Keiko Talk: Kote Gaeshi, Study the angle of the elbow


Last night we spent time practicing kote gaeshi, one of the iconic techniques of the martial arts. Almost all martial arts from asian countries have this technique included in their syllabus in one way or another.

Whenever we practice kote gaeshi Sensei often talks about the need to make sure that you open up your body completely. But last night he chose to emphasize the importance of making the correct angle with the partners elbow. He told us that although the technique’s name mentions the wrist the most important thing is to make the correct angle at the elbow. We should try to make a ninety degree angle with the elbow and step directly behind our partner. We must not step back or take distance from our partner. We must maintain a good distance that allows us to make the correct angle at the elbow.

I remember Sensei  saying long ago that placing a lot of power through the wrist joint shows a very low-level of skill and that is how a beginner would apply the technique . If we want to be good at kote gaeshi we should focus on throwing people using only the angle of the elbow. We should also focus on not bringing the arm too high as this will give  our partner a change to escape from the technique.

I hope this was interesting.