Invisible shomenate

In yesterday's article I enumerated several benefits of doing shomenate by swinging an unbendable arm in an arc upward to uke's face instead of in a straight line, like a boxing jab. Today I wanted to mention another benefit to the vertical arc approach as opposed to a straight line approach from a boxer's guard.
You usually think about blind spots being in the outside corners of your eyes, beside and behind you. But you actually have a blind spot below your nose and chin. How many of you, when looking forward (or even a little bit downward) can see your own chest or your own lips? Your nose and jaw blocks your vision of this area! In aikido this is called shikaku (lit. "dead zone" or more figuratively, "blind spot").
Swinging shomenate in a vertical arc keeps your hand and forearm in uke's blind spot the whole time. On the other hand, if you do a palm jab from a boxer's guard position, your arms are in uke's vision the whole time. This is part of why shomenate is so darned sneaky. If you do it right, they literally never see it coming! They might see your shoulder move (but with the rest of your arm in uke's blind spot, that's hardly a telegraph) and then suddenly your hand is under their chin and your fingers are in their eyes.
Want to see more of my ideas about shomenate? Check out these articles...
Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: or phone 601.248.7282 木蓮
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