In the below video Jeremy Gehrke Sensei demonstrates the traditional sword kata – Tora no Isshoku (Tiger’s Step). It is the 2nd kata in what is referred to as the Daichi no Waza (Earth Set). The Earth Set is the first and most basic of the set katas in our traditional sword program.
The Daichi no Waza is designed to build strength in your legs.
The Kata involves and introduces all of the basic cuts.
While performing the set you should focus on deep stances, good balance, and precise cuts.
Making sure that all the cut start and end in the correct spots. They can be performed slowly and without power, with emphasis on the movements in the individual kata.
Traditional sword classes are held at the dojo every Wednesday at 7.30pm. Everyone, regardless of experience, is welcome.
In the below videos Morihiro Saito Sensei (1928-2002) provides instruction on the traditional version of munetsuki kotegaeshi as practised by O’Sensei (the Founder of Aikido) in the immediate post-war period of his life. Munetsuki kotegaeshi is traditionally categorised as a “turn and transform” (kaiten) technique and is practised as a response to a strike or thrust to the stomach (munetsuki).
Munetsuki kotegaeshi is sometimes mistakenly considered a beginners technique on the basis that it often appears in early gradings in many schools. In reality, however, nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact the technique can be quite challenging to effectively perform, particularly against a centred and responsive uke who either resists or is skilled in countering. Effective application of kotegaeshi (regardless of the attack) requires significant skills in entering, timing, sinking, maintaining centre, space, balance breaking and moving as a single relaxed unit.
Hand position for kotegaeshi
The below photo and drawing show the hand position for executing kotegaeshi. In our school the wrist is not twisted to the side.
From a martial perspective, atemi (striking) is an important part of Aikido practice. Depending on the source, between 70% and 90% of Aikido requires an application of atemi principles.
In the below video, Morihiro Saito Sensei demonstrates the atemi for munetsuki kotegaeshi.
Alternate standing pin
Kuzushi and balance taking principles
In Aikido the uke’s balance is typically not taken by movements of the nage’s upper body, but by the correct movement of the nage’s lower half of their body, particularly the hips. In munetsuki kotegaeshi, for example, the nage’s hand on the uke’s wrist is merely the connection point. However, it is the movement and sinking of the nage’s hips that breaks the uke’s balance.
In the below video, Morihiro Saito Sensei, demonstrates how the correct use of the hips and sinking can be used to take the balance of the uke at first contact in munetsuki kotegaeshi.
Munetsuki kotegaeshi – Ai-hamni stance
In the below video made by the London Aikido Club, munetsuki kokyu nage is examined from a traditional kokyu ho perspective.
The London Aikido Club studies the Aikido of Morihiro Saito Sensei and generously shares many of its teachings on the web. Those interested in the study of traditional Aikido as taught by the Founder in the post war period of his life may wish to check out the London Aikido Club’s You tube channel.
In the below video Christian Tissier Sensei (8th Dan Aikikai) explains the 3 options available for applying kotegaishi and the circumstances that favour one option in preference to another.
Morihiro 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 from the post war period would have been lost.
Congratulations to Chelsea from our dojo on her excellent 3rd kyu grading in Aikido Yuishinkai on Saturday.
As anyone who has done a grading knows, it’s the preparation and training preceding it that is typically the toughest part. With that in mind, the below video of the event also features some of the training that Chelsea undertook in preparation.
Big thanks to everyone who participated in the grading and helped Chelsea prepare for it.
In 1938 Master Morihei Ueshiba, the Founder of Aikido, finalised the 2nd of his 3 technical texts. Titled “Budo“, the text contains a sampling of techniques from a wide range of attacks, including grabs, strikes and attacks from different weapons. “Budo” is an important reference point for our practice at the dojo.
The below video features a photographic demonstration of jotori rokkyo (Technique 41) as it appears in “Budo“. Rokkyo is an Aikido arm bar technique and is commonly used to disarm a uke who has a weapon (in this case a wooden staff referred to as a jo). Also included in the video is a demonstration of the technique by Morihiro Saito Sensei who was a direct student of the Founder for more than 20 years.
Jo dori rokkyo – Key principles for application
In the below video, Peter Brady Shihan (7th Dan Aikikai) provides instruction on jo tori rokkyo consistent with that shown in the “Budo” text. While Brady Sensei is not part of our school, his method of application is the same as that practised in our dojo.
In 1938 Master Morihei Ueshiba, the Founder of Aikido, finalised the 2nd of his 3 technical texts. Simply titled “Budo“, the text contains a sampling of techniques from a wide range of attacks, including grabs, strikes and attacks from different weapons. “Budo” is an important reference point for our practice.
The below video features a photographic demonstration of tanto tori munetsuki kotogaeshi (Technique 33) as it appears in “Budo“. The principles underpinning the technique (aside from the disarm) are similar to the unarmed version. Also included in the video is a demonstration of the technique (including a variation with atemi) by Morihiro Saito Sensei who was a direct student of the Founder for more than 20 years.
Principles underpinning munetsuki kotegaeshi
In the below video Morihiro Saito Sensei gives detailed instruction for the traditional application of munetsuki kotegaeshi. The instruction applies equally to the armed and unarmed versions of the technique.
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