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Old 12-08-2001, 10:15 PM   #1
arvin m.
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shihonage:keeping the hand in front of yer face

Yep yep this is the second thread...same problem since last time folks. My seniors always tell me to keep the uke's hand at eye level where u cansee it when u turn in shihonage..i'd love to do that, only problem is...IM SO SCARED OF SNAPPING SOMEONE'S ARM BECAUSE IT ALWAYS FEELS SO STIFF..and when i watch my sensei closely, he actually sorta lifts the arm over his head, except it happens real quick. I can do my shihonage this way with lotsa speed and my uke's keep telling me my shihonage lock really hurts (yay!!) but i dunno, my seniors keep telling me that if i persist with my errant ways, i will be yielding whatever balance i took from my uke back to him, and that's bad juju cuz u always wanna keep uke off balance...can anyone help me with this problem? I have no qualms about doing a vigourous shihonage on the street even if the guy feels stiff cuz i might just force the technique...come to think of it, isnt that wrong?

A very confused and depressed arvin signing off...
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Old 12-08-2001, 10:23 PM   #2
shihonage
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Re: shihonage:keeping the hand in front of yer face

Quote:
Originally posted by arvin m.
I can do my shihonage this way with lotsa speed and my uke's keep telling me my shihonage lock really hurts (yay!!)
You really should try and pair up with senior students on this one.
Slowly and without resistance.

Right now it sounds like you're endangering the beginner students because of both your technique and their ability to take it.
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Old 12-09-2001, 05:00 AM   #3
wildaikido
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The question is can your uke counter your shiho nage by turning out or pulling his hand back. If yes then do what your instructors say but if not they you are doing the technique perfectly. Sometimes I think there is a little to much emphases put on the horizontal circle thing, against people with tight shoulders you be luck to get 15 degrees off horizontal it all depends on your uke.

Graham Wild
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Old 12-19-2001, 07:06 PM   #4
j0nharris
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shihonage [I]pre facia[/I]

I noticed last year while preparing for my shodan, that one of our instructors who is about 6' 6" had no trouble keeping my hand in front of him -- I'm 5' 4".

I realized that what he was doing, besides getting very low, was drawing my hand in a circle around his head, and out in front of him as far as his arms reached. That is, the radius of the circle was the length of his arm, and they're much longer than mine. I was surprised, because to look at it, you'd think he was going to tear my shoulder out, but, in fact, there was no pressure at all on my shoulder.

I've been trying to do that all the time since then, and showing it to others..... And what do you know -- it works!!
As long as nage gets low and keeps good posture. It just draws uke right around your head.

It's one of those things that when you suddenly realize that it works, you can't help but smile and say to yourself, "How cool is that?!"

Happy Training,
jon

jon harris

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Old 12-19-2001, 07:50 PM   #5
Edward
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One of my senseis always says, when you do shihonage, if your hair still looks tidy, you are doing it wrong. Uke's arm should rub on your head all the way. On how to do that, just follow Jon's point.

Cheers,
Edward
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Old 12-20-2001, 07:20 AM   #6
j0nharris
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hair

My hair is untidy as soon as I put on a gi..... I must be some kind of spectacular aikidoka, huh??

-jon

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Now, who took my @#$%! map?!
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Old 12-20-2001, 09:45 PM   #7
Abasan
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To add a question to the post...

I've seen a lot of people do shihonage and at the last point they have one hand on uke's hand locking it. But their centre is facing away from uke so it looks as if they are attempting a one handed throw.

Osensei's picture shows him facing dead centre to uke, sometimes with his head bowed to uke's hand. I've always been taught to face uke's centre with mine. I'm just wondering whether that should always be the case.

The reason for asking is that the people I saw doing the one handed throw (especially the flipping shihonage throws) are very senior japanese aikidokas. Not all but some.

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Old 12-21-2001, 06:54 AM   #8
Ghost Fox
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Quote:
Originally posted by Abasan
To add a question to the post...

I've seen a lot of people do shihonage and at the last point they have one hand on uke's hand locking it. But their centre is facing away from uke so it looks as if they are attempting a one handed throw.

The reason for asking is that the people I saw doing the one handed throw (especially the flipping shihonage throws) are very senior japanese aikidokas. Not all but some.
When I used to practice aikijitsu we used to do the shihonage facing away from uke. Almost like uke and nage are looking in opposite directions. It is the setup we use for the flipping shihonage breakfalls, one of the hardest in aikido to learn.

My sensei said when you threw the uke you take a strong step forward and do a shomenuchi cut like if you were holding a sword. It should look like a perfect sword cut like you see in kendo. If done correctly the ukes shoulder will be torn from his socket causing permanent damage. In class we used to practice with a slide-in not a step, the breakfall is easier to take.

I think this is one the techniques that O'Sensei modified so that it could be practiced compassionately and harmoniously. You have to remember that aikido went through many iterations before becoming the Art of Peace. Some of O'Senseis older students might be practicing an older, less modified form of shihonage.

If you analyze most techniques in aikido, with a little imagination and knowledge of body mechanics they can be tweaked into extremely dangerous.

Before anybody jumps on me, I not saying that aikido is not effective, just that in order to practiced with love and compassion some techniques had to be modified to be less devastating. The street and the mat are two very different places, but I guess if I was a better aikidoka they wouldn't be.

Peace and Blessings.
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Old 12-21-2001, 07:36 AM   #9
Edward
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Well, fortunately Osensei found his compassionate way, because if he kept the old style, we would all be either in hospital or in jail

Cheers,
Edward
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Old 12-21-2001, 11:30 AM   #10
Erik
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ghost Fox
I think this is one the techniques that O'Sensei modified so that it could be practiced compassionately and harmoniously. You have to remember that aikido went through many iterations before becoming the Art of Peace. Some of O'Senseis older students might be practicing an older, less modified form of shihonage.
I'm not sure about this but I'm also not sure I'm not sure about this.

I was taught that uke had to be prepared to breakfall every single time. It doesn't mean that you do it, but that you should be prepared and in position to do it. If you achieve this you will take a lot of the risk out of the practice. Strangely, while I've gotten older and don't really enjoy high-falling all practice like I used to, this fall is still one of the easiest and lightest for me to take. I've been beat to hell many more times from kote gaeshi.

Unfortunately, in some circles I'm a rarity. I think there are an awful lot of people these days who have never been taught how to take this fall. To me, this implies that this change is more a result of modern times and fear of risk/injury than anything O'Sensei did.

Quote:
If you analyze most techniques in aikido, with a little imagination and knowledge of body mechanics they can be tweaked into extremely dangerous.
Doesn't take much imagination at all.
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Old 12-21-2001, 11:48 AM   #11
Abasan
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Interesting point Damion. As for me, I would make sure that as nage I'll do the humane versions... cause I sure wouldn't want to be in the receiving end of the inhumane one.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 12-24-2001, 06:20 PM   #12
Ghost Fox
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Quote:
Originally posted by Erik


Unfortunately, in some circles I'm a rarity. I think there are an awful lot of people these days who have never been taught how to take this fall. To me, this implies that this change is more a result of modern times and fear of risk/injury than anything O'Sensei did.

I can agree that this is also one of the major causes for the "watering down" of aikido. I think sometimes in order to get the most people as possible to practice a style we make compromises that are not necessarily the best for aikido.

Peace and Blessings
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Old 12-24-2001, 08:12 PM   #13
guest1234
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I guess it is 'watered down' if you believe O Sensei only took out the version that dislocated the shoulder in order to preserve practice partners. OTOH, most 'street' opponents that everyone else here seems to run into don't know how to breakfall to this, either, so you could also see the 'gentler' version not as watered down, but as a way to achieve peace without destroying someone. I must admit, he didn't tell me what he had in mind

I think learning to breakfall to this technique is important, especially if you are, as I am, size challenged. The dojo I consider home is a university club, and it is amazing how beginners (we would get a lot of big 19 year old athletes) automatically stumble into the 'harsher' versions of this technique. Knowing how to take a breakfall from it has saved my scrawny shoulders more than once when someone twice my size with great enthusiasm and speed does it not quite right. But I don't think having partners who don't know how hinders my training in any way.
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Old 12-24-2001, 08:29 PM   #14
guest1234
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As for the question about facing uke's center vs facing 180 out from uke: well, I'm certainly no expert, but since I am waiting for my cheesecakes to come out of the oven () I may as well report what I think I've seen fromb three different shihan, each once one of O Sensei's students. As far as I could tell, they faced uke's center (although not from in front of uke, they are kind of facing it obliquely, towards the rear, if that makes any sense).

I could be (probably am) wrong about this, but it seems to me if I were facing 180 out from uke and tried to cut down, unless I REALLY had him off balance, he could counter me either through stepping back, or if he were bigger than I (imagine) sheer strength. The oblique angle seems to help me by taking away the stepping back opportunity, and cutting down to where uke does not have a leg. But then, I'm kind of tired from all this late night cooking
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Old 12-25-2001, 03:12 AM   #15
Abasan
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Yeah, after looking at some books, Gozo Shioda Sensei's had good pictures of the techniques, I have to concur with the oblique angle. That's what I'm after anyway.

At that angle however, I don't think flipping uke over comes naturally anymore.

Just my thoughts anyway.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 12-25-2001, 05:12 AM   #16
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: shihonage:keeping the hand in front of yer fac

Quote:
Originally posted by arvin m.
Yep yep this is the second thread...same problem since last time folks. My seniors always tell me to keep the uke's hand at eye level where u cansee it when u turn in shihonage..i'd love to do that, only problem is...IM SO SCARED OF SNAPPING SOMEONE'S ARM BECAUSE IT ALWAYS FEELS SO STIFF..and when i watch my sensei closely, he actually sorta lifts the arm over his head, except it happens real quick. I can do my shihonage this way with lotsa speed and my uke's keep telling me my shihonage lock really hurts (yay!!) but i dunno, my seniors keep telling me that if i persist with my errant ways, i will be yielding whatever balance i took from my uke back to him, and that's bad juju cuz u always wanna keep uke off balance...can anyone help me with this problem? I have no qualms about doing a vigourous shihonage on the street even if the guy feels stiff cuz i might just force the technique...come to think of it, isnt that wrong?

A very confused and depressed arvin signing off...
Arvin M.

Let me tell you my own experience with shihonage and then you can see where your own matches. As a model, keep in mind yokomen-uchi shihonage done in omote form.

1. When I first started aikido (many years ago), it was taught to me as a serious martial art and shihonage was always painful, in the sense that my whole body was thoroughly stretched. This is because, having done the beginning taisabaki from the yokomen uchi attack, my teacher kept going in a straignt line, with his hands fixed to his forehead (and his hair ruffled!!). As uke, you had to keep up and make your own arrangements for ukemi. The technique was always done slowly, so we had time.

The point is that shihonage is based on the sword and the final part is a shomenuchi cut. So uke's wrist has to be in the correct position relative to tori's arms/forehead and especially his centre. In this extreme form, you bring uke's wrist to the forehead, just below the hairline and then, with the wrist in this position take several steps and execute a big shomen uchi, right down to the floor. I have found that, if you correctly unbalance uke with the initial taisabaki (always a big 'if'), it is very difficult to recover this balance during the technique and apply any counter techniques. He is spinning round you and struggling to keep up with his arm. (The only Hombu shihan I have ever seen do it this way is Sadateru Arikawa.)

2. A few years later, the shihan of the dojo where I trained taught a variation of this technique and this appears to be the norm in Aikikai dojos outside Japan. After the initial taisabaki, you step back to allow uke to keep up with you and then do the same strong shomen uchi movemennt, but supporting uke's elbow and supporting him/her in the subsequent breakfall. This way of doing the technique crosses the Hombu/Iwama boundary, for the best exponents of this ukemi I have ever seen were Donovan Waite and the late lamented Bruce Klickstein. In the UK I believe this version of the technique was called 'Chiba-nage'.

3. When I came to Japan, I was quickly told that both types of technique were Out of Order, since they put too much strain on the wrist and elbow. Instead we did the technique in such a way that a breakfall over the elbow was impossible. The focus of the technique was firmly on uke's shoulder. There was still the shomen uchi movement, but this was straight down. Anyone who has taken ukemi for Masatake Fujita Shihan will know what I mean.

4. The shihonage I practised before I come to Japan was considered dangerous because it was thought to require 'advanced' ukemi. The 'straight down' version is more dangerous, in my opinion, because of the possibility of head injury (see other threads about fatal injuries in aikido). To avoid this, some shihans (e.g., the late Rinjiro Shirata, Kisaburo Osawa) throw from the shoulder, rather than from the elbow, but do not do a standing shomen-uchi movement. Instead they drop down into a form of hanza and help uke to break the fall and protect the head.

Thus, you will see that there are a huge number of variations in shihonage. Of course, keeping the hands in front of the face is right, but this is one among many 'principles' of the technigue. More important to my mind is that you unbalance uke from the very beginning of the technique and maintain this unbalance right to the very end.

Best regards,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 12-25-2001, 05:35 AM   #17
guest1234
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Quote:
Originally posted by Abasan
Yeah, after looking at some books, Gozo Shioda Sensei's had good pictures of the techniques, I have to concur with the oblique angle. That's what I'm after anyway.

At that angle however, I don't think flipping uke over comes naturally anymore.

Just my thoughts anyway.
Yeah, an Iwama style sensei I know says if he does it right, I won't have to worry about taking the breakfall option (because my arm is wound up too tight and I'm already going down, or at least that is how it feels to me)

I learned the breakfall to this from a sensei who studied under Chiba Sensei, but we did not support the arm in that dojo; one of my other senseis, who studied in Japan, teaches the arm support. I personally do not like it, probably because I am short and light: the 'support' tends to be at the wrong ht for me anyway, and I'm light enough that I prefer to just find the right time and place myself and jump over. Again, it requires either nage getting us in that position, or me being able to get ahead of nage enough to be there.

I think the breakfall is more useful when a strong tall nage is unintentionally bracing your arm so you can't move to stay up with his turn, turns only partway, and then cuts down quickly. Or at least that's when I have needed it. I don't know if I'd ever need it if I were a bit bigger, as that 'technique' seems to work best if nage is bigger than uke.
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Old 01-04-2002, 08:03 AM   #18
arvin m.
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AS with my iriminage thread again a big thank you for your responses
During my last session i identified some of my flaws. Firstly, we are, at beginner's level, taught to check if the uke's head is resting in his elbow before executing the throw. I believe this has ingrained in me a serious flaw. I tend to slide back UNDER the uke's elbow, hence causing the elbow NOT to point toward the ceiling and hence allowing uke to wrench free from the throw. Wat else was there, oh yes the thing about the centre as well, i think my centre was not properly aligned and stuff
i'll go to work on that tomorrow and see if anything else crops up cheers!
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Old 06-29-2006, 11:17 AM   #19
Adam Timbrell
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Re: shihonage:keeping the hand in front of yer face

You're talking of angles and technique. I have found that distancing and bokken work (not to mention non-resistance) are not only effective principles, but imperative ones! FLOW! An "if it ain't broken, don't try to fix it" kind of thing. On the street, "Traditional techniques" may fail if one is cerebral in the execution of the "technique", whereas Universal principles prevail ALWAYS!!!! (Jutsu is the collection of techniques, whereas a Do is a path or a way) Love is everything even if you are a hater by trade.
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Old 06-29-2006, 12:13 PM   #20
TigerJK
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Re: shihonage:keeping the hand in front of yer face

Quote:
arv manoosegaran wrote:
Yep yep this is the second thread...same problem since last time folks. My seniors always tell me to keep the uke's hand at eye level where u cansee it when u turn in shihonage..i'd love to do that, only problem is...IM SO SCARED OF SNAPPING SOMEONE'S ARM BECAUSE IT ALWAYS FEELS SO STIFF..and when i watch my sensei closely, he actually sorta lifts the arm over his head, except it happens real quick. I can do my shihonage this way with lotsa speed and my uke's keep telling me my shihonage lock really hurts (yay!!) but i dunno, my seniors keep telling me that if i persist with my errant ways, i will be yielding whatever balance i took from my uke back to him, and that's bad juju cuz u always wanna keep uke off balance...can anyone help me with this problem? I have no qualms about doing a vigourous shihonage on the street even if the guy feels stiff cuz i might just force the technique...come to think of it, isnt that wrong?

A very confused and depressed arvin signing off...
You should "lift it over your head" perse... It looks like that at first but a senior member showed me slow motion what it actually was and why it looks like you are lifting the hand above you're head even thought you're not

but this may be a dojo difference if this is not the case.... I respect your sensei's authority but if you want to learn a different way of doing this I can suggest other methods

Last edited by TigerJK : 06-29-2006 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 06-30-2006, 01:59 AM   #21
Joe Bowen
 
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Re: shihonage:keeping the hand in front of yer face

Check your Arse! Aside from the great contribution from Mr. Goldsbury, the only thing I can add to this conversation is to mention that many folks in their attempt to "get lower" have a real tendency to stick out their bums. This contributes to the "stiffness" of Uke's arm as they are now being pushed and pulled simultaneously. Just something to be aware of while your working on figuring your angles and trajectories......
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Old 06-30-2006, 04:56 AM   #22
actoman
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Re: shihonage:keeping the hand in front of yer face

Just remember that when you train hard you also receive hard, even when you don't want it. O'Sensei put it this way when he was with a senior student at a demonstration: O'Sensei knew that his techniques were deadly at top force and speed, and instructed his students not to go that hard at him, as he would have to meet the same force with that of which he was attacked with, when the senior student failed to listen, his arm was broken and shoulder dislodged on accident with Shihonage out of a breakfall. O'Sensei was furious with the student and refused to teach him for years after that.

You get what you give for sure. Just be careful.....
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Old 06-30-2006, 06:31 AM   #23
grondahl
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Re: shihonage:keeping the hand in front of yer face

"O'Sensei was furious with the student and refused to teach him for years after that"

Any source for this information?
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Old 06-30-2006, 08:20 AM   #24
Ron Tisdale
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Re: shihonage:keeping the hand in front of yer face

I'd be interested in the source as well...

Best,
Ron (I can think of at least one incident with a broken arm, but what is stated above doesn't match that very well)

Ron Tisdale
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Old 06-30-2006, 12:58 PM   #25
bcole23
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Re: shihonage:keeping the hand in front of yer face

I would just add to this that most of the time that uke is 'stiff' is because you're trying to do shihonage on them. If you just move yourself correctly, then it flows more smoothly, smoothlier, ... better. If you put uke in an unnatural position, their body will automatically tense. So stop trying to make shihonage happen.

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