April 20, 1964
What’s special about aiki is that place where you enter lightly. Like a cloud, maybe, or mist: enter lightly.
October 31, 1965
In the old days, as soon as you had them, you’d drive in an atemi, these days when we train we omit this, we put our emphasis on drilling the waza.
April 25, 1966
For example, in ude-osae, when you’re pushing up and unbalancing aite, that’s when you tighten on their arm; when you’re bringing them down, that’s when you tighten on their wrist/forearm. Having been doing this since I was a child, this is something I learned to do naturally.
July 27, 1966
With the base of the little finger, with the base of the index finger, with the pad [“hara“] of the thumb: grip the elbow by tightening these three points. Pay attention to the way you grip: with this way of gripping the technique is effective. It’s the same as gripping a sword.
October 12, 1967
[Doing a] waza is not like pounding mochi – bam-bam-bam; no, it’s staying in contact, without fail, absolutely where-ever it may go.
January 5, 1968
First receive [their attack] lightly, and unbalance them lightly, then vigorously [counter-]attack.
March 22, 1968
The essence of aiki above all is always [this]: after you’ve unbalanced them, apply a technique. Of course, from a punch, at the point where you’ve unbalanced them by drawing out their fist, you’ll [also] apply an atemi. [From] shomen-uchi, once you’ve unbalanced them by advancing and lifting, having floated a leg, you’ll apply an atemi, [but] you must [still] think of these [cases] as being just the same.
November 13, 1968
When unbalancing them, to be correct, the lifting hand and foot should be the same side. Consequently taking hold of them should be with the following foot.
March 24, 1969
[So…] the way to grasp the elbow: do not grasp with straight fingers. A clinging grip is wrong. Take hold with a small proportion of the surface area.
May 10, 1969
…[doing] Tiger’s-Mouth at the wrist-joint, [or] taking the back of the hand and holding three fingers, you can make them move and they can’t do anything.
August 27, 1969
When you lift their elbow, the secret is: you absolutely have to lower the wrist. When you’re drawing them out, you should keep the flat of the wrist up.
May 10, 1971
With whatever manner of timing, if you aren’t catching hold of them accurately and correctly, when you meet a strong aite it won’t be effective. Always you must pay attention to the way you catch hold of them.
Without getting them off-balance, even I cannot pin an opponent.
September 8, 1971
Right from the outset, when you’re being taught, it’s: catching hold from below, turn it over; stepping in forwards, push them over. At that time, because you’re turning the elbow so deeply, when you’re controlling them and drawing them out, [you are told that] it’s essential to adjust the grip of your hand. However, in reality, catching hold of the elbow joint from the side with the base of the index finger, you should turn it over. Once you have brought them down you should make it work by pressing down with the base of the index finger.
November 8, 1971
In Daito-ryu originally there was no ashi-sabaki (footwork). Yoko-kara-semeru-ashi, hiku-ashi, and such-like are things that I catalogued. For example: shomen-uchi – – – what Daito-ryu analyses as: from a shomen attack, advance while receiving and stopping [the blow], I break down into two parts: 1) while the attacker’s advancing control [him], 2) when his advance has been slowed, draw him out to control him.
October 6, 1974
“Receive the incoming blow by raising the fore-arm, [and] having unbalanced them, grasp their elbow” [is the] outline [we all know]. But Sokaku Sensei’s practice was that even as he was unbalancing them by raising their elbow, he was bringing them down by drawing them out: “control them by drawing out to the side, fell them by pushing forwards” was the method he told [us].
– – – reported by Keisetsu YOSHIMARU in Aikido no Ogi