Skip to content

Class Notes – Onikudaki

May 13, 2014

I never get tired of teaching onikudaki.

Here’s an example vid.

What I like most about it is how it effortlessly generates and delivers a HIGH level of force into your opponent. Of course this requires you to get and maintain that connection between your elbow, hip and footwork that I taught you all the way from Day 1 in chi no kata. That’s why we warmed up with a modified version of chi no kata, switching which foot was in front and ensuring that every step was done coordinated with the hip and elbow.

Common mistakes include:

  • twisting the hips in weird ways
  • raising the shoulders/straightening the knees during the stepping
  • keeping the hip in place as the feet move.

Onikudaki is very powerful, and you can probably make it work against 70-80% of the people you encounter even if you make the mistakes listed above. But it’s the 20-30% who can sense your weaknesses in technique that I am afraid of. Any of the above mistakes affect the force you deliver into your opponent’s body and give him/her opportunities to escape your technique, counter your moves and generally mess up your day.

We don’t want that!

Moving On

We also looked at 折倒 (Setto, from Koto Ryu) as another set up for onikudaki. The basic form is to punch the triceps of a grabbing arm with your lead arm (moving a little to the side if necessary), and then boshiken your opponent away with your other arm. Notice that when you punch past, you are in place for onikudaki, and the pain you’ve inflicted usually makes it even easier to get the technique on.

Easy is always good!

There are a few ways an opponent can try to escape an onikudaki. Onikudaki requires us to keep his hand in place as we move the elbow, so one way to escape is to bring his hand down so his elbow is now higher than his hand. When that happens, bring his hand to your abs and exert upward pressure on to his elbow with your forearm (the bony bit). The pain should raise him to his tiptoes, and throwing him should be easy from there.

This is called 雪耀 (Setsu Yaku, from Shinden Fudo Ryu).

When doing this, please make sure you bring his elbow straight up. People tend to bring the elbow towards themselves, and that causes the opponent to wrap himself around you and try to hit or choke you. Not good. Also, before you bring his hand to your abs, please make sure he isn’t holding a knife in that hand. Stabbing yourself with your opponent’s blade is deathly embarrassing!


Two weeks on onikudaki, and still a lot more training to go. I would like to spend more time on this, but we will move on for now, so that the beginners can get a general overview of the basics first before we go in depth to any one particular technique. Next lesson we should be looking at musha dori. Come prepared!


俊傑 (Shunketsu)
Bujinkan Ninjutsu

From → bujinkan

  1. S. Hamilton permalink

    Domo Arigatou Gozaimashita for using our video as an example! Great article – I also very much enjoy this kihon!

    • Glad you liked it. 🙂 Besides doing these class notes for my students, they also help me remember stuff that I might forget to teach because they are blindingly obvious to me and I assume everyone else can see them too. That’s part of the 50% that must be taught (reference to your own post…) 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: