by: Dr.John J.Williams, 9th dan Menkyo
is the first in a series of articles on the
"100 principles" of SAIGO-HA TAKEDA-RYU
This is listed in the Hiden Saigo-Ha
scrolls as one of the of Daito-Ryu
Aiki Bujutsu and this is the first time that the actual formula has appeared
TRIANGULATION And why is it one of the
primary principles in the ability to disturb stability or prepare an opponent
for a throw ?
- TRIANGULATION is the positioning
of the body where it cannot recover from force
being applied to it (in other words; Triangulation is the mathematical
formula which allows applied force to place the human body in a position
where it can be forced to fall in a particular direction and the person
cannot prevent falling )
- Since the average martial artist is neither a scientist
or mathmatician, we will attempt to use EASY TO UNDERSTAND
terminology and examples to explain this formula or law to be applied in
the martial arts.
- Before going into the law of triangulation,.
We must understand that this is just ONE of the 100 acknowledged LAWS or
PRINCIPLES which govern the physical and psychological realm of Takeda-Ryu
/Daito-Ryu ! (but as such, it is applicable to all martial arts
- The first thing we have to understand
is called the Center Of Gravity :
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The human body balances
at a point which is roughly 3" below the naval ( belly button)
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If you freeze a body and balance
it on a point, that balance point will always be exactly 3 inches below
the naval .
Note *If we take a HUMAN BODY and make it ridged (Say
if we froze it solid) and place it on a balance point ( say ! We
stick a staff / pole into the ground at a perfect right angle to the ground)
you will find, regardless of the size or shape of the body, that it will
balance approximately 3 inches below the naval (belly button ) and this
is what is known as your CENTER OF BALANCE ( or center
- To clarify this a little : If the
body is paced on this pivot point anywhere ABOVE the CENTER OF GRAVITY
(this always being 3-inches BELOW the naval) then the HEAD will rotate
toward the ground ! And, on the other hand, if we place the body on this
pivot / balance point, anywhere below the Center Of Gravity, the FEET will
rotate toward the ground, whereas, if the body is placed on this pivot
/ balance point, exactly at it's Center of Gravity, the BODY will remain
perfectly horizontal to the ground.
given an example of just how scientific the old masters were you will find
in the Takeda-Ryu scrolls ( as well as in other arts such as Kito-Ryu,
and Judo) that they always stress that if you want to THROW a person, you
must always make sure your belt (obi ) is located BELOW his belt when you
position yourself for a throw (and as you know ! all martial artists wear
their belts around the waist at roughly 3 inches below the naval.)
- Your CENTER OF GRAVITY becomes
the PIVOT POINT/ BALANCE POINT to effect the unbalancing part of the actual
throw ! If you fail to do this, you will be required to apply extra force
to overcome the force of gravity .
GRAVITY ALWAYS PULLS DIRECTLY TOWARD
THE CENTER OF THE PLANET ! WE can go farther
in explaining GRAVITY, but, the KEY thing is to remember that
GRAVITY always exerts a PULLING ACTION toward the EARTH's CORE and
this pull is GREATER at the CENTER OF of the
MASS of the OBJECT being acted on !
- All things with WEIGHT ( or mass)
have a specific CENTER OF GRAVITY ! ( There are no exceptions to this
law) Each THROW (regardless of the ART) is based upon the use of gravity
to create an unstable state from which minimal force is required in order
to have the body fall prey to the effects of gravitational pull ! ( and
it then come crushing toward the earth's surface !)
- You can compare "GRAVITY"
to a magnetic pull, with the earth's core being the magnet, pulling on
anying on the earth's surface which has mass.
- So ! The TRUE master uses his best
friend , that being GRAVITY , to overcome his oponant ! (If you understand
GRAVITY, you will UNDERSTAND the ART OF THROWS ! ) GRAVITY
PULLS - YOU FALL !!!!
HOW WE TESTED TRIANGULATION
To test for the effectiveness of triangulation, we used
ropes, pulleys and weights to see where the force had to be applied to
best unbalance the human body ! ( by moving pulley
"A" away from body toward weight we found the best triangulation
Our results were that the shoulder level was the best
anchor points to successfully use the force and create the unstable situation
where the person could not bend their knees, step forward or lean backwards/forward
in order to retain their balance and prevent being thrown.( or falling
to the earth's surface)
Anchor Points refers to the place where force is applied
to ! ( it can be a pushing or pulling force ) , and the location where
the anchor point is applied effects it's effectiveness as shown in the
following chart ! The higher the point, the greater
the effect by the triangulation pressure applied .
RESULTS OF ANCHOR- POINT STUDIES
- It was found that the BEST ANCHOR
Points are in the area between the SHOULDERS
and 5 inches ABOVE the center of GRAVITY, ( or roughly 2
- inches ABOVE the "belly button " ! ),
- And that the HEAD was a POOR ANCHOR POINT in that it
had too much flexibility in the NECK to overcome in using the triangulation
effect ! ( * of course ! Anchor points around the
neck and on the head are used in techniques using either circular actions
or joint stressing reactive techniques ! )
RESULTS OF TRIANGULATION POINT TESTING
The GENERAL RULE of triangulation
is to merely draw a straight line between the heels of both feet of your
oponant, and then apply force toward a point at a direct angle of that
line at a distance of 3/4 the distance of the first line .
- In reality there is MORE to TRIANGULATION
that to use that over-simplified rule
since there is not only FRONTAL TRIANGULATION,
but REAR TRIANGULATION
and ANGULATION !
And EACH one has their own formula and uniqueness !
- FRONTAL TRIANGULATION Frontal
triangulation is that point forward at a perfect right-angle of the position
of the oponant's feet which is between ½
and 3/4 the distance between oponants FEET ! * in other words, if you are
using the correct anchor point, (the shoulder level) if you apply your
PULLING FORCE toward a point which is roughly ½ to 3/4 the
distance between your oponant's feet, they will
be unable to step forward, bend their knees or lean forward to stop from
being thrown forward !
Angular triangulation does not follow
the same general rules as the Frontal , Side or Rear triangulations !
- In Angular triangulation, the higher the ANCHOR point
the better, and the further away from the oponants body (via anchoring
to the hands or feet, or loose clothing ) the easier the unbalancing action
will be !
- Unlike other types of triangulation, in angular triangulation,
the direction of applied force should be between 20 to 45-degrees from
the ground or mat surface, with 45% being the best angle to apply force.
( this is due to the relation of the oponant's feet in regard to your anchor
- ANGULAR THROWS are USUALLY KNOWN
AS " FLOATING" throws !
REAR TRIANGULATION :
Rear triangulation is that point to the rear which is
at a direct right angle to a direct line between the oponant's heel which
is located at any pint between 1/8 to 100 % of the distance between the
oponant's heels !
- In other words : Using any anchor POINT located above
5" higher than the center of gravity, you can successfully cause the
person to fall to his/her rear if that force is applied to a point on the
ground/mat which is located more than 1/8th and the full distance between
the oponant's heel !
- Less force is required in rear triangulation due to the
roundness of the oponant's heels and his/her inability to successfully
lean backwards to overcome the applied force.
- Many REAR Throwing techniques involve pulling and/or
pushing type force , where frontal techniques use mostly pulling force
to execute the technique.
SIDE TRIANGULATION :
In SIDE TRIANGULATION, the force is applied to a point
which is the SAME as that of REAR TRIANGULATION (between 1/8 to 100% of
the distance between the oponant's heels ! )
- But directly to the SIDE of the person's HIP ! (since
the HIP is where that person's CENTER OF GRAVITY is located )
- Like REAR TRIANGULATION, force is applied at a point
(on the ground) located between 1 / 8 th and 100 % of the distance between
the oponant's heels !
- (The only escape by the oponant is a twisting motion
of his/her body TOWARD the attacker ! ) ,
- * In both REAR and SIDE triangulation,
a much LOWER anchor point can be used due to the inflexibility of the spine
in that direction than in FRONTAL TRIANGULATION !
TRIANGULATION is a trademark
of the TAKEDA-RYU/DAITO-RYU AIKI BUDO/AIKIJUJUTSU
system ! It is based on scientific studies carried-out over hundreds
of years of martial arts training !
The SAIGO-HA TAKEDA-RYU(DAITO-RYU)
, under Dr.John J.Williams, has done extensive research on
TRIANGULATION ( as well as all the 100 principles) and they prepared
actual force & vector charts on the TRIANGULATION studies !
- However, the general RULES listed in this article will
allow anyone mastering throws to implement the LAW OF TRIANGULATION with
great success !
- Other LAWS also come into effect in the area of throws,
takedowns, and body controlling techniques, and to fully appreciate the
beauty and complexity of these techniques one should study as many of the
BASIC 100 PRINCIPLES of TAKEDA-RYU as possible.
- Any one can perform a physical technique such as a throw
! (you can teach a monkey to do it !) But, TAKEDA-RYU/DAITO - RYU has gone
one step farther : They have RAISED the TRADITIONAL MARTIAL
ARTS to a SCIENCE of BEAUTY and WONDER !
- Dr.John J.Williams studied the principals of TAKEDA-RYU/DAITO-RYU
under a scientist
who was able to dissect the LAWS OF NATURE
which governed even the most complicated technique and turn them into understandable
terms, making them easier to master and retain for years afterward !
Saigo-Ha Takeda-Ryu Aiki
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