The ura-waza (as shown in this video) is a set of ten counters to the basic seventeen techniques of Shodokan Aikido. Those are shown in the first part of the video. While I know the technical details of the kata, I am lacking historical knowledge of it.

How did Tomiki create and evolved this kata to its current form?


3 Answers 3


The kata in this video shows the basic applications of kaeshi waza, meaning counter techniques. The history of kaeshi waza goes before the foundation of aikido, it is already a known concept in older martial arts like jiu jitsu, judo, etc. Here is a link to Judo terminology.

It is of course no surprise as Aikido has its root in older budo arts. Shihan Stefan Stenudd (7.Dan) has a nice list of kaeshi applications for Aikido in his website, showing which technique can be countered with which: Table of Kaeshiwaza techniques I also add a screenshot of the table, so we will not lose the information if the website goes offline.

Kaeshiwaza table

As the last point why some Aikido schools don't teach Kaeshi waza and some do, is difficult to answer. I have once heard from Shihan Adrien Halm (8.Dan), who is a disciple of Hirokazu Kobayashi, that O'Sensei teached Kaeshi waza before the World War 2. After the war it was removed from the art because of the martial arts ban between 1945-1950 in Japan. However I could not find any source or documentation to support this argument. It might be a speculation.

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    Nariyama (head of Shodokan) was Kobayashi's ushi-deshi as well as Tomiki's so there is a clear link there. Jun 23, 2017 at 7:23
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    Thank you for taking the time to write the answer. It is much appreciated and a good example of good answers that this site should promote. Jun 23, 2017 at 7:24
  • Bounty awarded. I found a more accurate answer. However, this answer is historically interesting and well researched thus deserved a bounty. Jul 4, 2017 at 11:55

The ura-waza was developed by Tomiki-sensei as an example of counter techniques that could be done within toshu randori. However, two problems emerged: First, toshu randori tended to end up as Judo more often than not. This was due to the distance being inadequate to do Aikido and the fact that all practitioners knew Judo well. Second, the counters did not really map well to toshu-randori.

Tomiki-sensei introduced the tanto to keep a good aiki distance between partners to address the first (and root) problem. As such, the kata is not as relevant as the newer tanto kaeshi waza developed by Nariyama-sensei and is therefore more of a "museum piece".

Gleamed from a conversation with Scott Allbright sensei.


JuJutsu (not Jiu Jitsu) is definitely the precursor to Aikido. By more than 1000 years. The father of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, has an amazing life story. His book, The Art of Peace, is definitely worth a read if you're interested in gaining more insight into the art. Particularly noteworthy was his training relationship with Sokaku Takeda.

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    This does not answer the question. Jul 1, 2017 at 7:08
  • It does if you research. Read the book. Google good sources. And more importantly, find a legitimate bujinkan dojo. Train with them and you'll learn the history of the techniques seen in Aikido. After 8 years, or so, and a few trips to Japan; they might start telling you the true stories from the old scrolls, the original scrolls of the early teachers. Hontai Takagi Yoshin Ryu, for example, dates back to around 1625.
    – RyRoUK
    Jul 1, 2017 at 7:49
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    If you have more information to add then you should - please don't just suggest that people "google it". People come here for definitive answers, not vague discussion or suggestions to train more and read the history.
    – slugster
    Jul 2, 2017 at 11:37
  • I did. The requested information or "insight" that was requested shouldn't be handed out freely. It should be earned. Aikido is one of the youngest Martial Arts and, honestly, is just like Judo in that it is merely techniques borrowed from JuJutsu. So when I hear someone is fascinated by an Aikido move, I have to assume they know little about the history of Japanese martial arts and probably won't put in the time on the mats.
    – RyRoUK
    Jul 2, 2017 at 23:49
  • With that said, reading Ueshiba's book will give the reader insight into why he broke away from the traditional combat arts. Which is why I recommended it to the OP. It's the first step down the right path.
    – RyRoUK
    Jul 2, 2017 at 23:51

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