Standing and Seated Forms

IN THE PRACTrCF, OF A TECHNIQUE, the action revolves around an uke (the person who initiates an attack and then receives the response) and a fori (the one who takes action against an attack and then neutralizes it), A technique can be practiced in any of three different forms: with both partners standing; with one partner seated and one partner standing; or with both sitting. The same technique is executed differently in each of the three forms, and it is good to practice a]] three forms for each technique. All techniques presented in this book can be practiced in any of the three forms, thus tripling the number of possible techniques.

Each form presents a different challenge regarding stance and ma-ai (combative distance between tori and uke), and each aiki-related martial arts system explains these challenges and describes the execution of a technique in different ways; so

The three forms in which techniques can be practiced.

there is no one set pattern. Aiki Jujutsu, like other traditional Japanese martial arts, places comparatively little importance on kamae (combative stance); however, most aiJti-related martial art systems maintain that good posture is key to the proper execution of techniques. Acquisition of good posture requires considerable trial and error, but techniques cannot be executed without it. In general, the Daitoryu Jujutsu method emphasizes stability, application of full power, and large stepping movements, while Aiki no Jutsu systems rely less on physical power, and more on timing and on smaller steps.

A good combative distance is one that allows you to negate your opponent's power while fostering your own. Again, such a skill can only be learned from practical experience dealing with large and small opponents, unarmed and armed attacks, and punches and kicks.

Let us take a look at the special characteristics of each of the three forms. In seated techniques the basic posture is seiza (kneeling with the back held straight), which is very solid and stable. The lower half of the body is firmly rooted to the ground while the upper half can be projected upwards with much power. Movement in seated techniques is accomplished by "knee-walking," an exercise that greatly increases the strength and flexibility of the legs and hips. In standing techniques you learn how to move freely in any direction—forward, sideways, backward—and guide the opponent. One-seated-one-standing techniques combine the solidity of seated techniques with the flexibility of standing techniques. The techniques in this form stretch from heaven to earth. It appears that the partner standing has a great advantage when he attacks with a blow to the head or attempts a two-handed grab, but in fact the partner who is seated can neutralize the attack with relative ease by means of good posture and simple movements. The practice of one-seated-one-standing techniques such as shiho-nage and aiki-nage are valuable for beginners because they teach good posture and solid movement.

The Three Methods: Daitoryu Jujutsu, Daitoryu Aiki Ju-jutsu, and Daitoryu Aiki no Jutsu

Just as the same technique can be practiced in three forms—standing, one-seated-one-standing, or sitting—there are three distinct methods of applying a technique and controlling an opponent: the Daitoryu Jujutsu method of relying primarily on atemi (blows or kicks to any of the body's pressure points); the Daitoryu Aiki Jujutsu method of combining atemi with aiki timing; and the Daitoryu Aiki no Jutsu method of relying mainly on aiki timing.

Daitoryu Jujutsu is geared toward younger practitioners. Atemi is applied full force, and the joints are attacked with simple, straightforward vigor. These tech niques are good for basic training. Daitoryu Aiki jujutsu techniques, combining atemi and aiki timing, are suitable for older practitioners. The emphasis is less on devastating control of an opponent, and more on complicated pins that stretch an opponent's joints and limbs—a kind of martial yoga. In contrast to the forceful counterattacks and firm pins of the first two methods, Daitoryu Aiki no Jutsu techniques reduce movement to a minimum and control an opponent with spiritual rather than physical power. This is the essence of the Daitoryu; techniques like aiki-age are especially effective in helping the practitioner develop skill in this area.

Let us look at ippon-dori, the most basic of techniques, executed in each of the three methods:

Takeda Sokaku
This 1936 photo shows Sokaku Takeda after he has thrown several opponents.

Daitoryu Jujutsu lppon~dori

As uke strikes with his right hand, tori responds by grabbing the kyokuchi and shokai pressure points near his opponent's elbow and the ydket and yokoku pressure points near the wrist. After bending uke& arm, tori strikes uke s ribs with his left fist and then follows this with a kick to the same place. Tori drops uke to the mat facedown, pins uke s right arm with his leg, and delivers an elbow strike to the godenkd pressure point on the neck. As can be seen here, jujutsu involves employing overwhelming force to attack an opponent's weak points and to subdue him with blows and locks.

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Aikido Forms

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Daitoryu Aiki Jujutsu Ippon-dori

As soon as uke attacks with his right hand, tori slides in on his left leg and blocks the attack with his right hand, simultaneously applying atemi to »fees ribs. Tori grabs wire's wrist and elbow and drives the arm back toward ukes face. Tori then slides in oil his right leg and, by controlling the elbow, pins uke to the mat.

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Daitoryu Aiki no Jutsu Ippott-dori

As uke strikes with his right hand, tori rises up in aiki-age, grabs uke's underarm and wrist, then brings him to the mat in front of ton's hara {center of gravity) . Note that in the execution of this technique ton s movement is kept to a minimum, and the grip on uke s wrist differs from that used in the above two methods. Practitioners should be aware of the different set of principles functioning in each form.

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