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 […]

Wrist Grabs in Karate Training

  Traditional martial arts are often criticized–and rightly so, in many cases–for training against unrealistic attacks. Most often, the attack that gets the most complaints is the infamous straight lunge-punch in a long front stance that comes from 10 feet away, and wouldn’t hit the defender even if they stood still. A close second to that is the wrist grab, […]

wrist grab

motobu hand trap title

Preemptive Hand Trapping

Hand trapping is an aspect of Okinawan karate that has been lost in many dojo. So many, in fact, that it is not uncommon for karateka to comment on videos of Okinawan trapping techniques with things like “looks like Wing Chun”–they simply can’t believe that it is a native aspect of karate! Of course, if you search “hand trapping” on […]

The Magic of Hikite 4

A “traditional karate” example of hikite (pulling hand) while punching Sometimes, I forget that the wider karate world hasn’t moved on from formalized, impractical, block-punch-kick kata applications. I was reminded when, just a month or two ago, a relatively new karateka posted on a martial arts forum that I moderate, asking about hikite (pulling hand). He commented that it didn’t […]



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 […]

Karateka with a Longsword

Over the weekend, I had an opportunity to train with the Phoenix Society of Historical Swordsmanship, which is a HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) club that specializes in Italian styles of swordsmanship, as well as Spanish rapier. The club is run by Richard Marsden, who is also the President of the HEMA Alliance. They were a good group of people, […]



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 […]