The kumitachi came originally from an old sword school. They were
modified to include the concept of Aiki by the Founder, Professor
Morihei Ueshiba, who left them as a legacy.
There are many possible variations of the kumitachi. The Founder,
when he taught, called these first attack and second attack variations.
These variations are naturally used with the ken but are soon adapted to
taijutsu. Consequently, the kumitachi are considered to be the
personality of ken, jo, and taijutsu basic techniques. If one does not
have a good understanding of suburi, it will be useless to practice the
kumitachi. If practice is done everyday on the kumitachi and partner
practices, stability of the hips will not be attained, and an important
point of practice will be missed. Therefore begin each practice session
with the suburi as shown in Volume I.
Uchitachi (Attacker) and Uketachi (Defender)
The kumitachi are not to be considered competition. They are
practices, and the partners do not vie for an attacking or superior
position. It was said that one should be uchitachi for 10 years before
being allowed to become uketachi. It was felt that this was the proper
way to learn.