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Book of Forms - Kata No Hon
 
 
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book of forms

A BOOK OF FORMS

By

Douglas H. Skoyles

A New Introduction AD2006

 

            All things develop.  Even orthodox Christian jurisdictions develop new insights into the unchanging deposit of Faith as time goes on.  So it is with Aikido, and more particularly with the Nakayamakai: the core remains the same, the ethics immutable, but new ways of seeing things and even of doing things in a few instances, is to be expected.

            Back in 1988, when I first (foolishly?) tried to set down some ideas on what we were doing, I chose perhaps the worst possible time to do so.  Shortly afterwards Nakayama Goichi Okina changed everything.  (See below.)  In writing The Book of Forms – Kata no Hon in 1992 I could not include everything (as one never can)  but now see a few glaring omissions whose inclusion or at least mention now may help (or further frustrate) the practitioner.  In 1993 we filmed our first video of the kata, complete with at least two mistakes I made, and “low tech” camera equipment, particularly when viewed from the perspective of the 21st Century.  I could see that the Kata no Hon needed a few extra notes.  Finally there are simply some things I would like to add. 

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            The Rev’d Canon Gordon Goichi Nakayama was a priest of the Anglican Church of Canada.  In a wonderful recorded introduction to a compact disk of Japanese drumming,  Nakayama Okina said:

            "I am a Anglican  <ah> minister, <ah> born in <ah> in  Japan.
            My father was a farmer. <ah>  I think it was about a year before he died in 19<ah>13 and <ah> he told me there three very important thing in life.            The most important thing is time.  Time never <ah> come back.  Time is very precious.  So keep time.  <ah> Don't waste time.             And then he said, anything, <ah> position, <ah> money and material things also <ah>  important so don't waste your money.  Don't waste your things belonging to you.  Use it the best  for your ability.         And then he said many people <ah> don't know his own talent.  Everyone has a special talent and <ah>  so don't waste your talent.  Find out what your talent is and use it the best of your ability and then you'll succeed in life." 
 
            This quotation captures the charming style, the humility and the wisdom of Nakayama Okina.   According to the British Columbia Archival Union List:
Nakayama, Gordon Goichi, 1900-1995 Born in Ozu, Japan, in 1900, Gordon Nakayama came to Canada in 1919, was ordained priest in the Anglican Church of Canada in 1939 and served in the church in Vancouver prior to the evacuation to the B/C. interior in 1942 and Coaldale, Alberta after World War II. He travelled in portions on Canada, United States, Japan, and other parts of Asia on missionary activity on behalf of the Anglican Church, in addition, he wrote ca. 15 books in the Japanese language on theological and philosophical matters.”  

            Goichi Nakayama was born on the island of Shikoku, the fourth of the main Japanese islands.   He said his family was “Buddhist” but I do not know what weight to give that statement since it could mean anything from a nominal and normal Japanese Buddhism practiced alongside reverence for the Shinto kami, to fanatical membership in some exclusivist Buddhist sect.   In 1919 young Goichi (which is how he signed a letter to me written in Japanese), having moved to Vancouver, found the famous Church of St James.  St James was the extreme Anglo-Catholic church of the Canadian west coast, complete with orthodox teaching, celibate priests in a clergy house, incense, holy water – full “bells and smells” Anglicanism.  It was here that Goichi Nakayama found Christ and was baptised with the Christian name of Gordon.  The news of his conversion was not well received back in Shikoku and, as he told it, his parents rejected him.  Whatever this may have meant, it does make one wonder about the religious stance of the senior Nakayamas and if there was any family history to explain anti-Christian sentiments that could threaten family unity.    We do know that the attempts of the Meiji government to encourage State Shinto led some Japanese such a the great swordsman Tesshu Yamaoka to a strong renewal of Buddhist devotion and discipline.  Could the senior Nakayamas have been part of this movement?

            Nakayama Okina came under strong evangelical Anglican influence leading to his world-wide ministry as an evangelist who travelled particularly to Japanese communities as far-flung as Brazil, Canada and Japan itself.  Oddly for an evangelical he also became an expert in Chinese acupuncture.  Under whom he studied and how extensively I do not know; but he became a powerful healer with his cute little “ball point pen” in his breast pocket.  Of course it was not a pen but a clever imitation which concealed his acupuncture needles.  Believe me, and I speak from experience, the Reverend Canon G.G. Nakayama was “the fastest needle in the West”!   His knowledge and use of Ki was unsurpassed. 

            There was an irony about my relationship with Nakayama Okina.  I first met him in 1969 when he was Rector of the Church of the Epiphany, Coaldale and I was a newly ordained  assistant at St Barnabas’ Calgary.  The irony was that I did not know that he was a Master of Ki and he did not know that I practiced Aikido.  It was some years before we managed to find out the other’s “secret”.  He was, however, one of my models of how to be a good priest. 

            Nakayama sensei had two children.  Timothy Nakayama followed his father into the priesthood and served in Calgary, Seattle, Okinawa and Honshu.  In another irony Timothy preceded me as Assistant Curate of St Barnabas’ Calgary.  Fr Timothy’s sister is Joy Kogawa, the award winning author and member of the Order of Canada.

            In 1988, in a simple ceremony more moving than anything since my ordinations, Nakayama Goichi Okina adopted me as “Nakayama no musuko, Nakayama no samurai”,  “son and servant of the Nakayama family”, with the  name “Nakayama Kurokawa”, “Kurokawa” being merely a rendering of the meaning of “Douglas”, “black stream” or “dark river”.   He also reluctantly gave me permission to rename our association and Way  “Nakayama”.  I am sure he never realized the importance of his Ki teaching to the development of our association.  What he taught dovetailed perfectly with the Aikido I had learned from Kimeda sensei and others, and helped to covert my previous hard arts experience.  The same points and meridians used for healing are used for martial stimulation.  Today when demonstrating nerve stimulations or atemi I always think of Nakayama sensei – who might or might not be scandalized that so many of his acupuncture healing techniques can be used for martial purposes!  

            He also authorized us to use the Nakayama mon, the family crest and drew it for me.  His version was that of three kiri, the paulownia tree crest used also as one of the royal mon, along with the chrysanthemum.  When Nakayama sensei drew the crest he left off the top flowers on the three stalks and this is the form in which we use the mon in the Nakayamakai.  I once saw a row of kiri when visiting the Longwood Gardens, Pierre S. DuPont’s amazing public display near Wilmington Delaware.  We happened to be there at exactly the moment the paulownia were in bloom.  There they were, covered in purple flowers arranged on three spikes with leaves hanging down, exactly as depicted on the mon.    It was an absurdly moving moment to look down the wide straight pathway lined with the crest of the family that had made me an honorary member.

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            Over the years I have been asked, more times than I can remember, some version of “What is that thing you do and why do you do it?”    The monograph and the Book of Forms are an attempt to answer that type of question.  I prefer one sentence answers.  A few decades ago I would talk about Aiki as “yoga in motion”; more recently I like to say “Aiki is attitude adjustment by means of skills acquisition”.   None of it makes a whole lot of sense to more “normal” people.    It all comes down to the fact that I was given this thing, and the hard arts that went before them in my inconsequential life and persevered with it.  Persistence, perseverance, “stick-to-it-iveness” seem to have paid off in terms of a rather wonderful life.  Why do I do it?  Because it has been given to me to do.  Why do I teach it?  Because I see what happens to other people, even those who do not persist but who are only touched for a time by the wonderful martial ethical Way.

            Jim Turner, one of our licensed instructors [kyoshi], has interviewed several of our members and ex-members for a film about how Aiki has changed or improved their lives.  I have stories as well from others who say that it has made them better people, saved them from jail, helped them get back to school, saved them from assault or rape, and in one case saved a fine young man from suicide.  

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            As to the Kata no Hon, I cannot believe that I did not emphasize the importance of geometrical simplicity.  Kata or katachi is important to drill spirit, mind and body by exact repetition.  Every time a kata is performed it is different in spirit and flavour yet it is pointless to do if the mechanics do not approach exactitude in execution: the same thing done in the same way over and over again.  As with shooting a Western bow and arrow it is necessary to have the fingers braced against cheek in precisely the same place every time, so in the iaikata it is required that all be the same each time it is done.  Enter the importance of geometry.  The sword is drawn (in each yokodo nuketsuki) as close to absolutely parallel to the ground as possible and returned to the saya in the same way: as  parallel to the ground as possible.  Although this involves some subtle manipulation of the right hand, it means that near perfection can be attained, in part because it is so easy to remember: keep everything parallel to the ground.  I may be a slow learner but it took me many years to realize the importance of this point. 

            Similarly in standing hasso in the kesagiri no kata,  the elbow must be kept in close to the body.   Indeed whenever hasso no kamae is taken, the elbow must be kept in.  This reminds us of the unbelievable number of subtle and not so subtle points in our practice that directly pertain to mortal combat.   The elbow out in the breeze can rather easily become an elbow lying on the ground, independent of the body to which it should be attached.

            What in the text of the Kata no Hon I referred to as merely a “transition” following the resishiki no kata and preceding the seiza kata may now be known as reverence to the honourable teachers who have gone before.  When we bow with the cutting edge towards ourselves we remember all those through whom the principles, concepts, Way, arts and techniques of the Nakayamakai have come to us: from Nakayama  sensei back into the mists of unknown ancient time.  This is why during practice or demonstration of the iaikata the leader may announce “Okina sensei ni rei (o shiro)”, or roughly “Bow in honour of the venerable [living and dead] teachers [who have gone before us and left us these teachings]”.   This interpretation was allowed only after Nakayama sensei died.

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            In iai as in all of our Way it is important not to rush.  My Granny was wont to say, “The more hurry, the less speed”, a saying doubly funny when one knows that her maiden name was the Lowland Scot’s “Speed” before she married the Highlander Charles MacFadyen of the Clan MacLaines of Lochbuie of the Isle of Coll.  Jean MacFadyen could also pluck flies out of the air with her index finger and thumb, a feat I have never matched.  The point of all this is that 1) it is infinitely more useful to do the kata well slowly than to cover errors by going fast; and 2) speed has nothing to do with makoto no budo (“real martial Ways”).  This second point leads to a radical and disputed idea: timing has nothing to do with budo.

            Each time I say this, people look incredulous.  We all know that timing is the basis of boxing, for example.  In karatedo Masatatsu Oyama insisted on timing and a sense of rhythm as fundamental.   Judo competitors seek the exact moment to execute a throw and indeed cannot earn a full point without it.  Yet I insist that timing has no place in KoAikido.  How can I say something so off the wall?

            Well, O-Sensei said it first.  Along with Masakatsu agatsu and Aikisho, The Founder talked of Katsu hayabi,  defined by the late Akira Tohei sensei as “Victory over speed of light, doing things so perfectly that time is no longer a factor”.  As I see it, one establishes such intimacy through Ki with one’s partner that one moves at the proper moment without thought, preparation, hesitation or hurry.  “When nothing is done, nothing is left undone” as it is written in the Tao Te Ching.  This is Katsu hayabi: the victory is already accomplished, so one simply enters into it.   This is not always the case in practicing a set technique, but sometimes is.  It should be the case in randori and certainly in everyday life.  Aiki has nothing to do with timing; it has to do with Ki no misubi, so tying one’s Ki to one’s uke’s that they act as one; it has to do with shite uke toitsu or shite uke ittai,  the two becoming one and then separating at the end of the waza.  Such is our Way, not the timing of competition or of combat.

A few thoughts:

Control the elbow, control the man.
Control the head, control the man.
Control oneself, control the universe.

            As the fortieth anniversary of my introduction to Aikido draws near, and I worry about how to write a proper letter of thanks to Kimeda sensei, I am overcome with gratitude for all that Aiki has done in my life.  If O-Sensei had not compiled this modern and ancient Way I would not be the man I am now, certainly neither as successful, happy or healthy.  Aiki, in particular Nakayamakai KoAikido, has been a boon I have happily passed on to the few who have persisted and to the many who have only tried this Way.  It is a Way, not merely an art; and it is a good Way.   It’s purpose is not, as some others have described Aikido, to be “the arts of self-defence” or “to create world peace” or “to promote the flow of Ki” (though it may well be all of these); its purpose, as we understand this Way, is still kirihaku, “the pruning of one’s own soul”.

(The Rev’d Canon) Douglas H. Skoyles SSC
Lent 2006

 

 

           

Why Practice Forms ?

           Why should an Aikidoka practice forms [kata, tandoku renshu] which many would consider repetitive, stifling, stereotyped programmes?  Is it because we are suffering from obsessive/compulsive personality disorders?  Is it so that we can be better fighters?  Is it to improve our taijutsu?  Aren't kata just shadow boxing after all?  Hoary leftovers of outmoded pedagogy?  More to the point, is it not true that great Aikido masters and even the Founder himself are credited with saying that there are no kata in Aikido?  (This last is true in part, for in one sense at least there are no kata in Aikido.  If a kata be defined as a long exercise such as the 108 movement form in tai chi chuan, then we have only one tandoku renshu to compare with that, the iai kata which is something different again since it is a collection of individual forms.)

           There is no question but that in our time kata have developed a poor reputation among many modern budoka.  Few judoka today learn the forms set down by Kano Jigoro and the Kodokan because these exercises certainly do nothing to improve one's chances of winning Olympic gold medals.  Many modern kick boxers and karate competitors jeer at "kata dancers" -and knock them out in the ring.  And, closer to home, Tomiki Aikido competitors have to practice no forms anything like the ones laid out in this text, despite referring to "kata" in the training methods laid down in Tomiki sensei's form of "combat Judo".  All these modern Ways have little or no use for the apparently boring and useless business of kata training, anymore than they have for such ancient Chinese rigors as standing in a horse stance for hours.

           These Shinbudo (modern martial Ways) all involve competition, and are all avowedly "modern".  Our own understanding is completely different.  The goal of Kokyuho Aikido is not success in a contest, either the winning of trophies nor the knocking out of an opponent.  As Shirata sensei said, "In a world of no-enemy, how can I have an opponent?" and, as he also points out, "Shiai (contest) means shiai (mutual killing)."  Without competition, there is no use for limiting rules.  Despite the practicality of such techniques in a life and death battle, kicks to the knee are forbidden in all full-contact karate, boxing, wrestling, judo, and Tomiki competitions.  As Michael Croucher writer of the BBC TV series .'Budo'. has written, "When a fighting art is developed for sporting purposes, there are gains but also certain qualities are lost.'. One thing which is lost is the high regard for, and the appropriate growth both spiritual and technical provided by, tandoku renshu.

           The spiritual essence of classical Budo is found in the performance of the kata.  It is the meticulous repetition of set forms which opens the mind to the truth of the Way.  Classical Budo (Kobudo) does not aim to win contests nor to cut down an attacker but rather aims by kiri-haku, "the pruning of one's own spirit" through shugyo (austere discipline ie kata), to find shukai (Aikisho, Masa katsu agatsu, victory over self).  The practice of forms is a pursuit which leads to impassivity in the face of any trial, and so to wisdom, maturity, serenity, personal spiritual growth which our predecessors terms "perfection".  To pursue such spiritual goals by means of traditional martial discipline is markedly different from the maintenance of historical treasures found in the still existing Japanese bugei (kobujutsu; ko ryu), and even more distinguished from modern sports or programmes of self-defense.

           By means of the shugyo of performing these kata while maintaining One Point, extending Ki, keeping weight underside, and dynamically relaxing, the open-minded Aikidoka confronts and (God willing) overcomes some of his own failings, eg pride, attachment, judgmentalism, fear, anger.  A certain co-ordination is the result.  The co-ordination is not only that of parts of the body but (every bit as important) the co-ordination of body and mind [shinshin] and of body, mind, and spirit [shinshinkon].  It is this last unity which distinguishes our tradition.  Mere physical technique is certainly not enough.  Even the functional unity [aiki] of mind and body is not enough.  Only the total integration of the whole person and thence the harmony [aiki] of the budoka with sword, staff, and partner, and with the whole Tenchi (heaven and earth; creation) may be considered our goal.  Yet even this for the true KoAikidoka is only a point on the journey.  Since Aikido is a Way of unification, and since the KoAikidoka seeks reconciliation with all beings, his exercises must always be such as to lead to a closer fellowship with God.  It is said (quite rightly) that Kaiso Ueshiba Morihei was "essentially a religious man".  This can never be omitted from our thinking, even from daily exercises.  Aiki-taiso, especially the performance of the forms listed in this volume, has more in common with the Ignatian exercises (The Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius Loyola)  than with physical calisthenics. 

           There are layers of meaning in tandoku renshu which can only be discovered by practice, and there are layers of meaning in these kata which can only be known by those who emulate the Founder in more than physical activity; they must also be devout. 

           We must see beyond appearances to the "fire burning within" as the Aikikai Doshu Kisshomaru puts it.  It begins with the realization that one cannot do this, even the simplest exercise, by one's own strength, power, self.  Jiriki, "self-power", is ultimately futile; Ueshiba, like St Paul, taught the necessity of tariki, "other power", strength from outside oneself.  Until this is realized one's own practice, in one's own body, one is not doing Aikido. 

           This is not an instructional manual, a "how to" of all the kata of KoAikido; it is a series of reminding hints for those who have already been instructed in the main forms which we use.  It would be difficult if not impossible, to learn the subtleties of these exercises from a book; yet if one has been instructed in these forms, or even has seen these exercises executed, then this volume may be a useful reference work.  For instructors, these directions will provide a reference work to maintain the purity of the tradition.

Douglas H. Skoyles
St Mark's Rectory, Calgary
Good Friday, 1992

 

 

DEDICATION

           This Book of Forms is dedicated to the members, past, present, and future, of the Calgary KoAikido Dojo, now under the direction of Alan Herron kancho-sensei, which for years has met, and continues to meet, at St Mark's Church, Calgary Alberta.

           My thanks to Stephanie Skoyles for requesting this book, and to Scott Russell for reading and correcting the text.


KOAIKIDO NO IAI KATA

           This sequence of exercises is referred to as a kata, and each individual exercise is also so termed.  Although not by any means identical to the seitei gata of the Zen Nippon Kendo Remmei, there are similarities.  Anyone learning the KoAiki Iai kata can simply drop the Ritual and Kansha kata, mildly modify the remaining kata (different relationship of steps and cuts, the modern chiburi, transitions), change attitude, and easily go on to master the Kendo seitei gata.

           For us iai is a Ki exercise, a test of oneness with the sword, a practice of hooking our (imaginary) partner's One Point, and the heart of Kokyuho Aikido.  Here we find the complement of Kihon dosa.  Although some find it difficult to understand, iai is Aikido.  t is also far closer to prayer than to fighting, and for the devout the Iai kata is prayer, albeit contemplative "stillness in motion".  It is also above all "pruning the soul" [kiri-haku] as part of a process of austere self-discipline [shugyo] leading (God willing) to personal reformation [shukai].  Our goal is no less than the Founder set out, that "aiki victory" [Aikisho] is "victory over oneself" [Masa katsu agatsu].

The Ritual Kata

           Stand erect facing east holding the katana tachi-ai, that is the sword in the lift hand, sheathed, cutting edge up, and thumb on the tsuba (1), arm down at side.  Bow.  Transfer the sword to the right hand, hilt up and backwards and edge down.  Bow.  Return the sword to tachi-ai.  Bow.  Raise the sheathed sword to the level of the chin, held horizontally, hilt to the left, edge away.  Drop to right iai-goshi (2) then seiza (3) , keeping sword in same position.  Carefully place sword on ground about one foot in front of the knees.  Bow.  Raise sword to a formal present posture of a katanamochi [sword bearer] by taking it near the sageo (4) retaining loop (kurigata) with the right hand, sitting upright and holding the sword vertically, hilt up and edge inwards no further forward than the line of the knees.  This is the honourable posture of a retainer [samurai] holding the sword for his master, a position of great dignity for "service" is the glory of the true samurai.  Insert sword and saya through the obi (and out the hakama slit).  Advance the left foot (the only time that the left foot is found forward for the nuke-tsuki in these forms), turning the saya ninety degrees so that the edge is facing outwards, and immediately draw and slash horizontally.  Raise the sword circusarly sweeping left to jodan (5) and without pause strike shomen (6) . The chiburi (7) is a short horizontal movement to the right and the noto (8) normal.  Sink to seiza.  Take again the formal present posture.  Replace the sword on the ground as before, edge out.  Bow.  This completes the Ritual Kata.

The Seiza Kata (Sitting forms)

           Grasp the sword near the kurigata and raise to vertical hold with the right arm extended at about a forty-five degree angle (towards the south-east) with the saya end (kojiri) on the ground and the cutting edge toward you.  Replace on the ground, hilt to the left (as always) but edge toward you.  Bow.  Again the sword is raised and held kojiri on the ground arm extended as immediately before.  Insert sword through the obi.

Seiza mae (Sitting, forward or front)

           Begin as in all the subsequent actions with two deep meditative breaths.  You are sitting seiza with the sword through the obi.  Rise to the knees and toes.  Turn the saya as in the Ritual kata, advance the right foot, and slash horizontally.  With a generous motion, the sword is moved left and up to jodan and without pause, strike shomen uchi no further than the horizontal.  The sword then is brought up to the left (not by the right as in other traditions) with the right hand so that it ends up pointing to the right rear on a sixty degree angle from the vertical, edge up and to the left, while the left hand moves to the saya.  The chiburi (9) is a "tick-tock" motion: a generous slash down and to the right while rising to stand right hanmi.  In performing noto the sword should be fully seated in the saya as iai-goshi (right knee up of course) is adopted.  Sink to seiza. 

Seiza ushiro (Sitting, rear)

           Begin as in seiza mae with rising to knees and toes.  Pivot by the left on the right knee and face directly west, as though genuflecting on the right knee.  The sword is drawn as in seiza mae, shomen uchi, and chiburi as above.  In a distinct movement with the sword remaining absolutely still (in the same relationship to the body) the left foot is moved one circular step back so that the swordsman is in right hanmi or shite may step back with the left foot beside the right, and forward with the right.  This second method is not preferred but is allowed if space be limited.  Noto, iai-goshi, and seiza. 

Seiza hidari (Sitting left)

           In the Short Form begin facing west.  Following the two breaths the eyes click to the left.  Do not turn the saya.  The sword leaps directly up from the saya as the body is turned to face south (left) and the right foot is placed on the ground.  Hold the katana above and in front of the head with the tip declined as much as a forty degrees the edge rearward and the face of the blade up.  Rise to the feet, the sword describing an arc over the head.  The left hand takes the tsuka (10) at top of arc.  Draw the left foot back and strike naname (11) from upper right to lower left so that at the completion of this cut you are facing south-east.  The hilt is raised to the left of the body to shoulder height, the blade on a sixty to forty-five degree angle downward to the front.  Reverse the right hand so that it is placed on the top of the hilt opposite where it was just holding.  The left hand moves to the saya.  The weight of the blade allows it to swing like a pendulum in chiburi, augmented by the right hand.  Noto is accomplished with the right hand still in this reverse hold.  Sink to iai-goshi.

Iai-hiza (Sitting on left ankle,right knee raised)

           In the Short Form, move directly from iai-goshi to iai-(or tate-)hiza by pointing the left toes, placing the right heel on the left calf, and sitting on the left ankle.  Try to stay erect.  The hands may be held palms down on or near the left thigh with the tips of the middle fingers touching.  The arms in this posture are "grasping the beer barrel backwards" as some describe it.  When thus seated, you are facing south-east.  Following the two breaths, rise on the left toes and right foot which is pushed forward so that you are in iai-goshi and strike forward with the butt of the sword.  Withdraw the saya from the sword turning the whole unit ninety degrees outward, turning the body to face directly to the rear and thrust to the north-west on a slightly downward angle so that the butt of the hilt rests against the underside of the forearm.  Turn back, raising the katana to jodan and strike shomen to the south-east.  During the short chiburi, slightly withdraw the right foot.  Noto is followed by a rise to right hanmi and a normal stance facing east.  This completes the Seiza kata.

 

The Tachi Kata (Standing forms)

           Take a short step to the right front with the right foot slightly turn of the left foot so that you are in right hanmi.  This initiates each of the following kata. 

Kesa giri (diagonal slash)

           At the same time as the step the saya is rotated outwards 180 degrees so that the sword is cutting edge down.  The sword is drawn in an upward slash (kiriage) along a line which would be marked by a partner's lapel.  The sword circles the head while a step is taken with the left foot and the sword brought back down the same line naname.  With no foot movernent, extend the left hand and bring the sword to hasso (12) (inclined to the rear in front of the right shoulder edge facing forward).  The sword is cut for the chiburi as the left foot steps back.  Noto follows as you sink to iai-goshi, rise, and turn to face east in a normal stance.

Tachi migi (standing right)

           During the initial step, the body begins to turn to face south as the sword springs from the saya into a one handed shomen strike.  To facilitate this movement you may move the right foot more to the south.  Turn by the left 180 degrees, bringing the katana through jodan to strike shomen to the north. The cover and strike (kiriage-naname) is performed thus: from facing north in left hanmi chudan (13) following the second blow, shift weight to the left foot and step with the right to the east and shift the weight to that foot.  The left leg will be almost straight.  As this is done, raise the sword till the hilt is in front of the right side of the face and the sword on an angle covering the front of the body.  The left heel is brought in to touch the right heel as the sword reaches its highest point.  You are now facing north-east.  The sword is brought around the head and down to strike naname as the right foot takes a step to the north-east.  Step back with the right foot and raise the sword to jodan.  Stepping back with the left foot simultaneously perform chiburi.  Noto, iai-goshi, rise, turn to face east.

 

Tachi mae (Standing, front)

           Coincident with the initial step the sword leaps from the unturned saya to strike shomen to the front.  (It is not an error should the sword strike on a high angle as though slashing to the temple.)  On the same breath, the left foot steps beside the right, the right steps forward again, and a thrust made.  Turn 180 degrees by the left into jodan, take a step with the right foot, and strike shomen to the west.  Turn again and strike shomen (without a step) to the east.  Short chiburi while stepping back with the left foot, noto, sink, and stand facing east.

Tachi hidari (Standing left)

           The eyes click left, take initial step, the sword leaps from the saya across the torso as a pivot is made to face left (north).  The left foot moves north as the sword descends naname in a one handed blow, the left hand taking the hilt only as the sword reaches the horizontal.  The weight shifts to the right foot and the left hand moves to rest atop the blade's back as the right hand withdraws to the right hip.  The weight shifts to the left foot and this rocking of the body accomplishes the short thrust without any exaggerated arm movement, the left arm moving to no more than a 45 degree angle from the body.  The right hand moves right and raises the hilt to ear level while turning the blade so that the edge is out.  The left hand stays where it is and only turns as the movement of the blade requires.  Chiburi is performed to the front from here as the left foot steps back into right hanmi.  Sink, rise, and turn to face east.

Tachi ushiro (Standing, rear)

           Begin with a thrust of the butt of the sword, still held firmly by the left thumb in the saya, to the front at chin level on the initial step.  Withdraw the saya from the sword and turn to face west.  Step with right foot and thrust one handed.  Pivoting by the left, the sword is raised to jodan and with a step strike shomen to the east.  A short chiburi without step, noto, sink to iai-goshi, and rise.

Shiho giri (Four direction cutting)

           Start with the step more noticeably to the south-east as the sword and saya are turned outwards a quarter turn, raised, and the side of the butt brought firmly down (as though striking the back of the hand of a partner who is beginning to draw).  The saya is withdrawn from the katana, body turns by the left and a thrust made on a slightly downward angle bracing the butt against the forearm.  At the same time the saya is drawn across the chest toward the right armpit. Releasing the left hand from the saya, turn back into jodan and strike shomen to the south-east.  Turn by the right 90 degrees and raise the hilt for a cover by pivoting on the ball of the right foot and withdrawing the left in a circle and strike shomen to the south-west.  Pivoting a half circle, and raising the katana to jodan, take a step and strike shomen to the north-east.  By stretching out the left hand, raise the sword to jodan, stepping back with the right foot.  Perform chiburi from jodan while stepping back with the left foot.  Noto, sink, stand, and face east.  

This concludes the Tachi Kata.

The Kansha Kata (Gratitude forms)

Kansha Omori [Muto] (Thanksgiving for the Omori ryu [Muto ryu])

           Following the breaths and step, the saya is turned outwards and the sword drawn in a generous horizontal slash.  It is raised to jodan and a step taken forward with the left foot as the vertical strike (shomen) is made.  The sword is swept up and behind the right shoulder, edge up and to the left, and a generous chiburi is made stepping back with the left foot.  Noto, sink, rise.

Kansha Katori (Gratitude for the Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto ryu)

           Following the breaths and step, the saya is turned and the sword drawn in a horizontal slash but not allowed to proceed the full width of the body of an hypothetical enemy.  In the same breath, as part of the same action, a long step is taken with the left foot and a thrust made.  The sword is slightly withdrawn by body movement, raised to jodan, a step taken with the right foot, and strike shomen.  Short chiburi, noto, sink, and rise.  This concludes the Kansha Kata.

Conclusion of the Short Form

           Take five steps to the rear beginning with the left and bring feet together.  Sink to right iai-goshi and seiza.  Withdraw sword and saya and hold them near the kurigata with the kojiri on the ground to the right front.  Set the sword down hilt to the left with edge towards you.  Bow.  The sword is raised as before and set on the ground with the edge facing outwards.  Bow.  Rising again to seiza, bend forward and place the hands under the sheathed sword, straighten up and hold the sword and saya horizontally at chin level.  Rise to right iai-goshi, then with the sword still before the chin, to right hanmi, and withdraw the right foot to stand normally.  Lower the sword to the left side and repeat the three bows from the beginning of the Ritual kata.  Step back with the left foot.  

           This completes the Short Form of the Koaikido no Iai Kata.

Notes: In general, inhale on moving up or back, exhale on moving down or forward.  Inhale on the first part of noto, exhale on replacing the blade.  In the Ritual Kata alone is the kneeling draw performed with the left foot advanced.  Beware of omitting the knees and toes posture in the first two Seiza Kata.  In Seiza hidari the inhalation from raising the hilt to noto is very prolonged so breathe slowly.  Keep spine erect in rising from iai-hiza, cutting in Kesa-giri, and the initial cut in Tachi migi.  There is no step in the last shomen of Tachi mae.  Do not let the One Point rise in kiriage.  Do not over extend the short thrust in Tachi hidari.  Step when you thrust in Tachi ushiro.  Remember the saya movement in Shiho giri.  Do not forget to check the kurigata and sageo in Kansha Katori and Kesa giri in particular lest the saya be inverted.  When sitting seiza do not look down at the sword except in movements wherein both hands are to touch it; otherwise eyes remain ahead."

Glossary of terms used in KOAIKIDO NO IAI KATA

           1 -- tsuba: hand guard
           2 -- iai-goshi: drop from right hanmi onto left knee and sole of right foot
           3 -- seiza: formal sitting on knees with toes pointed behind, big toes touching or overlapping, rump on feet, and spine erect
           4 -- sageo: retaining cord which holds saya to hakama or obi
           5 -- jodan: high chamber, sword horizontal above the head
           6 -- shomen: strike to the head straight front and down, first subburi
           7 -- chiburi: shaking the "blood" off
           8 -- noto: replacing the Daito in the saya, sheathing the sword
           9 -- “tick-tock”: term coined by Aikidoka Stephanie Skoyles to describe this back and forth pendulum motion
           10 -- tsuka: hilt
           11 -- naname: diagonal strike downwards, kesa giri, opposite of kiriage (age-uchi)
           12 -- hasso: “slope arms” without resting katana on shoulder
           13 -- chudan: middle chamber, normal kamae (stance) with sword


NOTE ON THE LONG FORM
of the Iai Kata

           The Long Form differs from its more common sibling only in the transitions between exercises and in one direction of performance.  While in the normal form, the kata flow regularly from one to another, in the long form a distinct break is made between the individual forms.  Shite stands upright between each exercise.  Indeed one might repeat eg seiza hidari several times before going on to iai-hiza, so distinct are the breaks, and for example during a demonstration different persons might perform individual kata.

           This form begins with the Ritual kata as above, with the transition.  Shite then stands.  He steps back, breathes twice, and steps forward to begin the next form.  During this "time out" another Aikidoka may take over, or shite may wish to repeat the previous exercise.  Whatever the case, even to taking a break, zanshin must not be lost.  This sequence of stand, breathe, step back (and away if desired), breathe, step forward occurs throughout the Long Form. 

           Following seiza ushiro shite will rise, turn to face east, breathe, step back, etc and will commence the next action (seiza hidari) facing east, the opposite from the Short Form.

           On completing seiza hidari and the transitional breaths and steps, shite will adopt iai-(tate-)hiza from a standing posture.  There are two methods for doing this, both acceptable.  1) Sink to iai-goshi but not completely.  Point the left toes to the rear, top of the foot on the floor.  Draw the right foot in until the heel rests on the left calf, the toes on the mat folded normally for a spring.  Relax to sit on the left ankle.  This is the method generally used in the Short Form.  2) Bend both knees slightly outward and bend slightly forward from the waist.  Adjust the hakama and bend the left knee, pointing the toes to the rear.  Sink to sit on the left ankle.  Draw in the right foot so that the toes do not extend beyond the left knee.  The heel should be placed on the left calf.  The direction is south-east as in the Short Form.

           The tachi and kansha kata follow the same pattern with only the transitions distinguishing them from the Short Form.  Conclude with a repetition of the Ritual Kata.


KOKYUHO AIKIDO KUMITACHI

 

           These five sword matching two person exercises [sotai renshu] are counted among the distinctive marks of our tradition.  They teach proper distances [ma-ai], body movement [tai-sabaki], oneness with the sword and partner, as well as basic swordwork.  The first exercise [Dai Ikkyo] teaches control of the elbow and is the sword basis of ikkyo [ikkajo; ude osae] the first immobilization.  The second exercise [Dai Nikyo] teaches the blending of movement into movement, control of the sheath [saya], the separate use of each hand, and control of the partner's wrist.  It is related to kote-mawashi, the taijutsu nikyo.  The third sword form is the heart of sankyo [kote-hineri].  The fourth method is based more directly than some others on Yagyu ryu swordwork.  It is the same as the third subburi and teaches Aiki direct entering as a means of avoiding a blow.  This is a very important skill in all Aikido and should be practiced diligently until it is second nature.  Even though uke's blade should miss shite only by the width of one hair, it is as though it had never been a threat at all.  The final exercise is a preemptive strike teaching the classical essential unity of attack and defense as well as the necessity of blending with uke's raising of his sword.

           There is some controversy over the place of "weapons" within Aikido.  The Aikikai Hombu rejected the sword and jo techniques taught by their own Saito Morihiro shihan.  We need not enter into these sad controversies; we need only practice.  

            These kumitachi should be practiced with bokken.  A more detailed treatment of shitets movements will be found in the following Iai Renshu.

Dai Ikkyo

Uke Shite
1. chudan no kamae (1) ; then raise sword to jodan  1. chudan no kamae; thrust to throat of uke
2. strike shomen  2. withdraw left foot (pivoting on right), strike by uke's head and continue to cover uke's sword
3. raise sword 3. step in with left, pivot back as you came, cutting upward and control uke's right elbow from below
4. strike shomen 4. withdraw left foot, circle the sword around the head and strike naname (to uke's neck/ shoulder)

Dai Nikyo

Uke Shite
1. raise sword to jodan  1. tsugi-ashi ( 2) and thrust to uke's throat; immediately control uke's right wrist with the six inches of the blade nearest the tip
2. strike shomen     2. release left hand from hilt and slice down uke's front; left hand clasps saya
3. raise sword 3. bring sword back up on the same line as the cut in 3, circle and strike naname to uke's left neck/shoulder
  4. step forward with the left foot and press uke's sternum with the left tegatana 3 , OR press the hilt butt up and into uke's solar plexus

Dai Sankyo

Uke Shite
1. raise sword, step with the left foot to the front, and strike shomen    1. step forward deeply with the left foot, pivot clockwise, cut uke's right shoulder and continue to cover uke's sword
2. raise sword   2. step back with left foot, pivot anticlockwise and cut up [kiriage] uke's front from groin to right arm pit
3. strike shomen    3. circle the sword about the head and strike naname to uke's right waist/hip, left hand on back of blade, "surgery" (4)

Dai Yonkyo (Kansha Yagyu)(5)

Uke Shite
1. chudan no karnae   1. chudan no kamae
2. raise sword to jodan  2. pierce the heavens, step back with right foot and take ushiro gedan hanmi [wakigamae]
3. strike shomen    3. step forward with right foot, raise the sword, and vigorously strike shomen

Dai Gokyo (Kiribara)

Uke Shite
1. chudan no kamae   1. chudan no kamae
2. raise sword to jodan  2. raise sword and release right hand to place right palm with inside of middle knuckle against back of blade, fingers together and parallel to the direction of the blade; step through with left foot to uke’s right, the sword cuts across uke’s hara decisively (6).
3. strike shomen    3. the right hand grasps the hilt again as the sword is circled about shite’s head and a cut made to uke’s waist/hip

  Glossary of Terms used in the KOKYUHO AIKIDO KUMITACHI
     1 - chudan no kame: normal stance, right hanmi, with sword in middle chamber
    2 - tsugi-ashi: sliding step without allowing feet to pass one another as in walking
    3 - tegatana: lit. “hand sword”, the part of the extended hand from wrist to elbow to base of little finger
    4 - This is jocularly called “surgery”, a slicing motion of the blade, the back of which slips along shite’s palm
    5 - This is the same as the third suburi
    6 - “preemptive strike”


IAI RENSHU
5 no chisaii kumitachi kara

           The following five forms are based upon the role of shite in the five characteristic small sword matching exercises.  They also provide a more detailed set of instructions for shite’s actions in the kumitachi.  We begin facing east, standing shizentai [naturally, heels almost touching, feet angled outward], sheathed sword through the obi.  It is normal to take two deep breaths before each exercise.  Maintain the Four Points throughout. 

Dai Ikkyo

           i - Step forward into right hanmi.
           ii - Rotate the saya ninety degrees and draw in a horizontal cut [yokodo].
           iii - Immediately adopt a normal stance [chudan no kamae] and without any pause
           1. thrust to throat of uke.
           2. Withdraw left foot (pivoting on right), strike by uke's head and continue to cover uke's sword (l) .
           3. Step in with the left, (pivoting on the right), cutting upward and control uke's right elbow from below (2) .
           4. Withdraw left foot, circle the sword around the head clockwise as seen from below and strike diagonally from upper right towards lower left [naname] to uke's neck/shoulder.
                      a "Click" the hips to the front and adopt chudan no kamae.
                      b Execute a short chiburi.
                      c Sink to iai-goshi and return sword to its sheath [noto].

Dai Nikyo

           i - Step forward into right hanmi.
           ii - Rotate the saya ninety degrees and draw in a horizontal cut [yokodo].
           iii - Immediately adopt a normal stance [chudan no kamae] and without any pause
           1&2 slide forward decisively [tsugi-ashi] and thrust to uke's throat; immediately control uke's right wrist with the six inches of the blade nearest the tip.
           3. Release the left hand from the hilt and slice down uke's front as the left hand clasps the saya (3) .  When this is complete the sword should still be pointing up to the left diagonally not flopped and pointing horizontally to the front.
           4. Thrust the sword back up on the same line as the cut in 3, circle it clockwise as seen from below and strike naname to uke's left neck/shoulder.
           5. Step forward with the left foot and press uke's sternum with the left tegatana, OR press the end of the hilt up and into uke's solar plexus, the katana still pointed upwards but slightly leaned back.
                      a Relax back and hold the sword before the right shoulder inclined slightly backwards [right hasso].
                      b Step back with the left foot and simultaneously cut down and to the right in chiburi directly from hasso.
                      c Sink to iai-goshi and return the sword to its saya [noto].

 

Dai Sankyo

           i - Step forward into right hanmi and
           ii - without turning the saya, draw the sword "heaven to earth", being sure to withdraw the left shoulder out of the way of the blade and
           1. step forward deeply with the left foot, pivot clockwise on the left foot, drawing the right foot back, cut uke's right shoulder and continue to cover uke's sword and in effect sliding off the tip of it.
           2. Step back with the left foot, pivot anticlockwise on the right foot and cut up [kiriage] uke's front from his groin to right arm pit (4) .
           3. Circle the sword about the head anticlockwise as seen from below and strike naname to uke's right waist/hip as you step forward with the left foot, left hand on back of blade. The right hand draws the sword back so that the back of the blade slides along shite's palm (5) .
                      a Raise the right hand above the head, the left still supporting the back of the blade and slide back while inhaling. The cutting edge is up; the sword inclined downward to the front on a sixty degree angle (6) .
                      b Step back with the left foot and turn the sword so that the left hand (still supporting the back of the blade) comes above the head, the right hand holding the hilt before the forehead so that the sword is on the same angle as in b (7) .
                      c Perform the chiburi directly from this last position by cutting down to the lower right, the left hand goes to the saya.
                      d Sink to iai-goshi and return the sword to its saya [noto]

Dai Yonkyo (Kansha Yagyu}

           i - Step forward into right hanmi.
           ii - Rotate the saya ninety degrees and draw in a horizontal cut [yokodo].
           1 Immediately adopt a normal stance [chudan no kamae] and without any pause
           2. pierce the heavens, step back with right foot and take ushiro gedan hanmi (wakigamae). In this stance the sword is held pointing to the lower rear on the right side of shite's body, the left shoulder towards the front (8) .
           3. Step forward with right foot, raise the sword through jodan so that it passes above the exact centre of shite's head not sloppily to one side or the other, and vigorously strike shomen ending the stroke with the sword horizontal.
                      a "Click" the hips to the front and adopt chudan no kamae.
                      b Execute a short chiburi, left hand to saya
                      c Sink to iai-goshi and return the sword to its saya [noto].

Dai Gokyo (Kiribara)

           i - Step forward into right hanmi.
           ii - Without turning the saya, draw the sword "heaven to earth", being sure to withdraw the left shoulder out of the way of the blade.
           1 Adopt chudan no kamae and immediately
           2. raise sword vertically as though to pierce the heavens but stop well short and release the right hand to place right palm with inside of middle knuckle against back of blade, fingers together and parallel to the direction of the blade; step through with left foot to uke's right, as the sword cuts across uke’s hara (one Point) decisively (9) .
           3. The right hand grasps the hilt again as the sword is circled about shite's head anticlockwise as seen from below and a cut made to uke's waist/hip.  Withdraw the right foot circularly (slightly) as the cut is made.
                      a Turn by the right and withdraw the sword till the back of the blade rests on the left upper arm, the blade parallel to the left forearm angled thus downward approximately to the south-east. Be sure that the eyes are focused on the same line as the sword.
                      b Step back with the left foot, and allow the sword to be guided by gravity like a pendulum into a "pseudo-cut" anticlockwise, allowing the sword to stop in the same position as found in the Iai kata "seiza hidari" (10) .
                      c As in that form, reverse the right hand to grip the hilt palm down just behind the tsuba (11).
                      d Again, as in seiza hidari, allow the sword to swing by gravity vertically as chiburi.
                      e Noto is performed as in seiza hidari by replacing the sword in the saya with the right hand still reversed while sinking to iai-goshi.

_______________________________________________________

Glossary of Terms for IAI RENSHU

           1 almost a naname cut to the left as you pivot on the right foot
           2 left hanmi with weight on the front foot
           3 left hand and arm still filled with Ki!
           4 katana should be close to horizontal
           5 We often refer to this action as "surgery".
           6 left hanmi
           7 right hanmi
           8 left hanmi
           9 This is a preemtive strike
           10 ie level with the left shoulder, blade horizontal, cutting edge outwards, left leg straight, and weight on the foreward (right) leg
           11 normal place; abnormal orientation


KI MUSUBI NO TACHI
(Ki no Musubi Aiwase)

           This is a blending technique made popular by Saito Morihiro shihan of the Iwama Dojo and Aiki Shrine.  It has the advantage of ending as it begins so that the partners can continue to practice over and over again in a flow of technique and Ki while exchanging roles.  Such practice, especially with many different partners, will provide experience of the linking of Ki [Ki musubi].

           Both partners begin standing in right hanmi with the sword in the middle chamber pointing to the partner's eyes or throat [chudan no kamae].  They stand slightly farther apart than they usually would in normal ma-ai.

Uke Shite
1 Pierce the heavens and inhale. Step back with the right foot and lower the sword to the right    side, pointing to the rear   [chudan no kamae; wakigamae]. 1 As uke exactly
2 Step forward with the righr foot and strike shomen uchi 1 . 2 Same as uke except shite moves fractionally more slowly so that shite's sword is slightly above uke's as they finish on the horizontal.    Move the sword slightly to the right so that uke can raise    his sword unimpeded. 2
3 Raise the sword to jodan. 3 Blend with uke's movement and
   thrust to his throat.
4 Shomen uchi  4 Allow the sword to flow around your head 3 step 4 and cut vigorously to uke’s right shoulder.   Shift weight to the rear leg, allow the sword to slip along until it is held to shite's right side pointing somewhat upwards at uke. 5
5 Raise the sword to jodan 5 Step 6 and thrust 7 to control uke's left wrist from below.  You may actually press uke backwards 8 .
6 Step back and resume chudan no kamae as at the beginning of the exercise. 6 Slide back and resume chudan no kamae.
Change roles and begin again. 9 Change roles and begin again. 9

Glossary of Terms for KI MUSUBI NO TACHI

____________________________________________________
           1 This is the same as the third subburi or in the fourth kumitachi.
           2 An alternative method would have shite strike uke's sword down, crossing the blades near the tsuba [hand guard].
           3 anticlockwise as seen from below
           4 to the left front with the left foot in a flowing renzoku uchi
           5 This renzoku uchi-komi is also gyaku naname.  The stance just previous to the thrust is the same as that which finishes the 31 no jo but turned slightly more and with the weight much more emphatically upon the rear leg. The sword must point towards uke.
           6 with the right foot
           7 This should feel "spring loaded", as the weight shifts dramatically from rear to front. The whole Ki musubi no renshu is very active.
           8 Though obviously not if practicing with live blades!
           9 The key to this sotai renshu is "blending", "ki musubi".  Shite must seek as much as possible to join his Ki to that of uke, to receive, accept, and guide uke's Ki.  Thus the most important parts are found in the transitions, as from uke's raising of the sword to shite's thrust. The raising and the thrust, though performed by different budoka, must become one event. This is the secret of real Aikido.  It becomes obvious then that uke's role must be active, generous, filled with Ki, and true practice of subburi.


 SUBBURI

           The subburi are sword strokes, individual practice which involves the challenging and tiring repetition of the same simple action over and over again.  These directions are not complete by any means but should provide suggestions for practice and reminders.  After performing the basic subburi enter into "Takemusu Aiki" and "develop your own art", as O-Sensei (quoted by Saito shihan) said.

           The Iwama Subburi

           Each exercise begins in right hanmi.

           lA - pierce the heavens and strike down [shomen uchi] on exactly the same line as that upon which the sword was raised.
           lB - As above but from left hanmi.

           2 - Withdraw the right foot to "get out of the line of fire" and raise the sword to jodan. Step forward with the right foot and strike shomen uchi.

           3 - Step back with the right foot, pierce the heavens, and lower the sword to the right of the body pointing back and down at a forty-five degree angle [ushiro gedan hanmi; wakigamae], all this while taking one long inhalation [kyu 1 ].  Hold the breath and stand there for a while - preferablya long while. Suffer a bit. Step forward and strike shomen uchi on one sharp exhalation [ko 2 ].  Save for the masochistic breathing, this is identical to the movement in the kumitachi (iai) Dai Yonkyo.

           4 - Strike shornen uchi; step forward with the left foot and strike again.  Be sure that the hips are well engaged in each cut. Step with the right foot, cut; step with the left foot, cut.

           5 - Cover (raise the sword horizontally above the head, point forward as though to ward off a shomen strike), step, cut (shomen). Cover, step, cut (shomen).

           6 -Thrust, cover, cut (naname). Thrust, cover, cut (gyaku naname 3 ). This involves the ability to strike with either foot forward and to blend the thrusts with the full flowing sword cuts which include circling one's own head [renzoku uchi].

           7 - Pierce the heavens, cut shomen, step with the rear foot and thrust, cover, cut, cover, step and thrust, etc
           7B - Pierce the heavens, step and cut shomen, thrust, cover, step and cut, thrust, etc
           7C - Pierce the heavens, step and cut, step and thrust, cover, step and cut, step and thrust, cover, etc

           The Nakayama Subburi

           From Jodan


           Be sure that the sword is held directly above the centre of the head, neither to the right nor to the left.  When performed with the right leg foreward these are known a “sei”, when left foreward “gyaku”

           1 - shomen uchi. For us the primary cut, the "Itto", the One Cut, which sums up all of Kokyuho Aikido.  On the same line that the sword was raised, cut down decisively.  Practice short cuts ending with the hands close to the One Point or beside the hips, long cuts with the hands further than two fist's widths from the One Point, as well as normal cuts. This is the exercise listed above as the first Iwama subburi.  It is the stroke to use in happo-giri. There are two variations: l) pierce the heavens; 2) raise the sword straight to jodan.

           2 - naname giri or kesa4giri.  In these diagonal cuts, approximate the angle of the jacket lapel.  Like shomen uchi, diagonal cuts should (for purposes of subburi), begin with the sword above the centre of the head.  Cutting up at the end along the same or co-relative line is called kiri-age or age uchi.  When performed with the right leg forward these are known as "sei", when left forward "gyaku", and so for the following yoko giri.  Kiri-age naname may be done on either diagonal with either foot forward.

           3 - naname-tsuki, normally with no step on tsuki.  It is important that the whole body be used; this is not a thrust with the arms.

           4 - yokomen, a circular cut to the head which may be performed right or left.
           5 - yokodo, a circular cut to the body.  It is important to strike as horizontally as possible, and to bend the knees. May be performed right or left.
           6 - yoko-ashi, a circular cut to the legs, aiming in particular for the inside of the thigh.  The knees can be well bent.  May be performed right or left.

           From Chudan


           1 - tsuki: thrust. This must be performed with the whole being, not with the arms alone. 
           Indeed it is not a thrust in the western sense at all but rather a instance of entering (irimi). A thrust may be made and practiced to any target.  The blade may be oriented with the cutting edge pointing down, left, right. or even up.  The left hand may be slipped to press on the butt of the hilt when appropriate.

           2 -All the above jodan cuts may be made by first moving the sword to and through chudan.

           3 - All the following gedan cuts may be made by first dropping the sword to and through gedan.

           From Gedan


            1 - All the above jodan cuts may be made by first moving the sword to and through jodan.

           2 - The chudantsuki may be performed by simply raising the sword to chudan and thrusting.

           3 - Kiri-age naname: from gedan cut up and then down.  Consider the foot movement found in the iai kata tachi hidari.

           From Wakigamae


           1 - The sword may be raised through jodan.

           2 - The sword may strike kiri-age naname

           3 - Yoko-ashi, -do, -men.

           4 - The right hand may reverse its grip on the hilt.

           From hasso


           1 - The sword may be raised through jodan.

           2 - The sword may fall forward held by both hands or guided by the off hand [In ken no waza].

           3 - The sword may drop to chudan for a thrust etc.

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Glossary of terms for Subburi


1- kyu: the second part of spiritual respiration, as in Kokyuho Aikido
2 - ko: the first part of spiritual respiration, as in Kokyuho Aikido
3 - gyaku naname: "reverse" or "backwards" diagonal strike, seen clearly in the 31st movement of the 31 movement jo kata; "gyaku" in this sense is the opposite of "sei". Thus "sei naname" with the sword is cutting diagonally downwards from upper right to lower left with the right foot forward; "gyaku naname" with right foot forward is cutting from upper left to lower right.
4 - "Kesa" refers to the stole worn by Buddhist monks .


THE EXERCISES OF INFINITE DIRECTIONS
(Happo renshu)

           "Happo", 'vhich means literally "eight directions", indicates in the thought of Aikidoka the world over, "all directions".  Our method of performing these movements more challenging than some because invariably we turn 7/8 of a circle on the fifth movement rarher than taking the easier, and unquestionably proper 1 , procedure of turning 1/8 of the circle at this point.  Either technique will produce the two "crosses" turned at 90 degrees to one another.  Mastery of the happo exercises, when augmented by the kihon dosa 2 and ukemi 3 practice, give a good grounding for all tai sabaki (body turning). 

           Happo renshu may be performed with the sword, jo, yari, naginata, or empty hands but the hips and feet do the same things.  Following mastery of this level of happo renshu more complicated exercises may be practiced or invented, eg hasso-gaeshi uchi.

           As usual we begin by convention facing east.  We shall describe only hip turning and footwork here, then later look at what to do with the rest of the body 4 .

           Happo renshu -hip and foot movement

           1 - Stand in right hanmi facing east.
           2 - Turn the One Point and hips 180 degrees by the left (anticlockwise as seen from above) as you pivot on the balls of both feet.  You are now in left hanmi facing west.
           3 - Turn the One Point and hips 3/4 of a circle by the right (clockwise as seen from above) as you pivot on the ballls of both feet 5 until facing south in right hanmi.
           4 - Turn the One Point and hips 180 degrees by the left (anticlockwise as seen from above) as you pivot on the balls of both feet. You are now in left hanmi facing north.
           5 - Turn the One Point and hips 7/8 of a circle by the right as you pivot on the balls of both feet 5 until facing approximately south-east, then shift weight to the right foot, and allow the left foot to swing around until you take right hanmi facing north-west OR (and it amounts to the same thing) shift the weight to the left foot and allow the right foot to swing around to take right hanmi, shift the weight forward and the position is the same. This movement may be difficult at first but with practice quickly becomes second nature.
           6 - Turn the One Point and hips 180 degrees by the left (anticlockwise as seen from above) as you pivot on the balls of both feet.  You are now in left hanmi facing south-east.
           7 - Turn the One Point and hips 3/4 of a circle by the right (clockwise as seen from above) as you pivot on the ball's of both feet 5 until facing north-east in right hanmi.
           8 - Turn the One Point and hips 180 degrees by the left (anticlockwise as seen from above) as you pivot on the balls of both feet.  You are now in left hanmi facing south-west.
           9 - (or 1) Turn the One Point and hips 5/8 of a circle by the right (clockwise as seen from above) as you pivot on the ball's of both feet 5 until facing east in right hanmi as at the beginning of the exercise.

           This has been described from right hanmi.  All these exercises must be practiced both right and left, although for the sword exercises, the hands should not be reversed. That (the reversal of hands) should be left for jo forms.
           Happo-giri

           1 - Pierce the heavens and inhale, push the 1eft hand forward to lower the katana or bokken to jodan 6 , exhale and simultaneously cut shomen to the east stopping with the sword horizontal.
           2 - Cut to the west.
           3-8 - Cut to the other directions as outlined above in happo renshu.

           Jo no happo uchi sei ho

           This is the same as happo-giri with the sword, the only difference being that the right hand slides along the staff to create greater force on the strikes.

           Jo no happo uchi gyaku ho

           This is the same as the preceding exercise but the hands are reversed from normal sword holding, ie the right hand is at the base and the left hand ahead.

           Jo no happo tsuki 7

           Thrust in the eight directions being sure to swing the staff to a horizontal position above the head with arms extended between thrusts. 8

           Happo undo (ko)

           The raising of the hands as in kihon dosa hiriki no yosei and the cut down as though doing so with the sword but with empty hands is a vitally important exercise.  Inhale as the arms are raised, exhale as the arms cut down.

           Happo undo (kyu)

           Exactly the same movement as the above but with the breathing reversed, ie exhale as the arms are raised, inhale as the arms are cut down.

           All the above exercises are performed standing [tachi-ho], but they may also be performed suwari-ho. The leg work begins sitting iai-goshi 9 facing east.  One turns using the knee on the ground as a pivot and "cutting" with the knee which is up, then raising the lower foot to adopt a reversed [gyaku] iai-goshi for the next cut.  This is a disciplined example of good shikko (knee walking).  The most important of these exercises is naturally happo-giri suwari-ho, the exercise with the sword.

           One peculiar version which some of us practice utilizes the short sword.  It's distinguishing feature is determined by the shoto itself: it is a weapon wielded with one hand.  Thus at the top of the movement, the sword must be passed from hand to hand.  This is not "juggling" but Ki extension must be maintained throughout.
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Glossary of terms for Happo-Giri

           1 O-Sensei demonstrated happo-giri in both forms.  Tohei shihan and the Ki no Kenkyukai as well as most Aikikai stylists turn 1/8 of a circle.  We and the followers of the Iwama style of Aikido turn 7/8 .
           2 "Basic movements" , a ka ta of 26 movements. Vide p
           3 "Receiving", used to refer to protective falling or free movement in the "third dimension", and more commonly thought of as "breakfalls".
           4 This is outlined for reference only.  Do not practice this "hips-and-feet-only" outline but rather use the whole body in happo-undo, happo-giri, etc.
            5 Or on the heel of the left foot (but not raising the toes) until the foot points north (90 degrees), then continue on the ball of the foot.
           6 Jodan: sword parallel to the ground, perfectly horizontal and perfectly centred over the head.  In each cut of happo-giri the sword must be centred over the head, neither to one side nor the other.  The importance of this cannot be overstated.
           7 Normally we begin this exercise from hanmi with the jo vertical, butt on the floor, in a normal stance.  The off hand reaches across, inverts, and takes the jo horizontally as in the beginning of the 31 no jo.  Thrust to the east, swing the jo up by the side to a high horizontal cover, and then begin with the first thrust to the east.
           8 Both hands are on the same side of the jo throughout.
           9 In sitting iai-goshi, the left knee is on the ground, toes folded under so that one can leap up if necessary.  The right foot is on the floor and the hips settled low but the right knee lower.  This is an old-fashioned reverse genuflection but with the hips collapsed downwards.


DOJO MISOGI

           Dojo misogi, "purification of the dojo", is an exercise based in Shinto practice for the expulsion of evil spirits [oni].  Rooted in the notion of "drawing down the heavenly Ki", of guarding the eight (that is, all) points of the compass, and of invocation of God's loving protection, there is nothing here which a Christian cannot use with a clear conscience.  Each sensei may possibly develop his or her own particular variations in doing dojo misogi, since it is not an invariable kata, though obviously one who wishes to follow in the tradition of KoAikido will want to give some respect to the form following. The idea is that of prayer: for protection, for health, and for the safety of all who will practice in the dojo that day.

           As always, by convention we begin facing east.

           The jo or bo is held in the left hand, vertically with the butt on the floor, the posture shizentai (heels lightly touching, toes apart).

           1 - Bow, allowing the left hand to slide along the jo.
           2 - Transfer the jo to the right hand with it pointing down on angle to the front.  Bow. 
           3 - Transfer the jo back to the left hand with it pointing on an angle down to the front.  Bow.
           4 - Step into right hanmi, raising the staff to pierce the heavens and inhale.
           5 - While exhaling draw circles of increasing size (clockwise as seen from below) with the tip of the jo until it is horizontal 1 .
           6 - Reverse to anticlockwise (on the same exhaled breath) and draw circles of decreasing size until the jo is again vertical.
           7 - Pierce the heavens and inhale deeply.
           8 - Point the left foot to the north, shift the jo to a position wherein the right hand is above the head and the left holds the staff so that it is pointed downwards to the north at about a sixty degree angle 2 . Draw a circle with the end of the jo.
           9 - Turn ninety degrees on the right foot and make the
circle to the east.
           10-13 - Repeat to the south, west, north, and east. 3
           14 - Take right hanmi and pierce the heavens.  Inhale deeply.
15 Point the right foot to the south-east, raise the left hand above the head, the right ahead [opposite of position in 8] and draw a circle.
           16 - Turn ninety degrees and draw the circle to the south-west.
           17-20 - Repeat to the north-west, north-east, south-east, and south-west. 3
           21 - Standing in right hanmi facing east with the jo vertical but low, inhale strongly.
           22 - Loudly uttering the kotodama "YAH"4, pierce the heavens, draw the staff down, raise it 3/4 of the way, draw it across (the jo is still vertical) to the left, then to the right, return to the centre, raise it and cause it (still vertical) to draw a circle (anticlockwise as seen from the west), returning to the top and piercing the heavens.  Complete the kotodama enthusiastically.  [If you have performed this action correctly you have drawn a Celtic cross in the air with the staff.]
           23 - Inhale and cut shomen.
           24 - Turn the hips to the left while leaving the jo on the horizontal pointing east.
           25 - Sweep the jo in a full circle as you turn anticlockwise (as seen from above, that is by the left) pivoting on the left foot and ending the action by raising the jo and striking shomen to the east.  You should be in left hanmi and thus have struck gyaku shomen uchi, ie with left foot and right hand forward.
           26 - Reverse hands (so that your left is forward).
           27 - Sweep the jo in a full circle as you turn anticlockwise (as seen from above, that is by the left) pivoting on the left foot and ending the action by raising the jo and striking shomen to the east.  You should be in left hanmi and thus have struck sei shomen uchi, ie with left foot and left hand forward.
           28 - Raise the right hand and so take a normal cover with the jo pointed to the east on a sixty degree angle from the horizontal pointing downwards to the front.
           29 - Reverse the right hand, bring the feet together, stand shizentai, and hold the staff in a presentation position (horizontal, about shoulder or chin height).
           30 - Transfer the jo to the left hand with it pointing down to the front.  Bow.
           31 - Transfer the jo to the right hand with it pointing down to the front.  Bow.
           32 - Transfer the jo to the left hand allowing the left hand to slide along the jo.  Bow.
           33 - Return the staff to the horizontal presentation position as in 29.
           34 - Step back with the left foot and cut the staff down to the right as though performing chiburi.
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Glossary of terms for DOJO MISOGI

           1 The sensation should be as though the staff picked up Dai Ki and Ki is being flung around the dojo, or as though the staff is stirring heavenly cake batter.
           2 This is a cover.
           3 Exhale through all this.
           4 This basic sound is enjoined by the Founder in his doka(poem) which reads:
           Penetrate reality
           by mastering the
           kiai YAH!
           Do not be deceived
           By the enemy’s ploys
           This could almost be part of the Psalter, especially since the Devine Name (the Tetragrammaton) is sometimes shortened to YAH, of the Coverdale translation as found in the Book of Common Prayer of Psalm 68:4 where it is rendered “JAH”.


31 NO JO
Iwama Jo Kata

           This is one of the two most important jo kata for our purposes.  It is based on an exercise actually taught by O-Sensei and interpreted (especially re-numbered) by Saito Morihiro shihan, custodian of the Aiki Shrine in Ibaragi prefecture where Master Ueshiba lived and farmed during the Second World War.  As with several old Aiki tandoku renshu, this tends to reflect old Aiki Budo rather than the more developed Aikido of O-Sensei's maturity, yet because of the depth of this exercise, it is capable of a more harmonious interpretation.  With minor modifications it may also be used with weapons other than the four foot staff.

           Begin in left hanmi, jo in left hand, vertical with the butt on the mat, by convention facing east.  Reach with the right hand high on the staff above the left hand to the left side
of the jo, turn the right hand over and grasp the jo with the right hand palm facing right (thumb pointed down).  Bring the jo around to beside the right side of the body.  It will now be held horizontally with both palms facing down.

           1 Thrust to the east as though to strike the partner's chest [mune-tsuki]
           2 Raise jo to cover, right hand higher than left so that the staff is inclined downwards to the front.
           3 & 4 Repeat la and Ib but slide the right hand forward to the centre of jo
           5 Step forward with right foot, release the left hand from the jo, rotate the jo above the head clockwise as seen from below, re-grasp with the left hand and strike to the front as in shomen uchi [renzoku uchi-komi]
           6 Step forward with left foot, turn the jo anticlockwise above the head and strike shomen [renzoku uchi-komi]. ( 1)  There is no hand change on this. (So far this is the same
as the 22 no Jo Koho)
           7 pivot 180 degrees to face west turning by the right, raise the staff to jodan, and strike as in 5.
           8 Step forward with left foot and strike shomen [uchi-komi]. (Same as 6).
           9 Turn the hips by the right but leave the tip of the jo as long as possible in the same place.  Cut around in a great circle on a diagonal spinning on the left foot and end up facing east with the jo pointing to your rear low on the right side of your body [ushiro gedan hanmi; wakikamae]
           10 Step forward with the right foot and cut upwards [age-uchi; kiri-age] diagonally so that the jo ends up horizontal pointing forward above the left shoulder.
           11 Step forward with the left foot, circle the staff about the head 1 , and strike vigorously to the front [renzoku uchi komi].
           12 Release the left hand and place it ahead of the right hand, while the right draws the jo back in 2.
           13 Thrust as in 1.
           14 Raise the staff to cover and slip the right hand to the centre of the jo as in 4. Strike diagonally and bring the staff to the left side of the body and without pause
           15 Thrust to the rear (without looking to ,the rear).
           16 Bring the butt of the jo around in a horizontal sweep (2) to strike a partner's right ankle or knee (or, less preferably, waist) while stepping forward with the left foot.
           17 Release the right hand and spin the jo vertically in the left hand to "change ends".
           18 Thrust as though to a partner's left knee.
           19 Circle the jo about the head, change hands, and strike as though to the same left knee at which you thrust in 18, stepping forward with the rear foot and in a co-ordinated
manner slipping the front foot rearward.  Without pause
           20 Sink to the left knee and draw the jo backwards to end up as in 13 but "genuflecting".
           21 Rise, step back with the right foot (or alternatively though less preferably forward with the left), and cut upward [age-uchi; kiri-age) to stop with the jo horizontal at neck height.
           22 A high thrust.
           23 Release the right hand and spin the jo as in 16.
           24 Sliding the feet forward [tsugi-ashi), thrust to the front.
           25 Repeat the thrust.
           26 Draw the jo back with the right hand sliding it through the left.  It may be almost behind the back at this point as in 14 above.
           27 Step forward and deliver another "uppercut" as in 10.
           28 High thrust.
           29 Release the left hand and change ends, dropping the tip to be taken by the left hand when the staff is horizontal. At the same time lower the left hand so that the jo is ready at the left side of the body for a
           30 thrust [mune-tsuki).
           31 Circle the head (3) by raising the left hand above the head, step, and strike vigorously on the diagonal from upper right to lower left [renzoku uchi-komi gyaku naname) with
left foot and right hand forward.
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           (1) anticlockwise as seen from below
           (2) clockwise as seen from above; the jo remains on the same angle from the vertical throughout this sweep.
           (3) anticlockwise as seen from below


9 NO JO -NAKA YAMA
Nakayama Tandoku Renshu

           This short exercise is, with the 31 no Jo, among the most important of the jo kata which we must master.  An original kata springing from the Calgary KoAikido Dojo in the late 1980s, it is named for Canon Gordon Goichi Nakayama, patriarch of the Nakayama kazoku in Canada.

           By convention, begin in left hanrni, staff vertical in the left hand.  By rotating the left hand bring the jo to be grasped by the right hand.  Allow the jo to slide back until its head is virtually hidden by the left hand and pointed as at the eyes of an attacker.

           1 Draw the right hand back and use it to propel the jo through the left hand as through it be a pool cue.  Direct the jo to the left front.  As the right hand comes in front of the body, move it from right to left which will cause the tip of the jo to cut horizontally across from left to right at abdomen level. Without pause

           2 continue the movement to raise the jo to jodan, step forward with the right foot and strike shomen.  (The left foot may slide if desired to enhance balance and improve power of stroke; the left hand is still in front of the right hand.)

           3 Release right hand, draw the jo back with the left hand by the left side, and use right hand to grasp further forward on the jo.  The staff is now held naturally in
wakigamae.

           4 Strike in an upper cut [age-uchi] stepping forward with the left foot.  The butt (rear end) is used for this blow, so now the butt becomes the head (forward end).  The left hand is now in front of the right.

           5 Thrust forward at this high level.  Allow the jo to slip through the left hand.

           6 Release right hand and rotate the jo vertically about left hand dropping the tip down.  The left hand describes a motion such that the thumb rotates forward and rests on the
top of the staff.  Catch with right hand and

           7 Thrust as to the body of an imaginary partner [mune-tsuki].

           8 Raise the jo across the body to jodan, step forward with the right foot* and strike diagonally from your upper right to lower left [renzoku uchi-komi gyaku naname: that is
with left hand forward and right foot forward.]

           9 Release the right hand, slide the jo back by the left side until the right hand virtually covers the head of the jo.  The position is precisely the same as immediately before 1 but in right hanmi.

           Repeat immediately as above but with left and right reversed.  One may begin in right hanmi.  One may practice this exercise for as long as may be desired since one set of nine movements flows directly into the next set of nine.
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           * To put this another way, "As you step forward with the right foot, drop the tip of the jo down and to the left, and bring it clockwise into jodan..."


22 NO JO -KOHO
Traditional 22 Movement Jo Tandoku Renshu

           This exercise, so similar in many ways to the 31 no Jo, most likely comes to us from O-Sensei.  Its popularity in North America seems traceable to a recension taught by Tohei Koichi shihan during a teaching tour during the early 1960s, and to somewhat differing renditions preserved by Yamada Yoshimitsu sensei of the New York Aikikai and by Ota Kenji sensei of California.  One version was illustrated by Oscar Ratti in the book Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere.

           Begin in left hanmi, jo in left hand, vertical, by convention facing east.  Reach with the right hand high on the staff above the left hand to the left side of the jo, turn the right hand over and grasp the jo with the right hand palm facing right (thumb pointed down). Bring the jo around to beside the right side of the body.  It will now be held horizontally with both palms facing down.

           1a Thrust to the east as though to strike at partner’s chest [mune-tsuke]
           1b Raise the jo to cover, right hand higher than left so that the staff is inclined downwards to the front
           2a Repeat 1a and 1b but
           2b slide right hand forward to the centre of jo
           3 Step forward with right foot, release the left hand from the jo, rotate the jo above the head clockwise and seen from below, re-grasp with the left hand and strike to the front as in shomen uchi [renzoku uchi-komi)
           4 Step forward with left foot, turn the jo anticlockwise above the head and strike shomen [renzoku uchi-komi).  There is no hand change on this. 
(So far this is the same as the 31 no Jo movements 1-6.)
           5 Release the left hand to grasp the jo well forward, ahead of the right hand. Slide jo back through right hand to thrust as though to the knee of an attacker charging from the west. This is a thrust downwards to your own rear.
           6 Step through with the left foot to the west as the left hand is moved forward causing the jo to rotate vertically (about a horizontal axis) about the right hand.  The lower end of the staff executes a rowing motion [harai).  When the jo reaches the horizontal, thrust forward to the west.
           7 Raise the jo to cover as in 1b, reverse order of hands on jo to normal grip [sei-mochi, as in holding ken) and strike uchi-komi (same as 3)
           8 Step foreward with the left foot and strike uchi-komi (same as 4)
           9 Raise the jo to and through the vertical (pointing straight up but do pausing there), rotate it as though about a horizontal axis approximately through your own One Point as you turn on the left foot, raise the right foot the left knee*,
           10 step with the right foot and thrust to the east.
           11 Step forward with the left foot and cut from upper left to lower right [gyaku naname] with hands on jo in normal grip [sei-mochi].  The jo describes a path similar to that in step 4 [renzoku uchi-komi]
           12 Release the left hand from the jo and place it in front of the right hand, withdraw the staff, sliding it through the left hand, by your right side and thrust, sliding the left foot forward [tsugi-ashi].
           13a Raise the jo to cover, slide right hand to centre of the staff, step forward with right foot and strike uchi-komi (same as 2b and 3)
           13b Continue movement by sliding the jo through left hand to thrust to rear (west) but continue looking east and remain standing.
           14 Step forward with left foot and strike with a diagonal uppercut with the butt of the staff finishing with the jo horizontal and above the right shoulder [age-uchi].
           15 Thrust (high)
           16 Reverse the jo by releasing the right hand, pivoting the staff about the left hand by dropping the tip down and back to be picked up by the right hand (lower the hand and jo at the same time), and thrust [mune-tsuki]
           17a Raise jo to cover, slide right hand to centre of jo, step forward with right foot and strike uchi-komi (same as 2b and 3) .
           17b Repeat 13b but sink to left knee and thrust as though to an ankle, turning to look over the left shoulder
           18 Step forward with the left foot while rising; strike in a low circular movement with jo to the imaginary ankle of an attacker coming from the east (front); the tip of the jo describes a half circle clockwise as seen from above.
           19 Release the right hand and reverse the jo; thrust as to knee or thigh of attacker [ashi-tsuki]
           20 thrust to mid section [mune-tsuki] while performing tsugi-ashi
           21 Withdraw the jo, withdraw the left foot and execute uppercut [age-uchi]; high thrust; allow arms to drop,
           22 low thrust; press the left hand forward to rotate the jo on a vertical plane while stepping forward.  This action will bring the jo to the right side of the body.  Step forward with left foot, and thrust; cover.  Complete.

           [Alternative 22: step forward with left foot; uchi-korni; thrust; cover.]

           When beginning from right hanmi, reverse all left and right directions in these instructions.
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            * This odd motion is made easier if we remember that much of Aikijo is based on Hozoin Sojutsu, the use of the long spear [yari].  This is apparently a yari technique.


13 NO JO
Kobayashi Jo Tandoku Renshu

           This little exercise was brought to us by Dr. Ulrich Mayr who also studies with Inaba sensei, a student of Kobayashi Yasuo.  Dr Mayr learned it at a seminar taught in Calgary in 1987 by Kobayashi shihan.  This seems a "harder" form than our other jo exercises, but may also be practiced in our characteristic flowing manner with soft Ki – and should be.

           As always, we begin facing east.  Stand in left hanmi, jo in left hand, vertical, butt on floor.  Rotate the staff so that it can be grasped by the right hand in the horizontal plane (hands on opposite sides of the jo, ie as though grasping a shovel or baseball bat for example) and

           1. Thrust as though with a pool cue to a partner's chest [mune-tsuki].  Allow the feet to slide forward [tsugi-ashi].

           2. Raise jo to high cover, with right hand higher than left so that the staff is inclined to the front, allow the right hand to slide to the centre of the jo (1) , and strike almost shomen [uchi komi] stepping forward with the right foot.

           3. Slide jo backwards and raise jo (obviously on the left side of the body) to high cover. 

           4. Thrust as in a mirror image of 1, now from right hanmi [mune-tsuki] .

           5. Turning by the right, the jo is "rowed" with tip low [harai], and as you face to the rear, spinning the jo, and finishing in hasso with the right hand gripping the staff unnaturally, that is with thumb down and tegatana up. (2)

           6. Strike shomen [uchi-komi] stepping forward with the right foot, by reversing the right hand (as the jo is raised to jodan) to a natural grip. (3)

           7. Turn 180 degrees to the left on the right foot and bring the jo across the body to be held diagonally with the right hand at the left shoulder and the left hand before the right hip (4) . The jo is now pointing up and back (and somewhat outside) over the left shoulder.

           8. Block-strike in reverse back across the body (4) to the right and finish with the jo angled up slightly and to the right of the midline of the body.

           9. Slide the right hand to the head of the jo and push the staff to the rear, sliding it through the left hand, to assume an open ready stance [ushiro gedan hanmi; wakigamae].

           10. Stepping forward with the left foot, strike as though in an uppercut [age-uchi] till the jo is horizontal.

           11. Thrust forward in a high level thrust as to a partner's face or shoulder [atama-tsuki; kata-tsuki] .
           12. Release the right hand from the jo, turn the left hand to rotate the jo vertically and thus drop the tip of the jo which is taken by the right hand down at the side.

           13. Thrust [rnune-tsuki].

           When beginning from right hanmi, reverse all left and right directions in these instructions.
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           (1) cf the 22 no jo koho step 3, or 31 no Jo step 4-5.
           (2) The staff spins vertically as the body spins horizontally.
           (3) The sequence:
           i) raise left hand and so push butt of the jo up towards jodan;
           ii) reverse right hand so that the thumb faces not the butt but the head;
           iii) complete the rise to jodan;
           iv) cut shomen.
           (4) As though knocking a weapon aside.


22 NO JO -SHINPO
Modern 22 Movement Jo Tandoku Renshu

           This peculiar 1 tandoku renshu was provided by Alan Herron sensei who learned it on 8 November, 1981, at a seminar sponsored by the Calgary Ki Society. It was taught on that date by Tabata sensei and Homgrem sensei of the Ki no Kenkyukai and Shinshin Toitsu Aikido.  Dr Herron is responsible for the following description.

           Begin in left hanmi with jo vertical resting on the ground, facing our conventional east. Use the left hand to rotate the jo to be grasped by the right hand so that the jo is horizontal.

           la Thrust to the front.
           Ib Raise the right hand to the head and take a normal cover.
           2 Drop the jo and thrust as in la.
           3a Step forward with the right foot and swing the jo almost horizontally with the forward end moving left.  The left hand slides to the middle of the staff as this is done.  As it reaches the transverse position the jo is released by the right hand.  The left end of the jo is then directed back, up, to the right, and forward by "rolling" the left hand. This motion ends with the left hand directly over the head, thumb side forward, and the jo horizontal with its axis front to back.  The right hand moves to the thumb side of the left, grasping the jo with the thumbs almost touching.  The left then moves to the front of the jo (replacing the right's former position), palm facing right, setting up a shomen strike.
           3b Leaving the left hand stationary in space, the right foot is now withdrawn to a parallel stance position.  This draws the right hand back and swings the jo about a vertical axis. When the right hand reaches a position immediately in front of the right hip the left hand thrusts down on the end of the jo.  This causes the jo to swing around a horizontal axis about sixty degrees to the right of forward.  The movement finishes with the right hand dropping, palm facing backward, to the right side with the jo tucked along the right side, one end behind the shoulder or armpit.
           4 Step to the right front, raise the jo rotating the staff before the front, and strike as though to a knee or ankle with the formerly lower end of the jo: a circular cut.
           5 Step forward with the left foot, swing the jo back up and down in a large arc and strike almost shomen ending with right hand and left foot forward [gyaku uchi-komi].
           6 Reverse hand positions and thrust to the front.
           7 Pivot 180 degrees on both (stationary) feet to face west, raise jo to jodan and change hands.  Step forward with the right foot, strike shomen, and finish with the staff tucked as in 3.
           8-10 Repeat 4-6.
           11 pivot and strike shomen as in 7 but do not tuck the staff to the side; end with the blow itself.
           12 Step back with the left (rear) foot.  The right hand moves to the free end of the jo, then slides the staff into a thrust to the left rear through the left hand.
           13 Step back with the right foot and swing the free (rear) end of the jo down, forward, and up in an "uppercut" fashion, but keep the right hand low.  The right hand rolls
around the end of the jo, then slides to the middle.  The left hand slides to and grasps the forward end.  A thrust is made to the right rear, sliding the jo through the right hand.  The thumb side of the left hand is to the rear.
           14 Turn clockwise (from above) 180 degrees on the left foot to face west.  Thrust forward.
           15 Pivot and strike shomen as in 11, and proceed without pause to
           16 in which we sweep the jo down to the level of the feet, ending up in the horizontal plane with the right hand wrapped around the body in front.  The held end of the jo now ends up parallel to, and against, the right forearm.  The left hand now releases the jo.  We now spin 360 degrees clockwise (as seen from above) on the ball of the right foot, with the jo in a horizontal plane about waist height.  The pivot is completed in right hanmi.  The outward end of the jo is led up to a stop behind and above the left shoulder by delaying and dropping the motion of the inward end as it comes past the forward position.  The left hand picks up this inward end during the delay phase so that, in the final position, the jo is held by the left and right hands with their heels forward, above the head.  The left hand is at the end of the jo.
           17 The point of the jo is swept to the right, forward, down almost to the floor, then raised to point slightly right of forward above the head.  The entire motion turns the jo through about a full turn and a half as seen from above (540 degrees).  The final position is a cover, the mirror image of the end of 2.
           18 A high thrust is made without allowing the jo to drop below neck height.
           19 The tip of the jo is swept down, back, then up in a vertical circle on your right side, without moving the hands on the jo, and without moving the feet, until the jo comes to rest with the left arm crossed under the right.  The left hand is near the right hip, the right hand against the left bicep.  The jo is almost cradled in the left arm, and is pointing up and forward.  The left grip must be relaxed as the move is completed.
           20 The left hand releases the jo and moves to grasp the forward end of the jo, thumb side to the rear.  This is an "unnatural" grip, left palm left, thumb down.  You may have to slightly withdraw the right hand and jo so that the left can reach near the forward end of the jo.  Step forward with the left foot and strike with an uppercut by driving the right hand down and forward.  We finish in left hanmi with the jo horizontal about head height.
           21 Step forward with the right foot without changing hand order.  Drop the jo in an arc as in 2, thrusting strongly to the front, and drawing the left foot to complete the motion.
           22 Step forward with the left foot, drop the jo tip down into the near vertical, backward circle to end in a shomen strike.  No hand change is necessary.  The forward tip is dropped down and to the right rear.  As the jo passes your right foot the left hand moves to the thumb side of the right, palm facing out, and the right hand slides to the end.  The motion ends in the overhead guard position exactly as in 2b.

           To practice from right hanmi, reverse left and right.
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           (1) Since this kata is not easily traceable to O-Sensei in techniques, principle, or Ri-ai, we must treat it as secondary.  However, nothing in this form is contrary to our principles.  It is the most challenging of all the jo kata which we do, and as such is very valuable.


KOKYUHO AIKIDO KUMIJO

           These five jo matching two person exercises (sotai renshu) illustrate what O-Sensei called "Takemusu Aiki", the inexhaustible martial fount of Aiki", as well as Ri-ai, "the harmony of principles" among all aspects of the Way.  In these forms we practice the same "heart" as found in the five small kumitachi but with differences necessitated by the nature of the staff; be sure to allow the staff to slip and float in the hands.  Uke may be using a sword or staff.  Shite will begin each exercise standing in left hanmi with the staff resting butt to ground, held by the left hand, in front of the body.  This is our normal staff stance.  One may of course practice shite's movements alone as tandoku renshu, for which see the following which also gives slightly more detailed instructions.

Dai Ikkyo

Uke Shite
1. stand in chudan, then raise weapon to jodan 1. normal jo stance, twist the left hand to bring the jo into the right hand, thrust to throat of uke with head of jo
2. strike shomen. 2. withdraw left foot (pivoting on right), slip the right hand back, strike circularly to uke's head and continue to cover uke's weapon
3. raise weapon 3. step in with left, pivot back as you came, cutting upward (pushing with the left hand) and control uke's right elbow from below
4. strike shomen 4. withdraw left foot, and strike as in 2. but stop at uke's head

 

Dai Nikyo

Uke Shite
1. raise jo to jodan 1. normal jo stance; invert right hand and grasp jo below left hand while stepping through with right foot; flip jo
  2. and thrust with butt to uke's throat, and immediately control ukes right wrist by a thrust.
  3. release left hand and slice down uke’s front
  4. cut up with the butt to the left side of uke's head (3) OR bring jo back up on the same line as the cut in 3, circle and strike naname to uke's left neck/shoulder (4)
  5. step forward with the left foot and strike upward with the left hand and jo butt to uke's solar plexus

 

Dai Sankyo

Uke Shite
1 raise jo, step with the left foot to the front, and strike shomen 1. normal jo stance; slide left foot forward, "spring" jo through left hand, and strike naname to cut uke's right shoulder and continue to cover uke's weapon
2. raise jo  2. pivot anticlockwise and cut up (kiriage) uke's front from groin to right arm pit
3. strike shomen. 3. simple strike to uke's right waist/hip, left hand pressing

 

Dai Yonkyo (Kansha Yagyu)(5)

Uke Shite
1. chudan no kamae   1. normal jo stance
2. raise weapon    2. take ushiro gedan hanrni (wakigamae) (5)
3. strike shomen. 3. step forward with right foot, raise jo, and strike shomen

                                                       

Dai Gokyo (Kiribara)

Uke Shite
1. chudan no kamae   1. normal jo stance
2. raise jo to jodan  2. slide left foot to left front and grasp jo with the right hand in a natural manner below the left hand, cut across uke's hara decisively with the butt of the jo (7) .
3. strike shomen. 3. slide the jo through the left hand to the left rear over shite's left shoulder; cut simply to uke's waist/hip.

 
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           (1) as in the beginning of the 13 no jo
           (2) this sounds complicated but actually just allows shite to thrust from a right hanmi stance with the hands in normal sword holding relationship
           (3) as in Dai Ikkyo movement 4
           (4) this is identical to he corresponding movement in the kumitachi
           (5) this may be done either of two ways:
                      1) as with the sword by piercing the heavens, or
                      2) by rotating the left hand and bringing the staff back simply. The hand positions will differ between these two variations.
           (6) this natural grip is with the thumb upwards as though politely and normally shaking hands
           (7) this may be considered the converse of the first movement of the 9 no jo.


JO NO TANDOKU RENSHU
5 no chisaii kumijo kara

           The practice of the following five forms show the Ri-ai, the harmony of principles, which is such an important part of Aikido.

           With the staff held in the left hand, standing in left hanmi, we begin facing east as usual.  To practice the other side, merely reverse the instructions left for right.  This can be done in working with the jo while it is neither truly possible nor advisable to do so with the ken.

           Dai Ikkyo

           1. From a normal jo stance, twist the left hand to bring the lower half of the jo into the right hand (1), and immediately thrust to the throat of our imaginary uke with the head of the jo.
           2. withdraw left foot (pivoting on right), slip the right hand back to the rear of the staff, and strike circularly clockwise as seen from below to uke's head and continue to cover uke's weapon.
           3. Step in with left foot, pivoting back as you came, cutting upward (pushing with the left hand) and control uke's right elbow from below (2)
           4. withdraw left foot, and strike as in 2. but stop at uke's head.

           Dai Nikyo

           1.& 2. From a normal jo stance, invert right hand clockwise and grasp jo below left hand while stepping through with right foot; flip the jo anticlockwise (3) and thrust with butt to uke's throat, and immediately control uke's right wrist by a thrust.
           3. Release left hand and slice down uke's front.  The left hand moves to the left hip.
           4. Cut up with the butt to the left side of uke's head 4 with he left hand near the tip of the jo OR bring jo back up on the same line as the cut in 3, circle clockwise as seen from below and strike naname to uke's left neck/shoulder (4) .
           5. Step forward with the left foot and strike upward with the left hand and jo butt to uke's solar plexus OR use the tegatana alone, releasing the staff.

           Dai Sankyo

           1. From a normal jo stance, slide the left foot forward, "spring" jo up through left hand, (the right hand near the butt) and strike naname to cut uke's right shoulder and continue to cover uke's weapon
           2. pivot anticlockwise as seen from above on the right foot and cut up with the butt (right hand forward)[kiriage; age uchi] uke's front from groin to right arm pit
           3. Step back with the right foot (OR if necessary forward with the left) and make a simple strike to like's right waist/hip, left hand pressing the jo as though to uproot and unbalance an imaginary like (left hand forward).

           Dai Yonkyo (Kansha Yagyu)(5)

           1. Take the normal jo stance
           2. step back with right foot arid take ushiro gedan hanmi (wakigamae) (6)
           3. step forward with right foot, raise the jo through jodan, and strike shomen

           Dai Gokyo (Kiribara)

           1. From a normal jo stance
           2. slide left foot to left front and grasp jo with the right hand (7) below the left hand, cut across uke's hara decisively with the butt of the jo (8) .
           3. slide the jo through the left hand to the left rear over shite's left shoulder; cut simply to uke's waist/hip while withdrawing the right foot to pivot on the left.
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           (1) as in the beginning of the 13 no jo
           (2) this is a much simpler action than in the sword kata; here we do not swing the blade around but merely push upwards with the left hand
           (3) this sounds complicated but actually just allows shite to thrust from a right hanmi stance with the hands in normal sword holding relationship
           (4) as in Dai Ikkyo movement 4
           (5) this is identical to the corresponding movement in the kumitachi
           (6) this may be done either of two ways:
                      1) as with the sword by piercing the heavens, or
                      2) by rotating the left hand and bringing the staff back simply.
The hand positions will differ between these two variations though the essence is the same.
           (7) Usually this is done as in the kumijo with a natural grip, the thumb upwards as though politely and normally shaking hands; for an additional variation use a reverse grip.  The subsequent stroke with be less of a drawing than a pushing motion.
           (8) this may be considered the converse of the first movement of the 9 no jo.


           KOKYUHO UNDO

           These three exercises are frequently done at the beginning of a session.  While primarily Ki exercises, they are also valuable for stretching the legs and loosening, warming, and strengthening the knee joints, focusing the mind, relaxing the body, and helping the practitioner find and maintain One Point.  It is vital to keep the Four Points in mind: 1) keep One Point; 2) Extend Ki; 3) Weight underside; and 4) relax dynamically. They commence in seiza 1 .

           Kokyuho Ten [Heaven]

           Inhale as you rise on your knees and bend the toes under while the hands, like swords or spears, "pierce the heavens" 2 .  Exhale as you cut down and resume seiza.  Be sure that the tegatana are to your front and that the cut and settling are co-ordinated.

           Kokyuho Tenchi [Heaven-Earth]

           Place the hands palms together immediately in front of the sternum.  Inhale as you rise on your knees and toes.  Be sure to bend the toes under while the joined hands, like a spear, "pierce the heavens".  Turn the hands so that their backs are together with the arms fully extended.  Exhale as you bring the hands down, arms extended to the sides as far as comfortable, palms down, and settle the body back to seiza. The hands come together before tpe One Point 3.  The hands will momentarily take the meditative position before the One Point with the thumbs touching, palms up, right hand resting in left.  Be sure that the motion of the arms and the settling of the body are co-ordinated.

           Kokyuho Chi [Earth]

           1. This is simply sitting properly in seiza: relaxed, erect, alert. Normally the hands rest in the lap, palms up, right hand resting in the left, tips of thumbs together as in the previous exercise.  Breathe to the One Point (as always).
           2. Mudra of unification. From the previous position interlock the small through middle fingers upwards, touch the tips of the index fingers, place the tips of the thumbs together again 4, and raise the arms till the index fingers point at and almost touch the centre of the forehead 5.  Breathe to the One Point.
_________________________________________________________________
           1 Master Ueshiba said "sit squarely [seiza] when indoors."  Seiza is an indoor, civilized posture.  For budoka the knees should always be separated by at least two fist's width but never beyond the angle of the feet when standing shizentai.  There is much variation in the distance between the knees, Shioda soke keeping a very narrow angle, Saito shihan a much broader one.  Experiment.  Find what is most stable and comfortable, and do not criticize others.  Do not allow the angle to narrow beyond the minimum of two fists' distance between the knees for the balance will be impaired.  Too great an angle makes one vulnerable to a blow.
            2 The mythology would indicate a membrane (cf "firmament") separating earth and heaven.  This we are to "pierce" to let Dai Ki pour down as blessing.
           3 This is a movement as though grasping substantial Dai Ki, bringing it down from heaven, and placing it in one's own One Point.
           4 Exactly as though you were a child reciting "This is the church. This is the steeple. Open the doors etc"
           5 The Ki forms a closed circular feedback loop.


KOKYUHO AIKIDO NO KIHON DOSA TANDOKU RENSHU

           As formulated by Shioda Gozo soke of the Aikido Yoshinkai, who was the primary teacher of Kimeda Takeshi Shihan, the Kihon Dosa or "basic movements" were not often taught as a wee kata at all, for the Yoshinkan emphasis was on the effectiveness of each particular technique.  However, this kata has been used for decades at Yoshinkan demonstrations.  We find it particularly useful when performed as a continuous whole and indeed some of us claim that no other Ki development exercise can so "make the fingertips tingle".  Although obviously formalized and not directly applicable to our particular style of Aikido, mastery of this form not only increases Ki strength [Kiryoku] but also leads to proper body movement [tai sabaki].

           The kata, of 26 movements, is built around six exercises: two "body turning" exercises [tai no henko]; two "elbow strengthening" exercises [hiriki no yosei]; (a transition;) and two finishing movements [shumatfu-dosa].  Each of these applies to several Aiki techniques(1).  In this outline we will begin with right hanmi.  For that beginning left, simply reverse left and right.

           As always, our conventions say that we begin facing east.

           First tai no henko [irimi (2)]
           1. Begin in right hanmi, arms in chudan. Bring the left foot forward beside the right foot as the hands drop until they come side by side palms facing one another in front of the One Point at the moment the feet come side by side.  Without pause, slide the left foot to the north-east, raise the hands in a generous vertical anticlockwise circle, bring them down palms up at about shoulder height as though performing irimi nage. Complete the motion by fully settling the hips. You will now be standing in left hanmi with arms extended north-east, palms up, and weight underside.
           2. Reverse the motion exactly and return to chudan, the beginning posture of right hanmi.
           3,4 Repeat 1 & 2.

           Second tai no henko [tenkan]
           5. Spin on right foot drawing left foot around in a large circle, anticlockwise as seen from above.  The hands swing down close to the body.  At the "half way point" the hands are straight down, palms towards and in front of and almost touching the thighs, body facing north, and weight on the right foot.  The motion continues without pause, the left foot swinging around, the hands extending to the west at shoulder height palms up, weight underside and Ki strongly extending west.  The left leg is straight with the heel on the mat; weight is forward on the right leg. This is performed as though a partner had grasped our wrist and pushed.  By this turning we blend with the attack.
           6. Return by reversing procedure exactly.
           7,8 Repeat 5 & 6.

           First hiriki no yosei [irimi]
           9 Raise hands to jodan thrusting strongly upward as though raising a sword, and bring the fingers towards the forehead.  Be sure the fingers are well spread.  Shift the weight forward while doing this.
           10 Return to chudan as though cutting with a sword or performing happo-uchi.

           Second hiriki no yosei [tenkan]
           11 pivot in place (to the left) on the balls of both feet exactly as in the 5th movement up to the "half way point" but, rather than spinning, simply extend the right hand downwards piercing the earth and the left hand (palm to the north, tegatana down) to the west.  Extend Ki strongly westward with the left hand as well as strongly to the centre of the earth with the right.  Be sure to shift weight to the forward leg.
           12 Return by reversing the pivot and enthusiastically bring the hands up to jodan as in 9.
           13, 14 Repeat 11 & 12.

           Transition
           15 The transition requires a pivot in place to the left while raising the hands to pierce the heavens, palms facing each other
           16 cutting down to shoulder height and
           17 drawing in the rear foot as one stands in left hanmi chudan facing west.

           First shumatsu-dosa [irimi-tenkan (3)]
           18 Slide the left foot to the south-west while thrusting with the hands as though pushing a basketball away at waist level in the same direction.
           19 Step with the right foot and raise the hands to jodan. (You are now in right hanmi.)
           20 Pivot in place by the left to face east while raising the hands to pierce the heavens as in the transition.
           21 Cut down to shoulder height.
           22 Draw in the right foot and return to left hanmi chudan facing east.

           Second shumatsu-dosa [tenkan]
           23 Spin on the ball of the left foot drawing the right foot back in a large circle; the left hand is extended palm up at shoulder height; the back of the right hand touches the forehead as though "saluting" in the army, or wiping the brow, or doing the third Pinan Goju ryu kata.
           24 Pivot in place to he right or clockwise as seen from above while raising the hands to pierce the heavens as in the transition.
           25 Cut down to shoulder height and draw in the rear foot.
           26 Return to right hanmi chudan facing east.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

           Kokyu: Exhale strongly on each movement of the hands away from one's centre and when cutting.  Thus in the first hiriki no yosei exhale as the hands are raised, inhale quickly, and exhale as the hands are cut down.  The only exception is when the hands pierce the heavens as one turns in the transition, and in both shumatsu-dosa.  In the first shumatsu-dosa, exhale partially on the thrust and complete the breath as the hands are raised.  Inhale on the turn and piercing the heavens.

           Hints:  Do not allow heels to rise.  Keep spine erect.  This can be very difficult for some, but do not lean forward.  Stretch rear leg.  Extend Ki with great intention.  On piercing the heavens, do not allow One Point to rise.  Cut down no lower than shoulder height. Look your own height.  Breathe to the One Point.  Keep weight underside.  Keep shoulders relaxed.

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           (1) The first tai no henko is basic to irimi nage/kokyu nage.  The second tai no henko is prototypical tenkan (turning).  The first hiriki no yosei is raising the sword.  The second hiriki no yosei is the beginning of kote gaeshi.  The first shumatsu-dosa is a response to being pulled, leading to shiho-nage or juji-nage.  The second shumatsu-dosa is a response to being pushed, leading to shiho-nage or juji-nage.
           (2) These terms within square brackets: "irimi" means "entering"; "tenkan" means "turning".
           (3) "Irimi-tenkan" is an old term which sometimes refers to a particular technique.  In the past "irimi-tenkan" was seen as one of the "secrets" of Aikido.  The second shumatsu-dosa may also be considered "tenkan-irimi" , especially if a final step be added.


TAIJUTSU APPLICATIONS
of the 5 no chisaii renshu

           All of Aiki is Ri-ai, the harmony of principles.  Swordwork [kenpo; kenjutsu] is the heart of staffwork [joho; jojutsu] and of empty hand techniques [taiho; taijutsu].  It is the unity of all in the "sword spirit" [Ken Kon or Ken Ki] that permits the Aikidoka to grow in the Way.  To evoke this truth we present the following short commentary.  It does not present all possibilities by any means.  By diligent study, find your own Ri-ai embedded in these actions.

           Dai Ikkyo begins with entering [irimi].  Such an entrance is never straight no matter how direct it may be or may appear to an observer.  Always there is a "curviness" approaching a flat S-curve involved.  In taijutsu in response to a shomen-uchi attack (an overhead blow as with a sword, or a straight punch), shite may enter with his hand extended to uke's neck.  This may lead immediately to kokyu-nage.  Further such an entrance may be used to draw uke into a forward motion, leading to a subsequent kokyu- or irimi-nage, or to virtually any other technique.
            The second movement may be seen as the finish of a ken-nage, as part of hiji-shime or ikkyo or gokyo, as leading to a head drop [atama-otoshi] or kokyu-nage, or as part of a taoshi [direct body drop].  It also may involve ten-chi nage on a diagonal or any other naname based technique.  With the previous entrance this makes up irimi-tenkan.
           The third action is taijutsu ikkyo [ikkajo; ude osae] in which the elbow is controlled and the characteristic ikkyo arch may be seen.
           The final cut controls uke's whole body and being.

           Dai Nikyo begins with a two part entrance which leads through uke's centre line to his right wrist.  In taijutsu, an attack shomen or yokomen uchi may be met in this way: a feigned blow to the chin and a taking of the operative wrist to lead into any immobilization [osae] or taoshi; if lower than the wrist (forearm or elbow or biceps) leads to a kokyu- or koshi-nage.
           The third movement, a diagonal cut, is irimi-nage.
           The final strike illustrates the uprooting and toppling functions of any full body projection.

           Dai Sankyo shows the usefulness of the mutual stance [ai-hanmi].  Shite and uke begin in ai-hanmi (both with right foot forward).  When uke attacks, shite steps in to again take ai-hanmi, this time with left foot forward.  But in doing so, shite has in effect entered by two steps into uke's open and vulnerable side.  This is indeed the secret of "entering to the rear" and one of the techniques for passing through an attacker's blind spot to disappear and then reappear in an advantageous position.  The use of the hands in this is obvious: bending uke forward, no matter how slightly, to upset his balance. 
           The second movement is our Aiki sword-based "uprooting" practice.  In so many Aiki waza uke's One Point is raised in order to cause him to loose balance.  Here is a paradigm of all such actions. The blow to the waist/hip illustrates how so often the mere presence of a finger in this area will give uke a fulcrum so that the lightest pressure from the front above this point will cause him to topple over backwards.

           Dai Yonkyo illustrates another method of direct irimi.  The almost magical way in which shite finds himself out of the way of attack when this action is performed correctly should convince the student of the unity of "attack/defense" and that he need never worry about being hit if he does what he is told and practices diligently.

           Dai Gokyo begins with a preemptive attack, taking uke's One Point.  In the 1935 film of O-Sensei's demonstration sponsored by the Asahi Shinbun there is one marvelous illustration of this.  Further this action shows the importance of the old adage "he began first; I finished first".
           The second movement, also concentrated on the waist/hip/hara region, illustrates a grisly sword blow but also reinforces the need in taijutsu to control the One Point through whatever is presented.  If uke's One Point is not controlled then no technique will be acceptable.  Thus Dai Gokyo is also called kiribara, the cutting of the hara.

           One could write volumes of commentary on these five exercises but this should provide a starting point for the instructor or student, an entrance into the infinite Ri-Ai of the Founder's Takemusu Aiki.

 

Glossary

age-uchi   upward strike
aiki co-ordination, spiritual meeting, harmony
aikijo Aikido staffwork
Aikikai  Aiki Association, largest such group led by Ueshiba Kisshomaru
ashi  leg, foot
atama face
bo     six foot staff
bokken   wooden sword, also bokuto
Budo martial way, the Way of the bushi
Budoka a follower of a martial Way
Bugei   ancient martial arts, eg Yagyu ryu
Chiburi   cleansing blood from the sword
chisai(i) small
chudan  middle chamber
chudan no kamae normal sword stance
Dai Ki Great Ki, heavenly energy
Dojo place for studying a Way
Doka poem, often of martial meaning
Dosa  movement
Doshu  Master of the Way, title of Ueshiba Kisshomaru
Gaeshi from "kaeru", turn
Gedan lower chamber
Giri  from "kiru", cut
Gokyo fifth teaching
Goshi   from "koshi", hip
Gyaku reversed, backwards
Hakama split skirt worn by budoka
Hanmi  triangular stance, lit. "half body"
Happo  eight directions
Hara                                                                       abdomen
Harai                                                                           row
Hasso                                                                     weapon before the shoulder
Hidari                                                           left
Hiji                                                                        elbow
Hiji-shime                                                          elbow lock
Hineri                                                                   twist
Hiriki no yosei                                                     "elbow strengthening"
Hombu                                                                  main dojo
Hozoin                                                                                Buddhist monastery
Iai   lit, "being" i refers to sword drawing
Iai-goshi                                                                     an outdoor half sitting posture
Ikkajo                                                                   old name for taijutsu ikkyo
Irimi                                                                       entering
It to                                                                            lit, "One Sword", a term coined by Itosai, founder of the It to ryu
Iwama                                                                         location of the Aiki Shrine
Jo                                                                                 four foot staff
Jodan                                                                           higher chamber
Joho                                                                          staff methods
Jojutsu                                                                staff art
Juji                                                                               lit "ten shape" , the Kanj i for the numeral is shaped like a cross
Kaiso                                                                         founder
Kamae                                                                     stance
Kansha                                                                                    thanksgiving
Kara                                                                            from
Kata                                                                            1) shoulder; 2) form, set exercise
Katana                                                                         long sword, ken
Kazoku                                                                        clan, family
Kenjutsu                                                                      sword art
Kenkyukai                                                                   research association
Kenpo                                                                         sword methods
Kesa                                                                            monk's stole (Buddhist)
Kiai                                                                             lit, "Ki joining" , a shout
Kihon                                                                          basic
Kimeda, Takeshi  Father of Aikido in Canada, present head of Yoshinkai Canada
Kiri   cut, cf giri
kiri-age cut upwards
kiribara cut the hara
kobujutsu ancient martial arts, bugei
koho                                                                            old methods
kokyu                                                                         spiritual respiration
koshi                                                                            hips
kote                                                                             wrist
kotodama                                                                    sacred sounds
kumijo                                                                         paired staff forms
kumitachi                                                                    paired sword forms
misogi                                                                          purification
mochi                                                                          from "motsu'. , to hold
mudra                                                                         symbolic hand movements
mune                                                                           chest
musubi                                                                       fm "musubu", join, link together
nage                                                                            project, throw
naginata   halberd
naname diagonal strike
nikyo                                                                           second teaching
noto                                                                          sheathing the sword
obi                                                                              belt
oni                                                                               demon, devil, evil spirit
osae                                                                             immobilization, pin
O-Sensei                                                                      Great Teacher
Otoshi                                                                         drop
Renshu                                                                        exercise
Renzoku continuous, flowing, uninterrupted
Ryu  school, tradition
Sabaki  turning, motion
Saito, Morihiro  shihan, student of O-Sensei from 1946
Sankyo third teaching
Saya  sheath
Sei right, correct, proper, normal
sei-mochi normal hold
seiza                                                                            indoor sitting; Tohei: "right sitting"
sensei                                                                           one who is born before, teacher
shihan                                                                master teacher
shiho four directions
shikko knee walking
shinbudo modern martial arts, competitive
shinshinkon body-mind-spirit
Shinshin toitsu Tohei's Aikido with Mind and Body Co-ordinated
Shioda, Gozo Aikido Yoshinkai Soke; student of O-Sensei from 1932; founded Yoshinkan Dojo in 1955, and Yoshinkai International in 1990
Shirata, Rinjiro shihan, student of O-Sensei from 1931
shite  doer, performer; older term equivalent to later terms tori or nage
shizentai  natural body, stance at ease
shomen strike to the head
shoto wakizashi, short sword
shumatsu  finishing
sojutsu spear art
soke                                                                             headmaster
sotai                                                                             paired, two person (exercise)
subburi                                                                        sword strikes
suwari                                                                          sitting
tachi                                                                            1) sword; 2) standing
tai                                                                                body
taiho                                                                            empty hand methods
taijutsu empty hand art
Takemusu Aiki  the inexhaustible martial fount of Aiki
Taiso                                                                            exercise
Tandoku                                                                      individual
Taoshi                                                                          body drop
Tegatana                                                                      hand sword
Tenchi                                                                         Heaven and earth, all creation
Tenkan                                                                                    turning
Tohei, Kaichi  founder of Ki no Kenkyukai and of Shinshin Toitsu Aikidokai (1971 and 1974); student of O-Sensei from 1939
Tomiki, Kenji founder of competitive Tomiki Aikido; student of O-Sensei from 1926
tsuba                                                                            hand guard
tsugi                                                                            sliding
tsuki thrust
uchi                                                                             strike
uchi-komi  strike to the front
ude  arm, forearm
Ueshiba, Kisshomaru                                                  son of O-Sensei; Aikikai Doshu
Uke receiver, opposite of shite
Ukemi   breakfall, rolling
Ushiro back, rear
Wakigamae   a stance with the weapon to the side, same as ushiro gedan hanmi
Waza    technique
Yagyu great martial family
Yamada, Yoshimitsu   Aikikai student from 1955
Yari spear
Yokoashi   circular strike to the side of the legs
Yokodo circular strike to the side of the body
Yokomen circular strike to the side of the head
Yoshinkai  Shioda’s international Aikido Organization
Yoshinkan  Shioda’s original dojo