Category Archives: Japanese Words

Key Elements Underlying Aikido

Key Elements Underlying Aikido

Sensei Tuchfeld and Goto Sensei during KeikoThe 3 forms of keiko (training) include Kihon, Yawarakai, and Ki no Nagare.

1. Kihon is rock solid, or diamond. One idea is if nage can deal with this, moving energy will make other forms even more manageable.

2. Yawarakai is flexible, like “flowing bamboo”. Not fast, but rhythmical.

3. Ki no Nagare is flowing, like water. Again, not speed but continuous without breaks.

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Seiza & Zanshin

Seiza & Zanshin

Bowing in at Aikido ClassWhen sitting in class (at the beginning, end, and during instruction), a student should sit in the Seiza position – this is a formal Japanese sitting posture. Some call this “sitting like a samurai” as you want to be focused and attentive. If this is not physically comfortable because of injury or limitation, cross-legged sitting position is acceptable. Slumping, slouching, or leaning won’t help your practice of centering and balance. Men should have their knees apart; it is fine for women to sit with their knee together.

When training with weapons (Boken and Jo) students should start in Zanshin and complete a sequence of training in Zanshin. Zanshin is at least a 2-3 second pause, a settling or meditative state. When partnering with weapons students should bow and use the inviting language used with tai-jitsu (open-handed techniques) and close with a thank you.

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