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Old 04-10-2007, 04:20 AM   #75
Ecosamurai's Avatar
Dojo: Takagashira Dojo
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 557
United Kingdom
Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

Just found Mike's nikyo description as he mentioned in an earlier post in this thread.:

"I can go to various dojo's and be shown "nikkyo" and as a "joint lock" it is fine and it "works martially". Some people will immediately jump into the discussion with "timing" and "from your center" and "stand in this angle to apply it" and "how to use it in a bar fight or combat with the enemy" and so on. All of that is fine and is "martial" and different people have different takes on it. AND it works! So therefore, they all "know nikkyo". I admit they can do nikkyo, but it's not really a version (by most people) that O-Sensei or any other skilled Asian martial artist is going to concur with as being correct if jin is not being used to do it. And there are degrees of jin. You don't have any really impressive jin power until your "middle" is extremely powerful. Your middle isn't going to be extremely powerful and connected out to your arms and legs until your "ki" is developed with breath, intent, stretches, and etc."

I'll expand on it the way I was teaching it a few weeks ago. Start with the nikyo where you hold your partners wrist at shoulder level (let's assume you're holding the uke's left hand in your left hand and at your right shoulder) and turn the hand's palm back towards him. A common mistake is that people usually begin by thinking that the left hand is the one that 'does the nikyo', this is not the truth at all, the left hand should be the anchor that uses weight underside to turn the palm outwards and back towards uke (if your left shoulder is tense you aren't using weight underside).

Often with this technique nage takes the right hand and places it on ukes left shoulder. They then draw down the length of ukes arm until reaching the wrist (one of my students went to a Yamada Sensei seminar in Edinburgh not so long ago and this was how Yamada did the nikyo to him so I assume it's fairly common and that people will be familar with it). The right hand then comes to rest on ukes wrist and the nikyo is applied with the familiar 'wringing action'.

IMO there are a few common mistakes made with this (mistakes meaning that internal stuff isn't used, if you're not aiming to use internal skills then they probably don't count as mistakes). They are:

People assume the left hand does the nikyo, if anything it would be the right hand (actually it's both but it helps if emphasis is placed on the right at the beginning as the left is commonly favoured).

People try to 'draw the ki' down ukes arm towards their wrist in a physical way, often dragging their hand along the top of the arm and causing uke to physically resist them in the process, so basically the opposite of what your after in the first place (i.e. no resistance from uke)

Lastly and most importantly. People 'gather ki' from uke into their chest area as this is where all three hands involved in the technique are located, this encourages tension in shoulders and evokes physical resistance from uke. To make it effective, gather ki into your own belly/centre and lightly touch ukes arm instead of dragging your hand along it (last summer my teacher touched my arm as lightly as is possible and I just hit the deck, I've never felt anything like it, it was so gentle as to beggar belief, and it really hurt).
When applying the nikyo, your shoulders shouldn't move unless your hips do. It sometimes helps if you think of your right foot sliding forwards as the thing that applies the nikyo rather than your hands.

That would be a brief description of how to do that particular nikyo with a slightly more 'internal' mindset. It's only a brief and basic description, there is a great deal more to it but it might be useful. I've only touched on the basics as I'm sure Mike will tell you, he left a huge amount out of his description (more than I did). Also it is easy to think you are doing those things when you're not, and I'm not just talking about sitting at the computer and reading the descriptions, it happens in lessons too. When I've explained things people have said to me "But I am doing that" when they clearly aren't and worse, they know they aren't because their nikyo isn't working and mine is. Yet they still say it..... I suppose I did too back in the day.


"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
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