Shoji Nishio: “An Innovative Aikido
Based On Martial Integrity”

“In aikido, we do not oppose the intent and movement of the opponent.”

If you are not familiar with the aikido approach of Shoji Nishio, 8th dan, the video highlights below will quickly acquaint you with the essentials of his martial system.

Particular points to watch for are Nishio Sensei’s initial set up movements, often accompanied by atemi strikes, rapidity and precision during application of techniques, and final controling movements and pins. In this system, for the most part, empty-handed techniques (taijutsu) have corresponding movements using the ken and jo.

While atemi or preemptive strikes, have fallen into disuse in mainstream styles of aikido, Nishio saw their employment as essential to the success of aikido techniques: “I regard atemi as the soul of Japanese martial arts. Atemi temporarily neutralize the opponent’s fighting ability and allow him to correct his attitude and return to his previous condition.”

When Nishio Sensei explained the use of atemi in aikido techniques he demonstrated their application at successive points in the movement showing that they are always available. No physical contact actually takes place in order to assure safe practice conditions. The movement corresponding to the atemi does indeed neutralize the opponent’s mind and body rendering him unable to continue his attack.

Highlights of Nishio Aikido, Volumes 1 & 2

Gyakuhanmi Katatedori / Aihanmi Katatedori

Part one covers the complete series of gyakuhanmi katatedori techniques. The techniques demonstrated include: kaitennage, ikkyo, nikyo, sankyo, shihonage, yonkyo, iriminage, kotegaeshi, sotomakikomi.

Part two presents the entire aihanmi katatedori series in great depth. The following techniques are demonstrated and explained: joho kaiten, ikkyo, shihonage, nikyo, iriminage, kotegaeshi, sankyo.

Highlights of Nishio Aikido, Volumes 3 & 4

Shomenuchi 1 / Shomenuchi 2

Part three begins a detailed presentation of shomenuchi techniques. Demonstrated are side-escape techniques followed by explanations of shihonage, ikkyo, gokyo, irimi, and kotegaeshi. All techniques are demonstrated empty-handed and using the ken and jo.

Part four continues the presentation of shomenuchi techniques. Covered are numerous side-entry techniques including irimi, kotegaeshi, and nikyo; the furikaburi series covers irimi, kotegaeshi, and sankyo. Finally, many applied techniquess (oyowaza) are demonstrated.

Highlights of Nishio Aikido, Volumes 5 & 6

Yokomenuchi / Ryotedori-Sodedori

Part five presents numerous techniques from yokomenuchi attacks including: shihonage, irimi, kotegaeshi, ken & jo, jo tai ken, ikkyo, nikyo, sankyo, gokyo, and koshinage.

Part six covers a variety of ryotedori and sodedori techniques. The techniques demonstrated are: shihonage, ikkyo ura, katate series, nagewaza, kokyunage, ikkyo, nikyo, sankyo, gyaku kime, shime, kirihanashi kotegaeshi, ken tai ken, and jo tai ken.

Highlights of Nishio Aikido, Volumes 7, 8, 9

Katadori Menuchi / Aikido Toho Iai, Parts 1 & 2

Part seven presents katadori menuchi techniques including warmup exercises, katadori ikkyo, katadori menuchi nikyo, katadori menuchi sankyo, katadori menuchi koshinage, katadori menuchi shihonage, katadori menuchi gyakukimenage, katadori menuchi irimi, and katadori menuchi kotegaeshi. Ken tai ken and ken tai jo applications of the above techniques are also included.

Part eight covers the first seven of the Aikido Toho Iai forms. The Iai kata and the taigi techniques that inspired them shown are Shohatto maegiri, Kiriage, Uke nagashi, Ushirogiri, Zengogiri, Tsukaosae, and Tekubiosae.

Part nine presents the remaining eight forms of Aikido Toho Iai. The Iai kata and corresponding taigi techniques covered are Kawashi tsuki, Tsukekomi, Tsume, Sanpo, Shiho, Nukiawase, Todome, and Tomesuemono.



Aikido Journal is offering the “Shoji Nishio Aikido Study Course” by Shoji Nishio, 8th dan, that covers the essentials of Nishio Sensei’s elaborate system. A total of 4 downloadable videos are included in the package and cover the following subjects: Gyakuhanmi Katatedori, Aihanmi Katatedori, Shomenuchi (1), Shomenuchi (2), Yokomenuchi, Ryotedori and Sodedori, Katadori Menuchi, and Aikido Toho Iai. Altogether, the course includes six hours of expert video instruction by Nishio Sensei. The course also features the authoritataive 208-page ebook “Shoji Nishio: Aikido – Yurusu Budo (The Forgiving Martial Art)” as a PDF download.

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  1. Sensei Shoji Nishio is truly amazing. To me this seems to be Aikido at its highest excellence. Using atemi with techniques and also demonstrating bo and jo techniques to show how they relate to taijutsu is how I originally learned Aikido. Aikido has so many different styles these days most of which do not even use atemi. I had learned that atemi was the motion used to separate the mind from the body keeping the attacker off balance while the technique is being executed. Seeing these video’s warms my heart and is much appreciated. Thank you for posting them on Aikido Journal Newsletter.

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