Spiritual Gravity

Where spirituality meets martial arts

Aikido Fundamentals: Drop Step

This video is from the 2018 spring clinic held at our dojo. In my aikido classes, I try to help my students get the "drop step" ingrained into their subconscious. The drop step is what makes the steps we take... Continue Reading →


The Big Ten: 5. Irimi Nage

Irimi Nage, also referred to as the "drunken buddy" technique, is the 5th move in the big 10 kata. In this move, we go down the outside of the attacker's arm and circle back around to him, using that flow... Continue Reading →

The Big Ten: 4. Hiji Guruma

Hiji Garuma is the fourth move in this kata and results when tori catches the attacker at the elbow. ┬áThis move, along with the previous three, is practiced as individual moves. In reality, though, these are all the same move;... Continue Reading →

The Big Ten: 3. Ude Guruma

In Ude Guruma, like the two techniques before, we are "late" and the attacker has already gotten too close. We are basically scrambling to get what we can. For this move, we are able to catch the attacker under his... Continue Reading →

The Big Ten: 2. Kubi Garuma

The second move of the "Big 10" is called Kubi Garuma. The Japanese word "garuma" roughly translates into "wheel". This refers to the circular motion of the throw in this move, as well as the next few moves to follow.... Continue Reading →

The Big Ten: 1. Kata Otoshi

In "The Seventeen" kata, we focused on working at ma-ai distance. This is the distance at which a person is close enough to pose a potential threat. If two people stand facing each other and stretch their arms out so... Continue Reading →

The Seventeen: 17. Hiki Otoshi

The 17th and final move in this kata is called hiki otoshi, translating roughly to "pull and drop". It is a reaction off of a failed mae otoshi, where uke turns back to encounter tori head-on. Tori is forced to... Continue Reading →

The Seventeen: 16. Sumi Otoshi

The 16th move in this kata is called sumi otoshi, or rear corner drop. It is a reaction off of a failed mae otoshi, where uke resists the mae otoshi by pulling his arm back. As tori follows uke's pull... Continue Reading →

The Seventeen: 15. Mae Otoshi

The 15th technique in "The 17" kata is called mae otoshi, or forward drop. This technique is a response to a shiho nage where, at the end of the hip switch, the attacker turns away and tries to pull free.... Continue Reading →

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