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Mato-san
11-10-2006, 08:58 AM
My Sensei rejects this waza, he says it is so far from being natural.
I have to agree to a degree,but there must be some application that is solid. Please tell me about your impressions.

Nick Pagnucco
11-10-2006, 10:39 AM
My Sensei rejects this waza, he says it is so far from being natural.
I have to agree to a degree,but there must be some application that is solid. Please tell me about your impressions.

I think I;d like to know more about your sensei's opinions.

Are there many techniques he sees as being 'unnatural?' Does unnatural mean 'not effective?' What is unnatural about it?

IIRC, there are several threads on whether or not aikido's attacks are good/effective/natural/useful/whatever. As a suggestion, you may like to look at those for some ideas. (others have said things better than I can)

ChristianBoddum
11-10-2006, 10:44 AM
If the shomen uchi is performed as a correct cut, the direction and force will be directed toward
your center, having the power to cut through everything on it's way down.
It doesn't lend itself to Nikyo as technique ,more to Iriminage.
Nishio sensei has once mentioned that we use the term Shomen uchi ,because it is the common name for the strike, however the name for cutting ought to be Shomen giri, the way you project the
power in a cut is different than in a strike.
A real Shomen giri should have so much focus and power, that it is not possibly to alter the movement.
It is my understanding that this is the original power of Shomen giri/uchi ,and it was trained extensively in the old days to be like that,to effectively cut through a helmet and armor.
So this may shed some light on the subject.

NagaBaba
11-10-2006, 11:12 AM
My Sensei rejects this waza, he says it is so far from being natural.
I have to agree to a degree,but there must be some application that is solid. Please tell me about your impressions.
Being natural -- is completly subjectif judgement. Who is your teacher to decide which O sensei technique is 'natural' or not?

On the other hand - rejecting O sensei teachning leads you right to creation a new activity -- you can't call it aikido anymore.

Charlie
11-10-2006, 12:53 PM
If the shomen uchi is performed as a correct cut, the direction and force will be directed toward
your center, having the power to cut through everything on it's way down.
It doesn't lend itself to Nikyo as technique ,more to Iriminage.
Nishio sensei has once mentioned that we use the term Shomen uchi ,because it is the common name for the strike, however the name for cutting ought to be Shomen giri, the way you project the
power in a cut is different than in a strike.
A real Shomen giri should have so much focus and power, that it is not possibly to alter the movement.
It is my understanding that this is the original power of Shomen giri/uchi ,and it was trained extensively in the old days to be like that,to effectively cut through a helmet and armor.
So this may shed some light on the subject.


That is precisely why you need to enter into the strike BEFORE it has become powerful. Generally speaking if you wait until the downward stroke is happening [and it is correctly executed = strong and focused] means that you are already "late" in your application and stopping/blocking the strike is highly unlikely.

in other words...if you "disarm" the strike at the appropriate point [before the apex is reached] you can still manipulate uke into nikkyo/nikajo. If your timing in off then a different technique would be recommended.

Respectfully,

Charlie

Adman
11-10-2006, 01:59 PM
Is the "correct cut" empty-handed the same "correct cut" with a sword? Are the objectives the same? When striking someone's head with the edge of your hand, are you literally trying to cut them down to their navel or are you trying to smack 'em in the head? If it's the latter, chances are the strike will have more push to it than a downward direction (in my experience, anyway). Especially if your uke is short (like me). That being said, many people attacking me will be taller, giving the strike a more downward direction. But they'll still be trying to hit me in the head (hopefully) and the strike will still not be a genuine sword cut. Given all of that, any of the ikkyo family of techniques feels natural enough (whatever that is) with a shomenuchi attack.

Striking with a bokken is another story. :rolleyes:

thanks,
Adam

ChristianBoddum
11-10-2006, 02:40 PM
I can't speak for other styles or dojos for that matter.
when we train ken-tai-ken (with bokken) the focus is more uchi than giri, so in effect
we are training more like atemi or Karate in sword form when using bokken.
Of course each teacher has his own angle on this.
So when I hit the head/shomen with a bokken, I will direct the power to the back of ukes neck,
like shomenuchi as a strike is directed,but when training tai-jutsu I will strike shomen-giri,
which will give Tori a continued energy that he can direct and work with, and we can create a more flowing technique with more points before nage/throw/pin.
when we train with iaito the blades must never clash, blocks are of a "flowing" nature,
I think the terms is nagare.
When doing tsuki there can be no cutting motion, it will be a direct straight line attack.

Charlie
11-10-2006, 03:06 PM
Is the "correct cut" empty-handed the same "correct cut" with a sword? Are the objectives the same? When striking someone's head with the edge of your hand, are you literally trying to cut them down to their navel or are you trying to smack 'em in the head?

Also not speaking for other styles...

Within the Yoshinkan Yoseikai/Seiseikai family we attack using the "giri" form. When I attack with shomen-uchi I am trying to cut to your navel.

...If it's the latter, chances are the strike will have more push to it than a downward direction (in my experience, anyway)...

This is precisely why Parker sensei mandates to attack in the "giri" manner. Like you state, the attack becomes more of a push than a cut if you don't strike to the center making it much harder to generate power in the attack.

Respectfully,

Charlie

Adman
11-10-2006, 04:36 PM
Christian and Charlie ... I appreciate your responses. Heck my teachers say the same thing in regards to cutting down. What I'm trying to pick at here is what happens on contact, if you manage to actually connect with nage's head with shomenuchi. Although my intent is to make contact and cut down, my striking arm will extend forward (however little) to prevent it from collapsing before continuing down (so basically, a push). If nage removes the target, the strike will follow-through and continue down to resemble the "correct" form of shomenuchi.the attack becomes more of a push than a cut if you don't strike to the center making it much harder to generate power in the attack.Cutting down or not, It is always my intention to strike the center, if not "to" it. A "push" with downward intent can be quite powerful.

I would like to take more time to write more clearly on what I mean (and to get to my elusive point of where ikkyo/nikyo fits in), but I have to leave work and get home.

thanks!
Adam

ChristianBoddum
11-10-2006, 05:30 PM
I'm not quite sure what you're looking for,
as it seems you have a good understanding of the function of shomen-uchi.

What I'm trying to pick at here is what happens on contact, if you manage to actually connect with nage's head with shomenuchi. Although my intent is to make contact and cut down, my striking arm will extend forward (however little) to prevent it from collapsing before continuing down (so basically, a push). If nage removes the target, the strike will follow-through and continue down to resemble the "correct" form of shomenuchi.Cutting down or not, It is always my intention to strike the center, if not "to" it. A "push" with downward intent can be quite powerful.



If uke really makes a strong shomen-uchi, nage will be pushed backwards and down.
In training it is a very overpowering feeling, to be at the receiving end of such a focused shomen-uchi.

I'd better go to sleep now before I start rambling :rolleyes:

Kevin Wilbanks
11-10-2006, 05:46 PM
It is my understanding that this is the original power of Shomen giri/uchi ,and it was trained extensively in the old days to be like that,to effectively cut through a helmet and armor.


This sounds highly doubtful to me. To start with, it is probably nearly impossible to cut through an iron or bronze helmet with a sword stroke. I studied Katori Shinto Ryu for a while, which is a sword school that hasn't changed in almost 500 years. All the kata that are designed for armored fighting aim the strikes at specific targets not protected by the armor: under the arms, between the plates, under the edge of the helmet, etc... The main reason is that well-made armor works.

A secondary, but also important reason is that swords do not grow on trees. Back in samurai times, a good sword was extremely valuable, not only economically, but in terms of the warrior's life depending on it's continuing function. People were very careful not to break or dull their blades.

****

As far as the nikkyo issue goes, in our school, one unbalances and disadvantages uke seriously with musubi arm contact doing ikkyo before grabbing at all, much less trying to apply a specific nikkyo grab. If the strike is full of force and too far to do omote, one simply does ura and applies the nikkyo grip when uke is at least halfway down and usually under control, though sometimes a "mid-air" switch is used.

Chris Li
11-10-2006, 06:59 PM
This sounds highly doubtful to me. To start with, it is probably nearly impossible to cut through an iron or bronze helmet with a sword stroke.

It's not impossible, sometimes you see old helmets that have been cut through with swords in combat on display in Japan. Of course, the reason that they are on display is that executing such a cut successfully is such an unusual event, so I wouldn't think that training to cut through helmets is going to be cost effective as a standard approach :).

Best,

Chris

Charlie
11-11-2006, 09:15 AM
Christian and Charlie ... I appreciate your responses. Heck my teachers say the same thing in regards to cutting down. What I'm trying to pick at here is what happens on contact, if you manage to actually connect with nage's head with shomenuchi. Although my intent is to make contact and cut down, my striking arm will extend forward (however little) to prevent it from collapsing before continuing down (so basically, a push). If nage removes the target, the strike will follow-through and continue down to resemble the "correct" form of shomenuchi.Cutting down or not, It is always my intention to strike the center, if not "to" it. A "push" with downward intent can be quite powerful.

I would like to take more time to write more clearly on what I mean (and to get to my elusive point of where ikkyo/nikyo fits in), but I have to leave work and get home.

thanks!
Adam

I don't understand....you're asking what happens if contact is made? I guess (theoretically) you are knocked out or cut...who cares at that point if there is a "slight" push out. If it wasn't a finishing blow to begin with you will be scrambling to recover anyway!

My point was more to the fact that "we" practice any shomenuchi nikajo/nikkyo technique in a manner that has us move in to intercept the attacking arm before it has become "armed and dangerous". In doing so, "we" are basically performing the nikajo/nikkyo pin off of an ikkajo base

**sudden rumblings of a thousand year technique begin to pulsate in my brain**

It now doesn't matter if uke's intent was to utilize more of a push or a downward cut because you enter before they have had a chance to do either.

Anyway...I just may be missing your point as well...

Regards,

Charlie

Michael Douglas
11-11-2006, 12:45 PM
...and some of the posters in this thread are implying that shomenuchi is a valid/effective/expected strike rather than a training tool.

I see it simply as a training tool to give a ridiculously clumsy and easily countered strike to the receiver.
I also see nikkyo coming off an ikkyo base for this one, making Matthew's topic rather deeper :
Is ikkyo so far from being natural? (Not my words)

Oh and the helmet-cutting seems only to have been partially successful even with a helmet propped on a stake or table.
It is my understanding that this is the original power of Shomen giri/uchi ,and it was trained extensively in the old days to be like that,to effectively cut through a helmet and armor.
Seems obvious to me, a decent helmet stops a sword blade, so does armour so Christian please stop repeating that myth.

ChristianBoddum
11-11-2006, 03:22 PM
[QUOTE=Michael Douglas
Seems obvious to me, a decent helmet stops a sword blade, so does armour so Christian please stop repeating that myth.[/QUOTE]

I don't like your tone...
I base what I say on what I am told from my teachers in toho,
and some (a little) of my own study.
I never claimed to be an authority in this field.

Just last weekend i was invited to a museum to study original
japanese armor, there were 3 sets ,so there was a reasonable opportunity to look at the strong points of the different sets.
Unfortunately they were not mounted on a stand.

When we train in Aiki toho iai, the cutting and stabbing points is
based on the weak points of the armor i.e. where motion is necessary.
Nishio sensei used to go in detail about this, but I only trained
toho at his seminars twice so I must get this info second hand.

Back to Nikyo,
as I understand it, in the old days Nikyo was a much shorter technique i.e.
holding down an opponent trying to stop you from drawing your sword from Saya,and then draw and cut.
Aiki toho kata 7 Tekubi-osae is an example that has this root.
So for shomen uchi Ikkyo/Sankyo/Iriminage/Kotegaeshi are the more obvious choices to my mind.

Aiki Teacher
11-11-2006, 05:36 PM
My Sensei rejects this waza, he says it is so far from being natural.
I have to agree to a degree,but there must be some application that is solid. Please tell me about your impressions.

Kato Sensei's approach is a little different than the stadard nikkyo. As one who has taken his nikkyo, it seemed effective to me. Of course you can't wait till the attack is fully extended.
Again as others have asked, who is your sensei?

Douglas Fajardo
11-12-2006, 10:23 PM
Being natural -- is completly subjectif judgement. Who is your teacher to decide which O sensei technique is 'natural' or not?

On the other hand - rejecting O sensei teachning leads you right to c reation a new activity -- you can't call it aikido anymore.
I'm totally ok with you my friend, by the way this person that you said MacDowell is a real sensei ?, my friend if you «sensei» said that, :blush: ,,,,,, you better start to looking for a new one
,my opinion , he dosent know nothing about the real budo AIKIDO ;) :ai: :ki: :do:

xuzen
11-13-2006, 12:51 AM
Shomen-uchi nikajo....

Works great in kata/kihon whatever... not so great in randori/jiyu-waza (especially with speed and with resistant). It is as some will say... "low percentage" technique. There are just better response (higher percentage) response to shomen-uchi and nikajo isn't one of them.

Boon.

ian
11-13-2006, 08:21 AM
If you look at early Ueshiba video you can see a sequence in suwari waza derived from aiki-jitsu, all from shomen-uchi: irimi-ikkyo, tenkan ikkyo, nikyo etc.

I agree that shomen-uchi nikyo is practically not useful, but often what we are learning is to move from one technique or body position to another. Thus it is useful to learn how to do nikkyo from a position in which your hand is already grabbing the wrist (ikkyo style). Also, talking about utility can be a bit self-delusional, suggesting that what we do in the dojo is realistic rather than just training.

Don't know why this thread has taken a harsh turn. I think its useful to recognise that we're all on a journey in aikido so I wouldn't be as harsh as to say that the sensei is wrong - I'm not sure that he has got somewhere where I don't yet understand or vice versa.

Dazzler
11-13-2006, 08:31 AM
I agree that shomen-uchi nikyo is practically not useful, but often what we are learning is to move from one technique or body position to another. Thus it is useful to learn how to do nikkyo from a position in which your hand is already grabbing the wrist (ikkyo style). Also, talking about utility can be a bit self-delusional, suggesting that what we do in the dojo is realistic rather than just training.
.

I'm pretty much with Ian on this.

If you take aikido moves as techiques with the aim being to reproduce that technique then shomenuchi nikkyo usefulness is questionable (although one of my students claims to have used nikkyo very effectively during security work).

If you look at it as a tool to learn other things then it can be highly effective in teaching Aikido bases.

Regards

D

Steve Mullen
11-13-2006, 08:58 AM
Everything comes from Ikkyo. My sensei says that everything he does is only because he couldn't do Ikkyo. If you view shomen-uhci nikkyo as being a botched Ikkyo you can get a clearer view of when and how it can be used.

Say you taken Ikkyo from shomen-uchi, but dont get uki right to the floor and they start to stand/aim a punch back at you the position of your hands for ikkyo makes nikkyo pretty much an obvious progression

Mato-san
11-15-2006, 07:33 AM
Yeah guys, I seemed to open up a can of worms here, good to see the opinions.
In regards to my Sensei.
Sensei was a student of Tohei-Sensei for at least 15 years of his Aikido career that is a portion of his 30 odd years in Aikido, because of a language barrier I can`t exactly describe in detail the inspiration behind each technique.
But after watching a shomenuchi nikkyo on http://www.budodojo.com/taijutsu.htm I asked why we don`t do it.......we played with it and then it was dismissed as an unnatural waza, when practiced at speed it seemed that way. When I say speed I must say that fluency and yooooooom yoooooooom yooooom did not sit right, but that is not to say I have rejected the waza myself, it is still on the brain.
I have an image of shomenuchi kotegaishi but without the kotegaishi, then extending maai and bringing uke in for a nikkyo (just a thought, a simple one at that) it still seems far from natural.
Thanks for the impressions.

Mato-san
11-15-2006, 07:44 AM
....


I also see nikkyo coming off an ikkyo base for this one, making Matthew's topic rather deeper :
Is ikkyo so far from being natural? (Not my words)

.

That was the exact debate at the dojo......very valid Michael

Mato-san
11-15-2006, 07:51 AM
I'm totally ok with you my friend, by the way this person that you said MacDowell is a real sensei ?, my friend if you «sensei» said that, :blush: ,,,,,, you better start to looking for a new one
,my opinion , he dosent know nothing about the real budo AIKIDO ;) :ai: :ki: :do:

Ohh Douglas I hope you are not refering to my Sensei, I believe he is the real deal, but hey everyone is entitled to their opinion and also their choice of instructors.

All the best

Mato-san
11-15-2006, 08:23 AM
Jun can I post an action sequence or two of pics somewhere on the site?

akiy
11-15-2006, 09:49 AM
Jun can I post an action sequence or two of pics somewhere on the site?
Sure. The Action Shots section of the AikiWeb Gallery (http://www.aikiweb.com/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=503) would probably work.

-- Jun

Mato-san
11-15-2006, 12:41 PM
Cheers , I will be looking at that when I wake!
I have to do it!
PEACE

pezalinski
11-22-2006, 12:26 PM
Everything comes from Ikkyo. My sensei says that everything he does is only because he couldn't do Ikkyo. If you view shomen-uhci nikkyo as being a botched Ikkyo you can get a clearer view of when and how it can be used.

Conversely, Ikkyo can be thought of as a botched Nikkyo -- either you couldn't get the right wrist grip and slipped to the elbow, or uke wasn't interested in coming back around for a second attack.

;)

Rocky Izumi
11-25-2006, 08:46 AM
You folks might want to experiment with the matching aspect of the feet when doing Ikkyo, Nikkyo, Sankyo, Yonkyo, and Koshinage when doing them fluidly. First, try Ikkyo with feet mirror image in level of direction as you cut down. Then try too far forward and not in far enough. Then try Nikkyo at each of these levels of entry. Then try Sankyo. Then try Yonkyo at all those levels of entry, then too close and too far away from Uke for Ikkyo. Then try Koshinage at all those variations.

You will find that Ikkyo works best when perfectly matched in level of entry and distance. Then you will find that Nikkyo works best when not entered enough, Sankyo when entered too far, Yonkyo when too far apart from Uke, and Koshinage when too close to Uke.

Of course, this doesn't apply when doing these techniques step by step, only when doing it fluidly in Ken style. It also helps if Nage is the one doing the Shomen Uchi.

Hey, it's hard to explain with words. Just try experimenting with matching of distance of entry, and distance from Uke. You'll find out for yourself. Depending on your style of doing these techniques it may or may not apply to your Waza.

BTW, Nikkyo, Koryu style works very well at speed for a jab to the face.

Rock