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Nicholas Eschenbruch
02-12-2009, 10:03 AM
While I was teaching yonkyo it occurred to me that I am not sure what the basic take home message of that technique is. I do not mean how it is meant to be done correctly, I am ok teaching that in accordance with my current level of skill, but what is the important aikido principle that yonkyo illustrates, be it martial, spiritual, pedagogic, whatever?

Of course I can come up with lots of general things that can be learned or practiced while doing yonkyo, but for most other techniques I have a much clearer idea what their distinct, specific value for the general study of aikido is. Not so with yonkyo, I realised.

What are your ideas?

Thanks for suggestions!

N

sorokod
02-12-2009, 10:18 AM
In the Iwama system, Yonkyo clearly demonstrates the similarity between sword work and taijitsu. The uke's hand is manipulate exactly like a bokken.

Alex Megann
02-12-2009, 10:54 AM
At the moment I am very much enjoying exploring yonkyo. Right now I understand this technique as a kind of practice of ikkyo but with both hands on the parner's wrist, rather than with one of the elbow. It then requires a much more precise use of leverage and alignment of uke's skeleton, so it's much more challenging than ikkyo. Your partner's reaction will also be much more sensitive to how much you use your whole body in a relaxed way, rather than just arm and grip strength.

It is also rather similar to sitting nigiri-ho ("gripping exercise"), where you hold both your partner's wrists and control their balance.

In yonkyo the nerve pin is incidental - against a strong partner it may not work at all if you rely on pain. However, if everything else is working correctly uke sometimes reacts as if to an electric shock.

Alex

dave9nine
02-12-2009, 11:00 AM
i agree with both comments above.
practicing iwama-ryu myself, the connection between the yonkyo grip and the bokken is unmistakable, and both seem to reinforce the other.
i also think that the 'principle' to take from yonkyo is that of being able to control uke by the extension through the elbow, and thus the shoulder and ultimately partner's center.
i personally think yonkyo is the most effective out of the ikkyo-through-yonkyo series. and yes, important to note that the nerve point is not the main thing--it's the control.
my dos pesos
-dave

Ron Tisdale
02-12-2009, 11:24 AM
The point? How to lock the shoulder through a bent joint.

Pressure point is incidental. But nice...

Best,
Ron

Nicholas Eschenbruch
02-12-2009, 02:12 PM
Thanks everybody, all valid points to consider - Especially the notion of "ikkyo without direct elbow control" makes a lot of sense for me, then thinking of Sankyo as an intermediate stage in the series.

I am also unhappy about too much reliance on the pressure point, that was the background to my question, it's certainly not about that.

Alex, btw, I started aikido under your dad in the Iffley Road sports complex almost exactly fifteen years ago. Still very grateful.

Thanks again

Nick

Jonathan
02-12-2009, 03:48 PM
While yonkyo can be applied successfully without emphasis on the pressure point, I am reluctant to ignore it altogether. Yes, there are those who have a naturally high pain tolerance, but their existence shouldn't be used as a reason to diminish or dismiss completely developing the capacity to project energy strongly (and painfully) into the yonkyo pressure point. My shihan has explained that yonkyo practice is, in part, an opportunity to learn to gather the body's energy and apply it in a highly concentrated way through the forearm/wrist point. If all one attempts to do is manipulate the elbow when practicing yonkyo, I think the value in practicing yonkyo is lessened.

Jon.

Ron Tisdale
02-12-2009, 03:55 PM
?? I don't ignore the pressure point, I just don't think it is the central point of the waza. Hence the term incidental.

I can't seem to find anyone saying anything about manipulating the elbow. What people have stated is more along the lines of "locking the shoulder (and there by controlling the body) through a joint that is bent, or not locked.

Anyhoo...

Best,
R

Sy Labthavikul
02-12-2009, 05:18 PM
From my own experience I've learned that I can't rely on pain compliance as the cornerstone of a technique; it can temporarily aid in mental kuzushi, but without physics and biomechanics working for me (read as: gravity and commutative locking of joints), I can never get a noncooperative uke to drop.

Example: I was messing around with a friendly, relatively experienced (brown belt) BJJ player a year ago, who had no real experience in aikido other than what wikipedia told him. At one point during a clinch, I managed to somehow get into a good yonkyo grip on this forearm and was well situated in his blind spot, so he was pretty much at my mercy. I cut down sharply like I was taught, cutting like a bokken, and expecting to send an electric shock through his system and propelling him down onto the mat...

... and he just screamed bloody murder, hopped a bit to regain his balance which had been thrown forward, and yanked his arm out of my grip. There was a bruise slowly forming on the inside of his wrist, and he said his entire arm was tingly. I apologized profusely, and he said he wasn't angry, just that the pain was surprising, considering that he had always heard that aikido was a "gentle" art. (that made me snicker inwardly)

I explained to him what yonkyo was. Interestingly enough, he said that when he felt the pain, his first instinct wasn't to go down in order to alleviate the pressure: his first instinct was to yank his arm away, and that propelled him forward enough to be able to receive the momentum I was imparting into him through his arm, and so he kept his balance. He said that, if anything, the pain was a signal to him that I was doing something and his body went into automatic defense mode.

That made a lot of sense to me: most people don't think that falling on the floor is the best way to defend themselves against anything. Their first instinct is to remove whatever is in pain away from the source of pain, like yanking a singed finger away from a hot bowl.

This piqued my curiousity, and his as well, so we experimented with yonkyo some more, him remaining completely noncompliant and moving in ways that are completely not the way aikido uke's move. He did all sorts of things: he yanked his arm out of my grip again, and when he couldn't do that anymore he did some funky sutemi technique involving some bizarre flip and arm-barred me. He told me that he wasn't intentionally countering my technique simply because he knew it was coming; he could FEEL it coming whenever that tingly pain started running up his arm, and he acted accordingly.

Then I realized that even though I was trying to cut his arm down like a bokken, I wasn't: in order to get all that pressure bearing down on his pressure point, I was holding his arm in classic yonkyo grip:

http://www.aikido-hessen.de/yonkyo.jpg

It was perfect for applying lots of pressure into his radial nerve, but thats not how I was taught to hold a bokken: my hands were too close together. There was no control, and no leverage. All the power I was imparting was going into bruising up his skin and shocking his nervous system as opposed to affecting his center of gravity.

As soon as I moved my grip to more resemble a grip on a bokken, with my lower hand on his wrist and my upper hand on about the middle of his forearm, there was nothing he could do to prevent me from cutting him straight into the mat. He also said he felt less pain on his forearm, though he still felt some. He said he felt as if his body were being whipped around more this way than the previous way, which makes perfect sense considering I had increased my leverage and really managed to cut like with a bokken this time. He also mentioned that he had no warning that it was going to happen: without the pain as a signal, he couldn't prepare himself to regain his balance in time or counter the technique.

As a reward for being such a great partner, I returned the favor: he worked on getting past my guard for the rest of the session (I was more flexible than his training partners, and also didn't move like a BJJer, so I presented a different challenge, or so he told me).

Anyway, it was a great insight into the technique, and also a great lesson that not all people react to the same stimulus in the same way.

ChrisHein
02-12-2009, 06:55 PM
I think it's an application principle. Meaning, that the way you apply Yonkyo is the lesson, not what you apply it to.

For example, nikyo, is a device oriented technique. There are lots of different ways to apply nikyo: on the shoulder, with the hand, on a weapon, wrapping around etc.

But the important part of yonkyo, is the application of the first joint of the index finger to the body. If you simply grab someone, katate, and apply yonkyo, you can bring an unsuspecting person to their knees in seconds.

This would be a useful application for dealing with a kid with a weapon. Simply grab the kid, apply yonkyo, and he'll give up. This solves a dangerous situation quickly with out doing any real damage to anyone, very "Aiki" like.

There are several stories of Takeda and Ueshiba both simply grabbing someone and the person collapsin. My guess would be that they were grabbing using yonkyo.

A good yonkyo goes right to your core, and makes you feel sick inside, if you've never felt this before it can come as quite a shock.

Demetrio Cereijo
02-12-2009, 10:18 PM
but what is the important aikido principle that yonkyo illustrates, be it martial, spiritual, pedagogic, whatever?

Half seriously: yonkyo is about crushing your opponent arms like Takemikazuchi did to Takeminakata.

sorokod
02-13-2009, 03:31 AM
... I was holding his arm in classic yonkyo grip:
http://www.aikido-hessen.de/yonkyo.jpg

Well, it is a grip. See here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeSrySq9SPQ at about 3.19 how Saito sensei did this.

eyrie
02-13-2009, 07:59 AM
I think yonkyo is a leverage principle. An application of which is tekubi osae (wrist control). But it doesn't have to be the wrist, per se, it could be anything you can get your hand around - fingers, thumbs, (yubi tori), ankles, etc.

mickeygelum
02-14-2009, 12:00 AM
Greetings All,

Yonkyo is a kime to the radial nerves.

A good yonkyo goes right to your core, and makes you feel sick inside, if you've never felt this before it can come as quite a shock
Mr. Hein is quite correct.

Nariyama Shihan once applied yonkyo on me, I felt
it in my feet...it was amazing.

The ability to apply kime well is a definite advantage.

Train well,

Mickey

Jorge Garcia
02-15-2009, 06:08 AM
While I was teaching yonkyo it occurred to me that I am not sure what the basic take home message of that technique is. I do not mean how it is meant to be done correctly, I am ok teaching that in accordance with my current level of skill, but what is the important aikido principle that yonkyo illustrates, be it martial, spiritual, pedagogic, whatever?

Of course I can come up with lots of general things that can be learned or practiced while doing yonkyo, but for most other techniques I have a much clearer idea what their distinct, specific value for the general study of aikido is. Not so with yonkyo, I realised.

What are your ideas?

Thanks for suggestions!

N

My Shihan Hiroshi Kato says that the principles of the pins are as follows;
1) Ikkyo - Building up the body
2) Nikyo - Learning to do the techniques
3) Sankyo - Going with the flow
4) Yonkyo - Concentrating your energy
5) Gokyo - Taking away weapons

Best wishes,
Jorge

Nicholas Eschenbruch
02-22-2009, 08:13 AM
My Shihan Hiroshi Kato says that the principles of the pins are as follows;
1) Ikkyo - Building up the body
2) Nikyo - Learning to do the techniques
3) Sankyo - Going with the flow
4) Yonkyo - Concentrating your energy
5) Gokyo - Taking away weapons

Best wishes,
Jorge

Thanks Jorge, that is exactly the kind of "principle" I was looking for!
N

JimCooper
02-23-2009, 07:08 AM
i personally think yonkyo is the most effective out of the ikkyo-through-yonkyo series.


Interesting. I've always found it the least effective, by some margin. By which I mean I've never had it applied all that well to me.

David Yap
02-23-2009, 10:18 AM
In the Iwama system, Yonkyo clearly demonstrates the similarity between sword work and taijitsu. The uke's hand is manipulate exactly like a bokken.

The tanto you meant? The wrist as the handle of knife and the kissaki (the pointed tip) at the elbow.:D

David Y

sorokod
02-23-2009, 02:36 PM
The tanto you meant? The wrist as the handle of knife and the kissaki (the pointed tip) at the elbow.:D

David Y
A tanto if you are a Lilliputian and have to hold it with both hands. Yes on the elbow == kissaki

Peter Chenier
03-05-2009, 12:43 AM
I am not sure I"m qualified to have an opinion on this topic, but I'll offer my limited view if thats alright. Please do correct me if I'm way off base as I've only been practicing aikido for two years now (karate for many years prior to that).
It does not seem logical to me to try and apply yonkyo in a combat situation by focusing on the radial nerve. I think in my limited opinion thats missing the point. When I get it sort of right uke is off balance first and foremost. My focus is on his elbow I drive up (raise boken) and point the tip (elbow to the ground). I break the ki at the wrist at the start of the motion. When I do it right it feels really sick and I worry for my uke. :yuck:

cheers

Peter

C. David Henderson
03-05-2009, 11:50 AM
*** It does not seem logical to me to try and apply yonkyo in a combat situation by focusing on the radial nerve. I think in my limited opinion thats missing the point. ****:

cheers

Peter

That's the danger, isn't it -- missing "the point?"

:D

Kevin Leavitt
03-05-2009, 10:31 PM
I find it to be more about the prinicple of the movement and accessing the core or spine than I find it to be actually useful in reality. There is alot to be learned from yonkyo about connecting your center to anothers and being able to move them in a complex core to core manner. I think this is what is valuable about the technique, not the actualy application of it in reality.

Mark Freeman
03-06-2009, 05:21 AM
I find it to be more about the prinicple of the movement and accessing the core or spine than I find it to be actually useful in reality. There is alot to be learned from yonkyo about connecting your center to anothers and being able to move them in a complex core to core manner. I think this is what is valuable about the technique, not the actualy application of it in reality.

Hi Kevin

I agree, if there is any 'point' to yonkyo at all it is the study of a principle. The same is true of ikkyo, nikkyo, sankyo ( 1st, 2nd, 3rd principle) Personally I see all of the aikido priciples I practice as leading to the same end - connection of my centre to anothers at a deep and profound level, not just the physical/mechanical level that some seem to focus on. For me the 'aiki' only happens when this deep connection is made.

To focus on the application in combat of any particular 'technique' seems to me to be missing the point of what aikido is about. I may be putting my head on the cyber chopping block by saying many aikido techniques are not that effective against a 'well co-ordinated' attacker, unless they are applied by an equally/superior well co-ordinated defender. When I say well co-ordinated I mean mind/body working in unison from the centre, when I say superior, I mean the defender leading the attackers ki/mind ahead of controlling their body.

Good to see you still posting here,

regards,

Mark

Kevin Leavitt
03-06-2009, 12:23 PM
thanks Mark, Agree, all the things we do in aikido are about learning and understanding the prinicples, that and training your mind/body to move in different ways than maybe you should.

A great methodology for learning.

As a method and for techniques for fighting...not so much in my experiences. sure the things we do apply, but there is much, much more to it than typically is practiced.

Walter Martindale
03-06-2009, 12:42 PM
One sensei I've practiced with in the past liked to emphasize the movement in and control in yonkyo rather than the radial nerve. Others seem to like both the movement and have the insurance of a "compliance" pressure point.
Another take on Ikkyo through to Koshi nage (primarily in response to shomenuchi), demonstrated to me by another sensei.
Ikkyo - your foot position is even with uke after you have made your initial cut down
Nikyo - you are slightly behind uke
Sankyo - you are slightly ahead of uke or you have turned away, essentially putting you ahead and at risk of being countered because uke is behind you.
Yonkyo - you are too far away from uke to properly do Ikkyo so you close the distance as you grip and enter for yonkyo
Gokyo - didn't really enter the discussion
Koshi-nage - you're too close to uke to do Ikkyo properly so it's "up and over"...
I've thought about it, tried it, bounced it off a few others where I practice now, and it seems to make sense - where you end up dictates which technique you do, rather than "I must do Ikkyo now" or "I must do yonkyo now," simply because that's what we're practicing at the moment...
If we're practicing relatively freely now I like to see if I can think fast enough to make the decision of what to do on the fly instead of a pre-planned movement.
But back to the original question - it seems that yonkyo is a movement control more than a pain compliance thing, but the pain compliance really helps get the person moving IF you can keep up with the person's "ouch let me out of here" reaction to do the yonkyo cut-down.

With apologies to Descartes - I think I think, therefore I think I am...
Walter

Nathan Wallace
03-06-2009, 01:58 PM
The point of Yonkyo? To crush the wrist and will of your attacker. lol

David Yap
03-07-2009, 10:47 PM
A tanto if you are a Lilliputian and have to hold it with both hands. Yes on the elbow == kissaki

Awfully short for a bokken (wooden sword), look more like tanto (dagger). :D

http://www.aikido-hessen.de/yonkyo.jpg

Anyway, this is beside the point (no pun intended). The technique is about unifying/aligning the points - the grip, the tip of the blade and the center line - to one.

David Y

philippe willaume
03-10-2009, 08:45 AM
While I was teaching yonkyo it occurred to me that I am not sure what the basic take home message of that technique is. I do not mean how it is meant to be done correctly, I am ok teaching that in accordance with my current level of skill, but what is the important aikido principle that yonkyo illustrates, be it martial, spiritual, pedagogic, whatever?

Of course I can come up with lots of general things that can be learned or practiced while doing yonkyo, but for most other techniques I have a much clearer idea what their distinct, specific value for the general study of aikido is. Not so with yonkyo, I realised.

What are your ideas?

Thanks for suggestions!

N
You will could see, nikkio, sankio, yonkio as counter to defense against ikkio/gokyo or rokkio.

phil

Flintstone
03-10-2009, 09:38 AM
You will could see, nikkio, sankio, yonkio as counter to defense against ikkio/gokyo or rokkio.
And then, somehow, I believe that's not the point...

Last night we were practicing yonkyo at my dojo. No way the pressure point will work on me, so I don't rely on it too, but (very much) preffer to apply strong kuzushi a la Iwama.

philippe willaume
03-10-2009, 09:56 AM
And then, somehow, I believe that's not the point...

Last night we were practicing yonkyo at my dojo. No way the pressure point will work on me, so I don't rely on it too, but (very much) preffer to apply strong kuzushi a la Iwama.

Oops, I got it wrong then, I understood the question as why would one use yonkio, not does yonkio work.

If that is the case
I am not that hard but I can take yonkio pressure point with a stiff upper lip. However as it as been said earlier in the thread, I am definitely sensitive to being driven to the ground because of the shoulder-elbow-forearm action.

That being said we usually take yonkio from having applied ikkio to get the guy off balance (unless the from cause uke to go into the position like as after ikkio where you can take it directly.
I believe that it is not that dissimilar to the Iwama way so I think I see where you are coming from
Phil

Demetrio Cereijo
03-10-2009, 10:12 AM
Last night we were practicing yonkyo at my dojo. No way the pressure point will work on me, so I don't rely on it too
Your tori lacks "teh grip ™" :)

but (very much) preffer to apply strong kuzushi a la Iwama
Nothing like a whiplash (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whiplash_(medicine)) to get the "point". IHTBF ;)

tenshoibuki
09-10-2009, 08:45 PM
unbalancing uke by inflicting force on on the gripping point. can also inflict pain to control uke. Yonkajo is a very useful and effective technique. WHen doing it correctly,u can take over uke balance, whereby take down would be easy afterward. ;)

ChrisHein
09-10-2009, 11:00 PM
Last night we were practicing yonkyo at my dojo. No way the pressure point will work on me, so I don't rely on it too, but (very much) preffer to apply strong kuzushi a la Iwama.

Have you ever had one of the Iwama Higher ups apply yonkyo to you? It sends electrical pulses through your body.

Flintstone
09-12-2009, 03:09 PM
Have you ever had one of the Iwama Higher ups apply yonkyo to you? It sends electrical pulses through your body.
Just begining to feel those pulses! I guess my tori's getting "teh grip "...!!