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The Takemusu Aikido Student Compendium (Part 3/4) By Sensei de Quiros

Here we look back at a compendium of guidance produced by Sensei Lewis Bernaldo de Quiros to support students new to Aikido. This is part 3 of a 4 part series and is reproduced from the Takemusu Aikido Motril website (

The technical structure of Aikido

The techniques of Aikido (waza) are divided into three main branches:

  • Buki waza (weapon techniques)

  • Buki dori (weapon-taking techniques)

  • Tai jutsu (empty handed techniques)

There are hundreds of techniques and variations in Aikido but within that variety there is a core of techniques which before black belt should constitute 90% of the focus. Skill in this core area of technique is the essential foundation for all other areas of practice and it is this core of techniques that I will be covering below. Weapon-taking I will be leaving out for the moment.

In essence at the core level:

  • The weapons focus on the basic ways of handling the weapons with additional simple partner blending exercises.

  • The attacks in empty handed training are 6 grabs and 3 strikes.

  • The empty-handed core waza are three very important exercises plus three immobilizations and three projections.

  • The directions are 2: front and back (where applicable).

  • The levels are (strategically) two: static (kihon) and flowing (nagare).

Combinations of the above (attack - technique - direction - level) constitute the techniques practiced in class.

Takemusu Aikido CORE WAZA:

Tai jutsu

3 basic exercises:

  • Tai no henko (emphasis on blending)

  • Morote dori kokyu ho (emphasis on blending + kokyu)

  • Suwari waza kokyu ho (emphasis on blending + kokyu + center)

Attacks (6 ways of being held):

  • katate dori / ryote dori / morote dori / mune dori / kata dori / ryokata dori

Attacks (3 ways of being struck):

  • tsuki / yokomen uchi / shomen uchi

Techniques - Osae waza (immobilization tecniques):

  1. Ikkyo (1st pinning technique)

  2. Nikyo (2nd pinning technique)

  3. Sankyo (3rd pinning technique)

Techniques - Nage waza (projection techniques):

  1. Kote gaeshi (wrist turn throw)

  2. Shiho nage (4-direction throw)

  3. Irimi nage (entering throw)


  • omote (across the front)

  • ura (around the back)


  • Solid (kihon)

  • Flowing (nagare)

Buki waza


  • 7 ken suburi

  • Happo giri

  • Migi / hidari awase + variations go / shichi awase + variations

Jo (20 jo suburi):

  • 5 tsuki suburi

  • 5 shomen suburi

  • 3 katate suburi

  • 5 hasso suburi

  • 2 flowing suburi

Jo (other - basic):

  • 6 count kata + awase 31 jo kata

  • basic blending exercises from tsuki

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