“I want to move like a little girl, but throw like a Greyhound Bus.” ~ Sensei Litchfield
If this is your goal (and it should be), you need to focus on your relationship to uke as you move.
Shezentai to Hamni:
(“The First Blend”)
The “First Blend” is ‘my name’ for the movement known as “Mae Sabaki,” Generally, this movement is the footwork for the First Wrist Technique (Classical Technique). It is a simple blend, and works well for getting out of the way of straight punches, circular punches, overhead chops, and kicks ~ with a slightly forward movement..
Video covering Irimi, Tenkan, and Tenkai (called “Kaiten” here for some reason) movements. Unfortunately, this video does not discuss the Tenshin movement. Further, while all movements in this video are demonstrated from hamni, they can also be performed from our preferred shizentai starting position.
Here is a video devoted solely to the Tenshin movement ~ which is a movement “back and off line.” You see the movement very clearly explained, and then various techniques are performed from differing attacks ~ with the same “Tenshin” movement happening over and over again throughout the video. Note how easily this movement off balances uke is throughout the attacking sequences. Tenshin is a very powerful aikido movement.
This is the exact footwork for Scoop Against the Kick. This opening movement seems to be Stephen Seagal’s entry move of choice. This blend presents a strong and decisive forward movement. Hageme for more on Irimi.
Similar to the First Blend (See Above) but closer to the Reverse Wrist Technique in terms of finishing distance between uke and nage, but note that the nage ends up in left hamni, and not right hamni as he would if he executed the First Blend. Hageme for more on the Tenshin Blend.
This illustration would be more helpful if it indicated “where” the attack was coming from. Envision a Roundhouse
Right coming coming from the red “Irimi” at the top ~ and everything makes sense.
This portion of the Movement discussion is a complete work in progress.
General Aikido Movement Exercises:
Foundational Aikido Movement Exercises relative to Uke:
A Small Sample of Aikido Movement Combinations (most of these are demonstrated in the videos below):
Generally speaking, each aikido entry movement has a unique Japanese name, but I’ve noted that the movement names we use in our style (which are Japanese names) describe movements which sometimes have very different names in other aikido styles. Further still, there is disagreement in movement nomenclature even within the aikido styles that operate in the Japanese vernacular.
All that said, regardless of what we call them (or don’t call them), the general ideas of aikido movement still exist regardless of the debate on terminology.
So in summarizing the nature of movement, one might conclude a few things:
Get outside the friendly confines of the Classical Technique, and too many of our students look like they have never studied Aikido in their lives. While I agree that an excessive focus on footwork in applications can generate an initial stiffness for nage, it must also be noted that logical and meaningful footwork should be a priority in applications because in applications proper footwork presents the most efficient and often powerful transport ~
from point A to point B.
Mae-mawari Sabaki ~ X Step
Movement found in Back Breaker, Cross Arms Throw, etc. Called “Reverse Blend into Jigotai” in “Integral Aikido.”
Don’t Forget Your Entry Movements!
~ A Partial Listing Of Movement Possibilities ~
Nice video from Sensei John Carter on Movement Principles. I believe that the idea of changing applications for a specific technique as you change initial movements (demonstrated at the end) is somewhat unique to our style, and demonstrates Master Shodo Morita’s genius and versatility.
This is the signature blend in Nihon Goshin Aikido. It gives NGA its unique look relative to other aikido styles, and it must be mastered. It creates a 180 degree turn. Called “Irimi: Entering and Pivoting (Yang Blend)” in “Integral Aikido” and “Nihon Goshin Aikido,” ~ It is actually the result of the combination of two Initial Movements: Irimi & Tenkan 2. When you add a Hamni Turn (Tenkai) to the end of a Yang Blend, you get a full 360 degree rotation. Hageme for more on the Yang Blend.
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