Aikido allows managing simultaneous attacks coming from all directions.
Some martial arts teach how to block the attack and then strike back. That is possible when dealing with a single attack. It becomes suicidal when dealing with multiple attacks.
When facing two, four, eight simultaneous attacks, no parrying, no blocking is possible. Irimi is the only possibility, Irimi is the secret of Aikido.
Tachi furui — The ennemy who thinks I stand in front of him
Mae ni aru ka to — Rises his sword
Osoi kuru — And strikes,
Teki no ushiro ni — But at his very moment
Ware wa tachikeri — I already stand behind him.
- O Sensei, dôka 88
The footwork used to execute happo giri is a fundamental key of irimi. That's why all forms of happo giri must be practiced again and again.
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.
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.
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.
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.