The word “Aikido” is simply a word. Like the word “Love”, or “Hate” or even “Peace” are each but mere words. Like when looking at our atmosphere, we may see “blue” skies, or fiery “red” sunsets, or even the “grey” cloak of sunlight intercepted darkness. Does our description of what we see actually define what it is? Or do we need to explore, digest and understand more of what our minds and emotions may reveal by taking the time necessary to truly evaluate what our senses are apparently revealing to us? Perhaps we will discover what conclusions or judgments we make, by examining the actual lenses we look through, or what filters we construct and employ to better discriminate amongst the sensations and sensory inputs we encounter.
In the seeming cacophony of definitions, descriptions and theories of what “Aikido” is or may have significant meaning to us individually, is it any wonder that we must truly fail whenever we attempt globally to reach any general consensus of what Aikido truly is.
Traditionalists may want to begin with the root definitions of the Japanese characters or kanji, but even then do we find conflicting and agenda driven positions taken by the “experts” and scholars amongst us. How is a “newbie” to make any sense of, or take comfort in having faith in the word or its origin? Does “Ai” really only mean “love” or “harmony”? Does “Ki” only mean “spirit”, “mind” or “energy”? Does “Do” only refer to a “path”, a “way” or a process? And what of the choices of meanings that are possible with the combinations of those terms?
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