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Old 01-10-2007, 10:18 AM   #17
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,618
Re: Irimi or Omote?!!!

Maumote Chami wrote:
For sometime, I always thought that Irimi was synonymous with Omote and Tenkan with Ura. ... For example, Shomen uchi nikyo irimi omote (or tenkan omote etc.) As as result, a technique could have four possible Irimi, tenkan, omote, and ura tai sabaki combinations
It is worse than that. O Sensei said there are sixteen variations of every technique.

So far as I have been able to tell, those variations come from the irimi/tenkan movemnts and the omote/ura orientations of those movements in performing in any given technique. There are also two basic phases of kihon technique in which each movement is employed -- greeting the attacker (or receiving the attack), and then "sending him on his way" to use O Sensei's phrase. Thus, two phases, each with two possible movements, each with two possbile orientations. The sixteen variations that O Sensei spoke of, come from the permutation (possible orderings) of these movement options in a given techique. I have a crude table laid out below.

Tenkan and irimi are not two separate things. They are different perspectives of the same principle. If I turn my body in place, one shoulder and hip goes one way and the other side goes the other way. So, if I am centered one side of me should properly be moving in irimi when I tenkan. Similarly, I cannot move my body to enter without turning my hips to move my legs, and so irimi does not take place without tenkan also occurring.

Irimi is entry and there are two doors to go in - uke's omote or ura side respectively. (This is oversimpified, but that is okay.)

Tenkan has two doors also, turning toward or turning away -- literally turning like a door on hinge, or the covers of a book. This is often described as uchi mawari (inward turn, where the door or book closes) or soto mawari (outward turn, where the door or book opens). Early on, most schools tend to teach the soto tenkan turn because it is somewhat easier to grasp. The tricky thing early on( and even later) in all soto (outward) tenkan is making sure that you do not lose your irimi on the "hinge" side while you turn, or else you end up simply backing away , and losing your connection.

If you wish, you can keep to the omote/ura distinction for tenkan also. But in the case of tenkan it is not uke's omote or ura that define the orientation of movement (as with irimi) but nage's omote or ura. In the case of the inward (uchi) turn, nage turns his own omote side toward uke; in the case of the outward (soto) turn, he turns his ura side toward uke.

One can have two sets each of two distinct irimi and/or tenkan movements, each of which vary according to the side you move or turn to. In flowing technique the transitions may be harder to pick out.

Receiving........... Sending

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 ura
Tenkan soto.......Irimi omote
Tenkan uchi.......Irimi ura
Tenkan soto.......Tenkan uchi
Tenkan uchi.......Tenkan uchi
Tenkan soto.......Tenkan soto
Tenkan uchi.......Tenkan soto

I initially tried a basic katate dori kotegaeshi and ran though them all -- just to see for myself if the variational scheme held up in its entirety, which it does. I have since looked for them to appear as natural departures from the standard kihon "syllabus" and, so far, that variation scheme is consistent.

I have not remotely gotten to the point of doing comprehensive variations on the basic combinations of attack (~18) and responsive technique (~28+ ) (18 x 28=504) that I am aware of, much less al of those in the three stance modes (hanmi, hanmi handachi, and suwari) (504 x 3=1,512)

O Sensei said there were 3,000 "basic" techniques for the sixteen variations, so obviously, I am still missing something (possibly, the ai-hanmi, gyakku-hanmi distinction). But even so, 1,512 x 16= 24,192. If the ai-hanmi/gyakku-hanmi were included in the stance modes then 1512 x 2 = 3024, and 3024 x 16 = 48,384.

I suspect I'll be long dead before I can test them all, in any event.

I have been able to work through many of them for various techniques using this model, and it helps me to see places to move to that I might not not otherwise have noticed as possibilities in a "standard" technique.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 01-10-2007 at 10:24 AM.


Erick Mead
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