From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Step diagram of Tenkan technique
Step diagram of technique
Technique name
Englishconvert / divert

Tenkan (転換, lit. convert or divert) is the Japanese name of a movement practiced in several martial arts. It is a 180 degree pivot to the rear, on the lead foot.[1] That is, if the left foot is forward, the pivot is clockwise, and if the right foot is forward, the pivot is counter-clockwise.[2]


Tenkan is a very common foot move in aikido.[3] Strategically, tenkan is most often used to place tori back-to-back with uke. A few attacks - techniques that commonly begin by executing tenkan include: shōmen'uchi - kaitennage; katate-dori - shihōnage; and morote-dori - kokyūnage.

Some styles of aikido practice six basic ashi sabaki (stepping/footwork) movements, of which tenkan is one.

Those six basic stepping techniques are:

  • Tsugi-ashi (shuffle step)
  • Ayumi-ashi (crossing step)
  • Kaiten (hip shift to avoid attack)
  • Tenshin (step and pivot to avoid attack)
  • Tenkan (180 degree pivot to avoid attack)
  • Ude-furi (spin step)


Tenkan is a foot move used in judo.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ AIKI GOSHIN HO JUJUTSU: Practical Self-Defense. Lulu.com. 4 August 2011. ISBN 9781257962334.
  2. ^ Aikido: O-Sensei's Sublime Synthesis, Vol. 1. Via Media. 25 January 2016. ISBN 9781893765252.
  3. ^ Aikido Exercises for Teaching and Training: Revised Edition. Blue Snake Books. 24 March 2009. ISBN 9781583942178.