Tomiki began his students' training with some taiso (coordination exercises) and then worked on shomenate as thing number one. Beginning with shomenate seems axiomatic to us - it is just obviously the right place to start our studies. But some aikido folks don't even consider shomenate a thing - at least not a thing worthy of a name. They just tell uke, "hit me in the face" and they proceed with their thing number one.
And it turns out that their thing number one is a pretty darn good place to start studying aikido. In fact, that's where most of the rest of the aikido world starts. They call it ikkyo, and I like to poke a little fun at their inability to come up with a better name than "thing number one," but actually, Tomiki wasn't that much more creative, because he called it, oshitaoshi, or "push the guy down.".
The following is some film of me exploring a peculiar form of shomenuchi ikkyo at Nick's beautiful Windsong Dojo in OKC. The action starts at the 2:00 minute mark.
And here is another bit of exploration of the same technique from a wrist grab - katatetori ikkyo. Again, the action starts at about 2:00.
Not only is ikkyo the starting place for most of the aikido world's studies, my law enforcement buddies assure me that it is exquisitely effective and useful in controlling aggressors in real world situations. In any case, ikkyo (oshitaoshi, thing number one) deserves a good bit of your attention.
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