Let's build a video reference library of aikido techniques.

Please post:

  • A (link to a ) video clip of someone doing shomen ate.
  • Your description of the essential features of the technique. What would you tell a new student doing this technique for the first time.
  • Any discussion of unusual features of this video clip. (for example, in my dojo all techniques are initiated by uke attacking; in a sister dojo, all techniques begin with uke static. In one of my prior dojo's, techniques began with a wrist grab. Each of these assumptions has consequences for the resulting technique.) Try to avoid criticizing these assumptions, but analyze the implications for the remainder of the technique.
  • If you were grading this video clip as part of the nage's demonstration for shodan, what critiques/comments would you offer?

Answers with a more insightful analysis will be voted higher, but the real value of the question is not to identify the highest voted answer but to create a set of video clips that can be compared for reference.

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1 Answer 1


Nariyama shomen ateNariyama shihan doing shomen ate against a tanto strike.

There is now a video of Sakai-sensei and Jo-sensei doing the Atemi waza. Shomen ate is the the first technique they do.

Shomen ate is a front strike to the inside of uke's attack using the weak line to break balance and throw. Keep in mind the following:

  • Uke has their weight on the front foot so they cannot just step back. This is what the left hand does: it pins uke's right arm forwards thus forcing their weight on their right leg.
  • Tori pushed down and out at the same time.
  • Tori's hand cups the jaw while their elbow rests on the upper chest: do not attack the throat for obvious reasons.
  • Good timing is essential for this technique to work.
  • Tori is not using arm or should power to throw uke, they use their legs to drive outwards (tsukuri in Shodokan jargon) thus making the technique much more powerful. Note that tori's back is straight not leaning forward as would be the case on a push.
  • Note that the attack is a tanto strike thus giving tori plenty of momentum to work with. If done form a more static position, tori needs to drive (tsukuri) with much greater power to achieve the throw.

It is part of the atemi waza section of the Shodokan kihon no kata as developed by Tomiki.

  • 2
    bonus poijnts for bullet #1 - the role of the left hand. Excellent.
    – MCW
    Commented Dec 7, 2016 at 16:57
  • 1
    Also note that the technique illustrated is against a tanto strike; consequently nage has a great deal of momentum to use for kuzushi.
    – MCW
    Commented Dec 7, 2016 at 17:20
  • @MarkC.Wallace Answer edited. Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 7:49
  • Just as a side note: tsukuri is the notion for the crucial movement into the partner in Judo as well (literally meaning "building up"/"construction"). The phases of a throw are (kumi-kata) - kuzushi - tsukuri - kake. Whereas kake basically is only the actual downfall, i.e. happens when all the work is done and success is inevitable. Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 18:50
  • 1
    @PhilipKlöcking Tomiki was 9th dan judo and studied under Kano for a long time. Kano himself suggested that Tomiki should go and tried this new martial art invented by Ueshiba called Aikido… As for the rest of your comment, I could not agree more. Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 10:34

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