Movement begins with the straight lines of intention, or ki. As we have seen in the February blog, these are what creates the triangle principle of aikido. One of the most basic ways that the triangle manifests in aikido is Sankaku Ho, the triangle method. This begins with Irimi, entering directly into a point at the center of your partner’s movement. This attitude of direct confrontation is the true spirit of aikido, not evasive tactics as is often assumed.
Although physical entering may also occur, our ki should arrive at the point of contact immediately. Having established contact at this point, we must then turn that point and, once again, exit in a straight line. This completes the triangle form. The common mistake here is trying to move the point of contact rather than turn it. This results in unreasonable effort or Muri (literally, lack of principle). Although this is one of the most basic overall views of any aikido technique, it is the most obvious in Irimi Nage.
The beginner most often moves around the point of contact. The intermediate person who has developed the power of hara will usually try to send power outward and move that point. This approach can only be effective in a collusive environment where uke takes the compliant role of pushing into nage’s hara. If one is truly manifesting aikido, there is no physical power sent out to uke at all. Nage remains neutral and uke is given nothing to work with. This will be dealt with in greater detail in next months blog.