Kotegaeshi in Tantodori


The Aikido Technique Kotegaeshi on Knife Attack

When taking the knife from the attacker in the kotegaeshi technique, first make sure that you have applied the hold properly, according to the picture above. It is best to do the pinning standing up, not to get the knife to close to your face. The hand with which you hold uke in this pinning, is holding on, with the same grip, all through the technique.

       The pinning should be done particularly firmly in tantodori, not to lose control of uke, with uke's arm pressed diagonally forward in the direction of uke's head. For the grip in uke's fist to be firm, you must remember to use force not only with your thumb, but also with your little finger, being the base of the grip, its anchor, so to speak. Also, use your knee to support it.

Kotegaeshi on different knife attacks.

       Watch the knife carefully - how it is held by uke and in what direction the edge of it is pointing.

       In the case of a tsuki attack the knife should normally be positioned as on these pictures, but it is not certain. If the attack had been done from a knife grip where the edge of it was initially upward, it would be in a reverse position here, and removing it would have to be done slightly differently from what is shown below.

       The knife here is single-edge, which is more easy to handle than a double edge one. This too must be carefully observed before taking it from uke.


       Now it is time to take the knife. Form your free hand into a fork shape, like the letter U, as shown on the picture above. Do not bend your fingers, neither the thumb nor the others. This shape of the hand should be kept until the knife is safely removed from uke's grip.

       To avoid the knife falling out of your reach, pinch it a little at the base of your fork grip. If you do this already when you apply the fork hand to the knife, you will be sure to get hold of it whenever uke drops it.


       Move your hand in a horizontal semi-circle, allowing the backside of the knife blade to press against the bottom of the U, that is the area between the thumb and the index finger.

       The semi-circle should be done with uke's hand as the center - fixed at the same spot all through. It is very important not to let uke's arm or hand move, or uke may very well get a better grip on the knife.


       Already when you applied the pinning, uke lost control of the knife. It is actually you who are keeping it in uke's grip, with the hold you have on uke's fist. The semi-circle is still the safe way to take the knife, so do not try to pull it off before this movement is completed.

       Apply a good grip on the knife, before moving away from your position or releasing uke's arm.

Stefan Stenudd

For a text and videos on kotegaeshi in general, go here.


Sankyo on tsuki

Sankyo on yokomen uchi

Shihonage on yokomen uchi

Shihonage on tsuki



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