©™ 2003 - 2005: OWH International - Ueshiba Aikido : Victoria, Canada
All Rights Reserved
Ueshiba Aikido e-Reflections
ISSN 1712-2341
< Click here to go back
July 31, 2005

"Seeing me before him, the enemy attacks.
But by that time I am already standing safely behind him."

O Sensei Morihei Ueshiba

The first thing that a beginner goes through is the practise of two basic movements: Tenkan Ho and Irimi Undo. In the practice of these movements, the student becomes acquainted with moving the whole body harmoniously as one complete unit - stepping forward with one's foot and pivoting in Irimi, or drawing the rear foot backwards in a (Ura) pivot in Tenkan.

The basis of all Aikido techniques relies on being able to move swiftly and with complete balance in Tenkan or Irimi. Even Miyamoto Musashi, the celebrated Japanese swordsman, wrote in his book, The Five Rings, that technique is nothing without the ability to move one's body swiftly and decisively into position where the perfect cut may be executed. In this, Musashi and O Sensei echo each other when they say that every movement and technique that is practised is not the end, but is part of a complete flow leading to a resolution.

Take O Sensei's quote above. Being a student of Aikido, you would know that the reference at first glance refers to an irimi movement that brings the practitioner deep behind the attacker - poised to execute an obvious Irimi Nage - or entering throw.

Reflect on Irimi and Tenkan. These are natural movements. When your shoulder is pushed, moving in Irimi or Tenkan will easily allow your body blend with the flow of the push. Just like walking, the left foot follows right, and vice versa, moving in perfect balance from A to B. Actions and movements that are natural are powerful. By extension, responses to situations and decisions made in daily life that resonate positively with and in the natural order of things/life are similarly powerful.

In harmony
Rafael Oei Sensei.
(© Copyright July 2005: Rafael Oei)

< Click here to go back

©™ 2003 - 2005: OWH International - Ueshiba Aikido : All Rights Reserved