View Full Version : Jujitsu Clinch attack.

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04-27-2006, 11:59 AM
In video footage you see many of OSensei's attackers aim to clinch him like modern day groung fighters, and you always see him flatten them with KI extention into the ground. Yet I have never incounetered a name for this attack in the Aiki nomenclature nor is it tought as far as i can surmise in my experience. In my school we practice against this with Kaiten nage and Kokyu nages as well as HijiGaruma ( cradel pin). But not the simple Otoshi I see O'Sensei performing. any comments.

04-27-2006, 12:00 PM
Encountered among my spelling mistakes...

04-27-2006, 05:15 PM
A link to said video footage would help...

Lucy Smith
04-27-2006, 09:43 PM
A link to said video footage would help...


Where did u get O'Sensei's videos??? :confused:

04-28-2006, 12:53 AM

Where did u get O'Sensei's videos??? :confused:

Aikido Journal, there used to be 6 of them, although I believe they have been transferred to DVD now.



04-28-2006, 07:48 AM
Watch the UFC Chuck Lidell and his takedown defense. He's very Aiki. Lets attacker extend and then step out of the way.

Kevin Leavitt
04-28-2006, 10:48 AM
as the principles of aikido or universal in nature...they apply in every properly executed UFC technique! :)

Kevin Leavitt
04-28-2006, 10:49 AM
that is the physical principles of aikido...not necessarily the philosophical or spiritual. There is a distinction.

04-28-2006, 01:16 PM
But whose definition of "philosophical" or "spiritual" are we going by? That's also going to be a distinction . . .

Kevin Leavitt
04-28-2006, 03:54 PM
Agreed. I think though, that there are "generally accepted" principles of aikido. i.e. resolving conflict with the least force possible, the whole harmony thing etc...

That would be an interesting thread though. "what are the Generally accepted principles of aikido?"

04-30-2006, 11:32 AM
Thanks everyone but i think you missed my question.
What is the name of the Attack in Japanese for a Clinch to the center, I call it Kata-Aiki-Tori for now, but it never was taught further it seams. Yes I can defend against it with Kaiten nage Like Liddel but i am not as big so it is a little more tenkan. I need a name. I have students who were afraid of this attack so i showed them the ki process for Maai and tenkan as well as specific techniques, but to name the attack is where i need the help, Domo...

Keith R Lee
04-30-2006, 02:08 PM
I know Kevin and I have talked about it in another thread, but I, and the vast majority of people who train in full resistance, "live" envivronments, maintain that you're got three "high-percentage" options against a shoot: sprawl, whizzer, and knees to the head (in descending order of effectiveness). Not saying that something else couldn't work, but that everything else is of such low percentage that it's not worth the bother. There's no real need to re-invent the wheel when people outside of Japanese budo have been dealing with this type of attack for thousands of years and they all came to the same conclusion: sprawl or whizzer. With the advent of MMA we can add knees to the head (which was really stolen from Muay Thai).

I'm not saying that you couldn't do something else, and that it might work on someone. However, problems generally seem to arise in a "live" environment when anything other than three techniques I described are applied.

Also for the record, as it kinda bothers me, when a figher/wrestler/sambo/BJJ/judo guy shoots an arm underneath their opponent's arm, it's an underhook, not kaitenage. I know it looks similar, but the two are really very different in terms of body movement and underlying principles.

Kevin Leavitt
04-30-2006, 05:58 PM
Bill sorry to evade your question. I am not sure as I cannot see what you are talking about. I don't believe I have practiced anything like that in my aikido training. If I am picturing it correctly, I believe most aikido schools might avoid this type of attack if it is a two handed attack moving into a clinch. I don't think the dynamic I am picturing in my head moving through closing the distance with a two handed attack works.

Shoots, closing the distance to the clinch the like are based on timing and positioning. The way it is commonly practiced assumes away weapons and requires nage to be "immobile" at the time of the "lock up". In my mind, this does not convey the principles of aikido.

I am always amazed in my classes when I do grab a weapon how much that changes the dynamic of the attack. Irimi and tenkan become much more relevant and important. Guys don't indiscriminately attack or shoot.

A bunch of "hip throw" set ups come to mind. The set up for a hip throw can be a single of double underarm hook. If it is two handed in nature, the word, the word ryote may come into play.

How exactly are you attacking again? Two hands straight in, shomen, yokomen? Attacks are pretty basic actually.

I personally distingush things. Shooting, and clinching are NOT attacks. Neither is a wrist grab. They are SET UPS for attacks, or apart of the process, but they are not the attack. An Attack would be Shomen, Yokomen, Knife, Rear Naked Choke, Kick, Punch...something that has the ability to kill, hurt or disable. Shooting, clinching, irimi, tenkan are all movements.

Might help to look at your "attack" more closely and see what is going on. Irimi, Tenkan, then a grab, strike, off balancing...or what not. Then you can put it all back together and figure out how to name it, or maybe isolate the actual attack from the whole.

Hope this helps some!

04-30-2006, 06:20 PM
Yes, Bill, show us what you're talking about... also, I think having and wanting a "name" for such a "technique" is about as far from "aikido" as you can get. Why not describe the principles involved, rather than treat it as a form of response to a specific type of movement?

05-04-2006, 02:09 PM
yes it is a movement to a set up and not the specific attack. In aikido we often simulate it with the ushiro tekubi tori movement but it is close to what in judo is called the ura nage ( yes back throw), but the position is the "shikaku", but any one who has watched the videos can see what i mean, even 6 at one time on several occations. like i said i usually use MAai principle then kaiten nage or an otoshi movment to try to break the hold. well thanks any way

05-04-2006, 02:10 PM
by videos i mean O Sensei's

05-05-2006, 03:27 PM

I've wrestled, done judo, jujitsu and aikido, and i'm confused. by 'clinch' do you mean being behind nage and grabbing them around the middle? or do you mean standing in front and grabbing them around the middle?

I disagree that these are not attacks: from behind squeeze until a rib penetrates the liver. from the front lift and drop opponent on head pushing through and breaking the neck. since i'm on this nasty theme - one defense from the front attack is to rip the attacker's ear off.

in harmony - dave :)

05-05-2006, 07:28 PM
Hi David
Can you quantify for me how many times you've
a) punctured people's livers with their rib
b) broken peoples neck
c) ripped an ear off.

If the answer to any of these questions is zero - how do you know it works?

05-07-2006, 12:34 PM

My response deserves a serious question from a serious student:

I know they work for the same reason we know any techniques work. We try them, or an approximation.

Fortunately for me, when my jujitsu instructor squeezed from behind, and i felt my ribs leaving their normal place, and before i stopped breathing, i tapped out - ribs puncture organs frequently in crushing accidents. I will change the frontal attack from breaking neck to something more direct - displacing the lumbar spine - one must tap out quickly as the pain gets excessive if its done right.

My instructor scissored his wrists to apply tremendous pressure to my ribs or spine, the same way a choke works - not by main force, but by leverage in the hands and wrists, and torquing of the whole body.

Many koshi techniques were originally lethal - throw uke on face and use body weight to break neck. As for the ear - try it. Pull on your own ear. How much force would it take to tear it from your head, or to tear your mouth at the corner?

Jujitsu is nasty stuff. If I seem crazy, or full of crap, just ignore me. I'm really trying to think about practical survival, which is what 'jujitsu' means to me - it is the brutal root form of aikido and judo.


PS. - what do you mean by 'clinch'? still confused.

Kevin Leavitt
05-07-2006, 12:48 PM
Sorry David, I am with Michael on this one.

I don't know the physics behind all this, but I find it highly unlikely that you'd find someone strong enough to exert enough pounds per square inch to crush someone enough to puncture a liver with a rib!

Dropping someone on their neck...maybe, it happens, but again you must control quite a bit to make that happen, usually is the result of chance more than actual intent.

Ripping an ear off. No, you see the neck moves with the head so it absorbs the pulling you are doing, unless you have imobilized the head/hips of the individual, which at that point, you have dominance, so you would be better at doing something else at that point that is much more effective than tugging on his ear and pissing him off. Not a tactically sound strategy in my book.

No doubt your instructor has inflicted pain on you from various holds etc. They are painful if you get things positioned just the way you like them.

If you are really honestly thinking of practical survival, you don't worry about these types of things.

You attempt to control the situation, acheive dominance, and remove yourself from the situation as quickly as possible.

The reason you practice things like clinching and the rear naked choke is that they do work and have been proven. Why sit there and try and break someones neck or puncture their liver if you can choke them unconscious in about 30 seconds or less?

05-07-2006, 01:09 PM
thanks for the support Kevin :-)

Dave one of the big problems I see in traditional arts is acceptance of what we are told without critical thought. We can widen the critereia beyond "what have you expereinced" to "has anyone you personally know experienced it" if you like.
Generally speaking we are told this stuff by instructors we respect and take it on face value. Which means when we feel some discomfort we assume that's a precursor to the devestating damage we've been told about. But upon further investigation (or even rational thought) we discover that our instructors haven't experienced it either. They took it on face value from someone they respected who probably never experienced and on it goes. Sometimes we're told they know someone who has but it turns out that no, that person knows someone else who has done it. Sound familiar? This is the stuff urban legends are made of.

You see I know chokes work because I've put people to sleep with them. I've never broken an arm or dislocated a shoulder but I know those particular techniques work because I've seen countless clips of them doing exactly that and spoken with many people who have done it themselves - first hand.

I hope you weren't implying my response wasn't serious, or that I am not a serious student. I take my study of martial arts very seriously which is why I've started to take a sceptics approach to many things that are not validated. And I have to say that I'd be surprised if a clinch could generate the same amount of force as a car accident to puncture a liver. As Kevin says, if the stuff you're talking about is even theoretically possibly, I believe it is so low percentage you're better off training other responses.


Kevin Leavitt
05-07-2006, 02:02 PM
This may not be the best or most direct example...but it falls in the same line of "cognitive dissonance theory". I think Martial arts in general suffer from this phenomenon.

Check out the following link for more info on the topic.


05-07-2006, 02:23 PM
I agree that itis likely some form of cognitive dissonance that makes us suspend our scepticism (and I'm not for a moment going to pretend I've been immune to the phenomenum )

05-07-2006, 03:30 PM
Michael and Kevin,

I respect you both and my being 'tongue in cheek' about violence shoule be taken at face value. No slight was intended.

Skepticism is good, doubt is fertile ground.

Bear hug - Grip uke from behind. Interlock hands, not fingers. Use coordinated scissors action with wrists - focus energy on only one rib - at this point the hug is not gently placed around the middle but pulls the ribs angular to their normal (breathing) direction of travel. Uke can not resist being pulled off their feet as you rock their balance backwards - from here the neck break is possible.

Ripping an ear off is simply a matter of exceeding the elastic capacity of the tissue. I'll let this argument go in favor of suggesting poking an index finger in an eye.

Any skepticism on the effectiveness of that?



Kevin Leavitt
05-07-2006, 04:45 PM
Nope Michael, nobody is immune from it!

No problem David. You are free to believe what you want to believe! I respect that for sure!

I simply tend to base my training and beliefs on things that I know work and have been proven to be effective.

I am not saying that what you propose is not possible, it is possible. Just, not what I or Michael believe are a "high percentage" enough to be effective to be worth spending time on. That is all.

It is possible to put a hole in the bullseye of a target blindfolded, but you wouldn't want to do that if you had a choice or another way of doing it if your life depended on it.

05-07-2006, 06:32 PM


Can you or anyone clarify the attack mentioned in the original post?


05-08-2006, 02:55 PM
Pardon the double post.

At the risk of sounding dumb - were you guys having me on, or do you really think being grabbed around the middle (whatever the Japanese is for it) is a benign attack?


Kevin Leavitt
05-08-2006, 03:27 PM
I wouldn't use the word benign.

It is probably semantics, but I break things down a little differently.

A clinch in itself is a controlling technique to achieve dominance. I separate it from an attack as it's main role is to control.

An attack would be a strike with object or hand, kick, choke, gouge, knife or other object with the intent to slice, cut, stab.

In principle you must acheive some form of dominance in order to launch an successful attack. An effective attack cannot be acheived without dominance, so in that respect they are linked and hence, it is not benign necesssarily.

In aikido, we typically control dominance through ma'ai or distance using irimi/tenkan for the basis to move and to counter/establish dominance.

In BJJ and many MMA, you use the same thing, cept you typically assume Ma'ai/distance is much closer, hence the clinch. Same concepts and principles apply, you just have to use your center in much smaller and different ways to acheive/regain dominance.

Simply two different fighting ranges, that is all.

05-08-2006, 03:47 PM

Thank you.

I appreciate the 'staying out of trouble' approach. But when the wrestler grabs you around the middle -he really can displace your spine, break your ribs and/or neck. From the behind grab the move is very simple - one leans backward, arches, and falls - guiding all the energy into uke's head and breaking his neck - wrestler's call this a 'souffle' in the states - and they usually don't guide the energy through the head, but through the shoulders.

One of the 'chokes' we learned was not really about asphyxiation. Using the scissors pressure I described we displaced the neck vertebrae of the opponent - a submission hold, lethal if you didn't ease up - I always eased up.

I know these techniques will kill because it is implied in the technique - axiomatically if you like, even if not carried through. I've never killed anyone, not with hands, gun, knife, or automobile. But I know these things can kill.

I respectfully submit I'm surprised that you feel tearing the flesh of an attacker's face is not 'practical'. What is more practical than that if faced with someone trying to kill you?


05-08-2006, 05:00 PM
I respectfully submit I'm surprised that you feel tearing the flesh of an attacker's face is not 'practical'. What is more practical than that if faced with someone trying to kill you?dave
Break them, or switch them off. In other words snap a joint or choke then to unconsciousness "Flesh tearing" -even if you can manage it (and that is an if) will not necessarily stop a motivated attacker.

The suplex is something to be concerned about absolutely. But done from behind usually. From in front if a wrestler grabs you - pressure on the ribs is the least of your troubles. You're about to be rudely thrown to the ground and pounded on which is the real danger.

Dave you seen to think we are objecting because we hold your solutions to be excessively brutal or violent. Not at all. we are simply saying there are more reliable responses to then attacks.

Kevin Leavitt
05-08-2006, 11:09 PM

It is called a "supplex" not a souffle. If we are talking about the same thing, which from your description, sounds like we are. Souffle is french word for an egg dish typically. :)

Anyway, supplexes are allowed in wrestling. Why? because they don't really hurt anyone, or the chance for injury is minimal. One of my students was supplexed by a All Air Force Wrestler in a submission tournament the other day in which there was "no rules" other than striking or kicking. No one was ever worried about him breaking his neck.

Oh we did disallow twisting ankle/knee locks and neck cranks in the beginners categories.

I point this out, because most grappling matches also try to eliminate that which is truly dangerous to participants for submissions.

"the squeeze around the middle" was not eliminated.

Can it happen? No question about it. Often....no. More the result of a bad position or accident rather than intent.

This weekend I submitted a guy with an eziekel choke. I saw Rear Naked chokes, I was submitted by an Omaplata, and an Arm bar...out of about 40 fights, I never saw anyone submit from a squeeze from a bear hug, or risk having their neck broken....oh yea...we also allowed slamming. You should see my face where I was slammed with elbows. Never once was I worried about my neck.

Tearing flesh is a waste of time. It pisses guys off and keeps you occupied doing something that is not immoblizing or dominating. Pressure points and eye gouges and vital areas are all good set ups to distract your opponent in a real fight...but they are not means to an end, simply a distractor to divert attention to your true attack. They can buy time possibly.

Skilled guys though will avoid them many times. I do, I am trying to control the emotional state of my opponent and mostly want him to calm down, relax, and not thrash about. Poking someone in the eye can increase his emotional state and give him an adrenalin dump which may not work in your favor.

The Gun analogy, not the same. Why? we have documented proof from the examples of others that guns, knifes, etc work if applied on a fully non-compliant person on a fairly predictable and consistent basis. I have proof that certain grappling techniques work on a fully non-compliant person as I have done them.

I can only tell you that I have never seen what you describe be effective on a predictable and consistent level.

I or "we" are not saying it is not possible. Simply that it is not commonly done or been proven to be repeatable to a degree that would warrant teaching to the common person. Paradiqms are broken everyday! It is quite possible that you are correct and that I am missing out of something.

The only thing I could tell you is to go to a submission fighting/grappling tournament and start submitting people with this move...they will tap once the pressure becomes too much. After a few wins, people will start to notice.

If any technique appears too dangerous...they will disallow it.

Good luck!

05-08-2006, 11:47 PM
. Pressure points and eye gouges and vital areas are all good set ups to distract your opponent in a real fight...but they are not means to an end, simply a distractor to divert attention to your true attack. They can buy time possibly.

I'm with you on pressure points, I've never had anyone use them on me effectively. On the topic of eye gouges I don't know about the rate of effectiveness myself as I don't like causing people permanent injury but my friend was eye gouged in a fight once and in his words it was all over. This guy seriously wanted his eyes. He was lucky the police got to the scene and got the other guy off him.

John Perkins of Attack Proof is also a advocate of eye gouges as aself defense but he says that you've got to be fully ready to take their eyes, not just poke them as a time buyer, but really go for it like a savage.

There's a guy over here in Australia who founds his whole art on rips, tears and gouges to the face. It's not my thing, but he reckons it's highly effective against motivated attackers. His focus isn't on "finishing" someone though as in getting away.

05-09-2006, 08:16 AM

Thanks. I knew someone out there would get what I was talking about. There is a difference between MMA - which are way too rough for me thanks!, and being savaged suddenly in the dark.

Incidentally, if you're in a bear hug, you are lucky to have one hand free, and it can't reach far.....how do you survive? Take the eye and run for all you're worth. I hate that I am so easily able to think this way - but I've been the one in the dark.

The sun is up now though, and I am going to think about irimi tenkan.


05-09-2006, 12:22 PM

The only thing I could tell you is to go to a submission fighting/grappling tournament and start submitting people with this move...they will tap once the pressure becomes too much. After a few wins, people will start to notice.

If any technique appears too dangerous...they will disallow it.

Good luck!

Not that it is the same thing as a bear hug, but the body triangle (Do-jime) is a legit move and is banned in judo competition (You can do it, but you can not apply preasure). I think it is legal in bjj competition (i've never seen it explicitly banned). I have been tapped by a body triangle while rolling, however this is done with the legs and not the arms. Its really simple, triangle the legs around the chest and as they exhale you squeeze it in a little tighter. My ribs hurt for about a week after getting tapped that way. Of course this is different then a clinch attack/bear hug (I wouldnt' call a bear hug a clinch, but that is just me).