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It's pretty common knowledge that Aikido is the study of Aiki; but what is Aiki? Do people other then martial artists use Aiki? Is Aiki magic? Is Aiki science? Does Aiki exist? These are all very important questions to which many never get fulfilling answers.
What is Aiki. Well first, lets look at the root words that make up Aiki. The first is Ai (çá). Ai is the Japanese word for Accord, or meeting. It basically means to be in sync or come together with. The second word is Ki (ãC). Ki is the Japanese word for energy. Many people attach some mystical meaning to ki, but that will take us away from where we are trying to get to in this article. If for now you simply understand Ki as energy, the same as we use the word here in the west it will serve us well. By looking at these two words in conjunction we will get a very direct translation for aiki, of: in sync with energy.
For myself, I look at Aiki like music. Several musicians playing music together must use Aiki. The energy is the sound they are producing, and the accord is them working together to produce a cohesive piece of music. Music is a very good example to use because there is no physical interaction, it is simply and directly related to the harmony of the energy produced (the sound).
In my opinion an abstract example like this, is the clearest example of what Aiki is. Not to say that you cannot have Aiki when there is physical connection, but with physical in