keep-calm-and-irimi-nageRecently, a BJJ noob related to me that he was intentionally defensive, a “counter-puncher,” if you will.   I told him that the problem with being primarily defensive is that you start off behind, reacting, as opposed to your opponent having to react.

Probably the Martial Art I am most drawn to philosophically (not practically) is Aikido. While I am not a traditionalist, much of traditional Martial Arts is far too valuable to be ignorant of, “Irimi” included. “Irimi” is a term used in Aikido translated as “entering” which is utilized at the moment of attack. This is where I depart from the more defensive Aikido.

My utilization of Irimi has to do with acting first. My dictum is “Threaten”…yet it doesn’t end there.  “…but take what’s given.” completes the thought. Defense alone is only reacting to your opponent. Offense alone is ignoring your opponent’s reaction.

In past articles, I’ve advocated going in the direction your opponent is already going. When you’re passive, your opponent can move infinite ways. But when you threaten via Irimi, your opponent has far fewer directions he can move in…which makes it easier to go in the direction he is already going.

The language and traditions of the past, such as Irimi, inform the actions of the present. Let Irimi unify your offense and defense. Let Aikido inform your Jiu-Jitsu. Ossss!!!!!!

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