The Chinese - English dictionary translates 気
air, gas, steam, vapor; spirit
The interpretation of 気 as energy, live-energy ... is a daoistic term. It has it's roots in that relegion or philosphy and can not be understood without that background.
In the aikido as taught to us the understanding of ki as intention is one very important aspect. In very short terms: ki = kokyu + intention.
That ist quite different from the understanding of ch'i in TCM or something like that.
Actually, there's not really any difference but it would take a bit of discussion to clear it up, so I'll just offer the opinion that qi in TCM is actually the same qi that is the foundation of strength (particularly jin/kokyu) and health.