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Old 09-04-2002, 01:23 AM   #1
Bronson's Avatar
Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,677
switching hands

While practicing tanto dori today one of the police officers in class related an incident he'd had on duty.

A woman pulled a knife on him and attacked. He had to struggle with her a little and got the grip for kotegaeshi. Just as he was about to apply it she took the knife with her other hand and stabbed at his head. He was able to deflect it and ended up applying kotegaeshi to the second hand and flipping her onto the hood of her car.

So needless to say, after class me and another guy started playing around with switching hands with the tanto in the middle of the technique if the opening presented itself.

It was, um, interesting. Got stabbed a couple of times at first But it really kicks your awareness into high gear

just thought I'd share,

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 09-04-2002, 03:38 AM   #2
ian's Avatar
Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,654
I think it is unfortunate for many police officers that they do not get sufficient self-defence training unless they go to outside classes. With kote-gaeshi (and any weapon disarming technique) it is essential to hold the weapon within ukes wrist. Even on the floor, if you disarm them by letting the knife drop, they can take it with the other hand.

Aikinews relates a story of Chiba sensei who did a demo on a boat, and the attacker switched the knife from hand to hand - his solution was to break his arm.

Ideally we want to 'promote' a strong directed attack in aikido, therefore if we size up against someone or get into 'sparring' it becomes more difficult - a good tactic is to pretend you're not aware of the immenent attack, or not to look defensive (or subtley offer a target) to encourage one commited attack.


---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 09-04-2002, 08:44 AM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 135
Great way of training! I try to remember that uke has many weapons like feet, head, body etc...they CAN use. I like the surprise type of attack for the same reason you stated, it really brings the awareness up several notches! Consider yourself lucky to have people like this officer in your class....

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Old 09-11-2002, 05:04 PM   #4
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
Location: Barnegaat, NJ
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 893
Oh, man...

Take out the slack so they can't attack.

A little more practice at taking out the slack might be in order. Did you ever try to switch a weapon when the more you move the more it hurts until you reach the point of breakage?

Practice countering moves, but a good kote gaieshi will use the opponents own body as a shield or diversionary weapon.

Also, it can be done by encompassing the fingers as a hold rather than the palm.

The old 'roll the fingers in and press down' trick.

Understand, there are subtle movements of manipulation that cause submission just as quick as a throw to ground, and they are very effective.
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Old 09-12-2002, 09:48 AM   #5
Sherman Byas
Dojo: Anshindokan Dojo
Location: Chicago, IL
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 44
I think it would have been a lot easier if he had given ATEMI before the kotegashi. Isn't that what it's for?
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Old 09-12-2002, 01:51 PM   #6
L. Camejo
L. Camejo's Avatar
Dojo: Ontario Martial Arts
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,423

We do tanto randori (with constant active resistance)very regularly and I've come up on this scenario many times, especially with beginners who don't realise that switching hands makes it more dangerous for them.

First point, kuzushi - balance breaking. If the cop had the woman's balance shattered to begin with, switching hands would be extremely difficult and getting off an on target strike would be a problem at best. In tanto randori (at least when I do it) most techniques, including kotegaeshi only work after effective kuzushi.

Second, sensitivity. This develops over time, but unless a person is totally relaxed when attacking, a skilled Aikidoka (or Judoka for that matter) should be able to feel the change in body movement and shift in tension to the attacking limb. This should be enough of a signal to warn the person of the switch in attack. In Shodokan we have a practice called Hikitategeiko which is great for building this sensitivity and creating counters or adaptations.

Third - tenkan. If he had her wrist and she was coming around with the other hand, for ****'s sake turn outside the arm that the grip is already on. Apply pressure on the elbow to break balance and then pivot with the kotegaeshi after she has eaten some asphalt (only kidding, I mean effective balance break). This is the mune tsuki kotegaeshi ura that most Aikido schools practice as basics.

Hope I didn't sound too hyper. I understand that in a real life situation you must react on the spot without the luxury of hindsight, but these things are basic principles that can be applied. Awareness must always be on when training, it's one of the ways to get from pretty partner practice to something resembling a martial art.

Hope this adds to the discussion.


--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 09-12-2002, 02:43 PM   #7
Janet Rosen
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Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
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Sounds like folks are second guessing the cop by talking about *ideal* on-the-mat aikido. How many times have you, IN the dojo, gone to do kotegaishe and done it perfectly--made the grab so it secured the knife AND got all the slack out AND had full extension AND used uke as a shield etc...? Seems to me that in a real life situation, which means who knows what attack, signaled or not in who knows what manner, the cop did darn well in recovering from first try and HAVING a second chance, then nailing it.


Janet Rosen
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 09-12-2002, 05:54 PM   #8
Alan Drysdale
Dojo: Enmei Dojo
Location: Florida
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 28
aikido list seminar

And of course, all come to the aikido list seminar where we're going to practice these sorts of things with markers, to see just how easy it is to mess up with knives.

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