Aiki principles – Yokomen is shomen

yokomen-morihei-ueshiba-arm-extende1In the below video Chicko Xerri Sensei explores the Aiki principles underpinning a yokomen strike or cut in Aikido practice.

Yokomen is described in the Founders 2nd text, Budo (1938), as a “blow to the side of your partner’s head or down diagonally across (their) shoulder with your te-gatana (hand sword)”.

The importance of yokomen training in Aikido is also discussed in the text.  Of particular note is the statement that training in yokomen attacks “…contains the essence of all techniques“.



  • Yokomenuchi basics – Mike Jones Sensei – NY Aikikai


  • chicko-senseiChicko Xerri Sensei – Brief Bio

Our dojo is a Fudoshin dojo operating under the guidance and mentorship of  Chicko Xerri Sensei, 6th dan AKI (Aikikai), Tokyo.  Chicko Sensei has been practising and teaching Aikido for more than 40 years and is endorsed by Doshu Ueshiba.

Have a great week

Ian Grant
Dojo Cho
Aikido Warrior Fudoshin Dojo


Training notes: Yokomenuchi kokyu nage

In the below video senior students from our dojo demonstrate a direct entry variation of the Aikido technique Yokomenuchi kokyu nage. 

In this particular variation, the nage initially executes a direct entry hand sword cut up the uke’s centreline to take their balance.  This initial taking of the uke’s balance sets up the remainder of the technique and is critical to its successful application.


Have  great week

Ian Grant
Dojo Cho
Aikido Warrior Fudoshin Dojo



Training Notes: Tanto dori – Yokomenuchi kokyu nage

Yokomenuchi kokyu nage 3In the below video Koretoshi Maruyama SEnsei, Founder of Aikido Yuishinkai, demonstrates and provides instruction on the Aikido technique, tanto tori yokomenuchi kokyu nage. 

The technique is performed as a response to a yokomenuchi strike with a tanto (wooden knife) to the side of the neck.  The tanto for this technique is held as if holding an ice pick.  The blade is facing upwards at the commencement of the attack.



  • Yokomenuchi kokyu nage – Key principles

Yokomenuchi kokyu nage can be applied to any downward strike to the side of the head, regardless of whether the uke is armed with a tanto.  In the below video Koretoshi Maruyama Sensei examines in detail the key aspects of this technique.  The instruction given is equally applicable to circumstance where the uke is also armed with a tanto.


  • Yokomenuchi kokyu nage – Origins

Yokomenuchi kokyu nage (irimi) has a long history in Aikido. The technique appears as technique number 42 in O’senseis first technical manual “Budo Renshu” (1934).  The notable difference in this early version is that the nage cuts down through the uke‘s neck and also cuts down and then hold’s the wrist of the uke’s attacking arm.  (See O’senseis drawings below).

However, the kokyu ho principles necessary to effectively apply the technique remain the same.

Drawing (1) No 42

Drawing 2 no 42







Kokyu nage - OsenseiIn O’sensei’s 2nd manual “Budo” (1938) the roles of nage and uke for the technique are described as follows:

Uke: Deliver a yokomen strike with your right hand.  “Tori (i.e. nage): Step forward on your left foot and use your left te gatana (i.e. hand sword) to neutralise your opponent’s attack, simultaneously striking his face  (and down him).”


  • Kokyu ho principles underpinning technique

Kokyu ho exercises are something that we do a lot of at our dojo as a means of developing internal strength in our techniques.  Kokyu ho exercises were the traditional method used by O’sensei to develop “ki power” in his Aikido.

In the below video, Morihei Saito Sensei demonstrates and explains the kokyu ho exercise relevant to yokomenuchi kokyu nage (irimi).


Have a great week

Ian Grant
Dojo Cho
Aikido Warrior Dojo, Brisbane



Training notes: Yokomenuchi kokyu nage (makikomi)

In the below video Morihiro Saito Sensei (1928-2002) provides instruction on 2 traditional versions of yokomenuchi makikomi as practised by O’Sensei (the Founder of Aikido) in the immediate post-war period of his life.

Makikomi (“wrap around”) techniques are most commonly seen used in response to a traditional strike to the side of the head (yokomenuchi).  However, they can also be applied to a range of other attack forms.  Depending on the school,  makikomi techniques are sometimes referred to as another form of kokyu nage (“breath throw”).



  • Position of hands at first contact









  • Aikido Yuishinkai  (Version 1)

In the below video Master Koretoshi Maruyama, Founder of Aikido Yuishinkai, provides  instruction on the Aikido technique yokomenuchi makikomi as practised in Aikido Yuishinkai.


  • Aikido Yuishinkai (Version 2)

Ian Grant
Dojo Cho
Aikido Warrior Dojo

Yokomenuchi shiho nage

Osensei shihonage (6)Shiho nage (4 directions throw) is one of the most important, if not the most important pillar technique in Aikido training. It contains within it the root of every Aikido technique and there is no doubt its proper execution relies on the nage applying all of the fundamental principles that underlie Aikido practice.

In the below video Morihiro Saito Sensei Sensei demonstrates the omote and ura forms of the Aikido technique  Yokomenuchi shiho nage. This form of shiho nage is practised in response to an attack in the form of a side downward blow to the temple area (yokomenuchi).



  • Technical notes – Morito Suganuma Sensei 

In the below video Morito Suganuma Sensei (8th dan Aikikai) demonstrates and provides instruction for Yokomenuchi shiho nage.  The instruction incudes both the omote and ura applications.


  • Initial setup –  Technical notes


  • Omote application (1) – Technical notes – London Aikido Club

In the following video Sensei Andy Hathaway of the London Aikido Club gives detailed instruction on the traditional application of Yokomenuchi shiho nage (omote) as practised by the Founder of Aikido in the immediate post-war period.  


  • Omote application (2) – Technical notes – Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei


  • Ura application – technical notes – Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei



  • Alternate application (1) – Christian Tissier Sensei

In the below video Christian Tissier Sensei (8th Dan Aikikai) demonstrates an alternate application of shiho nage yokomenuchi where the nage directly enters to respond to the attack.


  • Alternate application (2) – Aikido Yushinkai

In the below video, Peter Kelly Sensei, Aikido Yuishinkai, demonstrates and provides instruction for an alternate application of yokomenuchi shiho nage.  The video was recorded at a mini seminar at our Dojo in 2015.


Have a great weekend.

Ian Grant
Dojo Cho
Aikido Warrior Dojo