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Old 01-16-2001, 11:49 PM   #1
DiNalt
Join Date: Dec 2000
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Today we had a class concentrated mostly around shomen uchi ikkyo and shomen uchi iriminage, both suwari waza and well... the "normal" versions.

Which reminded me that I've been failing to understand ikkyo for a long time now.

I got this book by Godzu Shioda (sp? its a Russian version) which has an ikkyo schematic, and I honestly try to redirect the uke's power away like shown by the arrows, but it doesn't disbalance anyone except the really new students.

I feel that I lose control of the shoulder by doing that.

I also bought a tape by Saotome Sensei ("Principles of Aikido") but I that does not help me with ikkyo, either.

I always end up being tense in the arms and shoulders, especially during the ura movement - where I'm struggling with uke's arm and pushing it down while rotating instead of doing it, well, the way its supposed to be done.

And during the omote, I tried several approaches -

1) redirect "away" like in that diagram
2) the arm which is under elbow remains straight and then I walk forward - does not work on newer people who have tense "straight" arms, at all, and with others I feel that they're too far ahead of me to be able to control them.
3) bend toward uke's head in order to disbalance him - doesn't work, either.

Does anyone have any tips or suggestions ?
I feel really stupid.

Thanks for reading.
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Old 01-17-2001, 04:08 AM   #2
Simone
Dojo: Augsburg/Haunstetten
Location: Germany
Join Date: Jul 2000
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Hello Aleksey,

I'm sorry that I cannot give you the ultimative advice. Shomen uchi ikkyo is the first technique (together with irimi nage) that we learn where I train. I trained ai hanmi katate tori ikkyo yesterday and I still do not understand it, even if I'm first kyu now. My teacher watched me and then sayed: the point you lead your partner is maybe your point of imbalance, but not hers. So it's diffrent whenever you train with another partner. I think one point that keeps me going on on the AikiDO is because I want to solve my mystery of ikkyo.

Hope that helps,

Simone

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Old 01-17-2001, 04:21 AM   #3
Matt Banks
Join Date: Dec 2000
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Ikkyo tips

Well I train in YOSHINKAN AIKIDO I you got Dynamic Aikido by Gozo Shioda buy Total Aikido by Gozo Shioda its the one were all issued with its in colour, and it really good. In Yoshinkan we like to break it down so here are my tips for ikkyo.

1) When applying make sure you take uke elbow right through his head

2) make sure when applying at the same time you step to 45 degrees as in shomatsu dosa ich.

3) when bringing the arm through and turning to 45 derees turn your head in the same direction aswell, because Gozo Shioda always said 'the head defines the hips which defones the body' but in japanese.

4) Once youve got uke on his/her knee

(if you did a righ hand side ikkyo) draw your left foot next to your right leading foot , (BUT DONT RAISE YOUR HIPS) then as turn you hips in the same direction as the straight arm youve got hold of is facing, then like your sweeping the floor with a broom using your hips drive uke to the floor. We find it helps to try and do this in know more than 3 steps, and count ich, ni , san in your head or out load to make it positive.

For the pin make sure your legs are separating the arm but there is still not tention in them. When applying pressure to the arm dont use your arm to apply pin spread your knees more using your centre to apply pressure, have your gaze at 45 degrees from floor, this allows you to have good zanshin but still maintain good posture by not raising your head to far up.

key point for take down.

TAKE ELBOW THROUGH HEAD, BUT ALWAYS MAINTAIN UNBENDABLE ARM.

TURN HIPS TO 45 DEGREES, AND TURN HEAD ASWELL TO DEFINE BODY MOVEMENT.

NEVER RAISE HIPS.



hope this help



Matt Banks

''Zanshin be aware hold fast your centre''
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Old 01-17-2001, 07:25 AM   #4
ian
 
ian's Avatar
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I would agree with Matt, and have recently queried how I should be doing ikkyo. The question is, do you lead ukes ki down his arm, or do you push through the head. I have always learnt it where you push the elbow through the head and very importantly to 'crank' the elbow in a circular motion to drop it below the wrist as soon as possible. This is very powerful and the attack to the head breaks ukes balance very quickly, acting on the base of the spine.

Many people would disagree with this saying that it is non-aiki (although you could refer to aiki-jitsu, which is just the same). Some practitioners direct uke down by walking forwards or by directing them in the direction the uke's arm is pointing. I would disagree with these methods in most circumstances. In both positions the elbow is level or higher than the wrist, allowing uke either to hold himself there (putting his hand on the ground and stabilising himself) and therefore put up a struggle, or even worse, to drop his (bend) elbow and counter the technique.

To me the first movement should be very powerful and dyanmic, so that ukes shoulder is very low and completely controlled by his locked arm. It is a similar position to holding a lowered sword, which you then drive into the ground point first to pin his shoulder.

However much I try the other techniques I always end up running around the dojo with the uke - ineffective. The only time I would lead uke in this way would be if there was a strong forward resistance by uke to the technique, at which point it should still be a sharp cut down (with the ura movement). Considering that most peoples reaction to a grab is to bunch up (pull in their arms and withdraw their body) the first technique is almost always the most effective. I no longer practise the 'leading them by the arm' type. [basically there is a mechanical problem with this -> it only works if there is a strong moment down the arm, and this cannot be generated by tori/nage because such a strong directional pull will install a counter reaction by uke].

I hope this is contentious, cos I have been wrangling with this for a long long time!

Ian
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Old 01-17-2001, 08:07 AM   #5
aarjan
Dojo: Aikidostichting "Musubi" De Bollenstreek
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My two cents.

I always try to put the ukes elbow to his/her nose while keeping my unbendable arms in front of my center (as always) when taking the uke down I look for his weak line as my Sensei calls it. This line stands at a 90 degree angle on the line between the ukes feet.

Also the uke has to coorporate otherwise you can switch to sankyo or my favourit hiji kime osae. (That one is mean!! I love to do that when the uke doesn't bend his elbow)

Aarjan
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Old 01-17-2001, 10:06 AM   #6
Aikilove
Dojo: Lunds Aikidoklubb
Location: Lund, Sweden
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Talking

Let's see if I can bring something new to this discussion.
You all seem to take for granted that you initiates or are able to catch ukes ki in the upward motion. Now and then we use to train the actually shomen uchi as the strike and then it's no good to crash into the arm trying to go towards the head. No that is the time when ura blending is in place. Step of the line with both your arms raised and smoothly follow the strike down to the floor allmost as in nanakyu.
Well that's true. That is only an save face technique. I mean, obviosly you are so good that you caught the evil mans strike allready in the upward motion and proceeded with a fancy ikkyu... but if not!

Jakob Blomquist
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Old 01-17-2001, 11:42 AM   #7
Matt Banks
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Aikilove you said I was confused. He wanted tips on ikkyo, no attack was mentioned. I know, you should either enter or tenkan. . Im taught and teach that with ikkyo you wanna go down with it not bring anything up because uke loses his balance. I can say from experience that if ikkajo is done correctly it is impossible to resist even if you know what is happening. I feel this is the danger with talking about ki in basic tecniques. Ki will come with time, but in the beggining basic physics I feel is needed. This is what every sensei, shihan, and soke!! has told me?


Matt Banks

''Zanshin be aware hold fast your centre''
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Old 01-17-2001, 11:51 AM   #8
Erik
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Just wanted to comment that both entering and turning movements can be done without elbows ever coming near faces. It's done by taking wider angles than the more classical movements. I've seen entering movements taught where the entering was almost a 90 degree movement off the line rather than the nearly 0 degree movement being discussed. Much more receptive than the classical form as well but I seem to wind up on the ground so I've bought into them. The wider angle also seems to work better with stiffies. As to turning movements Aikilove already went there.

I would try and describe the movements but I just realized I've spent 20 minutes trying and failing. Guess this is why I prefer to just practice.
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Old 01-17-2001, 01:25 PM   #9
Aikilove
Dojo: Lunds Aikidoklubb
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Quote:
Matt Banks wrote:
Aikilove you said I was confused.
Did I said that? Well I just had an exam, and my brain is out, so I'm sorry if I put it little strange, but my intintions was sarcastic and not at all directed towards anyone specific, more to all aikidoka out there. What I mean is, that we all( aikidoka) are good enough to not only handle a situation, but handle it in the most estetic way. Se the sarcasm'!


Jakob Blomquist
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Old 01-18-2001, 05:33 AM   #10
darin
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 375
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Quote:
DiNalt wrote:
Today we had a class concentrated mostly around shomen uchi ikkyo and shomen uchi iriminage, both suwari waza and well... the "normal" versions.

Which reminded me that I've been failing to understand ikkyo for a long time now.

I got this book by Godzu Shioda (sp? its a Russian version) which has an ikkyo schematic, and I honestly try to redirect the uke's power away like shown by the arrows, but it doesn't disbalance anyone except the really new students.

I feel that I lose control of the shoulder by doing that.

I also bought a tape by Saotome Sensei ("Principles of Aikido") but I that does not help me with ikkyo, either.

I always end up being tense in the arms and shoulders, especially during the ura movement - where I'm struggling with uke's arm and pushing it down while rotating instead of doing it, well, the way its supposed to be done.

And during the omote, I tried several approaches -

1) redirect "away" like in that diagram
2) the arm which is under elbow remains straight and then I walk forward - does not work on newer people who have tense "straight" arms, at all, and with others I feel that they're too far ahead of me to be able to control them.
3) bend toward uke's head in order to disbalance him - doesn't work, either.

Does anyone have any tips or suggestions ?
I feel really stupid.

Thanks for reading.
Try using a circular block. It tends to set up the elbow better. Use your body to push his elbow up to his head as you do soto irimi senkai (stepping to his outside and turning).

Step 1.

When uke attacks with a right punch or shomen uchi you block with your right hand making contact around middle of forearm to wrist. This is a soft block. When you make contact immediately do the circle movement outside to in. As uke's arm starts going down you move in and pivot out on your left foot (irimi senkai), then push his elbow with your left hand towards his ear. Push until he is off balance.

Step 2.

Now you can continue pushing uke's elbow to his ear which will throw him to his left. To apply the side lock where uke's arm is extended, you have to pull the arm down to his side. This involves twisting uke's elbow towards you while twisting uke's wrist away from you (note you will have to change grip with the right hand althought The technique can be done without this). While twisting you are pulling his arm and pushing down on his elbow. Don't use your arms. Try to use your hips and weight. Keep uke's elbow in line with your hip so when you move he moves. When you get the arm straight. Push back into him striking gently with your knee into his ribs, then pull out again. Keep pulling until he is well off balance.

The reason uke tenses up is because he or she is reacting to you using strength.

The Yoshinkan method shown is suitable for shomen uchi attack. Its not necessary to use a circular block as the elbow is already exposed. Against a punch you have to get uke to bend his arm. Using a circular block will aid in this.

What I have described is just the basic version of the technique. Like all aikido it takes time to master. I would advise you to concentrate on the basic technique before moving onto any henka waza.

Also note that Shioda uses the pressure points on the elbow to relax uke's arm.


Good luck!


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Old 01-18-2001, 10:55 AM   #11
jxa127
Dojo: Itten Dojo -- Mechanicsburg, PA
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Something to keep in mind...

Actually, two things to keep in mind:

1) Ikkyo is a technique that takes a lifetime to master. Don't feel bad if you're having trouble with it.

2) I started out thinking about uke's arm/shoulder/elbow, but I find myself thinking and working more with uke's center instead of his extremities -- regardless of what part of his body I'm in contact with. Focus on having a unified body (hips turn, shoulders turn, arms move as one unit) and moving his center to his empty spot. That way, the technique will work regardless of the attack or the specific manner in which you execute the technique.

-Drew
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Old 01-18-2001, 12:20 PM   #12
andrew
Dojo: NUI, Galway Aikido Club.
Location: Galway, Ireland.
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Quote:
DiNalt wrote:


I always end up being tense in the arms and shoulders, especially during the ura movement - where I'm struggling

If you practice suburi with a bokken you'll get rid of the tension. My sensei recommended 400 cuts a days to remove tension. I only manage to do 50-200 every every couple of days. It makes a huge difference.
I recently found that a little kihon gi on the first five principles added hugely to my ability to carry them out. If you practice without the shortcuts of "brute" force to cover flaws in technique, it can enhance your technique a huge amount.
andrew
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Old 01-18-2001, 04:22 PM   #13
DiNalt
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Quote:
andrew wrote:
Quote:
DiNalt wrote:


I always end up being tense in the arms and shoulders, especially during the ura movement - where I'm struggling

If you practice suburi with a bokken you'll get rid of the tension. My sensei recommended 400 cuts a days to remove tension. I only manage to do 50-200 every every couple of days. It makes a huge difference.
I recently found that a little kihon gi on the first five principles added hugely to my ability to carry them out. If you practice without the shortcuts of "brute" force to cover flaws in technique, it can enhance your technique a huge amount.
andrew
This is another thing that I was really considering - buying my own bokken and then going through some kind of kata by myself at home.

Please excuse my ignorance, but what is suburi ?
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Old 01-18-2001, 05:32 PM   #14
derek9
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Suburi is solo practice with a weapon in the form of repeated strikes!

Practicing suburi is excellent advice.
Do it all the time and get guidance from Sensei on how to strike precisely, using your hips.

These are many good tips on how to execute ikkyo.

Remember that timing is very important. If you enter to late you will struggle if you enter to early you may lose your balance or change the attack.

I also think a great deal about entering. There must be some element of irimi to unbalance an overhead attack.

Practice ikkyo against a sword attack from jodan. Practise slowly.
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Old 01-19-2001, 08:10 AM   #15
andrew
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Quote:

This is another thing that I was really considering - buying my own bokken and then going through some kind of kata by myself at home.
I found repeated shomen cuts to be good. In a broad stance, bending knees as you cut, allowing the tip to hit the ground. That and going into a squat position with the heels touching on a cut. That way I could condition my midsection/hips a bit at the same time. Just go until you can't tense your shoulders. (within reason.)

With kata, or even just four/eight directions, I find it harder to get going. I know they're important, but I just don't reach that shoulder exhaustion that teaches you to relax.

andrew
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Old 01-22-2001, 08:25 PM   #16
Stu S
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After feeling quite frustrated with ikkyo in my last practice, it was great to read these comments. Rather than feeling smoother and more relaxed the more I practice it, I notice all the things I am doing wrong. So this is shakey advice. But, it did seem to help when I unbalanced uke early, using a soft circular block (already mentiond) of his shomen-uchi to bring his hand to my center and his balance forward. Without the early imbalance the technique required to get the levers turning the right way seemed pickier, more dependent on precise timing, but taking balance early seemed to help. It made sense to me to harmonize with uke's desire to pull back after being unbalanced forward, but I confess 100% frustration with attempting to put that sense to use.

As someone already mentioned, getting to the takedown with uke's hand low and shoulder high seemed wrong. When I got the shoulder torqued around and on the way down, with the hand higher, there wasn't much he could do, stiff or not.

Stu S
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Old 01-25-2001, 11:02 AM   #17
cathdavies68
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Talking

Interesting subject!! I've been practicing aikido for 20 years and still don't feel that I've quite got under the skin of ikkyo.....

My view is that, always, your primary motive is to connect with and control uke's centre. In the case of ikkyo your contact is through uke's arm. Tori needs to move their body and blend with uke in such a way as to be able to control their centre. Don't be too pre-occupied with the arm.

If anyone else works it out, please let me know! If it's any consolation at our Millennium Summer School last year in Bangor (organised by United Kingdom Aikikai and British Aikikai, guest Shihans Tamura, Yamada, Chiba and Shibata) someone asked Chiba Sensei to teach ikkyo. Sensei replied that he ddin't understand it himself yet...
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Old 02-03-2001, 08:35 AM   #18
Kurt
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Keep a stong twist on with your grabbing hand and also try to push his hand into his arm pit forming a chicken wing. Your free hand should push his elbow straight through the center of his head. The more off balance uke is from the start, the more outstretched his arm can be.

It's important to remember that while practicing a given technique, uke must go along with it. If he resists, he is creating the need for you to switch to a different technique in order to use his energy.

From a shomenuchi, block/grab and continue pulling slightly to draw uke off balance, then in a continuous flow, circularly reverse the direction and cut across his head.

Kurt

Never underestimate your oponent!
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Old 02-03-2001, 10:03 AM   #19
DiNalt
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Quote:
Kurt wrote:

It's important to remember that while practicing a given technique, uke must go along with it. If he resists, he is creating the need for you to switch to a different technique in order to use his energy.
Actually I find now that with "proper" feet position, arms not bent, and slight torso twist its possible to transfer the energy from a slight *rotation* of the hips into the uke's elbow which forces him to turn even if he resists.

I was experimenting recently with this, in slow-mo, and it seemed to work.

Maybe I'm wrong here though, but it sure didn't feel like it.
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Old 02-07-2001, 12:34 AM   #20
Anidan
Dojo: Aikido Kenkyu Kai, AIS, Belconnen
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just a thought

I only started training last month, so bear with me. I've been having similar problems with this technique and my sensei's suggestion was to practice the idea of cutting "through" uke. You want to make the movement as though uke isn't even there.

Using a bokken helped me to get the feel of the cutting through movement.

Since much of Aikido is an extension/derivation/distillation/whatever of Samurai sword work it's not surprising that it helps to get hold of a bokken and have a swing!


Go Gentle
Anidan )O(
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Old 02-27-2001, 01:11 AM   #21
sceptoor
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This is a great thread, well timed!!!

Tonight we worked on this very technique!! My sensei seemed to pick a good technique to work on, as he seemed as frustrated teaching it as the class was to 'learn' it!!!

I have a great sensei, all of you guys' suggestions seem to echo many things he pointed out tonight(repeatedly), I just haven't had very much opportunity to work with ikkyo recently, and I felt very clumsy and awkward. I don't remember this frustration the last time we worked on ikkyo. Sensei makes it look so EASY, which is probably why I get so discouraged when it doesn't work. A fellow student worked with me after class for about 15 minutes and I think his suggestions really helped.

It's good to know that I'm not the only one having trouble with this, I just thought I was a clutz. After reading this thread, I'm not so discouraged anymore!!

C. Martin

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