Shikon & Hachi Riki


Before we discuss Shikon & Hachi Riki let’s go straight to Aiki #3!  (It’s so cool, I can’t wait!)

Aiki #3 Illustrated:

In in order to create Aiki #3 we use Aiki #1 (linear oppositional forces), Aiki #2 (rotational oppositional forces) and  torsional oppositional forces simultaneously.

Illustration #1: Aiki #3

When the “cylinder of the limbs and torso travel through space due to the rotation of Aiki #2, the added torsion present in Aiki #3 causes spiral forces to be created. (Be Advised:  This is a rather simplistic explanation of what is really going on, but for our purposes it will suffice for now.)

Illustration #2:  Spiraling Oppositional Forces as they travel the cylinders making up our body.

Ideally, this is happening all the time throughout the entire body/mind and consequently one literally “IS” Aiki; physically, energetically, mentally, etc. The whole shebang!


This is a BIG DEAL everybody.  This is the “secret” of how to create the traits that make/made the Aiki Greats so notable.  They were notable not because of their philosophy or charismatic personality. Most had rather extreme personalities and were not always easy to get along with.  They were notable not because of their popular style, high rank, large organization, good looks, trophies on the shelf, who they trained with, or due to some esteemed lineage.  No!  They stood out among others because of the uncommon traits that they could demonstrate at will, without collusion, cooperation, or pontification. It was these people, these rare notable people, these few people with True Aiki that said, “Aiki isn’t techniques.”  This was one of the few things they seemingly agreed upon and had in common.  

It is at this point, not so much in time, but in thought, that one must decide if one wishes to understand, learn, and develop True Aiki.  The Aiki that results in the traits that the Aiki Greats all had in common, and that they all pointed to as Aiki, apart from mere techniques.  The path certainly isn’t for everyone.  In fact, it seems to be self culling!  If you choose not to pursue it whether due to discounting all of this mumbo jumbo as “not my” Aiki, or discounting one’s own ability to achieve it, you will be in good company with the majority of individuals practicing in the world today.   Certainly it won’t make you any worse of a person, any more than pursuing this Aiki will make you a better person.  

Those that truly followed this odd path and succeeded to any noticeable degree were few and far between.  Nevertheless, there were a few.  Clearly, it can be done.  So the question that remains is, will you be one of them?

******** . . 

Finishing up Ueshiba’s lecture. . . for this week:

All of this will all come together now, and it is very, very cool!  If you will recall, Shikon means “four souls.” The Four Souls are Kushi Mitama, Saki Mitama, Nigi Mitama, and Ara Mitama.  And, they are arranged like this:

Illustration #3:  Shikon the “Four Souls”

Together they form Aiki Ju or the “cross + of Aiki.”  Now we will replace the names of the four souls with correlating symbols.  Kushi Mitama = Ten, Saki Mitama = Earth, Ara Mitama = Fire, and Nigi Mitama = Water.  Again, they are arranged like this:

Illustration #4:  Aiki Ju depicted in 2D, the forces that create Aiki #3 as depicted in Illustration #1

Let’s review. . .

San Gen (Ten, Chi, Jin) are used to create Aiki #1 (Linear mutually dependent oppositional forces), and Aiki #2 (Mono Axial rotation powered by mutually dependent oppositional forces).  Now we are going to use San Gen  (Ten, Chi, Jin) to create Aiki #3 (Bi Axial Rotation caused by mutually dependent oppositional forces.)

San Gen again, again, and again. . .

If you will recall, Aiki #1 was created via the forces of Ten and Chi rather than via contraction.  Aiki #2 combines Aiki #1 with rotation created via the forces of Ten and Chi.  Aiki #3 combines Aki #1, Aiki #2, and torsion created, again, by the forces of Ten and Chi.  All of this occurs due to the specific intention of Jin.

The Flesh and Bone of Ni Ki

Aiki #1 is the movement of  the oppositional forces of gravity and normal force through tissue and bone that creates tension in the tissue and compression in the bone, resulting in a highly stable  tansegrous structure, Aiki #2 is the movement of bone and tissue via the movement of oppositional forces of  gravity and normal force, Aiki #3 is the movement of the oppositional forces of gravity and normal force resulting in the movement of tissue torsionally.

Ichi Rei – And it is all wrapped up in one neat package, you, or the Universe; take your pick!

(The big question of the day:  HOW?)

Well, first of all, let’s recognize that it isn’t via torsion of the bones.  That would be injurious.  (Fun to do to others if one is into that sort of thing, but no fun to have done to one’s self.) So, what does that leave?  You guessed it, tissues!  Conveniently, our bones are wrapped in elastic tissue that can create torsion around the bones.   And this is how we create the torsion that, when added to Aiki #1 and Aki #2, creates Aiki #3.

So, if we look back to our original Aiki Ju diagram, we can see that it contains Aiki #1 (linear oppositional forces), and if we were to rotate about the vertical plane between Ten and Chi that would create Aiki #2, and if we were to torsionally rotate about the horizontal plane between Fire and Water that would create Aiki #3.


Aiki Ju is an illustration of Aiki (#1, #2, and #3) .  It also implies the Ame no Uki Hashi or the “floating bridge of heaven.”  It is in the center as defined by the Aiki Ju.  And we should all be standing on the Ame no Uki Hashi!  Going backwards:  What is the origin of this? San Gen  How did they come about? Ni Ki What is the whole thing called? Ichi Rei

Ichi Rei, Ni Ki, San Gen, Shi Kon

Pretty slick!

“But what about Hachi Riki? (Eight Powers)  Where do they come from, hmm?”


Ah, well that is easy. . . Remember waaaaaaay back in the beginning when we talked about how when two forces meet orthogonally (at 90º) that they do not impede  each other, there is no resistance, but there is a resultant force vector?  If those two orthogonal forces are equal, the resultant force vector is always at 45º!

Check out the diagram of the Hachi Riki:


Oh Baby!  For every orthogonal force vector there is a resultant force vector depicted.  As a matter of fact, for the inverse of every orthogonally meeting forces there is an equal and opposite force vector.  And if we wanted to go all hog wild and make the thing 3D one would find that there would be 16 potential resultant force vectors.


It is kind of important to show the resultant force vectors at least out to 16 because after all humans are 3D not 2D! But 16 force vectors are hard to draw in 3D, so let’s just use Ueshiba Morihei’s drawing in 2D of the 16 resultant force vectors!


“Hold on, hold on!  Only one of Ueshiba’s drawings looks like yours.  The rest has squares around them.  Explain that!”


The whole thing is summed up in the top picture:

iki.jpg   iki.jpg

As you can see there are triangles, circles and squares are represented throughout the drawings.  This week, I won’t go down the rabbit hole of what they represent, but I think that it is self-evident that they interpenetrate the whole thing.  In Shingon Mikkyo this is called NYU Ga – Ga NYU.  Which means, “Entering Into – Being Entered Into.”  I think this phrase describes the process of Aiki quite nicely.  We must “enter into” Aiki with our mind/body and Aiki will simultaneously “enter into” us.  This has spiritual connotations that were certainly not lost on Ueshiba, but we won’t delve into that either this week.

“Oh, and what is that stuff behind Ueshiba Sensei?”  

It is just what I’ve been writing about over the course of the last several weeks.  Ueshiba seemed to think it was quite important.  In fact, when he would give lectures explaining what Aikido is, this is what he would most often talk about!

It seems rather odd that so many people that “train Aikido” don’t know about what the founder of Aikido so valued and lectured about.  Maybe it is worth re-stating what was covered in this week’s blog . . .

Here is all the same stuff shown in a different way:




All one has to remember is this symbol thingy, which just happens to be. . . The Takeda Mon!

Samurai families had a “coat of arms” representing their family.  This symbol is the “coat of arms of the Takeda clan.

And that is just standing still, wait until we get this thing fired up!

When it all starts to rotate there are even more resultant force vectors formed.  WAY more than just 16, probably more than 10,000.  Who knows how many?  I sure don’t!  It is a mystery!

Old Aiki Guy:  “Blah, blah, blah. . . ”  

Young Aiki Guy (sitting in seiza):  “OMG!  Will he ever stop???!!!  

Old Aiki Guy:  “Blah, blah, blah. . . “

Young Aiki Guy:  “I can’t feel my legs.  No, wait, I CAN feel my legs!  Arrrrgh!  What is the point of this anyway?  NOBODY understands what this guy is saying!  Blah, blah, blah. . . Shut up already!  Can’t we just do some REAL Aiki  training already!”

Next week:  The story of how I met Shirata Rinjiro Sensei.

Shikon y Hachi Riki (Cuatro Almas, Ocho Poderes)
Antes de que discutamos Shikon y Hachi Riki vayamos directamente a hablar de Aiki 3 (¡Mola tanto que no puedo esperar!)
AIKI #3 Ilustrado:
Para crear Aiki 3 utilizamos simultáneamente Aiki 1 (fuerzas opuestas lineales), Aiki 2 (fuerzas opuestas en rotación) y fuerzas opuestas en torsión.
Ilustración#1: Aiki #3
Cuando el “cilindro” formado por las extremidades y el torso se desplaza a través del espacio debido a la rotación de Aiki 2, la torsión añadida presente en Aiki 3 hace que se creen fuerzas espirales. (Advertencia: Esta es una explicación muy simplista de lo que en realidad está ocurriendo, pero para nuestros propósitos es suficiente por el momento)
Ilustración 2: Fuerzas opuestas espirales viajando por el cilindro creando nuestro cuerpo.
Idealmente esto está ocurriendo todo el tiempo por todo el cuerpo y la mente, en consecuencia una persona ES literalmente Aiki. Físicamente, mentalmente, energéticamente… ¡El pack completo!
Esto es algo MUY importante para todo el mundo. Este es el “secreto” de cómo crear las características que hicieron y hacen tan destacables a los grandes del Aiki. No destacaron por su filosofía o su personalidad carismática. De hecho la mayoría tenía personalidades bastante extremas y no era fácil llevarse bien con ellos siempre. No destacaron por hacer un estilo popular, tener un alto grado, una gran organización, ser guapos, tener trofeos en las estanterías, por haber entrenado con tal o pertenecer a un linaje muy respetado. ¡No! Destacaron entre el resto debido a las características inusuales que podían demostrar a voluntad, sin complicidd, cooperación o pontificación. Fueron esas personas, esas personas tan raramente destacables, esas pocas personas con Verdadero Aiki las que dijeron “El Aiki no está en las técnicas”. Esta era una de las pocas cosas en las que estaban de acuerdo y tenían en común.
Llegados a este punto, no tanto en tiempo sino en pensamiento, es cuando uno debe decidir si quiere entender, aprender y desarrollar Verdadero Aiki. El Aiki cuyos resultados están en las características que todos los grandes del Aiki tenían en común, y que todos señalaban como algo aparte de las meras técnicas. Este camino ciertamente no es para todo el mundo. ¡De hecho es un sacrificio! Si eliges no no perseguirlo, ya sea por descartar todo este rollo como “eso no es mi Aiki”, o por pensar que no eres capaz de conseguirlo, estarás en buena compañía con la mayoría de practicantes del mundo actual. Ciertamente decidir eso no te hará peor persona, del mismo modo que perseguir este Aiki no te hará mejor persona.
Los que realmente han seguido este raro camino y han tenido éxito son pocos. Sin embargo, hay unos cuantos. Claramente se puede conseguir. La pregunta es ¿serás tú uno de ellos?
Ahora pondremos todo esto en común y mola mucho,¡ mucho! Si lo recuerdas, Shikon significa “cuatro almas”. Las Cuatro Almas son Kushi Mitama, Saki Mitama, Nigi Mitama y Ara Mitama. Se distribuyen de esta manera:
Ilustración #3: Shikon las “Cuatro Almas”
Juntas forman el Aiki Ju, la “Cruz del Aiki”. Ahora reemplazaremos los nombres de las cuatro almas con los símbolos que les corresponden. Kushi Mitama = Cielo, Saki Mitama = Tierra, Ara Mitama = Fuego y Nigi Mitama = Agua. Se distribuyen así:
Ilustración #4: Aiki Ju representada en 2D, las fuerzas que crean Aiki #3 como se representó en la Ilustración #1
UNA Y OTRA Y OTRA VEZ…SAN GEN (los tres orígenes)
Recordemos, Aiki 1 se creaba gracias a las fuerzas de Ten(Cielo) y Chi (Tierra) en lugar de usando contracción. Aiki 2 combina Aiki 1 con la rotación creada a través de las fuerzas de Ten y Chi. Aiki 3 combina Aiki 1, Aiki 2 y la torsión creada, nuevamente, por las fuerzas de Ten y Chi. Todo esto ocurre debido a la intención específica de Jin (Hombre)
La carne y los huesos de NI KI (los dos Ki)
Aiki #1 es el movimiento de las fuerzas opuestas de la gravedad y la fuerza normal a través del tejido y el hueso, lo cual crea extensión en el tejido y compresión en el hueso dando lugar a una estructura tensengrítica altamente estable. Aiki 2 es la rotación del tejido y el hueso a través del movimiento de las fuerzas opuestas de la gravedad y la fuerza normal. Aiki 3 es el movimiento de las fuerzas opuestas de la gravedad y la fuerza normal resultando en el movimiento del tejido torsionalmente.
ICHI REI (un espíritu) y así queda todo resumido en un solo paquete bien claro, dentro de ti, o en el universo, ¡escoge el que quieras!
(La gran pregunta del día: ¿Cómo hago eso?)
Primero de todo, démonos cuenta de que no lo hacemos con torsión de los huesos. Eso sería lesivo. (Divertido para hacérselo a otros si nos va eso, pero no es divertido para hacértelo a ti mismo). Así que… ¿qué podemos someter a torsión? ¡Has acertado, los tejidos! Convenientemente nuestros huesos están envueltos en tejido elástico que puede crear torsión alrededor de los huesos. Así es como creamos la torsión que, añadida a Aiki 1 y 2, crea Aiki 3.
Entonces, si volvemos atrás a nuestro diagrama de Aiki Ju (cruz del aiki) podemos ver que contiene Aiki 1 (fuerzas opuestas lineales) y si lo rotásemos en un plano vertical entre Ten y Chi crearíamos Aiki 2, y si lo rotásemos torsionalmente en un plano horizontal entre Fuego y Agua crearíamos Aiki 3.
Aiki Ju es una ilustración de Aiki (#1,#2 y #3) . También implica al Ame no Uki Hashi “El puente flotante del cielo” Está en el centro definido por la Aiki Ju. ¡Todos nosotros deberíamos estar de pie en el puente flotante del cielo (Ame no Uki Hashi)! Volviendo atrás: ¿Cuál es el origen de esto? San Gen. ¿Cómo se crean? Ni Ki, ¿cómo se llama todo esto junto? Ichi Rei
Ichi Rei, Ni Ki, San Gen, Shi Kon. Un espíritu, dos Ki, tres orígenes, cuatro almas.
“¿Y qué pasa con Hachi Riki? (Ocho poderes) ¿De dónde vienen, hmmmm?”
Ah, bueno esa es fácil… ¿recuerdas muuuy atrás cuando empezamos a hablar de cómo dos fuerzas se encuentran ortogonalmente (a 90º) de modo que no se impiden entre sí, no hay resistencia, pero se crea un vector de fuerza resultante? Si esas dos fuerzas ortogonales son iguales, el vector de fuerza resultante siempre se crea a 45º (El círculo segmentado en 8 partes de 45º)
Revisemos el diagrama de Hachi Riki:
¡Toma ya! Para cada vector de fuerza ortogonal hay representado un vector de fuerza resultante. De hecho, para el inverso de cada encuentro de fuerzas ortogonalmente hay un vector igual de fuerzas opuestas. Si nos volviésemos locos e hiciésemos todo esto en 3D nos daríamos cuenta de que hay 16 vectores potenciales de fuerza resultante (El círculo segmentado en 16 partes de 22’5º).
¡Es importante mostrar que los vectores de fuerza resultantes llegan al menos a 16 porque los humanos somos 3D y no 2D! ¡Pero los 16 vectores de fuerza son difíciles de dibujar en 3D, por lo que usaremos el dibujo 2D de Ueshiba Morihei de los 16 vectores de fuerza resultante!
“¡Para el carro! Solamente uno de los dibujos de Ueshiba se parece al tuyo. ¡El resto tienen cuadrados alrededor, explica eso!
Todo el asunto se resume aquí:
Como puedes ver hay triángulos, círculos y cuadrados representados en los dibujos. Esta semana no me pondré a describir lo que representan, pero que creo que es evidente para todos que se relacionan con todo esto. En el budismo Shingon Mikyo esto se llama Nyu Ga – Ga Nyu. Lo cual significa “Involucrarse en algo-Ser involucrado en algo” Creo que esta frase describe el proceso del Aiki bastante bien. Debemos “involucrarnos en el Aiki” con nuestro cuerpo y mente para que el Aiki simultáneamente “se involucre con nosotros”. Esto tiene connotaciones espirituales que ciertamente Ueshiba conocía, pero no entraremos en eso esta semana.
“¿Oh, y qué son esas cosas detrás de Ueshiba Sensei?”
Es justo lo que he estado escribiendo estas últimas semanas. Ueshiba parecía pensar que era bastante importante. De hecho cuando daba charlas explicando lo que era el Aikido, ¡habitualmente hablaba sobre eso!
Parece bastante raro que tanta gente que “entrena Aikido” no sepa nada sobre algo que el fundador del Aikido valoraba tanto y charlaba tanto. Quizá merezca la pena volver a declararen el blog de esta semana lo que ya hemos tratado.
Todo lo que alguien necesita recordar es este símbolo, que resulta que es… ¡El Mon de Takeda!
Las familias samuráis tenían un “escudo de armas” o blasón representando a su familia. Este símbolo es el escudo de armas del clan Takeda.
¡Y está ahí de pie quietecito, esperando hasta que pongamos esto en marcha!
Cuando todo empieza a rotar hay incluso más vectores de fuerza resultante. Más de 16, posiblemente más de 10.000. ¿Quién sabe cuántos son? ¡Yo seguro que no, es un misterio!
Aiki Abuelo: “Blah, blah, blah . . . ”
Joven que ha ido a aprender Aiki (sentado en seiza): “Oh dios mío, ¿cuándo parará?
Aiki Abuelo: “Blah, blah, blah …“
Joven que ha ido a aprender Aiki: “No siento las piernas. No, espera, ¡SIENTO las piernas! ¡Aaarghh! ¿Qué sentido tiene todo esto? ¡NADIE entiende lo que este tio está diciendo! Blah, blah, blah . . . ¡cállate ya! ¿No podríamos simplemente hacer algo de entrenamiento de verdad?


14 thoughts on “Shikon & Hachi Riki

    1. Hi Fred,

      I would want to read the original quote, but just guessing, I’m inclined to think he is referring to 16 possible attack variations and the responses there to.

      When he responds in this manner and says something about 3000 techniques he is very likely referring to Daito Ryu pedagogy.



  1. Hi Allen,
    I can relate to the corresponding dual ‘enter into’ in my practice. I can see how that relates to ones own balanced body-being but also to the relationship to uke. In order for me to gain access into his being/body I open up a two-way highway where I simultaneously enter and allow his energies to flow into me. I put up no resistance and therefore enter as if unnoticed. Inside the threshold.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Byorn,

      With regards to Aiki 123 only Aiki 1 allows force to enter. Of course we use Aiki 1, to build Aiki 2 & 3, where no force enters and there is no need or desire to manipulate an “opponent”o since nothing is opposed. In fact, thinking about an other almost guarantees screwing up. It is just as Ueshiba’s doka describes.

      All the best,


      1. Yes I agree with the not thinking of uke as an opponent/other, nor having to manipulate him, yet I believe I did not manage to convey what I mean. But it’s a bit difficult to explain. Better to explain on the mat.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi Bjorn, No worries! It just as easily could be me not managing to convey meaning. This stuff is difficult even in person and more so over the web!

        I hope that we will meet someday and have the opportunity for exchange!



  2. Remember Remi complaining when you would “Bla, bla”? “Hey inwould like to get together, say on a weekend and have these long conversations about the universe… so we can do some real Aiki all they other times!”. I miss him…

    Good lecture Sensei!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. But as I have said before, he was also one of my deepest thinkers and hardest trainers. I have no complaints at all, only gratitude.

    We all play our parts, and he still is, as are you.

    And please just call me Al 😉 or bro!



    1. Yeah,

      I’d like to read it in the original. As I said, it is pretty common for Daito Ryu to sum up the number of techniques in their scrolls slightly less than 3000. Then, if I am correct, there are 16 basic attack variations that the 3K techniques can address.

      Shirata sensei taught way more than the typical techniques found in Modern Aikido curriculums, one was supposed to be able to do them from every attack (around 16 different ones) and from every angle.

      The thing is designed such that it cannot be remembered and applied specifically (although most try at first) but that is still demanded. The idea is that, at that point, one is forced to experience that the answer is in the Aiki NOT in a particular scroll, or technique.

      We come to the art seeing a forest, then we go about naming 3000 trees, finally we come out the other side seeing the forest again . . . but we are not in the same place we started from.

      Hope that helps,


  4. Just for the heck of it off of the top of my head I’ve listed the 16 attack variations:

    1. Karate Dori, 2. Ai Dori, 3. Ryote Dori, 4. Morote Dori, 5. Sode Dori, 6. Ryo Sode Dori, 7. Kata Dori, 8. Ryo Kata Dori, 9. Kubi Shime/Mae Eri Dori, 10. Ushiro Ryote Dori, 11. Ushiro Ryo Sode Dori, 12. Ushiro Ryo Kata Dori, 13. Ushiro Kubi Shime/Eri Dori, 14. Shomen Uchi, 15. Yokomen Uchi, 16. Tsuki

    Any technique, of your 3000 possible, should be applied to all of the above attacks, from 10 directions (front, back, sides, diagonals, above, and below), and from sitting, half standing, and standing.

    There are also, of course, kicks and stomps, ground work, body throws, and buki waza (sword, staff, naginata, yari, tessen, tanto, shuriken, etc.)

    There is a whole lot of stuff.

    But they are all grounded in Aiki, and so after one has a grounding in Aiki one can explore how Aiki tends to be manifested in the basic vectors and then the rest kind of begins to spring up naturally. Regardless of the art, all of the one’s that are grounded in Aiki tend to have a similar look and feel to them.

    It is unique.

    So one could be kept happily working on thousands of techniques and their variations for a lifetime. Or one could be set to work struggling to learn Aiki and once that is sufficiently begun, if one has an interest in applying Aiki to martial technique the way is laid out clearly. There is Aiki and there is other than Aiki.


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