Fudoshin Aikido

“Creating a place to move” – Aiki principles for ushiro training

Ushiro in Aikido training refers to a broad set of attack forms whereby the uke attacks the nage from behind.  Examples of ushiro attack forms include:

  • Ushiro Ryotedori: When attacker grabs both wrists from behind (see photo of O’sensei on right).
  • Ushiroeri katatedori: When the attacker grabs the rear collar and wrist.
  • Ushiro Hiji-tori: When both elbows are grabbed from behind.
  • Ushiro Ryokatatori: When both shoulders are grabbed from behind.
  • Ushiro Tekubitori Kubishime: When the neck is being strangled and a wrist is disabled.

In dynamic Aikido practise an ushiro attack is typically initiated from the front such that the uke enters first by grabbing the wrist and then moves to the rear of the nage.  The grabbing of the wrist can occur intentionally (eg the uke intends to undertake a ushiro ryotedori attack) or as a result of the nage responding to the initial attack by using their hand-sword to make connection and initiate defensive action.

In the below video Chicko Xerri Sensei (6th dan – AKI Aikikai) demonstrates the aiki principle of “creating a place to move” at first contact to create immediate opportunity for Aikido technique.  Notably, the approach taken by Chicko Sensei differs to what is often seen in Aikido practise whereby the nage takes the higher risk martial option of allowing the uke to move around to the nage‘s rear.



  • Alternate option for creating space

In the below video, seniors from Aikido Warrior Fudoshin Dojo demonstrate an alternate irimi based option for creating a place to move.


  • Other Aiki principles for ushiro practice

Chicko Sensei in the following video provides an overview of other Aiki principles important for ushiro practice. Notably, Sensei uses the sword to demonstrate the origins of the principles.   


  • chicko-senseiChicko Xerri Sensei – Brief Bio

Our dojo is a Fudoshin dojo operating under the guidance and mentorship of  Chicko Xerri Sensei, 6th dan AKI (Aikikai), Tokyo.  Chicko Sensei has been practising and teaching Aikido for more than 40 years and is endorsed by Doshu Ueshiba.

Have a great week

Ian Grant
Dojo Cho
Aikido Warrior Fudoshin Dojo


New Training times for Aikido Warrior Dojo

Please note that the dojo has changed its training hours to the following.

bokken koshi nageAikido

Saturday morning: 10.00am -11.30 am

Wednesday evening: 7.30 pm – 9.00 pm

  • Traditional sword

Wednesday evening: 7.30pm – 8.45pm

The changes have been made to better accommodate the needs of our members who typically have family and work obligations.

Have a great weekend

Ian Grant
Dojo Cho
Aikido Warrior, Dojo

New beginnings …

chicko-senseiAikido Warrior Dojo is pleased to announce that it is now part of Fudoshin Dojos Australia operating under the guidance and mentorship of Chicko Xerri Sensei, 6th dan AKI (Aikikai), Tokyo, Japan.

Chicko Sensei has more than 40 years uninterrupted Aikido experience, is Japan certified and Doshu Ueshiba endorsed.  Chicko Sensei’s long history with Aikido includes 10 years exclusively with Sugano Seiichi shihan Sydney, Aikikai Australia and presently (since 1981) with mentor of 35 years, Takeda Yoshinobu shihan, 8th dan (Shonan Aikido Renmei Kamakura, Aiki-kai, Japan).

Joining the Fodoshin collaboration of dojos represents an inspiring new beginning for our dojo. We look to a bright future dedicated to developing our skills in Aikido practice and deepening our knowledge of the philosophical principles that underpin our unique form of budo.


Have a great week and a huge thank you to those who have wished our dojo well in its new path.

Ian Grant
Dojo Cho
Aikido Warrior Fudoshin Dojo


Training notes: Munetsuki kotegaeshi

In the below videos Morihiro Saito Sensei (1928-2002) provides instruction on the traditional version of  munetsuki kotegaeshi as practised by O’Sensei (the Founder of Aikido) in the immediate post-war period of his life. Munetsuki kotegaeshi  is traditionally categorised as a “turn and transform” (kaiten) technique and is practised as a response to a strike or thrust to the stomach (munetsuki).

morihiro-saito-kotegaeshiMunetsuki kotegaeshi is sometimes mistakenly considered a beginners technique on the basis that it often appears in early gradings in many schools.  In reality, however, nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact the technique can be quite challenging to effectively perform, particularly against a centred and responsive uke who either resists or is skilled in countering.  Effective application of kotegaeshi (regardless of the attack) requires significant skills in entering, timing, sinking, maintaining centre, space, balance breaking and moving as a single relaxed unit.



  • Hand position for kotegaeshi

The below photo and drawing show the hand position for executing kotegaeshi.  In our school the wrist is not twisted to the side.

For video of Maruyama sensei explaining the hand position for kotegaeshi see: Training Notes: Yokomenuchi kotegaeshi.

kotegaeshiKotegaishi hands




  • Atemi (striking)

From a martial perspective, atemi (striking) is an important part of Aikido practice. Depending on the source, between 70% and 90% of Aikido requires an application of atemi principles.

In the below video, Morihiro Saito Sensei demonstrates the atemi for munetsuki kotegaeshi.


  • Alternate standing pin

kotegaishi pin





  • Kuzushi and balance taking principles 

In Aikido the uke’s balance is typically not taken by movements of the nage’s upper body, but by the correct movement of the nage’s lower half of their body, particularly the hips. In munetsuki kotegaeshi, for examplethe nage’s hand on the uke’s wrist is merely the connection point.  However, it is the movement and sinking of the nage’s hips that breaks the uke’s balance.

In the below video,  Morihiro Saito Sensei, demonstrates how the correct use of the hips and sinking can be used to take the balance of the uke at first contact in munetsuki kotegaeshi.


  • Munetsuki kotegaeshi – Ai-hamni stance

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.


Application options

In the below video Christian Tissier Sensei (8th Dan Aikikai) explains the 3 options available for applying kotegaishi and the circumstances that favour one option in preference to another.


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

saito_seiza_260Morihiro 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 from the post war period would have been lost.

Have a great week

Ian Grant
Dojo Cho
Aikido Warrior Fudoshin Dojo


Training notes: Yokomenuchi kokyu nage

In the below video senior students from our dojo demonstrate a direct entry variation of the Aikido technique Yokomenuchi kokyu nage. 

In this particular variation, the nage initially executes a direct entry hand sword cut up the uke’s centreline to take their balance.  This initial taking of the uke’s balance sets up the remainder of the technique and is critical to its successful application.


Have  great week

Ian Grant
Dojo Cho
Aikido Warrior Fudoshin Dojo