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Old 12-12-2011, 08:06 AM   #100
jonreading
 
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Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Re: "Irimi" by Ellis Amdur

In my earlier post I alluded to the difference between irrimi the physical movement and irrimi the philosophical concept. After reading posts subsequent to mine, I would like to elaborate on that point.

I believe that irrimi in its philosophical and physical forms have evolved and digressed from one another. The result of this digression is that the modern notion of irrimi cannot be physically realized. So, we have changed the physical irrimi to comply within the philosophical notion of irrimi. Trouble is, this new irrimi doesn't work outside of aikido. Niall is correct in the sense that Ellis is coming from a koryu perspective. However, I believe the problem is not that the "irrimi" for the koryu arts is wrong, but rather the "new" irrimi may have serious flaws outside of its constructed rules of conduct within aikido. We have freedom here to do whatever irrimi we want. If your philosophy dictates how you perform your technique then be bold and proclaim your commitment, but don't excuse the techniques for what they are - philosophical exercise.

Second, my understanding of proper combat timing is that we must be prepared to perform any technique on any level of timing. While overly simplistic, I think I take issue with any claim that a given technique can only be performed at one point of time. I think is OK to acknowledge if we only know one timing in which to enter, but I have had too many good aikido people do technique to me in so many different ways my head spun.

What's worse... Those aikido people who understand irrimi as nage are also able to attack with irrimi. Elllis' comments about being able to cut aikido people by attacking with this same sense of irrimi is one of my logical proofs of aikido. Aikido is about parity - uke is just a mirror of nage, right? So if nage can move with irrimi, so can uke. I cannot resolve uke moving with the irrimi that is evasive, it just doesn't work. But, if I apply irrimi as the article discusses you get something that makes sense on both sides of the engagement, and will actually empower uke to succeed if nage incorrectly moves.

Anyway, those are some things I am working on now...
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