Suwari waza

Aiki Studies for suwari waza – Non resistance

Suwari waza (sometimes referred to as Zagi waza) is a form of Aikido practice performed from the initial position of nage and uke sitting opposite and facing each other while kneeling  (seiza).

In the below video Takeda Satoshi Sensei (7th Dan AKI Aikikai) demonstrates the application of Aiki principles for Suwari waza where the uke strikes the temple of the nage.  This form of traditional attack is referred to as shomenuchi.

As Sensei is exploring responses from Suwari waza shomenuchi from a purely Aiki perspective, there is no predetermined outcome or pin as occurs when practising purely syllabus based Aikido.  The focus is on principle, with particular emphasis on not meeting an attack with physical resistance.


The above video was recorded at our dojo on 25 November 2017 as part of a special class by Takeda Satoshi Sensei during his 2017 visit to Australia.

Have a great weekend

Ian Grant
Dojo Cho
Fudoshin Warrior Dojo
Aikido Kenkyukai, Brisbane

Kokyu dosa – Aikido Yuishinkai

kokyu dosaKokyu dosa is an Aikido exercise in balance taking where both partners kneel facing each other.  The exercise is performed with the uke (the receiver of the technique) holding their partner’s wrists or elbows, during which the nage endeavours to take their uke’s balance.  Kokyu dosa in some schools is also referred to as suwari waza kokyu ho.

There are numerous benefits of kokyu dosa practice.  For newcomers to Aikido, it enables them in many cases to experience for the first time what being centred actually feels like.  The practice also allows Aikido principles, such as “centre line”, “centre pole” and relaxed unified movement, to be explored without the added complication of foot work.

Key lessons from the practice include the concept of moving around immovable  points of resistance.  Another is the idea of identifying and moving through “lines of tension” in the uke to take their centre and balance.

Consistent with the traditional approach to Aikido training of its Founder, Master Morihei Ueshiba, kokyu dosa is usually practiced  at our dojo at the end of each class.

In the below video Koretoshi Maruyama Sensei provides instruction on the basic form of kokyu dosa as practised in Aikido Yuishinkai.


Other forms kokyu dosa

For examples and training notes for other forms of kokyu dosa see:

Have a great week

Ian Grant
Head Instructor
Aikido Warrior Dojo, Brisbane

Training notes: Munadori juji nage

In the below video, Morihiro Saito Sensei (9th Dan) demonstrates 2 versions of the Aikido technique juji nage  (crossed arms throw) in response to a front lapel  grab (munedori).



  • Hand position (standard version)



  • Munadori juji nage – London Aikido Club

In the below video Sensei Andy Hathaway of the London Aikido Club demonstrates and discusses important aiki training points for Munadori juji nage, including use of the hips, shifting weight, breaking the munadori grip and atemi opportunities.


  • Munadori juji nage – kokyu ho variation

In this second video by the London Aikido Club, Sensei Andy Hathaway teaches a  variation of  Munadori juji nage based on traditional kokyu ho principles for dealing with munadori attacks.


  • Munadori juji nage – Suwari waza

In the below munadori juji nage is demonstrated with both the nage and uke facing each other while on their knees.  This is referred to a zagi waza or suwari waza, depending on the Aikido style.


The kneeling version of  munedori juji nage has a long history in Aikido.  It dates back to the 1930’s and is included in both of O’Sensei’s technical manuals from that period.

In O’sensei’s 1938 demonstration the uke is pinned with one hand thereby allowing O’Sensei the option of applying an additional atemi to the uke‘s torso.  It also places the nage in the more advantageous position to deal with additional attackers if need be.

Jujinage 1Juji nage 2Juji nage 3




Have a great week

Ian Grant
Dojo Cho
Aikido Warrior Dojo


Training notes: Zagi waza shomenuchi ikkyo

O sensei - Suwari WazaZagi waza (also referred to as suwari waza) is a form of Aikido practice performed from the initial position of nage and uke sitting opposite and facing each other while kneeling  (seiza). This type of practice is particularly useful for developing skills relevant to maintaining and taking balance, moving the body off-line and as a single unit, leverage principles, breath power and keeping centre line.

In our dojo, suwari waza is practiced at most classes. Initially, the typical form of practice is static in nature and involves the uke holding the nage’s wrists with each hand. This static form of practice is referred to as zagi waza kokyu ho. 

As we progress in our studies, other forms of attack are added to our zagi waza practice including responses to strikes.

In the below video, Chicko Xerri Sensei (6th Dan AKI Aikikai) explores some of the key Aiki principles underpinning the practice of zagi waza shomenuchi ikkyo.  There are many recordings of the Founder of Aikido demonstrating this particular form of zagi waza which is performed in the context of a downward strike to the temple (shomenuchi).



  • Zagi waza shomenuchi ikkyo – technical notes

The below video features suwari waza when responding to a straight strike to the centre of the head (shomenuchi). The demonstrated technique (performed by Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei) is suwari waza shomenuchi ikkyo.


  • Suwari waza shomenuchi ikkyo – Seishin no Shugyo Dojo, Tasmania 

The below demonstration is by Peter Kelly Sensei, Seishin no Shugyo Dojo, Tasmania. The source material was kindly provided courtesy of Bill Hely.

Ian Grant
Dojo Cho
Aikido Warrior Dojo