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Old 07-11-2006, 12:12 PM   #1
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,616
Hips, 3000 Techniques & 16 Variations

This was prompted by Amir Krauise on another thread, and my reaction was sufficently OT that I moved it to this:

Amir Krause wrote:
In Korindo Aikido many technique variations require one step, and the rest is completed based on very sophisticated hip movement. I do not think this is easier for the beginners, if anything, it is much harder, since beginners normally learn from the outside in, e.g. from hands and feet to the center. Beginners find it much easier to perform several more steps then to use their hips. And as a matter of fact, we often use longer variations for teaching them, which are then cut down to minimal movement as they progress on.

The step is often the evasion, often taken towards Uke. In most cases, even when one does not step, he should stay out of the line of the attack. The hip movement is sufficiently strong to base the technique on it without any stepping.
... The sophisticated hips movement is taught in Korindo by practicing the 8 Tai-Sabaki step types developed by Hirai.
I have been working on a way to structure intuitional training (I know, I know ..) around the taisabaki, vice working through techniques according to some more abstract rubric -- basically getting nage to "Move! -- Connect!" and then see what technique flows from the position you have arrived at. It is focussed on maintaining suigetsu as musubi.

I have only a passing familiarity with Korindo. Other than John Goss, I am not aware of another Korindo school here in the States (says he -- ducking the inevitable aikitrollka lobbing a brickbat saying "Here I am!). I know that Korindo has some eight basic structured kata dealing with fundamental hip positions. I have assumed (feel free to prove me wrong) that the eight positions are likely distillates of O-Sensei's "16 variations" on the basic techniques

My own thought has for some time now been dwelling on the hips as well but from the perspective of the sixteen variations of core taisabaki -- irimi omote/ura and tenkan soto/uchi -- first welcoming uke and then sending him on his way (I love that phrase.)

I have worked out my thoughts on the "16 variations" O-Sensei mentioned when asked how many techniques there were in Aikido. These are multiples then of the three thousand basic techniques to get about 48,000 or so.

By my estimation the technique count goes like this:: there are about 27-28 (give or take) basic tactics to about 18 (more or less) attacks applied from three hanmi (standing/ sitting/ handachi) from two basic positional choices (omote/ ura)

= ~ 2916- 3024 basic techniques -- i.e. about three thousand (Please feel free to be more precise, or to elaborate on the respective lists of tactics and attacks).

I have worked out the 16 variations on this basis:

- Every technique has (at least) two basic body movements (welcoming/sending)
- Every body movement can either irimi or tenkan.
- Every irimi can be either to omote or ura;
- Every tenkan can be performed either soto (outward) or uchi (inward),
- Every technique can begin with either irimi or tenkan;

I'll admit upfront that this is overly analytical, of course, because every tenkan begins with irimi and every irimi ends with tenkan-- in-yo are never truly separate.

Even though omote and ura form part of the basis for the variations as well as for the basic technique count, they are not really being counted twice -- the variations are really about the order of the irimi and tenkan movements and whether you are turning out or in, and they are differently applied depending on whether the initial movement is omote or ura.

Welcoming || Sending away

Irimi omote || Tenkan soto
Irimi ura || Tenkan soto
Irimi omote || Tenkan uchi
Irimi ura || Tenkan uchi
Irimi omote || Irimi omote
Irimi ura || Irimi ura
Irimi omote || Irimi omote
Irimi ura || Irimi ura

Tenkan soto || Irimi omote
Tenkan uchi || Irimi omote
Tenkan soto || Irimi ura
Tenkan uchi || Irimi ura
Tenkan soto || Tenkan uchi
Tenkan uchi || Tenkan uchi
Tenkan soto || Tenkan soto
Tenkan uchi || Tenkan soto

I am now busily trying to fry brain cells and spinal ganglia to work through these variants to see if I have it right. The tenkan-tenkan iriminage is beautifully spirally -- but gets one rather dizzy (Frank Doran does this on a tape I have somewhere).

Any thoughts?


Erick Mead
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