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Understanding Aikido and Ki Force

Updated on August 8, 2017
vineliner57 profile image

Hello everyone, my name is Hal. A lifelong sports fan, the spiritual aspects of martial arts have always intrigued me.

Ki - The Underlying Principle of Aikido

A fairly recent concept in quantum physics that changes the way some would look at Ki and Aikido is string theory.

The primary assumption of this theory is that strings are the most basic framework of all we can and cannot perceive in the physical universe.

Strings are obviously just a term to describe this substance which theoretical physicists state determines all that we see, understand, and have around us.

Despite the fact that very little direct correlation has been maintained between string theory and those of the concepts associated with Ki, they share a very similar philosophy in the most basic sense in that there is a fundamental energy element which underlies everything in the known universe.

The Birth of Ki
The Birth of Ki | Source

Ki Means Life Force

Ki is actually a Japanese term which translates as "Life Force". It can be conceptually associated with the Chinese Qi and is of tremendous importance in how Aikido is taught.

Tohei's style of Aikido is actually appropriately known as Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido, which means "Aikido with mind and body unified", however, it is generally known as Ki-Aikido, especially in the Western world.

Koichi Tohei researched Judo from about age sixteen and due to a training injury experienced pleurisy. In reaction to this, he soon started researching zen as well as Misogi at Daitokuji in Kyoto under temple head Josei Ota. The particular breathing routines he mastered would later on directly impact the breathing exercises taught within the Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido programs.

Around 1939 he started studying Aikido with its originator Morihei Ueshiba. His schooling was disrupted by The Second World War, during which time he saw service as an officer. He came back from the conflict in 1946 and started again his research of Aikido and Misogi. On top of that, he also began studying Shin Shin Toitsu Do with Tempu Nakamura; a lot of what he acquired from Nakamura would later directly impact the development of his Aikido schooling methods.

Tohei ended up being sought after to come and instruct Aikido in Hawaii. He did in 1953 and ended up being among the Aikido instructors responsible for spreading Aikido around the world outside of Japan. Ultimately Tohei was made Shihan Bucho (main instructor) of the Aikido Hombu (global headquarters) dojo in Tokyo.

In the late sixties, he was also awarded 10th dan by Morihei Ueshiba, the highest possible position within Aikido.


Ki or Chi as a Fundamental Energy

To understand Ki is to harness Ki.

When we start to understand some of the characteristics of this substance called Ki, we are able to harness its power and put it to use.

The concept connected with Chi or Qi in China as well as Ki in Japan is usually dependent upon the type of school teaching it.

Some say that Chi originates from matter. Others state that matter arises from Chi. I say it matters not, as it is all one and the same!

What the majority of the schools of thought have in common is that all of them fundamentally point out that Chi is really a basic energy that can be utilized in order to provide power to yourself whether it is mentally, spiritually or physically.

With all the current diverse premises that will try to describe Chi, it is obvious that simple phrases and words may not be capable of completely expounding on exactly what it is. For that reason, it's perhaps best to spread the knowledge of Chi by way of real life as well as practical examples.

One institution that is effective in having the ability to show what the Chi actually is and how to be able to use it for a person's individual benefit is Aikido. In the center of the spiritual techniques as well as a philosophy of Aikido is Ki.

Ki is certainly comparable (or maybe one and the same) with what is usually otherwise referred to as the Chi or Qi.


Ki Energy Comes From Being Relaxed

Ki is at the center of the basic principles of Aikido.

Although from a technical perspective, martial arts are generally meant for combat and battle, Aikido is actually called the "art of peace" as it espouses a peaceful resolution to hostility.

The actual principles associated with peace and relaxation tutored by Aikido presupposes the belief that the Ki moves much more effortlessly and powerfully when it flows naturally and uninterrupted.

A much better example may be something similar to if water is Ki, in order to "tame" its power, it needs to be permitted to flow to create hydroelectric power.

Within Aikido, Ki power originates from being completely relaxed. It is believed that while in this relaxed condition, the movement of Ki is at its optimum.

Aikido as a martial art just isn't about muscle mass strength or exceptional physical characteristics. It's really about relaxation, flexibility, and endurance.

This enables a smaller sized individual to be able to topple an opponent or effortlessly toss a bigger challenger whether in the course of training or a real life battle scenario.

Ki Power Demonstration Video

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© 2010 Hal Gall

Reader Feedback - I am Interested in Your Opinion of the Aikido/Ki Connection

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    • vineliner57 profile image

      Hal Gall 6 years ago from Bloomington, IN

      @LeCordonDude: Wow! Would love to see that!

    • LeCordonDude profile image

      LeCordonDude 6 years ago

      Aikido Ki lens is totally awesome. my instructor is an 8th Dan and he's very cool, can move objects and stuff like that. :)