Yoshinkan Aikido Kihon dosa (5:4)

As a style of aikido, yoshinkan is more akin to the prewar Aiki Budo techniques taught by O Sensei, and therefore also generally closer to aikijujutsu than those styles of aikido developed post-war. The unusual emphasis placed on correct form rather than correct flow and timing further contributes to its image as a «hard» style. However, the merit of such terms as «hard» and «soft» is generally believed to lie in the superficial level of describing a style’s «feel», rather than saying anything about the heart of the style itself. Shioda-sensei formed the Yoshinkan style of aikido because he felt that there needed to be greater consistency in the training process for students, so he created a structured method in which beginning students would learn the foundation techniques. Techniques are made up of elements such as the initiating attack, the applicable control and whether it is a pin or throw. They are further divided into two groups called ichi (number 1) and ni (number 2) techniques. Ichi (Number 1) techniques have a feeling of the energy moving away from you, often with your partner, or uke, pulling. Ni (Number 2) techniques have a feeling of the energy coming towards you. The feeling for an ichi (number 1) technique is that you go with the pull and for ni (number 2) you divert or pivot away from the push. Besides the usual attention to distance, timing and balance, the Yoshinkan style places particularly heavy emphasis on stance and basic movements. Yoshinkans distinctive stance, or kamae (lit. «posture» in Japanese), stresses the position of feet and hips. Yoshinkan aikido practitioners stand with hips and shoulders square to the front, the front foot pointing outward and the back foot pointing about 90 degrees to the front foot. Kamae is the foundation of all Yoshinkan aikido techniques and practitioners of Yoshinkan aikido strive to perfect their kamae so that their overall technique will be strengthened. Along with kamae there are 6 kihon dosa (lit. «basic movements quot which are considered to be central for the 150 basic techniques. Yoshinkan aikido students practice these diligently to understand how to move their kamae around to put themselves in a strong position. Without proper form in one’s basic movements one’s aikido will not be as effective. Tai no henko ni This movement teaches us how to redirect the pushing strength of an onent backwards by turning and that needs lots of physical training to reverse our instinct. This is the very basic turning practice that is used in almost all Aikido techniques. If you can fully understand/fix your own centre line while you are turning, you can generate amazing aiki-ryoku (aikido power produced from the combination of ones centre line power and focused power) in your techniques. Hiriki-no-yosei Ichi This movement teaches us how not to lose our centre line once its fixed from the kamae position in the simplest movements of stepping forwards and backwards. In contrast to dancing that needs you to move each of your body parts separately with twisting and wiggling, the movement of Aikido requires you to set all the body parts hands, feet, hips, into one line and concentrate the combined strength from each body part into one while we move in any direction at high speed.

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