Solo Body Movement Exercises: Outline

The general idea on the thirteen TDD is to introduce the elements of Aiki and then also show how these integrate with the basic body movements of Daito Ryu/Aikido.

The TDD also offer a “lab like” environment in which to work and develop both Aiki and Aiki in basic body movements.  It’s useful to train without human contact since that presence seems to be so all-consuming for most humans.  The TDD are not martial techniques.

Along with the weapon TDD, the TDD stand as an ideal, and a useful resource and referent when engaging with others and training techniques.  What TDD teaches ought to be ever-present.

If one “gets stuck” in a technique, one only need look to the TDD to find out what element is missing within the technique.

TDD goes from the very rudimentary and seemingly obvious to the more elaborate. Most challenging, are the parts of the TDD that teach the very rudimentary and obvious bits.  “More elaborate” expressions are a stringing together of the rudiments.

The quality of one’s ability to execute and manifest Aiki within the basic, rudimentary movements is the only limit to one’s progress.  This is why overlooking (or never being taught) how to develop the ability to Aiki within these basic, rudimentary movements and then not train them in favor of more flashy techniques is such a fundamental mistake for developing and expressing Aiki and Aiki in a martial context.


Folks don’t know it, but many finish their Aiki career before they even begin.  This also explains why sincere students stop and go back to the beginning again, and again.  Progress and understanding are the very thing that compels one to go back and rework their basics to align with what one now knows of them.

The progression the thirteen TDD are as follows:

TDD 1-3 = Learning to sit up and down, Learning to half stand up and down, Learning to stand up and down

TDD 4-6 = Learning to Walk with unity of hand and arms up and down, Learning to Walk with hands and legs separate, Learning to Walk with hand and arms right and left.

TDD 7 – 10 = Learning to turn, Learning to do a stepping turn, Learning to do a double switching sides turn, Learning to do a single 360 degree turn.

TDD 11 – 12 = Learning to combine all the elements of TDD 1 – 10

TDD 13 = Standing motion in stillness (The counterpart to TDD 0, seated motion in stillness.)  The implication being that TDD 1 – 12 were all stillness in motion.

Once one has “learned” to do TDD 1 – 12 with Aiki, one then learns to execute them with Kiai.

Shirata sensei would often open class with TDD practice in conjunction with other practices, shiko for example.  (Not shikko (knee walking – we did that too) but shiko the sumo exercise from Daito Ryu)  Sometimes instead of doing the TDD in straight back-and-forth lines he would have us do them off angling every step such that the lines became zig zags.  There is a good reason for this, but I’ll save that for later.rinjiro-shirata-c1935.jpg

As mentioned earlier, the sincere student will return to the TDD again and again, both for practice and also to apply a better understanding of what constitutes the practice of the TDD.

Progress too is a spiral.


Okay, the next post should be TDD #1.  It will likely by a VLOG or a VLOG/Blog combo.

Work has re-started for me, which means that I have time commitments but they are regulated “stay home” commitments which will enable me to get back to a regular posting schedule.

Once again, a big thanks to the individual Pay Pal donators, and the growing number of ongoing Patrons.  Also, a big, BIG thank you to for the many messages, emails and calls of  encouragement and support!


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