Enshin’s Sabaki method uses a pendulum-type body action to provide defence and offence in one continuous rhythmic motion. The Advantages of using pendulum-type motion are:

1/ takes you to the blind spot

2/ gives you control of your opponent

3/ creates momentum for your counterattack.


The power of a pendulum derives from a weight swinging back and forth from a fixed point. The centrifugal momentum around that point creates rhythm and power. A Pendulum requires a fixed support to which the moving object is connected. The pendulum action of Kancho Ninomiya’s Sabaki method is no different. This means the Enshin practitioner moves outside the attacker’s lead shoulder, they establish a vertical axis with their grabbing hand and pivot foot. As the Enshin practitioner steps to the outside of the attacker, they grab the sleeve and let there front foot pivot as there momentum swings out there back foot in a natural circular motion. Think of the way a child on a swing kicks their legs to gain thrust and hight.

In Enshin’s Sabaki Method, the parry and circular movement to the outside of an attack releases power in the front arm while the rear arm and leg store energy for the counter attack. The Enshin practitioner swings out on the parry, and then swings in on the counterattack. Great power and control can be gained from this simple, yet very effective principle.




The most critical aspect when applying Sabaki method of fighting is position. As a defender your distance and position in relation to your opponent will determine your counterattack. Positioning means not only moving out of the way of an attack, but also being aware of distance and using timing appropriate for each distance – short, middle and long. Distance is not a function of where you start in relation to your opponent when you square off to fight: it is determined by where you find your self at the end or the opponent’s attack when you are ready to counter. You should always decide the distance best suited for your counterattack and then move accordingly.

Positioning is useful not only for aversion but to lead the opponent’s momentum into to the right position for you to gain the advantage.

Against any attack you must insontaniously choose the best possible position to put yourself in an advantageous position to launch an effective counterattack. The most efficient way to achieve this is moving into what is known to Enshin practitioners as the ‘Blind Spot’. The term blind spot refers to the area to the back and side of the opponent, where is visibility is limited and his offensive weapons are few.

When you are in your opponent’s blind spot, you are protected for the opponents follow up attacks, as well as being in a good position to keep your opponent off balance as you counter attack.

If you fail to take the blind spot position you gain no advantage and the confrontation remains equal. To achieve the blind spot Kancho Joko Ninomiya’s Sabaki method is patterned on moving to one of four basic strategic positions. Positions one and two are applied when your opponent’s stance is balanced. Position three and four are applied when the opponent drives forward with full momentum.

Refer to diagram below.