Horseback – 5th scholar of the 8th master

Folio 44 v. a


This is the fifth play from the cover of beating aside the sword. I throw my arm around his neck to turn immediately, and will surely throw him to the ground without doubt. And my counter is the second play drawn after me, although if he is well armoured it will not work.


Having beaten your opponents sword aside as the 8th master, you are now going to throw them off their horse, using a mounted variant of what an aikidoka would recognise as irimi nage.

As your opponent is open, drop the tip of your sword over their left shoulder. Lean your right shoulder forward. Roll your right hand so that the thumb points down, and also flare your elbow slightly. Structure is important. You want the points from the sword tip, to wrist, to elbow, to right shoulder, to left shoulder all to make a smooth curve.

If you lack proper form, there will be a tendency to catch your opponents head in the crook of your elbow. This result in a struggle between the strength of your shoulder and the stability of your opponents seat. Such a graceless use of force is not only technically poor, but is also a waste of energy, and provides no guarantee of success.

If your arm has good curvature, it will roll past your opponent, gently directing their head to cradle inside your shoulder, in a curiously intimate hug. This is point shown in the picture.

Keep leading with your shoulder. The movement of the horses will tip your opponent off to the side and backwards, neatly stripping them from the saddle to be trampled underfoot. Be aware of the potential for your opponent to use the counter against you.

Variations of this throw are also seen in the following plays.