A straight armbar and pin, known as Ikkyo, is aikido’s first lesson.
Ikkyo in Iwama style aikido involves drawing out the attacker’s arm with a strike to the face before directing him to the ground for immobilization. The attacker, known as uke, is actually put on the defensive since the defender, known as shite, seizes the initiative with a strike to the face.
The Iwama style aikido Ikkyo is distinct from other schools of thought. Uke is trying to swat down shite's striking hand and dynamic tension is generated between the two opponents. The skillful shite can use this newly generated power to fully unbalance uke and direct that resistant energy down with a shade of a push and a twist to complete the ikkyo armbar.
So, what to do if the attacker (uke) counters these attempts to control his arm? What if shite fails to seize the initiative and is blocked in the initial stages of applying technique?
Not to worry. Aikido never goes wrong. The founder, Ueshiba Morihei O'Sensei described the spontaneous generation of technique to meet any situation as Takemusu Aiki.
When steeped in authentic training, a proficient aikidoka has plenty of options. There are variations a skillful practitioner can pivot to at any point along ikkyo execution if they remain present to the flow of opportunities.
Presented here are some variations for pivoting into other techniques based on that resistance. Taken from the 2019 Iwama Shin Shin Aikishurenkai annual public demonstration, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan.