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Old 06-10-2002, 09:54 PM   #6
Location: Indonesia
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 245
Hi Mike,

I'm no official voice of small-circle jujitsu, but one of the things you run across is an emphasis on wrist rotation on the part of nage when performing a technique. I guess that's where the term "small circle" comes from. That seemed to be one of the concepts emphasized in my hapkido practice, at least where joint locks are concerned. This stuff works, but the problem may lie in how it's practiced...I find that when you concentrate too much on making that small circle work, there might not be enough attention paid to tai sabaki, kuzushi, etc. Of course, a compentent small-circle jujitsuka will not ignore such things, but hey...

I guess one way of illustrating it might be in the way a reversed-grip kotegaeshi is performed. If you look at the typical Aikikai way of performing it, you could very well classify it as "big circle." With the small circle (in katatedori gyakuhanmi) version, it becomes a rather quick forearm/wrist rotation on the part of nage, augmented by some hip rotation/torque; foot movement may not be necessary at times. Uke often ends up dancing on his toes (instead of doing an aerial flip breakfall to make you look good), but that's no problem since it makes a great entry for shihonage. What the hell, you'll probably find this in aikido too...

You'll find finger locks, pressure points, and other things that rely on pain compliance in small-circle (or should I call it Danzan ryu?) jujitsu. It's all good, but I am not 100% confident of my ability to use things that rely on pain compliance on a crazed, hopped-up assailant. A finger/thumb lock works great in horseplay though, when somebody confronts you with an "unbendable arm"...

I welcome corrections to the above, since I've been known to be full of s**t on occasion...

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