"Yoshinkan Aikido Seiseikai Poland" Part II


In the previous issues I have described Seiseikai, its creator, history and the polish federation YSAP. I have also shown what are the basics as also the level of abilities and the divination of techniques   according to them. In this issue I will compare and contrast some characteristic Seiseikai throws and basic techniques against different martial arts, as also other aikido systems.

Before I will make my point, I would like to refer to the statement that Yoshinkan, so Seiseikai as well, are not aikido, because everyone there are doing “square - like” techniques, like robots etc... Mostly this is an opinion of people training other aikido systems, which comes from lack of knowledge about seiseikai. I hope that with these articles, I will convince many people to Seiseikai, and if it is seen as “square - like” then so be it, because it is the efficiency of techniques that matters, not beauty and cooperation.


Counter Attack

The rules of proper knock out (kouzushi) will be described on a example of one of many attacks, which should be known to everyone: Central attack aiming the head of our opponent (shomen uchi). This attack is very similar to a central attack with a stick or other weapon. Pictures 1.1 to 1.5 are showing the typical way of blocking and reacting on such an attack.

We can see that the person who is defending (shite/tori) after blocking the attack is going directly into the opponent (uke), deflecting his arm above the head in the direction 180⁰ opposite to the attack... How real is that? An attack done with great speed and strength is making it impossible, to turn it 180⁰. I know that now there will be many voices against, saying: “that is why techniques with turning around (ura) using the strength of our opponent,  were invented”. But if so, then why someone created omote techniques, used to oppose such an attack? Let us pretend that we managed to change the direction of attack 180⁰. Here lies the second, greater problem – further direction of our defence is making us to push the opponent straight, not taking him down to the ground. Picture 1.5 shows us the cause of a bad knock out, where we can see that the entire arm of our opponent is heading down. Because it is a natural position for a human being, so taking him down to the ground is simply impossible. Another mistake is being made (picture 1.5.2) when the defender basing all his strength and the opposite strength of the opponent, on the thumb of the defender. It will not withstand so great burden.

Lets analyze an identical situation in Seiseikai, which is illustrated on pictures 2.1 to 2.4. We can clearly see that the block and knock out are not changing their directions about 180⁰, but move our opponents attack outside. Next important difference is setting the arm of our opponent in a horizontal line, parallel to the line of our arms. The defender does not change the setting of his hands or the direction of his body. Using a deep straight move and lowering his position, he uses the weight of his own body on the opponent’s straight arm – this technique works not only because of the position, but also because of the movement of the hand. The last difference can be seen in the details of the grip: pictures 2.4.1 and 2.4.2. We can see that the strength is not working by the thumb of one hand, but the entire area of both palms.



Shihonage is a very characteristic technique, which can be seen, if not on the dojo, then definitely in many action films. Pictures 3.1 to 3.7 shows us how does this technique look like in seiseikai. Here we can also see differences in reference to other systems, because this technique ends with a control on the floor, not with a throw. Why? In other systems  an opponent is knocked out and then, by a dynamic turn or “surprise”, his arm is twisted behind his back. Throw, or “making” him fall, to be specify, is made by the lever on the elbow joint. However, shihonage is a lever on the wrist, not elbow...

Try to do this technique in many ways and you will observe that each time your opponent will turn in the direction of the inflicted pain – he will always aim to turn in the direction of his bended elbow. In the end he stands behind us. Is it a good thing to have an opponent behind my back? If you do not agree then please remember both situation, when a new person comes to the dojo. That person does not know how to behave and just do what I have described earlier.

In Seiseikai (picture 3.5) we can see a straight knock out that makes my opponent go to a high position, then after twisting his wrist, he is taken down on a spiral trajectory. Thanks to that, our opponent is constantly aiming down. If this knock out was: first take him down, then take him up, above the head, so we could take him down again, then it would be pointless and improbable. Our opponent after the first knock out, in the moment when he would recover his balance, would not allow us to make an another one. That is why in seiseikai the knock out is continuously to the end of the technique. Pictures 3.5.1 and 3.6.1, 3.6.2 we can see the details of the described movement. The defender, with each move is aiming his opponent wrist to the ground, still holding the lever (shihonage). Bending uke backwards by his head, where he cannot resist much, makes him fall to the ground and we can add our finishing punch.

Of course, in Seiseikai there is a technique shihonage, which ends with a throw. We can see it on pictures 4.1 – 4.6. However it differs from the versions commonly known in other systems.

For the technique to be effective I have to keep my opponent’s arm straight and, via the lever on the wrist (picture 4.2.1), control his elbow to prevent it from bending.

To understand it better, you can make a small experiment. Ask your partner to bend his elbow, placing his entire arm on his chest. Then try to pull him to yourself by the wrist. After that, do the same thing, but with your partner's arm straight, and see which set is better. In this technique we also have our uke arm above our head, but we lower our position (picture 4.3). In the end we get a constant movement knocking down our opponent, just like in the technique with the control on the ground. After the turn we have a strong lever on the wrist of our uke. We do the throw with a strong push of our body to the front that takes our uke down. In this case even the strongest resist from our opponent’s side is not a problem in doing this technique.




Example techniques

In the previous issue I have shown the 8 groups of techniques. In this issue I will describe two chosen techniques. First one, hiji katami, belongs to the basic group. The second one, ude garami koshinage gatame, is an advanced technique, because there is more than one knock out or a couple of techniques combined together.

Hiji katami (pictures 5.1 to 5.6) is a technique used during fast attacks on higher parts of the body. In this case it will be a straight punch aiming our head (jodan). Very important is to have proper timing, because opponent attacks with his fist and he will never stop, allowing us to do the technique.

It is a very powerful technique, but we have to keep the basics: keeping the centre of our body, straight arms and knock out. We use the weight of our body, not the strength of our muscles.

We approach the attack, stepping from its line, but keeping the distance (pictures 5.1 – 5.3). Next we grab our opponent’s   arm and by a circular movement of our hand (pictures 5.3.1 and 5.4) and a dynamic lowering of our position with a straight move, leading to a full control of our attacker.

It is important that during the knock out, our body is in one straight line (pictures 5.5 and 5.6), which looks “square – like”, but it is in fact, quite effective. It is a dangerous technique, because there is a high chance that we can brake our opponent’s elbow.

Ude garami koshinage ushiro hijishigi ude gatame (pictures 6.1 to 6.12) is a complicated technique, in  which we do a lever on the elbow joint and shoulder joint with a pressure on the trunk of our opponent, causing him difficulties in breathing.

Pictures 6.1 to 6.4 show us the first steps of defence. Just like before, the attack is a straight punch aiming our head (picture 6.1). We are using the technique ude garami (pictures 6.3 and 6.4). I also wish to point out that the arm of uke is in the identical situation like in shihonage technique.
This technique is possible because the our upper arm, which holds our opponent’s wrist, is also hooking up his biceps and, by twist and turn, we do a lever on those two points. Many systems concentrate only on the wrist lever, ignoring the other one. It leads to a worse technique which is impossible to use when our opponent tries to resist.

Controlling the part between wrist and arm is clearly shown in the rest of technique (pictures 6.5 to 6.9), where first we do the throw ude garami, also using our hip, then without lessening our grip, we do a turn.

After turning uke on his stomach, we can continue to ushiro hijishigi ude gatame control (pictures 6.10 and 6.11). It is important to place our legs in a position that strengthens the stability of our control (picture 6.12). It is a very powerful control, because uke, laying on his stomach has a very restricted amount of possible techniques to escape this situation. What is more, we came very quickly to the control, ending with a control of our opponent's elbow, shoulder, and ribs.




Those are advanced techniques that is why, for safety, we should only do them in the presence of an experienced instructor. I hope that now many people will look differently on Seiseikai aikido and, despite its “square – like” looking, will want to know it better.

More information you can find on ysap.pl, and if you will still be interested in this kind of aikido, then I will present more techniques in the next issues.


Author:  Sebastian Śliwiński III dan AYF , I dan Judo and Goshi-jutsu


School of Martial Arts SEIMEIKAN

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