Originally posted by akiy
So, what's your definition of "aiki"?
Good question and a tough one, too.
From my poor understanding, aiki as a term has been around a long time, some references to it in some old religious documents and old sword scrolls and the like.
Apparently, the original use, in budo anyhow, was more 'to dominate the enemy's spirit' than anything else ... I can't say what the old Shinto meaning was, no clue.
Ueshiba seems to have redefined the term in later years to fit his deepening religious beliefs, to more of a sense of harmony than of domination ... but that leaves some question as well as to the definition of harmony to a crusty old Japanese brawler turned religious mystic.
When a nail sticks up and all that ...
I think some (not all, mind you) folks in aikido (especially in the West) want it to mean something like warm fuzzy happy hugs for everyone, but from what I've been able to piece together, even Ueshiba, in later years, didn't quite see it that way.
To others, it's all about getting in tune with the universe, but again, we have to discern what Ueshiba MEANT by harmony with the universe.
It's a very interesting idea that offers many facets, and in typical Japanese fashion, it can really mean various things to various folks in various contexts ...
(who leans toward the spiritual domination theory himself)