View Full Version : Mifune's Tai Otoshi

14th December 2000, 15:03
Hi, Mark.

Mifune's Tai Otoshi, definitely! Since it's all fingertips and tai sabaki, I can do it without effort. Ben (Sensei)Patterson always used to say, "If it needs strength, it's not Judo yet." Amazing how a guy who died all those years ago could just keep on getting better and smarter.

The blocking ankle version just seems so crude after using Mifune's "essential" or "refined" Tai Otoshi. And besides, old gimps like me can't throw it.


14th December 2000, 22:30
Sensei Horne, Of Lima, Ohio, always taught that if you had any contact with the opponent's leg in Tai Otoshi you hadn't done it right.

The opponent is messed up in his timing and loses balance and throws himself over the leg, not into it, nor does the leg come into the opponent.

They should feel as if they are doing an ukemi , which they are.


15th December 2000, 06:59
So this would be one of the kukyonage of Mifune's then? This is a how I've been trying to do for the last fifteen years or so, with varying degrees of success. When it becomes a conditioned response, the leg across feels as a natural throw, but now I am doing this throw as Mifune did, or at least trying.

But I do have a question about the foot placement. I've seen this throw done, or pictures of, someone from the Budokwai, and the foot is not flat on the floor, but up on the ball of the foot. Others, such as the US "favorite" Jim Pedro, places his foot the same way, except that his foot remains flat, and never is raised. Both have used this throw and they both work.

In randori, I was taught to throw out the foot, and then raise the leg the same distance up as my foot would be by raising the back of my foot. In kata, though, Mifune's tai otoshi was taught, just as uki otoshi was in not dropping to one knee. The same for sumiotoshi, obviously.

If the leg is not to be raised then what is the purpose of it? (I used to do a variation of this throw, but by having uke fall over the thigh/knee area, and no bend in the foot--Hey, what did I know, I was fifteen.)


Ed, I know whatyou mean. Now, we are the old guys, but the wisdom of the former old guys continues to amaze.

[Edited by MarkF on 12-15-2000 at 02:01 AM]

15th December 2000, 08:32

This is a picture from the Budokwai. This isn't an air throw, but imagining him doing this without the leg across, makes Mifune one of a kind. Kukinage, or possibly kukyonage, if done by aikidoka.


15th December 2000, 13:13
Good Morning, Mark.

When I throw tai otoshi these days, my posture for setting up is a short step into right natural, head up, spine erect, elbows near my body so I am "crowding" uke just a bit. Kuzushi is not back, but down into the floor. Uke's natural reaction is to tense his legs to resist the push down. This reaction causes uke to seem to "jump" into the throw, as he is rising (or floating) when I pivot to my left (assuming a right handed throw) as my left hand pulls horizontally to my left, and my right hand pushes in a downward circular motion, first away from my right chest, then forward as I turn left.

The feel of the throw is, as you noted, much more "otoshi" (as in sumi- or standing uki-) and clarifies the translation "fall from a high place."

The left pivot is not a step; it is a pivot of about 75 degrees on the balls of both feet which transitions my posture from right natural to left natural.

Does that make any sense?


16th December 2000, 08:37
Hi, Ed, and good morning,

Your description not only makes sense, but is indicative of how "the old guys" did most nage. It is a pivot because, well, you "pivot," not shift.

I've seen this throw in which it does seem that uke is jumping into his ukemi, is naturally resisting, but that he almost skips over the leg, and the pulling motion brings uke over, seemingly thinking he can avoid it, but jump-fall's anyway.

Not using the leg is very do-able, but I think in most it is a mental block of sorts. If you think you can't, you won't. The "old guys" did't think in these terms, especially Mifune, as they understood the basics of nage waza.

Since the talk started here and in the aikido forum, I've tried to do it as instructed by Mifune, and you know what? It IS do-able.


16th December 2000, 15:30
Hi, Mark.

Just goes to show you, Tai Sabaki is the key to nage. Heck, I think they should teach it right from the start! Uh, wait a minute. They do? Oh, I see: it just takes some of us twenty years to learn it! (In my case, anyway.)