Morihiro Saito: What are the distinctions between oyowaza and henkawaza?

I find this an elegant way of classifying the huge body of aikido techniques. While the differences between basic and ki no nagare techniques are normally easy to comprehend, many people have found it difficult to grasp the distinction between oyowaza and henkawaza. According to Saito Sensei’s explanation, oyowaza are aikido basics applied to circumstances outside the scope of the basic curriculum. They can therefore be understood as “applied” or “advanced” techniques. Henkawaza, literally, “changed techniques,” are modified methods used when it becomes necessary to adapt the execution of a technique to changed circumstances.

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