06 – Oshitaoshi (elbow push-down)

Tomiki Aikido Throw #6 (of 17), Randori-no-kata

Oshitaoshi (elbow push-down)
Oshitaoshi (elbow push-down throw)

Oshitaoshi is technique number 6 of the 17 basic techniques of Shodokan Aikido. It is also the first of the five elbow-joint techniques (Hiji Waza).

Up to now, Uke (the attacker, who attacks and gets thrown) has only had to fall on his back. The Oshitaoshi aikido throw places Uke face-down. So make sure you and your training partner can handle front breakfalls before you do these.

Uke’s arm is held firmly as he falls, so he cannot do a forward roll from Oshi-taoshi. Uke must cushion the impact as best he can with his free arm – palm down.

This is how to do Oshitaoshi, Tomiki Aikido’s elbow push-down technique. Other Aikido styles refer to this aikido technique as Ikkyo (first Aikido control).

  • You (Tori, the defender) face your partner, right stance to right stance.
  • Uke “attacks” for you with a thrust to your chest.
  • Step back out of the line of attack, and grabs Uke’s right wrist with both hands, keeping both thumbs down.
  • Stay in right posture (right foot forward) and keep your arms extended in a bow.
  • Step back, then in again … as you rotate Uke’s wrist and hand slightly clockwise.
  • Push Uke’s forarm into his own face, making sure his elbow is up and his hand down. This is the balance-breaker part of oshitaoshi.
  • Step through with your left leg and bring Uke’s elbow up and round in a large circle, which ends with Uke’s armpit close to your left thigh.
  • Then take a big step forward (and slightly to your right) with your right foot. Your left foot can then “catch up” to keep your balance.
  • Maintain control of Uke’s arm and elbow, stretching it out slightly. Keep the palm of Uke’s right hand rotated slightly upwards so he cannot bend his elbow and escape from the oshitaoshi throw.
  • Uke finishes oshitaoshi by falling onto his knees, using his free arm (the left) as a spring to break his fall. (Be very very careful here if you haven’t done maeotoshi before!)
  • You maintain your grip on Uke’s wrist with your right hand, while your left hand rests thumbs down on Uke’s elbow.

Warning: Oshitaoshi can easily break your training partner’s arm at the elbow if you are careless. Take great care of Uke’s safety, and don’t press too hard with your hand and you guide him (or her) face-down onto the ground. Skilled aikido people take pride in their ability to do these techniques without hurting the other guy. Any fool can hurt you.

Aikido Video: Oshitaoshi (elbow push-down)

Video clip shows both the standing and kneeling versions of Oshitaoshi. Kneeling techniques were necessary for Samurai so they could defend themselves indoors, where Japanese people followed the custom of kneeling down instead of sitting down. These kinds of techniques are still taught and practised in several traditional martial arts, and not just in Aikido circles.

David’s comments:  A very nice demonstration, with the instructor / teacher explaining what he is doing as he does it. Would anyone like to add their take on this?

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