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Are you ready for Kote Gaeshi?
Aikido’s Kote Gaeshi is a wrist turn (lock) that you can control or throw the body with
Kote Gaeshi (sometimes spelt kotegaeshi) is a powerful and effective Aikido wrist lock.
Morihiro Saito Sensei
A wristlock is a technique that can be applied from a stand-up position, simply by grabbing the opponent’s hand and twisting and/or bending it in a non-natural direction.
Kote Gaeshi is considered to be a relatively safe technique to practice with a willing opponent, however, if applied suddenly and/or forcefully, Kote Gaeshi can cause ligament tears or possibly even dislocation or bone fractures.
In this article, you will learn and read what Kote Gaeshi is all about. At the end of the article are videos of Aikido masters demonstrating Kote Gaeshi.
Kote Gaeshi is a supinating wrist or forearm lock
The supinating wristlock (in budō referred to as ‘kote gaeshi’ or “forearm return”) is a rotational wristlock, and arguably the most common wristlock.
It involves rotating the hand so that it becomes maximally supinated, often referred to as ‘externally rotating’ the wrist, and hence putting a joint lock on the wrist and radioulnar joint.
This can be done by grabbing the opponent’s hand with one or both hands, and twisting the hand so that the opponent’s thumb points away from the opponent.
A supinating wristlock performed from a stand-up position can be used to force the opponent to the ground on his or her back.
Straightening the arm does not alleviate the pressure since the shoulder joint does not allow further supination of the hand.
Steven Seagal Sensei
source technique on 00:30 sec
Does Kote Gaeshi Work?
According to MMA’s Bas Rutten, it doesn’t work. However, according to the police, elite forces, SAS, soldiers, marines and all the Aikidoka around the world that has used it for self-defence, kotegaeshi works.
I guess like every Aikido technique or martial art technique, it depends on your execution.
A properly executed Kote Gaeshi does not apply torque to the wrist itself. Thus a painfully applied kotegaeshi is actually inferior to one subtle kotegaeshi that locks the whole body.
In practice, the bones of the forearm, and eventually, the shoulder are the focus of the lock.
If performed correctly and harshly Kote Gaeshi will break the opponents wrist, elbow and dislocate the shoulder.
In practice, uke will turn over his own arm, in order to prevent his wrist from breaking.
A word of warning, like all effective Aikido techniques, Kote Gaeshi is a martial art technique.
If you are uke and the one receiving the technique, learn how to fall or escape Kote Gaeshi rather than stopping it.
I have seen ‘tough and macho’ guys break or injure their wrist because of they resisted too much.
This technique works best when you apply it behind uke. Have a look at the photo of Osensei above. This is a fundamental point with this Aikido technique.
If you do Kotegaeshi from the front or front-side, uke can punch you. If you turn (gaeshi) high above the shoulder it’s (Shiho Nage) and uke can swing and possibly punch you.
When the throw becomes too acrobatic, uke may accidentally kick you or worse land on you.
I cannot highlight this enough, as much as possible (unless it is technique specific), please apply kotegaeshi behind uke.
Aikido Masters demonstrate Kote Gaeshi
Hitohira Saito Sensei
Shirakawa Ryuji Sensei
Christian Tissier Sensei
Joe Thambu Sensei
Crom Salvatera Sensei
Kata Dori, Nikyo to Kote Gaeshi
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