Jibun no tsukuri & Aite no tsukuri
The Kodokan Judo found that the principle of the techniques (either with naked fists, or using a weapon like the sword, spear, club, etc.) of the old-school jujutsu consists in breaking the condition of the body which has lost equilibrium. It is called kuzure-no-jotai (state of broken balance). Sometimes the opponent himself loses the balance, and at other times you positively destroy the opponent’s balance, leading him to a vulnerable posture. In Judo each technique is analyzed into tsukuri (preparatory action) and kake (attack). Preparatory action is further divided into aite-no-tsukuri (preparing of the opponent) and jibun-no-tsukuri (preparing of self). Preparing of the opponent consists in destroying the opponent’s balance before performing a technique and putting him in a posture where it will be easy to apply it. At the same instant the contestant himself must be in a posture and position in which it is easy to apply a technique. This is the preparing of self.
From : Judo and Aikido by Kenji Tomiki
The starting point of a movement versus the starting point of confrontation
In some sports a preparatory action is used to improve the specific action. For example in swimming before they start to swim there is a ready posture. In Budo Aikido it is slightly different, you cannot make the preparatory posture and there wait for the signal of the referee, because there is no referee but only the opponent.
In Budo Aikido, the starting point of a movement is a posture with the opportunity to move in any direction with the use of gravity. But the starting point of a movement is not the starting of the initial contact with the opponent. The instant when you see (not looking) the opponent, the eyes meet each other. This is entering the reality of the confrontation.
Jibun no tsukuri – the starting point of a movement
Using gravity from a state of instability is the beginning of the physical confrontation with the opponent. When you attack, you cannot do a preparatory action. The opponent will see or sensing your movement. There cannot be a stop in the flow of the mental and physical movement. The starting point of a movement is not a stop but a pause, a moment where the body is making an unconscious decision.
What is the state of instability?
It is a posture where you can move the kyokotsu in the desired direction without giving a signal to the opponent. There is no use of intentional power, you only use taïjū no idō or body weight movement as the main source for your movement. Opponent will follow your movement in an unconscious way. Taïjū no idō or body weight movement is also the skill to bring you to the edge of stability into instability.
Tori’s state of instability is totally different from the so-called “kuzushi” or state of broken balance.
3 stages of posture
Example of forward movement
1- straight posture (shizentai or natural posture)
2- starting point of movement – body weight is being placed
3- the movement
Aite no tsukuri or creating the state of broken balance
Kuzushi is the state of broken balance in Uke created by Tori.
From this position Tori can throw Uke to the floor or bring Uke in a surrender situation.
The state of broken balance includes also the state of broken “mental” balance.
Basic exercises for “tsukuri”
Tomiki Aikido has several basic exercises sets for improving your tsukuri. Amongst the most wellknown :
- Method of avoidance (kawashi-kata), movement in six directions
- Method of flowing (nagashi-kata): the five hand sword movements when grasped on the wrist. See 8 sotai dosa and 7 hon no kuzushi (under construction)
- Breaking through the “kamae” with your tegatana. See 4 “tsukuri” with uchi mawashi and soto mawashi. (under construction)