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Old 03-30-2005, 09:52 AM   #10
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 283
Hong Kong
Re: The meaning of omote and ura

Jun Akiyama wrote:
I will start out by saying that the way I usually describe "omote" and "ura" is that they describe nage's location or direction relative to uke's center line. So, if nage moves through uke's front center line, it's usually "omote," and if nage moves through uke's rear center line, it's "ura." Jun
Peter Goldsbury wrote:
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.
Thank you Akiyama san and Mr Goldsbury for the explanations.

Just to see whether I understood what was said, may I refer to this clip that shows the Aikikai Doshu performing Suwariwaza Shomenuchi Ikkyo

It's quite obvious that Doshu first moves off the right knee. I assume that Doshu is actually creating space to cut into the left. I believe Doshu is also deflecting the energy [to the right] from the shomenuchi attack. I see the same principle in Shioda Sensei's Total Aikido - so we are on the same page with the Yoshinkan :-)

And Doshu is moving through uke's front center line /stepping forward to the front of uke - which follows the explanation of Akiyama san and Mr Goldsbury.

Now, suppose Doshu were to move first off the left knee and extend his left hand directly into uke's elbow, before cutting into the left - i.e. he skips the initial step of creating space and deflecting uke's attack... can I say that this is omote?

In this case, can I also say that the initial movement (moving off the left knee) allows Doshu to choose either omote or ura? If he moves straight in, it'll probably becomes omote... if he moves deeply to the left, it probably becomes ura...

ps The discussion on "ura" being a secret technique is interesting.
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