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Old 06-05-2010, 09:37 PM   #1
Daniel Coutts-Smith
Dojo: Saku Shin Kan Aikikai
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Yonkyo is unbearable

Hey fellow Aikidoka,

Every time i take Ukemi for Yonkyo the pain is unbearable... most techniques you can relax and feel the pain and tap before its too much, but Yonkyo the pain is so sudden and sharp that i clench up and can barely tap.

I have heard that it should be used almost as an atemi, i can see how it would be effective as such.

Anyway my questions are:
Do you think i will begin to build up a tolerance to it?
Was it this bad for everyone when they first started to take ukemi for it, or am i just very susceptible?

Arigato Goziamasu in advance,
Daniel.
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Old 06-06-2010, 12:56 AM   #2
Abasan
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Re: Yonkyo is unbearable

Yes. You will build up tolerance for it over time. (i'm assuming you're talking about the pressure point, not your shoulder).
And it probably wasn't as bad for everyone as it is for you.

Do more ki extension exercises and you will feel less pain over time.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 06-06-2010, 05:56 AM   #3
Shadowfax
 
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Re: Yonkyo is unbearable

my first yonkyo experience was kinda interesting. Only really felt the pain on the left side. But I had thumb prints on my arm for two weeks after. Sensei said some people don't feel it at all and some are feel it more than others. She also said this is something we don't practice much because it can damage the nerves over time.

I don't know if you really want to build tolerance, I'd think that that might indicate nerve damage. Last time we did yonkyo both sides were working good. Chiropractor must have freed something up that was pinching off the nerves.

Love when sensei says lets do yonkyo... then says
"Ikkyo is uncomfortable, nikkyo hurts, sankyo is very painful and yonkyo is just really fun!"
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Old 06-06-2010, 06:22 AM   #4
Abasan
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Re: Yonkyo is unbearable

On a different note, you should try to do all techniques without the pain influencing uke. Instead to move him by controlling his center or by good synchronisation.

But hey, a little pain once in awhile might be a good thing and we do pressure points occasionally for the fun of it. However, practitioners of kyujutsu do not advocate symmetrical practice when doing it. ie only do one side.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 06-06-2010, 09:36 PM   #5
Jonathan
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Re: Yonkyo is unbearable

If you're receiving yonkyo on your right arm, just before the yonkyo pressure is applied fully open the hand and fingers of your right hand as much as possible (of course, this works on the left side, too). Depending upon where yonkyo is applied on your wrist/forearm this can help lessen the pain some. If you do this while extending ki well, it will lessen the pain quite a bit.

A tolerance for yonkyo does develop. My shihan was asked once during a seminar he was giving how to deal with the pain of yonkyo. He said, "Two hundred yonkyo every day." We all laughed - except our shihan. It turned out he was serious.

As one of my students like to regularly observe about Aikido training: "This ain't a knitting class." Some pain now and then in training is unavoidable.

Last edited by Jonathan : 06-06-2010 at 09:46 PM.

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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Old 06-07-2010, 08:41 AM   #6
ruthmc
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Re: Yonkyo is unbearable

Hi Daniel,

Quote:
Daniel Coutts-Smith wrote: View Post
Do you think i will begin to build up a tolerance to it?
Yes you will. As with building up tolerance to nikyo, it's just a case of a) Practise and b) Knowing when to fall - if it's really sore then dive to the mat and tap asap

Quote:
Daniel Coutts-Smith wrote: View Post
Was it this bad for everyone when they first started to take ukemi for it, or am i just very susceptible?
People vary in their susceptibility to this technique, depending upon their nerve development and position. Some folk don't have the nerve in an acessible place so you can't apply yonkyo to them using pain, you have to break their balance and sword cut the arm instead (which you should always do anyway, pain or not, as Abasan says). Some people have the nerve in a place where they will be seeing stars as soon as it's barely touched.

The best thing to do is to fall and tap early, as you don't want to risk damage to a prominent nerve. Later on you can learn to push the pain away back into tori, but this takes a certain degree of sheer bloody-mindedness and a lot of practise

Good luck,

Ruth
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Old 06-07-2010, 01:35 PM   #7
Phil Van Treese
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Re: Yonkyo is unbearable

When someone puts a yonkyo on you, do you know how to reverse him???? If not, you should learn how.
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Old 07-02-2010, 11:44 PM   #8
Lilyfae
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Re: Yonkyo is unbearable

I have recently been introduced to yonkyo, and was fairly shocked the first time. It was as you said, unbearable. I think in time I will build a tolerance to it, and will get past the "oh my gosh I am going to die" feeling I have now. I used to feel the same way about nikyo, and have toughened up a bit thankfully. All in good time. It will always hurt though
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Old 07-04-2010, 10:19 PM   #9
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Re: Yonkyo is unbearable

Like everyone has already said, some people are more sensitive to it then others. It also depends on whether someone gradually applies pressure of if their a wham bam application type of person. You will more then likely get used to it the more it is applied to you. Sometimes it hurts me more then others. Sometimes I lower myself to the mat and others, I find myself down on the mat before I give it much thought. I have not however experienced pain to the point that I couldn't tap.

~Look into the eyes of your opponent & steal his spirit.
~To be a good martial artist is to be good thief; if you want my knowledge, you must take it from me.
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:48 PM   #10
Barbara Knapp
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Re: Yonkyo is unbearable

If yonkyo hurts that much, ask your partner to be gentler with you.

B
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Old 07-05-2010, 07:57 PM   #11
DH
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Re: Yonkyo is unbearable

Here is a rather course but effective means to lessen their ability to attack.
When they put yonkyo on you; do an old time "wrestlers stretch." This is accomplished by imagining you are stretching through your own fingers straight out. It can be enhanced by dropping your elbow into their attacking elbow...sort of like laying your elbow onto theirs. Practice it until you can bring more of your center out from your body and more of your weight into their attacking arm. This is NOT what I do...but with practice those simple steps should help anyone with the type of pressures most will face.
There are far more sophisticated steps you can take- as well as some automatic things you can do- that they will be stumped to try and figure out, but you would need hands on to be walked through the process. Moreover, if you were to undertake IP/aiki training, the yonkyo of the most powerful shihan you have ever met would be all but meaningless and you would capture them for their effort.
These sorts of standing joint locks don't work on properly trained aiki adepts. Your body would just kill them at their point of inception. They also can't be used to capture your center either if you trained aiki,you would just stand there looking at them. You could stand there and offer them just "a little" in order to allow them to "get in a little practice" on you before you could take back control.
In any event I find it rather startling that your fellow aikido people haven't offered to show you how to negate their own attacks. What are they doing enjoying your distress? I show everyone how to do.....and then how to undo...everything, from the get go.
Cheers
Dan
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:08 PM   #12
Mert Gambito
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Re: Yonkyo is unbearable

I can very much relate to people's experiences with this technique.

The shiatsu in Hakkoryu is very helpful for providing relief as well.
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:20 AM   #13
DH
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Re: Yonkyo is unbearable

My point was that it is totally unnecessary. People should be taught how to do it and how to undo it from the onset so that the ability to apply it on a junior is negligible and largely controlled by the junior who can just stand there looking at a senior. Then co-operation in practice takes on real meaning.
This stuff -how to negate and control- is not advanced, it is basic level aiki. Were students to be actually taught how to creat aiki in aikido, then they can start to actively take part in an early phase of their training and everyone can grow in aiiki together. Anything other than that is just seniors showing off.

The idea is not to condition them to pain to toughen them, but rather to give them the tools to stop you...dead in your own tracks for God sake...gees.
So Yonkyo is no longer unbearable it becomes totally managable. Shiatsu is not needed-education is needed. Maybe I should do a "students only" seminar focusing on how to help correct some of this taking advantage behavior.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 07-08-2010 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:04 AM   #14
DH
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Re: Yonkyo is unbearable

Someone just wrote and asked me if anyone can learn this from the beginning. Yes.
The amount of time it takes to teach anyone yonkyo can be matched by the amount of time its takes to show how to undo it and also ways to train to create ad aiki body that will support it even more. It is a way to care FOR each other in a process. If it is unusual, not taught or shown...ask.
Overal it's better for the art to have a vested interest in making people with aiki power who can cancel out and deal with most anyone, isn't it? As I said, only then does cooperation take on real meaning.
Dan
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:13 AM   #15
MM
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Re: Yonkyo is unbearable

There's an interview with one of the pre-war students (I think) on Aikido Journal and in it there is a section about how yonkyo was a training exercise for the body. It would be interesting to see if the other wrist "techniques" were also body training exercises.
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:25 AM   #16
Rob Watson
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Re: Yonkyo is unbearable

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Maybe I should do a "students only" seminar focusing on how to help correct some of this taking advantage behavior.
Cheers
Dan
YES! Please.

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

Ultracrepidarianism ... don't.
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Old 07-08-2010, 12:42 PM   #17
chillzATL
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Re: Yonkyo is unbearable

Quote:
Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
YES! Please.
Seconded!
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:41 PM   #18
Mert Gambito
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Re: Yonkyo is unbearable

Dan --- Your points about education being the key to making practicing this technique (and others) more meaningful, and raising the bar on "cooperative" practice in general, are well taken -- in fact accepted (taking the aiki component most of us don't understand out of the equation for a moment, too many "good uke" choose not to provide feedback to their tori in a way that helps the tori develop much more than good rote memorization -- and people wonder why the skills fall apart when randori starts).

My comment wasn't a direct response to your preceding post, but rather directed at the vast majority of us who don't at this time train in the manner you describe (though some of us work on counters to yonkyo, etc. outside of cooperative waza practice). Since most people go through training and life in general accumulating general body wear and tear -- on purpose and by accident -- there remains a modest market for shiatsu, AIS and other healing modalities. I think at some point in time everyone can use a good tune-up through one or more of these kinds of treatments (even those who are yonkyo-proof via genetics or aiki ).

Students only. I hope we all remain supple-minded a la the story of Hiroshi Ikeda you are fond of mentioning.
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:43 PM   #19
Mert Gambito
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Re: Yonkyo is unbearable

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
There's an interview with one of the pre-war students (I think) on Aikido Journal and in it there is a section about how yonkyo was a training exercise for the body. It would be interesting to see if the other wrist "techniques" were also body training exercises.
That is definitely an interesting thought. Hakkoryu looks at them as "body training" exercises, but not necessarily from an internal skills-development perspective.
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Old 07-09-2010, 12:05 PM   #20
Adam Huss
 
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Re: Yonkyo is unbearable

I never do yonkyo with kyusho application...I just go for the physiological control point rather than pain compliance.

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Old 07-11-2010, 10:42 AM   #21
DH
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Re: Yonkyo is unbearable

I was just at a seminar with a about 45 aikido-ka. I took a group of them and did yet another experiment.
As I said you can pretty much teach them to stop a yonkyo ...on the spot. No one was able to put a yonkyo on anyone after about 5 minutes of proper instruction.This included a very large san dan doing Yonkyo on a small newbie and having it canceled out while the newbie stood there smiling canceling out both the pain the movement motivation of the lock.
Then we went on to very simple neutralizing of other aikido joint locks. They were stopping each other ...with aiki... with no large, perceptible, movement, and no counter techniques. all while looking rather stunned, laughing out loud and having fun.
So, as I was saying, yonkyo..is out the window for being able to cause anyone in Aikido any pain at all. Now you can add just about every other lock you know.
Watching a teacher teach students to cancel his own techniques is the other part of the teaching model I happen to love. It just seems intelligent and respectful and allows everyone to grow together and have less chance of injuries.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 07-11-2010 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 07-11-2010, 11:58 AM   #22
Janet Rosen
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Re: Yonkyo is unbearable

Sounds like a big-fun training day!

Janet Rosen
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Old 07-11-2010, 03:18 PM   #23
JO
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Re: Yonkyo is unbearable

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I was just at a seminar with a about 45 aikido-ka. I took a group of them and did yet another experiment.
As I said you can pretty much teach them to stop a yonkyo ...on the spot. No one was able to put a yonkyo on anyone after about 5 minutes of proper instruction.This included a very large san dan doing Yonkyo on a small newbie and having it canceled out while the newbie stood there smiling canceling out both the pain the movement motivation of the lock.
Then we went on to very simple neutralizing of other aikido joint locks. They were stopping each other ...with aiki... with no large, perceptible, movement, and no counter techniques. all while looking rather stunned, laughing out loud and having fun.
So, as I was saying, yonkyo..is out the window for being able to cause anyone in Aikido any pain at all. Now you can add just about every other lock you know.
Watching a teacher teach students to cancel his own techniques is the other part of the teaching model I happen to love. It just seems intelligent and respectful and allows everyone to grow together and have less chance of injuries.
Dan
Sounds like something I'd like to learn. But I have a question, I've often trained with people whose yonkyo not only creates a lot of pain but also, especially if you don't tap out quickly, can do real damage to tissue. Bruises are something I consider a somewhat normal part of training yonkyo for extended periods of time. So my question is, do your neutralizing methods negate such damage. I mean, if enough pressure to break blood vessels is being applied, whatwould stop them from breaking?

Jonathan Olson
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Old 07-11-2010, 04:36 PM   #24
donplummer
 
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Re: Yonkyo is unbearable

having rather "XL" wrists from use in other sports, Shot Put, Weight Training, has made it difficult for me to get the full effect of yonkyo, that was until one of my former Sensei decided to let the ENTIRE CLASS try me out for 30 minutes or so at which point he took over and had no problem finding that nerve. We all had a good laugh about it (after I stopped sobbing) and I found a new inspiration for being a better Uke.

"of all the things I've lost, I ,miss my mind the most..."-mushin-
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Old 07-11-2010, 05:04 PM   #25
DH
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Re: Yonkyo is unbearable

Quote:
Jonathan Olson wrote: View Post
Sounds like something I'd like to learn. But I have a question, I've often trained with people whose yonkyo not only creates a lot of pain but also, especially if you don't tap out quickly, can do real damage to tissue. Bruises are something I consider a somewhat normal part of training yonkyo for extended periods of time. So my question is, do your neutralizing methods negate such damage. I mean, if enough pressure to break blood vessels is being applied, whatwould stop them from breaking?
It negates damage because they cannot get in to cause it. There is no path for their power.
There are different things that you can learn in a single afternoon that are stupidly simple. Over time more sophisticated conditioning will do far more potent things.
It is all part of having aiki. I frankly do not understand how or why a teacher would not impart these things, and give this knowledge to his own people.
I think I will begin to cover these things in seminars...so that students can just simply just stand there staring at their seniors and teachers. I had no idea this sort of thing was going on. No wonder I got so much laughter and positve feedback when they could do it to each other. Hmm...
Cheers
Dan
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