Hineri and gaeshi

“Words, like nature, half reveal and half conceal the soul within.”
Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Naming a movement or technique can be very confusing. We all know oshi taoshi, a basic arm technique. Different names are used by other styles of aikido for the same technique (almost the same). Ik-kyo, ik-kajo, ude-osae, robuse…to name a few. Some names are just referring to “1st technique” or “manipulating the arm”.
But even in the same style of aikido, there is some confusing when using a name for a movement or technique.

Hineri & Gaeshi

We are all familiar with hineri and gaeshi movement when doing techniques.

The picture above is the most famous from Tomiki’s books to illustrate hineri and gaeshi action for creating kuzushi or balance disturbing action.

“Hineri” in a basic format is the creation of an inward turn of the opponent’s arm.


When using opponent’s hand, it creates a twisting action, it is locking the wrist. There are 2 ways to grasp the hand : junte (regular grip right or left) and gyakute (reverse grip right or left). There are 4 basic hineri wrist locks.

hineri tekubi waza

Gaeshi in a basic format is the creation of an outward turn of opponent’s arm.

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When using opponent’s hand it creates a twisting action, it is locking the wrist. There are 2 ways to grasp the hand : junte (regular grip right and left) and gyakute (reverse grip right and left). There are 4 basic gaeshi wrist locks.

gaeshi tekubi waza (pictures from The Principles and Practice of Aikido by Senta Yamada)

Uchi gaeshi & soto gaeshi (tandoku undo)

Uchi gaeshi and soto gaeshi are solo exercises where you turn inward and turn outward the arm. In fact these names are not completely correct because “kaesu” (gaeshi) is an action requiring another person, and doing a solo movement is called “modosu”. The names for the solo exercises are uchi modoshi and soto modoshi. During paired exercises hineri and gaeshi are used.
Uchi modoshi and soto modoshi are not used frequently. Uchi gaeshi and soto gaeshi are more common names.

One direction or two?

In the style of the late 50-ties, the 1st movement is forward, the 2nd movement is to the side. Early 70-ties, there was a change to forward for the 2 movements. Simplification is one of the reasons for these changes. The integration of bodywork, especially “tenshikei”, can reinforce the use of spiral power when doing movements to the side or to the back.

uchi gaeshi soto gaeshiA

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Below an example of soto modoshi & uchi modoshi. This is from a movie early 50-ties.

Maki zuki

Some Tomiki Aikido groups use another name for this kind of movement. This is inspired by the use of a tanto strike to the side of opponent.

maki zuki004