View Full Version : Aikido = The Way of Aiki

30th December 2017, 22:45
I have been pursuing Aikido as being 'The Way of Aiki' for sometime now but few seem interested. I think that if you define it as such, it will instantly push people in the right 'search' direction. I think the reason why people, dare I say, instructors, are against it is because they don't know what aiki is. Yet, it is those instructors that should be setting the example and leading the 'Way'.

Think - if you begin to search for aiki, and can then develop it even a little, people of other styles that currently criticise Aikido as being empty will come searching. And for the right reasons.

When I first wrote my book, Discovering Aikido (link below), I considered calling it, 'Discovering Aiki', but thought that to be a bit presumptuous as I was/am still searching myself. If you do decide to read my book, do so with the idea of - discovering aiki - in mind ... and it might have more meaning for you.

Cady Goldfield
31st December 2017, 00:33
Hello Rupert,
"Aiki" means different things to different people/systems/arts, because it has been introduced to them as different processes. The meaning can range from a philosophical view to a body method of very specific biomechanics.

This forum section, while not limited to just one interpretation of "aiki" and "internal," does focus on the body method that can be apprised and analyzed as being a particular set of practices, principles and concepts that relate to the traditional internal arts, including Chinese systems of taiji, bagua and xingyi, and certain Japanese koryu and neo-classical arts (i.e. Daito Ryu and associated but separate systems of aikijujutsu).

What is your interpretation of "aiki" and of "internal training," and how do you express them in your aikido?

6th January 2018, 18:14
To me, to use aiki is to be able to neutralise your opponent's power and then - you have him, so to speak. The trick, if it is a trick, is to take their balance immediately. Easy to say, hard to do. I experienced it from only a few people and realised it is worth chasing. I am still chasing - it is a long journey, but my seeking ended when I realised what it is I need to chase. That is a very important point. Also, a lot of training in waza and being good at ukemi is important as the way you move to deal with your opponent/partner will be based on such movement. You can't just learn the aiki and ignore the rest.

I have also come across other interpretations and have tried to follow them, but they led me nowhere but in circles. Yes, you can 'take the mind' etc., which is important, but try that when a grunt already has your arm tightly. Yes, you can deliver atemi before or after the attack, but that is not aiki, even if you hit them at the right time in a critical area. If you can't do the technique and your default is atemi, then you will never learn aiki. Aiki is first. If you neutralise their power and 'have them' then your atemi will be 10 times more effective - but the crux of it is - you won't need atemi.

I'm not claiming to be super proficient at aiki, just that I have discovered which Way to seek. The point being, if you cannot see Aikido as being 'The Way of Aiki' then you will never even begin to figure it out. It took me 20 years to realise that; hidden in plain sight, right in the name: Aiki-do.

len mccoy
7th January 2018, 23:17
Hi Rupert,
I have read your book through a couple times.
Two questions;
Do you happen to have a video of the belt winding exercise in the chapter on power?
I am about 80% sure I am doing it right but would just like to double check.
Other question:
The torifune to the side. I am having a hard time picturing it. Can you give me any details?
Len McCoy

8th January 2018, 01:59
No vids available unfortunately.

Belt - get a piece of string or rope. Just, wrap it around your finger or your wrist. Notice the natural small circle made by the finger or wrist as you wind. Of course, there is the big circle made by the winding hand. Now, think ikkyo and have a play, especially at getting that small circle (on uke's elbow) to work with the big circle (on uke's wrist) as when winding the string. See what you think.

Torifune to the side. I find it better than forwards and backwards - but both are good. Just move left to right in shizen-hontai stance. Move left - right using power from the feet to the hips. Put power into your legs. I stole this from Kung Fu where the teacher would randomly come around and beat your legs to make sure they had strength in them all the time. Not straining strength, just energised, like the unbendable arm. Top of the body just sits loose (or energised) on the hips. I found it very useful for Judo whereas torifune was totally useless. Then, grab someone's collar and drag/push them around as you apply power moving left to right. With practice, you can generate a lot of power. It is not aiki though, of course, just power. Done in an Aikido fashion, more efficiently, you could call it kokyu-ryokku. Anyway, it can be developed and improved to the point where you use power from the floor to move uke - but it is power, not aiki. Over time, you will find ways to be more efficient and it will move from just raw power (strength) to kokyu - a more co-ordinated efficient power where your body rather than arm strength does 90% of the work.

The aim of the above is to develop power. Aiki is the aim, but there is nothing wrong with having more latent power hidden 'behind' in reserve.