Aikido training is based on partner practice, where Uke and Tori participate in structured training forms in order to become familiar with basic principles.
In the role of Uke you learn how to attack and receive a response:
- Be precise in your attack, observing strict form, paying attention to timing and distance, avoid telegraphing your intent.
- Be sincere in your attack and offer it with commitment.
- Pay good attention to the here and now as the technique is unfolding – don’t “block” or “anticipate”.
- Good attention, calmness, breathing, posture and proportion, eyeline following contact point.
In the role of Tori you learn how to:
- Address the challenge of uke’s attack without clashing. This is referred to as aiki/awase (the terms can be used interchangeably). Both aiki and awaze imply harmonious joining, rather than collision/ clashing.
- Engage uke through the point of contact . This is sometimes called atari - taking in and sending out simultaneously to “hook” uke.
- Establish control by taking uke's balance. The term kusushi (unbalancing the opponent) is sometimes used here.
- Maintain control until the situation is resolved.
Aiki: To read deeper see Wikipedia article on Aiki.