Aikido in Tasmania

Training Notes: Tanto dori – Yokomenuchi kokyu nage

Yokomenuchi kokyu nage 3In the below video Koretoshi Maruyama SEnsei, Founder of Aikido Yuishinkai, demonstrates and provides instruction on the Aikido technique, tanto tori yokomenuchi kokyu nage. 

The technique is performed as a response to a yokomenuchi strike with a tanto (wooden knife) to the side of the neck.  The tanto for this technique is held as if holding an ice pick.  The blade is facing upwards at the commencement of the attack.



  • Yokomenuchi kokyu nage – Key principles

Yokomenuchi kokyu nage can be applied to any downward strike to the side of the head, regardless of whether the uke is armed with a tanto.  In the below video Koretoshi Maruyama Sensei examines in detail the key aspects of this technique.  The instruction given is equally applicable to circumstance where the uke is also armed with a tanto.


  • Yokomenuchi kokyu nage – Origins

Yokomenuchi kokyu nage (irimi) has a long history in Aikido. The technique appears as technique number 42 in O’senseis first technical manual “Budo Renshu” (1934).  The notable difference in this early version is that the nage cuts down through the uke‘s neck and also cuts down and then hold’s the wrist of the uke’s attacking arm.  (See O’senseis drawings below).

However, the kokyu ho principles necessary to effectively apply the technique remain the same.

Drawing (1) No 42

Drawing 2 no 42







Kokyu nage - OsenseiIn O’sensei’s 2nd manual “Budo” (1938) the roles of nage and uke for the technique are described as follows:

Uke: Deliver a yokomen strike with your right hand.  “Tori (i.e. nage): Step forward on your left foot and use your left te gatana (i.e. hand sword) to neutralise your opponent’s attack, simultaneously striking his face  (and down him).”


  • Kokyu ho principles underpinning technique

Kokyu ho exercises are something that we do a lot of at our dojo as a means of developing internal strength in our techniques.  Kokyu ho exercises were the traditional method used by O’sensei to develop “ki power” in his Aikido.

In the below video, Morihei Saito Sensei demonstrates and explains the kokyu ho exercise relevant to yokomenuchi kokyu nage (irimi).


Have a great week

Ian Grant
Dojo Cho
Aikido Warrior Dojo, Brisbane



Video compilation – Aikido Warrior Dojo class – 4 June 2016

A fun video compilation recorded at a class at our dojo on 4 June 2016.

Training notes – Shomenuchi koshi nage (shiho nage form)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of our favourite throws to practice at the dojo is koshi nage (hip throw).  Koshi nage can be applied in response to a wide variety of attacks, incuding where the uke attacks the nage by executing a downward strike to to the temple (shomenuchi).

In the below video Morihiro Saito Sensei (1928-2002) provides instruction on one of the traditional forms of shomenuchi koshi nage as practised by O’Sensei (the Founder of Aikido) in the immediate post-war period of his life. In this particular form the entry is the same as if executing a shomenuchi shiho nage (4 directions throw). For further information on the life of Saito Sensei and his unique access to the Founder of Aikido see the Additional Notes section below.



  • Learning how safely receive a hip throw

In the below video seniors at our dojo explore the learning progression to safely receive a koshi nage technique.


  • Brief Biography – Morihiro Saito Sensei (1928-2002)

morihiro-saito-koshinageMorihiro Saito Sensei’s  practice of Aikido spanned 56 years and he is one of the most important teachers in Aikido history.  Saito Sensei was a live-in student of O’sensei for more than 20 years at his home dojo in Iwama, Japan.

Saito Sensei spent his teaching life dedicated to preserving the technical style of Aikido as practised and shown to him by O’sensei in the post-war period.  Without his commitment to preserving the Aikido of the Founder and extensive efforts to record and document his teachings, much of the Aikido of O’sensei would have no doubt been lost.  The Aikido world owes him a great debt.

Have a great week

Ian Grant
Head Dojo Instructor
Aikido Warrior Dojo





Parrying – Shomen strikes

atemiFor those interested in Aikido as a method of self-defence, an important aspect of Aikido training is the practice of methods for parrying and deflecting attacks.

In the below video produced by the TenShin Aikido Federation, instruction is given on how to effectively deflect a shomenuchi (downward temple strike) using what is sometimes referred to in Aikido as a suriage movement. This method of deflection is particularly effective in addressing a shomen strike and when done correctly readily sets up a variety of Aikido applications.       




  • Suriage movement – Kaiten nage application 

In the below video taken at a class at our dojo, suriage is used to set up a kaiten nage (or wheel throw).


  • Acknowledgement of Tenshin Aikido

Aikido Warrior Dojo would like to acknowledge and extend its appreciation to TenShin Aikido Federation for making the featured video.  In 2003, Renshi Santos Shihan founded the TenShin Aikido Federation (TAF) in honor of O’Sensei and those who introduced TenShin Aikido into his life, including Steven Seagal Shihan.  For some excellent videos on Tenshin Aikido check out their “Rogue Warrior” channel on You tube.

Training notes: Munetsuki kokyu nage

osensei_03 (2)Traditionally kokyo ho (breath power) techniques were considered to contain the secret of true power in Aikido and were never taught publicly.  The Founder of Aikido, Master Morihei Ueshiba, included kokyu ho training in all his classes – a tradition that we also follow in our dojo.

In the below video, Aikido Warrior Dojo seniors are shown practising at ryutai level one of the many variations of munetsuki kokyu nage that are practised in our school.  Also included is recent footage of the Founder of Aikido Yuishinkai, Master Koretoshi Maruyama teaching the reitai level of the technique at a class in Japan.



  • Munetesuki kokyu nage – A kokyu ho perspective 

In the below video made by the London Aikido Club, munetsuki kokyu nage is examined from a traditional kokyu ho perspective.

The London Aikido Club studies the Aikido of Morihiro Saito Sensei and generously shares many of its teachings on the web.  Those interested in the study of traditional Aikido as taught by the Founder in the post war period of his life may wish to check out the London Aikido Club’s You tube channel.


All the best

Ian Grant
Head Instructor
Aikido Warrior Dojo, Brisbane