Blog 27: Edited excerpt from the Jiyuwaza Webinar with Joe Thambu Shihan, Marty Rice Sensei and Fulori Smith Sensei
Jul 12, 2017
MO: What is jiyuwaza? When are we actually practicing? What is it about, what’s it’s primary purpose? Is it accurate to say that jiyuwaza is Aikido or is it only one aspect of Aikido?
FS Sensei: I think jiyuwaza is a tool. You can practice whatever you want in jiyuwaza. You can practice your timing, you can practise your balance-breaking, whatever you put your focus on. And then you’re trying to bring it all together, eventually. You can use jiyuwaza to practice lots of different aspects of Aikido in a more dynamic way.
MR Sensei: I also think there’s a lot of connections you can make between the different things that we train. If you look at the kihon dosa; the basic moves into a basic technique into jiyuwaza and then into goshin jitsu, then I think there are ‘ideas’ that are the same, and for me, the basic one is 'move it or lose it'. If you have someone in jiyuwaza that’s coming straight at you and attacking you, if you don’t move, you’re in trouble. You need to turn, move, enter, whatever. If you’re teaching self-defence or whatever technique you’re doing, in most cases the worst thing you can do is stop. And that’s the same thing for jiyuwaza. Same as when you’re doing a basic technique, you never stop in the middle of a technique, you must keep moving. So, for me, it comes down to keep moving. Keep our body moving and get out of the situation in the most appropriate way, and for jiyuwaza that means throwing someone.
JT Shihan: It’s good you’re taking a big view of what jiyuwaza is, Marvin, but I’ll go one bigger. If this (pointing to his little finger) is self-defence, this (pointing to his ring finger) is restraint/removal that we teach law enforcement, this (pointing to his middle finger) being jiyuwaza, this (pointing to his forefinger) being what you do in your line of work – taking Aikido outside the dojo as a facilitator –, this (pointing to his thumb) being the kihon waza… together they form ‘Aikido’. But if they can’t all link with the kihon waza (pointing to the thumb), then there is a problem. So the kihon waza remains the main thing. Everything else fits and makes ‘Aikido’.