Sunday, November 23, 2008

How to Perform Usetsu in Ninjutsu

Hand to hand combat techniques taught in Ninjutsu focus on self defense and harmlessly flooring an opponent to give the ninja time to escape his attacker. A technique from the Kukashinden Ryu Shodan portion of Ninjutsu training called Usetsu is particularly effective at achieving this goal. It directly translates as “right turn”, though the significance of this is unknown. Essentially it is a response to an opponent grabbing you and attempting a punch by immobilizing his wrist and forcing him to the ground.

Performing Usetsu
Step 1: Begin by standing naturally with your hands by your sides. Your opponent will immediately take the offensive by grabbing the front of your shirt with his left hand. This is in preparation for a punch to the face with his right hand.

Step 2: Place your right hand over your opponent’s left hand, holding it against your chest for the time being. Sidestep to your right as your opponent attempts a punch while simultaneously lashing out with your open left hand to catch your opponent’s right arm along the inside of the elbow.

Step 3: Throw the attacker’s right arm out to the side while wrapping the fingers of your right hand around your attacker’s left fist. Turn his left hand outward so the underside of his wrist and forearm is exposed.

Step 4: Turn your body to the right so your left shoulder is closest to your opponent. Grasp the inside of your opponent’s left elbow with your left hand, pushing forward and up so the joint of the elbow is pointing upward and raised above the level of his shoulder. Step 5: Turn 90 degrees to the right while dropping down onto your left knee. Twist with your upper body in the same direction as you do so, guiding your opponent’s elbow down and around. Your opponent will be pulled into a backwards fall as you do this, forcing him to release your shirt in the process, ending the technique.

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