While most of our lessons are conducted in English there are inevitably some Japanese terms which we use when describing fundamental aikido techniques. To help students learn these terms, I plan to write some blog posts to explain some the most commonly used terms. Here I look at four basic escapes - movements we use to ‘get out of the way’ of an attack.
IrimiIrimi is an entering motion, a movement forward and slightly to an angle, which will take you towards and slightly to the side of the attacker. There are two basic variants on irimi.
Irimi 1 – slide forward on the forward foot. For example, if the left foot is forward initially, the left foot will still be forward after the irimi.
Irimi 2 – step forward with the backward foot. For example, if the left foot is forward initially, the right foot will be forward after the irimi.
TenkanTenkan is a turning motion ‘outside’ the line of the attack. There are two basic variants on tenkan.
Tenkan 1 – ‘pivot’ on the forward foot. For example, if the left foot is forward, turn 180 degrees by moving the right foot behind your body. You will end up facing in the opposite direction to that in which you started but your left foot will still be the forward foot.
Tenkan 2 – this is, in effect, an irimi 2 (step forward) followed by a tenkan 1 but you should attempt to perform this escape as a single fluid movement. For example, if the left foot is forward, step forward with the right foot and immediately ‘pivot’ on the right foot to perform a tenkan 1. You will now face in the opposite direction to that in which you started and the other foot (here, the right foot) will now be forward.