Recommended reading: “A Common Sense Look At Aikido” by Yoshio Kuroiwa

The article below has been selected from the extensive archives of the Online Aikido Journal. We believe that an informed readership with knowledge of the history, techniques and philosophy of aikido is essential to the growth of the art and its adherence to the principles espoused by Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba.

As long as we persist in viewing kata superficially, we will begin to think that they are of special importance. One cannot systematically or rationally explain any kata merely by learning in a repetitive manner without an understanding of why certain kata are considered to be basic. What we acquire by learning only repetitively is the preservation of form (the transmission of external form) and not the ability to create (understanding of the essence of kata). In other words, one does not understand what he is doing.

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  1. For instance, it would be equally logical to number the families of techniques. Leave ikkyo as one. Shihonage becomes “two”. And koshinage, with its kokyunage variants, becomes “three”. Wouldn’t actually want to teach that way. People wouldn’t understand each other. It would also lead to clumsy nomenclature: ‘shomen uchi-technique 3-23…’ But there is a logic in it I would invite you to consider. Does irimi nage constitute a variation in the 2 family, or a group of its own?

  2. Shomen stay is a basic practice for balance
    The hips and feet must move as one.
    To move and evade in the movement is kata.
    Great for Bo kata.
    I am 80 years old and every early morning
    I do the shomen and the Bo Kata.
    My instructors were Kim Sensei and Domon

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