When I began Aikido training in the sixties it was most difficult to throw a single opponent; mainly because we had all come from Judo and would not give up our balance easily.

Once Coyle sensei and I saw a demonstration by an "Aikido" instructor where he sat on a chair and received simultaneous "attacks " from FOUR "swordsmen". Such a display of utter nonsense marketed as Aikido reminded me of the KUDEN:

"Flowing techniques must not be attempted until 3rd dan level."
Saito Shihan

Aikido must be performed from a kamae "that leaves no openings". The sankaku ho triangular kamae offers the smallest target area to the opponent and the kokoro kamae (mental attitude) of "attack at all times" means that the Aikidoka is looking for all and any openings on the opponent's approach.

The principle of "washing over" or "striking directly through" are basic to Aikido and yet are slowly being replaced by ura, turning aside after allowing the opponent to attack.

Those who use ura a lot in their training become "hesitators" ignoring or ignorant of the numerous openings a spirited martial artist shall see instantly in a potential attacker. The initiative must be seized and maintained.


Assert control dominates the fighting spirit of the attacker with a stronger more decisive spirit of your own.

To develop this, you must train in SOLID omote (in front) techniques.

The most obvious of these being Irimi Nage.

Photos of Coyle sensei demonstrates; an attack to the head ribs and kuzushi striking through the opponent.

I rather liked the explanation for this technique. "It must be applied instantly, powerfully with a feeling like your hair's on fire!!"