Noru is one of Wado’s most important principles

what is noru?

If you're reading this...

I assume you either heard the term "Noru" and you're looking for some clarity. Or you want to dig deeper.

It's the goal of this page. So even if you ended up here by mistake or accident, you know what you'll discover today.

Ready? 👇

One Minute Principle Series

What is noru?

Noru translates to jam, ride or to put something on top.

Technically speaking, you can get on top and ride his punch. Jam his Kamae. Another application is to follow your opponents movement smoothly.

The beauty of Noru is how everything comes together in one movement. Let me list them for you:

  • Offence
  • Defence
  • Timing
  • Alignment
  • Positioning

All that with one arm!

Amazing right?

You can use it in a lot of ways too. Noru is not 'just' riding the arm

noru seminar 2014

Noru translates in 'to ride' or 'get on top'. 4 ways: That's the minimum amount of ways you can use Noru. Think ride, jam, unbalance, follow.

Let's dig in deeper...

use noru to kill his kamae

One application of Noru is to make the opponent’s Kamae useless.

Translating literally from Japanese, it would be 'kill his arm' or 'kill his Kamae'. Do this by placing your hand on top of his Kamae.

The image is from Kihon Kumite 8, where you can see this application in action.

Ishikawa sensei said: "One hand free can do anything". It's what he said just after he attacked me between my legs... 

In Kihon Kumite 8 as pictured, just imagine what Roeland (Ukemi) could do if I don't jam his Kamae using Noru...

Don't allow his Kamae freedom. 

If you do, he can use it to do anything and this will affect his the mindset as well — becoming more confident.

Kihon Kumite 8 Noru

Note: When you contact your opponent, it's also easy to push him to apply Kuzushi. It's easier to feel his overall movement (not just his arm) PLUS you can grab him to continue with all sorts of fun stuff 😃

the most famous noru: ride his arm

Let me jump in straight away letting you know:

There are 2 things you need to make Tsuki + Noru work...

  1. Timing
  2. Elbow control

Of course you need to move smoothly etc, but I'll limit and zoom in on the arm movement of Noru for now...

The "ride-his-arm" Noru is actually just a punch with one specific thing emphasised: the elbow.

Here's why:

It's quite basic teaching in Karate that you should not open the elbow. 

  • It makes your punch straight
  • It works on close range too
  • It's easier to control your posture (when you open your elbow your body tends to lean in the opposite direction).
The Digi Dojo - Noru

Having said that -without going into it too deeply- there are many dynamics in striking.

  • Sometimes opening the elbow can add to whip-like movement. 
  • It can help to relax
  • AND the trajectory change may let you avoid his Kamae and land your blow.

Having said that...

When you punch straight forward, keep your elbow squeezed during the movement. Point it down. Then, let your arm travel on top of the opponent’s kamae to ride it. 

These are screenshots from my seminar in Sakagami sensei's Dojo December 2018, demonstrating Kumite Gata 10👇

The Digi Dojo - Kumite Gata - 10 - 1 - Gyaku Gamae
The Digi Dojo - Kumite Gata - 10 - 2 - Noru
The Digi Dojo - Kumite Gata - 10 - 3 - Kuzushi

When the elbow opens up this is impossible, because you let his Kamae roam free until the moment of impact.

When riding his arm during the movement, intercept his Kamae and control it before the actual impact. You can trap with one hand and strike with the other (Kihon Kumite 8 example). Or, trap and strike with the same hand (Kumite Gata 10 example).

kumite gata 10 videos

Here's the performance & explanation...

and here's how to apply kuzushi

These are screenshots from my seminar in Sakagami sensei's Dojo December 2018, demonstrating Kumite Gata 12👇

The Digi Dojo - Kumite Gata - 12 - 1 - Ai Gamae

Take Migi Ai Gamae.

The Digi Dojo - Kumite Gata - 12 - 2 - Tsuki Uke

Move slightly to the right and execute Tsuki Uke.

The Digi Dojo - Kumite Gata - 12 - 4 - Gyakuzuki

Move in as you execute Gyakuzuki...

...and Kuzushi with 2x Noru in one movement.

how to develop and apply noru

training method to develop tsuki with noru

In Yakusoku Kumite people tend to hold back and punch weakly. Simply because they don't know how to punch with their body AND control it at the same time. This way of training counters that. 

kihon kumite 8

Here's the explanation of Kihon Kumite 8, where I 'kill his kamae' with Noru twice.


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