Police officer disarms criminal with knife
In this video that surfaced recently from China, a police officer can be seen approaching a man from behind and disarming him. The man is standing in the middle of the street with a knife in his right arm and the police officer attacks with a wrist lock, similar to a Aikido technique called a kotegaeshi.
Not much is known about how the situation arose, as the coverage was all in Chinese and unfortunately at the Underground we do not employ anyone with Chinese language skills, but in any language the video translates to awesome.
Aikido is a modern Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. Aikido is often translated as “the way of unifying (with) life energy” or as “the way of harmonious spirit.” Ueshiba’s goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury.
Aikido techniques consist of entering and turning movements that redirect the momentum of an opponent’s attack, and a throw or joint lock that terminates the technique.
Aikido derives mainly from the martial art of Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu, but began to diverge from it in the late 1920s, partly due to Ueshiba’s involvement with the Ōmoto-kyō religion. Ueshiba’s early students’ documents bear the term aiki-jūjutsu.
Kotegaeshi, “reversed wrist”, is a very popular throwing technique in aikido. It seems rather easy to learn, and applicable against a number of attacks. But I remember my first Japanese teacher, Toshikazu Ichimura, warning us that it is not at all as easy as it may seem.
Usually, the thing that aikido students focus on is the actual twisting of the attacker’s wrist. That seems to be what kotegaeshi is about. But some people have sturdy wrists, indeed, and can resist the techniqe – at least enough for it to become awkward. Also, people react differently to the wrist twist, few falling elegantly and in exactly the direction tori, the one doing the technique, intended.