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Old 03-25-2004, 11:11 PM   #1
Benjie Lu
Dojo: Don Galo, Parañaque
Location: Manila, Philippines
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 19
Tsuki kotegaeshi (Fulcrum leverage)

Hi, I've been doing aikido for a few years and I have a question regarding the technique "tsuki kotegaeshi". The way that I perform this technique is I time the tsuki, perform irimi and grab the thrusting arm either one handed or with both hands, place the thrusting arm AGAINST my chest and perform tenkan to unbalance the uke and then apply kotegaeshi. This generates a lot of torque and is based on the principle of a fulcrum and lever. The fulcrum being my chest and the lever being the thrusting arm of uke. However, I've noticed that my sensei and other teachers that I've seen do not perform it in this manner. From my observation, they do not place the thrusting arm against their chest (but are still able to lead uke around for the throw).

My question is this: Is what I'm doing incorrect? It does work for me for all types of ukes. Even during static practice, I can still lead a big uke around for kotegaeshi if I perform it in this manner. If however, I do the standard movement without the fulcrum leverage, I encounter some difficulty in moving uke around esp. if the uke is rather large.

My sensei is very tolerant of the students finding their own aikido and does not insist on my performing it the way that he does it.

What are your views on this?

Thanks and any inputs would be highly appreciated.


Benjie Lu
Manila, Philippines
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Old 03-27-2004, 06:35 AM   #2
Dojo: Seattle Ki Society
Location: Seattle
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 522
I find that when I hang onto uke very firmly, I am often setting myself up for a reversal. You might ask a training partner to explore the possibilities with you. In particular, can uke use the same arm lever you're using and throw you backwards?

One of our junior instructors was demonstrating, as a "don't do it this way" exercise, a form of this throw where nage clamps uke's arm into his armpit. It felt pretty strong if uke was doing the expected things, but it turned out that uke could center herself and almost effortlessly throw nage backwards with that arm. I was delighted--it was the first time I was ever able to do a throw I hadn't been taught, just by feeling that someone was out of balance.

Give it a try. Maybe you'll find that it's a sound technique, maybe you'll find that it's crying out for a reversal, but in either case you'll learn something.

Mary Kaye
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Old 03-27-2004, 11:50 AM   #3
Dojo: Stockport Aikido Club
Location: Manchester, UK
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 24
United Kingdom
In my organisation, we are taught to apply kotegaeshi against a fist by turning the fingers more tightly inwards, which collapses the arm, then performing the turn of the whole fist outwards as we step back to overbalance uke.

I imagine if I had one fist on my chest, the other fist would be within striking distance of my face!

Best wishes,


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Old 03-27-2004, 01:53 PM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 78
Hi Benjamin, I learned it that way in a jujitsu class. it works well, but it causes you to stop briefly when applying the pressure against your rib area (you use chest) then move again.

I would assume that if you kept moving and kept uke off balance rather than rely on the pressure on the elbow to move uke, then you might put yourself in a better position to get kote-gaeshi.
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Old 03-28-2004, 04:16 AM   #5
Michael Bravo
Dojo: Sutemi
Location: St.Petersburg, Russia
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 7
Benjamin, I think that you might find some interesting explanations for that technique at the website of Ando Tsuneo Sensei, nicknamed "Ryu" - check out this link :


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Old 03-28-2004, 06:39 AM   #6
L. Camejo
L. Camejo's Avatar
Dojo: Ontario Martial Arts
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,423
Hi Benjamin,

The kotegaeshi you are referring to is one of my utmost favourite techniques. My execution however is slightly different.

Instead of placing the arm across my chest I tend to break Uke's posture downwards a bit and place the arm across my hips. This has the same levering effect that you are referring to, but is extremely stable as long as you move from your hips and not your shoulders.

I have been known to utilise the "clamp into armpit" version myself, but again, instead of placing it into the armpit where it is easy to unbalance Tori, I instead drop my elbow lightly over the arm to secure it to the side of my hip. This gives the same effect of levering the arm against my body without the increased possibility of it being countered.

From my experience resistance to this technique is often futile when performed correctly. It's effect as kuzushi becomes really effective as resistance causes levering against Uke's elbow, causing a reaction that just helps the technique. It's one of my mainstays for resistance tanto randori.


--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 03-28-2004, 08:21 PM   #7
Benjie Lu
Dojo: Don Galo, Parañaque
Location: Manila, Philippines
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 19
Peter Philippson (PeterPhilippson) wrote:
I imagine if I had one fist on my chest, the other fist would be within striking distance of my face!
Peter, thanks for the input, I try to be aware of suki (openings) during my execution of techniques and the fist to the face does not happen because I make sure to perform kuzushi fully and perform kotegaishi while my uke is still trying to recover his center or balance.

Mary, thanks, I'll try that with one of my fellow mudansha and see what happens...

Michael, thanks for the link. That's the way I've seen it performed but from static tsuki it's very difficult for me to move a resistant or heavy uke.

James, I try to be fluid when executing the technique so that there are not opportunities for reversals but I can see where that would be possible if I lose the connection, thanks!

Larry, thanks for the input. I will try that version also and see if it would be better. I'm very thankful for all your inputs and will try your suggestions.

Keep on practicing!


Benjie Lu
Manila, Philippines
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