Brief Syllabus

The following outlines the major kata that are practiced in Tomiki Aikido. In addition to these kata, there are several miscellaneous requirements, such as proficiency in grappling, randori, and teaching.


Ukemi is the part of Aikido that is involved in being a partner to some other person who is practicing a technique. As you advance you will discover that ukemi involves many diverse skills, but the first aspect of it is learning how to fall down without being injured. This is obviously a very important skill and must be practiced often.

Tegatana no Kata

Tegatana no Kata (The Form of Hand-Blades) is an exercise which is composed of basic movements found throughout Aikido. It teaches proper posture and balance and emphasizes essential principles which will be necessary in later practice. This is the foundation for the rest of aikido training; without it, one cannot become an effective aikidoka. The student should imagine an attacker in this kata against whom you evade or perform off-balances.

Hanasu no Kata

Hanasu no Kata (The Form of Releases) is an exercise which is performed with a partner. Taking the fundamental principles from Tegatana No Kata, this kata teaches the student how to maintain balance, diffuse an attack, and break a partner's balance. As in Tegatana no Kata, the movements and principles learned in this exercise are found throughout later techniques.

Nijusan Hon Kata

Nijusan Hon Kata (Twenty Three Fundamental Techniques) is the primary training exercise in Aikido. It contains the twenty three basic techniques which make up the core of Aikido practice.

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Owaza Jupon

The kata called Owaza Jupon (The Big Ten Techniques) serves as a transition between the fundamental Fugakukai-Tomikiryu kata and the more advanced Koryu no Kata. It introduces several new techniques and types of movement as well as some variations of techniques from Junana Hon Kata. The ten techniques that make up Owaza Jupon are classified as "separating" techniques. Unlike Junana Hon Kata, in which the techniques are done as uke and tori approach each other and sticking together, these techniques typically finish with uke and tori spinning apart or "separating". These techniques can also be classified as surprise techniques. That is, they take advantage of the human reaction to throw the arms up in front of the face or back away when surprised by an overbearing attack.

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Koryu no Kata

The Koryu no Kata include six sets of techniques from the older schools of Aikido - thus the name Koryu no kata (meaning "kata of the old school"). These kata serve as advanced training for the student who has a good grasp of the fundamentals taught in the earlier kata. In Fugakukai, two of these kata are practiced far more than the others; Koryu Dai San (A.K.A. goshin no kata) and Koryu Dai Yon. These two kata are representative of the entire set and so much emphasis is placed apon them.

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The "chains" define a series of motions that essentially string together techniques that are found throughout the syllabus. They begin using the same starting motions as per Hanasu no Kata (wrist releases). During some of the chains it is possible for control to oscillate back and forth between uke and tori depending on the misapplication of power. The practice of these chains provides a nice transition from traditional kata to full randori.

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If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat these two impostors just the same.

Randori is the free application of aikido with a partner. It is not a duel between enemies or a competition between opponents. It is a cooperative exercise in which the student gets to attempt techniques with a partner who may then have the opportunity to apply counter techniques. There are two main forms of randori that we practice - hand randori, and tanto randori.

We do randori at a pace which is as slow as the two partners can possibly move and avoid the use of strength at all costs. Move as slowly as possible when doing hand randori. It is far easier to learn to spot opportunities when randori is done slowly and the slower we go the faster we learn. Fast hand randori also tends to become very dangerous very quickly. Don't stop or change speed. Always randori with steady, controlled motions. Each partner should attempt to match his speed exactly to that of the other partner. Don't change directions abruptly. Randori is intended to be a slow, safe simulation of techniques that are occurring at full speed, so sudden direction changes are not part of randori because they would be impossible at high speed.

Don't attack in such a way as to result in a technique that you haven't been taught to survive. Learn to know when you've been killed. Trying to force your way out of a technique or avoiding ukemi is counterproductive and dangerous. Don't hesitate to tap out or take a fall if your partner applies a valid technique.

Don't worry about winning or losing - this is not a competition. In fact, you learn far more by getting yourself in trouble.

Tanto Randori

In tanto randori there are still only two partners but one is specifically designated as uke and is given a soft rubber knife with which to attack tori. Uke can attack with practically any knife attack including stabs, thrusts, and slashes. Uke is not trying to "score a point," but rather is concentrating on giving a committed attack that tori can work with. Tori then has the opportunity to practice his evasion and his techniques against a variety of armed attacks. Tanto randori is usually just a bit faster than hand randori but it doesn't necessarily have to be. We do not engage in the knife randori competitions which some people think are characteristic of Tomiki Aikido.


Class Schedule

Location - Rec Room
Sanderson Center, MSU

Date/Time -

Beginner Class  
Advanced Class