Techniques

Junanahon (Randori no kata)

Black Belt technical reference demonstrated by Nariyama Shihan SAF Technical Director. YouTube videos here.

Shomen ateShomen ate

The Forward Strike. So called because the defender steps diagonally forward and offline, and then presses forward against the attacker’s neck, breaking his balance and hurling him into a back fall. Note that to avoid being skewered, one must side step the knife. The defender does put a hand up to the attacker’s wrist, but that is not to block away the strike, merely to keep the knife at bay while performing the technique against the head. Note also that though translated as a “strike”, this technique is not a punch. One pushes against and does not strike the head.

Aigamae ate

The Matching Stances Strike. So called because as the defender finishes the technique, his stance will match that of the attacker. In the video, the attacker is in a right-foot-forward stance. As Tori finishes the technique and makes the throw, note that he too ends up in a right-foot-forward stance. In doing the technique, one side steps the blow, pulls momentarily on the attacker’s arm so that he wants to pull back, and then, just as he pulls back, surges in to push against the head and throw the attacker down.

Gyakugamae ate

The Opposing Stances Strike. So called because as the defender finishes the technique, his forward foot will be opposite that of the attacker. Notices that as Tori finishes the throw, he ends up in a left-foot-forward stance, which is opposite the attacker’s right-foot-forward stance. In doing the technique, Tori first side steps the stab, and then uses his left arm to throw uke, while his right keeps the weapon at bay. There is no impact to the head. Contact is made smoothly before strong power is applied for the throw.

Gedan ate

The Low Strike. So called because the defender goes low, under the attacker’s attacking arm, to throw him. Tori first slides left to avoid the blow. He grabs the attacker’s arm and first attempts to do Gyaku-gamae Ate with his left hand. However, the attacker shields himself with his own left hand, frustrating Gyaku-gamae Ate. So, Tori goes low, sliding under both of the attacker’s upraised arms, and throwing the attacker. Again, there is no hard impact. Torsos are brought together smoothly before power is applied.

Ushiro ate

The Behind Strike. So called because the defender slides behind the attacker before throwing the attacker backwards onto his own back. Notice that Tori slides forwards and to his own left as he avoids the stab. By applying pressure to the attacker’s arm, he uses it as a lever with which to rotate the attacker’s entire upper torso. This provides both shoulders as points which Tori can grab to pull the attacker down. Pressure is momentarily applied downward through the attacker’s back to lock his legs. He is then thrown backwards.

Oshi tai oshi

The Pushing Topple. In this technique, Tori slides back and to the left, avoiding the blow. As he does so, he pulls back on the attacker’s arm. As the attacker pulls back to regain his balance, Tori sides forward, keeping the attacker’s elbow in his own center and pushing towards the attacker’s ear. This forces all of the attacker’s weight onto his back, left foot. At that point, it is an easy matter to push a little more and knock the attacker over. A gentle elbow lock is used as a hold down for this demonstration.

Ude Gaeshi

The Arm Folding Technique. In this technique, Tori slides to the left to avoid the stab. As he does so, he grabs the attacker’s arm and gives it a little tug. This causes the attacker to be slightly unbalanced. As the attacker pulls back with his arm in an attempt to regain his balance, Tori slides forward, bends the attacker’s arm at the elbow, and pulls the attacker backward by folding the arm over, behind the shoulder. The attacker is thrown onto his back.

Hiki tai oshi

The Pulling Topple. In this technique, Tori slides back and to his left to avoid the strike. As he does so, he blocks at the attacker’s wrist with his right hand, and grabs the attacker’s wrist underneath with his left. In doing so, his left hand is palm side upward. He then pulls back with that left hand while simultaneously turning the hand over, so that it is now palm-side downward. Doing so locks the attacker’s elbow. The unbalanced attacker is now brought down by pulling and applying gentle pressure at the elbow with the right hand.

Ude Hineri

The Arm Twist. This technique is a counter to the previous one. One first attempts Hiki Taoshi: one grabs the wrist the same and tries to break the attacker’s balance. If however, the attacker’s balance is not fully broken, and he is pulling back, you go with it. As you can see, Tori steps to the outside, locks the attacker’s arm under one’s own, and then throws the attacker forward by twisting one’s upper torso. Be sure not to lift upwards on the attacker’s arm, as doing so will rip the shoulder out. Simply twisting while keeping the attacker’s arm level will throw the attacker quite well.

Waki gatamae

The Side Pin. The Japanese name for the technique refers to an arm bar applied while the defender is standing to the attacker’s side. Tori first avoids the stab by sliding to the side. He simultaneously raises the attacker’s arm using a hand blade. He grabs the attacker’s arm and initially pulls him upward, breaking his balance. The attacker’s arm is then brought down and snugly placed in the crook of the right elbow for the pin. Key to the technique is grabbing and rotating the attacker’s forearm so as to lock out the elbow joint. Watch Tori’s left hand accomplish this trick.

Kote hineri

The Wrist Twist. This technique is very similar to Oshi Taoshi. Tori first slides back and to the left to avoid the stab. As he does so, he uses his right hand to grab the attacker’s stabbing hand. He twists the hand up and counter clockwise (if in Tori’s place and looking down at the wrist.) Doing so locks out the wrist joint and forces the attacker’s arm to twist. With a little more pressure, and help from his left hand, Tori causes this twist to carry on to the attacker’s torso. The attacker is easily pushed down, with the wrist lock being maintained all the way down to the ground.

Kote Gaeshi

The Wrist Fold. As demonstrated here, this is a counter to the previous technique, Kote Hineri. Tori slides back and to the left to avoid the stab. He grabs the attacker’s wrist and tries to twist it up and counter clockwise, as above. However, the attacker successfully resists this attempt by twisting his own wrist (viewed from his own position) clockwise. Doing so, however, leaves him open to Kote Gaeshi. Tori moves to his right, pulling the attacker off balance, and then continues that clockwise (from the attacker’s point of view!) turning of the wrist. This thoroughly breaks the attacker’s balance and throws him into a forward flyer fall. Notice that as done here, Kote Gaeshi is not a pain submission wrist hold. It is a balance breaking technique as execute here in this version of the technique.

Tenkai Kote hineri

The Rotating Wrist Twist. In the name of this technique, the Tenkai or rotating part refers to the defender’s having to turn 180 degrees while executing the technique. The hineri or twist part describes what is done to the attacker’s kote or wrist. Tori avoids the stab by sliding forward and to his left. As he does so, he grabs the stabbing arm with both hands, slips in next to the attacker’s torso, and then, keeping the attacker’s arm on his own center line, rotates 180 degrees to his left. Doing so twists the wrist and locks up the wrist and elbow joints. Tori then lifts the attacker’s arm upward to get him on his toes. Then he slides back and to his right as he yanks the attacker’s locked arm downward. The attacker is simultaneously pulled down and to the right, and is thrown to the ground.

Tenkai kote gaeshi

The Rotating Wrist Fold Again, the tenkai or rotating part of this technique’s name refers to the fact that the defender has to turn around while executing the technique. The gaeshi or folding part of the name describes what is done to the attacker’s wrist. This technique is also commonly referred to as “Shiho Nage”, which means “The Four Direction Throw”, a name also meant to describe the fact that the defender has to turn around (through 4 directions). Tori slides forward and to the right to avoid the stab. He grabs the attacker’s arm, and twists it to break the attacker’s balance. Then, keeping the arm in his own center, he turns around. As he does so, his right hand folds the attacker’s wrist back towards the attacker’s forearm. Pressure is applied forward and down for the throw.

Mae otoshi

The Forward Drop. This technique begins the same as the previous one, Tenkai Kote Gaeshi. Tori slides to the right and grabs the attacker’s arm with both hands. He then tries to raise the attacker’s arm up so as to get under it and do Tenkai Kote Gaeshi. The attacker, however, locks the elbow joint and frustrates the attempt. That however, allows Tori to slide his left arm up and under the attacker’s locked arm. Tori then gently levers down on that arm, breaking the attacker’s balance upward. It is then just a matter of stepping forward with the back left leg to provide the impetus to throw the attacker.

Sumi otoshi

The Corner Drop. To understand the name of the technique, imagine that Tori is in a rectangular room. At the end of the technique, he ends up throwing the attacker towards (from Tori’s starting position facing a wall) the front right corner of the room. Tori slides to the front and right to avoid the stab. He grabs the attacker firmly with both arms, pulls the attacker’s arm down and to the left to break his balance, and then gets the force to throw the attacker by stepping forward with the left foot and bending his knees, thus sinking his weight. The attacker’s arm is kept in Tori’s center throughout for maximum control.

Hiki otoshi

The Pulling Drop. This is very similar to Judo’s Ippon Seioi Nage, except that it is done just by manipulating the attacker’s arm. Tori slides forward and to the right to avoid the stab. As he does so he grabs the attacker’s wrist with his left hand. The right hand reaches under the attacker’s arm and grabs just above the elbow. Tori next pulls down toward the floor the attacker’s arm, while also simultaneously pulling towards his own belly the attacker’s elbow. This twisting motion applied to the elbow is what breaks the attacker’s balance sufficiently to throw him. Tori bends at the knees to sink his weight to throw the attacker.

Images courtesty of Swiss Shodokan Association.

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