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Old 12-09-2002, 08:57 AM   #17
Dojo: Aikido of Norwalk
Location: CT
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 205
Re: Show me your target?

Bruce Baker wrote:
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?
We are training against an overhead strike to the center of the head. The attack probably doesn't make sense unless you're holding bottle, a baseball bat, a {insert weapon of choice here}. Impractical? Well, I know that if I were attacking someone with a baseball bat, I'd go right for the center of his/her head. And I wouldn't be trying to hit any pressure points, either.
Aikido is not a study purely japanese, but a japanese study of martial arts. Learn the difference and you will find the answers.
Are you suggesting that you've found the answers, Bruce?
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?
What you give out, you get back.
We have two terms on the table.


All right. As I have seen it, shomen --, is translated as front. So shomenuchi would be a front strike. Yokomenuchi (yoko translated as "side," men -- translated as "face") would be, to the side of the head.

Now, I am not a Japanese speaker. I don't pretend to be. There are others on this forum (Jun, Chris, Peter) who are, and can give you a much more correct answer than I. But, to me, the language itself seems to support the way that aikido practitioners use the descriptive words. Just because you interpret them to mean something else, doesn't mean that everyone should change their attacks.

Shomenuchi, in my dojo, is an overhead strike to the forehead. That is how I practice it. That is how I've always seen it practiced elsewhere, as well. That is how I will continue to practice it until someone tells me differently. If I want to play with different variations on attacks in free practice with a sempai, I can, but for safety's sake, stick to what is being taught.

To suggest that we should all start leaving out Japanese terms just for your benefit is ludicrous. This is a Japanese art, and this is a forum about a Japanese art. If you don't understand a term, enlighten yourself a little bit and go look it up. If you think that a term is being used incorrectly, ASK, don't preach! There's a good chance that someone else knows better than you. And far better than me.
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?
They are descriptive terms. Oh. You want them in english? You want them to describe "what the heck they are suppose [sic] to do?" Ok. I decree from this moment, yokomenuchi will hereby be called strike-to-the-side-of-the-head,-oh,-but-make-sure-you-lift-your-hand-above-your-head-first,-kinda-like-shomenuchi {insert long rambling English term here},-but-you-have-to-counter-balance-a-bit-by-shifting-your-weight-and-moving-your- leg,-and-maybe-you-can-do-a-little-variation-where-the-strike-goes-to-the-side-of-the-neck,-maybe-even-hit-a-pressure-point-or-two,-oh,-and-if-you-happen-to-have-a-piece-of-wood-in-your-hand,- you-have-to-change-your-maai {nsert long rambling english translation of maai here}-a-little-bit,-and-if... I could go on, but you get the idea. The above is not a term. The reason you train is to learn all of that and associate it all with a specific term. A longer description isn't going to make it easier to do.
If you want ten or more answers, refer to pressure point strikes in the downward or horizontal angles to find possible targets.
Ha! Oh, Bruce, I had forgotten about your pressure point mania. It's actually kind of cute...

Sarah, who hasn't read a Bruce Baker thread for months... and now remembers why...

Out of clutter, find simplicity.
From discord, find harmony.
In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.
-Albert Einstein
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