Tomiki’s Training Concept
Kenji Tomiki formulated his ideas about training in a document :
There are many versions of this document, and some of those versions are included in his books. He and his 1st generation students used the names “judo” or “yawara” depending the targetted practitioners. His publication “Judo Taiso” is famous for the introduction of “aiki” to judo practitioners. The name “aikido” is not used in some versions, but aiki-randori or aiki-techniques are more commonly used. In the document which can be consulted in the beginning of this article, the name aikido is used.
Our interest is going to the concept of creating skills in a structured training scheme as mentioned in the document.
The training course for aikido is divided into 5 levels, aside from the preparatory exercises:
- Fundamental movements (kihon dosa) – unsoku-ho, tandoku-undo….
- Fundamental techniques (kihon waza) – basic17, basic15,….
- The system of breaking away (ridatsu ho)
- The system of control (seigyo ho)
- The system of randori (randori ho) – kakari geiko, hikitate geiko, randori geiko
Fundamental movements and techniques are already discussed in other articles. Randori and kata are the results of basic training. Ridatsu-hō” & seigo-hō” are concepts not very known by this name, they are incorporated in sotai-renshu and kata.
Ridatsu-hō – breaking away skills
There are many techniques to break away from gripping actions. The skill to escape from a strong grip on the body (wrist, arm, neck,…) is mostly based upon finding the weak angle in the grasping technique. In classical Jujutsu, goshin or self-defense, ridatsu-hō is a basic skill.
Some other examples of ridatsu-hō
Kyokotsu and elbow
The elbow is the movement guide in the skill of breaking away from a grip by an opponent. Use connection between elbow and kyokotsu, the movement is free of local muscle power. In case there is no connection between elbow and kyokotsu, whole body power is not possible. Opponent will also sense your attempt to break away and will use more power.
Seigo-hō, a method of control
The method of control (seigo ho) is a skill to control the opponent by grasping or touching the opponent’s body (wrist, arm, chest,…..). This skill is closely related to ridatsu-hō.
After the escape, tori has to control uke to avoid further actions by uke. Controlling uke gives the opportunity to pin or to throw uke. Eventually atemi can be used to neutralize the opponent.
The skill to gain control is extensively studied during 8 sotai dosa.
It is not always necessary to free yourself(ridatsu-hō) in the literal sense from uke’s grip. Reversing the grip (nigiri gaeshi) is another skill to gain control.