Ki is a concept that I have come across since I started practicing aikido a few months ago. The impression I have of it is that it is considered to be a substance or energy that flows though the Universe, similar in a way to The Force in Star Wars (not meaning to trivialise the idea of ki, but I think this is a good example). By performing an aikido manouevre you are extending ki and from some peoples point of view, any defence,or for that matter any attack where ki is extended is an aikido technique, even if you're hitting someone over the head with a chair.

On the subject of the nature of ki each aikidoka is left find their own answer, but here is the argument from the son of the founder of aikido

"We may hear students say that `It is a feeling of some kind of energy coming forth from mind and body in harmony.' Or `It is a strange, vital power which appears unexpectedly at times from an unknown source.' Or `It is the sense of perfect timing and matched breathing experienced in practising aikido.' Or `It is a spontaneous, unconscious movement which refreshes mind and body after a good workout,' and so forth.

Each answer is valid in the sense that it is a true reaction gained through actual personal experience. And being a direct expression of a felt condition, it contains a certitude that cannot be denied. If this is so, the differences in responses is negligible, and the great variety attests to not only the difficulty in precisely defining ki but shows that the depth and breadth of ki defy coverage by a single definition."

-- from "The Spirit of Aikido" by Kisshomaru Ueshiba, the son of O Sensei

The mystical energy of all the world. In Aikido you extend your ki into your opponent. It is a gift. Uke should see it that way. Your ki is to be seen as a gift, as should ukes. Uke gives forward ki, you take his ki as a gift and you turn it into your ki, throwing uke with his and your ki, in this process you both should reach and have a higher understanding of all the universe. Ki is strength, ki is life. Ki is the power to heal everything.

     Ki is a term used in the hit anime Dragonball, Dragonball Z and Dragonball GT that measures someone’s power level. It is a basic reading of how powerful a fighter is. Saiyans have the ability sense a person’s Ki, and there are also scanners that you will see Frieza and his henchmen using that can also read someone’s Ki. Ki is used for attacks and other abilities that fighters use. The higher Ki you have the more abilities and attacks you are capable of using. For a Saiyan, a high enough Ki can allow them to reach Super Saiyan levels.

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