Friday 9 November 2012


The next motion we shall look at here is IRIMI, which literally means ENTERING BEHIND. This is entering the circle. Where Taisabake and Tenkan turn into the circle, this is the way of Entering on a straight line. Irimi is how to walk through your opponents’ space and still remain in harmony. Actually, you follow the path of non-resistance!

Imagine a ship sailing along in a calm sea cutting through the water, notice the energy movement in the water as it cuts through it forms a 'v' shape, in fact a few 'v' shapes and thus your opponent coming towards you is displacing energy just like this ship. Each line making up that 'v' is a path for you to follow, it is the natural NON-RESISTIVE path, and by doing so you are entering their circle almost head on, yet completely in harmony. THIS IS IRIMI.

When you are walking along a path and you see a stick or a puddle in front of you then you step over it, but if you see a lamppost in front of you then you step around it, that’s IRIMI. It's a zigzag motion.

To get the full physical concept of IRIMI, all you have to do is watch someone ice skating, they zigzag along a straight line, each part of the motion takes you by an imaginary pole in front of you.

In Aikido the first part, let's call it the ZIG, takes you to a position NEXT TO your opponent. Now if you ZAG you will be behind your opponents back on your original path, and can carry on walking leaving the opponent behind. THIS is a COMPLETE IRIMI MOTION.

When you enter the persons space on the ZIG this is also called IRIMI and thus seen as a way to enter in harmony in order to BE WITH from which point you may change to another motion and thus do another technique. This is generally called entering off line but note that the full Irimi is the zig and zag. In other words once you enter off line know that your energy from centre should now be joining from behind the other person. When the ship cuts through the water forming the off line 'v' shape paths it also then sucks in energy at the back of it.


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