#100 Kyo and Jitsu - 虚 実


Kyo-Jitsu is a term used in Oriental medicine in combination with Yin and Yang. Kyo-Jitsu indicates more or less amounts; Kyo means shortage such as weakness, and Jitsu means surplus such as fullness.

Although originally an oriental medicine term, the idea of Kyo-Jitsu is also used in the art of war and negotiation. In martial arts, Kyo means less defensive or weakness, while Jitsu means more defensive or strength.

In Kendo, it is said to 'attack Jitsu and strike Kyo'. If you deliberately continue to attack the opponent's strong defence of Jitsu, he will move forward to counterattack. This creates an opening and Kyo is created. Without missing that moment, strike Kyo.

In Judo and Karate, they hit each other with Jitsu to measure their opponent's strength, and the moment their opponent becomes frightened, they spot Kyo and attack there.

So what is Kyo-Jitsu of Aikido?

The attack from Uke is Jitsu. Atemi is not a light feint either, but essentially powerful Jitsu. And Nuki-waza and Taisabaki are Kyo because it eliminates strength from your upper body. Instead of clashing each other with Jitsu and targeting Kyo, you use Kyo to draw out your opponent's Kyo, I think.

In Aikido, your upper body is always kept soft in order to eliminate clashing forces. Therefore, your upper body is Kyo that cancels out forces, and your lower body is Jitsu that performs strong step.

A person with a stiff movement tends to try to beat their opponent, even unconsciously. If you tell such people about the concept of Kyo-Jitsu, it will have the effect of softening their movements.

Best wishes for the year 2024.

Related article: Nuki-waza

[ 虚 実 ]










関連記事: 抜き技


テーマ : 合気道
ジャンル : スポーツ

#99 Concept of Nikyo 二教の概念


When asked about the difference between Ikkyo and Nikyo, most people say that twisting the wrist is Nikyo. This is true if you just look at the movements, but then why twist the wrists? If you think about the reasons for this, the difference between Ikkyo and Nikyo becomes clear.

Putting the answer first, the difference is the direction you break down your opponent.

If your opponent falls down towards his back side, he will place one hand on the floor on his back side. In this case, his posture is almost completely broken, so you can push him directly to the floor and hold him down with Ikkyo-omote.

Conversely, if your opponent falls towards his chest side, he will place one hand on the floor in front of his face. In that case, the possibility of getting up still remains. So, you prevent him from getting up by twisting his wrist and pushing in. In other words, that is Nikyo-omote.

You do not change from Ikkyo to Nikyo because you just want to do Nikyo. Good practice always shows a need for Nikyo in your opponent's movements. That is proper Nikyo practice.

Ikkyo and Nikyo are different from the first move, as the direction to break your opponent is different. Therefore, twisting the wrist doesn't automatically mean Nikyo practice.

Related article: Irimi-nage

[ 二教の概念 ]







関連記事: 入身投げ

テーマ : 合気道
ジャンル : スポーツ

#98 Notes on Ikkyo Ura Practice 一教裏稽古の留意点


No Nikyo factor is needed in Ikkyo practice:

A person has three centres of gravity: the upper body centre of gravity, the total body centre of gravity and the lower body centre of gravity. The mid-point between a line connecting upper and lower body centre of gravity points is the combined point of gravity. Ikkyo is a technique to extend the opponent's combined centre of gravity point outwards and break it down.

If you grab the opponent's hand tightly, push his elbow and turn it quickly like a crankshaft, he will fall down because of the pain. But this is not Ikkyo. The factors of Nikyo are not necessary for Ikkyo practice.

Don't pull the opponent's arm:

If you try to grab your opponent's arm and drag him to Ura side, that is just too much force. It is easier to control your opponent by first making a firm Tenkai move instead of rush Tenkan full turn. Place the opponent's elbow in front of yours and turn while slowly putting your weight on his elbow.

Shomen-uchi Ikkyo Ura is not the same as Yokomen-uchi Ikkyo Ura:

Shomen-uchi Ikkyo Ura is a technique to break the opponent's posture by taking advantage of his downward striking motion. If you grab the opponent's wrist, you will stop his downward strike, so you do not do so. The image is to accelerate the kinetic energy of the opponent who strikes down from above without blocking.

Briefly, you attach your hand to the opponent's upraised elbow and let him strike by adding the kinetic energy generated by your Tenkai turning motion. At the moment the opponent loses his balance, you grab his wrist and hold him down.

Those who grab the opponent's wrist from the beginning are most often missing the timing of the first move. Therefore, they try to stop the opponent's attack and then cut it down, just as in Yokomen-uchi Ikkyo Ura. The timing of the first move is important, even in Ura.

Related article: Tips for "Tenkai" movement

[ 一教裏稽古の留意点 ]










関連記事: 転回動作の約束事

テーマ : 合気道
ジャンル : スポーツ

#97 Ikkyo: Mindset rather than movement - 動き方より考え方


Shomen-uchi Ikkyo is one of the first techniques that beginners learn and the movements are simple. However, after being taught all the other techniques, many people find Ikkyo the most difficult. When you are a beginner, the senior members will gently help you with your moves. After a while, when the senior is no longer helping you, it suddenly becomes difficult to break down your opponent, and many people try to push back with force.

Aikido techniques allow the opponent to attack first and then deal with the attack, the so-called post-attack. In Shomen-uchi Ikkyo, if you fail to make the initial move at the right timing, your opponent will push you down to mats. With joint techniques, even if you make a few mistakes, you can twist your opponent's joints to cause pain and cover up your mistakes, but this is not the case with Ikkyo. This is why many people think that Ikkyo is the most difficult.

In Shomen-uchi Ikkyo, you press the opponent's elbow up from below as he swings his arm up. Without missing the [timing] to step in, [position] yourself to break the opponent's centre, [speed] without force, and connect flows at a good [tempo].

There is also another way to flow the opponent to the side, but that is the way to deal with a size difference between adults and kids. Instead, practise the four elements of Awase by stepping firmly forward.

The more you push each other with force, the more you move away from the purpose of Ikkyo training. The important thing is not how you move, but how you think, I guess.

Related article: Push and Cut - correct way to strike "Shomen-uchi"

[ 動き方より考え方 ]






関連記事:押して切る - 正面打ちの正し方

テーマ : 合気道
ジャンル : スポーツ

#96 Clear explanation of Kiawase - 気合わせの解釈


Please try the following experiment at home first.

When someone else tickles your armpits, it is very ticklish and you can't stand it. But when you tickle yourself, you don't feel anything. Now, put your hand on top of someone else's hand. Then you don't feel ticklish when you are tickled. This is because your brain misidentifies that you are doing yourself by placing your own hand on top of someone else's.

Ki-awase is essentially a technique that uses this misidentification of the brain. You sense the direction of the opponent's kinetic energy flow, and gently and softly overlap your own kinetic energy in that direction.

The two kinetic energies overlap and the movement accelerates, but the opponent's brain mistakenly recognises this as being caused by his own movement and his reaction is delayed. At that moment, the opponent is off balance and you can initiate the technique. The trick is to overlap the energies softly and guide them without pushing or pulling by force.

Aikido is first practised by reading the direction of kinetic energy and connecting the flow. Experienced students who are able to do this naturally then practise connecting the flow by guiding the direction of the opponent's consciousness. In this way, the movements become simpler and simpler. This technique is called Ki-awase.

If the quick flow is resisted, its huge kinetic energy is focused on the joints, which can cause injury. So it is important for Uke to accept the flow when he or she feels it is being led.

Of course, Nage also respects the training partner, your Uke, and ensures safety while performing the technique. The way the safety is ensured is a measure of the skill of Nage. Good Uke and good Nage are such things.

Aikido has no rules. That is why it is a fundamental premise that you must trust your training partners, and you cannot practise with people you do not trust. If you don't trust your partner, you will only resist each other and it will be impossible to practise Ki-awase. I am very lucky to be able to practise with people I trust and I thank everyone for that.

Related article: What is "Ki no nagare"?

[ 気合わせの解釈 ]









関連記事: 気の流れとは何か?

テーマ : 合気道
ジャンル : スポーツ

#95 New year, new you?


Since the time of Shioda-sensei, it has been said that 70% of Aikido is Atemi (striking with the hand). This means that if you master good Taisabaki (bodywork), the strength and accuracy of your Atemi will make the difference.

Normally, if your Taisabaki improves, you should be able to enter the opponent's back or blind spot more easily, and therefore use more Atemi and fewer techniques. However, during normal practice, Atemi is only used as a feint and the focus of training is still on techniques.

In other words, even if you get into a good position where you can aim for a knockout with a single strike, you still deliberately practice to finish with techniques that require many moves. Why such a training method?

Aikido and Judo have the same method of commitment practice (Yakusoku-keiko). Lead your opponent to create an opening and lose his balance. This creates a similar feeling in the opponent's brain as if stepping off a staircase.

In other words, commitment practice is only possible if the opponent makes the movement that is invited. If the opponent does not understand the concept of the technique, you lose the reason to initiate the specified technique and will either change the technique or end up with Atemi.

For example, in practice of Shomen-uchi Irimi-nage, many people often freeze on the spot, as if their role is over after Shomen-uchi. And the throwers try to throw with force, sticking to Irimi-nage. Or the throwers try to pull down from behind the frozen opponent. It is good to change techniques, but it is not good practice for Irimi-nage in such a situation every time.

Of course, anyone can forcefully throw without regard to the concept of technique, and that is an easy choice. But that kind of behaviour is very ugly and you lose as the Aikido artist.

New Year is coming soon. I hope that you are inspired to learn about the philosophy of Aikido and to think about what "Aiki" means in Aikido.

Thank you for reading this blog. I wish you all the best in the New Year.

Related article: Practice of "Metuke"

[ New year, new you? ]









関連記事: 目付けの稽古

テーマ : 合気道
ジャンル : スポーツ

#94 Do you trust each other in practice? - あなたは稽古相手と信頼し合ってますか?


How much do you trust your partner during pair practice? It is very important in Aikido that not only you trust your partner, but also your partner trusts you. Aikido is about Aiki (harmony of energy), so whatever you do with someone you don't trust will not be Aikido. It is a matter of mind rather than skill, so Dan rank has nothing to do with it.

When you watch demonstrations by instructors from Japanese and European Dojos, you can clearly see that there is a strong relationship of trust between the Uke and the Nage. There is no hesitation in their movements, and the Uke is like wrapping around the Nage's body. It is as soft as a rope on a branch.

Aikido releases force in a tangential direction, creating a continuous circular motion. This is not only in the horizontal direction, but also in the vertical direction. Therefore, as mutual trust increases, Ukemi also changes from a break fall to a soft feather fall.

In other words, the soft feather fall is impossible without mutual trust and is a sign of trust. The reason you don't see the soft feather fall in Judo is that there is nothing to trust except the rules, since the competition is about attacking the opponent's weaknesses and carelessness.

In full dynamic training, if my Uke hesitates and our movement is interrupted, or if he takes the Mae-ukemi in a situation when he should take the break fall, I will realize that I am not yet trusted by him.

When practicing with someone you trust, there is no fear or hesitation, and you can feel the four elements of blending (speed, timing, tempo, and positioning) becoming more and more harmonious and enjoyable. For beginners, the first goal is to discover this enjoyment.

My Aikido friend, Yang has opened a new Dojo in Guizhou, China. At his Dojo, priority is given to learning Ukemi skills and blending skills before teaching throwing techniques. Watching them practice, it is clear that Yang is very trusted by his students. A good Dojo produces a good Uke. I am sure that his students will grow up to be excellent Aikido artists.

Practice Scene at Yang's Dojo:

Related article: "Kata-keiko" (form training)

[ あなたは稽古相手と信頼し合ってますか? ]









関連記事: 型稽古の目的

テーマ : 合気道
ジャンル : スポーツ

#93 Slow is smooth, smooth is fast - ゆっくりはスムーズ、スムーズは速い


The speed of pair training is usually divided into three categories: static, semi-dynamic, and full dynamic. Even in the same technique, the movements change according to the different speeds. Therefore, we do not perform full dynamic with static movements. It is not just a matter of moving fast.

As anyone with sports experience will know, it is quite common that your sense part and your actual body movement part are very often different. There may be a misunderstanding that Aikido is learned by feeling, so it is better to practice the same technique but with different speeds in different stages.

Knowing that the movement of techniques changes with speed allows for a variety of practice. This also means that we can practice for a wide range of age groups. The middle-aged and older can polish their skills from slow to smooth movements, while the young can challenge themselves from smooth to full dynamic movements.

If many students grow into good quality Uke, then high quality training will be possible throughout the Dojo.

" Slow is smooth, smooth is fast. "

I believe that the key to smoothness is to have the habit of carefully observing your opponent.

Related article: Simplify Preliminary Movement

[ ゆっくりはスムーズ、スムーズは速い ]







関連記事: 予備動作を簡素化する

テーマ : 合気道
ジャンル : スポーツ

#92 Young people want a challenge - 若い人はチャレンジを求めている


The other day I met an Aikido friend again in the dressing room of Avondale College, where Waitakere Dojo is located. I had met the young man at another Dojo, but he has given up Aikido and is now enjoying himself in a futsal club. He said he stopped because he didn't find the practice challenging.

It is understandable that after the age of 40, you will not be able to push yourself as much even if you want to. But it is obviously not right for young members to be practicing with movements like elderly people.

The point is that most young members are not avoiding hard work. They simply have not been taught how to work hard.

Training that teaches only the movements of Nage (throwing) is just an easygoing practice, even if it is tiring. There is no fear and lack of challenge. To begin with, if endurance is all about hard work, it doesn't have to be Aikido.

As Aikido is divided into Nage and Uke (receiving), Uke requires hard work and determination to face pain and fear, which is what makes it a challenge. In the Dojo where he was, there was very little instruction in Uke skills.

"Don't copy the elderly master, copy when he was young."

This is a common saying in Japan. After hearing his talk, I realized once again that young people want an environment that is challenging.

Related article: Practice of "Metuke"

[ 若い人はチャレンジを求めている ]








関連記事: 目付けの稽古

テーマ : 合気道
ジャンル : スポーツ

#91 How to enjoy Aikido - 合気道の楽しみ方


1. First step to learning soft movements:

The secret to enjoying martial arts is to gradually overcome the fear of pain. The first fear for Aikido beginners is probably the practice of Ukemi. At first the body shrinks and stiffens, so the body falls from the back and hips to the floor.

However, if you have the courage to practice Ukemi repeatedly, you will get better at it and your movements will become softer and the impact will lessen. With the support of your instructor and senior members, develop a little courage. This is the first step to learning soft movements.

2. How to learn throwing techniques:

Modern Judo practices positively introduce sports science, while also valuing traditional principles. The first two things Judo beginners are taught by their instructors are that "if you are going to throw someone, you must be prepared to be thrown", and that "throwing techniques are learnt while being thrown". This is exactly what it means to learn by doing.

These two principles also apply to Aikido, of course. By having someone of a higher level throw you, you learn the four elements of Awase (joining); timing, positioning, speed and tempo. Also, as Aikido is not about knocking down your opponent, you will learn the key points to safely apply techniques and throws.

Those who have learnt how to throw while being thrown a lot have the habit of observing their Nage well, so their movements are soft and naturally safety-conscious. Therefore, they will be able to enjoy dynamic movements with anyone. On the other hand, those who have not learnt the point of view of Uke, move in a forceful and stiff manner, and their egos are often seen. To enjoy beautiful Aikido, it is important to feel that it is also fun to be thrown.

3. Beginners' goals for enjoyment:

Frankly speaking, practice that teaches only throwing movements is casual practice that does not require patience. All the Uke has to do is to take a step to the side and do a Ushiro-ukemi, and such practice only makes you lazy.

In Aikido, there is always Awase (joining) between the Nage and the Uke, and the Uke's movements are more dynamic than the Nage, requiring more hard work. This is where the true enjoyment of Aikido can be found. Of course, everyone is in a different health condition and enjoys Aikido in a different way. But I think it is the role of seniors to show beginners and children the direction they are aiming for.

If you enjoy Nage's move but not Uke's move, it is the same as enjoying only half of Aikido. The most effective way to correct such a practice environment is to examine proficiency of Uke skills during the examination. Then everyone's awareness will change.

Related article: Message for beginners

Related article: Message for beginners part 2

[ 合気道の楽しみ方 ]

1. 柔らかな動きを習得する第一歩:



2. 投げ技の学び方:




3. 初心者が目指す楽しみ方:





関連記事:初心者へのメッセージ その二

テーマ : 合気道
ジャンル : スポーツ



初心者にも分かりやすく、理論的に基礎知識を説明します。なんとなく他人の動きを真似るのではなく、普段から考える力を育てていくことを目的としています。In this blog, I explain the basics in a theoretical way that is easy to understand for beginners. The aim is to help you to develop your ability to think, not to copy the movements somehow. Aikido is not magic. I will explain things that are not so clear, such as Ki and O-Sensei's philosophy.