This next part will focus on the 5 basic techniques of Aikido. Which means this is 5 video post as oppose to the 4 video ones that will be normal for this series. They are quite appropriately named first technique (ikkyo), second technique (nikyo), third (sankyo), fourth (yonkyo), and fifth (gokyo).
I like the first video. The speaker, Mike Jones again displays his very technical and powerful form in the movement. The explanations for Ikkyo here are very similar to the multiple explanations that I’ve heard from the younger yudansha teachers. One thing on 0:38 is that depending on your uke and the situation, you’re not going to always step to the side to finish the technique. My experience has displayed that in some cases, the ukemi will have you go straight through while some other people you will have to go to the side.
For Nikyo what really grabbed me was the uke’s performance. Mad props to the uke would is handling Mike Jones’s powerful technique. As for the technique itself, I will say that what Mr. Jones is displaying is only one of the ways nikyo can be established. I will admit though I haven’t trained in a while so my technical knowledge has been gathering dust. Nikyo is basically the way the hand is being held. In the end I like how he included the pin in the end. I’d like to see him going into specifics in the pin, since it’ll probably take the novice a long time to get it right (I certainly still have trouble with that). But in the end this is only a very, very introductory video, so I suppose not all details need to be stated.
Sankyo – ah again these videos are meant to be brief introductory ones who not all of the variations were covered, however again Mike Jones a good job displaying the main ones. Before I continue, I do have one gripe when in the beginning when he states in 0:26 that you are “looking at the palm of my partner’s hand”. You don’t really want to stare at a certain point of your uke’s body (or any real life attacker for that matter). I’ve found that it takes away from your own general posture and presence (as taught by NSS). Other than that, the video was top notch; the best so far that I’ve seen. I sort of feel sorry for Mr. Jones’s uke, especially from 2:14 – 2:23. Great degree of ingenuity! It does seem however that Mr. Jones *might* be forcing some of the movement because in the end you can hear him breathing heavily, but thats just me.
For Yonkyo here, one thing that caught my eye wasn’t the techniques, it was the fast editing that occurred not once, but twice during the video. Perhaps there was the need for repositioning during the shooting? I just thought that was funny. Anyway, Yonkyo is definitely one of those movements that can be tricky. In my experience, those “bundle of nerves” that Mike Jones is talking about is a hit or miss for some people. Some people have very sensitive arms and you can “yonkyo” them pretty easily (like me!). Other’s might have a lot of fat/muscle in that area, therefore relaying on the nerve can be…problematic. In that event, just the movement of Yonkyo can be sufficient; both JWS and NSS have displayed that with brutal, and often comical efficiency.
Gokyo is one of those techniques that is required, but has some mixed feelings among those who practice it. I remember my sensei JWS stating that from what he’s seen it’s not the best pin or form to deal with a blade, but it is required as part of the curriculum. Having said that, this video is a pretty good overview of the movement. The hand change in this technique from ikkyo really does work since the person holding the knife can’t move it.
Overall these are the 5 basic techniques of Aikido. One correction before I continue is that Mikes Jones references that these techniques were handed down to us aikidoists by O’Sensei. The truth to the matter is according to my two sensei is that O’Sensei never set up a system of techniques. Many of his classes were what we would call “on-the-fly” and many of the techniques that he stated were ones that he didn’t give a name to. It was his students who assigned names to the techniques in order to better keep track of them! Students that did this include Saito Sensei of the Iwama. Now, that’s not a bad thing, it’s just an interesting tidbit from my own sensei who himself trained under O’Sensei. With that said, till next time!