KOSHINAGE – ONLY FOR THE HIP KIDS

There are a few basic categories of koshinage in Aikido.  I want to start by listing them and giving a brief description.

1.    Sankyo Koshinage: Uke’s hand is gripped as in sankyo.  Nage moves his head in underneath uke’s arm, which is extended upward.  The grip and the position of the head are the keynote features of this throw.
2.    Shihonage Omote Koshinage: Nage starts like shihonage, but moves head first underneath uke’s arm and extends uke’s body across his hip.  Uke is actually postioned sideways across nage’s hips, as opposed to laying belly down across the hips.
3.    Shihonage Ura Koshinage: Nage turns to the rear of uke with tenkan and throws koshinage in a direction to uke’s rear.  Here, nage turns his body to the position for the throw, rather than entering with the head or hips.  Uke is required to face the new direction that nage has turned to and place his side across nage’s hips.
4.    Tsurikomi Koshinage: This is not like the Judo or Ju/Jiu Jutsu waza. It differs because nage enters from the outside when lifting the arm, and enters with the either the head or the hip first.
5.    Ushiro Koshinage: There a series of these techniques.  Basically, when nage is held from the rear, he moves uke’s arms to transition to a sankyo koshinage position.  Depending on the circumstance, nage may take uke’s hand in a sankyo grip, or let uke’s own grip provide the contact required for the throw.
6.    Uchi and Soto Waza: This is the case where uke’s grip is negated with uchi or soto mawari.  Usually with uchi mawari the throw is done head entering first.  In kosadori, soto mawari can be done with either the head or hips entering first.
7.    Kokyu Koshiwaza: Here, the hips are used to firmly bounce uke away.  Uke is not loaded on the hips.  Two common examples are ryotedori soto mawari kokyu koshinage and ushiro ryotedori kokyu koshinage.  Some may write these off strictly as kokyunage, but I’m prepared to do that, since it is clearly a variation of a kokyunage that “missed.”
8.    Otoshi Koshinage: This is a koshinage when uke attacks fast with a strike, and nage passes deeply into uke and throws uke over the hip.  This happens in taijutsu and also bukiwaza.
9.    Kata Koshinage: In Aikido we have the ganseki otoshi and kata garuma.  These throws are properly understood to be “high” variations of koshinage, rather that attempts to throw someone high over the shoulders and head.
10.    Ogoshi: Once again, this is different from the waza usually found in Judo or Ju/Jiu Jutsu.  Nage enters in front of uke, and places an arm around uke’s hip while pressing his own hip against uke’s center.  Nage is sideways to uke, and does not turn his back to uke at any point.  He then “tilts” uke forward a bit, and as uke leans forward, nage moves uke’s upper body forward, and then steps back to give uke a hole to fall into.  Uke’s fall isn’t a throw proper, but an otoshi.  Uke literally spins 45 degrees, and once horizontal, drops to the ground.

These ten ideas cover the majority of koshinage as they are practiced in Aikido.  Now I want to address some keynote features that reoccur in these themes.

•    Sometimes nage grabs uke’s hand.  Most commonly this is done with sankyo.  There are koshinage where nage uses uchi mawari to grip uke, but does not take sankyo.  This also occurs in ushiro ryotedori and ushiro katate munadori, where nage can take the grip to throw.  There are variations where nage moves from ikkyo to sotodori koshinage where the wrist is gripped.
•    Sometimes nage does not grab uke’s hand.  This appears in cases such as uchi and soto mawari, ushiro, kokyu, and otoshi koshinage.
•    Sometimes the head enters first.  This establishes the correct position for the hips.  In ushiro, nage usually moves uke’s arms in such a way to attain this position.
•    Sometimes the hips enter first.  This happens often with soto mawari.  Ushiro koshinage is really more like this than the head first koshinage.
•    Sometimes uke is not thrown over the hip.  This is the case with kokyu, ganseki otoshi, kata garuma, and ogoshi.
•    Usually nage forms a cross in front of uke to throw.
•    Sometimes nage does not form a cross to the front of uke to throw.  This is the case in shihonage ura, kokyu koshinage, ogoshi, and ganseki otoshi.
•    Sometimes nage grips uke at the hip with one hand.  The most common example is ogoshi, but there are several koshinage like this that occur from soto mawari.
•    The ukemi is usually done by placing your belly flat across nage’s hips.  This is not the case in shihonage omote and ura, ogoshi, ganseki otoshi, and kata garuma.

So the koshinage in Aikido has a number of core ideas with attendant variations, all of them valid and very different from the koshiwaza seen in Judo or Ju/Jiu Jitsu.

Coming soon: RTF file with images detailing the koshinage as I have described them.

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