Category Archives: 04-basic Kokyu-ho

Morihiro Saito Shihan on Kokyu-nage…


Turn inwards towards aite’s side or flank. Making the wrist that has been grasped the pivot-point, “lower your shoulder, elbow, koshi and have a strong feeling of ‘down'” *  and [you will find that by doing this] your structure becomes organized in such a way that you are able to swing your arm upwards and hold it high.

At the time that you execute the throw, take a single step circling inwards towards the rear of aite.

This training is a lot less easy if you are putting force into your shoulder, or if you are focusing on the hand or fore-arm that has been taken.

* Kuden from O’Sensei

– – – Traditional Aikido vol. 3,  p.30



In kokyu-nage, the way you twist your koshi from hanmi is particularly important. Of course, since other waza, too, are impossible without that twist of the koshi, a deal of investigation and repetition are essential!

It is easy to see – in fact, you can perceive with a single glance – when someone has not been training enough in kokyu-nage. It’s obvious because their koshi is not as mobile as it should be, and isn’t doing much….

– – – Takemusu Aikido vol. 4,  p. 13



In the case that aite came at you, grabbing your left hand or fore-arm with his right hand, make your hara move to in front of the grasped hand and while you are doing that, advance your left leg to aite‘s flank, and at the same time transform the orientation of your body by swiveling your koshi through 180 degrees.

Continue looking in precisely the same direction as aite, and having unbalanced him by raising both fore-arms, placing your left elbow and arm on aite‘s neck, and while shifting your center of gravity to your left leg, swivel your koshi to execute a throw that feels like brushing off, or sweeping away 1)

1) or “that feels like a sideways cut”

– – – Takemusu Aikido vol. 4, p.44

…in the dojo(47) – kokyu-nage…

Koichi Tohei Shihan on Sayu Undo…

…a preparatory exercise for Katate-dori and Morote-dori Kokyu-nage.

Stand easily with feet apart.

sayu undo25SMALLsayu undo26SMALL








Count One. Swing your arms up to the left side, palms upward, your face always to the front (Photo 25).

Count Two. Lower your hips by bending your left knee and straightening out your right leg. Keep your upper body erect (Photo 26).

….Make a conscious effort to think about the underside of your arms. If your mind is on the upperside of the arms, they can be lifted up easily.

sayu undo27SMALLsayu undo28SMALLCount Three. Do the same movement toward your right side, completing it at count Four (Photos 27 and 28).

When you are doing this exercise, you must feel confident that you can throw your opponent by movements of your arms as at counts Two and Four.

If you try to throw him down using only your arms, you will find it difficult, but if you learn to use your [koshi] movement to throw him, you will find it easy. If your arms and [koshi] can be moved easily by your instructor’s pushing, you cannot expect to throw an opponent.

– – – Koichi Tohei Shihan,  “Supervised by Morihei Uyeshiba  [O’Sensei]”   Aikido the Arts of Self-Defense,   pp.  69-70

Koichi Tohei Shihan on Tachi-waza Katate-tori Kokyu-Ho…

Without resisting your opponent’s strength, but stretching it out and leading it in a circular movement – – this is Tenkan.

Uke:  Grasps Nage‘s left wrist with right hand.

toheikokyunage1aCROPNage:  [Tai no henko] as in Exercise No. 8   (Photo 72).  [That is:] without losing momentum, he pours forth Ki through [the] fingertips of his left hand, making the one point as the center, and turns to the right. Nage‘s throat must turn and face the direction in which the body moves. The mind also must move in the direction of the body’s movement. If the mind remains behind even for an instant, Uke will not follow Nage‘s lead.


toheikokyunage1bCROPNage then chooses the moment when he will lower his hips and his left arm, and waits for Uke to catch up (Photo 73). As Uke does so, Nage raises his [koshi], slides his left arm, palm up, to Uke‘s neck, and steps in with his left foot to Uke‘s rear, lowers his [koshi] and his left arm again and causes Uke to fall backward (Photo 74).




toheikokyunage2CROPThe use of the [koshi] and the left arm in this technique is the same as in [the] Exercise Sayu Undo.

In this technique, if necessary, Nage can strike Uke‘s chest or abdomen.




Photo 72:  ….If [nage] will concentrate on the one point, pour forth Ki from the fingertips of his left hand and thrust out the back of his hand, that left hand will be immovable.
If, when turning, Nage turns too quickly, the timing will be off and Uke will not be able to follow Nage‘s lead.
It the Ki that is poured forth from the fingertips of the left hand were turned always as though describing a large circle, Uke will follow Nage‘s lead very easily. At this time, if Nage looks back, the flow of Ki will stop, the timing will be off and Uke will not be able to follow Nage‘s lead….
Photo 73:  When Nage lowers his hips, and does so while keeping his wrist bent fingertips pointing upward, Uke will be sucked into lowering his body too.
Photo 74: If Nage tries to throw Uke, using only his hands, Uke is not likely to oblige him. But it will be easy for Nage to do so if he lowers his [koshi] and throws him.

– – – Koichi Tohei Shihan, “Supervised by Morihei Uyeshiba [O’Sensei]” Aikido the Arts of Self-Defense, pp. 100-101


…katate-dori kokyu-ho workshop!!!…


Irimi Tenka [sic] workshop…


O’Sensei no kuden: Kokyu-ho

Aiki is about being present in the “now”. If you want to make progress it is essential to free your thoughts from your objective “I”.

– – – translated (and possibly paraphrased in translation) by Itsuo Tsuda, recorded by André Nocquet Shihan .  Published in Maître Morihei Ueshiba: présence et message  p.106

…in the dojo(56) – kokyu-nage!…

…in the dojo(113) – morote-dori!!!…