Aikido

“Aikido is a way to create a situation where it is difficult to attack. If an attack does not happen, defence is not necessary. I think this is the only way for peace.”
— Doshu Yoshigasaki

What is Aikido?

All over the world people used to fight with sword, spears and other weapons. When they had no weapons at hand, they boxed or wrestled. These techniques of fighting were almost the same all over the world until the invention of guns. The use of guns for fighting completely changed the way wars were fought. The Portuguese imported guns into Japan in 1543. The Japanese quickly started to make guns for themselves. Around 1590 guns were being used for fighting in wars and were proving to be more efficient than traditional weapons. The use of guns was still limited because of limited fabrication.

About 1600 Japan was dominated by the Tokugawa clan who succeeded in creating a system of domination by samurai. In order to stabilize their dominance, the production and use of guns was prohibited along with communication with the outside world. This gave an opportunity to develop fighting methods without the use of guns for approximately 250 years whilst, in Europe, guns were developed as the main weapon of fighting.

After 1800 Europeans started to colonize China. Europeans were not initially interested in Japan since it was small in comparison to China. The United States also wanted to participate in the colonization of China and planned to use Japan as a port before arriving in China. Around 1860 the US navy came to Japan and forced her to give them a port as their territory. Since European countries also wanted to use Japan as a port Japan was in danger of being colonized just like China. Japan decided to create a strong army in order to defend itself from the US and Europe. The use of the sword was prohibited and the army began to use guns.

Samurai clans, that kept the tradition of sword techniques, were unhappy with the ban and tried to preserve the practice. One way was to convert the traditions to a sport. This resulted in judo, kendo and later karate. University students supported these sporting types of martial arts. The martial arts that did not want to follow the sport way were called kobudo or jujitsu. One of the jujitsu was called Daitoryu Jujitsu and this is the technical basis of aikido. It is important to note that judo and karate techniques are derived from martial arts that do not use sword. That is why karate includes stick but not sword techniques. Kendo was based on sword techniques but became a sporting way. Daitoryu Jujitsu was created by someone who was good with sword techniques. He developed techniques without weapon using his ability of using the swords. Daitoryu Jujitsu techniques are therefore very different from judo or karate techniques while rather similar to kendo techniques.

As the techniques of Daitoryu Jujitsu were practiced the original sword basis were forgotten in favour of an emphasis to street fighting. After World War II, there was a general idea that Japan should not fight and people should have neither guns nor sword. People began to think more of how street fights would be fought without weapons or maybe just with a stick or a knife. This situation gave birth to the new name of Aikido. The idea of aikido was to control a situation without fighting. This mentality corresponded to the tendency in US and Europe after 1960 and aikido started to get supported philosophically. The idea of resolving a conflict without fighting became a part of the philosophy of aikido.

This led to the idea of self-defence. What is self-defence? There is no difference between attack and defence. When one does certain actions toward the other, it is called attack. When the other does the same thing, it is called defence. Defence is permitted only when one is attacked. If the attack comes without a weapon, it is possible to wait until the attack comes and then do something about it. However if the attack is done with a gun or another highly developed weapon, it is almost impossible to defend oneself after the attack has started. One would have to shoot before being shot.

The question of knowing the intention of others now becomes important. If a person has a gun in his hand, a policeman will doubt his intention and will immediately demand him to drop his gun and put both hands up. If it is dark what should the policemen do? A policeman might be obliged to shoot before the possibility of being shot. The question would then arise as to whether the policeman correctly judged the situation or not.

It is more complicated if the attack and defence is between two countries. If a country is attacked but doesn’t know who attacked her then the country might assume that the attack is done by an enemy country and start to attack in the name of defence. Between two human beings, this would be called revenge and prohibited by law. Since the government punishes criminals, victims do not have to resort to revenge. Since there is no authority above two countries revenge is permitted. It is not easy to distinguish between revenge and defence. The whole problem comes because the act of attack, revenge, and defence are the same. It is only a matter of interpretation.

In aikido it is possible to create a completely new philosophy. Aikido does not have to be a self-defence. Defence is the same as attack. Aikido is a way to create a situation where it is difficult to attack. If an attack does not happen, defence is not necessary. I think this is the only way for peace.

Doshu

Practising Aikido

Introduction
Kumiwaza
Hitoriwaza
Tsuzukiwaza

Introduction

One starts learning aikido techniques with a partner from the very beginning. This is a very good way to start because in this way human relationship becomes as important as the technique itself. Other martial arts start learning techniques disregarding the human relationship. When one only wants to practise techniques, one practises by oneself or with material. There was a great champion of Judo before the Second World War in Japan who practised Judo techniques against a tree. Many Chinese Kunfu masters practised their techniques against wooden doll or board. Another way of technical practise without human relationship is to practise a technique with a partner who does not react at all. This way one’s partner is acting like a material. In sports one often practises techniques against a partner who resists but then again there is almost no human relationship when one’s partner tries to resist all the time.

Practising techniques without human relationship might make oneself to behave like a weapon or a robot. Unconsciously one considers that one should use a technique to fight just like a man who uses a gun to fight or a government who uses the army or secret service to win a war. If one applies a material weapon on human life, this material weapon determines the destiny of human beings. This will lead to the destruction of humanity and human lives. The way of aikido practise maintains the humanity as basis of the world.

Kumiwaza

Most martial arts or sport starts by practise of techniques by oneself. If it is difficult to practise alone, one uses one’s partner like a doll. They sometimes uses a material like a punch ball or a dummy as their partner. So they treat their partner like a material and there is no human relationship between them. However, it is impossible to practise aikido techniques against any materials as a partner. Aikido starts from the beginning with a practise of a couple and so one faces the difficulty of human relationship immediately and learns how to deal with it. Aikido techniques are not made to apply against materials but are a part of human relationships in real life. This is called Kumiwaza. Kumi in Japanese means a couple and waza means techniques. So aikido training starts with Kumiwaza. It means a practise of two human beings with human relationships.

Hitoriwaza

In order to learn precise movements, it is convenient to practise the movements by oneself. This is called Hitoriwaza. Hitori means alone. Hitoriwaza can be used as a help to Kumiwaza. You can practise Hitoriwaza with a partner if your partner helps you. Practise of Hitoriwaza with a partner without human relationship is not Kumiwaza. Just like family life, there are many changes in human relationships and one must continue to live each situation. Kumiwaza is a practise of techniques in different situations of human relationship of a couple. When there is no real relationship, a technique becomes Hitoriwaza. It is like sitting alone time to time is helpful to your family life. There are aikido exercises and health exercises as predetermined sets of Hitoriwazas.

Tsuzukiwaza

After one has learned many Kumiwaza, one should learn how to perform different techniques one after another. This way of practise makes one understand the relationship and meaning of techniques. It is possible to create groups of techniques in order to practise this way. This is called Tsuzukiwaza. Tsuzuki means continuity and Waza means techniques. Techniques in one group should create a harmonious continuity. Some of them became a part of aikido practise since 1975 and now it is time to update them. First the name is updated to Tsuzukiwaza. They should be harmonious and easy to remember. I have already made 33 harmonious Tsuzukiwazas but it is always possible to develop more Tsuzukiwazas. It is also possible to modify each Tsuzukiwaza in order to make it more harmonious or easier to perform.

Doshu

Tsuzukiwaza 1 – 33: Details

Complete Tsuzukiwaza Set

1. Katatedori Tenkan
2. Katatedori Ryotemochi
3. Yokomenuchi
4. Ryokatadori
5. Suwariwaza
6. Ushirodori
7. Tsuki and Keri
8. Ryotedori
9. Shomenuchi
10. Taninzugake
11. Katatedori & Katatekosadori
12. Katatedori Ryotemochi
13. Yokomenuchi
14. Ryokatadori
15. Zagi Handachi
16. Ushirodori
17. Tsuki
18. Ushiro Ryokatadori
19. Katadori Menuchi
20. Jonage
21. Tantodori 1
22. Tantodori 2
23. Bokkendori
24. Jodori
25. Jo 1
26. Jo 2
27. Jo and Bokken 1
28. Jo and Bokken 2
29. Bokken 1
30. Bokken 2
31. Bokken Kumiwaza 1
32. Bokken Kumiwaza 2
33. Shinken

Tsuzukiwaza: A help to memorize
Tsuzukiwaza 1 to 10

No. 1 means one hand attack, which is Katatedori.

No. 2 means two hands attack, which is Katatedori Ryotemochi.

No. 3 is a triangle, which is formed by the Yokomenuchi attack.

No. 4 makes a square, which is formed by Ryokatadori. In Ryokatadori Uke’s two arms always go to Nage’s two shoulders and so they always create a square.

No. 5 is a square plus one. The square is formed by the Seiza position by the two knees and two feet. Then one’s head is up there. In Seiza one initially does not have the intention of doing something with the hands. If one wants to work, one stands up. When one sits down, one intends to use one’s head for eating, thinking, reading, writing, etc. That is why the Seiza position is a square plus one’s head, which makes five.

No. 6 means two hands attack to two hands and legs. So Ushirodori. In Ushirodori Uke can attack Nage’s neck, elbows, wrists, upper body, etc. with Uke’s two arms. So Uke uses two arms and Nage uses two arms and two legs to perform techniques. Uke’s attacking two hands and Nage’s two hands and legs makes total six hands and legs.

No. 8 means two squares formed by four arms. So Ryotedori.

No. 3, 7 and 9 are uneven numbers. No. 5 is one unity and dedicated to the sitting position. So No. 3, 7 and 9 are hitting attacks. Shomenuchi is a more complicated attack than Munetsuki. So Munetsuki is No. 7 and Shomenuchi is No. 9.

No. 10 is the end of a set and so becomes the Many-men-attack.

Tsuzukiwaza 11 to 20

No 11 to No 20 becomes the second set. The ways to attack run parallel to the attacks of No. 1 to No. 10.
No. 20 Jonage is similar to No. 10 but one uses Jo instead of arms.

Tsuzukiwaza 21 to 33

No 21 to No 33 are weapon techniques.

Tsuzukiwaza 1 – 33: Techniques


1. Katatedori Tenkan (LLL, RRR, LR, LR, LR)
1. Kokyunage
2. Kirikaeshi
3. Zemponage
4. Kaitennage
5. Shihonage
6. Ikkyo

2. Katatedori Ryotemochi (LLL, RRR, LR, LR, LR)
1. Kokyunage
2. Kokyunage
3. Kokyunage
4. Zemponage
5. Nikyo
6. Koteoroshi

3. Yokomenuchi (RRR, LLL, RL, RL, RL)
1. Sudori
2. Sudori
3. Kokyunage Irimi
4. Shihonage
5. Zemponage
6. Kokyunage

4. Ryokatadori (LLL, RRR, LR, LR, LR)
1. Zemponage
2. Kirikaeshi
3. Sudori
4. Kokyunage
5. Nikyo
6. Zemponage

5. Suwariwaza
1. Shomenuchi Ikkyo Irimi
2. Shomenuchi Ikkyo Tenkan
3. Katadori Menuchi Kokyunage
4. Shomenuchi Kokyunage
5. Tsuki Koteoroshi
6. Yokomenuchi Zemponage

6. Ushirodori
1. Ushirotori Zemponage
2. Ushirotekubitori Kubishime Uragaeshi
3. Ushirotekubitori Kubishime Zemponage
4. Ushirotekubitori Koteoroshi Irimi
5. Ushirotekubitori Koteoroshi Tenkan
6. Ushirotekubitori Sankyonage
7. Ushirotekubitori Ikkyo

7. Tsuki and Keri
1. Tsuki Kokyunage
2. Tsuki Ikkyo
3. Tsuki Zemponage
4. Keri Irimi
5. Mawashigeri
6. Tsuki Koteoroshi

8. Ryotedori (LLL, RRR, LR, LR, LR)
1. Tenchinage Irimi
2. Tenchinage Tenkan
3. Kokyunage
4. Kokyunage
5. Zemponage
6. Kirikaeshi

9. Shomenuchi (RRR, LLL, RL, RL, RL)
1. Ikkyo Irimi
2. Ikkyo Tenkan
3. Kokyunage
4. Shihonage
5. Zemponage
6. Kirikaeshi
7. Sankyo

10. Taninzugake
1. Niningake Zemponage(once)
2. Niningake Kokyunage (once)
3. Niningake Seiretsu
4. Niningake Shihonage
5. Sanningake Kokyunage
6. Yoningake free

11. Katatedori and Katatekosadori (LLL, RRR, RRR, LLL)
1. Katatedori Irimi
2. Katatedori Kokyunage
3. Katatedori Uchiwanage
4. Katate Kosadori Kokyunage
5. Katate Kosadori Makikaeshi
6. Katate Kosadori Kirikaeshi

12. Katatedori Ryotemochi (LLL, RRR, LR, LR, LR)
1. Irimi
2. Tenkan
3. Ikkyo
4. Nikyo
5. Zemponage
6. Zemponage

13. Yokomenuchi (RRR, LLL, RL, RL, RL)
1. Irimi
2. Jujinage
3. Atemi
4. Shihonage
5. Koteoroshi
6. Zemponage

14. Ryokatadori (LLL, RRR, LR, LR, LR)
1. Ikkyo Irimi
2. Sankyo Tenkan
3. Kokyunage
4. Kokyunage
5. Kirikaeshi
6. Yonkyo Tenkan

15. Zagi Handachi
1. Katatedori Zemponage
2. Katatedori Kaitennage
3. Shomenuchi Kokyunage
4. Ushirodori Zemponage
5. Tsuki Koteoroshi
6. Yokomenuchi Zemponage

16. Ushirodori
1. Ushirotori Koteoroshi
2. Ushirotori Sankyo
3. Hagaijime Kokyunage
4. Ushirotekubitori Uragaeshi
5. Ushirotekubitori Zemponage
6. Ushirotekubitori Shihonage Irimi
7. Ushirotekubitori Shihonage Tenkan

17. Tsuki
1. Irimi
2. Yokomenuchi
3. Uchiwanage
4. Sudori
5. Shomenuchi
6. Koteoroshi Hantai Tenkan

18. Ushiro Ryokatadori
1. Kokyunage
2. Kokyunage
3. Zemponage
4. Ikkyo
5. Koteoroshi
6. Sankyo

19. Katadori Menuchi
1. Irimi
2. Tenkan
3. Kokyunage
4. Nikyo
5. Sankyonage
6. Zemponage

20. Jonage
1. Kokyunage
2. Zemponage
3. Zemponage
4. Shihonage
5. Nikyo
6. Koteoroshi
7. Kirikaeshi
8. 3 men attack

21. Tantodori 1
1. Ushiro Tsuki Koteoroshi
2. Ushiro Tsuki Ikkyo
3. Shomenuchi Koteoroshi
4. Shomenuchi Kokyunage
5. Tsuki Zemponage
6. Yokomenuchi Irimi
7. Yokomenuchi Gokyo

22. Tantodori 2
1. Ushiro Kubishime Sankyo
2. Yokomenuchi Shihonage
3. Tsuki Menuchi
4. Tsuki Menuchi
5. Tsuki Koteoroshi
6. Tsuki Ikkyo
7. Tsuki Kaitennage

23. Bokkendori
1. Shomenuchi Sudori and Kokyunage
2. Shomenuchi Koteoroshi and Irimidori
3. Yokomenuchi Irimi
4. Yokomenuchi Shihonage
5. Tsuki Koteoroshi
6. Tsuki Zemponage
7. Tsuki Nikyo

24. Jodori
1. Yokomenuchi Zemponage
2. Yokomenuchi Shihonage
3. Tsuki Kaeshi
4. Tsuki Zemponage
5. Tsuki Kirikaeshi
6. Douchi Kokyunage
7. Yokobarai Kokyunage

25. Jo 1
1. Tsuki
2. Tsuki
3. Yokomenuchi
4. Gyaku Yokomenuchi
5. Ushiro Kaho Tsuki
6. Tzuki
7. Yokomenuchi
8. Gyaku Yokomenuchi
9. Ushiro Kaho Uchi
10. Gyaku Tsuki
11. Gyaku Yokomenuchi
12. Tsuki
13. Shomenuchi – UshiroTsuki
14. Joho Uchi
15. Sakate Tsuki
16. Tsuki
17. Kaho Shomenuchi – Ushiro Tsuki and left knee down
18. Ashibarai
19. Kaho Sakate Tsuki
20. Tsuki and step back
21. Joho Uchi
22. Gyaku Tsuki

26. Jo 2
1. Tsuki
2. Tsuki
3. Yokomenuchi and step back
4. Uchi Oroshi
5. Gyaku Yokomenuchi
6. Tsuki and step back
7. Koho Yokomenuchi and step back
8. Uchi Oroshi
9. Gyaku Yokomenuchi
10. Tsuki and step back
11. Koho Yokomenuchi
12. Left Koho Tsuki
13. Right Koho Tsuki
14. Turn and Tsuki
15. Koho Yokomenuchi
16. Yokobarai in a circle
17. Joho Uchi
18. Gyaku Tsuki
19. Gyaku Yokomenuchi
20. Tsuki and step back
21. Joho Uchi
22. Gyaku Tsuki

27. Jo and Bokken 1
In relation to Jo n.1, Uke moves with Bokken as follows:
1. Uke steps back and then Shomenuchi keeping right hanmi
2. idem
3. Uke steps back into right hanmi
4. Uke steps back into left hanmi
5. Uke puts Bokken down
6. Uke does nothing
7. idem
8. Uke puts Bokken behind Nage’s back
9. Nage hits down Uke’s Bokken
10. Uke steps back into right hanmi
11. Uke steps back into right hanmi
12. Uke steps back into left hanmi
13. Uke Yokomenuchi
14. Uke Shomenuchi and steps back into right hanmi
15. Uke steps back into right hanmi
16. Uke steps back into left hanmi
17. Uke Yokomenuchi
18. Uke Shomenuchi and steps back into right hanmi
19. Uke steps back into right hanmi
20. Uke steps back into left hanmi
21. Uke Shomenuchi and steps back into right hanmi
22. Uke steps back into right hanmi

28. Jo and Bokken 2
In relation to Jo n.2, Uke move with Bokken as follows:
1. Uke steps back keeping right hanmi
2. idem
3. Uke steps back into left hanmi
4. Uke Shomenuchi and Nage hits down Uke’s Bokken
5. Uke steps back into left hanmi
6. Uke steps back into left hanmi
7. Uke puts Bokken down
8. Uke does nothing
9. idem
10. idem
11. Uke steps back into right hanmi
12. Uke does nothing
13. idem
14. idem
15. Uke steps back into right hanmi
16. Uke keeps distance
17. Uke Shomenuchi and steps back into right hanmi
18. Uke steps back into right hanmi
19. Uke steps back into left hanmi
20. Uke steps back into left hanmi
21. Uke Shomenuchi and steps back into right hanmi
22. Uke steps back into right hanmi

29. Bokken 1
1. Shomenuchi
2. Tzuki
3. Ushiro Shomenuchi
4. Tzuki
5. Hidari Shomenuchi
6. Tzuki
7. Ushiro Shomenuchi
8. Tzuki
9. Hidari Shomenuchi
10. Ushiro Shomenuchi
11. Hidari Shomenuchi
12. Ushiro Shomenuchi
13. Yokobarai with a complete circle

30. Bokken 2
1. Cut up
2. Gyaku Yokomenuchi
3. Yokomenuchi
4. Gyaku Yokomenuchi
5. Ushiro Shomenuchi
6. Tsuki
7. Ushiro Shomenuchi
8. Tsuki
9. Yokomenuchi Tobi Komi
10. Gyaku Yokomenuchi Tobi Komi
11. Gyaku Tsuki
12. Yokomenuchi
13. Yokobarai forward and step back

31. Bokken Kumiwaza 1
In relation of Bokken N. 2 Uke moves as follows:
1. Shomenuchi
2. Right step back
3. Left step back
4. Right step back
5. Uke puts down Bokken
6. Uke does nothing
7. Uke puts Bokken against Nage’s Bokken
8. Left step forward
9. Turn facing Nage
10. Right step forward and turn facing Nage
11. Right step back
12. Left step back and Jodan

32. Bokken Kumiwaza 2
1. Kote Uchi
2. Do Uchi
3. Gyaku Do Uchi
4. Tsuki
5. Shomenuchi
6. Yokomenuchi – Gyaku Yokomenuchi

33. Shinken
1. Shomenuchi from Chudan
2. Shomenuchi from Gedan- Ushiro Shomenuchi
3. Kesagake – Yokobarai
4. Gyaku Kesagake – Yokobarai
5. Kesagake – Yokobarai on knee
6. Gyaku Kesagake – Yokobarai on knee
7. Yokomenuchi – Gyaku Yokomenuchi