atemi irimi nage

Striking options in Aikido practice

morihei-ueshiba-gozo-shioda-1940-croppedStriking arts  (atemi) are an integral part of aikido practice.  It is often stated that as much as 70% of Aikido is about atemi.  Some sources suggest that this percentage should be more like 90%.

While atemi waza can be an end in itself,  it is also used in Aikido to do any or all of the following:

  • setting up a technique by taking the nage’s balance; or
  • diverting the uke’s attention;  or
  • completing a technique.

atemi o-sensei-atemiIn the below videos, Morihiro Saito Sensei (1928-2002) demonstrates some of the striking options practised by Master Morihei Ueshiba (the Founder of Aikido) in the post war period of his training. Consistent with our commitment to study the Aikido of the Founder, the demonstrated striking options form an important part of the training that we undertake at the dojo.

For ease of reference, the videos are arranged based on classification of technique.


  • Atemi waza – Irimi nage


  • Atemi waza – Kokyu nage


  • Atemi waza – Kotegeashi


  • Atemi waza – Nikyo


  • Atemi waza – Shiho nage


Have a great weekend

Ian Grant
Head Instructor
Aikido Warrior Dojo


Training notes – Yokomenuchi irimi nage

In the below video Morihiro Saito Sensei (1928-2002) demonstrates the three traditional versions of  Yokomenuchi irimi nage as practised by O’Sensei (the Founder of Aikido) in the immediate post-war period of his life.

Irimi means to enter physically and spiritually into an attack while at the same time simultaneously side stepping it. In the demonstrated technique irimi nage (“entering throw”) is being used to address a traditional strike to the side of the head.  This form of strike is called yokomenuchi.



  • Technical notes – Kihon application (1) – London Aikido Club 


  • Technical notes – Kihon application (2) – Morihiro Saito Sensei


  • Technical notes – Yokomenuchi – Ki no nagare – Morihiro Saito Sensei


  • Additional technical notes – Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei 

In the below video Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei (8th Dan Aikikai) gives instruction and training tips from an alternate perspective.




All the best

Ian Grant
Dojo Cho
Aikido Warrior Dojo