"Ki" Phrases

So, what does "ki" mean in "aikido," anyway? There's been a lot of discussion and even some heated arguments over this Japanese term. In essence, the character ki means:

  • spirit, mind, soul, heart
  • intention
  • bent, interest
  • mood, feeling
  • temper, disposition, nature
  • care, attention
  • air, atmosphere
  • flavor
  • odor
  • energy, essence, air, indications
  • symptoms
  • taste
  • touch, dash, shade, trace
  • spark, flash
  • suspicion
It's interesting to see in what contexts the word "ki" is used in everyday Japanese. For example:
Japanese Phrase Characters Literal Translation Meaning
Ki ga tatsu kigatatsu "the ki stands upright." to get angry
Ki wo tsukeru kiwotsukeru "to put on (or to have) ki" to be careful
Ki ga kiku kigakiku "the ki is used a lot" (I think) to be empathetic
Ki ga susumanai kigasusumanai "the ki does not go forward." to not want to do something
Ki ga sumu kigasumu "the ki is finished or used up." to feel fulfilled
Ki ga tsuku kigatsuku "to have "ki" put onto you." to notice
Ki ga tsuyoi kigatsuyoi "the ki is strong." to be headstrong
Ki ga yowai kigayowai "the ki is weak." to be like a coward
Ki ga tooku naru kigatoukunaru "the ki goes far away." to become lightheaded
Ki ga nai kiganai "to have no ki" to have no interest in something
Ki ga nukeru kiganukeru "the ki becomes missing." to lose hope
Ki ga mijikai kigamijikai "the ki is short." to be short tempered
Ki ni sawaru kinisawaru "something touches the ki." to find something irritating
Ki ni naru kininaru "to become ki" to have something nagging or on one's mind
Ki wo kubaru kiwokubaru "to pass out ki (to people)" to attend to other people's wishes
From the Aikido of Diablo Valley Web Site