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Old 01-23-2003, 08:50 PM   #1
Kevin Wilbanks
Location: Seattle/Southern Wisconsin
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 788
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What's in a yonkyo?

What makes yonkyo yonkyo?

I originally learned the technique in such a way that the nerve pinch was only a seldom-used option. The technique was largely a mechanical shoulder control in which nage grabbs the forearm like a baseball bat or sword and casts it out as if fishing, then follows through with a screw/twist to drive the shoulder into the ground.

The people I'm training with now have never seen it this way, and try to ply the technique with a more distal, less mechanically secure grip, and use the nerve pinch as motivation for uke to move. I'm even getting the comment "That's not yonkyo." about my version as though the nerve pinch is what makes it yonkyo.

I have never worked with a high ranking sensei or shihan that relied on the nerve instead of the leverage, so I may be missing something, but the mechanical way seems much more reliable and effective. I have felt yonkyo from people who could hit the nerve well, and it hurt a lot, but so what? It seemed to hurt less than gashing my head on the corner of an open hatchback or overhanging cabinet, and people routinely push through this kind of pain in fights.

It requires a little upper-body strength, but the baseball bat version seems ridiculously effective to me, even on people bigger than I am, and I'm not even very good at it. On the other hand, I've seen lots of people with many years experience still fumbling around to find the nerve in the nerve version.

Is there a 'party line' in various organizations on what makes a yonkyo? Particularly in ASU, USAF, or just Aikikai in general. Does anyone actually think relying on the nerve pinch is better?

Last edited by Kevin Wilbanks : 01-23-2003 at 08:53 PM.
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