The “original” tandoku undo

Early 1950-ties movie of “tandoku undo” by Kenji Tomiki becomes a very actual topic in this “Corona” Era. Most of the practitioners, who are doing solo-exercises on a regular base tried these kind of movements to keep their aikido alive. The funny thing is, the modern form of tandoku undo is very different from the original one. And there is another problem, most of the exercises nowadays are very robotic and missing deeper content. So, practioners are looking for replacements in yoga, tai-chi or other the like popular methods. But maybe we have to go deeper into the content of these exercises.

Some of the exercises in the original tandoku undo have a flavour of Kodokan Seiryoku-zen’yo-kokumin-taiiku.

From Illustrated Kodokan Judo (1955)

Kodokan Seiryoku-zen’yo-kokumin-taiiku

These physical exercises consist of a combination of varied physical movements designed to assist in the harmonious development of the body and at the same time serving as a training in ways of attack and defence.

Another interesting pamphlet was published in 1939 and is based upon Kodokan Seiryoku-zen’yo-kokumin-taiiku.

In 1939 (Showa 14), the elementary school enforcement regulations were revised, martial arts were placed in the quasi-regular section of the “gymnastics” elementary school, and were taught by boys in ordinary elementary school for more than 5 years and high school students outside of class hours. ..
” Elementary school martial arts guidance point ” establishes purpose and method of implementation as follows.

By performing simple basic movements of martial arts (judo / kendo), the mind and body are trained and the martial arts spirit is cultivated.
Twice a week, 30 minutes each, outside the regular hours.
Leaders are limited to school teachers.
Instructions will be given in groups at the outdoor playground.
Kendo uses wooden swords and bamboo swords, and does not use armor. Judo does not use Judo clothing.
And this to “lecture” (country language, using the history of the teaching materials, the significance of martial arts, cultivate the martial arts spirit) aims can be achieved by performing together.

Content of Original Tandoku Undo

  1. Shomen tsuki
  2. Uchi mawashi
  3. Soto mawashi
  4. Shomen/Yokomen/Kesa/Kesa
  5. Happo undo
  6. Uchi gaeshi/ soto gaeshi
  7. O uchi gaeshi
  8. O soto gaeshi
  9. Uchi mawashi tentai
  10. Ko mawashi
  11. O mawashi de mawari
  12. O mawashi hiki mawari


Shomen tsuki

The original “shomen tsuki” tandoku undo is a thrusting movement forward and left/right side. The body is fully stretched in the thrusting movement.

Introducing chidori-ashi and koshi-mawari into this movement creates a a downward movement of the central body.


Uchi mawashi

Big stretching movements, forward and left/right side.

When using “koshi mawari”, the roundness of the movement becomes more apparent.


Soto mawashi

The original uchi-mawashi & soto-mawashi are separated exercises. Later was decided to create 1 exercise which includes 2 movements. By using koshi-mawari, a very circular exercise is created.



Different types of tegatana-atemi, based upon the use of “short sword”.


Happo undo

Shomen-tsuki in 8 directions using left and right side.

This exercise can be done with a weapon, onehanded or 2-handed.

In fact, it is 4 directions exercises with the use of the left and the right posture, the purpose of the exercise is to learn to move in different directions either left or right posture.

The use of tegatana in this exercise can be very varied and can be “tsuki” or “uchi”.


Uchi gaeshi/ soto gaeshi

At first sight, this exercise is almost a sweeping arm movement. If we come closer, the inside and outside turn of the arm is more apparent. Many techniques can be developped from this exercise. In the various koryu no kata, many examples can be found.

Integrating “koshi-mawari” creates a new flavour of roundness in the movements.

Different variations can be created.


O uchi gaeshi

The interesting part of this exercise, it doesn’t exist in more modern versions.

There is an element of uchi- gaeshi, but done in a very big fashion. Together with koshi-mawari, this exercise is a demanding exercise if done during a few minutes at great speed.


O soto gaeshi

A very dynamic and strong exercise based upon soto-gaeshi movement (see earlier). Integration of koshi-mawari create a spiral body movement.


Uchi mawashi tentai

This tandoku undo movement is removed from later versions. Nevertheles, this movement is still practised in different techniques.

Adding chidori-ashi and koshi-mawari creates circular movements. Many examples can be found in koryu no kata.


Ko mawashi

The hand creates a “fibonaci” sprial before hipturn.

Hipturn is not “koshi-mawari”, it is only a part of it.


O mawashi de mawari


O mawashi hiki mawari

In more recent versions of tandoku-undo, demawari & hikimawari are performed as 1 exercise.

Introducing koshi-mawari creates spirals in the exercise.


About shobukaidojo

A passion for Martial Arts since 1964

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