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skati
07-19-2008, 10:51 AM
I understand that Aikido is based more on throws, but I was wondering how striking fits into it.

I have looked through the wiki and the articles, but some of them seemed a bit...vague.

I matched some of the strikes and kicks from the articles up with the ones from the wiki and narrowed it down somewhat.

Some things I were wondering that I didn't see covered...in the names of the different attacks, are strikes generally knife hand strikes, striking with the same edge you'd use in a karate chop? Are thrusts always referring to punches?

On kicks, the two I saw on the wiki (front and roundhouse kick) were mid level (like striking the stomach or ribs). The article mentioned a sidekick, but doesn't give a level. My question here, are there various levels for sidekicks and roundhouse kicks, like there are in Tae Kwon Do and Muay Thai?

Do the strikes in Aikido come from other Asian martial arts that I could use as a reference?

To clarify, my definition of a roundhouse kick (though in the style I trained in, we just called it a round kick) is like those used in Muay Thai: kind of like swinging the leg (sometimes turning around with it, but not always) around to kick, rather than raising the knee and snapping it sideways. We did ours on low, middle, and high levels, though we normally stuck with striking the legs and the ribs (low and mid respectively).

Thanks ahead of time, for the info.

Don_Modesto
07-19-2008, 11:15 AM
Some things I were wondering that I didn't see covered...in the names of the different attacks, are strikes generally knife hand strikes, striking with the same edge you'd use in a karate chop? Are thrusts always referring to punches?Pretty much.

Do the strikes in Aikido come from other Asian martial arts that I could use as a reference?Movement in aikido is typically attributed to practice of the sword.

skati
07-19-2008, 02:17 PM
I see. Thank you for the clarification.

mathewjgano
07-19-2008, 03:10 PM
I've seen a bit of the ol' middle knuckle pressure point strikes. I've also seen quite a bit of the vertical fist kind of striking, reminding me of what I've seen in Wing Chun. My sensei once showed me an opening I was presenting by giving a quick forward kick, along the lines of what I've seen in karate, but generally speaking I don't see kicks happening much.
Beyond that it's mostly tegatana stuff, which seems to more or less include the surface from the edge of the palm to the elbow (I've seen quite a bit of elbow atemi in my own training...or at least those tend to stand out to me).
My understanding of strikes (per what I've picked up in Aikido) is more positional than technical. If, say, a suppression technique doesn't control my whole body, where ever my free hand is located, that's where the strike originates from, traveling as directly as possible into the closest part/target of my partner's body. Typically, I'm trying to keep my hands near my center line and am always squeezing the halves of my body toward it..as I understand it anyway. When someone grabs my lead hand instead of suppressing my center with it, for example, my other hand wants to strike the grabbing hand.

salim
07-19-2008, 10:41 PM
I great resource to read, to really get a full understanding of atemi, is reading Gozo Shioda's, "Total Aikido: The Master Course (Bushido--The Way of the Warrior)."

The author mentions that Aikido is 70% striking ("atemi") which is very different from what you'll hear from most Aikidoka. Most Aikidoka that I come into contact with seem to forget that Aikido is a martial art and not a dance. The best set-up for an Aiki technique is to first belt your opponent.

CitoMaramba
07-20-2008, 04:22 AM
Have a look at this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qH0-IyJPsyc

From 3:30 onwards, Nishio Sensei explains his view on striking in Aikido.

Stefan Stenudd
07-20-2008, 05:19 AM
Nishio sensei was a true master of atemi. Not only did he know so many ways of doing it, but he could do it so fast that our eyes couldn't see it. Sometimes several atemi in a row.
He got most of his atemi from his karatedo experience and his sword art knowledge.

I see atemi, the way it is used in aikido, mainly as a distraction strike. We do atemi to cause a reaction in uke, which we can use to complete the aikido technique. The reaction shakes uke out of balance, and therefore also out of stability.

So, atemi could very well be compared to the break-balance techniques in judo. In judo it is mostly done by pulling or pushing, which is not suitable for aikido since tori is not supposed to grab uke initially, nor to pull and push.
Instead, the aikido break-balance is atemi, where we sort of flash a threat in front of uke, and make use of uke's instinctual reaction to it.

That means uke has to notice the atemi - and believe in its power.
Just waving a hand in front of uke's face is not enough.

Don_Modesto
07-20-2008, 01:10 PM
Have a look at this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qH0-IyJPsycPoor Stanley. All his copyrighted vids online for free...

CitoMaramba
07-20-2008, 01:31 PM
Poor Stanley. All his copyrighted vids online for free...

If you read the comments, people are asking where they can buy the whole DVD.

I bought all three DVD volumes plus "Yurusu Budo" as a discounted set from Aikido Journal..

OB Aikido - Nishio Sensei writes in "Yurusu Budo":
...As for striking there at least ten different strikes using the hands... There are also about five types of strikes using the elbows, and two or three basic patters used for linking several strikes together in succession.
... Unlike other arts such as karate, striking in aikido is not used to win the conflict with a single devastating blow, but rather to divert the opponent's attention momentarily and to upset his posture and equilibrium. Consequently, the must useful strikes are those such as spear-hand thrusts and palm-heel strikes, which can be used to attack the neck, eyes, armpits and other vital points generally difficult or impossible to reinforce.
If you are serious about your aikido training, then I very much urge you to acquire at least a minimum knowledge of striking.

In our own training we practice the hiji-kata (elbow striking form) as taught by Nishio Sensei.

skati
07-20-2008, 04:51 PM
I appreciate the feedback, I really do. You've helped me out tremendously with my project (see my intro thread, if you have't already for what that is). A lot of the stuff here has been informative for someone like me, who is unfamiliar with the style beyond the throwing and redirections described by other sites and shown on the videos.

Stefan, I read through your site there, it was also very informative, and your writing in the book excerpts was well done.

Inocencio, thanks for that video. Elbow striking form, huh? I'm not sure how close it is, but these are the types of elbows we used in my last style.

Elbow Up: pretty much, think of an uppercut, but with the elbow instead.

Elbow Angle Up: similar to the above, but at an angle.

Elbow Cross: pretty much a horizontal elbow strike.

Elbow Angle Down: Similar to Angle Up, but at a downward angle instead.

Elbow Drop: just as it sounds, just dropping the elbow down on someone.

We also had a spinning variation and back variations. Our back variations were basically just straight shots back though, but we had one going to the stomach and one going upward, like into the face.

Anything similar to what you do there?

CitoMaramba
07-20-2008, 06:14 PM
The hiji-kata we practice goes something like this:
Yoi (Preparation). Chamber one arm, the other arm performs gedan barai(downward sweep)
1. Step forward, nukite (spear hand thrust)
2. Step back, ushiro hiji-ate (backward elbow strike)
3. Step forward, age hiji-ate (rising elbow strike)
4. Half step back then step to the side, yoko hiji-ate (sideward elbow strike)
5. Step forward, yoko mawashi hiji-ate (roundhouse elbow strike)
6. Half step back then step to the side, otoshi hiji-ate (downward or dropping elbow strike)
Yame (Finish)

skati
07-20-2008, 07:11 PM
Some of it sounds similar. The Rising and Sideward elbow strike, from the name, sounds like the elbows Up and Cross I use. Dropping elbow, that's an easy one to connect with, so seems the backwards elbow strike.

Roundhouse elbow and downward sweep, I can't picture. In the latter, are you talking about sweeping with a knife hand strike, rather than with your leg?

And the spear hand thrust, I imagine that's just an open hand version of the punch thrusts, or so it sounds...just with the fingers pointing straight ahead instead of a closed fist.

Am I close?

CitoMaramba
07-20-2008, 07:42 PM
Roundhouse elbow strike: think of a roundhouse punch (hook punch) but with the arm tightly bent and striking with the elbow.
Downward sweep: Like karate's downward block (gedan barai) but with the hand open in knife-hand (tegatana, shuto) form.

You are correct about the spear-hand thrust.

salim
07-20-2008, 07:43 PM
Great atemi in action.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=MBq2SH01-k4&feature=related

http://youtube.com/watch?v=NEZMCaiIJME&feature=related

http://youtube.com/watch?v=z-u8yPB9Anw&feature=related

http://youtube.com/watch?v=zIH1TAuIg9U&feature=related

lifeafter2am
07-20-2008, 08:26 PM
Great atemi in action.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=MBq2SH01-k4&feature=related

http://youtube.com/watch?v=NEZMCaiIJME&feature=related

http://youtube.com/watch?v=z-u8yPB9Anw&feature=related

http://youtube.com/watch?v=zIH1TAuIg9U&feature=related

Nice find!

skati
07-20-2008, 08:44 PM
Salim, thanks for those videos.

Roundhouse elbow strike: think of a roundhouse punch (hook punch) but with the arm tightly bent and striking with the elbow.
Downward sweep: Like karate's downward block (gedan barai) but with the hand open in knife-hand (tegatana, shuto) form.

You are correct about the spear-hand thrust.

When you put it that way, the Roundhouse elbow strike sounds a bit like my elbow cross or my angled elbow strikes.

For that Downward sweep, would you be striking the thighs with it or something? I pulled up a youtube video of a gedan barai and tried to picture it the way you described. Striking the thigh is about the only thing I can think of for it off hand.

CitoMaramba
07-20-2008, 09:20 PM
Matthew, look at the 2nd, 3rd and 4th video that Salim has kindly posted the links to.
The parrying move to deflect the front snap kick is the Downward sweep or gedan barai with the open hand.
Also, have a look at this:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=jOmMPGKnT8Y
One of these days I'll make a video of the Hiji-kata and upload it.

skati
07-20-2008, 09:59 PM
I think I understand a bit more now. It's a deflector. The way you described it, I had assumed it was a type of knife hand strike. Thanks for clearing that up.

John Matsushima
07-20-2008, 10:53 PM
Have a look at this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qH0-IyJPsyc

From 3:30 onwards, Nishio Sensei explains his view on striking in Aikido.

From what I could tell, Nishio Sensei seemed to be explaining how to properly attack in Aikido practice, and not how to do Aikido atemi. I mean, I don't know how knowledge of how to do a proper shomen strike as he explained can be used in any way to facilitate technique, take uke's balance, etc. He does demonstrate atemi in an entering move for his shiho-nage, but he does little to explain how exactly to execute the atemi. Maybe I am misunderstanding, but when we speak of atemi in aikido, it is meant as what nage does in technique, correct?

I think Aikido atemi is unique to the martial art and isn't necessarily derived from any other art. The execution of atemi seems to come about when one adds "corners" to a round technique. It is not something like "do a kick here", or "do a punch here".

Aikibu
07-20-2008, 11:34 PM
Great atemi in action.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=MBq2SH01-k4&feature=related

http://youtube.com/watch?v=NEZMCaiIJME&feature=related

http://youtube.com/watch?v=z-u8yPB9Anw&feature=related

http://youtube.com/watch?v=zIH1TAuIg9U&feature=related

Not bad for basics but I have to tell a seasoned or experinced Muay Thai or MMA Guy hurts when you dear Aikidoka "parry". I would be much more about letting the attack pass the way we are taught in Nishio Aikido only because I have to tell you...It's only in the (dojo and on video) that an experianced striker or kicker use a straight punch or kick. Muay Thai fighters will just stay outside and destroy your base with kicks to the shins and thighs (and they fooking hurt if you don't know how to handle them) and a striker will do the same.

So no "parrying" also we don't give away our intention by using a "fighting stance"

In fact on Spike's UFC Fight this weekend Anderson Silva showed exactly what you can do in his fight. Anderson showed his opponent a small opening.The guy threw a side kick... Silva stepped in Irimi caught the guys leg trapping it by the heel, and then pulled his leg slightly forward and at that moment his opponent was completely helpless... The Spider finished with a solid "atemi" :D to the chin. Out go the lights...

It was awesome.

And don't get me started and Fedyor my Hero but what a fight that would be (wait I am going off on a fanboy woot! Sorry) if Silva stayed at 205

The only place folks throw straight punches is in most Aikido Dojos. Even in old school Karate Dojos these days straight punches are becoming obsolete.

You have to set Uke up otherwise your telegraphing your intentions. I'll let you know in a decade or so if I figure this out. :)

I think Sensei Dardi from Syria had a series of excellent vids on how to handle that kinds of attacks you're likely to see from an experianced fighter in regard to how to use basic Atemi.

If he reads this perhaps he'll post them again. It was good stuff

William Hazen

Aikibu
07-20-2008, 11:52 PM
From what I could tell, Nishio Sensei seemed to be explaining how to properly attack in Aikido practice, and not how to do Aikido atemi. I mean, I don't know how knowledge of how to do a proper shomen strike as he explained can be used in any way to facilitate technique, take uke's balance, etc. He does demonstrate atemi in an entering move for his shiho-nage, but he does little to explain how exactly to execute the atemi. Maybe I am misunderstanding, but when we speak of atemi in aikido, it is meant as what nage does in technique, correct?

I think Aikido atemi is unique to the martial art and isn't necessarily derived from any other art. The execution of atemi seems to come about when one adds "corners" to a round technique. It is not something like "do a kick here", or "do a punch here".

You are basically correct John but I disagree about it not being dirived from any other art... And Yes...There are other portions of the vids that better describe our Atemi which is basically taken directly from his experiance with Shindo Jinen-Ryu Karate, and Nihon Zendoku Iaido. Our Atemi are meant to finish the fight more than deflect or distract At least that is what some of his more Martial Senior Students like Tanaka Sensei would say. Other students of his follow the traditional line of "breaking balance" and actually practicing both is best.

Again as a disclaimer Those vids were produced about 18 years ago and some of our practice and approach has changed a bit since then to reflect the growth of other Martial Arts like BJJ. Our Aikido is always open to change and definately not static.

Back to the topic.

William Hazen

eyrie
07-20-2008, 11:58 PM
Umm... it's oxymoronic to call it "Aikido atemi". Atemi is just atemi... whether it's karate, jujitsu or whatever... you're striking the body somewhere... with some part of your anatomy. It's independent of whatever (Japanese) style of martial art you do.

Any part of your anatomy can be used to hit - it doesn't have to be limited to hand/foot techniques as in a 'punch" or a "kick". There's also seizing, pressing, rubbing, digging, poking, scraping, gouging etc.

Also, targets aren't necessarily restricted to obvious and gross areas like face, head, and body... pressure points/vital points and various hard/soft target areas are all good. Most people tend to hit a (non-) obvious target when the closest thing being proferred to them is the arm.

FWIW, I think Nishio's atemi (as demonstrated in the Yusuru Budo book and DVD series) is rubbish... and if I were to be more polite - at best, pre-school level atemi waza.

The videos posted by Salim are closer to what I learnt in karate-jutsu and jujitsu, and I think are far more appropriate in terms of setup, execution and follow thru for Aikido 'techniques"... and closer to what I've seen of good hapkido.

I would suggest to the OP, get yourself an anatomy reference and a good set of pressure point charts. Find a list of various hand/fist formations and kicking techniques used in karate (or even CMA in general). And then find yourself a teacher who can teach/show you this stuff - and then work out how you can integrate it into your Aikido "techniques".

Stefan Stenudd
07-21-2008, 05:16 AM
FWIW, I think Nishio's atemi (as demonstrated in the Yusuru Budo book and DVD series) is rubbish... and if I were to be more polite - at best, pre-school level atemi waza.
I guess you aim to tease in a friendly manner with those remarks.
I practiced many times for Nishio sensei, also at seminars in my own dojo, so I got to see and experience first hand his atemi skills. Simply put: in aikido, I have not seen anyone surpass his atemi.
And of course, he was also very learned about the exact target of each kind of strike.

I wonder about the expression "pre-school". You must refer to some distant time before the dawn of civilization. I don't know about that. But I know that Nishio sensei had studied all kinds of martial arts, including karatedo, in what I would call schools of them.

Moving on: As for the effectiveness of atemi, I find that rhythm has a lot to do with it. The element of surprise, of striking in a "syncopated" way, i.e. right before it is expected, and to do it paying attention to the movement of the opponent (either with it or right against it), and so on.
Atemiwaza is a martial art of its own, if studied profoundly. And true: when you know it well, you don't need any aikido techniques to follow up - but then, of course, it is no longer aikido.

eyrie
07-21-2008, 05:25 AM
Well, I did specifically say in the book and DVD series... ;) So, for whatever reason, the material in that particular media seems to be geared toward a VERY introductory level.

BTW, I've seen the man move... yes, he's fast, and yes, I'm sure he knew his stuff. No disrespect was intended... the reference was made to the material and not the man.

skati
07-21-2008, 07:41 AM
Back to the topic.

William Hazen

To put that more specifically, for future reference...it's meant to be open, to talk about striking in general and how people feel it applies to Aikido, general questions, videos (if wanting to post), comments on those videos and what the people in them are doing, or comparing them to other styles like me and Inocencio have been doing here in the thread.

My original questions have been pretty much answered, but I was hoping it'd stay up like it is, which I've been surprised and happy about it still going. I'm also happy that it's not become too much like a repeate of the related threads at the bottom that I looked through...which I didn't know where there, but then I hadn't thought to search through forums outside of this one either. Oh well.

In fact, I was going to post something here at some point for some critique, if it's not too much of a bother. I still have some things to finish up though, so it'll be a bit.

So anyway, you all are still on topic, even if it is different from me and others may be talking about at the moment.

Oh, and Inocencio, I realized I hadn't gone entirely in to my style, so I'll go ahead and do that now, as a guide.

My style is primarily an American version of Karate Jitsu, though I mix a bit of Tae Kwon Do in it too, with mulitple kicks and axe kicks. I already covered how we use elbows and round kicks.

Our front kicks are more like Muay Thai. We don't chamber and snap them forward, we chamber then shove it forward bottom foot first, same with our sidekicks. Our sidekicks though, they're just mid and only with the front leg, but I tend to throw them at high and low levels, as well as use my rear leg too.

Our punches are a bit like boxing, with some backfists and hammer fists thrown in. We also have some...reverse uppercuts, for lack of a better term. Similar concept, but going down instead of up.

We've also got some diagonal uppercuts (like an uppercut, but going up at an angle rather than straight up) that I thought were hooks, but apparently I've been wrong and what I thought were crosses were actually hooks...but I'm going to go by what I thought, correct me if wrong and/or you know.

What I thought were crosses are similar to the elbow crosses I described earlier, but with a punch instead. Bring the arm up and do a horizontal punch, arm going across your line of sight, like this http://www.fightersgeneration.com/characters3/rock-cv-close.gif

It's more a mma type of style, the way we trained. We learn ground work, but not much. We were a very small class, all but me were military and had to miss several classes. I was the only one there most of the time. My instructor didn't like to teach the grappling unless at least one other person was there, so I don't have much experience with that...just arm and leg bars.

So, for anyone else...is there specific counters you'd have to those kinds of strikes, or anything you'd strike back with to distract me or something else? Or is that just all situational and different each time?

If someone from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, or other grapplig style, has you down on the ground, how would you get out of that? Would you resort to striking then, or do you have something else to get you out of that?

John Matsushima
07-21-2008, 09:36 AM
Moving on: As for the effectiveness of atemi, I find that rhythm has a lot to do with it. The element of surprise, of striking in a "syncopated" way, i.e. right before it is expected, and to do it paying attention to the movement of the opponent (either with it or right against it), and so on.
Atemiwaza is a martial art of its own, if studied profoundly. And true: when you know it well, you don't need any aikido techniques to follow up - but then, of course, it is no longer aikido.

Hello Stefan,
Well, I'm not a big fan of Nishio's atemi style for the reason that it seems to be done too much as an external art applied in Aikido. In that way, I agree that if one only did atemi then, it might not be Aikido, as you said.

However, to me, I think that there is what can be called "Aikido atemi". As someone mentioned, you could say that a strike is a strike, no matter what you call it, but the reason I call it Aikido atemi is because the application and method of striking in Aikido to me seems different from other arts

Here is a clip of one of my favorite Aikido gurus doing atemi. He applies atemi many times without doing anything else, but you can still see the technique. Even though he does not do an irimi nage, and only does atemi, it is still there. In this way, the atemi is uniquely Aikido because the principle and essence of technique, such as irimi nage, is necessary to properly execute the atemi.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRYJGTePCrY

Aikibu
07-21-2008, 10:32 AM
FWIW, I think Nishio's atemi (as demonstrated in the Yusuru Budo book and DVD series) is rubbish... and if I were to be more polite - at best, pre-school level atemi waza.

The videos posted by Salim are closer to what I learnt in karate-jutsu and jujitsu, and I think are far more appropriate in terms of setup, execution and follow thru for Aikido 'techniques"... and closer to what I've seen of good hapkido.

I would suggest to the OP, get yourself an anatomy reference and a good set of pressure point charts. Find a list of various hand/fist formations and kicking techniques used in karate (or even CMA in general). And then find yourself a teacher who can teach/show you this stuff - and then work out how you can integrate it into your Aikido "techniques".

"Pre-School" Atemi Waza??? LOL

Well everyone is entitled to their opinion even if it's based on reading books and watching videos and not actual experience. :)

William Hazen

Aikibu
07-21-2008, 10:58 AM
Hello Stefan,
Well, I'm not a big fan of Nishio's atemi style for the reason that it seems to be done too much as an external art applied in Aikido. In that way, I agree that if one only did atemi then, it might not be Aikido, as you said.

This is the crux of the "problem." The purpose of our Atemi is to show Uke the fight is over before it even begins. This philosophy is based on Aikido as the Sword. If you enter with a sword as Uke it will become really obvious to you that you will be cut The same with our Atemi...To continue with an attack as Uke is to risk getting hit Atemi and our Atemi is designed as a reminder (so to speak) to end the conflict and not necessarily to complete to the technique. Here is a You Tube of Shoji Nishio from the 80's were he illustrates these principles of Atemi "inside" our Tai Jutsu and Ken te Ken

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYrHbt2pyO8&feature=related

Notice the Atemi is not about "blocking" or "parrying" the punches but more about ending the "fight" while protecting yourself. Also the Atemi is not separated from the technique It's inside of it ready to use if needed.

However, to me, I think that there is what can be called "Aikido atemi". As someone mentioned, you could say that a strike is a strike, no matter what you call it, but the reason I call it Aikido atemi is because the application and method of striking in Aikido to me seems different from other arts

I guess it depends on what you think Atemi should be used for...Without it You seem to risk Aikido no longer having any Martial Value and thus any relevance as a Martial Art.

Here is a clip of one of my favorite Aikido gurus doing atemi. He applies atemi many times without doing anything else, but you can still see the technique. Even though he does not do an irimi nage, and only does atemi, it is still there. In this way, the atemi is uniquely Aikido because the principle and essence of technique, such as irimi nage, is necessary to properly execute the atemi.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRYJGTePCrY

Great Clip and since it's from the same Demonstration a great way to compare. :) Thanks for your insights Sempai. :)

William Hazen

James Edwards
07-21-2008, 11:50 AM
I've just listened to a podcast I found on itunes last night. It was an interview with Ellis Amdur. He said according to him, the atemi in aikido forms is usually an extension of the arm or running the arm along uke's limb. An example he had is in nikyo, tori could come down with an elbow strike.

I see some of this aspect with my sensei. When I have to receive kokyu ho I usually have to keep my head close to his arm. If I don't he would hit me with his elbow (and from my reaction he could then throw me easily). It's similar with irimi nage. If I don't move, he could just strike my face with his fist while pulling on my collar to make me throw myself.

In the book best aikido, there's also some explanations of the use of atemi with the doshu punching uke's rib as he enters for irimi nage. It's also worth noting that he used a vertical punch (like a tsuki movement).

In uchi kaiten nage or uchi sankyo, there also seems to be a variety of atemi ranging from an uppercut punch, a wave of the hand, a palm smash to the chin or a vertical punch. I don't think it matters that much if what you really want is to get on with the technique safely. Atemi from the bottom of the face seem more effective martially though as they are harder to see coming.

eyrie
07-21-2008, 06:27 PM
"Pre-School" Atemi Waza??? LOL
Well everyone is entitled to their opinion even if it's based on reading books and watching videos and not actual experience. :)
For a "big" man... and a self-professed Buddhist priest, that's just way below the belt. Perhaps you'd could try a little better to keep the discussion on topic and avoid the personal snipes. ;)

Stefan Stenudd
07-21-2008, 06:29 PM
Here is a clip of one of my favorite Aikido gurus doing atemi. He applies atemi many times without doing anything else, but you can still see the technique. Even though he does not do an irimi nage, and only does atemi, it is still there. In this way, the atemi is uniquely Aikido because the principle and essence of technique, such as irimi nage, is necessary to properly execute the atemi.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRYJGTePCrY
With blushing cheeks I must admit that I am not that fond of the solutions shown on that video. They are techniques done almost solely with atemi. Let's call it "ateminage" - uke falls because of the strike.
In my perception of it, Nishio sensei's way of using atemi was more in line with what I would call aikido atemi - they were entrances and distraction strikes, leading up to proper aikido techniques, which were not done in a striking manner.

Myself, I experiment a lot with trying to do aikido techniques so that atemi are not needed. Whether I succeed or not, I like the idea, so it's worth trying for some years. I find atemi often applied as an "easy way out" - forcing uke to yield or fall, without tori taking the proper trouble to learn the technique well enough to work by itself.

Not that I don't also enjoy a few good atemi between friends...

Aikibu
07-21-2008, 07:05 PM
For a "big" man... and a self-professed Buddhist priest, that's just way below the belt. Perhaps you'd could try a little better to keep the discussion on topic and avoid the personal snipes. ;)

Better late than never on your part. I just took upon myself to defend your "personal snipe" of Nishio Sensei's book and videos.

My Apologies...And by the way we're on topic. :)

For the record I am not an ordained Buddhist Priest nor have I ever "professed" to be one.

William Hazen

eyrie
07-21-2008, 07:32 PM
My mistake... "practicing" Buddhist. Perhaps less "Buddhist" and more practice might be in order. How is my opinion of the aforementioned publicly available and published material a "personal snipe"?

By all means defend the material... but there's no need to get defensive about the man and take it personally. Insinuations regarding experience or lack thereof is neither warranted nor "on topic". ;)

Aikibu
07-21-2008, 08:26 PM
My mistake... "practicing" Buddhist. Perhaps less "Buddhist" and more practice might be in order. How is my opinion of the aforementioned publicly available and published material a "personal snipe"?

By all means defend the material... but there's no need to get defensive about the man and take it personally. Insinuations regarding experience or lack thereof is neither warranted nor "on topic". ;)

Sorry I simply asserted you did not have enough experience with Nishio Sensei's Aikido to accurately assess the materiel. it was not meant to be an insinuation on my part. :)

My Apologies again. :)

Feel free to PM if you wish to continue this dialog and so that we do not continue to waste everyone else's time.;

William Hazen

eyrie
07-21-2008, 09:19 PM
Again, your "assertion" is off-base. Experience, or lack thereof, of a specific style, is irrelevant to a material assessment of the prima facie value of information presented. Besides, I have sufficient experience in various striking arts to understand that what is being presented in the material is aimed at a basic, kindergarten level, and that it in no way represents a "true" application potential.

I get the gist of what Nishio is showing in the book and videos, and I don't have a problem with it. But I do stand by my earlier conviction. If the goal is to "stop" the attack without necessarily completing the technique, that's fine - I'm not discounting that as a potentially valid use of atemi. However, I prefer to take a pedantic view of atemi as a "hit (to the) body"... and that such "hits" will result in one or more of the following:
1. A predictable physiological response in uke
2. Disturb/disrupt or even break uke's balance
3. Causes uke to change their priorities and respond in a predictable fashion
4. Create an opening to allow insertion for a technique
5. Allow for completion of the technique

Whilst Nishio does demonstrate some of these to an extent, I don't think he articulates or emphasizes it sufficiently. Certainly, the voice over on the video doesn't, or glosses over it briefly - resulting in vague instructions, like "do it like this".

So, I don't think further PM or discussion of my experience is necessary... besides, I left the beautiful young girl by the river ages ago... I hope you're not still carrying her. :)

salim
07-21-2008, 11:00 PM
Although not nessarily atemi demonstrated, most definitely great application that atemi could be applied in many of these techniques.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=SivWAcPlzFg&feature=related

Aikibu
07-22-2008, 12:23 AM
So, I don't think further PM or discussion of my experience is necessary... besides, I left the beautiful young girl by the river ages ago... I hope you're not still carrying her. :)

Sadly I am.... She is spending the night with me and we're going surfing in the morning....I guess I am just not as good as Buddhist as you. :D

As for the rest of your observations I will let them stand without comment and with the humble suggestion you give Nishio's Akido a go if you ever get the chance. You might be surprised since your assumptions are solely based on a video and a book. :)

There are others here like Ellis and Stefan both of them Yudansha to whom you might ask about Nishio Shihan's Atemi.
Both of them are far more eloquent and experienced in these matters and can articulate the experience much better than I can. :)

WIlliam Hazen

Aikibu
07-22-2008, 12:35 AM
Although not nessarily atemi demonstrated, most definitely great application that atemi could be applied in many of these techniques.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=SivWAcPlzFg&feature=related

Roy Dean and company are definitely a class act. Great Video. I love everything the guy does.

William Hazen

eyrie
07-22-2008, 01:14 AM
...with the humble suggestion you give Nishio's Akido a go if you ever get the chance. You might be surprised since your assumptions are solely based on a video and a book. Just can't let it go can you? A gentle suggestion... stop taking it so personally. There's no need to defend the man... I think he's well past caring. ;)

By your own admission, you state that the material in the book and DVDs are outdated and no longer representative of how Nishio did it in his later years.

So, instead of ASS-U-ME-ing I made an "assumption"... why not address my observations directly? Tell me if I am indeed wrong, instead of implying that my analysis and assessment of the material is assumptive and dismissive of Nishio's aikido generally and that I should experience it for myself.

senshincenter
07-22-2008, 02:10 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgF623TxWSI

One more for the mix.

Stefan Stenudd
07-22-2008, 04:27 AM
I prefer to take a pedantic view of atemi as a "hit (to the) body"... and that such "hits" will result in one or more of the following:
1. A predictable physiological response in uke
2. Disturb/disrupt or even break uke's balance
3. Causes uke to change their priorities and respond in a predictable fashion
4. Create an opening to allow insertion for a technique
5. Allow for completion of the technique
I agree. Very well put. That's how I try to use atemi.

Regardless of the video and book discussed above, it was my experience that Nishio sensei used atemi in this way, too.
Primarily, he used atemi to show the attacker that attacking is wrong, thereby giving the attacker a chance to cease with it. A kind of philosophical statement, which Nishio sensei had at the entrance to every technique, taking a superior position and showing it to uke with an atemi - sort of saying: "See what I could do to you."
It is particularly evident in his sword techniques.

Secondarily, he used atemi in the ways described in 1-5 above.

Nishio sensei also insisted that aikido students need to know about proper atemi, so that the atemi become believable and functional. Otherwise they would not work as deterrents, nor that well in the 1-5 functions above.
So, when he showed how to strike, it was not to teach students an alternative to aikido techniques, but a functioning atemi deterrent/distraction/et cetera, to use with the aikido techniques.

salim
07-22-2008, 08:20 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgF623TxWSI

One more for the mix.

Nice. So much better than most Aikido demonstrations. I like it.

senshincenter
07-22-2008, 11:23 AM
I agree. Very well put. That's how I try to use atemi.

Regardless of the video and book discussed above, it was my experience that Nishio sensei used atemi in this way, too.
Primarily, he used atemi to show the attacker that attacking is wrong, thereby giving the attacker a chance to cease with it. A kind of philosophical statement, which Nishio sensei had at the entrance to every technique, taking a superior position and showing it to uke with an atemi - sort of saying: "See what I could do to you."
It is particularly evident in his sword techniques.

Secondarily, he used atemi in the ways described in 1-5 above.

Nishio sensei also insisted that aikido students need to know about proper atemi, so that the atemi become believable and functional. Otherwise they would not work as deterrents, nor that well in the 1-5 functions above.
So, when he showed how to strike, it was not to teach students an alternative to aikido techniques, but a functioning atemi deterrent/distraction/et cetera, to use with the aikido techniques.

For me, there is a purity to human-vs-human violence. By that I mean, it defies delineations, and, in the end, is what it is. As such, for example, for me, when it is time/place to strike, it's time/place to strike. Outside of that instant, I am more of the opinion that it is misplaced to formulate a striking or a throwing, etc., "position." This is because to do so is to deny the purity of violence, the "is what it is" of it all.

Thus, I'm very hesitant to compare or contrast, for example, striking and throwing ("Aikido technique"). Such formulas, for me, do not so much show an unfamiliarity with "striking" or "throwing" as much as the do with violence.

Why should a strike be able to say, "Here, look what I can do to you" and a throw or a pin cannot? Why can a stopped-short strike be a deterrent and stopped-short throw or pin cannot? Somewhere behind such positions, if you dig deep enough, lies an unfamiliarity with, or at least an unthought-out detachment to violence - or at least a method by which one may make him/herself unfamiliar and/or detached from the purity of said violence.

For me, the moral high ground cannot be found in an arsenal, however that may be delineated. For me, a viable/practical morality can only be found in a non-attachment to our egocentric tendencies. For example, to not "have" to strike someone or throw them, and "hurt" them, start to practice a life armed with a capacity to free oneself, in a moment and overall, from the spiritual immaturity of pride, ignorance, and fear, from the non-virtues of anger, jealousy, vengeance, etc. In time, your life will readjust, and in that readjustment, the times you will encounter violence will also readjust and reduce. Meaning, such encounters will all but disappear from your experience of the world, making the position of having a moral high ground within a violent encounter irrelevant - a kind of, "If you were on the moon, and you only had one chop stick, what would you..." kind of question.). Of those encounters that may be present in your life, well, they will be experienced in a clarity that contradicts the "clarity" of technical and/or philosophical breakdowns, in the purity that is violence. You will be left with striking when you strike, throwing when you throw, pinning when you pin, etc. You will only have the "it is what it is."

For me, the "difficulty" of understanding strikes in Aikido, such that formulas and positions have to go well beyond tactical or architectural considerations, suggests that the plain and simple truth is that Aikidoka do not practice striking enough. In the fact that striking is not practiced enough, comes the not-needed but very present difficulty of relating, and even justifying, a type of training that today has marked the majority of Aikido for the majority of folks practicing Aikido (i.e. Kihon Waza) that is pretty much strike-free.

salim
07-22-2008, 11:55 AM
For me, there is a purity to human-vs-human violence. By that I mean, it defies delineations, and, in the end, is what it is. As such, for example, for me, when it is time/place to strike, it's time/place to strike. Outside of that instant, I am more of the opinion that it is misplaced to formulate a striking or a throwing, etc., "position." This is because to do so is to deny the purity of violence, the "is what it is" of it all.

Thus, I'm very hesitant to compare or contrast, for example, striking and throwing ("Aikido technique"). Such formulas, for me, do not so much show an unfamiliarity with "striking" or "throwing" as much as the do with violence.

Why should a strike be able to say, "Here, look what I can do to you" and a throw or a pin cannot? Why can a stopped-short strike be a deterrent and stopped-short throw or pin cannot? Somewhere behind such positions, if you dig deep enough, lies an unfamiliarity with, or at least an unthought-out detachment to violence - or at least a method by which one may make him/herself unfamiliar and/or detached from the purity of said violence.

For me, the moral high ground cannot be found in an arsenal, however that may be delineated. For me, a viable/practical morality can only be found in a non-attachment to our egocentric tendencies. For example, to not "have" to strike someone or throw them, and "hurt" them, start to practice a life armed with a capacity to free oneself, in a moment and overall, from the spiritual immaturity of pride, ignorance, and fear, from the non-virtues of anger, jealousy, vengeance, etc. In time, your life will readjust, and in that readjustment, the times you will encounter violence will also readjust and reduce. Meaning, such encounters will all but disappear from your experience of the world, making the position of having a moral high ground within a violent encounter irrelevant - a kind of, "If you were on the moon, and you only had one chop stick, what would you..." kind of question.). Of those encounters that may be present in your life, well, they will be experienced in a clarity that contradicts the "clarity" of technical and/or philosophical breakdowns, in the purity that is violence. You will be left with striking when you strike, throwing when you throw, pinning when you pin, etc. You will only have the "it is what it is."

For me, the "difficulty" of understanding strikes in Aikido, such that formulas and positions have to go well beyond tactical or architectural considerations, suggests that the plain and simple truth is that Aikidoka do not practice striking enough. In the fact that striking is not practiced enough, comes the not-needed but very present difficulty of relating, and even justifying, a type of training that today has marked the majority of Aikido for the majority of folks practicing Aikido (i.e. Kihon Waza) that is pretty much strike-free.

This is the dividing opinion of methodologies that will never be agreed upon. Those who see atemi or using aggression as necessary and those who see it as simply violence. Both sides have to agree to allow each side to exist. Some people want more of a martial attribute to their Aikido. Atemi and it's application are tremendously important for those. Those who want a philosophical/religious approach to Aikido, will want the “strike free approach.” The world (America for most of us) is a place of aggression. I would never practice Aikido if it were purely a religious, philosophical attribute. I have a religious foundation, so Aikido for me is purely self defense and finding out about my own physical development . Others will want Aikido for other reasons.

Aikibu
07-22-2008, 12:02 PM
Just can't let it go can you? A gentle suggestion... stop taking it so personally. There's no need to defend the man... I think he's well past caring. ;)

By your own admission, you state that the material in the book and DVDs are outdated and no longer representative of how Nishio did it in his later years.

So, instead of ASS-U-ME-ing I made an "assumption"... why not address my observations directly? Tell me if I am indeed wrong, instead of implying that my analysis and assessment of the material is assumptive and dismissive of Nishio's aikido generally and that I should experience it for myself.

Your questions have been answered dozens of times on AikiWeb. You need only look. Stefan Stenudd has addressed them for you. and like I said in a previous post.... His personal experience with Nishio Shihan exceeds mine, and as does his gift for explaining concepts and I consider him my AikiWeb Sempai.

Otherwise feel free to win this conversation at anytime. :)

William Hazen

Aikibu
07-22-2008, 12:04 PM
I agree. Very well put. That's how I try to use atemi.

Regardless of the video and book discussed above, it was my experience that Nishio sensei used atemi in this way, too.
Primarily, he used atemi to show the attacker that attacking is wrong, thereby giving the attacker a chance to cease with it. A kind of philosophical statement, which Nishio sensei had at the entrance to every technique, taking a superior position and showing it to uke with an atemi - sort of saying: "See what I could do to you."
It is particularly evident in his sword techniques.

Secondarily, he used atemi in the ways described in 1-5 above.

Nishio sensei also insisted that aikido students need to know about proper atemi, so that the atemi become believable and functional. Otherwise they would not work as deterrents, nor that well in the 1-5 functions above.
So, when he showed how to strike, it was not to teach students an alternative to aikido techniques, but a functioning atemi deterrent/distraction/et cetera, to use with the aikido techniques.

Perfect. Thank You Sempai.

William Hazen

lifeafter2am
07-22-2008, 12:13 PM
This is the dividing opinion of methodologies that will never be agreed upon. Those who see atemi or using aggression as necessary and those who see it as simply violence. Both sides have to agree to allow each side to exist. Some people want more of a martial attribute to their Aikido. Atemi and it's application are tremendously important for those. Those who want a philosophical/religious approach to Aikido, will want the "strike free approach." The world (America for most of us) is a place of aggression. I would never practice Aikido if it were purely a religious, philosophical attribute. I have a religious foundation, so Aikido for me is purely self defense and finding out about my own physical development . Others will want Aikido for other reasons.

I may be reading this wrong, and I apologize if I am, but it seems as if you DENY the philosophical side of Aikido just because you have religious background? If this is true that would seem counter to any martial art, as they all have a philosophical side to them, any true budo at least. Heck even when I trained in Muay Thai there was a philosophical aspect to it, without which it would just be violence.

Again, I could be mistaken, but this is how I interpreted it. Damn internet! lol. :D

salim
07-22-2008, 12:33 PM
I may be reading this wrong, and I apologize if I am, but it seems as if you DENY the philosophical side of Aikido just because you have religious background? If this is true that would seem counter to any martial art, as they all have a philosophical side to them, any true budo at least. Heck even when I trained in Muay Thai there was a philosophical aspect to it, without which it would just be violence.

Again, I could be mistaken, but this is how I interpreted it. Damn internet! lol. :D

More of the religious zealousness approach is where I draw the line. There is more of the sentiment today among the many Aikidoist, that Aikido is more religious based than martial. I would not be surprise that those same people who hold this opinion probably despise the MMA concepts and the UFC. They probably see them as barbaric. Roy Dean probably catches a lot of criticism for his MMA concepts to Aikido, he is a class act, very professional. The religious extremist with among the Aikidoist is something I can't agree, but accept that it exist.

There seems to be a growing attempt to remove ATEMI from Aikido altogether. People try to hide the fact that it's necessary for self defense and try to intellectualize self defense. Philosophical ideas are always necessary to a degree. Roy Dean's Academy is a class act to self defense and I share in his marvelous approach. I believe atemi should be an active, perpetual method practiced and used in Aikdio.

lifeafter2am
07-22-2008, 12:52 PM
More of the religious zealousness approach is where I draw the line. There is more of the sentiment today among the many Aikidoist, that Aikido is more religious based than martial. I would not be surprise that those same people who hold this opinion probably despise the MMA concepts and the UFC. They probably see them as barbaric. Roy Dean probably catches a lot of criticism for his MMA concepts to Aikido, he is a class act, very professional. The religious extremist with among the Aikidoist is something I can't agree, but accept that it exist.

There seems to be a growing attempt to remove ATEMI from Aikido altogether. People try to hide the fact that it's necessary for self defense and try to intellectualize self defense. Philosophical ideas are always necessary to a degree. Roy Dean's Academy is a class act to self defense and I share in his marvelous approach. I believe atemi should be an active, perpetual method practiced and used in Aikdio.

I don't know anything about Roy Dean so I can not comment there, but I don't find MMA barbaric at all, but it is just a sport. I don't see strict MMA training as a viable self-defense method because you are working within a rule system, which doesn't exist in true self-defense situations. I also don't really find boxing all that viable either, although I know many who would disagree. Not to mention you don't train against multiple opponents, like you would at the higher levels of Aikido training.

I see no need to remove Atemi from Aikido, sometimes it is necessary .... but self-defense can be intellectualized, just to a certain point. I think a lot of people miss the point that the moves you learn in Aikido are a starting point for you to develop your own effective "style" (approach may be a better term here). No one person's style (approach) is effective for everyone, and you must do what works for you. For me it includes Atemi, and some groundwork as well.

You and I we will likely disagree that Atemi is "necessory for self-defense" (your quote), because I don't believe to be effective in defending youself you have to strike, but, this is based on my subjective experience, as your opinion is more than likely based on your subjective experience (or vicarious experience / anecdotal evidence which essentially equates to the same thing). Like I said, to me Aikido gives me the option to use "gentler" methods, something that other arts do not provide. But, there are times to use Atemi as well .... whether it should be taught at lower or higher levels of learning is another discussion entirely.

:)

Aikibu
07-22-2008, 01:01 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgF623TxWSI

One more for the mix.

Not bad for both Atemi and Randori and it illustrates a basic difference between some styles of Aikido and IMO can be dangerous...

When Uke strikes Nage stops the attack by focusing on the hand blocking/grabbing it before "doing something Aikido like" We teach our students to leave the hand alone IOW let the strike pass and focus on taking Uke's center. Your focus should be on Uke's center not on blocking the strike..A good boxer or striker would destroy you if you did not enter with them and take their center right away.

Timing is everything..I also find that if I focus on the strike I miss the opportunity most of the time to enter. Also if I assume some kind of fighting stance an experienced person may not enter right away but will themselves move and try to get a better angle of attack. Basic sparring is all about looking for an "angle of attack"

I like the kind of advanced Randori were Ukes look for an advantage and try to exploit openings themselves Let me tell you if I am being honest with myself and focused on bettering my Aikido. most of the time the Uke's win...Why?

Fight or flight takes over and I start fighting (like assuming a fighting hanmi) IOW I get tired and start trying to box with a boxer or grapple with a grappler...I lose most everytime if I stay solely within the bounds of Aikido

In the context of how I interpret Nishio Shihan's Atemi I differ a bit from my Sempai. Atemi must be good enough to end a conflict...
Now I am not talking about one punch knockouts but if your Aikido is going to work at all your Atemi needs the kind of power to end the conflict.

That is my interpretation of what Nishio Shihan meant and fits in perfectly with the philosophy of Aikido is the Sword. All Tsuke with a Sword is meant to be a killing thrust. Atemi IMO must have the same philosophy. For Aikido to work as a Budo it must be a Martial Art. This where I completely agree with the IMA and DR guys. All too often Aikido folks have no idea how to use Atemi do not practice it enough. Then there are those who come to the Dojo who have no experience with any striking art....and as they grow in their practice this weakness becomes the flaw which makes them doubt the authenticity of Aikido Waza. Who can blame them if all they know how to do is try to grab or block Uke's fist...Or...If all they have experienced is some Aiki Bunny Uke dancing up to them with their arm extended and their fist out?

That is why IG's view of the book and tapes misses a little something. Nishio Shihan simply shows how and why the fight is over through Atemi and like Stefan suggested we invite Uke to end the conflict at many points during the technique. However he could walk the walk too... Believe me if he or one of his Senior Students did hit you "stopped" fighting and allowed them to finish the technique or end the conflict. I mention one of Nishio Sensei's Senior Students Tanaka Sensei allot ( He is an Uke in some of the Videos). When I met him I noticed right away his knuckles had calluses on them as thick as quarters. He looked like he knew how to use Atemi. :D

William Hazen

salim
07-22-2008, 01:14 PM
I don't know anything about Roy Dean so I can not comment there, but I don't find MMA barbaric at all, but it is just a sport. I don't see strict MMA training as a viable self-defense method because you are working within a rule system, which doesn't exist in true self-defense situations. I also don't really find boxing all that viable either, although I know many who would disagree. Not to mention you don't train against multiple opponents, like you would at the higher levels of Aikido training.

I see no need to remove Atemi from Aikido, sometimes it is necessary .... but self-defense can be intellectualized, just to a certain point. I think a lot of people miss the point that the moves you learn in Aikido are a starting point for you to develop your own effective "style" (approach may be a better term here). No one person's style (approach) is effective for everyone, and you must do what works for you. For me it includes Atemi, and some groundwork as well.

You and I we will likely disagree that Atemi is "necessory for self-defense" (your quote), because I don't believe to be effective in defending youself you have to strike, but, this is based on my subjective experience, as your opinion is more than likely based on your subjective experience (or vicarious experience / anecdotal evidence which essentially equates to the same thing). Like I said, to me Aikido gives me the option to use "gentler" methods, something that other arts do not provide. But, there are times to use Atemi as well .... whether it should be taught at lower or higher levels of learning is another discussion entirely.

:)

Forget the MMA/UFC rules. MMA concepts are street worthy and that's the point that I'm making. It can be used to save your life or a love one. It doesn't matter if it's BJJ, Muay Thai or Aikido, they all can be applied to defend yourself.

Roy Dean clips:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=SivWAcPlzFg&feature=related

http://youtube.com/watch?v=R7GfQdB9a8Y&feature=related

salim
07-22-2008, 01:18 PM
Not bad for both Atemi and Randori and it illustrates a basic difference between some styles of Aikido and IMO can be dangerous...

When Uke strikes Nage stops the attack by focusing on the hand blocking/grabbing it before "doing something Aikido like" We teach our students to leave the hand alone IOW let the strike pass and focus on taking Uke's center. Your focus should be on Uke's center not on blocking the strike..A good boxer or striker would destroy you if you did not enter with them and take their center right away.

Timing is everything..I also find that if I focus on the strike I miss the opportunity most of the time to enter. Also if I assume some kind of fighting stance an experienced person may not enter right away but will themselves move and try to get a better angle of attack. Basic sparring is all about looking for an "angle of attack"

I like the kind of advanced Randori were Ukes look for an advantage and try to exploit openings themselves Let me tell you if I am being honest with myself and focused on bettering my Aikido. most of the time the Uke's win...Why?

Fight or flight takes over and I start fighting (like assuming a fighting hanmi) IOW I get tired and start trying to box with a boxer or grapple with a grappler...I lose most everytime if I stay solely within the bounds of Aikido

In the context of how I interpret Nishio Shihan's Atemi I differ a bit from my Sempai. Atemi must be good enough to end a conflict...
Now I am not talking about one punch knockouts but if your Aikido is going to work at all your Atemi needs the kind of power to end the conflict.

That is my interpretation of what Nishio Shihan meant and fits in perfectly with the philosophy of Aikido is the Sword. All Tsuke with a Sword is meant to be a killing thrust. Atemi IMO must have the same philosophy. For Aikido to work as a Budo it must be a Martial Art. This where I completely agree with the IMA and DR guys. All too often Aikido folks have no idea how to use Atemi do not practice it enough. Then there are those who come to the Dojo who have no experience with any striking art....and as they grow in their practice this weakness becomes the flaw which makes them doubt the authenticity of Aikido Waza. Who can blame them if all they know how to do is try to grab or block Uke's fist...Or...If all they have experienced is some Aiki Bunny Uke dancing up to them with their arm extended and their fist out?

That is why IG's view of the book and tapes misses a little something. Nishio Shihan simply shows how and why the fight is over through Atemi and like Stefan suggested we invite Uke to end the conflict at many points during the technique. However he could walk the walk too... Believe me if he or one of his Senior Students did hit you "stopped" fighting and allowed them to finish the technique or end the conflict. I mention one of Nishio Sensei's Senior Students Tanaka Sensei allot ( He is an Uke in some of the Videos). When I met him I noticed right away his knuckles had calluses on them as thick as quarters. He looked like he knew how to use Atemi. :D

William Hazen

Kudos, well said!

lifeafter2am
07-22-2008, 01:20 PM
Forget the MMA/UFC rules. MMA concepts are street worthy and that's the point that I'm making. It can be used to save your life or a love one. It doesn't matter if it's BJJ, Muay Thai or Aikido, they all can be applied to defend yourself.

Roy Dean clips:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=SivWAcPlzFg&feature=related

http://youtube.com/watch?v=R7GfQdB9a8Y&feature=related

Thats some interesting stuff. Although I wouldn't go from a pin to an arm bar, I can see where it would be effective.

I agree that everything can be used to defend yourself or others, its all in how you apply it!

:)

senshincenter
07-22-2008, 01:30 PM
It's true, there are many interpretations of Aikido. Along that line, for me, there's just way too many divisions going on here: religious/martial, Aikido-like/non-Aikido-like, etc. The point of my post was that these divisions are the problem, and trying to come up with better dividing lines, etc., is never going to be the solution because such action in the end can only be delusion in the face of what violence truly is (primal, ugly, raw, etc.).

As there are choices to how to understand Aikido, there are people that are choosing. If you want strikes in your Aikido, just choose to put them in. If that in the end has you departing from what someone "above" you is doing, so be it. In this way, for me, it's silly to talk about, "Is there striking in Aikido?" This is because the only real question that could be relevant is, "What is your Aikido like?," and this is question best posed to oneself. To understand this question from any kind of organization or institutional point of view is in essence to say, "I don't have an Aikido yet."

For me, violence is violence, fighting is fighting, and man can make an art or a spiritual practice out of anything. The only person that would not agree with this is by profession or by hobby a museum curator - a collector of dead things. For me, if you want your art to be viable as a martial or as a spiritual practice, you need it to be alive - not dead. Therefore, for me, the most dangerous thing to a viable practice is the museum death brought about by delineations that have more to do with institutional politics and its symbolic capital than with anything that might seriously matter in a pinch.

To Matthew, the original poster, in my opinion, if you want to find striking in Aikido, you have two choices: Adopt the institutional-based positions that look to legitimate what by all other martial arts is pretty much a lack of striking, or find it on your own (which you will have to do in the end anyways) in the currently institutionally-illegitimate understandings of Aikido that already have done so.

dmv

NagaBaba
07-22-2008, 02:21 PM
Talking about atemi as a blow in the context of dojo practice is only creating more illusions. You can’t learn swimming in an empty pool. As in the dojo nobody really hits an attacker (as in boxing, kyokushin, MMA or MT), all these big talks about atemi it is exactly as you are trying to swim in an empty pool.
Of course, one could argue that attacker must react in ‘natural and safe way’ and if he is conditioned like that, we can hit for real.
Unfortunately, the objective definition of ‘natural and safe way’ simply doesn’t exist, and every instructor creates one for himself. As a result, his students will have certain particular conditioning that will be invalid in other dojo. I’ll not add that it will be not valid also on somebody outside of aikido – to not go off topic…
That’s why, IMO heavy use of atemi as a blow in the dojo as a key element of every technique it is only adding another illusion. The techniques become deformed by artificial reactions of attacker.

I believe that atemi in aikido has nothing to do with hitting, waiving, distracting etc…Atemi in aikido it is about stabbing with tanto, wakizashi or sword. It must be done in the position that attacker can’t avoid it. As that, we must practice empty hand techniques in the way, we don’t need to hit attacker. It is additional challenge, but only this way we will not fooling ourselves with illusions, we can preserve save practice in the dojo, we can develop perfect, clean techniques without any opening and after few years of such practice, one may discover where and how he can stab an attacker.

skati
07-22-2008, 02:28 PM
David, nothing against the style, but I don't feel Aikido is for me. From a combat standpoint, I am a striker through and through. I mentioned this to someone in pm, but from watching the videos of Aikido, it looks like you'd need a lot of patience to be effective in the style. I personally don't feel like I have the patience necessary to effectively train and master Aikido.

However, as this thread has continued, and my searches outside of this site, I have been gaining more and more respect for the style and the people that practice it. You all make it look so easy, but I suppose that comes from all the practice you have been putting into it.

When I first looked up Aikido, the sites and videos I had originally looked at, I didn't see anyone attacking (other than the uke). All I saw were masters redirecting people and throwing them. When people like me, that are outsiders to the art, see that, a lot of times we tend to think that's ALL the style offers.

However, during the course of my research, I've come across some attacks, but not too many. From reading of (supposedly for some sites...like wikipedia) what Aikido is supposed to be about, I began to wonder how the strikes I read about did fit in.

I must admit that the original purpose of this was for a school project I'm getting a head start on. I'm attending a video game making college (well others, but I'm majoring in that) and my project is a 2 dimensional fighting game. One of the characters is a peaceful high school girl that, storywise, focuses more on defense and trying not to hurt the opponent too badly when fighting. Me and a friend both looked at several martial arts and came to the conclusion that the best two styles for her (we wanted her to be a martial artist) were Tai Chi Quan (or Chan, or whatever) and Aikido. From there, we settled on Aikido.

Another friend of mine claimed Aikido isn't a good style for the type of game we're doing, but I personally disagree. From there, I started my research.

I've been trying to come up with a list of strikes for her normal attacks (normals = strikes and are needed there...they're the most basic attacks a character has. Throws, redirects, and counters are in a different category). That's been the hardest part in designing the girl, was the normals, since there was (prior to this thread) too little information I could find.

As I said before, this thread has helped me out tremendously, I appreciate all of you that have responded here. I'm also very happy that it is still going on and that it continues to do so. As I said before, the more this thread has gone on, the more I have learned about Aikido (from videos and discussion), not just in relation to strikes. The more I've learned about Aikido, the more respect I have gained for the style and its practitioners.

Been a while since I've been in a dojo, but I believe bowing to your superiors is still the accepted form of showing respect.

So, I bow before you all, masters, teachers, and students alike, for being kind enough to share your knowledge and thoughts.

Thank you so much for it.

Ron Tisdale
07-22-2008, 04:47 PM
:D Not a master, so no bowing please :D

anywho, if you are looking for strikes for a character whose basics are striiking and whose advanced waza are throwing and locking, I'd consider the following:

Low kicks to legs
stop kicks
knife edge strikes with the hands
palm strikes with the hands
nuckle strikes to soft parts
maybe some knee strikes.

Then set up your character to do throws and such from there. Sounds like an interesting project!
Good luck,
Ron

senshincenter
07-22-2008, 05:58 PM
David, nothing against the style, but I don't feel Aikido is for me. From a combat standpoint, I am a striker through and through. I mentioned this to someone in pm, but from watching the videos of Aikido, it looks like you'd need a lot of patience to be effective in the style. I personally don't feel like I have the patience necessary to effectively train and master Aikido.

However, as this thread has continued, and my searches outside of this site, I have been gaining more and more respect for the style and the people that practice it. You all make it look so easy, but I suppose that comes from all the practice you have been putting into it.

When I first looked up Aikido, the sites and videos I had originally looked at, I didn't see anyone attacking (other than the uke). All I saw were masters redirecting people and throwing them. When people like me, that are outsiders to the art, see that, a lot of times we tend to think that's ALL the style offers.

However, during the course of my research, I've come across some attacks, but not too many. From reading of (supposedly for some sites...like wikipedia) what Aikido is supposed to be about, I began to wonder how the strikes I read about did fit in.

I must admit that the original purpose of this was for a school project I'm getting a head start on. I'm attending a video game making college (well others, but I'm majoring in that) and my project is a 2 dimensional fighting game. One of the characters is a peaceful high school girl that, storywise, focuses more on defense and trying not to hurt the opponent too badly when fighting. Me and a friend both looked at several martial arts and came to the conclusion that the best two styles for her (we wanted her to be a martial artist) were Tai Chi Quan (or Chan, or whatever) and Aikido. From there, we settled on Aikido.

Another friend of mine claimed Aikido isn't a good style for the type of game we're doing, but I personally disagree. From there, I started my research.

I've been trying to come up with a list of strikes for her normal attacks (normals = strikes and are needed there...they're the most basic attacks a character has. Throws, redirects, and counters are in a different category). That's been the hardest part in designing the girl, was the normals, since there was (prior to this thread) too little information I could find.

As I said before, this thread has helped me out tremendously, I appreciate all of you that have responded here. I'm also very happy that it is still going on and that it continues to do so. As I said before, the more this thread has gone on, the more I have learned about Aikido (from videos and discussion), not just in relation to strikes. The more I've learned about Aikido, the more respect I have gained for the style and its practitioners.

Been a while since I've been in a dojo, but I believe bowing to your superiors is still the accepted form of showing respect.

So, I bow before you all, masters, teachers, and students alike, for being kind enough to share your knowledge and thoughts.

Thank you so much for it.

Matt - this is so cool. And, if you will allow, pretty insightful: Aikido = peaceful high school girl bent on not hurting people. lol I don't care what side of the debates one is on, that is pretty funny. :-)

If you got the time, feel invited to check out our site: www.senshincenter.com. My brother works for EA right now. It's a tough industry. I wish you luck and success.

d

senshincenter
07-22-2008, 06:12 PM
Other videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcQZgtLcCuI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkCiKdeRvdM

skati
07-22-2008, 06:12 PM
:D Not a master, so no bowing please :D

anywho, if you are looking for strikes for a character whose basics are striiking and whose advanced waza are throwing and locking, I'd consider the following:

Low kicks to legs
stop kicks
knife edge strikes with the hands
palm strikes with the hands
nuckle strikes to soft parts
maybe some knee strikes.

Then set up your character to do throws and such from there. Sounds like an interesting project!
Good luck,
Ron

Thank you, but I've got the normals done now, as well as her two standard throws. Now I'm working on specials and supers (this is a Street Fighter type of game. If you're familiar with 2D fighting games at all, you should know that particular one, as it's the grandfather of them all).

I'm working on her specials and supers now. One of her specials is called Intercept and it's basically a counter special, where she counters an attack with a throw.

Assuming I have them described right, for a mid attack, it's an Iriminage. Low attacks are countered with what's supposed to be a kaitennage and highs...well, I just kind of winged that one, but it counters jump ins.

Due to the nature of the game, I had to modify her standard throws ( kokyu nage and sumi otoshi...or at least they're supposed to be) to them being done by her as the attacker, since the throws are done by button presses and you can't wait for the other player to attack to throw (well, unless he misses, but it's not like how most of the Aikidokas I've seen videos do theirs). And you can't have a character with multiple counter moves that make up their movelists, otherwise they wouldn't stand a chance against other characters, since those kinds of moves require you to anticipate your opponent's next move (kind of like real life).

Most of her stuff, however, involves manipulation and creation of light for attacks. Like ki attacks in japanese anime, but hers is real light, not ki formed light (ki used like that is also used, but not for this girl. Her's is the real deal and is a bit more...pure, if you will). Storywise, she uses this to keep the opponent at bay and/or to deter them from coming any closer .

As far as gameplay, due to the engine, she'll have at least a couple things that'd allow a player to put up a more offensive fight in game, even though, if the character were fighting in real life, she wouldn't be fighting like that. Most of her stuff, however, are best used for counters and keep aways, even has a move that'll absorb (or absorb and counter) or reflect projectiles. She also has a healing super, and may be able to heal others storywise (that one I'm debating, but at least herself). These are just mild and moderate physical injuries though, or to give back a boost of energy, not curing cancer, aids, whatever.

I still have a bit more to do with her, but now that the normals are done, it shouldn't be too much longer. I had been thinking of, if it's not a bother to anyone else, posting some of what she can do (at least her atemi, throws, and anything else related to Aikido) on here...not the full character page, just the descriptions (so it wouldn't include the command for, say, Intercept). Or at least, pm it to someone willing to give it a look, to see if it fits. I've got a thing about trying to stay as accurate as I can to things, given circumstances on this project :p.

Also, thanks to senshin. The original concept belongs to the friend mentioned in the last post, that helped with the style. She came up with the idea of her character being defensive and the healing super, kind of implying the peaceful thing. I ended up coming up with the moves. I'm pushing for her to still be in high school, since she mirrors the main character's (a water elemental who's starting his first year of college in the game, but he's more like...the raging currents of the sea, if you will) younger sister, an offensive shadow elemental (ability to create and manipulate darkness).

Thanks for the encouragement you two above.

If it doesn't work out, I at least have more than enough background info and characters for a novel or two :).

lifeafter2am
07-22-2008, 06:33 PM
So when do we get to play it?

:)

skati
07-22-2008, 06:50 PM
So when do we get to play it?

:)

Eh, that might be a while. I just recently started working on it seriously as a project. I'm still in the process of getting a team together to work on it at my school, as well as character development and story. I've got two programmers now, me and my roommate. I've got someone in mind for graphics (that's going to be the hardest part).

Anyway, before it gets completely off topic here, I'm going to make a thread about this in the open area, so further discussion on the game itself (my Aikido girl's atemi and all aside) will be held over there.

skati
07-22-2008, 07:43 PM
I don't mean to double post, but I couldn't find the edit button on my last post.

Any discussion, wishes of luck, whatever about my game I want to be posted here now http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14847

My reason for this being so that the thread will stay on the topic of atemi.

Thanks again for sharing all the info and for wishing me luck.

eyrie
07-22-2008, 09:24 PM
I'm responding to Chris Moses' reply in the "Making Kote Gaeshi work with resistance" thread here as it seemed more appropriate to discuss this in the context of this thread. [Original post here (http://aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=211846&postcount=148)]

...most people think of atemi as simplistic strikes added on top of or around an aikido technique. Our movements simply *are* atemi. By that I mean that the movements we do are basically all strikes and most impact into uke's core to some extent. The way most people use it is a kind of pantomime of a strike, often at the beginning of a scenario, again to "soften" the attacker. Precisely... when most people talk about atemi, they're mostly referring to the initial overt go no sen or sen no sen response... as in... uke attacks, nage responds with a "softening up" atemi, or as uke begins to attack, in the same moment, nage enters with atemi to forestall. Or as some sort of "tacked on" adjunct to the technique - as in... now your body is here and this target is open so you can hit it - without neccessarily considering how a strike to that target may create a different dynamic to the intended technique. Atemi waza is not indiscriminate and must follow a logical progression, in line with the 5 points I listed above, that naturally results in the completion of the technique.

This is why I refer to it as kindergarten level atemi waza - not in a derogatory way, but to point out that there is so much more potential in using the entire body as a striking weapon.

The other point I'm getting at is that there is a far deeper level which involves a much more subtle use of atemi, such that, to the casual observer, it doesn't look like you've hit the attacker. Not that it's done so fast that the eye can't see, but rather so subtle that an observer would not have realized. Sorry to use David's video, as good as it may be, or even Saotome's iriminage - not that's it's bad as a demonstration of sorts, but it's still too "external".

As regards to the discussion of using atemi to "stop" the attacker, in the sense of giving them a "choice" to do so, or other forms of "one-hit wonders", I offer you this in reply:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zh1P7TmRs0&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILwSjm44Z7Q

Now THAT's stopping an attacker cold. :p

PS: I can't believe that the original intent of this discussion was for a game character.... :D

skati
07-22-2008, 09:59 PM
PS: I can't believe that the original intent of this discussion was for a game character....

Well, I figured I'd probably get more of a response if I left that out and phrased it as a genuine question :p.

Actually, I was genuinely curious, but like I said, I really was having issues with her normals.

However, I am happy that it has gotten some posts and developed a good, long topic like this.

Aikibu
07-23-2008, 02:03 AM
As regards to the discussion of using atemi to "stop" the attacker, in the sense of giving them a "choice" to do so, or other forms of "one-hit wonders", I offer you this in reply:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zh1P7TmRs0&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILwSjm44Z7Q

Now THAT's stopping an attacker cold. :p

PS: I can't believe that the original intent of this discussion was for a game character.... :D

Thanks for the videos and it brought back a rush of good memories.

Robert Bryner Sensei The man who was responsible for bringing Shoji Nishio the the United States has studied with Oyata Sensei for several decades. He has incorporated many Ryu Te style techniques into our Aikido since he is a high ranking Yudansha in both. His videos "Supplemental Training Methods foir Aikido practice Volumes 1 and 2" are keepers if you can find them. He has been a great teacher and a good friend for many many years. So yes I have actual experience with using the training methods shown in the videos through Bob's incorporation of Ryu Te into Nishio Ryu Aikido and having seen Oyata Sensei in person... All I can say his internal power is legendary. Bob is no longer allowed to teach Aikido and Ryu Te together but if you want to learn how to strike with "using your whole body" or execute Aikido "using your whole body" You can't go wrong with Ryu Te in conjunction with our Aikido.

In studying both the You Tubes Videos of Aikido and RyuTe you will notice that both have the same "not fighting stance" and both end the conflict at the moment of contact. Now perhaps one may think of this as being somewhat "kindergarten-ish" but it is approach is Martially Effective and to be considered Budo Martial Effectiveness is essential.

Here is Bob's Web Site. http://www.thedojousa.com/

For those of you in Southern California or in LA during the first weekend in August (The 2nd & 3rd) Koji Yoshida Shihan will be at Santa Monica High for his annual seminar on Shoji Nishio's Aikido and Iaido. You can get the basics from Bob's website or PM me for more info. All are welcome to attend. :)

William Hazen

Aikibu
07-23-2008, 02:28 AM
Watched a bunch of the You Tubes and this is Oyata at his best.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85NHVbJ0t7U&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmJCoobDyH4&feature=related

On a side note I should mention that Bryner Sensei is Semi retired (he's got his hands full with twin girls while his wife runs the Dojo and thier businesses) But if you're ever in LA and want to practice with Fowler Sensei, Bryner Sensei, or me... drop me a line. We are all within a couple of miles of each other. :)

William Hazen

jennifer paige smith
07-23-2008, 08:39 PM
Watched a bunch of the You Tubes and this is Oyata at his best.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85NHVbJ0t7U&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmJCoobDyH4&feature=related

On a side note I should mention that Bryner Sensei is Semi retired (he's got his hands full with twin girls while his wife runs the Dojo and thier businesses) But if you're ever in LA and want to practice with Fowler Sensei, Bryner Sensei, or me... drop me a line. We are all within a couple of miles of each other. :)

William Hazen

Wow, I just put this together. Robert Bryner used to teach Aikido in Santa Cruz at a dojo that was formerly called Aikido of Santa Cruz (but definitely not the dojo that is called that now). A good musician friend of mine used to train there, too. My friend recalls very fondly to me the time he was launched in space and for a very expansive amount of footage, resolutely and 'mysteriously' by Robert Sensei. Bryner Sensei's co-cho was Greg Brodsky who now teaches Tai Chi.
As it happens, my same friends kids practiced with me for quite awhile. And Brodsky Sensei's sons are very good friends of mine. All in the family!:)

Aikibu
07-24-2008, 01:50 AM
Wow, I just put this together. Robert Bryner used to teach Aikido in Santa Cruz at a dojo that was formerly called Aikido of Santa Cruz (but definitely not the dojo that is called that now). A good musician friend of mine used to train there, too. My friend recalls very fondly to me the time he was launched in space and for a very expansive amount of footage, resolutely and 'mysteriously' by Robert Sensei. Bryner Sensei's co-cho was Greg Brodsky who now teaches Tai Chi.
As it happens, my same friends kids practiced with me for quite awhile. And Brodsky Sensei's sons are very good friends of mine. All in the family!:)

I will definately see Bob at the seminar and share your memories of those days with him. :) Or...perhaps you can come and train... and... we can hang and surf too (though after a couple days of Ukemi I usually have a few chinks in the rusty armor :D) There is a South Swell on the way. Yoshida Sensei was there at UC Santa Cruz in 98 with Nishio Sensei so he would love to see some old members of the family.

As for being thrown "mysteriously" It must not have happened...We hardly know anything about such things. :D

Thanks Sempai Jen. )

William Hazen

eyrie
07-24-2008, 02:53 AM
I hate to break up the love fest, but would people mind terribly keeping on topic? Thanks.

jennifer paige smith
07-24-2008, 10:07 AM
I hate to break up the love fest, but would people mind terribly keeping on topic? Thanks.

Hmmm, Hate, break, and love..........Could you please take that comment to the Violence under the Pretext of Love thread?;) . Or was it an atemi?

Best,
Jen

Erick Mead
07-24-2008, 02:14 PM
Precisely... when most people talk about atemi, they're mostly referring to the initial overt go no sen or sen no sen response... as in... uke attacks, nage responds with a "softening up" atemi, or as uke begins to attack, in the same moment, nage enters with atemi to forestall. Or as some sort of "tacked on" adjunct to the technique - as in... now your body is here and this target is open so you can hit it - without neccessarily considering how a strike to that target may create a different dynamic to the intended technique. Atemi waza is not indiscriminate and must follow a logical progression, in line with the 5 points I listed above, that naturally results in the completion of the technique.
For review, your five points were:
1. A predictable physiological response in uke
2. Disturb/disrupt or even break uke's balance
3. Causes uke to change their priorities and respond in a predictable fashion
4. Create an opening to allow insertion for a technique
5. Allow for completion of the technique .. but your points are only signs or effects, not causes or methods. I agree that a strike that did not effect one of the above is not proper atemi , or at best an affected atemi. My five points are methodological and for greatest effect -- should all be present in a strike. Having written them down now, they seem to have an unintended Buddhist flavor -- though I doubt Prince Siddhartha would approve of them. :p

The strike must occur with:

1. Right shape
2. Right placement
3. Right orientation
4. Right speed
5. Right time

You will note the common factor of being "right" which resolves to juji 十字 . I do not mean merely "correct," although that is implicit, I mean "right." As in right angle, 90 degrees, square. That principle flows in dynamics so it is not so trivially seen as in statics. It has elements of both space(ing) and time(ing), and is the reason that distinguishes good maai from bad maai.

One key is resonance. An object reverberates at its natural (or resonant) frequency when struck. Resonance occurs when the object is struck at its resonance frequency. Resonance also occurs when any input is delivered 90 degrees out of phase with some induced frequency (i.e. -- the gross motion of the body). 180 degrees phase difference is collision or 100% negative versus 100% positive); 0 deg or 360 deg (reinforcing or merging --is positive meeting positive and negative meeting negative), 90 degrees phase difference is between them, and harder to characterize.

Right shape is the shape where the forces imposed result from using tangential impacts -- energy at right angles to the radius to the center of some rotation or potential rotation -- not linear action/reaction but a shape that delivers right-angled stresses to the target and sudden torques. Think of the head-snapping upper cut, right cross or left hook as examples.

Right placement is placement on a target that maximizes the degree of right angled stresses propagated in the body of the target. This varies depending on range and dynamic, but because the articulation of all the body parts involves a member swinging from a center, typically you attack not the swinging end of member -- but in relation to a center of that swing and impact. Center of rotation, center of percussion and center of mass each may affect the result of the strike depending on its relation to those points.

Right orientation involves striking the dynamic target; the strike must be oriented at a right angle to the predominant line of travel. In a dynamic target on two legs this line of travel is deceptive, because in moving forward , the body sweeps out an angle of rotation centered on one hip, as does the arms making a strike that one might counter with another strike. Thus, right orientation means that in striking the center of rotation ( or in relation to the center of percussion or mass) you do so at a right angle to the radius of swing at the time of impact.

Right speed is more subtle, because the tendency is to try to deliver more speed as speed incurs more energy into the target -- forgetting that the body can also control absorbtion of energy into parts that are less vulnerable to sudden stress. . So it is more important that the speed used limit the ability of the body to control its absorption of energy. Absolute relative speed at impact may varys with a moving target, but its natural frequency does not. WHEN you hit it the speed of the strike also creates a reaction frequency response in the body of the target -- modulating (damping/absorbing) the initial impulse frequncy down (or up) toward the natural frequency. The target's (human body's) natural or resonance frequency is around 10hz, and when you strike it with an impulse at that frequency, the body's own reverberation adds energy to the striking energy AND it cannot damp it. If you strike it AT that frequency (speed/rhythm) you set up a resonance that allows the energy to "FIND" its way into weak spots in the structure in ways that neither natural frequency damping, nor the voluntary or trained responses of the body are easily able to counter by absorption/redirection into its stronger parts. A glass cracks at resonance because the vibration at the resonance frequency builds up stress that can only be relieved by a structural failure -- at the weakest points of the structure in respect to that stress.

Right time is related to the gross motion of the body and the same 90 degree resonance. The body "rings" at its resonance frequency when struck, but the body obviously can also drive its motion in a much wider variety of speeds or rhythms. Thus, the proper strike must come in time relative to the target's overall motion at a 90 degree phase difference to that motion as well for maximum disruption. This relates to orientation at a deep level, and can be easily seen in speedbag practice where ( if one is doing it effectively), the bag is always struck midway between max and minimum of its swing cycle -- right at the point where it is returning through the 90 degree pendant position. A speed bag is not aiki -- but the prinicple involved is the same. If the speed bag were a striking limb and the swivel the head or body, in aiki you would more likely strike the swivel (center of rotation) or elsewhere (like above or blow the center of percussion) I won't digress into that but look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Center_of_percussion

The body is sensitive to this set of resonance problems and has a response to it -- reflex action. When an impact impulse sets up a stress wave that exceeds a certain impulse rate in a certain critical place, the spinal reflexes react by involuntarily extending (or flexing) the limb affected -- losing structural stability (i.,e structural failure), but thus saving the integrity of the structural material (typically , an important joint). Thus, when you apply sankyo at a certain critical rate, uke's tippy-toe reaction (reflex extension) is spontaneous -- above or below that rate and you are just using pain of the torque but at just the right impulse frequency ( same as furitama or tekubi furi resonance in your own body) you are literally pressing neurological buttons. When you apply kotegaeshi similarly at the correct impulse rate (even with small amplitude of movement) you get spontaneous knees buckling behavior (reflex flexion). Shihonage similarly -- except that you are in the way of their falling down (briefly).

So this is one way of understanding aikido as 90% atemi, since the controlling waza should be delivered in the same manner, with the same five factors as a impact atemi.

ChrisMoses
07-24-2008, 03:21 PM
since the controlling waza should be delivered in the same manner, with the same five factors as a impact atemi.

Well, I agree with this part...

CitoMaramba
07-24-2008, 04:38 PM
Nishio Sensei wrote:
Throwing and pinning with the feeling of atemi

Aikido is forty percent throwing and sixty percent pinning. You have to have a solid understanding of all the techniques. Further, in all of the techniques there is atemi. However, because many instructors these days only know aikido, their explanations of atemi tend to be mostly verbal and there is something missing. In the aikido I learned (and that I now teach), we do throws and pins with the rhythm and feeling of atemi.

You can read the full article here:
http://www.aikipeace.com/aikido/nishio.html

Aikibu
07-24-2008, 05:39 PM
Thanks for the link Dr. Maramba. I forgot about this interview and it should give a better understanding of Shoji Nishio.

William Hazen

eyrie
07-24-2008, 09:05 PM
My five points are methodological and for greatest effect -- should all be present in a strike....
The strike must occur with:

1. Right shape
2. Right placement
3. Right orientation
4. Right speed
5. Right time
I would say that this is true of any technique. And since we're speaking to such "Noble Truths"... I offer you 3 more to complete the eight. :p
6. Right angle ("right" as in "correct", rather than 90º)
7. Right depth
8. Right power

I'll give you (target) placement, however, I must disagree with your assessment generally.

Firstly, I have an entirely different perspective of shape as you describe, which for me, is far too "external". Whilst some "shape" is necessary, for me, mass and contact surfaces are more important than shape. So, while you speak of hand/fist shapes, and rotational dynamics, I'm talking about the difference between the business end of a blade, stick, club, hammer, or sharp pointy object.

Secondly, although I'll concede right "placement", i.e. target, my view of "target" is far more specific, and speaks to pin-point (pun intended) accuracy, than "swinging members" and articulating body parts.

Thirdly, although you speak of orientation as aligning the body or "weapon" to target, not all targets are struck at 90º (right) angles.

Fourthly, speed has some to do with it... but mass is just as important. If F=ma, or M=mv, either mass or velocity (or velocity delta) can affect the amount of force or momentum. Sure, speed is fine, but with more mass behind the strike, you don't need a whole lot of speed.

And finally... sure timing is everything. But what has that got to do with center of percussion or rotational dynamics? Or resonance, or reverberation, for that matter? I'm not talking about the "garden variety" krotty punch/kick rubbish of high impact physical damage. That's "child's play". The atemi I speak of affects the human body in real physiological terms - shock to the CNS, shutting down cardiac pulmonary and respiratory functions, affecting or even disabling limb mobility and motor function, and altering states of consciousness.

So this is one way of understanding aikido as 90% atemi, since the controlling waza should be delivered in the same manner, with the same five factors as a impact atemi. I think part of the problem is that too many get fixated on "impact" as the only means of delivering atemi. Most people think of it as percussive impact, but there are many ways to deliver atemi.

Here is one way... a percussive one but far more subtle than previous videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVY_-F_15Ag&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7meO4E1RW-8&feature=related

And here's another... which is even more subtle:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfGL-C1U2DU&feature=related

Aikibu
07-24-2008, 11:52 PM
I think part of the problem is that too many get fixated on "impact" as the only means of delivering atemi. Most people think of it as percussive impact, but there are many ways to deliver atemi.

Here is one way... a percussive one but far more subtle than previous videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVY_-F_15Ag&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7meO4E1RW-8&feature=related

And here's another... which is even more subtle:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfGL-C1U2DU&feature=related

Good Vids

Not bad for basic pressure point stuff. Glen does a great job of explaining what I have always learned as "vital points".

It's always been a part of of the Aikido I've experienced. "Washing the arm" and pressure points have always been considered Atemi.

Another way to understand Atemi is "Vital Connection" with Uke
William Hazen

Erick Mead
07-25-2008, 12:39 AM
I would say that this is true of any technique. And since we're speaking to such "Noble Truths"... I offer you 3 more to complete the eight. :p
6. Right angle ("right" as in "correct", rather than 90º)
7. Right depth
8. Right power
90 is the "magic angle." Any others or any other principle by which to judge "correctness" of angle needs to be elaborated before I can agree or disagree. I don't disagree with "right depth" but really this can be considered a subset of both proper placement and proper orientation. As to right power, this is really involved in the consideration of the "right speed" in terms of the handling of delivered impulse. I go into this in more detail below.
Firstly, I have an entirely different perspective of shape as you describe, which for me, is far too "external". ... So, while you speak of hand/fist shapes, and rotational dynamics, ... You misunderstand me, or I have not explained myself well, whichever. I am not speaking of the former and latter has application whether there is "external" rotational movement or not, which is one reason why I divide "right speed" from "right time" Shape is driven by the type of dynamic -- which need NOT be "external" in the sense you mean. Shape is the shape of the entire body in initiating and delivering the impact.

Secondly, although I'll concede right "placement", i.e. target, my view of "target" is far more specific, and speaks to pin-point (pun intended) accuracy, than "swinging members" and articulating body parts. I specifically was not getting into the issue of tuite -- but that art is simply addressing itself directly to the stretch reflex tension organs in the muscle spindles (and Golgi tendon organs) rather than affecting them in a broadcast manner as with atemi, nage waza and osae waza considered without the application of tuite.
Thirdly, although you speak of orientation as aligning the body or "weapon" to target, not all targets are struck at 90º (right) angles. All strikes involve spiral motion even if it is very, very tight in some dimensions. Spiral motion matches the form of shear stress in a torqued body, (i.e. -- tension stress in one 45 deg. spiral around the surface of the body, limb etc. and compression stree in the opposing 45 degree spiral each at ninety degrees from the other) Therefore to maximize impact stress along an existing stress line, a 90 degree orientation to the less vulnerable shear stress line is the "correct" as well as the "right" angle.

Fourthly, speed has some to do with it... but mass is just as important. If F=ma, or M=mv, either mass or velocity (or velocity delta) can affect the amount of force or momentum. Sure, speed is fine, but with more mass behind the strike, you don't need a whole lot of speed. Mass that is not moving adds no impact. So, momentum is a primary quantity in this setting -- mass and velocity are only analytic components.

Impulse is simply force over a period of time. Sum of forces is the change of momentum with respect to time:

Σ F= dp/dt [momentum (p) time (t).]

Impulse, J = F * dt = (dp/dt) * dt = dp.

So impulse may be considered primarily as change of momentum -- without considering force directly -- and thus, without a derivative analytic quantity like acceleration.

Momentum transfer (impulse) happens most efficiently with addition to the speed component of momentum because velocity carries the square of the energy that the additional mass does. Thus, LESS speed is necessary to transfer the same momentum than the equivalent in additional mass. Thus, if we move a large mass and stop its motion by transferring it to smaller mass (with a resulting greater velocity) momentum transfer is more efficient in striking with the smaller mass, than merely moving the large mass to strike with in the first place. A properly extended chain weapon continues to gain velocity as it goes out (by mass transfer conservation) not additional application of force, even though you only gave it the same initial acceleration you would give a rigid weapon.

Chains weapons are most damaging in momentum transfer for this reason -- and also very unpredictable for this reason. Guess what? Your body IS a chain weapon.

And finally... sure timing is everything. But what has that got to do with center of percussion or rotational dynamics? Or resonance, or reverberation, for that matter? If you do not see the issue of timing in natural reverberation or resonance I can say little more. Hell, we practice body resonance in furitama and tekubi furi, among others. There is a reason for that and it is very clear in sword work. I think you ought not lightly pass the issue by.

If you are going to hit something with something else you had better understand harmonic balance, resonance and reverberations or you will come away with a nasty shock. The center of percussion is a definite break point in every maai I know -- sword or taijutsu.

The point of strike with maximum efficiency of momentum delivery with the sword is the second node center of percussion (or center of oscillation -- which changes for some purposes but let's not deal with that) vice the kissaki with the highest velocity. But a lower efficiency of momentum transfer exists at the kissaki because it has less time IN the target AND because some is being lost back into the wielder through shock reverberation, which does not occur if the point of strike is at the COP second node), which is defined by the half wavelength of the natural (resonant) frequency of the weapon.

If you perform suriage or kiriage at a point of contact between the center of mass and the COP the tsuka (with the whole sword) shifts laterally away from the side struck. If you make contact outside the COP relative to the COM, the tsuka rotates TOWARD the side struck. If you strike directly at the COP of the opposing blade very little if any oscillation passes back to the hands of the opponent to alert him of the manner (speed, direction, etc) of the contact , and you can then let the small off angle aspect of shizentai in your cut//lift shift the blade either way with remarkably little telegraphed feel.

The body is only different in material, not principle. That's one reason why resonance and reverberation and COP all matter.

Here is one way... a percussive one but far more subtle than previous videos:As I said, I did not address tuite, (fascinating in their own right) which while vulnerable TO atemi, are not necessarily applied BY atemi, and so are distinct, even though they do relate through some of the same mechanisms of reflex action.

eyrie
07-25-2008, 05:42 AM
That's all well and good Erick... I'm speaking to the purpose and premise of atemi generally (of which tuite and kyusho-jitsu are inter-related subsets) and you are speaking to (your understanding of) the mechanics. Two different things IMO.

eyrie
07-25-2008, 05:57 AM
Good Vids

Not bad for basic pressure point stuff. Glen does a great job of explaining what I have always learned as "vital points".

It's always been a part of of the Aikido I've experienced. "Washing the arm" and pressure points have always been considered Atemi.

Another way to understand Atemi is "Vital Connection" with Uke
William Hazen I see... so now it's always been a part of your experience of Aikido? Frankly, Bill, the "me too...we also do this in OUR style of aikido", and essentially, paraphrasing what I write, is getting a little tiresome. Maybe you could offer something a little more substantive and uniquely you, since you are now claiming familiarity with atemi at this level and "not bad for 'basic' PP stuff". Perhaps you could speak to the contradiction in terms of "giving the attacker a choice/opportunity to stop" and the potential lethality of such atemi?

Or is it mere "hand waving" or banner waving?

phitruong
07-25-2008, 08:05 AM
whoa! that's a lot of analysis for just hitting someone. Look like I still got lots to learn. I have been doing the simple approach of Billy Jack "I am going take this right foot here and whop you on that side of the face ...." Just out of curiosity, if I slam someone into the wall or the floor or the tree, would that consider as atemi?

Erick Mead
07-25-2008, 08:39 AM
That's all well and good Erick... I'm speaking to the purpose and premise of atemi generally (of which tuite and kyusho-jitsu are inter-related subsets) and you are speaking to (your understanding of) the mechanics. Two different things IMO.That's all well and good. My experience of the mechanics is when I put my fist against someone and unload atemi they are mechanically disrupted. My understanding is consistent with that experience, in general and in the stated detail. I presume you agree that atemi must be premised on sound mechanics, and that its primary purpose is to achieve a mechanical effect. So why is that "two different things"?

jennifer paige smith
07-25-2008, 09:50 AM
Just out of curiosity, if I slam someone into the wall or the floor or the tree, would that consider as atemi?

Does it make it sound?:D

Aikibu
07-25-2008, 10:21 AM
I see... so now it's always been a part of your experience of Aikido? Frankly, Bill, the "me too...we also do this in OUR style of aikido", and essentially, paraphrasing what I write, is getting a little tiresome. Maybe you could offer something a little more substantive and uniquely you, since you are now claiming familiarity with atemi at this level and "not bad for 'basic' PP stuff". Perhaps you could speak to the contradiction in terms of "giving the attacker a choice/opportunity to stop" and the potential lethality of such atemi?

Or is it mere "hand waving" or banner waving?

Atemi "at this level" LOL I did realize Atemi had "levels" To me the is no "contradiction in terms' Only choices for Nage. I don't find such "contradictions" hard to grasp. Getting out of bed in the morning is potentially lethal. In fact Life is potentially lethal. the Beauty of good Aikido is it's technical ability to reconcile such "contradictions" in the hand of a good Nage. That is the whole "point" of Aikido the way we express it, and actually that is the way most Budo is expressed. Beating swords into plowshares. Turning Anger into reconciliation. If one has difficulty grasping such concepts Well...More often than not I have notice these technical discussion devolve into exercises in linear thinking. Like Atemi or Technique can be solely explained through some mathematical equation.

Been There....Done That....and it's....Boring.

William Hazen

Erick Mead
07-25-2008, 10:27 AM
Does it make it sound?:D

Only if there's no one listening ... :D

akiy
07-25-2008, 10:35 AM
Hi folks,

Let's keep the tone of this discussion civil and respectful, please. Thank you.

-- Jun

jennifer paige smith
07-25-2008, 12:19 PM
Only if there's no one listening ... :D

I'm glad you got the humor.;)

Jen

eyrie
07-25-2008, 06:28 PM
I presume you agree that atemi must be premised on sound mechanics, and that its primary purpose is to achieve a mechanical effect. So why is that "two different things"? Sure. Sound mechanics should apply to ALL techniques. But a physiological effect is more than just "mechanical"... no?

eyrie
07-25-2008, 09:34 PM
Glen does a great job of explaining what I have always learned as "vital points".... Another way to understand Atemi is "Vital Connection" with Uke
To clarify, there are (generally accepted) 36 vital points on the body. "Vital" in the sense of being potentially fatal. Not all pressure points are "vital"... certainly not some of those demonstrated by Glen Levy.

Perhaps you could clarify/explain what you mean by "Vital Connection"?

Aikibu
07-26-2008, 12:43 AM
To clarify, there are (generally accepted) 36 vital points on the body. "Vital" in the sense of being potentially fatal. Not all pressure points are "vital"... certainly not some of those demonstrated by Glen Levy.

Perhaps you could clarify/explain what you mean by "Vital Connection"?

I would love to but I think your description is best with the exception of the semantic use of the word vital which means the same as pressure point the way I have learned and show/teach it.

Vital connection with Uke is simple enough to explain too... Any Aikido technique when examined closely enough has a few pressure/vital points that Nage may use to control/blend with Uke. A very common one is the "funny bone" area of the arm and the one Glen showed above the inside elbow area. When executing KG Omote one starts at the inside of the shoulder near the vital point at the junction of the shoulder and the clavicle with a "tap" and then cuts down washing the inside of Uke's Arm to his/her elbow. There is also as Oyata explained the idea of rotating and leading ukes arm like a sword cut or as he puts it "rowing the boat." A "gentle tap" applied to a vital point can help Uke blend with the technique a little bit better. :D

William Hazen

Stefan Stenudd
07-26-2008, 03:19 AM
In the martial arts, there is often a tendency of exaggerated belief or disbelief in one or other method. But nothing is foolproof, and few things are completely meaningless.

As for atemi, as well as aikido pinnings and throws, they depend on the element of surprise. Without surprise, they are much less likely to succeed.

It is also my impression that atemi, as well as pinnings and throws, primarily need to relate to the opponent's direction of energy (ki, if you will). That is more important than certain specific points on the opponent's body.

Coming to think of it, there's not much difference between atemi and other aikido techniques.

eyrie
07-26-2008, 05:49 AM
I would love to but I think your description is best with the exception of the semantic use of the word vital which means the same as pressure point the way I have learned and show/teach it. I'd prefer to be semantically correct... less chance for confusion or misunderstanding... ;)

Oh... OK, I thought you meant something else, but I see you were being deliberately obtuse. Thanks for clarifying though.

IAs for atemi, as well as aikido pinnings and throws, they depend on the element of surprise. Without surprise, they are much less likely to succeed.

It is also my impression that atemi, as well as pinnings and throws, primarily need to relate to the opponent's direction of energy (ki, if you will). That is more important than certain specific points on the opponent's body. In martial strategems, the element of surprise is always a good, and sometimes, necessary advantage. Not sure what you're trying to say here.

Sure... everything is "relative" to the opponent's direction of energy or "ki"... with the flow, against the flow, orthogonal to the flow. Certainly, specific points provide direct access to the opponent's "ki" in specific ways, but I agree... it's not something one should actively look for or rely on. But like everything else... the more I practice, the better I get at targeting them - without even trying... ;)

Erick Mead
07-26-2008, 08:53 AM
In martial strategems, the element of surprise is always a good, and sometimes, necessary advantage. Surprise in the strict sense is one instance of a more general principle -- superior awareness of the actual (vice perceived) conditions of the engagement (ki musubi). Whoever lacks it ends up being surprised, even when they know there is a battle upon them.

Aikibu
07-26-2008, 01:09 PM
I'd prefer to be semantically correct... less chance for confusion or misunderstanding... ;)

Oh... OK, I thought you meant something else, but I see you were being deliberately obtuse. Thanks for clarifying though.

In martial strategems, the element of surprise is always a good, and sometimes, necessary advantage. Not sure what you're trying to say here.

Sure... everything is "relative" to the opponent's direction of energy or "ki"... with the flow, against the flow, orthogonal to the flow. Certainly, specific points provide direct access to the opponent's "ki" in specific ways, but I agree... it's not something one should actively look for or rely on. But like everything else... the more I practice, the better I get at targeting them - without even trying... ;)

Ok... I see where at the point of our discussion (again :rolleyes: ) where you need to feel like you've "won" the "argument" :confused:

Let me know when you've won will you Igo ?:) This Agumentum Ad Athoritum stuff tends to get in the way of a good discussion between folks with different points of view.

I leave you with a quote from another post of yours.. "Well I thought that was pretty clear... as my teacher used to say... it's all Aikido. One and the same. This "my style, your style, our style" thing is not only divisive, but irrelevant. Everybody does things differently, but at its heart, it is one and the same Aikido."

In context you were suggesting that if you strip "style" away will (yours... ours... theirs....) will Aikido "hold water"... The answer to me is an obvious yes. With regard to what I have read of Atemi I feel the answer is the same it's all Atemi...

A wise man once said to me... Atemi is a smorgasbord One man likes pickles the other peanut butter. The key to good practice is to let the man who likes peanut butter have all he wants...

William

Aikibu
07-26-2008, 01:24 PM
In the martial arts, there is often a tendency of exaggerated belief or disbelief in one or other method. But nothing is foolproof, and few things are completely meaningless. Very True

As for atemi, as well as aikido pinnings and throws, they depend on the element of surprise. Without surprise, they are much less likely to succeed. Very True

It is also my impression that atemi, as well as pinnings and throws, primarily need to relate to the opponent's direction of energy (ki, if you will). That is more important than certain specific points on the opponent's body. I would call Ki in this case "Intention" Atemi has many uses depending on Nage's reading of Uke's intention. I prefer these three general explanations.
1. To stop the attack (as Nishio Shihan put it "at the moment of contact.")
2. To enter and execute technique
3. To assist Uke with the completion of a technique

Now within those three headings are many different forms of Atemi.. Simple Strikes...Breaking Balance...Pressure/Vital Points... Washing the Arm... No Touch... and on and on

To me it's not hard to understand... but it sure takes along time to master

Coming to think of it, there's not much difference between atemi and other aikido techniques.

I totally agree. Thanks Sempai. :)

William Hazen

senshincenter
07-26-2008, 02:38 PM
Again, my take is that all these formulas, this what I would like to call a "paralysis of analysis," hints that Aikido (generally, overall) just doesn't take seriously the idea of making striking a part of its training curriculum.

Again, there is a purity to violence which at the practical level defies, may even outright contradict, these attempts to move beyond, "Just hit the f*****."

I know for me, my ignorance of "pressure point striking," etc., was a consciously gained ignorance - one chosen early on out of not being drawn to weapons (of any kind) that are overly specialized and/or excessively situationally specific. Because these types of weapons often turn out to not be very useful within the light of "anything goes" - which marks actual self-defense/offense situations.

For me, general Aikido's ventures into striking has been so minimal that contemporary aikidoka are better served to not try and find out what "Aikido striking" is, or even truly was. Additionally, if "Aikido striking" is, or was, solely, or at its "deeper" level, about pressure point striking (or whatever name you'd like to call it), well, that's just one more reason for contemporary aikidoka to let go and move forward.

Here's more videos that I think folks should always see side by side with the other kind thus far shown:

http://www.dbskeptic.com/2008/05/29/the-“bullshido”-of-martial-arts-and-no-touch-knockouts/

Aikibu
07-26-2008, 03:24 PM
Again, my take is that all these formulas, this what I would like to call a "paralysis of analysis," hints that Aikido (generally, overall) just doesn't take seriously the idea of making striking a part of its training curriculum.

So that explains what happens to me when I try to understand some of these posts. :)

Again, there is a purity to violence which at the practical level defies, may even outright contradict, these attempts to move beyond, "Just hit the f*****." This is what baffles me about some Aikidoka and the reason why I focus on intent of Uke. If some dude want to flat out f**k you up you better be able to do something about it. Without Martial Awareness of intention and your immediate environment... You're on the floor with someone in the mount beating the crap out of you or a bunch of dudes kicking you in the head. Considering you face these challenges daily I understand your need for purity. :)

I know for me, my ignorance of "pressure point striking," etc., was a consciously gained ignorance - one chosen early on out of not being drawn to weapons (of any kind) that are overly specialized and/or excessively situationally specific. Because these types of weapons often turn out to not be very useful within the light of "anything goes" - which marks actual self-defense/offense situations.

I understand your reluctance given your job. however it is usful stuff to practice in the sense that is does benefit ones Aikido in how and where to apply pressure and use kuzshuzi (spelling?). The fantasy comes in when people think that with a few years of practice they can become so called "death touch" experts or like Oyata Sensei or some of the members of this board who can hit with Aiki Power. It would take a heck of allot of practice for me to reach that level. Washing the Arm however is something simple and easy to teach and it brings an immediate benefit to ones practice

For me, general Aikido's ventures into striking has been so minimal that contemporary aikidoka are better served to not try and find out what "Aikido striking" is, or even truly was. Additionally, if "Aikido striking" is, or was, solely, or at its "deeper" level, about pressure point striking (or whatever name you'd like to call it), well, that's just one more reason for contemporary aikidoka to let go and move forward.

Perhaps I am misunderstanding you but I respectfully disagree. Remove "Atemi" from Aikido and you are nothing more than an Aiki Bunny.

Here's more videos that I think folks should always see side by side with the other kind thus far shown:

http://www.dbskeptic.com/2008/05/29/the-“bullshido”-of-martial-arts-and-no-touch-knockouts/

Again I'll use my New York Cop analogy in reverse. There are no doubt a number of frauds and BS artists and they more than likely outnumber the Real Deals but because there are... does that mean all of them are?

I have woken up too many times on the mat and suffered too many deep bruises to believe that. Dan is right. Had I the courage and the focus and the money I would move into Tanaka's or Oyata's or Dan's house! :)

There are no shortcuts to that kind of power...

For the rest of us...or speaking just for me. I will just do the best I can to keep an open mind and learn to use Atemi with the right intention in our Aikido practice.

Take Care Sempai. :)

William Hazen

Erick Mead
07-26-2008, 06:30 PM
Again, my take is that all these formulas, this what I would like to call a "paralysis of analysis," ... there is a purity to violence which at the practical level defies, may even outright contradict, these attempts to move beyond, "Just hit the f*****." Who said "move beyond?" All that analysis goes into things like windage in sniping and time-on-target in artillery, and many many others -- but they all resolve to "Blow the bastard to kingdom come."

Now the question is one of efficiency and with efficiency comes minimization of NECESSARY violence. I don't need refined striking to destroy a person with blunt force damage -- a car does just fine. Element of surprise, too.

On the other hand if I wish to have effect with minimal damage refinement is the only course, and analysis is necessary to remove the unessential dross.

senshincenter
07-26-2008, 06:40 PM
I did not mean to dismiss this kind of power development, nor even the practitioners in the videos I posted. Nor do I disagree with the position that such things, as all things are, only open to those that invest and invest heavily. I am sorry if I did not make this clear.

As I said, I chose not to make such investment. However, I did not choose not to because I felt it fraudulent. I understand that the slant in the videos, and in the page that contained them, adopted that position, but I was trying to write on something else. In particular, I was referring to two aspects that are commonly connected to such understandings of striking.

I was first referring to the heavy analysis/theory that in my experience often ends up leading to reducing the amount of time actually spent striking (my "paralysis of analysis" comment), where more real time is spent NOT striking (e.g. as in general Aikido training) than striking.

Secondly, I was referring to the "special" or "rare" conditions, the exactness, of such weapons/strikes (i.e. belief, static electricity present, set-up times, non-athletic folks, tongue position, toe position, etc.).

I find both of these aspects very problematic for a person wishing to pursue the inclusion of striking into their regular Aikido curriculum for reasons of self-defense and/or real-world application.

Again, I do not wish to dismiss such striking (e.g. pressure point, chi blockage, no touch knockout, etc.) as false, and I can easily concede that I am pretty much ignorant of such understanding and skill. However, my point, which lies at the base at why I chose to be ignorant (i.e. not pursuing such courses of study, not seeking out a teacher, etc.), is that such positions seem to inhibit more than support actual self-defense encounters. Again, if one is interested more in acts of artistic preservation - sure, go for it. But, I am no museum curator - hence, my course of practice.

I compare it to handgun and/or rifle selection... Do I want one that goes off every time I pull the trigger, or only when the planets align just right and the wind is coming in the from the north? Do I want one so fine in its manufacturing that dirt and dust cause it to malfunction, or do I want to be able to bury it in the sand and dunk it in water and have it still fire? Am I willing to give up some of the "special" or even "miracle" stuff such fine weapons can do for pure, simple, use and reliability? For me, when it comes to putting your life on the line, as in self-defense situations, which is often the context that raises the issue of "striking in Aikido," one is always better off going with what is pure, simple, and reliable. In my opinion, this could be the unofficial slogan for something like Krav Maga's slant on striking.

To be clear, I'm not against development, nor, of course, the work needed to produce development, but when development, and the related work, raises issues of reliability and/or applicability, a "Hmmmm?," should go off in our heads. Additionally, when we have to say so much to do so little, another "Hmmmm?" should go off in our head. This is my point.

That said, and again I apologize for not being clear, I did not mean to suggest that one should take striking out of Aikido. I'm all for that, for putting striking into Aikido (and definitely as more than what makes a technique work or what allows for a technique to work, etc.). My suggestion, to be blunt, is that outside of the museum curator, aikidoka that are truly interested in striking should look to other understandings and sources than what today is often presented as "striking" in Aikido or as Aikido's striking. What I am suggesting is that folks should become very dissatisfied with what is currently passing for striking in Aikido (generally speaking), moving to the point where one pretty much abandons it for what it is: An overly archaic and extremely embryonic abstraction for what the rest of the martial arts world is doing with striking (both in old and new styles).

Because it's cool :-) (but still, you can hear the "buzz words" by Mack regarding real-world encounters):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZpZryZEiY4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGwkHktkTxU

senshincenter
07-26-2008, 07:12 PM
Who said "move beyond?" All that analysis goes into things like windage in sniping and time-on-target in artillery, and many many others -- but they all resolve to "Blow the bastard to kingdom come."

Now the question is one of efficiency and with efficiency comes minimization of NECESSARY violence. I don't need refined striking to destroy a person with blunt force damage -- a car does just fine. Element of surprise, too.

On the other hand if I wish to have effect with minimal damage refinement is the only course, and analysis is necessary to remove the unessential dross.

What you say is perfectly true here - I can easily concede. But, my point is this: What almost always goes hand in hand with seeking a refinement with or through formula (even if that formula is thought to come after a practical development) is not only a minimal damage or a minimal effort (with maximum effect) but also a minimal amount of time actually training in such developments.

As a result, where, for example, it has been postulated and/or even stated that Aikido is 99% striking or atemi, no dojo I have ever been to even comes close to actually practicing striking even 50% of the time. Instead, what you have are folks relying on formulas, deeper understandings, etc., that are all or often very true, but tend to suggest or support that folks are actually practicing striking WITHOUT striking, or that they could strike if they wanted to, etc., so they don't need to, etc.

Contrast this with your average Karate dojo...? Not sure if they would utter a phrase like "99% striking," but granting that they don't need to, while you may have some formulas regarding the tactics and strategies of striking, you don't often see, "Σ F= dp/dt [momentum (p) time (t).]" What you do see instead is folks doing a hell of a lot of striking. Additionally, you see the instruments of striking development (sparring, bags, etc.) and you see them being used.

When I say "move beyond," this is what I am referring to, this kind of strange jump in practice that at some level seems very related to an over-analyzation of striking, where what often seems the only real thing being supported is a lack of actual striking practice.

Let me try and be clearer: When an analysis more supports folks practicing less than practicing more, I am suggesting that one has an over-analysis, one that goes beyond the pure, simple, and reliable position of just hit the f*****. The reason is this: When you don't have much to say, you got a lot left to do.

If folks want to get a whiff of what I'm trying to talk about, before anyone answers with "strikes are in all my techniques, even if I don't throw them" or "learning how to throw is conducive to learning how to strike," etc., (which are not true), please just truthfully answer the following questions:

1. Out of an hour training session, how many minutes are dedicated purely to striking practice?

2. What strikes do you practice regularly?

3. Does your dojo own heavy bags, kicking shields, focus mits, makiwara, etc.?

4. Does your dojo use such equipment as often as it does not, more than it does not, less than it does?

5. Do you practice sparring in your dojo? How often?

6. Do you consider your dojo an average Aikido dojo?

Granted there is much more to striking that this, but in all the Aikido dojo I have ever trained at as a deshi, taking all of them as one, just with these questions, here is what my answers would look like:

1. None
2. None regularly, but occasionally we threw an upper-cut or middle knuckle strike to the head area (various targets) or the ribs.
3. Only one dojo owned (only) makiwara.
4. The only dojo that owned makiwara used much less than the mat was used.
5. No, never.
6. Yes.

In my opinion, according to the larger martial arts world, answers like these cannot support the position that striking is really part of Aikido practice (which is different from whether it should be or could be) - not at least currently, and not outside of Aikido's analysis and formulas of or for striking.

eyrie
07-26-2008, 07:20 PM
Ok... I see where at the point of our discussion (again :rolleyes: ) where you need to feel like you've "won" the "argument" :confused:

Let me know when you've won will you Igo ?:) This Agumentum Ad Athoritum stuff tends to get in the way of a good discussion between folks with different points of view. Mate... I think you took it the wrong way...

Erick Mead
07-26-2008, 11:42 PM
... please just truthfully answer the following questions: Fair enough.

1. Out of an hour training session, how many minutes are dedicated purely to striking practice? That depends. For myself, not much, because I get that when the mood strikes me. :p During the workday I practice strikes with my whole mass behind them surreptitiously, to slightly rattle the odd door frames and doors as momentary makiwara, with the slowest shuto, heel strike, elbow. or knee strike -- things that don't seem outwardly much like "striking." metal office door frames make surprisingly good makiwara -- and colleagues think I am just knocking firmly at their door - which, well, I am. It just feels vaguely satisfying to put energy into something. Occasionally, low kicks to shadow box with the same sensibility. Strikes or kicks I am always looking for one or the other natural asagao forms.

For class, I will spend a substantial time with any student who does not strike properly or who does not strike with proper effect for the lesson at issue. I let them hit ME at one third or one quarter speed until I would prefer not to be in the way of it, and that generally adjusts the problem. I mean to achieve two things -- get them comfortable with a true strike balanced with effective control, and get them understanding (by willing to be hit) that dealing with getting hit without falling apart is as much a part of martial art as hitting.

2. What strikes do you practice regularly?See above.

3. Does your dojo own heavy bags, kicking shields, focus mits, makiwara, etc.?No.

4. Does your dojo use such equipment as often as it does not, more than it does not, less than it does?

5. Do you practice sparring in your dojo? How often?

6. Do you consider your dojo an average Aikido dojo?No.

Never in aikido. Judo and jujitsu they do.

And I have no idea.
In my opinion, according to the larger martial arts world, answers like these cannot support the position that striking is really part of Aikido practice (which is different from whether it should be or could be) - not at least currently, and not outside of Aikido's analysis and formulas of or for striking.We come at it differently, and make a definite point in almost every waza progression that if we are NOT careful I would end up hitting him "here, here and here." We correct and practice waza such that if they ARE NOT CAREFUL, it really is hard to avoid an intersecting strike if operating at speed. Of course "in aikido, we plan to be careful" (nudge-nudge, wink-wink say-no-more-squire), and we expend that extra degree of effort and attention to protect our partner. Such that, if placed in a circumstance where we are not allowed time for care and attention, weeellllll ...

Aikibu
07-27-2008, 11:18 AM
If folks want to get a whiff of what I'm trying to talk about, before anyone answers with "strikes are in all my techniques, even if I don't throw them" or "learning how to throw is conducive to learning how to strike," etc., (which are not true), please just truthfully answer the following questions:

Ok. Here we go. :)

1. Out of an hour training session, how many minutes are dedicated purely to striking practice?

It depends Most of us are experienced Martial Artists who know how to hit people. There is allot of Atemi in everything...

2. What strikes do you practice regularly? Irimi Tsuki every technique Elbow, ridge hand, Palm. In every technique we practice I make it a point to strike to show our Aikido more Martial Application. Sensei usually points out the subtler aspects of Atemi.

3. Does your dojo own heavy bags, kicking shields, focus mits, makiwara, etc.? Yup We share a Goju Ryu Karate Dojo.

4. Does your dojo use such equipment as often as it does not, more than it does not, less than it does? We try to but right now we have allot of new folks and most of them have Martial Arts backgrounds so they already know how to hit people. Those that don't get a little work in our striking Kata. They are there to practice Aikido.

5. Do you practice sparring in your dojo? How often? Randori yes Alive Uke's yes. Sparring no...Again for most they get that outside of practice

6. Do you consider your dojo an average Aikido dojo? Nope It's very small and hands on for one thing. Another is we practice Nishio Ryu Aikido and most people in the US have little to no experience with it.

Granted there is much more to striking that this, but in all the Aikido dojo I have ever trained at as a deshi, taking all of them as one, just with these questions, here is what my answers would look like:

1. None
2. None regularly, but occasionally we threw an upper-cut or middle knuckle strike to the head area (various targets) or the ribs.
3. Only one dojo owned (only) makiwara.
4. The only dojo that owned makiwara used much less than the mat was used.
5. No, never.
6. Yes.

In my opinion, according to the larger martial arts world, answers like these cannot support the position that striking is really part of Aikido practice (which is different from whether it should be or could be) - not at least currently, and not outside of Aikido's analysis and formulas of or for striking.

In General I would agree. However, That is not our experience. When I started I am just glad Susan Perry was kind enough to give me Masa Tazaki's contact info and that Masa introduced me to Micheal Fowler. I wanted to practice Aikido as a viable Martial Art. When I looked around L.A. 20 years ago I was not impressed even with the mighty Steven Seagal who was all the rage back then.
Don't get me wrong there is good Aikido everywhere and a wealth of Great Teachers all over LA. This just fits me. :)

I live just down the road Sempai in Malibu and I am up in Santa Babara all the time. Hopefully I can come by for a visit. I would love to share the mat with you. :)

William Hazen

eyrie
07-27-2008, 07:40 PM
In my opinion, according to the larger martial arts world, answers like these cannot support the position that striking is really part of Aikido practice (which is different from whether it should be or could be) - not at least currently, and not outside of Aikido's analysis and formulas of or for striking. I would say this is true, if not, entirely accurate. Prof. Rick Clark's "Wall of Silence" here (http://budonews.com/?p=12) suggests why and how we have arrived at this state:

Stevens (1987) describes an event that occurred during Ueshiba's sojourn in Mongolia. "Morihei, too, became an instant lama, giving lavish performances of chiokon-kishin techniques and applying the laying on of hands to cure illness. When he demonstrated his prowess as the King of Protectors by causing powerfully built Mongol warrior to collapse by merely touching them — the ignorant fighters were unaware that he attacked their vital pressure points."(p.29). The use of vital points appears to play a vital role in the martial art Ueshiba. Not surprisingly, this does not appear to be taught to westerners. Ueshiba's ability to ‘merely touch' a person and cause them to collapse must indeed have been a wonderful art. Such attacks to vital points would seem to be something very worthwhile to pass on to your students. Yet, in an examination of Aikido texts by Saito (1974), Tohei (1968), Uyeshiba (1962), Westbrook (1970),Yamada (1974) and Shioda (1962) did not reveal any specific references to vital points or such applications as attributed to Ueshiba. Invariably these texts would suggest an Atemi-waza (strike to vital points) prior to performing a technique. Most texts would offer general locations to strike for particular throws or pinning techniques. Illustrations of such general instructions can be found in the text by Saito (1974 p. 124) who offers the following information on Atemi-Waza When performing Shio-nage: "Atemi to our partner's face with your right hand", "Kicking his right knee sideways to dislocate the joint.", "Atemi to his side with your left elbow." These Atemi-waza are presented in such a way it seems they are used only to distract the individual. Not as an integral part of the technique. My argument is that atemi-waza is an integral part of Aikido proper BUT as an integral part of the technique, rather than a cursory adjunct serving to distract the attacker. I.E., atemi-waza not only provides the "setup", but "leads in" to the follow thru and completion of the "technique". And that such atemi-waza follows a specific sequence which results in a series of predictable responses in uke, that is integral to the flow and transition of the technique itself.

there is a purity to violence which at the practical level defies, may even outright contradict, these attempts to move beyond, "Just hit the f*****." Therefore, I think one needs to make the distinction between indiscrimate violence and "measured responses" (pun intended) apropos of Martial Arts in general.

senshincenter
07-27-2008, 09:39 PM
I am up in Santa Babara all the time. Hopefully I can come by for a visit. I would love to share the mat with you. :)

William Hazen

William, you would be most welcome. It would be great if you can find the time, etc. - if we can lend a hand in anyway to make it happen, please don't hesitate to ask. But, you have to stop calling me "senpai" - and call me just "Dave." :)

senshincenter
07-27-2008, 09:51 PM
I think one needs to make the distinction between indiscrimate violence and "measured responses" (pun intended) apropos of Martial Arts in general.

Things of "measured responses" are for generals and politicians, outsiders to the rawness of violence. No violence, when experienced from the inside, presents itself as "measured." "Measured" acts of violence, for me, belongs to romantic notions of heroism, wherein violence is no longer considered destructive for the simple reason that it is considered just and/or needed. The truth is, even when outsiders consider violence just or needed, it remains just as destructive as ever.

Additionally, by default, all violence is indiscriminate in so far as it first violates the victim's claim to humanity.

This is where I am coming from, and from here, the thought of knocking someone out with a single touch by contacting a single point is just not attractive - not attractive to me because it just seems so alien to the reality that is violence (or at least my reality of violence) - both tactically and morally/spiritually.

eyrie
07-27-2008, 10:24 PM
Things of "measured responses" are for generals and politicians, outsiders to the rawness of violence. No violence, when experienced from the inside, presents itself as "measured." "Measured" acts of violence, for me, belongs to romantic notions of heroism, wherein violence is no longer considered destructive for the simple reason that it is considered just and/or needed. The truth is, even when outsiders consider violence just or needed, it remains just as destructive as ever.

Additionally, by default, all violence is indiscriminate in so far as it first violates the victim's claim to humanity.

This is where I am coming from, and from here, the thought of knocking someone out with a single touch by contacting a single point is just not attractive - not attractive to me because it just seems so alien to the reality that is violence (or at least my reality of violence) - both tactically and morally/spiritually. Dave, nothing is absolute... ;) in the search for absolute zero, scientists have plumbed the depths of sub-zero temperatures only to find varying degrees of temperature at which certain gases liquefy.

Very few points are "one-hit KO wonders", but I think you missed the point of what I meant by "measured response" - "measured" in the sense of deliberate and precise actions taken as a means to an end - of violence perhaps? To me, it's a question of degree.

But I'm confused. In light of your comments above, and your video demonstrating strikes (particularly the one executed as part of the entry into kaiten nage), doesn't that strike you as contradictory, even hypocritical? Or am I missing your point entirely?

senshincenter
07-27-2008, 11:14 PM
But I'm confused. In light of your comments above, and your video demonstrating strikes (particularly the one executed as part of the entry into kaiten nage), doesn't that strike you as contradictory, even hypocritical? Or am I missing your point entirely?

I'm afraid I'll need some clarification before I can answer you - please/thanks.
d

Peter Goldsbury
07-27-2008, 11:36 PM
I would say this is true, if not, entirely accurate. Prof. Rick Clark's "Wall of Silence" here (http://budonews.com/?p=12) suggests why and how we have arrived at this state:

I think there are some problems here. Rick Clark cites a text by Stevens that has been revised and rewritten and uses Stevens 'support' in citing a manual of basic waza written for a commander of the Japanese army in 1938, which is the year after Japan invaded China. So it a pretty safe bet that Westerners were included in the general injunction not to teach the waza to persons other than those Japanese who were cultivating yamato-damashii by their training (also excluded were, presumably Japanese, ruffians and those who wantonly used the waza 'on the street' and for 'evil purposes'.

So I think it not possible to use the Budo text as evidence that Morihei Ueshiba never showed 'secret' waza to those other than his closest disciples.

As for atemi, all those discussed in Saito Sensei's early volumes we have regularly practised in the city dojo here in Hiroshima. To state this, however, is not to state that I disagree with the point made by Mr Valadez in Post #100.

eyrie
07-27-2008, 11:50 PM
Yeah... I wasn't sure either. :p
No violence, when experienced from the inside, presents itself as "measured."...The truth is, even when outsiders consider violence just or needed, it remains just as destructive as ever. Correct me if I'm wrong. You seem to be saying violence, in whatever form, is destructive, nonetheless, and is neither measured (by your definition) nor justifiable. IOW, not something you condone?

Additionally, by default, all violence is indiscriminate in so far as it first violates the victim's claim to humanity. You seem to suggest you are against any violence, all of which are indiscriminate, and a basic human violation - even if the attacker now becomes the "victim" if the tables are turned?

This is where I am coming from, and from here, the thought of knocking someone out with a single touch by contacting a single point is just not attractive - not attractive to me because it just seems so alien to the reality that is violence (or at least my reality of violence) - both tactically and morally/spiritually. Not exactly sure what you're saying here... you don't like single touch KO because it's not violent enough - tactically? morally/spiritually?

On the one hand it reads like you don't condone violence of any degree - because all violence is indiscriminate, destructive, unjustifiable, and with no degree of separation or distinction. Yet, your video where it's quite obvious you are chopping uke on the back of the neck suggests otherwise...

Grateful if you could clarify... thanks.

eyrie
07-28-2008, 12:07 AM
I think there are some problems here. Rick Clark cites a text by Stevens that has been revised and rewritten and uses Stevens 'support' in citing a manual of basic waza written for a commander of the Japanese army in 1938, which is the year after Japan invaded China. So it a pretty safe bet that Westerners were included in the general injunction not to teach the waza to persons other than those Japanese who were cultivating yamato-damashii by their training (also excluded were, presumably Japanese, ruffians and those who wantonly used the waza 'on the street' and for 'evil purposes'.

So I think it not possible to use the Budo text as evidence that Morihei Ueshiba never showed 'secret' waza to those other than his closest disciples.
Irrespective, Peter, the thrust of Clark's article is not pertinent to my argument, but it does lend credence generally. Even if Ueshiba did indeed show and teach this stuff to the few selected disciples, the knowledge is still being generally withheld from most, but a select few. While the rest of us have to be content with vague descriptions like "distract him... hit here... somewhere in this general location".

Peter Goldsbury
07-28-2008, 12:18 AM
Irrespective, Peter, the thrust of Clark's article is not pertinent to my argument, but it does lend credence generally. Even if Ueshiba did indeed show and teach this stuff to the few selected disciples, the knowledge is still being generally withheld from most, but a select few. While the rest of us have to be content with vague descriptions like "distract him... hit here... somewhere in this general location".

Sorry, I disagree. You quoted Clark and so I checked his sources. His credence is specious. If he was not pertinent, why did you quote him?

eyrie
07-28-2008, 12:52 AM
Sorry, I disagree. You quoted Clark and so I checked his sources. His credence is specious. If he was not pertinent, why did you quote him? The thrust of his article isn't. The section I excerpted and quoted is - vis-a-vis atemi, specifically to vital/pressure points, is/was in Ueshiba's Aikido.

Peter Goldsbury
07-28-2008, 03:27 AM
Clark's source for Ueshiba's alleged prowess with 'vital pressure points' in Mongolia is Stevens. Clark then generalizes this one item of knowledge into a general statement, to the effect that Ueshiba had this knowledge, but never taught it, since no one else has written about it.

One source used by Stevens is the biography of Morihei Ueshiba written by his son Kisshomaru. Even though it is a biography of a father written by a son, Kisshomaru is rather more circumspect than Mr Stevens. There is no talk of Morihei felling Mongolians just by touching them.

Best wishes,

PAG

Josh Reyer
07-28-2008, 04:17 AM
Another consideration is that while Stevens (and thus Clark) chalk up Ueshiba's demonstrations to the use of power points, making people fall just by touching them seems to be a stock-in-trade demonstration of Daito Ryu's aiki; the whole kuzushi on contact thing. It was also a favored demonstration of Shioda Gozo (http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=7DiNQgAbH0Y&feature=related).

Not that I want to sidetrack this discussion into one about the internal arts. But it seems like the Clark passage quoted is his interpretation of second-hand accounts.

Incidentally, the book Aikido Dokushuu Kyouhon, written by Kisshomaru in 1973 and revised by Moriteru in 2000, has a diagram of kyuusho, so called vital points. Some obvious (eyes, groin, solar plexus), others not so (points on the arm and legs).

eyrie
07-28-2008, 04:27 AM
Clark's source for Ueshiba's alleged prowess with 'vital pressure points' in Mongolia is Stevens. Clark then generalizes this one item of knowledge into a general statement, to the effect that Ueshiba had this knowledge, but never taught it, since no one else has written about it.

One source used by Stevens is the biography of Morihei Ueshiba written by his son Kisshomaru. Even though it is a biography of a father written by a son, Kisshomaru is rather more circumspect than Mr Stevens. There is no talk of Morihei felling Mongolians just by touching them. OK, I concede it may be a generalization of one piece of information. Ueshiba may not have possessed such knowledge. It is possible that Sokaku didn't teach Ueshiba everything - vital point knowledge included, as he was reputed to have openly admitted to Hisa Takuma. It is also possible that certain events in Mongolia may have never happened or such accounts have been embellished. Are you suggesting that Stevens' account of the story is unsubstantiated?

Incidentally, the book Aikido Dokushuu Kyouhon, written by Kisshomaru in 1973 and revised by Moriteru in 2000, has a diagram of kyuusho, so called vital points. Some obvious (eyes, groin, solar plexus), others not so (points on the arm and legs). Hi Josh, thanks for that most interesting piece of info.

Richard Sanchez
07-28-2008, 05:02 AM
As an aside, I clearly remember Saito Sensei demonstrating strikes to 'vital points' during seminars in the '80s, (one time on me). As an acupuncturist and someone also trained in Chinese Martial Arts I was quite surprised, perhaps wrongly so, to find this in Aikido. I find it hard to believe that Saito Sensei did not know what he was striking. Where he got the knowledge from I will leave to people who spent more time with him than me to explain.

Peter Goldsbury
07-28-2008, 06:23 AM
Ignatius,

Both John Stevens and Kisshomaru Ueshiba wrote more or less 'popular' biography, not scholarly history. Neither substantiate their accounts, but I understand that John Stevens especially talked to many disciples of the Founder, so received much information, albeit secondhand. However, there are a number of stories in John's biography that Kisshomaru Ueshiba thought were exaggerated. With respect to Mongolia, I think that Kisshomaru had an advantage here, since the source of his information was right there, in the house.

The point of my posts was simply to point to problems in Rick Clark's over-reliance on secondary sources. It was not to cast doubt on Morihei Ueshiba's supposed knowledge of atemi to 'vital points'. I do not know whether Mr Clark can read Japanese, but if he can, I think he would see the general fragility of much of what passes for 'fact' concerning O Sensei in English.

I have lived here for many years and have had the (sometimes dubious) pleasure of taking ukemi for disciples of the Founder who occasionally used 'vital points'. One shihan in particular invariably did 1-kyou via pressure points on the elbow, rather than the normal method.

This example points to a problem of terms. From Kisshomaru's account of O Sensei's exploits in Mongolia, I understand that O Sensei's encounters with Mongolian goons were of the 'Here, grab my wrist' type, followed by a very severely applied 4-kyou. We know from other sources that Morihei Ueshiba's grip was very strong. So it is reasonable to assume that his 4-kyou would have been highly effective.

However, is 4-kyou really an atemi, in the sense implied by this thread? I doubt it.

PAG

eyrie
07-28-2008, 05:35 PM
Thanks for the clarification Peter. I agree with the general fragility of second or even third, fourth, fifth hand accounts. And I accept that Clark's claim is tenuous at best.

With regards to any of the standard (or non-standard) Aikido waza, they can certainly be done with or without atemi - the definition of which I'm leaning to in the broader sense, of including but not limited to striking.

However, you're right... in the sense implied in this thread, it's probably irrelevant, and certainly wouldn't look impressive for a game character to be doing this sort of rubbish.

senshincenter
07-28-2008, 09:55 PM
You are right. I do not condone violence. This is not to say it does not happen, only that I do not support it morally, spiritually, or philosophically. Additionally, I seek not to allow myself to be motivated by violence and/or deluded into and/or seduced by any kind of romanticism whereby my ignorance of violence transforms it at the level of my imagination into something it is not and can never be.

What you see us practicing, to be clear, is not violence. We let ourselves have no delusions about that. Additionally, what you see us practicing does not have violence, the production of violence, or the capacity for violence, as its end. As has been done in the past, one can compare it to a sharpening stone and a blade. The blade is sharpened by the stone, but in doing so, the stone is smoothed little by little by the blade. As the blade sharpener is not out to produce smooth stones, we are not out to produce violent people or violence-oriented people by our training (by our stones). The smooth stone is not the aimed-for ends of the process; a skill at violence is not the aimed-for end of the training. By this orientation, whatever skill at violence we may gain is only a consequence (at the least) or a waste product (at the most) of the training.

Why I spiritually and morally resist being attracted to notions of one-touch knockouts is the same reason why I resist being attracted to any notions of non-violent Aikido. In such notions, there is no notion of being responsible for the true effects of violence because violence is thought not to occur, or to occur only minimally, or to occur only because it had to. By an unsaid extension, the practitioner of such violence allows him/herself to believe he/she can be violent without truly being violent, because he/she has excused him/herself from playing any role in the true consequences of violence! In such notions, there is only the seduction of power with no true sense of responsibility (even blame) for power. I am not interested in being seduced thusly, by which I mean, I look to turn away from such courses.

What you point to as a contradiction, for me, is the mystery of Budo, the paradox of self-transformation: How to practice warlike techniques to make one truly peaceful? Let me state this: In my experience, the easy solutions (whatever their form) of “justified violence” and/or “measured violence” and/or “non-violent violence” are seductions the ego uses to keep the spirit from maturing fully through Budo. They are the “demons” St. John of the Cross warns us against as we look to penetrate the Dark Night of spiritual maturity.

eyrie
07-28-2008, 11:44 PM
Thanks for clarifying Dave, I just wanted to make sure I didn't read you wrong. What you see us practicing, to be clear, is not violence. We let ourselves have no delusions about that. Additionally, what you see us practicing does not have violence, the production of violence, or the capacity for violence, as its end.... Why I spiritually and morally resist being attracted to notions of one-touch knockouts is the same reason why I resist being attracted to any notions of non-violent Aikido. I'm not sure I see the difference... the "striking" you practice is "non-violent"? Whereas an action (strike, throw, lock etc.) that causes a momentary reaction, pain, or knockout is violent? Yet, you are not attracted to "non-violent" Aikido... even if an attacker is unable to take the ukemi for such "non-violent" striking as you practice?

In such notions, there is no notion of being responsible for the true effects of violence because violence is thought not to occur, or to occur only minimally, or to occur only because it had to. By an unsaid extension, the practitioner of such violence allows him/herself to believe he/she can be violent without truly being violent, because he/she has excused him/herself from playing any role in the true consequences of violence! In such notions, there is only the seduction of power with no true sense of responsibility (even blame) for power. I am not interested in being seduced thusly, by which I mean, I look to turn away from such courses. I don't think that is necessarily true. Absolution of responsibility, in any event, seems to be a character flaw, rather than an exercise in discretionary use of power. To the contrary, I would propose that such knowledge engenders an even weightier burden of responsibility - knowing that the power to give or take life straddles the thin line of choosing the "right" course of action.

Michael Douglas
07-31-2008, 10:55 AM
... I resist being attracted to any notions of non-violent Aikido. In such notions, there is no notion of being responsible for the true effects of violence because violence is thought not to occur, or to occur only minimally, or to occur only because it had to. By an unsaid extension, the practitioner of such violence allows him/herself to believe he/she can be violent without truly being violent, because he/she has excused him/herself from playing any role in the true consequences of violence! In such notions, there is only the seduction of power with no true sense of responsibility (even blame) for power. ...
I like these wise words David, well thought out, thanks.

senshincenter
08-02-2008, 06:30 PM
First, let me thank you for requesting of me that I keep things clear. It’s helping me put together some things that I have often left to many years of talks and ideas, etc.

I’d like to start with some terms. All of this is my opinion… “Non-violent” means something that is not only against violent but incapable of committing violence. The strikes you are referring to are not “non-violent” in that sense. However, the practice of them, what you see being done in the video, is not violence. I am drawing a distinction here between the term “non-violence” and the phrase “not violence.”

When I use the phrase “not violence” I am suggesting that any and all training environments – if they are ran efficiently, if they are productive, and if they occurred via mature, moral, and virtuous character – are inherently non-realistic. By this, for example, I mean they are controlled (at many levels). By this one trait alone, for example, one has distance him/herself from violence. For example, violence is marked by chaos, as it is first and foremost a transgression and subversion of some sort of established order. There is no chaos in our training, in the video of us practicing strikes.

As a further explanation, but sticking with this one trait of chaos’ relationship to violence (and order’s relationship to training environments), we can look at how the human body/mind reacts as further evidence that we are not practicing violence in the dojo. Under experienced levels of chaos, particularly those centered around violence, it is quite common for the human body/mind to undergo several things (both during and after): an emptying of the bowels and bladder, a narrowing of vision, a loss of hearing, smell association, nightmares, alienation, depression, etc. None of this, no matter how intense training may become, is ever present in the dojo, or if it is, for those less exposed to such stress, and that have been brought up in intensity levels too quickly, it is a shadow of what it truly can be under real violent conditions.

It is under this line of thinking that I am using the phrase, “not violent.” If you want to ask, “Is it ‘non-violent’?” the answer is “No.” Under this same line of thinking, if you ask me, “Is a strike, throw, or lock, that causes a momentary reaction, pain, or knockout non-violent?” the answer is “No.” If you ask, “Are these things being practiced in a dojo violent?” again, the answer is “No.”

That said, why am I not attracted to “non-violent Aikido”? Allow me to explain: Restating, I make a distinction between practicing Aikido in the dojo, which is “Not Violence Aikido” and “Non-Violence Aikido.” For me, “not violence Aikido” is something we do all the time. It’s real, its non-contradictory, and it keeps violence as it is, etc. (all the things I spoke of in the earlier post). “Non-violence Aikido” is something that is not real, does not exist. It is a delusion that rests only upon a base of ignorance concerning what violence is. That said, I would agree with your statement, “Absolution of responsibility, in any event, seems to be a character flaw,” only I would include the belief in the existence of imaginary non-violence Aikido, the quest for such an art and/or the quest for such a skill in such an art, has to be included in the “in any event,” making that too a character flaw.

I would offer this as a parallel. Imagine, you go to a car dealer, and he says, “We go this new Ferrari, it can travel 200 mph in second gear, WHILE preventing you from driving dangerously and/or putting anyone (ever) in harm’s way. It’s the newest technology!” When you hear this, you go, “Cool, a car that allows you to go fast but has no chance of reckless driving! Yes! Got to have it!” But, one can only say this if one believes driving 200 mph down Main St. can ever be done safely – when in fact it cannot. Once you know it cannot, the lure toward such a car, the belief in it, is as much an act of irresponsibility as driving 200 mph down Main St.

Earlier, I gave another “test,” the one regarding striking in Aikido dojo. I feel that point was made – that striking is NOT truly a part of Aikido in general. Again, to be clear, this is not to say it cannot be, or that it never was, or that it should not be. This is just to say, currently, it is not. Along those same lines, I want folks to ask themselves this, as, in my opinion, it will reveal the delusion I am suggesting is in most dojo when it comes to the nature of violence – a delusion that is quite present in almost every Aikido dojo you might visit. The folks that are probably in the best position to answer this are those that are, by whatever standards, considered or consider themselves to be the more martial aikidoka. Also, folks that have trained in different arts – especially arts that, by whatever standards, are considered more martial than Aikido – are also in a good position to amplify this delusion so that it is here made visible.

Of you martial aikidoka, and/or of you folks that have trained in other arts that are more martial than Aikido, when you go to different dojo and/or when you start at a new dojo, how is your understanding (i.e. practice, philosophy, application, etc.) of the art taken by those around you? Is it welcomed? How does the sensei take you? How do senpai take you? How do kohai take you?

Here is my experience: You are a problem, in as much as you need to be interpreted, allowed for, understood, etc., and, in the end, cultured. During that acculturation practice, folks will connect your actions, your application of the art to personality traits not valued by society (e.g. angry, forceful, unfriendly, etc.). Contrast this to other arts, and/or other rare Aikido dojo where Aikido is never understood as “Non-violent/Non-violence,” and such applications are just part of the ever-changing and specificity-resistant nature of reality and thus of true understandings of violence. In other words, no energy is expended in rejecting you and/or what you provide as an experience of the world in which we all live. On the other hand, the great energy that is expended in the former cases, is, for me, proof, that delusion is present. Where delusion is present, there can be no interest in responsibility. Where there is no interest in responsibility, there is no real responsibility. This is the moral/spiritual reason why we should be so aware of our delusions regarding power.

This is my take on things. Again, folks, especially those I mentioned, please answer the above questions.

Thanks,
dmv
(no time to proof - sorry for the errors)

Aikibu
08-02-2008, 11:49 PM
With all due respect.Is it just me David or are you displaying "all or nothing" thinking? Aikido at it's core is very violent. It is however just a tool. How it is used is completely up to the individual.

That is Budo

I just got back from the first day of our seminar with Koji Yoshida Sensei.

What I experienced was a very Martial Form of not-violence. He showed allot of Atemi and blew minds. That being said there were some injuries and most of us are pretty darn sore. LOL The injuries were not so much the result of hyped up Nages as inexperienced Ukes who were not prepared properly IMO.

Our training philosophy as expressed by Koji Yoshida's Sensei Shoji Nishio Shihan is.. "Sincere Heart through Austere (read hard) Practice."

Simply put the way you described it and the way I read it I would have to disagree in part.

Yoshida Sensei made no apologies...If you want to learn the right way you had better be prepared to take a risk (again IMO) There are no loopholes in practice. Only those who are not fully committed. That being said it was not his intention to have people hurting each other but "Martial" Aikido (is there any other kind?) is Martial Art FIRST and a very dangerous tool indeed.

The only people who are delusional are the ones who do not understand what Aikido is supposed to be and do not know their own limitations when practicing it.Their Martial Awareness needs serious work.

As we say "half measures avail you nothing"...and that to me is a far more dangerous delusion.

Now to bed to rest up for tomorrow. LOL :)

Take Care Sempai

William Hazen

eyrie
08-03-2008, 07:13 AM
David, you're just mincing words. :) The (Latin) prefix "non-" means "not". i.e. the reverse of, other than, absence of. Therefore, Non-violent is equivalent to Not violent.

All MA training environments are by their nature contrived and ritualistic facsimiles of varied violent scenarios - whether such contrived action/response/counter-response are "controlled" or not. The only action I would deem truly not-violent is one in which uke is greeted and embraced with open arms - kisses are of course optional.

Although I accept your commendable, if somewhat idealistic, premise of a not-violent (non-violent?) Aikido, this thread is about atemi/striking, and by it's nature is diametrically opposed to any precept of non-violence (or not-violence?).

By its very definition, any action involving a "strike" is violent, whether that strike is controlled or indiscriminate, and whether it is delivered within the context of a contrived scenario or a seemingly random and unpredictable state of confusion. To me it's really a question of degree.

Kevin Leavitt
08-03-2008, 08:22 AM
to me it is a question of Choice and skill. you choose to follow a path or a life to resolve violence, then you seek to gain knowledge and wisdom in order to increase your skill so that you can make more skillful choices.

Violence is violence, it exists....it is the choices we make in those circumstances which determines how it affects the greater good and if our actions are destructive or harmonizing.

gotta be careful when you start thinking in terms of duality.

eyrie
08-03-2008, 07:30 PM
Precisely... degree implies both choice and skill. Choosing one option over another is one thing. Having the skill to pull it off is another.

senshincenter
08-03-2008, 10:02 PM
I think I did not explain myself very well then, as my point is not coming across. For I would completely agree with William's position that Aikido is just a tool - and by extension, only Man, not his tools, can be non-violent. Yet, William, you seem to be contrasting what you are saying with what I am saying. So, I must have messed up somewhere in my explanation.

Ignatius, I'm not trying to play semantic games with you. I explained how I am using the terms/phrases - hoping you would just look to see what I mean vs. what the Latin means. And, again, I would agree with your position that all training environments are contrived/ritualistic facsimiles - yet, you are offering this position as a contrast as well. So, again, I must have messed up somewhere in trying to explain.

On the other hand, I would very much argue that the things you describe are a question of degree. They are totally different things, and the body/mind knows this quite well - though the intellect may wish it to be different. I don't want to assume anything regarding your experience with violence, but in my experience, folks that are truly exposed to violence, for real, would never confuse the games we play in Aikido with the violence they experienced as a victim or as the offender. In the end, I think we are talking about different things then. I chose to do that because the thing I am talking about, for me, is relevant to notions like "non-violent" Aikido and by extension then to striking and things like "measured violence," etc.

I'll try again later in the week then, when I have more time. If someone else can chime in and clear things up or ask some more pointed questions to help me clear my own ideas up, i'd greatly appreciate it.

please/thanks,
dmv

eyrie
08-03-2008, 10:48 PM
David, I realize you're not playing semantics. It's just that I am having difficulty understanding what you're really trying to say. :)

I "sort of" have an idea, but I'm just not sure if you're referring to the "emotive value" of the sort of "violence" as experienced by victims or intended victims of violence, or the contrived practices (and therefore "not violent") in a dojo setting which is, by nature, artificial and usually devoid of emotive content.

FWIW, I think the emotive argument clouds the issue. Violence or the threat of violence is still violence. Violence devoid of any emotive content is still violence. As is striking, in any context.

BTW, we seem to be drifting off topic w.r.t. atemi....

xuzen
08-04-2008, 01:18 AM
Hey thread on atemi.. can't resist: If my point had been raised in any of the previous post, just consider it as revision.

Atemi as thought in aikido is a joke. But I would agree that atemi is an integral part of a aiki' jutsu' esque technique.

There are two reasons I can think of why aikido atemi is a joke, but it still work:

1) The practitioner has previous training in a pure striking art e.g., karate or boxing.

2) The practitioner is armed with practice weapon (tanto, bokken or jo). And using these tools, he/she is able to multiply the force to an effective level even the practitioner is not trained to hit with his/her fists.

Boon.

mathewjgano
08-04-2008, 05:53 PM
Hey thread on atemi.. can't resist: If my point had been raised in any of the previous post, just consider it as revision.

Atemi as thought in aikido is a joke. But I would agree that atemi is an integral part of a aiki' jutsu' esque technique.
I wonder if David's remarks on people experiencing violence would apply here. I would imagine physical violence would give one the sense of the visceral intensity involved. Growing up wrestling and "slap" boxing with friends, not to mention having played some fairly physical sports, I've learned something about taking a hit and ignoring pain. I'd certainly like :D to think I can at least toss enough of a quick strike/atemi/whatever to let me suppress the structure of a slightly above (very slightly) average person.

1) The practitioner has previous training in a pure striking art e.g., karate or boxing.

2) The practitioner is armed with practice weapon (tanto, bokken or jo). And using these tools, he/she is able to multiply the force to an effective level even the practitioner is not trained to hit with his/her fists.

Boon.

What about makiwara and the like? I mean, having a big stick to hit with always helps, but I'm not just thinking about how much power my sword generates when I train. I'm thinking about my hands, elbows, etc. In fact, to my thinking, the sword is just attached to whatever my body can produce. Basically, I practicing timing and "finesse" on the mat; hitting hard at home on the heavy bag. I make no claim at hitting hard, but I wouldn't call it a joke...and I've really only trained in Aikido.

gregg block
08-04-2008, 06:13 PM
Hey thread on atemi.. can't resist: If my point had been raised in any of the previous post, just consider it as revision.

Atemi as thought in aikido is a joke. But I would agree that atemi is an integral part of a aiki' jutsu' esque technique.

There are two reasons I can think of why aikido atemi is a joke, but it still work:

1) The practitioner has previous training in a pure striking art e.g., karate or boxing.

2) The practitioner is armed with practice weapon (tanto, bokken or jo). And using these tools, he/she is able to multiply the force to an effective level even the practitioner is not trained to hit with his/her fists.

Boon.

what you say is true Aikido atemi is a joke.
1) practioners of pure striking arts e.g. Karate or boxing . know its a joke because they understanding striking
2) I love Aikido and it definately has value but it would be prudent to cross train at least a little to learn how to strike effectively.
3) IMHO

Aikibu
08-05-2008, 12:46 AM
what you say is true Aikido atemi is a joke.


Hmmmmm Greg...Using the Phrase True Aikido is it's own can of worms...

Shioda and Tomiki had True Aikido and so did Shoji Nishio and O'Sensei...and I can think of a dozen teachers that are pretty darn good too.

Those Atemi Waza looked pretty good to me last time I checked. :)

William Hazen

gregg block
08-05-2008, 01:08 PM
Hmmmmm Greg...Using the Phrase True Aikido is it's own can of worms...

Shioda and Tomiki had True Aikido and so did Shoji Nishio and O'Sensei...and I can think of a dozen teachers that are pretty darn good too.

Those Atemi Waza looked pretty good to me last time I checked. :)

William Hazen

I was just responding to the quote prior to mine and if you read it again you might see IMHO listed as # 3 . Opinions can be changed just havent found someone to change it yet. What seems good to one may not seem as good to another. It's relative and to some degree subjective

Also don't assume that my position that Aikido is not the best striking art means that I am of the opinion that it is not a good martial art. This couldnt be farther from the truth

You have obviously have experiences and views different from mine, I respect that.

I do have a lot of experiences of my own, most vastly in the striking arts so don't dismiss mine to quickly either

Aikibu
08-05-2008, 03:25 PM
I was just responding to the quote prior to mine and if you read it again you might see IMHO listed as # 3 . Opinions can be changed just havent found someone to change it yet. What seems good to one may not seem as good to another. It's relative and to some degree subjective

Also don't assume that my position that Aikido is not the best striking art means that I am of the opinion that it is not a good martial art. This couldnt be farther from the truth

You have obviously have experiences and views different from mine, I respect that.

I do have a lot of experiences of my own, most vastly in the striking arts so don't dismiss mine to quickly either

With all due respect Gregg I think you're reading in to my post a bit too much.:)
My post had nothing to do with questioning your experience... Just your use of the phrase "True Aikido"... For example if I decided to use the phrase "True Atemi" in my post... This thread would go on for another 30 pages. :D

William Hazen

gregg block
08-06-2008, 06:18 PM
With all due respect Gregg I think you're reading in to my post a bit too much.:)
My post had nothing to do with questioning your experience... Just your use of the phrase "True Aikido"... For example if I decided to use the phrase "True Atemi" in my post... This thread would go on for another 30 pages. :D

William Hazen

I think the confusion came from my poor punctuation. ...true, Aikido...is what i ment not True Aikido. I never really felt like you were questioning my experience any more than I was questioning yours. Experience is a personal, subjective thing. nothing to question.
Thank you for your input, I do respect your opinion and enjoy the dialog.. regards

salim
08-08-2008, 08:35 PM
I understand that Aikido is based more on throws, but I was wondering how striking fits into it.

I have looked through the wiki and the articles, but some of them seemed a bit...vague.

I matched some of the strikes and kicks from the articles up with the ones from the wiki and narrowed it down somewhat.

Some things I were wondering that I didn't see covered...in the names of the different attacks, are strikes generally knife hand strikes, striking with the same edge you'd use in a karate chop? Are thrusts always referring to punches?

On kicks, the two I saw on the wiki (front and roundhouse kick) were mid level (like striking the stomach or ribs). The article mentioned a sidekick, but doesn't give a level. My question here, are there various levels for sidekicks and roundhouse kicks, like there are in Tae Kwon Do and Muay Thai?

Do the strikes in Aikido come from other Asian martial arts that I could use as a reference?

To clarify, my definition of a roundhouse kick (though in the style I trained in, we just called it a round kick) is like those used in Muay Thai: kind of like swinging the leg (sometimes turning around with it, but not always) around to kick, rather than raising the knee and snapping it sideways. We did ours on low, middle, and high levels, though we normally stuck with striking the legs and the ribs (low and mid respectively).

Thanks ahead of time, for the info.

Great videos clips to answer your questions. Real self defense Aikido.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7CKSFryR7I&NR=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3nuhXZjL9g&NR=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7CKSFryR7I&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMHSHMStjeU&feature=related

Stefan Stenudd
08-09-2008, 02:57 AM
Great videos clips to answer your questions. Real self defense Aikido.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7CKSFryR7I&NR=1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3nuhXZjL9g&NR=1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7CKSFryR7I&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMHSHMStjeU&feature=related
The teacher in those videos is obviously competent, and I am sure that the solutions he shows work very well for him. A problem that is often forgotten in discussions about what kind of aikido "works" or not, is that any solution needs to be skillfully executed, and often details so small that others don't see them make all the difference in the world.

For example, about the above videos:
In the kaitennage solution a very exact timing and precision is needed both to avoid the initial strike, and to lead the arm so that uke actually bends down enough. And because of the initial block, some might try to do this technique without starting with an evasive taisabaki step.

In the technique that I would call kokyuho (mistakenly called sankyo in the video title, but given another name by the speaker), the atemi to the face must be in such an angle that it doesn't just hit the forehead, which is otherwise quite likely if the attacker has the lowered head angle that is common in boxing and other striking arts. And again, starting with the evasive taisabaki step is much more important than the blocking moves with the hands.

As for the last video, there are hundreds of ways that tori can get stuck in the arm lock position, unable to avoid a strike from uke's free arm, since both tori's arms are occupied. Also, the solution demands that the attack is a hit to the head and not lower, which is very difficult to ascertain in advance.

What I mean is that there are many different solutions, and they all demand precision, skill, and what-not, in order to be trustworthy. I have my own ideas about what "works" or not, but still I have found so many other solutions that work very well for those who know them well.
Although this is self-evident, it is often forgotten in discussions about aikido and self-defense.

Sorry for being slightly off topic.

rob_liberti
08-09-2008, 06:09 AM
Curious about video #4 (hiji otoshi). It seems a bit risky. What happens if uke bends their knees -as opposed to tilting their shoulders- and tries to strike with their elbow?

Is there a variation to deal with that?

Rob

salim
08-09-2008, 09:15 AM
The teacher in those videos is obviously competent, and I am sure that the solutions he shows work very well for him. A problem that is often forgotten in discussions about what kind of aikido "works" or not, is that any solution needs to be skillfully executed, and often details so small that others don't see them make all the difference in the world.

For example, about the above videos:
In the kaitennage solution a very exact timing and precision is needed both to avoid the initial strike, and to lead the arm so that uke actually bends down enough. And because of the initial block, some might try to do this technique without starting with an evasive taisabaki step.

In the technique that I would call kokyuho (mistakenly called sankyo in the video title, but given another name by the speaker), the atemi to the face must be in such an angle that it doesn't just hit the forehead, which is otherwise quite likely if the attacker has the lowered head angle that is common in boxing and other striking arts. And again, starting with the evasive taisabaki step is much more important than the blocking moves with the hands.

As for the last video, there are hundreds of ways that tori can get stuck in the arm lock position, unable to avoid a strike from uke's free arm, since both tori's arms are occupied. Also, the solution demands that the attack is a hit to the head and not lower, which is very difficult to ascertain in advance.

What I mean is that there are many different solutions, and they all demand precision, skill, and what-not, in order to be trustworthy. I have my own ideas about what "works" or not, but still I have found so many other solutions that work very well for those who know them well.
Although this is self-evident, it is often forgotten in discussions about aikido and self-defense.

Sorry for being slightly off topic.

I agree in part with what you said, several solutions for application of self defense (Aikido). The most impressive thing to me, was the practicality of the videos vs the many demonstrations we see on the Internet. The majority of the Aikido demonstrations we see on the Internet look great, but are not self defense worthy. At least there is some real self defense application in the practitioners videos. I applaud him for his effort. Really it's great to see something that has a half way chance of working.

Stefan Stenudd
08-09-2008, 01:08 PM
Really it's great to see something that has a half way chance of working.
I was also impressed by the stringens of his applications.

Generally speaking, I have the impression that there are so many misconceptions of what "works" and what doesn't. Usually, people believe in what looks hard and strong, but the most competent ones give the impression of soft and almost weak, or at least effortless.

With atemi, for example, what causes the most effect is timing more than physical power, and precision rather than force.

The power of aikido is aiki, the blending of forces, and that is a greater power than it appears to be. It may look like fake, and in some cases it sure can be ;) But when skillfully applied, it is much more efficient than "noisier" solutions.

salim
08-09-2008, 01:59 PM
I was also impressed by the stringens of his applications.

Generally speaking, I have the impression that there are so many misconceptions of what "works" and what doesn't. Usually, people believe in what looks hard and strong, but the most competent ones give the impression of soft and almost weak, or at least effortless.

With atemi, for example, what causes the most effect is timing more than physical power, and precision rather than force.

The power of aikido is aiki, the blending of forces, and that is a greater power than it appears to be. It may look like fake, and in some cases it sure can be ;) But when skillfully applied, it is much more efficient than "noisier" solutions.

Before I began the practice Aikido, I studied Burmese Bando for 5 years. Bando is the sister art to Muy Thai and the application is almost the same. We learned to kick and punch pretty proficiently. My Aikido sensei is a 4th dan. Too many times I was skeptical in the beginning of his Aikido in general. The demonstrations were simply that, demonstrations. When I applied a string of kicks and punches to him in a sparring situation, the techniques were different. I really wanted to test his ability. So I tired to make him feel the pain a little from my kicks and punches. I used full resistance and I weigh almost 200 lbs. He never applied his Aikido techniques the same way he demonstrated when we sparred. It was never soft either. I would have probably hurt him, if he had applied some soft Aikido technique or half hearted. He almost never could catch my hand exactly, it just didn't work that way. He almost always had to modify the technique, due to full resistance. Most of the techniques he applied were closer to what you saw in those videos. Definitely not soft.

Stefan Stenudd
08-09-2008, 02:46 PM
I would have probably hurt him, if he had applied some soft Aikido technique or half hearted. He almost never could catch my hand exactly, it just didn't work that way. He almost always had to modify the technique, due to full resistance. Most of the techniques he applied were closer to what you saw in those videos. Definitely not soft.
Maybe we have slightly different ideas about what soft means here. Let's call it fluent instead, as contrary to rigid. I've had some forceful attacks to work with, through the years, and I find that what I mean by soft/fluent is the only thing that works. In a dynamic situation, where the attacker is not aware of what my response will be.

Of course, anyone can resist an ikkyo if they know that's what's coming. Still, that's often how people "test" aikido. They grab an arm with all their force, and resist a certain technique, taking it as proof that it doesn't work. Or they strike half-heartedly, awaiting the response in order to block it. Or they allow themselves to attack by any means, but don't allow the defender to do anything else than twist wrists - thereby ignoring atemi, for example.
That's not very interesting.

Not that it has anything to do with what you refer to. Just something that sometimes annoys me. When aikido is "tested" it is rarely done fairly.

In my humble opinion, if you have to change the techique significantly (not the speed and power of it, but the form) between gentle and rough attacks, then you need to change the way you do the technique in the first place.

salim
08-09-2008, 03:12 PM
Maybe we have slightly different ideas about what soft means here. Let's call it fluent instead, as contrary to rigid. I've had some forceful attacks to work with, through the years, and I find that what I mean by soft/fluent is the only thing that works. In a dynamic situation, where the attacker is not aware of what my response will be.

Of course, anyone can resist an ikkyo if they know that's what's coming. Still, that's often how people "test" aikido. They grab an arm with all their force, and resist a certain technique, taking it as proof that it doesn't work. Or they strike half-heartedly, awaiting the response in order to block it. Or they allow themselves to attack by any means, but don't allow the defender to do anything else than twist wrists - thereby ignoring atemi, for example.
That's not very interesting.

Not that it has anything to do with what you refer to. Just something that sometimes annoys me. When aikido is "tested" it is rarely done fairly.

In my humble opinion, if you have to change the techique significantly (not the speed and power of it, but the form) between gentle and rough attacks, then you need to change the way you do the technique in the first place.

It was a fair test because I wasn't very familiar at the time with the various techniques in Aikido. I wasn't sure what would happen. I didn't know anything really about Aikido. I did know how to punch and kick. The realities of full resistance also caused him to modify appropriately the techniques. A similar example is given in the below clip. By the way, yes it's sparring, but the only thing here to convey is the realities of full resistance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVbS0xHCerw

rob_liberti
08-09-2008, 04:28 PM
Jason is an awesome teacher. His usage of atemi is awesome. And it takes balls to fight Gracie.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VN6PvPCrStI&NR=1

Rob

Stefan Stenudd
08-09-2008, 04:30 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVbS0xHCerw
I'd call almost all of what he's doing judo.

And I say it again: I was not referring to what you and your aikido teacher were doing. Not having seen it, how could I? I made some general remarks about aikido.

salim
08-09-2008, 04:38 PM
I'd call almost all of what he's doing judo.

And I say it again: I was not referring to what you and your aikido teacher were doing. Not having seen it, how could I? I made some general remarks about aikido.

Sure, it's Aiki techniques attempting to be used in a sparring situation. Real resistance is the focus here using Aiki techniques. I agree with you.

Here is another clip of some great guys who actually attempt to use Aikido against full resistance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6Q8ShKpM1Q

gregg block
08-10-2008, 07:15 AM
Sure, it's Aiki techniques attempting to be used in a sparring situation. Real resistance is the focus here using Aiki techniques. I agree with you.

Here is another clip of some great guys who actually attempt to use Aikido against full resistance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6Q8ShKpM1Q

not too great of a showing. Imagine if the guy actually knew how to box!!!

salim
08-10-2008, 01:55 PM
not too great of a showing. Imagine if the guy actually knew how to box!!!

The main focus is to show full resistance. Most Aikido videos show demonstrations, which don't proof the effectiveness against full resistance. More Aikidoka need to show Aiki techniques against full resistance. These gentlemen in the video are part of the Shodokan organization, if my memory serves me correctly. I'm not sure if they have dans or not. Perhaps you can comment on the youtube video on how to make there techniques more effective. They are looking for constructive criticism and will respond to you quickly. They will make an Aikiboxing 4 soon. So please provide some imput on how to improve.

gregg block
08-10-2008, 05:26 PM
The main focus is to show full resistance. Most Aikido videos show demonstrations, which don't proof the effectiveness against full resistance. More Aikidoka need to show Aiki techniques against full resistance. These gentlemen in the video are part of the Shodokan organization, if my memory serves me correctly. I'm not sure if they have dans or not. Perhaps you can comment on the youtube video on how to make there techniques more effective. They are looking for constructive criticism and will respond to you quickly. They will make an Aikiboxing 4 soon. So please provide some imput on how to improve.

my advice would be to try working with a trained boxer. I don't mean someone putting on gloves and throwing slow jabs and right crosses. I mean a for real bonified boxer, lightning punches, bobbing, weaving, fainting ect. This would prove to be a true test .A true boxer is a master of Atemi. I know the average joe on the street doesnt possess such skills but I would like to see if Aikido could hold its own with a bonifed boxer. In fact if anyone has U-tube footage of such I would love to see it

salim
08-10-2008, 06:01 PM
The Aikidoka would have to possess some level of a background in a standup Art to be able to evade or at least make a way to execute an Aikido technique. I think the guys in the video, although not very proficient with atemi, at least try to prove a point. No one else, at least on the internet, that I know of, is brave enough to step up to the challenge. I agree with you. I would love to see a 5th or 6th dan match up against a bonifed boxer.

Stefan Stenudd
08-11-2008, 07:34 AM
A number of years ago, I tried a boxing round with a friend of mine who was a very merited boxer. These punches really hurt :D
He made a swing to my side, not a very committed one, and still it felt like my whole waist moved to the other side, like when you open a drawer.

Anyway, by time my arms started to modify things, without my conscious mind getting involved in it. Because my hands were covered with gloves, they occasionally turned upward, to hit with the very hard surface on the bottom of the palm, where the glove is tied. I had to restrain myself...

At a point, I tried a hook to his head, which he ducked away from (very skillfully, I must add), so I made a returning swing with my arm and hit him with uraken on the other side of his head.
That sure didn't hurt him in the least, but he stopped and was completely surprised.
"What was that?" he asked.
He had not seen what I did, not at all.
I explained it, and he realized why he had not seen it: Such a technique is not allowed in boxing.

Every martial art has its set of rules, and thereby its limitations.

At my present dojo, which has several martial arts, the boxing instructor is a former world champion. A very nice man, and a wonderful martial arts teacher, showing nothing but respect and appreciation for the other martial arts. Well, he's done a few of them.
I wouldn't dream of trying a round with him, though...

salim
08-11-2008, 08:35 AM
Leave it to Brazilians to adapt a Japanese martial art to make it effective in a streetfight. Gotta LOVE those Brazilians.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVcWscrN2FU

Aikibu
08-11-2008, 11:51 AM
Thanks Salim for the vids. Good Stuff. I will simply echo the words of Stefan with a small addition. In a sword based Tai-Jutsu like ours it's helpful to think of the Ukes strike as an extension of his sword. So to try to capture the sword or block the sword can be dangerous. One must get out of the way of the Tsuki or Shomen and "influance" the persons center. So my "reply" as Nage to a strike involves letting the strike pass.l If it is a feint then I must have the acumen (and courage) to allow Uke to enter Otherwise we are on Uke's terms. Most of the time I use Atemi by striking a place Uke does not expect when he enters.

I have a friend who used to take practice with us. She is a well known author in her field and I will never forget Fowler Sensei's answer to her question of "What do I do if he tries to hit me like this!!!"

He simply said..."duck" LOL :)

She put that in one of her books.

William Hazen

salim
08-11-2008, 12:46 PM
Thanks Salim for the vids. Good Stuff. I will simply echo the words of Stefan with a small addition. In a sword based Tai-Jutsu like ours it's helpful to think of the Ukes strike as an extension of his sword. So to try to capture the sword or block the sword can be dangerous. One must get out of the way of the Tsuki or Shomen and "influance" the persons center. So my "reply" as Nage to a strike involves letting the strike pass.l If it is a feint then I must have the acumen (and courage) to allow Uke to enter Otherwise we are on Uke's terms. Most of the time I use Atemi by striking a place Uke does not expect when he enters.

I have a friend who used to take practice with us. She is a well known author in her field and I will never forget Fowler Sensei's answer to her question of "What do I do if he tries to hit me like this!!!"

He simply said..."duck" LOL :)

She put that in one of her books.

William Hazen

Yes, I agree with you in theory. Ducking from punches is not always easy, nor is controlling the attackers center, though it is possible. Like my sensei always saids, "the hand is quicker than the eye." I study Burmese Bando prior to Aikido. We learned to punch and kick pretty well. I'm a pretty quick puncher and weigh almost 200 lbs. My sensei is a 4 dan, from Aikikai organization. I tested my sensei once. He had to grab me to restrain the array of punches and kicks that were stinging him. I landed several low kicks that he was not able to stop and punched him pretty hard a couple of times to the face. Once he was in close, then he was able to execute an Aikido technique. My weakness was ground fighting and close proximity at the time. He applied what I think was probably a half Koshinage technique, then applied a choke to restrain me. He choked me pretty hard to make me stop. Really nothing like the thousands of Aikido demonstrations in the videos. I asked, what happen to the the crisp, pretty Aikido techniques. He stated there is Aikido for showing the technique fully and there is Aikido for self defense which sometimes needs to slightly adapt to the situation. I think realism is severely overlooked to often.

Stefan Stenudd
08-12-2008, 03:43 AM
I think realism is severely overlooked to often.
True, but realism is not that easy to get at. Many forms of training that claim to be very realistic can be questioned.
For example, boxing gloves change the techniques and effects significantly. That's not so very realistic. Rules as to what tori is allowed to do makes uke's approach and reactions unrealistic. And on and on.

I believe that Osensei regarded his aikido as very realistic, and so did most or all budo teachers of old. They did not mean winning a match. Their definitions about that reality, and their conclusions, differ much from a lot of such speculations today, which seem mainly to be based on match like situations - and not "shiai".

Stefan Stenudd
08-13-2008, 04:30 AM
Yesterday after class, we filmed a few examples of atemi applications in aikido. I regard them as "realistic", but I'm sure that can be debated...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GW_oQEiXgWQ

Aikibu
08-13-2008, 11:16 AM
Yes, I agree with you in theory. Ducking from punches is not always easy, nor is controlling the attackers center, though it is possible. Like my sensei always saids, "the hand is quicker than the eye." I study Burmese Bando prior to Aikido. We learned to punch and kick pretty well. I'm a pretty quick puncher and weigh almost 200 lbs. My sensei is a 4 dan, from Aikikai organization. I tested my sensei once. He had to grab me to restrain the array of punches and kicks that were stinging him. I landed several low kicks that he was not able to stop and punched him pretty hard a couple of times to the face. Once he was in close, then he was able to execute an Aikido technique. My weakness was ground fighting and close proximity at the time. He applied what I think was probably a half Koshinage technique, then applied a choke to restrain me. He choked me pretty hard to make me stop. Really nothing like the thousands of Aikido demonstrations in the videos. I asked, what happen to the the crisp, pretty Aikido techniques. He stated there is Aikido for showing the technique fully and there is Aikido for self defense which sometimes needs to slightly adapt to the situation. I think realism is severely overlooked to often.

Hmmm I think ducking has more than likely saved me from getting hit a few times LOL as has "moving out of the way."

I am curious did your Sensei try to hit or kick you?

Ahhh yes realism...If I were to follow that paradigm completely I would run out of training partners very quickly and have a few trips to the hospital myself...

Realism in the Martial Arts has to do with pain and how to manage it.

William Hazen

salim
08-13-2008, 03:03 PM
Hmmm I think ducking has more than likely saved me from getting hit a few times LOL as has "moving out of the way."

I am curious did your Sensei try to hit or kick you?

Ahhh yes realism...If I were to follow that paradigm completely I would run out of training partners very quickly and have a few trips to the hospital myself...

Realism in the Martial Arts has to do with pain and how to manage it.

William Hazen

Sure, my sensei kicked and used atemi. I'm faster and stronger than he is, but he was smart and executed a very effective choke.

Kevin Leavitt
08-13-2008, 03:13 PM
Yesterday after class, we filmed a few examples of atemi applications in aikido. I regard them as "realistic", but I'm sure that can be debated...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GW_oQEiXgWQ

Hey Stefan,

Thanks for the video. Good Atemi.

This brings up a good point though that I had not considered. Perspective. The probelm is not so much the atemi, when speaking of realism..it is all the other "stuff" that goes along with the atemi, such as multiple strikes, mass of the oponent, and the ever changing dynamic of the situation.

Realism must incorporate those aspects.

Stefan Stenudd
08-13-2008, 03:38 PM
The problem is not so much the atemi, when speaking of realism..it is all the other "stuff" that goes along with the atemi, such as multiple strikes, mass of the oponent, and the ever changing dynamic of the situation.
Realism must incorporate those aspects.
True. Realism is quite complex, as is reality :)
I actually think that the traditional martial arts have it quite well figured out. They've been around long enough for it. Modern revisions are not always aware of that complexity. Then again, many practitioners of traditional martial arts seem not to pay that much attention to it, either.

Kevin Leavitt
08-13-2008, 06:43 PM
True, good points.

senshincenter
08-14-2008, 11:49 AM
I don't want to comment on the "realism" aspect of anything. For me, reality is made because it includes anything that can happen. Therefore, anything can be real. I'm coming from a different point of view here...

A thing I have been trying to suggest here is that Aikido, as it is practiced in most places today, is in some cases plagued by the notion of what to do with atemi, while in other places folks could care less. Somewhere in the middle, whenever you have folks attempting to address the issue of atemi, you get what, to me, always looks like alien's or chimps that find a remote control. They can press the buttons, they can use it to shovel with, they can put their drink on it, etc., but while they find uses for it, it still looks out of place, forced, embryonic in its method and application, etc.

I realize some folks put out whole seminars on atemi, but for me this is more a sign of what I'm saying than proof to the contrary. It's like this: when you have to utter the phrase, "All men are created equal," it's telling you at the time it was uttered, not all men were thought of as equal. To be specific, when you have to have a seminar all on atemi, it's a sign folks are more like chimps finding a remote control than they are not when it comes to aikidoka practicing atemi. In other words, there are other martial arts, and as they have striking truly being an important part of their art's application and identification, they NEVER have seminars all on atemi. They just have seminars - the atemi goes without saying.

What happens when folks deal with atemi aikido is folks always look more like they are playing or experimenting with atemi - this is what I'm trying to say. As a result, things always look like trial runs more than anything else. It looks like this because in almost every case that you see this experimentation with atemi, you see principles being used that violate their own general understanding of basic aikido kihon waza.

For example, in basic kihon waza, uke always penetrates to the spinal ring of nage, nage always moves off the line of attack to avoid the effects of uke's mass penetrating to this point, nage's tactical applications are fluid and in constant motion (with little to no reverse motion ever employed), angles are utilized to disturb uke's balance, to cross check his lateral weapons, and there is sense to the logic of the anatomical positioning, etc., BUT THEN when it comes to atemi applications, you always get this uke that just stands there, never penetrates enough, nage just stands on the line of attack, the strikes are never fluid (using lots of reverse motion), there are no angles being used to affect uke's balance and/or cross check his later weapons, and the anatomical position makes no sense, etc.

In the end, you get this notion of "Atemi in Aikido" but the application, outside of debates on what is real or not, allowing for every application to do whatever it says it can do, ends up violating almost every principle in basic Aikido kihon waza. That's what makes it look like the atemi is something folks are just trying to lay over their general practice - trying to find uses, like trying to find uses for a remote control.

For me, it's like putting a hat on a pig. That's what it always looks like. You can do it, but it looks funny (and probably to the pig too), and folks are going to ask, "Why?" (probably pigs too). With Aikido being so insulated an art, most Aikido folks don't hear the "Why?" and so they just go on putting hats on pigs.

senshincenter
08-14-2008, 11:59 AM
More fuel for the discussion (as most folks have a lot to say about this usually):

http://www.senshincenter.com/pages/vids/metsukeangleofdeflection.html

Aikibu
08-14-2008, 12:03 PM
Good Points David but that has never been my experience with Aikido as we practice it.

Like I said realism to me means dealing with pain as a result of getting hit, kicked, and thrown hard.

Aikido simply does not work without Atemi. So if one is practicing Aikido without Atemi well....

Not my cup of tea.

William Hazen

ChrisMoses
08-14-2008, 01:52 PM
More fuel for the discussion (as most folks have a lot to say about this usually):

http://www.senshincenter.com/pages/vids/metsukeangleofdeflection.html

The issue I have with all of these is that they all reinforce getting back and away from someone striking at you. In my view, that's the opposite of Aiki. The first two in particular reinforce the need to withdraw and retreat in the face of strikes/attacks. The third seems to demonstrate how this trained behavior creates additional weaknesses. That is to say, because in the first two drills the receiver has been conditioned to back up and get distance when faced with an attack, the overt feints in the third clip have the desired result they do (to the extent that they do) because the students have been conditioning react and retreat rather than ENTER.

We've been playing more with some freeform and striking stuff and my experience has been that the further you get from enter and control the further you get from Aiki.

gregg block
08-14-2008, 05:00 PM
Yesterday after class, we filmed a few examples of atemi applications in aikido. I regard them as "realistic", but I'm sure that can be debated...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GW_oQEiXgWQ

very nice, I like like your technique off the extended jab. A good boxer will keep that 'stinger" moving though and much tougher to grab that way. but I love the technique.
also nice front kick off the right hand..

Aikibu
08-14-2008, 05:23 PM
The issue I have with all of these is that they all reinforce getting back and away from someone striking at you. In my view, that's the opposite of Aiki. The first two in particular reinforce the need to withdraw and retreat in the face of strikes/attacks. The third seems to demonstrate how this trained behavior creates additional weaknesses. That is to say, because in the first two drills the receiver has been conditioned to back up and get distance when faced with an attack, the overt feints in the third clip have the desired result they do (to the extent that they do) because the students have been conditioning react and retreat rather than ENTER.

We've been playing more with some freeform and striking stuff and my experience has been that the further you get from enter and control the further you get from Aiki.

Amen. This has been my experience too. :)

William Hazen

eyrie
08-14-2008, 06:51 PM
What happens when folks deal with atemi aikido is folks always look more like they are playing or experimenting with atemi - this is what I'm trying to say. As a result, things always look like trial runs more than anything else. It looks like this because in almost every case that you see this experimentation with atemi, you see principles being used that violate their own general understanding of basic aikido kihon waza.
...
In the end, you get this notion of "Atemi in Aikido" but the application, outside of debates on what is real or not, allowing for every application to do whatever it says it can do, ends up violating almost every principle in basic Aikido kihon waza. That's what makes it look like the atemi is something folks are just trying to lay over their general practice - trying to find uses, like trying to find uses for a remote control. Well said! You've hit the nail on the head. To throw another spanner in the works... Ellis writes in "Dueling with O'Sensei"... (emphasis mine):
Each aikido technique must bear the shadow skeleton of atemi. If atemi is not a possibility at every point along the continuum of a technique, then that technique would be impossible to exert against a trained opponent.... Therefore, from the moment of touching one's opponent to the moment contact is broken, one is not merely throwing or locking. One is simultaneously organized to strike a powerful and effective blow. Even when one makes no movement to actually strike the opponent, one should be able to do so. - p45

What this says to me, is that the atemi (or potential for atemi), should be indistinguishable from the continuum and flow of the technique. I.e. at any point within the execution of the technique, one is poised to strike at any time.

Further, he writes that atemi itself is the manifestation of kokyu. Using the 2nd technique (sayunage/sokumen irimi nage) in Stefan's video as an example... even though it is clearly for demo purposes, that elbow strike, perhaps done at a more "realistic" pace, should be virtually indistinguishable from the technique itself... IOW, hidden in plain sight. If Stefan had simply performed the technique as the intended aikido technique, but with the intent of hitting uke with his elbow, or perhaps, positioning himself into the entry such that uke ran into his elbow, what it would look like, should be virtually indistinguishable from one as is normally done, without the obvious atemi.

DH
08-14-2008, 09:33 PM
I think Ellis is spot on with his theory.
That said, The real issues remains.
1. Knowing it
2 Doing it
3. Knowing how to do it
4. Knowing how to teach it to others

The video's shown here are nothing more than people adding strikes to their waza. Nothing new, nothing even worth discussing as I see it. Most all of us have seen strikes added some on the level of High schoolers adding punches, on to some really advanced, subtle and slippery movements. In the end though. It isn't aiki. It's aikido-with punches.

Adding strikes in the way most seem to want to display them-will allow you to fight better. And that's about all most anybody wants anyway. But again, it has nothing to with aiki, nor anything at all to do with what Takeda talked about with "One strike, one kill." Yes that was THEE source of Ueshibas famous quote on Atemi.
Further, none of this should be about atemi. It's about ate-waza. I've discussed this with Ellis, and trust me his ideas were nothing as rudimentary as the idea of someone making up ten punches along a curve into a throw or lock. His idea was more advanced than that. I'm not really convinced he himself can yet live up to the rather high level of the very idea he himself put forth! Were people to really understand it, I think they would see him pointing in a direction. Not claiming complete understanding yet himself. I've not heard different from him.

That said, the ate waza happening all along the continuum is for one reason only. That the power within the body is present and availably all along that continuum at all times on all surfaces of the body. Therefore there is no preparation, wind-up, no chambering of the hips, no loss due to rebound, no distance "break" and no slack. Just a smooth emanation. Aiki punch, is aiki / punch. It's all the same, all the time. The body skill and ability is in DR, and in Taiji, and probably still somewhere in Aikido.
I've not seen it yet here in any video. Not one. Nor have I seen an understanding of it discussed with any real substance among aikidoka anywhere here or on other public boards so far.

Ueshiba was not looking like a boxer or a Karateka to generate power was he? He didn't change to do something else in order to effect and ate waza. In fact his own Ukes talked abut it often. And I believe it was Ellis again who discussed a reported eye witness account of Ueshiba putting his hand on a Judokas hip at the Kodokan and separating it.
The power is inexorably intertwined with aiki. There is no atemi separate from aiki. Aiki is ate.
The control is in the touch. The touch, is aiki power to direct and change them, the strike is simply acceleration. No big change, no wind up, no hip chambering and separations.
I honestly think almost everybody missed what we were supposed to be doing all along and are now looking to external PK methods to make up for the lack and calling it good. That isn't Aikido, and never was.

senshincenter
08-14-2008, 10:42 PM
The issue I have with all of these is that they all reinforce getting back and away from someone striking at you. In my view, that's the opposite of Aiki. The first two in particular reinforce the need to withdraw and retreat in the face of strikes/attacks. The third seems to demonstrate how this trained behavior creates additional weaknesses. That is to say, because in the first two drills the receiver has been conditioned to back up and get distance when faced with an attack, the overt feints in the third clip have the desired result they do (to the extent that they do) because the students have been conditioning react and retreat rather than ENTER.

We've been playing more with some freeform and striking stuff and my experience has been that the further you get from enter and control the further you get from Aiki.

Nice points. Thanks. Here's what I'm thinking - this is posed to everyone (not just Chris):

First: Drills only "reinforce" things when they happen away from a larger cultivation of non-attachment. For the practitioner whose training is aimed at spontaneity, drills are both the need for such freedom as they are the chance for such freedom (in that the drill aims one toward restriction and habit if the body/mind is not cultivated properly). There is no such problem going on regarding reinforcement at our dojo.

Second: This relating to the first point, the text on the accompanying page reads: "In the third drill, seen in Clip Four, practitioners are again to limit their Angle of Deviation and restrict the application of Yang energy for the purposes of increasing ballistic action’s tendency to fetter the body/mind. Continuing on with employing Metsuke and Angle of Deflection under circumstances that are more challenging to the body/mind (in regards to the cultivation of non-attachment), the receiving practitioner is to govern both tactical principles by the fulfillment of entering into Shikaku at the back of the striking practitioner. The adoption of a tactical “goal” – as a future event – further increases the likelihood of the body/mind becoming fettered by things, ideas, feelings, and our sense of identity. Thus, through such training we penetrate deeper into the body/mind’s tendency to habitually practice attachment. Alternately, a practitioner whose body/mind can remain centered will not feel restricted by the additional tactical objective nor by the manner in which it must be achieved. The body/mind that is purified of egocentric tendencies does not experience the workings of the world, which includes the parameters of these drills, in any sort of negative and/or restrictive sense. Such a body/mind gains the capacity to remain creative, and/or on the side of creation, at all times and within all worlds. To further cultivate this sense of ultimate freedom and/or of martial creativity, an even greater restriction is placed upon the receiving practitioner regarding his/her entering into Shikaku. While it must occur naturally (i.e. in an unforced manner), it must also occur fully. What is sought is a clear placement of one’s own body in the “dead angle” at the back of the striking practitioner. Therefore, receiving practitioners are instructed to attach themselves to both hips and the center of the striking practitioner to mark the complete fulfillment of the tactical objective of entering into Shikaku. Toward this end, striking practitioners continue in the same fashion as they did in the second drill while receiving practitioners allow their entry into Shikaku to happen of its own accord – as something natural and in harmony with all things."

That said, I think it is pretty clear what is and is not being worked on. In that light, there is no aim here to fight. I would hardly fight that way. Rather, the aim is to cultivate things that may be utilized in a fight but that go way beyond such things as well. There is a restriction here, one that is easy to re-produce elsewhere: You must limit Yang initiations while at the same time entering fully to the rear of the attacker. In other words, you aren't supposed to just do the thing you always do - as that is habitual (the opposite of the training). Additionally, you aren't supposed to Irimi any ol' way. The parameters are set, and they are set for a reason. They are confining, and are often viewed and experienced as such BUT only to the fettered body/mind. For the unfettered body/mind, it's all a matter of transition, bending, transferring, etc. I think one has to keep this in mind.

For me, this is important. Why? Because whether you are striking or throwing, locking, or grappling, what is missing more than anything else in my opinion is not one set of tactics or another, but rather the capacity for spontaneous application. Why is this important? Because the topic of reality has been raised several times in this thread, and yet spontaneity is the soil for what is real.

Third: I'd ask folks to read the accompanying text on the website page, and set themselves to re-produce these parameters on their own, in their own dojo. Put it on film. Share this here. I think that will give us a common context here. Here are the parameters in short: Have someone throw striking combinations at you, any combinations they want, have them try to hit you (put gloves on them or accept the impact of an ungloved strike), restrict weapons out of the scene, no ground-fighting, and then enter to the rear of the assigned attacker, taking their center at their hips to show you entered enough. I think if one did this, one would get a better idea of what is being worked on, what is not, and why.

If you've already attempted this drill, please share your experience here - or better, the video of it (as I know some folks have).

thanks,
dmv

xuzen
08-15-2008, 11:03 PM
Yesterday after class, we filmed a few examples of atemi applications in aikido. I regard them as "realistic", but I'm sure that can be debated...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GW_oQEiXgWQ

More realistic would be for the uke holding a tanto or wooden jutte coming in fast and furious and does not stop in the middle of the technique standing like a wooden dummy waiting for Tori to do fancy-shmancy striking/atemi.

Boon

Stefan Stenudd
08-16-2008, 02:42 AM
More realistic would be for the uke holding a tanto or wooden jutte coming in fast and furious and does not stop in the middle of the technique standing like a wooden dummy waiting for Tori to do fancy-shmancy striking/atemi.
Well, there's nothing less realistic with an unarmed attack. If by realism you mean a self-defense situation, most of them are against unarmed attacks - and extremely few are against jutte attacks.

As for "wooden dummy" and "fancy-shmancy"...
Well, anyway, the atemi on the video are meant to be actually striking ones. That would halt the attacker long enough for tori to do the following technique. I thought that was obvious.

gregg block
08-16-2008, 08:57 AM
More realistic would be for the uke holding a tanto or wooden jutte coming in fast and furious and does not stop in the middle of the technique standing like a wooden dummy waiting for Tori to do fancy-shmancy striking/atemi.

Boon

more realistic where?? Are you often attacked by people with wooden jutte's outside the dojo. Are they ninja's??

senshincenter
08-16-2008, 04:01 PM
Well, anyway, the atemi on the video are meant to be actually striking ones. That would halt the attacker long enough for tori to do the following technique. I thought that was obvious.

Do you mean like these strikes tried to stop the forward progress of the person closing the gap here?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VN6PvPCrStI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlleDPgmDVM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIn3nQbobtE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCv8wClAC38
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDz76O6r1ow
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAhyB1xFuKM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhjn7i-JDks
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIavZZRKFSA

I think there is a very sound tactical reasoning behind not staying on the line of attack. In my experience, it's directly related to timing being difficult, mass and inertia often being on the other attacker's side, accuracy never being guaranteed, etc.

When I lived through the Gracie world exposure, I saw it being based not only on the specialty of their technique/the general world ignorance of ground-fighting, but also saw it based upon an ignorance of strikers regarding their own tactics. That is to say, what made BJJ so successful early on was not only a general ignorance regarding ground-fighting on the part of non-practitioners but also a striker's ignorance regarding how to strike without opening oneself up to having the gap closed on them (taking them out of their striking game). Once strikers (re)figured this part of their own tactics out, the story changed a bit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJmUmaSBja8

For me, the standing in front and striking, expecting the strikes to stop the forward progress of the attacker, is not only not akin to general Aikido tactics but not at all enlightened to the truth the Gracie's were kind enough to share with the world at large. For me, I would not adopt it either as a practitioner or as a teacher. This may be Boon's point - if I'm reading him correctly.

Stefan Stenudd
08-16-2008, 06:03 PM
Do you mean like these strikes tried to stop the forward progress of the person closing the gap here?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VN6PvPCrStI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlleDPgmDVM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIn3nQbobtE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCv8wClAC38
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDz76O6r1ow
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAhyB1xFuKM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhjn7i-JDks
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIavZZRKFSA

No, I don't mean that at all. I mean what I show on my videos, not what is shown on other videos. Please, respect this.

I think there is a very sound tactical reasoning behind not staying on the line of attack.
I never stay in line of the attack, except for the initial position in gotai. But there, too, my first movement always includes a taisabaki evasive movement. I thought it was visible on my videos.

This may be Boon's point - if I'm reading him correctly.
You seem to be reading a lot into Boon's post. I don't know.

salim
08-16-2008, 06:35 PM
Do you mean like these strikes tried to stop the forward progress of the person closing the gap here?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VN6PvPCrStI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlleDPgmDVM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIn3nQbobtE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCv8wClAC38
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDz76O6r1ow
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAhyB1xFuKM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhjn7i-JDks
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIavZZRKFSA

I think there is a very sound tactical reasoning behind not staying on the line of attack. In my experience, it's directly related to timing being difficult, mass and inertia often being on the other attacker's side, accuracy never being guaranteed, etc.

When I lived through the Gracie world exposure, I saw it being based not only on the specialty of their technique/the general world ignorance of ground-fighting, but also saw it based upon an ignorance of strikers regarding their own tactics. That is to say, what made BJJ so successful early on was not only a general ignorance regarding ground-fighting on the part of non-practitioners but also a striker's ignorance regarding how to strike without opening oneself up to having the gap closed on them (taking them out of their striking game). Once strikers (re)figured this part of their own tactics out, the story changed a bit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJmUmaSBja8

For me, the standing in front and striking, expecting the strikes to stop the forward progress of the attacker, is not only not akin to general Aikido tactics but not at all enlightened to the truth the Gracie's were kind enough to share with the world at large. For me, I would not adopt it either as a practitioner or as a teacher. This may be Boon's point - if I'm reading him correctly.

David,

Thank you for posting those clips. Those videos, should be a huge warning to every Aikidoka regarding static movements or concentrating on flowing Aikido dance demonstrations. Funny how the pretty, very fancy Karate, Kung Fu guys were complete helpless once outside of their comfort zone of static movements. Really a shame most Aikidoka are delusional about the realities of self defense. I enjoyed.

senshincenter
08-16-2008, 07:06 PM
No, I don't mean that at all. I mean what I show on my videos, not what is shown on other videos. Please, respect this.

I never stay in line of the attack, except for the initial position in gotai. But there, too, my first movement always includes a taisabaki evasive movement. I thought it was visible on my videos.

You seem to be reading a lot into Boon's post. I don't know.

It may be true, I may be misreading Boon's post. I guess he can chime in if he likes. I hope he does.

That aside, I still hold to the position that one needs to or should move off the line of attack. To be clear, by line of attack, I am not just referring to the vector of the striking limb but rather to the entire line upon which is traveling the attacker's mass (the rest of his/her body). In your first technique, the one I was mainly posting those clips in relation to, it looks very much like you allowed your body to stay on the same line as the attacker's body. That works all well and good if your attack does not continue to penetrate and/or if you hold that your strikes are adequate enough to stop someone from penetrating further. For me, it's a lot to ask of an attacker that he/she stops penetrating in their aggression. For striking period, it's a lot to ask that strikes always stop an attacker from continuing to penetrate (hence, the video clips).

Again, this may or may not be Boon's point.

Aikibu
08-16-2008, 08:10 PM
Perhaps Sempai does it a bit different but I did not get the idea that he was standing there in the line of attack. I understood everything Stefan was trying to show. :)

My experience is to enter and finish and I think Dan Hardin and some other suggested the same with the noteworthy observation that most Aikido has evolved to the point where Aikidoka can no longer effectively do this.

Every clip I have seen of O Sensei and most of his direct students show folks seeing an opening and moving to finish. I think some folks get so caught up in "hand grabbing" they no longer understand or have any experience with Irimi or Kokyu. O'Sensei and some of these Yudansha knew exactly how and when to do this and sadly this part may be lost to Modern Aikido. That is one of the reasons perhaps that Tomiki, Shioda, and Nishio stressed Atemi

Perhaps it has to do again with sword/weapons based Aikido. While it is true Ken te Ken or Jo te Ken has no real application "to the street" The baseline goal is end the conflict quickly preferably (in our philosophy) at the moment of contact. It's not a good Idea to "box" or "grapple" with edged weapons or oak if you know what I mean. :) LOL

That is the purpose of Atemi. However there are many ways to use this essential tool in the execution of a technique.

Practicing this way involves serious commitment to gain any results.

senshincenter
08-16-2008, 10:02 PM
"Perhaps Sempai does it a bit different but I did not get the idea that he was standing there in the line of attack. I understood everything Stefan was trying to show."

Well, if I am "sempai" here, I've been wrong before. But, if I'm understanding the strikes and their targets correctly, with them being located on the attacker's centerline, and they all being targeted with Stefan's right arm, his (Stefan's) body is on the same line as the attacker's body. If this is not accurate, I sure would like to see the same striking combination in a video where the camera is positioned behind Stefan. That would assist me greatly in getting things right.

Please/thanks,
dmv

Stefan Stenudd
08-16-2008, 10:30 PM
But, if I'm understanding the strikes and their targets correctly, with them being located on the attacker's centerline, and they all being targeted with Stefan's right arm, his (Stefan's) body is on the same line as the attacker's body. If this is not accurate, I sure would like to see the same striking combination in a video where the camera is positioned behind Stefan. That would assist me greatly in getting things right.
I can see that it's unclear because of the angle, but I do step to the side on the first set of atemi on the video - actually not once, but four times, with each new atemi. By the way, the first atemi is with my left arm.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GW_oQEiXgWQ

That kind of atemi series I learned from Nishio sensei, who certainly did those things immensely more competently. His taisabaki steps and atemi can be seen (unarmed and armed) in the set of five videos from a seminar in my dojo that I posted on YouTube, starting with this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEZWojpNnao

On the following examples in the video with me, my taisabaki steps to the side are quite evident, aren't they? Only on the last technique, the chudan maegeri, there's no step to the side. That one is a playful reminder that an attacker cannot be certain about what kind of technique the defender will or will not do.

Aikibu
08-17-2008, 02:59 PM
"Perhaps Sempai does it a bit different but I did not get the idea that he was standing there in the line of attack. I understood everything Stefan was trying to show."

Well, if I am "sempai" here, I've been wrong before. But, if I'm understanding the strikes and their targets correctly, with them being located on the attacker's centerline, and they all being targeted with Stefan's right arm, his (Stefan's) body is on the same line as the attacker's body. If this is not accurate, I sure would like to see the same striking combination in a video where the camera is positioned behind Stefan. That would assist me greatly in getting things right.

Please/thanks,
dmv

No worries..Actually David I was referring to Stefan as Sempai since he has been practicing Nishio Aikido much longer than I have. :)

William Hazen

xuzen
08-17-2008, 10:58 PM
To StefanS :

When I see the video, I see a uke who comes in like a robot with a one step punch. I hope to see a more "aliveness" (cliche word, I know) uke. Yes, the tori is able to do those multiple strikes on uke because I see that the uke allows it so, should the uke is actively trying to dodge and strike back, will you be able to repeat what you did in those kata' esque way?

To GreggB
Jutte in my mind means Baton or baton like weapon... if the term meant something else, I apologize for using the wrong word. In real life, these baton-like training tools can represent machete, cleaver, wooden 2x4 block or any one-handed hacking tools.

To DavidV,
My point was as above i.e., addressed to StefanS. I meant that in the clip, tori was able to do all those multiple strikes because uke allows him to do so.

What would I have done?
Left jabs x 2, one right crosst aimed at lower left mandible and a shomen-ate if uke allows me... all in kata'esque form of course. :D

Thank you guys for paying attention to my post.

Boon.

Stefan Stenudd
08-18-2008, 01:53 AM
should the uke is actively trying to dodge and strike back, will you be able to repeat what you did in those kata' esque way?
Yes :)
That's why each atemi is done with a new taisabaki.

xuzen
08-18-2008, 03:04 AM
...<snip>...What this says to me, is that the atemi (or potential for atemi), should be indistinguishable from the continuum and flow of the technique. I.e. at any point within the execution of the technique, one is poised to strike at any time.

Further, he writes that atemi itself is the manifestation of kokyu. Using the 2nd technique (sayunage/sokumen irimi nage) in Stefan's video as an example... even though it is clearly for demo purposes, that elbow strike, perhaps done at a more "realistic" pace, should be virtually indistinguishable from the technique itself... IOW, hidden in plain sight. If Stefan had simply performed the technique as the intended aikido technique, but with the intent of hitting uke with his elbow, or perhaps, positioning himself into the entry such that uke ran into his elbow, what it would look like, should be virtually indistinguishable from one as is normally done, without the obvious atemi.

Teo, has said it better than me, he is more eloquent. To me, atemi in aikido should be more along this line of thought rather than those ala kempo flavour i.e., many continuous punches

Boon

Stefan Stenudd
08-18-2008, 04:55 PM
Using the 2nd technique (sayunage/sokumen irimi nage) in Stefan's video as an example... even though it is clearly for demo purposes, that elbow strike, perhaps done at a more "realistic" pace, should be virtually indistinguishable from the technique itself... IOW, hidden in plain sight. If Stefan had simply performed the technique as the intended aikido technique, but with the intent of hitting uke with his elbow, or perhaps, positioning himself into the entry such that uke ran into his elbow, what it would look like, should be virtually indistinguishable from one as is normally done, without the obvious atemi.
Funny. That's sort of what I thought I did :)

eyrie
08-18-2008, 07:36 PM
Stefan,

I think one of the reasons atemi in aikido waza is hard to fathom is precisely what Ellis wrote - it is a manifestation of kokyu, and hidden in plain sight. IOW, what looks like a throw/lock, or at any point in the continuum prior to the throw/lock, the very manifestation of kokyu can be ate-waza in itself. Take hiji ate/zenpo nage for example... ate-waza to the elbow/tricep/tricep tendon or a throw?

So while it's a good thing that people like Nishio and yourself are showing the potential for ate-waza within aikido waza, Boon also has a point in that having a "kempo flavor" doesn't necessarily make it aikido ate-waza.

FWIW, I think the Shodokan folk have the right idea: http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/en/kyogi10a.html

Of course, whether that's "right" or not is a matter of one's opinion.

salim
08-18-2008, 08:16 PM
Part of the reason for the state of Aikido today is that good strong skilled attacks are never emphasized, so when we practice against it in the dojo it is unlike anything we would encounter in a violent situation. I am certainly not recommending violent attacks but I would recommend people learn well-controlled energetic attacks and that they venture into areas where they are not just in a completely controlled environment. You have to get out of that and we have what you call randori, I mean you have people coming and grabbing with two hands and are waiting to be thrown and it's not very realistic.

Buck
08-18-2008, 10:58 PM
Part of the reason for the state of Aikido today is that good strong skilled attacks are never emphasized, so when we practice against it in the dojo it is unlike anything we would encounter in a violent situation. I am certainly not recommending violent attacks but I would recommend people learn well-controlled energetic attacks and that they venture into areas where they are not just in a completely controlled environment. You have to get out of that and we have what you call randori, I mean you have people coming and grabbing with two hands and are waiting to be thrown and it's not very realistic.

Hey, Salim :)

Good point. BUT.......:D really good point and I read lots of arrrguements and things on that. I boil that down to intensity of training. Which is a person thing. If you don't want to train at that intense level that is ok. If you do want to that is ok too.

" waiting to be thrown and it's not very realistic." Well yes and no. Yes, outside of Japan in the 21th century people don't attack you like they did in Japan in the day. But some grabs still apply, but they not be in highly aggressive situations where the intensity is going to accelerate. Not everyone is going to face a ring fight situation. Say, a drunk grabs you for some odd reason in a restaurant and grabs you with both hands and starts pulling on your clothes as your walking to the restroom thinking you slept with is wife, are you going to take him to the ground and brake his arm? Are you going to punch him, or throw him to the ground? No of course not. There are levels of conflicts and in conflicts there are levels of intensity. Not all self-defense situations are life and death and don't require that intensity.

Training intensely, waiting to be thrown, not being realistic has another purpose, and that is to demonstrate artistic skill,mastery and perfection of technique, or for teaching purposes.

So a two handed grabbed waiting to be thrown isn't realistic today on the street, but that doesn't make it invalid because it has demonstrative purposes, and because in the day it was a realistic thing. A person in Japan stands there and grabs you, you think what a strong grip I better go along. Very much like the way it was around the early 1900s with the early Coppers who didn't carry guns or billys and grabbed a criminal by the collar arresting him and walked him to the station. The criminal without a fight complied. I seen old film footage of this happening many times from that time.

The way you train and the intensity level chosen to train at is a personal thing, and for personal reason. It isn't fair to criticize people because they choose a level of intensity comfortable to them for their purposes. To each is own.

I not trying to say your wrong, I am saying take a wider view on it and see the different perspectives, it may not be all that it seems to be. :)

Keith Larman
08-18-2008, 11:29 PM
Part of the reason for the state of Aikido today is that good strong skilled attacks are never emphasized, so when we practice against it in the dojo it is unlike anything we would encounter in a violent situation.

I've been kinda loitering through these posts for a while. I think the part that I find most annoying is the use of the words like "strong skilled attacks are never emphasized". Have you ever heard the expression "never say never"? Good lord, there are literally thousands of Aikido dojo in the US. Many different styles. Many different sensei with just as many different ideas. One distinctive feature of aikido in my experience is that there is a huge variety of practice ranging from fluffy aikibunny shooting ki balls stuff to firebreathing aikidragons tearing up ligaments. It may come as a shock to you but some out there do train at intense levels. No, you're not going to see it in beginning or intermediate classes where it is practiced but once you're well trained you will find it as some places. No, not everywhere, but some of us do push up the intensity to 11 and try to work to failure. You're not exactly the first person who has decided to push their own boundaries. Don't cha think maybe the problem isn't with Aikido as much as it is simply about different approaches and different goals? Not everyone wants to go there. Fine. More power to them. I like to push my own limits of my skills. And I've had the bruises and injuries to prove it. But that's just how I approach it. No better, no worse, just different. Aikido is vastly too diverse and vastly too far ranging to make such simplistic generalizations.

And the irony here is that I somewhat agree with the sentiment a bit. I think O-sensei had a level of prosaic intensity to back up his more poetic tendancies. The same is true of some of his deshi. And I think the same is still true today with some. I *personally* don't enjoy the more "aiki-bunny" styles but I fully understand its just because that's not for me. I enjoyed Judo. I enjoyed wrestling. I enjoyed busting stuff up in karate until I managed to hurt my hands badly. Now that I'm in my 40's I still enjoy intense practice, but I also appreciate the grace and elegance of well done aikido. I agree that it must have a substantial base upon which to rest. So all that said... I'm not exactly one of the aiki-bunny kinda guys (one of my sensei called me Anakin one day if that's any hint). But I do strongly and whole heartedly reject these sorts of absolute pronouncements. And the idea that one way is the only "correct" way. It just depends on how you want to get where you're going...

If you find the aikido you've taken to be empty or lacking the intensity you want, for god's sake leave and find someone more to your liking. But unless you've hit every style out there and trained with every sensei teaching it is pretty shallow and short sighted to make such sweeping generalizations.

Okay, I feel better now. Back to the regularly scheduled whining.

tuturuhan
08-18-2008, 11:43 PM
To StefanS :

When I see the video, I see a uke who comes in like a robot with a one step punch.

When using the sword (stroking, slashing, stabbing) you multiply the speed of the attack. The "hand strike" cannot ever equal the velocity of the point of the sword.

The defense comes in ignoring the tip of the sword by going inside to the forearm, elbow and shoulder. The fist only attempts to approximate the speed of the tip of the sword.

As such, the elbow and shoulder are stationary. They are true targets that an adept attacks and manipulates.

As such, it doesn't matter how fast or lively the punch comes. What matters, is how one enters to attack the slow moving forearm, elbow and shoulder.

Even more interesting, is that once you "practice" against the sword, your eye becomes attuned to its velocity...and when this happens all punches coming at you are slow in comparison.

Sincerely
Joseph T. Oliva Arriola

Aikibu
08-19-2008, 01:55 AM
When using the sword (stroking, slashing, stabbing) you multiply the speed of the attack. The "hand strike" cannot ever equal the velocity of the point of the sword.

The defense comes in ignoring the tip of the sword by going inside to the forearm, elbow and shoulder. The fist only attempts to approximate the speed of the tip of the sword.

As such, the elbow and shoulder are stationary. They are true targets that an adept attacks and manipulates.

As such, it doesn't matter how fast or lively the punch comes. What matters, is how one enters to attack the slow moving forearm, elbow and shoulder.

Even more interesting, is that once you "practice" against the sword, your eye becomes attuned to its velocity...and when this happens all punches coming at you are slow in comparison.

Sincerely
Joseph T. Oliva Arriola

An absolutely spot on perfect description of Shoji Nishio's Aikido Practice Paradigm Thank You Joseph. :)

William Hazen

tuturuhan
08-19-2008, 10:39 AM
An absolutely spot on perfect description of Shoji Nishio's Aikido Practice Paradigm Thank You Joseph. :)

William Hazen

William,

Thank you...

I applaud your continued efforts to "battle" the wordsmiths. Your statements are borne out of your "technique" on the floor and your "technique" as it continues to be applied in your life.

Go get'em :)

Best,
Joseph T. Oliva Arriola

jennifer paige smith
08-19-2008, 11:12 AM
Part of the reason for the state of Aikido today is that good strong skilled attacks are never emphasized, so when we practice against it in the dojo it is unlike anything we would encounter in a violent situation. I am certainly not recommending violent attacks but I would recommend people learn well-controlled energetic attacks and that they venture into areas where they are not just in a completely controlled environment. You have to get out of that and we have what you call randori, I mean you have people coming and grabbing with two hands and are waiting to be thrown and it's not very realistic.

Sometimes theyre waiting because they don't know how to fall without breaking their necks or getting stepped on by their fellow attackers. In the dojo and on the street. From my experience.

In a violent situation on the street, I was able to dissuade my attackers, after freaking the hell out of one of them, by looking at them with the complete confidence of a person who had trained randori vigorously. Their bodies were untrained, I could see that. They couldn't have gotten a hand on me once I started to move toward them, I could see that. I guess they could see in my eyes and energy that I was 'comfortable' in the enviroment.
They recoiled and ran. That was from training in aikido.

salim
08-19-2008, 05:27 PM
I've been kinda loitering through these posts for a while. I think the part that I find most annoying is the use of the words like "strong skilled attacks are never emphasized". Have you ever heard the expression "never say never"? Good lord, there are literally thousands of Aikido dojo in the US. Many different styles. Many different sensei with just as many different ideas. One distinctive feature of aikido in my experience is that there is a huge variety of practice ranging from fluffy aikibunny shooting ki balls stuff to firebreathing aikidragons tearing up ligaments. It may come as a shock to you but some out there do train at intense levels. No, you're not going to see it in beginning or intermediate classes where it is practiced but once you're well trained you will find it as some places. No, not everywhere, but some of us do push up the intensity to 11 and try to work to failure. You're not exactly the first person who has decided to push their own boundaries. Don't cha think maybe the problem isn't with Aikido as much as it is simply about different approaches and different goals? Not everyone wants to go there. Fine. More power to them. I like to push my own limits of my skills. And I've had the bruises and injuries to prove it. But that's just how I approach it. No better, no worse, just different. Aikido is vastly too diverse and vastly too far ranging to make such simplistic generalizations.

And the irony here is that I somewhat agree with the sentiment a bit. I think O-sensei had a level of prosaic intensity to back up his more poetic tendancies. The same is true of some of his deshi. And I think the same is still true today with some. I *personally* don't enjoy the more "aiki-bunny" styles but I fully understand its just because that's not for me. I enjoyed Judo. I enjoyed wrestling. I enjoyed busting stuff up in karate until I managed to hurt my hands badly. Now that I'm in my 40's I still enjoy intense practice, but I also appreciate the grace and elegance of well done aikido. I agree that it must have a substantial base upon which to rest. So all that said... I'm not exactly one of the aiki-bunny kinda guys (one of my sensei called me Anakin one day if that's any hint). But I do strongly and whole heartedly reject these sorts of absolute pronouncements. And the idea that one way is the only "correct" way. It just depends on how you want to get where you're going...

If you find the aikido you've taken to be empty or lacking the intensity you want, for god's sake leave and find someone more to your liking. But unless you've hit every style out there and trained with every sensei teaching it is pretty shallow and short sighted to make such sweeping generalizations.

Okay, I feel better now. Back to the regularly scheduled whining.

"Aikido Masters Volume 1, Shioda Sensei said today's Aikido was dimensionless, empty of content and nothing more than an imitation of the real thing."

"Really Something to think about" Someone of his stature saying that, wow! Not my words, but someone with Aikido authority. I think I will listen to Sensei Shioda.

Keith Larman
08-19-2008, 05:32 PM
"Aikido Masters Volume 1, Shioda Sensei said today's Aikido was dimensionless, empty of content and nothing more than an imitation of the real thing."

"Really Something to think about" Someone of his stature saying that, wow! Not my words, but someone with Aikido authority. I think I will listen to Sensei Shioda.

Would that apply to his Aikido as well?

jennifer paige smith
08-19-2008, 05:38 PM
Would that apply to his Aikido as well?

:)

Aikibu
08-19-2008, 06:31 PM
"Aikido Masters Volume 1, Shioda Sensei said today's Aikido was dimensionless, empty of content and nothing more than an imitation of the real thing."

"Really Something to think about" Someone of his stature saying that, wow! Not my words, but someone with Aikido authority. I think I will listen to Sensei Shioda.

Nostradamus said the world was going to end in 1999....

Oooops. :)

William Hazen

Will Prusner
08-19-2008, 08:01 PM
"Really Something to think about" Someone of his stature saying that...

Wait, are we talking about his height or his rank? :)

salim
08-19-2008, 10:56 PM
Wait, are we talking about his height or his rank? :)

Come on!!!!!!! :)

Stefan Stenudd
09-01-2008, 06:01 PM
Regarding the use of atemi in aikido, I happened to come across this video on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2Q-u78iCjA

I have no idea who these guys are, but I find their way of applying atemi quite interesting. I like the smooth way they move between atemi and regular aikido techniques.

xuzen
09-02-2008, 05:01 AM
I have no idea who these guys are, but I find their way of applying atemi quite interesting. I like the smooth way they move between atemi and regular aikido techniques.

I agree. Convincing ikkajo application.

Boon.

Erick Mead
09-02-2008, 11:38 AM
I like the smooth way they move between atemi and regular aikido techniques.I prefer regular aikido techniques where the only thing moving between the technique and the atemi is uke. ;)

Michael Douglas
09-03-2008, 01:32 PM
Regarding the use of atemi in aikido, I happened to come across this video on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2Q-u78iCjA
.
Thanks for the video find Stefan.
I thought they were a bit awful, but I can't quite put my finger on it.
Something had to do with the attacker being slo-mo and freezy and the defender still not knowing what to do with him ...
And there is a most terribly inept shihonage attempt at 0:25.
This seems not a demo nor a training session ... something inbetween and worse than both.
I hope neither of those guys on the vid reads this and becomes offended. Making good video is a HARD task.
Im SURE they can do better, more rehearsal, better editing, better music, a bit of paint on the upstairs beam ...

senshincenter
09-03-2008, 01:54 PM
Doesn't mesh with my experience either.

mathewjgano
09-03-2008, 04:43 PM
Thanks for the video find Stefan.
I thought they were a bit awful, but I can't quite put my finger on it.
Something had to do with the attacker being slo-mo and freezy and the defender still not knowing what to do with him ...

I hope neither of those guys on the vid reads this and becomes offended. Making good video is a HARD task.
Im SURE they can do better, more rehearsal, better editing, better music, a bit of paint on the upstairs beam ...

I doubt they'd be offended. House sensei has a great sense of humor. I've only trained with him a few times, but he always had a great sense of humor.
As for the "freezy" and what not, my guess is that it's more for demonstration purposes. I'm not sure about the shiho nage as I don't feel very qualified to say one way or the other, but it shares a resemblance with the way I've practiced it. He seemed to always be entering, even after the arms began to lose connection.

aikidoc
09-03-2008, 11:01 PM
Although the video had it's good points and did have good transition moves, the area I disagree with is the lack of definitive strikes to pressure points. There are a lot of opportunities to integrate strikes to pressure points (as doshu describes atemi, if I recall correctly) without interfering with the flow of technique. Even the ikkyo cut over with the arm can be an ulnar nerve strike on the elbow hand if done correctly, although somewhat leaves out the aiki aspect.

In any event, a lot of the strikes in the video did not seem to be directed at definitive nerve or pressure points-in other words they were just strikes. IMHO. See my BBM article for one example (June 2005).

xuzen
09-03-2008, 11:32 PM
Although the video had it's good points and did have good transition moves, the area I disagree with is the lack of definitive strikes to pressure points. There are a lot of opportunities to integrate strikes to pressure points (as doshu describes atemi, if I recall correctly) without interfering with the flow of technique. Even the ikkyo cut over with the arm can be an ulnar nerve strike on the elbow hand if done correctly, although somewhat leaves out the aiki aspect.

In any event, a lot of the strikes in the video did not seem to be directed at definitive nerve or pressure points-in other words they were just strikes. IMHO. See my BBM article for one example (June 2005).

My thought is that trying to be too pin-point or accurate during a chaotic situation (as in a fight) can be distressingly difficult.

Boon

aikidoc
09-03-2008, 11:45 PM
Stefan:

interesting video.

I like to do a couple of things with iriminage (especially off tsuki):
1. I slightly lead the irimi hand with my other hand by cutting down from the back toward the knee to drop the hip and buckle the knee . (sankakutai /triangular step version of irminage-irimi version).
2. This is followed closely with an iriminage that is designed to strike the pressure point with the thumb / radial side of the irimi arm. This creates a sandwiching type maneuver that buckles the uke's lead leg forward (on their punching arm) and cutting over and down against the nerve at the angle of the jaw (a point my sensei noted on the irimi) hand.

When stepping in after an offline move and excuting the iriminage this is a very powerful move and really drops the uke.. Other versions of irimi can use the brachial plexus just behind the collar bone to control uke. I tend to use the pressure points to manipulate uke in such a fashion that the throw is easy since it allows me to set them up the way I want their body to go.

Also, on ikkyo, I use the hand going to the elbow in such a fashion that the knuckle of the index finger can be used to strike the ulnar nerve. It can be done in a aiki manner with less force but if the person's attack is not caught on the upswing allowing more of an aiki blend before it powers down it can be used as more of a strike. When catching or striking it in this fashion, it can be also used as a leverage pressure point on the nerve to cut the forearm over. Especially, if uke is not caught early enough or locks down on you .

Another one I like to use is a strike to the femoral nerve mid thigh resulting in buckling the nage's knee causing them to lose balance backwards. It can be used in ushiro waza statically, to set up ninan-gake escapes, or it can also be used as a kaitennage kaeshi waza with the uke as they go down turning inside toward the nage and striking the femoral nerve with the free hand knuckle of the index finger buckling the nage's knee. It requires timing by the uke. Femoral nerve strikes collapse the knee and can be done with the hand, finger tips, or knee/foot depending on the situation.

On inside blocking maneuvers, I like to strike the inside of the elbow with the tegatana (ulnar nerve strike). This can be set up with an aiki type block deflecting a face punch for example followed by a 2nd hand atemi to the nerve. This opens uke up for multiple sequential atemis to vital points or moving in with a koshinage or sumi-otoshi type throw.

As my article shows (BBM, 6/05) I also strike pressure points on the forearm off tsuki kotegaeshi (large intestine 11 to drop the shoulder, and then press lung 10 (thenar region -median nerve) to keep the shoulder dropped. An ulnar nerve strike can also be used to assist in rolling the uke over if they are trying to fight it, assisted by pressing Lung 10. An added bonus is you can also use the elbow to simultaneously strike the bone areas between the triceps and biceps on the lateral aspect of the upper arm while tenkaning. What we Americans call frogging someone. Tsuki kotegaeshi can result in 4 atemi/pressure point manipulations in a very fluid manner.

These sound like a lot of strikes but I have worked hard to make them flow with the movement of the technique. This is one criticism of atemi -it disrups the flow of the technique . I disagree.

And the disclaimer, atemi and pressure points don't work on everyone.

aikidoc
09-04-2008, 12:00 AM
My thought is that trying to be too pin-point or accurate during a chaotic situation (as in a fight) can be distressingly difficult.

Boon
Boon:
I understand but disagree. If practiced, the strikes flow into normal taisabaki and can be done quickly and precisely enough to elicit an effect. Closely examining the various techniques, you will see a lot of striking opportunities inherent in the technique. To me, much like the position of the kyusho jitsu practitioners with respect to karate, these are lost elements. O'Senseis deshi often commented on seeing lights when he did techniques, which sound like to me he hit various pressure points (most likely on the head). If you look at some of his old pictures in various books, he is always delivering an atemi to a pressure point, or even pressing on them as in one where he has the big toe on a pressure point on the uke's foot. I don't think he accidently stepped on the uke's foot.

I practice these a lot. As such, they have become inherent in my waza and I in fact have to be careful not to hit points too often or too hard as there are issues for my uke's. Unfortunately, while demonstrating and talking at the same time, I sometimes numb an uke's arm. It is controlled enough that there is no permanent damage, but can still be done even when not totally focused.

BK Barker
09-04-2008, 10:59 AM
My thought is that trying to be too pin-point or accurate during a chaotic situation (as in a fight) can be distressingly difficult.

Boon

I agree if you do not train the way you would fight then you don't know what will happen and it will make any time someone thinks I'll just do xyz technique is just fooling themselves and others if that's what they are teaching. If you train to hit pressure points by actually hitting pressure points during your mat time then it wont be difficult. Same things goes for any technique and honestly me and the people I train with do work on what most call technique's we call exercises because we do not care what we get in a fight/confrontation we just move and do what we do. As far as atemi we use them and again we dont practice using them in certain technique's we practice using them if we get a chance and anywhere we happen to get them. The reason we train this way is because life is like a box of chocolate's.... you never know what you're gonna get!!! LOL... had to say it.;)

eyrie
09-04-2008, 06:00 PM
If you train to hit pressure points by actually hitting pressure points during your mat time then it wont be difficult. Due to the long term effects and progressive damage that can result from such methods, this is NOT something I would advocate... period. Shiatsu massage would be a much safer alternative.

aikidoc
09-04-2008, 06:52 PM
Due to the long term effects and progressive damage that can result from such methods, this is NOT something I would advocate... period. Shiatsu massage would be a much safer alternative.

Care must be taken to not strike them with any force when practicing regularly.

eyrie
09-04-2008, 07:34 PM
Fer sure Doc... fer sure. Whilst all due care should be taken anyway... one can't be entirely certain of a person's reaction or general constitution, especially if these things can have an effect at a far more subtle level.

aikidoc
09-04-2008, 08:04 PM
The biggest risk is if struck or stimulated in the right fashion you can affect the person's blood pressure. If they have heart issues, that can be very dangerous. Dr. Michael Kelly's book The Death Touch explains the science behind the striking of pressure points and how they can affect the nervous system. Anyone messing with this should read the book and visit his website.

BK Barker
09-05-2008, 02:52 AM
Due to the long term effects and progressive damage that can result from such methods, this is NOT something I would advocate... period. Shiatsu massage would be a much safer alternative.

You dont have to strike them with force to learn where they are. Many of them are not lethal matter of fact most of them are not but they can give you those few extra seconds to finish a technique, move to another one or get the heck out of dodge. I think it's funny for someone to keep talking about this or that technique... well you might get one or the other with an unexperienced fighter but get someone that is experienced and you just might get your butt handed to you on a platter. When it comes to defending myself/family I'm sorry about your luck I will do what I need to which includes a permanant finish. You do not have to do this everytime you are on the mat but learning where they are and what they do can do a lot to preserve your life.

eyrie
09-05-2008, 04:39 AM
You do not have to do this everytime you are on the mat but learning where they are and what they do can do a lot to preserve your life. Which is precisely my point... what's wrong with using shiatsu (and anatomy) as a medium to learn where they are and what effect it has on the body first?

mathewjgano
09-05-2008, 06:29 PM
Which is precisely my point... what's wrong with using shiatsu (and anatomy) as a medium to learn where they are and what effect it has on the body first?

This was always one of my favorite aspects of training. Getting an elbow shiatsu treatment from time to time while having my limbs stretched around has done wonders for my various injuries.

BK Barker
09-06-2008, 07:13 AM
Which is precisely my point... what's wrong with using shiatsu (and anatomy) as a medium to learn where they are and what effect it has on the body first?

Never said there was anything wrong with it but in the same time you should be able to practice it with control so you don't inadvertantly hurt someone you are training with.

eyrie
09-06-2008, 06:16 PM
Can you absolutely guarantee the person you are training with has no latent medical condition that you can trigger by "hitting a few points"?

I can lightly tap a few points and make my partner feel nauseous, feel faint, break out in cold sweat, feel like she's about to lose bladder control, and make her pulse race in a choppy, slippery manner. And that's just from a light tap... with control...

There is a whole field of study involved, and it's more than just learning how to hit a few points indiscriminately, even if done lightly and with control, during practice. Can your teacher perform revival and resuscitation if necessary? Can you? If not... why not? Should you be playing around with this... if not?

See Dr John Riggs' post... there are points on the body which are baro-receptors... these affect the BP... ST9 is one since it's directly on the vagus sinus. Do you know which points set up which points? Do you understand the TCM/MWM theory behind how point strikes work? Did you know that you can KO someone, simply from a strike to the arm? Do you know how to revive them?

Again... should you be playing with this stuff if you don't? That's all I'm suggesting... not you personally... you generally.

BK Barker
09-07-2008, 06:59 AM
Can you absolutely guarantee the person you are training with has no latent medical condition that you can trigger by "hitting a few points"?

I can lightly tap a few points and make my partner feel nauseous, feel faint, break out in cold sweat, feel like she's about to lose bladder control, and make her pulse race in a choppy, slippery manner. And that's just from a light tap... with control...

There is a whole field of study involved, and it's more than just learning how to hit a few points indiscriminately, even if done lightly and with control, during practice. Can your teacher perform revival and resuscitation if necessary? Can you? If not... why not? Should you be playing around with this... if not?

See Dr John Riggs' post... there are points on the body which are baro-receptors... these affect the BP... ST9 is one since it's directly on the vagus sinus. Do you know which points set up which points? Do you understand the TCM/MWM theory behind how point strikes work? Did you know that you can KO someone, simply from a strike to the arm? Do you know how to revive them?

Again... should you be playing with this stuff if you don't? That's all I'm suggesting... not you personally... you generally.

I am not going to get into a detailed debate over what pressure points can and can't do but to answer your questions/comments that I made bold.... yes we can. Do we recommend doing this if the people do not know how to revive someone if needed... absolutely not but I also know that as far as training like we do that you dont have to strike the points but can go into an attack full force and be able to stop before making contact in a serious manner. We do it all the time and when we talk about control it is usually on a different level then what most people would consider control.

I am not debating your comments or views and I actually agree but I also believe that you can train hard at full speed/intent without hurting someone because we do it all the time. There are many times that we dont go full tilt but we know that we can without any trouble from those around us because we work very much into everyone's abilities. If they are not skilled enough to go at full speed we slow things down to make sure that the safety margin is still there. Can accidents happen... of course but we are better covered for those things with the multitude of the professional/work related training that many of our students have.

deathlinenetworks
09-11-2008, 08:06 PM
strike back at the uke when you see an opening but don't let the movement stop. no one will allow you do apply a technique just like that. atemi is important. that's all i can say. My instructors always tell us to strike back when doing certain techniques.

xuzen
09-12-2008, 01:08 AM
strike back at the uke when you see an opening but don't let the movement stop. no one will allow you do apply a technique just like that. atemi is important. that's all i can say. My instructors always tell us to strike back when doing certain techniques.

It is easy to say strike back, but without proper striking training, it is not so easy.

I remember once my fist connected with my uke's hip bone, I sprained my wrist. Of course, my uke was writhing in pain afterward. I was suppose to do mune tsuki and he was too lazy, did not move fast enough. It is not so easy to strike without proper training. Just some caveat.

Boon

deathlinenetworks
09-13-2008, 09:00 AM
i agree with you xu wenfung. that's why i took up tang soo do. hahaha...

wideawakedreamer
10-03-2008, 09:12 PM
I remember once my fist connected with my uke's hip bone, I sprained my wrist. Of course, my uke was writhing in pain afterward. I was suppose to do mune tsuki and he was too lazy, did not move fast enough. Boon

Boon: I'm trying to visualize what you said, but I'm confused: Isn't mune tsuki a strike to the chest? :confused: How did you manage to hit his hip? No disrespect meant, just want to know the details.

Also (and this is addressed to everyone): any suggestions for someone who can't make a proper fist?

I'm not talking about not knowing how to properly clench a fist but physically unable to fully clench because her tendons (or ligaments, I'm not really sure about the right word) on the back of her hand are too stiff. I keep telling her "no, you can't punch with that; you'll only hurt yourself" - I don't think she's ever hit a heavy bag in her life.

xuzen
10-03-2008, 10:27 PM
Boon: I'm trying to visualize what you said, but I'm confused: Isn't mune tsuki a strike to the chest? :confused: How did you manage to hit his hip? No disrespect meant, just want to know the details.

Also (and this is addressed to everyone): any suggestions for someone who can't make a proper fist?

I'm not talking about not knowing how to properly clench a fist but physically unable to fully clench because her tendons (or ligaments, I'm not really sure about the right word) on the back of her hand are too stiff. I keep telling her "no, you can't punch with that; you'll only hurt yourself" - I don't think she's ever hit a heavy bag in her life.

Mune tsuki is forward thrust/punch. Can be jodan, aiming at face, neck; chudan aiming at solar plexus or gedan aiming at gut.

IIRC it was gedan variation I did... and it somehow connected with his hip because me uke sort of lazily half moved away. If he moved completely he would have avoided my incoming, if he had remained stationary, I would have connected with his gut. He, however chose to move half heartily and I connected with his hip instead (the bony part).

Well, punching and making a proper fist in not something instinctive, you have to learn and practice. I can't do a proper fist when I first started martial art training.

Boon.

Nafis Zahir
10-05-2008, 11:05 AM
If you're not using atemi, then you're not doing Aikido.