The Joy of Yokomen

posted 20 Feb 2012, 14:59 by Dan James
This past weekends seminar, at the recently independent Brisbane Aikikai with Paul Sinkinsen Sensei reminded me of a teaching from David Brown Sensei on the importance of Gyakyu Yokomen. Its said that sword cuts are the foundation of Aikido and Yokomen, whilst not the primary cut reflected in most of our warm up and tai so exercises is vitally important. Yokomen cuts cross the vertical and horizontal planes thus its :
  •  Difficult to avoid
  •  Can capture use's centre without worrying too much about the contact point
  •  Is ideal for unbalancing and setting up the topple a foundation of aikido (see Aikiphysics II - Biomechanics of Throwing )

The beauty of practicing the Yokomen cut with sword is the in one movement you are practicing Yokomen (with the right hand) and Gyakyu Yokomen (with the left hand), change the cut to Gyakyu Yokomen and you get the reverse.

In the open hand arts Yokomen is great for atemi and gyakyu great for capturing. Cutting from Jodan to Chudan or Gedan positions brings uke well of balance and sets up many throws from all many of hand grab and open hand attacks. 

I hope to explore further tonight and over the next week or so the waza that Sinkinsen sensei taught,  through this prism of Yokomen.