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AikiWeb System 11-30-2011 11:34 AM

"Irimi" by Ellis Amdur
 
Posted 2011-11-30 11:25:41 by Jun Akiyama
News URL: http://blog.aikidojournal.com/2011/1...y-ellis-amdur/

This article entitled "Irimi" by Ellis Amdur on the AikidoJournal.com site outlines Ellis's thoughts on the concept of irimi.

From the article: "I recently read a post which includes an oft-used phrase—"get off the line and enter." Not only does this phrase not do full justice to the concept of irimi (I confess I've used it myself), it leads to a mistaken understanding of aikido technique. This mistake is not only intellectual, but expressed physically, probably lies at the root of the technical deficiencies that are, allegedly, so rife in aikido."

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Hanna B 11-30-2011 01:28 PM

Re: "Irimi" by Ellis Amdur
 
That text isn't new. It can still be found at the old url as well http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=686 how funny.

Ellis Amdur 11-30-2011 03:28 PM

Re: "Irimi" by Ellis Amdur
 
For those interested, please note my comment (up soon) where I update the article a little.

SteveTrinkle 11-30-2011 03:54 PM

Re: "Irimi" by Ellis Amdur
 
I think this is a really good explanation of irimi. This is how I was always taught and I appreciate the clarity of your description.

akiy 11-30-2011 11:20 PM

Re: "Irimi" by Ellis Amdur
 
A follow-up blog entry from Ellis on the topic is available here:

http://blog.aikidojournal.com/2011/1...more-on-irimi/

-- Jun

Kevin Leavitt 12-01-2011 12:03 AM

Re: "Irimi" by Ellis Amdur
 
Good sound analysis as usual.

Shadowfax 12-04-2011 08:34 PM

Re: "Irimi" by Ellis Amdur
 
Enjoyed the article. And then went to class tonight and discovered that Sensei had put together a class based on it. :)

SeiserL 12-05-2011 04:29 AM

Re: "Irimi" by Ellis Amdur
 
Admur Sensei always makes me think.

Compliments and appreciation.

graham christian 12-05-2011 11:54 AM

Re: "Irimi" by Ellis Amdur
 
For me Irimi is always off line. Those actions you describe where Godo Shioda or whoever remained on line were not irimi.

However, the rest I agree with to a large extent apart from being a sword equals forged body. However, that's for another time maybe.

Regards.G.

Kevin Leavitt 12-05-2011 01:51 PM

Re: "Irimi" by Ellis Amdur
 
Graham, of course you are entitled to your own decision and opinions on the subject for sure.

In my experiences dealing with real people and real scenarios that are hell bent on really harming you, I have to say I have found that Ellis' analysis on irimi to be spot on with current military teachings on the subject for both the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps.

To be honest, I am actually fascinated that just about everything I have studied that is founded on good, solid koryu to be as relevant today as it was hundreds of years ago.

Of course, tactics aside as they constantly change and adapt based on the application of technology.

However, and the fundamentals, they are the same.

You can continue to move off line as you wish if you have found that works for you....maybe it is semantics and we would be able to get together and see we are looking at the same thing though using different words/paradigms to describe.

For me though, moving off line does nothing to affect uke, it does not disrupt his movement or motion...it only delays and when you consider how the brain works, looking at the concepts of Hicks law especially you simply do not have in reality much time to make a choice and hope that it is correct. the law of this process of movement dictates that you are not in control of the situation and nage is. that in and of itself means that nage can process movement and choices faster than you. So you may get lucky on occasion and move off line correctly.

The odds are based on the relationship between uke and nage that nage will move more correctly than you can ever move. So you have one chance to change the situation and that is to irimi as Ellis has described. For me it is about Odds and I have found when I move as Ellis has described against a bad guy either in reality or training that I fair much better than moving off the line.

Chuck Clark 12-05-2011 02:18 PM

Re: "Irimi" by Ellis Amdur
 
There was a time when it was highly regarded to use a strategy called 'aiuchi' that entailed mutual striking or striking at the same time on the same line and if you died at the same time your opponent did it was thought to be very auspicious. Sometime later some smart fellow figured out 'ainuke' which meant striking at the same time while evading, getting off-line, and killing the other guy while you survive... I've kinda always preferred that survival stuff myself. However, you do not need to get off line to survive and be successful. Entering (irimi) with an unexpected change in the timing so that you get to the target at the right time to cut before being cut is quite possible. Sen sen no sen timing is very useful for this strategy but difficult to do, sen no sen can also be done and be successful, still without getting off line. Getting off-line is great if that's fits the situation and solves the problem. Irimi can be done while seeming to go backwards or away from the target. A skillful person can touch, connect, strike, cut, etc. in many ways that are very difficult to read whether they're on-line, off-line, forward, backward, straight or turning as they go from toimaai to uchimaai.

As my dad used to say, "there's more than one way to skin a cat..."

graham christian 12-05-2011 03:54 PM

Re: "Irimi" by Ellis Amdur
 
Quote:

Kevin Leavitt wrote: (Post 298947)
Graham, of course you are entitled to your own decision and opinions on the subject for sure.

In my experiences dealing with real people and real scenarios that are hell bent on really harming you, I have to say I have found that Ellis' analysis on irimi to be spot on with current military teachings on the subject for both the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps.

To be honest, I am actually fascinated that just about everything I have studied that is founded on good, solid koryu to be as relevant today as it was hundreds of years ago.

Of course, tactics aside as they constantly change and adapt based on the application of technology.

However, and the fundamentals, they are the same.

You can continue to move off line as you wish if you have found that works for you....maybe it is semantics and we would be able to get together and see we are looking at the same thing though using different words/paradigms to describe.

For me though, moving off line does nothing to affect uke, it does not disrupt his movement or motion...it only delays and when you consider how the brain works, looking at the concepts of Hicks law especially you simply do not have in reality much time to make a choice and hope that it is correct. the law of this process of movement dictates that you are not in control of the situation and nage is. that in and of itself means that nage can process movement and choices faster than you. So you may get lucky on occasion and move off line correctly.

The odds are based on the relationship between uke and nage that nage will move more correctly than you can ever move. So you have one chance to change the situation and that is to irimi as Ellis has described. For me it is about Odds and I have found when I move as Ellis has described against a bad guy either in reality or training that I fair much better than moving off the line.

I think is partly semantics. If you want to stay on line and via timing or sen no sen beat the other person to the strike then that's one thing but it's not irimi. The word itself is to do with passing or passing behind in fact.

I could explain irimi from the viewpoint of energy, natural paths of energy thus natural motion, or from geometric viewpoint. However, as soon as someone says you don't have to move off line then I know they are mixing it with something else. Samurai wise I'd call this sacrifice.

Anyway, to see my point clearly all you have to do is think of a bus coming at you or if you like a raging bull. Irimi may save your life but staying on line gets you killed, flattened.

Now we come to the next point inherent in my view. Contrary to what many may think entering off line for me is not to do with evasion or avoidance but purely to do with 'being with' ie:joining.

Now if you do so and as you pointed out above thus allowing the attacker to remain on his course without disruption then the result is not as you describe or envisage. For to him you have 'dissappeared' and yet you are there with him and in control. The surprise it'self takes his center let alone his mind and stability.

In fact sen no sen etc. is all part of entering properly off line and is not at all reactive.

Tai-sabaki by the way for me has nothing to do with irimi either as irimi is entering on a straight line and tai-sabaki is entering on a curve. Moving out in order to cut on the same line is yet another thing, not the same thing.

So basically, so as not to be misunderstood, I am saying irimi, entering off line correctly is meant to not disrupt the opponent for its purpose is to put you in a position where you can now disrupt and cannot be disrupted.

Regards.G.

Kevin Leavitt 12-05-2011 04:37 PM

Re: "Irimi" by Ellis Amdur
 
Probably more semantics than anything else. I think off the line is a troublesome wording. Entering, closing, or what not can be done and you can change the angle of attack.

To use the bus analogy....if you can get off the line of the bus, then it was never really a threat anyway was it....the problem with empty handed arts is like the bus, it is coming at you and you must engage it...unavoidable, otherwise...by all means get out of the way.

Fred Little 12-05-2011 04:47 PM

Re: "Irimi" by Ellis Amdur
 
Quote:

Graham Christian wrote: (Post 298960)
I think is partly semantics. If you want to stay on line and via timing or sen no sen beat the other person to the strike then that's one thing but it's not irimi. The word itself is to do with passing or passing behind in fact..

Not really. Though I don't have my Japanese wordprocessor here to input the kanji, "irimi" is a compund of the verb "iru" to enter and "mi" or body.

It doesn't necessarily mean passing or passing behind. Not at all.

Sorry.

FL

Fred Little 12-05-2011 04:51 PM

Re: "Irimi" by Ellis Amdur
 
Quote:

Graham Christian wrote: (Post 298960)
I think is partly semantics. If you want to stay on line and via timing or sen no sen beat the other person to the strike then that's one thing but it's not irimi. The word itself is to do with passing or passing behind in fact..

Not really. Though I don't have my Japanese wordprocessor here to input the kanji, "irimi" is a compund of the verb "iru" to enter and "mi" or body.

It doesn't necessarily mean passing or passing behind. Not at all.

Sorry.

FL

graham christian 12-05-2011 04:58 PM

Re: "Irimi" by Ellis Amdur
 
Quote:

Fred Little wrote: (Post 298968)
Not really. Though I don't have my Japanese wordprocessor here to input the kanji, "irimi" is a compund of the verb "iru" to enter and "mi" or body.

It doesn't necessarily mean passing or passing behind. Not at all.

Sorry.

FL

O.K. Don't have to repeat yourself, stay on line. Ha, ha. However, you can enter off line, (irimi) or in an arc(tai-sabaki) or walk straight into (sacrifice) (whatever that is in japanese martial lingo).

'When they attack I am already standing behind them' [quote]

Regards.G.

Carsten Möllering 12-06-2011 04:53 AM

Re: "Irimi" by Ellis Amdur
 
In my experience being able to stay on the line of attack and do irimi is neither a question of sen no sen. Nor is it a sacrifice. It is just a question of technical skills or possibilities. And a question of how you understand aikido in a wider sense.
Cutting through the attacker instead of letting him by are just different "images" of aikido, I think.

This is a video of the swordwork we do. You may notice that shidachi doesn't move off line. But he cut's through the sword of uchidachi anyway.
This can be seen as a kind of paradigm of the tai jutsu we practice.

Completely different setting but identical scheme when entering yokomen uchi. Irimi on the line of attack.

shomen uchi ikkyo omote.Please notice that tori here also doesn't leave the line.

phitruong 12-06-2011 06:26 AM

Re: "Irimi" by Ellis Amdur
 
Quote:

Graham Christian wrote: (Post 298970)

'When they attack I am already standing behind them'


you can get behind them by going through them. i have practiced with folks whose training involved staying on the line and taking the center as well as folks who always getting off line. i found that folks who trained to stay on the line didn't have problem getting off line; that's just another option for them. however, folks who always trained with getting off the line, had a hard time stay on the line when required, i.e. put them on a log bridge exercise.

Kevin Leavitt 12-06-2011 07:20 AM

Re: "Irimi" by Ellis Amdur
 
Quote:

'When they attack I am already standing behind them'
I'd love to be that good. I'm not. The level of preception and knowledge that is required for this to happen are beyond my abilities as a human being.

In my experiences in dealling with real threats and effective attacks (real threats), I simply cannot do this and it requires me to interupt and change the situation by dealing with the core of the threat.

If I could be behind them before they could attack, then I would not need to ever carry weapons and could go into combat empty handed. A nice thing to be able to do.

graham christian 12-06-2011 08:23 AM

Re: "Irimi" by Ellis Amdur
 
Quote:

Carsten Möllering wrote: (Post 298996)
In my experience being able to stay on the line of attack and do irimi is neither a question of sen no sen. Nor is it a sacrifice. It is just a question of technical skills or possibilities. And a question of how you understand aikido in a wider sense.
Cutting through the attacker instead of letting him by are just different "images" of aikido, I think.

This is a video of the swordwork we do. You may notice that shidachi doesn't move off line. But he cut's through the sword of uchidachi anyway.
This can be seen as a kind of paradigm of the tai jutsu we practice.

Completely different setting but identical scheme when entering yokomen uchi. Irimi on the line of attack.

shomen uchi ikkyo omote.Please notice that tori here also doesn't leave the line.

O.K. Nice video. I don't call this irimi. I see no irimi there. Entering and staying on line yes. You must be 'tuned in' to do this effectively thus it is in the end a matter of sen no sen etc. As in the o/p it can't be done as a reaction.

If in your Aikido you class this as part of irimi then fair enough, thus I may understand how some may be using the term so thanks for that. However, for me I would never use irimi to mean staying on line.

Regards.G.

graham christian 12-06-2011 08:34 AM

Re: "Irimi" by Ellis Amdur
 
Quote:

Phi Truong wrote: (Post 298998)
you can get behind them by going through them. i have practiced with folks whose training involved staying on the line and taking the center as well as folks who always getting off line. i found that folks who trained to stay on the line didn't have problem getting off line; that's just another option for them. however, folks who always trained with getting off the line, had a hard time stay on the line when required, i.e. put them on a log bridge exercise.

I can see your point there but I would expect that those who trained with getting off line that you mention were probably taught that it was to evade or escape.

Both should be done as completely separate disciplines in my mind.

Without excess terminology I would demonstrate the two and in so doing show the difference.

One I would show as enter, finish. Or enter,cut, finish. As one motion.

The other (irimi) I would show as enter, allow others cut to complete, finish.

Two different skills with totally different effects on uke.

Regards.G.

graham christian 12-06-2011 08:55 AM

Re: "Irimi" by Ellis Amdur
 
Quote:

Kevin Leavitt wrote: (Post 299003)
I'd love to be that good. I'm not. The level of preception and knowledge that is required for this to happen are beyond my abilities as a human being.

In my experiences in dealling with real threats and effective attacks (real threats), I simply cannot do this and it requires me to interupt and change the situation by dealing with the core of the threat.

If I could be behind them before they could attack, then I would not need to ever carry weapons and could go into combat empty handed. A nice thing to be able to do.

Hi. I'm glad you said that Kevin. For that statement leads to the core of irimi, the secret of irimi.

In practice I prefer, in fact by far prefer, facing a sword (bokken) empty handed. This is where you learn the core of irimi.

This is where you learn irimi for you definitely don't stay on line yet you do have to enter to join, to take control, to be with. Of course the practice would be from a shomen attack.

From a yokomen attack you would learn the core of tai sabaki used for turning inside too.

But back to the point. Empty handed against shomen doing irimi done expertly leaves you standing behind or at worst part next to and part behind. It's a scary discipline for to get it right the off line is very close to the actual line, therefore not as much as 45 degrees, more like 10 or 20.

It feels very 'sacrificial' until you are used to it at which point it feels the safest thing to do. Hence the need for calm mind and the complete awareness of center line.

Of course in real situations the first thought is to interrupt or parry and move etc. but hence my view that beyond that, you can learn to move in such a way that it becomes more effective than interfering and thus my view of aiki motion.

Both work, both disciplines.

Regards.G.

Carsten Möllering 12-06-2011 09:06 AM

Re: "Irimi" by Ellis Amdur
 
Quote:

Graham Christian wrote: (Post 299012)
If in your Aikido you class this as part of irimi then fair enough, thus I may understand how some may be using the term so thanks for that. However, for me I would never use irimi to mean staying on line.

Would this movement be irimi in your eyes?

入る - i ru: It means to go in/into, to get in, to enter, to break into
身 - mi: body, one's place, one's position

Yes true, we always use irimi to describe "going into" aite. Even when leaving the line and letting aite pass through not this is called irimi but maybe tori nuke or something like that. irimi is the coming back, the stepping in onto aite or his place.

Irimi nage (at us!) is called this way because for throwing we step into and through aite. (As shown in the video.) It is not called irimi nage because of the iniating steps. If we throw directly it maybe called irimi nage omote. If we let aite pass through and turn around it maybe called irimi nage ura.

Here examples of tori nuke, letting aite pass through. Even if sensei sometimes gets behind aite I wouldn't call this or think of this as irimi.

graham christian 12-06-2011 09:19 AM

Re: "Irimi" by Ellis Amdur
 
Quote:

Carsten Möllering wrote: (Post 299022)
Would this movement be irimi in your eyes?

入る - i ru: It means to go in/into, to get in, to enter, to break into
身 - mi: body, one's place, one's position

Yes true, we always use irimi to describe "going into" aite. Even when leaving the line and letting aite pass through not this is called irimi but maybe tori nuke or something like that. irimi is the coming back, the stepping in onto aite or his place.

Irimi nage (at us!) is called this way because for throwing we step into and through aite. (As shown in the video.) It is not called irimi nage because of the iniating steps. If we throw directly it maybe called irimi nage omote. If we let aite pass through and turn around it maybe called irimi nage ura.

Here examples of tori nuke, letting aite pass through. Even if sensei sometimes gets behind aite I wouldn't call this or think of this as irimi.

Another nice video, thank you.

Yes I see a technique called iriminage.

Technically speaking no, as it was done using tai-sabaki. The right foot moved first in order to allow him to enter on a curve thus using tai-sabaki. Thus the difference for me is what the motion is and that motion can be seen by the left leg and foot, apart from hip and body. If the left foot had simply moved straight in off line, without the need to move right foot, I would then say technical irimi as well as the technique iriminage.

That's the first video. Now I'll check the second.

Regards.G.

Chuck Clark 12-06-2011 09:28 AM

Re: "Irimi" by Ellis Amdur
 
Endo Sensei's clip of tori nuke is a masterful example of irimi. I hadn't seen this video before but it is certainly a keeper. Of course, Tissier's iriminage is something to be studied also.

(Thanks Carsten for bringing attention to these video examples.)

And an additional note with regard to terminology. I understand that we tend to use terms as we learned from our teachers, etc. Often, unless we've made a thorough study of the language as it's used in budo context, we can get in the habit of using terms in narrow ways to express what we're accustomed to. The basic meaning of 'tai sabaki' for instance is "body management"... it doesn't necessarily have a turning or curved aspect included.


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