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Wastelander's picture
Bunkai Concept: Kuzushi-Waza Before Turns in Kata

Hello, everyone,

I don't think folks here will find the idea of using the turns in kata as takedowns to be all that new, but this week we took some time to point out the off-balancing (kuzushi) potential of the movement before the turns, which make the throws easier to accomplish. As I'm sure many of you will note, I show these off of some 3K-style "blocks," as well as mentioning a few more realistic situations--I figured I would put something out there that those who are less familiar with practical application can use to get started, and plant the seeds for more. We'll see how that's received :P

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

Lovey succinct video with a lot of info in there! Coincidentally, I was chatting with a gent this week who had created a drill using the three age-uke of Pinan Nidan as a side to side Kuzushi before the turning gedan-barai was used as a winding throw. The whole thing was very akin to the kind of drills we see in judo kata (unbalance twice, throw on the third) and I thought it was a novel idea. Probably not the original intent, but nice “outside of the box” thinking.

All the best,


Les Bubka
Les Bubka's picture

Hi Wastlander,

Very nice  I'm sure that many peoople will benefit from this explanation. 

Kind regards 


Wastelander's picture

Thanks! It was a bit of a densely-packed video, so I was hoping it would get the idea across. There are more examples, even just from the Pinan series, that I didn't include--the last turn before the gedan-shuto-uke sequence in Pinan Nidan, the last turn before the hook punches in Pinan Sandan, etc.--but I was running out of time :P. The idea actually came from Carlos, who was my uke in the video. He's a Sandan in Aikido, in addition to training in karate, and he suggested we highlight that concept. I like the idea of using the jodan-uke sequence in Pinan Nidan as a kuzushi drill! Interestingly, I have a similar kuzushi drill for the yama-tsuki sequence in Passai. Maybe I'll do something with that sometime soon.

Marc's picture

If I get what you are showing in the video correctly, the forward motion before the turn "pushes" the opponent away from you, which they will then try to resist by moving in the opposite direction (back towards you), the momentum of which you then exploit with the takedown.

It is important to understand this principle from both perspectives - a) the perspective of the person exploiting the resistance and b) the perspective of the person being coerced into resisting.

a) is covered in your video, exploting the resistance and using it to throw.

In b) the roles of attacker/defender are swapped: If somebody is trying to push or pull us, we learn not to resist with an opposite force but instead go with the push/pull and use that momentum against the attacker.

Another fine video. Thanks for sharing.

Take care,