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Dewey
04-22-2007, 06:07 PM
We all have at one time read/hard the quote from O'Sensei: "Aikido is 90% atemi..." or some other variant/percentage thereof.

Question: what role do you think atemi waza plays in "modern" Aikido? Does it have a place, should it have a place, etc. If so, what sort of atemi waza would best fit modern Aikido?

I'm not trying to "stir the pot" or provoke responses via a rhetorical question...I'm genuinely curious as to others' opinions & experiences.

On a personal note: currently I am taking an 8-week "crash course" in Kajukenbo, specifically the Chu'an Fa variant, which heavily emphasizes strikes. It has given me much reflection lately.

Thanks,
Brian

Aikibu
04-22-2007, 06:24 PM
We all have at one time read/hard the quote from O'Sensei: "Aikido is 90% atemi..." or some other variant/percentage thereof.

Question: what role do you think atemi waza plays in "modern" Aikido? Does it have a place, should it have a place, etc. If so, what sort of atemi waza would best fit modern Aikido?

I'm not trying to "stir the pot" or provoke responses via a rhetorical question...I'm genuinely curious as to others' opinions & experiences.

On a personal note: currently I am taking an 8-week "crash course" in Kajukenbo, specifically the Chu'an Fa variant, which heavily emphasizes strikes. It has given me much reflection lately.

Thanks,
Brian

There is no Aikido without Atemi. that is of course if you practice Aikido as a Martial Art.

In our Aikido we even have an Atemi and Kicking Kata and you don't progress that far without it.

Some our Senior Yudansha like Tanaka Shihan even have thick calluses and knuckles, due to thier constant practice similiar to what you would see on most Karate Yudansha.

William Hazen

Michael Varin
04-22-2007, 07:00 PM
Question: what role do you think atemi waza plays in "modern" Aikido? Does it have a place, should it have a place, etc. If so, what sort of atemi waza would best fit modern Aikido?I suppose this depends on each individual's perspective of "modern" aikido.

I don't think it's wise to disregard the practical application of the techniques, so I definitely think atemi has a place. I've found that elbows, knees, head butts, and, to a somewhat lesser extent, punching are useful. Having said that, I like to train the majority of the time without atemi, because I can put more focus on the other techniques.

Also, in a one-on-one boxing/kickboxing/mma paradigm aikido techniques have little practical relevance.

aikishrine
04-23-2007, 03:37 AM
essential

Ron Tisdale
04-23-2007, 06:19 AM
I you look down to the bottom of this page you will see many threads on this subject...some of them very good...

Best,
Ron (my opinion is that atemi are crucial...but it is also beneficial to understand how to release power in a manner appropriate to aikido waza...not to just graft another system of striking onto aikido joint locks and controls).

Gerry Magee
04-23-2007, 08:19 AM
I feel we should view Aikido holistically, to take parts away or place more importance on one part or another dilutes the art as a whole.

Cory Hansen
04-23-2007, 10:16 AM
Every Aikido technique has Atemi hidden in the technique. I think that we need to know where they are in each technique. I believe there is a time and place for Atemi.

If you are in a bar and some drunk guy messes with you, you probably are not going to use atemi. We call this the "drunken uncle" situation. You want to get the guy to stop bothering you but don't want to hurt him.

Then there is the situation where someone is threating you or a love one with body harm or if someone has a weapon. That when I feel the loving/peaceful part of our art takes a back seat and the Martial part comes out. I am going to use everything necessary to protect me and my love one and that is where atemi in crucial.

My Sensei always says that "this is still a Budo" and we have to train to know both sides of it.

Just my opinion

jennifer paige smith
04-23-2007, 10:34 AM
I feel we should view Aikido holistically, to take parts away or place more importance on one part or another dilutes the art as a whole.

Kind of like taking out an appendix just because we don't know how the body functions.

kifed_rebel
04-23-2007, 04:28 PM
I always see atemi as the natural progession from mat-work to applied techniques. Essential for the greater purpose of the art, yes.

SeiserL
04-23-2007, 06:34 PM
IMHO, if you think of atemi has cutting (not just feints or hitting), and you treat all your movements as cuts (Aikido does have some roots in kenjutsu), many (if not most) of your movements (waza) will be greatly improved.

I guess that would be a vote for atemi-waza good.

statisticool
04-23-2007, 09:44 PM
It is important to learn how to deal with people using atemi on you, and to do that you have to take and give atemi.

xuzen
04-23-2007, 11:17 PM
Atemi waza is part and parcel of the Aikido syllabus; at least it is in the Yoshinkan and Shodokan (aka Tomiki) school. And Shodokan (is as modern as modern get.

Boon.

Yann Golanski
04-24-2007, 01:29 AM
Yeah, atemi waza is part of kihon waza for us shodothugs.

It's essential that you understand how to do them within all timing opportunities.

Tony Wagstaffe
04-24-2007, 07:49 AM
Absolutely!!
Aikido without atemi? :eek:
Can't see it somehow:cool:
Tony

Dewey
04-24-2007, 09:21 AM
Thanks for the replies thus far. Another question: at what grade/rank should atemi waza begin to be taught? Should they be taught to beginners as well as to higher kyu grades?

ChrisMoses
04-24-2007, 10:03 AM
Atemi is really tricky in aikido practice. Personally I feel that it's absolutely critical, but that the way it's used by many (in the US at least) is completely wrong. Atemi within aikido should be different from the kinds of strikes and impacts that one sees in karate or tae kwon doe for example and should generally be used at *the beginning* of the encounter. Atemi can be categorized as impactful or penetrating. Impactful atemi affects the body whole and can be used to create kuzushi or affect uke's structure. Penetrating atemi is done to cause pain or damage. Striking arts use both, but generally emphasize penetrating atemi over impactful atemi. Unfortunately, many in the aikido community also employ this kind of atemi (penetrating) and it's my opinion that it is a mistake to do so. I believe atemi within aikido is best used at the beginning of the interaction in order to position uke and/or create kuzushi, but then kansetsu or nage waza takes over the exchange. Certainly like Lynn mentions, these movements themselves can (and often should) have atemi like body dynamics, but that does not make them atemi. Too often I see atemi used in aikido to cover up sloppy technique. This kind of atemi is used later in the technique when nage realizes that they are going to be unable to complete their technique with the desired results. "Oh no, my kotegaeshi isn't working, what to do? I know, I'll hit them in the face!" :crazy: I'm sorry, but if the end result of your aikido technique is just to pound someone in the face for not falling down, you might as well study boxing, it will teach you how to do that much faster and with much better results. In this scenario, atemi is used as a conditioning tool (punishment) to train students to fall down despite poor technique. This kind of training doesn't help ANYONE, and it is not how the art was developed. Atemi in aikido should be part of the nage's movements from the beginning, and not something that's added in here and there. An excellent example of what I'm talking about is Kondo Sensei's demonstration of Ippondori (the ancestor of aikido's ikkyo). In this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PmhwHst4po) note how two atemi are used on the entry. Kondo Sensei's initial entry is impactful, disrupting aite's initial attack and positioning him to deliver a second (penetrating) atemi to the floating ribs. This is all within a cohesive framework that allows him to transition between atemi and kansetsu waza without giving up any control over uke. Note too, how the more critical of the two initial atemi is the impactful one. If that atemi was not successful, there would never be the opening for the second one. Some of you may not see the first move as an atemi, but rather an example of irimi. To that I say, "poo!" Irimi is atemi!

So as to your second question, I believe atemi must be taught from the very beginning in order for aikido to have any martial merit, but the atemi may not look or feel like what one is expecting.

SeiserL
04-24-2007, 11:06 AM
IMHO. atemi-waza and kihon-waza are the same. They are thought/taught from the beginning and throughout.

Aikibu
04-24-2007, 12:00 PM
Thanks for the replies thus far. Another question: at what grade/rank should atemi waza begin to be taught? Should they be taught to beginners as well as to higher kyu grades?

From the beginning regardless of prior experiance.

William Hazen

philippe willaume
04-24-2007, 12:06 PM
Hello
As per the other atemi thread

I would say that atemi are the same as if we were fencing with a sword or a knife.
It is of as much use as to do damage than it is to control or opponent movement by restricting it in certain direction and promoting it in other direction as well as creating or increasing our time and distance advantage.

phil

Marc Abrams
04-24-2007, 12:53 PM
I frankly don't see how Aikido exists in absence of atemi. I strongly recommend that people read George Sensei's column on Atemi: http://www.aikiweb.com/columns/gledyard/2004_08.html

Chris makes a very good point that many people use an atemi as an attempt to compensate for the failure to unbalance the person (which an atemi is an indispensable component of).

marc abrams

aikidoc
04-24-2007, 02:12 PM
See my detailed comments in the June 2005 article on atemi in Black Belt Magazine, or when it comes out in the French Aikido Journal-coming out soon.

It is very important-although a lost art.

DaveS
04-24-2007, 09:30 PM
Yeah, atemi waza is part of kihon waza for us shodothugs.
Are there percussive atemi at any point, though? The closest I've seen to that so far is the little feint at the beginning of gedan ate...

Yann Golanski
04-25-2007, 02:09 AM
David,

That is just a safety point. All the atemi waza clearly come from belting uke one in the jaw. Clearly this conflicts with some of the more harmoniouse aspects of Aikido as well as with safety. If you have ever watch Enter The Dragon with Bruce Lee, he used aigamae ate in his first fight -- but he hits instead of placing the hand and throwing.

BTW, anyone who wants to practice atemi in the sense of hitting things, I suggest you learn how to punch from someone who knowns how to do it. Otherwise, you'll likely to break your finger or/and hand... Just a little warning.

Michael Douglas
04-25-2007, 05:05 AM
What about the one-knuckle punch?
Has it been mentioned yet, and if not, why not?
I have some recollection of that being the primary
atemi shown in some early book but for the life
of me I can't remember which one.
In my experience that punch is very nasty and 'distracting'
and oh-so-japanesey
but to avoid injury to the hand it really needs to be
trained and trained and trained.
Where are the atemi training opportunities and equipment
within your run-of-the-mill Aikido dojo?

I'd especially like to hear from those who train or have
trained in Japan. Do their dojo's have special setups for
aquiring substantial atemi?

Aiki1
04-25-2007, 06:55 PM
There is no Aikido without Atemi. that is of course if you practice Aikido as a Martial Art.


Well. Actually, it all depends how you approach Aikido. There are ways of approaching it such that Atemi is essential. There are also ways of approaching it where atemi is almost incidental or even undesirable. They can both be martially effective. You have to have the knowledge and experience. Some do, some don't, some don't care.

There are real reasons why Atemi has it's limitations, under many circumstances - in fact, it can be your certain undoing if you're not careful.

There is no one way in Aikido that is the only effective way.

Aiki1
04-25-2007, 06:58 PM
All the atemi waza clearly come from belting uke one in the jaw.

Much of Atemi (in Aikido/Aiki-jujutsu) comes from pressure point and nerve strikes, and has very little to do with belting someone anywhere.

p00kiethebear
04-26-2007, 02:17 AM
Most important I think.

xuzen
04-26-2007, 02:24 AM
Just thought to chime in a little...

Taken from "Aikido Shugyo" by G. Shioda:

"In REAL FIGHT Aikido is 70% Atemi". Further in his book he continue to say ATEMI is all about TIMING, which G. Shioda went on to give numerous REAL LIFE example.

Meditate on this you all
shalll...

Boon.

philippe willaume
04-26-2007, 07:35 AM
Well. Actually, it all depends how you approach Aikido. There are ways of approaching it such that Atemi is essential. There are also ways of approaching it where atemi is almost incidental or even undesirable. They can both be martially effective. You have to have the knowledge and experience. Some do, some don't, some don't care.

There are real reasons why Atemi has it's limitations, under many circumstances - in fact, it can be your certain undoing if you're not careful.

There is no one way in Aikido that is the only effective way.

Well
It is true that our opponent can over extend, which is what I understand ki no nogary is about. Like in swordsmaship, you can always cut the hands of someone that over extend and keep your self out of range.
So yes there is no need for atemi, in fact in that case it would be contra-productive

But there is case where our opponent does not extend outside his balanced extension range. In that case not using atemi is as contra-productive as using them in the case above

Phil

philippe willaume
04-26-2007, 08:11 AM
Much of Atemi (in Aikido/Aiki-jujutsu) comes from pressure point and nerve strikes, and has very little to do with belting someone anywhere.

hello, larry
I was wondering if you could expend on that.
The reason I ask is that I am interested in 15th century Ringen and in the manuscript I am studying there are strikes called “murder-strike”. The idea is to strike or press as you move forward some particularly sensitive area of the body. It is bigger area than what we would cover now by pressure points. (But it can be use to press or to strike). And I was wondering if you were refereeing to something similar.

Phil

Aiki1
04-26-2007, 09:31 AM
Well
It is true that our opponent can over extend, which is what I understand ki no nogary is about. Like in swordsmaship, you can always cut the hands of someone that over extend and keep your self out of range.
So yes there is no need for atemi, in fact in that case it would be contra-productive

But there is case where our opponent does not extend outside his balanced extension range. In that case not using atemi is as contra-productive as using them in the case above

Phil

I look at it very differently, so for me, whether or not things are more static (kihon practice) or more in movement (ki no nagare) doesn't particularly define anything about the use of atemi. For me, reliance on atemi is dangerous, whether one is using it to distract, unbalance, or to actually hurt. To use your example, if an attacker can attack in a centered way and I try to use atemi to unbalance them, there's always the chance that I will then simply become the attacker and have it used against me. I only "use atemi" when there's something about the moment that tells me it's safe, appropriate, and necessary, which to me, at least, isn't that often. Others feel differently, I understand that. To each their own.

Aiki1
04-26-2007, 09:40 AM
hello, larry
I was wondering if you could expend on that.
The reason I ask is that I am interested in 15th century Ringen and in the manuscript I am studying there are strikes called "murder-strike". The idea is to strike or press as you move forward some particularly sensitive area of the body. It is bigger area than what we would cover now by pressure points. (But it can be use to press or to strike). And I was wondering if you were refereeing to something similar.

Phil

The simple answer is - trying to affect someone by simply striking them is.... well, a hit or miss proposition, if you'll forgive the pun. The old ways had to do with understanding how a strike to a vulnerable area would disable in a specific way, be it a nerve point, meridian point, plexis, soft tissue, muscle, joint.... striking any of these will result in different results to the attacker.

You can see the beginning of this in the basic Daito ryu response to yokomen uchi ikkajo (ikkyo.) The first response is both a connection to the strike, and also a strike to the nerve point under the attacker's elbow.

gdandscompserv
04-26-2007, 09:53 AM
Atemi waza good.

philippe willaume
04-27-2007, 05:15 AM
Hello Larry, I think you may have misunderstood what I was trying to say. (I have a felling that we are saying the same thing)

I do not oppose in movement and static.
And opponent can overextend attack from movement or from being static. By the same token he can remain within his own space whilst moving, which is what enables use to do counter technique.

What I was taking about was more in line with the timing Xu brought about and which is present even in the earliest fighting manuacript albeit in different guise, the "before" and the "after" foe the medieval German, the true times for 17cent England or timing in modern combative.

Let's use your kihon static attack from yokomen.
If our opponent over extend: (I.E have his shoulder in front of his hips as he moves forward).
He can not mount an effective reply to the initial grab of ikkio (or any technique) so we are already in front of him. So even if he tries to remove his hand withou moving the rest of his boddy, which is quikest thing he can do, we are a step in front of him and we can use whatever he does to stay in front of him
If the atemi, like the one you describe goes with the normal functioning of the technique. (We are going to have to grab the elbow anyway) It can only re-enforce our being in front. So we might as well do it, but not doing it is not going to be detrimental either.

However hitting him in throat is spending that advantage and possibly stops him doing something that we are quite happy for him to do. As Napoleon said do not interrupt your opponent when he is making a mistake.
So you could say that in that case (strike to the throat) you either hit him or finish the technique

If our opponent is centred when he attacks:
Our initial grab if we take it on his own is exactly the same thing as us attacking him with one of the katatedori.
In those condition the atemi the one you do or an attack to face throat is capital for us to be in control (and need to be there at te same time or there about as the initail grab)
Either way we have created a situation when he can not substract his arm or we force him to move his body in a way that is favourable for our technique to develop (e g that is detrimental to him) so as in the previous case we are before him.

And other way to gain that control is to move and to force him to extend as he adjust his strike as he tries to hit us but that relies on him being fooled by us. But if that works we are in the same case as the first option.

Phil

Aiki1
04-27-2007, 08:11 AM
Hello Larry, I think you may have misunderstood what I was trying to say. (I have a felling that we are saying the same thing)



First, I wanted to say that I meant to say Shomen uchi, not Yokomen uchi - it doesn't matter but I wanted to be clear.

Anyway - it's complicated to me - for instance - why would I really need to hit someone? It causes a negative emotional reaction which might come back to me, and if the only tool I have to allow someone to become unbalanced, then for my approach, my Aikido isn't very complete. It's the old argument - what Is atemi? It's different things to different people.

LN

George S. Ledyard
04-27-2007, 08:25 AM
This topic is like asking "Tires, good or bad for your car?"

Aiki1
04-27-2007, 08:27 AM
This topic is like asking "Tires, good or bad for your car?"

Not to me, George. :-)

LN

Marc Abrams
04-27-2007, 09:04 AM
Michael:

The "one knuckle punch" is a type of strike that is designed for soft tissue areas and particularly nerve spots. The focus of energy, like the beam of a flashlight is focused into a narrow "beam". This type of punch would be a bad idea against strong, bones and bone plates. Attacking those areas are best done with broad knuckle fists, or knife hand strikes (depending upon area to be struck and trajectory of the strike).

my 2cents

marc abrams

dps
04-27-2007, 09:50 AM
http://www.shodokan.ch/en/compet_detail.html

'Technical Background Information on Atemi and Kansetsu'

Generally speaking an Atemi Waza was a technique in which you strike the opponent at a physiologically weak point (ie. a vital point) in order to render him unconscious. Kansetsu waza were joint locks that were designed to attack an opponent's joint in order to cause severe sprains or dislocations. Although these techniques do have this dangerous side to them, I feel that if you really understand the fundamentals of these techniques you will see that the resulting concussion or pain is only an incidental part of the technique and can be divorced from the technique proper as such. Even though these techniques were designed by our predecessors to have such dangerous and lethal end results, the main core of the technique could still, nevertheless, be seen as a throw or a hold.

Therefore the striking techniques of Aikido incorporate the idea of balance breaking; the result being that the opponent is brought down due to loss of balance rather than because he was hit on some vital point. Thus it is not necesary to kill or hurt him by using strong impact, nor is it necessary to train your hand or fist to withstand such impact.

In the modern Budo form of Judo, the aim is to break the opponent's balance and throw him by using foot and hip movements without injuring him. Similarly in the Atemi Waza of the modern Budo form of Aikido, the aim should be to take advantage of breaking your opponent's balance and push or strike him down using your hand or arm without injuring him. Most Judo throwing techniques employ the use of force to two points on the opponent's body in two directions at the same time. In Aikido, on the other hand, force is usually used in one direction on one part of the body. "
by Kenji Tomiki

David

Aiki1
04-27-2007, 09:59 AM
Nice post.

Like I said, different people look at atemi differently. I personally don't think one way is the only right way.

I see Aikido the same way. For instance, I never try to "break" anyone's balance. I look at kuzushi very differently. I experience it as -allowing- someone to -lose- their balance - which is actually different. So I would then look at atemi very differently.

If I were doing Aikido to break someone's balance, I might look at atemi as an actual strike. But I don't. Plus, I believe that Aikido is evolving.

LN

dps
04-27-2007, 10:04 AM
Nice post.

. I look at kuzushi very differently. I experience it as -allowing- someone to -lose- their balance - ...

LN
Okay, but don't you help them just a little bit.:)

David

Aiki1
04-27-2007, 10:23 AM
Okay, but don't you help them just a little bit.:)

David

Sure, but not by doing something To them, but With them. A very important distinction, and one that plays into this discussion at a fundamental level.

LN

ChrisMoses
04-27-2007, 10:58 AM
I see Aikido the same way. For instance, I never try to "break" anyone's balance. I look at kuzushi very differently. I experience it as -allowing- someone to -lose- their balance - which is actually different. So I would then look at atemi very differently.

If I were doing Aikido to break someone's balance, I might look at atemi as an actual strike. But I don't. Plus, I believe that Aikido is evolving.

LN

Larry, from watching the videos on your site, I see where you're coming from. You seem to be from the aikido as movement practice camp. Personally, I don't really consider that to be aikido, as it lacks any martial component. To each his own however, a lot of people would not think a lot of the stuff I do would be considered aikido either.

George S. Ledyard
04-27-2007, 11:04 AM
Not to me, George. :-)

LN
Hi Larry,
Atemi is implicit in every aspect of what we do in Aikido. Katate tori isn't an attack, it's a practice tool. It presupposes the strike with the other hand and people need to practice as if the other hand were doing that strike or they are totally open.

If I grab you and you begin to take my balance, what reason do I have for holding on? Why don't I just let go and break the connection? It's the knowledge that I am open to your atemi that forces me to keep the grab once I've committed.

When I attack and you enter, why don't I just hunker down and plant so I cannot be moved? I am forced to stay responsive by the possibility of your atemi. Saotome Sensei said that if you knew the other guy wouldn't strike you, all techniques would be stoppable.

Every throw you do in Aikido is a strike you are choosing not to do. The strikes are at the heart of the logic behind the whole interaction. That does not mean that you necessarily see them. I seldom throw an atemi in practice... but my students seldom put me in the position that I need to.

Aiki1
04-27-2007, 11:06 AM
Larry, from watching the videos on your site, I see where you're coming from. You seem to be from the aikido as movement practice camp. Personally, I don't really consider that to be aikido, as it lacks any martial component. To each his own however, a lot of people would not think a lot of the stuff I do would be considered aikido either.

I'm not sure I understand what you mean....? Ah - If I do understand it, you are completely incorrect. :-)

I have put my Aikido to the test over many years and learned a lot about martiallity, if that's a word.... studied Judo, Karate, Hapkido, and other stuff as well.... including a long stint in BJJ with a friend who was the main teacher under Rickson. I also teach women's self-defense, successfully. So, actually, I think my style is extremely martially responsible. Perhaps the clips don't reflect that though.... or it's not so "visible." But I can -guarantee- you, it's there.... just because I don't use atemi much - don't mean a thang.... :-)

Dewey
04-27-2007, 11:08 AM
We all have at one time read/hard the quote from O'Sensei: "Aikido is 90% atemi..." or some other variant/percentage thereof.

Question: what role do you think atemi waza plays in "modern" Aikido? Does it have a place, should it have a place, etc. If so, what sort of atemi waza would best fit modern Aikido?

I'm not trying to "stir the pot" or provoke responses via a rhetorical question...I'm genuinely curious as to others' opinions & experiences.

On a personal note: currently I am taking an 8-week "crash course" in Kajukenbo, specifically the Chu'an Fa variant, which heavily emphasizes strikes. It has given me much reflection lately.

Thanks,
Brian

At this point, I suppose I should clarify what I mean a bit further. Some instructors emphasize it as essential and thus incorporate it fluidly into technical instruction. Others occasionally teach it and/or treat it as clearly of secondary importance. Some even disregard it entirely...all of this sometimes within the same dojo in regards to assistant instructors (I've personally seen it happen). Each instructor has their own approach, "interpretation" of Aikido and these differences of opinion/experience are to be respected...nobody "owns" Aikido.

That being said, can there be Aikido without atemi waza? That is, there are some instructors who do teach an "atemi-less" Aikido.

Aiki1
04-27-2007, 11:19 AM
Hi Larry,
Atemi is implicit in every aspect of what we do in Aikido. Katate tori isn't an attack, it's a practice tool. It presupposes the strike with the other hand and people need to practice as if the other hand were doing that strike or they are totally open.

Yes, of course.

If I grab you and you begin to take my balance, what reason do I have for holding on? Why don't I just let go and break the connection? It's the knowledge that I am open to your atemi that forces me to keep the grab once I've committed.

That's the way you do Aikido, but not me. Actually, that process has nothing to do with my Aikido, believe it or not. That's why I believe - there are many ways to do Aikido, and there is no One right way. Some people believe otherwise though.

When I attack and you enter, why don't I just hunker down and plant so I cannot be moved? I am forced to stay responsive by the possibility of your atemi. Saotome Sensei said that if you knew the other guy wouldn't strike you, all techniques would be stoppable.

Not my experience.

Every throw you do in Aikido is a strike you are choosing not to do. The strikes are at the heart of the logic behind the whole interaction. That does not mean that you necessarily see them. I seldom throw an atemi in practice... but my students seldom put me in the position that I need to.

I am very well aware of all the possibilties of striking in Aikido. But again, in my Aikido, the heart of the logic behind the whole interactgion has absolutely nothing to do with that.

A different way, my friend.

LN

ChrisMoses
04-27-2007, 11:30 AM
I'm not sure I understand what you mean....? Ah - If I do understand it, you are completely incorrect. :-)



Sorry, some of your comments hit my passive-agressive aikido buttons. I do not believe there is any aikido without atemi, and I'm not talking about whacking people with straight punches. I agree completely with the quoted article from Tomiki Sensei on the nature of atemi in aikido. I also don't believe anyone can get kuzushi by allowing uke to volunteer it. I've seen and practiced with a lot of aikido folks who *say* that they're not doing anything to uke, just allowing them to throw themselves, but when they actually have to throw me, they suddenly find it in themselves to actually affect my structure (if they are able to throw me anyway...). I feel that kind of language does a disservice to ones students, and traps them in an overly cooperative artificial training environment. Quite frankly, your videos look very very cooperative on the part of uke. Sounds like you have an interesting and varied training background however, so I'm probably wrong.

Aiki1
04-27-2007, 12:57 PM
Sorry, some of your comments hit my passive-agressive aikido buttons. I do not believe there is any aikido without atemi, and I'm not talking about whacking people with straight punches. I agree completely with the quoted article from Tomiki Sensei on the nature of atemi in aikido. I also don't believe anyone can get kuzushi by allowing uke to volunteer it. I've seen and practiced with a lot of aikido folks who *say* that they're not doing anything to uke, just allowing them to throw themselves, but when they actually have to throw me, they suddenly find it in themselves to actually affect my structure (if they are able to throw me anyway...). I feel that kind of language does a disservice to ones students, and traps them in an overly cooperative artificial training environment. Quite frankly, your videos look very very cooperative on the part of uke. Sounds like you have an interesting and varied training background however, so I'm probably wrong.

I really do understand your point of view. It's always tricky for me to even discuss this stuff, because it's all in the feeling and actuality of it. The language can get confused, the ideas can get distorted.... etc. But in truth, there are ways to be connected to uke such that you don't really do anything To them, but With them. This involves the nature of the connection, movement, and intention. To learn it involves a cooperative training environment, to do it, doesn't. I've practice a Lot with extremely unccoroperative attackers, in fact my students don't actually let me get away with anything - unless I'm simply showing a principle etc., in a teaching situation.) To add, I've had many experienced yudansha come to my class and very few could even throw my white bellts without resorting to trying to hurt them. This, to be honest, includes an instructor from Hombu dojo. We tend to wok with principles that perhaps not everyone does. Not trying to toot my horn here, just being honest. I will add though, that one of the other people I have personally experienced as working in a somewhat similar fashion, comes in part from a Tomiki background, that would be Chuck Clark.

In truth, when people come to see my Aikido, I am well aware that it often looks fake. I don't have a problem with that. I have had the same reaction many many times when they feel it - or not, as the case may be. That is: "Huh, do that again."

We use the principle of what my original teacher termed Kinesthetic Invisibility, where there is no real perceptable physical reference to react against. This goes a long way in "allowing uke to unbalance themselves" - yes, with a little help, but if done right it doesn't take much, and isn't about doing something To them.

I've practiced many different styles of Aikido, including Seagal's when he was teaching every night. There really are many paths. Some do tend ot have different outcomes though.

LN

ChrisMoses
04-27-2007, 01:40 PM
We use the principle of what my original teacher termed Kinesthetic Invisibility, where there is no real perceptable physical reference to react against. This goes a long way in "allowing uke to unbalance themselves" - yes, with a little help, but if done right it doesn't take much, and isn't about doing something To them.

Perhaps this is a logical distinction, but I feel that the intention of uke and nage need to be taken into account when discussing things like this. Of course well done kuzushi doesn't take much, that's how kuzushi works, but the question in my mind is whose version of the desired outcome is actualized? If uke's goal is to grab or stike nage, they have no intention to be thrown or thwarted. Nage's goal is to avoid injury and throw or otherwise disable uke's goal of harm. I don't care one bit how 'easy' or subtle nage's movements are to off balance uke. Even if they're using uke's own reflex arcs against them, their (nage's) intention is causing uke's loss of balance and nage has to face the fact that they went into the encounter with ego and intention and that there's nothing wrong with that. Yes the strategies can include moving as a unified whole (moving with uke as you say), and some of the really subtle stuff may occur almost exclusively within nage's body, but the intention of the encounter is that of nage imposing their will over uke. I simply refuse to believe otherwise, it makes no logical sense to me, and I have never felt it from anyone (including a lot of people claiming that was what they were doing). So if you're adding that little bit of help, why not admit the reality of the encounter and accept your role in the encounter? (Please read that last sentence as a rhetorical question, and not a direct attack on you personally.)

Ron Tisdale
04-27-2007, 02:25 PM
Interesting conversation guys...and I'm impressed that it is civil as well. I'll be very interested if any consensus is reached.

On the theoretical side, I like Larry's approach, but on the practical side, Chris seems a lot closer to what I see as possible. At least for me anyway...

Best,
Ron

Aiki1
04-27-2007, 02:36 PM
Perhaps this is a logical distinction, but I feel that the intention of uke and nage need to be taken into account when discussing things like this. Of course well done kuzushi doesn't take much, that's how kuzushi works, but the question in my mind is whose version of the desired outcome is actualized? If uke's goal is to grab or stike nage, they have no intention to be thrown or thwarted. Nage's goal is to avoid injury and throw or otherwise disable uke's goal of harm. I don't care one bit how 'easy' or subtle nage's movements are to off balance uke. Even if they're using uke's own reflex arcs against them, their (nage's) intention is causing uke's loss of balance and nage has to face the fact that they went into the encounter with ego and intention and that there's nothing wrong with that. Yes the strategies can include moving as a unified whole (moving with uke as you say), and some of the really subtle stuff may occur almost exclusively within nage's body, but the intention of the encounter is that of nage imposing their will over uke. I simply refuse to believe otherwise, it makes no logical sense to me, and I have never felt it from anyone (including a lot of people claiming that was what they were doing). So if you're adding that little bit of help, why not admit the reality of the encounter and accept your role in the encounter? (Please read that last sentence as a rhetorical question, and not a direct attack on you personally.)

I agree that intentions are very important and add a lot to the definition of what unfolds and how it does so. But to say that my goal is to impose my will on uke is not what I feel to be my intention. This is why I do Aikido, and in particular, the kind of Aikido I do. For one thing, there is a difference between imposing my will on someone and simply not allowing them to impose their will on me. And that's only the tip of the iceberg, but an important tip.

If it were as you say, I would choose any number of other approaches, like BJJ but certainly including other styles of Aikido - they would all be acceptable to me. But for where I personally am at, I'm after something else. That something else has to do with the actual experience I have, the experience uke is left with, the physical, emotional, moral, ethical, and spiritual outcome, and the way that can be actualized in one's approach to the physical manifestation of Aikido.

A lot of people might say that those are just words, or any number of other reactions I have gotten and I'm sure will get in the future. But this is totally real to me, and it works in real life and in real time for me as well.

For me, it really is - to each their own. I am not trying to convince you that my way is right for you, my path and way of training are definitely not for everyone. But it frankly seems like you are saying that my way is not really real, and not really achievable.

That's not my life experience.

LN

Aiki1
04-27-2007, 02:57 PM
Interesting conversation guys...and I'm impressed that it is civil as well. I'll be very interested if any consensus is reached.

I am appreciating the civility as well. :-)

On the theoretical side, I like Larry's approach, but on the practical side, Chris seems a lot closer to what I see as possible. At least for me anyway...

I really do know what you are saying. At the same time, I am aware of a growing movement in Aikido that holds to these notions - or some of them - people like Chuck Clark, Ross Robertson, and a few others from the Aikido list come to mind. We may each have our own take on it, and our own ways of doing things, but at some level, at least, we're on a similar page....

LN

ChrisMoses
04-27-2007, 03:11 PM
For one thing, there is a difference between imposing my will on someone and simply not allowing them to impose their will on me. And that's only the tip of the iceberg, but an important tip.

At the risk of sounding VERY rhetorical, even if it is your will to simply not allow someone to impose their will on you, to achieve that, you will have to impose your will. ;)


For me, it really is - to each their own. I am not trying to convince you that my way is right for you, my path and way of training are definitely not for everyone. But it frankly seems like you are saying that my way is not really real, and not really achievable.

That's not my life experience.

LN

I hate when people drag up the founder's words, but I do come back to the quote that "90% of Aikido is atemi." If one does a style of aikido that doesn't use atemi, can you really say you are still doing aikido? Not that I see anything wrong with NOT doing aikido, the stuff I'm working on these days is sufficiently different from aikido, that while it has obvious roots in aikido, I refer to it as aikibudo to avoid confusion. I could get away with calling it aikido, but I don't think it would be right. I do think that in our experimentation with aikido, we can walk too far down a path that takes us off of what aikido is. Again, I'm not putting any kind of moral judgment on that. But I do not feel that there is an unlimited range of variation in what can still be considered aikido. In the US, I think we have taken far too many liberties with the traditional syllabus without having a deep enough understanding of the art to do so. In Kendo they have the concept of shu-ha-ri. I think most of the silverbacks in aikido in the US started teaching while in the shu phase of their training, quickly moved into the ha phase, but because of their isolation from their seniors, stayed there rather than progressing to the ri phase where experimentation and evolution can take place in a way that's in keeping with the art.

As for what you're talking about being achievable, we all have our own experiences. I have never seen or felt anyone who can do what you are describing the way you are describing it however, so until I experience otherwise, I'm stuck with my own experiences as a guide.

Aiki1
04-27-2007, 04:21 PM
At the risk of sounding VERY rhetorical, even if it is your will to simply not allow someone to impose their will on you, to achieve that, you will have to impose your will. ;)

Ha. Seriously though, not really, to me there's a difference between imposing ones will on someone and putting one's will out into the universe, so to speak.

I hate when people drag up the founder's words, but I do come back to the quote that "90% of Aikido is atemi."

Heard this for years as well. I simply don't take it at face value. And, -when- he said it in the context of his whole life is important, I think.

If one does a style of aikido that doesn't use atemi, can you really say you are still doing aikido? Not that I see anything wrong with NOT doing aikido, the stuff I'm working on these days is sufficiently different from aikido, that while it has obvious roots in aikido, I refer to it as aikibudo to avoid confusion. I could get away with calling it aikido, but I don't think it would be right. I do think that in our experimentation with aikido, we can walk too far down a path that takes us off of what aikido is. Again, I'm not putting any kind of moral judgment on that. But I do not feel that there is an unlimited range of variation in what can still be considered aikido.

I agree. Let's stop for a moment - by atemi, do you mean actual striking? I ask because there are styles of Aikido that don't actually strike, or much anyway, that come from very close students of O Sensei. Would you say they are not doing Aikido?

Plus, I think most if not All of what we see are interpretations of Aikido. What makes one more valid than another? Certainly, there are things that would. Is the specific use of atemi, in a specific way, one of them? If you were to ask me personally, in the strictest sense of how O Sensei defined his art at a Spiritual level, I would say any style of Aikido that actually hits is not Aikido. But that would be absurd.

Or would it?

In the US, I think we have taken far too many liberties with the traditional syllabus without having a deep enough understanding of the art to do so. In Kendo they have the concept of shu-ha-ri. I think most of the silverbacks in aikido in the US started teaching while in the shu phase of their training, quickly moved into the ha phase, but because of their isolation from their seniors, stayed there rather than progressing to the ri phase where experimentation and evolution can take place in a way that's in keeping with the art.

I'd tend to agree actually.

As for what you're talking about being achievable, we all have our own experiences.

Exactly.

I have never seen or felt anyone who can do what you are describing the way you are describing it however, so until I experience otherwise, I'm stuck with my own experiences as a guide.

Me too.

LN

ChrisMoses
04-27-2007, 04:49 PM
I agree. Let's stop for a moment - by atemi, do you mean actual striking? I ask because there are styles of Aikido that don't actually strike, or much anyway, that come from very close students of O Sensei. Would you say they are not doing Aikido?


Difficult to answer in writing, I am not talking about karate or boxing like strikes peppering ones waza. I think that atemi can take on various forms, from maintaining a position where one could strike uke the moment a suki develops in the relationship (as George described) to positional strikes (like those seen from Nishio Sensei' irimi movements) to impacting movements through the uke/nage connection (like you see in videos of Akuzawa or Saito Senseis for that matter) or even movements that seem like blocks but are actually strikes (Don Angier's 'cam' for example). It can also be that the mechanics of striking are used in the movements themselves: an extension of the arms to do kotegaeshi, the cut of the arms in shihonage, a rake to the eyes when setting up for shihonage (a la Nishio Sensei again), or the impact of ones koshi into uke's kua line when performing koshinage/o-goshi. I think this is what OSensei meant when he said 90% of Aikido is atemi, and when Tomiki Sensei said that, "...the striking techniques of Aikido incorporate the idea of balance breaking; the result being that the opponent is brought down due to loss of balance rather than because he was hit on some vital point. Thus it is not necesary to kill or hurt him by using strong impact, nor is it necessary to train your hand or fist to withstand such impact." When I talk to my former Aikido dojo-mates and explain that where I train now, we actually land our atemi most of the time, they think that we're punching each other in the face all the time. This isn't true, but we are looking at how atemi within the context of an aiki art is actually used to get kuzushi and affect body structure just as Tomiki described. (Note, that I'm not part of a Tomiki lineage, I do really like his writings on budo.)

dps
04-27-2007, 05:17 PM
Cannot any part of the body be used to apply atemi, like the arm, shoulder, torso, hip, leg etc, not necessarily with the fist or hand?

David

gregg block
04-27-2007, 05:46 PM
I don't mean to upset any one with this reality check. Ive been serously training in the martial arts for almost 20 years, been taking aikido for about a year and I love it. Ive seen a lot of styles and a lot of good martial artists over the years. The truth is , at least as I see it, if you don't know how to strike someone even person a little skilled in combat is going to give you a very difficult time using a technique effectively on them. Now saying this I know there are individuals who are very, very good at aikido and have done it for many many years who may be an exception to this. I do believe however that even these individuals know the value of a good atemi. For the rest of us I believe it is essential because the real world can be vastly different from the confines of the dojo mat. Enough said.

Aiki1
04-27-2007, 05:55 PM
Difficult to answer in writing, I am not talking about karate or boxing like strikes peppering ones waza. I think that atemi can take on various forms, from maintaining a position where one could strike uke the moment a suki develops in the relationship (as George described) to positional strikes (like those seen from Nishio Sensei' irimi movements) to impacting movements through the uke/nage connection (like you see in videos of Akuzawa or Saito Senseis for that matter)

The above seems to me to describe fairly conventional notions of striking, am I understanding you correctly?

or even movements that seem like blocks but are actually strikes (Don Angier's 'cam' for example). It can also be that the mechanics of striking are used in the movements themselves: an extension of the arms to do kotegaeshi, the cut of the arms in shihonage,

These seem to me to be describing movements, not strikes per se, if I'm reading it right?

a rake to the eyes when setting up for shihonage (a la Nishio Sensei again), or the impact of ones koshi into uke's kua line when performing koshinage/o-goshi.

More conventional meaning actual contact, yes?

I think this is what OSensei meant when he said 90% of Aikido is atemi, and when Tomiki Sensei said that, "...the striking techniques of Aikido incorporate the idea of balance breaking; the result being that the opponent is brought down due to loss of balance rather than because he was hit on some vital point. Thus it is not necesary to kill or hurt him by using strong impact, nor is it necessary to train your hand or fist to withstand such impact."

It seems to me that you are offering a much more broad concept of what atemi is in your overall explanation. If so, I understand more of what you are saying. But - I personally would not include "cutting motions" and the like, that simply execute technique, atemi. Many of the body/arm/hand motions that I use to complete the movement of a technique, are sword strike movements. To me that doesn't make them atemi, or that I'm "using" atemi....

When I talk to my former Aikido dojo-mates and explain that where I train now, we actually land our atemi most of the time, they think that we're punching each other in the face all the time. This isn't true, but we are looking at how atemi within the context of an aiki art is actually used to get kuzushi and affect body structure just as Tomiki described. (Note, that I'm not part of a Tomiki lineage, I do really like his writings on budo.)

I think that process is extremely valuable, a very important understanding to have. For me, that doesn't mean that I use atemi in my art though. It also doesn't mean that atemi will absolutely never happen either. It's a whole different approach to the intent of and/or approach to Aikido, perhaps.

Aiki1
04-27-2007, 06:05 PM
I don't mean to upset any one with this reality check. Ive been serously training in the martial arts for almost 20 years, been taking aikido for about a year and I love it. Ive seen a lot of styles and a lot of good martial artists over the years. The truth is , at least as I see it, if you don't know how to strike someone even person a little skilled in combat is going to give you a very difficult time using a technique effectively on them. Now saying this I know there are individuals who are very, very good at aikido and have done it for many many years who may be an exception to this. I do believe however that even these individuals know the value of a good atemi. For the rest of us I believe it is essential because the real world can be vastly different from the confines of the dojo mat. Enough said.

I can appreciate your perspective. I've been in the martial arts for 40 years, and doing Aikido for 25, I have a different experience. I also teach the difference between:

- Learning Aikido
- Practicing "dojo Aikido"
- Teaching Aikido
- Performing/Demonstrating Aikido
- Doing Aikido

as well as the difference between doing Aikido in the dojo, applying it to street self-defense, and using it in the context with another trained fighter or martial artist. These overlap. but there are differences that are important, that ignorance of can get you killed.

I'm not upset by reality checks. That's why I've hung with many different kinds of arts/practitioners over the years. But here's a reality check of a different kind. Work with a good BJJ practitioner, or a good Wing Chun person, or several arts - or a boxer who has been hit a thousand times - and see how far your atemi gets you, or what the ultimate results are.

ChrisMoses
04-27-2007, 06:29 PM
It seems to me that you are offering a much more broad concept of what atemi is in your overall explanation. If so, I understand more of what you are saying. But - I personally would not include "cutting motions" and the like, that simply execute technique, atemi. Many of the body/arm/hand motions that I use to complete the movement of a technique, are sword strike movements. To me that doesn't make them atemi, or that I'm "using" atemi....


If the body and intent behind the movements isn't done as if it was atemi, it simply will not work. All of these movements impact uke's structure, but only if nage performs them as atemi. Most of our transition movements hit to uke's core, even if it's just positioning *because* they are done as if they are strikes.

Aiki1
04-27-2007, 06:43 PM
If the body and intent behind the movements isn't done as if it was atemi, it simply will not work. All of these movements impact uke's structure, but only if nage performs them as atemi. Most of our transition movements hit to uke's core, even if it's just positioning *because* they are done as if they are strikes.

I suppose there are ways to describe atemi that take in so much that there isn't any way to say it but that doing it right is doing atemi. If one were to describe atemi as any hand movement done from center with full intent, then yes, a lot of what I do is atemi. But that is certainly not the conventional description.

It seems we do a different art, my friend. Maybe they are both Aikido, who knows. I don't know if you would ever be happy doing Aikido the way I do it. I know I wouldn't be happy doing it the way you describe.

Works for me.

If you or anyone want to say that I am not doing Aikido because I do not really use atemi per se, or not the way they define it, that's fine with me. I know a lot of interesting people who might disagree though. :-)

LN

Russell Pearse
04-27-2007, 11:34 PM
...Irimi is atemi! ...


Hi:

In the way we train atemi is extremely important. But more than that it is the potential for atemi that is critical. In irimi we enter into a position where we are in a position of strength and the attacker is in a position of weakness. Our hanmi is directed at the attacker’s centre with a low and stable hip posture and we are close enough to be able to deliver a strike with our whole body weight behind it if required. It is this potential for atemi that is critical in our aikido because the attacker will realize his vulnerability and have to cover the weakness, and this will leave an opening for a technique.

I also believe that if you enter to the inside of an attack instead of to the outside you have to atemi or else you will leave yourself open to getting hit yourself. By this I mean that if someone attacks and you enter to his front or inside his attacking arm you are open to an immediate strike from his other arm. We train that you must atemi as part of the irimi to distract the attacker and force him to defend against it, which will force an opening which will allow a technique. We train that irimi is atemi, or the potential for atemi.

I am sure that it is possible to train aikido without actual atemi, but I believe that aikido must include the potential for atemi as a means of upsetting an attack, leading to kuzushi and creating openings for technique. As our Sensei often says, we must always be in a position to deliver atemi if required.

Cheers

Russell

xuzen
04-27-2007, 11:40 PM
To me it seems folks here have different view of what an atemi is depending on their school lineage and style.

I am expose to three school throughout my aikido career; Yoshikan, Shodokan and Aikikai Hombu

Of these, I have to discount the Aikikai style simply because when I practice it, I do not recall atemi being a huge part of its syllabus. We are more into the Harmony thingy.

Of these, let's start with Yoshinkan. In kihon practice, we strike, but we always hold our punches as we hope to REUSE/RECYCLE our uke as much as possible. Good uke's are hard to come by... To me, this is unsatisfactory as without full contact we cannot learn the REAL THING (TM).

But there is a way... the SHODOKAN way. If you look at their RANDORI approved technique, you see the first 5 out of 17 techniques are ATEMI-WAZA, namely SHOMEN-ATE, AIGAMAE-ATE, GYAKUGAMAE-ATE, USHIRO-ATE and GEDAN-ATE. And the beauty of it is... you can go full force playing/ experimenting with it, with minimum risk of severe injury provided you are with qualified instruction.

I believe in the SHODOKAN WAY ... for good atemi practice. Go on... do it. I know you want it. You need it.

Boon.

Charles Hill
04-28-2007, 03:20 AM
Larry,

If I am reading you right, I think you might find it interesting to check out the approach to striking in Systema, Russian Martial Art. Striking plays a major role in the system and their healing applications and their affect on the nervous system is considered very important. At a seminar last year in Tokyo, Martin Wheeler showed how deep strikes placed correctly can take the fight out of a person by calming them down at the level of the psyche.

just a thought,
Charles

Charles Hill
04-28-2007, 03:25 AM
Boon,

When I was at the Aikikai Honbu, there was a young man who worked there, probably a shihan or at least shidoin, who often had a black eye or two from acting as one particular major Shihan's uke in demonstration. I think he would diagree with your characterization of Aikikai being atemi-less.

Charles

gregg block
04-28-2007, 05:45 AM
[-Work with a good BJJ practitioner, or a good Wing Chun person, or several arts - or a boxer who has been hit a thousand times - and see how far your atemi gets you, or what the ultimate results are.[/QUOTE]

Larry,
This is exactly my point. A good boxer is a prime example. They often faint and don't commit their arms deeply. How are you going to get to them without some type of distracting strike. Now I'm certainly not suggesting you try to box a boxer unless your boxing skills are superior as that would be certain disaster. You could however strike with your legs to keep out of range of his/her arms. The examples you gave above are what makes me such a believer in MMA. One needs to study techniques/styles which can be used long range, medium range, close range and on the ground. One needs to be able to be soft or hard: circular or straight all dictated by the situation and the opponent. Bruce Lee really had it right.

Mark Uttech
04-28-2007, 06:25 AM
Larry,

If I am reading you right, I think you might find it interesting to check out the approach to striking in Systema, Russian Martial Art. Striking plays a major role in the system and their healing applications and their affect on the nervous system is considered very important. At a seminar last year in Tokyo, Martin Wheeler showed how deep strikes placed correctly can take the fight out of a person by calming them down at the level of the psyche.

just a thought,
Charles

Hallo Charles,
I have been checking out Systema with one side effect that it seems to distract me into a place of 'no technique'. It seems to have a very strong allure. Interestingly enough, it reminds me much of my time in college and outside of college; the human tendency to 'get by doing as little as possible'. One downside seems to be that we want to be praised a lot for it. I would be interested in your reflections about this.

In gassho,

Mark

George S. Ledyard
04-28-2007, 07:36 AM
Larry,

If I am reading you right, I think you might find it interesting to check out the approach to striking in Systema, Russian Martial Art. Striking plays a major role in the system and their healing applications and their affect on the nervous system is considered very important. At a seminar last year in Tokyo, Martin Wheeler showed how deep strikes placed correctly can take the fight out of a person by calming them down at the level of the psyche.

just a thought,
Charles
Hi Charles,
I would say that the use of striking in Systema is very much along the lines of what it should be in Aikido... The difference is that they spend a lot of time actually doing the strikes and they are VERY sophisticated at doing it.

In practice the striking is actually a form of massage in that they sense where you are carrying your tension and strike that spot. They can use their strikes to create tension so that they can then move your structure and they can strike you to remove tension. Their use of strikes is completely compatible with Aikido but it takes a lot of practice... you won't get it from just a couple seminars. To really be able to do the striking you need to do the conditioning work they do i.e. the push ups, sit ups and squats along with the breath control work.

George S. Ledyard
04-28-2007, 08:13 AM
But here's a reality check of a different kind. Work with a good BJJ practitioner, or a good Wing Chun person, or several arts - or a boxer who has been hit a thousand times - and see how far your atemi gets you, or what the ultimate results are.
Well, this is somewhat my point... all of these guys know how to strike. When they fight they are careful about being hit because the consequence of taking a hit from someone who can strike can be a fight ender. They have to put attention on making sure they aren't open, not just charge in and attack your openings. That "attention" can be used to effect their minds and this effects their bodies.

This whole thing of "taking punches" is about sport. In any kind of competition, none of these people are striking to kill or disable. It would be quite a bit different if strikes were to the eyes or throat... a good wing chun practitioner could kill you with a punch to the heart. The fact that most Aikdo people can't strike very well isn't the fault of the art, it's the fault of the training.

Look at Shioda Sensei's encounter in Shanghai during the war. He and a buddy were cornered in a bar by some Chinese gang members. I have no doubt that they intended to kill Shioda and his friend; this wasn't just a bar brawl. The first guy through the door got a broken bottle to his face, the second guy through the door threw a kick and Shioda broke his leg. The potential to do that is at the heart of what we do; we make a conscious choice not to, to create something creative rather than destructive, but it is there.

The fact is that O-Sensei created Aikido to be something more than that. I don't believe that Aikido is really about fighting at all. It's about perfecting yourself. It is about losing the fear that creates aggression in all of us. I almost never hit anyone when I am training... but they better remember that the strikes are always there or they get a reminder in the form of a gentle tap. I have never seen any effective Aikido where this wasn't the case. We just had Endo Sensei here in Seattle and even he periodically had to adjust people's structure by showing them that they were open with atemi. His is some of the most beautiful and soft waza you'd ever feel and he has virtually no interest in fighting at all. But if you broke your posture and stuck a nose in where it should be, he'd readjust your mistaken form by showing where the opening was for the strike. It is simply inherent in what we do.

If you take the atemi out of Aikido there is no Budo. It's just a dance. With no atemi, no one understands openings, no one has to worry about proper structure, no one understands about proper spacing, one can totally resist technique in the dumbest ways because there is no consequence.

George S. Ledyard
04-28-2007, 08:26 AM
Hallo Charles,
I have been checking out Systema with one side effect that it seems to distract me into a place of 'no technique'. It seems to have a very strong allure. Interestingly enough, it reminds me much of my time in college and outside of college; the human tendency to 'get by doing as little as possible'. One downside seems to be that we want to be praised a lot for it. I would be interested in your reflections about this.

In gassho,

Mark

Hi Mark,
I find it fascinating that you would describe the place of no technique as a "distraction"... I would rather put it that for most people technique and the desire to apply it on someone else is the distraction.

One of the things I love best about Systema practice is that afterwards I have much less investment in my Aikido manifesting in a particular way. I am much more able to simply let the technique create itself because I am less attached to a particular form.

Also, you seem to make getting by by doing as little as possible a negative... As someone who trains with Saotome Sensei as you do I find that surprising since it would be hard to find an Aikido guy who does more with less than Sensei. The slightest touch, the smallest movement and you are gone. That seems to be the ultimate in doing as little as possible to get by. I thought that was what we were shooting for...

Aikibu
04-28-2007, 09:30 AM
I'm not upset by reality checks. That's why I've hung with many different kinds of arts/practitioners over the years. But here's a reality check of a different kind. Work with a good BJJ practitioner, or a good Wing Chun person, or several arts - or a boxer who has been hit a thousand times - and see how far your atemi gets you, or what the ultimate results are.

Exactly the reason one should take Atemi practice seriously. With practice it can be very effective and you MUST use Atemi in your practice if you expect your Aikido to be effective against other Martal Arts. To say it can be effective without it is to ignore reality.

That being said there are many ways to Apply it in Aikido and I have found the Tomiki, Shodokan, Yoshinkan, Iwama, and our Style ( Shoji Nishio) equally effective in the hands of a good Aikidoka.

Hopefully there will be another Aiki-Expo soon and I can get a good taste from some of the other flavors of Atemi from unique teachers like John Goss and others.

William Hazen

Aikibu
04-28-2007, 09:34 AM
Well, this is somewhat my point... all of these guys know how to strike. When they fight they are careful about being hit because the consequence of taking a hit from someone who can strike can be a fight ender. They have to put attention on making sure they aren't open, not just charge in and attack your openings. That "attention" can be used to effect their minds and this effects their bodies.

This whole thing of "taking punches" is about sport. In any kind of competition, none of these people are striking to kill or disable. It would be quite a bit different if strikes were to the eyes or throat... a good wing chun practitioner could kill you with a punch to the heart. The fact that most Aikdo people can't strike very well isn't the fault of the art, it's the fault of the training.

Look at Shioda Sensei's encounter in Shanghai during the war. He and a buddy were cornered in a bar by some Chinese gang members. I have no doubt that they intended to kill Shioda and his friend; this wasn't just a bar brawl. The first guy through the door got a broken bottle to his face, the second guy through the door threw a kick and Shioda broke his leg. The potential to do that is at the heart of what we do; we make a conscious choice not to, to create something creative rather than destructive, but it is there.

The fact is that O-Sensei created Aikido to be something more than that. I don't believe that Aikido is really about fighting at all. It's about perfecting yourself. It is about losing the fear that creates aggression in all of us. I almost never hit anyone when I am training... but they better remember that the strikes are always there or they get a reminder in the form of a gentle tap. I have never seen any effective Aikido where this wasn't the case. We just had Endo Sensei here in Seattle and even he periodically had to adjust people's structure by showing them that they were open with atemi. His is some of the most beautiful and soft waza you'd ever feel and he has virtually no interest in fighting at all. But if you broke your posture and stuck a nose in where it should be, he'd readjust your mistaken form by showing where the opening was for the strike. It is simply inherent in what we do.

If you take the atemi out of Aikido there is no Budo. It's just a dance. With no atemi, no one understands openings, no one has to worry about proper structure, no one understands about proper spacing, one can totally resist technique in the dumbest ways because there is no consequence.

Thank you Sensei. This post sums it up perfectly. :)

William Hazen

Aiki1
04-28-2007, 09:47 AM
If you take the atemi out of Aikido there is no Budo. It's just a dance. With no atemi, no one understands openings, no one has to worry about proper structure, no one understands about proper spacing, one can totally resist technique in the dumbest ways because there is no consequence.

Well, for me, this discussion has been very interesting, positive, and revealing. I've enjoyed it. But at this point, for me, it isn't going anywhere. The above statement exemplifies, for me, why.

When definitive statements like this are made (forgive me for singling you out, but it's an example for me) there's no where to go - because my experience, in real life, on the mat, in actual encounters etc., is different, and in my life, in my world, I have learned differently. To say that without atemi there is no budo simply means to me that we have different experiences, but for you, it seems at least, that you know the truth, and that truth must be mine as well.

It isn't. Not in theory, and not in actuality.

I think this happens a lot in Aikido, well, in life in general. Everything is relative. I could refute the above easily, simply with a different argument. To say that without atemi no one has to worry about proper structure or spacing, that there is no understandinag of opening, in my world, in my training, is incorrect. In fact, in my training, it's a ridiculous statement.

In fact, in my style, atemi (nage striking or strikng at uke) has no real bearing on how nage carries himself or where he is. And structure, positioning, timing etc. are all important aspects of our training. Understanding those things along with openings and other fundamentals, comes from a different motivation, but they are all there, and integral to the basic understanding of a certain level of Aikido.

I am not saying that nage doesn't look out for a strike coming from uke. We are -always- looking for that. The positioning of nage in terms of always being safe, is paramount. The "martial" aspect of my Aikido is very important. I also train something I call (cleverly) Chaos Aikido. This is where nage is taken by surprise, they're freaked out, uncentered, proper ma-ai and position has gone up in smoke, and things look bleak. We then practice how to still do Aikido from that situation. It's great training.

To say that without atemi one can totally resist technique in the dumbest ways because there is no consequence - is amazingly not the case in my experience. I know what that means, and I know why one would make the statement, but it is Not my experience. My experience is that perhaps they can go about the process of resisting etc. But that is just what one "blends with" and goes with. To me, it is a great opportunity to understand many aspects of connection, movement, positioning, timing, unfolding dynamics, kuzushi.... I can go on.

I have seen a lot of Aikido where the success of a technique is based on the fact that if uke doesn't get out of the way, they will (potentially) get hurt. This, to me, has nothing to do with the success of -my- technique or the encounter. I'm not interested in training in that kind of Aikido, never have been. I've done it, to be familiar with it, but it's not my path. For me, Aikido is based on other things. In fact, the success of my Aikido is never based on any pain or threat on any level.

And yes, I have been there and done that in the sense that I have been attacked at various times, in various ways, and everything is fine. I've worked with many Aikidoka at several seminars where people put this to the test. Everything is fine.

I know from experience that there is a Vast difference in how people approach the very core nature of Aikido, and this is reflected in how they teach and train. I have learned from all that I have encountered. The way I do it is different than some, perhaps most. It is definitely not for everyone. But when I taught at the Aikido-L seminars in Indie and at Stanford, when I go to Boulder or elsewhere and show it, it's tested, and it goes over pretty well. :-)

It's interesting to me that some people believe that their way is the only way, that their perceptions of and experience in Aikido that defines it for them, believe that it then defines it for eveyone, and that anyone who thinks otherwise is wrong, or just doesn't understand, etc. But that happens in the world all the time.

I am reminded of the saying:

""An interesting thing about life is, for every truth that is real for one person, somewhere in the Universe the exact opposite is also true for someone else. And that somewhere may be very close at hand."

As a last note, I have seen Systema on video. I think its great. There is a very strong similarity between their notion of kuzushi (when it is not based on striking) and ours. By the way, I've never said that -knowing- atemi is not part of our training. But.....

Well, there you have it. I think I've written enough. Maybe I really do have too much time on my hands.... :-)

LN

Aiki1
04-28-2007, 09:58 AM
With practice it can be very effective and you MUST use Atemi in your practice if you expect your Aikido to be effective against other Martal Arts. To say it can be effective without it is to ignore reality.


Ha - can't resist.

It amazes me that you think your reality is the only valid one.

Live long and prosper. Don't train with me. You'd hate it. You can't hit anyone. :-)

I'm not talking about the UFC, by the way....

LN

ChrisMoses
04-28-2007, 03:14 PM
If you take the atemi out of Aikido there is no Budo. It's just a dance.

George, you know I don't agree with everything you ever say, but I totally agree with this. EVERY martial art I am familiar with uses (in some way, at some level) atemi, whether it be aikido, jujutsu, judo, iaido, batto, karate or capoera. How these arts utilize strikes can vary wildly.

As for not recognizing another's reality, while we are all unique observers, I believe there is but one Reality. All opinions are not right, and not every point of view is legitimate.

ChrisMoses
04-28-2007, 03:16 PM
A good boxer is a prime example. They often faint and don't commit their arms deeply. How are you going to get to them without some type of distracting strike.

Actually I find Aikido works very well against fainting boxers, I just kiai, and over they go! :p

Aiki1
04-28-2007, 03:22 PM
George, you know I don't agree with everything you ever say, but I totally agree with this. EVERY martial art I am familiar with uses (in some way, at some level) atemi, whether it be aikido, jujutsu, judo, iaido, batto, karate or capoera. How these arts utilize strikes can vary wildly.

You are certainly welcome to believe whatever you need to believe to make your world work for you. That doesn't make it right for everyone, no matter how hard you tell yourself and everyone else that it's so. Sorry.

As for not recognizing another's reality, while we are all unique observers, I believe there is but one Reality. All opinions are not right, and not every point of view is legitimate.

Well, that says it all I guess.

I haven't gone down this road because I didn't want to. I don't think I will now.

LN

Aiki1
04-28-2007, 03:28 PM
A good boxer is a prime example. They often faint and don't commit their arms deeply. How are you going to get to them without some type of distracting strike.

Several ways. Distrations do not have to be strikes, for one thing. I teach things you won't necessarily see in too many other dojo, but it's Aikido, and it tends to work pretty well. We practice classic "covering" and entering in certain ways, distance etc., and something that Seagal showed me over 20 years ago about a way to get a sort of tenkan in connecting with the shoulder or tricep in a way that can work well while protecting yourself.... and there are other ways as well....

LN

Michael Douglas
04-28-2007, 03:38 PM
Live long and prosper. Don't train with me. You'd hate it. You can't hit anyone. :-)
Can you explain this video please Larry?
http://www.aceaikido.com/IndyBackfist.mov
From your dojo webpage, video section
http://www.aceaikido.com/main.html

(I'm playing with VLC media player)

In that video, about the response to some kind of backfist, the uke appears to fall down without having been presented with any reason to fall. Am I just not seeing some 'cause', or ...do I now understand why you don't believe in the absolute need for atemi in aikido.

Aiki1
04-28-2007, 03:56 PM
Can you explain this video please Larry?
http://www.aceaikido.com/IndyBackfist.mov
From your dojo webpage, video section
http://www.aceaikido.com/main.html

(I'm playing with VLC media player)

In that video, about the response to some kind of backfist, the uke appears to fall down without having been presented with any reason to fall. Am I just not seeing some 'cause', or ...do I now understand why you don't believe in the absolute need for atemi in aikido.

You are not seeing what actually happened at all, and please don't insult me. That is a very unnecessary and insulting implication. You have no idea who I am, what I can or can't do, and the sacrifices I have made to learn what I know.

There was a guy at that seminar who didn't believe it either. He was a nice guy, very experienced at martial arts, big, strong, and wanted to test me. When he hit the ground, he jumped up and yelled - Do it again! with a big smile on his face. He then told me that he had never been thrown like that, and that he didn't even feel anything. I saw him again when I was later invited to teach at a seminar at Stanford. Different attack, different technique. Same response when he hit the ground. We had a great time.

I have all sorts of different anecdotes from over the last 25 years about experiences I've had with people, many who were very experienced martial artists, who were curious. And many where it wasn't simply a standard dojo attack and respond scenario.

I'll say this. It seems like it's hard for some people to believe that there might be something in Aikido that is different than what you know, that simply might work also. I find that incredible, and incredibly egotistical, but extremely prevalent in Aikido. I learned from many people. I'm glad I did. It saved my life, literally, and gave me an open mind. I studied atemi, both distractive and striking, nerve, soft tissue, etc. Just because I have learned and found effective ways of doing things differently than you, and perhaps a lot of Aikido practitioners, doesn't make what I do a fantasy.

LN

George S. Ledyard
04-28-2007, 05:34 PM
You are not seeing what actually happened at all, and please don't insult me. That is a very unnecessary and insulting implication. You have no idea who I am, what I can or can't do, and the sacrifices I have made to learn what I know.

There was a guy at that seminar who didn't believe it either. He was a nice guy, very experienced at martial arts, big, strong, and wanted to test me. When he hit the ground, he jumped up and yelled - Do it again! with a big smile on his face. He then told me that he had never been thrown like that, and that he didn't even feel anything. I saw him again when I was later invited to teach at a seminar at Stanford. Different attack, different technique. Same response when he hit the ground. We had a great time.

I have all sorts of different anecdotes from over the last 25 years about experiences I've had with people, many who were very experienced martial artists, who were curious. And many where it wasn't simply a standard dojo attack and respond scenario.

I'll say this. It seems like it's hard for some people to believe that there might be something in Aikido that is different than what you know, that simply might work also. I find that incredible, and incredibly egotistical, but extremely prevalent in Aikido. I learned from many people. I'm glad I did. It saved my life, literally, and gave me an open mind. I studied atemi, both distractive and striking, nerve, soft tissue, etc. Just because I have learned and found effective ways of doing things differently than you, and perhaps a lot of Aikido practitioners, doesn't make what I do a fantasy.

LN

Hi Larry,
Don't get me wrong on this... I am in no way intending to be disrespectful on this, I'm just stating what I CURRENTLY believe to be true, which I think you are as well. I'd be perfectly happy to be proved wrong... I'd have to change the way I explain things to my students, but they are used to me changing things periodically anyway. Since I regularly encounter folks who can do stuff that I have no idea how they do (and I seek these folks out), it wouldn't be a problem to incorporate another into my world view. So perhaps at some point we'll cross paths and you can prove me wrong; if so I'll be the first one in line to get you to show me how.

On an aside I think you know my ex, Cassandra Cosme from training with the Stones if I'm not mistaken. I'm pretty sure she told me she'd met you at some point.

Aiki1
04-28-2007, 06:03 PM
Hi Larry,
Don't get me wrong on this... I am in no way intending to be disrespectful on this, I'm just stating what I CURRENTLY believe to be true, which I think you are as well.

snip good explanation....

On an aside I think you know my ex, Cassandra Cosme from training with the Stones if I'm not mistaken. I'm pretty sure she told me she'd met you at some point.

Hi George - I was refering to the post where the implication, as I read it, was that the reason why I don't feel the need for atemi was because my uke simply tanked for me and went down for no reason. I found that very insulting. You and I may disagree, but I havent found anything you've said to be of that nature, which I appreciate.

I don't think I ever got to meet Cassandra, but I was in communication with her at one point, as I recall, because of some training I was giving re: the Stones, yup. :-)

LN

George S. Ledyard
04-28-2007, 06:12 PM
... because my uke simply tanked for me and went down for no reason.

Actually, I watched the clips on your site. I will say that, i would have taken the fall there as you were inside the attack and owned the space. I was taught to vacate when that happened and that's the way I train my folks. Out of curiosity, what would happen at that point if your partner planted and tried to be immovable? It looked to me as if he could have made that choice, regardless of how unwise it would have been.

Michael Douglas
04-28-2007, 06:17 PM
You are not seeing what actually happened at all, and please don't insult me. That is a very unnecessary and insulting implication.
I did not knowingly insult you.
Please answer my questions.

Aiki1
04-28-2007, 06:24 PM
Actually, I watched the clips on your site. I will say that, i would have taken the fall there as you were inside the attack and owned the space. I was taught to vacate when that happened and that's the way I train my folks. Out of curiosity, what would happen at that point if your partner planted and tried to be immovable? It looked to me as if he could have made that choice, regardless of how unwise it would have been.

Yea, as I said in another post, a lot of what I do even looks fake, and I know that, I don't have a problem with that. Here's the good part - he didn't go down because it would have been unwise otherwise, it's because I had his balance through my connection to his striking arm and then my relocating my center. His structure was losing support already, and there wasn't a way for him to plant. That can only be felt, in my experience, not seen. My other hand was up where it was to protect from anything possibly coming fromm that direction, and/or to follow through with a full tenchinage movement if need be. My people are trained to take care of themselves, so they will vacate if it's dangerous to stay, so to speak, but afterward, their impression would be that the technique itself didn't work. People in my dojo don't take falls, in a sense. They go down because they cannot keep their balance, or they find their structure collapsing and cannot stay upright. I never get any breaks from them.

But - to add, I don't assume my Aikido is or will be perfect, in fact, in a sense, I expect it not to be - that's why the possible follow-through with tenchinage - not as atemi but simply connecting to the temple and release forward.

LN

Aiki1
04-28-2007, 06:28 PM
I did not knowingly insult you.
Please answer my questions.

I believe I have in another new post.

LN

Charles Hill
04-28-2007, 11:28 PM
Lots of great stuff here. For me, the issue is resolved in the idea that correct martial practice requires a certain "aliveness" and that this aliveness can be had without striking but is very difficult due to our infinite ability to delude ourselves especially with this psychologically hot topic of violence. So striking (in my Systema practice) is a very important part of my own training. But I admit that part of that is due to my own inadequecies. Also, I have learned a lot about myself both by striking and being struck.

Mr. Ledyard, my understanding of systema strikes is similar to yours with the one caveat that it is my understanding that we don't strike to create tension, we point out the tension that is already there.

Mark, I don't look at it as doing as less as possible, I see it as attempting to not add things that aren't necessary. (sorry about the double negative) One thing I am trying to work through is the idea that in a technique based art like aikido, is that we are working with memory (a set technique) that we then try to superimpose onto reality. In systema we are asked to look at the reality of the situation, to move with what is there. For me, this is much more difficult psychically than my aikido training has been.

Charles

Aiki1
04-28-2007, 11:41 PM
One thing I am trying to work through is the idea that in a technique based art like aikido, is that we are working with memory (a set technique) that we then try to superimpose onto reality. In systema we are asked to look at the reality of the situation, to move with what is there. For me, this is much more difficult psychically than my aikido training has been.

What???

I would -Never- characterize Aikido as you have above - just the opposite. In fact, your explanation of Systema is a fairly common discription of Aikido, at least in my world.

LN

Chuck Clark
04-29-2007, 12:23 AM
I would never label our system as a "technique" based system. We're definitely a "prinicple" based system. It just doesn't make sense to me to practice that way. It'd be like learning music as a "song" based system instead of the way good musicians are trained. If you're trained in principle properly you can play any songs you want in just about any style you want. When I'm really doing aikido instead of training everything I do is different... and it's all some form of atemi with my mind/body as the tool. Ki, Ken, Tai Ichi or another way of saying it is Rigi ittai.

Mark Uttech
04-29-2007, 04:39 AM
Hi Mark,
I find it fascinating that you would describe the place of no technique as a "distraction"... I would rather put it that for most people technique and the desire to apply it on someone else is the distraction.

One of the things I love best about Systema practice is that afterwards I have much less investment in my Aikido manifesting in a particular way. I am much more able to simply let the technique create itself because I am less attached to a particular form.

Also, you seem to make getting by by doing as little as possible a negative... As someone who trains with Saotome Sensei as you do I find that surprising since it would be hard to find an Aikido guy who does more with less than Sensei. The slightest touch, the smallest movement and you are gone. That seems to be the ultimate in doing as little as possible to get by. I thought that was what we were shooting for...

Hallo George,
I stand corrected and am glad to be corrected by someone such as yourself. On the other hand, I guess I was thinking of the Buddhist
concept of: "Form is Emptiness, Emptiness is form". Saotome Sensei seems to me to embody this Buddhist concept, and yet, when he demonstrates he adapts. You can clearly see aikido kihon waza along with aikido principle. My remarks about the 'no technique' of Systema were made with the thought of teaching beginners. Beginners need some sort of form to follow and practice; they need some sort of map and signposts along the way. I remember one shodan test in Florida many years ago where Saotome asked the student testing to demonstrate Ikkyo omote from a shomen strike, and the student did not understand and kept doing ura over and over. Sensei gave us a lecture afterwards, explaining the important need to learn basics. Perhaps Systema has these basics and there is something I am missing.

In gassho,

Mark

SeiserL
04-29-2007, 07:39 AM
Just because I have learned and found effective ways of doing things differently than you, and perhaps a lot of Aikido practitioners, doesn't make what I do a fantasy.
Osu,

Nope, not a fantasy. IMHO (and 1 personal experience), I think perhaps you have learned and found some effective ways different from the "norm". I can say that from personally feeling (not not feeling) your way several years ago.

Also, IMHO, too many people are learning Aikido as techniques, not concepts. As hard, not soft. As external, not internal. As make, not let. As absolutes, not evolution. As either/or, not both.

There has been a lot of good recent debate and discussion about just these things. Atemi-waza just being the content piece of this thread. I have found them very instructional, insightful, and inspiring.

Thanks for sharing your experience and perspective here. Perhaps, again, we will also share space and time on the mat.

Rei, Domo.

George S. Ledyard
04-29-2007, 09:23 AM
Mr. Ledyard, my understanding of systema strikes is similar to yours with the one caveat that it is my understanding that we don't strike to create tension, we point out the tension that is already there.


As I understand it, one does all there... striking to remove tension which would be the therapuetic side of training (the strikes are actually meant to be beneficial), striking the opponent's tension to create some level of dysfunction or to misalign the structure (the martial aspect; not necessarily beneficial to the opponent) and the third which is striking to create tension. It is my understanding that some strikes can be doubled so that the first one creates some tension and the second is therefore more effective. Also, there are times when the opponent is very relaxed when they strike to create some tension in order to get the structure needed to move them more easily. Anyway, that's just my take on some of the conversations I've had with the guys next door.

George S. Ledyard
04-29-2007, 10:03 AM
Hallo George,
I stand corrected and am glad to be corrected by someone such as yourself. On the other hand, I guess I was thinking of the Buddhist
concept of: "Form is Emptiness, Emptiness is form". Saotome Sensei seems to me to embody this Buddhist concept, and yet, when he demonstrates he adapts. You can clearly see aikido kihon waza along with aikido principle. My remarks about the 'no technique' of Systema were made with the thought of teaching beginners. Beginners need some sort of form to follow and practice; they need some sort of map and signposts along the way. I remember one shodan test in Florida many years ago where Saotome asked the student testing to demonstrate Ikkyo omote from a shomen strike, and the student did not understand and kept doing ura over and over. Sensei gave us a lecture afterwards, explaining the important need to learn basics. Perhaps Systema has these basics and there is something I am missing.

In gassho,

Mark

This is only true if the art you do has a form.. you master that form then let go and allow the principles you learned via training in the form create their own forms i.e. take musu aiki. But Systema is specifically meant to free on from the strictures of form. All of the training, right from the start is designed to provide the internal structure to allow you to move completely freely, to generate power from ones on center of rotation and to totally relax the mind.

One of the problems with the form of Aikido and the way it is generally taught (including the way i learned myself) is that, even though it is supposed to utilize aiki in the waza, our method of training makes it very difficult for the less experienced folks to even discover what that means.

The standard training method is for the teacher to get up in front of the class and demonstrate a technique. He or she may be completely aiki as they do this, they may be simply allowing the technique to manifest the way it should based on how the teacher and the uke come together. The uke on his or her part will energize in a certain way based on having no real idea what the teacher might do, since the teacher can change the variation or even the technique in an instant and the uke needs to stay with them.

But what happens when it is the student's turn? They immediately attempt to imitate precisely what the teacher did. It doesn't really make a difference what kind of energy the uke is giving, it may be quite different from what the teacher was getting from his or her partner. No, the student is generally expected to try to duplicate what the teacher just did, right down to the particular variation shown. So right away, on a fundamental level, the student is going to try to shape the partner to the technique and not let how the two of them come together create the shape of the technique. So why would it be surprising that most Aikido folks don't have much "aiki" until very advanced stages of their training, if they get there at all?

I really like Chuck Clark Sensei's teaching methodology. he has an array of paired movement exercises which teach not only correct movement and body mechanics but give the student an experience of what the technique should "feel" like when it is perfect. These are done in a very controlled circumstance to eliminate any artificial forcing of the movement. If one is going to teach form, this is the way to do it, in my opinion.

The Systema training method isn't perfect... one of the downsides is that since they train mostly by doing a slow to medium freestyle practice, it takes them quite a while to discover some of the actual techniques that are used within the formless movement. I was at a seminar with Emmanuel Manolokakis and he was doing some great movement work... he was doing his blending movement, putting in some spontaneous strikes and then dumping the partner with a takedown.

When I was paired with the Systema guys they did a good job of moving and evading my strikes, and were fine with striking me and seeing my openings, but when it came time for the takedowns all that relaxation would disappear and they'd glom me and try to muscle me down. Of course they weren't an advanced group for the most part but what I found was that I ended up helping my partners by explaining the principles of the takedowns using the explanations I'd use in Aikido and they found it very helpful. The takedowns was the part of the practice that I could do with the advanced guys. What they do is totally aiki but they don't explain it so everyone has to figure it out by simply doing and watching the good guys demonstrate (sound familiar?) A bit of instruction in the form of the mechanics from me and it accelerated their learning curve.

So, as I have said, I think that Chuck Clark Sensei's approach bridges that gap very nicely. Just as the Systema guys do, he teaches principle rather than technique but he has ways of teaching those principles through a very intelligent use of form. I don't find that to be the case in a lot of Aikido.

Steven
04-29-2007, 11:04 AM
the uke appears to fall down without having been presented with any reason to fall

Ironically, the first thing I noted in this demonstration, other than the lack of serious commitment in the strike, was the atemi to the head executed by the instructor. If you slow the video down and look at it frame by frame, you will see precisely what happened.

What I see is the atemi (whether it made contact or not) was done is such a way that uke's head moved. This in itself changed uke's balance. You can also clearly see that the striking hand was cut down and into uke's weak line, thus further compromising the balance. The instructor then continues his entering movement into and through uke's weak line.

In my book, all principles of aikido executed properly. With that said, my only issue with this is the lack of commitment from the attack. Uke just stuck his hand out there so I'm not entirely convinced the shite (tori/nage) would have been able to perform this technique with a fully committed attack and no atemi. (whatever your definition of atemi is) Then again, it is clear to me that the instructor is discussing and demonstrating principles, so a harder strike may not have been the appropriate response from uke at the time.

Not my cup of tea when teaching or demonstrating, however I contend that if you don't see what happened (which was plainly obvious in my book) one should spend more time at the dojo practicing and less time on the internet. :D

George S. Ledyard
04-29-2007, 01:15 PM
Ironically, the first thing I noted in this demonstration, ...., was the atemi to the head executed by the instructor.

Hi Steve,
This was precisely my impression as well. I am thinking that we have a terminology problem here and that some of us would consider atemi, quite clearly, others may consider something different.

I was taught that atemi is something quite a bit broader than just a physical strike, although it can be just that.

It can be a kiai, it can be a pulse of energy, anything which catches and shifts the attacker's attention. My friend Joanne Veneziano Sensei used to give the unsuspecting uke a kiss on the cheek during irimi nage... it was fun to watch an other wise strong person's structure dissolve when that happened. Another one was a story Saotome Sensei told us about O-Sensei... He went to apply a nikkyo on one of the deshi, one of those guys who did ten thousand sword cuts a day with wrists that look like my ankles... The uke didn't initially respond and O-Sensei simply smiled and bit his pinky finger which totally shifted the fellows energy and O-Sensei dropped him.

People don't understand about maai when it comes to atemi... In order for an attacker to strike or grab you he needs to close the distance and come to a focus point. It is the fundamental disadvantage of the attacker's role that he has to cross all of that distance to get to you. But you only have to own the space he wishes to occupy, you do not have to go out to him. Larry Sensei, in these videos does a nice job of doing that... his hand is in the space that that attacker needs to be in to complete his attack, therefore he is forced to vacate. When his structure dissolves, Larry Sensei is able to a very soft application of movement to completely off balance the attacker. This is precisely what I meant by atemi being implicit rather than explicit. This is very much how I was trained and how I teach my students but to me this is definitely a form of atemi and to Larry Sensei it is not. Perhaps the discrepancy has to do with using terminology that describes the intention rather the the result... this is going to have to take some more communication for me to understand. I can and do what Larry Sensei is showing in he films but I clearly visualize and describe it completely differently.

Aikibu
04-29-2007, 04:45 PM
Ha - can't resist.

It amazes me that you think your reality is the only valid one.

Live long and prosper. Don't train with me. You'd hate it. You can't hit anyone. :-)

I'm not talking about the UFC, by the way....

LN

Actually Larry, I have seen you several times over the last 20 years on the mat so no worries about me training with you. You've stolen allot of your "style" from us as it is.

As for putting words in my mouth or making assumptions about my "reality" some might mistake that for arrogance which considering what a nice person you are is kind of sad.

See you around town. :)

William Hazen

Aiki1
04-29-2007, 05:13 PM
Actually Larry, I have seen you several times over the last 20 years on the mat so no worries about me training with you. You've stolen allot of your "style" from us as it is.

As for putting words in my mouth or making assumptions about my "reality" some might mistake that for arrogance which considering what a nice person you are is kind of sad.

See you around town. :)

William Hazen

Your original statement was:

William Hazen wrote:
....you MUST use Atemi in your practice if you expect your Aikido to be effective against other Martal Arts. To say it can be effective without it is to ignore reality.

To say that it MUST be that way and that way only, and that to put forth something else is to ignore reality, is to portray one's reality as the only valid one. That wasn't putting words in your mouth. Those are your words.

The rest was a joke, thus the smiley. Sorry.

To say that I have stolen anything from Nishio-style Aikido, especially the way you portray it, well, that kind of accusation.... I won't even comment about. That, to me, is a -big- thing to say here.

If you have seen me in the last 20 years, it must have been at my dojo, because I don't recall having been on any other mat, other than in BJJ, in the LA area, in that time. If you have been to my dojo, I don't recall it. Perhaps I'm wrong, my memory isn't perfect. Perhaps we've met, but at the moment I don't recall that either.

Aikibu
04-29-2007, 05:52 PM
Your original statement was:

To say that it MUST be that way and that way only, and that to put forth something else is to ignore reality, is to portray one's reality as the only valid one. That wasn't putting words in your mouth. Those are your words.

I understand your point of view.

The rest was a joke, thus the smiley. Sorry.

Apology accepted. :)

To say that I have stolen anything from Nishio-style Aikido, especially the way you portray it, well, that kind of accusation.... I won't even comment about. That, to me, is a -big- thing to say here.

I think your perception of what I meant has far more to do with it than my explaination. You took a contrarian postion regarding Atemi here yet you teach & practice it. I personally think we're not that far apart. As for how I "portray it." I am curious as to what you understand our Aikido to "be". I know it as Yurusu Budo. You???

If you have seen me in the last 20 years, it must have been at my dojo, because I don't recall having been on any other mat, other than in BJJ, in the LA area, in that time. If you have been to my dojo, I don't recall it. Perhaps I'm wrong, my memory isn't perfect. Perhaps we've met, but at the moment I don't recall that either.

Yes it would have been at your Dojo. More than once. I try to experiance all forms of Aikido in the L.A. Area and have been to over a score of Dojos. It has something to do with keeping an open mind and Shoji Nishio imploring us to make connections with other Aikidoka. Since I am not world famous, I could see how I would have escaped notice. :D I have never particpated in a class other than as an observer. Perhaps that is why you don't remember me. You do have a warm handshake and a friendly demeanor from what I recall. :)

I would hope that if there is another Aiki-Expo that you get a chance to demonstrate A.C.E. Aikido with your Aiki-Brothers and Sisters. It sounds like you have had several Satori and I would like to actually experiance the magic you describe here. :)

Respectfully,

William Hazen

George S. Ledyard
04-29-2007, 06:08 PM
You've stolen allot of your "style" from us as it is.


William,
What does this mean? I don't get it?

If I bought all of Nishio Sensei's videos (which I did) and then incorporated some of his ideas into my Aikido, did I "steal" something? If I went to some seminars with Endo Sensei and incorporated some elements of what he taught, did I "steal" something?

"Steal" implies that I have taken something I am not entitled to have. Nishio put out all sort sorts of videos and anyone could purchase them, not just folks from his lineage. He taught all sorts of seminars over the years which were open to people of all affiliations. Ostensibly he did this because he wished his "take" on Aikido to be widely dispersed.

So given the fact that no effort was made to keep things restricted, as they are in a koryu, how can you say that anything was stolen? Seems an odd term to use...

Aikibu
04-29-2007, 06:22 PM
William,
What does this mean? I don't get it?

If I bought all of Nishio Sensei's videos (which I did) and then incorporated some of his ideas into my Aikido, did I "steal" something? If I went to some seminars with Endo Sensei and incorporated some elements of what he taught, did I "steal" something?

"Steal" implies that I have taken something I am not entitled to have. Nishio put out all sort sorts of videos and anyone could purchase them, not just folks from his lineage. He taught all sorts of seminars over the years which were open to people of all affiliations. Ostensibly he did this because he wished his "take" on Aikido to be widely dispersed.

So given the fact that no effort was made to keep things restricted, as they are in a koryu, how can you say that anything was stolen? Seems an odd term to use...

In retrospect an incorrect term at best for which I both retract and apologize to Larry, You and anyone else who may have been offended by it.

William Hazen

George S. Ledyard
04-29-2007, 06:54 PM
In retrospect an incorrect term at best for which I both retract and apologize to Larry, You and anyone else who may have been offended by it.

William Hazen
"What me worry?" I wasn't offended, I was just wondering what you meant by it. Sounded like one of those loaded terms we all have that carry a load from somewhere else.

xuzen
04-30-2007, 03:43 AM
Boon,
When I was at the Aikikai Honbu, there was a young man who worked there, probably a shihan or at least shidoin, who often had a black eye or two from acting as one particular major Shihan's uke in demonstration. I think he would diagree with your characterization of Aikikai being atemi-less.
Charles
You know, the problem with Aikikai is this. There is no consistency and no quality control. You can get the "tree hugging hippy granola crunching" version all the way to "I'm gonna make you wish yer Ma never give birth to you" type.

Hence, you were exposed to the latter, whereas I was exposed to the former, all still under the umbrella of AIKIKAI org.

Boon.

philippe willaume
04-30-2007, 08:21 AM
Hello larry

I am really puzzled by you statement about you not using atemi.
Since the beginning of this thread people have said that you could use atemi
To hit him
To make him move
Or to prevent him to go somewhere

In http://www.aceaikido.com/IndyBackfist.mov

You plainly clearly use atemi to finish your partner off.
The offer on the table for him is I let my head go to where I am taken of balance or I take the strike that is coming.
You will surely argue that you never had the intent to strike him, hence it is not an atemi, but that his beside the point, and he reacted as if you were. And that is the point of using atemi.

Ultimately even if you never ever going to hit someone with an atemi, the "fear" of the atemi for lack of a better word, was what you used. From our younger age, we know that atemi hurts so we have learned that it is better not to be there even if we never have been hit. For example, I have never ever be kicked buy horse, but I have seen it, and that is precisely why I take corrective action when I pass behind a horse.

We can argue until someone can demonstrate that there is only one straight line between two points that actually smashing his head in is part of aikido, but that is another debate.

Phil

PS For the record I think that was martially sound, regardless the precived intent of uke (we need to bear in mind that video tends to slow thing down)
He attack out of distance/out of his space, so you where able to slip his attack which gave you a timing advantage.
As you drive/guide his am to the third point, you protect you movement of the fighting lie and with you right arms movement (whether we call it atemi or not) you deprive of him of mounting a counterattack.

Aikibu
04-30-2007, 08:29 AM
"What me worry?" I wasn't offended, I was just wondering what you meant by it. Sounded like one of those loaded terms we all have that carry a load from somewhere else.

I was reffering to it from the old school Koryu sense however you're right George Nishio Shihan shared his Aikido with all... so it was a poor choice of words....

William Hazen

CitoMaramba
04-30-2007, 08:48 AM
From "Modern Learning: A Decline in Stealing?" by Prof. Peter Goldsbury (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=556)
"The Founder of aikido has been quoted as good-humouredly telling his deshi, “Don’t expect me to teach you. You must steal the techniques for yourselves.” The stealing of techniques, coupled with the relationship known as SHU-HA-RI, is sometimes regarded as the most traditional and appropriate method of learning in Japanese traditional arts."

Aikibu
04-30-2007, 03:06 PM
From "Modern Learning: A Decline in Stealing?" by Prof. Peter Goldsbury (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=556)
"The Founder of aikido has been quoted as good-humouredly telling his deshi, “Don’t expect me to teach you. You must steal the techniques for yourselves.” The stealing of techniques, coupled with the relationship known as SHU-HA-RI, is sometimes regarded as the most traditional and appropriate method of learning in Japanese traditional arts."

Thanks for this Cito...I forget that I have been around along time and when folks refer to stealing techniques I assume your citation from Professor Goldsbury ( and other Shihan over my long experiance) is what they mean. It was my fault for not being able to explain it better here. :)

William Hazen

SeiserL
04-30-2007, 03:15 PM
Hello larry I am really puzzled by you statement about you not using atemi. ... You plainly clearly use atemi to finish your partner off.
IMHO, if I understand Novick Sensei's position (yea, I know, fat chance of that), the movement he uses is to "let" the uke fall, not to "strike" or "take or break balance". It is a subtle distinction in intent, but since ki follows mind (intent) it may make for quite the difference in execution.

These subtle distinctions in thought are really very fascinating.

Aiki1
04-30-2007, 03:57 PM
IMHO, if I understand Novick Sensei's position (yea, I know, fat chance of that), the movement he uses is to "let" the uke fall, not to "strike" or "take or break balance". It is a subtle distinction in intent, but since ki follows mind (intent) it may make for quite the difference in execution.

These subtle distinctions in thought are really very fascinating.

You got it Lynn,, well put. And to me, there ends up indeed being a difference in execution, on a few levels, including feeling. And in my experience, sometimes two things can look the same but in the end, are actually not. I've dealt with that for years.

LN

SeiserL
04-30-2007, 07:00 PM
sometimes two things can look the same but in the end, are actually not.
Yep, looks (and words) are deceiving. Aikido has always been that way for me. How it looked was one thing, but when I felt the real thing, now that was a convincer.

I'm gonna give your reframe a try and see what happens.

Rei, Domo.

CitoMaramba
05-01-2007, 12:44 AM
Sometimes, what looks like an atemi is not an atemi.
And sometimces, what doesn't look like an atemi is an atemi.

philippe willaume
05-01-2007, 05:23 AM
You got it Lynn,, well put. And to me, there ends up indeed being a difference in execution, on a few levels, including feeling. And in my experience, sometimes two things can look the same but in the end, are actually not. I've dealt with that for years.

LN
Hello lynn larry

Yes that i, what i was under the impression Larry was saying, I was not really argumenting against that. May be I was not clear.
What I was trying to get at was that our intent only concerns ourselves our opponent can take it with a different meaning.
It is like written communication on a post I intend to mean something but when someone who reads it may very well understand something else.

The Newtonian expression of Larry intent is occupying the same physical space as one effect of an atemi.
Namely to To make him move and to prevent him to go somewhere

Larry does not mean it as an atemi but striking an atemi that do not make contact will produce the same result.
We will let Uke fall on his own accord.

Yes there is a difference in felling for us and may be for uke (but we can not guaranty that he got our intent right so ).
What I am trying to say is that I believe that the difference are at a subjective level for us but I do not believe that in the Newtonian physics world there is that much difference.

phil

SeiserL
05-01-2007, 07:02 AM
Francis Takahashi Sensei would say its all posture and position. If you are in the right posture and the right position (at the right time), the uke will do the rest.

Ron Tisdale
05-03-2007, 09:23 AM
Still enjoying this thread immensely....

Many of the body/arm/hand motions that I use to complete the movement of a technique, are sword strike movements.

I know that my own instructor (Yoshinkan) uses sword strikes in many of his demonstration waza, especially if there are multiple attackers. He enters and cuts, enters, turns and cuts, over and over...if you aren't prepared for the ukemi, it can really hurt! And he is being careful...

I'd hate to receive one of those cuts when he wasn't being careful...

Best,
Ron (and I've been hit a fare amount...)

Chuck Clark
05-03-2007, 10:22 AM
Francis Takahashi Sensei would say its all posture and position. If you are in the right posture and the right position (at the right time), the uke will do the rest.

Lynn, with respect to Takahashi san, I would also add something that I think many people do not consider strongly enough. Along with being in the right posture, the right positional relationship at the right time with uke... a huge necessary element is INTENT. This, I think, is really part of posture along with metsuke.

I notice that often people assume that their intent is correct but often is filled with, "is this gonna work.. who's watching me that I want to please..." etc.

Another aspect of intent must include uke's intent... since once engaged, tori and uke are one. Even if uke's intent is weak, etc. it is part of tori's taking of the sente and keeping it.

If all of this is taking place, then the rest "just happens."

I have a suspicion this is most likely what Takahashi meant but many do not understand so they do not pay attention to it.

Aiki1
05-03-2007, 10:28 AM
Still enjoying this thread immensely....

"LN: Many of the body/arm/hand motions that I use to complete the movement of a technique, are sword strike movements.

I know that my own instructor (Yoshinkan) uses sword strikes in many of his demonstration waza, especially if there are multiple attackers. He enters and cuts, enters, turns and cuts, over and over...if you aren't prepared for the ukemi, it can really hurt! And he is being careful...

I'd hate to receive one of those cuts when he wasn't being careful...

Best,
Ron (and I've been hit a fare amount...)

When I said I use sword strikes, in this case I didn't mean as atemi per se - I meant as the movement that usually finally completes the technique. Often, for me, the final movement of a technique is a dropping motion/releasing of the center followed by the arm(s)/hand(s). That's where the "sword strike" comes into play for me.

In my Aikido, what often looks like atemi is most likely a movement to make sure I have my hand/arm in the right place to protect myself from uke's other hand deliberately or wildly striking, not as likely to be an unbalancing move/strike. If I "need" an atemi to unbalance someone in every or most situations, then to me, I am not in the right position in the first place to execute a throw. If I am in the right position, I wouldn't/shouldn't necessarily need the atemi to unbalance in the first place. Now, an argument, I think, might be made that one needs atemi to get into the right position in the first place, but in most cases, not to me.

But, I have never said that I -never- use atemi. I do, sometimes, in various ways. I just feel that (1) it needs to be used very carefully, so as not to allow the roles to be reversed and nage becomes the attacker, (2) it is not overly-relied on to make one's technique successful, and (3) it is not used in a way that begins to motivate nage "doing something to" uke in the sense of how I use that concept.

I have mostly been responding to statements like (these are just examples, I'm not singling anyone out):

- "There is no Aikido without Atemi. that is of course if you practice Aikido as a Martial Art."

- "I frankly don't see how Aikido exists in absence of atemi."

- "You seem to be from the aikido as movement practice camp. Personally, I don't really consider that to be aikido, as it lacks any martial component."

- "If you take the atemi out of Aikido there is no Budo. It's just a dance."

I understand these kinds of statements, but I come from a different place, where these are Not necessarily always true in all cases, that's all.

I've never said that there is no place at all for atemi in Aikido. But the where, when, how, and intention behind it are all important to me.

LN

Ron Tisdale
05-03-2007, 10:48 AM
Nice post...

When I said I use sword strikes, in this case I didn't mean as atemi per se - I meant as the movement that usually finally completes the technique. Often, for me, the final movement of a technique is a dropping motion/releasing of the center followed by the arm(s)/hand(s). That's where the "sword strike" comes into play for me.

In the case of my instructor, I *believe* he would agree...my perception of the described waza is that balance is broken on irimi, zanshin is accompanied by atemi (sword strike), with the goal of being able to finish the attacker if needed. In other words, one attack, one waza. He is NOT hitting someone to break their balance, he is in fact hitting someone whose balance is already broken, working with the scenario being enacted of multiple attackers in a martial setting.

I've noticed from my days in kickboxing and from watching boxing, many, if not most knockouts occur once the opponant is unbalanced in some way...or if they do not see the blow coming. It can be difficult to prepare to receive a blow while flying upside down through the air with the ground rushing up at you... ;)

Best,
Ron

Marc Abrams
05-03-2007, 04:18 PM
Larry:

I don't necessarily think that I am differing at all with you. I referred to George's piece on Atemi for a particular reason. A vital strike does not have to be a percussive blow. By moving in tune with the attacker so that we have changed our relationship to each other with the nage occupying the center line in a manner that forces the attacker to be off balance and move around the center line is a powerful atemi without the necessity of a punch. The vital strike is an unbalancing of the attacker through a variety of movements.

Marc Abrams

SeiserL
05-03-2007, 05:03 PM
... a huge necessary element is INTENT. This, I think, is really part of posture along with metsuke.
...
I have a suspicion this is most likely what Takahashi meant but many do not understand so they do not pay attention to it.
Osu,

Yes, total agreement. Posture is the nonverbal behavioral manifestation of one's internal state, intent.

I am sure Takahashi Sensei offered many insights I did not (and still don't) understand. But I look forward to getting a glimpse.

Rei, Domo.

SeiserL
05-03-2007, 05:04 PM
But the where, when, how, and intention behind it are all important to me.
Osu,

And to many of us.

Rei, Domo.

Aiki1
05-03-2007, 05:13 PM
Perhaps the subtle variations in how peoole characterize what Atemi is, makes it difficult to really fully know if one person is on the same page as another person. Hard to say.

LN

Aikibu
05-03-2007, 07:05 PM
Perhaps the subtle variations in how peoole characterize what Atemi is, makes it difficult to really fully know if one person is on the same page as another person. Hard to say.

LN

Well it seems there is no real differance in our interpretation or application then and this is just a bit of semantic dithering over the interpretation of the word "Atemi"

William Hazen

Aiki1
05-03-2007, 07:38 PM
Well it seems there is no real differance in our interpretation or application then and this is just a bit of semantic dithering over the interpretation of the word "Atemi"

William Hazen

I suppose that's one way to interpret what I wrote, but that interpretation would have nothing to do with what I was actually discussing.

LN

Aikibu
05-04-2007, 12:15 AM
I suppose that's one way to interpret what I wrote, but that interpretation would have nothing to do with what I was actually discussing.

LN

Well then you win. :D

William Hazen

stan baker
05-05-2007, 03:28 PM
If your aikido is good then you can do any thing you want why bother with atemi

stan

tarik
05-06-2007, 02:14 PM
If your aikido is good then you can do any thing you want why bother with atemi

They are inextricable to me. Technique does not occur without kuzushi, and I am currently trying to make every kuzushi an atemi with my entire body.

xuzen
05-08-2007, 10:04 PM
If your aikido is good then you can do any thing you want why bother with atemi.
stan
The above may be plausible If you view atemi as a separate component of aikido; however my teacher taught me otherwise.

Boon.

Jonathan Guzzo
05-09-2007, 12:28 PM
I've only scanned this thread, so forgive me if this has been brought up already. Ellis Amdur has a great chapter on atemi in Dueling with O'Sensei in which he suggests some exercises to incorporate the intent of atemi in one's daily practice. I recommend.

Jonathan

Renzo Roncal Soto
05-30-2007, 12:19 PM
Atemi is a tool to create a state AIKI, that allows to harmonize to us with the aggressor, being generated physical-emotional imbalance and thus techniques can flow freely, without opposition nor resistance.

Does not exist technical of Aikido that does not work without a previous imbalance, not always imbalance by displacement will be able to be obtained that takes to the instability of uke and not always the energy given by the aggressor will be able to be used. Atemi waza allows to accumulate the energy of a static attack, later to release it of explosive way with our additional energy