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Old 06-01-2008, 04:41 AM   #1
James Edwards
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Irimi nage- Tenkan to throw?

Hello, I've got another question I'd like to ask. When we learn irimi nage in class, we always step forward (irimi) with the same foot of the throwing hand when we throw at the last step of the technique. It is called irimi nage after all. But then I was watching a Christian Tissier video this morning and I noticed that very often, he would instead do a tenkan to generate the power for the throw. I'm thinking he does this because he brings his uke very close to him, or maybe the tenkan helps him to make his throw more spectacular for those demos that he did.

Is there any significant difference with the irimi and tenkan finishing? It's still same hand, same foot throughout but it seems like with tenkan, the energy is more projected towards the side instead of more forwards.

Thanks
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Old 06-01-2008, 06:09 AM   #2
Basia Halliop
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Re: Irimi nage- Tenkan to throw?

Do you mean like omote and ura? That's what it sounds like you're talking about... most dojos I know require students to learn at least one omote and one ura version (sometimes more) of each technique. I can't see videos much on this computer so I can't go look up the Tissier videos to see if that's what you're describing.

Even within tha basic omote and ura divisions, there are loads of variations. Seems to be the case for most of the most 'basic' techniques (e.g. like irimi nage or ikkyo). And not just personal preference -- although different people who have been practicing a long time do put their own spin on it -- I mean even one teacher may show different variations for slightly different situations.

Personally, I sometimes find it a bit easier to get uke unbalanced with irimi nage ura, but that's probably just me, and the fact that iriminage is not a technique I'm particularly good at.

Last edited by Basia Halliop : 06-01-2008 at 06:11 AM.
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Old 06-01-2008, 07:05 AM   #3
rob_liberti
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Re: Irimi nage- Tenkan to throw?

To answer this question, I think it would be helpful to not think of it as enter then throw. I think the point is that if you enter so deeply the only way to continue to enter - given that there are 2 people involved and both are moving - that you end up turning.

I'm getting much better are iriminage and I cannot for the life of me imagine what the "throwing hand" would be. Both people must necessarily contribute to the overall movement (uke not necessarily by choice so much!). Hands touch the other guy so that your mental intention makes it powerfully to the uke.

When I'm uke I generally just staty connected until it's time to escape by going forward and a bit away from nage. Sometimes in that moment a leg will lift up and my escape will look a bit more dramatic and spectaular. The hands are just typically encouaging my body to get collected/gathered in towards nage, down/up as the case may be, and forward/backward - as in ALL techniques.

I think the trick is that the connection by via nage's hands has to effect uke down from uke's hakama down AND not push anything higher than the hakama downward at all (because that just stabalizes uke).

Rob
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Old 06-01-2008, 09:18 AM   #4
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Re: Irimi nage- Tenkan to throw?

As I understand it, iriminage is fundamentally about taking advantage of uke's trying to stand back up. Uke wants to rise from an off-balanced forward position; nage helps.

If uke is rising sharply, it's very natural for nage to follow, stepping through sharply. If uke is still off-balanced forward or if nage encounters resistance in that rear direction, fine: pivot and off-balance uke again, throwing in a more suitable direction.

Consider an analogous situation that may be a bit more clear: munetsuki kotegaeshi performed with nage sliding back to the outside corner and giving uke a tug, off-balancing uke in a forward direction. If uke begins to rise and retract the attacking arm, nage can enter and throw to the back outside corner. If uke is still falling forward, nage can dance across the center line and help uke to continue to fall forward with a twist, If nage tries to throw uke back but encounters resistance, nage can pivot and throw forward.

Same principles, same returning energy, same "spirals" induced---one performed on the head, one performed on the wrist. Still, it's the same basic situation.

Now, does the iriminage suddenly turn into a kokyunage (henka waza) if we pivot and throw instead of returning uke back from where he came? Will people argue that, no, after the pivot there is still entering as part of the throw so it still qualifies as iriminage true to its name? Sure they will! Being locked into naming and emulating a form rather than just following principles is a typical aikido disease. I know it may be helpful for the pedagogy and for test-taking, and I know that there are certain martial advantages to doing it this way or that way, but ...
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Old 06-01-2008, 12:10 PM   #5
Janet Rosen
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Re: Irimi nage- Tenkan to throw?

A tenkan is still an irimi. If I want the parking space across the street and whip a fast u-ey to get into it, believe me, it is an irimi even though it is a tenkan. Same thing in body movement if instead of seeing/feeling the tenkan as a pivot back you consider it as originating as a subtle entry forward with the OTHER hip that then results in the pivot.
As to why you might do this variation: for one, the energy of the attack might demand it, for another, if there is something in the way you might need to decide to plant the attacker someplace different.

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Old 06-01-2008, 01:14 PM   #6
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Re: Irimi nage- Tenkan to throw?

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
A tenkan is still an irimi. If I want the parking space across the street and whip a fast u-ey to get into it, believe me, it is an irimi even though it is a tenkan. Same thing in body movement if instead of seeing/feeling the tenkan as a pivot back you consider it as originating as a subtle entry forward with the OTHER hip that then results in the pivot.
As to why you might do this variation: for one, the energy of the attack might demand it, for another, if there is something in the way you might need to decide to plant the attacker someplace different.
awesome explanation
my hats off to you

Another point I wanted to make on this one is I think it is better to enter and turn such that uke ends up in front of me as opposed to me trying to get behind them.

To Joe - As far as waiting for uke to stand back up - not my style. I make that happen with their movement.

Rob
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Old 06-01-2008, 06:21 PM   #7
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Re: Irimi nage- Tenkan to throw?

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Joe McParland wrote: View Post
As I understand it, iriminage is fundamentally about taking advantage of uke's trying to stand back up. Uke wants to rise from an off-balanced forward position; nage helps.
...
The way I was taught irimi nage, what uke wanted to do is irrelevant. What if instead of wanting to stand, he tries to dive and take down your leading leg? You don't want to give him that option, which is a tsuki or opening in many versions of irimi nage that you see. If you are in the right position, body to body but completely behind uke, then you are safe and can throw him even without resorting to a tenkan to knock him off balance so that he has to put one or two hands on the mat. If you look at the irimi nage of Osensei from the 1930s, or of Saito Morihiro, they have that quality of blending and getting behind uke. They don't give uke a chance to choose what to do when his balance is taken.

R
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:45 PM   #8
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Re: Irimi nage- Tenkan to throw?

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
To Joe - As far as waiting for uke to stand back up - not my style. I make that happen with their movement.
Hi, Rob-

If uke is actively engaged, and if uke is off-balanced forward, then uke wants to get back up. There should be no waiting. It is not very natural movement to take a hunched over uke by the neck and scruff of the neck (or hip, depending on your style) and force uke backward. [Nage forcing against uke that way leaves nage vulnerable.

On the other hand, if uke is hunched over and you have his head, the tenkan pivot and throw is very nice.

-Joe
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Old 06-02-2008, 08:19 PM   #9
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Re: Irimi nage- Tenkan to throw?

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Raul Rodrigo wrote: View Post
The way I was taught irimi nage, what uke wanted to do is irrelevant. What if instead of wanting to stand, he tries to dive and take down your leading leg? [...] They don't give uke a chance to choose what to do when his balance is taken.
Hi, Raul-

If iriminage was perfect and invincible (when performed according to specifications, granted), we could all study iriminage-do, wear tee-shirts warning potential attackers that we've studied iriminage, and no one would ever touch us! After all, though it may be a bit convoluted, there's a way to find iriminage from just about any attack, right?

Uke's intention ("want" or "choice") must always be relevant. After all, there would not have even been an attack without it. Nage must always remain fluid, connected, sensitive to the immediate conditions and ready to spontaneously adjust as necessary. No two attacks are identical, and there is no technique with a guaranteed outcome, especially with a sufficiently inspired uke.

As for the what-ifs, that's why we learn principles, learn various techniques that apply to different situations, and learn to adjust.

-Joe
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Old 06-02-2008, 08:40 PM   #10
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Re: Irimi nage- Tenkan to throw?

You said Irimi nage was "fundamentally" about uke wanting to stand back up from an unbalanced position and nage helping him. It is only in certain variations where uke is unbalanced forward and tries to stand. (Kisshomaru's irimi nage comes to mind) In others, he isn't allowed that option. It's not fundamental to irimi nage.
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Old 06-02-2008, 10:02 PM   #11
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Re: Irimi nage- Tenkan to throw?

Quote:
Raul Rodrigo wrote: View Post
You said Irimi nage was "fundamentally" about uke wanting to stand back up from an unbalanced position and nage helping him. It is only in certain variations where uke is unbalanced forward and tries to stand. (Kisshomaru's irimi nage comes to mind) In others, he isn't allowed that option. It's not fundamental to irimi nage.
When it comes to aikido, it seems the first sin is having to name techniques. When I first learned the technique from an AAA outpost in West Virginia, we called the technique I'm describing a shomenuchi kokyunage; shomenuchi iriminage was more of the shomenate-type very direct entry either on uke's inside or outside. I should have clarified that what I meant by shomenuchi iriminage was what is typical in the Cristian Tissier demonstrations---what the original poster was describing.

I'll naturally assume that you're right in what you're saying---and hope that you might point me toward a video clip of what you're describing.

Best regards!

-Joe
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Old 06-03-2008, 08:57 AM   #12
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Re: Irimi nage- Tenkan to throw?

Hi Joe:

Here are a couple of examples:

First, Hayato Ozawa shihan at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxQuFxnsFGg

In this series of yokomen attacks, Ozawa enters deep behind uke and no longer needs to unbalance him forward with a tenkan. Uke is still upright, but his balance has already been taken; he is already vulnerable to falling backward. It becomes an easy matter to turn, enter and throw.

Tissier does do a lot of irimi nage ura, and it's spectacular. Here's a clip that shows him doing mostly the ura version, but now and then he will do a direct entry version. For instance at 0:34, 1:01, 1:10, and so on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3NmaYu2Kvc

In these instances, Tissier has entered so deep that he takes away uke's balance with the first contact, with no need to tenkan any more.

These are examples of what our Japanese teacher was talking about--that the essence of irimi nage is to enter so deep that you are in a place where uke has no power (usually right behind him). At this point, you are standing at his dead angle and your two bodies have united (awase) so that when you move your body, his body must follow. It has no choice. Two bodies are one body.

Our teacher was displeased if we did shomen uchi irimi nage ura automatically, always trying to take uke down with a tenkan so that one or both his hands touched the mat. He felt this practice built up a lack of sensitivity and often created an opening that an astute uke could use to reverse the technique. He wanted us to get behind first, unite and feel where the opening was. If the uke's energy was turning toward you, you would respond with tenkan. If not, you just pivot and throw. Sometimes you have taken his balance backward so well that even pivoting is unnecessary; you just do kiri otoshi, as Ozawa does toward the end of his clip.

best,

RAUL

Last edited by raul rodrigo : 06-03-2008 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 06-03-2008, 10:01 AM   #13
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Re: Irimi nage- Tenkan to throw?

Quote:
Raul Rodrigo wrote: View Post
Hi Joe:

Here are a couple of examples:
Thanks so much, Raul - I do appreciate you're making that effort for me! You found some good selections.

I concede: My statement that iriminage is fundamentally about helping uke up from an unbalanced forward position is not accurate. There is simply too wide a variety of things named "iriminage."

I could try other descriptions too, but they'd be equally wrong or incomplete. My other best effort, unbalance uke so that his hips are forward of his head, then throw, falls flat too; shihonage; kotegaeshi; a munetsuki kokyunage where nage enters very deeply outside uke's arm, pivoting and grabbing shoulders, then dropping; and the "sokumen iriminages," if we make the distinction; for instance, all have this quality but wouldn't be classified "iriminage." If we allow Tissier's "feel free to run into my fist if you want" at 1:01, we can't even say that nage's body position behind uke, or even a characteristic "clothes line" position, is part of the technique.

It's tough when we start trying to categorize and name everything. The words I selected for tailored for James' question about why nage might pivot instead of step through for the final throwing action in Tissier's iriminages. I hope I at least hit that nail, even if awkwardly

Thanks again, Raul.
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Old 06-03-2008, 10:06 AM   #14
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Re: Irimi nage- Tenkan to throw?

Hi Joe,

Quote:
It is not very natural movement to take a hunched over uke by the neck and scruff of the neck (or hip, depending on your style) and force uke backward. [Nage forcing against uke that way leaves nage vulnerable.
I agree with this. My issue would be that once you get to this place you are no longer in iriminage-land. Keep the connection so that this cannot happen (or happens remarkably less often).

Rob
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Old 06-03-2008, 11:31 AM   #15
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Re: Irimi nage- Tenkan to throw?

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Joe McParland wrote: View Post
If we allow Tissier's "feel free to run into my fist if you want" at 1:01, we can't even say that nage's body position behind uke, or even a characteristic "clothes line" position, is part of the technique.
Actually, even the direct entry irimi nage that Tissier does is still within the bounds of the definition my teacher used. The usual pattern is that one enters to a safe place, where one has united with uke and can move him with no effort, and then does a second irimi to take the head and unbalance him backward (or flip him over, in the more dynamic versions). The safe place is usually right behind him, but in some cases (and in the case of a very skilled tori), it can be beside him. In the case of jodantsuki or a snap kick, tori can be safe even if he hasn't entered very deeply, as long as he is positioned on the outside of the attacking limb. What Tissier does is he compresses the usual two irimi movements into just one: he enters to safety and takes your head in one movement. Fiendishly difficult, but if you awase properly then (I am told) it feels effortless. But that's why he's a 7th dan and I am not.

In a sense, Ozawa is doing something very similar when he does that kiri otoshi in the other clip. He has entered so decisively that there is no need for a second irimi to throw. The physical manifestation is very different, of course, but the principle is the same: enter and take uke's balance.

best,

R

Last edited by raul rodrigo : 06-03-2008 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 06-03-2008, 08:03 PM   #16
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Re: Irimi nage- Tenkan to throw?

For me, that version of the technique has nage moving further ahead on the spiral, such that he/she is actually now entering on the other side of uke. The tenkan is not so much a move to the rear as it is a move to the other side of the spiral. Because one is moving to the other side of the spiral, ahead of uke, as far as uke is concerned, the foot manuever still, very much so, has a proactive-forward spirit to it.

I find this version most relevant whenever uke has a lot of energy going into the initial angle of disturbance. If your uke does not have such energy, for whatever reason, it is often nicer to just go with the more regularly seen version. If you notice, in the video posted above, Tissier does this version only when uke has a lot of energy going into the angle of disturbance (caused by him as nage or by uke's weight, or lack thereof).

d

Last edited by senshincenter : 06-03-2008 at 08:06 PM.

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Old 06-03-2008, 11:26 PM   #17
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Re: Irimi nage- Tenkan to throw?

I have to admit Irimi nage is in the category of moves I dont like.
One of my main dislikes in the 'main' groups of techniques.

Though at the same time its a technique that I respect and see its potential effectiveness if done correctly as well as mastering the many ways of executing it.

Just yesterday was iriminage day.
Thankfully - and I mean that. Its something I need to embrace and master because it does have merit.

And what I realized and was learning was the 100 million ways of going about executing this in different scenarios.

I admit its a bit advanced for me, Im still a bit sloppy with just the basic technique.

But all that to say that indeed there is more way than one to go about this technique.

Aikido is truly amazing when someone who knows what they are doing does it. (And by this I mean they flow with it and you can tell that variations of a technique come to them naturally.)

But then again Sensei has been doing this for 10+ years and I have been doing this since May 2007 with approx. 5 month break in there.

Peace

dAlen

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Old 06-12-2008, 04:21 AM   #18
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Re: Irimi nage- Tenkan to throw?

Dear Sensei James Edwards, It is Great to Aikidoka the Topic- The Irimi Nage Tenkan Throw . I was Happy that A Tenkan can Throw within this Irimi Nage . This Circular last move is Nice after intering the opponents Arm Bridge. Their is that Ki and with Ai, Why? because this is Kihon of Nage and No illusions. The Uke is force to breakfall, results Yoko Ukemi.
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Old 06-12-2008, 10:22 AM   #19
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Re: Irimi nage- Tenkan to throw?

Quote:
Joe McParland wrote: View Post
As I understand it, iriminage is fundamentally about taking advantage of uke's trying to stand back up. Uke wants to rise from an off-balanced forward position; nage helps.
That has been my understanding as well. I like to do iriminage when uke is resisting going down from ikkyo. It seems the perfect setup for it.
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Old 06-12-2008, 11:06 AM   #20
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Re: Irimi nage- Tenkan to throw?

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Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
That has been my understanding as well. I like to do iriminage when uke is resisting going down from ikkyo. It seems the perfect setup for it.
Koshi is a good one for that too... Koshi / iriminage / ganseki otoshi are all good ways to keep the keiko honest.

Best,
Ron

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Old 06-12-2008, 02:26 PM   #21
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Re: Irimi nage- Tenkan to throw?

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Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Koshi is a good one for that too... Koshi / iriminage / ganseki otoshi are all good ways to keep the keiko honest.
Hmmm...http://www.aikidofaq.com/video/saito...eki_otoshi.avi
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Old 06-12-2008, 06:13 PM   #22
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Re: Irimi nage- Tenkan to throw?

What? You don't like that throw? It's a nice variation...

B,
R (they don't call it Boulder Drop for 'nothin...)

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Old 06-13-2008, 06:59 AM   #23
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Re: Irimi nage- Tenkan to throw?

I've been thrown like that! This is one of those ukemis where you have to "just know" when to tuck your knees up and change your distribution of mass to accelerate yourself past the point where you would probably just get dumped on your head.

I find that sometimes if I were going for nikkyo and someone resists that I like iriminage as a natural evolution. But I have to say that I never considered trying this boulder drop throw as a variation of iriminage. Seems like if you can do that one, you should be able to do iriminage.

Rob
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Old 06-13-2008, 10:34 AM   #24
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Re: Irimi nage- Tenkan to throw?

Quote:
Raul Rodrigo wrote: View Post
Hi Joe:

Here are a couple of examples:

First, Hayato Ozawa shihan at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxQuFxnsFGg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3NmaYu2Kvc

RAUL
With all do respect, watching both of these videos, none of what is seen there would ever actually work at all. I believe this is where Aikido, like any other martial art, begins to fail. There is a big difference between demonstrating techniques and doing techniques. If you watch both of these videos in an effort to try to learn how to do techniques you may spend a long time chasing your tail. Both Osawa Sensei and Tissier Sensei are demonstrating variations on iriminage. However, my sincere belief is that if either of those teachers actually did the technique in such a manner in any real scenario, that it would look very different, indeed. At least I would hope so.

One of my teacher's used to say, "...in real life you never throw. Why throw away what the attacker spent so much energy on to give you. Capture them, take them down and finish them off." I believe that this is in a one to one scenario, so that would not be the case in randori with multiple opponents.

In any case, back to the point of the thread...

Irimi is an interesting principle. On the surface we understand it in this way:
  • Irimi - to enter (principle present in every Aikido technique)
  • Irimi-nage-waza - to enter and throw. (technique to demonstrate the principle of Irimi)
  • Irimi-nage-ura-waza - to enter, turn and throw, or enter, turn uke and throw. (technique to demonstrate the principle of Irimi)
  • Irimi-Kokyu-waza - to enter with aiki and by means of kokyu maintain a completely solid connection to uke and ground him out in various manners (actual Aikido technique)
Again, on the surface this appears to be true. However, it is not completely true. Nage should be able to enter while moving backwards, away from Uke. When I look back on my initial understanding from watching Seagal Sensei demonstrate this waza I realize that my understanding was in direct opposition with both the nature of Aiki, and the movements of Aikido. My sense now is that there can be no entering without blending and no blending without entering. Without understanding where and how these two principles come together the waza is akin to a head-on collision. Sure enough, with my initial understanding, that is exactly what I experienced, collision after collision. In Aikido terms - when Nage tries to move Uke's Ki line in the same direction as his (Nage's) expressed kokyu line a collision is the only thing that can happen. This is because the Uke's ki line (straight force vector) is moving towards us, and as we execute the waza our kokyu line (spiral adaptive force vector - expanding or contracting) moves toward Uke resulting in the collision.

My current understanding, a work in progress, is somewhat complex in terms of writing it out here. I would really the assistance of
  • a blackboard to detail:
    1. various multi-dimensional time/space force-vector diagrams
    2. metabolic in-yo (yin/yang) principles and how they overlap the mind-body unification principles of Misogi (misogi-no-gyo)
    3. the breakdown of the Kanji of various Kami found in Kojiiki
    4. the individual, combined and hidden meanings of "Masagatsu-Agatsu-Katsuhayahi as it relates to the path O-Sensei laid out for each of us to find his Aikido"
    .
  • a high speed camera and associated slow motion footage of several variations of irimi
  • an Uke skilled in several martial arts that is strong, is really trying to take me down, and at least 6 inches to a foot taller than me

However, as complex as that all may seem to be, and as long as it would take to adequately explain, express and demonstrate, suffice it to say that the application of this understanding, according to the principle of Katsuhayahi, must be quicker than instantaneous.

For the sake of the readers of this thread, I will summarize it (poorly, sorry) in this way. The outward, physical movement, or technique commonly know as Irimi-kokyu-nage is when Nage accepts the attack by moving with the line of attack just long enough (in variable time/space) to make a connection (with aiki) and lead Uke's Ki line (using spiraling Kokyu - expanding, contracting, or various fluctuating combinations of expanding or contracting kokyu spirals) leading it back to a point that originates behind Uke. This point is relative to where Nage leads Uke (to maintain Ma-ai) as the attack unfolds. This is not a point behind Uke relative to where the attack began, nor relative to where Nage and Uke make their initial physical connection. This may be where the key misinterpretation begins because those points are not one and the same. The beginner may see Irimi-nage to be strictly a straight forward movement terminating at a point behind where Uke began his attack. While this may be mere millimeters at times in terms of differences, it may also be several feet difference.

I found this old clip (1935) of O-Sensei where what I detailed above (again, poorly, sorry) is clearly evident.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7Cfp...eature=related

Check out O-Sensei's movement between 30 and 36 seconds. It is even more apparent between 44 and 46 seconds (and again between 51 and 53 seconds) where O-Sensei is actually moving backwards (relative to uke) and still executes irimi-kokyu-nage from ryo-te-dori.

The only caveat I would like to add is that in the same way that macrobiotics is not a way to prepare food, but a set of principles that may be applied to food, Aikido is not a set of techniques, but a set of principles that may be applied to techniques. This is where, how, and why Aikido is not Aiki-Jujitsu, CMA or any other martial art for that manner. But that is another thread, and as Ron Tisdale knows from our recent emails, I feel for another time when the culture more understanding.

...Okay, back into obscurity and darkness I go for another year or so of training and meditation.

Enjoy!

.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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Old 06-13-2008, 01:29 PM   #25
rob_liberti
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
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Re: Irimi nage- Tenkan to throw?

I'm with you on most of what you say here. I am also of the opinion that the mind/body aspect is critical. I am interested in your metabolic insights. I'm not too clear on what is most helpful. Off the cuff, I would guess blood sugar level (where eating mono saccaride helps stablize the levels). What else? PM works for me if you are willing to share but not publically.

Thanks,
Rob
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