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Old 06-19-2014, 02:07 PM   #1
Peter Boylan
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 233
The language of Aikido

I was catching flak in some other forums for my blog about etiquette in budo. Several people came out against foreign etiquette and language because they live in America and don't need it. I responded with this blog about language and budo:


The issue I see in Aikido is there is no standard language across aikido styles anymore. The Aikikai uses one set of jargon, Yoshikan another, Ki No Kenkyukai a third, and Tomiki styles use still another. Would it be better to share a single terminology across the aikido world?

Peter Boylan
Mugendo Budogu LLC
Budo Books, Videos, Equipment from Japan
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Old 06-19-2014, 03:46 PM   #2
James Sawers
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Dojo: Oak Park Aikikai, IL
Location: Chicago, IL
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 153
Re: The language of Aikido


Makes sense......
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Old 06-19-2014, 07:02 PM   #3
Rupert Atkinson
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Dojo: Wherever I am.
Location: South Korea, Yongin
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 860
United Kingdom
Re: The language of Aikido

I like variation. If you made them all the same, you would likely lose a lot of that variation = a lot of stuff. If you go to other schools you want to learn new stuff, right?

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Old 06-19-2014, 07:47 PM   #4
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Location: Florida Gulf coast
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Posts: 3,777
Re: The language of Aikido

Perhaps if we want everything in our own language/etiquette, we have not really learned what Aikido has to teach us ...

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 06-20-2014, 06:47 AM   #5
Dojo: Aiki-Centre
Location: Melbourne
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 96
Re: The language of Aikido

I've heard a sensei of mine say: These are the tools of our trade bother to learn their names, if you were a plumber you wouldn't ask another plumber to pass the long turny thingy would you?

As you say using the correct terms with those who know simply conveys the entire concept in ways imprecise language doesn't. Though things get tricky between arts: eg. Maki Otoshi means something different if I'm doing Aikido, Jodo, Jo, or Naginata. So it also helps to know what it actually means sometimes to keep things straight
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Old 06-20-2014, 08:06 AM   #6
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Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,008
Re: The language of Aikido

Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
Perhaps if we want everything in our own language/etiquette, we have not really learned what Aikido has to teach us ...

The language is intended to communicate the curriculum of aikido. I think sometimes we lose the bigger picture when we get caught in up "what" and forget about "why."

Last edited by jonreading : 06-20-2014 at 08:08 AM.

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Old 06-20-2014, 08:09 AM   #7
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,998
Re: The language of Aikido

Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
Perhaps if we want everything in our own language/etiquette, we have not really learned what Aikido has to teach us ...
Indeed. It's natural for humans to want to things be comfortable -- easy to access, easy to do, easy to understand -- but it's not very good for us to expect this, to depend on it, or to indulge in it much (if by great good fortunate you are able to always have things your way). The world is what it is, and insisting on receiving the world always on your terms does not change the world -- it just paints you into an increasingly smaller corner of it.
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Old 06-22-2014, 12:27 PM   #8
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Dojo: Wasabi Dojo
Location: Houston, TX
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 264
Re: The language of Aikido

Personally, I'd like one consistent nomenclatura for the aikido techniques, if nothing else. Your nikkyo meets my kotemawashi? I don't know if it does or doesn't!

I DO know that when I've trained with other aikido folks, the classic "What do y'all call this?" works out, but we both have to be physically present, or have live video feed, which is even more rare than hanging out together.

I find it interesting that the kanji character for kuzushi illustrates a mountain falling on a house.
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