In Aikido there are various kinds of throwing techniques, but of all of them, shiho nage is the one that is particularly important. The reason is that shiho nage forms the base for all the other throwing techniques.
Ueshiba Sensei used to say, “Shiho nage is the foundation of Aikido.” Therefore if you train sufficiently and are able to master shiho nage, the rest simply become adaptions. Sensei would say, “All you ever need to master is shiho nage.”
Let’s consider for a moment what is we should learn from practising shiho nage. It’s actually quite straight forward if we begin by resolving some of the doubts that outsiders have about shiho nage. You often hear things like, “Is it really possible to tuck in the opponent’s arm and bring him down to the rear?” Their point is: “Nobody’s going to stand still while the technique is applied to them, so even if you want to spin around, won’t the opponent just resist you? Won’t it be you who is defeated?”
The important thing however, is not your form when you throw the opponent. It’s how you force him into a position where he can in fact be thrown. To put it bluntly, the problem is how you break your opponent’s balance; in the end, it really doesn’t matter what method you use to throw him.
Shioda Sensei (1915 – 1994) is the founder of Yoshinkan Aikido. He studied judo and kendo as a youth. He entered the Kobukan Dojo in 1932 where he studied for eight years under Morihei Ueshiba Sensei through to 1941. Shioda Sensei established Yoshinkan Aikido in 1955.
It is interesting to see how different styles of Aikido evolved over the life of O Sensei. In many ways they reflected the teachings of Ueshiba Sensei at the time. Shioda Sensei was a first generation student of O Sensei about three decades earlier than Maruyama Sensei, the founder of our style, Aikido Yuishinkai.