This is such a severely punishing hold that it is outlawed completely in the practice of judo. It comes from the much more ancient Jujitsu, a system of unarmed combat used by the Samurai, and was initially included in the sport form of the art among various chokes, strangleholds, and other submission techniques used to overcome an opponent in friendly competition. It is essentially a suffocation hold, since it presses the enemy chin forward onto his chest, cutting off or closing the windpipe.
Depriving the enemy of air in this manner may require as much as two minutes to render him unconscious. So, it is an excellent submission technique. Bearing in mind that the object of all these movements is to get payment for a debt, it is best if the subject cooperates and pays his debt. If he does not do so, an argument is almost certain to ensue. The Ninja, being a superior fighter, might bring the enemy to the mat by grappling, or he might "climb" the enemy by jumping on him. In either event, the object is to straddle the enemy's shoulders.
Hook yourself into position and exert pressure against the enemy's neck by leaning forward. On the mat, this will press his chin to his chest, which closes off his windpipe to a large degree and gradually suffocates him. Once his desire to fight has been subdued, he can be negotiated with in a reasonable manner. This technique is much like the full nelson, except that it is performed with the legs and is therefore much more difficult to break. There are seldom permanent injuries to the neck from this hyperextension, but the vertebrae can be broken with sufficient pressure, which would be fatal.
Again, the psychological effect of finding himself taunted by your face screaming into his, while his arms are completely trapped and he cannot reach you with his legs to extricate himself in any way, is devastating. Most often he will surrender long before he passes out. The reason this hold is outlawed is because, once in place, it is virtually impossible to escape. Thus, in sport judo, once this hold was secured, the match was over.
The neck can be easily broken in this position by crossing your ankles beneath him and leaning still further forward. This lifts the skull off the spinal cord resulting in instant death. Should the opponent simply pass out, release the hold and spontaneous respiration should resume once the airway is cleared of the compression effect of the Neck Crank.
This is a very effective method of "tying up" the enemy so that he understands you are serious about your business with him and induce him to see the logic of your argument. Bear in mind that many of these techniques were used in feudal Japan by members of the Black Dragon Koga Clan of Ninja to "collect" gambling debts among the Yakuza. This was a common occupation by mercenaries and masterless Samurai between the many wars that plagued that ancient time.
When the Koga clan was expelled from their province by the armies of the Shogun Tokugawa, as were all the rest of the Ninja clans who were not killed as part of his great "sword-hunt" to disarm the peasants, many found themselves displaced refugees in Kyoto, Osaka, and other "cities" of the period. Not that many survived the Shogun's genocidal attack. As warriors of extraordinary repute, they soon found employment as bodyguards, spies, assassins, and the like, utilizing talents that had been well paid for by their former master when he had used them to bring himself to power only a short time before.
This is an extremely painful hold that also makes the enemy feel psychologically helpless since he is free to flail about all he wants with his arms to no effect.
Having taken him to the mat facedown, bend his right leg and put his right foot behind his left knee. Now bend the right knee to trap the left foot. Hook his left foot against your left thigh to maintain the pressure, then reach up and cup his chin with both hands. Pull his head back to put a profound arch in his spine. He will feel the pain in his neck and the small of his back.
In this position, the enemy is compelled to listen to your proposal. He may signal his agreement by tapping the mat with his palms or by grunting. This hold cuts off circulation to both legs, thus wearing down the enemy's will to resist; likewise, it restricts his breathing by stretching his diaphragm. It is possible to break or dislocate the spine between the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae with this method. If the spinal cord is also damaged by this hyperflexion, the enemy will be paralyzed below the site of the break.
The extreme arching inflicted upon the spine, causing it to resemble the curvature of the small hand scythes and sickles used by farmers of olden times, provides the technique its name.
This technique, also known as stomach pressing, was often used by agents in the field to question sentries. The Ninja takes the guard down and turns him onto his stomach. Before an outcry can be raised, the agent "floats" upward onto the enemy's back, seizes both his wrists, and crosses them above his head. Next he lifts his chest off the enemy's back by planting one foot beside the enemy's hip. Naturally, the enemy tries to get up. As soon as the sentry tries to get his hands and knees under him, the Ninja pulls up and back on both wrists, simultaneously pushing with the raised leg, to roll the enemy over into his lap.
Now the Ninja is in a position to choke the sentry with his own forearms by pressing the wrists against the carotid plexes below the ears. He augments this discomfort by wrapping his legs around the enemy's waist and squeezing the air out of his lungs by means of the Body Scissors Hold. This grip can exert tremendous crushing pressure to the abdomen, often causing the enemy to regurgitate as the contents of his belly are squeezed upward. This compression also limits the amount of air getting into his lungs, making the choke quicker and more effective. Additionally, he might dig his heels into the enemy's groin to further discourage him from struggling or putting up any resistance.
Once he is in command, the Ninja can whisper in the sentry's ear and thus interrogate him about the installation he was previously guarding. The sentry can only try to nod or answer in whispers, depending on the degree of pressure the Ninja applies. If he tries to roll over, about the only means of escaping this hold, the Ninja simply rides with him. The technique is equally effective whether he is face up or face down, standing, sitting, or prone.
Finally, the sentry can be rendered unconscious using the choke hold across his neck, or the strangle against his carotid arteries. And, as in the suffocation methods, spontaneous respiration normally occurs once the pressure is released. He is still quite groggy and disoriented for some time after he starts breathing again, however, providing ample opportunity for the Ninja to make his escape and vanish into the darkness. Some Mental Health facilities use this method to restrain patients who are "acting out" aggressively. By just holding them, the same psychological frustration, and physical exhaustion are produced as placing him in a Strait Jacket. And he can be calmed by verbal intervention.
Thus we have come full circle. Beginning with a face-to-face method of "aggressively" dealing with an enemy, we conclude with techniques for attacking from behind and making him surrender or be rendered unconscious "passively." This represents the Yin and Yang nature of the Silent Way.
Ninjitsu is translated from the Japanese to mean, "The Silent Way."
It is the name given to a particularly vicious and savage art used by the warriors, spies, and assassins of feudal Japan. Those who studied it were rumored to possess magical powers to fly, pass anywhere unseen, and vanish without a trace. We have presented here a glimpse into the ancient and secret, forbidden combat techniques that enabled them to attain this legendary reputation. They were, and are today, ultimate warriors. Not only on the physical level as warriors, but also of the mind. The real training is learning how to listen to the inner sounds and to think and reason. This is a first step. One must be able to survive if one is to learn enough to be of service to his fellow Man.
Following are examples of the psychological training of the Ninja. Remember to "read between the lines" and "within the words." This is part of the Ninja Code. The transmission of secret knowledge. Consider the symbolic meaning of these techniques and how they could apply to other situations. You will find they provide a simple insight into many previously confusing behaviors, many "answers" to psychological conundrums.
If one is accepted into Ninja Apprenticeship, which may take many forms, there is no going back. Each student advances at his own pace through the successive degrees of learning, up to the level at which he decides to remain.
He is taught how to kill. In this case with Kata Dan'te, but a spear, a sword, a gun, any weapon, teaches the same lesson. Then he is taught to "heal" or restore to life. Here with the simple chokes and strangleholds from which the enemy can recover spontaneously, but in some schools, these techniques include Dim Mak, the unholy science of using acupuncture or pressure to cause illness rather than relieve it. And how to think. This too, is part of that training.
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