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The Word "Aikido"
The Word "Aikido"
by Francis Takahashi
07-14-2011
The Word "Aikido"

The word "Aikido" is simply a word. Like the word "Love", or "Hate" or even "Peace" are each but mere words. Like when looking at our atmosphere, we may see "blue" skies, or fiery "red" sunsets, or even the "grey" cloak of sunlight intercepted darkness. Does our description of what we see actually define what it is? Or do we need to explore, digest and understand more of what our minds and emotions may reveal by taking the time necessary to truly evaluate what our senses are apparently revealing to us? Perhaps we will discover what conclusions or judgments we make, by examining the actual lenses we look through, or what filters we construct and employ to better discriminate amongst the sensations and sensory inputs we encounter.

In the seeming cacophony of definitions, descriptions and theories of what "Aikido" is or may have significant meaning to us individually, is it any wonder that we must truly fail whenever we attempt globally to reach any general consensus of what Aikido truly is.

Traditionalists may want to begin with the root definitions of the Japanese characters or kanji, but even then do we find conflicting and agenda driven positions taken by the "experts" and scholars amongst us. How is a "newbie" to make any sense of, or take comfort in having faith in the word or its origin? Does "Ai" really only mean "love" or "harmony"? Does "Ki" only mean "spirit", "mind" or "energy"? Does "Do"only refer to a "path", a "way" or a process? And what of the choices of meanings that are possible with the combinations of those terms?

Then we have the "new age" thinkers and opportunists who revel in the seeming randomness and uncertainty, even amongst the so called high ranking seniors of the art. Who to believe, who to listen to, and who to entrust with the immense responsibility of "getting it right"? Is it even truly necessary to "get it right"? By what concensus? By whose decree? In what time frame?

Certain purists may then come forth and proclaim, "it's in the training itself", so simply "shut up and train", and then the truth will emerge for those willing to pay the price of long years of intense dedication to their selected mentors, and their uniquely singular programs of "correct" interpretation of the Founder's intent and discovery. Let us dispense with meaningless dialogue, misleading videos, and the ultimately useless diversion of reading online treatises and discussions, and support each other's sincere attempts to add their interpretations to the mix, and allow history to decide.

By some accounts, the word "aikido" was given to the Founder to use by a consortium of Budo organizations or such like in 1942. I am unclear as to the exact nature of Budo politics at the time, and will defer to better knowledge than mine. Even so, the Founder himself, if the account is correct, was given a choice as to how best to interpret and to then integrate the word of aikido into his system.

The Founder made it clear that we individually and collectively are free to create our own template of Aikido, based if we wish, on the model that he himself created. This may also mean that we can interpret the meaning of his Aikido, and that of our own creation, in the manner that best suits our purpose, our sense of fairness and respect for the original model, and one that best serves our relationship with our peers and our students over time

For me then, I find it convenient and useful to state that I study the martial art of Aikido, as introduced and taught by Morihei Ueshiba, and represented by Aikikai Foundation, currently headed by Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba. This is for public consumption, and declared in the interest of general identification for my dojo and my constituents. Personally, however, it is a vastly different matter, as I regard my own values, standards of training, and goals for personal development strictly my own business, and not defined in any way by organizational, philosophical or sociologically determined parameters and identification.

Yes, for me it remains a word, the definition of which is my own to ponder, the application of which is mine to own, even as I freely acknowledge others the right to do the same. Aikido is just a word, like any other, that takes its significance, relevance and impact on the way we use it in our dealings with others. Perhaps in the end, we may hopefully find mutual satisfaction and empathetic agreement on the training mat, where it all started.
Francis Takahashi was born in 1943, in Honolulu, Hawaii. Francis began his Aikido journey in 1953, simultaneously with the introduction of Aikido to Hawaii by Koichi Tohei, a representative sent from Aikikai Foundation in Tokyo, Japan. This event was sponsored by the Hawaii Nishi System of Health Engineering, with Noriyasu Kagesa as president. Mr. Kagesa was Francis's grandfather, and was a life long supporter of Mr. Tohei, and of Aikido. In 1961, the Founder visited Hawaii to help commemorate the opening of the new dojo in Honolulu. This was the first, and only time Francis had the opportunity to train with the Founder. In 1963, Francis was inducted into the U.S. Army, and was stationed for two years in Chicago, Illinois. He was the second instructor for the fledgling Chicago Aikido Club, succeeding his childhood friend, Chester Sasaki, who had graduated from the University of Illinois, and was entering the Air Force. Francis is currently ranked 7th dan Aikikai, and enjoys a direct affiliation with Aikikai Foundation for the recommending and granting of dan ranks via his organization, Aikikai Associates West Coast. Francis is the current dojo-cho of Aikido Academy in Alhambra, California.
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Old 07-15-2011, 11:03 PM   #2
crbateman
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

Hello Francis Sensei,

Another good topic! Each of us defines our Aikido by the way we train and the way we live. Words alone mean little unless they are supported by deeds.

Thanks again for sharing.
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Old 07-17-2011, 04:19 PM   #3
DH
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

Quote:
Yes, for me it remains a word,
the definition of which is my own to ponder,
the application of which is mine to own,

Aikido is just a word, like any other, that takes its significance, relevance and impact on the way we use it in our dealings with others.
Against all attempts at revisionism... the word was Aiki...do, The Way of Aiki. It was coined "The Way of Aiki" for a reason; The old mans art was different from the Koryu and Gendai arts being displayed before a very educated crowd.

This new tactic to personalize and redefine it is understandable though. Since the majority of those in aikido have failed in their attempt to understand aiki, why not go back and corupt the meaning of the name itself, as well as the founders practice, in order to forge a new practice that can only be judged on a personal level.
In so doing, they can complete Kisshomaru's attempts to create a new revisionist history divorced from his fathers message and skills, and establish what has been described as a weaker practice that is approachable by the majority.
Quote:
Perhaps in the end, we may hopefully find mutual satisfaction and empathetic agreement on the training mat, where it all started.
Mutual satisfaction and agreement is currently being sought in two camps; the founders art and the sons invention of modern aikido. They are most certainly not the same.
As time goes on, tthose that choose Ueshiba's Way of aiki will remain untouchable by those who follow the son's model. Ueshiba's model was and is, superior and can be demonstrated as such every time.

I would guess that in time, those who choose to continue on with the son's model will continue to lose students (as they continue to report here) due to a lack of credibility. This is actually happening on two fronts;
1. Outside the art
Their lack of power and fighting ability as judged by a crowd educated in MMA
2. From within the art itself
Their lack of power and ability as judged be an ever growing population getting educated and familiar with the founders true art.

The Founder's Way of Aiki...requires no mutual agreement anyway. Those who follow the son's Aikido™, cannot stand in the face of it. It is undeniable.
Ueshiba's art is better than the son's. I hope that's the type of mutual agreement you can be satisfied with since it is the only agreement I see happening when the two groups meet and touch hands.
Dan
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Old 07-17-2011, 09:44 PM   #4
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

" Yes, for me it remains a word, the definition of which is my own to ponder, the application of which is mine to own, even as I freely acknowledge others the right to do the same. Aikido is just a word, like any other, that takes its significance, relevance and impact on the way we use it in our dealings with others."

The first time I heard the word "Aikido" I was told it is a Japanese martial arts kind of like Judo.

Twenty six years later, after going through many different definitions I now tell people "Aikido" is a Japanese martial art kind of like Judo.

dps
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:59 PM   #5
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

Quote:
Francis Takahashi wrote:
The Founder made it clear that we individually and collectively are free to create our own template of Aikido, based if we wish, on the model that he himself created. This may also mean that we can interpret the meaning of his Aikido, and that of our own creation, in the manner that best suits our purpose, our sense of fairness and respect for the original model, and one that best serves our relationship with our peers and our students over time.
Hi Francis -

Thank you for once again sharing your views with us. Your statement above is a powerful assertion regarding O Sensei's intent as it relates to the development and dissemination of Aikido over time. I think that had O Sensei not had the foresight to endow Aikido with the ability to flex, grow and change with the times that today Aikido would be relegated to curiosity status practiced by only a very few. Some would argue that perhaps Aikido would have been better off with a less interpretative structure that adhered to the form and training regimen of O Sensei's art at some time prior to the second World War. Maybe so, maybe not.

The beauty of Aikido is that there's room for all to study and gain thereby from their practice. Who is so perfect in their knowledge of O Sensei's intent that they can decide whose practice is worthwhile and whose is not?

Best,

Ron

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Old 07-18-2011, 03:09 AM   #6
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

Dear All,
I reading the the article and reading the various responses to the original blog it strikes me that each person can interpret aikido in a manner that befits them.Its a matter of choice whether one chooses the martial aspect or other areas[health\spiritual route.
Perhaps in view of this factor Aikido should not be classified or described as a Martial art since there may well be very low % of people now practicing that are inclined towards a martial aspect.
I for one am aware that in certain areas Aikido is perceived as being ineffective as a Martial art, practiced by old codgers/weaklings/guru types.This is an image which is held by others.
Was the decision taken to open up Aikido to all and sundry a good thing for the Art?Should it have remained an exclusive art [thus maintaing the original essence of the art and being the province of fewer people ] or as it is today wide spread, with lots of people doing aikido , and the quality aspect perhaps being diluted?
Cheers, Joe.
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Old 07-18-2011, 03:50 AM   #7
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

O Sensei also wanted people to get more independent. (take a moment to consider the era in which Aikido was developed)
To impose rules which define the art would in itself be a system that people must adhere to. Quite contrare to what he wanted to achieve.
In his view it might not be so bad that Aikido evolves away from the martial as long as (more) people share their knowledge and help eachother (to better the world).

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
www.aikido-makato.nl
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Old 07-18-2011, 06:33 AM   #8
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
I reading the the article and reading the various responses to the original blog it strikes me that each person can interpret aikido in a manner that befits them.Its a matter of choice whether one chooses the martial aspect or other areas[health\spiritual route.
Hi Joe -

The choices are not mutually exclusive. I'm in the "old codger" group and find that the focus of my practice has, over the years, moved to the way less martial end of the spectrum. I suspect that my experience is not unique. Aikido would be all the poorer were the ability for this training paradigm shift to be bred out of the art.

Best,

Ron

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Old 07-18-2011, 09:14 AM   #9
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Hi Joe -

The choices are not mutually exclusive. I'm in the "old codger" group and find that the focus of my practice has, over the years, moved to the way less martial end of the spectrum. I suspect that my experience is not unique. Aikido would be all the poorer were the ability for this training paradigm shift to be bred out of the art.

Best,

Ron
Dear Ron,
Born in 1947 ?-you are a mere stripling, a callow youth.You barely qualify for a bus pass , pension from the state.I bet if push came to shove you can still cut the mustard.Nearly typed in custard!!!
My little quip!! cheers, Joe.
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:06 AM   #10
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Hi Francis -

Thank you for once again sharing your views with us. Your statement above is a powerful assertion regarding O Sensei's intent as it relates to the development and dissemination of Aikido over time. I think that had O Sensei not had the foresight to endow Aikido with the ability to flex, grow and change with the times that today Aikido would be relegated to curiosity status practiced by only a very few. Some would argue that perhaps Aikido would have been better off with a less interpretative structure that adhered to the form and training regimen of O Sensei's art at some time prior to the second World War. Maybe so, maybe not.
O Sensei's intent for his aikido?

There are way too many instances of Morihei Ueshiba's students stating things like, I didn't know what he was talking about. I won't post them but many of them can be found from Stan Pranin's efforts and work. Others are scattered in books and magazines. I won't post all the back and forth about Tohei and what he thought of Morihei Ueshiba's ideology. Or the time in Hawaii when Ueshiba was mad at Tohei and admonished the students that they could take Tohei because of his impurity. Or a hundred other similar things.

I will mention Peter Goldsbury's excellent post about how the post-war students were probably not shown some of Morihei Ueshiba's personal training. ( http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...907#post287907 ).

I will mention the post-war time when the son, Kisshomaru Ueshiba, wanted to do a public demonstration and thought his father would go into a rage over the idea. But Morihei Ueshiba let his son do his own thing. Who was it that flexed and changed here? The founder or his son? The son, Kisshomaru Ueshiba, took over.

It's also worth noting that it was Kisshomaru Ueshiba who ranked students quickly, sometimes skipping a grade. It was Kisshomaru Ueshiba who sent Aikido teachers out into the world. It was Kisshomaru Ueshiba who changed his father's spiritual ideological message so that the new aikido would be more fit for a worldwide audience. It was Kisshomaru Ueshiba who changed his father's view of techniques and codified them. Morihei Ueshiba required prospective students to have sponsors. Kisshomaru Ueshiba did not.

Quite a bit of all of this (and more) is there in the recorded history from many different sources.

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
The beauty of Aikido is that there's room for all to study and gain thereby from their practice. Who is so perfect in their knowledge of O Sensei's intent that they can decide whose practice is worthwhile and whose is not?

Best,

Ron
With all those Japanese students not understanding what Morihei Ueshiba was saying to them, with Morihei Ueshiba not actually teaching those students his personal training regimen, with those students not being able to martially replicate his skills, how is it that you know that there's "room for all to study and gain thereby" from Morihei Ueshiba's aikido? Are you so perfect in your knowledge of Morihei Ueshiba and his aikido that you can state that?

On the flip side of things, if we were talking about Kisshomaru's Aikido (what I call "Modern Aikido"), I would agree with you completely.
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:35 AM   #11
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
O Sensei's intent for his aikido?
Hi Mark -

I was commenting on this quote from Francis' column: "The Founder made it clear that we individually and collectively are free to create our own template of Aikido, based if we wish, on the model that he himself created. This may also mean that we can interpret the meaning of his Aikido, and that of our own creation, in the manner that best suits our purpose, our sense of fairness and respect for the original model, and one that best serves our relationship with our peers and our students over time."

You're free to take issue with the ideas expressed in the quote, but to me it expresses intent pretty clearly.

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
With all those Japanese students not understanding what Morihei Ueshiba was saying to them, with Morihei Ueshiba not actually teaching those students his personal training regimen, with those students not being able to martially replicate his skills, how is it that you know that there's "room for all to study and gain thereby" from Morihei Ueshiba's aikido? Are you so perfect in your knowledge of Morihei Ueshiba and his aikido that you can state that?
Please do no mistake a statement of opinion, which is an expression of belief, with an assertion of fact which requires documented proof. Again, you're free to disregard my opinion and cultivate your own if that suits you.

Best,

Ron

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Old 07-18-2011, 03:18 PM   #12
aikishihan
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

Many thanks for the candid, often valid, and always thought provoking responses and contributions to what is my singularly personal perspective on the Founder’s immeasurable and inexhaustibly rich gift of his Aikido.

I do believe that if an idea or construct is inherently invalid or based on false premises, it will surely die a natural death through neglect and disinterest. If the opposite holds true, then we may very well witness a plethora of amazingly innovative and freshly inspired attempts to validate, define and build, on an ongoing basis, on the alluring truths contained and found in the original intent and purpose. A true work in progress of humanity’s never ending search for a fundamental reality that would provide enlightenment and joy to those who persevere and persist.

The Founder’s amazing gift indeed was never intended to be a “one of”, a “be all to end all” statement of any universal truth that could or should stand alone and defy any welcome scrutiny, alternative appreciation or as a basis for genius to work with. Rather, the Founder’s discoveries represented a most human attempt, by a fallible and humble man, to dare to share his life’s work with any and all curious and attentive minds in the ongoing exploration and enriching study of Universal Aiki, and not simply “Ueshiba Aiki”, which was only his contribution, intended to inspire and invite more of the same from succeeding generations.

The perspective that many of the Founder’s direct students struggled with understanding, appreciating and incorporating the many lessons from the Founder is not surprising. History is replete with direct students and actual peers of geniuses of the past likewise failing in similar attempts to keep up. It truly is another example of the “numbers game” of life, where a small percentage of eligible candidates or potential ingredients succeed in completing their intended destiny and place in history. Talent, industriousness and proven worth are never in doubt. Too often, it is simply the luck of the draw.

Perhaps it is time for us to have more faith in the capacity of mankind to actually learn from, and where appropriate, improve on the original model, while truly creating valid new constructs and enhanced examples of an original idea that fit any new realities and opportunities for growth and applicability. Really, isn’t this how evolution works? Isn’t this how measurable progress is defined? Isn’t this what the Founder envisioned, even as he himself was a working example of this principle, with the fuel, guidance and inspiration gleaned from his martial, spiritual and intensely personal experiences, validating his dedication towards continual self improvement? Isn’t this the true legacy of the Founder to succeeding generations of students of his example? Methinks it is.

The Founder’s understanding of Aiki was likewise never intended to be defined by words like “Aiki”, “Aiki Do”, or even the word “Aikido”, which was not his choice originally. Even as proper technique results, not from any conscious intent, but as the natural result of applying the appropriate principles of Aiki, and allowing the results of inspired training to do their collective magic, so did the Founder find the appropriate outlet for his ever improving sense of growth and depth of knowledge and understanding of his mission and his vision.

So, do dare to take up the challenge offered by the Founder’s incomparable example, selecting and/or deselecting the models of choice of training and thinking, with the uncompromising desire to accomplish your heartfelt goals, only you need to be conscious of, and to be loyal to.

Make “Aikido” a word that has special meaning to you first of all, and then share it with those you interact with, and care about.
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Old 07-18-2011, 04:36 PM   #13
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

Our own aikido in the sense that he wanted everyone to discover their own path? Well sure. But, I think he wanted us to discover our path with an understanding of the Way of Aiki...you know...the stuff he was always talking about.
I don't think he intended his name to be put on our desires to make our own stuff up as we go along and imagine we understand the way that he was talking about. If you don't understand aiki, then no matter what you think you're doing, you are not doing his aiki-do or even your own aiki-do. Instead, you're just doing your own thing with funny looking clothes on and waiving sticks in the air. Why drag him into it at all?

Shu ha ri implies a process. Why are we discussing aiki and assuming we have approached anything even remotely related to what he was asking of us? We can make up new meanings for words all day, it just sounds like something children would do when they don't understand.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 07-18-2011 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 07-18-2011, 06:24 PM   #14
graham christian
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

[/quote] The word "Aikido" is simply a word. Like the word "Love", or "Hate" or even "Peace" are each but mere words. Like when looking at our atmosphere, we may see "blue" skies, or fiery "red" sunsets, or even the "grey" cloak of sunlight intercepted darkness. Does our description of what we see actually define what it is? Or do we need to explore, digest and understand more of what our minds and emotions may reveal by taking the time necessary to truly evaluate what our senses are apparently revealing to us? Perhaps we will discover what conclusions or judgments we make, by examining the actual lenses we look through, or what filters we construct and employ to better discriminate amongst the sensations and sensory inputs we encounter.[quote]

Hi Francis.
I like the column but the above paragraph makes it sound like Aikido is just an adjective.

The simplicity I see is that it is a noun representing a concept of a martial art. Due to it's form it is known worldwide as Aikido.

Now, no different to any other martial art be it Karate, kung fu or even writing, a person then developes their own style or methodology of teaching. Thus, as you say comes about the evolution of the art.

Each school should merely state the 'type' the description of their Aikido. It's not complicated really.

All this trying to prove this and that is just 'my blahs better than your blah'

Respect. G.
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Old 07-18-2011, 07:18 PM   #15
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
All this trying to prove this and that is just 'my blahs better than your blah'
Becuase true aiki is better than the imposter being called aiki.
It's not public school. Everyone does not get an "A"
The imposters, those truly working on it to one degree or another, and those that have it... are known at a touch.
Dan
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Old 07-18-2011, 08:20 PM   #16
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Becuase true aiki is better than the imposter being called aiki.
It's not public school. Everyone does not get an "A"
The imposters, those truly working on it to one degree or another, and those that have it... are known at a touch.
Dan
Where did you learn "the true aiki" that you judge others with.

dps
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Old 07-18-2011, 08:21 PM   #17
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Becuase true aiki is better than the imposter being called aiki.
It's not public school. Everyone does not get an "A"
The imposters, those truly working on it to one degree or another, and those that have it... are known at a touch.
Dan
Where did you learn "the true aiki" that you judge others with.

dps
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Old 07-18-2011, 08:51 PM   #18
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

Hello Francis,

What a can of worms you have opened!

I have the same problem as Graham. As you state, it is merely a word, and, like all other words, admits of being defined, with the definition appearing in a dictionary.

The only issue for me would be whether as a noun it is a general name that denotes a class of things, or a proper name that comes with a definite description, such as 'the last heir of the Hapsburg Empire', who died recently.

The problem is the vast mythology that has arisen because it is a compound Japanese word, left untranslated in western languages, that is usually written with Chinese characters. So there are interminable arguments about its constituents and etymology, all of which is of no relevance whatever to its status and use as a word.

To see what I mean, consider three other words, all of which use one of the characters used to write the word 合気道 in Japanese, but in the appropriate order:

合唱団: gasshoudan (together - utter sound - group). This word means chorus or choir. The first two characters carry the main meaning, with the third being one of several possibilities (曲, 隊). But the meaning is clear and does not need any further penetration or speculation. Of course, choirs can sing in different ways, but they are still choirs: they do not need to do the gasshou in a certain way.

Similarly with 軽気球: keikikyuu (light - air - ball). This word means hot-air (helium) balloon. I have occasionally seen these on fresh autumn mornings on my way to work at university.

地下道: chikadou (ground - below - way). This is an underground passage. Again, the first two characters bear the main weight and there are many more possibilities for the third character than with gasshou.

However, I believe that this focus on the first two characters relates to the fact that they are read in the ON or Chinese way and does not affect their use as words in the Japanese language. In other words, a Japanese native speaker can use the words in daily life when going about the normal business of communication without knowing anything the structure or etymology of the words. The native speaker does not need to know what the aiki in aikido actually means, for example, in order to use the world aikido correctly.

So, I do not need to make aikido a word that has a special meaning to me. There is not really any point in doing so, especially here in Japan.

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 07-18-2011, 09:17 PM   #19
DH
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

Quote:
Where did you learn "the true aiki" that you judge others with.

dps
The same source as the founder's model of aiki.
You noted in that other thread that aiki is best learned in aikido not from outside the art. I've not found that to be true.
Strangely, many teachers in the art, (now including more and more teachers and shihan like Ikeda ) have found going outside of modern aikido to actually learn aiki was best. Then again, so did Shioda, and Tohei.
Can you explan that?
Dan

Last edited by DH : 07-18-2011 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 07-19-2011, 02:27 AM   #20
dps
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
The same source as the founder's model of aiki.

Dan
O'Sensei learned Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu from Takeda Sokaku.

Who was your Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu teacher?

dps
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Old 07-19-2011, 03:10 AM   #21
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
The same source as the founder's model of aiki.
You noted in that other thread that aiki is best learned in aikido not from outside the art. I've not found that to be true.
Strangely, many teachers in the art, (now including more and more teachers and shihan like Ikeda ) have found going outside of modern aikido to actually learn aiki was best. Then again, so did Shioda, and Tohei.
Can you explan that?
Dan
DearMr Harden,
I cannot comment on you statement concerning Shioda Sensei external training outside of Aikido, however in Tohei Senseis case you seem to have made an error chronologically speaking concerning Tohei Senseis external training.Tohei Sensei originally studied Judo,He then spent considerable time studying Zen meditation , Ki develpment [later developing Kiatsu]and misogi practice PRIOR to studying Aikido.Tohei Sensei continued to study these methods of training in a ongoing basis,but to suggest that Tohei Sensei
AFTER training in Aikido sought other methods in this instance is incorrect. Cheers, Joe.
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Old 07-19-2011, 03:25 AM   #22
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
O'Sensei learned Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu from Takeda Sokaku.

Who was your Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu teacher?

dps
Dear Dps,
Never mind asking Mr Harden this question , why not simply ask him who did he study Aikido with/where did he train/when did he train/and what is his rank? Like you I would like to know his own background and while I think some of his comments are valid I am not too happy about the statement that anyone not doing 'True Aiki'[Mr Hardens ?] the rest are imposters. A bit insulting to say the least. Cheers, Joe.
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Old 07-19-2011, 04:18 AM   #23
Diana Frese
Dojo: Aikikai of S.W. Conn. (formerly)
Location: Stamford Connecticut
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

Hi Francis,

Just giving an impression on dropping by Aiki Web after a busy weekend my hubbie rented a truck and we were taking care of all kinds of stuff with it .... I always like reading your columns and thinking about being always connected with Aikido in one way or another, and am grateful for the reassurance.

This morning I noticed it has become a really hot topic, with all kinds of really cool people commenting and adding their thoughts and perspectives. Wow. It will be great studying the various points of view and background of their experience. And of course, studying again your original column.

Yes, we're having a good summer, and thanks for that wish for us and for the prosperous part. We're doing our best, and thanks for your kindness and wisdom.

Sincerely,

Daian and Chuck
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Old 07-19-2011, 06:51 AM   #24
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Becuase true aiki is better than the imposter being called aiki.
It's not public school. Everyone does not get an "A"
The imposters, those truly working on it to one degree or another, and those that have it... are known at a touch.
Dan
Imposters? An interesting concept.

Which martial art consists of techniques called Kotegaishe, Iriminage, Sankyo, Ikkyo, Nikkyo, Shihonage etc.?

Which martial art uses motions called taisabaki, tenkan, irimi, etc?

Need I go on?

Yeah, just one more: Name the martial art done by Saotome, Segal, Saito, Tohei, et al........

What style of Aikido do you do?

Regards.G.
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:20 AM   #25
DH
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Re: The Word "Aikido"

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Dps,
Never mind asking Mr Harden this question , why not simply ask him who did he study Aikido with/where did he train/when did he train/and what is his rank? Like you I would like to know his own background and while I think some of his comments are valid I am not too happy about the statement that anyone not doing 'True Aiki'[Mr Hardens ?] the rest are imposters. A bit insulting to say the least
Cheers, Joe.
Joe.
I think my points have been pretty clear.
We have the founders aiki-do
We have modern aikido,
Apparently your argument is that Modern aikido is equal to the old mans aiki? I clearly dissagree. Your replies express waza and ot aiki. Over the years, instead of discussions and displays of what the old man was talking about, we got confusion and waza based nonsense. Even now you reduce yourselves to asking what style do I do. It's sad, but its how you are programmed to think. While claming you are free, when pressed, you retain all the trappings of those stuck in a box..

As for my background and ranks;
I've said it before, when it comes down to it, it's easy to go after me, but why is it that you have nothing to say to ten shihan, and dozens of 5th dans and 4th dans, who now agree and train this way? Or that it is a 100% success rate, written about here.
No teacher has shown up to state otherwise.
Which pretty much sinks the nail in the coffin of any counter argument doesn't it?
Yet I have not seen you, David, Graham, or any detractor commenting on the publicly documented and witnessed accounts of what keeps happening when we stand in rooms with teacher after teacher, shihan after shihan, and manage (without using any technique) to convince them of the superiority of their own arts aiki. And then make friends and work together
Why is that, Joe?
No comment on that?
No thoughts on how weird and odd that is, to keep happening over and over.
I think you do not comment because there is no argument that can be successfully made. You would have to take on too many teachers in your own art, and then have to admit that some thing has gone desperately wrong with the art over the years.
.
As for insulting;
I am sensitive to the fact that it is hard to hear someone tell you that the majority missed it, harder still when it is not from a recognized teacher, I left to pursue aiki. But truth stands on its own legs. I stand alone in rooms all over. You might want to consider, where I've been and what I could say. but don't, While you choose to individualize the argument, I don't. It's bigger than individuals, grander than a single art and it is a bridge that is making friends between arts.
Ueshiba's aiki is what we should be pursuing. His aiki (and he knew this too) is that bridge, not some made up hollow shell that we have made of it. No amount of discussion will make them all equal.
It's the power in his aiki, that reveals the imposters who have no claim to it. Their work cannot stand in the face of it.
I love the quote from one of Doshu's close friends; a Shihan in the art. He told his people "I hve stopped teaching aikido. I have discovered aiki." When he tried to show Doshu, Doshu agreed his power and aiki had changed, but he said "I can't do that, they would kill me, I have to do what my father did."
And so it goes.
Dan
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