BASIC AIKIDO STANCE
 
HANMI no KAMAE
 - HALF BODY STANCE
  
1. ELEMENTS OF HANMI no KAMAE
   a.An oblique, triangular stance with one foot forward and the other to the rear, body facing about 45o.
   b.Frontal area is reduced and vital spots are turned away from the opponent.
   c.Knees are slightly flexed, especially the front knee.
   d.Balance is maintained and centered on the lower abdomen (the tanden, or "one point").
   e.Mobility is maintained in all directions, ready to perform any of the basic footwork patterns.
  
2. THE FIVE BASIC KAMAE RELATIONSHIPS
  
 

Ideally Aikido has no stance: a natural body posture called shizen-tai is best.  For training purposes, however, we usually employ a stance based on that use in Japanese swordsmanship.  There are both right and left basic stances in a few variations.  There are also two possible relationships between your stance and that of your partner.

   
THREE BASIC VERSIONS OF HANMI no KAMAE
   
BASIC
AIKIDO
STANCE

There are several forms of HANMI stance.

The three most commonly used in Aikido are shown at the right.  All embody the principle of triangularity call "Sankaku ho".  Stance 3 is known as "Ura Sankaku".

All examples are shown in

     Right Oblique Stance, known as

     MIGI-HANMI or MIGI-GAMAE.

All are mirrored by corresponding

     Left Oblique Stance, known as

     HADARI-HANMI or HIDARI-GAMAE.

OPEN
AIKIDO
STANCE
REVERSE TRIANGULAR STANCE
   
TWO BASIC RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN TWO PEOPLE IN HANMI no KAMAE
   

1. Matching stances, known as:
AI-HANMI or AI-GAMAE
Both partners assume the same HANMI-GAMAE,
i.e. both in HIDARI-HANMI or both in MIGI-HANMI.

In this case, their stances are the same and fit together.

This relationship is basic to OMOTE-WAZA, which are "frontal techniques" that enter toward the front of your AITE (training partner).  HANMI NO KAMAE are basic to all Aikido movements.

OMOTE WAZA


2. Opposing Stances, known as:
GYAKU-HANMI or GYAKU-GAMAE
Each training partner assumes a different HANMI-GAMAE,
i.e. you are in HIDARI-HANMI while your AITE takes up MIGI-HANMI.

In this case, the points of your triangular stances oppose each other.

This relationship is basic to URA-WAZA; "rear techniques" that enter into the SHIKAKU, or "BLIND SPOT", behind the shoulder of your training partner.

URA WAZA

      
BASIC AIKIDO MOVEMENTS
 
ASHI-SABAKI
 - FIVE BASIC FOOTWORK
 There are three types of footwork: IRIMI (Enter), TENKAN (Turn), and TENTAI (Pivot)
  
1. ELEMENTS OF IRIMI - Irimi-Isshoku (One-step Entry)
   
a.Triangular stance

Note:  The principle of Irimi-Isshoku implies that you must reach the blind spot behind your partner in a single motion.  In these diagrams, foot movements are numbered; 1, 2, 3....  However, each type of stepping illustrated is nonetheless a single step.  For example, ayumi-ashi is considered one step wherein both feet move.  This principle is important for getting off the line of attack.  This long, straight arrows in the following diagrams represents this attacking movement of your aite.

b.Each type is performed as one step.
c.Enter to the "Blind Spot", shikaku
d.Both feet must move during each step!
e.Get off the Line of Attack
   
THREE WAYS TO PERFORM IRIMI
   
1a. Tsugi-ashi
(Shuffle Step Entry)
1b. Ayumi-ashi
(Walking Step Entry)
1c. Okuri-ashi
(Transport Step Entry)
Front foot moves first,
stance unchanged.
Rear foot moves first,
stance changes.
Foot to heelCross-step in frontCross-step behind
All move from rear foot but stance will remain the same
   


2. ELEMENTS OF TENKAN
Enten no Ri
(Principle of Spherical Rotation)


3. ELEMENTS OF TENTAI
Enten no Ri
(Principle of Spherical Rotation)

a.Fixed center
b.Revolving radius
c.Triangular stance
d.Get off the Line of Attack
e.Complete body change
(tai-no-henko)
a.Revolving center
b.Triangular stance
c.Pivot on balls of feet with knees flexed to move center of gravity
d.As usual, get off the Line of Attack
e.Complete body change
(tai-no-henko)
 
TE-SABAKI - FIVE BASIC HANDWORK
  
1. ELEMENTS OF TE-SABAKI (HANDWORK PATTERNS)
   a.Head erect over relaxed neck and shoulders
   b.Open the hands and extend fingers as if lightly holding a large ball with both hands
   c.The natural curve of arms is maintained during movement
   d.Move up from the thumb and down from the little finger
   e.Get off the Line of Attack
  
2. THE FIVE BASIC HANDWORK PATTERNS (TE-GATANA NO SOSA)
  
 

In Aikido, the hand is often referred to as the "te-gatana" (literally the "hand sword").  We form this "hand-blade" by holding our fingers open and extended so that the heel of the palm and bottom of the arm are elongated while the top of the arm remains relatively relaxed.  In this manner the natural curve of the arm resembles the shape of a Japanese sword, the katana.  Sometimes the basicte-sabaki are referred to as the te-gatana no sosa, or "the use of the hand-blade".

  

1. Soto-Gaeshi
Outside Reverse
(lead with the thumb)

2. Soto-Mawashi
Outside Rotation
(lead with the little finger)

3. Uchi Mawashi
Inside Rotation
(lead with the little finger)

  

4. Uchi-Gaeshi
Inside Reverse
(lead with the thumb)

5. Oh-Mawashi
Giant Rotation
(up with the thumb, down with the little finger)

(In drills, you may finish
by grasping your thumb)

(Usually accompanied by 
Irimi-tenkan footwork)