The dynamics of Aikido’s techniques
Due to the dynamic nature of Aikido, most experts say that there are no definite “styles” or “techniques” in practicing the martial art. After the development of aikido by Morihei Ueshiba, called “O Sensei,” many students were inspired to train under his tutelage.
After their training, the Great Teacher encouraged his students to put up their own dojos so they can spread the tenets of his martial art. Aside from encouraging them to set up dojos and share the knowledge he taught, he also inspired them to develop their own styles and interpretations as long as these techniques adhere to the basic principle of aikido, “not fighting force with force.”
The aikido founder reiterates this principle over and over again because the techniques of aikido, when applied without care, can damage or kill instead of diverting or immobilizing the opponent.
With the emergence of various dojos all over the world, more and more techniques were born. Despite the differences in techniques in various dojos, there is a set of the common techniques in which almost all dojos use. Each of this technique is carefully taught to the student so he or she can discover its strengths and weaknesses.
Although most people say that there should be no superior or inferior technique, only the student or the individual practicing it can truly tell which technique works well for him or her. Here is a list of the most common aikido techniques practiced by almost all aikido practitioners in dojos today:
- “Ikkyo“. Also known as the “first technique,” ikkyo refers to the control exercised using only one hand on the elbow and the other one on near the wrist that leverages “uke” to the ground. This technique uses a grip that can apply pressure into the ulnar nerve on the medial side of the person’s arm.
- “Nikyo“. This is referred to as the “second technique.” Nikyo involves the use of an adductive wristlock that loops the arm while applying painful nerve pressure.
- “Sankyo“. This is also called the “third technique.” Sankyo is known as a “pronating” technique that directs upward-spiraling pressure throughout the person’s arm, elbow, and shoulder.
- “Yonkyo“. Is also popular as the “fourth technique.” Just like iikkyo, yonko is also a shoulder control but with requires the use of both hands in gripping the forearm. The practitioner’s knuckles—usually from the palm side—are applied to the opponent’s radial nerve against the forearm bone.
- “Gokyo“. This refers to a variant of ikkyo where the hand that grips the wrist is inverted. Also known as the “fifth technique,” gokyo is common in tanto and other weapon take-aways.
- “Shihonage“. Here, the practitioner’s hand is folded back past the shoulder and locks the shoulder joint. This aikido technique is also called the “four-direction throw.”
- “Kotegaeshi“. This is popularly called the “wrist return.” This aikido technique is a characterized by a supinating wristlock-throw, which stretches the person’s extensor digitorum.
- “Kokyunage“. In English, this is translated to “breath throw.” This term is coined for various types of flowing “timing throws” in duration of any aikido session.
- “Iriminage“. For aikido practitioners, this is known as the “entering-body throw” or throws where “nage” moves through the space occupied by “uke.” This is considered as a classic form that resembles the “clothesline” technique.
- “Tenchinage“. A.k.a. the “heaven-and-earth throw.” This technique involves the “uke” grabbing both wrists of the “nage.” Moving forward, the nage sweeps one hand low (“earth”) and the other high (“heaven”), so he or she can unbalance the uke.