Re: Ellis Amdur showing Taikyoku Aikido - YouTube link
One of the things that has intrigued me about Ellis's Taikyoku is the universality of it. I was able to seamlessly integrate it into my traditional hapkido practice. In fact, it is now the framework for my entire curriculum. Ellis's atemi as 'hitting body' theory, the force vectors as themes of movement, and the solo practice methods have truly propelled my learning and teaching forward. I have brand new students chaining together techniques and 'feeling' countering techniques in a way that, to an outsider, looks like high-level practice - because it is.
At first, I thought that the ease with which I was able to integrate Taikyoku into my curriculum was simply because of the technical relationship between aikido and hapkido through Daito-ryu aikijujutsu (this is NOT an aikido vs hapkido thread NOR is it a place to debate the relationship between Choi Yong-sul and Takeda Sokaku - For more on this, I urge you to read Ellis's article A Conversation with Daito-ryu's Other Child). However, I also practice BJJ and both myself and my BJJ instructor, with Budd's help, have found immense value in the 'themes' of movement that Taikyoku has to offer within grappling practice as well. As an example, the 'up' part of Ikkyoku can easily be used to practice gaining under-hooks while the 'down' part of Ikkyoku is identical to the weight drop used in a good head-clinch pull-down. Isn't the shape of Sankyoku identical to the shape of the beginning of a cross-collar choke? Yonkyoku is the perfect vehicle for a sit-through headlock in kesa-gatame.
Then, there's the parallels between these themes and boxing/Muay Thai, but I don't want to distract from the topic at hand which is the value of Taikyoku in Aikido.