Little House In Ise

The Yonkyo Pin : 四教押さえ
July 24, 2008, 13:51
Filed under: Aikido, Japan | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

There is an ura (浦) and an omote (表) to most techniques. In some cases there are ura and omote variations of the associated pins as well (nikyou comes to mind). Some however, aren’t so obvious. For example, until very recently I had no idea that there are ura and omote variations for the yonkyo pin.

It turns out that for omote, the meaty part inside the forearm is the preferred place to apply the pin. For the ura variation, the pin is set along the radial bone.

My partner, one of the old guys (a 5th dan), is a bit of a joker so I was worried that he might be telling the blind man that his socks were on the wrong feet. However, during the jiyuwaza portion of class, my uke’s teacher (a 7th dan) grabbed me for a few throws and demonstrated the difference between the feeling of yonkyo both ways.

When performing the omote variation, if your grip is firm and your “sword cut” cut is performed as a relaxed shomen strike, the pin will be applied by the cut alone. There is no extra effort needed — just the cut. With uke pined down you should notice that the index finger applying the pin is right in the meaty part of the forearm. Similarly for ura, a relaxed kesa giri (袈裟切り : diagonal cut) to the outside will cause your index finger to apply pressure along uke’s radial bone.

As with almost all Aikido, the key in both cases seems, again, to be relaxed movement with good posture. Now, if it’s so damned simple, how can it be so hard?


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Ikkyo: elbow bent to a greater or lesser extent to protect uke’s elbow, uke and nage facing more or less the same way at least part of the time.

Ikkyo: Grab their arm, affect their center.

Nikkyo: rotation of the two bones in the forearm, with the forearm more or less horizontal, typically using the wrist bent towards the underside of the wrist to produce the rotation, in the direction that makes the shoulder rotate forwards. Uke and nage may be facing the same way or (almost) each other. Sometimes called ikkyo when the arm is almost straight.

Nikkyo: Grab their arm differently, affect their center.

Sankyo: rotation of the two bones of the forearm, with the forearm more or less vertical, in the same direction. Hand typically flexed towards the back of the wrist.

Sankyo: Grab their arm differently, affect their center.

Yonkyo: holding uke’s forearm like a sword and cutting down to make the shoulder meet the mat. (Includes driving the elbow forewards as necessary to reach that end point.) Use may be made of a pressure point on uke’s forearm. Similar move holding the hand would be sankyo.

Yonkyo: Grab their arm differently, inflict pain, affect their center.

Gokyo: ikkyo with the hand on the wrist turned over to limit movement of a knife.

Gokyo: Grab their arm differently but a lot like Ikkyo, affect their center.

Rokkyo: A confection made with almond paste. If you eat too much it will affect your center.

Shihonage: technique where you grasp uke’s forearm/wrist/hand like a bat, uke’s palm up, turn your back to uke, and cut over your head (often turning 180 degrees), throwing uke to the floor or allowing a gentler descent to the mat.

Shihonage: Kotegaeshi on steroids.

Kotegaeshi: rotation of the two bones in the forearm like nikkyo, though in the opposite direction and generally leading to a throw. Like shihonage done facing uke and with a smaller circle.

Kotegaeshi: Sankyo on the wrong hand.

Iriminage: catch uke’s head and throw him with it.

Iriminage: Don’t grab their arm, affect their center.

Kaiten nage: make uke bend over at the waist and roll him away by pushing on his nearside arm which is locked out over his shoulder.

Kaitennage: Sankyo while rotating the z axis to the xy plane. Countergrab their arm, affect their center. Alternately known as “cheap date waza”.

Tenchi nage: rock uke’s balance to one side, then step across and behind and throw him the other way.

Tenchi nage: Iriminage on both sides at the same time.

Koshi nage: pick uke up on your hips and turn your hips so he falls off the other side.

Koshi nage: iriminage for those with ADS (Altitude Deficit Syndrome).

J. Toman

Comment by kadi


I learned something called rokyo it is called hijigatame here. It affects my center via my wrist, elbow and shoulder. The almond stuff is probably worth trying too…


Comment by Eric Holcomb

Hi Eric,

I had to take my blog private. If you would like to access it, please send me an email at


Comment by Uchi Deshi

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