Monday, 10 December 2007

Translations, interpretations of the word AIKIDO

On my way of reading articles about aikido I've come across several web pages that explain the basics of aikido to visitors who don't know much about this martial art. Most of these pages contain an introduction to aikido, what the main principles are, who was O'Sensei and when did he create aikido. One thing that was particularly interesting to see was the variety of interpretations of the word 'aikido'. The translations and interpretations are mostly very similar but different versions might include different aspects of the word's meaning.

The following is a list of translations and interpretations that show how others describe the word aikido. They aren't sorted in any way, I just include them as I found them.

  • "A way of harmonizing with the universal spirit"
  • "An artful path of discovering how to gather and harmonize the energy of the universe"
  • "Together the characters ai ki and do indicate a spiritual path to unionizing or harmonizing spiritual energy"
  • "The way of harmonious spirit"
  • "The way of harmony with universal energy"
  • "The path of harmony"
  • "The way of harmony"
  • "Harmony of spirit to find a way"
  • "The harmony of body and spirit"
  • "The art of non-resistance"
  • "The non-fighting martial art"
  • "The way of harmonizing with the universe"
  • "The art of creating unity"
  • "The way of unionising with the inducement of the universe"
  • "The way of harmonious inner power"
  • "The way of spiritual energy"
  • "Martial art of harmony"
  • "Art of love"
  • "Harmony of love"
My personal favourites are the 'way of harmony' and the 'art of non-resistance'. These sound simple enough to understand and clearly describe the main principles I see in aikido. Aikido is a martial art, so art describes it well. It is a way of life if practiced in a devoted manner so way is also a good descriptor. Our aim is to use the attacker's energy so we should not resist his attack but redirect it. If there is no collision of forces then both harmony and non-resistance can be achieved. I think it is not possible to describe ki in one word so I wouldn't use the direct interpretations spirit, energy or inner power as they individually do not capture the total meaning of the word. Also, I need to learn much more to be able to understand translations that include the words universe and universal energy. Maybe later I will understand these as well and then I'll use them to explain what the word aikido means.

The original kanji pictures are from Aikiweb.

1 comment:

Chris said...
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