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Old 01-08-2010, 04:10 PM   #1
Rob Watson
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What is aiki?

Funny, no page in the wiki. I guess aikido does not have aiki ...

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

Ultracrepidarianism ... don't.
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Old 01-08-2010, 04:31 PM   #2
jbblack
 
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Re: What is aiki?

Perhaps your edition is out of date.......

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aiki

Aiki is a Japanese martial arts principle or tactic. In Japanese Aiki is formed from two kanji:

* 合 - ai - joining
* 氣 - ki - spirit

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aiki_%2...s_principle%29

Cheers
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Old 01-08-2010, 06:28 PM   #3
Adam Huss
 
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Re: What is aiki?

Nice Jeff. I like "joining" as a definition of Ai. I've been using "to fit together," which is much longer to say.

Ichi Go, Ichi Ei!
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Old 01-08-2010, 06:56 PM   #4
ChrisMoses
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Re: What is aiki?

Aiki is anything you can't do to a chair.

Anybody know who I'm quoting?

Chris Moses
TNBBC, "Putting the ME in MEdiocre!"
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Old 01-08-2010, 08:42 PM   #5
thisisnotreal
 
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Re: What is aiki?

What, actually, is "Aiki"?

William Gleason: Aiki is the unified state of Heaven, Man, and Earth. It is the vertical or spiritual unification of an individual and his or her environment. This state is absolute and therefore has no opposite or back side. When it is brought into motion it becomes ki-ai or yamabiko, the mountain echo, as O-sensei called it. This means that, maintaining your vertical unity, your ki goes out to your partner and again returns to yourself.

From<

for the record; i do not understand that answer in at least six different ways.
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Old 01-08-2010, 10:33 PM   #6
crbateman
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Re: What is aiki?

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Aiki is anything you can't do to a chair.

Anybody know who I'm quoting?
If memory serves, Don Angier...
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Old 01-08-2010, 10:58 PM   #7
ChrisHein
 
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Re: What is aiki?

However you can do Aiki in a chair.

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Old 01-08-2010, 11:28 PM   #8
JW
 
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Re: What is aiki?

Quote:
Jeff Black wrote: View Post
Perhaps your edition is out of date.......
I think he meant our wiki, the aikiwiki on the left side of this webpage..

I think it's good that it (the definition) is currently unsettled. Everyone seems to have a different understanding, and if I thought there should be a wiki entry for "aiki" in the vocab section, that fact is all I would feel comfortable putting in.

"Aiki" had a meaning when O-sensei studied under Takeda, as far as I have read on these forums. But the word now has different meanings to people. So it seems colloquially to have ceased to have an invariant meaning.

I would be happy for people to settle on a definition that isn't subject to the "here's what it means to me" form of understanding. That settling may happen in one certain way, depending on the spread of skills and physical, first-hand understanding in the next few years. (you're probably either tired of reading sentences like that or already agreeing with what I am saying, or both. Sorry to bore..)
--JW

ps I don't like it when people define "ki" as spirit, there are words for spirit in all the languages that use the "ki" character as far as I understand. Ki is a physical phenomenon. But that discussion belongs in the "what is ki" thread..
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Old 01-09-2010, 10:25 AM   #9
Rob Watson
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Thumbs up Re: What is aiki?

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
I think he meant our wiki
"A guy walks into a aikido dojo and asks 'what is aiki?' and a fight breaks out- amongst the aikidoka".

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

Ultracrepidarianism ... don't.
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Old 01-09-2010, 12:50 PM   #10
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: What is aiki?

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Aiki is anything you can't do to a chair.

Anybody know who I'm quoting?
Check out Ole Kingston of the Daito Ryu Roppokai...

George S. Ledyard
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Old 01-09-2010, 01:06 PM   #11
ChrisMoses
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Re: What is aiki?

Quote:
Clark Bateman wrote: View Post
If memory serves, Don Angier...
We have a winner.

Chris Moses
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Old 01-09-2010, 01:16 PM   #12
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: What is aiki?

Aiki can be discussed from several vantage points. What does it mean simply from the standpoint of technique? What does it mean from the larger cosmological standpoint? How is it commonly used by the Aikido community?

While commonly translated as "harmony", at least in terms of martial technique, it is much more accurate to say "joining ones energy with the attacker's". There are a number of elements that can be considered components of this "aiki". Non-resistance is certainly the hallmark. Internal power is a component. Power neutralization is a component. My own description of "aiki" from a technical standpoint is that this is the way we use the various sensory inputs to move the partner's mind so that he moves his body. Much of this involves connecting with the myofascial structures and the unconsciously processed nerve signals to the brain.

O-Sensei talked about "Aiki" more as a state of constantly moving balance in the universe. Through misogi the individual can bring himself into accord with this flow (the Kannagara no Michi) and ones actions are a spontaneous expression of this state of harmony. Take musu aiki is the oft quoted phrase that the Founder used to express this idea.

Aikido people, mostly outside of Japan, have turned the term into an adjective that describes whether an action or an attitude brings things together or pushes them apart. Aggressive or hurtful behavior is said to not be "aiki". Actions which resolve conflict are said to be "aiki" or an application of "aiki principles".

Whatever one thinks about this manner of usage, the term has has come to such common understanding within the Aikido community that everyone knows what is being said even if one is gritting his teeth over what many consider a misapplication of the term. So I think the hard cores need to give up and accept that this is another example of the evolution of language and stop resisting its usage in this way. It's simply a short hand for a set of much more complex issues. In that sense it is useful for those with a common understanding and totally useless for use with folks without that common outlook. But continuing to bitch about using the term this way just isn't "aiki".

George S. Ledyard
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Bellevue, WA
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Old 01-09-2010, 02:05 PM   #13
Rob Watson
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Re: What is aiki?

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Aiki can be discussed from several vantage points. What does it mean simply from the standpoint of technique? What does it mean from the larger cosmological standpoint? How is it commonly used by the Aikido community"?
I prefer to stick to the first technical aspect. Certainly one can use technical aiki for evil so the broader usages are obviated in this respect.

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
My own description of "aiki" from a technical standpoint is that this is the way we use the various sensory inputs to move the partner's mind so that he moves his body. Much of this involves connecting with the myofascial structures and the unconsciously processed nerve signals to the brain.".
Mind control ... simple as that? No, seriously this is very interesting and forces one to study carefully a great many disciplines. For example the whole concept of the unconcious is actually hotly debated in the psych field so this is not a settled concept. The purpose and function of the myofascia is also not settled and there is much basic research needed to bring clarity. The manner in which our 'mannerisms' influence those around us is fairly esoteric and I'm not sure if there is a specific field of study in this regard. I mean field of study with more 'cred' than say NLP.

The ability to organize ones body posture, intent, attention and mental state and project "it" into some one else in such a way as to actually exert control (on what ever level) makes the technical aspects of, say kote gaeshi, (which cannot be done on a chair) pale to insignificance.

Just being able to organize ones body posture, intent, attention and mental state gives one plenty to work on without the projection part. Just how seperable are there activities? The idea being that one can work on the organization part seperate from the projection part.

Some of the drills in 'power of the mind' and 'principles of entry' (many thanks to George Ledyard) are helpful but still there is much for one to figure out on their own.

Mostly I started this thread on a lark (no aiki in aikiwiki has gotta mean something). I've been working on this stuff for a decade and have more questions than answers - maybe I'm just slow.

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

Ultracrepidarianism ... don't.
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