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akiy 06-18-2000 10:59 PM

As an adjunct to this week's poll (accessible on the home page)...

I remember hearing someone say that everything in aikido must start with an irimi -- even tenkan.

Thoughts?

evelyncarino 06-19-2000 08:42 AM

irimi tenkan
 
dear jun,

based on our limited practice, tenkan movement seems cool.
very graceful.

can we infer meanings in the different movements?

thanks

evelyn



Chuck Clark 06-19-2000 09:17 AM

Jun,

It may have been me you heard say that, but here goes...

I think all initial connection in aikido is an irimi (entering), even when you're going backwards. When you feel uke's response to the connection to their center, then you know what needs to happen next to maintain connection and make the next move...

Of course there's lots more to this than those few words can convey. People have to "feel" it often to really get the idea.

akiy 06-21-2000 10:35 AM

It might have been you, Chuck, but I remember hearing it quite a many years ago. It still could have been you, I guess.

So, would people consider all instances of establishing connection to be a form of irimi?

Do any of you think irimi could occur during a motion that's taking you further away from uke?

-- Jun

Chuck Clark 06-21-2000 11:02 AM

Yes, I think you can "enter" while going away from uke. The timing is nifty and the window of opportunity is small, but it can happen. With slow, repetitive drills done properly, you can get the sensitivity and "feel" of the timing. Gradually speed up and it becomes an intuitive tool like any we practice.

If you enter and occupy a portion of the space uke needs to have good balance just before their posture is "firm", the uke must change their position and irimi has happened. While the uke is starting their recovery, tori uses the energy uke is creating to continue the kuzushi and fit to make a technique. So, yeah, I think ALL connections should be irimi.

The only other way you can connect (as I picture it...) is to take uke from a firm, balanced position and overwhelm their ability to stand up. This works at a certain level, but with well-trained budoka you will have the energy you just created used against you.

As usual, this is easier to feel than articulate.


George S. Ledyard 06-22-2000 08:14 AM

Irimi and Tenkan
 
Quote:

Originally posted by akiy
As an adjunct to this week's poll (accessible on the home page)...

I remember hearing someone say that everything in aikido must start with an irimi -- even tenkan.

Thoughts?

This is enough of a truism that you have probably heard many teachers say it over the years. Certainly it is something that Saotome Sensei taught us. In one of the books by the former Aikidoshu, Kishomaru Ueshiba, he state that the tenkan movement embodies the spiritual essence of Aikido and the irimi movement its martial essence. That's a good one to reflect on.

jwalker 06-26-2000 12:15 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Chuck Clark

If you enter and occupy a portion of the space uke needs to have good balance just before their posture is "firm", the uke must change their position and irimi has happened. While the uke is starting their recovery, tori uses the energy uke is creating to continue the kuzushi and fit to make a technique. So, yeah, I think ALL connections should be irimi.

[/b]
Would this be also explained in terms of "taking up the slack" in
a technique at the time right before uke/tori has good balance
and thus having their posture "firm". "Extension" throughout the
technique would continue the kuzushi. This could be done the
same in tenkan movements as well. So by your definition both
irimi and tenkan have the elements of the "irimi" you described.
Does this sound accurate?
Josh Walker
South Bend, IN
"

Chuck Clark 06-26-2000 04:53 PM

Yes, Josh

You must take uke's center by being just inside their space as they finish the step they were taking. By connecting and taking the slack out and then keeping the connection (keep the slack out) so uke is always responding to the common center that you (both of you) now have since you're "connected", you'll always have the initiative.

Sheesh...that's a mouthful, eh?

AikiTom 07-04-2000 01:26 AM

I appreciate what's being said, but here's my take on it:
I believe the idea of irimi in every move is correct in a mental or energy sense, however, not in a physical sense.
Physically, if you enter then tenkan, it's actually a "kaiten ashi" which begins as irimi, but not as tenkan.
Also, I think there's a critical problem with tenkan-ing with a physical irimi in mind: you lose a "beat," by doing so, and in a fast attack, that beat can mean missing the connection. (although one can argue if the energy flows past you that fast, no harm, no foul. Problem occurs though when you're directly in the way of that energy, when you could have pivoted out of the way by simply turning on your foot.
I've noticed that when moving, many aikidoists/kas will move their foot slightly back before stepping forward, kind of like cocking a gun, or winding up for a pitch. I try really hard to move from where I am, as the "cocking" motion can reveal intent and intended direction, plus there's that lost part of a second as well.
Ideally, there shouldn't be "slack" with proper ma-ai observed, and perhaps this slack can be stretched out while in motion, and through a turning/rolling of uke's wrist, elbow, arm, etc., which in a small circle will take slack out of the shoulder/body and help produce/maintain the kuzushi as well.
So, I'm with you 100% on the mental irimi and ki-joining with center (as Nadeau sensei says, "Centers hang out together."), but I think a physical try at true entering could lead someone astray if they generalize it into their practice, and perhaps lead to injury.

Chuck Clark 07-04-2000 11:26 AM

Think small irimi which enters into the uke's space just enough that they cannot complete their movement without changing something.

Any time you "blend centers" with someone you have to displace their actual center of gravity. It doesn't take much ... and this causes an oscillation (or recovery cycle) which uke must do in order to try and get their posture and energy under their control again.

If you blend centers with someone without diplacing their center, it's called dancing for example.

The whole idea of aikido is to blend with and take the uke's energy and intent into your "keeping" and then make the decisions for the newly combined structure.

I think there must be "entering" to do this.

AikiTom 07-04-2000 03:49 PM

Chuck,
I posted the above reply this morning, and after a couple of hours on the road driving and reflecting, I have to agree with you! (With the exception of an extremely-fast, hard punch about to hit my stomach! Then, I'm turnin' on a dime!) Happy 4th.

Chuck Clark 07-05-2000 01:19 AM

If you ever get a chance to visit in Tempe, give us a visit at the Jiyushinkan. Your fast punch to the mid-section is a "peice of cake" using the stuff I spoke of above. The harder and faster the attack ... the stronger the effect of your entry. However, you MUST have strong posture and be very centered for the whole aiki-structure (both of you!).


andrew 07-07-2000 07:10 AM

Chuck Clark wrote: "Yes, I think you can "enter" while going away from uke"

I wouldn't call it going away from uke, but I certainly regularly enter by a backward step, and have done ever since I saw it done that way in the Seven Samurai (duel scene). When you're as sh*t as me, it really catches people by surprise too.
But maybe you're not talking about that.
andrew

W^2 07-20-2000 08:49 PM

Irimi and the relativity of simultaneity
 
This is a really good forum!! From a physics point of view, all [physical]motion is relative [to the observers frame of reference].Therefore Nage and Uke are both in motion relative to each other and both frames of reference are valid. Irimi is thus defined as the motion of Nage and Uke toward each other, regardless of their movement relative to some other frame of reference. Patrick Cassidy Sensei - Kashi No Ki Dojo/Aikido Of Fresno, has said-and I paraphrase greatly: '...for Awase to occur...first Nage must have Kokyu...then Ki No Musubi (with Uke/everything else)...', without both of these Awase cannot happen. O'Sensei called Kokyu the 'Circle of Steel'and one definition of Kokyu is: an unimpeded flow of power(Physically composed of Tai Sabaki with coordinated breathing). Broadly speaking, I think of Kokyu as an unimpeded flow or extension of mental and spiritual awareness/Ki, as well. In this sense one is always 'entering'. In miyamoto musashi's 'A Book Of Five Rings', he admonishes us that 'waiting is bad'; a master of [Martial]strategy must control the rhythym of a every encounter. So, in this context an Aikidoka never waits, and Irimi embodies the Martial essence of AIKIDO. -W^2


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