In many Aikido dojo's the first Aikido techniques description is shihonage and ikkajo.
They are regarded as very difficult to master, and need
to be introduced early on.
The techniques need to be practised thousands of times in order to truly master them. Of course, you already know that repetition is the only way to get good at anything... right?
If you try several different ways to perform the basic Aikido techniques. This allows you to develop a greater understanding of the Aiki principles involved that underlie them.
The first Aikido techniques description to consider is Shihonage, which is usually practised from a wrist grab,
and either a pull or a push. Shihonage teaches you the skill to control
or throw an attacker in any direction, by manipulating the wrist, elbow
If pulled you move forward (irimi), and if pushed you turn away (tenkan). It involves leading an attacker around the perimeter of a circle... down, up, over the top and down again, which allows you to control them.
Some sort of distraction is necessary in all techniques. This may be a simple shout (ki-ai), a sudden move, or an atemi strike to a nerve point.
This reduces your attackers focus and strength, and also opens up a window of opportunity for you to apply your technique successfully.
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The second Aikido techniques description is ikkajo, which involves controlling or throwing your attacker using
pressure on their elbow to break their balance & control their
This allows you to either throw them down or away from you or even take them to the ground. Then by continuing to apply pressure to the elbow and wrist, to go on to pin and completely control them.
For example, at the exact moment just before an attack is launched, you move forward and pre-empt that attack.
If they raise their hands, then you go into ikkajo and take control of their wrist and elbow. This gives you the ability to break the attackers balance to the rear, and turn them around. You then control the arm by relaxing down on the elbow while raising the wrist. This takes them to the floor where you can execute a standard pin, which causes submission.
If they don't get the time to raise their hands and protect their face, then you perform a double palm strike to the forehead. By doing this with relaxed arms and heavy body, you are able to sink your weight into the strike. This will completely shock your attacker, where you can take control, or even better escape the situation.
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Other Aikido techniques description are... nikajo, sankajo, yonkajo, gokajo, kote gaeshi. These involve ways of locking the wrist to off-balance before controlling or throwing.
These wrist controls can be very painful, so don't resist them.
Nikajo - an Aikido hold that can be applied quickly from almost any type of grab. Control is achieved by causing extreme pain, without injury. Your attacker will try to move away from the pain, which will force them down to their knees and then face down on the floor.
Sankajo is an Aikido lock that can force your attacker up on their toes, in an effort to reduce the pain involved. From here it is fairly easy to break their balance and take them down to their knees and face down on the floor. You can use this from a variety of attacks.
Yonkajo is an Aikido hold that focuses energy into pressure points on the wrist. Once again the pain causes an attacker to attempt to move away from it. You are then able to use this movement to take control.
Kote Gaeshi is a wrist control that forces an attacker to sit down and you then roll them onto their front. By placing an attacker lying on their front you have effectively removed all of their potential weapons of attack, which allows you to quickly control the situation.
These aikido techniques description teach you how to take control of your attacker, by breaking their balance using wrist or arm manipulation.
But there are many other basic techniques of Aikido that involve a variety of different ways of weakening and controlling an opponent.
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For example, Iriminage teaches you how to enter the attackers space and unbalance them by controlling their head and body. Just tilting the chin up slightly can easily and quickly unbalance your attacker.
Also Kokyunage teaches a variety of ways to control by disrupting energy. This can be done by moving in one direction, and then reverse, or even distract. Either way it has the same effect of unbalancing them.
I could go on for hours here, but your Aikido techniques description will be explained much better, and in far greater detail in many of the excellent books on Aikido.