There are two points of particular importance in the organisation of the competitive aikido system:
1. The safety of atemi waza (striking techniques) and kansetsu waza (joint techniques).
2. The connection between kata and randori.
If we make a thorough historical and rational investigation into the atemi waza and kansetsu waza we find that there are two characteristics:
1. Controlling an opponent by striking, punching or kicking physiological weak points or by spraining or dislocating joints, ie. techniques where the aim is to kill or inflict injury.
2. Exploiting mechanical weakpoints (theory of balance breaking) by applying force at one point or moving joints to their limit, ie. techniques to restrain an opponent with minimum force.
Until now, generally only the characteristics of 1. have been emphasised while the characteristics of 2. have been overlooked. In competitive aikido the characteristics of 1. are prohibited but the characteristics of 2. are adopted and organised as physical education. That is, having matches of the form 'empty hand against tanto' according to particular rules. In this way the atemi waza and kansetsu waza, which are the important parts of the old styles of jujitsu, are used in a new budo that is a modern form of physical education.
Until now, kata and randori have been thought of as being separate with only randori being used to develop skill. Thinking of the true nature of budo and taking into account the history of jujitsu, to master the essence of the atemi waza and kansetsu waza, kata and randori are brought together in one practice system rather than being separate.
The competitive aikido practice system is divided up into 5 stages in addition to the warming up exercises: basic movements, basic techniques, method of breaking away, method of controlling and randori. The first four stages are kata practice, only the last stage is randori practice. In addition, kata practice is divided up into kakari geiko and hikitate geiko.
• Warming up exercises
To prepare your body and prevent injury
1. Light physical exercise (standing)
2. Stretching exercises (sitting)
3. Breakfalls (backward, side and forward rolling)
• Basic movements
Basic principles are from old styles of jujitsu
1. Principle of natural posture (stance)
Free posture and movement in offence and defence
a. neutral posture (standing, kneeling), right stance, left stance
b. footwork and walking on the knees
· practice of movement in 8 directions
2. Principle of gentleness (defence)
Neutralising an opponent's offensive capability
a. avoiding and meeting an attack
b. flowing with the strength of a grasp
· visual focus and combative distance (practised through tegatana awase)
· avoidance (6 directions)
· meeting an attack (practised through gassho uke)
· flowing (practised through tegatana dousa)
3. Principle of balance breaking (during an attack)
Breaking the balance of the opponent's body or
a. controlling the elbow - high and low positions
b. controlling the wrist - high and low positions
c. controlling the chin
· avoiding an attack from an opponent outside grappling range
· flowing with the strength of an opponent's grasp
• Basic techniques
Classified from the atemi waza and kansetsu waza of old styles of jujitsu
1. Atemi waza (5 techniques)
shomen ate aigamae ate gyakugamae ate gedan ate ushiro ate
2. Kansetsu waza (14 techniques)
· hiji waza (6 techniques)
koshi gatame (2) waki gatame (2) ude garami (2)
· tekubi waza (8 techniques)
kote hineri (4) kote gaeshi (4)
• Method of breaking away
Using atemi waza to break away after being grasped.
When grasped on the wrist, arm, lapel, sleeve or body from the front, sides or behind.
• Method of controlling
Using kansetsu waza to control an opponent after being grasped.
When grasped on the wrist, arm, lapel, sleeve or body from the fornt, sides or behind.
Avoiding an attack and controlling an opponent outside grappling distance.
1. Randori no kata (17 techniques)
A basic kata to show the ways of avoiding an attack and controlling the attacker
who is outside grappling distance and attacks with a punch, strike, kick or with a
knife. Kakari geiko and hikitate geiko are also used to advance towards randori