Irimi - Aikido


Meaning: Entering or putting in the body.

Irimi (ee-ree-mee) is the second pillar of Aikido (Aikido techniques are structured around six main pillars). Irimi involves entering deeply around or behind an attack to defuse or neutralize the attack. The concept of irimi teaches one to blend with or enter into an opponent’s attack to become one with the opponent’s movement and leaving the opponent with nowhere to strike. This movement is utilized during the moment of the opponent’s attack. To complete the movement, one moves out of the opponent's line of attack to the opponent’s shikaku, or blind spot. When executed properly, one can strike an opponent with great force, combining his attacking momentum and one's forward movement.

The entering principle is basic to most Aikido movements as the postures and movements in Aikido contain quite a few oblique stances which are adapted from Sōjutsu (spear fighting).

In Aikido, there are numerous examples of techniques exhibiting the concepts of yin and yang. Irimi and tenkan are an example. Tenkan is the motion of turning (yin) and irimi is the motion of entering (yang).

Irimi is one of two motions Aikido students perform in the role of nage. Practicing irimi will help the Aikido student develop Hara, balance, and groundedness.

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