Tuesday, August 17, 2010

IMHO - what Shomen Ate Isn't

In the world of competitive aikido we find shomen ate being used often. I recognize that opinions vary about sport, and technique in the world of Tomiki Aikido. But I too am entitled to an opinion also.

IMHO - It isn't shomen ate if....

1. Tori drives uke back with such force you chase them across the mat. This violates the aikido principles of non resistance and indeed the technique becomes just a crude drive just piling on force.
2. Tori falls over because he is adding so much thrust that he cannot keep balanced when uke falls.
3. Tori uses more energy than uke to make the throw work.

Yes I understand these guys play a game. They are probably good at it. I probably would love to train with all these guys. However I understand why aikido people say Tomiki aikido is not aikido, when you see examples like this. I don't think these guys are doing bad martial arts, or bad sports. I do believe that they are missing some critical ideas about what aikido is supposed to be. Again this is in my humble opinion, and I honestly mean no disrespect to the artists in the following videos. Thankfully the world is big enough we can all play however the heck we want. I just wouldn't call these shomen ate, or aiki technique for that matter.


  1. SS -

    Competitive Aikido? Is there such a thing? I did not know that!

    Can you enlighten me...

  2. Without getting into specific techniques against specific attacks, I wonder what a skilled aikidoka would say about how to deal with a grappling situation.

  3. Aikido is a grappling situation. Maybe switching what you perceive the conditions to be in a 'grappling situation' is the first step to answering the question. I do not see the line myself.

  4. @Bob - Shodokan lineage from Tomiki Aikido in Japan, Britain and USA still often compete. They do kata, empty hands and tanto randori. I don't write much about it because I personally do not think it is a very good way to practice.

  5. If Zacky Chan is referring to Ne waza specifically, in my experience Akidoka are pretty handy with wristlocks, which most Judoka and BJJ guys don't really train for, since it's outside of our tournament rules.
    Which in my opinion is an excellent reason to differentiate between sport Judo and Martial arts Judo. In fact, the statements Sensei Strange made about "missing critical ideas" sorta hits several nails right on the head.

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