View Full Version : Modern Masters of Aikido video - Koichi Tohei

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Mark Balogh
03-25-2003, 10:00 AM
Has anyone seen this Aikido Journal video? My favourite section is on Kisaburo Osawa but I am trying to understand the clips with Koichi Tohei.

In the first seminar against bokken, he steps forward and makes a kind of backfist/handblade horizontal cut to the neck and ends up on one leg. What exactly is he doing?

Early on, he also makes a downward and upward atemi all in one motion, similar to some knock out techniques that George Dillman does. Again, what is going on?

Also, in the hombu class, how, and I repeat HOW does he make up the distance so quickly on the gun from static. I cannot figure out which leg is powering, he seems to use his head to weight the entry???

HELP!!! :D

Joe Jutsu
04-02-2003, 01:04 PM
Hi Mark. I have not seen the video that you are talking about, but I have an idea of what you might be talking about when Tohei Sensei makes up a lot of ground from static. In Ki Society, we have a hitori waza called zanshin koshin (I probably misspelled it), where a either the front or back leg, depending on which direction you want to go, comes up so the thigh is parallel with the ground and goes either forward or backward. So the leg in the air is sort of powering the move, though I doubt that Tohei Sensei would explain it that way. I have seen someone take up an incredible amount of space to distance himself from a couple of potential aggressors using zanshin koshin in combination with a kiai. Anyway, hopefully this has been remotely helpful. I would really like to see this video, where can I obtain a copy?? Thanks,


Mark Balogh
04-03-2003, 03:46 AM
That is very interesting about the exercise, I should of realised that most of what Koichi Tohei developed would still be taught in the Ki Society. There were 3 modern masters tapes published by Aikido Journal, I would check their website or e-mail them, but I'm not sure of current availability. :)

04-03-2003, 02:14 PM

Could you please describe this exercise in more detail? How does this happen that "the leg in the air is powering the move" ?



Joe Jutsu
04-03-2003, 09:08 PM
Hi Igor. I will attempt to describe zanshin koshin in better detail, but I am no instructor so bear with me:) We are taught that what you learn today you can teach tomorrow, so I'll take a crack at it. By lifting the leg so the thigh is parallel to the ground, potential energy is created. Zanshin koshin can be done to move both forwards and backwards. So if I wanted to move backwards, I would lift my front leg if I'm in a hanmi stance. The move backwards is initiated then by swiftly moving the leg in the air back and to the mat, so it becomes the back leg. But while you are moving the leg backwards, you sort of hop on the leg that you are standing on. So the leg that swings back gives the hop a lot of momentum, hence, a lot of distance can be covered very quickly. All this is done in one smooth, swift movement. Of course, to go forward this process is reversed, the rear leg being the leg that is lifted to create momentum. I hope this helps at least a little. It is actually quite simple, if I were to be able to show you in person it would make a lot more sense. I'm sure there are others who post on Aikiweb that could explain this better, but if I can help clear this up anymore just let me know.

Peace, :ki: ,


Larry Feldman
04-08-2003, 09:58 AM
On the backfist/handblade to the neck, I beleieve he is demonstrating using his ki to 'cut the uke's head off'. Basically this is the movement you would make with a sword, and he is doing it empty handed. When done with a kiai it usually shocks/freezes the uke.

Sorry I don't remember the other scenes.