Irimi Nage (Aikido)

By Yossi Sheriff

Irimi nage is an Aikido throw.

Tai Sabaki

Uke attacks nage with one hand/arm/weapon. Nage steps with the side matching the attack (first foot) deeply and slightly outside uke's attacking side, planting almost behind nage's side, to pivot tenkan swinging nage's other foot (second foot) away from uke and around slightly past 180 to plant behind uke's original position at the start of the attack. Nage then pivots on this foot in the opposite direction towards uke, but carefully stepping to re-plant the first foot roughly 180 from its position when the second foot planted.

Irimi Nage Throw

Nage sweeps outside around uke's head with nage's leading arm and around to gather uke's head maybe even pinning uke's head against nage's chest during the first entering step. As nage turns tenkan, he will control uke's head to bring it into the arc of nage's tenkan motion, bringing uke's upper body motion first oblique and then opposite to the motion of uke's lower body. If uke is armed nage should reach over the top of nage's attacking arm with nage's other hand and sweep outwards to straighten and control uke's attacking arm to take advantage of an overhand grasp of the weapon (or uke's knuckles) to break uke's grip and disarm him as the technique later progressively improves nage's leverage. As the second foot is replanted, nage will also rotate his upper body, keeping shoulder rotation slighly ahead of his hip rotation, sweeping nage's head into a second arc, this time gently downward. Uke's center will be so far away from his footing that he will be completely off his feet.


Kokyu is often translated as "breath." Here it means timing and harmony with uke. As uke's head is manipulated by nage, he will try to keep his feet underneath him. Nage's tenkan rotation should be slow at first, to harmonize with uke's attempt to right himself. As uke steps, nage should turn just slightly faster than uke can maintain. If the kokyu is very good, Irimi Nage feels and looks as if uke is throwing himself on the ground as uke walks his feet further and further from the (nage's) center of rotation even as his head is drawn in by nage. Irimi nage is a very pedantic technique for Aikido fundamental skills and principles.

Video of Irimi nage (suwari waza)