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Old 06-03-2007, 06:06 PM   #93
George S. Ledyard
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
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Re: Parsing ai ki do

Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
. In other words, one controls the other by unifying "heart/mind" - - - - BUT this is not love - (the other "ai"). It means that one achieves such organization within oneself that one can pervasively influence the other in spite of themselves, so that they are "templated" to what your will.
This would, in my opinion, be the place at which O-Sensei's "aiki" starts to differ from what he (and others I would guess) believed the more traditional meaning to be.

O-Sensei's spiritual experience caused him to a) identify with "the other" thereby removing the dichotomy of anyone controlling anyone else and b) make accord with the "Will of the Kami" the central focus of ones actions.The Kannagara no Michi or Divine Path is how O-Sensei saw his world. Misogi would purify ones intentions to the point which they were brought into accord with the Will of the Kami. So "aiki" moves from being a set of psycho / physical techniques to cause involuntary reaction in the other to being descriptive of the essential state of connection existing between all things (in which there is no other). Hence the phrase Take Musu Aiki in which the martial technique arises spontaneously from the state of aiki. Or, said another way, the state of aiki gives birth to martial technique.

This fundamental shift in orientation opens the door for the alternative use of ai = love in the term the aiki. You can see the shift from aiki being a description of technique used to create connection between opponents to a term that describes the connection that already exists and once the ai becomes "love", begins to describe the energetic nature of that connection.

Training then shifts away from discovering how to use the principle of aiki in ones technique to defeat another, towards using technique utilizing the principles of aiki as misogi to bring one into accord with the Will of the Kami.The idea being that in discovering the principles of aiki through training in Aikido technique, one is "templated" to the Divine Will.

This would be my understanding of how O-Sensei's use of the term was different from how it had been used before, even in the parent art of Daito Ryo Aikijutsu.

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 06-03-2007 at 06:17 PM.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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