joint locks


Joint Lock Practicality

While many joint locking techniques (kansetsu-waza) exist within karate, there are still karateka who are unaware of them and, frequently, people look at the joint locks of karate from the perspective of other arts. We know that such techniques exist within karate, not only because of karateka who kept them in their curricula into modern times, such as Uehara Seikichi […]

Cameron Kessner applying ude-garami to me during technique drills

Motobu Choki demonstrating tuidi-waza from Naihanchi Shodan

Pressure Testing Tuidi

The grappling techniques of karate are classified as tuidi-waza (seizing hand techniques). This primarily refers to joint locks and grabbing/tearing techniques, but could technically include some types of chokes, throws and takedowns. We practice these in kata, in application drills, and in flow drills, but most people don’t work them in a randori (free grappling) scenario. Admittedly, free grappling with […]


Joint Lock “Throws”

Kote-Gaeshi (Wrist Reversal) as taught in Aikido The most commonly recognized example of a joint lock “throw” is kote-gaeshi (wrist reversal). It is a basic technique in Aikido, and several variations of it also exist in karate tuidi. You can see in the animated GIF, above, that the uke (person receiving the technique) drops his left knee to the floor […]

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Is it Worth the Time and Effort? 4

Kiyohide Shinjo Sensei breaking two 1″ boards with a small surface strike Martial artists–usually of the competition-driven variety–often like to point out that certain techniques don’t work, are impractical, or simply too difficult to make work. There are certainly bad techniques out there, that simply do not work in reality, but I will often see perfectly sound techniques being lumped […]


Kosa-Dachi Bunkai

Kosa-Dachi (Cross Stance) Recently, on some of the martial arts study groups I am a part of, the topic of kosa-dachi (cross stance) has been coming up somewhat frequently. This stance is found in many variations, in several kata. The discussions we have been having have mostly focused on the use of kosa-dachi in Naihanchi, and similar discussions have cropped […]

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“Freestyle” Tactile Sensitivity Training

Many martial arts utilize tactile sensitivity (the ability to respond to what your opponent is doing based on touch), and train it with a wide variety of drills. Most people think of Chinese martial arts and their push hands, sticky hands, and listening hands drills, while some also think of Okinawan karate’s kakie and kakidi (hooking hands) drills. As you […]


Applications for Passai, Naihanchi Nidan, and Naihanchi Sandan

This weekend, I recorded a few kata application videos. The first one is an application for the last few movements in our Passai Sho kata, also called Itosu Passai. In the kata, you perform a yama-tsuki (mountain thrust), followed by a turn and a sukui-uke (scooping receiver). This movement almost perfectly matches a variation of tai otoshi (body drop throw) […]


Kusanku and Wansu Applications, Plus a Lock/Throw Combo

I did some video recording last Saturday, and finally got a few clips edited and uploaded to share. The first is an application for the one-legged turn (a jump, in some styles) in Kusanku/Kanku. The technique is a throw found in Okinawa Shima (a grappling sport in Okinawa that descended from tegumi) and Sambo. This video simply shows the throw […]