Soon-Kian Phang wrote:
Just out of interest, I have also noticed differences in the initial hand position for yokomenuchi. Some people start like shomenuchi, with the hand brought to the forehead. Others start with the raised hand to the side of the head (which feels easier, but one has to be careful that the swing isn't too wide). I'm also curious as to what people think about this
We are told to start like shomenuchi. The reason is that the agressor should not show the direction of the attack too early.
Quite similar in karate semi contact competition we were toldfirst to bring the knee in front of you as high as possible. Then you can decide to do maegeri, yokogeri, mawashigeri, ura mawashi, or even the down-kick (forgot the Japanese name). The later you decide the harder is it for the opponent to react.
In aikido kata you know what is told to come, so you should not be surprised. But you should be always prepared to receive a false attack.
End for training randori the idea is even more important.