Kevin Leavitt wrote:
I can think of many things I'd find more effective than classic shomenuchi. Sure, all the elements of a proper attack are there if you do it correctly. However, the way it is traditionally practiced as a telegraphic attack with your hand raised over your head, is what I was referring to. The way I think of it...Shomenuchi is a training affect.
I would imagine what you are reffering to would be maybe a hammer fist? I would have to work with you to see what you are talking about. If it works for you...go for it!
Actually, I did mean with Shomenuchi as traditionally practiced. However, I don't find it telegraphic since if done correctly, it should be done as aiuchi. If the person does block it, as I hope they do, it flows directly into ikkyo. Generally, I tend to ask all Yudansha above Nidan to do shomenuchi ikkyo with nage initiating the ikkyo through shomenuchi. Just like I ask them to initiate yokomenuchi techniques with nage doing the yokomenuchi.
As a strike that comes off the back foot rather than the front, it requires the person defending against shomenuchi to move angularly rather than linearly or laterally. As such it is not as easy to defend against than an attack that comes off the front foot and hand due to its extremely long reach and ability to execute a second technique that also covers a long distance.
As for telegraphing, if it is done as aiuchi, it really doesn't matter. I found that while it is a very difficult technique to master, shomenuchi is the strongest attack very much like in Kendo. It is much easier in Kendo to get a point with a Koteuchi but once Menuchi is mastered, it is a much stronger attack. The commitment to the attack must be there and the person being attacked must be read carefully for the point of vulnerability but if Menuchi is done correctly, it cannot be stopped unless the person taking the Menuchi is able to join with the attack. I think that is why O'Sensei stressed Shomenuchi so much. The only way to stop a well-timed and committed Shomenuchi attack is to join with the attack, and that is very difficult to do. Likewise in Kendo at the higher levels, the best defense for a well-timed Menuchi attack is Aiuchi Men.
Shomenuchi is so important, as well, since it is the basis for almost all the other attacks including Yokomenuchi, Morotetori, Katatetori, all the Ushiro attacks, the Shimewaza attacks, Katatori and Munedori attacks, Tsuki, Maigeri, etc. They all have their basis in Shomenuchi.
Just finished class, in fact, where we did a Shomenuchi defense to a Jodan Tsuki before converting it to Iriminage.