Jose Andrade Sensei demonstrates Aikido defenses against kicks and groundwork


This is an interesting video in which Jose Andrade Sensei of the Aikido Tenshinkai of Florida presents a number of approached to defenses against kicks and groundwork, topics seldom covered in dojo training.

This is an interesting video in which Jose Andrade Sensei of the Aikido Tenshinkai of Florida presents a number of approached to defenses against kicks and groundwork, topics seldom covered in dojo training.

“This video illustrates a skilled aikidoka’s ability to keep one’s attention, heart and mind open to new encounters, unfolding possibilities, subtle adjustments and fluid adaptation to changing conditions. The resulting unification of mind, body and spirit is the essence of Morihei Ueshiba’s philosophy, values message and experience embodied in his Aikido. This non-dualistic state of mind is attained when rote technique and other training methods are transcended. The authentic aikidoka must individually discover the unexplained dimensions of the martial arts.”

Click here to watch Jose Andrade Sensei’s demonstration against kicks and groundwork on


  1. > kicks and groundwork, topics seldom covered in dojo training

    …and why not?

    First, to practice against kicks, you have to be able to kick. That
    actually is a pretty good idea, when you think about it. Once you have
    kicks it becomes obvious that they have to be in the general lines of
    tsuki or yokomen*. It also becomes obvious why they aren’t part of the
    normal repertory. They involve being stationary on one foot while the
    other foot delivers the blow. Stationary is not a main tenet of aikido.
    In fact it is almost anathema. Atemi with the hands can be delivered in
    motion which is much more customary for us. The low to high yokomen
    kicking line is unusual for us. It’s better, imo, to enter on the side
    opposite the kick then seize the off-side hand for some unbalancing
    purpose. Outside crescent kick is an exception and lends itself better
    to an irimi nage variation or maybe under-the-arm-sankyo on the forward
    side hand. The falls from kicks can be gnarly. So take it easy.

    Ground work, with the exception of pins and shime waza, why go there?
    It’s a long, hard process to win on the ground. Meantime you’re
    vulnerable to any of your opponent’s pals. To my way of thinking the
    appropriate groundwork is atemi or escape. Before you’re on the ground
    you either have to go there voluntarily or be taken down. Skip the
    first… unless you need to go there to secure a pin or strangle. If you
    choose to go to the ground, be sure you are unlikely to be surprised. In
    Bob Cornman’s purse snatch saga, to which I have alluded on occasion, he
    was down pinning the snatcher when the first of the snatcher’s backup
    whacked him in the head. Avoid the second case, being taken down. The
    only usual** exception would be if you’ve been disabled so you can no
    longer stand. In that case, consider biting ankles. Wrestling and judo
    ground work both use the legs a lot. If one or more legs is out of
    commission… Even if you use sutemi-waza the plan is not to stay down.

    * Hapkido has a shomen, the hammer kick, but it isn’t easy and I suspect
    it’s rarely practical.
    ** Takeda Sensei is reputed to have gone to ground in a night sword
    fight and inflicted significant damage below the waists of the other

  2. John says:
    Posted August 17, 2013 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    I like the video, and the instructors are very good. I can see going to a Judo style pin if an Aikido pin fails, but I wouldn’t bail on a kotegaeshi pin to go to kesa gatame like this video shows in the second technique. I stay upright if I can. But, I came from the bald prairie and this association is from Vietnam. Maybe the environment is the difference. I assume there is some Brazilian jiujitsu influence here.

  3. paul says:
    Posted August 18, 2013 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    It’s a good video it’s just that before the lock is applied the opponent is tapping out already, “it hasn’t even been applied yet” which actually makes the whole sequence look untidy.

  4. Nick Hentschel says:
    Posted August 18, 2013 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    I’d be curious to hear more about the source for these techniques, inspiring as they are: are they from formal aikido manuals or curriculi, or are they freestyle techniques simply compatible WITH aikido? In a combat situation, either is certainly valid, but understanding the difference would give us some pointers as to where to take our own training.

    Also, it would be courteous to hear more about Andrade-sensei, himself, in the text, especially as it might address the above questions.

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