Kyoichi Inoue has been a central Yoshinkan Aikido instructor for over 50 years. Frequently when there was a big aikido event – the aiki expo for example – it would be Inoue who would represent Yoshinkan aikido. Suddenly a couple years ago he was no longer seen teaching Yoshinkan aikido nor was he on the Yoshinkan web site. For reasons unbeknownst to me, he decided to leave the organization he had represented for his entire aikido career. This is often the case when the founder’s son starts to take a more active role. We saw this with the Aikikai (Koichi Tohei & Kisshomaru) and perhaps Yasuhisa Shioda simply wanted to be the main man in Yoshinkan Aikido. Whatever the case, Inoue has resurfaced with a new dojo, a new book/DVD, and some new ideas.
Anyone that has seen many Yoshinkan books, dvds, or demos, knows that the waza is fairly standardized. I guess it’s a good thing. You always know what you’re going to get. Strong stance, step by step controlled movements, & good ukemi. Sometimes at the higher levels Yoshinkan instructors get more creative with their waza – Takeno sensei’s demos come to mind…
It’s refreshing that after all this time, Inoue is sharing with us some of his new revelations. He calls it “nuki” waza. Nuki can be translated as emptying or letting out. For each of the 13+ techniques that Inoue teaches on the DVD he first shows the standard technique (he calls it Kokyu Ryoku (breath power) version) and then he follows it up with the nuki version. The nuki version always has minimal footwork and involves a small movement of the hand causing a big reaction in his partner. Sometimes I see these types of “over-reactions” in ukes and wish they would just “keep it real” however I don’t think there’s much of that going on here. Inoue’s movements looks sharp and accurate. I look forward to experimenting with them.
My favorite techniques that Inoue showed were an iriminage from katamochi and an interesting variation of shihonage that I’ve only previously seen in Daito Ryu. I should mention that the whole book/DVD is only in Japanese. Regardless if your Japanese is up to par or not, you can still easily see what he’s doing and what he’s trying to teach. Get it here.