How to Do Tai Sabaki | Aikido Lessons

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As most of the videos in this series are showing, my initial movement, and the most important thing for me to do at the moment of an attack, is to move my body off line and away from the threat. Before we worry about our hands and what to grab and what techniques we're trying to do, before we can do any of that, we have to learn how to get off line and how to move our body, our hips and our legs, before you worry about the hands. So in the very beginning, I'm going to use hanmi, which is a very thin stance in Aikido, it's not a terribly wide stance, both heels are almost on the same line, take a comfortable step back, one of the first things that you'll see is irimi, which literally means to enter, and basically just looks like a step forward. So irimi one step forward, irimi step forward.

So in Aikido you generally consider the movement to be very circular, which is true, your hips are moving in a circle, but the feet are moving on a very linear fashion, so irimi, irimi. The next set of tai sabaki or body movement that we're gonna see is tenkan. Tenkan, basic hanmi, pivot the hips and step straight back, pivot the hips and step straight back. Again like in irimi this is a very linear foot movement, they move backwards on a line, not a large circle. So we're keeping our feet close together, in a linear form. The other side, pivot step back, tenkan, tenkan, tenkan.

So the next series or set of tai sabaki that we use quite often is kaiten, and kaiten is literally just a pivot. So just going to turn my hips, the feet stay relatively close to where they began. Kaiten, kaiten, kaiten. So it's not a terribly complicated group of movements, we've got three basic steps irimi, tenkan, kaiten. So with a partner, you can generally see how a lot of the techniques look a little confusing, shomen uchi, this is a lot of movement. When you break it down, irimi, tenkan, kaiten, kaiten, irimi. So just using those three steps that we've learned, we can execute larger techniques. Shomen uchi, irimi, tenkan, kaiten.

So right now ikkyo ura, irimi, tenkan, irimi, tenkan, kaiten, irimi, tenkan, kaiten. So many of the techniques that we do in Aikido look very complicated, but once you get the basic steps down and figure out how to arrange them in various orders, the Aikido techniques become much more simplistic. Tai sabaki, basic body movement.

💬 Comments
Author

This guy makes well shot, concise, easy to follow videos that are airy and nice. I like how he does his thing and doesn't disrespect anyone. And he has crisp aikido technique.

Author — Jb Skaggs

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Having studied various forms of kenjutsu over the last two decades, and knowing Osensei's pre-Aikido reputation as a swordsman, I love to see the obvious influence of sword movement translated to empty handed techniques...and I love seeing how smoothly you execute them.

Author — OmniphonProductions

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0:44 irimi (what others might call "ayumi ashi")
1:11 tenkan (others call it "koho tenkan")
1:51 kaiten (others call it "tenkan ashi")

Author — Mid Sein

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I saw many videos of high graded teachers of aikido. I think that Mike jones has the best way to teach this martial art. i really congratulate him and i wish he will make more videos to let practitionners reach higher levels. 

Author — abdelkrim ibn

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An excellente job. Thank you so much Jones sensei.

Author — Spc Rap

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Hi, same here! I am doing Shotokan Karate and Aikikai Aikido, and I think the two arts complement each other wonderfully. Like the hand position in Jion... hard and soft.

Author — Derukugi2

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Just what I wanted! A basic explanation of the basic turns/movements in Aikido. Thank you!

Author — Lawrence Bennie

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Nice kokyu nage. I was wondering if Howcast would be making any aikido videos. I'm definitely interested in seeing more.

Author — Erin Madden

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this was very informative, even for someone studying two years

Author — Junior Aikidoka

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A reminder to the commenters, an Aikidoka would never challenge a MMA fighter, because Aikido is about getting out of a fight, not getting into one. That's what Ueshiba made it for.

Author — Zac C.

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great explanations and demonstration.

Author — aikilady

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I APPRECIATE. Sensei Jones. Now I know Tai Sabaki. I was missing all the right technique, but mainly the pivoting of the hips.

Author — MrCapi55

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great stuff. btw, your uke seems unwilling to participate :)

Author — Milan Kovacevic

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hey since you guys are doing martial arts now, could you please do judo? with videos like how to train for judo and some of the techniques? thank you

Author — Nigel Heng

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molto chiaro e istruttivo...bello bello

Author — Paolo Barlassina

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I just started Aikido. It's very interesting and there are a lot of subtle details that you have to constantly be aware of. I'm in the beginner class so we're just learning kaiten and ukemi. Love it!

Author — Nick Rossi

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Aikido is a wonderful style- awesome movements and very effective as well.

Author — Steve Cliff Miller

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I saw a lot of videos and I tell you that you are one of the best instructors! If I livied in New York I`d take your lessons.

Author — Dmitry D

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I have had many years of Karate Shotokan, and I acquired quite a striking technique; Later on, I trained Aikido and learn that no matter how good your striking game is, due to the nature of Aikido, the more power one applies or charges with, the easier it is to apply Aikido techniques. I believe it would be a great mind opener and a tremendous asset for you as a wrestler. Cheers!

Author — Niki Moretti

Author

Thank you for your dedication and spending time to demonstrate these movements. The pattern/kata is good.
I would like to make several points if you don’t mind. 

Before moving and all the way through the movement also I would suggest you lower your centre/posture, otherwise you are trying to walk over the top of your hip, it would also ground you energy/weight.

From what I can see for the majority of time you have your weight on your back foot. It would need to be on your front foot, about 70 to 30%
I believe you probably know that anyhow because of using the boken.

When you move and land try not to raise the heel, but, it is almost sliding the foot along the tatami. (Retaining the lowered posture). I believe the heel is raised for iaido.

For example from 2:00, when you land pleases notice you have your weight on you “bent back leg”. It needs to be on your front bent leg with a straiter back leg. - 70% front - 30% back for posture. This is very important for strength. Shizentai - natural posture - boken posture.

You would need to finish the movement in a “forward attitude” e.g. from 1:39 to 1:39 almost one second, is a good example of how your posture should be, then you move out of it into a bad habit.
Your attention, focus and weight needs it be forward on the front foot -70 - 30, about.
(Moving backwards with your attention, focus and weight forward = forward attitude. Otherwise someone can take advantage of your backward movement and keep you going very easily. All of this is done with the lowered centre.

From 1:58 to 2:09 is a fine example of incorrect posture big time! A good example of what not to do. It should be as we mentioned above.

And from 1:22 on, the "Tenkan”, starting and “leaving” your arm out at length. You would need to move towards it a fraction - torifune, bring the hand, palm-up to your centre and then your tenkan, in posture as above. If someone grounded held onto it you would  not move them.
I will need to finish here. There is more. You need to have words with your sensei (this is Aikido 101).
I hope you will investigate this info. I text this to move us on. Who want's to stand still!
I have put myself on the line for much criticism. 
My basic Youtube channel is fudo9 if you need to let fly!

Author — NewReality1