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Old 07-12-2001, 05:00 AM   #1
ian's Avatar
Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,654
16 variations


O Sensei: "There are about 3,000 basic techniques, and each one of them has 16 variations . . . so there are many thousands. Depending on the situation, you create new ones."

Not wanting to sound like over-classification, what are the 16 variations?

In my mind I can think of probably around 8 i.e. immediate entering/turning; entering then turning (or 'withdrawing')/turning ('withdrawing') then entering; high/low?

Any thoughts?

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Old 07-12-2001, 05:45 AM   #2
Dojo: NUI, Galway Aikido Club.
Location: Galway, Ireland.
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 334
Re: 16 variations

I always thought he was referring to the final direction taken- in terms of dividing the circle into 16 directions like you do in bokken practice. (Usually I stick with eight, but...)
As he says in Budo, aikido is a distillation of many techniques distilled into a small number of principles. Perhaps by his definition we practice a different technique more often than we realise. Certainly in the traditional "Copy me EXACTLY" method of teaching this might have been the case.
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Old 07-12-2001, 08:42 AM   #3
Richard Harnack
Dojo: Aikido Institute of Mid-America
Location: Maplewood, Missouri
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 137
Talking Big Numbers

Ian -
The number I heard years ago was that there were 3,242 techniques in Aikido. This has led some to look for all of these techniques. However, I look at this number in the same manner of the statement in the Torah "Saul has his thousands and David his ten thousands", in other words a really big number.

In other statements, Morihei Ueshiba would say there were an infinite variety of techniques.

As to the 16 variations, irimi, tenkan, tenkan-irimi, irimi-tenkan, evade, sudori, kotai, zenshin. Multiply by left & right.

Yours In Aiki,
Richard Harnack
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Old 08-07-2001, 04:09 AM   #4
Tim Griffiths
Dojo: Nes Ziona Aikikai
Location: Suzhou, China
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 188
Re: Big Numbers

Originally posted by Richard Harnack
As to the 16 variations, irimi, tenkan, tenkan-irimi, irimi-tenkan, evade, sudori, kotai, zenshin. Multiply by left & right. [/b]
What do you mean by kotai and zenshin being variations? (I use
these terms to refer to a solid uke style and mental attitude
respec. rather than physical movement).

Also, I guess you mean sudori as in 'passing though', rather than
sudori as in 'roosting hen'.... (a 17th variation - just sit there!)


If one makes a distinction between the dojo and the battlefield, or being in your bedroom or in public, then when the time comes there will be no opportunity to make amends. (Hagakure)
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