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Old 12-27-2002, 04:30 PM   #1
Socrates
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Do symbol Is Aikido unique?

Greetings,

Aikido is the 'Way of Harmony', therefore my question is this:

Could it be possible for someone who practices a form of martial art which has a similar philosophy to Aikido, to say that they also practice Aikido?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this.

All the best

Alan

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Old 12-27-2002, 05:39 PM   #2
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I definately think that any technique can be aikido if done with the compassion and understanding characteristic of aikido. I think that this makes it likely that most martial techniques done with this compassion will look very similar to the techniques already taught in many aikido dojos. However, conceptually, I think that anything can be aikido.

Matt
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Old 12-27-2002, 06:01 PM   #3
siwilson
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I would say that you can not call something "Aikido" as an art unless it can trace a lineage back to O'Sensei.

That said, yes technique can have essence of "Aiki" without being "Aikido".

Also, I have trained with TKD, Juijutsu, ets., groups who often lable techniques as "Aikido", but this is usually because it is something similar to what they have seen Aikido teachers do.

Eg. A TKD instructor twisting a wrist out like Kote Gaeshi, but not returning the wrist towards Uke. & A Juijutsu group labling soft blends as Aikido.

Osu!
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Old 12-27-2002, 07:57 PM   #4
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Why would this hypothetical martial artist want to call it aikido? People use names as convention--making one word stand for something is simpler than having to explain the hell out of whatever you are trying to describe. If one group has chosen to use the name "aikido" to describe itself, then that's all it is--a name. Why confuse people by taking a term that has a specific meaning (Ueshiba's martial art) and changing that meaning around behind laypeople's backs?

I think it would only confuse people. Aikido is just a name--the only thing that I could see that would happen from another group adopting this name is to mislead people into thinking this other art or school is associated somehow with the system known currently as "aikido."
"The way of harmony" is not officially taken as a name--why not use that?

I'm just saying I think it would be confusing to have different "aikido"s. Then again it's confusing as it is, with all the different styles.. _____ Aikido, etc...
--JW
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Old 12-28-2002, 12:18 AM   #5
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I think Jonathan confused himself. I agree with the essence of your idea JW.

I started my aikido training in junior high school, when chosen become a peer counselor. But, of course, we didn't call it aikido. The counselor in charge taught it to us very well.

So it begs the question: is Aikido the wrapper around all the similarities, or is there something bigger? }

*Phil

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Old 12-29-2002, 08:08 AM   #6
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Re: Is Aikido unique?

Quote:
Al Haden (Socrates) wrote:
Greetings,

Aikido is the 'Way of Harmony', therefore my question is this:

Could it be possible for someone who practices a form of martial art which has a similar philosophy to Aikido, to say that they also practice Aikido?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this.

All the best

Alan

Aikido is not the 'Way of Harmony' If you look at Aikido Vocabulary by Eric Sotnak on this web site, it is defined as "the Way of Harmony with Universal Energy". Therefore, a martial art that doesn't have "becoming one with the universe" as its goal, isn't Aikido.

Legally, the name Aikido is in the public domain and anything from a pancake flipping contest to a boxing class, can be called "Aikido".

Last edited by tedehara : 12-29-2002 at 08:20 AM.

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Old 12-29-2002, 10:58 AM   #7
Bruce Baker
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I think you mean if you have found that essence of harmony, and the way to use it is found to be the same as Aikido would it be Aiki?

Aiki, is as much a descriptive term, as it is a practice of the physical conception of Aikido.

In this sense, I would say, yes, it would be the same.

As far as encompasssing the physical practice that relates to Aikido itself, no, you would not be doing the same thing.

And the Zen answer?

It would be, as much as it is not. To do, is to be, is to find an answer to all questions.

The best answer ... go do the practice to find the real answer. Everyone has a different view of what is, maybe because we are as different as we are the same in practicing and learning from the experience.
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Old 12-29-2002, 03:05 PM   #8
Chris Li
 
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Re: Re: Is Aikido unique?

Quote:
Ted Ehara (tedehara) wrote:
Aikido is not the 'Way of Harmony' If you look at Aikido Vocabulary by Eric Sotnak on this web site, it is defined as "the Way of Harmony with Universal Energy". Therefore, a martial art that doesn't have "becoming one with the universe" as its goal, isn't Aikido.
Depends how you translate "Aiki"...

And yes, just plain old "harmony" is an acceptable translation, IMO.

Best,

Chris

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Old 12-29-2002, 04:03 PM   #9
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"Ai" could be translated to harmony. But "Aiki" is something very much different. We must not ignore the "Ki" part in translating "Aiki". When explaining "Aiki", I would prefer the translation "harmonizing/uniting with Ki".

Respectably, "Ki-Ai" then translates to "uniting Ki".

Even many Japanese to this day that are not familiar with "Aikido" would pronounce it "Gakkido".

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Old 12-29-2002, 04:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Iriawan Kamal Thalib (Thalib) wrote:
"Ai" could be translated to harmony. But "Aiki" is something very much different. We must not ignore the "Ki" part in translating "Aiki". When explaining "Aiki", I would prefer the translation "harmonizing/uniting with Ki".

Respectably, "Ki-Ai" then translates to "uniting Ki".

Even many Japanese to this day that are not familiar with "Aikido" would pronounce it "Gakkido".
See my comment here:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...6912#post36912

Best,

Chris

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Old 12-29-2002, 04:52 PM   #11
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Even the Japanese have problems defining "Ki". They just take it for granted that it is just another word or another letter (Kanji). It has not much significance to the everyday Japanese. "Tenki" (weather), "Yuuki" (bravery), "Genki" (good feeling), "kibun" (feeling/mood), etc.

"Ki" could mean from smell to spirit. That's why I don't like the word "Ki" translated. I just translate the "ai" part and left the "ki" alone.

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Old 12-29-2002, 05:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Iriawan Kamal Thalib (Thalib) wrote:
Even the Japanese have problems defining "Ki". They just take it for granted that it is just another word or another letter (Kanji). It has not much significance to the everyday Japanese. "Tenki" (weather), "Yuuki" (bravery), "Genki" (good feeling), "kibun" (feeling/mood), etc.

"Ki" could mean from smell to spirit. That's why I don't like the word "Ki" translated. I just translate the "ai" part and left the "ki" alone.
I think that part of my point was that "ki" doesn't necessarily mean anything in this context because it's part of a compound, not a stand alone word. Just as "denki" means "electricity" rather than "electrical feeling". In almost everthing that Morihei Ueshiba left in writing the term "aiki" is discussed and explained as a compound.

Best,

Chris

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Old 12-29-2002, 05:23 PM   #13
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I don't really know what Osensei meant with the "Ki" in "Aiki", I never got a chance to ask him.

The meaning of "Aiki" is open to interpretations, wether "Ki" is just a compound or it means much more, it all depends on the relative person point of view isn't it.

In Ki-no-Kenkyukai there is a lot of significance of "Ki" in "Aiki". We must remember that Tohei Koichi sensei was a student of Ueshiba Morihei Osensei. Shioda Gozo sensei also a student of OSensei still believes that "Ki" is a significant part.

What about Daito-ryu? Is "Ki" only a compound for them? Osensei studied the principle of "Aiki" from Takeda Sokaku of Daito-ryu.

The meaning of "Aiki" was always and will always be subjective. That's why Aikido is so wonderful, it molds to that person.

I am not denying your explanation Li-san, especially when that explanation do come as one of the majority and have quite a credibility behind that. It is just that from what I have experienced in Aikido, "Ki" has a major significance other than just a compound. It is too significant to ignore it in the translation.

Last edited by Thalib : 12-29-2002 at 05:25 PM.

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Old 12-29-2002, 05:35 PM   #14
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
Iriawan Kamal Thalib (Thalib) wrote:
The meaning of "Aiki" is open to interpretations, wether "Ki" is just a compound or it means much more, it all depends on the relative person point of view isn't it.
In part, yes, and my original response was to a person who was defining "aikido" in one specific manner without room for interpretation. Their translation wasn't (IMO) wrong, but that isn't necessarily the only translation, nor is their allegation that "Way of Harmony" is patently incorrect (to my mind) accurate.
Quote:
Iriawan Kamal Thalib (Thalib) wrote:
In Ki-no-Kenkyukai there is a lot of significance of "Ki" in "Aiki". We must remember that Tohei Koichi sensei was a student of Ueshiba Morihei Osensei. Shioda Gozo sensei also a student of OSensei still believes that "Ki" is a significant part.

What about Daito-ryu? Is "Ki" only a compound for them? Osensei studied the principle of "Aiki" from Takeda Sokaku of Daito-ryu.
There are two seperate questions here:

1) Whether or not "ki" was of significance to M. Ueshiba:

Certainly there is no denying that it was, although his usage was often quite opaque.

2) The translation of the word "aiki":

Saying that "aiki" is properly taken as a compound doesn't invalidate the point in question #1.

Japanese people tend to make a lot of plays on words - for example relating "harmony" ("ai") and "love" ("ai"). Koichi Tohei used to (and still does probably) do something similar with "aikido" and "ki". That's different, in my mind, then the translation of a term.

In Daito-ryu "aiki" is more commonly used in a technical sense. M. Ueshiba tended to use the term in a spiritual/philosophical sense.

Best,

Chris

Best,

Chris

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Old 12-29-2002, 05:50 PM   #15
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I do believe we have reached a mutual understanding here. It was maybe me that missed it in the first place by not reading the whole thread.

Anyway, we're both are actually saying the same thing but in a different way and from a different point of view.

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Old 12-29-2002, 06:52 PM   #16
siwilson
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Quote:
Shioda Gozo sensei also a student of OSensei still believes that "Ki" is a significant part.
Shioda Sensei called KI "The Mastery of Balance", not the magic force that Koichi Tohei speaks of. A very different perspective showing how the same thing is seen very diffently by 2 of O'Sensei's students.

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Old 12-29-2002, 07:29 PM   #17
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From my experience from learning with "Ki-no-Kenkyukai", I don't believe Tohei Koichi sensei's definition of "Ki" is a magical force. It could be a force but far from mystical nor it is magical. "Ki" is what nature is.

When Shioda sensei explained "Ki" as "The Mastery of Balance", it is not only in a physical sense. It is actually more like what Tohei sensei describes as "shin-shin-toitsu" which is "one mind and body".

It is alright to accept the explanation of Shioda sensei physically as like standing on one foot and not falling even when pushed. But that is merely an application of what Shioda sensei was talking about.

Although my dojo is affiliated to the foundation (YIA) that is affiliated to Aikikai, we respect other styles that were students of Osensei. They are the same Aikido, except each students decided to develop and apply their Aikido differently. The founders of this foundation studied directly under Osensei back in the 60's, and to them there are no styles, just Aikido, Osensei's Aikido.

Actually all have the same perspective just difference in application.

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Old 12-29-2002, 09:03 PM   #18
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Quote:
Iriawan Kamal Thalib (Thalib) wrote:
From my experience from learning with "Ki-no-Kenkyukai", I don't believe Tohei Koichi sensei's definition of "Ki" is a magical force. It could be a force but far from mystical nor it is magical. "Ki" is what nature is.
Koichi Tohei tends to confuse me. I've heard him talk about "ki" as something that was definitely not magical, and then turn right around and do exactly the opposite...

Best,

Chris

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Old 12-30-2002, 06:15 AM   #19
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Quote:
Christopher Li (Chris Li) wrote:
Koichi Tohei tends to confuse me. I've heard him talk about "ki" as something that was definitely not magical, and then turn right around and do exactly the opposite...
My view also.

"These days people use Ki to explain everything, turning it into something quite mystical. But what is called Ki in Aikido is a little different from sonething which allows you to throw people without touching them. As for me, I think of Ki as the concentration of balance. It is the correct posture and breathing, as well as the explosive power that comes from focused power. It is also the power of the centre line. You could even included timing into what you think of as Ki." - Gozo Shioda Sensei

Shioda Sensei was actually not comfortable with spiritual explanations, not being religeous, so his view tends to the physical.

Personally, I find the mystical view a big turn-off and what I teach tends towards the physical also. I guess that is why I practice the path of Aikido I do.

One thing though, "physical" does not mean "strength" and "colision". It means "sensitivity", "yealding", "keeping your center line", "timing", "distance" & "balance".

Osu!
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Old 12-30-2002, 08:13 AM   #20
Bruce Baker
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You know ...

I think you guys have gotten off on a tangent from the original question?

Kind of like the comedy of Austin Powers when they start describing what they see on the radar screen with a dozen or so slang and common descriptions we use for breasts or genitalia?

They are all different, they all apply, but then some of them are not exactly what they mean if taken in another context.

I think, that in finding key words that attach to movements we are using these prompts to correctly initiate movement in our body. If these combination of thought and ideas we interpret as words work for you, then yes .... use them.

The fact that we are trying to put into words ideas, feelings of our body when initiating movement becomes as much a tangible description of words as it does not.

This is the flaw of using exact guidelines of teachers and shihans as it is the expertise of learning from their lessons.

In a way, it like poetry. Words expressing feeling, emotion, life, interaction of humanity, and yet it is as foreign as being thrust into a culture where you don't know the rules of society or understand the language.

So ... yes, we need to physically experience the movements, to find our own dessciptions of what 'Ai' or 'Aiki' is for us.

And no, it is not incorrect to describe the etherical expression of what we feel, because that is but a clue as to how to get to understand either 'Ai' or 'Aiki'.

Clues.

Experience.

Practice.

Makes us individuals, and it makes us all the same. Somewhere, there has to be communication, on some level, or why have words at all?

Think of words as a common area, not a specific defined meaning that can not be varied or used in another manner.

Kind of like, arriving in a town, then going to a house, meeting people in that house, and so on.

Directions towards common meanings.

Now, what was the original question?
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Old 12-30-2002, 10:56 AM   #21
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My favorite one-liner from a Buddhist priest: Words are but farts from the lips.

I haven't totally grasped the meaning, but now I think I'm closer.

*Phil

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