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Old 06-25-2003, 10:26 PM   #26
Dojo: South West Aiki
Location: Margaret River
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 51
My personal reference to laziness in my first post was more to do with english speakers often expecting everything to already be in english - whether they are in New York or Istanbul - than a swipe at anyone's effort to find another way of understanding Japanese terms.

Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.
--Isaac Asimov

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Old 06-26-2003, 12:36 AM   #27
Dojo: Aikikai Dobunkan/ Icho Ryu Aikijujutsu
Location: Indiana
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 247
Charles Hill wrote:
Paul even thinks it is a way of weeding out people.

When did I say that? My comment was that the english translations would all be different, and would probably get in the way. For example- how would you translate "tsuki"? If you just change it into "punch", how is it different from a haymaker, jab, cross, hook, etc?

I'm definitely not for using japanese as a screening device. If being allowed to train or not was solely dependent on my japanese, I wouldn't be doing aikido.

As far as deeper meanings of techniques go, I think that there is something to be gained by puzzling it out for yourself (guidance is a plus...but as for making something yours, you have to do it on your own). Based on what I see from the reactions of the people around me in my dojo, having all of the terms in your native language (japanese) doesn't seem to make it easy or instantly understandible. There is still a LOT of explaination that goes on about what things "really" mean anyway.
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Old 06-26-2003, 03:44 AM   #28
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erikmenzel's Avatar
Dojo: Koshinkai Leeuwarden
Location: Leeuwarden
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 594
Yes we definitly should change the language of aikido.

So what should it be? Finnish, Navaho or Tamil?

Erik Jurrien Menzel
kokoro o makuru taisanmen ni hirake
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Old 06-26-2003, 10:04 AM   #29
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
Location: Three Lakes WI/ Mishima Japan
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 837
Sorry Paul, that was actually Jason's comment in the post above yours.

BTW, It is interesting to me that Morihei Ueshiba might have voted for putting names of techniques into one's own native language. He reportedly encouraged students to make up their own names for techniques, "..the more poetic the better."

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Old 06-26-2003, 02:00 PM   #30
Vic Robinson
Dojo: Aikido of Morgantown, AWA
Location: Morgantown, WV
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 5
I usually keep quiet in these forums, however this is actually a fairly important issue, so I will weigh in...

As Dave pointed out earlier, there is an accepted terminalogy in all specialties, whether it is the Latin in scientific nomenclature or English terms in physics, which are unintelligible to the rest of us. To borrow from some other arts which use phrases like "horse stance" or "child's pose" or "Dragon claw" it doesn't matter whether or not it is English, they are still specific terms used in that specialty. It simply remains that with Aikido's roots in Japan our specialized terminology is Japanese. It doesn't matter that the phrases are not used in everyday language, we don't use "horse stance" in everyday conversation either.

As Anna pointed out, to throw away the many Japanese links, be it the etiquette, the bowing or the hakama, etc, we would be throwing out the roots of the discipline. And Aikido with it's traditional roots has kept that discipline much more so than most martial arts in the western world. The discipline is important and makes us better individuals.

Of course Daniel is also correct that we need to define these concepts to beginning students, this is important. As was discussed previously in this Forum, Aikido continues to evolve and our explanations of these concepts continues to evolve as well. Our explanations to our students may sound nothing like the explanations our Senseis made to us.

I find that beginning students need time to learn the terminology and when calling for a given technique on a students's first test I call for it first in Japanese (as in "katatekosatori kotegaeshi")and then say the attack in English (as in "cross-hand grab kotegaeshi"). There is no substitute for the name of the technique (kotegaeshi), that is it's name, and nothing else will do.

It takes different students varied lengths of time to know and understand the terminology, but by their second test most students are quite comfortable with the terminology. Of course, we have all seen tests, even with advanced students who stare at you as if they've never heard those words before in their life! And in those cases it would make no difference what language we are speaking.

However, as Daniel points out "kotegaeshi" means nothing to a beginner, no matter what the language. So our task as instructors is to explain and show. Written descriptions would be very nice, and Daniel, if you use them in your dojo, I would love to see them as they are perhaps applicable to us all.
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Old 06-27-2003, 09:56 AM   #31
Richard Harnack
Dojo: Aikido Institute of Mid-America
Location: Maplewood, Missouri
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 137
1. The Japanese names are technical terms which vary somewhat between different Aikido organizations. As such keeping them at least gives a common starting point in training.

2. Those who confuse knowledge of the name with the ability to actually practice the art soon discover the error of their ways. I ask all of my students to learn the names so that they can go anywhere to train. At the same moment I discourage beginners from focusing too much on learning the names, as I rather they practiced the art.

3. My "gripe" with those who "translate" the name, is that oftentimes we get some equally obscure and tendentious phrase in English (or any other language) that does not necessarily illuminate the technique any better than the Japanese name.

Yours In Aiki,
Richard Harnack
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Old 06-27-2003, 01:10 PM   #32
Karl Urquhart
Dojo: North Texas Aikido In Allen Texas
Location: Dallas
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 2
Do you think we should rename aikido terminology f

Do you think we should rename Aikido terminology from Japanese to other languages?

Take in mind I am new to Aikido, but not the arts. However! From what I have studied and read in the last year, it should be a resounding Yes! And it should be in the true sprit of one in harmony and sprit; this can best be done in unity as one family (the purpose of Aikido is not to learn to speak Japanese / that should be left to the individual, as a sign of respect for O' Sensei). As I have read it every where, it was O sensei‘s fondest wish that Aikido be used to awaken mankind to the realization that the world is one family, and that world does not all speak Japanese! It will not hurt but only help by making AIKIDO understandable in many languages with out confussion.


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Old 06-27-2003, 01:24 PM   #33
Karl Urquhart
Dojo: North Texas Aikido In Allen Texas
Location: Dallas
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 2
BTW.... It is my strong belief that Aikido should retain at its root the original terminology, in Japanese! But it should also include the other languages to avoid confusion.

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Old 06-27-2003, 07:24 PM   #34
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
Location: Three Lakes WI/ Mishima Japan
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 837
Anyone else find it interesting that no one posting has been for the changing of terminology from Japanese? Surely someone who voted yes could post their reasons.

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Old 11-11-2005, 03:03 PM   #35
Dojo: Ronin
Location: Earth
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 36
Re: Poll: Do you think we should rename aikido terminology from Japanese to other languages?

IMHO the Japanese language terminology should indeed continued to be used in the study and practice of Aikido. The first reason(s) I believe this tradition should be continued to be practiced is to honor the founder and all of those who followed for the many years they devoted to the study and practice of Aikido so that those of us alive today and those who will follow us will also be able to study and practice Aikido should they wish to do so. We must remember that although they may not be alive with us here today it was in fact those people who carried the ball for all of us and we in turn are carrying the ball for those who will follow us... An equally compelling reason for keeping the tradition of using Japanese terminology in Aikido is to continue to show respect to these same people. There is the unspoken yet common awareness we have that we respect those who had and have and were and are were willing to share with us who did and do not have.
I do believe that it would be entirely appropriate to build upon that which we are given if and when new knowledge deemed worthy to be included is brought to light, but to think that tearing down the entire structure, foundation and all, and continue to call that new thing Aikido
and believe doing that is a good idea is, IMO, incorrect reasoning. If and when one should decide to do that sort of thing it is best to begin an entirely new system with a completely different name, etc.. Just my two cents plus LOTS MORE!!!!! Peace, Justice & Love.


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Old 11-12-2005, 03:05 AM   #36
tedehara's Avatar
Dojo: Evanston Ki-Aikido
Location: Evanston IL
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 826
Re: Poll: Do you think we should rename aikido terminology from Japanese to other lan

The more intelligent among us already have.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
About Ki
About You
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Old 11-12-2005, 07:34 PM   #37
wmreed's Avatar
Dojo: Columbus Aikikai
Location: Columbus, OH
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 107
Ai symbol Re: Poll: Do you think we should rename aikido terminology from Japanese to other languages?

I think the entire thread is too narrow minded. Rather than translate to one language or another, we should completely rename the techniques something descriptive and yet as poetic as the essence of aikido itself. To retain the Japanese culture, of course, they should all be named as haiku.

diving kingfisher,
intercepted by the wren,
twists its wing, and falls.

Isn't that much more beautiful than Munetsuki kotegaeshi? And someone who is truly a poet cold come up with images that are much more accurate. I'm just a hack at haiku.

the swelling waves crash
against the falling oak tree
drowns it in the surge

That's so much clearer than the Japanese!

William M. Reed
Columbus, OH USA
"I'm not the author William Reed -- yet."
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