Shomenuchi Ikkyo

In college, I did Aikido just long enough to get a feel for it. During that period, I did a few sketches of the movements I was learning. This one is a possible response to an overhead strike, ie the classic vertical katana chop, or the equally classic beer-bottle to the forehead.

Y'see, Aikido is based on manipulating the force the attacker gives you. Basically, you spin their energy around your center, and then hit them with the earth. This means you have to have a good grasp of where your center is and what your energy (To clarify, this isn't energy in the Dragonball Z sense. 'Force' or 'Intent' or 'Push' would work as well. It's kind of like velocity in vector physics.) is doing in relation to where your attacker's center is and what his energy is doing.

So, when a six foot instructor demonstrates on a 5'8'' volunteer, it can be a little hard to apply that example to me at 5'3'' with a 5'8'' practice partner.

This drawing was a sort of 'talking out loud' for me, attempting to solve that problem. So the image probably isn't how an Aikido instructor would tell you to do it, because I was exaggerating the 'elbow goes over and around' aspect of the movement.

PS: I actually did my darndest in that class to get paired with the guy who was 5'5'' and built like a tank. He'd actually attempt to hit me (as I mentioned, Aikido is about manipulating your attackers energy. If they don't give you any energy, it's kind of hard to do the technique.) and I couldn't have sloppy technique with him. Most other beginners in the class I could just muscle into proper position, but not this guy. If I wasn't doing it right, he didn't budge.

He also had a pleasant sense of humor, and already knew how to be physical with women and respectful at the same time. I said something one day about how I preferred to practice with him for the aforementioned reasons, and he said the girls on his high-school cheerleading team had told him similar things. Apparently, this slightly frightening-looking tank-man had been a cheerleader.