Rob Liberti wrote:
I wouldn't have expected to hear that you did yomenuchi into an ura technique because the enrgy of the attack is generally going the other way. I only do ura if the uke starts to pull thier arm back (causing the energy flow to go into the direct that creats ura). For example, do you ever do yokomenuchi shihonage ura? Rob
For me it certainly feels more natural to do omote.
However, ura exists depending on ukes reaction. Further to this Tori can choose omote / ura depending on where he wants uke as he completes the technique. This is relevant to us when dealing with multiple attacks and using uke as a barrier to a further opponent.
As a result - yes we do practice yokomenuchi shihonage ura.
It may be down to definitions of course...but visualise shihonage as 4 directional throw. While there are effectively 4 general directions at least 2 of them can be seen as opportunities for ura.
Incidentally - we utilise a foot movement called happo geri on this. Others may be more familiar with tenkan.
Anyway - Heres something I penned as part of a book I was writing until I got a bit disillusioned. Its out of context but may help a bit or at least be interesting for some...
It describes how we do this in our dojo ...others may do it completely differently...
YOKOMEN UCHI SHIHO NAGE
We now move up to the yokomen uchi attacks. While not exactly the sort of thing one would encounter on the street they can introduce an edge of reality into practice and can preclude some pretty dynamic practice.
While we don't particularly advocate dynamic as any better than non dynamic it can certainly be a lot more fun. If looking for some health and lifestyle improvements then some aerobic element to practice is certainly advisable.
What I can say is that the majority of our students are younger people and really enjoy being able to move a bit. I know I do although I no longer qualify under these criteria!
I appreciate some of the traditionalists may feel that to train specifically to enjoy practice for fun is sacrilege. My response is that we don't compromise our bases in practicing in this manner and that in order to teach the highest level of aikido you need students that are experienced enough to be receptive.
If they don't enjoy practice as beginners we won't keep them long enough for them to develop an appreciation and understanding of the real benefits of aikido.
So in essence we are taking a long term view and over time hope the essence of aikido will unfold for our students.
Finally -- to those that say they saw O'Sensei and he didn't practice like this -- well, how he practiced as an old man was appropriate to his physical condition, as a younger age he will have practiced in a very different manner.
I am not saying that we should always start at the beginning, use the thinking and discoveries of O'sensei but at the same time practice at the right level for ourselves -- not for someone much older.
Well -- back to the Aikido.
As previously explained gyaku hamni leads on to Yokomenuchi so apart from the start this technique will be pretty much identical to that practiced at 5th kyu.
For 4th kyu I'd expect the students to start to show some fluency with it but as its their first exposure to this attack I would cut them some slack and expect the technique to really start to flow around 2nd kyu and above.
Uke initiates this move by attacking with yokomen. Tori is mentally prepared for the attack and is in gyaku hamni posture.
As previously explained Tori counters this circular attack with a direct irimi-atemi move utilising 4th suburi foot movement. This changes the position of uke taking him into the front area of uke so this attack needs to be positive. Depending on ukes response to this attack from Tori omote or ura shiho nage can be chosen.
Remember - we are just looking at 2 versions, although several are versions which are achievable by changing angles which is really determined by the intensity of ukes attack. This is blending or kokyuho-rokyuho and this refinement will not normally start to come to the fore until probably shodan level or above.
Firstly Omote version. This would be most appropriate where the atemi of Tori was unchecked and sends ukes head backwards. Having demonstrated atemi Tori reaches back with his striking hand to grasp ukes striking hand. Unlike ikkyo, this time Tori reaches underneath ukes hand prior to drawing it through. Toris other hand is initially raised to parry Ukes strike (not block), it is now free to assist by rolling over the top of ukes striking hand to assist the other hand in drawing this through. (At higher level further subtleties are introduced but at 4th kyu we accept tori grasping the hand of uke and pulling it through). As Uke is turned back towards his front triangle Toris previously parrying hand hand is now free to grasp ukes elbow as at 6th kyu and Tori can turn his hips simulating a cut to the body as they drive forward towards ukes front triangle.
NB. This move is often developed in bokken awase by tori countering ukes shomen with a slicing thrust across the stomach area prior to using heppo geri foot movement to turn and cut again.
Assuming the power of this thrust is enough to turn uke and also to move their front foot, Tori can now lift ukes hand at the wrist and step forward from the back foot before turning underneath ukes arm and cutting down towards ukes 3rd point .
By again leaving front foot in its starting position and just pivoting on the ball of the foot good kamai is maintained eg . a safe groin protected position. By raising the hands Tori is able to keep his back straight and thus maintain good shisei and by keeping the arms extended prior to cutting down then a good weapons based maai is maintained.
At 4th kyu we would expect to see the shiho nage immobilisation introduced.
As uke lands on their side or preferably back (in theory shihonage is said by some to end with ukes cervical and upper thorasic vertabae smashing into the ground!) tori should still be controlling ukes hand and wrist.
To immobilise Tori should kneel on uke to prevent him rising and negating the immobilisation, then straighten his back to establish good shisei while lifting ukes wrist. This effectively applies a spiral through ukes wrist and elbow to achive the immobilisation. Uke is advised to tap out when it on!
Ura version starts in the same way as omote. It's a circular strike so there is ample opportunity to enter and atemi. So it again starts with an irimi -- atemi, enter and strike movement. This is exactly the same as ikkyo above and like ikkyo ura we visualise that uke has resisted the atemi which forces a change of direction upon us.
On encountering this resistance tori slides to the side of uke while simultaneously taking Ukes hand from underneath this time. Assuming Uke attacked with their right hand then tori will slide his right hand in underneath ukes striking hand to take a thumb to thumb grip from underneath. As before tsugayashi sliding movement of their left foot takes tori out to the safe side of uke. As ukes arm is at its maximum extension tori can turn to face in the same direction as uke while performing a tenkan movement with the right foot.
During this turning move Toris left hand can take control of ukes striking hand from above to assist in the control of uke as Tori turns into the reference position.
For instructors a reminder that this reference point here is that toris feet should be in exactly the same position as in Tai no Henka ura and ikkyo ura above ie not quite parallel but in a position to take ukes balance to the side. Tori can at this point extend their arms along their centre line which further takes ukes balance.
Once again we have consistency throughout the exercises practiced.
Having established this ura position with ukes held hand extended and away from ukes centre, in this scenario tori has the right hand of uke held with the little finger uppermost, held with toris right hand. Toris right foot is advanced. Because of the off-parallel position Tori can lift ukes extended arm and step forward underneath it with their left foot before pivoting on the right. Turning in a straight line at this point should mean that Tori is aligned with ukes rear 3rd point and can cut down towards this.
Don't forget that the arms remain extended to maintain an appropriate maai and that focus should be on retaining shisei and kamae.
Immobilisation will be as per omote.