Thanks to the age of the Internet, I was able to see a series of videos from 1979 featuring Tomiki explaining various points of his Aikido. The fourth one in the series can be viewed here:
Unfortunately, I don't speak a word of Japanese. (Well, yes, my husband reminds me I love the words sushi and sake!) So while it was interesting to watch him in action, I had no idea what he was saying. Thanks again to the Internet, a friend sent me his notes on what was going on. This is not a direct translation, but it should help with understanding the points Tomiki is trying to make. Here's what my friend said:
"The advancing step of the uke will make contact as the hand makes contact.
Tori has the opportunity to step and step again in the same amount of time.
Two steps with a hand blade, to break balance of the uke. The timing is critical to regain complete balance at the moment the uke is begging to lose balance.
In the release form of honatsu no kata, Tomiki demonstrates that direction will not interfere with the hand blade form as long as two feet for the tori have advanced for every single step of the uke. The drill that's being presented is showing advanced methods of technique applied to the very basic movements.
Tsurigi is referenced 3 times (taizo) to articulate the straightness of centering with the hand blade. To maintain control of the uke's balance tori essentially focuses on moving with the hand in a straight line through from the hara.
Returning the grip: literal translation making return grip Nigiri kaeshi no tsukuri
I understand that the kuzushi (unbalancing) is applied at the moment of the grip placing the uke on 1 foot, causing them to release their grip at the moment you step and grasp them in return.
Applying the tegatana no kata principles of 2 for 1 step, this is the next piece of finesse.
Hiji Mochi (capturing the elbow)
Oshitaoshi uses this principle of capture with or without the butterfly grip, and maintaining hold. What do you do with the grasp at the wrist? If tori maintains hold, uke will resist and pull away in response. This is when tori advances to move with that pull. Uke is pulling tori behind and into the position to take control of the elbow from the back. There is some translation I'm lost in, but he references the use of 'skubioski <incorrect spelling> steps. Moving both feet while advancing with a hold on uke as they resist, continue moving into position until the elbow is captured.
It is unique to see a breakdown of how long it can actually take to get someone on the ground if your set on taking only one specific hold.
There is a segment where he uses a butterfly grip and a casting motion with the grasp. Simultaneously extending to separate the elbow and raising it into position, causing the uke to be "pulled" into tori."
Heather and Roy Gawlick love Aikido and have a passion for sharing it with others. They hope you'll catch the Aikido bug, too!
Shinju Dojo Aikido Martial Arts School in Longview / Kelso, Washington