Ukemi: Yokomenuchi Iriminage Henkawaza (Agoate/Kubinage)

Uke: Patrick Brown
Nage: Autrelle Holland
Photographer: Heather Vega

While we were filming this clip, I intended to show a kihon for iriminage, and Patrick’s ukemi created the circumstances for variation. So, I’m going to detail those circumstances.

Here, so far, so good. Patrick attacks with a very straightforward yokomenuchi. I’m going to move forward and to the outside, and catch Patrick’s hand from above, much like a kotegaeshi. The hand moves rather fast, so really, I’m watching and trying to catch the elbow, which moves much slower, and then slide down to the wrist. This is important in tantodori, because reaching for the hand directly may result in grabbing a blade, which is no good.

Mission accomplished, sort of. At the exact point and time shown in the photo, I have done a fairly good job of entering and blending with the attack. My posture remains open and relaxed, I’ve zoned away from his other tools of attack, and I’m in a great spot to deliver atemi. I would love to do a more complete entry to his rear so that I can finish with iriminage.

Oh! Patrick immediately comes back to face me, ready to counter or simply attack again. He maintains a very fluid and live connection with me, and doesn’t just let me have it.

So, it’s time to proceed accordingly. I reach toward his head with my left hand. Ordinarily, this would be a strike to the face, but since we’re training the taisabaki and the kuzushi, I opt to directly to his collar for a hold. People practice iriminage grabbing the collar this way for a variety of reasons. One reason is that it’s safer to yank someone’s gi collar than their neck. Another reason is that it’s a LOT harder to control a partner like this, so the goal is to learn how to do it anyway, with the idea that it will be easy enough to control by holding the neck/side of the face. One of the bad things about grabbing by the collar is that if not done correctly, uke will spin out to some degree.

Ideally, I would grip his collar, and while moving behind him, draw his head toward my chest or right shoulder, so I can finish iriminage. Patrick doesn’t want to end the encounter just yet, and continues to turn to face me. This will place me back in front of him, and means no iriminage for me. Usually, ukemi for this sort of throw requires uke to make perpendicular to nage, and to keep his head close to nage’s body. This will protect uke from being punched in the face or choked immediately, and make iriminage the best option for nage. This assumes that nage does a complete entry and unbalances uke, which I have not yet!

So now I decide to get a handle on things and start to unbalance Patrick. But now he’s a little to close for comfort. He’s bent at the knees and trying to face me, so really, I haven’t taken his balance as much as he’s lowering his level to try to face me and perhaps tackle or punch me.

Well, iriminage is pretty much shot at this point. I can barely get behind my uke, much less unbalance him. I have a few things working for me as I keep moving through the technique though: he does seem to always be a tempo behind, which means he has to play catch up before he can begin a solid counter. Plus, now he’s actually trying to stand up and regain his upright posture while he’s facing me, which will place him in a nice position for agoate or kubinage.

The finished exchange.

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2 Responses to Ukemi: Yokomenuchi Iriminage Henkawaza (Agoate/Kubinage)

  1. Jane Goody says:

    After reading this article, I just feel that I really need more info. Could you suggest some more resources please?

  2. autrelle says:

    Resources in what regard?

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