View Full Version : Does Michi mean Do?

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11-26-2003, 05:45 AM
Hi all, could I ask some of our more learned members.

Specifically my thoughts were on O Sensei's saying 'aiki wa ken no michi' .

ie Aikido is the 'way'/'path' of the sword.

I know my question may seem vague (and dumb) but I hope you see what I mean, what are the differences between michi and do, as related to aikido, and specifically to that statement?

I have been considering this for some time, obviously I have been compelled to compare movement, oneness, posture and the myriad connections between sword and aikido...damn, now I have gone and confused myself again!

11-26-2003, 06:09 AM
"michi" is the kanji for "do" read alone... it's the kun-yomi & the on-yomi of the kanji...

if you can read this font, this is the kanji for "michi" -> 道


aiki wa ken no michi

sometimes the の (no) part could be taken out and it still has the same meaning


aiki wa kendo

Aiki is Kendo... figure that one out...

Kendo is the way of the sword as in "ken no michi" -> 剣の道

Aikido is the way of Aiki (I'm not going to translate this part) as ini "aiki no michi" -> 合気の道

11-26-2003, 11:56 AM
I am obviously not one of those more learned members, but I know that one of the off-shoots of aikido by one of Osensei's direct students is called Kinomichi. I feel that do has more spiritual connotation than michi, eventhough the meaning must be quite similar.

Lyle Bogin
11-26-2003, 12:08 PM
I have been told the michi(biki) refers to guiding someone, and the same term is used in religious conversation as to "guide" the flock.

11-26-2003, 06:30 PM
Michi is like path or way. As in, "don't go down that path, you know what lies at the end." They're not talking literally of a path with nice hedges and laurels. Just like in English, path can be taken literally for a path or more figuratively for a 'path'.

So Aikido is the path or way of the sword.

It's better translated by, "As for Aikido, it's the path of the sword."

12-06-2003, 01:48 PM
Thank you for the replies.

If I may now ask...is 'Mi' the same as 'body'? ie Irimi, ukemi, hitoe-mi etc?

If so..what is chi? (mi-chi)

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
12-06-2003, 02:40 PM
In my limited experience, Japanese seems filled with homonyms, or at least things that are transcribed into English the same way.

12-06-2003, 03:48 PM
Actually, Johnston-san, michi is only one kanji which is :do:.

12-06-2003, 04:33 PM
Ah well.

Looked like I was onto something. Damn.

Just call me Mark, I will call you Iri.

(As in Iri mi. ;) )

Thanks anyway.

12-06-2003, 07:41 PM
Hi Mark,

Japanese do/michi is one kanji (Chinese character), pronounced dao in Mandarin.

Japanese irimi is two kanji, nyu/iri meaning enter, and shin/mi meaning body.

Japanese ukemi is also two kanji, ju/uke meaning receive, and shin/mi meaning body.

You might find the following dictionary of martial arts terms from various languages, including Japanese, useful: http://pages.prodigy.net/david_wolfe/pmaa/

12-07-2003, 04:50 AM
Thanks very much. :)