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moon in the water Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 04-26-2010 10:46 PM
the water does not try
to reflect the moon
and the moon has no desire
to be reflected
but when the clouds clear
there is the moon in the water
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 155
Comments: 1,111
Views: 1,960,650


In Techniques ashiwaza and aikido in the same sentence... Entry Tools Rating: 5 Stars!
  #3 New 05-21-2010 11:09 PM
ashiwaza and aikido in the same sentence...
Ballet by Alain Bachellier

I once asked Shigenobu Okumura Sensei (Aikikai 9 dan) about ashiwaza (leg or foot techniques) in aikido. He looked surprised for a moment and then he said categorically there are no ashiwaza in aikido.

Okumura Sensei had a kind of analytical and systematic approach to aikido. He would ask things like how many ways can you take uke's wrist when you're being held in katatedori (hand inside uke's hand with your thumb up, hand outside uke's hand with your thumb down...). And you would always forget one.

In fact I think Okumura Sensei wrote the modern Aikikai grading system for kyu and dan promotion tests.

So he thought that if there was an ashiwaza in there somewhere it wasn't aikido. But I don't think we need to be rigid about it. Some teachers do use ashiwaza occasionally. And in some styles they are actually normal techniques. I was invited to train as a guest in an offshoot of Tomiki Aikido once and they used ashi waza as a matter of course (along with ippon seoi nage - another judo waza). So I want to talk about a few of the sub-techniques - the techniques within the techniques - from judo (and karate) we can use in aikido (with some pretty random videos). These techniques are only components of the overall aikido techniques and unlike judo they can often be done without a grip on the uke. The connection (musubi) is through the energy of the uke's attack.

My first teacher Asoh Sensei (7 dan) who had some judo experience showed us a self-defence applied (ouyou) version of shiho nage combined with osoto gari - that's an outside leg reap. The technique becomes very powerful and dangerous for the uke because it is so difficult to protect the head from impact with the ground.
If you're not familiar with judo throws this is a normal judo osoto gari:

I was the uke for Arikawa Sensei (9 dan) at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo for many years. Arikawa Sensei used very fast ashi waza occasionally without even thinking about it. Like a striking cobra. As he broke my balance sometimes he did a fast ashi waza like deashi barai - a sharp foot sweep of my advancing leg - or as I took a step forward his outstretched back leg would sometimes do a hiza guruma type technique blocking my front leg and pivoting me over.
These are the kind of judo techniques he used:
De ashi barai:
Hiza guruma:
Kouchi gari:
Kosoto gari (here with a double attack):

Even in karate there are some ashi waza that could be relevant to aikido.
There are a few in these kata techniques:
And finally another interesting and simple ashi waza from karate (kind of a kosoto gake) - you can see the resemblance to an aikido kokyu nage:

I don't think ashi waza are essential for aikido. But if we know what ashi waza are and how to do them and even occasionally train in them perhaps we won't leave ourselves so vulnerable to them. And that's got to be a good thing.


niall matthews 2010
Views: 7350 | Comments: 6

RSS Feed 6 Responses to "ashiwaza and aikido in the same sentence..."
#6 12-01-2010 07:06 PM
niall Says:
Ashiwaza can be powerful techniques like osotogari. Even uchimata is classified as an ashiwaza in judo (although it looks closely related to koshiwaza). But fast foot sweeps like deashi barai and kosoto gari are very effective - the ground just disappears! So that's why I wanted a photo of one of those and Kyle kindly allowed me to use this one.
#5 12-01-2010 08:42 AM
guest1234567 Says:
A very very nice photo, thats how I would like to take one.. Maybe in the future I'll buy a better camara, but the automatic is easier for me
#4 11-19-2010 03:03 AM
niall Says:
He sounds like a good teacher, Carina, open and full of imagination.
#3 11-18-2010 12:02 PM
guest1234567 Says:
Thanks Niall, yes I think so about the vulnerability in hanmi, but my teacher does the classes he likes,I never would tell him how to teach, by the way he told the nidan to give the class today to prepare them for teaching and he wanted to practice like one student more.
#2 11-17-2010 08:27 PM
niall Says:
I don't think ashiwaza should be part of a normal aikido test. But unless you have done some training in ashiwaza the front foot in an aikido hanmi stance is quite vulnerable to a foot sweep. I think ashiwaza gives another dimension to your training so I think it's useful to do them sometimes. In kendo there are no ashiwaza normally either but police officers do use them.
#1 11-17-2010 12:38 PM
guest1234567 Says:
I agree with you Niall and think we should train it more than ocasionally in our dojo to get our position stronger in ashi waza,we almost never train it. Ashi waza is not teached in any seminar and here in Spain you don't need it for any test.

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