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Old 10-09-2011, 01:06 PM   #1
alexwi
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Soft vs hard (correct?) kote gaeshi?

Hi all,

While reading the (very nice) book "The Structure of AIKIDO" by Gaku Homma, I stumbled upon a note on kote gaeshi (pag. 50 if you have the book), in which it is explained that twisting the wrist away from your partner's body, he or she can react with a break fall, or even an attach e.g. with a high round kick.

Doing it the correct way on the other hand i.e. twisting the hand (wrist) toward the body of your partner, it is actually very difficult for Uke to make a brak fall.

So, does it mean we are taught kote gaeshi in a soft form, exactly for the purpose of not injurying our Aikido partners (and for the sake of being able to practice it), as a real "correct" kote gaeshi would very likely break Uke's wrist?

Cheers,

Alex
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Old 10-09-2011, 01:10 PM   #2
grondahl
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Re: Soft vs hard (correct?) kote gaeshi?

Quote:
Alex Wilde wrote: View Post

While reading the (very nice) book "The Structure of AIKIDO" by Gaku Homma, I stumbled upon a note on kote gaeshi (pag. 50 if you have the book), in which it is explained that twisting the wrist away from your partner's body, he or she can react with a break fall, or even an attach e.g. with a high round kick.

Doing it the correct way on the other hand i.e. twisting the hand (wrist) toward the body of your partner, it is actually very difficult for Uke to make a brak fall.

So, does it mean we are taught kote gaeshi in a soft form, exactly for the purpose of not injurying our Aikido partners (and for the sake of being able to practice it), as a real "correct" kote gaeshi would very likely break Uke's wrist?
Why do you think that the version that Homma describes as correct is harder than the other? My experience is the exact opposite, the correct version drops you down and is more or less pain free but the version where you expect uke to take a breakfall is quite painful (if you donīt take the required ukemi).
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Old 10-09-2011, 01:20 PM   #3
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Soft vs hard (correct?) kote gaeshi?

The "correct" kotegaeshi is the one that puts uke on the ground, regardeless if he wants or not, because his balance is broken, without giving openings to counters or escapes and without relying on pain compliance.

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Old 10-09-2011, 01:58 PM   #4
alexwi
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Re: Soft vs hard (correct?) kote gaeshi?

Well both ways take Uke to the ground....

Apart from Uke being able to "counter attack", I understood from the description that

"not being able to break fall" = "not being able to reduce the wrist torsion", hence the possible breaking of it...

The (few) times I practiced kote gaeshi, it was always done the soft form i.e. I could go down to the mat and spin somehow, without any major pain/problems...

Maybe the "hard" form is correct, AND in fact can be ukemi(ed)?
As a beginner, here I am probably asking this question in fact
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Old 10-09-2011, 03:33 PM   #5
Janet Rosen
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Re: Soft vs hard (correct?) kote gaeshi?

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
The "correct" kotegaeshi is the one that puts uke on the ground, regardeless if he wants or not, because his balance is broken, without giving openings to counters or escapes and without relying on pain compliance.
Agree 100% !
There is no right way based on turning the wrist this way or that, and many of us think the wrist is sort of besides the point... there ARE dojo-specific conventions on what constitutes proper form for basics, for ranking, and essentially for each dojo the footwork, the wrist stuff and the ukemi to take.

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Old 10-09-2011, 03:52 PM   #6
alexwi
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Re: Soft vs hard (correct?) kote gaeshi?

How to put Uke down, with no possible resistance/counter attack, AND without snapping the wrist/inflicting pain, is just what i was wondering...

From the note in the book I understood it is very difficult (for Uke...)
Or was it just referring to break falls, vs proper ukemi rolling somehow (somersault like)?

Again, bear with me, I am a beginner
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Old 10-09-2011, 05:10 PM   #7
Jonathan
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Re: Soft vs hard (correct?) kote gaeshi?

Quote:
Agree 100% !
There is no right way based on turning the wrist this way or that, and many of us think the wrist is sort of besides the point...
Um, I'm not so sure...If I go completely from my own personal experience, I would have to disagree. I have had forms of kotegaeshi applied to me that were completely ineffective and other forms that were just the opposite. I have never had an effective kotegaeshi done to me without a wrist twist. I have had people try to substitute a cut of the arm at the elbow or a strong pull from my dogi sleeve for the wrist twist but on these occasions the result was not anywhere near as effective as kotegaeshi done with a wrist twist. I find also that forms of kotegaeshi that stretch out my arm rather than bending it at least somewhat back on itself are extremely vulnerable to kaeshi waza.

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Old 10-09-2011, 05:18 PM   #8
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: Soft vs hard (correct?) kote gaeshi?

Quote:
Alex Wilde wrote: View Post
How to put Uke down, with no possible resistance/counter attack, AND without snapping the wrist/inflicting pain, is just what i was wondering...

From the note in the book I understood it is very difficult (for Uke...)
Or was it just referring to break falls, vs proper ukemi rolling somehow (somersault like)?

Again, bear with me, I am a beginner
Why don't you ask this in training? I don't think forums will help all that much in learning this and I don't think there is any other way to learn this than by practising in partner training, breaking your partner's balance, moving out of harm's way, etcetera.
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Old 10-09-2011, 05:30 PM   #9
kewms
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Re: Soft vs hard (correct?) kote gaeshi?

I agree with those who say that focusing on the wrist misses the point.

If you fail to control uke's center, he *will* be able to reverse and/or counter attack, regardless of whether you turn the wrist inward or outward.

Katherine
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Old 10-09-2011, 05:48 PM   #10
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Soft vs hard (correct?) kote gaeshi?

Quote:
Alex Wilde wrote: View Post
How to put Uke down, with no possible resistance/counter attack, AND without snapping the wrist/inflicting pain, is just what i was wondering...
All things being equal, with more "rolling" than "twisting".

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Old 10-09-2011, 06:37 PM   #11
graham christian
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Re: Soft vs hard (correct?) kote gaeshi?

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
All things being equal, with more "rolling" than "twisting".
I like that.

Regards.G.
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:30 AM   #12
robin_jet_alt
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Re: Soft vs hard (correct?) kote gaeshi?

Okay, I have seen a few major variations of Kotegaeshi. I think the two that you are referring to are:

1. you move to the side of uke and use a downward motion to apply kotegaeshi. If you were holding a sword, you would be cutting the back of uke's leg.

2. you move in front of uke and tenkan. This tenkan puts a twist on the wrist, which you move downwards in an ark as you tenkan.

I personally find both to be effective in different circumstances. I have seen footage of O-sensei doing both. I don't think either is necessarily softer than the other. Both can be applied in a relatively hard or soft manner. My advice is to learn to do both of them well, and make up your own mind.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:51 AM   #13
Richard Stevens
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Re: Soft vs hard (correct?) kote gaeshi?

The "soft" version of kotegaeshi described in the original post is the method we use (Hakko-Ryu Jujutsu). Both of our thumbs are on top uke's hand and we press it straight back and down to a point directly next to their foot. We turn uke's wrist out slightly and never bring it above our waist.

This method avoids any permanent injury and you can apply it at full speed and with a good deal of force. It occurs pretty quickly as well so uke never has the opportunity to do a big breakfall out of it.

Our method is similar to a method of kotegaeshi I've seen performed at an Aikikai dojo, but they used the palm of one of their hands pressed on top of uke's hand with the other controlling their wrist.
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Old 10-10-2011, 11:08 AM   #14
chillzATL
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Re: Soft vs hard (correct?) kote gaeshi?

What's the purpose of kote gaeshi?

1. snap a wrist by twisting it out

or

2. give yourself a good connection to uke by tightening up (taking the slack out) the tissues of their arm?

IMO, #2, clearly.

Twisting the wrist out doesn't really do much to tighten things up anywhere but right at the wrist and even then it's easy to turn your elbow in to avoid that.

Folding the fingers back towards the wrist does tighten up the arm and makes a usable connection. Against the average unconnected person it will usually cause them to dip their shoulder as well, but that's neither here nor there.

pushing with thumbs = no thanks. YMMV.
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:30 PM   #15
Shadowfax
 
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Re: Soft vs hard (correct?) kote gaeshi?

Based on my limited experience and growing understanding...

There are about as many right ways to do kotegaeshi (or anything really) as there are people teaching it.

The right way is the one that is effective on the person you are training with in the moment that you are in.
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Old 10-11-2011, 10:48 AM   #16
Gerardo Torres
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Re: Soft vs hard (correct?) kote gaeshi?

The best, most effective kotegaeshi I've felt was issued at an aikido camp... by a karate guy There was no "tenkan", no wrist crunching, no perceived pressure, no way for me to resist or fight back. Hmmm...
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:49 AM   #17
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Soft vs hard (correct?) kote gaeshi?

My opinion:
Wrist locks that function largely as attacks to the joint are beatable by anyone who does enough strengthening work that they can't be torqued on any more. Also, anyone who has done full contact work is used to dealing with impact and pain and is often quite able to take a wrist strain or even a break and stay up and knock you out with his other functioning limbs.

I think it is important to remember that our technique was originally about weapons. If you are trying to defend against someone with weapons it is far more important to have the attacker down and in a position that one can finish him, either with a pin, if the situation allows, or with a finishing strike(s) either with empty hand or with ones own weapon.

The best techniques are the ones that put the attacker on the ground and do not function because of pain or injury to some peripheral appendage but rather catch his center and take away his ability to continue his offense. In my own work, if it hurts, the energy of the technique is in the wrong place.

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Old 10-13-2011, 06:22 PM   #18
Rob Watson
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Re: Soft vs hard (correct?) kote gaeshi?

I like the one shown by the Yanagi folks. Uke has a sword and kote gaeshi in such a way as to cut ukes head off with his own sword. The wrist is left uninjured.

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Old 10-18-2011, 05:58 AM   #19
Alberto_Italiano
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Re: Soft vs hard (correct?) kote gaeshi?

Kotegaeshi is probably the only technique that I am relatively good at, aside form a couple of arm locks.

I have found my kotegaeshi is effective if I can manage to do all these things (which can be done, within less than 2 seconds)

1) incoming adversary limb: i will parry with the opposite arm and move the parried limb above my head so to place myself lateral to it.

2) incoming adversary limb, my same arm gets lifetd so to place my hand in front of my nose - as i move his arm around with my opposite arm (point 1) this would reduce the chances of making uke's hand slap right onto my nose in the process (which may happen frequently - please note that if uke is using a weapon, you may get slashed anyway: take your chances, because it's a fight.)
ps make it happen at times, it may be startling so you must get used to a sound slap right under your nose tip and yet keep your focus.

3) as I rotate ukes arm to place myself lateral, i tenkan slightly.

4) i find now myself with my opposite arm, which parried, placed on his hand (also if you parry on his armpit, as you rotate uke's arm your hand will slide along it). My other arm whose hand was placed under my nose is now on uke's arm too because i tenkan(ed) to get lateral, my elbow pointed against his face (yeah, in a real situation you could hit him in the face with your elbow too, if necessary - not to harm, but to make him more unbalanced: say you did an atemi with your elbow?).

5) With your body, step a bit forward so to push uke a bit with your chest to be sure you're making his balance unsteady as you hold his hand with the opposite arm that parried.

6) in the meanwhile your other arm slides along uke's arm, and sliding you end up catching his wrist with that hand also.

7) now, by all accounts, once grabbed his had with both your hands rotate upward his hand. To do this it may also happen that you raise his arm (although in some settings rotating uke's arm in order to make a kotegaeshi is something not to do because it just gives to him more opportunities to hit you with his other hand - he has two, you know- , in this case you're actually placing his arm, by lifting it, in the way of his other hand making thus nearly impossibile for him to hit you)

8) down with the kotegaeshi - sharp and merciless movement (you will see that at this point, doing this, you will also naturally "tenkan"in the other direction, slightly at least) and both hands must contribute, the one on the wrist to push it towards your hip, the other hand to apply pressure. Normally at this point I don't conclude, there is no reason to throw once you know that the throw will fatally ensue (keep in mind that an effective kotegaeshi may make uke land on his neck...)

ps: uke keeps his wrist terribly rigid. Go ahead with point 8 anyway! You will throw him even if you feel less confident about it!

It is a terrible technique, which may fail, normally, only in one circumstance: that you are the one who is fearing it, feeling its power and the amount of self-confidence it demands, whilst it ought to be uke to be worried about it, not you... yet it happens that it is oftentimes you who is afraid.

Last edited by Alberto_Italiano : 10-18-2011 at 06:13 AM.
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Old 10-18-2011, 07:44 AM   #20
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Soft vs hard (correct?) kote gaeshi?

When you pay close attention uke whispers exaclty how to do kote gaeshi in the moment.

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Old 11-02-2011, 03:48 PM   #21
edshockley
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Re: Soft vs hard (correct?) kote gaeshi?

John Stevens said, "There are no mistakes in Aikido." Several people in this thread have suggested that there is no one size fits all approach, no "best". Different arms, balance sensitivity, musculature and pain threshholds mean that any technique exists only in the moment of that attack. Success is measured not by throws and locks but by moving effectively in a way that delivers you from the danger. Whether uke falls or not isn't very important ultimately. When we focus on tachi waza and move in tandem with our attacker then whatever we have done will be deemed successful.
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Old 11-24-2011, 12:27 AM   #22
Aikironin21
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Re: Soft vs hard (correct?) kote gaeshi?

Has anyone experimented with not grabbing the hand or wrist during kotegaeshi, and trying to "throw" uke through mere connection of the palm of your hand to the back of uke's?

During a very flowing active session one day, I had an uke who attacked with quite a bit of intent, and energy. In our dojo, we start Kotegaeshi from a tsuki attack with the right hand by pivoting or tenkan and blending in at or slightly above the elbow with our left hand to uke's right arm.

Normally, at this point many would drop their left hand down to capture uke's right wrist. Since we are now facing the same direction as uke, we apply pressure to uke's elbow creating a kind of arm-bar, giving uke incentive to turn out of the bar by facing us.

At this time, we drop center down taking uke's balance. Uke, is already easy to knock over at this point. As uke attempts to right himself, we cover his right hand with our right rolling his his palm to face him.

As he continues to right himself, we don't raise his hand up, but keep it at about our hara. His attempt to stand straight up puts pressure on his wrist. We then exhale and drop center into the captured wrist which is actually dropping uke's right shoulder, and driving it into the ground.

The amount of twist to the wrist is the amount necessary to affect the shoulder, and overall posture.

Now that all that was poorly described, this is what happened one day. As Uke attacked, I blended, and instead of going the whole arm-bar way, I cut straight down and dropped my center. This immediately, due to the amount gusto of his attack also, nearly caused uke to fall straight down on his face. His right (attacking) arm ended up kid of in between my left arm extending to the ground, and my left leg.
As uke attempted to right himself to stand, I placed my open right palm on the back of his right fist. My right hand is "alive" and I connect to uke by his right fist. As uke begins to straighten himself I maintain extension with my right hand and rotate my fingers around and up to point at the ceiling.

I step back with my left leg, using the point of connection between me and uke as sorrt of a fulcrum point, I flatten my right hand so my fingers are now pointing directly into uke's right shoulder, and my hand is parallel to the ground. Uke's fist is now curled back into his arm proportional to his flexibility. If he is not flexible, there may appear to be no curl to his fist at all, but the connection is still there. The tell is uke's posture, at this point his right shoulder should be lower then his left.

Now I once again exhale and drop center maintaining extension with my right hand. This further drives uke's fist down and into his shoulder driving his shoulder to the ground.

Through all that, I never once grabbed uke, and Uke never really noticed I didn't grab him. I don't rely on a lot of wrist twist in kotegaeshi anyway, so the lack of actual lateral twist he wouldn't have noticed anyway. I'm not saying to perform this technique in this manner as a staple, but I play around with it, and it is interesting. I have done it during tantodori as well with similar results.

Has anyone else experienced this? I say try it and have some fun with it.
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Old 11-24-2011, 05:24 AM   #23
robin_jet_alt
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Re: Soft vs hard (correct?) kote gaeshi?

Quote:
Larry Robinson wrote: View Post
Has anyone experimented with not grabbing the hand or wrist during kotegaeshi, and trying to "throw" uke through mere connection of the palm of your hand to the back of uke's?

During a very flowing active session one day, I had an uke who attacked with quite a bit of intent, and energy. In our dojo, we start Kotegaeshi from a tsuki attack with the right hand by pivoting or tenkan and blending in at or slightly above the elbow with our left hand to uke's right arm.

Normally, at this point many would drop their left hand down to capture uke's right wrist. Since we are now facing the same direction as uke, we apply pressure to uke's elbow creating a kind of arm-bar, giving uke incentive to turn out of the bar by facing us.

At this time, we drop center down taking uke's balance. Uke, is already easy to knock over at this point. As uke attempts to right himself, we cover his right hand with our right rolling his his palm to face him.

As he continues to right himself, we don't raise his hand up, but keep it at about our hara. His attempt to stand straight up puts pressure on his wrist. We then exhale and drop center into the captured wrist which is actually dropping uke's right shoulder, and driving it into the ground.

The amount of twist to the wrist is the amount necessary to affect the shoulder, and overall posture.

Now that all that was poorly described, this is what happened one day. As Uke attacked, I blended, and instead of going the whole arm-bar way, I cut straight down and dropped my center. This immediately, due to the amount gusto of his attack also, nearly caused uke to fall straight down on his face. His right (attacking) arm ended up kid of in between my left arm extending to the ground, and my left leg.
As uke attempted to right himself to stand, I placed my open right palm on the back of his right fist. My right hand is "alive" and I connect to uke by his right fist. As uke begins to straighten himself I maintain extension with my right hand and rotate my fingers around and up to point at the ceiling.

I step back with my left leg, using the point of connection between me and uke as sorrt of a fulcrum point, I flatten my right hand so my fingers are now pointing directly into uke's right shoulder, and my hand is parallel to the ground. Uke's fist is now curled back into his arm proportional to his flexibility. If he is not flexible, there may appear to be no curl to his fist at all, but the connection is still there. The tell is uke's posture, at this point his right shoulder should be lower then his left.

Now I once again exhale and drop center maintaining extension with my right hand. This further drives uke's fist down and into his shoulder driving his shoulder to the ground.

Through all that, I never once grabbed uke, and Uke never really noticed I didn't grab him. I don't rely on a lot of wrist twist in kotegaeshi anyway, so the lack of actual lateral twist he wouldn't have noticed anyway. I'm not saying to perform this technique in this manner as a staple, but I play around with it, and it is interesting. I have done it during tantodori as well with similar results.

Has anyone else experienced this? I say try it and have some fun with it.
It sounds similar to an exercise I did at an Endo-sensei seminar. I have played with something similar. I'm by no means an expert on this sort of thing though. It's very different from the sort of thing my Sensei teaches.
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Old 11-24-2011, 06:23 AM   #24
ryback
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Re: Soft vs hard (correct?) kote gaeshi?

Quote:
Alex Wilde wrote: View Post
Well both ways take Uke to the ground....

Apart from Uke being able to "counter attack", I understood from the description that

"not being able to break fall" = "not being able to reduce the wrist torsion", hence the possible breaking of it...

The (few) times I practiced kote gaeshi, it was always done the soft form i.e. I could go down to the mat and spin somehow, without any major pain/problems...

Maybe the "hard" form is correct, AND in fact can be ukemi(ed)?
As a beginner, here I am probably asking this question in fact
From my experience i can say that both of them are correct.Whether you use one or the other it depends on the attack and the way you would need to move in the course of a real fight, so both of them should bring the attacker down or injure him if you choose to.As for the ukemi, i can breakfall during both of them without having any problem...
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