By following this definition, which is used almost universally among the top internal power experts regardless of style, we can already state that anything and everyone that interprets aiki as the blending of energy or using the attacker's momentum against them at best is only doing good Jujutsu. Unfortunately, there are a myriad of systems nowadays that use the term "aiki" in their name when really, they lack understanding of what it truly is and have not done the solo work to achieve it.
As I've stated before, for an art to be classified as an aiki art it must adhere to certain biomechanical principles. In addition to the Six Harmonies I listed in my previous article, true aiki will have the following components:
- Shuchu Ryoku - Focused Power
- Kokyu Ryoku - Breath Power
- Chushin Ryoku - Center-line Power
Now, just because all three are present in a given practitioner's technique or demonstration, it doesn't automatically mean what they are doing is aiki, but it's definitely not aiki without them. So let's explore what each component is and how they integrate into the aiki body.