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akiy 08-23-2002 02:09 PM

Most Important Aikido Technique
Hi everyone,

In your mind and experience, what is the single most important technique in aikido? Why?

-- Jun

SeiserL 08-23-2002 02:11 PM

IMHO, Tenkan. Gets you off the line.

Until again,


Deb Fisher 08-23-2002 02:19 PM

I don't know enough to say what's most important, but I do know that in jiyuwaza I **always** know where to find shihonage, so much so that I have a hard time introducing other techniques.


DaveO 08-23-2002 02:36 PM

I say Ikkyo, myself; it's direct, to the point, easy to control once the technique is learned. Also, it can be slapped on just about any time there's an elbow and a wrist handy (no pun intended - hee hee). It's importance - to me anyway - also lies in that it sorta represents aikido itself: When done right, it's soft, fast and irresistable. (At the seminar in Kingston, Kashiwaya Sensei used me as uke once. I came in with a shomen strike, found myself on the ground, on my stomach, pointing the other way, and NO idea how I got there. Wow.)
Recently, I've been thinking that a similar sort of argument can be made for kote-gashi as well.


stoker 08-23-2002 03:35 PM

Getting off line PERIOD.

It is amazing how much just THAT will save your rump!

TheProdigy 08-23-2002 03:42 PM

Honestly, my first thought was simply... get out of the way of the attack. It's such a simple thought, one of my favorite's about the art. If you can do this consistently, you'll never be hit once. Really, what could possibly be better?

Actual technique-wise, do what works best for you. What you can respond with most effectively with instinct.. thought takes too long. This is different for everyone, and changes depends on the attack and attacker.

PeterR 08-23-2002 05:16 PM


Kevin Leavitt 08-23-2002 05:48 PM

The ability to react and do the right thing without conscious thought is the best aikido technique!

PeterR 08-23-2002 05:51 PM

The question was technique not basic principle.

Kevin Leavitt wrote:
The ability to react and do the right thing without conscious thought is the best aikido technique!

Kevin Leavitt 08-23-2002 06:53 PM

Okay you got me!

I guess if I had to choose it would be tenkan, followed by irimi.

Getting off the line and getting to the backside of your opponent is the most common thing to do in a "generic" situation.

from there, iriminage would probably be likely technique that would develop.

However, philosopically, you really don't know what may happen so I submit that "no mind" must exist before any physical technique, hence my initial response!

PeterR 08-23-2002 07:09 PM

Don't worry I agree - Mushin is my goal.

Abasan 08-23-2002 10:00 PM

Is Kiai (the simplistic version) a technique?

If not, then its got to be iriminage.

opherdonchin 08-23-2002 11:38 PM

What is shomenate?

mike lee 08-24-2002 03:09 AM

running on empty
Breathing. :ki:

P.S. As far as waza is concerned, I can only narrow it down to three: ikkyo, irimi-nage, shiho-nage.

P.P.S. O'Sensei said that there are 6,000 basic techniques in aikido, and 11 variations of each of those techniques. I never heard him name the most important one, but I've heard it said that he had students work a lot on irimi-nage -- perhaps because learning to enter is at first counter-intuitive and therefore needs more time to learn.

PeterR 08-25-2002 02:08 AM


Opher Donchin (opherdonchin) wrote:
What is shomenate?

Ray Kissane 08-26-2002 10:03 AM

The one that I need the most improvement on. I can always do a technique I am comfortable with. But if I need to pratice on one then when it is time to use that technique in real life and I can not do it cleanly then that is the most important technique there is and I do not want it to fail me. We have to remember that uke/attacker will dictate the technique we use in response to the type of attack and the way uke has moved. I need all of my techniques to be as perfect as I can make them so that they never fail me.

Principle wise, I would say blending is the most important thing because it is one of the hardest things to get good at so that the techniques become effortless.

Ray Kissane

Tim Stanley 08-26-2002 11:22 AM

Stepping back to the original question, "what is the single most important technique in aikido?" And, leaving out the philosophy/priniciple and staying stickly with technique, I would say irimi is the most important technique for learning to enter the attack and shihonage is the most important technique for learning to blend.

Bruce Baker 08-26-2002 11:39 AM

The finger of power!
Rememeber in the movie "Willow" when the little magician, Billy Barty, asks Willow which is the finger of power?

That is kind of how I see this question.

All of the responses about a technique, or practice movement are quite alright, but isn't the most important technique the ablility to continue to learn and grow ... both in physically adeptness and seeing wider context with intellectual learning?

It may not be a technique of pointing to a finger of power on the magicians hand, but realizing that you have the power of Aikido, the power of the universe itself, within you.

It may be a Zen arguemnet that is saying the right answer is the wrong answer, but what do I know? Still ... consider the possibility.

Who is the master ... I am.

Who is the servant ... I am.

What is the technique that is your favorite ... Aikido.

But that is many techniques?

Yep, and a heap of learning to be learned.

PeterR 08-26-2002 05:53 PM

By the way - I see irimi as a whole class of techniques with about five major divisions. I answered shomen-ate which is one of those divisions.

Abasan 08-26-2002 09:35 PM

But if Osensei said atemi was 90% aikido, then isn't that the most important technique?

After all, atemi shouldn't be strictly interpreted as just a strike.

PeterR 08-26-2002 09:38 PM

Shomen-ate is also considered an atemi waza.

I'll be quiet now. :D

ahmad abas (Abasan) wrote:
But if Osensei said atemi was 90% aikido, then isn't that the most important technique?

After all, atemi shouldn't be strictly interpreted as just a strike.

SeiserL 08-27-2002 09:14 AM

I wanna change my vote. After further consideration, the most important Aikido technique for me was ukemi. Learning to take the fall (include in that tapping out) has saved me more injuries and taught me more humility than any other technique. Learning to be a good uke/nage is much harder for me that being tori.

Until again,


IrimiTom 08-28-2002 07:13 AM

Ueshiba K. says in "The Spirit of Aikido", that "Shihonage is considered to be the alpha and omega of aikido techniques, and its perfection a sign of aikido mastery" (p. 81)

I think that shihonage is sort of between irimi and tenkan, getting off the line but meeting the attack and redirecting it also.

Please excuse my amateur response :rolleyes:

L. Camejo 08-28-2002 07:53 AM

Aigamae ate / gyakugamae ate depending on circum-stance.

Those hiji and tekubi waza go to pot sometimes when uke knows exactly how to resist or is really tense (esp. shi o nage). :) Not to mention when they get slippery from sweat etc.

L.C.:ai::ki: now returns to his tanto randori bout :)

deepsoup 08-28-2002 05:01 PM

Shomenate gets my vote too. All the important aiki-ingredients are in there, getting off the line, keeping centre, maai, irimi, idoryoku etc.., and its simple.

I'm a big believer in the KISS principle.

Plus, for the benefit of the "90% atemi" people, its also an atemi-waza. :)



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