#80 Push and Cut: correct way to strike "Shomen-uchi" -  押して切る: 正面打ちの正し方


If you visit a martial arts shop in Japan, you will notice that there are many different types of wooden swords. If you ask a shop assistant for advice on how to choose a wooden sword, he will first ask you which organisation you belong to. The reason for this is that different organisations have different shapes and thicknesses of wooden swords, which reflect their philosophy and training methods.

In Japanese dojos, students are taught how to choose a wooden sword before they buy one. At the same time, their instructors explain the reasons for this. More and more instructors are practising Iaido in addition to Aikido, but they usually recommend a wooden sword for Aiki-ken. The wooden sword of Aiki-ken is called a Bokken, it's a straight shape with a very small curve, thick enough to withstand strikes and the tip is cut off so that it does not pierce when struck.

In NZ, people tend to prefer curved and thin wooden swords because of the image of Japanese swords Katana. This is why most martial arts shops in NZ only sell the standard type with a curved edge.

So why is Aiki-ken a straight edge type with a very small curve? It is said that this is because of O-Sensei's philosophy of "push and cut".

The reason why most swords are curved is that they are suitable for cutting down or pulling. On the other hand, a straight sword is suitable for cutting by pushing. The basic principle of O-Sensei's swordsmanship is to cut straight through the opening created by the opponent's movement from "Seigan-no-kamae" stance, which is why the Bokken is designed as a straight sword.

If you think about the principle of "push and cut", you will understand how to strike "Shomen-uchi". If you swing your arm up and close the distance between you and your opponent when he is in "Seigan-no-kamae" stance, he will strike straight through your opening. So, if you want to strike the opponent in "Seigan-no-kamae" stance, you have to sweep away his sword or hit his sword with your sword.

If you apply this to Aikido, it is exactly "Kiriage" movement.

As you may have noticed, "Shomen-uchi" action is different between a beginner and an experienced person. The beginner first raises his arm, then closes the distance and strikes from above. In doing so, the beginner exposes an unprotected opening in front of him, which he is completely unaware of.

On the other hand, the experienced person, in order to avoid making any opening, will close the distance between the two and then do "Kiriage" (cut up the hand blade) and strike. This is because, unless there is a great difference in skill and body size, there is no reason to make unprotected openings and step into it.

Also, "Syomen-uchi" and "Yokomen-uchi" are basically the same, except for the way you step "Ashi-sabaki". Opening the elbow and swinging the arm from the side is not proper "Yokomen-uchi".

In both "Shomen-uchi" and "Yokomen-uchi" strikes, the elbow of the upraised arm must point to the front.

The quality of "Uke" is directly related to the quality of your Aikido, so it is good to give advice to those who are not aware of their mistakes in striking.

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas break and a Happy New Year.

Related article: Difference between Aikido and Kendo

Related article: Ashi-sabaki

[ 押して切る - 正面打ちの正し方 ]

















テーマ : 合気道
ジャンル : スポーツ



初心者にも分かりやすく、理論的に基礎知識を説明します。なんとなく他人の動きを真似るのではなく、普段から考える力を育てていくことを目的としています。In this blog, I explain the basics in a theoretical way that is easy to understand for beginners. The aim is to help you to develop your ability to think, not to copy the movements somehow. Aikido is not magic. I will explain things that are not so clear, such as Ki and O-Sensei's philosophy.