Irimi soto tenkanINTi Dojo Mon 21/6/10 class
Tonight I taught the students a variation of the sankyo technique using a irimi uchi tenkan (inside turn from irimi entry) foot step to clinch with Uke as he steps forward cutting shomenuchi with his leading sword hand.
In this variation Tori slips under and pass through Uke's arm-pit to position himself to Uke's rear before executing the finishing takedown. Upon successfully positioning himself to Uke's rear the rest of Tori's movement is the same as the standard version as depicted in the picture above.
Sankyo lockHowever in order to slip pass the small space under Uke's srm-pit, Tori must feint an atemi (strike) to Uke's head. My preference is to feint a strike with age ura zuki (rising inverted punch: uppercut) to Uke's chin though any other types of hand strikes are also applicable. As a deception and distraction tactic the objective of the atemi is to force Uke to lean his head and torso backwards and also to block the blow with his other free hand in the attempt to evade the strike. Uke's leaning his head and torso backwards will cause him to stand on his toes thus floating his whole body mass and centre of gravity upwards, resulting not only in Uke loosing his balance but also in creating a void under Uke's arm-pit for Tori to slip through to the rear side of his partner. Without this atemi Tori will have to bow his head downwards and forcefully lift Uke's hand upwards to create a passageway. This kind of forceful application will betray Tori's intent resulting in a counter attack by his partner before Tori can even initiate his action.
This version of shomenuchi sankyo wasn't even planned as part of the night's lesson. It just happened spontaneously in response to a late counter to a shomenuchi strike. I wanted to do the standard version but because I was stressed out and tired with a tension headache from my office work I was too late to respond when the Uke strike shomenuchi. Thus too slow to intercept Uke's cut when his hand was still overhead, I was forced to step offline when Uke's striking hand reached the end of its trajectory at gedan (low) level. Then without conscious of what I was doing at the point when Uke's chopping hand was already at gedan level I grabbed his wrist with two hands, and under cover of the age ura zuki strike, managed to go under Uke's arm-pit to successfully execute a sankyo lock and complete the takedown. Energised and delighted by the discovery of an alternative way of doing shomenuchi sankyo ura I gradually recovered my low energy level and then proceeded to other immobilisation and projections techniques.