“First Contact: Ikkyo” by Mark J. Norton

“In his book on Aikido, Saotome sensei indicates that Ikkyo is one of the fundamental techniques in Aikido and is somewhat underappreciated. This is so (he says) because Ikkyo is not just a name for the first technique (or first grip), but also first contact, or the moment two people begin an exchange. I taught a class that discussed this concept last night.

I demonstrated Ikkyo in response to tsuki, shomenunchi, and yokomenuchi attacks. In each of these exchanges, there is a moment of time in which contact is initiated between the two people involved. This moment is not necessarily the point of contact of the strike. Rather, it has to do with the initiation of the attack and start of defense. Thus, in tsuki, the moment of contact starts when the punch is launched. This can be seen if one imagines a dowel which extends from the fist of the attacker to the intended strike point. Contact happens when the punch is started.”

Please click here to read entire article.


  1. I LOVE IT! If you can reliably choose that moment, all techniques are easy. One of the difficulties of studying Iwama style is learning that moment. One of the reasons that aikido is difficult in a competitive environment is that moment happens sometime about when the bell rings to start things and distance is too great for technique.

Speak Your Mind