How I organize the material in our syllabus.
Finding a way to organize all of the material found in our system can be difficult. However taking the time to identify each part of what it is we do can be VERY rewarding and help your training rather significantly. The following method is how I break the system up for myself, and the way you will find material represented on this sight.
I break the system up in to two major parts first: Taijutsu (body skills) and Buki Waza (weapon technique). When looking at this you might want to think these things mean “unarmed and armed methods”, but that is not what is meant. I believe that everything in Aikido is weapon-centric, so both Taijutsu and Buki Waza are weapon oriented categories. Both of these would actually be subdivisions of a larger “weapon orientation” category. In Aikido the difference between “Taijutsu” and “Buki Waza” is that Taijutsu will deal directly with the body methods used in armed conflict, while the Buki Waza will deal more with weapon specifics (subcategories being things like bokken, jo, yari etc). With this simple idea we can see Aikido as an armed system, that teaches two kinds of things, body work and weapon specific work.
From here Buki Waza would be divided up into the weapon types that we train, and Taijutsu will be broken up into the ways we’ll use our body/mind. If we look towards those subcategories of Taijutsu, I break them up into:
These three sub categories represent the three largest parts of the way we train with our body.
These are the specific ways we organize our body in order to use it to do any work. This can be easily sub divided into:
Ashi Sabaki (footwork and movement)
Kokyu Ryoku (power development)
Ukemi (receiving power)
These are the ways that we relate to energy. That may sound like a “new age” way to say things, but Aiki can literally be translated to “fitting energy”. These methods may be physical or non physical, but they have to do with how we ideally deal with anything energetically coming towards us. These can be broken down into:
Ki Musibi (energetic connection)
Awase (complementary/correlative motion)
Kokoro (mind/spirit ability)
Kumi Uchi are the actual martial techniques we use to answer questions where struggle has began. If you had perfect Aiki than there really would be no need for Kumi Uchi techniques. Kumi Uchi comes into play when we’ve made a mistake and someone has gotten a hold of us. The word Kumi Uchi is an old word that is synonymous with Jujutsu, and often times represents armored grappling. I use it to reference the techniques that must be used when a struggle for autonomy is encountered. This sub category can be further broken down into:
Kyo Waza (primary lessons Ikkyo-Rokyo)
Nage Waza (throwing/projecting methods)
Hodoki (escape methods)
Tai no Henko (relative position change)
Atemi Waza (striking methods)
Osae Komi Waza (takedown and pinning methods)
There are of course sub divisions of each of these as well, but by using these three major categories (Tai Sabaki, Aiki, and Kumi Uchi) I’ve found understanding many of the pieces of our system is much easier. This is the organization you’ll find used on the site.