Sai - Hooking

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Sai - Hooking

This is a brief intro to hooking with the yoku of the sai. There are many numerous hooking techniques that will come up when dealing with different attacks and can not all be fit into one page. More hooking techniques will follow in other pages dependent on attack.

Core Concepts of Hooking

  • Hooking can be performed from the primary or secondary grip
    • Due to the position of the primary grip only one yoku can be used for hooking
  • Primary grip hooking usually starts with the defensive block and then the sai is pulled down to hook the weapon
    • Most difficult would be hooking from a defensive low block but it can be done by then pulling the sai up
    • With the high or middle blocks it is easy to hook and slide up / off the weapon to strike the opponent in the face or throat with the tsukagashira (butt) or the sai
  • Secondary grip hooking is starts with the offensive blocks from which the attacking weapon will slide down onto one of the yoku and be caught
    • Because the sai it pointing up it is easy to after hooking pass the attacking weapon to the other side of your body
    • You could also push the weapon down and away from you
    • After which a thrust with the point of the other sia is easy
  • Double grip hooking is similar to which ever grip they are both in
    • For a strong side attack both sai can be used to brace the strike and add more power to hooking the weapon and striking
    • In an X-block either in the primary or secondary grip will stop a strong strike, this will also end up not only hooking the attacking weapon but because a yoku from each sai is being used it can usually jam the attacking weapon
  • Opossing grips are very useful
    • Both sai can be held in the same grip as you block with one sai, the other sai can then be flipped for a strike as the blocking sai hooks
    • Instead of a strike after flipping one of the sai it can be used to secure the hook of the blocking sai as long as it hooks in the opposite direction, this secures the hook as well as jams the weapon of a second attack and has a decent likely hood of disarming the opponent
    • The opposing hook can be used on the arm or wrist of the opponent holding their attacking weapon, you may need to slide in closer with the blocking sai so that the opposing sai can hook the opponents limb and disarm them of their weapon
  • Raking can be done with the yoku of the sai
    • This will most likely be done in the primary grip at closer quarters against and opponent without a weapon or recently disarmed of their weapon and still willing to fight
    • This is mostly defensively blocking an empty hand strike and then proceeding to hook with the sai, but against flesh and clothing will have a raking effect ripping the skin of the opponent, but due to the yoku not being sharpened the lethality of raking would be very minimal
  • Pinning can be done with the yoku of the sai as a restraining technique when using only one sai or two
    • There are a number of ways to perform this sort of action a simple one being to block the attacking weapon (with primary or secondary) and then flip to secondary as you move in and trapping with the other sai or hand (on or near the wrist) and then catching the elbow between the monouchi and the yoku of the sai to induce an arm bar
    • Twisting the sai while a limb ins between the monouchi and the yoku will add a crushing sort of pressure to help subdue the opponent
  • Tertiary grip a seldom used and generally non recommended grip where the sai is used by holding the the said near the end of the monouchi using the said like a cross between a hammer and a kama using the yoku for hooking (similar to half swording of mid-evil Europe) generally used on an opponent with heavy armor

Though slightly long this video shows a decent example of some of these hooks against a sword

For more on the Sai please refer back to the Sai techniques page.

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