Nentai & Nengi

Nentai is a class of techniques in Taido employing a twisting movement of the body. Nentai movement is characterized by the body axis being tilted to near horizontal while twisting about that axis in order to strike, kick, or “scissor” the opponent.

Most nengi often flow best as combinations from other techniques and have a wide range of possible targets. The most common nentai techniques (nengi) are hangetsuate and ashigarami.

Nengi can be a little difficult to visualize, so here’s a video of a friend of mine doing one of the best nentai dogarami I’ve ever seen:


Doko Go (5) Kai for Nentai

Each technique class in Taido is defined by a set of characteristics describing its proper execution, called Doko Go Kai.

Here’s the key points for executing nengi:

  1. Nentai kasho – Imagine being in a whirlpool. Your body is twisted and turned in either direction. Grip your opponent and twist him to the ground or use the twisting motion to kick from an unexpected direction.
  2. Kihatsu seihai – Your back, chest, and hips are vulnerable. By grabbing any of these points to prevent you from twisting, your opponent can prevent you from executing any nengi.
  3. Kokan sokuhatsu – If you touch your hip to the opponent’s body before twisting, you can ensure proper distance for kicking or create more leverage with which to force him to move in a “scissor” technique.
  4. Ryotai koyatsu – You must use your entire body. It is necessary to commit yourself to the execution of nengi. If you do not move decisively and with power, your technique will be ineffective.
  5. Techi sokketsu – Target the head or legs. Many nengi work best if thrown at or above the neck or at or below the waist. While it is possible it execute a nentai technique on the body, it is easier to twist against your opponent’s joints to bring him down.

Examples of Nentai Techniques (Nengi)

Nengi (Nentai techniques) are seen in quite a few martial arts, especially grappling arts like Judo and Sambo. In Taido, the following are examples of nengi:

  • Hangetsuate – “Half-moon” kick, traditionally executed from fukuteki
  • Ashigarami– “Leg scissors,” though karami translates as “entangle,” the scissor image is effective
  • Dogarami – Scissoring technique applied at the waist or body
  • Kubigarami – Scissor applied to the neck
  • Nentaigeri – Any unspecified nengi with the feet
  • Nentaizuki – Any nentai punch
  • Kaiten shajogeri – “Rolling” shajogeri, typically executed after a previous shajo
nentai hangetsuate - Taido
Nentai Hangetsuate performed during jissen at the 2008 Asia-Pacific Games in Australia

Nen Hokei

There are two nen hokei in Taido:

  • nentai no hokei
  • nenin no hokei

Here’s a video of Congi showing the basic Nentai Hokei:

…I’d love to include a video of Nenin Hokei, but I haven’t seen a good one, so if you know of one out there somewhere, please let me know.


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4 thoughts on “Nentai & Nengi”

  1. Hi, I’ve got a question about those nengi-techniques you’ve listed above. I do know most of them, but I’m unable to figure out the three last ones (nentaigeri, nentaizuki and kaiten shajogeri). Is there any video or description of them anywhere?
    A great website by the way!

    /Joakim Johansson, Sweden

    1. Hi Joakim. There is no video of these techniques specifically, though they show up in jissen. I think I can describe them.

      Nenzuki and nengeri are generic descriptions of any punch or kick (respectively) that come out of a nen- movement. Kaiten shajo is what happens when you do manji or shajo and then follow up with a second one by rolling (kaiten) forward in the same direction. We used to call them “double shajo” in the States.

      Many people think that nentai is only karami and hangetsuate, but these are only the classical, “formed” techniques that appear in Taido Gairon. Oftentimes in jissen, you will see points awarded for nentaigeri that is not hangetsuate. Very occasionally, you will see a punch that is executed as a combination after a horizontal twist. That would be nenzuki. Of the three, kaiten shajo/manji is much more common.

      1. Ah, thanks a lot (especially for the fast reply)! Will keep my eyes open for them, it will also be interesting to test during the training tomorrow!

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