Jon Reading wrote:
My understanding of irrimi is similar to Fred's definition. In this sense, "irrimi" is the concept of entering into our opponent's body in order to connect and control her center. Physically, this concept can be executed in a number of ways. In any case, the spirit of irrimi is to confront the attack not evade it. The technical achievement of irrimi is to displace the attack and dissolve its power.
It is my definition too.
You made me think of something that has not been addressed. The concept of "pre-emptive strike".
Really I think this is a very related issue and one that centers heavily around ethics and the ethical employment of force.
For me, irimi is not pre-emptive. pre-emptive means you are attacking uke before he attacks you. As most of us know the doctrine of pre-emptive strike employed by the U.S. in Iraq has been a source of controversy.
So, if I enter into nage and disrupt him (attack) before he attacks I think it is one set of ethics. If I respond when he attacks another....I think this concept is covered well in the Oscar O'ratti book dealing with the four possible scenarios of attack.
When Graham discusses moving behind uke by moving off the line before uke attacks...I see this as pre-emptive. Of course, what you do once you achieve this position affects the ethics of the situation, but the fact is...you have done SOMETHING that uke must now react to in some way. I would say, for most situations in which he felt threatened and exposed, it will serve to escalate the situation.
Is that good or bad? I think it depends, but at the base level YOU did something that caused Uke to respond.
On the other hand, if Uke moves first and attacks, and I respond...well then it might be different even though the outcome ends up the same.
I am not saying what is right or wrong...only that we need to consider all the factors that go into the situations we might find ourselves in.