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It consists of gripping an attacker's arm with both hands and pinning him face down. As such, the scenario is static defense as presented above.

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However, O-Sensei and my teacher Morihiro Saito do not perform the technique this way. Saito-Sensei teaches "The basic rule calls for your initiating a strike of your own prior to your partner's and grabbing his hand has he tries to parry your blow. By taking the initiative you will be leading the hand of your partner out into your own sphere of action.

This concept is not static defense. The defender initiates the engagement with a strike to the attacker's face.

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The attacker then has two choices; do nothing and get hit, or raise his arm in front of his face to block the strike. This latter movement is what is desired, and places the attacker's arm in the proper position for an IKKYO pinning grip. In other words, the defender calls out the attacker by inducing him to move in a desired way, and then merges into this movement and takes control in accordance with the principle of AIKI.

Morihiro Saito- Takemusu Aikido- Volumes

It is highly relevant that one of the most basic techniques in Aikido, as taught by the founder and his most long-time student, begins with an offensive strike. This is downplayed in basic training, but demonstrates clearly that the roots of Aikido run much deeper than static defense. Aikido is a martial art that is especially concerned with self-defense. The first premise of self-defense is to walk away from a violent or potentially violent engagement as intact as possible.

The main tools of self-defense are awareness and avoidance. If these tools fail and a person is physically attacked by a violent individual or group, the situation can be extremely dangerous and potentially lethal. Physical self-defense techniques should never be limited to static defense.

Takemusu Aikido Volume 1: Background & basics

Especially in the case of an engagement involving multiple attackers who may be armed with deadly weapons, the odds are strongly in favor of the attackers. The difference between life and death can depend on a defender's ability to reduce the odds by preempting an initial attack.


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Although basic Aikido training consists of static defense, the gateway to offensive application of technique is in plain sight and leads to another dimension of the art. Offensive technique should never, of course, be used to commit unprovoked attacks on innocent people.


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However, in some situations the only potentially successful defense is a strong offense, and the scope of Aikido fortunately provides this capability. Offensive Technique in Aikido Introduction The general perception of Aikido is that it is a purely defensive martial art, and that there are no offensive techniques. Saito Sensei categorized this system and methodically passed it on in his lessons. In he began publication of the Traditional Aikido series.

Aikido, Morihiro Saito Sensei in Iwama : Aikido Dojo London

He ultimately published five books under this title, gaining worldwide recognition. Saito Sensei also traveled extensively to teach international seminars in the United States, Europe, and Australia; thus, establishing a large and international Aikido community. His instruction was known for precision of the technical movements, their clarity, and fidelity to detail.

Morihiro Saito

Saito Sensei was one of the most significant Aikido Shihans who witnessed the spread of his art world wide. The Art of Peace. Translated by Stevens, John. Shambhala Publications. Morihiro Saito Sensei. Morihiro Saito with Stanley Pranin. Volume 1.