View Full Version : Nikkyo mechanics

Please visit our sponsor:

Colin Clark
01-16-2003, 07:36 PM

I've been doing Aikido for just a few months now, at my university. I have a really great teacher (Chris Mooney; 6th dan shidoin), but there's one thing I'd like to check before I head off to class: it's the positioning of your hands in the technique "nikkyo". I'm talking about it from the point of view of responding to someone grabbing my wrist.

I know that I kind of grab their wrist then, and twist it round, but I'm not sure how to link my hands/arms around theirs, and how to do the move. Is there a drawing somewhere of where I should put my hands? Or a step-by-step one diagram? Videos are usually too zoomed out for me to see how it works...

I'd appreciate some help.

Oh, and this is my first message here. ::waves::

01-16-2003, 08:58 PM
Welcome Colin!

Although I practice a different style, nikkyo (in yoshinkan its nikajo) is a very difficult technique to perform correctly despite how easy it looks. In Yoshinkan we try to keep our hands in kamae (arm stretched out infront of your chest). One of the key aspects of the technique is to NOT twist ukes wrist. I have been taught to cut down like a sword. Use your lats to cut down and shuffle in slightly. Dont bend your wrists. The idea is to not twist, but to unbalance uke through his/her shoulder by cutting down. Uke should feel no pain, he/she should become unbalanced from this. Dont think about the wrist, focus your power on the shoulder. (its kind of difficult to explain it in writing)

I hope this explanation helps. I havent gotten it to work pain free yet since its a suprisingly difficult technique to grasp.

Colin Clark
01-22-2003, 05:39 PM
Thanks Bryan. You've cleared it up a little bit for me - thanks! I now understand a little better the kind of motion that I'm aiming at to push my opponent down. But what confuses me most, rather, is the actual placement and orientation of my hands on the guy whose arm I'm manipulating...

If I could combine the approachability of your reply with the detail of the loquacious Mr Wilbanks ...
"Take a technique like nikkyo for instance - it involves flexion at the elbow, extreme pronation of the radioulnar, flexion at the wrist, as well as binding of some of the intercarpal and carpometacarpal joint at the extremes of their sliding or oppositional ranges... THEN, what really makes the technique "work" is when one attempts to forcibly pronate the radiocarpal (wrist) - a direction in which the joint is not supposed to move."

;) then I'm sure I could understand the mechanics of this move, as well as its goal.

I'm sure I can work on the further aspects of the technique once I have the basic elements of it down first; I can't improve the force downwards, say, until I know how to hold my opponent's arm in the first place.

Can anyone help me here? Onegai shimasu! :)

01-22-2003, 11:59 PM
What Bryan just mentioned there sounds interesting, although I have as yet to receive a painless nikyo from anyone... yonkyo maybe.

I've been taught before to try wrapping ukes forearm.

lets say you're ai hanmi. left leg and hands forward. and uke grabs your hand with his left as well.

nage right hand clasps uke's left hand not strongly but surely. nage's left hand climbs up on uke's upper wrist like a dolphin (little finger) jumping out of the sea and back again on the other side of the wrist. (fingers point down now.)

at this point in time, your center takes ukes center down. the control of ukes center comes from your hands on his hands. his elbow should be bent almost 90 degrees. note, that you shouldn't try to twist his hand down, but instead use your center/body to cut his body down. Thats the whole reason on the 'dolphin' thing. If you focus away from trying to manipulate his wrists, and instead just thinking about doing whats right with yours, you could accomplish this technique.

01-23-2003, 03:54 AM
I've received a painless nikkyo - it is quite bizzare. It is a leading down motion (as nage moves backwards). It is painless in that you are being led downwards without pain - but if you do try and stand up it is painful.

I do like the yoshinkan version of nikkyo as it reduces the chances of getting hit by uke with the other hand - however it can be more difficult to control and put on (especially if your uke is strong or inflexible).

With the standard version (gyaku hanmi):

1. raise both hands together (using grabbed hand to turn uke's blade of hand upwards - and using other hand to pin it to your chest).

2. there is a small hollow below your collar bone - place the back of ukes wrist in there (ukes thumb down and fingers pointing away from your centre).

3. The key is to hold this wrist tightly into your body so your body puts the technique on.

4. Lightly rest your arm (one which was grabbed but now released), on the elbow of uke to keep their arm level (don't force down with this at all, just stop them raising their elbow).

5. Now lean in slightly towards ukes centre (maybe just a bit beyond it). If the contact of the back of ukes wrist is maintained, pain should ensue.


(P.S. if you've got a 6th Dan instructor - he should be able to explain far better! If he is too busy, ask one of the higher grades - nikkyo is very much a feel thing)

01-24-2003, 03:33 AM
From what I understand, the painless nikyo works this way:

once you get to hold of uke's hand, you then hold onto his upper arm in classic nikyo position.

But instead of lowering uke's forearm and thereby twisting his wrist, you maintain your hold on uke's arm and take a step back.

Uke's is pulled forward and down by your movement and when he or she attempt to stand up, you allow uke's forearm and elbow to rise up.

If you maintain a tight hold on uke's hand, uke will run right into the nikyo, "activating" the lock.

Anyone else do this this way?

Kevin Wilbanks
01-24-2003, 09:15 AM
I agree that it's mostly a 'feel' thing. Trying to teach it in words is like "dancing about architecture", as they say. You need someone there in person to give feedback, point, wave their hands around and stuff. Eventually it becomes one seemingly instinctive motion. In the long run, it's no worry compared to something like Ikkyo, for instance.

01-24-2003, 10:18 AM
It is much easier to show than to explain. I would ask the sensei for a few minutes after class.

Ikkyo takes a really long time to understand, and therefore to do correctly. Almost anybody can do an ikkyo from day 1....Almost nobody gets it right on day 1. There is so much to understanding "the center line", weight underside, locking the wrist, etc...

I won't even try to tell you on-line. Ask your sensei.

Good luck. Your aikido & nikkyo WILL get better.

01-24-2003, 10:54 AM
We work on the painless nikajo without moving back - more on the spot. In my experience you have to work your way up the joints initially to see how it works. Capture the wrist, then the elbow, then the shoulder, then the hip, then the knee. Slowing, feeling it and seeing how uke moves and gets controlled.


01-24-2003, 06:12 PM
I think this may help Colin


Colin Clark
01-25-2003, 05:21 AM

Thanks, Alfonso.