Move to uke’s flank! Stanley Pranin’s
Video Blog: “The Zone Theory of Aikido”

In this video, Aikido Journal Editor Stanley Pranin introduces a model describing the interaction between nage (defender) and uke (attacker) called “The Zone Theory of Aikido”. He explains how it is dangerous for nage to remain in front of uke when attempting to counter an attack and why the attacker has the advantage in this situation. By contrast, moving to the side or rear of uke, into his “dead zone” or “blind spot”, makes it extremely easy for nage to safely execute an aikido technique.

It is very common for aikidoka to operate inside uke’s sphere of influence when practicing and demonstrating without questioning the strategic weaknesses of this approach. “The Zone Theory of Aikido” is an attempt to define a framework for understanding how and where to move vis-a-vis an attacker in order to set the stage for a favorable outcome.

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