“Kotegaeshi Challenge” answered by Christopher Hein!

Back on July 3, I published a blog titled “The Kotegaeshi Challenge”. In a nut shell, my article challenged readers to give their opinions on a potential vulnerability in the execution of kotegaeshi.

What is this potential vulnerability with kotegaeshi I mention above? Once again, I would refer you to the many images you will see resulting from your search for “kotegaeshi”. I would like you to focus on uke’s free hand just at the moment he is leaping into his high fall.

Following the publication of the blog, there were numerous opinions submitted on this site and on Facebook that commented on this issue.

Now Christopher Hein Sensei of Aikido of Fresno- Chushin Tani Aikidojo has come forward with a very well-thought-out video that addresses the issue I bring up and also show a number of alternatives to the execute of the traditional kotegaeshi.

 Christopher Hein Sensei executing kotegaeshi

Christopher Hein Sensei executing kotegaeshi

We welcome readers to continue providing their input on this important technical issue.

By the way, in his “Complete Guide to Aikido“, Morihiro Saito shows nearly 20 different kotegaeshi variations.


  1. John Hillson says:

    Several good points in the video, but one I had not specifically thought of prior – when Kotegaeshi is demonstrated in Budo, weapons are often mentioned. Kotegaeshi as a pistol disarm certainly appears in a number of other martial arts systems like Krav Maga that normally resort to striking instead of locking movements.

    Since the original posts, I was looking through my old copy of Dynamic Aikido by Shioda of Yoshinkan. The last chapter shows a number of Kotegaeshi variations as the flip side of Ikkyo variations. Strikes to the face and Shomen Ate type finishes appear often, and Uke gets thrown into a wall on several occasions. Uke takes a solid impact instead of any actual throw..

    • When I started working with Aikido exclusively as a weapon system (in terms of technical Aikido), I started to realize that all of Aikido’s wrist techniques work much better as disarming and clearing methods than they do as throws or controls.

  2. Thanks Christopher, makes sense,

  3. Thanks, Mark! Glad you enjoyed it!

  4. I have most success when I do not focus on bending the wrist, but rather dropping aite’s arm (and body) into the opponent’s SHIKAKU – “dead angle.” In other words, my kotegaeshi is now essentially a SUMI OTOSHI, “corner drop technique.” The wrist is just one of several possible contact points.

    • I think what you are referring to is what I showed in the video when I showed a way you could keep uke from coming around – correct? If so, I would also agree that this is using the principle of Sumi Otoshi. Which birngs up an important question- what do you call a kotegaeshi and why? For me, a Kotegaeshi is specifically the way that the wrist is turned. This turning can be used for many things, like controling (for a takedown, throw or hold), a clear (when you are escaping a hold) or a disarm (taking a weapon), as a few examples. To me, when you are focusing on this Sumi Otoshi style idea, you are not working the Kotegaeshi as much as you are working the dead angle idea. This is not to say that Kotegaeshi isn’t a part of this, but it’s not as important as the angle and timing we are using. Would you agree?

      • Also, for kotegaeshi, there is also the shihonage angle, where you slide towards the side rear of uke holding the hand in kotegaeshi at shoulder height. Morihiro Saito Sensei showed this as the basic angle.

        • When I teach Shihonage with a weapon, I often use the Kotegaeshi as the disarm after the takedown has happend. It works like a charm! I call the set up for the throw, and the throw itself a Shihonage, but I point out that the disarm is a Kotegaeshi. Also if we are working specifically on the Kotegaeshi, even if I turn under (like a Shihonage) we don’t call it Shihonage, but Tenkai Kotegaeshi.

          When you are naming the techniques for your students, do you give just one general name for the technique, or do you point out the parts that may go by other names?

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