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Class Notes 21 Dec 2017

February 19, 2018


Remember the line you want to form with your forearm or stick. That makes the directions of the force applied very much clearer. If you end up struggling to complete this lock, odds are that you did not get the line of force correct.

How do we get the line of force correct? One way is to keep doing the onikudaki stretch on yourself. That way you know how you want your recipient to feel when you are using onikudaki.

onikudaki stretch

Torite drill

From omote shuto – receive with jodan uke, and apply onikudaki as your partner draws his arm back to a doko no kamae. Follow his arm back to move away from his other arm. Maintain the line of force even while moving (now that’s onikudaki in the REAL world).

Against a modern knife stab/slash combo

When you know the second slash is coming, drop your weight down and maintain arm contact with the knife hand. Notice how this then hands you the onikudaki on a silver platter, nicely wrapped up as a Christmas present?

Onikudaki (Takagi Yoshin Ryu) – take note of the options available from stepping different angles. 1st step is back 45 degrees, then you step in to bring your back foot next to the front foot and capture the arm. From that point on, moving yourself 90 degrees to the line of his arm gives you different results from moving back 45 degrees the other way.

For more Hibari-like results, drop straight down. Just be careful on your way up. And try this in class only on experienced practitioners, they are better able to take ukemi for this.

Kata ho (Kukishin Ryu)

If all you know and train in is onikudaki in its basic form, you may not be able to recognize ideal opportunities to use it. Many students then end up hunting for the lock/capture. This means their minds are caught up with trying to do a technique rather than watching to see what the opponent is doing. That is when technique for technique’s sake can kill you.

The torite drill, the modern knife attack combo and this kata from Kukishin Ryu teaches us to recognize opportunities to use onikudaki. Our mind learns to recognize the context when onikudaki is an appropriate technique, instead of hunting all over the place for it.

Onikudaki escapes

When you draw a circle with Uke’s elbow, Uke may try to drastically turn his elbow the opposite direction. Follow that change and use either te makura or ganseki nage, depending on his arm position and your angle and distance to Uke.

If Uke uses the pat-twist escape or just squirms off your line of force, continue turning your hips in the direction of the onikudaki, and change the arm positions to do musha dori instead.

Onikudaki works by drawing a circle with the elbow while keeping the hand up high. If Uke moves his hand down, follow it down and use the arm bar of setsu yaki (from Shinden Fudo Ryu).


When you understand the hand & elbow positions for a successful onikudaki, you know how to escape onikudaki by intelligently changing your hand or elbow positions.

When uke levels up by knowing how tp escape onikudaki, tori likewise levels up by learning how to flow into other appropriate techniques. When you know how to go from onikudaki to other techniques & how other techniques can flow to onikudaki, that is the beginning of being able to transcend technique. That is the beginning of using kyojitsu tenkan ho.

It is one thing to talk about the theory in class or demo the movements, it is quite another to see pretty much everyone in the class get what I mean and show it in their movement. If we keep progressing at this rate we will soon be able to study the kata of the Bujinkan ryuha in and of themselves. Currently I use the kata to teach certain points, but when we study the kata the way they are meant to be learned, there is a different transmission that takes place, and you receive different insights and understanding. But all in good time.

See you at training!

Junjie 俊傑
Bujinkan Ninjutsu


From → bujinkan

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