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Old 02-15-2012, 12:33 PM   #9
Scott Harrington
Location: Wilmington, De
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 65
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Re: Aint Nikkyo Fascinating!

I certainly agree that Nikkyo (2nd control, kote-maki, kote zumi) is a great technique. Anything from a sword retaining waza, a very quick and painful wrist grab reversal, even a devastating weapon disarm and throat slash, this is certainly the go-to technique when someone has laid hands on you.

However, on the four examples given by Ellis, I must cry foul. Two of the examples stated are not nikkyo, and certainly not in the spirit of Takeda Sokaku's Daito ryu. Michael Varin points out correctly the Charles Perry incident recounted by Stevens. Of the other Takeda Sokaku occurrence, I somehow do not see the cab driver laying hands on the Daito ryu master (or him allowing that). Which leads us to my favorite technique -- Yonkyo.

Yonkyo (4th control, tekubi oase, ura-kote) is a fabulous technique that truly epitomizes Daito ryu and control of the centerline.

The two accounts where Ellis (a noted Yonkyophobic) incorrectly replaces 2nd for 4th surely demonstrates a philosophical difference between Daito ryu and Aikido; maybe for the better in the dojo, where pain is to be avoided, great pain to be REALLY avoided.

As Takeda Sokaku yabbered with the cab drive, yelling about a supposed overcharge, the Daito ryu master did as his art directed and grabbed the available wrist and applied the yonkyo with a yelp and yowl to his supposed offender. Immediately under control, the man yielded to a superior attack that was so subtle but so effective. YUM YUM.

You see, Takeda Sokaku ATTACKED him. He did not offer his wrist, or his shoulder. He did not subtly get off the line and provoke an energy flow that allowed him to return it in relation to the balance of energy within the universe. He ATTACKED. HE TOOK control of the centerline.

When a Charles Perry ‘dissed' him on the train, Takeda Sokaku's go to tool for resolving the incident was Yonkyo. Painful, controlling but not disabling, and as I like to call it, the "lubricant of Aikijujutsu." (No rude jokes or double entendre there or I will hunt you down and tekubi oase you!)

The idea of attacking to resolve the incident is not unknown in Aikido, but has taken a very far back seat to allowing the bad guy (transmogrified into uke) go ‘first.' In the Budo Renshu (and the better drawn copy from the Yamato ryu) the FIRST technique begins with a flashing simultaneous attack to the side and temple to provoke a flinching block which sets the arm up for an Ikkyo (Ude oase) to pin the opponent.

Yonkyo is less damaging as that simultaneous strike but damn more painful. There is video of the late headmaster Takeda Tokimune applying this technique to current Headmaster Kondo. He howls and rolls around the mat like crazy. I've met Kondo and he is a bada** and you can see in the video this was no aiki-buuny ‘make the instructor look good situation'.

Not to denigrate Aikido, I can see why many shy away from this excrociating waza. Poorly taught, very painful, and not in the current philosophical mainstream, tekubi osae is kept in the curriculum but seldom dusted off and used. However, a friend that has trained with late Abe sensei (the calligraphy teacher to O'sensei) recounted that at Abe's dojo the grabbing attack, (more realistic than most) started with a grab such that the posture was immediately distorted. I have a Daito ryu video pointing out that this is done with a yonkyo addition.

While O'sensei had a great reputation for his strength of grip, I believe that he was really going back to his roots as taught by Takeda Sokaku and just applying 4th control. So the moral of the story is, "If he grabs you, nikkyo, if he pisses you off, yonkyo." Says it all.

Scott Harrington
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