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12-01-2008, 10:03 PM
Hi everyone,

My name is David Shen and I have been practising aikido for just under a year now in Australia. I have just recently found out about this site and have been motivated to join due to the innumerable number of questions that I still have and the interesting topics on this forum. Bear with me.

So quick question before I end this. When you are drawing your bokken back for a shomenunchi attack, do you:

1) bring it back so your arms reach the back of your head and the bokken reaching your back


2)bring it back so your arms are just above your head and the bokken is slightly off horizontal.

My sensei tells me to do the 2nd one however I see Saito sensei doing the first.



12-01-2008, 11:14 PM
Hi David,

Welcome to AikiWeb. You may want to ask your questions in the weapons forum for more views.

-- Jun

Tim Griffiths
12-01-2008, 11:23 PM
Hi David, welcome to the forums.

To your question, I *think* what your seeing is that Saito-sensei also drew the sword back to about horizontal, but then at the start of the downward cut the movement drops the blade back first, sometimes almost to vertical. I don't think 'anyone' holds a jodan position with the sword lower than horizontal.

My preference, incidentally, is for a jodan position of about 45 degrees up, and the sword dropping to about horizontal as the downstroke begins, but YMMV a lot, depending on the school and type of swordwork you do.
In general, I'd advise to be aware of different styles as much as possible, but practice what your sensei shows you in the way he shows you, at least for a few years. Often there isn't one best way to practice anyway, just a matter of where your emphasis is in the training.

Train well,


12-02-2008, 07:40 AM
Welcome! I do marsupial embryology research in North America, and I keep meaning to go to a conference in Australia, the motherland of marsupial scientists... maybe one of these days!

As to your question, I agree with Tim that you should practise it the way your sensei shows you. As you do more and more cuts (like, thousands), you'll find a movement that feels best to you, and it will be slightly different when you are in one place, backing up a step, moving forward slowly or quickly or one metre or two... Learn what your sensei's teaching first, and well, and try out other things at home (doing bokken cuts at home is also an excellent way to wind down after work!).