“Harmony in Aikido” by Mark J. Norton

“I indicated that this young student was resonsible for what had happened. Aikido practice requires two people, and both must help each other if advancement is to occur. If one person is superior in strength, speed, or skill, it is he who must adapt to the other and use a level of technique appropriate to the other’s level. At the end of the class, I shared my interpretation on the meaning of the word Aikido, which I will try to repeat from memory here.

Lately in my work, I have been playing with the written form of the Japanese langauge, Kanji. Kanji is a very different way of writing than what we are used to. English and most western languages use an alphabet to spell words. Kanji (as well as Chinese and Korean) uses a single character to represent a concept. The word Aikido (gesture to scroll in kamiza) is composed of three Kanji characters: Ai, Ki and Do. Do means way. It comes from the chinese word Tao, which means a path throught life. Aikido is a long path, who’s final goal we never reach.”

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