Munetsuki irimi nage – Learning from O’Sensei

See below a short video taken at the dojo where we explored munetsuki irimi nage as illustrated in O’Sensei‘s 1938 text “Budo“.


Although difficult to see in the below photo demonstrations featuring  O’Sensei, a key technical aspect of the technique is the placement of the nage’s hand on the upper part of the uke’s shoulder.  As the technique is executed, this hand eventually ends up immediately below the nage’s armpit.  Relaxed and centred execution of the technique is essential to avoid any clash and achieve the necessary off-balancing of the uke.


For the uke, receiving the technique feels a bit like hitting a “wall of feathers”. As you would have noticed in the video, we also played with adding extra atemi. It makes receiving the ukemi a bit more challenging in terms of uke sensitivity but is well worth the experiment.

Big thanks to dojo senior Peter Marendy for joining me in the demo and to Eden for filming it.


  • Munetsuki irimi nage – A deeper look 

In the below videos Morihiro Saito Sensei (1928-2002) provides instruction on the traditional version of  munetsuki irimi nage as practised by O’Sensei (the Founder of Aikido) in the immediate post-war period of his life. Notably the method of execution is the same as that outlined in the “Budo” text.

  • Brief Biography – Morihiro Saito Sensei (1928-2002)

saito_seiza_260Morihiro Saito Sensei’s  practice of Aikido spanned 56 years and he is one of the most important teachers in Aikido history.  Saito Sensei was a live-in student of O’sensei for more than 20 years at his home dojo in Iwama, Japan.

Saito Sensei spent his teaching life dedicated to preserving the technical style of Aikido as practised and shown to him by O’sensei in the post-war period.  Without his commitment to preserving the Aikido of the Founder and extensive efforts to record and document his teachings, much of the Aikido of O’sensei would have been lost.

All the best

Ian Grant
Dojo Cho
Aikido Warrior Dojo


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