Hanmi handachi waza is a common form of Aikido practice whereby the nage is in a kneeling position and the uke attacks while standing. In this type of training the uke has the obvious advantage of both mobility and height. However, a skilled nage can still take the balance of the uke by taking advantage of their lower centre of gravity.
Training in hanmi handachi waza is particularly beneficial as it develops skills in taking a uke‘s balance with only minimal lower body movement. The training also assists in understanding the importance of centre and use of the centre line in Aikido practice.
The below video extract of Master Koretoshi Maruyama demonstrates the application of kotegaeshi (outward wrist turn) in hanmi handachi waza to address a straight blow to the centre of the head (i.e. shomenuchi).
Points of note in the demonstration include:
- The nage is at an approximate 45 degree angle to the uke and not facing head on;
- The nage’s initial movement is itself a shomenuchi cutting movement through the uke’s centreline;
- The nage does not attempt to directly clash or in anyway block the uke’s downward strike;
- The nage draws the attack into their centre and then uses their centre and centre line as the mechanism and line of movement, respectively, to execute the finish of the technique;
- The balance of the uke is completely taken (i.e kuzushi) from the moment of first contact.
- The technique is executed to take advantage of the “missing third leg” position to the rear of the uke.