Saturday we spent some time working toward a katate tori kokyo-ho. But what made it interesting was the emphasis Alberto made that we were actually “making irimi” (as Alberto says) before the tenkan (the turn). He even stopped the practice so the class could work on an irimi (entering) exercise. I had never thought it about that way but it really makes sense.
The entering is small but it brings your center to uke's center. The odd part is that in this instance you are supposed to move your body while your wrist stays stationary in uke's grasp. Usually everything moves together and if you didn't move as a unit you might be mildly reprimanded for being dis-jointed. Plus this type of thing is more of an exercise so I bet in “real life” uke would be moving toward you and there would be no need to irimi
When done well there is not separation. It is not Irimi + Tenkan + Kokyunage. It is a seem-less irimitenkankokyunage
As an aside we had another big class of newcomers so anybody with more experience than me worked with the beginners and I and the other beginner's hung together. I can work with people who have attended just a few classes, but since I'm still working on my front and back rolls (after over a year and a half) I'd be a little uncomfortable instructing the the first and second timers
As another aside, I wonder if Alberto who is from Mexico uses “make irimi” rather than “do irimi” since the Spanish word for “to do” and “to make” are both usually translated as hacer, and he heard “hace irimi” when first learning Aikido?
The video has a short glimpse of Yamada Sensei show this small entering that brings nage and uke together at 15 seconds into the clip.