17 – Hikiotoshi (pull-drop throw)

Aikido Throw #17 of the Randori no Kata

Hikiptoshi is the final of the 3 floating techniques. It has a  hard breakfall.
Hikiptoshi is the final of the 3 floating techniques. It has a hard breakfall.

Hikiotoshi is the last of the three Uki Waza (floating techniques) and the last one of the 17 Randori techniques of Shodokan Aikido.

Hikiotoshi is also a difficult breakfall for the un-initiated. The break-fall is a little like the kotegaeshi breakfall, except heavier. With hikiotoshi, you have to flip your own legs and body over your captured arm (same as a fast kote-gaeshi breakfall) but, because you’re being pulled as well. The hikiotoshi breakfall is over a longer distance.

For Uke, it is a jump over his own arm. Again, the impact on your outstretched body is substantial because the arc is much bigger than a kotegaeshi breakfall. In Sydney classes when I was learning to handle this fall, we used to call the breakfall from hikiotoshi ‘The Bitch’ because of the hard landing it requires.

  • Face Uke, your right posture to his right posture.
  • As Uke attacks, catch Uke’s right arm on the inside with both your hands.
  • Your left hand catches the wrist. Your right hand grips the elbow.
  • Your left hand is palm down, your right hand is palm up.
  • Stay in right posture, but glide back. (Tsubi-ashi movement.)
  • Rotate Uke’s arm slightly anti-clockwise, as you do hikiotoshi and be sure to pull his arm to your left hip.
  • Uke will be unbalanced, and should jump over his right arm to flip onto his back. If he doesn’t know how to fall correctly, he will stumble and break the arm.
  • You maintain a balanced posture and hold Uke for a few seconds…
  • Conclude hikiotoshi by releasing Uke’s arm. Then step back, keeping posture and a safe distance.

Learn the Hikiotoshi aikido throw by practicing slowly and very carefully. Make sure you have good Tatami or gymnasium mats, to cushion your fall.

Uke should be allowed to do the jumping breakfall at whatever speed he (or she) is comfortable with.

Practice again and again.

Speed will come with time, but only when you can do the techniques correctly at slow speed.

Hurrying the hikiotoshi technique when training will only get you or your training partner injured… And that will really slow you down. Please, take it easy!

That is the last of the seventeen basic Aikido techniques as refined by Kenji Tomiki Sensei, the founder of Shodokan Aikido. You will find these moves in hundreds of variations across all the different aikido schools. It is proof of Tomiki Sensei’s genius as a martial arts teacher that he could refine them down to this core of techniques so that University students could enjoy them safely in competition – something no other Aikido style is willing to do.

6 thoughts on “17 – Hikiotoshi (pull-drop throw)”

  1. Great job on your web site. Very informative real-world info.

    Shotokan Karate-Ka,
    South Carolina, USA

    1. I am glad you find this website useful, Tom. Perhaps you would consider writing an article for us that describes Shotokan Karate? I would be happy to publish it here.

  2. Do you class Hiki otoshi (17) as a elbow (Hiji) technique or a floating / projection tech?

    Many thanks Leeds Central Aikido, England.

    1. Hi Tony, Hiki-Otoshi is one of the three floating techniques of the Randori No Kata. Tomiki sensei did those classifications when he created the Kata of 15, now the Kata of 17. I have just tried to learn from his Shodokan system. Cheers, David.

    1. Thanks for the offer, but I’m into Shodokan Aikido and that is what I have a lot of on this website and blog. Shotokan Karate is not my area of expertise! 😉 Yes, I know they sound very similar. (Shodokan Aikido is the only aikido that has a competitive, sports, aspect. We have randori and shiai (competition) that is done in a manner very similar to that in Judo. Why? Because Tomiki-sensei was a professional physical education teacher. He just happened to teach Judo and Aikido as martial arts and as exercise classes for Japanese university students. The name Shodokan comes from his home dojo in Osaka, Japan. Kind regards, David. (Er… who is Tom?)

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