Static resistance training: Katadori kokyu nage

katadori kokyu nageDealing with grab attacks where the uke is holding or resisting with physical based strength is an important part of Aikido practice.

While as Aikidoka we train ourselves to use centred relaxed grips (i.e. “holding with ki”), the fact remains that in most self defence situations the attacker will typically be using strength based tactics.  Failure to include responses to strength and resistance based attacks in our regular practice would in effect make our training effectively useless from a martial perspective.

Significantly, when Aikido is used against strong grip static attacks, the movements tend to be more economical and less complex.  Centred sinking movements combined with taking balance by controlling the head or elbow are common.  Atemi (striking) is also more often than not a critical component. The Aikido in general becomes less pretty.

  • Katadori kokyu nage

In the below video, Master Koretoshi Maruyama gives instruction on how to perform the Aikido technique kokyu nage (breath throw) in response to a static shoulder grab (kata dori) where the attacker is holding with strength.


  • Application against a sleeve grab

Kokyu nage as demonstrated in the video can also be used to address an attack in the form of a sleeve grab – see Sodedori kokyunage.

  • Alternate form of katadori kokyu nage

As is often the case in Aikido, there is an alternate method of executing a kokyu nage against a strong shoulder grab.  In the 1950’s, O’sensei practiced the technique without taking the elbow and instead closed the gap between the uke and nage by executing a tenkan –  See katadori kokyu nage (post war version).

  • Other examples of Aikido for static resistance attacks

Static resistance training is a regular form of practice at our dojo.  For examples of other resistance based training that we undertake see – Working with resistance: static hand grabs.

Have a great weekend.

Ian Grant
Head Instructor
Aikido Warrior Dojo

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