Kote Gaeshi and Shiho-nage are kissing cousins when it comes to body mechanics of uke (the attacker). In the setup, they can look quite different but as we go to execute the throw part the two become very similar, if we look at what is going on with uke’s body. In both we we are trying act along the wrist to the elbow to the arm to the shoulder down through their side to their hip through their leg to take the last bit of stability afforded them by their foot. That path is like the rope around a pulley picking up a weight (their footing). The difference is we can’t just yank on the end of the rope because the pulley is virtual. It’s not really there. This yanking is a natural and common error in our early Aikido career techniques. We have their wrist, we want them down, so we pull down. But it doesn’t work and just annoys our practice partners. If we instead think of their body like the rope, and act like both the pulley and the force on the rope, we add an upward rotation before the down. This lifts through the “rope” and destroys the last of their posture, resulting in them falling instead of being dragged down by a level of force we may not possess.
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