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Old 10-27-2003, 09:11 PM   #1
Thor's Hammer
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 51
Shomen uchi direction?

Is shomen uchi closer to the one depicted above (wherein the aikidoka pushes the sword forward and rotates the sword using his right hand as a pivot, and the retracts to the tanden, with minimal rotation around the shoulder?


Is it simply a rotation of the sword and arm in space around the shoulder, as shown in the bottom picture?

(This, of course, it merely isolating the technique of the arms.
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Old 10-28-2003, 04:04 AM   #2
Location: Maidenhead
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 167
United Kingdom
I was taught something closer to the first one than the second. The image put in my head by my teacher is that if you were to let go, the sword would fly forward, spinning slowing, rather than hit the ground straight down. Something like serving in tennis. However I do very little weapons work and even less sword work.

Justin McCarthy
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Old 10-28-2003, 05:12 AM   #3
Location: livingston, scotland
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 715
I see you went to the same Art School as me.

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Old 10-28-2003, 05:20 AM   #4
Tim Griffiths
Dojo: Nes Ziona Aikikai
Location: Suzhou, China
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 188
In general, if you want to cut to the head, the sword should be extended to the maximum when the end is at head height. Otherwise, your partner is much too close. So, that's the upper picture.

However, many dojo's and styles, when they do shomen uchi, actually cut as if to the wrist. This is the lower picture you show - the sword is extended at the chudan level.

In mainstream aikikai, people follow Saito-sensei's style, which is more like the second cut. Also, this cut has a more natural movement of the arm, so it better suits training to improve your taijitsu, rather than learning a real sword style.

Other styles, which study Kashima shinto or Yagyu (or the head of that style did), make the distinction between the two cuts.

So you have to ask yourself - do you want correct sword technique, or something that will help your aikido more?

Personally, I prefer the first style for kumitachi, and the second for suburi.

Actually, all you really have to ask yourself is what is the rest of the class doing...


If one makes a distinction between the dojo and the battlefield, or being in your bedroom or in public, then when the time comes there will be no opportunity to make amends. (Hagakure)
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Old 10-28-2003, 08:30 AM   #5
Location: Edinburgh
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 117
<In mainstream aikikai, people follow Saito-sensei's style, which is more like the second cut. Also, this cut has a more natural movement of the arm, so it better suits training to improve your taijitsu, rather than learning a real sword style>

I would have to disagree on a few things here 1st Iwama aikidoka are not following saito senseis style, this is the big problem sensei had explaining what he did. Saito Sensei was practicing Aik-ken the only ken system devised by Osensei in to aikido. So it was Osenseis ken style. Which has got large influence from kashima shinto. It is so different to other sword schools. Also most hombu stlyes either do not have ken work or because Osensei only really taught Aikiken in Iwama (very little in hombu) Looked to other sword systems to complement there aikido.I have also seen many styles who are more lost and just copy what they see at many different stlyles and are left with bits and pieces of many ken systems. rather than one ken school or aikiken Remember Osenseis words are aikiken+aikijo+taijutsu= Aikido
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