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Old 03-28-2005, 09:30 AM   #1
kokyu
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The meaning of omote and ura

Imagine yourself in the following situations:

1) You are doing shomenuchi ikkyo tachiwaza (omote). You are nage and standing in right ai-hanmi (your right leg is forward and uke's right leg is forward as well). Uke does a shomenuchi off the right leg... Now, if I'm not mistaken, omote waza would require you to slide rightwards on your RIGHT foot, using your right hand to deflect uke's strike to the right. At the same time, your left hand would cup uke's elbow. You then slide leftwards into uke on your left leg and finish the movement.

2) You are doing shomenuchi ikkyo tachiwaza (ura). You are nage and again standing in right ai-hanmi. Uke does a shomenuchi off the right leg. If I'm not mistake, ura waza would require you to slide leftwards on your LEFT foot... and so on...

3) You are doing shomenuchi ikkyo suwariwaza (omote). Becuase it is suwariwaza, both you (nage) and uke sit facing each other in seiza. There is no hanmi in this case. Uke strikes with his right hand... as nage, which knee comes up first? In some places, the LEFT knee seems to come up first, together with the left arm to deflect uke's elbow. However, the LEFT knee ALSO comes up first in the ura waza movement. In other places, the knee movement follows tachiwaza, i.e. the RIGHT knee comes up first in omote and the LEFT knee in ura.

4) You are doing katatedori shihonage tachiwaza (omote). Uke grabs your RIGHT wrist. You then re-direct his energy by sliding leftwards on your LEFT leg.

5) You are doing katatedori shihonage hanmihandachi (omote). Uke grabs your RIGHT wrist. This time, you enter deeply off your RIGHT knee. However, I got scolded once for doing this as the sempai insisted I follow the tachiwaza movement for omote - i.e. I should have first moved off my LEFT knee.

I am hoping some kind soul can clarify the initial foot/knee movement that determines whether the waza is omote or ura. Or does it really matter?

Thanks very much.
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Old 03-28-2005, 09:38 AM   #2
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Re: The meaning of omote and ura

A Greek training partner confided in me yesterday that ura means 'piss' in Greece.

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Old 03-28-2005, 09:49 AM   #3
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Re: The meaning of omote and ura

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." In this way, I, at least, distinguish "omote" from "irimi" and also "ura" from "tenkan" "irimi" and "tenkan" refer (for me) in a basic manner to the general footwork that nage takes. (So, there can be an ikkyo omote irimi, ikkyo omote tenkan, ikkyo ura irimi, and ikkyo ura tenkan.)

With that said, I'll continue by saying that there are many different approaches to basic movements (kihonwaza) in aikido that says "this foot here" rather than "that foot here." I've seen conflicting ideas about which foot goes where, which hand goes there, and so on from different teachers. So, with that in mind, I'd say that, in the end, I don't think it matters which foot goes first for omote and/or ura -- but, it's certainly important to know what your instructor expects you to know for your kihonwaza training at your dojo...

Just my thoughts,

-- Jun

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Old 03-28-2005, 11:43 AM   #4
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Re: The meaning of omote and ura

I consider a technique to be omote when the nage is primarily moving around the uke. I consider a technique to be ura when the uke is primarily moving around the nage. -Rob
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Old 03-28-2005, 05:05 PM   #5
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: The meaning of omote and ura

Quote:
Soon-Kian Phang wrote:
Imagine yourself in the following situations:

1) You are doing shomenuchi ikkyo tachiwaza (omote). You are nage and standing in right ai-hanmi (your right leg is forward and uke's right leg is forward as well). Uke does a shomenuchi off the right leg... Now, if I'm not mistaken, omote waza would require you to slide rightwards on your RIGHT foot, using your right hand to deflect uke's strike to the right. At the same time, your left hand would cup uke's elbow. You then slide leftwards into uke on your left leg and finish the movement.

2) You are doing shomenuchi ikkyo tachiwaza (ura). You are nage and again standing in right ai-hanmi. Uke does a shomenuchi off the right leg. If I'm not mistake, ura waza would require you to slide leftwards on your LEFT foot... and so on...

3) You are doing shomenuchi ikkyo suwariwaza (omote). Becuase it is suwariwaza, both you (nage) and uke sit facing each other in seiza. There is no hanmi in this case. Uke strikes with his right hand... as nage, which knee comes up first? In some places, the LEFT knee seems to come up first, together with the left arm to deflect uke's elbow. However, the LEFT knee ALSO comes up first in the ura waza movement. In other places, the knee movement follows tachiwaza, i.e. the RIGHT knee comes up first in omote and the LEFT knee in ura.

4) You are doing katatedori shihonage tachiwaza (omote). Uke grabs your RIGHT wrist. You then re-direct his energy by sliding leftwards on your LEFT leg.

5) You are doing katatedori shihonage hanmihandachi (omote). Uke grabs your RIGHT wrist. This time, you enter deeply off your RIGHT knee. However, I got scolded once for doing this as the sempai insisted I follow the tachiwaza movement for omote - i.e. I should have first moved off my LEFT knee.

I am hoping some kind soul can clarify the initial foot/knee movement that determines whether the waza is omote or ura. Or does it really matter?

Thanks very much.
Omote and ura are not primarily determined by foot movement. Thus in Nos 4 and 5 you can do the technique from either foot. Different instructors have different preferences when it comes to teaching. beginners.

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.

Best regards,

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 03-28-2005 at 05:07 PM.

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Old 03-30-2005, 06:30 AM   #6
Amir Krause
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Re: The meaning of omote and ura

Another meaning: omote and ura often mean "plain" and "hidden". In some Koryu Kata the form has an omote version - formal, to show and an ura version -actual very short and efficient application form, to be kept in secret. The omote is the form to practice, learn the principle etc. the ura is secret surprise to use in actual altercation (obviously, this is not exact translation).

This meaning sometimes replaces the meaning of forward and backward.

The source for both meanings is the same - the omote is the front of the house and the ura is the backwards insider room, hence, forward and backwards and overt and discreet.

Amir
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Old 03-30-2005, 06:33 AM   #7
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Re: The meaning of omote and ura

Excellent post! My hat's off to you. I have heard that too. (and I failed to post it myself!) Thank you!

Rob
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Old 03-30-2005, 07:40 AM   #8
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: The meaning of omote and ura

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote:
Another meaning: omote and ura often mean "plain" and "hidden". In some Koryu Kata the form has an omote version - formal, to show and an ura version -actual very short and efficient application form, to be kept in secret. The omote is the form to practice, learn the principle etc. the ura is secret surprise to use in actual altercation (obviously, this is not exact translation).
I am sure you are right, as far as ordinary Japanese is concerned, but I do not think this principle was applied by Morihei Ueshiba to aikido. For example, taking the classification of omote and ura techniques in Karl Friday's "Legacies of the Sword" as an example, would you be prepared to classify aikido into "plain" and "hidden" techniques? I think this is one aspect where the Founder broke away from classical koryu such as kashima shin-ryu.

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote:
The source for both meanings is the same - the omote is the front of the house and the ura is the backwards insider room, hence, forward and backwards and overt and discreet.
This is certainly one meaning, but I think it cannot be the source, unless you are taking "house" in the much wider sense of community with shared values.

Best regards,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 03-30-2005, 09:34 AM   #9
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Re: The meaning of omote and ura

You can step with either foot or knee - there are many variations. But, it helps to match movement between tachi / hanmi-handachi / suwari-waza. Try stepping with the right foot or knee for all three styles, then try the left. Some prefer one way, others the other. I like both, but certain techniques do lend themselves to certain footwork better. Do what your teacher says for now, but thinking about it is to start your own journey.

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Old 03-30-2005, 09:52 AM   #10
kokyu
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Re: The meaning of omote and ura

Quote:
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
Quote:
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

http://www.aikikai.nl/movies/S_Shomen_Ikkyo_O.ram

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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Old 03-30-2005, 10:16 AM   #11
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Cool Re: The meaning of omote and ura

In our daily practice there is a very clear "hanmi" when doing suwari waza techniques. This means that the knee work/foot work for shomenuchi ikkyo is the same. Keeps things simple.
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Old 03-31-2005, 08:08 AM   #12
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Re: The meaning of omote and ura

Quote:
am sure you are right, as far as ordinary Japanese is concerned, but I do not think this principle was applied by Morihei Ueshiba to aikido. For example, taking the classification of omote and ura techniques in Karl Friday's "Legacies of the Sword" as an example, would you be prepared to classify aikido into "plain" and "hidden" techniques? I think this is one aspect where the Founder broke away from classical koryu such as kashima shin-ryu.
Sorry, I don't do Ueshiba Aikido. I would not know if Ueshiba had another interpretation for these terms. I learn Korindo Aikido and our terms in this case come from the Koryu. We have borowed some of the Aikikai terminology in my dojo, in cases my Sensei didn't know the Korindo term, I don't know if that is because Hirai sensei did not bother much with the terminology or because my sensei did not understand it when he was learning in Japan. Some of our local terminologi was coined by my Sensei and later corrected when a Japanese Shihan came to visit.

Another thing to think about is that sometimes the "plain"/ "Omote" technique allows for later timing and goes with Uke direction while the "hidden"/ "Ura" techique requires an earlier and more exact timing and goes against Uke direction. But, this is only true to some variations of the techniques, not all. I can point to cases in which my favorite Omote excution is based on trying an Ura aplication and failing (this is very common in Ikkyo for example).

Amir
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Old 03-31-2005, 11:38 AM   #13
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Re: The meaning of omote and ura

Interesting topic, and also quite interesting the replays.

I would say, my modest opinion, that if uke use his right hand, so moves forward his right foot, I will deflect his strike with my right hand, so moving my right foot, when he is still going upwards, it's to say, before he "discharge" the strike.

Now if I try "omote", I should deflect his movement by redirecting its energy, so it requires quite a good timing to make my circular movement tangential with his; that is quite true when uke is "heavy" (or "strong").

When I try "ura" I broke uke's balance by the same deflection than for "omote" but, because uke is quite "heavy" to make "omote" I move my left foot turning to his back, so uke use his "weight" to recover his balance and I redirect it with a circular movement which results in what we call "ura". In fact, it becomes hard for me to practice "ura" with "light", or "weak", partners.

This idea, when apply "omote" or "ura", has resulted quite useful for me for a number of other techniques. And is especially useful when practicing "yiyuwaza" (sorry if it is not well spelling).

Best regards.

Last edited by ironcoque : 03-31-2005 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 03-31-2005, 03:08 PM   #14
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Re: The meaning of omote and ura

I like Amir's post because I do see the interpretation of "plain" as the "omote" in aikido - representing the surface level understanding where nage has to do a whole lot of moving around the uke to set up all of those needed angles, and twists, etc to get the right feeling of the technique. I see the "hidden" as the ura in aikido as the deeper level understanding where nage can set things up such that they pretty much get to stay in the center, and move the uke around them - maintaining the proper feeling with less and less effort. I think of "ura" as the highly refined product of the understanding you learned from the "omote" version.

Rob
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Old 03-31-2005, 05:33 PM   #15
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: The meaning of omote and ura

Mr Krause,

I know that you practice Korindo, but the first poster asked some fairly specific questions about aikido and this was the reason for my first answer.

I am aware that there are other meanings of the term. Takeo Doi wrote a whole book on the subject (Omote to Ura, published by Kobundo in 1985, English translation: The Anatomy of Self, published by Kodansha in 1986). However, I doubt that the penetrating description of these terms as applied to Kashima Shinryu, given by Karl Friday, applies to aikido. For a start, Morihei Ueshiba himself never used the terms, or their cognates irimi and tenkan, and in his douka stated that there were no hidden aspects of aikido.

I am sure that you can look at the whole structure of aikido in terms of omote aspects and ura aspects and some teachers, such as the late Seigo Yamaguchi, used to practise in a way that beginners found very difficult to understand. Could one apply the term 'ura' to Yamaguchi Sensei's aikido? Perhaps, but Yamaguchi Sensei himself used to say that he was doing basics.

Best regards,

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Old 03-31-2005, 06:57 PM   #16
raul rodrigo
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Re: The meaning of omote and ura

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
I like Amir's post because I do see the interpretation of "plain" as the "omote" in aikido - representing the surface level understanding where nage has to do a whole lot of moving around the uke to set up all of those needed angles, and twists, etc to get the right feeling of the technique. I see the "hidden" as the ura in aikido as the deeper level understanding where nage can set things up such that they pretty much get to stay in the center, and move the uke around them - maintaining the proper feeling with less and less effort. I think of "ura" as the highly refined product of the understanding you learned from the "omote" version.

Rob
I understand what you mean, Rob, but in many cases, for me, the ura version is the easier and more simple version of the technique. My ikkyo omote has undergone many revisions over the years as I try to absorb different styles and timings of doing this one technique. This year alone in my dojo we've done five or six different flavors taught by the various visiting shihan. The ikkyo ura version on the other hand is pretty much the same for us as it was three or four years ago. And when in doubt, eg, a very large partner, I tend to do ura more naturally. Ikkyo omote, it seems to me, is very deep, as variable as irimi nage.
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Old 04-01-2005, 08:58 AM   #17
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Re: The meaning of omote and ura

[quote=Peter A GoldsburyFor a start, Morihei Ueshiba himself never used the terms, or their cognates irimi and tenkan, and in his douka stated that there were no hidden aspects of aikido.[/QUOTE]

I guess I kind of would take that as it is all right there and obvious to him, but a beginner with an untrained eye might consider much of it hidden. I have never heard O-sensei's douka before. Can you tell me more about this? Does it say anything else that you found interesting?

Raul,

I understand what you mean, but I think that the ura version working better might be more of a function of momentum and cooperative training. I think you really need to understand the omote version if you want to have any hope of being able to understand more about the ura version. That's just my opinion.

Rob
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Old 04-01-2005, 09:12 AM   #18
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Re: The meaning of omote and ura

This thread has made me think quite hard

In my limited Aikido experience, I have found that ura versions of most techniques have taken longer to learn (which could lend support to Rob's reasoning that ura is "the highly refined product of the understanding you learned from the 'omote' version").

In addition, the time between the points when nage meets uke and when nage concludes the waza tends to be longer for an ura movement. Omote waza tends to be sharper and shorter.

Quote:
Raul wrote:
And when in doubt, eg, a very large partner, I tend to do ura more naturally. Ikkyo omote, it seems to me, is very deep, as variable as irimi nage.
I completely agree with Raul's comment here... but then can I say that ura was originally meant for very strong attacks? The longer time interval for a lot of ura waza allows for greater energy dissipation. You would need this more often when uke attacks very hard.

Omote waza which tends to be sharper and shorter, seems easier when nage doesn't attack so hard. On the other hand, ura waza becomes MORE difficult when nage doesn't attack so hard.

Then again, can I argue that a REALLY SKILLED practitioner is equally at ease with omote and ura, irrespective of the strength of attack?

Quote:
Raul wrote:
My ikkyo omote has undergone many revisions over the years as I try to absorb different styles and timings of doing this one technique. This year alone in my dojo we've done five or six different flavors taught by the various visiting shihan.
Raul, would you mind sharing with us your insights on ikkyo omote? Please.
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Old 04-01-2005, 10:00 AM   #19
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Re: The meaning of omote and ura

Raul, would you mind sharing with us your insights on ikkyo omote? Please.[/quote]


They're not my insights; just the sum of all these sessions with various Japanese teachers. They've shown us many versions. Let me just list the ones I have personally been shown. (Whether I can do them to a shihan's satisfaction is a different story.)

1. The standard Hombu triangular entry ikkyo omote. You attack the uke's tricep just before the hand cuts down. Difficult to do against much larger partners; they can counter it in the middle if you have to step forward too far with the back foot. To address this, one shihan showed us

2. Ikkyo omote where you simply sidestep off the line and bring the uke down without moving the back foot forward. You deflect him to the side far enough from his original line so that it is difficult for him to counter. This was shown to me by Kenji Kumagai.

3. The ikkyo that Chiba Shihan is known for, where he lets the uke's shomen hand go down fully extended, sidesteps to safety and position his lead arm so his elbow points forward and his fingers backward, and then cuts down. Very strong when done properly.

4. Ikkyo where you cut down sideways as the uke's arm cuts down; you bring him down to your side instead of in front of you. Your lead foot slides a bit in the direction that you're cutting but otherwise there's not a lot of foot movement. You can bring him straight down to the mat from there.

5. Last February, Shigeru Sugawara Shihan showed us a different ikkyo where the spacing between nage and uke is much tighter than the standard Hombu version and it looks as if he's an inch away from clashing with uke's power, but he's judged the maai so well that it doesn't happen; to be frank, I can't do this one yet and only one or two of my seniors got it right.

There are probably more versions I've forgotten, but these are the ones that are top of mind for me right now.

This is what I mean by the mutability of ikkyo omote. The different flavors correspond to different situations, ukes, timings, and personal inclinations of nage. And many of us have trouble learning them all. So omote is for me harder to get down pat.

Ikkyo ura on the other hand has been pretty much the same for me for the past four years. At least, I have never seen a senior teacher teach us a version that is appreciably different from the kind I've been doing since I was second kyu. Rob, are there also many different flavors of ikkyo ura? If so, please enlighten me.


best,


RAUL
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Old 04-01-2005, 10:20 AM   #20
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Re: The meaning of omote and ura

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
I think you really need to understand the omote version if you want to have any hope of being able to understand more about the ura version. That's just my opinion.

Rob

Well its clear I need to understand ikkyo omote more. If it will in turn open up and transform my ikkyo ura, then well and good. But I'm nowhere near there yet. Instead, the direction of learning for now is the other way; I look to make my omote as smooth and natural as the ura. It is omote that seems hidden and ura that lies in plain sight. Seems, anyway. If there is anything certain in my aikido, its that when I think I have something down pat, sooner or later I have to take it apart and start all over again.


best,


R
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Old 04-01-2005, 12:06 PM   #21
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Re: The meaning of omote and ura

Quote:
Peter A 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.

Best regards,
This is what I have understood Omote and Ura to mean in the context of Aikido techniques; plus what Jun said about entering through Uke's center from the front (Omote) and rear (Ura).

In addition, I also try to differentiate the terms Irimi/tenkan and omote/ura by defining Irimi/tenkan as types of movements, and Omote/Ura as placements, in relation to the position of Uke.

Some folks say irimi movements are for omote techniques and tenkan movements for ura techniques. Although this may be generally true, there are irimi movements to place you in uke's ura and tenkan movements done in omote. Actually, I have found all techniques to have some form of both.

Another way I use to help keep omote and ura clear is to consider where I want to place my back during a technique. For example, if I am facing more than one uke: if all are in front of me, I will do an omote technique on one and keep them all from getting to my rear. However, if one is in front and one or more to my rear, I will do an ura technique on the one in front thereby placing all ukes to my front.

Just my views on the topic.

Greg Steckel
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Old 04-01-2005, 12:12 PM   #22
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Re: The meaning of omote and ura

I'll post what I do for shomenuchi ikkyo in the techniques section. I don't know if there are many versions of ura, I just know that the version of ikkyo I dor for omote and for ura works for me rather consistently against some strong people who are not trying (or should I say trying not ) to cooperate with the technique.

Rob
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Old 04-01-2005, 12:43 PM   #23
rob_liberti
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Re: The meaning of omote and ura

Okay, so I'm such a bonehead that I didn't realize that I was in the techniques section! Oh my gosh! Okay, well please understand that this is all my opinoin of what works best for teaching people my (current) ikkyo:

Shomenuchi Ikkyo Omote:
I'm told that O-sensei said every technique begins with tsuki. That being said, I think the way to get the best results in ikkyo is to orient your footwork as if you were hitting them with your stance - so to speak, and make the arm/body movements of a sword thrust (like munetsuki but lower) - below their center eventhough the attacker's arm is way in the air. If you can perceive the energy in uke's body rising up then proceed to let your arms follow that path up seemlessly as you continue to enter (make sure to bring your back foot in to make a better angle for yourself - as opposed to lunging). That angle is like 5 degrees to 45 degrees but no more (and closer to 5 is best). You need to keep it such that uke is not 100% in your center vision. (No need to look up, keep you posture nice and straight with your chin tucked in so that your head is straight.) When rising up, your arms should be attacking uke's face area as fast and hard as possible and stop just short of contact so that uke hits you (and you turn your hand around your pinky) and you can recieve that body energy properly (and disperse some of their force due to your newly formed angle from your back foot movement, and the way the twisting of your recieving arm sends a lot of their attacking energy out of their elbow).

In very short summary - so far - if they attack with right arm. You move your right leg forward as you thrust your right arm out below uke's center - (much like rowing exercise) or as if you thrusted with a sword. Then - do not retract your arm using any arm muscles. Lift it up from that 95% extended position in the ja bun no men fashion AS you correct your angle by moving your back foot.
--
When you have this entrance better, you'll need to bend the knee of your lead leg such that as your body continues to move in:
1) your hand is going up as
2) your body is also moving down,
3) and turning to the omote side
--
Then DO NOT push their elbow to their ear because there is no direct pushing in aikido. (I say this is okay if you are teaching to the masses and you just can't get to everyone - which is where I'm sure this problem started.) Instead, just make sure your angle is such that if the uke had punched straight out with their other arm you would be turned in a way that it would not hit you (so you are not standing there like deer caught up looking at headlights). Your primary arm (the one making contact near uke's wrist) can cut straight down (between uke's head and the elbow of their attacking arm) and back toward yourself - not to the side (because you have already created the proper angle) AS you shift your direction towards where many just push. In this way, your arm is coming straight down relative to you (the center line of your body) - but you are rotating (no stepping is required). Your secondary hand (the one near uke's elbow) just lightly starts almost underneath uke's arm and rotates around the contour of their elbow to being on top of it. Your shoulders remain in the structure of doing a sword cut, and your arms fall by their weight alone. There is no need to grab their wrist. That's the best description of my current ikkyo which has been working pretty well for me. It might change tomorrow. I think one of the important points is to make sure that the uke's expansion (in attacking you) is not closed down in the middle of the technique - which is exactly what happens when you do the technique that looks a lot like pushing a shopping cart.

For Ura:
Once you do that one enough, and you have a feel for the timing, you can then start the technique the the same way by entering in with the lead leg, and thrusting below their center with your lead arm just as in the omote version I described, but you do it just a little earlier, and instead of the back leg creating that 5 degree angle, you bring it all the way forward going past the outside of your initial leg and pivot your hips almost 180% backwards. As you are doing that you raise your back hand (that goes near their elbow) up into position to catch that strike a bit. Your arms should have some of the continued momentum of the entrance driving them forward toward the uke as your hips are making that 180 degree pivot. The shomen should be like water hitting a solid rock - it should rise their energy up a bit to go around and over it. Just as you feel that you are starting to receieve the uke's weight, you take a full step backward (using your initial leg not the one that made the pivot) and you keep your elbows down and in near your body. The better your timing with recieving the force of that hit, the more the uke kind of wonders why they feel like they are stuck to you (and cannot resist).

Well that's my best written explanation of what I do and teach now.

Of course, if the uke doesn't attack in such a way that they are trying to hit my head, it doesn't work - but that's not shomenuchi.

I hope that helps.

Rob
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Old 04-01-2005, 01:29 PM   #24
akiy
 
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Re: The meaning of omote and ura

Hi Rob,

I would like to encourage you to post your thoughts on ikkyo in the AikiWiki:

http://www.aikiweb.com/wiki/ikkyo

Thanks for your thoughts!

-- Jun

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Old 04-01-2005, 02:01 PM   #25
James Young
Location: Orange County, CA
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Re: The meaning of omote and ura

Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote:
In addition, I also try to differentiate the terms Irimi/tenkan and omote/ura by defining Irimi/tenkan as types of movements, and Omote/Ura as placements, in relation to the position of Uke.

Some folks say irimi movements are for omote techniques and tenkan movements for ura techniques. Although this may be generally true, there are irimi movements to place you in uke's ura and tenkan movements done in omote. Actually, I have found all techniques to have some form of both.
I have similar opinions on the subject and use of these terms. As a beginner I was originally confused because the distinctions between these terms wasn't made clear to me. In a Ki-Society orientated dojo they would say such things as ikkyo irimi or ikkyo tenkan, but when I went to an aikikai dojo the same techniques were described as ikkyo omote or ikkyo ura, so for a while I thought the terms were completely interchangeable. As was said in many cases the terms can be interchanged because the positioning corresponds with the movements employed in the technique, but I think it is best to differentiate because there are so many techniques that are omote techniques that use tenkan movements and other such exceptions. And as mentioned above in reality one will discover you can't really do tenkan without some irimi and vice-versa.
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