Aikido ABC - Vol 2. Basic techniques
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- The first six techniques of Aikido.
- Ikkyo to Rokkyo.
- Easy step by step instruction.
- Learn the basic moves by yourself.
- Couple up with a friend to practice it together.
- Join an Aikido dojo to train regularly.
We will learn the first six numbered techniques of Aikido from the Shomen-uchi attack:
1. Ikkyo, omote and ura waza.
2. Nikkyo, omote and ura waza
3. Sankyo, omote and ura waza.
4. Yonkyo, omote and ura waza.
5. Gokkyo, yokomen-uchi ura-waza. Tanken-dori.
We will learn it in its basic Kihon form and in its flowing Ki no nagare form. Step by step instruction of each detailed foot and hand movement. Each technique done from both left and right side.
- Beginners and advanced alike.
- Male and female.
- Age 15 and above.
Tai no Henko. The most fundamental movement we have in Aikido. Every lesson begin with this basic body turn. You learn how to receive force, blend and pivot, turn with your hips and to stabilise your body. Begin the practice from a standstill position, from Kihon (basic form).
Uke: Grab strongly the wrist, hold firm throughout the application of the technique. Be flexible and absorb the movement.
Nage: Receive the grip with a soft relaxed arm. Firm up and expand, filling up your hand and body with Ki. Extend your fingers, accommodate the grip without wresting your wrist away. Palm facing down you place your front foot next to your partner and pivot 180 degrees ending up next to him or her. Parallel hands at waist height, palms turned up, hips settled.
You can do this movement with or without a partner, because the most important first step is to coordinate yourself. Do this 10-20 times from a static start. Then move on to Awase, blending.
Now the focus is on the match, on the timing and blending of the incoming grabbing hand. If you initiate, inviting the grab, then you'll be ahead. You preempt their initiative by offering your wrist as they approach. You blend your movement with their grab, timing it to perfection, turning on the spot and settling in steady and still. The movement is exactly like from the static Kihon but now in motion. Do this at least 20 times. You will take time to get used to move in this way. Try to improve each time you do it. Lower your centre of gravity, become more stable, activate the whole body.
Now we'll do it in Ki no nagare, flowing form. As the attacker comes in, turn 180 degrees on the spot (taisabaki), continue turning your waist and hips after having planted your foot, so you complete a complete 360 degree full circle, then step through with the draging leg.
All three of these steps of Tai no henko can be done by yourself without a partner. It takes practice but don't give up. It will give you body control and ability to move without thinking. It's a great step towards understanding Aikido.
Shomen-uchi means a straight strike down the top of the head with the blade of your hand. But instead of waiting for the blow to land you preempt it by raising your own hand blade (tegatana in Japanese) to your attackers face, in a rounded motion from below. He or she responds in like manner and you take the initiative advancing with your front foot off line, curving their arm and body to their side. Uprooting their stability by spiralling their wrist and elbow so their centre (Hara) is unbalanced. Now you advance either forward through (omote) or circular behind (ura), bringing their shoulder and body to the ground pinning their arm in +90 degrees from their body, securing it with the help of your knees.
Kihon means basic from a static position. Awase means to blend or match in motion. Ki no nagare means literally flowing Ki. These are the three developmental stages the technique goes through while learning.
They also refer to:
Kotai – Solid Body
Jutai – Soft Body
Ryutai – Flowing Body.
Shomen-uchi Nikkyo omote -waza.
Begin in the exact manner as in the previous Ikkyo exercise. When you you bring your partner down to the side, with a firm grip on his elbow, let your hand blade (tegatana) on the other hand rotate, catching his wrist from the backhand (replay the clip to catch the detail) and bring him down to the floor. The armlock is different from Ikkyo in that you bring his arm up from the floor and pin it against your body. Slowly apply the pin across his neck till he claps out (clapping on the mat with your hand indicates pain and you must let go).
Begin as in the aforementioned practices. As you bring your partners arm down the side, grab his hand-blade, step in and pin it to your chest, securing it with your other hand. Pivot in, making the partner move up from his position, step in front as you cut his hand down, step back and follow him down to the floor. Pin the arm to your body, switch hands and secure the pin over his neck.
In the ura version, begin with an outside turn, then grab the hand-blade turning it, spiralling up without moving your feet. Bring your partner (uke) down with an outside turn again, spinning around down to the pin. Pin as in the omote version.
These techniques are difficult to comprehend without a partner but nevertheless you must be able to perform them by yourself in order to understand and appreciate the body movement. And the better you do that the better you'll be at handling your opponent. So do try to exercise these techniques with an imaginary foe, focused on your own body, balance, stability and flow.
Very similar to Ikkyo but with a different ending. So as you have brought down your opponent and stepped in as in Ikkyo, now regrab his wrist with both your hands. Using your inside of the index fingers root to press a nerve running down the wrist. Lift up slightly and use the whole arm as a sword and cut down again, pinning his shoulder to the ground. Continue pressing the nerve point as you slightly twist his arm into the mat. Make sure you control his whole body and not merely his arm. The omote and ura version follow the same form as Ikkyo.
Tanken-dori, or tanto-dori is defense against knife. We use this in gokkyo as to avoid being cut in the wrist as we grab the attackers wrist. We use a yokomen-uchi attack, an overhead slightly curbed strike to the side of the head, which we meet with a firm strong block with our underarm, intercepting it before it has gained full power, entering in blocking and counter punching at the same time.
Note: When using a wooden knife when training much care must be taken to avoid injury. Never aim for the face or eyes, be sure you can stop your attack at will. Train slowly and accurately. This caution goes without saying to the practice of all strikes and parries. Shomen-uchi, yokomen-uchi and counter atemi (strikes) must never be deployed without control. In Aikido we NEVER land our strikes, they are but indications of what may be in a real altercation. So you first practice is to learn to control and to be able to stop your strike before reaching target, and that is even if target is moving and changing.
So to continue, grab your opponents wrist underneath (your thumb down) so not to get cut, then proceed as in ikkyo ura-waza. Pin by securing his wrist and elbow on the floor, pushing the wrist in as you lift the elbow up releasing the knife. Be careful to do this gently because the pressure on the wrist lock is great.
Rokkyo, a name that fits the technique. It's a direct, tough application, not easy to give and not easy to receive. But as you receive the shomen-uchi, grab his wrist at the same time, pivoting on your front foot, spinning around causing him to step forward unbalanced. Roll up his arm underneath yours, changing your shomen hand-blade grabbing his backhand gaining the pin on his wrist. With the wrist lock secured, pin his arm with your arm, turn your hips back and down towards the floor.