Aikido terms explained - Hô and Hô

and Hô

The phoneme “hô” in such Aikido terms as kokyu- ho, tenkan-ho is written with the kanji character ( )‚which has a variety of meanings:"law", "doctrine", "principle", "technique", "method". For example, the faculty of law in a university in Japanese is hô-gakubu ().

In the term kokyu-hô () the first two characters stand for "breath" or "respiration". Thus the general meaning of kokyu-hô is "method for using breath". It is also known as kokyu-ryoku -yosei-ho, "method for training breath power"

There is, of course, another term: kokyu-nage (). Here nage derived from the verb nageru meaning "to throw", "to hurl", "to fall". Whereas in some Aikido books the terms kokyu-ho and kokyu-nage are used interchangeably, there is in fact a difference in nuance. In kokyu-ho, it does not really matter whether uke is thrown or not: the emphasis in on breathing. In kokyu-nage it is important that uke is thrown, but by means of the breath.

Another rendering of “hô” () means "direction", "side", "way". As a suffix, it means "manner". Thus, if we put the two characters for “hô” into one compound, we get () ho-ho, which means "method".

In the aikido term shiho giri (), shi means "four" and giri is deriver from the verb kaeru meaning "to cut" (as with a sword). Thus the term means "cutting in four directions". In the technique shiho giri tenkan-hô, as explained in the text article in this Newsletter, the meaning is "method of turning while cutting in four directions".

The kanji for tenkan is made up of two characters:().The first element, ten, basically means "to turn" or ‘"to change"; and the second element, kan, is also read as: kaeru, and this has the precise meaning of "changing", "replacing", "converting": (e.g. meaning "conversion" or "exchange rate"). Thus, although the term tenkan is commonly translated "turning" or "changing direction", we might understand the technique as "method for diverting (uke ‘s force) by/when cutting in four directions".

from " Newsletter British Aikido Federation", No.37, November 2000.