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Old 09-14-2013, 04:30 PM   #1
ChrisHein
 
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Japanese, Aikido word- for leading?

I was wondering if some of you might share with me the Japanese words you've learned (in relation to your Aikido/martial arts training) that are used to mean "leading".

I am speaking of that moment when you've good musubi with your attacker, and you can lead them where you want them to go, because you understand their motivations to attack you.

Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!

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Old 09-15-2013, 06:24 AM   #2
Cliff Judge
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Re: Japanese, Aikido word- for leading?

yuudo. At least I think the U is extended. Maybe just yudo.
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Old 09-15-2013, 07:53 AM   #3
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Japanese, Aikido word- for leading?

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
I was wondering if some of you might share with me the Japanese words you've learned (in relation to your Aikido/martial arts training) that are used to mean "leading".

I am speaking of that moment when you've good musubi with your attacker, and you can lead them where you want them to go, because you understand their motivations to attack you.

Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!
Hello Chris,

The two terms I heard from a Japanese aikido colleague are sasou and suikomu. He said that he had heard O Sensei use these terms with the sense of initiating a preferred attack, in the sense of inducing the attacker to attack in a certain way, and then controlling the attacker from thenceforward.

Sasou is written in Japanese as 誘う; さそう. It is also read as YUU. When combined with other characters, the result is many compounds. For example:
誘因: yuuin: inducement, enticement
誘引: yuuin: entice, attract, allure
誘拐: yuukai: kidnapping, abduction
誘導: yuudou: induction, incitement, guidance
誘導弾: yuudoudan: guided missile
惑誘: yuuwaku: temptation, seduction
誘惑者: yuuwakusha: tempter, seducer

Suikomu is written as 吸い込む and the Chinese character is the second character of the compound word kokyuu 呼吸, meaning, breath. The primary meaning is to inhale, suck in, swallow up, the third meaning leading to a metaphor of putting a person in a position such that he/she has no choice but to do what you want him/her to do.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 09-15-2013, 01:34 PM   #4
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Re: Japanese, Aikido word- for leading?

Thanks for your responses!

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Suikomu is written as 吸い込む and the Chinese character is the second character of the compound word kokyuu 呼吸, meaning, breath. The primary meaning is to inhale, suck in, swallow up, the third meaning leading to a metaphor of putting a person in a position such that he/she has no choice but to do what you want him/her to do.

Best wishes,
I'm not trying to go off topic here, but you really peaked my curiosity. I often hear the term Kokyu (呼吸) meaning breath, as more a metaphor for extension. Like the breath extending out of the body as a metaphor for extension of the body as a whole. This made sense to me, as techniques we see like kokyu ho and kokyu nage involve lot's of physical extension. However When breaking the word kokyu apart it seems the Kanji are 呼-request 吸-absorption. This would seem like the word "kokyu" would have more to do with taking in, than extending out.

Do you find this to be the case in the common usage of the word? Is the martial usage different than the common usage? Does the word have a true "in and yo" quality where it can mean both at the same time, like breathing?

Not speaking Japanese, when I hear the word "Kokyu" I first think of extension of breath and second of the inhalation of breath. But the word itself seems to be more directed towards inhalation. I'm very curious!

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Old 09-15-2013, 05:47 PM   #5
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Re: Japanese, Aikido word- for leading?

I would add "michibiku" as another word for "to lead" or "guide" that I've heard in an aikido context.

In training I've heard "Kokyu" used to describe a number of things apart from breath. The most common seems to relate to otherwise nameless ki-no-nagare throwing techniques (done by leading/blending), but in lineages close to the founder it refers to a distinct mind and body skill ("kokyu-power" of which breath is just part). It is also sometimes just called "Aiki" although in my experience so far, that seems to be mainly in the application of the skill. Also, IMO, this concept of kokyu ryoku = the internal power / internal strength of much debate on this forum.

Regards

Carl
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Old 09-15-2013, 06:02 PM   #6
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Japanese, Aikido word- for leading?

The Chinese characters for yuu-dou, noted by Cliff Judge, are a combination of 誘う sasou and 導くmichibiku. The dou (read as michibiku) here is also the dou of shidou (指導) teaching or guidance. However, I have never heard kokyuu 呼吸 used outside the dojo.

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Old 09-15-2013, 06:43 PM   #7
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Re: Japanese, Aikido word- for leading?

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Thanks for your responses!

I'm not trying to go off topic here, but you really peaked my curiosity. I often hear the term Kokyu (呼吸) meaning breath, as more a metaphor for extension. Like the breath extending out of the body as a metaphor for extension of the body as a whole. This made sense to me, as techniques we see like kokyu ho and kokyu nage involve lot's of physical extension. However When breaking the word kokyu apart it seems the Kanji are 呼-request 吸-absorption. This would seem like the word "kokyu" would have more to do with taking in, than extending out.

Do you find this to be the case in the common usage of the word? Is the martial usage different than the common usage? Does the word have a true "in and yo" quality where it can mean both at the same time, like breathing?

Not speaking Japanese, when I hear the word "Kokyu" I first think of extension of breath and second of the inhalation of breath. But the word itself seems to be more directed towards inhalation. I'm very curious!
The following link seems pertinent to this discussion. Specifically look at the last few paragraphs where he talks about breath power and receiving power into the body.

http://members.aikidojournal.com/pub...h-robert-john/

We've been playing with this sort of thing in the dojo a lot lately and we've been achieving some pretty incredible things.
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Old 09-15-2013, 06:59 PM   #8
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Re: Japanese, Aikido word- for leading?

With regard to the common usage of the word "Kokyu", it does not contain any particularly deep meanings, it is just a bit technical. It is used in words such as 呼吸器官 (kokyu kikan), which means respiratory organ.
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Old 09-16-2013, 12:15 PM   #9
Rob Watson
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Re: Japanese, Aikido word- for leading?

Sasou

Not leading ever but Sasou as in to draw your opponent out.I think 'leading' and 'drawing out' are utterly different things.Could be just me ...

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Old 09-18-2013, 04:54 PM   #10
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Re: Japanese, Aikido word- for leading?

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Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
Sasou

Not leading ever but Sasou as in to draw your opponent out.I think 'leading' and 'drawing out' are utterly different things.Could be just me ...
Yeah, it's just you.

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Old 09-24-2013, 01:51 PM   #11
James Sawers
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Re: Japanese, Aikido word- for leading?

Came across this article that might help with this discussion:

www.aiki-shuren-dojo.com/pdf/Go%20no%20sen.pdf
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Old 09-25-2013, 12:02 PM   #12
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Re: Japanese, Aikido word- for leading?

Quote:
James Sawers wrote: View Post
Came across this article that might help with this discussion:

www.aiki-shuren-dojo.com/pdf/Go%20no%20sen.pdf
Some interesting stuff in there. I think the core of this goes well beyond the original topic. However I believe it is one of the most important things to talk about when speaking of Aikido. And I would love to see more of this kind of discussion here on AikiWeb!

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Old 09-25-2013, 02:08 PM   #13
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Japanese, Aikido word- for leading?

To me, 吸い込む (sukikomu) is a kind of active movement where tori sucks uke in. I see it as related to centripetal force, like the beginning of irimi-nage (the most obvious). The end of irimi-nage (if you do a big throw) is an example of centrifugal force at work. So, you suck them in and spit them off. But tori is doing it.

'Leading' suggests to me more control of uke's movement. Of course, you could lead (allow their movement to continue in its given direction, with perhaps a subtle alteration by tori) and then suck in. But to me, the sucking in part is active on the part of tori.

Anyway, we all have different interpretations of the same thing and I think it is important to define concepts, words, and meanings so that we can all talk about the same thing and understand each other. Without such, it is impossible to teach/pass on ideas. I'm not sure any of those Japanese words above suitably refer to leading, at least in the sense I understand it.

呼吸 (kokyuu) is an Aikido word and they tell us it means breath/breathing. I think it best to stick to that rather than invent other meanings to suggest what it might mean. Again though, to me, it is the kind of breathing we do in martial arts, where the breathing is coordinated to movement first of ourselves, and second, at the higher level, coordinated to that of our partner's rhythm / movement / breathing. It happens in other sports, of course, but if you name it you can talk about it.

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Old 09-25-2013, 03:33 PM   #14
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Re: Japanese, Aikido word- for leading?

Quote:
Rupert Atkinson wrote: View Post

呼吸 (kokyuu) is an Aikido word and they tell us it means breath/breathing. I think it best to stick to that rather than invent other meanings to suggest what it might mean.
Is that what I was doing? Funny, I thought after 20 years of studying the language and 7 years of living there, I would know my stuff. I stand corrected.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:15 AM   #15
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Re: Japanese, Aikido word- for leading?

Sometimes when it comes to translating, it is important to consider not only the words, but the thoughts behind them. Often, when it is difficult to find a direct translation, it may be because they just don't say that sort of thing in the same context.
In my experience in Japan, rather than talking about leading the uke, I often hear people talk about receiving, or absorbing an attack and kuzushi, or breaking balance. I rarely hear the term michibiku being spoken.

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Old 09-26-2013, 02:49 PM   #16
James Sawers
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Re: Japanese, Aikido word- for leading?

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Some interesting stuff in there. I think the core of this goes well beyond the original topic. However I believe it is one of the most important things to talk about when speaking of Aikido. And I would love to see more of this kind of discussion here on AikiWeb!
I see what you are saying, as the original topic was: the Japanese, Aikido, word for leading. Guess what I was trying to indicate via that link is that perhaps "leading" maybe the wrong word to look for/use, in the context of Aikido.

Recently, I received some correspondence from someone in Bern in response to one of my recent poems. He reminded me (and I paraphrase!.... all misunderstandings are, of course, mine), that according to O'Sensei: "in aikido there is no opponent or enemy, there is not even a practice partner." Also: "O'Sensei said clearly, even before the war, that aiki is a budo of oneness, so harmonizing blending redirecting force are dualistic and thus actually anti-aiki, entering is to enter into Mind, before the uke even thinks of moving-attacking, so entering calls out the movement of the uke, it does not re-direct it....this is an aspect of saki no saki no saki being in advance, not looking......" (For "saki...", I am more used to the term sen sen no sen).

I am reminded of the old saying that a sculptor, when faced with a block of stone, does not actually chisel out a statue from the stone, but, instead, just removes the excess stone to reveal the statue that was already there. Extending this analogy to Aikido, nage does not "lead" uke's attack, but, rather, as part of the whole, "chisels" out the correct approach/response based on uke's intent. Make sense? Though I gotta admit, this skill is beyond me.

In good practice.....Jim

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Old 09-26-2013, 09:49 PM   #17
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Re: Japanese, Aikido word- for leading?

Quote:
James Sawers wrote: View Post
I am reminded of the old saying that a sculptor, when faced with a block of stone, does not actually chisel out a statue from the stone, but, instead, just removes the excess stone to reveal the statue that was already there. Extending this analogy to Aikido, nage does not "lead" uke's attack, but, rather, as part of the whole, "chisels" out the correct approach/response based on uke's intent. Make sense? Though I gotta admit, this skill is beyond me.

In good practice.....Jim
I believe I understand the idea. There is no "them" and no "me" we are but one part of a whole. So "leading", in this way of thinking doesn't exist.

However looking back at the above analogy, a sculptor may very well see the statue inside of the block of stone. But if he never uses his chisel to remove the excess he is not a sculptor at all, only an imaginer.

If the Aikidoist never actually leads the attack, he is only a target, not a nage. We can take the perspective that there is no "leading" and in fact no "event" at all, only the wholeness of the universe, that is only one perspective. The same as the sculptor "seeing" the statute that has not been sculpted. However this sculptor must use the techniques of sculpting to make the statue appear to the rest of us, as must the nage use the techniques of Aikido to realize the event.

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Old 09-27-2013, 02:20 PM   #18
James Sawers
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Re: Japanese, Aikido word- for leading?

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
I believe I understand the idea. There is no "them" and no "me" we are but one part of a whole. So "leading", in this way of thinking doesn't exist.

However looking back at the above analogy, a sculptor may very well see the statue inside of the block of stone. But if he never uses his chisel to remove the excess he is not a sculptor at all, only an imaginer.

If the Aikidoist never actually leads the attack, he is only a target, not a nage. We can take the perspective that there is no "leading" and in fact no "event" at all, only the wholeness of the universe, that is only one perspective. The same as the sculptor "seeing" the statute that has not been sculpted. However this sculptor must use the techniques of sculpting to make the statue appear to the rest of us, as must the nage use the techniques of Aikido to realize the event.
Quite correct. I imagine that for the statue to emerge from the stone, the sculptor must first imagine it (the statue's intent, so-to-speak) in there somewhere trying to get out, and start chiseling to reveal it..........again, extending the analogy to Aikido, nage moves based on uke's intent, before uke even moves, so nage is actually not "leading" uke, nage is just where he needs to be to reveal/expose uke's attack, and apply what technique is appropriate.....Of course, analogies have their limits.......perhaps I am pushing this one, but it helped me put this idea into perspective.
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