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John Matsushima
11-06-2005, 10:14 AM
What does Ikkyo mean to you? What are it's technical strengths and weaknesses? What is it's underlying principle? What philosophical lessons does it hold? How is it applied off the mat? What makes it different from other techniques? What, in your opinion, is the nature of this technique?

-Thank you

11-06-2005, 11:59 AM
Ever heard the expression "analysis paralysis"?

11-06-2005, 12:16 PM
I think I read somewhere that all the secrets of and in aikido are contained in Dai Ikkyo and Shihonage, (possibly also in Tainohenko and Kokyo Ho, but it depends who you ask).
I agree with this... why? I don't know why yet (probably never will) but still agree... Problem is I think it would be a little boring only doing these so we do some variations of these as well (such as nikkyo, iriminage, kote gaeshi and tenshinage, koshinage, kokyo nage etc)
Back to training I guess.


11-06-2005, 03:10 PM
IMHO, Ikkyo simply meas the first teaching. Always stay open to Shoshin (beginner's mind).

All of Ikkyo's strength/weakness, principles, philosophical lessons, applications, and nature (including its color and texture) are the same (not different) than anything else. Its a mirror to see ourselves and a tool to better ourselves and the world we live in.

Don't take Ikkyo or yourself too seriously or too personally.

Relax, breath, and enjoy the training.

11-06-2005, 03:35 PM
Ikkyo was the first technique i ever learned so it seems to be one taht comes pretty naturally to me. I think ikkyo is also probably one of the most effective aikido techniques because it really doesnt require a whole lot of strengh. I think Ikkyo would be good against things like knife attacks so it really could be applied in the real world which is why i consider it to be one of the most important aikido techniques.

11-06-2005, 03:38 PM
I also remember someone telling me ( i cant remember who) that O'sensei said that ikkyo was the technique that always came up the most when he was training and defending himselft against people so this is another reason why i find it significant.

11-06-2005, 09:45 PM
I think ikkyo has a deep connection to the marubashi techniques of Ono-ha Itto Ryu. These techniques seem to have formed some of the most powerful underpinnings of Aikido.

Rupert Atkinson
11-07-2005, 12:53 AM
What does Ikkyo mean to you? What are it's technical strengths and weaknesses? What is it's underlying principle? What philosophical lessons does it hold? How is it applied off the mat? What makes it different from other techniques? What, in your opinion, is the nature of this technique?

-Thank you

What does Ikkyo mean to you? Simplicity.

What are it's technical strengths and weaknesses? Its weakness is there is no lock. Its strength is that you learn to control with no lock.

What is it's underlying principle? Following uke's energy along the arm.

What philosophical lessons does it hold? None, for me, really. Success through simplicity, maybe. Except that such 'simplicity' is not soooo simple :straightf

What makes it different from other techniques? It's simplicity makes it important - how to take uke's balance and lead him with his energy (not technique).

What, in your opinion, is the nature of this technique? No different to that of any other. What you learn here is applied elsewhere. It is a starting point.

So, my guess is that Ikkyo's colour is green :rolleyes:

11-07-2005, 08:43 AM
In katatetori ikkyo, if your uke is a very strong man holding your arm down seriously, and you get perfrom ikkyo without muscling, you understand postre, center, sink, alignment your own body, and movement of oneness.

In shumenuchi ikkyo, if your uke swing a sword at full force to your forehead, and you can perform ikkyo correctly, you understand how to find openging of your opponent, and all the element of katatetori ikkyo in a dynamic way.

John Matsushima
11-07-2005, 08:48 AM
I have practiced in many dojos with many different people, even in different countries. I appreciated different points of view, and in this case, other "artists" expressions of a basic technique.

I have heard people say before something to the effect of "all the techniques are variations of ikkyo". Can someone elaborate on this? Why not "everything is kote gaeshi"? How is irimi-nage a variation of ikkyo?

Since all these techniques belong to aikido, it makes sense that they are all similar in principle. However, while apples, oranges, and bananas are all fruit, it would sound strange to say that they are all variations of an apple.

I am familiar with the concept of marubashi as explained by Saotome Sensei, but I am ignorant of Ona-ha Itto Ryu. How does that ryu relate to Ikkyo.

For me, a technique in aikido is not just a technique, otherwise, I would be practicing aikijutsu and not aikido. The many techniques of aikido seem to be varied expressions of the different principles, much like a painter, photographer, or other kind of artist has different mediums, techniques and tools to express. I have noticed among other aikidoka changes in rhythm, speed, and method of approach, and this is what I find interesting.

"The unexamined technique is not worth doing" ;)

Nick Simpson
11-07-2005, 10:52 AM
The analogy that one of my sensei uses is that he just wants to do ikkyo, everything else is a result of his ikkyo going wrong.

11-07-2005, 11:09 AM
My knowledge of marubashi also comes from Saotome Sensei. The way I understand it, marubashi means the "bridge of life" and refers to the set of techniques which include the those Saotome Sensei demonstrated in The Sword of Aikido using the balance beam. These techniques are from (but may not be exclusive to) Ono-ha Itto Ryu and embody the principle of a single movement performing multiple functions, which is the root of the ryu's nomenclature. When the swordsman is in a situation where neither he nor is opponent can sidestep the other (a bridge, a rice paddy turnpike, etc.) the means by which the swordsman attains victory is to enter directly into the other's attack and perform a marubashi technique. Performing a movement which is at once an effective defense and a decisive attack is the central concept of these techniques. Ikkyo is the manifestation of not only these techniques, but also those principles (Ikkyo is probably the embodiment of all Aikido principles, but these appear to be relevant to its technical origin). This is certainly only one perspective on Ikkyo's great value, but it seems important to me.

James Davis
11-07-2005, 11:54 AM
When performing ikyo, a lot of people have the tendency to push down on someone instead of just moving their body and letting gravity do the work. If I can get a student to stop doing this, generally ALL of their techniques will improve. :)

11-07-2005, 08:27 PM
I hate ikkyo. Ikkyo for me symbolises most of my Aikido, very powerful as long as I have a good uke. I dread having new people in the dojo and having to do ikkyo with them. It's only after about 6 months or so that they end up on the floor in one smooth harmonious movment and that's not because my ikkyo has improved.

Mats Alritzson
11-08-2005, 03:05 AM
In their basic form you do nikkyo omotewaza, sankyo and yonkyo by first applying ikkyo. Have I forgot any? I also heard that Saito senior always taught tainohenko, morotedori kokyoho and suwariwaza kokyoho every class so I guess those techniques have a special significance, at least for us Iwama people.

11-08-2005, 07:40 AM
Why not "everything is kote gaeshi"?

Because it obviously isn't ;) :p :crazy: :D

John Matsushima
11-08-2005, 10:58 AM
I guess the question I should have asked is "How would the Lone ranger do Ikkyo?". Thank you for pointing out that which was so obvious, but apparently I was so ignorant in recognizing.

Yes, is quite interesting how nikyo, sankyo, yonkyo, gokyo and hiji-jime in their basic form are done within the framework of Ikkyo. Is there some relationship that I am missing between the other techniques such as kote gaeshi,shiho nage and Ikkyo. Sometimes I have thought that kote-gaeshi could be considered a reverse Ikkyo if you consider that uke's arm moves in a clockwise circular direction (from migi-hanmi), and in kotegaeshi it moves in a similar way, but in a counter-clockwise direction. Ikkyo seems to based on circular motion on a vertical plane, such as kote-gaeshi.
I have seen variations where tori steps off the line to receive, enters, and even steps backwards, but all done with vertical circles. Does anyone know of any variations which changes this?

Someone once told me that tai no henka could be thought of like this; two people meet in conflict facing opposite directions, and through connection and mutual movement in a positive direction, they both end up facing the same direction together in harmony. I have observed this same concept in Ikkyo.

What other lessons are to be learned from Ikkyo? What other questions does it raise?

11-08-2005, 12:26 PM
Loaded question. O'Sensei chose to call this arm control "ikkyo." I believe the shape (technique) is called "ikkajo." The difference in terminology is small, but "ikkyo" elludes to a greater definition...

So what is ikkyo to me? There is a concept called debana waza which refers to the idea of pre-emption; nage strikes an instant before uke and that action causes uke to abandon the attack. O'Sensei made numerous references to this concept in his doka. To me, ikkyo is the principle of debana waza - the interaction that nage takes control before uke can complete an attack.

Does ikkyo have other principles? Undoubtably.

11-08-2005, 05:46 PM
Sometimes I have thought that kote-gaeshi could be considered a reverse Ikkyo

kote gaeshi is reverse shiho nage which is a variation of ude garami.

Rupert Atkinson
11-09-2005, 12:12 AM
Ignatius Teo]kote gaeshi is reverse shiho nage which is a variation of ude garami.

I think a certain school (forgot) names what we know as shiho-nage as kote-gaeshi. In Takeda-ryu, nikyo was called gyaku-kote-gaeshi ...

Anyway, I don't think kote-gaeshi is reverse-shiho-nage. I can't see it. To me, they are pretty similar.

11-09-2005, 03:35 AM
Just a side note...

After normal class yesterday, adjutant sensei and I were exploring our aikido. I was the bokken wielding man and he wielded the jo. I came in with a yokomen strike. Stepping out slightly using tsugi-ashi movement ala the shumatsu dosa ichi first movement, he deflected my bokken, swiping it away, which opened me up in an ikkajo like movement. Seeing my body position, he quickly went on to apply the hiji-shime lock (waki-gatame to tomiki-ryu people). Guess what... I had to tap out. This was completely unrehearsed and I thought it was WOW!. Just gotta share with all!


11-09-2005, 09:41 AM
I think ikkyo is probably the most fundamental aikido technique. I think it can be compared to push-hands in tai-chi. It is a direct method of seeing how well your centre is coordinated with your hands, and also how to control ukes centre through their hand. It's also a simple motion, very much like the holding down motion of a sword in kumi-tachi. I think it is the most direct way of learning 'aikido' (as in the principles of aikido) than any other technique. Interestingly I've never known an unarmed martial art that doesn't teach some form of ikkyo (except maybe Capoera - not sure about this).

11-09-2005, 09:45 AM
P.S. I think with ikkyo and irimi-nage you can do pretty much most movements in aikido and they are both the most useful techniques. If you ever think about counters, ikkyo or irimi-nage are useful counters for almost all techniques. Ikkyo is like many techniques in one because you can be responsive to your uke and change the direction - with most other techniques you have to change the technique if uke changes.

Kevin Temple
12-11-2005, 10:17 PM
"The analogy that one of my sensei uses is that he just wants to do ikkyo, everything else is a result of his ikkyo going wrong."

I agree wholeheartedly with this statement. My sensei tells us that we should go into any technique with the mindset of doing either Ikajo or Shihonage (i believe depending on whether it is a grab or a strike, but I may be wrong) and the rest depends on uke. If ukes body position is such that these two fundamental techniques won't work, thats where all the other techniques come in. If uke's body position is too strong to allow the ikajo waving motion, depending on how uke "misbehaves" a techinque has been created to (hopefully) maintain control of the situation. The rest of aikido was created to fill in the gaps left by ikajo and shihonage.