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Old 08-28-2013, 11:11 AM   #30
Dojo: Kakushi Toride Aikido
Location: Los Angeles
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 109
Re: Is ki just good physics?

Christopher Li wrote: View Post
I'd be fairly cautious about assuming how much guidance there actually was from Morihei.

Kisshomaru talks quite a bit about writing this book in "Aikido Ichiro".

He does state that he asked for his father's guidance, but he also states that he wrote the entire text himself, that it was edited extensively by a third party, and that he changed many particulars of his father's explanations in order to make things more understandable to the general populace.

He never once mentions actually receiving any guidance from his father.

According to Kisshomaru his father's response when he talked to him about writing the book was "well, do what you like", and his father's response upon seeing the finished work was "hey, great, it's got my picture in it".

This is one of Koichi Tohei's classic examples, and of course his influence at the time the book was written and published can't be underestimated.

In the later "Aikido no Kokoro" ("Spirit of Aikido"), Kisshomaru speaks about Ki in some detail, describes it in classical Chinese terms, and cites the Chinese origin of the entire concept. He doesn't relate it to being muscular, or to the lack of muscle. He goes on to relate it to modern science.


Dear Chris, I merely copied what it says on the author page of the book.

But if you mean to imply that Kisshomaru, his translators and editors presented something not in keeping with the Founder's intention or teaching, and that Morihei Ueshiba was such an ego-maniac that all he cared about was having his picture in the book (I read a similar story in Remembering Osensei about an aikido newsletter which had no picture of him in the first edition, which he dismissed, but then approved of the second edition which did display his picture) to the extent that he let his life's work be misrepresented, then we will have to find another honorific for him besides "Osensei" - something that means "Great Fool." I would assume only great trust or massive stupidity would inspire the Founder to give free rein to his son to literally "write the book" on Aikido.

I could be wrong of course, but it seems to me that wlth all the reverence with which Osensei's son writes of his father, his father's work and intentions for Aikido, that he would not have attempted to conspire with editors and translators to add two main points out of nine (or three, if you count "breath power" as another description of ki) to the "Basic Knowledge" section of book Aikido that were not in keeping with his father's budo.

I do appreciate K. Ueshiba's efforts is giving us something easier to grasp than the esoteric sounding words of his father regarding ki, and I enjoy his exploration of the nature ki in The Spirit of Aikido in which he relates ki to modern science, but a word of caution: Mentioning ki as a physical force of nature in these forums may incite the torch and pitchfork mob!
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