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How to Do Shomen, Yokomen & Tsuki in Aikido

Learn how to do shomen, yokomen, and tsuki from the instructors at The New York Aikikai in this Howcast aikido video.


As Aikido begins to evolve you start working with strikes. So, as the strikes come in you don't have a initial point of contact and we have to begin working with things in a more dynamic fashion.

So, one of the first basic strikes that we'll see is Shomen uchi which is a direct overhead strike to the top of the head in Ihanee, so this means that when my right foot is forward, my partner's right foot is forward as well.

So again, partner Joey wants to start with a little bit of distance so we can't reach each other and in order to create the attack my partner has to step forward, close the distance and strike.

Alright, so, in any sense in Aikido the basic idea that I want to keep in mind, the basic principle is to get out of the way. I do not want to stand here and try and deal with this attack as it is coming down on top of me.

So, I would generally do my best to get out of the way, let the attack go by in either direction. I do not want to try and back up to catch the attack or try and move directly into it. I'm going to move off line in either direction front or back. I'm going to move off line in this direction. Move off line in this direction. Move off line, stepping back this way and off line stepping back this way.

The next attack strike that we'll see most often is Yokomenuchi, so this is Yoko means the side, Menuchi is a head strike, so the side of the head strike.

This time my partner is going to step forward in Yakuminhamine, so he's stepping forward with the opposite foot this time. He's trying to attack the side of my leading side here. Yokomenuchi, straight up and around to the side.

What you want to keep in mind in terms of my partner Uke is, as they raise, the hand comes directly up above the head and not off to the side. So come straight up in front, then swings off to the side. And the same ideas apply.

So I don't want to try and stand directly here and deal with the attack. I want to advance and meet it before it gets strong or let it move but as I move off line. I don't ever want to try and deal with the attack or a strike in static position. I need to move.

Third type of attack that we'll see most often is going to be Ski which is generally a punch to the stomach. And again we'll be attacking Yokuhane, so he's attacking my lead side. Straight forward punch to the stomach. Again I want to be able to let that strike go either moving to the Ura side, back side, or if I need to move to the Imote side. Again, I do not want to try to stop or deal with the attack head on, much more easily dealt with if I just let it go.

So these are the three basic strikes that you'll see in Aikido. Shomenuch is a front overhead strike to the head. Yokumenuchi is a strike to the side of the head, and Ski is a punch to the stomach.

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