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Old 03-06-2003, 09:27 PM   #26
Mark Jakabcsin
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Yonkyo: Part 2, Exposing the Nerve

I am sorry about the delay in posting this in timely manner. I had started working on it last week when promised but it was even boring to me so I deleted everything I wrote over the weekend. I have been traveling on business the first four days of this week so I haven't had a chance to write. I will try to keep this short and as non-boring as possible.

Disclaimer #1: I am not an M.D. nor an anatomy expert, the following piece is written from the point of an anatomy user not an anatomy authority. To those that are anatomy experts please realize this piece covers a general concept that works. Some of the scientific reasoning may not be exact so please don't hammer away, although please add any insightful comments.

When we stand at rest without any outside influence our body is designed to give a degree of protection to each of our systems, the more vital the system the more protection. As we move this protection may be affected or weakened due to various stresses placed on the body.

The nervous system is surely a vital system, although by it's very nature it is present though out our bodies, thereby being vulnerable in many places. With regards to yonkyo there are a number of different nerves that can be worked or even tendons (which contain nerve endings). Please look at the articles contained in the web address that Jun provided above. I found these articles to be interesting and they contain great diagrams of the arm.

These nerves and tendons in the arm are protected to some degree by the skin, fasciae, muscle and soft tissue surrounding them. This surrounding tissue provides some degree of cushion, or perhaps slack is a better work, to lessen any penetrating force. This slack created by the surrounding tissue is enough to reduce the success rate of yonkyo (the nerve pain portion at least).

Disclaimer #2: The following information will only help those that are using kuzushi properly, maintaining proper posture and body mechanics. This information will not correct or replace any errors of the above elements, it will only help those that already are moving correctly, i.e. if you can't get it to work it is most likely because you have fundamental issues that need to be addressed first.

The question is now how best to deal with the slack in the soft tissue to enhance our opportunity for success with the given technique. I would like everyone reading this to take their right arm and place it in front of themselves, parallel to their body and lightly grab their right forearm with their left hand. I said lightly so loosen that grip until there is compression only on the skin. The compression should not even affect the fasciae directly under the skin….well maybe a tiny bit is ok. Now I want you to run two tests from this start position:

1) Squeeze down firmly in the manner described in my earlier post. Drive the third knuckle of your forefinger into the soft tissue as far as you can. Do this slowly and concentrate on the feeling in your arm directly under your knuckle and also note the feeling in the surrounding tissue for a couple inches. Do you feel the slack in the skin and soft tissue slowly tighten up? Do you feel the soft tissue from a couple inches away slowly being stretched and tightening up? All of this reduction in slack is absorbing the energy of your squeeze and reducing the amount of pressure placed on the nerve or tendon. This, my friends is not good.

2) Return to the initial start position described above. Remember apply very light pressure. Now slowly rotate your hand around your arm. Note your entire palm should be in contact with your forearm so when you rotate you will be affecting a large area of skin. Since the skin is connect to the other soft tissue below you will also be affecting that tissue. Note the feeling in the skin directly below your palm and the surrounding skin. Feel how the slack is being taken out of the soft tissue directly under you palm and around your hand. How far can you rotate you hand around your forearm before all the slack is removed? Now squeeze as described above. Note the difference from test number 1. With the slack already removed a much greater portion of your pressure is directed inwards towards your final target and less of it is absorbed by the surrounding tissue. This, my friends is good.

Some of you have undoubtedly already figured out how to use this information to your advantage for yonkyo, however I will spell it out in case there are any slow people like myself in the audience. When doing yonkyo, or just about any nerve technique or choke, one needs to remove the tissue slack prior to applying pressure for maximum affect. In order to do this one must grab slightly off the desired target they wish to affect, then rotate the soft tissue to remove the slack. As the slack is removed by rotating the hand will arrive on target and pressure is applied. This method results in less energy being absorbed by soft protective tissue and more being applied to the desired target. The old phrase ‘Work smarter, not harder' applies.

Hopefully this will help some of you and for those that still can't get it to work on a regular basis look at disclaimer number 2 again. Your answer probably lies there. Take care.

mark

ps. If you found this long and boring you should have seen the crap I was writing last week. Ewwwheee it was boring.

Take care,


Mark J.
www.charlotte-systema.com
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Old 03-10-2003, 01:33 PM   #27
aikidoc
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Dennis:

Jun's article references are good. Greg Olson has done about the only research on this topic. The nerves are primarily the superficial branch of the radial nerve. You can feel this on some people by stroking a firm object down the radial bone on the thumb side. Some people with feel a tingling when this is done. Apparently, the other nerve is the median depending on which version of the technique is being performed.

Another possibility is pain over the bone due to pressure on the periosteum (outer layer of the bone).

John Riggs
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Old 03-10-2003, 05:15 PM   #28
ian
 
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Erik - I am going to Galway, and since you seem to be too I would have to say you fall into the category of muscle rather than fat since my yonkyo nerve is extremely sensetive! (and coincidently the last 3 training sessions have all been yonkyo!)

This brings me to a related point which I think I'll start in another thread ('excessive yonkyo').

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 03-11-2003, 05:38 AM   #29
erikmenzel
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Quote:
Ian Dodkins (ian) wrote:
Erik - I am going to Galway,
Good, see you there
Quote:
and since you seem to be too I would have to say you fall into the category of muscle rather than fat
Wise thing to say, not entirely accurate maybe, but very wise
Quote:
since my yonkyo nerve is extremely sensetive! (and coincidently the last 3 training sessions have all been yonkyo!)
Was this the seminar with Allan Rudock sensei?

Erik Jurrien Menzel
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Old 03-30-2003, 02:33 PM   #30
ikkitosennomusha
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Re: Yonkyo nerve pinch

Quote:
Liane Guillou (Kung Fu Liane) wrote:
hi,

does the nerve pinch part of yonkyo feel painful to every person who receives it? should it be painful?

-Liane
Hi! The yonkyo pin is a form of osae-waza that many aikidoka find to be very difficult so they give up. The ease of the pin depends on uke's muscle mass around the key nerve points. So, you have to know all the possibilities for inyou verve point does not work, another definately will. I have experienced the difference between doing yonkyo pin on a skinny person vs muscular person. It also depends on how well the nerves are protected by your dermal structures. I happen to know the 3 point that will never fail if you know how to apply it.
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Old 03-30-2003, 06:02 PM   #31
Greg Jennings
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Just my personal opinion, but I believe the "nerve pinch" has nothing to do with a good yonkyo.

Ikkyo, nikyo, sankyo, yonkyo, gokyo. They are all just different ways of breaking uke's posture by connecting (a.k.a. taking the slack out of) through his/her arm.

A good yonkyo is, IMHO, difficult because it is difficult for nage to exert energy through that particular connection.

FWIW,

Greg Jennings
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Old 09-27-2007, 09:49 AM   #32
Don_Modesto
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Re: Yonkyo nerve pinch

Quote:
Mark Jakabcsin wrote: View Post
ps. I have started on part 2: Exposing the Nerve, but it will take a day or two to complete. I have been doing loads of business writing and my brain is rather slow this week.
Bump.

Hey, Mark,

I had archived your Part I and evidently forgot about it. Clearing up my folders, I found the first, hoping--much belatedly--for the second.

Thanks.

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
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Old 09-27-2007, 01:50 PM   #33
Don_Modesto
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Re: Yonkyo nerve pinch

Um...never mind.

(Just discovered page 2...)

Don J. Modesto
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Old 09-28-2007, 04:28 AM   #34
Stefan Stenudd
 
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Yonkyo as atemi

An aikido teacher of mine said that about one out of five don't feel the yonkyo pain. In my experience it is not that many (I've probably just been lucky...).
I remember two cases, where the uke was quite immune to yonkyo: one guy in the Gothenburg Aikido dojo - and that was fun, because I was guest teaching the class, and using him to try to show yonkyo. Everyone in the dojo knew that it was impossible to do yonkyo on him, and smiled as I tried. I had run out of luck...
The other case was a young woman at a seminar in the Czech Republic. She just did not feel it at all, like nothing happened. Good for her
So, in my experience, most people feel the yonkyo pain - on the other hand, almost everybody can quickly learn to resist and even ignore it.

I like to think of yonkyo as an atemi, to create distraction and break-balance. Therefore, it should be a sudden thing, not a grip with constant pressure. A surprise, a sudden thing, is harder to resist. It will usually create the distraction and break-balance needed.
I also use the sankyo-like counter twist, mentioned above. It helps very much in making the yonkyo distinct.
Yonkyo is very much like how you grip your sword, although twisting your grip in the opposite direction of what you do when you cut with the sword.

I made a page about yonkyo on my website, with a couple of short video clips and an explanation of sorts:
http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/yonkyo.htm

Stefan Stenudd
My aikido website: http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/
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Old 09-28-2007, 11:16 AM   #35
Don_Modesto
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Re: Yonkyo as atemi

Quote:
Stefan Stenudd wrote: View Post
I like to think of yonkyo as an atemi, to create distraction and break-balance. Therefore, it should be a sudden thing, not a grip with constant pressure. A surprise, a sudden thing, is harder to resist. It will usually create the distraction and break-balance needed.
I agree. I think a lot of the locks work better as ATEMI than come-alongs.

A combination of influences helped me improve my 4 KYO recently. In one of Saito's books, a TACHIDORI involves catching a descending cut with the palm of your right hand placed under UKE's left grip. Catch him high and you have his balance.

About the same time as I'd brought this into class, I looked at a Tomiki book and they use a 4 KYO like grip as one of their principle practices (we hardly ever do it.)

Playing with these two in class gave me a lot of insight into 4 KYO--it's KUZUSHI and TAI SABAKI--as an attack of the shoulder, not the wrist, and a quite compelling one, too, with or without the pain. (You do it this way, against the shoulderj, in the vid on your web page.)

Last edited by Don_Modesto : 09-28-2007 at 11:19 AM.

Don J. Modesto
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Old 09-28-2007, 04:49 PM   #36
Derek
 
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Re: Yonkyo nerve pinch

Quote:
Mark Jakabcsin wrote: View Post
The most common problem I have seen in people attempting to apply painful pressure to a nerve is that they mash the nerve instead of pinching the nerve.
Mark,

I agree whole heartedly. I think that those of you who have a large bruise on your forearm after someone has applied yonkyo may have had someone who did not practice the subtleties of this technique.

When I teach it, I emphasize not only the position of the compressing knuckle, but the relaxation of the grip. I think of it as a loose ring around the entire wrist that only compresses when torqued. The pinky and palm make up the bottom of the ring and the index finger and thumb the top. Similar to one of the tension devices on a tent rope.

In fact, I generally demonstrate it by having the uke hold their arm up in the appropriate position and then make a large ring of my two hands with index fingers touching and thumbs touching (picture ittsy bittsy spider) and the uke's arm inside the ring. I don't touch the arm when the ring is perpendicular to the long axis, but as I move into a more vertical position, the large, lax ring becomes tight and gives a good yonkyo.

This is not they way I apply yonkyo, but it demonstrates to the students the might doesn't make right when it comes to yonkyo.

Derek Duval
Yondan
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Old 09-28-2007, 08:43 PM   #37
DH
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Re: Yonkyo nerve pinch

Since anyone can be trained to be yonkyo proof-shouldn't the goal of a teacher be to teach everyone in their group to be lock proof? I mean assuming they know how- being martial artists and all-wouldn't that be a nifty thing to teach people instead of teaching them to "receive" marginally successful and highly questionable wrist thingy's?
Another method in teaching that is questionable to me is you hear teachers telling people how they don't concentrate on causing pain with wrist thingy's, but rather capturing center albeit subtle or not. So, interestingly enough is "that which receives-feeds." So all the attributes are in place for the teachers to teach folks to stop the teacher dead in their tracks while they are attempting controls of any kind. I would imagine that over time all would enjoy the end result. Which would be a much higher level of usable skills that would transfer to things then far past simple wrist lock resistence or application -but rather a much greater resistence to all manner of throws and thence issuing of power.

Last edited by DH : 09-28-2007 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 09-28-2007, 09:50 PM   #38
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Re: Yonkyo nerve pinch

Seems kind of silly to me that most people think of yonkyo as just a nerve technique and spend so much time trying to learn how to do that aspect of the technique, all the while neglecting the much more important structural aspects. Any technique, and specifically any of the numbered wrist locks, can be done with or without pressure points. In my opinion, sticking fingers into pressure points does not make techniques more effective enough (if at all) to warrant the time spent learning to apply them or, more importantly, the extent to which they make the technique more painful to one's practice partner.

My personal philosophy is that I will not allow anyone to hurt me, on the mat or off, if I can prevent it. That's one reason I train in martial arts, after all. If someone wants to use pressure points on me he better have very solid technique, meaning kuzushi and center control all the way through (which very few people in aikido have, because it's usually not taught), or I will block it. And if someone has strong enough technique to control me well enough to get to the point where he can use a pressure point without me be able to stop it, then he could easily throw me without even using the pressure point. So I don't see much need for such training, and I think they often are a distraction from studying how to control someone structurally and maybe even a crutch for those with little or no understanding of how to do this.

From a structural perspective, yonkyo is actually quite a simple technique, certainly easier to do correctly than nikyo or ever sankyo, and perhaps even easier than ikkyo.
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Old 09-29-2007, 04:57 PM   #39
DH
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Re: Yonkyo nerve pinch

Quote:
Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
And if someone has strong enough technique to control me well enough to get to the point where he can use a pressure point without me be able to stop it, then he could easily throw me without even using the pressure point. So I don't see much need for such training, and I think they often are a distraction from studying how to control someone structurally and maybe even a crutch for those with little or no understanding of how to do this.
From a structural perspective, yonkyo is actually quite a simple technique, certainly easier to do correctly than nikyo or ever sankyo, and perhaps even easier than ikkyo.
By and large joint locks are marginally effective, and dicey with anyone traned. I just had an all day session with DR Aikido and CMA folks, with joint locks brought up and completely neutralized at every turn. People really need to get past these ridiculous assumptions of effectiveness, and help each other learn to stop these type of things. Leave it for work on non martial people. Maybe good for LEO on drunks or domestics. For us, learn em, know em, forget em.
It is the how and with what that you can neutralize them that has value. For that training also leads to neutralizing throws, and getting heavy hands and legs to strike.

Last edited by DH : 09-29-2007 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 09-29-2007, 07:54 PM   #40
G DiPierro
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Re: Yonkyo nerve pinch

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
By and large joint locks are marginally effective, and dicey with anyone traned. I just had an all day session with DR Aikido and CMA folks, with joint locks brought up and completely neutralized at every turn. People really need to get past these ridiculous assumptions of effectiveness, and help each other learn to stop these type of things. Leave it for work on non martial people. Maybe good for LEO on drunks or domestics. For us, learn em, know em, forget em.
It is the how and with what that you can neutralize them that has value. For that training also leads to neutralizing throws, and getting heavy hands and legs to strike.
I don't disagree but this is an entirely different argument. I am saying that if you are going to train joint locks, there are effective ways to do them and ineffective ways to do them. If you look at the aikikai hombu dojo test requirements, fully seven out of ten techniques listed are joint locks. Once you say that joint locks are marginally effective and not worth spending that much time training in, you are pretty much tossing out largest part of the art of aikido as it now exists. Now you might be right to do this from the perspective of your reasons for training, but I think most people in aikido really don't care about that. They like their dojo and they like to go there and get some exercise and play at being a martial artist with their friends. That's fine, but given that aikido is (mostly) joint locks, why not at least train them in the most effective way possible? You still might not be doing the most practical techniques in the world, but at least you would be doing something well.

Ideally, it would be great to see aikido people move beyond training in joint locks with compliant partners and do more freestyle, but I don't have high hopes for this. Most people in aikido probably wouldn't even be interested in better ways to do the techniques they already do, preferring instead to keep doing it the way it their teacher or organization does it, even if that doesn't work, since that's what's expected on their rank test. But I think for people coming from the environment of mainstream aikido, spending some time on how to do joint locks effectively makes sense since that's something they will understand. With beginners, I spend very little time on joint locks, since they are too hard to do in freestyle (although I still often use them myself when working with relatively untrained people) and there are more important things that I think need to be learned first.

Last edited by G DiPierro : 09-29-2007 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 09-30-2007, 08:38 AM   #41
stan baker
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Re: Yonkyo nerve pinch

The main point Dan is trying to make is that we need to develope aiki power so we can make things really work.

stan
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Old 09-30-2007, 04:36 PM   #42
Jim Sorrentino
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"The more things change, the more they remain the same."

Or... a blast from the past, courtesy of the Aikido-L Archive:

http://www.cs.ualberta.ca/~mckellar/aiki/1999/14.html

http://www.cs.ualberta.ca/~mckellar/aiki/1999/15.html

http://www.cs.ualberta.ca/~mckellar/aiki/1999/16.html

http://www.cs.ualberta.ca/~mckellar/aiki/1999/17.html

Jim
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Old 09-30-2007, 06:05 PM   #43
eyrie
 
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Re: Yonkyo nerve pinch

Quote:
Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
Ideally, it would be great to see aikido people move beyond training in joint locks with compliant partners and do more freestyle, but I don't have high hopes for this.
If that were the case, one might as well be doing jujitsu or something.

I would have to agree with Dan here. It's how and with what that you can neutralize joint locks that has value. And I would add, the "how and with what" is or should be the core of Aikido training, and NOT so much the joint locks itself. Although, some "technique" is essential and "basic" in any martial art, technical proficiency can usually be acquired in a matter of months. I think the over emphasis on the technical application of joint locks itself, to the exclusion of the principles and application of aiki, is in the long run, detrimental to further progress of the aikidoka and aikido.

BTW, this thread is like 4 years old...

Ignatius
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Old 01-17-2017, 12:34 AM   #44
Les Loschky
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Ki Symbol Re: Yonkyo nerve pinch

I just found this very informative discussion. In following the link below, I found that it is currently dead (which is not surprising given that it is now 13 years after the posting). However, I've found the full reference for the article that I think it was citing:

Olson, G. D., & Seitz, F. C. (1990). An examination of Aikido's fourth teaching: an anatomical study of the tissues of the forearm. Perceptual and motor skills, 71(3 suppl), 1059-1066.

You can download this on the web from the publisher for free (at least I was able to).

It is very enlightening as to what causes the pain of Yonkyo omote and ura, which are importantly different.

For omote, there are two versions, one of which puts the pressure on the wrist (palm side) a few inches from the palm, on the thumb side from the midline of the wrist. The second version puts the pressure a bit closer to the radial bone, which is further towards the thumb side.

For ura, the pressure is put very much on the radial bone at the extreme thumb side of the arm. This area has little flesh and muscle to protect the nerves beneath.

The article above does not dwell on proper placement of nage's/tori's hands, or overall body positioning of nage and uke, but instead focuses on the anatomical locus of the pain.

For an excellent coverage of the proper technique, including close-up details of nage's/tori's hand placement relative to uke's wrist, see pages 154 and 156 of Best Aikido: The Fundamentals, by the 2nd and 3rd Doshu, and translated by John Stevens:

Ueshiba, K., Ueshiba, M., & Stevens, J. (2002). Best aikido: the fundamentals. Kodansha International.

Getting back to a theme throughout all of this discussion, however, Olson and Seitz (1990) note several reasons why using Yonkyo is probably impractical for most people in real-world situations, as noted in a number of the postings here (e.g., the placement of nage's/tori's hands requires precision, which cannot be learned quickly, attacks happen very quickly, and some people's pain threshold is so high as to make the pain of no consequence). So, securing uke's shoulder to the ground is of primary importance, rather than hitting the nerve spots and causing pain.

Nevertheless, for those practitioners wanting to get better at hitting those nerve spots, the above references should be very helpful.

Best wishes,

Les Loschky
Tatsumaki Aikikai/KSU Aikido

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote: View Post
Hi Dennis,

I'm sure you've done more studies on this sort of thing than I ever will...

That said, here's a link to a few medical articles covering some aikido techniques including yonkyo (and nikyo):

http://www.aikidoaus.com.au/dojo/doc...l_articles.htm

-- Jun
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Old 02-08-2017, 02:57 AM   #45
Scott Harrington
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Re: Yonkyo nerve pinch

Yonkyo (again!) When I hear the talk about not being effective I am reminded of the person trying to shoot an unloaded gun. How come I can't hit anything? That is his plaintive cry.

So, everyone is claiming that Takeda Sokaku's go-to-technique after Aiki sucked. Wow. Like Wow.
Tekubi-osae / yonkyo / yonkajo is a great technique poorly taught, poorly defined and wrong theory, and can involve great pain.

Takes about 30 minutes to learn in a step by step process, negating pretty most of what is in the ‘books', followed by some repetitions and different uke to get the right feel.

It can easily be used in freestyle if you wish, excellent for pins (shows up in the first Daito ryu technique) and will amaze your friends and make them fear you. (You have to stop using it after awhile or they don't play.)

There is a great video of the late Takeda Tokimune (Main-line Daito ryu headmaster) whipping it out on current headmaster Kondo shihan who howls in pain. I've met Kondo sensei -- he is not a wilting flower. If he howled, I would have wet myself.

Strangely, when offered to teach this, no one ‘really' wants to do the work. That's all right, because I'm usually the uke when showing it.

Yonkyo involves some physics, some engineering, some anatomy, some physiology and some effort. No fancy stretching the skin, no knuckles gouging, no sudden only works in the surge application, so bear all that in mind.

I have a friend who is actually very good in Aikido and Gracie Jiu Jitsu who whipped this out once while grappling and totally disrupted his opponent. Of course, the GJJ people don't like it.

I think I have the pdf above stashed away and while great on the anatomy, principle is wrong.

Scott Harrington
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Old 02-12-2017, 08:53 AM   #46
MrIggy
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Re: Yonkyo nerve pinch

Why do so many people insist on the "nerve pinch" in Yonkyo?
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:40 AM   #47
Riai Maori
 
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Re: Yonkyo nerve pinch

Myself and other students(guys) feel no nerve pinch from Yonkyo. We end up with thumb print bruise marks instead. But the quick cut down and shoulder lock that is put on whilst being driven into the ground hurts immensely with a quick tap out. As our Sensei says" the nerve pinch "is just the straw berry on top of the cake"

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Old 07-31-2017, 07:42 AM   #48
Stefan Stenudd
 
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Re: Yonkyo nerve pinch

Since this thread has been revived after years of sleep, I can't resist mentioning that I just made a video on yonkyo. And I realize that I think just the same as in my comment above from ten years ago: Yonkyo is a distraction, like an atemi, and therefore it's necessary to do it shortly, as a surprise. Probably the best is if the nerve pinch is not needed at all for the technique to work. On the other hand, it's kind of fun - if not in excess
Here is my video:
https://youtu.be/nF7cxegO-oo

Stefan Stenudd
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