discover the principle and applications of otoshi
Let's talk principle first
Otoshi refers to all acts in a downward direction. To the dropping movement of your body, or arm for example.
In other words, otoshi is the principle of downward movement.
However... that one-liner can lead to problems as it may cause you to focus on "the outside of your body" alone.
(Hang on, will explain that in simple terms in a sec.)
One Minute Principle Series
What is otoshi?
- Otoshi is dropping body movement
- In combination with using gravity to your advantage.
- Otoshi is also an important aspect of internal movement, as you should drop the body internally on impact (details up next).
And that's easier than you think once get you the hang of the timing — even a little bit.
Imagine the first move of Wado's Pinan Nidan, or a move that looks like that in your style.
Let's go ahead to look at Otoshi Uke in this move from 3 angles.
2 — Next is timing. When you're a bit on your way, you can already use the gravity to your advantage, adding power without additional muscular force.
These two things are well known, "external" movement. So what about "internal" movement. Or internal energy? Seika Tanden, Hara, Seichushin... Consider this:
Now don't get me wrong...
It takes years to polish the movement, EVEN when you know exactly what to focus on. And there's loads of other stuff that comes into play, compression for example (Chinshinho).
And there's one thing I didn't mention which needs clarification:
Internal body dropping, is dropping without dropping. Well... there is dropping, but it's pretty much invisible. It's done on a very small scale — with refined movement.
Something to look forward too 😃
Ishikawa sensei said that "Ohtsuka sensei's "block" didn't feel hard, but heavy".
Here's the good news:
Once you start to master this, visible dropping included, you can creates heaviness in techniques without having to rely on muscular power — using gravity to your advantage.
And by the way... did you notice?
So far, I've been shedding light on YOUR movement 👉 "BASICS"
and that brings us to application of otoshi...
For this article, I'll limit myself to "Otoshi Uke". Note that Otoshi Uke is not a name of a specific technique.
Let's check some examples from our Kata👇
- Otoshi Osae Uke - dropping press block
- Otoshi Tettsui Uke - dropping hammerfist block
- Otoshi Ude Uke - dropping arm block
- Suikomi Otoshi Uke - absorbing drop block
otoshi osae uke
This movement is from Wanshu. 'Block' down with the palm of the hand in a pressing manner (not pulling).
otoshi tettsui uke
From Pinan Nidan, with emphasis on using the bottom of the fist.
otoshi ude uke
You can use the palm of the hand if you want to grab right away, or the arm in general.
suikomi otoshi uke
Absorb the attack on roll on top of it. This way is exceptionally good in combination with techniques like Uraken.
sanbon kumite chudan uke 7
Here's a Sanbon Kumite from Ishikawa sensei — one of my favourites! It's not only a favourite because "I like it". but even more so because when you start to FEEL body dropping in Junzuki stance you know you're well on your way.