hi all, here's a question of form; keep in mind this is for a relative beginner (2nd kyu) so I'd rather have some steps to try out than a general "aikido has no form!" answer.
Let's say you're doing irimi nage from shomen uchi. You have completed the initial irimi tenkan and have brought uke in. At this point if they are standing up you could step through with the leg closest to them and complete the throw. However if they are not standing up or have brought a lot of energy, you want to keep turning.
This is the point where things tend to get messy for me. I can pivot on my feet to gain another 180 degrees of rotation but beyond that i'm lost. Stepping forward with the now back foot seems impossible because uke is generally stumbling around in your way, and stepping back with your now front foot is means tugging them ungracefully back off the natural axis of rotation.
How do you continue the irimi nage rotation past the initial irimi tenkan? In summary the steps I'm using are
1. irimi tenkan
2. pivot 180
how do you recommend continuing and how do you manage the axis of rotation in your irimi nage?
Well justin, a good question with many levels of answer very much depending on the persons level of Aikido at the time of the answer...which is very much a moving feast as Aikido knowledge grows.
You've described a fairly common attack which should have a fairly common response...however the diversity of Aikido styles means you are going to get many responses...some will help...some won't.
You are talking about using tenkan ...this again will vary from huge tenkans slapping uke to the mat then bringing him all the way up again and projecting him out over a lead leg...to a simple posture break from the rear post irimi with a takedown to 3rd point.
If your experience is just within one 'flavour' of Aikido then you may have started to see the range of variations...if you haven't then it may seem almost sacriligious that another group may perform a beloved technique differently.
Anyway...your question was fairly specific and starts from the point where you've entered behind Uke and completed the 'irimi' part of your work.
So now you are looking to tenkan.
So first a question to make you think.
You are safetly behind your uke...you have control of his head ...if youve used irimi correctly you may have drawn him back and started to compress his spine thus restricting his movements a little.
So why do you actually need to tenkan?...do it on your own, independent of uke, and you break the connection you've achieved, ...as something you have to do for the sake of it makes little sense to me.
So I'll offer that you use tenkan when uke turns towards you to continue 'the fight'. So instead of imposing a movement on uke and forcing him around...instead use his movements against him ...make yourself the centre of the circle ...or the axis (like your use of this word btw) and let uke work around on the outside of the circle as he attempts to come for you. The size of the circle is up to you...but stay behind his head..its the safest place to be.
Now as he comes around generating momentum timing is critical, your tenkan should match ukes movement and you look to control his head in order that..
1. His head stays with you. his legs continue thus breaking his axis
2. his movement takes him past your tenkaning leg thus maintaining a safe Kamae for you...and preventing a strike to your 'downstairs' when you complete the throw.
So..in a 'nutshell'
* don't force a tenkan on uke ...blend your tenkan with his moves
* let his momentum take his legs past his head - destroy his shisei while keeping your own.
As I say these comments come from where I am now....some will see heresy...others will smile benevolently and remember when they thought the same before moving on to the next level.
Hope theres something here that may help.