PDA

View Full Version : Sparring / Irimi Nage


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


TomanGaidin
04-24-2003, 09:28 AM
I've been doing aikido seven months or so, and recently came into contact with a friend who's done a fair bit of wushu, and about two years worth of taekwondo. We showed each other a few techniques, and of course, it somehow all led to a makeshift friendly sparring match.

I pretty much won overall by keeping just outside the range of his kicks, blocking the ones that came too close and occasionally blending/entering for a grab or takedown. Only thing is - he'd only do kicks. Not anything else, save for the occasional attempted lock. Not so bad, unless one takes into account that only one class I was in had kick defences. Still, it was enough for me to block a roundhouse, grab the foot and entering - keeping enough extension to take it with me and get him off balance - before entering for a makeshift kokyu nage with my free arm and a turn of my hips.

I actually also managed to pull off a ... well, sort of... juji garame (?) without the full throw, getting him to 'verbally tap out' when he couldn't do anything against it. Aside from that, I've found ikkyo is probably my best friend. Simple and easy to do when in motion, and just plain works.

Away from proper techniques, I had to rely on principles - extension, balance/centering, use of the entire body, etc - for things when I found myself getting accidentally pulled down to the ground. Still somehow managed to make things work just through that alone, though - thankfully the room was large and pretty empty, as a made up throw I pulled whilst grapping literally sent him flying over the top of me.

Now, to the problem. I just couldn't seem to do an irimi nage on him, the two or three times I tried. It could just be my incompetence - it most probably is, considering I haven't exactly been training for all that long - but each time I went in for one, he'd somehow spin or pull out of it before the actual throw could be done or his balance could be taken effectively.

I'm guessing I wasn't taking his balance to begin with well enough in the opening stages of the technique, and not controlling the rest of it (I remember I forgot to step through the first time). Any suggestions on controlling 'uke's' movement more effectively? Getting more distance behind him to take him more off balance? Winding an arm about him in a semi choke before the other arm comes up for the throw? Any thoughts/advice would be appreciated :).

opherdonchin
04-24-2003, 09:43 AM
I'm guessing I wasn't taking his balance to begin with well enough in the opening stages of the techniqueMe too.

I'm not sure, but my teachers always say that the secret of succesful Aikido is never 'trying' to do any particular technique but rather learning to see the openings that make a technique possible. Some ukes may never allow an iriminage: that's just not where they want to go. If you focus on taking uke where he wants to go, it will always be easier to get him or her to go there.

There may also be ways to improve your iriminage. There are certainly ways I could improve mine, and I know my teacher feels the same about his.

taras
04-27-2003, 10:38 AM
It is hard to say anything without seeing the technique, and I am no expert either but since iriminage is one of my favourites here are a few tips that I follow.

Give uke just enough space to 'fly around you', do not allow any more space between you than you need, so you can make sure you are not actually pulling your uke into the technique. Execute tenkan with the same speed as your uke is moving.

Just before you throw them, just when you've finished witht the tenkan try to guide your uke as close to yourself as possible.

Keep one hand on the back of their neck to allow more control

As you go to throw them make sure it's a circular movement, up then down in a semicircle. You can also twist your 'throwing' hand. If uke's head is secured tightly between your hands this twist will produce additional 'lift'. just after you've done with the tenkan your uke will naturall want to get up. If their sight is covered by your shoulder they will only want to get up, they won't be able to see much around. Just use that momentum and follow them wherever they want to fall, like Opher said.

Abasan
04-28-2003, 03:39 AM
Just thinking about a common mistake...

When doing iriminage, try not to bring your throwing hand down/inwards. (like you're snagging his neck into a takedown choke.) Instead its more through/outwards that runs through his center and out.

ian
04-28-2003, 05:15 AM
Some of the things you have discovered took me a very long time to learn Christian! When I teach irimi-nage I also teach two other techniques; rear choke and tenchi-nage.

The above post is correct in saying that it is easier when yo don't have to aim to do a technique. However I'm not actually convinced Ueshiba was like this, and though he was very quick and changing into a different tecchnique, he pretty much seemed to start with a fixed idea of a technique, particualrly irimi-nage or ikkyo.

If you are going for ikkyo and they turn their back towards you, wrap the arm around the neck and draw them backwards in a rear choke (locked on with other arm behind head). (alternatively a pull down on thee shoulders/neck from behind can work).

If they turn towards you, let them enter towards you and move to the other side with tenchi-nage.

There are also 2 other variations of irimi-nage which are extremely dangerous but I quite like!

- you can actually do it from stationary by cupping the back of ukes neck with one one hand (as usual) and using other hand to push ukes head (on forehead)diagonally down towards their near-side back. (I accept no responsbility for any broken necks! - it takes very little pressure to snap!)

- from a fast and powerful punch or kick, instead of taking the neck, a fraction or a seconf before the strike lands you push the hip through (whilst still raising arm towards face). - this is also prone to neck breakages since they land very sharpley on their back.

Ian

shihonage
04-28-2003, 05:26 AM
If he wants to spin out of iriminage, remove your hand from his neck and put it under his armpit/elbow/whatever.

Then project forward.

TomanGaidin
04-30-2003, 11:20 PM
Thanks for all the help/suggestions :). I'll have to try some of these out next time I meet up with him, save perhaps for the neck breaking ones, else there may not be any more sparring sessions for a while ;).

Kyri Honigh
05-01-2003, 01:49 AM
Hahaha, sparring is always fun.But remember, although he too is a martial artist, he will not try and go with the flow but rather break out.So leading him in a technique like iriminage will be hard.Try unbalancing him properly, or try a Seagal like throath bash, his iriminage cuts down real fast, resistance will be futile!

Matt Stevenson
05-21-2003, 05:11 PM
Just one thing I found when cross training: don't try too hard to successfully complete a particular technique. If you keep trying to do the same technique on someone unsuccessfully, even someone with no martial arts experience will figure out generally what you're trying to do to them and avoid it. Good luck!

Largo
05-29-2003, 11:47 PM
I find that the more I concentrate on trying to use a technique, the worse it gets. Try something else.

On iriminage- my sensei has suggested using the uke's hair from time to time. Haven't tried it yet though

George S. Ledyard
05-30-2003, 11:16 AM
Just one thing I found when cross training: don't try too hard to successfully complete a particular technique. If you keep trying to do the same technique on someone unsuccessfully, even someone with no martial arts experience will figure out generally what you're trying to do to them and avoid it. Good luck!
This is the essential idea behind the concept of "aiki". You don't force anything on the opponent. Techniques are created by the dynamic of the attacker / defender coming together. This is the basis for the concept of "take musu aiki". It is the state of harmony or connection which generates, or gives birth to, your technique.

For those interested in Aikido beyond being able to beat up people from other arts this is a very fascinating thing to realize. Aikido is like a big Koan (one of those Zen sayings that seem to be counter-rational). Here's one of the central Aikido "koans" as I see it:

If the nage is blending with the movements of the uke, and the uke is blending with the movements of the nage, who is it that is doing the technique?

So in fighting, the reason that the attacker can't beat the technique is that he co-created it himself. This is the ideal of Aikido in my opinion. Aikido that is lacking in this concept becomes just another form of jujutsu, simply a matter of mechanics.

Alfonso
05-30-2003, 01:13 PM
Techniques are created by the dynamic of the attacker / defender coming together. This is the basis for the concept of "take musu aiki". It is the state of harmony or connection which generates, or gives birth to, your technique.
Would this definition of "Aiki" be common to the "Aiki" arts?

Can I borrow this definition?

This sense of harmony is different to what a lot of people hear when they say the word harmony.

Aiki-do ..

George S. Ledyard
05-30-2003, 03:50 PM
Would this definition of "Aiki" be common to the "Aiki" arts?

Can I borrow this definition?

This sense of harmony is different to what a lot of people hear when they say the word harmony.

Aiki-do ..
Many folks use "Harmony" in the New Age sense of "Peace and Harmony", absence of conflict and strife, etc. This of course has nothing to do with the nature of the Universe in which change is really the only constant. At any instant there are things passing out of existence and things coming being.

Obviously, Aiki can exist on multiple levels. There is the small "Aiki" which is limited to non-resistance to the energy of an attacker, the connection between you on a physical level.

Larger is the "feeling" of Aiki which I think is more along the lines of the Taoist concept of wu-wei, or non-action. As I understand this, it is acting without the ego based intention being the motivator for the actions.

Then there is the Cosmic sense of Aiki which is the mystical union with the Universe. This would commonly be thought of as "Enlightenment" in other systems.

While there is no essential separation between these different variations of what we can call "aiki", it is possible to understand one level and not another. Doran Sensei told me once that he had an opportunity to teach Aikido to some very advanced Zen students. While they probably had a good sense of "Aiki" in the cosmic sense, they were no better than any other beginner in the small sense of harmonizing with a partner's energy.

Certainly we all know of people who are quite competent on the small, physical level of Aiki in that they can do very advanced technique and yet show little or no signs of any larger Cosmic understanding.

Aikido people tend to place a moral or value judgment on the term Aiki and I think that from the standpoint of O-Sensei and the Japanese culture in general, this is reading our own ideas into theirs. Bad people can use Aiki in their techniques which I think is one reason that O-sensei didn't want them to be taught Aikido. Aiki can be misused, it has no inherent connection with what we call good.

Alfonso
05-30-2003, 05:12 PM
Thanks for that post. I will be digesting it for a while.

I'm sometimes very confused about the term, since it appears to be used as a technical term (jargon) , and as a more philosophical umbrella for other concepts.

In your opinion is Aikido concerned with the entire spectrum of "Aiki"?

George S. Ledyard
05-31-2003, 02:18 AM
Thanks for that post. I will be digesting it for a while.

I'm sometimes very confused about the term, since it appears to be used as a technical term (jargon) , and as a more philosophical umbrella for other concepts.

In your opinion is Aikido concerned with the entire spectrum of "Aiki"?
That depends upon what the practitioner is looking for... for O-Sensei I am sure it was concerned with the whole spectrum. But looking at the posts in this forum you can see that there are plenty of serious folks practicing Aikido for whom the spiritual aspects of the art are of little or no importance. To the extent that they are focusing on Aiki it is within the context of technique only I think. It very much depends on your point of view.

Joe Jutsu
06-01-2003, 05:26 PM
Hi guys. My experience in Aikido is limited to Ki Society Aikido, with a different set of names for some techniques. So I'm a bit confused as to exactly what an irimi nage is. From what I've read, it sounds like it might be something like what we call a shomenuchi kokyunage, or am I completely off base?

Oh yeah, one more question for Christian. What attack were you receiving when you tried to apply irimi nage? Thanks for the help guys and gals.

Joe

:ki:

akiy
06-01-2003, 10:08 PM
Hi guys. My experience in Aikido is limited to Ki Society Aikido, with a different set of names for some techniques. So I'm a bit confused as to exactly what an irimi nage is. From what I've read, it sounds like it might be something like what we call a shomenuchi kokyunage, or am I completely off base?
Yes -- "kokyunage" in Ki Society parlance is closest to what folks in Aikikai and some other styles call "iriminage"...

-- Jun

Pretoriano
06-01-2003, 10:28 PM
To read this guy post in thi tread is nothing else like leave what Im doing know, take a plane and go train with him.

Praetorian

Charles Hill
06-01-2003, 10:50 PM
Mr. Ledyard,

What is the relationship between developing the "feeling of Aiki/ wu wei" and the practice of randori against/with multiple opponents? I understand that you teach seminars on the subject and was wondering if you felt that this kind of practice teaches the things you describe above in ways that differ from the normal, one on one type practice.

(Is this getting too far off the original thread?)

Charles

Joe Jutsu
06-02-2003, 11:11 AM
Thank you for the clarification Jun. And by the way I love the website--what a great resource!:) Until next time-

Joe.

Russ Qureshi
06-02-2003, 12:35 PM
Hi George sensei,

Query from Vancouver: Do you see the three "levels" (denoting separation/dualism, oops)of aiki as something one reaches through attainment? ie. Working on these concepts through a training methodology. OR, is that mistaken thinking and these three (inseparable) levels of aiki are already constant/present and it is the individuals preconceptions that blocks this "seeing"?

I have some ideas on the subject but I find your explanations tend to help crystalize my thinking.

Thanks in advance,

Russ

George S. Ledyard
06-02-2003, 01:33 PM
Mr. Ledyard,

What is the relationship between developing the "feeling of Aiki/ wu wei" and the practice of randori against/with multiple opponents? I understand that you teach seminars on the subject and was wondering if you felt that this kind of practice teaches the things you describe above in ways that differ from the normal, one on one type practice.

(Is this getting too far off the original thread?)

Charles
Randori practice simply is an extension of single partner training. I hadn't thought about it from the standpoint of the discussion about Aiki but there is certainly an interesting dynamic when there are several partners that I would certainly view as another aspect of Aiki.

A really well done randori is very much a set of movements and techniques which effect each of the attackers simultaneously in different ways. A person who is in a "state of Aiki", if you could call it that, is able to move smoothly and efficiently and the result is an appearence of lack of hurry and effortlessness (here's where that concept of wu-wei comes in) that I would definitely describe as aiki.

This element should be present in single partner training but it is defintely more difficult to be in that state when there are several people attacking at once.

George S. Ledyard
06-02-2003, 02:08 PM
Hi George sensei,

Query from Vancouver: Do you see the three "levels" (denoting separation/dualism, oops)of aiki as something one reaches through attainment? ie. Working on these concepts through a training methodology. OR, is that mistaken thinking and these three (inseparable) levels of aiki are already constant/present and it is the individuals preconceptions that blocks this "seeing"?

I have some ideas on the subject but I find your explanations tend to help crystalize my thinking.

Thanks in advance,

Russ
Russ,

If O-Sensei is to be believed it would be a mistake to think that any of these principles actually exist separately from any other. I was unclear when I talked about this. I wasn't trying to do an exhaustive description of what aiki is... not something I would feel remotely qualified to do. I just wanted to show that individuals tend to treat these things as separate, even though they are not. From a teaching / learning standpoint it is useful to do so.

I think we start with the ability to perceive these aspects as separate from one another. We certainly treat them as separate from the standpoint of training. I think it only after a lot of work that the "attainment" you speak of develops in to the ability to experience these different aspects as truely Whole.

I say this only having a "sense" of it myself. I've just started getting that sense of aiki that has to do with getting all of the elements in ones own body moving together without opposition. Taking that outwards to dealing with a partner has given me the experience that "less is more" which I equate with that Chinese concept of wu-wei but I think I have a long way to go before I get to where I want to be on it. As for the largest Cosmic sense of Aiki, aside from moments of experience that points to the possibilities, I can't say that I am able to talk about that at all.

As for methodologies... certainly there are methodologies which address all of these levels. I think that basic Aikido training is definitely developing the sense of small aiki (harmonizing your own body / energy and that of a partner(s) through movement and technique.

Aikido develops and understanding of the larger xoncept of Aiki as well, I think. That sense of wu-wei, non-resistance, harmonious technique gives rise to an undertsanding of these principles as not being limited to the mat. If you look at the work of the Aiki-Extensions folks you can see a wealth of creativity at work as to how to take these principles into the non-Aikido world in positive ways.

The development of Cosmic Consciousness is a quite well developed area. Many religious traditions have some sort of practice which is specifically for this purpose. The Asian traditions utilize meditation techniques, purification practices, etc. to eventually lead to "Enlightenement" or whatever the tradition calls it. O-sensei saw Aikido parctice as a form of misogi. But I have seen little evidence that the doing of Aikido technique as separate from the other spiritual practices which O-Sensei pursued, will result in that sort of spiritual insight.

I hope this is helpful in some way. I hope this finds Mom and baby well at home! Maybe we'll get to see aech other on the mat again soon.

Russ Qureshi
06-02-2003, 04:11 PM
Thanks for your reply, George sensei. As usual, not what I was expecting, but, still perfectly clear!

I think that wu-wei and cosmic consciousness can be realized immediately (satori)as these are not "things" to be gained at the end of, or along, a given path. They simply are, and as such are available to all. The small aiki is what we train our bodies for....and train, and train etc. (Like you said.) Anyway.....

Mom and son are fine. We're heading up the coast to live next month and will be training with Allen. I hope to rope him in for this Labor Days' intensive, or at least a "one day" event. Maybe even mom and son for a one day. My personal email will remain the same so keep the seminar notices coming.

Ravings of a corporeal entity,

Russ

TomanGaidin
06-02-2003, 10:06 PM
Just to answer (if belatedly) what attack I was receiving when I was trying to apply the irimi-nage - none, really, save movement. Being a TKD practicioner he'd near exclusively try to use kicks rather than any punches, until I managed to get a hold - after which he'd just try and struggle to get out of the hold any way possible.

Charles Hill
06-03-2003, 09:57 AM
Mr. Ledyard,

I hope you don't mind me asking a few questions based on your reply to Russ.

Do you pursue "other spiritual practices which O'Sensei pursued?" If you do, how did you learn them?

Also, you wrote that you've seen little evidence that just practicing technique without also practicing the other spiritual practices results in "that sort of spiritual insight." Does this mean that you have seen evidence of a more integrated practice resulting in spiritual insight? If you have, could you write about it?

Sincerely,

Charles

George S. Ledyard
06-03-2003, 10:54 AM
Mr. Ledyard,

I hope you don't mind me asking a few questions based on your reply to Russ.

Do you pursue "other spiritual practices which O'Sensei pursued?" If you do, how did you learn them?

Also, you wrote that you've seen little evidence that just practicing technique without also practicing the other spiritual practices results in "that sort of spiritual insight." Does this mean that you have seen evidence of a more integrated practice resulting in spiritual insight? If you have, could you write about it?

Sincerely,

Charles
Hi Charles,

I personally have not to any serious degree developed an internal practice to augment my Aikido. At some point in the future I would like to do so. But the demands of raising a bunch of kids and running my own dojo has proven to be about as much as I could handle. As the kids get older this is something I intend to pursue.

The person with whom I am directly familiar who has developed a practice which most directly resembles what O-sensei did himself is the Rev. Koichi Barrish. He has become the only American Shrine Shinto Priest. He presides over a shrine just North of the Seattle area. Kannagara Jinja (http://kannagara.org/home.htm)

Now I personally feel that Shinto doesn't travel well outside of Japan in that it is very culurally specific but I admire Rev. Barrish's efforts to make his practicecoincide with the Founder's so closely.

I have a number of friends who augment their practice with serious Zen training. William Gleason Sensei is one who immediately comes to mind. If I do get the chance to work out a solo internal practice it will probably be Buddhist meditation, either Zen or Vipassana.

The people whom I know that have some sort of internal solo practice to augment their mat time see to have a much deeper appreciation of the spiritual side of the art then those that don't. Whether any of them get "Enlightened" would be hard to say. Who would certify them? But from the standpoint of getting a picture of the art which is perhaps closer to O-Sensei's viewpoint I think some sort of internal practice is necessary. Certainly the Founder himself put more time each day on his misogi practice and prayer than he did on actual martial practice.

This is not to say that one has to do this. I think it is quite possible to develop a wonderful Aikido pratice without doing this. But I do not feel that one can understand Aikido as O-Sensei envisioned it without duplicating in some way the type of spiritual training he went through.