Thursday, March 20, 2008

A helpful handful: 5 interpretations for yoko o mawashi

A couple of days ago, John asked about potential applications for the last movement (yoko o mawashi) in our first exercise (Tegatana no kata). Following are a handful of applications or things that this last movement teaches - but not before a disclaimer. I consider this exercise to be very general-purpose. This movement, or something similar could occur in many techniques.
  • As John pointed out, all the steps in this kata are very small, conservative motions, so, in contrast, this large, lunging motion teaches us what a large recovery is involved with a large step
  • You may also consider this as a withdrawing evasion (like a retreating tenkanashi) getting the hands up on the centerline. You may not step that deep, but in essence yoko o mawashi is a specific type of aiki brush-off.
  • You may also interpret this motion as pushing uke down: an evasion with some degree of turning motion, dropping, and pushing uke into offbalance - taking an incoming opponent and driving them into the ground.
  • As for specific techniques, you may see this type of motion as a kotegaeshi. As uke punches, tori evades with a retreating tenkanashi, grasps the arm, and returns back to the starting point, throwing with a gaeshi.
  • You could also call it aigamaeate or aikinage - retreating tenkanashi scooping the arm and head in an arc, then turning the other way attacking the face.

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