Shihonage is known as aikido’s “four-corner throw”. It involves twisting a partner’s wrist, a rapid pivot resulting in a powerful control of his wrist, followed by a throw.
But like anything else in aikido, there are a variety of different styles of performing the technique. Although the basic technique calls for holding your partner’s hand firmly with two hands, it is customary in many dojos to finish the technique holding your partner’s wrist with only one hand.
This can often be seen in aikido demonstrations where an attacker is quickly dispatched with a shihonage controled through a single hand. Often this will be accompanied with the opponent performing a spectacular high fall which never fails to impress an audience.
I think that we often forget the mechanics of basic techniques like shihonage and gravitate toward executing throws in a more spectacular fashion which leaves a strong impression in the eyes of the beholder. It is important to keep in mind that there is a strong element of collusion at play in a demonstration context.
What happens in the dojo when strong basics are emphasized may be less impressive but is far more effective and martial.
What if we consider shihonage as a powerful tool to allow us to subdue and control an opponent? What would the technique look like then? Here are some examples where shihonage is applied with both hands controlling the opponent. Uke is locked in a backward falling position with no change to escape or execute a counterattack.
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