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shotokanman70's picture
A Modification of Funakoshi's Kubi Wa Throw

Kubi Wa, or "Neck Ring" is one of Funakoshi's 9 throws described in his book "Karate-do Kyohan". Funakoshi describes a very formalized throw, much like the old judo kata. In this video, an arm drag from a clinch is used to execute a more practical version of the throw. Kubi wa can be found in Heian Nidan.

Andy Allen

B Bates
B Bates's picture

Nice work as always Andy. I like the link to Heian Nidan. We showed a different set up to the throw, firstly starting with the formal version as shown in the Karate Do Kyohan then followed up with the throw from a collar tie.

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

Nice videos! I do like kubi-wa (“neck ring”) and believe it to be one of Funakoshi’s simplest and most effective throws.

In Karate-Do Kyohan, Funakoshi does an interesting set up where he does an outside parry with his lead arm, palm heals the enemy’s chin with the same hand, and then has the arm snake around the neck for the throw.

It’s a workable method and the striking before the throws certainly helps. However, my preference is to work it off a clinch (as Andy shows).


I also see Kubi-Wa  as being present in Kanku-Dai / Kushanku / Kosokun. Funakoshi does not make that connection in the text, but it’s a perfect fit for the movement. This is an old video, so the sound and video are not great, but it’s hopefully followable.


It’s in here too (marginally better footage) where I also cover alternative finishes from behind the enemy.


The gripping skills are of course vital if we are to apply this throw from a clinch. I therefore felt that this video may be relevant:


It can be done from outside a clinch too of course. Funakoshi shows one possible entry, and here is another. It’s still an arm drag and I’ve added in a little reap.

Kubi-Was is one of the throws Funakoshi shows in Karate-Do Kyohan. From a functional perspective, I personally like six of those nine. While they are interesting and fun to practice, I have my reservations about the practicalities “Swallow Returns”, “Upside-down hammer” and “Spearing Through”. The other six are solid throws.

Collectively, all nine are sometimes referred to as the “Forgotten Throws of Shotokan” … but Funakoshi does show other throws, which I refer to as the “Forgotten, Forgotten Throws of Shotokan” :-) Here are two key examples:


Funakoshi was not the only one to include throws in his writings of course. Here’s some of the throws in Itoman’s book:


Karate throwing! Who knew? Oh yeah, that’s right … anyone who has bothered to read the words of the past masters :-) Ironic that we pragmatic karateka are often the ones labelled as being “not traditional”.

All the best,


B Bates
B Bates's picture

Here's another variation which is almost identical to Iain's video of Kushanku with a minor nuance which helps this variation fit in with the modern shotokan version of Kanku Dai.