View Full Version : Aikijujutsu Technique: Kotegaeshi

14th August 2000, 15:47
First I’d like to apologies in advance for any and all misspelling.
I’d like to ask about the translation of kote-gaeshi. From what I understand it is suppose to mean
“outer wrist turn”. The dictionaries that I have list kote as forearm and te-kubi as wrist (also in one
of the ma that I study kote-kitake is “forearm conditioning”).


14th August 2000, 15:50
It's my understanding that literally translated, it means "wrist out"

14th August 2000, 15:59
"Wrist out", "outer wrist turn"
that would be the general direction of the technique
ie away from the body instead of into the body.
That part i understand, but i'm confused as to were the
"wrist" comes into the translation if kote in the dictionary means forearm.


14th August 2000, 16:16
I think the word "kote" can also mean wrist, as well as forearm, or arm.

Mark Jakabcsin
14th August 2000, 16:36
'Forearm turn' is correct. The wrist is not needed to do kote-gaeshi, it can be successfully accomplished by using a grip only on the forearm.


14th August 2000, 17:59
Hi all,

A couple of things:

Scoundrel, it is E-budo policy to use full names (the simplest way to do this is to configure your signature).

Kote is indeed forearm, but Kaeshi (or Gaeshi, in a compound) means to reverse, so it isn't just a turn (since one could take mawashi to mean this).

What I have heard (and who knows how correct it is) is that for the otoshi version of Kote Gaeshi, the the kote is reversed which prevents Uke's elbow from floating (and in so doing, making accurate placement possible for the drop).

Be well,

14th August 2000, 18:47
Thank you all for your input.

Brently Keen
15th August 2000, 05:20
I believe some older jujutsu systems make a distinction between two different types of techniques. One: tekubi gaeshi (wrist turnover/reversal), and two: kote gaeshi (fore arm turnover/reversal).

The technique(s) commonly called kote gaeshi in aikido and other systems is generally a wrist technique. A misnomer in my opinion, but extremely common none-the-less.

Brently Keen

15th August 2000, 09:15
Brently is correct concerning the jujutsu meaning of this term, and is used (gaeshi) to reverse or counter any move another attempts. For example, the reverse of o soto gari, or reversing the same throw on tori would be o soto gaeshi.

Just a thought:wave:

Neil Hawkins
15th August 2000, 11:00
I concur with Brently and Mark, some systems call things by different names. It is my belief (please correct me if I'm wrong or if you have other theories) that its use originated from the name given to the armoured sleeve. The sleeve was called sode and two small armoured sections protected the arm, the upper section was called gote and the lower section kote. In kumiuchi styles the kote provided a strong purchase and good control of the weapon hand when grasped. The techniques originally used to grasp and twist the kote were adapted when armour was no longer worn. In our style tekubi is the wrist and kote the forearm.

Aikidos kote gaeshi, or tekubi gaeshi, we call tekubi hineri and is the standard wrist twist.


Mark Jakabcsin
15th August 2000, 11:24
There is really very little difference on whether you accomplish kote-gaeshi using the wrist or the forearm. If you turnover or reverse the wrist the forearm turns as well. The main element of the lock is that it works on backward balance. The point that you grasp uke is of minimal importance compared to the understanding of the balance associated with the technique. We don't distinguish between the two (wrist and forearm) because in a real confrontation or even in randori you take what is available. You may desire the wrist but end up with the forearm, so what the technique is still the same.


15th August 2000, 14:18
Thanks for all you input.
My reason for asking this question is that when i workout with people (not in an aiki or jujitsu setting) they seem to concentrate on the wrist trying to achive a submission by simply twisting the wrist. When i tell them to shift their focus to using the wrist to turn the forearm wham! somone goes to the floor.
Maybe it's just me? It's one of my favorite techniques and has made me more closely examine the relationship between the name of a technique and its execution.
Again thank you all for your attention.

16th August 2000, 16:10
Hi everyone.

A very interesting thread that explores many vaild possibilities and interpretations.

I would like to add my thoughts from an Aikido perspective.

To fully understand the meaning of any technique, I think it is necessary to examine the characteristics of the name in the original language.
To do this we cannot rely purely on pronunciation or Romaji rendering, since Japanese has many characters that are pronounced differently and hence have different meanings. The actual Kanji need to be analized.
The characters that make up ‘Kote Gaeshi’ do not translate, as is commonly assumed, as ‘Wrist twist’, ‘Forearm twist’ or ‘Wrist turnout’. These are, I would venture to suggest, interpretations based on how the technique ‘feels’ when applied, that have eventually found their way into glossaries the world over.
In ‘Kote Gaeshi’, the characters for ‘Kote’ literally translated mean ‘Small Hand’. The characters for ‘Gaeshi’ literally translated mean ‘Reverse, send back, return’.

This clarifies the meaning, but only to a degree. It does not, for example, mean that we can only perform the technique on people with small hands!:D
Hands come in all sizes, so to make the hand small must be done through the application of technique.

In ‘O’-Sensei’s training manual ‘Budo’ it states (regarding ‘Kote Gaeshi’) on pages 43-44 :
“Grab his (Uke’s) right hand on the outside, pressing your thumb against the base of his ring and little fingers, step back on your left foot while powerfully twisting his fist with both of your hands, and down him.”
It is interesting that this description refers to ‘Kote Gaeshi’ in response to Shomen Uchi
("Tori: Fill yourself with Ki & invite your opponent to strike with shomen.
Uke: Deliver a shomen strike with your right te-gatana)

This indicates that at some point, the action of grabbing and manipulating the Uke’s hand will change its stretched, open state, into one where the fingers will be bent back (reversed) towards the forearm (taking the form of a fist).
Grabbing with the thumb against the base of the ring and little fingers places the other fingers in an optimal position to grab around the base of the thumb rather than the wrist. By grabbing the hand in this position it is possible to make the wrist bend on turning and lowering one’s elbow as a fulcrum. The second hand will come to push forward, round and down on the back of the hand once the hip and leg have opened to the rear and the Uke’s hand is turning back. All these actions should be performed together.

Anatomically this is achieved by stretching the muscles that control and connect to the fingers (the Extensor Indicis and the Extensor Digitorum) back towards the forearm. The index finger has its own dedicated tendon which when the fingers are reversed back becomes very tight. As this tendon’s origin and insertion is above the elbow, the inside forearm rotates upward under the pressure applied on fingers, knuckles and wrist.
When this movement is co-ordinated with a three-dimensional hip turn and push down, this causes the armpit to open and the shoulder to drop, destabilising the centre of gravity. Uke will lose balance in the direction of the diagonal rear corner and the forearm continues to rotate out in this direction, just prior to the fall.
This is why the hand and wrist feels as though it is being turned out to the side, because this is the direction Nage opens his/her body. If done correctly Uke should land at Nage’s feet with the 3 hands (Uke’s and Nage’s) aligned with the Nage’s centre line.

This movement can be found in the use of Aiki-Ken when cutting diagonally to the rear.

Even if Uke resists the reversal by tensing the wrist, the angle of the push down on the arm will still result in Uke falling down. In my experience, even with the wrist locked out, the reversal of the fingers still causes the wrist to bend. If the reversal is co-ordinated with the hip turn and made at the correct angle, it will allow the movement to be completed easily and without unnecessary strength.

I am speculating here, but it may be that the confusion over meaning comes from the extensive use of ‘Kote’ as a term in Kendo.
An examination of the characters used for ‘Kote’ in this case do not reveal any link with the ‘Kote’ of ‘Kote Gaeshi’.
The ‘Kote’ in Kendo translates ‘Ko’ as ‘armoured’ and ‘Te’ as ‘hand’. Hence the translation as ‘gauntlet’ or ‘protective mitt’. In Kendo competition, ‘Kote’ then also becomes a target point and maybe why ‘Kote’ often ends up being translated as ‘forearm’.
A study of the word forearm translated into Japanese results in ‘Maeude’, ‘Zenpaku’ and ‘Zenwan’, but not ‘Kote’. Also, wrist translates as ‘Tekubi’ or ‘neck of the hand’.
Interestingly, the back of the hand is ‘Tenoko’ in Japanese, although again the ‘Ko’ part is a different Kanji to that in ‘Kote Gaeshi’.

Hope this helps and is of interest.

Chris Tozer

16th August 2000, 17:08
Thank you, Chris
Wow I'm gonna have to take some time to really read this and take notes.

"In ‘O’-Sensei’s training manual ‘Budo’ it states (regarding ‘Kote Gaeshi’) on pages 43-44 :
“Grab his (Uke’s) right hand on the outside, pressing your thumb against the base of his ring and little fingers, step back on your left foot while powerfully twisting his fist with both of your hands, and down him.”
It is interesting that this description refers to ‘Kote Gaeshi’ in response to Shomen Uchi
("Tori: Fill yourself with Ki & invite your opponent to strike with shomen.
Uke: Deliver a shomen strike with your right te-gatana)"

One point here, When talking to an instructor of mine about this he mentioned that instead if grabbing the base of the thumb, grab the thumb itself (in its folded position like in a fist) copressing it will cause pain assure compiance from the attacker.
Just a side note.


Brently Keen
16th August 2000, 18:23
Chris is correct. In Daito-ryu the kanji are also for "small-hand". I knew this before, but must've forgotten. Thanks for the reminder. What I'd have to double check on is whether "kote" as used in kendo uses different kanji.

Brently Keen

18th August 2000, 06:56

About kotegaeshi....

I am training Daito-ryu aikijujutsu Takumakai. There are three techniques I have been practising that look very much alike: kotegaeshi, udegaeshi and kengaeshi.

In kotegaeshi the grip is from the hand and wrist, so that the uke's wrist is bent. In udegaeshi the grip is from the forehand, so the uke's wrist is free. The way of unbalancing the opponent is more or less similar in both techniques .

In kengaeshi the grip is also from the hand and wrist, but the fist and fingers are rolled towards the elbow. The direction of the technique is more directly downwards than in the two other techniques. (And it is usually more painful, especially if there is a knife or something in the hand).

Jyri Lamminmaki
Daito-ryu aikijujutsu Takumakai, Helsinki

18th August 2000, 09:18
I agree with Mark J. concerning the lack of a difference concerning where you grab; the move is the same and so is the salad. That you use red cabbage or the other kind, it is still the same.:smokin:

Nathan Scott
18th August 2000, 16:57
Hello Mr. Lamminmaki,

Welcome to e-budo! I'm actually quite happy to see a member of the Takumakai post here. Your the first one I've seen anywhere on the internet.

We'd love to hear more about your training experiences and thoughts from your perspective. Please consider jumping on threads if you find them interesting.

BTW, I take it your Takumakai branch is under the direction of the Takumakai Honbu in Japan, right? I'd be curious to know how much the Takumakai is spreading outside of Japan - are there many dojo's?


18th August 2000, 19:28

Hi! How is Mr.Yuriki doing? ( I am sorry I don't know the Finnish spelling of his name since I met him in Osaka and was introduced in Japanese) How about his partner, I think his name was Marco? When will they be going to Japan next? I am STILL not done that translation (I have been REALLY busy) but when I do I will send it to your website.



[Edited by CKohalyk on 08-18-2000 at 02:31 PM]

21st August 2000, 12:34

Yes, our dojo is under Takumakai Hombu. My understanding is that at the moment we are the only Takumakai dojo outside Japan. There used to be one in USA, Tennesse and on in Australian. But I have heard that the one in USA is 'closed' and the one in Australian is not in Takumakai anymore.
Anyway, our dojo, here in Helsinki, is very active and have frequent contacts to Takumakai Hombu.

There are some people in Sweden and in New York that are members of Takumakai, but there are no 'official' dojos in those places.

Jyri Lamminmaki
Daito-ryu aikijujutsu Takumakai, Helsinki