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Old 03-28-2005, 05:05 PM   #5
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
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Re: The meaning of omote and ura

Soon-Kian Phang wrote:
Imagine yourself in the following situations:

1) You are doing shomenuchi ikkyo tachiwaza (omote). You are nage and standing in right ai-hanmi (your right leg is forward and uke's right leg is forward as well). Uke does a shomenuchi off the right leg... Now, if I'm not mistaken, omote waza would require you to slide rightwards on your RIGHT foot, using your right hand to deflect uke's strike to the right. At the same time, your left hand would cup uke's elbow. You then slide leftwards into uke on your left leg and finish the movement.

2) You are doing shomenuchi ikkyo tachiwaza (ura). You are nage and again standing in right ai-hanmi. Uke does a shomenuchi off the right leg. If I'm not mistake, ura waza would require you to slide leftwards on your LEFT foot... and so on...

3) You are doing shomenuchi ikkyo suwariwaza (omote). Becuase it is suwariwaza, both you (nage) and uke sit facing each other in seiza. There is no hanmi in this case. Uke strikes with his right hand... as nage, which knee comes up first? In some places, the LEFT knee seems to come up first, together with the left arm to deflect uke's elbow. However, the LEFT knee ALSO comes up first in the ura waza movement. In other places, the knee movement follows tachiwaza, i.e. the RIGHT knee comes up first in omote and the LEFT knee in ura.

4) You are doing katatedori shihonage tachiwaza (omote). Uke grabs your RIGHT wrist. You then re-direct his energy by sliding leftwards on your LEFT leg.

5) You are doing katatedori shihonage hanmihandachi (omote). Uke grabs your RIGHT wrist. This time, you enter deeply off your RIGHT knee. However, I got scolded once for doing this as the sempai insisted I follow the tachiwaza movement for omote - i.e. I should have first moved off my LEFT knee.

I am hoping some kind soul can clarify the initial foot/knee movement that determines whether the waza is omote or ura. Or does it really matter?

Thanks very much.
Omote and ura are not primarily determined by foot movement. Thus in Nos 4 and 5 you can do the technique from either foot. Different instructors have different preferences when it comes to teaching. beginners.

I think the difference is fairly clear for 1-kyou and shiho-nage. Stepping forward to the front of uke, causing uke to turn with the movement, is usually omote, whereas executing a turn to go behind uke's back is usually ura and this is close to what the terms mean in Japanese.

Best regards,

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 03-28-2005 at 05:07 PM.

P A Goldsbury
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