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Imagining a rope for shomenate

by on June 29, 2012

In this episode I introduce a mental image that helps me to sink my weight properly through my arm for shomenate.

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8 Comments
  1. bubba permalink

    I thought shomen ate went to the chin.

  2. I would say it can, but doesn’t have to.

    I think if I was doing the throw at greater speed with more idoryoku (locamotive power) I would have entered deeper and used the chin more.

    Focusing on the chin gives you more kuzushi to start with, but when used improperly often leads to much worse structure on the final throw. If tori doesn’t step deep enough to match the degree to which his hand enters, he becomes off-balance forwards, which is a very common mistake. Therefore, I would say when doing shomenate softly and slowly it is important not to overreach with the hand.

  3. bubba permalink

    its an atemi waza to the face, it ukes reaction that puts him in a spine lock along with an off balance with the other arm. you collapse your elbow which lets the whole fish off the hook. thats a competition safe guard and you need to tell your students that. an unbendable arm to the face is probably the most low risk/high return self defense technique there is. its utility is questionable in your variation.

  4. An atemi to the face is indeed an effective way to achieve kuzushi.

    I don’t believe that the motion I demonstrated has corrupted my structure. In fact, I believe that, if properly applied, it will combine very well with the setup you describe, making it very difficult for uke to twist out or apply wakigatame as a counter.

    The important thing is not to overreach your front foot. The setup you describe can be devastating – provided tori steps deep enough.

    In my experience, most shomenates are applied as a pushing motion off of the back foot, and are very easy to bridge out of and counter. The mental image and motion I describe is one (but certainly not the only) way to make the throw much more difficult to bridge out of.

  5. bubba permalink

    its interesting how you explain it. I know you guys dont do owaza ju pon( the big ten) the first five are when shomenate misses the target. by collapsing your arm and placing it right in the mans center and dropping it(which is the best place for it to be for him –all he has to do is seal your hand to his body and turn to oneside or the other) . I’m seeing a kote gaeshi (especially if you are putting weight on that front foot) or a kotemawashi on top of a wakigatame counter, but i dont want to come off as one of those internet nitpickers, any of these things have a counter, its just that ive been told for a couple of years not to collapse my arms on this. can you post some more work on this. id like to see it, in fact id like to see you guys go through your whole 17. I’m interested to see how you guys work it.

    • Nitpick away! Where else can I get feedback from around the globe?

      One thing sinking properly should achieve is to lock his lumbar spine and weight his heels evenly, which should make it difficult for him to turn out of it.

      That being said, you are right in suggesting that kotegaeshi/hikiotoshi (among others) are viable counters to this. When I first learned how to finish a shomenate with a sink I went much too far in that direction, and had probably the best counter I’ve ever had applied to me. Eric applied a very well-timed hikiotoshi to me at the moment I sunk (and I was actually collapsing my elbow, as opposed to what I think of as more of a sword-cut motion that I’m doing above. (The distinction being that I was not projecting my energy to my shote or fingertips, but letting it fall back to my elbow) I also was probably not sinking to my base, but some point outside my base, making me even more vulnerable).

      In my experience, 90-95% of shomenates applied in concerted randori or competition come off of the back foot and allow a bridge and often a wakigatame counter. My spine flexes backwards very easily, which makes this easy for me. However, going overboard on the solution to that problem can certainly open you to ether counters. The sweet spot is no doubt lies in between the two vulnerabilities.

      In my mind, the most important thing is always sufficient entry of tori’s front foot. I’m thinking of recording something on this on Monday.

      You’re right that we don’t do the big 10 is there a video online that you’re recommend in particular?

      As for a video of the 17, there are some videos online of me and Carlos from the 2011 international tournament in London. He lives in NY, so we had zero practice save a couple of run-throughs on the day of, but I was pretty happy with how we did.

      Here’s a video from the second round:

  6. bubba permalink

    i felt that lower back crunch from shomen ate today in aikido. im going to play with your rope idea, the windsong dojo sight has a load of videos. Nick lowry does a good job. but I now know what you are talking about,

  7. Ash permalink

    Nice post. Will have to try the pulling on a rope analogy with my newbies.

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