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Old 06-03-2009, 03:11 PM   #24
Keith Larman
Dojo: AIA, Los Angeles, CA
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,604
Re: Using less force on a smaller person w/o being patronizing

I think the problem is that you're thinking torque at all. Sankyo is IMHO one of those very elegant and subtle techniques that can be applied early and with finesse. People tend to think of sankyo as the twist with the "down" or "final movement" while at least in my experience it has more to do with the setup initially. Getting all that slack out and connecting directly to the center as Janet discussed is critical. We all talk about aiki and internal skills, but how many do sankyo as a purely physics experiment? Or pain example? You've got them and the whole point is to control their center through the connection you have. Make the connection to the center and try not to rely on the wrist itself. Once you have that connection you have control even if you haven't really "finished with" the sankyo yet (in the sense of sending them down, out, or wherever). So think of having sankyo connected all the way down the chain *before* you try to do anything with it. Then you have full control the entire time.

I have very flexible arms, strong arms (polishing swords is hard work for the forearms and wrists), and many complain they have trouble applying it to me. The reality is from my point of view most who have trouble are the ones who hurt me because they tend to rely on pain rather than the blend and control (aiki?) aspect. My sensei is dramatically shorter than me, not as strong, but has zero problem tossing me around the room with sankyo. He has never hurt my wrists even with a fast, powerful sankyo. Others will hurt me regularly. He tends to call me up to take ukemi when demonstrating sankyo I think to make the point to others that they don't have to hurt me to apply sankyo -- they just need to do it more calmly and with more of that connection. Too often, however, people try to compensate by speeding up, or torquing harder, or dropping and twisting the wrist really hard. Sure, I go down then too. But usually they do it faster than I can react (I'm big -- inertia is a tough thing to overcome) and I end up with injured wrists to show for it. There are some people I'll avoid with sankyo solely out of the desire for self-preservation.

Last edited by Keith Larman : 06-03-2009 at 03:17 PM. Reason: clarifying

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