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Overview
of Aikido

 


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FORWARD
The literal translation of the three syllables "Ai Ki Do " is pretty well known. So, we will not indulge in such an academic exercise.

Further, 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 evolutionary process.

A progressive understanding of Ki can radically transform our treatment of Aikido as well as our attitude towards life.

THE MEANING OF "AI-KI-DO"

"Ai-Ki-Do"

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The first syllable concerns an intriguing subject known as "oneness".

"Ai-Ki-Do"

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To 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.

"Ai-Ki-Do"

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The central theme lies notably in the middle syllable Ki. Yes, it is about Ki.

Martial art is not even indicated in the word - Aikido!

 

PURPOSE OF AIKIDO
As our impression of Ki deepens, the concept of Aikido evolves along with it.
It is an involution towards realizing that oneness within oneself and with the surrounding.
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.

APPLICATION OF AIKIDO
What about 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 attack.
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.

MARTIAL ART
To be 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 achieve it.
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 too.

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.

The dance-like 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 powerfully!
It is at this stage that seniors get to appreciate the joy of effective Ki-Aikido practices.

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]

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