Sankyo in Tantodori Tsuki


The Aikido Technique Sankyo on Tsuki Knife Attack

When taking the knife from the attacker in the sankyo technique, first make sure that you have applied a good sankyo grip on uke's knife hand, twisting it firmly, as shown in the picture above. In tantodori I recommend a stronger application of the sankyo wrist turn, than what is needed in regular aikido training.

       Uke's arm should be stretched in an arch, in such an angle that the elbow is pointing slightly forward, not backward, or uke would be able to pull the arm down. Your position should not be in front of uke, but to the side, where uke cannot reach you, neither with the free arm nor the feet - at least not easily.

Sankyo on different knife attacks.

       Also, keep your elbows low, both for additional strength in the sankyo grip, as your body supports it this way, and for protecting your own body.

       This position should be attentive. If uke tries, for example, a side kick, you can stop this move and make uke bend over by making a sword cutting move with your sankyo grip - or you could force uke to trip backward in a circle, by turning the wrist additionally toward uke.

       Watch the knife carefully - how it is held by uke and in what direction the edge of it is pointing.

       In the case of a tsuki attack the knife should normally be positioned as on these pictures, but it is not certain. If the attack had been done from a knife grip where the edge of it was initially upward, it would be in a reverse position here, and removing it would have to be done slightly differently from what is shown below.

       The knife here is single-edge, which is more easy to handle than a double edge one. This too must be carefully observed before taking it from uke.


       Now it is time to take the knife. Release your hand with the lower grip on uke's fist, and form it into a fork shape, like the letter U, as shown on the picture above. Do not bend your fingers, neither the thumb nor the others. This shape of the hand should be kept until the knife is safely removed from uke's grip.


       To avoid the knife falling out of your reach, pinch it a little at the base of your fork grip. If you do this already when you apply the fork hand to the knife, you will be sure to get hold of it whenever uke drops it.


       Press the knife up to a horizontal position, then move your hand in a semi-circle toward uke, allowing the backside of the knife blade to press against the bottom of the U, that is the area between the thumb and the index finger.

       The semi-circle should be done with uke's hand as the center - fixed at the same spot all through. It is very important not to let uke's arm or hand move, or uke may very well get a better grip on the knife.


       Never try to pull the knife away, before completing this semi-circle, even if uke's grip seems to be loosening. The knife will surely break free at the end of this movement, if not before. When doing the semi-circle, turn your whole body the same way, for additional strength and control in the movement.


       Apply a good grip on the knife, before moving away from your position or releasing uke's arm.

     This technique is almost identical to that of sankyo in the yokomen uchi attack, and so are therefore most of the instructions.

Stefan Stenudd


Sankyo on tsuki

Sankyo on yokomen uchi

Shihonage on yokomen uchi

Shihonage on tsuki



My Aikido Books

Aikido Principles, by Stefan Stenudd.

Aikido Principles

Basic Concepts of the Peaceful Martial Art, by Stefan Stenudd. Aikido principles, philosophy, and basic ideas. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

Attacks in Aikido, by Stefan Stenudd.

Attacks in Aikido

How to do kogeki, the attack techniques, by Stefan Stenudd. All the attack techniques in aikido explained, and how to do them correctly. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.


Stefan Stenudd


Aikido Techniques
Attacks in Aikido
Ikkyo complete
Tantodori - knife defense
Ki exercises
Jo 31 Kata
Aikibatto sword exercises
Aikido Video Clips
Aikido Photos
My seminars


My Aikido Bio
Aikido Glossary
Ki energy
Tanden, the Center
Aikido Inks
Aikido as Self-Defense
Running a Dojo
Aikido is True
Osensei and Einstein
AikiWeb Columns
Aikido Links
Visitor Response
Aikido på svenska


Attacks in Aikido
Aikido Principles
Die deutsche Version meines Aikido-Buches online
My Aikido Book in Czech
My Aikido Book in Swedish
Other Aikido Books


All about the peaceful Japanese martial art.

A system of jo (staff) and ken (sword) exercises for aikido students.

My paintings, drawings, photos and video art.

My writing - fiction as well as non-fiction.

What the Greek philosophers thought about the cosmos, the gods and the myths.

Myth, its psychology and archetypes.

Essays on various intriguing topics.

My blog with random thoughts.

My bio.

My Other Websites

Myths in general and myths of creation in particular.

Qi (also spelled chi or ki) explained and exercises to increase it.

An encyclopedia of life energy concepts around the world.

The wisdom of Taoism and the Tao Te Ching, its primary source.

The ancient Chinese system of divination and free online reading.

Tarot card meanings in divination and a free online spread.

The complete horoscope and how to read it.

Zodiac sign astrology, explaining each sign and its meaning.

My Facebook page.

My Twitter account.

My Amazon Author page.

My YouTube account with aikido videos.

My YouTube account Aravadia, with art videos and poetry.

My Swedish website.

My Books

Click the header to get to the webpage where I present all my books in English. Click an image below to go to that book's page on Amazon.

All's End, science fiction novel by Stefan Stenudd. Tao Te Ching - The Taoism of Lao Tzu Explained, by Stefan Stenudd. Tao Quotes - The Ancient Wisdom of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu.
Cosmos of the Ancients, by Stefan Stenudd. Occasionally I Contemplate Murder, by Stefan Stenudd. QI - increase your life energy, by Stefan Stenudd.
Attacks in Aikido, by Stefan Stenudd. Aikido Principles, by Stefan Stenudd. Aikibatto, by Stefan Stenudd.
Life Energy Encyclopedia, by Stefan Stenudd. Tarot Unfolded, by Stefan Stenudd. Your Health in Your Horoscope, by Stefan Stenudd.

About me
I'm a Swedish writer of fiction and non-fiction books in both Swedish and English. I'm also an artist, an historian of ideas and a 7 dan Aikikai Shihan aikido instructor. Click the header to read my full bio.