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Old 08-06-2006, 09:53 AM   #1
AikiWeb System
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Poll: Is there a universally accepted definition of the term "aikido"?

AikiWeb Poll for the week of August 6, 2006:

Is there a universally accepted definition of the term "aikido"?
  • I don't do aikido
  • Yes
  • No
Here are the current results.
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Old 08-06-2006, 12:11 PM   #2
ESimmons
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Re: Poll: Is there a universally accepted definition of the term "aikido"?

I think you should start adding "who cares" as a poll option.
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Old 08-06-2006, 08:14 PM   #3
Mark Uttech
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Re: Poll: Is there a universally accepted definition of the term "aikido"?

Adding "who cares" as a poll option is irrelevent because it includes everyone who doesn't vote.
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Old 08-06-2006, 09:04 PM   #4
ESimmons
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Re: Poll: Is there a universally accepted definition of the term "aikido"?

Quote:
Mark Uttech wrote:
Adding "who cares" as a poll option is irrelevent because it includes everyone who doesn't vote.
No, it will only include those who feel the poll is irrelevant. Those who don't vote will not suddenly start voting because of an added option.
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Old 08-06-2006, 09:51 PM   #5
dps
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Re: Poll: Is there a universally accepted definition of the term "aikido"?

Quote:
Eric Simmons wrote:
No, it will only include those who feel the poll is irrelevant. Those who don't vote will not suddenly start voting because of an added option.
Then maybe all polls should have a question, " Is this poll irrelevant?"
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Old 08-06-2006, 10:25 PM   #6
Aristeia
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Re: Poll: Is there a universally accepted definition of the term "aikido"?

I'm often confused by the addition of the "i don't do aikido" option for the same reason.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 08-07-2006, 02:45 AM   #7
MarkDole
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Re: Poll: Is there a universally accepted definition of the term "aikido"?

I think everything is aikido what is in harmony with aikido principles.
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Old 08-07-2006, 03:24 AM   #8
Richard Langridge
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Re: Poll: Is there a universally accepted definition of the term "aikido"?

I'm amazed that so many people voted "yes", given that you never hear the same definition of aikido twice.
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Old 08-07-2006, 03:36 AM   #9
Dirk Hanss
 
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Re: Poll: Is there a universally accepted definition of the term "aikido"?

Quote:
Richard Langridge wrote:
I'm amazed that so many people voted "yes", given that you never hear the same definition of aikido twice.
As long as the definition is vague enough, it should be generally accepted. Only when it comes to details, arguments start.
"Aikido is a martial art as taught by the founder O'Sensei Morihei Ueshiba and his disciples".

Who does not accept this?

Well "real Aikido is only my aikido, the aikido taught by my sensei, his sensei and O'Sensei, when he taught Real Aikido". Now you can argue

Dirk
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Old 08-07-2006, 03:38 AM   #10
Aristeia
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Re: Poll: Is there a universally accepted definition of the term "aikido"?

Quote:
Dirk Hanss wrote:
"Aikido is a martial art as taught by the founder O'Sensei Morihei Ueshiba and his disciples".
what qualifies as one of his disciples?

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 08-07-2006, 05:25 AM   #11
Amir Krause
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Re: Poll: Is there a universally accepted definition of the term "aikido"?

Quote:
Dirk Hanss wrote:
"Aikido is a martial art as taught by the founder O'Sensei Morihei Ueshiba and his disciples".

Who does not accept this?
Korindo Aikido followers, who acknowledge some connection between Sensei Minoro Hirai (Korindo founder) and Ueshiba but do not consider Hirai to be a follower or disciple of Ueshiba.

I believe there are some other groups of similar concept. People who study Aikido martial arts that may be connected to Ueshiba in some way or not (heard there is some Daito-ryu derivative also calling itself Aikido).

By making such a definition, you are already making some assumptions not everyone agrees with.


Amir

P.S.
If you wonder about the history of Korindo, please search other threads in this forum and in E-Budo. As it is off-topic.
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Old 08-07-2006, 08:41 AM   #12
Charles Bergman
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Re: Poll: Is there a universally accepted definition of the term "aikido"?

I think the best definition of aikido I have seen is in former Doshu K. Ueishiba's book in which he deifines aikido as "The Way of Hramony with Ki."

Typically, you are not supposed to use a term to define a term, but he spends a lot of time discussing the concept of Ki, and how hard it is to actually define. Understanding what "Ki" is, is the point of aikido training, and comes with practice and study.
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Old 08-07-2006, 09:44 AM   #13
Dirk Hanss
 
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Re: Poll: Is there a universally accepted definition of the term "aikido"?

Quote:
Michael Fooks wrote:
what qualifies as one of his disciples?
Now you are going into details, which are not generaly accepted

Dirk
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Old 08-07-2006, 09:54 AM   #14
aikidoc
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Re: Poll: Is there a universally accepted definition of the term "aikido"?

This could get complex. I think a good definition of aikido must link the way of harmony with ki, aiki principles, and Ueshiba and/or desciples in some manner. Otherwise, arts such as Systema would fall in the definition. To me, if there is no linke to Ueshiba it should not be called aikido (I know some will disagree with that). Those arts should be linked to aikjitsu or aikibudo.
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Old 08-07-2006, 10:01 AM   #15
Dirk Hanss
 
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Re: Poll: Is there a universally accepted definition of the term "aikido"?

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote:
Korindo Aikido followers, who acknowledge some connection between Sensei Minoro Hirai (Korindo founder) and Ueshiba but do not consider Hirai to be a follower or disciple of Ueshiba.

(...)
By making such a definition, you are already making some assumptions not everyone agrees with.


Amir

P.S.
If you wonder about the history of Korindo, please search other threads in this forum and in E-Budo. As it is off-topic.
Amir, you are pointing your fingers, where it hurts

I did not want to add "and similar arts", as some people would reject many of those arts as aikido.

But why does Korindo call itself "Aikido", if it does not refer to one of the Aikido sensei?

If you really want to spoil my deinition, you might even ask if "martial art" is a term to define aiki-DO. A WAY is never an art.

Charles', i.e. Kisshomaru's definition is probably better than mine. In any case the higher the level the easier you find common sense.


As there is no trademark, you could say
"Aikido is everything that is called ", but I would use the term only if ...

best regards

Dirk
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Old 08-07-2006, 10:07 AM   #16
Amir Krause
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Re: Poll: Is there a universally accepted definition of the term "aikido"?

Quote:
Charles Bergman wrote:
I think the best definition of aikido I have seen is in former Doshu K. Ueishiba's book in which he deifines aikido as "The Way of Hramony with Ki."
Is this not a translation of the term Aikido ?

Amir
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Old 08-07-2006, 11:14 AM   #17
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Poll: Is there a universally accepted definition of the term "aikido"?

Quote:
But why does Korindo call itself "Aikido", if it does not refer to one of the Aikido sensei?
The term aikido was first used as a general category for a grouping of martial arts. Basically I believe it pointed toward arts that were not competitively oriented, and had links to koryu, though they were practiced as modern arts. In a general sense of course, and with all the usual caveats. Aikido Journal has some good articles on how the name was given.

The founder of Korindo aikido did train for a time with Ueshiba Sensei, but apparently he considered himself a contemporary more than a student.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 08-08-2006, 04:19 AM   #18
David Yap
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Re: Poll: Is there a universally accepted definition of the term "aikido"?

Quote:
Charles Bergman wrote:
I think the best definition of aikido I have seen is in former Doshu K. Ueishiba's book in which he deifines aikido as "The Way of Hramony with Ki.".
Then again, his definition of "Ki" and Tohei's might differ. One might have claimed to have more "Ki" than the other (just speculative )

Best training

David Y
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Old 08-08-2006, 04:37 AM   #19
dps
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Re: Poll: Is there a universally accepted definition of the term "aikido"?

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote:
Is this not a translation of the term Aikido ?

Amir
Does the translation of Ai, Ki, and Do vary when you consider them in terms of body, mind, and spirit? For example Ai for the body is different than Ai for the mind and Ai for the spirit. When you discuss the meaning of the words should you consider if the discussion is about the body, mind or spirit?
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Old 08-08-2006, 07:53 AM   #20
jss
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Re: Poll: Is there a universally accepted definition of the term "aikido"?

I don't think Aikido should be broken up in ai-ki-do.
I think it should be aiki-do, the way of aiki. Aiki being quite a complicated subject, but only when explaining 'aiki', one should mention 'ai' and 'ki'.
So the universally accepted defenition should mention aiki and do.

And someone mentioned that a sufficiently vague definition could lead to agreement. Unfortunately such a definition could be nothing else than a bad definition. Vague defintions always are.
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Old 08-08-2006, 08:51 AM   #21
Don_Modesto
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Re: Poll: Is there a universally accepted definition of the term "aikido"?

Quote:
Charles Bergman wrote:
I think the best definition of aikido I have seen is in former Doshu K. Ueishiba's book in which he deifines aikido as "The Way of Hramony with Ki."
Quote:
Amir Krause wrote:
Is this not a translation of the term Aikido ?

Amir
Tautology. Yes.

"KI" discussions are great for this: Black Boxes, Tautology, and Reification.

Btw, interesting thread deriving from this nonsense question, no?

These polls remind me of Andre Breton, one of the founders of Surrealism. He used to lead his followers out on rock hunts. The putative purpose was to find that "guru rock" (my term) which would answer the question which the followers came to it with. This antecedent to the host of creativity books and techniques we find on the shelves of Borders, et al.

These equally silly (evocative) questions Jun asks are the (to some) abrasive which inspires the oyster to create the pearl. (Wow. I can't tell--did I avoid mixing metaphors?)

Last edited by Don_Modesto : 08-08-2006 at 08:56 AM.

Don J. Modesto
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Old 08-08-2006, 10:30 AM   #22
dps
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Re: Poll: Is there a universally accepted definition of the term "aikido"?

Quote:
Joep Schuurkes wrote:
I don't think Aikido should be broken up in ai-ki-do.
I think it should be aiki-do, the way of aiki. Aiki being quite a complicated subject, but only when explaining 'aiki', one should mention 'ai' and 'ki'.
So the universally accepted defenition should mention aiki and do.

And someone mentioned that a sufficiently vague definition could lead to agreement. Unfortunately such a definition could be nothing else than a bad definition. Vague defintions always are.
Aikidoka that I have read about or talked to seem to agree on a definition of Do in Aikido as O'Sensei's way, or path. That mainly leaves a discussion of aiki. Does your meaning of Aiki change from when you are practicing techniques ( body) to when you are reading, researching or talking about Aiki in relation to mind and spirit?
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Old 08-08-2006, 01:53 PM   #23
Don_Modesto
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Re: Poll: Is there a universally accepted definition of the term "aikido"?

Quote:
Joep Schuurkes wrote:
I don't think Aikido should be broken up in ai-ki-do.
I think it should be aiki-do, the way of aiki. Aiki being quite a complicated subject, but only when explaining 'aiki', one should mention 'ai' and 'ki'.
So the universally accepted defenition should mention aiki and do.
Personally, I like this. But I think it's wrong.

One Mr. Tanahashi, IIRC, defined it your way in Susan Perry's Remembering O-Sensei: Breath Unification Method, but he's the only person I've seen do this.

I once facetiously asked Stanley Pranin if we could define aikido as the way to unbalance your opponent (functionally the same as Tanahashi's definition), and he unsmilingly dunned me that Osensei explicitly meant AI and KI and DO, the way of harmony of spirit, i.e., Osensei punned on the historical meaning of aiki making it a DIFFERENT meaning than had theretofore been accepted for aiki.

Don J. Modesto
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Old 08-08-2006, 02:53 PM   #24
jss
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Re: Poll: Is there a universally accepted definition of the term "aikido"?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote:
Does your meaning of Aiki change from when you are practicing techniques ( body) to when you are reading, researching or talking about Aiki in relation to mind and spirit?
I believe 'aiki' should first be discovered and explored in techniques. This implies body, mind and spirit, although I see no point in mentioning this. The reason for this is that I see too many people going philosophical/spiritual on aikido to a degree that is not justified by the quality/quantity of their practice. Those people would get the same results from folk dancing; unfortunately nobody is selling folk dancing in this way... And doing a 'martial' is just so much cooler.
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Old 08-08-2006, 03:01 PM   #25
jss
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Re: Poll: Is there a universally accepted definition of the term "aikido"?

Quote:
Don J. Modesto wrote:
I once facetiously asked Stanley Pranin if we could define aikido as the way to unbalance your opponent (functionally the same as Tanahashi's definition), and he unsmilingly dunned me that Osensei explicitly meant AI and KI and DO, the way of harmony of spirit, i.e., Osensei punned on the historical meaning of aiki making it a DIFFERENT meaning than had theretofore been accepted for aiki.
I don't know exactly what to reply to this, so just some remarks.
To me it is still not entirely clear how the name 'aikido' came to existence. But iirc O-sensei did use 'aiki' and 'aiki' seems to be a bigger problem than 'do'.
Perhaps we need to differentiate between the martial and spiritual ideas of O-sensei. (Don't ask me how, this is tricky stuff.) The martial aiki seems to come with some modification from daito-ryu. The term 'aikido' was accepted in the early 1940s (correct me if I'm wrong). If O-sensei became more spiritual in his later years, perhaps it was then that he began to explore the spiritual side of the martial aiki and started talking about ai-ki-do.
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