Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

aikido articles


dojo search
image gallery
links directory

book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews


rss feeds

Follow us on

Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > AikiWeb System

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Thread Tools
Old 01-18-2004, 12:01 AM   #1
AikiWeb System
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 1,316
AikiWeb Poll for the week of January 18, 2004:

Should aikido techniques be symmetrical on your left and right sides?
  • I don't do aikido
  • Yes
  • No
Here are the current results.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2004, 07:28 AM   #2
Dojo: My own! soon!
Location: Montréal (Québec) Canada
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 28
Confused Both Sides?!?

Does this means that some only train certain techniques on one side and other techniques on the other side?

Or does it mean that both sides should be equally proficient doing techniques?

I hope it is the latter...


When you learn to love hell, you will be in heaven
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2004, 12:01 PM   #3
SeiserL's Avatar
Location: Florida Gulf coast
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,887
Yes, IMHO, we should strive for symmetrical ambidexterity in training.

Also, the left side of the body is controled by the right side of the brain, and the right side of the body by the left side of the brain. Symetrical training may help balance the brain hemispheres on a physical level. It may also help train both the logical (right hemisphere) and the intuitive (left hemisphere).

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2004, 12:51 PM   #4
Jeanne Shepard
Jeanne Shepard's Avatar
Dojo: Puget Sound Aikikai
Location: Seattle
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 351
To me, this one seems like a no-brainer. After all, in real life, you don't get to choose what side you'll be thrown to, or have to move off the line to, etc.

(And the brain stuff too....)

  Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2004, 02:48 PM   #5
Dojo: Seattle Ki Society
Location: Seattle
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 522
On the other hand, there's a few moves which if I wait for them to be as good on the bad side as they are on the good side, I'll be waiting a *long* time. In yesterday's class sensei looked at my koho tento undo (left foot forward) and said, "Wow, you've been working on that, it really shows!" Unfortunately then we did the right foot forward; he winced and said "Well, one side is always harder than the other." I figure I'll only annoy myself if I compare the two, so I'm just working on making both of them better.

Bokken work, and unarmed-versus-bokken, might be the exception to the symmetry rule. I've been taught some bokken takeaways that do not work the same on the other side, and one that doesn't work at all (unless you meet a left-handed swordsman, and I'm told that doesn't really happen in the Japanese sword arts).

I think learning something on both sides makes you know it a little better--I have poor ability to "visualize" kinesthetically, and I find that trying to mirror-reverse what I've just been taught helps me develop that ability.

Mary Kaye
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2004, 02:53 PM   #6
Jamie Stokes
Dojo: Kenkyu Kai
Location: Australia
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 62
Definately. I agree with all of the above, and for a simple tactical reason, you may not choose how an attacker moves in on you, their speed, which side they move in on, also local geographical positions may dictate how you may be able to respond. Beside a wall, in a croded bar, with your girlfreind/ spouse/ etc holding omto your hand.....

Or injuries to your preferred side....

(this list could go on and on....)

the other part of it was, I did do some training at another dojo (non aikido) where almost all attacks were right handed. coming in with a left hand yokumen uchi really caught them unexpectedly.

And as we know, not everybody will move to strike in an expected pattern.

so best we train to deal with it.


Aikido: Love and compassion at one metre per second.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2004, 03:37 PM   #7
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
erikmenzel's Avatar
Dojo: Koshinkai Leeuwarden
Location: Leeuwarden
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 594
For all the no brainers among us ;-) the following thing to think about: I think that one should be able deal with any kind of attack, however I dont agree that all my techniques should be symmetrical as my body isnt either. ( I have one severly bad knee that has some movement limitations).

Erik Jurrien Menzel
kokoro o makuru taisanmen ni hirake
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2004, 08:00 PM   #8
Karen Wolek
Dojo: Kingston Aikido
Location: New York
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 322
I voted yes.

But I am nowhere near that point yet. Especially when it comes to forward rolls. I roll fine on the right but slam my shoulder and/or bang my elbow everytime on my left side. Well, my teacher says I rely too much on momentum so I can sometimes roll without pain if I'm thrown fast. But a slower, careful, trying-to-be-correct roll ends in pain. Ugh. Now that I'm afraid to roll on that side, it's even worse.

And I have gotten "You are ok on that side, but not on the other side. Try again." doing techniques, too. Strange! But I guess if you are VERY right-handed like I am, it makes sense.

Hoping to be over this eventually, though!!!!

"Try not. Do...or do not. There is no try." - Master Yoda
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2004, 09:03 PM   #9
Dojo: UW-La Crosse Aikido
Location: La Crosse, WI
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 68
I would have to agree with Erik. I don't move the same in both directions and my body certainly doesn't work the same on both sides. I just try to make my technique the best that I can each way and don't ever consider symmetry. Maybe that is something that will come in time and experience but I won't dwell on it.

  Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2004, 12:41 PM   #10
Kevin Masters
Dojo: Woodstock Aikido
Location: Mount Tremper, NY
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 85
I was practicing with a totally new guy a month or so ago. (hey, where did he go anyway?!) The sensei was watching us practice and I offered to let the guy "have a go again on the same side". Sensei says, "no, no. Don't give him a weak side".
I was just trying to be helpful but I can totally see how symmetry is important.

My sig is kind of funny in this context.

Last edited by Kevin Masters : 01-19-2004 at 12:44 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2004, 03:30 PM   #11
Dojo: UW-La Crosse Aikido
Location: La Crosse, WI
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 68
I am not sure if I am understanding propperly, by symmetrey are we talking about doing the technique the same way from both sides or equally well on both sides? My understanding was that it meant doing it the same on both sides. I try to make myself equally good (or bad) on both sides and not being real concerned about if it is done in the same manner.

  Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2004, 07:50 AM   #12
Ted Marr
Location: Providence, RI
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 94
There is a small divide between what we should be trying for here, and what we're going to achieve. I would say that for those techniques that can be done on both sides (basically all the empty-hand stuff), we should be trying to make them equally good on each side. But really, when it comes down to it, EVERYONE has bodily assymetries, so it's never going to be exact. One leg is usually shorter than the other, one arm stronger, etc, etc. This isn't a factor of how we train or anything like that, it's a simple fact of how we grow as organisms. We can only hope that one side can instruct the other. Your "dumb" (or weak) side can show us how to do things with less muscular effort, while your "smart" side can get a better sense of what the technique is supposed to flow like.
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:12 AM.

vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2018 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
Copyright 1997-2018 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate