Sunday, May 07, 2017


Aikido is composed of 3 Chinese characters. The first is  Ai or harmony/harmomizing. The third is do, ie path or way. So Aikido is the way of harmonizing Ki. And then the reference goes to a definition. Energy. Something intangible like mind. Or spirit. Then we try other languages. Chi in Chinese. Prana in sanskrit. But how can we explain this word. Can we simply say that to separate ki from the first character might cause a misunderstanding. That we should just say that Aikido is the Way of Aiki?

Often times in Japanese it is paired with other characters. Byooki is sickness. Genki is health. Kimochi is feeling. So oftentimes ki doesn't stand alone but needs something else to give it context. So Aiki might be something more than just Ki.

It is often common to lump Aikido as a set of movements or techniques.. They have names. They have foot movements. Hand movements. You can from a physical perspective lump them into movement skills and core development.You can research them and study them. And that is a level of development. But let's use another analogy. I was outside with my granddaughter. She is way too young to understand what I am saying. But I like to speak to her because I believe we are conscious at that age and that something is transmitted even if the word recognition is not there. So a wind came up.stirring up leaves and movinig flowers and other plants. I explained that what she was seeing was not the wind but the action or effects of the wind. The wind was not the trees swaying or leaves being swept around. But we could feel the wind. And we could study what the atmospheric conditions needed to produce wind and in that way understand wind. But the direct perception, the feel of it, was immediate and always there. We could say the same thing about electricity. We see the light.  We see appliances move. We turn the computer on, but we do not see electricity. In other words perhaps for now instead of trying to understand ki, we should simply be willing to give it context.

So perhaps the movements of the art, the techniques are the shapes and forms we see that are powered by for want of a better term ki. One of the things to realize is that this can get somewhat confusing. Better, stronger, faster technuique is not ki. But with ki the movement or technique may improve. Perhaps giving context to the term may be somewhat dependent on one's level of personal development. So let's go to the theory of the rabbit and the rabbit hole.
The above photo represents the founder through physical time. You can see in 1936 the movement is much more physical. In 1966(age 83) the movement is related but may appear very diffierent. To my eye I can look at 1936 and see more than the hand foot position. There is something moving through both him and his partner.In 1966 whereas I believe it is that same thing I see it more as a spiraling field that is moving through both him and his partner. So you can say he is older therefore the movement is different. But here we are talking about development , which can come through age, but not necessarily. Let's say 1936 was a land line telephone. Certainly we can have a conversation land line to land line. But let's look at 1966 as the cell phone era. You can have a conversation cell to line line and visa versa. But in addition to the land lines you need a whole satellite system that didn't exist in 1936. That is development. Not just a better, faster, clearer land line. And Ueshiba stated that he saw physical science, which we would now term technology, improve, but what he called spiritual science was lagging behind. And until the two were in balance, we would face the economic, social, and environmental problems we are facing today.

And even though Ueshiba Osensei was pereived as very spiritual,(ie of the spirit, of something not obviously visible) he maintained that it his aikido was not a religion .What we must realize in this age of science is that  
20 % of the universe is now believed to be dartk matter and 75% dark energy. Using tools we can measure things with neither can be measured. And that means what can be measured as our physical universe is a paltry 5%. Now we can see the effects of dark matter and dark energy. Dark matter is somewhat equated to gravity. Galaxies at the edge of the universe should be moving at a different speed than those more cental but that is not the case. To explain this scientist have to postulate the existence of dark energy and to be consistent with the way 5% of the universe behaves, it must be 20% of the universe. So an attractive force, ie dark matter, must exist. And now we get to the fact that the universe itself is expanding and rather rapidly, which is seemingly contradictory to the dark matter/gravity side. So now scientists must postulate the existence of dark energy, a repulsive or anti-graivity force that explains this and also the rate of expansion of the physical universe. And this must be 75% of the entire universe.

So what if the physical movement and forms of aikido are the 5% of the universe and what we term ki is or at least is a part of the remaining 95%. One of Ueshiba's large statements that really captivated my attention was,"There is no time or space before Ueshiba of Aikido. Only the universe as it is." So my question is, what are space and time to dark matter/dark energy? Now onto the rabbit and the rabbit hole.(to be continued)