Show me your target?
There is only one practical overhead strike point and that is the collar bone ... that is unless you have a hand as hard as a hammer, then you might learn to strike the pressure points on the centerline of the skull?
So, the answer is ... you are aiming at targets on the side of the head that are activated by that angle and direction of strike, unlike shomenuchi where other targets of the knife like strikes to the neck, and some knuckle strikes to the jaw are viable.
Come on, get out of your Aikido class know it all, I don't understand attitude and study!
Aikido is not a study purely japanese, but a japanese study of martial arts. Learn the difference and you will find the answers.
Take a few days and consider where the strikes of either sword or hand are going, what areas are being attacked to activate a response, then use this knowledge to enlighten your studies.
The fact that the last few posts were so intent upon shomenuchi being yokomenuchi(overhead strike changing to horizontal strike to neck area) just go to show that none of you are taking the time to actually detail why you are using these directions, angles, or where they are intended to land? If you are not using a sword, just what is your target with that angle and direction of this strike?
Even yokomenuchi starts at the same point as shomenuchi, doesn't it? If it doesn't, then I think there should be some more detailed practice to show how empty hand and Aiki-ken, bokken/ wooden sword, are closely related.
Am I getting testy, could be?
Maybe I have been to too many different classes where each teacher claims their way is the owner of particular techniques, when it is the practitioner who can understand, discern, and describe the how / why a technique works that really owns it.
The point is probably this ... as long as we speak in code, using only Japanese terms, we are not going to clearly understand or properly teach the depth of techniques, and the be able to carry Aikido into the future.
Aikido will probably maintain its mysticsysm because of its physical performance validating its martial capability, but why not find the roots, and understand their uses?
That could be why so many japanese shihans are aloof to the western way of teaching? Whether they use the martial aspects of Aikido or not, they are trained in a more martial manner to consider such things.
I say, we should get some clarity, and start finding the true meaning of what we are doing in practice. Some descriptions, whether right or wrong, will help us all to learn.
We have two terms on the table.
How about some descriptive terms to your understanding of these terms and what the heck they are suppose to do when you hold a piece of wood in your hand, or when you are empty handed?
Just what the heck are you actually doing, and where are the strikes supposed to be aimed at?
If you want ten or more answers, refer to pressure point strikes in the downward or horizontal angles to find possible targets.
I thought that little bit should help most of you if you haven't studied pressure point strikes ....