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Aikido Self-Defence Techniques

Updated on May 22, 2013
Aikido is one of the few martial arts that does not require brute force and represents a perfect choice for women's self-defense.
Aikido is one of the few martial arts that does not require brute force and represents a perfect choice for women's self-defense.

Types of Aikido Projections

The throws or projections of aikido are techniques of neutralization in which physical contact between you and Uke (the one receiving the throw) will cease (although your follow-through motion will continue) at the moment when he is thrown spinning down onto the mat or across its surface.

  1. Kokyu Nage
  2. Tenchi Nage
  3. Irimi Nage
  4. Shiho Nage
  5. Kaiten Nage
  6. Kote Gaeshi
  7. Koshi Nage

This article consists of the 7 most frequently used techniques of projections used in Aikido. In reality, there are over 10,000 Aikido techniques and most of the throws derive from these sets.

It is not meant to be a comprehensive list, rather a guideline for beginners and intermediate Aikido practitioners, Aikidokas.

1. Kokyu Nage

Katate Dori Gyaku Hanmi Kokyu Nage
Katate Dori Gyaku Hanmi Kokyu Nage

The "20-year technique" is usually the first throw taught to a beginner and is less specialized than many other projections you will meet later on. Kokyu Nage may be efficiently and smoothly applied to neutralize almost any type of basic attack, and can be developed from a great variety of introductory motions of evasion, extension, and centralization.

2. Tenchi Nage

Katate Dori Gyaku Hanmi Tenchi Nage
Katate Dori Gyaku Hanmi Tenchi Nage

The main features of Tenchi Nage, literally translated as the "Heaven-Earth throw", are that your circular motion will extend Uke out on one side, and will be followed by that motion which you will use to cut him down on his rear diagonal side with a single flowing motion in space resembling a horizontal inverted “S” Your body, as usual, will lead the entire action, but your arms in diagonal extension forward will operate like the wings of a glider, describing a diagonal spiralling loop toward the ground.

3. Irimi Nage

Morote Dori Irimi Nage
Morote Dori Irimi Nage

Irimi Nage is characterized by that dynamic reversal of the motion action of Uke as you return it circularly back to him from above. This technique is referred to generally as Irimi Nage, or “entering throw”.

When you watch a high-ranking aikido practitioner (or Nage) perform projection this technique, it appears to consist of a blurring spin which – as Nage suddenly reverses his original direction – will sweep the feet of Uke from under him, bringing him down to the mat flat on his back almost before he realizes what has happened. Moreover, the entire performance at its best will be marked by the absence of any dynamic discordance, choking pain, or muscular spasms, etc., on the part of Uke.

4. Shiho Nage

Katate Dori Gyaku Hanmi Shiho Nage
Katate Dori Gyaku Hanmi Shiho Nage

Shiho Nage, which may be translated as the “Four Corner Throw," is a basic technique of immobilization also clearly derived from the fencing practices of Japan’s legendary past. Moreover, it is a technique wherein two of the essential features of aikido (the characteristic turning of the hips and the dynamic reversal of the motion of Uke back to its source are so clear and practically demonstrated that this technique, together with projection no. I (Kyoku Nage), has assumed a position of primary importance in almost all aikido dojo where it is taught as the introductory technique or form to prepare the student for the series of immobilizations and projections which will subsequently be learned.

5. Kaiten Nage

Katate Dori Gyaku Hanmi Kaiten Nage
Katate Dori Gyaku Hanmi Kaiten Nage

The primary objective of Kaiten Nage, or "the rotary throw," consists in channelling the motion/action of attack of Uke into a dynamic extension forward and then reversing its stream back to his rear in a large circle. The technical difference which imparts to this technique its unmistakable identity lies in the fact that in Kokyu Nage and Irimi Nage, his dynamic extension is skilfully diverted and caused to flow from front to rear in a circular pattern passing over his unbalanced upper body. In Irimi Nage that same dynamic extension will be diverted and caused to flow to his rear in a pattern also circular, but running this time, beneath his unbalanced body, as illustrated.

6. Kote Gaeshi

Morote Dori Kote Gaeshi
Morote Dori Kote Gaeshi

As is true of Shiho Nage, Kote Gaeshi (Wrist Turn-Out), can end in either an immobilization or a projection. Its functional characteristics, however, as Uke is being brought down to the mat, will be substantially the same. The illustrations show your basic position upon the completion of the preliminary motion of evasion, extension, and centralization. The hand of Uke (the right one here) will be gripped as illustrated. Your left thumb will apply pressure upon his knuckles between the fourth or ring finger and the little finger. Your other fingers will close around his thumb and palm. From that position you will extend his hand back and over his forearm; this torsion upon his arm will unbalance his entire body and open the way for his fall.

7. Koshi Nage

Katate Dori Gyaku Hanmi Koshi Nage
Katate Dori Gyaku Hanmi Koshi Nage

Koshi Nage, or “Hip Throw”, focuses upon the movement of your waist and hips as Uke is being lifted from the ground. It uses a man's hips as the fulcrum of removal and rotation of another man's body in an effort to project him down onto the ground. In aikido practice, we find many technical and dynamic applications of this type of technique in response to almost all of the basic types of attack.

I have written a few hubs for more in-depth description of each of the mentioned techniques:

  1. Kokyu Nage
  2. Tenchi Nage
  3. Irimi Nage
  4. Shiho Nage
  5. Kaiten Nage
  6. Kote Gaeshi
  7. Koshi Nage

Have fun practicing!

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    • ZungTran profile image
      Author

      Tran Z 4 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, jpcmc. Very insightful comments from you on my other articles, greatly appreciated!

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      This is a nice summary of these techniques. Some are easier to learn than others. however, learning to utilize ki is essential in aikido. Moreover, the uke-nage relationship is a fundamental part of learning aikido. It's more than just throwing the other person, it's nurturing learning together.

    • ZungTran profile image
      Author

      Tran Z 4 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks a lot for the comments guys, will try to write more in this series soon!

    • profile image

      Astlyr 4 years ago

      Great hub, Iv'e always wanted to learn Aikido.

      I'll check your other hubs.

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      あなたに卿に感謝

      Domo Arigato, this is good information on a subject that takes a lifetime to really understand and master. Jihi No Kokoro.

      Mark

    • Nyamache profile image

      Joshua Nyamache 4 years ago from Kenya

      Your explanation is clear, I like the way you have used illustrations.