Photo courtesy of Invunche
In judo and aikido, when an osaekomi (pinning technique) makes use of kansetsu (joint manipulation), it isn't the explicit purpose of the kansetsu to break the joint. The point of the kansetsu is to take all the slack out of the joint, thus limiting the range of motion of the rest of the body, making it that much harder for uke to escape the pin or continue the attack.
Try this. Take a relaxed slow stroll across the room. Now stroll back but hold one elbow flexed as far as it will go and see if your gait is as relaxed or natural as before. Now walk across the room again with your arms moving naturally but your chin lifted as far from your sternum as you can get it. What does that do to the motion of the rest of your joints.
Point is, your body is made to work as a loose, flexible whole. By binding any major joint, you limit the motion of all other joints. Thus, without stretching a joint remotely close to the breaking point, you can bind one and restrict them all, thus making your osaekomi safer and more effective. Or as Tolkien would have said it...
One joint to rule them all,
One joint to find them.
One joint to bring them all,
And in the darkness, bind them.
Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 601.248.7282
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