Beyond the method #3

Ni no tachi

Vidéo # 3 : Passage from the linear exercise to the circular reality (strikes 1, 2, 3 et 4)

In the same way as the strikes 1 and 2 (cf. « Beyond the method #2», The strikes 3 et 4 strictly follow the linear suburi design : hidari tsuki for step 3 and shomen uchikomi for step 4.

But now these four strikes are not made on a line stepping backwards, backing away from an opponent who attacks repeatedly. Each strike is aimed at a different opponent: in a true martial art, one does not strike the same person twice.

In Japanese culture, whether it is martial arts, tea ceremony, Nô theatre or buddhist zen, it is said that there is only one chance and that there is no turning back : « ichi- go ichi-e ». Each action is decisive, each moment is a unique opportunity, there is no space for repetition.

However the kumitachi n°2 is the best example, with its linear form, of that principle exact opposite, it is the deliberate, systematic, methodical staging of repetitive actions on a line with one person. That's why, at that stage of the study, one can't talk about true martial art, one can't talk about Aikido .

It is only when that linear studying is put in rotation on the four directions that the true martial art appears.

The linear suburi is the simplification of a more complex reality in the same way that a map is a simplified representation (in two dimensions) of the terrestrial globe (three dimensions). A simplification is convenient in many ways but it necessarily implies a defomation that mustn't be forgotten when seeking the truth. On a map of the world, South America looks smaller that Greenland when it is actually eight times as big. That is an inevitable consequence of the Mercator projection.

This must make us ponder over the method we use to learn Aikido: over its undebattable usefulness and its limits, because it is a simplification. And we are going to seem many more examples.

Philippe Voarino, June 2015

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)