In the below videos Morihiro Saito Sensei (1928-2002) provides instruction on one of the traditional versions of yokomenuchi kokyu nage as practised by O’Sensei (the Founder of Aikido) in the immediate post-war period of his life.
- Technical notes – London Aikido Club – Andy Hathaway Sensei
- Yokomenuchi kokyu nage – Origins
Yokomenuchi kokyu nage (irimi) has a long history in Aikido. The technique appears as technique number 42 in O’sensei‘s first technical manual “Budo Renshu” (1934). The notable difference in this early version is that the nage cuts down through the uke‘s neck and also cuts down and then hold’s the wrist of the uke’s attacking arm. (See O’sensei‘s drawings below).
However, the kokyu ho principles necessary to effectively apply the technique remain the same.
In O’sensei’s 2nd manual “Budo” (1938) the roles of nage and uke for the technique are described as follows:
“Uke: Deliver a yokomen strike with your right hand. “Tori (i.e. nage): Step forward on your left foot and use your left te gatana (i.e. hand sword) to neutralise your opponent’s attack, simultaneously striking his face (and down him).”
- Brief Biography – Morihiro Saito Sensei (1928-2002)
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 may have been lost.