literal translation of the three syllables "Ai Ki Do " is pretty well
known. So, we will not indulge in such an academic exercise.
translation can vary according to the perception of Ki through regular
practice. As this perception is further enhanced, it alters the
interpretation of Aikido from a more refined viewpoint. It is an
understanding of Ki can radically transform our treatment of Aikido as well
as our attitude towards life.
THE MEANING OF
first syllable concerns an intriguing subject known as
put it simply, the last syllable refers to methods of practice. The
beginners learn how to practice this "oneness" as they embark
on their study of Ki-Aikido.
central theme lies notably in the middle syllable Ki. Yes, it is about
Martial art is
not even indicated in the word - Aikido!
PURPOSE OF AIKIDO
impression of Ki deepens, the concept of Aikido evolves along with it.
It is an involution towards realizing that oneness within oneself and with
To put it simply, it is the Way of Self-Realization. Only then will the
primary purpose of Aikido be clearly understood.
This is best learnt from a qualified Ki lecturer and Ki-Aikido instructor.
the martial art that Aikido is renown? Martial art was a means by the
originator to demonstrate his expression of Aikido.
Aikido can be used to
achieve excellence not only in martial arts but also in other activities
such as in the fields of sports, music, calligraphy, dance, drama,
business, etc. Our companion need not be the colleague providing the
It can be a baseball bat, a grand piano, a painting or writing brush, etc.
Baseball players, pianist, golfers, to name a few, have befitted from
Ki-Aikido applied to their specialties with amazing success.
It is advisable that
the applications of Aikido in all activities be carefully tested, including
Aikido as a martial art. A realistic approach is important.
effective as a martial art, Aikido training must be practical. The
attacking partner should not deceive his companion by merely following as
he is led around.
A real assailant is in no mood to waltz around with you. You can be rest
assured that he is intent on finishing you off as soon as he can possibly
Aggressive persons are never good dancers anyway!
On the other hand, it
is also important that the motions should not deteriorate to crude
combative actions. This can be quite an exhaustive and fruitless workout
In the beginning, it
is fine for the attacker to follow around as familiarization is in
progress. Even at this stage, juniors are carefully guided not to be
complacent with their performances. Elementary tests are repeatedly
introduced to lay a firm Ki foundation.
As the member learns
to move with Ki through the various Ki exercises, the stage is set for
everyone to practice Aikido with Ki power. This includes the attacks
without any compromise whatsoever. The flaw in any manipulation of Aikido
techniques with physical strength will become obvious at this advance
level. Seniors will find that it does not work.
movements are always practiced in order to facilitate the free flow of Ki.
This powerful Ki flow should be used comfortably to neutralize any fierce
attack with ease, regardless of its intensity. It should be done
effortlessly but effectively too.
In fact, the more the senior 'dances', he finds that his Ki flows more
It is at this stage that seniors get to appreciate the joy of effective
The reality of Ki is
essential. There should never be any compromise in Ki-Aikido.
So, we've explained
how Aikido should be studied and applied.
Francis H S Chong
[Coming online next is "The
Evolution of Aikido"]
[Next article sounds interesting, watch for it... I definitely will]