This is shorthand for our connection to the mat – big toe ball of foot, small toe ball of foot, and heel. All three should remain grounded to the mat. See limp ankle.
1-2-3 can also refer to one’s correct grip on the tsuka – thumb, palm, and ring plus pinkie finger.
In the same way one cannot simultaneously insert and turn a key in a lock, we should not skip or rush through our checkpoints while training techniques. A specific example would be our kihon blend from yokomenuchi – performed properly, tori and uke finish the blend in aihanmi, tori in control of the striking arm, having used uke’s energy to turn uke giving atemi access to the kidney. This blend is the insertion of the key into the lock. From this point of control, cover, and safety, tori can then turn the key performing a variety of waza as the situation dictates – shihonage, kotegaeshi, irimi nage, wrist controls, etc.
ataru vs ateru
From Musashi: ataru is the trained technique, ateru is the happy mistake, the unintended strike, that can be trained into a secret technique
We speak of moving our bodies as if we are stirring a pot of water into a whirlpool. If we move abruptly, the water is disrupted, splashes, and the whole does not move with us. If we move deliberately, we can carry the water with us.
“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” – Bruce Lee ko no sen
Tori invites/tricks uke’s attack in such a way that tori’s action assures immediate victory. When a bokken tsuki is met, cutting edge to cutting edge, the compounded curves deflect uke’s thrust and will allow uke to impale himself on tori’s blade.
Any time waza is executed without at 1-2-3 connection to the mat, tori becomes unstable. Through the use of 1-2-3 and two step, tori should be able to remain connected to the mat.
Through the use of the rowing exercise, we train ourselves to begin all movement from our center. Also useful for micro adjustments of ma ai. See rear heel drive.
Literally, tactics or strategy for war. When Sano sensei uses heihou he means that we should practice in varied ways, not predictable to an observer:
- When uke comes fast, respond slowly
- When uke comes soft, respond hard
- When uke comes hard, respond softly
- When uke comes slowly, respond fast
The point is to not consistently respond in the same way. We might consider any aikido technique a total of 10. When uke attacks at a level of 2, tori responds at a level of 8. When uke attacks at a level of 3, tori responds at a level of 7.leakkyo
Skipping ikkyo undo as a step, see ai-key.
I made a note about miyagi hands – presumably something about training both sides equally and/or remembering to use the hand on which we aren’t concentrating as in the Karate Kid. Wax on. Wax off. Follow through with the off hand.
Also, sweeping cover of torso on entering.
rear heel drive
Initiating and driving all motion from the center. We practice basic movement outside of waza by propelling ourselves into motion tightening the glute and upper thigh muscles. As this becomes more intuitive, we then apply it to all movement inside and outside of waza.
The death angle. Uke’s third point ura. This is the safe place in uke’s blindspot.
Sumo stance for finishing technique, especially tenchinage. Posture remains upright while dropping center. Upper and lower legs end in a nearly 90 degree relationship, as does the upper leg and torso.
short armed monkeys and Japanese lacquerware paint
We should remain very close to uke as if we had very short arms, or as if we are lacquer. Yoshida sensei points this out with should to shoulder connections where he slides along uke, always connected.
(don’t leave your hanmi behind)
Keep both feet in a natural stance by always moving both. Do not become overextended by leaving out the second step of each step.
Inverted triangle foot position – Yamane shihan.
workbench & shadow workbench
The space directly in front of center where one might prepare food and the opposite space ura. When we speak of the shadow workbench, it may be in terms of an ideal place for waza to finish – uke’s shadow workbench as the attack begins; or, it may be a relative position to tori or uke at any given moment, as Peter Pan’s shadow after Wendy sews it back to his feet.