Wednesday, October 1, 2008

How to Perform an Irimi Nage Defense in Response to a Yokomen Uchi Strike in Aikido

Here is a guide on how to perform an Irimi Nage or “Opening Throw” in response to a Yokumon Uchi or “Side of the head” strike. This throw is commonly used at the outset of an engagement to let your attacker know you are able to defend yourself and will harm him if he continues to persist in his aggression. It's also an opening throw in that it redirects your opponent's momentum in a different direction to allow you more space to move and maneuver.

Things You'll Need:
Practice Space

Sparring Partner

Padded Floor Mats

Performing an Irimi Nage
Step 1:
Face your opponent head on, roughly three to four feet apart. Keep your weight on the balls of your feet and widen your stance so your legs are at shoulder width. Your opponent should approach directly with two long steps raising his right hand high and bringing it down in a diagonal strike aimed at the left side of you neck.

Step 2:
Sidestep both to your right and forward while keeping your torso directly facing your opponent. By doing this you avoid the immediate contact of the attack. Your opponent’s natural inclination will be to follow through with the side swing of his arm, pivoting as he does so to try to connect with your body.

Step 3:
Meet the swung arm with both your hands, slowing the swing. Roll your hands over and around your opponent's arm to push it from behind. Doing so will cause your opponent to twist his upper body to cope with having his arm being forced further around than he'd intended.

Step 4:
Step in behind your opponent’s right shoulder while his body is twisted with the follow through from the attempted Yokomen Uchi. Latch your left hand onto the top of his right shoulder and clamp your right arm on the back of his right elbow.

Step 5:
Sidestep to the right again, this time twisting your upper body in a counterclockwise motion while pulling. As you plant your feet the momentum of your body will act like you were swinging your opponent around, throwing him backward behind you. Release your hold at the appropriate moment to send him tumbling in a backward roll, successfully completing the Irimi Nage.

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