Thread: Nikyo Basics
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Old 02-05-2007, 09:47 AM   #6
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
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Re: Nikyo Basics

Brad Allen wrote:
It doesn't even get that far: I blend with the strike. My temptation is to swing his arm up in sort of an arm-bar, and "goose-neck" uke's forearm against my shoulder. Am I way off track?

Nikyo was one of the last techniques I learned before my break, so it's the first I've really forgotten. I just wanted a little advise before I ask the sensei.

Thanks if you have some suggestions!
I have diffculty sorting out from your description at what point in the movement the problem is occurring (or perhaps what variation of movement you were taught).

The classic kihon variation usually taught for shomenuchi nikkyo omote waza, has the initial ikkyo movement taking uke's balance to the standing transition in front -- with the forearm laid across the far leg, elbow below wrist, shoulder below elbow, and weight settled into uke's center through the elbow (or shoulder). The hard part for most (as it was for me) is to get the transition smooth and natural.

Of course, nikkyo, sankyo, yonkyo, gokyo, rokyo are all just variations of what happens to occur in gaining connection in a real engagement, so the kihon is "set-up" to understand this particular way of connecting in isolation, so that you will recognize it when it occurs -- not so you that you can try to force to occur, which is a perspective that sometimes takes a long time to grasp fully. We get it intellectually way before the stupid hindbrain that does the biting/clawing routine starts to catch on.

If your body position is proper in the transition, your wrist and hand are in tegatana (fingers slightly splayed) on top of the arm to begin with. Then you extend your arm slightly out, over and around the outside of uke's arm and then return underneath using a motion that involves your whole body, the hip moving the arm forward, around and back in a slight rowing motion (torifune). This results in the hand coming up underneath and outside the back of uke's hand -- without changing the tegatana shape.

Then you release your weight from uke's center and he rises (which he naturally wants to do). You let your free hand cup the elbow (fingers top and heel of the palm bottom) as it comes up. Some teach to with the thumb under, but I was taught to keep the thumb out of the way ( in part becasue it avoids the natrual tendecy to do the "elbow deathgrip." Don't do that, however you connect.

Extend the hand captured in nikkyo toward uke in an irimi motion, but with your whole body (not by an arm push). The near leg steps forward as the far leg steps back, in the basic version I have most frequently seen. (There are variations that legitimately move the front foot first or leave it where it is, however, so don't get too particular.) Then as you turn the far hip away and the near hip in, socket the first knuckles of uke's thumb and forefinger into the curve of your shoulder with that near hip now forward.

The hand on the elbow does not press or wrench, it simply is firmly connected there to feel where he is going. The hand on the wrist does not torque it, it simply keeps the connection firm into your body. If he moves in -- you move back the pinned side to make room for him to come in, and you bow slightly to welcome him.

You may find he realizes his rudeness in barging in at that point, and changes his mind. He is, in fact, torquing his own wrist.

If he moves away, you follow. Reluctantly send him away in a grand gesture with your hips leading his hand, elbow and shoulder out and away -- in that order. It looks very much like a sword cut, probably because it is...

Once you understand the way the connections to him are leading you to move (as nage), then you no longer need as extensive contact to accomplish the same thing. The nikkyo coneciton can eventually be performed with just two hands on the wrist, or -- my all time favorite exercise (since it was shown to me) -- and the bane of my unwitting training partners -- by locking him up in nikkyo with pinky fingers. (If you want to see that rude guest leave in an awful big hurry .... )

It is ultimately a matter of following his connection throroughly. There are a lot of variations from the kihon in the controlling movements depending on uke's choices once the basic nikkyo connection is established.

As said before, please ask your teacher and invite him to fully disregard anything I have said.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 02-05-2007 at 10:00 AM.


Erick Mead
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