Beyond the method #28

Focus on the movement principle of Aikido

(example in the right front quarter circle)

No specific technique in this article but an attempt to magnify the only possible way to move in Aikido, provided we accept to follow O sensei’s path, namely by respecting the irimi tenkan principe.

Irimi tenkan is how the Japanese language, when dealing with martial art, expresses the fact that the movement in Aikido is a rotation. When that rotation brings a hip forward, it brings the other hip backward, and vice versa, it is obviously inevitable. Irimi tenkan is how this complementary rotative action of the hips is called.

The fundamental consequence is any movement that doesn’t respect that rotation principle is simply not an Aikido movement. That is nothing but the logical conclusion of the very definition of an art designed around the irimi tenkan principle.

For instance, in the hidari hanmi position taken as example in the video, tori has only two possibilities to enter the 90° sector on his right front:

  1. by setting his front foot in rotation on the right
  2. by setting his back foot in rotation to go forward

Any other intermediary path can of course be used… to pick up mushrooms, an apple on the branch or shake hands with a friend but not in a martial context. For the major and critical flaw of all these intermediary paths is that they use simple steps, without a hip rotation, without using irimi tenkan, the sine qua non principle of Aikido.

If one wishes to practice O sensei’s Aikido, it must be understood that this principle has fundamental consequences on tori’s movement, or, in other words, that a simple step - even fast, even relatively efficient - is not an Aikido step as long as it does not respect the rotation principle. A single hip swap is not a rotation. Anyone can check this by walking or running. Since man has evolved from apes, his hips no longer work in rotation. Calling any hip swap a rotation is a serious mistake which prevents from understanding what irimi tenkan really means.

Philippe Voarino, February 2016.

What is Traditional Aikido?

Aikido is not a sport, it is a martial art which laws (takemusu) are in harmony with the laws of the universe. Studying them allows the practitioner to understand his place in the universe. Aikido was born in Iwama, O sensei achieved in that village the synthesis of tai jutsu, aiki ken and aiki jo.

Where to practice Traditional Aikido?

The International Takemusu Aikido Federation (ITAF) brings to the practitioner the structure he needs in order to work as close as possible to the reality O sensei MU defined. The official national representations are the guarantee of a teaching faithful to the Founder's.

The weapons of Aikido, aiki ken and aiki jo

In modern Aikido, weapons are hardly taught, if taught at all. In O sensei's Aikido, on the contrary, aiki ken, aiki jo and tai jutsu are unified and form together a riai, a family of harmonious techniques stemming from one unique principle. Each techniques helps understand all the others.

Aikido, a martial art or an art of peace?

Peace is a balance between a human being and the world around him. The true martial art's goal is not to become stronger than one's opponent but to find in that opponent a way to realize harmony. There is no enemy anymore as such, but an opportunity offered to reach unified ki.
Copyright TAI (Takemusu Aikido Intercontinental)