Urawaza is the Tomiki name for the set of counters to the seventeen fundamental techniques. The name literally means something like "reversed techniques" or "backward techniques" or even "more profound techniques" but I prefer a looser translation... something like, "The flip-side of the basic techniques."
The purpose of practicing Urawaza is to build skill in common randori situations, but more especially to expose the flaws or weaknesses in the fundamental techniques. Often, when a student is working his way through the fundamentals, learning the seventeen for the first time, those techniques can seem like some sort of invincible magic. The look on their faces when they start working Urawaza and they start seeing the huge, gaping holes in the kihon... That look is priceless.
Something interesting about the classic set of Urawaza that I have written about before is that the set is incomplete. There are counters for all of the seventeen fundamentals except #7, #9, #10, #11, #15, #16, and #17. That is, there are 17 fundamental techniques but only 10 of them are countered in the Urawaza.
Part of this is because the counters to the ones that are missing are much like the counters to the others. You can use the principles learned in the 10 urawaza to disrupt most of the other techniques in Junana as well. For instance, you can disrupt any floating throw (#15, #16, #17) with the same sort of principle seen in the Urawaza to #12. And since you can treat all seventeen as floating throws (isnt that the principle lesson at about ikkyu or shodan level?) then that means that the #12 counter principle can be applied to all of the 17.
But I guess it's just part of my mental makeup. Those missing counters bug me. In our class we have added several common ones, like #7 (udegaeshi) countered by iriminage or hadakajime, and #10 (wakigatame) countered by gedanate or taiguruma.
My big question for you Tomikiphiles out there is this... What do you guys see that disrupts #15, #16, and #17 most often? I know you can counter the floating throws in a multitude of ways but which ones show up the most for you in randori?
Also, there is #9 udehineri (kaitennage)... I don't know a single good reliable counter for that one...
So... What do y'all do with those few?
-- ____________________ Patrick Parker www.mokurendojo.com