for other reason!

...Along with the countless other "what is aiki" threads... You are not going to find an answer, ironically, on aikiweb. But, maybe there is some value in the thought exercise of thinking about the question. We should be able to pick apart our thoughts and help each other think a little more critically about what we think and where that concept runs into trouble. I think that once we hit that wall... that our ideas run into reality and break down... we become defensive of our thoughts.

Many years ago I had different thoughts about aikido and aiki. Shoot, you can probably read some pretty cringey posts from me back in the day. Then I met some people who knew a lot more than I, trained with people a lot better than I, and connected with some people online who were a lot more thoughtful than I. Those experiences changed my thought process about what was aikido and what was aiki; the goals that I sought after in training; and the physical changes I wanted from my training. A major problem that I ran into along the way was the "philosophy" of modern aikido and the negative effect it had on my training in aiki.

I am gonna pick on Matthew because he's been around for a while and I know from his posts he's pretty thoughtful. Aiki cannot be a [navigational] tool. Why not? Because we know from years of instruction, poems, and living representatives that we move our bodies with aiki. It's not an argument of right or wrong if you believe in the "many paths to the mountain top" stuff. So, right now you have a concept of aiki that is gonna give you trouble at some point in your training. Everyone does; the only real questions is where does that point happen and how much trouble does it cause. At some point, that problem happens so far along in your training, you don't care to change. I was grateful to run into my problems at a time when I was still willing to change.

aiki-do is the study of aiki. It is an ingenious framework to practice moving our bodies in such a way as to create powerful movement for a desired effect on a [partner/opponent/attacker/...]. The further you move from that framework... for example, reducing the number of people whom you can effect... moves you farther from that study.

I was talking to a friend of mine once who remarked that [sometimes] we don't think seriously about what we are trying to do. You train to make your body powerful [and a vessel of the gods]. Someday you are forced to defend yourself or a loved-one or a stranger from life-changing harm. You either will do this, or you won't. Aiki is something that can make you more powerful to survive that occasion. It's not super-human, or magic. We are so removed from actual violence that it is even difficult to understand what kind of ultimate bet we are placing by choosing how we pursue our training. Yet, we can always look around us on that mountain... How many people left the dojo because aikido didn't work? How many left because they were injured? How many left because they couldn't participate in the exercises? How many seminars do we attend when half the participants can't take ukemi? Heck, how many do we attend when sensei can't take ukemi? Every year the number of people you run into on the mountain gets smaller as you go higher...

Bernd Lehnen
07-02-2021, 06:16 AM
...Along with the countless other "what is aiki" threads... You are not going to find an answer, ironically, on aikiweb......

Yet, we can always look around us on that mountain...

Every year the number of people you run into on the mountain gets smaller as you go higher...

The crazy and funny thing here is that on your way you inevitably will stumble over those experts among us who have studied Aikido, Aikijujutsu, or whatever similar Stile incessantly for over 30, 40 or more years, honestly earned their higher Dan grades, and still never come into contact with the essence of the art, never felt Aiki...
How could they know what they don't...?

Best,
Bernd

jonreading
07-02-2021, 06:34 AM
The crazy and funny thing here is that on your way you inevitably will stumble over those experts among us who have studied Aikido, Aikijujutsu, or whatever similar Stile incessantly for over 30, 40 or more years, honestly earned their higher Dan grades, and still never come into contact with the essence of the art, never felt Aiki...
How could they know what they don't...?

Best,
Bernd

I think you can look at this observation as:
1. That rank does not equal wisdom...
2. That instruction does not equal knowledge...
3. That performance does not equal skill...

The most intimidating thing I ever experienced in my training was realizing much of what I was doing was not aiki. When I try to imagine that experience as a leader in aikido, or a high ranking instructor of celebrity... I can sympathize with the implication that some instructors experienced aiki and ran from it...

dps
07-04-2021, 02:57 PM
What is "aiki"

Definitions of "ai" and "ki" are broad.
Therefore the definition of "aiki" is broad.
Having a narrow definition of "aiki" you will miss all the places "aiki" is.


Home > Language > "Ai" Phrases
by J. Akiyama

So, what does "ai" mean in "aikido," anyway? There's been a lot of discussion and even some heated arguments over this Japanese term.
In essence, the character ai means:

to fit or to suit.
to join together
to agree with, match, be correct
to be opposite (to face)
to unite, combine, connect
to add up
to mix
to match
to compare, check with
to get together
to pay, be profitable
However, I think that there is some good in taking a look at how we, the Japanese people, use the term in everyday life. I think that a lot of people attribute a whole lot of esoteric meaning behind words that aren't all that esoteric; this is the reason why I chose very common Japanese words to illustrate how we use this term in our everyday life. After all, isn't that what we hope to do in the first place in aikido -- use "ai" and "ki" in our everyday lives?
Here are some contexts in which the word "ai" and some of its derivations are used in everyday Japanese.

Japanese Phrase Kanji Literal Translation Definition
Ai ai gasa "together with umbrella" to share an umbrella
Ai in "match seal" verification seal
Ai kotoba "matching word" secret password
Aizu "matching diagram" sign, signal
ai kagi "matching key" duplicate key
ai ma "matching space" interval, space between
ai noko "a child of a meeting" crossbreed, hybrid
ai note "A hand that matches" accompaniment, interlude
awaseru "to cause to come together" to put together
daki au "to embrace each other" to embrace each other
dashi ai "to send out together" to contribute jointly
de ai "to go out and meet" rendezvous
deki au "to go and arrive together" to be ready-made, to become intimate with
deki guai "condition after having come and gone" result, effect
fure au "to touch each other" to touch each other
furi ai "matching manners" consideration
guai "vessel suiting or agreeing" health, condition
hagemi au "to inspire each other" to vie with another
hanashi au "to talk with each other" to discuss
hari au "to strain each other" to rival, to compete with
hatashi ai "to meet to die" duel
hiki ai "to pull and meet" comparison, deal
iiai "to say opposite" quarrel, argument
imi ai "meaning to match" implication, nuance
iro ai "color to match" hue, tinge, tint
kakari ai "relation opposite" unfortunate relationship
kake au "to levy each other" to negotiate with
kane ai "simultaneously matching" equilibrium, poise
karami au "to intertwine with each other" to become intertwined
katari au "to talk with each other" to talk together
kawari au "to switch places with each other" to relieve each other
kiai "intent to match" scream, yell, fighting spirit
kiga au "energies/intents match" to get along with
kiri ai "cut to match" crossing swords
koro ai "time to match" suitable time, propriety
kumi ai "paired meeting" association
kumo ai "cloud to match" look of the sky
maai "space between" interval, space between
machi ai "to wait and match" assignation
mani au "to match an interval" to be in time for
meguri ai "to tour and to match" chance meeting
miai "to see opposite each other" formal marriage interview
niai "to seem alike and match" well matched, becoming
oshi ai "to push each other" jostling, crowding
sasoi au "to invite each other" to invite each other
shi ai "testing by meeting" contest
shiri ai "to know each other" acquaintance
suji ai "fiber that matches" reason, right
tasuke au "to help each other" to help each other
tsuki au "to attach to each other" to associate with, to get on with
tsuri ai "to ensnare each other" balance, equilibrium
uchi au "to shoot each other" to fight, to exchange blows
umano au "horses that match" to get along well with
wake au "to divide for each other" to share
wari ai "fraction of each other" ratio
yori ai "to stop by and meet" a meeting
yuzuri au "to give to each other" to compromise

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Home > Language > "Ki" Phrases
by J. Akiyama

So, what does "ki" mean in "aikido," anyway? There's been a lot of discussion and even some heated arguments over this Japanese term.
In essence, the character ki means:

spirit, mind, soul, heart
intention
bent, interest
mood, feeling
temper, disposition, nature
care, attention
air, atmosphere
flavor
odor
energy, essence, air, indications
symptoms
taste
touch, dash, shade, trace
spark, flash
suspicion
However, I think that there is some good in taking a look at how we, the Japanese people, use the term in everyday life. I think that a lot of people attribute a whole lot of esoteric meaning behind words that aren't all that esoteric; this is the reason why I chose very common Japanese words to illustrate how we use this term in our everyday life. After all, isn't that what we hope to do in the first place in aikido -- use "ai" and "ki" in our everyday lives?
Here are some contexts in which the word "ki" and some of its derivations are used in everyday Japanese.

Japanese Phrase Kanji Literal Translation Definition
Gen ki "source/foundation of ki." one's health
Byou ki "ill ki." to be sick
Ten ki "heavenly ki." the weather
Ki ga tatsu "the ki stands upright." to get angry
Ki wo tsukeru "to put on (or to have) ki" to be careful; to be attentive
Ki ga kiku "the ki is used a lot" to be empathetic
Ki ga susumanai "the ki does not go forward." to not want to do something
Ki ga sumu "the ki is finished or used up." to feel fulfilled
Ki ga tsuku "to have "ki" put onto you." to notice
Ki ga tsuyoi "the ki is strong." to be headstrong
Ki ga yowai "the ki is weak." to be like a coward
Ki ga tooku naru "the ki goes far away." to become lightheaded
Ki ga nai "to have no ki" to have no interest in something
Ki ga nukeru "the ki becomes missing." to lose hope
Ki ga mijikai "the ki is short." to be short tempered
Ki ni sawaru "something touches the ki." to find something irritating
Ki ni naru "to become ki" to have something nagging or on one's mind
Ki wo kubaru "to pass out ki (to people)" to attend to other people's wishes

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http://www.aikiweb.com/language/ki_phrases.html

dps

Craig Moore
07-04-2021, 05:16 PM
...Along with the countless other "what is aiki" threads... You are not going to find an answer, ironically, on aikiweb. But, maybe there is some value in the thought exercise of thinking about the question. We should be able to pick apart our thoughts and help each other think a little more critically about what we think and where that concept runs into trouble. I think that once we hit that wall... that our ideas run into reality and break down... we become defensive of our thoughts.......etc
The chances were pretty slim before and at the moment not even possible, but geez I'd like to visit your dojo one day and have the opportunity to grab a drink afterwards.

Bernd Lehnen
07-04-2021, 06:23 PM
I think you can look at this observation as:
1. That rank does not equal wisdom...
2. That instruction does not equal knowledge...
3. That performance does not equal skill...

The most intimidating thing I ever experienced in my training was realizing much of what I was doing was not aiki. When I try to imagine that experience as a leader in aikido, or a high ranking instructor of celebrity... I can sympathize with the implication that some instructors experienced aiki and ran from it...

Quite right...

When Tohei gave his way of spreading Aikido a name, 心身 統一 played an important role for him.
It does not seem absurd to me that he could also have had 思考 と 行動 の 統一 in mind.

This is certainly not a bad prerequisite for attaining aiki, but it is not aiki. IMHO Tohei did not teach aiki and it is actually very questionable whether he even wanted to have this ability.

Aiki can be assigned or interpreted with a multitude of meanings, but it is said Sagawa and Takeda understood it to be more of a skill that gave them an advantage someone could steal from them and were therefore apparently very reluctant to convey this to their adherents "with the watering can".

I myself have only felt one person so far, where I can imagine that what I have felt could be aiki, and that one can also specifically pass this ability on. I suspect you know pretty well who I'm talking about and have had quite similar experiences.
So if that were aiki, then you'd start with a very simple basic principle, fundamentally changing how your own body works and at some point you'd get aiki to manifest.
But in order to be able to start at all, one must first have felt a little something.

IMHO Aikido, but actually any physical activity, will then take on a completely different quality. It can be assumed that OSensei was also familiar with this quality.

Best,
Bernd

earnest aikidoka
07-04-2021, 10:32 PM
Aiki is practical. It is what makes Aiki Jujutsu different from Jujutsu, or refinement of Jujutsu concepts.

Aikido focuses on refining our sensitivity to Aiki in general combat. Instead of Aiki within the context of Jujutsu specifically.

Most people focus on the throw or the joint lock in Aikido, thinking that the resolution of the technique is where Aiki is.

But Aiki is the flow that occurs between Uke's attack, and Tori's resolution of Uke's attack.

When training a technique, be more aware of how the movement flows from the start of the technique to the end. Focus on refining that flow, and on how that flow is affected by different weights and resistances within the technique.

Once you start, you should be able to perceive Aiki, and achieve it as your understanding of the flow deepens.

mathewjgano
07-05-2021, 02:25 PM
Thank you, Mary!


I am gonna pick on Matthew because he's been around for a while and I know from his posts he's pretty thoughtful. Aiki cannot be a [navigational] tool. Why not? Because we know from years of instruction, poems, and living representatives that we move our bodies with aiki. It's not an argument of right or wrong if you believe in the "many paths to the mountain top" stuff. So, right now you have a concept of aiki that is gonna give you trouble at some point in your training. Everyone does; the only real questions is where does that point happen and how much trouble does it cause. At some point, that problem happens so far along in your training, you don't care to change. I was grateful to run into my problems at a time when I was still willing to change.

Sure pick on me! :D My post was pretty all over the place as usual, but my sense of aiki was of some idealized perfect thing we never fully attain and my sense of "navigational" assumed that it's simply a goal we strive toward. To use the mountain analogy, I'm saying we'll never get to the top, but that we're always aiming for it; how well we navigate by that goal once directly experiencing it is another matter altogether. The point I was poorly trying to make is that "[whatever Aiki is to each of us]", it's the practice of seeking out a better understanding that stands out most to me. I suppose I wasn't talking about the :ai: :ki: so much as the :do: .

...Along with the countless other "what is aiki" threads... You are not going to find an answer, ironically, on aikiweb. But, maybe there is some value in the thought exercise of thinking about the question. We should be able to pick apart our thoughts and help each other think a little more critically about what we think and where that concept runs into trouble.

As far as I can tell, this hits the nail on the head. "IHTBF," but certainly too, in a roundabout way, several people have learned about aiki from aikiweb because it has served as a place for people to come and make connections.

jonreading
07-06-2021, 01:01 PM
Thanks Matthew, I appreciate your understanding! Craig, someday we'll get a drink...

Bernd hit on some points I always try to push...
1. We have pretty good evidence that implies O Sensei (and his Daito Ryu) understood aiki to be a physical property manifest in the body through training. So anytime we talk about aiki as a non-real trait, we are moving away from aiki-do as it was taught.
2. The more esoteric the definition of aiki, the farther we move from anything that can be "taught" in a traditional sense. Anytime we talk about "all the different definitions" we move farther away from any single thing towards which we train (regardless of whether it's right or wrong).
3. We limit our training when we decide who aiki "works" on, or how we personalize it, or what partnerships are required in order to train. If aiki-do becomes bigger than you, then it becomes impossible to train.

Aiki is within you. Each time we answer a question, it should nudge us closer to (or farther from) aiki training. Often, we will move farther from aiki training until we hit a roadblock that corrects us. The more we ignore those roadblocks, the farther we move from aiki training. Our training should be with people and within dojos that provide those roadblocks and critical thinking tests.

If an instructor can't tell you in 2-3 sentences what is aiki inside their dojo... I don't care if they believe aiki is a color; as wrong as that is, at least they are making a statement to be judged.

IvLabush
07-16-2021, 08:27 AM
...Along with the countless other "what is aiki" threads... You are not going to find an answer, ironically, on aikiweb.
All answers are correct :)

2 dps
Understanding of translation might be useful but I had to translate it in domain where it uses. Translation 'by kanji' don't give me a meaningful result so I threat aiki as one term that has some value in practice.