Video in response to “The Biggest Mistake in Kotegaeshi” by Patrick Augé

Quantity:

On July 24, 2013, Stanley Pranin published a video describing what in his opinion is a major error commonly seen in the application of aikido’s kotegaeshi, a wrist turn throw. Patrick Augé Sensei of Yoseikan Budo based in Torrance, California prepared this video response titled “Aikido Kotegaeshi Theory” in which he explains different approaches to kotegaeshi from the Yoseikan Budo perspective.

On July 24, 2013, Stanley Pranin published a video describing what in his opinion is a major error commonly seen in the application of aikido’s kotegaeshi, a wrist turn throw. Patrick Augé Sensei of Yoseikan Budo based in Torrance, California prepared this video response titled “Aikido Kotegaeshi Theory” in which he explains different approaches to kotegaeshi from the Yoseikan Budo perspective.

This is Stanley Pranin’s original video on kotegaeshi:

In addition, the topic of kotegaeshi and the way it is performed has also engendered an active discussion on Facebook. Here are a couple of comments culled from this discussions:

David DeLong: The way I see kotegaeshi is that it’s one of the few places where we create a sharp corner, and we stop uke from wandering around the corner with the atemi, or more broadly the precise body position that enables the atemi or is expressed by the potential for the atemi. Then we’re in a position to disappear behind uke with his wrist. The frontal kotegaeshis are based on the relative motion of uke and nage and depend on proper distance and angle. They’re still based on the same bio-mechanical principal as the basic, with a different context of motion involved. Just like all “applied techniques”.

David Valadez: An interesting extension of Stanley Pranin’s point on Kote-gaeshi is that it can be made almost every place you see that fancy contemporary front-break fall. Meaning, you can see the same problem in many popular versions of Irimi Nage, Shiho-Nage, Sumi-Otoshi, etc. I remembered commenting on AikiWeb once that I hated “beautiful” ukemi, that it was ruining the art. It caused quite a discussion, but this opening here is totally related to me. It’s an opening that totally gives uke back his/her balance, and it is the returning of that balance that gives the beautiful uke his/her chance to go flying through the air in the way I described above. Only Aikido’s uke’s use that regained balance to make themselves launchable. All other parties use it to counter and to attack. Beautiful ukes are ruining the art.

Click here to watch “Aikido Kotegaeshi Theory” on youtube.com

Free

7 Comments
  1. If you have to counter uke with a different throw (the sacrifice throw demonstrated) from what you were originally attempting to execute, then your technique has already failed.

  2. Doug Ebeltoft says:
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Patrick Augé for the informative video.
    I can’t wait to practice the more advanced way you showed. It is definitely much quicker, or I should say more direct. As you mentioned, experienced opponents can counter any technique, which means that I need to get a repertoire of follow up techniques when kotagaeshi (the basic or advanced form) is countered.

  3. Failing is missing and staying there.

    Criticism coming from the heart contributes to evolution.

  4. Sheila Barksdale says:
    Posted August 20, 2013 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Interesting that the previous item features Shoji Nishio Sensei’s study of the sword in order to further his understanding of empty hand techniques. If you look at Volume 9 of the DVD advertised for sale there is an Aiki Toho kata called ‘Tsukekomi’ which correlates to kotegaeshi. The final sword cut is a TSUKI!. ‘Gaeshi’ means ‘reversal’ or ‘turnback’. So uke’s wrist should not be twisted out to the side but it should be turned back towards his torso as if you were performing a tsuki with your sword. ‘Hineri’ is the word for twist and it is sankyo which involves a wrist/forearm twist. Leaving aside atemi for the moment, see how far you get trying to do a kotegaeshi by just twisting the wrist of a hefty karate guy – he can just suck it up and stand there unmoved! I had great difficulty learning kotegaeshi until I improved my use of kuzushi. I now use uke’s wrist to make a miniature shape like a fern uncurling (actually the widening spiral of the narrow end of the yin/yang teardrop shape). The act of keeping uke’s wrist in front of your hara as you turn your body away from him has the effect of making him feeling he is being pulled towards you, his mind naturally resents this state of affairs and he instinctively starts to withdraw his hand. You accelerate the pathway of this withdrawal with a tsuki motion and hey presto, he crumples to the ground.

    We are very privileged here in our dojo (Aikido of Gainesville) to have the benefit of Tom Huffman Sensei’s meticulous teaching of Nishio Sensei’s style where he demystifies the relationships between Aiki Toho and empty hand techniques.

  5. Sheila, you are correct: kotegaeshi is a wrist bend and not a twist. However we have two forms of kotegaeshi:

    -nami kotegaeshi: ordinary wristbend, or the basic form;
    -nejiri kotegaeshi: bend-then-twist kotegaeshi, a form used after bending uke’s wrist like in nami kotegaeshi.

    More important than the way to manipulate joints is tori’s body-limbs alignment towards uke’s direction of kuzushi, the use of his (tori’s) back leg to draw power from the ground combined with the rotation of the hips as in a gyaku zuki.

    This blog has brought many questions among our students and I hope that many aikido teachers and students will be stimulated to question and review the way they do their techniques.

    Thank you Mr. Pranin for taking this initiative and thank you to all of you who take the time to think and express your opinions.

    Patrick Augé

  6. Minoru, a white belt says:
    Posted January 26, 2014 at 1:18 am | Permalink

    On looking at the Kotégaéshi (for beginners)executed by Augé sensei, we cannot see any effect of Kuzushi on his Uké, while we’ve heard “In aikido, your initial movement must succeed in unbalancing your partner.”

    The waza, Kotégaéshi, is it an exception to the general rule ?

  7. sheila barksdale says:
    Posted July 1, 2014 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    I’m grateful to Patrick Auge Sensei for introducing to me a new word – ‘nejiri’ and to his drawing attention to the back foot drawing power from the ground and rotating the hips. I have just returned from a seminar where the guest sensei, Hoa Newens, very clearly emphasized this spiraling-up from-the-ground pathway.

    One problem I have come up against is a sneaky uke we have in our dojo who anticipates what I am going to do as nage and does a kind of bicep curl so he doesn’t go to the mat. With the ura form, I discovered I have to pay attention to start turning back his wrist BEFORE I start my own hip rotation so I am starting to take his balance while his arm is out to the side where it is weaker, being out of his ‘power zone’.

    He is over 6ft tall with unusually long arms and I have also discovered that for the ura technique, if I go ‘toe to toe’ (putting my foot right next to his as I tenkan into a horse stance), this is not sufficiently effective to draw his arm out and it’s better to place my foot 6 inches away from his. The only trouble with this in the scenario of a street attacker, is that by the time you’ve realized your assailant has exceptionally long arms, you have made your foot placement. The horse stance is notably stable but at the cost of losing speed,and to add an extra stage of withdrawing your own foot another 6 inches means you lose the advantage of that stability and balance. Maybe you just make this adjustment anyway and don’t expect perfection?

    Incidentally, on driving home from that seminar, I admired the speed warning sign on a spiraled exit ramp which showed a loaded truck toppling to one side: it reminded me of the importance of good posture and staying upright!

Related Products