Little House In Ise

Sankyo Technote
January 26, 2010, 15:16
Filed under: Aikido | Tags: , , ,

The other day I was training with a very energetic Sempai from New York. He introduced me to an interesting “test” for sankyo (3教: third teaching).

Once a student of Aikido learns how to adjust their own position and the angle of uke’s arm such that uke’s balance is taken, then the technique becomes quite easy when it is applied via uke’s finger tips. Since Yoda has spent a lot of time working my fingers I am well aware of that option and have studiously incorporated it into my own Aikido toolbox. The premise of Senpai’s test was that, on a certain level, using uke’s fingertips can become a “cheat” and an element of aiki may be lost.

Since the bio-mechanically un-favorable (for uke) leverage available through their bent fingers gives nage a great advantage, sempai suggested that applying sankyo to uke’s wrist, at about the same point as one might apply yonkyo, was a better test. Applying it above the hand and fingers “forces” nage to relax in order to allow the technique to work. It becomes more clear when nage tries to muscle the technique than when it’s applied to one’s hand. Relaxed movement takes the fight out of the technique.

This is just a test of balance and relaxation, the correct form is whatever sensei says it is but, when doing free practice, give this a try. I found it much easier to feel where I was muscling my way through.

Happy Rolling!


6 Comments so far
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Hm, interesting – I’ll have to ask sensei to show me that tonight so I can get it clear in my mind! Thanks for this teaching.

Coincidentally, we spent a good bit of time on sankyo last week, and sensei emphasized many of the same points… he showed that the hold can be performed entirely effectively with nothing more than the thumb wrapped around the wrist and the pinky applying pressure to the tegatana; the other three fingers on that hand don’t even have to close. In his teaching, the “hold” on the fingertips is actually just a block intended to prevent uke from closing their fist, no real pressure required.

Comment by Erik

Executive Pagan-san!

That pinky to the tegatana is what I meant by “applied via uke’s finger tips”. Really, once body position and extension are mastered doing the technique that way becomes ridiculously easy.

That is an intersting point about doing it to prevent uke from making a fist. I’ll have to keep that in mind!

Comment by Eric Holcomb

I asked sensei about this test and he showed me what you were talking about; once I felt it, it made perfect sense. 🙂

Thanks again!

Comment by executivepagan

Interesting twist on sankyo if I understand you correctly. I don’t see why twisting the arm wouldn’t work since the twist doesn’t originate there. Same theory, different place. Moving from fragile fingers to less fragile wrist to stronger arm, elbow, shoulder or spine, your own center axis rotation should be the focus. Nice idea to emphasize using less upper body strength. Thanks, Eric!

Comment by Eddie deGuzman

Hi Eddie!

That’s it exactly! It really made for interesting practice.

That sempai has changed his schedule recently so we’ve been doing some random practice between my morning class and his. He comes up with some wild stuff but I always find it worth pondering.

Comment by Eric Holcomb

Hi , I also was introduced to this
type of practice late last year -the need to emphasise ‘centre’, because I can’t use uke’s hand as leverage, has made my main practice much more thoughtful (focussed) and my sankyo I hope more efficient. Thanks steve

Comment by steve

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