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Worked on Sankyo. This is a great technique, and one that seems the most difficult for me to get a grasp on while maintaining compassion. Little pieces that Sensei has given me here and there most often fail to stick even after the x+1 time that he has given them to me. Working with new people on this technique is really fun, they will get it right, and I do the famous Sankyo back up on tip toes. They always look at me and say "You are just doing that for me aren't you." They never believe me when I tell them that they are the ones in control, and that I am doing it because I have to. They always look at you like you are trying to put one over on them.
Technical things for the technique: Keep your arms in a triangle with your elbows down, rotate from your center, do not rotate your wrists. Remember that in Sankyo you are the center of the universe and that the uke revolves around you! not you around them, or you around each other. Make sure that the ukes hand is under their elbow, which is in line with their shoulder. Line that up with where the seam on side of the Gi would be. Lift slightly it feels like you are balancing the uke on their wrist. When you are going for the pin, sweep your hand down and out. ( This Aikido stuff sure is hard to write about isn't it?).
One of the things that comes with this technique is a strange feeling because it is so easy to control the ukes movements when done correctly. The focus somehow shifts from the pin to the wrist control. It is a visual and connection confirmation that you are in control. The true point of this as any other technique is that you get the person pinned to the mat, and that you do it with as little intrusion on their psyche as is possible in the process. The idea of having control of them is opposite to the true goal of the technique. Taking control of someone in a marshal situation or even on the mat is going to make them more resistant to whatever it is that you are doing next. That resistance is what we are trying to avoid in Aikido, we are trying to flow with ourselves, and with the uke, so that there is as little energetic conflict as possible.
During this class I worked with a number of white belts. One of them is a big strapping dude that has practiced some other arts before. He tends to be stiff, and tense, and to use more power than is necessary. I had to help him a little on this while we were working on Sankyu, because I was concerned that he was going to hurt the third person in our group, another white belt. It felt strange, and I am always conscious of the things that I don't know that I don't know when I am in that situation. I am doing my best to pass on my knowledge to those that are my Kohai but also worry a lot that I am only passing on my version of what I heard, and what I understand to them. There is a lot of responsibility in being part of this one room school house.
Sensei used me for a couple of demonstrations on Base, they were funny, he called for me to be nage in Irimi Nage, then he came in as Uke, and knocked me over without any effort at all. He then spoke about how base worked and how the base did not really flow from the physical, but that we would have to work on the form, and be able to make the base big, so that we could understand the principle. Once we could make a good base large, then we would be able to work on making it smaller. It was great, and you could see that he was able to be as sturdy when his feet were almost next to each other as I was when I was as deep in my base as I can get.