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akiy
06-12-2001, 07:41 PM
Hi folks,

Outside of the general form of the two movements, what kind differences do you see between irimi and tenkan?

-- Jun

Chuck Clark
06-13-2001, 02:06 AM
Irimi movements may be straight or turning. I think all movements in aikido should have the element of irimi or entering into uke's space so they can not achieve a strong posture.

ian
06-13-2001, 03:45 AM
I think many beginners in aikido (and jujitsu) often see the techniques as a 'retreating' movement, which can be very dangerous as it allows the opponent to over power them - for this reason I think irimi style movements should be emphasised early on.

However I don't think unbalancing is always achieved through an entering component (whether irimi or tenkan). Over extending your opponent is also valid - though much harder to achieve and something that cannot be done unless the situation presents itself.

To me the irimi and tenkan movements have the yin/yang element in them. We usually practise with uke producing strong (+ve) attacks, and from this we can easily do tenkan (-ve) movements whereas with an uke who is very defensive (-ve) it may be necessary to have a strong entering component (+ve). I think Ueshiba probably had this in mind, especially in the case where he lept across the dojo (initiating the attack) to do ikkyo on someone that had defended by backing away and putting their arms up in front of their face.

Ian

thomasgroendal
07-03-2001, 11:39 PM
irimi is usually a vertical circle, and tenkan is a horizontal circle. That is a mighty simplified version of it, but perhaps valid.

wildaikido
07-04-2001, 03:45 AM
Ian I don't think it could be said much better, well done, do you mind if I quote you ☺.
Thomas can you explain the verticle circle, I need more info.

ian
07-04-2001, 06:21 AM
Well thanks Graham, quote away - though everything I know has been through guidance of a variety of instructors and experience.

I would also be interested in the description of a vertical circle and how it is performed. I have heard of it, and done it with some techniques but I think it is different from the way many people do irimi i.e. irimi can be done by trying to get a reaction from uke's head (unbalancing them backward) and also by being off centre line and going through the top half of uke's body at an angle (again unbalancing rather than clashing). Also it can be done through a reaction e.g. you cut uke's strike down (unbalancing), and when he straightens up you continue his straightening up motion (therefore going through them). I suppose they are all circular to some degree, but they also involve other aspects. Any thoughts?

Ian

davoravo
07-04-2001, 08:04 AM
I love it, a great concept. I'm imagining the vertical circle as a shomen sword cut, however in practice I use more of a yokomen cut - diagonal but predominantly vertical. Likewise I'm imagining all my Tenkan movements as horizontal (mostly - 3 dimensions very important) cuts.
If you consider a straight line as the circumference of a circle with an infinite diameter the allegory can be applied further.

I read once that irimi techniques should be used in actual combat and tenkan were for training. Aikido Journal I think, might have been Saito sensei.

thomasgroendal
05-06-2002, 05:23 AM
Imagine a crowd of bulls, charging towards town. You ride to the front bull, grab him by the nose and lead the whole crowd back where they came from. That is the horizontal circle. Irimi is the same thing vertical. (flying cows, whoah!)
Imagine getting pulled of your feet by a wave when you are over hip deep in the ocean. Should be the same thing.

IrimiTom
05-06-2002, 08:51 AM
I once read somewhere that omote versions of techniques are based on Irimi while ura movements are derived from tenkan, maybe that is sort of what Ian meant by -ve (ura) and +ve (omote), I mean in yin-yang, one is active and the other is passive.

Edward
05-06-2002, 10:06 AM
I guess that omote and ura mean front and rear techniques. Any omote or ura techniques can be irimi or tenkan.

Example shomen uchi irimi nage. You can have the possible variations:

omote irimi-omote tenkan-ura irimi-ura tenkan

depending on whether you enter to the inside or outside of uke, straight or turning.

I'm not sure if all techniques can be done in all variations or not.

Jorx
05-06-2002, 12:53 PM
I've heard that in some styles they don't use terms as "omote" or "ura" instead of it "irimi" and "tenkan" - so it is quite the same. And one thing on what I don't agree is irimi being active and tenkan passive. They are both quite passive in that sense - you don't counter force in none of them, yet you take the initiative in both - so this is active principle again. And quite many techniques can use both movements - irimi AND tenkan (first a little irimi and then tenkan or vice versa). And in quite many techniques where you do tenkan with your feet you still do the vertical circle with your hands so it is quite a mixture. I like to think of tenkan as just a basic movement nothing less nothing more... Yet irimi is not only a entering STEP but entering as such. So you even do irimi when you do tenkan - you still enter the sphere of your opponent. So for me: tenkan = a basic movement; irimi = a basic principle of aikido. Both = passive and active at the same time. As the yin-yang sign.

Jorgen
Estonian Aikikai
Riveta Sportsclub

Brian Vickery
05-06-2002, 12:57 PM
Originally posted by akiy
Hi folks,

Outside of the general form of the two movements, what kind differences do you see between irimi and tenkan?

-- Jun

Wow! ...this topic could get pretty deep! The 'pat' answer I give new students who ask which technique is appropriate for which situation, I give this simple answer: "Generally speaking, use 'tenkan' when the attack is bigger than you, use 'irimi' when the attacker is smaller than you".

(...*LOL*...I know, I know, if it were only that easy! ...but it gets them thinking!)

Lyle Bogin
05-06-2002, 02:43 PM
Tenkan seems to be more like inhaling, and irimi like exhaling.

What do you think of that aikiwebbers?

Jorx
05-06-2002, 04:26 PM
Tenkan seems to be more like inhaling, and irimi like exhaling.

Nope... do not agree with that:) It depends on the kind of irimi and/or tenkan whether you inhale or exhale... or at least so I've been taught.

thomasgroendal
05-06-2002, 07:40 PM
Okay, let's see if I can add a few more ingredients to this soup.
First, when the attack pulls, you enter, when it pushes you turn. Hence irimi and tenkan. Try a one hand grab, and push into the nages belly button. If you enter/irimi that then you will have a hard time. Do the same thing with a short grab and pull sort of grab, and entering should feel natural
Do the same thing again, by pushing and turning and that should feel natural. I don't think size is so much of an issue.
Also, about the terminology. Irimi is literally entering body. It is characterized by a triangular foot movement such as in Iriminage. My teacher compared it to walking though a forest and trying to avoid the trees without losing the direction you wish to walk. Omote literally is translated as the front, or the face of something. As in the face of a building, or of your opponent. A technique that generally happens in front of your opponents field of vison. It is similar, but nominally different.
Tenkan is literally a conversion. It refers to a conversion of the direction of things/policy (houshin), or their tendencies/trends (keikou). So for instance a conversion of the economy, or a conversion of the course of one's life, etc. etc. The image of the bulls comes out here. One might note the direct speediness of osensei's douka about irimi, enter and cut! as opposed to the very indirect soft sound of irimi.
Those that might think tenkan is more aikido sounding might remember what raising kids is like. Sometimes they need to be led directly sometimes not. To finish the definitions, ura means the reverse side, or the unseen side of things. You can use this word to describe the secret nature of a problem or a person as well. In a shihonage ura, you throw the person where they cannot see you. In an omote you cut across their center...
All in all, I would say that irimi is a cattle prod, useful for one ornery cow. tenkan is for when your prod is looking a little small vs. the herd.
that's my eight cents.

Lyle Bogin
05-07-2002, 08:12 AM
If it is true that irimi is used when uke pulls, why is it so effective againt strikes, which are clearly not pulling?

Jim ashby
05-07-2002, 09:39 AM
To strike, the hand/foot has to go back before it goes forward, that's where the timing starts. My Sensei "smothers" attacks by entering as the Uke prepares the blow. Sorry, I can't explain better than this!
Have fun.

Lyle Bogin
05-07-2002, 10:11 AM
"To strike, the hand/foot has to go back before it goes forward, that's where the timing starts."

That is an indication of a poorly executed strike. Strikers spend much of their training eliminating the pullback. Can we only use irimi with strikes that are openly telegraphed, or can irimi movements be used against clean strikes that come directly from a neutral position?

Jim ashby
05-07-2002, 11:12 AM
"Poorly executed" Hmmm. I'd be interested to see a Shomenuchi strike done where the blow comes down without it going up first.
Have fun.

Lyle Bogin
05-07-2002, 12:53 PM
Shomen uchi an idealized strike used as a training tool, that also happens to be very practical for defense against the use of blunt weapons (since not too many folks carry long blades anymore).

I mean a punch. As in you are stanind in front of me, and i strike your nose in the most direct way possible.

Brian Vickery
05-07-2002, 01:03 PM
Originally posted by Lyle Bogin


<snip>
Can we only use irimi with strikes that are openly telegraphed,or can irimi movements be used against clean strikes that come directly from a neutral position?

<snip>
I mean a punch. As in you are stanind in front of me, and i strike your nose in the most direct way possible.

...a 'sucker punch'!

...better keep some ice on hand to treat the most popular outcome of this strike ...a bloody nose! ;^)

Lyle Bogin
05-07-2002, 01:42 PM
:)

OK, so lets say i don't know when it's coming, I do know that it is coming, and you still don't telegraph. Can I use the concept of irimi against this type of attack?

The main difference is in that is case A,I can see your windup, which is an open door for a counter. In case B I cannot see any windup, however, I can see it coming once it is already on it's way. Is it too late to use irimi? When is it too late to use irimi?

Doug Mathieu
05-07-2002, 02:04 PM
Hi All

Very Interesting. I like Thomas Groendal
response. Its very similar to what I have heard and seen over time. Ie: push vs. pull, Omote - front, Tenkan - reverse side.

On the topic of Shomen Uchi strikes I have been told our usual style of raising our arm and making a big strike downward is a training form and when in an applied situation it will change to an almost straight out knife ridge type strike towards ukes forehead with little discernable upwardness to the strike. In addition it has been suggested there may be two parts to the strike. A hit to the head/nose on an upward motion as the hand may move at an upward angle towards the forehead/nose then a secound downward directed strike on the same targets with a more obvious downward motion as a follow up.

I am not trained in striking and am only passing on what others have told us.

Jim ashby
05-07-2002, 02:48 PM
Ahhh... striking the nose in the most direct way possible. Obviously a Glasgow handshake!
Have fun.

IrimiTom
05-07-2002, 05:41 PM
I think the rising part of a Shomen Uchi can sort of be disguised or at least made less obvious if the attacker is standing half-facing, perpendicular to nage, and holding the sword/beer bottle down (I believe this is called waki gamae), then as he turns to face uke the attack is quickly set up

thomasgroendal
05-07-2002, 07:23 PM
Time for a bit of clarification.
Especially for all you traineded strikey peoples.
A trained strike is a pull, an all out, your going bend over and touch your toes, and I'll still be punching strike is a push. In short, if someone does a trained strike, the Maai (distance) is much shorter, and not conducive to tenkan. Particularly if you have someone trained to pull the punch in after they put it out. A snapper, so to speak.
A guy who is so drunk he can't tell if he's hitting you or santa claus is probably going to serve you up something so football tackle oriented, that pulling off an irimi on him becomes impossible.
I had a demo a while back with a guy from a dojo I am visiting once a week. He attacks like small angry bear. I wanted to do munetsuki iriminage, to show them a technique that wasn't in their curriculum, (direct entering version.)
His punch was so dominating and blind, that I found myself throwing irimi while sliding backward to maintain the proper maai. A backwards entering throw! Please don't do this at home. I hope nobody in the audience saw me.
Choosing Irimi and Tenkan is all about the distance you have been given to cross before the attack is over. Maai

TAC One
05-08-2002, 06:01 AM
Hello Jun.
Cool thread!

I'm with thomasgroendal when he says that in Irimi you don't change the direction of your sight and in tenkan you have to.
Irimi should contain a kanji rappresenting a
pregnant woman. That could suggest that irimi too could be used to envelope the partner. And tenkan can be piercing as much as irimi, not always enveloping.
(ok, i am getting my english beyond its poor limits)

I think that a more appopriate thread would be "Irimi vs Kaiten". Any kind of kaiten. Simply turning, irimi+kaiten, tenkan or irimi-tenkan.

Last: in Budo Ueshiba wrote something like "when you need to adjust the distance after entering, turn.". I think he talks of situations where uke - after you/his entering - is too near.

What do you think about "irimi and tenkan"?

Tac

PeterR
05-08-2002, 06:18 AM
Originally posted by akiy
Outside of the general form of the two movements, what kind differences do you see between irimi and tenkan?
One works, one doesn't. :p

Seriously don't think much of isolated tenkan movement which is different then ura versions of various techniques.

thomasgroendal
05-09-2002, 08:30 PM
Here is a little bit to add to the stew.
How are you doing tenkan undo?
I learned originally from David Rodriguez sensei who was previously with Toyoda out of chicago, and also I am surrounded by Suganuma style aikikai in Oita prefecture.
The tenkan undo that I brought with me from america is a ki no nagare, flowing style. I can't say if that is exactly what Toyoda did because I do not know, but that is what I learned. It focuses on ki, breathing, and leading. The aikikai that I am doing right now starts from a firm static position. You BEGIN by entering, by pointing at their belly button. This produces a response, the desire not be pointed at, essentially you invite a push from them. Then without changing the position of that fight, you bring center to it, and then line up outside of it, eventually sinking down after dominating your uke's position.
I am sorry for the lengthy description of all of this, but it just shows the diversity in the aikido community when it comes to these dynamics. The Suganuma shihan version is almost like an irimi technique, it certainly feels fairly omote. The Rodriguez sensei version emphasizes looking past that and moving behind, a very ura ending. Which is better? I teach both to my students now. Confusing but in the end worth it.
What do you do?
Does anybody practice irimi body movement every class?

akiy
05-10-2002, 01:04 AM
My thought is that tenkan, even in tenkan undo (aka tai no henko), includes irimi...

Additionally, I'm also a firm believer that irimi does not equate to omote nor does tenkan equate to ura. For me, omote and ura are positional relationships to uke whereas irimi and tenkan are directional changes in relation to uke.

-- Jun

TAC One
05-10-2002, 12:23 PM
Originally posted by akiy
My thought is that tenkan, even in tenkan undo (aka tai no henko), includes irimi...

Additionally, I'm also a firm believer that irimi does not equate to omote nor does tenkan equate to ura. For me, omote and ura are positional relationships to uke whereas irimi and tenkan are directional changes in relation to uke.

-- Jun

Very short, very good. :)

I agree.

Tac

Don_Modesto
05-10-2002, 02:08 PM
Originally posted by akiy
Additionally, I'm also a firm believer that irimi does not equate to omote nor does tenkan equate to ura. For me, omote and ura are positional relationships to uke whereas irimi and tenkan are directional changes in relation to uke.-- Jun

Hi, Jun. Was pleased to meet you on the mat at Ikeda's session in LV. About your post, I've wondered about this before--could you give a example of irimi ura or tenkan omote technique? Thanks.

Doug Mathieu
05-10-2002, 02:48 PM
Hi Thomas

This is a very interesting topic. You were wondering about what is being taught regarding tenkan, tai no henko/henka?.

I am going by my memory on some of this as our Shihan has made a number of different remarks about the progression of training and different stages of tenkan practice. Hopefully I won't come across as to stupid.

In Western Canada we follow mainly one Shihan within Aikikai forms.

He has over time told us:

1. Begining practice is much as you described with very static form. Interesting enough our Shihan makes the point that in this form the effect on uke is caused by the motions of nages fingers and arm ie: taking ukes kuzushi happens before making the pivot which brings you to ukes side.

2. He calls this (I think) body changing.

3. The next stage he has Yudansha work on is to not move into uke or at least move very little upon being grabbed and to stay on the line with your toes. He wants us to begin the tenkan at a greater distance and be careful not to lead with our shoulder. Again ukes kuzushi is taken before any hip movement occurs.

4. The feeling for the above two is like using a vertical circle with the end result of uke going down and forward as he holds onto you wrist.

5. After this he talks about Ki No Nagare and how it is not the same practice as tai no henka. Ki No Nagare is more about leading and flow and includes much more hip work. In this it feels like the circle becomes part vertical and part horizontal.

Our group usually has some Irimi practice mainly using the ikkyo movement.

I have so much to learn yet and I hope this doesn't mislead anyone. It seems like you just get used to a certain form when something else is introduced. So far I try to organize it by stages. At early kyu ranks we don't show the form the same way as yudansha.

All the best

Peter Goldsbury
05-10-2002, 06:42 PM
Originally posted by Don_Modesto


Hi, Jun. Was pleased to meet you on the mat at Ikeda's session in LV. About your post, I've wondered about this before--could you give a example of irimi ura or tenkan omote technique? Thanks.

Hello, Don,

It was good to meet you in Las Vegas and finally fit a face to the name.

As for your question, how about a couple of techniques I showed at Aiki Expo? I think they were both shown in my first class and were responses to a shomen uchi attack. The first one involves using uke's attacking arm in an atemi to his face and throwing, or pinning (if you grasp your own arm). The technique involves a tenkan movement, but done right in front of uke, hence the need for an effective atemi.

The second technique involves entering, taking the attacking hand, turning (tenkan), entering very deeply behind uke (irimi - ura?) changing hands in the process and throwing uke with an elbow atemi to the face.

Both techniques are rather subtle and the second can be very dangerous if uke is not accustomed to atemi. But it was obvious to me that most people who took the class were not familiar with tenkan omote or irimi ura, as you and Jun would describe it.

I am writing this at home and so do not have my aikido books to hand, but in Kisshomaru Ueshiba's book "Aikido" omote / irimi and ura / tenkan do seem to be equated. In both the original Japanese and the English translation, the techniques are explained as "Omote (Irimi)" and "Ura (Tenkan)" and I spent the first few years of my aikido like (not in an Aikikai dojo) without ever hearing the terms omote and ura.

Probably Kisshomaru equated the two as a memory aid and the separation (for they are quite different in meaning, as Jun rightly states) occurred later, as successive teachers wrote books and training manuals on aikido.

Nevertheless, I am not one for excessive classification of techniques, but I do believe in the fundamental importance of irimi, and atemi, as I hope youi might have gathered from my classes in Aiki Expo.

Best regards,

akiy
05-11-2002, 07:17 PM
Originally posted by Don_Modesto
Hi, Jun. Was pleased to meet you on the mat at Ikeda's session in LV.
Likewise here, Don! I hope we'll have more chances in the future throwing each other around (or, more likely, you throwing me around and my trying, again, to throw you around!).
About your post, I've wondered about this before--could you give a example of irimi ura or tenkan omote technique?
I guess the easiest to see would be iriminage ura where nage enters deeply behind uke, breaks uke's balance to his/her rear (causing them to do the "curly shuffle"), then throws them when they get back up. Compare this to iriminage omote where nage enters to uke's front (most often in response to something like yokomenuchi) then completes the technique while remaining "in front" of nage.

Ikkyo can also be done in the four combinations of irimi/tenkan and omote/ura. I remember our very own Chuck Clark showing me these differences the first time I trained with him at the first Aikido-L Seminar in 1998. Maybe he can provide a good verbal explanation?

I, unfortunately, missed Peter's first class at the Expo and instead waited until his last one (where I had to "tap out" due to dehydration, low blood sugar, and a raging headache)... It was great to take your class and to be thrown the length of several tatami from you, Goldsbury sensei! I hope I'll have the opportunity to train and talk with you again some day soon.

-- Jun

Don_Modesto
05-13-2002, 06:37 PM
Originally posted by Peter Goldsbury


Hello, Don,

It was good to meet you in Las Vegas and finally fit a face to the name.

And I, you. I greatly enjoyed our breakfasts together, and, like Jun, regret having pooped out at your last session. Your clarification of the two kinds of IKKYO URA are now on my training agenda and receiving explicit attention. They have already smoothed out my technique a great deal. Thank you very much for that.

As for your question, how about a couple of techniques I showed at Aiki Expo? I think they were both shown in my first class and were responses to a shomen uchi attack. The first one involves using uke's attacking arm in an atemi to his face and throwing, or pinning (if you grasp your own arm). The technique involves a tenkan movement, but done right in front of uke, hence the need for an effective atemi.

The first one was the recovery to a successfully resisted IKKYO? If so, then yes, I see the point. I also appreciate the point of the necessity of ATEMI. I find myself throwing ATEMI whenever I find myself moving in front of UKE, as you write here, but also in most transitions, eg, after the TENSHIN step for YOKOMENUCH SHIHONAGE.

Thanks for the answer.

I guess the easiest to see would be iriminage ura..

And thanks to you too, Jun. Now that you mention it, it seems obvious.

thomasgroendal
05-13-2002, 06:47 PM
Originally posted by Doug Mathieu
Hi Thomas...
5. After this he talks about Ki No Nagare and how it is not the same practice as tai no henka. Ki No Nagare is more about leading and flow and includes much more hip work. In this it feels like the circle becomes part vertical and part horizontal.

Dear Douglas
Thanks for that perspective. I had been teaching two "versions" of tenkan undo. I think I will change my terminology. It makes more sense to have a tai no henka and ki no nagare type tenkan undo as separate animals. They are closely related, but clearly different.
Thanks.
Tom Groendal