Cassia Rose Heatley
I am surprised that Japanese students struggle with the names also, with Ikkyo/Nikkyo etc. I understand as they I believe translate as "the first/second technique" but regarding things like the grab or strike (katate dori, atemi) or ukemi (fall?) are they not descriptive words in japanese? Likewise are the waza not self explanatory?
PAG. This is what I thought until I came to live here and learned the language as it is spoken. Before I came here, the only variations in naming I had experienced were between the Aikikai and Shodokan, where the names for the same waza
are different. But both go back to the same teacher: Morihei Ueshiba, who did not use names very often.
And the names themselves are very rough and ready. Very few were used by Morihei Ueshiba himself, but were coined as vaguely descriptive labels by his students, so that they could remember what he had shown them.
are the first and second items in a numbered sequence, but the original names were ik-kajou
and it was Kisshomaru Ueshiba who appears to have decided on kyou
, rather than -kajou
Actually, naming is one of the devices that Kisshomaru used to transform the art into something that could become a global product and it is instructive to compare his early English book Aikido
, with the two Japanese books from which it was put together. (This was actually a three-stage process, the middle stage being a Japanese version of the composite book, which was called Aikido Kyouhan
[合気道教範], but this was later revised and was later rewritten in two volumes with a different title.)