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GBiddy
03-28-2007, 10:48 AM
In my last class we were practicing a yokomenuchi-kotegaishi technique when sensei comes over and tells me my yokomen is incorrect.

In Japan I was taught to start yokomen as if it were shomen: straight over your head, then swing slightly to one side and strike the side of tori's neck or head. The idea is not to reveal to your enemy (partner in the dojo) how you are going to strike before you strike. If they see a yokomen coming, it is their advantage as they can better guard against it etc...

But my current sensei explains that proper yokomen 'in this dojo' starts with your hand by your ear, and cuts down across partner's chest (not neck or head).

I know there are more ways than one to practice most Aikido techniques, yet the Yokomen I practiced in Japan seem obviously superior to the one being taught at my current dojo.

I'm getting tired of being told how 'incorrect' Aikido in Japan is taught. Aikikai is Aikikai, I thought. But I suppose this is another case of shutting up and doing what is taught out of respect for sensei, even if it seems inferior.

Or the other possibility: am I totally misunderstanding something?

GB

mjhacker
03-28-2007, 10:55 AM
I've seen lots of people do that sort of yokomen uchi, and I don't get it. The only purpose I can see for doing that attack is to make it easier for tori to throw uke. I see this as cheating tori of experience.

When I see an arm go back like that, I tend to follow with a direct shomen ate.

raul rodrigo
03-28-2007, 10:59 AM
That is a yokomen without any martial intent. Michael is right, its a blow by someone who plans on getting thrown and cant be bothered to attack for real. And it doesnt do tori any favors, just makes him delusional about his waza.

Ron Tisdale
03-28-2007, 11:00 AM
While I agree with your assesment of the yokomen (because it matches my own training here in the states), I also think you might ask the instructor *why* they do it they way they do. He might actually have reasons other than "to make it easier" for nage. It is always better to understand the reasons for doing something a certain way, rather than just accepting it from "Sensei said".

On the other hand, from your other posts, its sounds more and more like you might wish to find another place to train...

Best,
Ron

Mark Freeman
03-28-2007, 11:04 AM
Hi Gordon,

I do yokomenuchi the way you did it Japan, is it the only right way ? I don't know. If I were ever to be shown a different way, I would practice it the way shown until I felt that I had some level of 'knowing' that new way. I would then have another strategy to add to the variety of responses available to my aikido.

By the tone of your posting though, I think that opening your own dojo would be the easiest route to solving your dilema.

regards,

Mark

ChrisMoses
03-28-2007, 11:07 AM
Yokomen = side of head
kesagiri = diagonal cut through the torso

A good yokomen uchi should be as you describe. What you do with that information is going to be up to you. I know a few people who trained for a time in Japan and came back to the Americas only to be really frustrated with what they found. This was particularly true if you didn't earn shodan while in Japan. Something about the skirt gives weight to your experiences in Japan that you won't get as a kyu student. Have you thought of checking out Yoshinkan? I believe there's a pretty good Yoshinkan instructor up that a way... ;)

Ron Tisdale
03-28-2007, 11:10 AM
Just to mirror what Chris said, from my response to another post of yours...

By the way, is this dojo in your neighborhood?

http://www.aikido-yoshinkai.org/burnaby/

I am aquainted with the instructor there, he spent many years training and teaching in Japan, and while not aikikai, I think he might have a lot to offer you.

Best,
Ron

mjhacker
03-28-2007, 11:23 AM
I know a few people who trained for a time in Japan and came back to the Americas only to be really frustrated with what they found.
I'm exactly the opposite. I became frustrated with Aikidō in Japan, and nearly quit the art altogether. Fortunately, I met my current teacher when I did. I'm probably one of the few people I know who has left Japan in order to train in the US. I've gotten used to being the odd man out.

ChrisMoses
03-28-2007, 11:51 AM
I'm exactly the opposite. I became frustrated with Aikidō in Japan, and nearly quit the art altogether. Fortunately, I met my current teacher when I did. I'm probably one of the few people I know who has left Japan in order to train in the US. I've gotten used to being the odd man out.

That certainly happens too. At this point in my training, I wouldn't fit in at just about any Aikido dojo in Japan. I'm not implying that they do everything right, and we do everything wrong. Sorry if I came across that way.

mjhacker
03-28-2007, 12:08 PM
That certainly happens too. At this point in my training, I wouldn't fit in at just about any Aikido dojo in Japan. I'm not implying that they do everything right, and we do everything wrong. Sorry if I came across that way.
No implication presumed, no apology necessary. In fact, I may have been the one who miscommunicated. My point was actually that my experience with Aikidō in Japan was less... shall we say... "impressive" than others have reported. I felt the need to leave Japan to find what I consider to be good stuff.

Not only would I not fit in over there any more, I doubt whether I ever did in the first place. :-)

IMO, some of the Aikidō here in the US is actually much better than most of what I saw in Japan. I'd love to go back to Japan for the people, language, music, culture, shopping, and food... but not for the Aikidō.

odudog
03-28-2007, 12:27 PM
Mr. Biddy, the way you learned yokomen in Japan is the truely martial way of applying the attack. However, the way that your current dojo teaches it is purely for learning purposes. I too do it that way and am also Aikikai. I would hope that as you move up in the black belt ranking that the yokomen would then be performed in the martial way.

Talon
03-28-2007, 12:33 PM
We were/are taught to do Yokomenuchi the way you were taught in Japan not the way your current dojo appears to think is correct.

From your other posts I think you you should seriously start looking at other dojos around your area.

Robert Rumpf
03-28-2007, 12:50 PM
In my last class we were practicing a yokomenuchi-kotegaishi technique when sensei comes over and tells me my yokomen is incorrect.

In Japan I was taught to start yokomen as if it were shomen: straight over your head, then swing slightly to one side and strike the side of tori's neck or head. The idea is not to reveal to your enemy (partner in the dojo) how you are going to strike before you strike. If they see a yokomen coming, it is their advantage as they can better guard against it etc...

But my current sensei explains that proper yokomen 'in this dojo' starts with your hand by your ear, and cuts down across partner's chest (not neck or head).

I know there are more ways than one to practice most Aikido techniques, yet the Yokomen I practiced in Japan seem obviously superior to the one being taught at my current dojo.

I'm getting tired of being told how 'incorrect' Aikido in Japan is taught. Aikikai is Aikikai, I thought. But I suppose this is another case of shutting up and doing what is taught out of respect for sensei, even if it seems inferior.

Or the other possibility: am I totally misunderstanding something?

GB

You should ask him how that reconciles with bokken practice, especially if you think of your partner as wearing armor.

Unless the difficulties of going elsewhere are severe (commute, etc.), I'd switch dojos. If you stay at this dojo, and wish to stay sane, you'll need to find something that they do that you can learn from. Otherwise, it sounds like endless frustration, and sooner or later frustration demands an outlet.

If there wasn't any other local Aikido place, I'd consider studying a different martial art.

Rob

Chris Li
03-28-2007, 01:09 PM
Mr. Biddy, the way you learned yokomen in Japan is the truely martial way of applying the attack. However, the way that your current dojo teaches it is purely for learning purposes. I too do it that way and am also Aikikai. I would hope that as you move up in the black belt ranking that the yokomen would then be performed in the martial way.

Martial? Hmm...

Really, would you attack anybody with a yokomenuchi - done in either style? How many times have you seen either style of yokomenuchi done in an actual confrontation?

Both of them are learning tools, with their pluses and minuses, but I wouldn't classify either one as "martial".

Best,

Chris

ChrisMoses
03-28-2007, 01:17 PM
You should ask him how that reconciles with bokken practice, especially if you think of your partner as wearing armor.



I'm confused here. The type of line that the sensei in question is describing is more in line with most sword ryuha. Kesagiri is a much more common cut in the JSA than yokomengiri, and starting with the tegatana to the side of the head would be analogous to beginning ones cut from hasso no kamae. Cuts to the head aren't as common as cuts to the neck or body in kenjutsu because kabuto are very hard and shaped to deflect cuts.

Talon
03-28-2007, 01:19 PM
Martial? Hmm...

Really, would you attack anybody with a yokomenuchi - done in either style? How many times have you seen either style of yokomenuchi done in an actual confrontation?

Almost everytime I see someone swing a bottle or most any object used as a weapon.

Robert Rumpf
03-28-2007, 01:20 PM
I'm confused here. The type of line that the sensei in question is describing is more in line with most sword ryuha. Kesagiri is a much more common cut in the JSA than yokomengiri, and starting with the tegatana to the side of the head would be analogous to beginning ones cut from hasso no kamae. Cuts to the head aren't as common as cuts to the neck or body in kenjutsu because kabuto are very hard and shaped to deflect cuts.

Perhaps my visualization of what he is describing is different than yours.
Perhaps you've found the reasons to explain the instructor's technique.

Chris Li
03-28-2007, 01:37 PM
Almost everytime I see someone swing a bottle or most any object used as a weapon.

The usual answer, of course, but I don't buy it. If you're practicing for a weapon than why empty hand? Especially given that there are times when that kind of attack is specifically practiced with a weapon in Aikido. And no, I've never seen a school of Aikido where an empty hand yokomen is really used as a safer intermediate bridge to working against a weapon. Every Aikido school that I've ever seen (including in Japan) practices against yokomen as an empty hand attack in it's own right.

If I were making quick pokes at your face with a katana would you buy the explanation that we were practicing that way because it's "like" a jab?

Best,

Chrsi

Aikibu
03-28-2007, 01:42 PM
Martial? Hmm...

Really, would you attack anybody with a yokomenuchi - done in either style? How many times have you seen either style of yokomenuchi done in an actual confrontation?

Both of them are learning tools, with their pluses and minuses, but I wouldn't classify either one as "martial".

Best,

Chris

Agreed. Yokomenuchi and Shomenuchi are training tools and are no more "martial" than grabbing a wrist is.

Our method of Yoko & Shomenuchi is a bit different and looks more like a punch though some of our senior instructors prefer the Hombu style.

William Hazen

Marc Abrams
03-28-2007, 03:18 PM
We have a tendency to become so "locked up" in a particular "attack" and technique in response to the attack. The wrist grab is a wonderful way for a person to physically experience a connection as they learn to still feel that connection when there is distance between you and an attacker. It is a wonderful way to begin to learn the basic mechanics involved in a technique. Anybody who tells you that the grab is in preparation for being attacked in their society, should be selling land there! I would love to live in a world where somebody would "attack" me by grabbing my wrist.

Shomenuchi and Yokomenuchi strikes are a little further down the line, in regards to developing an effective application of Aikido.

Chris, you do not buy that a yokomenuchi is like a bottle swing? Many years ago, I was supporting a friend at a large night club. He was head of security. He had a new bunch of people working for him. He asked me to hang out at the club and guard his "six" until he was satisfied with their training and experience level (me and my 5'5", 130lbs.- at that time- ha, ha). He was breaking up a "dance" between two knuckleheads when a person took a beer bottle and was going to implant some glass in the back of my friend's skull. I put myself in his pathway so he took a swing at my head. A PERFECT YOKOMEN PATH! A zenpo nage, men-uchi later, this knucklehead elevated over the bar counter into the wall behind the bar. When we closed the bar (4am.- WAY past my bedtime now) we all sat at the bar laughing our asses off. I was flabbergasted that the technique worked as well as it did. It was like a scene from the movies.

The nature of the set strikes should be designed to help us develop our connection with the attacker before the attack occurs. That should enable us to connect with the vector of the attack, shape our response to it, so that a technique "reveals itself." The other component of that is that a person needs to attack sincerely. How many times have we just stood there and the strike magically stops in front of us, or veers off. We need to teach effective strikes, but realizing that it is for teaching purposes, and not indicative of how the "real world" attacker works. A more advanced level of training is a freestyle attack. When we can be relaxed, connected, and allow techniques to reveal themselvs, it is as sweet as it gets! This thread brings to mind the adage of losing the forest amongst the trees. I think that we need to be honest about the nature of the training. The training is not unrealistic, but is designed to bring us to a place where we can function effectively in a realistic attack environment.

Just my 2 cents (not worth much more than that!)

marc abrams

Chris Li
03-28-2007, 04:05 PM
Chris, you do not buy that a yokomenuchi is like a bottle swing?

Oh, I don't dispute that the path of the swings are the same, but attacks with weapons is not the primary reason why yokomen is practiced in Aikido dojo.

If you want to practice with something that is "like" a bottle swing then why not just practice against a bottle swing? Do boxers train against something that is "like" a punch, or do they practice against actual punches?

Now, you might argue that yokomen is practiced as a safer bridge to weapons attacks, but If that were true then you would see a gradual transition to attacks with weapons as levels progress, but as you know that never really happens.

Yes, there are some weapons attacks practiced in Aikido dojo, but those are mostly prefunctory and not studied seriously (you see them come out a lot before testing). Basically, yokomen in Aikido is practiced as an attack in its own right.

Now, there are a number of things that you can learn from yokomen, but saying that one style of yokomen is more "martial" than another makes little sense to me, when the whole attack is not really "martial" to begin with.

Best,

Chris

gdandscompserv
03-28-2007, 05:06 PM
We have a tendency to become so "locked up" in a particular "attack" and technique in response to the attack. The wrist grab is a wonderful way for a person to physically experience a connection as they learn to still feel that connection when there is distance between you and an attacker. It is a wonderful way to begin to learn the basic mechanics involved in a technique. Anybody who tells you that the grab is in preparation for being attacked in their society, should be selling land there! I would love to live in a world where somebody would "attack" me by grabbing my wrist.
Women and children might experience an attack in the form of a wrist grab more commonly than adult males.

Talon
03-28-2007, 05:14 PM
The only difference between the so called more "martial" yokomen and the not so "martial" yokomen is that the former is disguised as a shoman at the start, the later is not, giving the Nage heads up on whats coming. The more "martial" one is one that can surprise the nage as he moves to do a shomen technique and gets bonked by a yokomen.

Overall I agree that "martial" is not really the word to use to differientiate the two. Either one can be done in a martial manner, ie. if the nage doesnt move he gets bonked in the head.

Marc Abrams
03-28-2007, 05:17 PM
Chris:

I am certainly not implying that one style of yokomenuchi is more martial than another. I have even had punches attempt to make contact with my head that came in the form of a yokomenuchi (and a lot of other trajectories as well...). I view this strike like a lot of other attacks that we practice, and that is as a stylized means of developing the capacity to apply Aikido regardless of the form of the attack.

Ricky:

You are absolutely correct. I hope that my students understand why I emphasize the importance of shaping the attack as the grab is taking place. That goes to a more important aspect, which is situational awareness. Becoming aware as contact is being made is not a good starting place. Certainly the static grab practice is an important starting point. Women and children are more likely to be grabbed on the wrist. This is typically a prelude to something a lot worse. If the grab is being shaped as it is happening, the likelihood of successfully escaping from that situation (or generously applying a good dose of hurt) increases.

marc abrams

Talon
03-28-2007, 05:21 PM
if you look at this video of a fool fighting a MMA guy, you will see that grabbing the hand, arm is a pretty effective attack, when followed by punching .. check out the time of 2:48.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEDaCIDvj6I

Hand / arm grabs are not all that innefective or uncommon I think....

Aikibu
03-28-2007, 07:31 PM
if you look at this video of a fool fighting a MMA guy, you will see that grabbing the hand, arm is a pretty effective attack, when followed by punching .. check out the time of 2:48.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEDaCIDvj6I

Hand / arm grabs are not all that innefective or uncommon I think....

I sense a common symantic misperception here, and perhaps I have contributed to it. Everyone starts out "Grabbing" as does everyone "start" with Shomen strikes as has been pointed out by a few here very rarely is this used in advanced Aikido Techniques. Students start out this way to learn a vast number of things about Aikido. Hopefully if one progresses enough they advance towards the use of Atemi, Throws, and more advanced versions of the techniques. Being Martial is a function of the Aikidoka's spirit and any technique even "grabbing" can be effective in this manner. However using basic wrist grabbing and expecting it to "work" without (learned) Martial intent or against another experianced Martial Artist is foolish at best.

As for the You Tube video I'd like to point out that one heck of allot of folks try to "grab" Chuck Liddel when they fight him, and his Martial Intent is not to be grabbed but to beat you in the ground.So far he does that with some regularity against "grabbers" aka grapplers.

I think this is the norm among advanced Martial Artists even High Ranking Judoka who fight in Pride focus all of thier energy on strikes unless/until an opportunity shows up to take thier opponent to the ground.

Aikido is something different all together but the first thing we learn is to make that "connection" with our opponent and almost all Aikido (as well as Aikijujitsu and a host of other "Aiki" disciplines) "styles" do this by grasping your wrist. :)

William Hazen

jss
03-29-2007, 11:26 AM
When looking at the different yokomens in aikido it is not that much the arm that puzzles me, but the feet.
So when doing yokomen, do you move in a straight line towards uke or at an angle?

Joep

Josh Reyer
03-29-2007, 12:00 PM
When looking at the different yokomens in aikido it is not that much the arm that puzzles me, but the feet.
So when doing yokomen, do you move in a straight line towards uke or at an angle?

Joep

Angle, at the dojo I train at.

mjhacker
03-29-2007, 12:05 PM
I trained with a friend for a short time who was quite skilled at Kishaba-juku Shorin-ryu karate. Nothing formal, mind you... just drills and playful sparring. Despite his considerable skill, I was able to make contact just about every time I punched him. It took him a bit to figure out why, but once he did, I was unable to connect.

As it turns out, he had never trained with someone who didn't punch the same way he did.

Janet Rosen
03-29-2007, 12:10 PM
I also, in the USA, in USAF dojos, was taught specifically to start yokoman as if it was shomenuchi, and that it was the hip turning (yes from an angled entry) that gave the direction to the downward diagonal of the strike. The clear impression I had is that we were basing the attack on weapons attacks.
What I have heard denigrated from my earliest days in training is a particular, and to my eye, peculiar yokoman where not only is the hand at the ear, but the elbow is out and the attacker's face thrusting forward. Not a posture I associate with holding a weapon - ? I have seen this sloppy uncontrolled striking in many dojos, and seen it apparently sanctioned because it was widespread and uncorrected by instructors.

George S. Ledyard
03-29-2007, 09:03 PM
Agreed. Yokomenuchi and Shomenuchi are training tools and are no more "martial" than grabbing a wrist is.

These are not truly empty hand attacks. No empty hand art attacks that way. However, give someone a weapon, even an untrained person with a tire iron, you'll see what we would call a yokomen attack. A person with a knife in the reverse grip might do either a yokomen or a shomen attack (although the target would be a bit different with the shomen attack, it would still be a vertical attack).

In empty hand the equivalent strike to a shomen uchi is a hammer fist directly to the face. The yokomen is a knife hand strike but it doesn't have anything like the arc our yokomen does because it isn't a stylized cut but rather a strike so it comes out a lot more linearly. The target would be the temple, the side of the neck, or the collar bone usually.

We train with stylized attacks but they do have very close equivalents in more applied technique.

Aikibu
03-29-2007, 09:51 PM
These are not truly empty hand attacks. No empty hand art attacks that way. However, give someone a weapon, even an untrained person with a tire iron, you'll see what we would call a yokomen attack. A person with a knife in the reverse grip might do either a yokomen or a shomen attack (although the target would be a bit different with the shomen attack, it would still be a vertical attack).

In empty hand the equivalent strike to a shomen uchi is a hammer fist directly to the face. The yokomen is a knife hand strike but it doesn't have anything like the arc our yokomen does because it isn't a stylized cut but rather a strike so it comes out a lot more linearly. The target would be the temple, the side of the neck, or the collar bone usually.

We train with stylized attacks but they do have very close equivalents in more applied technique.

Thanks for the reply Sensei. However I only agree in part. Shoman and Yokomen are directly related to the use of the Japanese Sword and Koryu approaches to defending against it. Only an untrained person (as you have mentioned :) ) might attack you this way. All I can say is thank god for the fact most people are untrained. LOL However even our Aikido (where the use of the edged weapons like the sword shares in equal importance with the congruent empty hand technique) has serious deficiancies when it comes to empty hand defense against a skilled opponent with a knife or most edged weapons. They certainly do not use yokomen or shoman attacks.

If you read the Journal of Asian Martial Arts I highly recommend picking up Volume 15 Issue 4. There is a very enlightening article by John McCurry and Eliot Lee Grossman titled "The Top Ten Errors of Martial Artists Defending Against a Blade."

Mr McCurry really opened my eyes to how deficent most Gendai Arts are in thier syllubus regarding defense against edged weapons. Combined with some basic wrong assumptions about an art's effectiveness against an armed adversary could lead one to serious trouble if one was ever confronted with someone even moderately skilled with a blade.

Mr McCurry's roots are in Jujitsu and Pencak-
Silat. His knowledge of the subject appears to be very comprehensive as he cites diverse sources from Yoshida-Kenji, Youkiyoshi Takamura, our Dear Friend Stan Pranin, Don Angier, and many others.

Since he is only an hour south of me I am going to make a point of visiting him. Why? As he so rightly points out next to a gun the most deadly weapon an Aikidoka will ever face on the street is a knife and since our Aikido measures itself by how effective we are against other Martial Arts I currently find our basic and advanced Yokenmenuchi and Shomenuchi sorely lacking in effectiveness. :)

I hope to see you again at the next Aikido Journal Friendship Demonstration. :)

William Hazen

George S. Ledyard
03-29-2007, 11:04 PM
Thanks for the reply Sensei. However I only agree in part. Shoman and Yokomen are directly related to the use of the Japanese Sword and Koryu approaches to defending against it. Only an untrained person (as you have mentioned :) ) might attack you this way. All I can say is thank god for the fact most people are untrained. LOL However even our Aikido (where the use of the edged weapons like the sword shares in equal importance with the congruent empty hand technique) has serious deficiancies when it comes to empty hand defense against a skilled opponent with a knife or most edged weapons. They certainly do not use yokomen or shoman attacks.

If you read the Journal of Asian Martial Arts I highly recommend picking up Volume 15 Issue 4. There is a very enlightening article by John McCurry and Eliot Lee Grossman titled "The Top Ten Errors of Martial Artists Defending Against a Blade."

Mr McCurry really opened my eyes to how deficent most Gendai Arts are in thier syllubus regarding defense against edged weapons. Combined with some basic wrong assumptions about an art's effectiveness against an armed adversary could lead one to serious trouble if one was ever confronted with someone even moderately skilled with a blade.

Mr McCurry's roots are in Jujitsu and Pencak-
Silat. His knowledge of the subject appears to be very comprehensive as he cites diverse sources from Yoshida-Kenji, Youkiyoshi Takamura, our Dear Friend Stan Pranin, Don Angier, and many others.

Since he is only an hour south of me I am going to make a point of visiting him. Why? As he so rightly points out next to a gun the most deadly weapon an Aikidoka will ever face on the street is a knife and since our Aikido measures itself by how effective we are against other Martial Arts I currently find our basic and advanced Yokenmenuchi and Shomenuchi sorely lacking in effectiveness. :)

I hope to see you again at the next Aikido Journal Friendship Demonstration. :)

William Hazen
Hi William,
I agree with everything you said. As I have said before, I don't believe that Aikido is fundamentally an empty hand system... the logic of everything we do came from weapons (the assumption would be that both opponents are armed). I didn't mean to imply that these attacks were intended to be anything other than what you referred to... I just meant that you could find some close equivalents whether in attacks from untrained folks with weapons or certain empty hand techniques.

It is absolutely true that someone trained with an edged weapon will not attack with anything like what we do in Aikido basics.

akiy
03-29-2007, 11:30 PM
Personally, I think that attacks such as shomenuchi, yokomenuchi, and the various grabs like katatedori are tools to develop one's aikido -- both in the roles of nage/tori and uke.

I have received shomenuchi and yokomenuchi from my instructor when he was uke that has put me on my butt as he employed the same principles of body organization, kuzushi, alignment, and such as he would when he is nage; the same has been true in an attack such as katatedori (with which he has almost planted my face into the mat).

-- Jun

Marc Abrams
03-30-2007, 08:19 AM
Jun:

Are you implying that Aikidoists are actually effective martial artists and know how to strike effectively? Are you trying to ruin our reputation as wannabe-martial artists living in a new age fantasy?:D

Outside of the humor, I agree 100% with your comment. It has been talked about many times (George even wrote a great article on the subject) in that we can best improve our Aikido when somebody can attack in an authentic manner.

marc abrams

Largo
03-30-2007, 12:45 PM
It's been mentioned before, but there are different ways of doing the same thing. When I was in Japan, I learned a version of shomen which was an upward strike to the face (in aikikai). Our uchideshi also had this peculiar penchant for doing shomen style strikes aimed at the collarbone. (i.e. typical shomen strike, just not at the face)

I would say that it would be good to be able to do the technique from either strike, and not just limit yourself to one. (But that's just me)

Dirk Hanss
03-30-2007, 02:04 PM
It is very interesting, reading this thread about right yokomenuchi. There is good reason to teach ONE firm strike for kihon waza at beginner level and keep all students doing the same to ease the answering technique as shown by sensei.
And then I would say, try several variations. If someone insists, that only one strike is allowed in aikido - this could lead to an endless discussion like 'is aikido effective?' et alt.

Nevertheless, on my junior level, my sensei tells us, that uke should protect himself as good as possible, which leads to the 'Japanese' version, rather than the 'native American' tomahawk version, taken from old low level Western movies).

Cheers

Dirk

Michael Douglas
03-30-2007, 02:21 PM
Martial? Hmm...
Really, would you attack anybody with a yokomenuchi - done in either style? How many times have you seen either style of yokomenuchi done in an actual confrontation?
Both of them are learning tools, with their pluses and minuses, but I wouldn't classify either one as "martial".
Almost everytime I see someone swing a bottle or most any object used as a weapon.
The usual answer, of course, but I don't buy it. If you're practicing for a weapon than why empty hand? Especially given that there are times when that kind of attack is specifically practiced with a weapon in Aikido.

I completely agree with Chris on this, well said.

Largo
03-30-2007, 03:48 PM
I'm just curious- does anyone else here try doing shomen/ yokomen drills with focus mitts?

xuzen
06-08-2007, 02:15 AM
In Japan I was taught to start yokomen as if it were shomen: straight over your head, then swing slightly to one side and strike the side of tori's neck or head. The idea is not to reveal to your enemy (partner in the dojo) how you are going to strike before you strike. If they see a yokomen coming, it is their advantage as they can better guard against it etc...

But my current sensei explains that proper yokomen 'in this dojo' starts with your hand by your ear, and cuts down across partner's chest (not neck or head).

I know there are more ways than one to practice most Aikido techniques, yet the Yokomen I practiced in Japan seem obviously superior to the one being taught at my current dojo.

I'm getting tired of being told how 'incorrect' Aikido in Japan is taught. Aikikai is Aikikai, I thought. But I suppose this is another case of shutting up and doing what is taught out of respect for sensei, even if it seems inferior.

Or the other possibility: am I totally misunderstanding something?

GB

Proper yokomenuchi....

Get uke to hold a beer/spirit bottle. Ask him/her to swing at your temple.

There, non-ritualistic yokomen-uchi.

Boon.

philippe willaume
06-08-2007, 07:57 AM
Hello
Well I would say there is few yokomen and shomen in there
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_uZmN16tBo.

As well we could assimilate shomen (especially the raising one) as a straight punch or palm strike) and yokomen as a palm strike to the side of the head or a hook
The side of the head is full of high value target, the temple, the ear, the lower jaw , the side of the neck. (Even the medieval fighting books mention them…). so I think I yokomen like attack has its place and as long as you do the “martial yokomen” with intent, I think there is little to change to turn it into Mr Bass Ruten palm strikes.

When we work with techniques, we all ways have Uke working in the true time of the hand body and foot (or the false time of foot body and hand according of the shape of the strike) when he attacks.
That is not the most efficient/smartest way to attack, as it gives Nage easier access to control of time and distance (which is what aikido equates to in terms of fighting).

But I would say that what ever art you are doing you will find similar formalisation in order to teach and to train.

phil

charyuop
06-08-2007, 01:26 PM
Wow, Bus Rutten is the real Aiki spirit hee hee.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3K-mrlYG7Y&mode=related&search=