Kajo #8

Dividing the circle with 60º angle areas defines six spokes or three diameters. We saw in the previous articles that the first two diameters materialize the ikkyo –●– shiho nage axis in one case, and the nikyo –●– kote gaeshi in the second one.

The third diameter may well have a few surprises in store for us…

Let's take shomen uchi again and let's see if we couldn't find a technical explanation from O sensei which could help us drawing that third axis.

There is one: sankyo ura.

Let's first have a look at O sensei's pictures:

On picture 2 we can clearly see O sensei's position relatively to uke's axis of attack: he stands in his back, on his right hand side.

From this picture, O sensei explains the rest of the movement precisely. He writes in Budo that three actions are necessary from that points. One needs to:
1. bring the left leg one step back
2. control uke's right elbow with the right hand in gyaku te (hands in reverse directions)
3. bring uke to the ground.

In the series of pictures that follows, we can see the missing phases in O sensei's series: the picture 2 illustrates the step backward and the control of uke's right elbow in gyaku te, the pictures 3 and 4 illustrate the pin down on the right.

What is interesting for the moment is the angle in which the technique must be applied. We can check this in the pictures above by taking the big mirror in the background as a reference point (picture 1). Its vertical post makes a 60º angle with uke's axis of attack. We can see on pictures 2,3,4,5 that this is indeed the angle in which uke is controlled on the right rear.

Let's go back to O sensei's pictures. Maybe could we check if the angle he uses for sankyo ura is similar, which, added to his explanations, would be a significant piece of evidence?

We can, thanks to the kami.

On O sensei's picture #1, we can see that there is a color contrast between the tatami, probably between new and older tatami. Both uke's feet are at that moment on new tatami. On picture 3, shot exactly in the same angle, one can see that uke is pinned down on older tatami on the rear back from his initial position.

Let's take the vertical line on the left side of the kamiza as a point of reference because, randomly, it is also in a 60º angle with Uke's axis of attack. We can see that uke has been brought to the ground and that the hito e mi position of O sensei's feet on this picture 3 is perfectly aligned with the axis of that vertical post, ie on the right rear of the attack.

We can now add that precision on our figure:

And thus we add a new element on the reference figure:

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)