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AikiTao
12-26-2012, 05:49 PM
Having posted something very similar to this on other forums, I'm interested in hearing what you guys have to say. I've always trained in striking arts and a few forms of grappling. Having done Aikido for about 9 months now (4th Kyu), I've fallen in love with it, but our dojo rarely addressed striking (as a set up, and we've never gone into striking on its own). This has been a little discouraging as a lot of the times, we train with over-compliance and some of the applications presented are both impractical and dangerous.

I've done a lot of research on atemi and Aikido and it seems that most Aikidoka prefer using atemi exclusively as a means to an end (or as a set up). In my opinion, one should at least have some knowledge of striking on its own so that if grappling skills fail, they have something to fall back on, which is exactly why I love watching these guys:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spPNWKtcYo0&list=UUUx_nIShIaPyrtNhPx4O65g&index=26&feature=plcp

They use striking often as a set up (multiple strikes) but are pretty capable when it comes to just striking alone. Not just that but I feel their style of striking, which includes mostly open hand strikes and a couple of basic kicks, keeps in line with the principles of Aikido. Although it may not be as "nice" in the street, it definitely has it's use.

What is too much? At what point is Aikido not considered Aikido? I get caught up on training strikes with Aikido because I almost feel guilty that it may interfere with the 'flow of Aikido', but I also feel that when trained properly, it matches Aikido perfectly. I believe Aikido to be a pretty open art and as long as practitioners keep close to tradition, even when training things that aren't necessarily part of the curriculum, then all is well.

Thoughts? This may've been covered in other topics but I'm more concerned with practicing in a way that doesn't disrupt Aikido, so hopefully I can get a few things cleared up. Other than that, please feel free to give your opinion of Atemi and it's use in Aikido and how you practice it, if at all.

ewolput
12-27-2012, 11:49 AM
Although many people cannot accept Tomiki's Aikido with a competition flavour, this style is practised a lot in the USA. If you like atemi waza, you will find alot of atemi in this style especially during randori. Atemi is used to throw someone or to create an opening for other techniques. Tomiki Aikido is also called Shodokan Aikido.
Find here a clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8etlpBbC6o4

Eddy

AikiTao
12-27-2012, 12:38 PM
Although many people cannot accept Tomiki's Aikido with a competition flavour, this style is practised a lot in the USA. If you like atemi waza, you will find alot of atemi in this style especially during randori. Atemi is used to throw someone or to create an opening for other techniques. Tomiki Aikido is also called Shodokan Aikido.
Find here a clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8etlpBbC6o4

Eddy

I do enjoy watching Shodokan Aikido but their striking is always followed by an Aikido technique, it seems. Not to say that that's improper, but the atemi I wish to see more of consists of continuous strikes (that work alone and could win alone) until an Aikido technique presents itself. I've rarely seen randori like that, though. Nice vid!

TokyoZeplin
12-27-2012, 02:27 PM
Thought I would chime in, and say I'm pretty sure the first video is Aikido S.A. (Shoot Aikido (Shoot is sort of Japans MMA in some ways)).
Not 100% sure, but I've seen it referenced in context with A.S.A. and the dojos seem to be located at the same places.

My own, completely uneducated, view on it:
As long as you use the Aikido principles in your Atemi (and not just pure strength, for instance), I say it's still Aikido. Gozo Shioda talks quite a lot about the importance of Atemi in his semi-biographical books.

Michael Hackett
12-27-2012, 03:50 PM
Eddy, could you give a brief overview of the rules in Tomiki competition? It seems that both defenders would have been seriously injured in a real knife attack, but points were given apparently for only stabbing wounds. No criticism, I'm just curious.

BJohnston
12-27-2012, 09:20 PM
I began my fascination with aikido exactly 3 years ago. I'm definitely not the authority on aikido, but I'll offer my own $.02. One thing that we must keep in mind as beginners is the vastness of O'Sensei's knowledge and teachings. Much of what he taught was based upon the idea that you actually understood and/or had a background in martial arts. Some of that has been taken for granted over the years. One thing that we try and stress in our classes is how important committed attacks are to the development of Aikido. Proper stance, proper punching technique, proper kicking technique is something that we try to be aware of while training. I'm fortunate in that many of the aikidoka that I train with, including our sensei, have vast martial arts, military, and law enforcement backgrounds.
Aikido was founded on principles found throughout karate, judo, aikijutsu...etc...all aggressive striking arts. As you progress throughout your aikido training you'll see that the strikes are there. If that's what needs to be done then it can be be done. Many people watching videos of O'Sensei later in his years wonder how a man can do the extraordinary things shown in those videos. Throwing people with, what looks like, nothing but a mere glance or simply his Ki. We forget that there's been years upon years upon years of hoaning his craft. He had to kick a lot of ass before he got to that point. The higher learning aspect of O'Sensei's Aiki(do) era teachings put a different twist on the possibilities of "the atemi". This is a highly debated topic throughout the Aikido community. My belief is that the use of atemi is of upmost importance. Whether you decide to pull the punch or not is up to you. I don't necessarily subscribe to the theory that Aikido is a completely painless art. That to me is the beauty of it. Anything...and I mean anything is possible with Aikido.
If you can go to a seminar with George Ledyard Sensei...or watch some of his videos. He does a great job of describing atemi and striking. He's one of the best.

Cheers

B

AikiTao
12-28-2012, 12:37 AM
Thought I would chime in, and say I'm pretty sure the first video is Aikido S.A. (Shoot Aikido (Shoot is sort of Japans MMA in some ways)).
Not 100% sure, but I've seen it referenced in context with A.S.A. and the dojos seem to be located at the same places.

My own, completely uneducated, view on it:
As long as you use the Aikido principles in your Atemi (and not just pure strength, for instance), I say it's still Aikido. Gozo Shioda talks quite a lot about the importance of Atemi in his semi-biographical books.

Sounds interesting. May have to look into that. How, in you opinion, can atemi follow Aiki principles?

I began my fascination with aikido exactly 3 years ago. I'm definitely not the authority on aikido, but I'll offer my own $.02. One thing that we must keep in mind as beginners is the vastness of O'Sensei's knowledge and teachings. Much of what he taught was based upon the idea that you actually understood and/or had a background in martial arts. Some of that has been taken for granted over the years. One thing that we try and stress in our classes is how important committed attacks are to the development of Aikido. Proper stance, proper punching technique, proper kicking technique is something that we try to be aware of while training. I'm fortunate in that many of the aikidoka that I train with, including our sensei, have vast martial arts, military, and law enforcement backgrounds.
Aikido was founded on principles found throughout karate, judo, aikijutsu...etc...all aggressive striking arts. As you progress throughout your aikido training you'll see that the strikes are there. If that's what needs to be done then it can be be done. Many people watching videos of O'Sensei later in his years wonder how a man can do the extraordinary things shown in those videos. Throwing people with, what looks like, nothing but a mere glance or simply his Ki. We forget that there's been years upon years upon years of hoaning his craft. He had to kick a lot of ass before he got to that point. The higher learning aspect of O'Sensei's Aiki(do) era teachings put a different twist on the possibilities of "the atemi". This is a highly debated topic throughout the Aikido community. My belief is that the use of atemi is of upmost importance. Whether you decide to pull the punch or not is up to you. I don't necessarily subscribe to the theory that Aikido is a completely painless art. That to me is the beauty of it. Anything...and I mean anything is possible with Aikido.
If you can go to a seminar with George Ledyard Sensei...or watch some of his videos. He does a great job of describing atemi and striking. He's one of the best.

Cheers

B

I think that teaching commitment (too much) can backfire. A lot of Aikidoka have a false expectation of what an attack looks like because we generally fully commit to our attacks, which makes it easier for Nage. Without doing so, you'll likely expect resistance and have to work around it, which I think is important anyways. But for the sole purpose of training techniques, it is necessary to commit fully... just gotta make sure that the newer Aikidoka mistake that as what could happen for it will likely not, but I definitely agree with everything else.

Another post I enjoyed on the other forums was where a member said that in order for an Aikidoka to be effective, they must be in a position to strike their opponent down, but use technique as an alternative as to show compassion. They quoted their teachers as saying something along the lines of "if you want to be able to make the decision to be able not to destroy, you must first know how to destroy". I personally love that outlook. Very much like my philosophy on martial arts: If you want to truly know and appreciate peace, you must first understand war (or in this context, self-defense and intense levels of training).

Just my humble opinion though. :)

Lyle Laizure
12-28-2012, 02:14 AM
In order to properly deliver an atemi the individual must know how to properly punch/kick. Atemi are an important part of Aikido training but all to often it is neglected. As mentioned previously, in OSensei's day the vast majority, if not all, of his students trained in other arts and knew how to strike. Today that definately isn't the case. In some instances there are instructors that simply do not know how to strike and therefore teach it incorrectly or do not teach it at all. The emphasis during training is generally spent trying to work on the technique and striking is left out as it clutters the training making akward movements that much more akward. All that being said atemi should definately be taught but more importantly how to strike should be taught.

ewolput
12-28-2012, 03:18 AM
Eddy, could you give a brief overview of the rules in Tomiki competition? It seems that both defenders would have been seriously injured in a real knife attack, but points were given apparently for only stabbing wounds. No criticism, I'm just curious.

You can find the rules here : http://www.tomiki.org/rules.html

Enjoy,
Eddy

BJohnston
12-28-2012, 09:16 AM
In order to properly deliver an atemi the individual must know how to properly punch/kick. Atemi are an important part of Aikido training but all to often it is neglected. As mentioned previously, in OSensei's day the vast majority, if not all, of his students trained in other arts and knew how to strike. Today that definately isn't the case. In some instances there are instructors that simply do not know how to strike and therefore teach it incorrectly or do not teach it at all. The emphasis during training is generally spent trying to work on the technique and striking is left out as it clutters the training making akward movements that much more akward. All that being said atemi should definately be taught but more importantly how to strike should be taught.

Agreed. We've started a youth class at our dojo. Since the students are a little too young to dive right into Aikido we've based the curriculum around karate basics. Trying to get them fundamentally sound with striking is important for their Aikido.
Occasionally, in the advanced adult classes, we will have free form practice where the Nage has no knowledge of what type of attack will be presented. I find this type of training the most helpful and challenging. The idea is to relax, let go, and react in some way...even it's not perfect. Aikido, at least my Aikido at this point, looks quite different when you practice this way.

B

Cliff Judge
12-28-2012, 01:25 PM
My $.02:

Striking at a very basic level is fundamental to martial arts, but if there is anything you can't accomplish with a single, strong, balanced attack, you are either:

a) using the wrong tool
b) in a fight you have the option of not being in

The martial traditions from which Aikido is descended assume a generalized tool, and assume that b) is not the case.

The essential problem with getting too fancy with your striking and grappling when practicing Aikido is that you are no longer training for a life-or-death situation that came out of nowhere that you are trying to survive with limited information as to what is really going on.

Which is not to say you shouldn't do it at all, it is just not something that your regular general Aikido training should focus on.

All Aikidoka should learn to deliver a single, balanced attack to whatever part of another human body they choose, using anywhere from 0 to 100% of the force they can muster with their entire being. You have to work at this but it isn't rocket science (or even sweet science).

Aside from that, I tend to believe that the strikes that nage might do while performing a technique are just pugilistic sugar.

Chris Li
12-28-2012, 02:06 PM
My $.02:

Striking at a very basic level is fundamental to martial arts, but if there is anything you can't accomplish with a single, strong, balanced attack, you are either:

a) using the wrong tool
b) in a fight you have the option of not being in

The martial traditions from which Aikido is descended assume a generalized tool, and assume that b) is not the case.

The essential problem with getting too fancy with your striking and grappling when practicing Aikido is that you are no longer training for a life-or-death situation that came out of nowhere that you are trying to survive with limited information as to what is really going on.

Which is not to say you shouldn't do it at all, it is just not something that your regular general Aikido training should focus on.

All Aikidoka should learn to deliver a single, balanced attack to whatever part of another human body they choose, using anywhere from 0 to 100% of the force they can muster with their entire being. You have to work at this but it isn't rocket science (or even sweet science).

Aside from that, I tend to believe that the strikes that nage might do while performing a technique are just pugilistic sugar.

My feeling on training to land a single, balanced attack is that it only ends up being useful in a strictly kata situation. If you look at the top boxers - only the really top guys have a connect rate over 40%, for most boxers (even good ones) the connect rate is much lower. If you rely on that one attack then you've got less chance of connecting then if you just flipped a coin.

It works the same if you're giving or receiving - if you only work against that single balanced attack then you're training yourself to work against something that really doesn't happen very often.

Fine for Kata training of course.

In terms of the mechanics - I feel strongly that strikes have to come out of the same basic body usage as everything else.

Best,

Chris

Cliff Judge
12-28-2012, 02:18 PM
My feeling on training to land a single, balanced attack is that it only ends up being useful in a strictly kata situation. If you look at the top boxers - only the really top guys have a connect rate over 40%, for most boxers (even good ones) the connect rate is much lower. If you rely on that one attack then you've got less chance of connecting then if you just flipped a coin.

It works the same if you're giving or receiving - if you only work against that single balanced attack then you're training yourself to work against something that really doesn't happen very often.

Fine for Kata training of course.

In terms of the mechanics - I feel strongly that strikes have to come out of the same basic body usage as everything else.

Best,

Chris

I am not talking about "relying" on it at all. And I am not even saying you only get one of 'em. I am mostly saying that working on combinations and jabs and such does two things: takes time away from learning technical basics, and moves you into the realm of sport fighting.

What are you saying doesn't happen very often?

Mario Tobias
12-28-2012, 02:27 PM
There are several types of atemi as per my interpretation.

1) Atemi is enough if you still maintain connection with partner imho in case of a set-up.

2) It is used as a distraction to lessen uke's commitment to an attack. Even if you get hit, it's not as devastating if you hadn't done atemi. Perfectly timed atemi would totally make uke's attack harmless imho.

3) it is also used during transitions within a technique to close openings for uke. there are several techniques which offer uke openings to attack nage during a technique and atemi can be used to close these gaps.

4) It can also be used as a technique in itself to throw uke

Chris Li
12-28-2012, 02:32 PM
I am not talking about "relying" on it at all. And I am not even saying you only get one of 'em. I am mostly saying that working on combinations and jabs and such does two things: takes time away from learning technical basics, and moves you into the realm of sport fighting.

What are you saying doesn't happen very often?

I'm saying that encounters with just one fully committed strike don't happen that often - and if they do they tend to be fairly low level.

I think that it's a long way from combinations and jabs to sport fighting, there's a whole world in between.

Anyway, by "relying" I meant that if that's how you train then that's how you'll end up.

For technical basics - the strikes are (or should be) all in the technical basics, all in the same basic method of body usage, if you've got one you've got the other, IMO.

Best,

Chris

Cliff Judge
12-28-2012, 03:09 PM
I'm saying that encounters with just one fully committed strike don't happen that often - and if they do they tend to be fairly low level.

I think that it's a long way from combinations and jabs to sport fighting, there's a whole world in between.

Anyway, by "relying" I meant that if that's how you train then that's how you'll end up.

For technical basics - the strikes are (or should be) all in the technical basics, all in the same basic method of body usage, if you've got one you've got the other, IMO.

Best,

Chris

I'm not sure I can credit what you are saying well enough to really respond. Seems like encounters with no fully committed strikes can and should be exited.

How about you rely on, say, throwing or taking the attacker down so you can get yourself a moment to escape the situation you are in? Or just stab the guy or something. I don't think getting into a boxing match on the street is the revolutionary new self-defense idea of the 21st century that those medieval Asians were too stuck on tradition to imagine.

Chris Li
12-28-2012, 05:31 PM
I'm not sure I can credit what you are saying well enough to really respond. Seems like encounters with no fully committed strikes can and should be exited.

How about you rely on, say, throwing or taking the attacker down so you can get yourself a moment to escape the situation you are in? Or just stab the guy or something. I don't think getting into a boxing match on the street is the revolutionary new self-defense idea of the 21st century that those medieval Asians were too stuck on tradition to imagine.

I'm not sure what you mean by fully committed, but if I go by what Aikido folks usually mean, then yes, it's very possible to strike someone in a way that is not fully committed by that definition with strikes that are very dificult to exit.

BTW, I'm not advocating boxing, and never said that I do - I only brought it up to show how small a percentage of strikes actually connect enough to do any damage, a small enough percentage that focusing on "one strike" is probably not realistic at all.

Best,

Chris

Cliff Judge
12-28-2012, 06:42 PM
I'm not sure what you mean by fully committed, but if I go by what Aikido folks usually mean, then yes, it's very possible to strike someone in a way that is not fully committed by that definition with strikes that are very dificult to exit.

BTW, I'm not advocating boxing, and never said that I do - I only brought it up to show how small a percentage of strikes actually connect enough to do any damage, a small enough percentage that focusing on "one strike" is probably not realistic at all.

Best,

Chris

I don' t understand what you are saying and you do not seem to understand what I am saying.

Chris Li
12-28-2012, 08:13 PM
I don' t understand what you are saying and you do not seem to understand what I am saying.

Hmm, let me try to put this better...

You said:

All Aikidoka should learn to deliver a single, balanced attack to whatever part of another human body they choose, using anywhere from 0 to 100% of the force they can muster with their entire being. You have to work at this but it isn't rocket science (or even sweet science).


My point in bringing up boxing is that we can see from the stats that a single attack actually has only a very small chance of connecting.

Then what?

Well, if you only train withat single attack (which is what is pretty standard in conventional Aikido), then you're stuck. Yes, the same principles apply, but I think that it's a pretty big leap to make on the fly.

There's nothing wrong with throwing your attacker down (as you mentioned in another post), but the same problem applies. If you look at Judo or other grappling arts, you can see that only a small percentage of throws actually go to completion cleanly.

Then what?

It's a similar problem, IMO.

Best,

Chris

Michael Varin
12-28-2012, 09:30 PM
Logan,

Good questions.

I realize most see it the other way, but I think aikido should be practiced more with the feeling of a striking art than a grappling art. Of course the strikes that will "fit" into the classical presentation of techniques the best will be weapon striking movements, i.e., shomenuchi, yokomenuchi and tsuki. This in no way means that other strikes aren't valid, simply that the appearance may change.

I practice striking quite frequently.

Something that I find interesting, and you may find useful is to look not so much at the external movements, but rather how they arise. There is no attack in aikido, but there is striking! Kote gaeshi and ikkyo can be, and often are, applied with an attacking spirit just as easily as tsuki.

Watch a true and pure counter striker in boxing and tell me if they are not following aiki principles?

I think it has a lot to do with whether you are responding to the aggressive intention of the other or attempting to impose your will upon them.

A question for you, what do you mean when you say "when trained properly, (striking) matches aikido perfectly?"

Michael Varin
12-28-2012, 09:36 PM
I think that teaching commitment (too much) can backfire. A lot of Aikidoka have a false expectation of what an attack looks like because we generally fully commit to our attacks, which makes it easier for Nage. Without doing so, you'll likely expect resistance and have to work around it, which I think is important anyways. But for the sole purpose of training techniques, it is necessary to commit fully... just gotta make sure that the newer Aikidoka mistake that as what could happen for it will likely not, but I definitely agree with everything else.

I think that you are talking about at least two different things here. Many people get caught up in this notion of commitment. I've discussed this with aikidoists many times in person. I think we need to make finer distinctions. A good question to start with is: Commitment to what? It is probably also helpful to consider what someone's objectives are.

In some sense, there will always be a moment in which we commit to any action we are engaging in. I think this is an important moment to take notice of.

I can promise you that when boxers strike, they are committed to that strike. And I don't believe that fully committed attacks are easier to deal with.

How do you think the experience for nage varies as uke takes each of the following as an objective?

(1) Assist nage in learning/executing this particular technique
(2) Assist nage in executing any aikido technique
(3) Hit nage full power in the face with this particular strike
(4) Hit nage full power in the face in any way
(5) Defeat nage

Obviously, there are many more possibilities, but this is a good place to start.

(My apologies to Mark Murray for stealing his trademark numbered list format. ;) )

Michael Varin
12-28-2012, 09:44 PM
My point in bringing up boxing is that we can see from the stats that a single attack actually has only a very small chance of connecting.

Then what?

Well, if you only train withat single attack (which is what is pretty standard in conventional Aikido), then you're stuck. Yes, the same principles apply, but I think that it's a pretty big leap to make on the fly.

There's nothing wrong with throwing your attacker down (as you mentioned in another post), but the same problem applies. If you look at Judo or other grappling arts, you can see that only a small percentage of throws actually go to completion cleanly.

Then what?

It's a similar problem, IMO.

I think I see what Chris is getting at, but there are a multitude of reasons for those percentages.

In my opinion, that is what aiki is all about. . .

Randomness is not acceptable.

AikiTao
12-29-2012, 12:06 AM
Hmm, let me try to put this better...

My point in bringing up boxing is that we can see from the stats that a single attack actually has only a very small chance of connecting.

Then what?

Well, if you only train withat single attack (which is what is pretty standard in conventional Aikido), then you're stuck. Yes, the same principles apply, but I think that it's a pretty big leap to make on the fly.

Then what?

It's a similar problem, IMO.

Best,

Chris

Good point. I think many Aikidoka have a misconception, probably because of too much emphasis on training statically, that they can deliver one strike and transition to a technique, which I doubt is rarely ever the case. This is why I believe training in striking alone is necessary as when that one strike misses or doesn't do it's job, you don't have to get caught up trying to force a technique that doesn't clearly present itself.

Logan,

Good questions.

I realize most see it the other way, but I think aikido should be practiced more with the feeling of a striking art than a grappling art. Of course the strikes that will "fit" into the classical presentation of techniques the best will be weapon striking movements, i.e., shomenuchi, yokomenuchi and tsuki. This in no way means that other strikes aren't valid, simply that the appearance may change.

I practice striking quite frequently.

Something that I find interesting, and you may find useful is to look not so much at the external movements, but rather how they arise. There is no attack in aikido, but there is striking! Kote gaeshi and ikkyo can be, and often are, applied with an attacking spirit just as easily as tsuki.

Watch a true and pure counter striker in boxing and tell me if they are not following aiki principles?

I think it has a lot to do with whether you are responding to the aggressive intention of the other or attempting to impose your will upon them.

A question for you, what do you mean when you say "when trained properly, (striking) matches aikido perfectly?"

Never thought of boxing like that but I can definitely see a lot of the defense and even some offense being Aiki by nature.

When I said that striking matches Aikido if trained perfectly, I was mostly saying that with the first video I posted in mind, although it wasn't necessarily perfect but pretty on point in my opinion. I think that as long as striking is used properly, depending on the situation, then it can blend well with Aikido as long as, like others have said, it sticks to Aiki principles.

For example, using an irimi with a few palm strikes to transition to another technique may be aggressive, but I don't see any reason for excluding it from Aikido or considering it a contradiction of Aiki principles.

I think that you are talking about at least two different things here. Many people get caught up in this notion of commitment. I've discussed this with aikidoists many times in person. I think we need to make finer distinctions. A good question to start with is: Commitment to what? It is probably also helpful to consider what someone's objectives are.

In some sense, there will always be a moment in which we commit to any action we are engaging in. I think this is an important moment to take notice of.

I can promise you that when boxers strike, they are committed to that strike. And I don't believe that fully committed attacks are easier to deal with.

How do you think the experience for nage varies as uke takes each of the following as an objective?

(1) Assist nage in learning/executing this particular technique
(2) Assist nage in executing any aikido technique
(3) Hit nage full power in the face with this particular strike
(4) Hit nage full power in the face in any way
(5) Defeat nage

Obviously, there are many more possibilities, but this is a good place to start.

(My apologies to Mark Murray for stealing his trademark numbered list format. ;) )

When I say commit, I personally tend to think of overcommitment or a level of commitment that is dramatic and not likely to see in a violent encounter. While a blitz, or rushing attack is likely, a mune tsuki punch isn't. In that context, I don't consider boxers to commit. Although their punches are definitely committed, both physically and mentally, they don't do so statically, with a pause, or with compliance like some of us are taught. When we strike nage, at least starting out, we learn to give them our Ki so they can perform the technique at a basic level. We are committing our strike so they can continue with it or do whatever it is they're supposed to be doing. Boxers don't do that.

Just my thoughts though. Just depends on how you're looking at it.

I think another point to bring up is psychological aspects of striking. Not to get off topic. I feel that we should all train if not to deliver than to understand proper striking. I know a few people who truly believe that how we strike is what they may encounter in the street or that someone will assault them from 10 feet away. While possible, not likely. This is hugely why outsiders sometimes look down on Aikido... because at first sight, we don't train for your average street brawl.

This video about sums it up:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZyUub1Jn3Y

They train for what you may likely encounter.

Another example:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6lravpr9GU&list=UUUx_nIShIaPyrtNhPx4O65g&index=54

The first video I posted is still, in my opinion, a very good style of striking to mix. The open hand strikes allow for what would probably be less damage to the opponent (at least visibly) while allowing transitioning to techniques easier.

Rupert Atkinson
12-29-2012, 07:17 AM
Well - those two vids above are all well and good but it's nothing to do with Aikido. How are you going to learn aiki if you train like that? Aikido is The Way of Aiki as far as I'm concerened. Atemi in Aikido (or Jujutsu for that matter), if that is what you want to do, simply have to be applied within the flow of the technique.

chillzATL
12-29-2012, 10:36 AM
IMO training atemi like that is like trying to put a square peg into a round hole. That's not to say I find it pointless, I just don't think it's addressing what the art of aikido is supposed to be about. To me it's a modern response to the question many people have about how impractical the techniques of aikido seem to be in actual fighting situations. So they take the "aikido is 80% atemi" quote and head off into the weeds in an effort to figure out how to actually apply an ikkyo to some big strong guy in a bar fight or worse yet, someone with some fighting skill. So you end up training to delivery semi-decent strikes (at best) while moving into techniques, but you've done nothing to address when the guy stumbles, falls into you and you both go crashing to the ground because you lack the stability and structure to stay on your feet and then you're off looking for something else to cross-train in (unless you've already done that) to get that and maybe still wondering how O'sensei was able to do what he did while really only training in one thing... ymmv

AikiTao
12-29-2012, 01:44 PM
Well - those two vids above are all well and good but it's nothing to do with Aikido. How are you going to learn aiki if you train like that? Aikido is The Way of Aiki as far as I'm concerened. Atemi in Aikido (or Jujutsu for that matter), if that is what you want to do, simply have to be applied within the flow of the technique.

I think that Aiki should be understood before rushing into striking like that but I still feel it's essential. Those "One hit then throw" techniques won't always work so if they are to fail, especially considering the degradation of motor skills and the likelihood of a freeze should a technique fail or something go wrong, striking is always a simple skill to fall back on and I think if worked with properly, it can work fine with Aikido and has everything to do with it.

IMO training atemi like that is like trying to put a square peg into a round hole. That's not to say I find it pointless, I just don't think it's addressing what the art of aikido is supposed to be about. To me it's a modern response to the question many people have about how impractical the techniques of aikido seem to be in actual fighting situations. So they take the "aikido is 80% atemi" quote and head off into the weeds in an effort to figure out how to actually apply an ikkyo to some big strong guy in a bar fight or worse yet, someone with some fighting skill. So you end up training to delivery semi-decent strikes (at best) while moving into techniques, but you've done nothing to address when the guy stumbles, falls into you and you both go crashing to the ground because you lack the stability and structure to stay on your feet and then you're off looking for something else to cross-train in (unless you've already done that) to get that and maybe still wondering how O'sensei was able to do what he did while really only training in one thing... ymmv

Like I said, I think that all Aikidoka should have a good base in Aikido and have a good foundation and understanding of all the principles before moving into learning strikes. I agree that striking doesn't necessarily address what Aikido is about, but still feel it to be very important. Also, if not studying how to deliver strikes yourself, at least study how they could be thrown at you.

As far as practicality, I have complete faith in Aikido, if it's trained properly. And this is probably because of all my previous training in striking styles, but I still want to include it in my Aikido without having interfere with the flow. To me, slugging it out isn't Aikido, but a few timed strikes to confuse the opponent may be the only way to even get close enough to deliver a good technique (considering they're experienced).

Cliff Judge
12-29-2012, 02:33 PM
Hmm, let me try to put this better...

My point in bringing up boxing is that we can see from the stats that a single attack actually has only a very small chance of connecting.

Then what?

Well, if you only train withat single attack (which is what is pretty standard in conventional Aikido), then you're stuck. Yes, the same principles apply, but I think that it's a pretty big leap to make on the fly.

There's nothing wrong with throwing your attacker down (as you mentioned in another post), but the same problem applies. If you look at Judo or other grappling arts, you can see that only a small percentage of throws actually go to completion cleanly.

Then what?

It's a similar problem, IMO.

Best,

Chris

So these are stats from competitive sports situations where two evenly-matched opponents agree to fight by a certain set of rules. I think it is important to not train with that mindset (unless you are a sport fighter). Aikido doesn't fit very well there, in general, and you aren't going to have an evenly-matched opponent mug you according to a set of rules. When under duress, you revert to behaviors you have burned in. That's why I think it is good to have a core practice where you receive a single strong attack and practice dealing with it as though you will die if you don't get it right.

Chris Li
12-29-2012, 02:53 PM
So these are stats from competitive sports situations where two evenly-matched opponents agree to fight by a certain set of rules. I think it is important to not train with that mindset (unless you are a sport fighter). Aikido doesn't fit very well there, in general, and you aren't going to have an evenly-matched opponent mug you according to a set of rules. When under duress, you revert to behaviors you have burned in. That's why I think it is good to have a core practice where you receive a single strong attack and practice dealing with it as though you will die if you don't get it right.

Those stats are the most readily available, which is why I quoted them. Don't get stuck on the boxing thing, I said before and I'll say it again - I'm not advocating boxing.

I don't think that the percentage of people actually connecting with strikes in a non-sports situation are any higher, and they're probably much lower, which only strengthens the argument, IMO.

People used to train intensively in Kata to refine certain skills - then they'd go out and fight for their experience. Most people don't do that anymore, which means that the training paradigm needs to be looked at more closely.

It's not a new problem - Musashi complained about it too.

Best,

Chris

Krystal Locke
12-29-2012, 06:27 PM
Well - those two vids above are all well and good but it's nothing to do with Aikido. How are you going to learn aiki if you train like that? Aikido is The Way of Aiki as far as I'm concerened. Atemi in Aikido (or Jujutsu for that matter), if that is what you want to do, simply have to be applied within the flow of the technique.

Your post raises a very common question and suggests a topic that I dont see discussed often.

If aikido is the way of aiki, we might do well to know what aiki means. We can see from aikiweb that the term is still largely undefined, and is up for huge debate at the moment. For that matter, I'm not sure we're all that clear on what do means, but at least there is enough of a common consensus or the term is unimportant enough to us that we dont go rounds and rounds and rounds about it. So, what does aiki mean?

Something I have noticed in a couple arts and that your post reminded me of is that folks do not train well around strikes and flow. Watch a bitchin Bruce Lee nunchaku kata. Holy crap, there are a lot of potential strikes there and a buttload of flow. However, take those chucks, start that kata about 3 feet from a heavy bag, flow really well for a few seconds, and then step into range. The moment the chuck hits the bag all that lovely movement (laminar flow, if you will) is gone and turbulence is introduced. Same with punching a real person. Successful atemi severely changes flow. Those of us training martially could do well to experience that.

I think the first video in that post was pretty realistic and pretty good aikido. The attacks were a bit slow and a little empty, but it is training/testing. What I liked was that the punches were taken seriously and dealt with through covering or small evasions. It was clear to me that the white gi guy respected the effect (the break in flow) blue gi's punches would have. And yes, sloppy-assed haymakers are the order of the day in what I've seen of real attacks and fights. That kind of training doesn't look good to some aikidoka eyes, but it looks real and effective to me. Block and evade until you get the attack that fits the criteria for the techniques you have installed and available at the moment. Hmm, that sentence is related to my current (admittedly limited and external) idea of aiki.

I did not much like the second video because it seemed to combine the best of complaints against aikido from both sides of the aisle. The attacks were real enough (but really empty), but not respected. Instead, they were waded through and much ignored to get to grappling range, Better be really well conditioned to do that reliably. That aikidoka is in for the rude awakening of a real kick to the side of the knee or pop in the liver. Nage does not look comfortable with the change in flow that uke's resistance brings, and kind of hops in and out of range and technique without much regard to flow. He seems to force technique in several places. Maybe training on tatami will smooth out the sweeps from the trapped kicks.

AikiTao
12-29-2012, 11:02 PM
Your post raises a very common question and suggests a topic that I dont see discussed often.

If aikido is the way of aiki, we might do well to know what aiki means. We can see from aikiweb that the term is still largely undefined, and is up for huge debate at the moment. For that matter, I'm not sure we're all that clear on what do means, but at least there is enough of a common consensus or the term is unimportant enough to us that we dont go rounds and rounds and rounds about it. So, what does aiki mean?

Something I have noticed in a couple arts and that your post reminded me of is that folks do not train well around strikes and flow. Watch a bitchin Bruce Lee nunchaku kata. Holy crap, there are a lot of potential strikes there and a buttload of flow. However, take those chucks, start that kata about 3 feet from a heavy bag, flow really well for a few seconds, and then step into range. The moment the chuck hits the bag all that lovely movement (laminar flow, if you will) is gone and turbulence is introduced. Same with punching a real person. Successful atemi severely changes flow. Those of us training martially could do well to experience that.

I think the first video in that post was pretty realistic and pretty good aikido. The attacks were a bit slow and a little empty, but it is training/testing. What I liked was that the punches were taken seriously and dealt with through covering or small evasions. It was clear to me that the white gi guy respected the effect (the break in flow) blue gi's punches would have. And yes, sloppy-assed haymakers are the order of the day in what I've seen of real attacks and fights. That kind of training doesn't look good to some aikidoka eyes, but it looks real and effective to me. Block and evade until you get the attack that fits the criteria for the techniques you have installed and available at the moment. Hmm, that sentence is related to my current (admittedly limited and external) idea of aiki.

I did not much like the second video because it seemed to combine the best of complaints against aikido from both sides of the aisle. The attacks were real enough (but really empty), but not respected. Instead, they were waded through and much ignored to get to grappling range, Better be really well conditioned to do that reliably. That aikidoka is in for the rude awakening of a real kick to the side of the knee or pop in the liver. Nage does not look comfortable with the change in flow that uke's resistance brings, and kind of hops in and out of range and technique without much regard to flow. He seems to force technique in several places. Maybe training on tatami will smooth out the sweeps from the trapped kicks.

Very true. The main difference in the two videos, other than style, is that the second vid Uke really steps it up and doesn't pull any punches, so having to wrestle a couple techniques in may be necessary at times. In the first vid, the attacker is being a little nicer (and somewhat more realistic at the same time), which makes it easier for Nage. I love both the styles. I'd definitely recommend checking them out as they train intensely either with or against strikes. If you want more vids, look in the suggestions or search 'Mizu Aikido' (guys with the blue gis) or Hatenkai Aikido (the one where the sensei has a navy blue gi). I love watching both the styles and their ideas of Aikido against less traditional attacks.

Cady Goldfield
12-29-2012, 11:43 PM
Krystal wrote: If aikido is the way of aiki, we might do well to know what aiki means. We can see from aikiweb that the term is still largely undefined, and is up for huge debate at the moment. For that matter, I'm not sure we're all that clear on what do means, but at least there is enough of a common consensus or the term is unimportant enough to us that we dont go rounds and rounds and rounds about it. So, what does aiki mean?

Ueshiba said repeatedly that "Aiki is opposing forces (in you)." It wasn't meant to be just a spiritual concept, it was a very real, physical one that he demonstrated again and again.

Aiki is the balance and management of created and maintained internal tension -- the dynamic tension of dual opposing forces -- within the body, in such a way that allows the individual manipulate power at will. Ueshiba stated this himself, referring to the friction created within the body by inducing and matching those two forces.

The two forces have names: In and Yo (or Yin and Yang). Or, rather, the two forces display the qualities of the Taoist concepts of In/Yin and Yo/Yang. When In and Yo are kept in complementary balance with each other, they represent the harmonizing or matching (ai) of the energy (ki) in its dual forms of In and Yo.

A person creates aiki by manipulating his or her body to create those dual opposing forces within it -- in the form of spiraling energy (the internal movements send force on a spiral path) -- and then controlling the relationship between those forces to affect the channeling of power. To do this, the body is used in unconventional ways – in part, the In-Yo of tandan and meimon (dantian and mingmen in Chinese), the spine, the "architecture" of the inner legs and femoral region, the interaction of body with the ground, the exploitation of the diaphragm and inner body cavities, and of intent as the driver.

It's a much more complex process than just using "breath," timing, stepping and turning in an external model...no matter how relaxed you are, that still is an external range of motions which can only superficially mimic what a person creating aiki is doing with his innards. It all starts inside you, which makes it invisible to onlookers until someone touches you. Then you can see the outward expression in their body's reaction to what you are doing inside you. This is where aiki and IP influence ate-waza (atemi), making it a very different game.

Rupert Atkinson
12-30-2012, 04:56 AM
If you want to be able to do what those guys in the vids are doing then go and do that. I did Judo and Jujutsu for years and have no problem with that way of training at all but I have stuck with Aikido because it led me to something different - aiki. I do Aikido for aiki. So, when I see people doing that stuff and calling it Aikido I just laugh. To me, no one in their right mind does Aikido mainly for self-defence. It 'can' work - but for most people it does not and never will, no matter how much they tell themselves that it does. Why? Because they are just barking up the wrong tree (go do Jujutsu or something). It took me quite a few years to figure it out for myself. And as to what aiki is - well, that should be your first question. And the next should be how do I get more of it. And then, just get on with it.

Lyle Laizure
12-30-2012, 04:57 AM
you and you both go crashing to the ground because you lack the stability and structure to stay on your feet and then you're off looking for something else to cross-train in (unless you've already done that) to get that and maybe still wondering how O'sensei was able to do what he did while really only training in one thing... ymmv

OSensei trained many different arts. The fundamentals of any art should teach you balance and stability. The one off situations or maybe they are more common than that....where someone falls into you or perhaps you put your foot down wrong and you go down. That is part of "combat" if you will. That is where you hope your training has taught you how to overcome the unexpected or unintended.

Rupert Atkinson
12-30-2012, 05:00 AM
Afterthought: Once you get an idea of aiki, I think the effectiveness (not the power) of your strikes will begin to improve beyond measure.

TokyoZeplin
12-30-2012, 07:03 AM
Sounds interesting. May have to look into that. How, in you opinion, can atemi follow Aiki principles?

For the first part of my post, here you go (sadly, there are almost no free videos or demonstrations online, as it's not very widely practised).
http://www.masamune-store.com/sakurai-fumio-shoot-aikido-1-basic-techniques-combination,us,4,ED_DV_SAK_U03.cfm

In Gozo Shioda's book, Aikido Shugyo, Aikido is in many ways described considerably more harsh than we hear it these days, with a lot more resistance, more "alive training", and a lot more pain.
When he tells stories of various fights, atemi features in all of them. And not merely "distraction" atemi, but often using punches (as it is described anyway) to finish a fight.
For my opinion (and purely, my opinion), I would say the core principle of Aikido is more of how to use body mechanics, how to use your opponents force against them, and how to blend with their movements, rather than a set core of grabbling techniques. This, again, is bound a bit in what Gozo Shioda says, when he (not a direct quote) said that Aikido techniques were more there for teaching you the Aikido principles, not to be used exactly as they are taught.

Occasionally, in the advanced adult classes, we will have free form practice where the Nage has no knowledge of what type of attack will be presented.
If Aikido is taught as self-defence, don't you think it's quite late ("advanced adult classes") to be using such training techniques?
Quite obviously better than nothing, but I would feel such training should be thrown in there from the second the person has any valid chance of defending themselves.

Mary Eastland
12-30-2012, 10:41 AM
@ OP:

Atemi is part of the flow....for me it is not about one strike and then throw. Aikido is about moving with the attack, blending with what is and becoming nage in each situation. Give yourself some time to really have an open mind about aikido before you start changing it.

If you want to play with other things... do... but give yourself the gift of having an open heart in class. I have seen so many young men leave because it is not about real fighting...when they just don't understand that Aikido is so much more than it seems.

chillzATL
12-30-2012, 12:11 PM
OSensei trained many different arts. The fundamentals of any art should teach you balance and stability. The one off situations or maybe they are more common than that....where someone falls into you or perhaps you put your foot down wrong and you go down. That is part of "combat" if you will. That is where you hope your training has taught you how to overcome the unexpected or unintended.

Oh sure, should, but I don't think aikido does really. Most of the time we're avoiding contact and/or not really getting our balance messed with too much while we're moving. That's why I don't think what I said can really be considered a one off situation.

AikiTao
12-30-2012, 12:25 PM
If you want to be able to do what those guys in the vids are doing then go and do that. I did Judo and Jujutsu for years and have no problem with that way of training at all but I have stuck with Aikido because it led me to something different - aiki. I do Aikido for aiki. So, when I see people doing that stuff and calling it Aikido I just laugh. To me, no one in their right mind does Aikido mainly for self-defence. It 'can' work - but for most people it does not and never will, no matter how much they tell themselves that it does. Why? Because they are just barking up the wrong tree (go do Jujutsu or something). It took me quite a few years to figure it out for myself. And as to what aiki is - well, that should be your first question. And the next should be how do I get more of it. And then, just get on with it.

I can think of a few people who would disagree with that.

How are those videos not Aikido? Because the strikes aren't traditional? Because it's 'live' and more resistance is introduced? Real violence very rarely ends like how you train it in the dojo so just because it doesn't look as fluid as we may train it, doesn't mean it's not real Aikido.

I don't know why people are so quick to say something isn't Aikido because they take a different route. To me, Aikido is a very open art and as long as it's practiced with all principles in mind and still keeps to the core foundations of Aikido, then I still believe it to be aikido. No doubt that there's some who have strayed far from the path of Aiki but I rather enjoy watching those who have geared their style more towards combat.

I enjoy those styles because they at least try something different and train effectively. I know of many Aikidoka who would get killed because of a huge misconception that they have of violence and how to react to it.

For the first part of my post, here you go (sadly, there are almost no free videos or demonstrations online, as it's not very widely practised).
http://www.masamune-store.com/sakurai-fumio-shoot-aikido-1-basic-techniques-combination,us,4,ED_DV_SAK_U03.cfm

In Gozo Shioda's book, Aikido Shugyo, Aikido is in many ways described considerably more harsh than we hear it these days, with a lot more resistance, more "alive training", and a lot more pain.
When he tells stories of various fights, atemi features in all of them. And not merely "distraction" atemi, but often using punches (as it is described anyway) to finish a fight.
For my opinion (and purely, my opinion), I would say the core principle of Aikido is more of how to use body mechanics, how to use your opponents force against them, and how to blend with their movements, rather than a set core of grabbling techniques. This, again, is bound a bit in what Gozo Shioda says, when he (not a direct quote) said that Aikido techniques were more there for teaching you the Aikido principles, not to be used exactly as they are taught..

I can appreciate that. I'll have to try and get one of his books. I think that outlook is much more practical for self-defense but so many Aikidoka think that's 'too aggressive', most which who have never been in a violent situation.

TokyoZeplin
12-30-2012, 03:32 PM
I can appreciate that. I'll have to try and get one of his books. I think that outlook is much more practical for self-defense but so many Aikidoka think that's 'too aggressive', most which who have never been in a violent situation.

You might want to look into Yoshinkan Aikido in general (Gozo Shioda's Aikido).
The book I was quoting (well, semi-quoting) from is Gozo Shioda - Aikido Shugyo. It's not a technique book, but rather a mix between essays and self-biographical work. I found it quite interesting.

You might also be interested in the DVD's by Joe Thambu (who also trains Yoshinkan Aikido, btw):
http://www.budovideos.com/shop/customer/product.php?productid=20696

Hilary
12-30-2012, 03:49 PM
While I applaud everyone who tries to train against real attacks (and more should), I don’t see that done well in either of the videos. In the first one I see a larger yudansha attacking (poorly) smaller kyu ranked students. Even when the kyu/uke is wielding a “weapon” the senior student attacks, which goes against virtually every armed vs. unarmed orthodoxy I have ever encountered. Once contact is made I see a lot of fighting over the lock, now it is just a brute force contest aided by a smattering of aikido mechanics, balance is rarely broken and the take downs are almost all forced by the joint lock or protecting of the joint. These have become a force on force contest which completely side steps the aspects of the art that make Aikido unique. I like what they are trying to do; just not the way they are doing it.

The second video is obviously style/formalized. Poor knife skills are then shelved, while the unarmed person struggles to make a throw while ignoring the now dormant weapon hand. The focus seems to be on I must throw him rather than how to manage the conflict. This is obviously a more formalized training drill given the odd/intermittent use of the stabbing fan. The drill should be commended, but the combatants should be instructed to deal with the attack and flow from opportunity to opportunity rather than just struggling to turn the first clinch into a throw. Lock the joints to control the shoulder, to move the center, not lock the joint and crank until they submit. Both of these guys are going to get seriously cut if they deal with knives that way even if the attacker is an amateur.

In the posts about the single attack some seem to be referring to uke, some to nage. We often train off of the first, second, third, fourth strike. Statistics aside, strikers typically do not expect that the first or second strike to be the knock out. A series of strikes are utilized to set up the knock out. As an aside, the Gracies policy of entering for a takedown assumes the first punch is not a knockout and so they can take the hit to enter, take down and pin the opponent.

For kyus, and while formally reviewing basics, and learning new techniques, the single strike attack is appropriate. If you are yudansha and you only train this way then you will be surprised by the real world. You should be parrying multiple strike attacks finding the techniques, then abandoning and moving to secondary and tertiary locks/techniques if the first one is not perfect.

Yudansha who have no other training should go find a striker and learn the basics of how to hit; reverse punch, back first, palm heel and shuto strikes from the asian arts, jab, cross, hook and upper cut from the western arts. Basic front, side, back, roundhouse, and crescent (for when you are feeling festive) kicks. You don’t have to master them, but you should know how to throw them well enough to train your partners and to understand their proper form and use. Failing to understand how to hit (in my mind) indicates a fundamental disrespect for martial theory and indicates you have chosen to live in a bubble of your own awesomeness. It is a martial art treat, it as such; know what to expect in the real world.

phitruong
12-31-2012, 10:38 AM
don't know if you have read this article from George Ledyard or not http://aikieast.blogspot.com/2009/08/use-of-atemi-striking-in-aikido.html

something to consider, folks, including striking arts, don't normally getting hit so they don't really ready for the psychological and emotional impacts of being hit (pun intended). like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ecF8XSk7zI . lesson learn here, you tensed up, it hurts alot, like a mother-in-law kind of hurt. :)

AikiTao
12-31-2012, 06:26 PM
don't know if you have read this article from George Ledyard or not http://aikieast.blogspot.com/2009/08/use-of-atemi-striking-in-aikido.html

something to consider, folks, including striking arts, don't normally getting hit so they don't really ready for the psychological and emotional impacts of being hit (pun intended). like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ecF8XSk7zI . lesson learn here, you tensed up, it hurts alot, like a mother-in-law kind of hurt. :)

Was he literally doing push ups on another guy's face? Never seen someone train that way though and I've always learned to tense up the body right before receiving a hit but that was a very different style. Cool vid, though.

Michael Varin
01-01-2013, 05:47 AM
Afterthought: Once you get an idea of aiki, I think the effectiveness (not the power) of your strikes will begin to improve beyond measure.

I think you are correct!

But I get the sense that the original poster won't be able to grasp what you are alluding to.

Krystal Locke
01-01-2013, 09:44 AM
Afterthought: Once you get an idea of aiki, I think the effectiveness (not the power) of your strikes will begin to improve beyond measure.

What do you mean by effectiveness? Improved targeting and accuracy, efficiency in energy expended, damage inflicted, penetration through defenses, something else?

Cliff Judge
01-01-2013, 10:38 AM
In the posts about the single attack some seem to be referring to uke, some to nage. We often train off of the first, second, third, fourth strike. Statistics aside, strikers typically do not expect that the first or second strike to be the knock out. A series of strikes are utilized to set up the knock out. As an aside, the Gracies policy of entering for a takedown assumes the first punch is not a knockout and so they can take the hit to enter, take down and pin the opponent.

For kyus, and while formally reviewing basics, and learning new techniques, the single strike attack is appropriate. If you are yudansha and you only train this way then you will be surprised by the real world. You should be parrying multiple strike attacks finding the techniques, then abandoning and moving to secondary and tertiary locks/techniques if the first one is not perfect.

It sounds as though you advocate for keeping regular Aikido classes to regular Aikido training, and practicing application versus skilled striker as an extracurricular matter. I agree. My general opinion is that if you are facing someone who is taking the time to set you up with jabs, then you are in a fight you chose to be in.

The challenge here is that to go anywhere with that type of training requires skills in fighting. So you have to have those (because you used to in college or something), or you have to go and get them. It turns out that developing fighting skills is one of the most demanding things a human being can do! You won't be making it to the Aikido dojo as much and you can forget picking up a third martial art you may have been interested in....or going to any of these seminars...

It is really a big challenge and requires a lot of commitment, and you are basically training to make your Aikido good for situations Aikido was never meant for, i.e. combat sports and drunken fights.

phitruong
01-01-2013, 12:08 PM
Was he literally doing push ups on another guy's face? Never seen someone train that way though and I've always learned to tense up the body right before receiving a hit but that was a very different style. Cool vid, though.

yes, he did. Kevin Choate sensei was doing the systema thing. that sort of push-up trained a few things. nage, the person who did the push-up on every part of uke's body, learned how to stablize the wrists on different body parts which will help him hitting body parts, since the body surface isn't uniform, thus, hitting a person with your barehand is much different than hitting a punching bag. also, the push-up is very relax, which teaches nage on how to deliver power without tensing any part of the body, even on impact, which is quite different from the karate or kungfu punch where they tell you to tense your body on moment of your fist impacted the body. also, doing push-up on a live body, it somewhat prepared you for the psychological and emotional aspect of hitting a live body. on the uke side of the fence, you learn to breath, with different breathing patterns, and to relax and channel the pressure of the fists elsewhere. it prepares you to physically, psychologically, and emotionally dealing with getting hits. lots of time nage will start out with lighter pressure, not full push-up, then gradually, over time, increase the pressure until uke feels uncomfortable, then nage would back down a bit. once uke gets his/her breathing and relaxing back, then nage progressively increases the pressure. with the breathing, uke is almost working on a neigong called iron shirt. this is now moving into the realm of IP/IS stuffs which is a bit beyong me.

if you look at the video of Kevin Choate when he was hitting the other person, and look at his position and the other position, then ask yourself, how many aikido techniques that have such relative position which allows him to deliver that strike. don't forget his other arm can deliver the same strike from the back at the same time. now for folks who doing IP/IS stuffs, they can deliver an incredible amount of power at that range, that would take all the fight out of you, and not with just their fists, but with their shoulders and their other body parts.

from my point of view, one should learn to effectively deliver atemi that is part of your aikido. one of the post mentioned someone deliver a kiss before the throw. i am ok with that, as long as the person is female and attractive. :)

Hilary
01-01-2013, 02:32 PM
Cliff -- I don't view this as extracurricular training really. Yes the "standard curriculum" of your particular flavor of Aikido is the major emphasis. But if we are to keep this art dynamic and relevant as a martial art (as opposed to a philosophically driven exercise routine) we do need to create complete students.

This does not mean they need to break coconuts with their palms or understand the nuances of sambo. It does mean the fundamental attacks outlined previously, should be understood and utilized in training. As stated they don't have to master these techniques but they do have to understand what they are and use them regularly. Throw a slow straight punch followed by a half speed uppercut, and nage's fudoshin often crumbles into a pile of retreating confusion (and I'm talking yudansha here).

Kyus should certainly be taught and occasionally drilled on the fundamentals of hand strikes and kicks. To master these techniques a student would have to drill on one's own time, but a regular revisiting of the basic principle of striking surface alignment and body mechanics, both the attacking and parrying thereof should occur. Most dojos have people who have cross trained, hopefully including the chief instructor, who could review these basics on a rotating schedule.

"It is really a big challenge and requires a lot of commitment, and you are basically training to make your Aikido good for situations Aikido was never meant for, i.e. combat sports and drunken fights."

Not my intent to make this a sport form, but drunken jackass defense is certainly part of what this is used for; stupid drunks qualify for "least amount of required force" in my book. If you are circling your opponent with your hands up, you are sparring and not doing Aikido. When uke is chasing you, slightly over extending, because nage's is deftly leading uke and controlling distance/opportunity, when they have to turn to follow your lead and are thrown on the turn, then we are having a fine Aikido moment here.

In 2013 you are significantly more likely to be attacked by a jab-cross-hook compo than someone running at you, their hand over head ready to shomen uchi you into the next century. Train to the principles, practice the classical techniques, but also incorporate current martial methodology to keep the art relevant.

Cady Goldfield
01-01-2013, 03:33 PM
... now for folks who doing IP/IS stuffs, they can deliver an incredible amount of power at that range, that would take all the fight out of you, and not with just their fists, but with their shoulders and their other body parts.

That is the ate-waza I was referring to in my post. Ate-waza employs the unified and connected body, regardless of what delivery point is used.

Gary David
01-01-2013, 04:08 PM
Cliff -- I don't view this as extracurricular training really. Yes the "standard curriculum" of your particular flavor of Aikido is the major emphasis. But if we are to keep this art dynamic and relevant as a martial art (as opposed to a philosophically driven exercise routine) we do need to create complete students. .............

Hilary
Are you folks training at speed working Walter's approach of continuous attacks? Give Walter my hello's.......
Gary

Cliff Judge
01-01-2013, 04:18 PM
In 2013 you are significantly more likely to be attacked by a jab-cross-hook compo

I doubt it. Why would someone throw a low-strength punch at you unless you had thrown down? If somebody wants to use force on you for some end (kill you, rob you, abduct you, etc), they are not going to waste their time standing in plain virew boxing with you. You are better off learning how to handle unexpected, forceful attacks, and learning how to stay out of fights you can avoid.

It's a valuable thing to learn on the side but too much of it makes you fight, which I think tends to spell trouble.

Belt_Up
01-01-2013, 04:25 PM
Why would someone throw a low-strength punch at you unless you had thrown down?

So who starts the fight changes the methodology? That's a bizarre thing to say.

Chris Li
01-01-2013, 04:30 PM
I doubt it. Why would someone throw a low-strength punch at you unless you had thrown down? If somebody wants to use force on you for some end (kill you, rob you, abduct you, etc), they are not going to waste their time standing in plain virew boxing with you. You are better off learning how to handle unexpected, forceful attacks, and learning how to stay out of fights you can avoid.

It's a valuable thing to learn on the side but too much of it makes you fight, which I think tends to spell trouble.

I've seen a lot of fights that start with "low-strength" punches. Typically starting with pushing-shoving-punching and escalation. People who have gotten into fights before (and there are a lot of them in some neighborhoods) or anyone with a little experience (a lot of mma guys out there these days) are rarely going to start something with a haymaker. Even if they do - is expecting them to start with what is arguably the most easily handled scenario really a good training strategy?

And no, it's often not that easy to disengage, even from a "low-strength" punch, and it's not really a great training strategy to depend upon it.

Best,

Chris

Hilary
01-01-2013, 06:57 PM
Hi Gary and a happy new year to you, expect to see you soon, I will pass on your greetings to sensei. We are not so much training at full speed these days (we are starting to get a little a older), though we regularly utilize continuous attacks. My attacks particularly during Jiyu Waza are unexpected and more varied than most. Typically I will let nage know that there will be a little razzle dazzle in their near future; hauling off with a flurry when the exercise calls for a single step in strike, is just rude and disrespectful of sensei as well.

We recently worked with a straight punch with a follow up elbow strike, guess what the elbow is handled the same as a right hook only closer. But now all who enjoyed that class now see the potential elbow strike against them a little more clearly and move accordingly. We did get a new student with substantial boxing and kung fu experience and look forward to doing some reaction drills and such. I think I will be washing off my mouthpiece and dig out my head gear for some full speed drill work. Just parrying combos and allowing uke to enter at speed, not sparring, very different those two.

Cliff - I can throw a decent jab starting with my hands in my pockets, leaning against a wall, and step in with the cross & hook. I can throw a face level vertical thrust punch from folded arms (old Black Belt article on the “Manly Art of Sucker Punching”, worth a read if you can find it). A jab is very close to Aikido atemi in that it is designed to move/setup your opponent, not finish them; if it powerful enough to do damage it is a bonus. And given that MMA is all the rage expect to see MMA tech thrown at people for the foreseeable future.

I want to be clear I am not advocating every one start boxing around the dojo all the time, but if you have never trained with someone throwing an upper cut you will likely get hit, because you have never been hit from that direction and all those years of muscle memory have a blind spot. I understand (what I think is) your concern about getting off track and playing to the martial art de jour. We are studying Aikido and that is our focus and our strength, but if we ignore the basic hand and foot strikes thrown by close to 100% of the world’s striking arts, we are intentionally leaving out the lingua franca of the majority of the world’s martial arts. In that context, purity is a vice not a virtue.

As an aside on poor attacks, last year had a hombu trained (so he claimed) dan show up at a seminar I was attending (last year’s memorial workout - Gary). His attack was to hold his elbow at his rib so his torso punch extended at solar plexus level, he would then run at me, arm fixed. He almost hit me because I was flabbergasted at the “punch” (I doubt this was a mind lead). Somewhere some instructor taught him that this was a good way to train, my head still tilts sideways (as in a quizzical pug) whenever I think about it.

Gary David
01-01-2013, 08:15 PM
.............As an aside on poor attacks, last year had a hombu trained (so he claimed) dan show up at a seminar I was attending (last year's memorial workout - Gary). His attack was to hold his elbow at his rib so his torso punch extended at solar plexus level, he would then run at me, arm fixed. He almost hit me because I was flabbergasted at the "punch" (I doubt this was a mind lead). Somewhere some instructor taught him that this was a good way to train, my head still tilts sideways (as in a quizzical pug) whenever I think about it.

I think I remember that guy...tall for a native Japanese....a very nice person, but not much base. See you toward the end of the month.
Gary

Michael Varin
01-02-2013, 02:28 AM
Well. . .

This was a very useful thread.

I think we really got to the bottom of some stuff. :rolleyes:

AikiTao
01-02-2013, 07:35 PM
Well. . .

This was a very useful thread.

I think we really got to the bottom of some stuff. :rolleyes:

It was at least nice to hear different opinions.

aikidoc
01-04-2013, 06:02 PM
Several years ago we had a very vibrant thread on the atemi issue. I believe I started it-no matter. I did some research on the issue surveying 5th dan sensei's and above in about 2004/5 culminating in an article in June 2005 Black Belt Magazine. George Ledyard sensei also published one prior to mine in Aikido Today Magazine.

Let me state up front my general opinion: "To fail to use tools available in a combat situation to ensure a favorable and safe outcome is irresponsible and shows and ignorance of the possible implications of violence." Me, Black Belt Magazine, June 2005, p. 126.

Historically, from both an origin of the arts perspective (Daito-ryu, etc.), atemi was frequently displayed by O'Sensei and his senior instructors. One of the sessions I recently attended with Saotome sensei at winter camp was almost entirely atemi.

My research showed a couple of factors eliciting the practitioner's perspective: organization/style-softer styles like Ki Society tended to be less favorable of atemi. Harder styles like Yoshinkan tended to favor it more. Another factor was the training background of the sensei. Some trained with senseis that simply did not teach them any atemi.

Personally, I teach and favor atemi. Aikido is a martial art. Atemi was a part of it historically and in my opinion should be now as well. I think you need to learn to do it properly. It is defined as strikes to vital points by sandai doshu. Therefore, you need to learn not only how to strike properly, but also you need to learn some anatomy of various vital/pressure points. You need to know how to hit them properly to make the atemi effective. Various levels have been bandied about in the literature up to the statement that 100% of aikido is atemi. The choice to throw or lock someone out and pin them is a choice not to deliver an atemi. I also favor other forms of "atemi" such as pressing, pinching, etc. of vital points.

Aikeway
01-04-2013, 09:58 PM
I would like to add that not only do you need to learn how to deliver atemi correctly and at what specific vital targets, but you need to practice very regularly and in my opinion toughen up the hands and feet so as to be able to deliver atemi techniques with power. The skin, the knuckles, the wrists, the finger tips and toes (if you use spearhand and toe kicks) need to be hardened. The wrists need strengthening so they don't collapse with a punch. I use a makiwarra, leather punching bag without gloves and a canvas bag filled with no. 3 leadshot (for nukite strikes) to strengthen my hands and feet for atemi. For blocking practice, I get a training partner to strike me randomly with a shinai (bamboo sword) which is great for reflexes and it also toughens the body up.

Belt_Up
01-04-2013, 11:00 PM
toughen up the hands and feet so as to be able to deliver atemi techniques with power.

I don't understand how this increases your striking force. Even a basic understanding of physics would tell you having tougher/thicker skin will not affect how hard you can strike. Or is my moisturising regimen actually undermining my atemi?

aikidoc
01-04-2013, 11:10 PM
Sorry. I have to disagree on the hand conditioning need. Generally you will be striking soft targets. You would be better served working on precision and knowledge of the vital points. Timing, accuracy, speed, flow, etc. are also important. Not all of the strikes need to be of the karate bone crushing form necessitating conditioning.

Aikeway
01-05-2013, 03:56 AM
In a life threatening situation against probably a bigger, heavier attacker you need to be able to deliver full power atemi to vital points, if you are using atemi in your aikido to defend yourself. Even on soft vital points, your probability of success increases with how hard you can strike those targets, all other things being equal. To deliver the full power strikes requires training at full power strikes. To do the training with a heavy bag (without gloves) or a makiwarra requires some degree of hand conditioning. If your skin on your knuckles breaks or your wrist collapses, or your hand becomes sore after one or two hard strikes against a makiwarra or a heavy bag, then you really can't do the necessary training to develop those strikes. Try hitting a heavy bag or a makiwarra without any hand conditioning, then see how hard that same bag or makiwarra can be hit by someone who conditions their hands (or feet). There is a significant difference in power. I agree that not all atemi requires hand conditioning. Tomiki Sensei identified two types of atemi, one which uses a strike to a vital point and the other which uses a strike to off-balance to effect a throw. The second type does not need the hand conditioning. I also agree that accuracy, timing, speed etc are also extremely important in atemi.

sakumeikan
01-05-2013, 07:23 AM
I would like to add that not only do you need to learn how to deliver atemi correctly and at what specific vital targets, but you need to practice very regularly and in my opinion toughen up the hands and feet so as to be able to deliver atemi techniques with power. The skin, the knuckles, the wrists, the finger tips and toes (if you use spearhand and toe kicks) need to be hardened. The wrists need strengthening so they don't collapse with a punch. I use a makiwarra, leather punching bag without gloves and a canvas bag filled with no. 3 leadshot (for nukite strikes) to strengthen my hands and feet for atemi. For blocking practice, I get a training partner to strike me randomly with a shinai (bamboo sword) which is great for reflexes and it also toughens the body up.

Dear Daniel,
Rather than condition the feet /hands by punching bags etc why not concentrate on speed , correct form and accuracy in delivery of attack/defence movement?Too much makiwara training could result in the development of arthritis .Why get spmeone to hit you with a shinai?How are your reflexes being trained if indeed the you get hit?If you have good reflexes surely the opposite should be happening ie you do not get hit?Do you get bruises?I much prefer getting hit with a feather duster myself.Of course maybe you like a bit of pain???When I need a bit of pain I watch the X Factor or a party political broadcast.
Cheers, Joe,

aikidoc
01-05-2013, 09:56 AM
Generally, your wrist should be strong from doing aikido. You should not have to hit the vital points repeatedly. If you do, you're in a boxing match. Conditioning the hands and knuckles repeatedly requires the willingness to pay a price: loss of some function or permanent soft tissue/joint damage. I used to do the makawari board years ago in tae kwon do and still have coarse skin over those knuckles.

Aikeway
01-05-2013, 04:54 PM
I'm not advocating the heavy hand and foot conditioning that the old time atemi masters used to engage in. I only engage in one session per week at home on the makiwarra, canvas bag and leather punching bag. Also once per week I add on an extra half hour to a training session at the dojo where I use the focus pads, hand held bag, shinai and sometimes light sparring (if I can practice with sombody who has had experience in a striking art). This really isn't enough training in atemi but it is far better than none at all. One of the good things about supplementing your training with some makiwarra and bag work at home (perhaps once per week) is that you are not sacrificing your usual training sessions at the dojo. With the shinai training I get some bruises, especially on the thighs, but it does improve your reflexes. I suppose I manage to block about 90% of the shinai cuts and stabs - at first my success rate was down around 50%. If you blocked 100% of the attacks, it probably would not be improving your blocking/taisabaki skills that much. I think we can handle a small amount of pain in a training session, and whilst you may not enjoy it at the time, afterwoods you usually are glad that you did it, especially with the knowledge that you are one step closer to your goals, whatever they may be.

Michael Varin
01-05-2013, 08:11 PM
I suppose I manage to block about 90% of the shinai cuts and stabs - at first my success rate was down around 50%. If you blocked 100% of the attacks, it probably would not be improving your blocking/taisabaki skills that much.

So your arm would get cut off 90% of the time. Blocking has severe limitations.

Janet Rosen
01-06-2013, 01:00 AM
So your arm would get cut off 90% of the time. Blocking has severe limitations.

:) Personally, I'm training in aikido, not boxing or sparring, and don't see any need to "toughen up" my hands beyond what normal gardening plus the continual pricking of pins and needles in the sewing studio does....

Aikeway
01-06-2013, 04:03 AM
So your arm would get cut off 90% of the time. Blocking has severe limitations.

Blocking the shinai cuts and strikes is a method of training for blocking against punching and kicking by an aggressor, not against sword cuts and stabs.

Michael Varin
01-06-2013, 04:54 AM
Blocking the shinai cuts and strikes is a method of training for blocking against punching and kicking by an aggressor, not against sword cuts and stabs.

I pretty much gathered that from your earlier posts. By no means am I trying to negate that aspect of training.

But, it's important to understand that this skill may very well fail against an attack of superior force. After all shinai just don't make that much impact.

Rupert Atkinson
01-06-2013, 06:58 AM
I would like to say - when people try to block my atemi, I can anticipate it and often can just go right through it. Or, with a small change, I can often use their block - en route to the strike. Or, if I choose, I can just strike their block. I have trained this for years. In fact, I like it if they block - it's more fun.

And in response to something above - your block/parry should work equally well against a blade or an arm ... if you train with that in mind. And finally, if you hit him at the right time, you should really only need half a hand - not calloused makiwara full force blind might. That is a far more interesting aim that just training to beat the hell out of someone (if that's what you want - go learn Karate). It's called - control.

Krystal Locke
01-06-2013, 12:20 PM
So who starts the fight changes the methodology? That's a bizarre thing to say.

You know, I think that it does matter who starts the fight, who continues the fight, who is right, who is wrong, why the fight is fought. I think all of that does change the methodology of the fight.

Aikeway
01-06-2013, 12:39 PM
The ability to deliver a well-timed, fast, accurate and hard atemi strike doesn't preclude the ability to deliver a softer response when that is appropriate.

Michael Douglas
01-06-2013, 02:16 PM
In a life threatening situation against probably a bigger, heavier attacker you need to be able to deliver full power atemi to vital points, if you are using atemi in your aikido to defend yourself. Even on soft vital points, your probability of success increases with how hard you can strike those targets, all other things being equal. To deliver the full power strikes requires training at full power strikes. To do the training with a heavy bag (without gloves) or a makiwarra requires some degree of hand conditioning.
I've seen posters disagreeing with many of Daniel's points.
I'd just like to butt in and completely agree with what's in this quoted paragraph.

Personally I don't use a makiwara or (intentionally) rough contact surfaces, that's my choice. Skin-toughening sometimes occurrs as a sorry side-effect for me, not an aim.
I also don't use spear-hands or unshod toe-kicks.
Apart from that : condition away! Have at it! If you don't possess a seriously tested knock-out-force strike you're missing a BIG piece of what Ueshiba had in his arsenal.

Belt_Up
01-06-2013, 07:53 PM
You know, I think that it does matter who starts the fight, who continues the fight, who is right, who is wrong, why the fight is fought. I think all of that does change the methodology of the fight.

Sorry Krystal, I expressed myself poorly. What I meant to say was more along the lines of: Irrespective of who starts the fight, that doesn't change how you fight. If an aikidoka starts a fight, or defends themselves they will most likely do so using aikido/a boxer with punching, etc. I'm not sure how being the aggressor or defender would change what method you used to fight. Your training is your training, it doesn't magically change based on you kicking it off or not.

To do the training with a heavy bag (without gloves) or a makiwarra requires some degree of hand conditioning.

But does it really make any difference if, for instance, you hit a bag with gloves? I was always under the impression it was how much force you could generate, and then how much of that force you can transmit (technique). I'm not sure how much of that is particularly influenced by how hard your hands are.

Aikeway
01-06-2013, 10:43 PM
I'm not really sure that if you always train with gloves on a bag and then take those gloves off, you can hit as hard. A boxer could answer this question better than me. When you wear gloves the material on the inside of your hand prevents you from forming as tight a fist as the traditional bare seiken fist. This may or may not impair your ability to strike with the first two knuckles with approx. 30% of the force on the first knuckle and approx. 70% on the second (most prominent knuckle). With some people, the knowledge that they are no longer wearing gloves and may therefore injure their hands may act as an impediment to full power strikes. My view is if you are training to fight with gloves (eg a boxer or kickboxer) then train with gloves, if you are training to defend yourself (without gloves) then train without gloves, unless your occupation requires extremely good fine motor skills, such as a surgeon. Gloves don't seem to work well on a makiwarra, and the makiwarra is great for developing powerful straight line punches.

phitruong
01-07-2013, 08:34 AM
i got puched by karate and kungfu folks, no gloves, i.e. bare knuckles. none of them went in deep, i.e. you feel it inside your body, as when i got punched by the systema guy. his hands weren't heavy conditioned, actually kinda girly :D he was just flick his arm, and it wasn't looking much of a punch. man, i saw stars even though he droped his fist on my heavy chest muscle. one of my sempai said the same thing. those systema buggers punching are kinda strange. they hit you on one part of the body and you feel it somewhere else. and they hit from oddest angles. i used to hit wooden posts and things like that, but haven't done those sort of things for decades. my hands are girly now. i liked to conditioned it with regular lotions, since it tends to dry and crack. the wife doesn't like callous hands. since i touched the wife more than i would hit folks, so i would go with the lotion conditioning approach. and if i happen to hit someone, they would appreciate the good smell and softness of my hands. and they might even asking for more. :D

Krystal Locke
01-07-2013, 10:55 AM
Hard tight fist with proper bone alignment, or a relaxed slapping loose strike? Would I rather get hit with a strike from a hammer or a whip? Which would I rather have in my atemi toolbox, and do I really have to choose.

Phi is hella right, I'd rather touch the wife (mine, Phi, not yours, although I am certain she's lovely) than punch out some Joe. I train for life, not live for training.

Aikeway
01-07-2013, 11:45 AM
i got puched by karate and kungfu folks, no gloves, i.e. bare knuckles. none of them went in deep, i.e. you feel it inside your body, as when i got punched by the systema guy. his hands weren't heavy conditioned, actually kinda girly :D he was just flick his arm, and it wasn't looking much of a punch. man, i saw stars even though he droped his fist on my heavy chest muscle. one of my sempai said the same thing. those systema buggers punching are kinda strange. they hit you on one part of the body and you feel it somewhere else. and they hit from oddest angles. i used to hit wooden posts and things like that, but haven't done those sort of things for decades. my hands are girly now. i liked to conditioned it with regular lotions, since it tends to dry and crack. the wife doesn't like callous hands. since i touched the wife more than i would hit folks, so i would go with the lotion conditioning approach. and if i happen to hit someone, they would appreciate the good smell and softness of my hands. and they might even asking for more. :D

Even on soft targets, the hand strike or kick should be focused not on the target but an inch or more past the target.

Aikeway
01-07-2013, 12:09 PM
Hard tight fist with proper bone alignment, or a relaxed slapping loose strike? Would I rather get hit with a strike from a hammer or a whip? Which would I rather have in my atemi toolbox, and do I really have to choose.

Phi is hella right, I'd rather touch the wife (mine, Phi, not yours, although I am certain she's lovely) than punch out some Joe. I train for life, not live for training.

I'm sure most of us would rather avoid an altercation when that is possible. Sometimes, in a life-threatening situation, one does not have the choice to avoid it (even by running). Including atemi in your aikido is a good way of trying to preserve your life and possibly your family's/partner's - and therefore "training for life".

phitruong
01-07-2013, 12:15 PM
Hard tight fist with proper bone alignment, or a relaxed slapping loose strike? Would I rather get hit with a strike from a hammer or a whip? Which would I rather have in my atemi toolbox, and do I really have to choose.

Phi is hella right, I'd rather touch the wife (mine, Phi, not yours, although I am certain she's lovely) than punch out some Joe. I train for life, not live for training.

some of my injuries ached when the weather changed. it reminded me of my youth and stupidity. the question is do you want to destroy your body first in order to learn how to destroy your opponent.

about the wife, i thought i have to go out your way and have a "talk" on touching. but since you mentioned your and not mine, then we are ok. :)

phitruong
01-07-2013, 12:23 PM
Even on soft targets, the hand strike or kick should be focused not on the target but an inch or more past the target.

i understand the focus beyond the target aspect. the pine forest association has a wanted dead or alive out for me on boards mass murder and destruction. what i am trying to point out is that the systema folks did something different. also, those buggers ability to take a hit and keep on going is just nuts. they changed some of my striking perspectives.

Aikeway
01-07-2013, 12:31 PM
:) Personally, I'm training in aikido, not boxing or sparring, and don't see any need to "toughen up" my hands beyond what normal gardening plus the continual pricking of pins and needles in the sewing studio does....

Janet,

I would probably agree with you in your situation. Suitable atemi worth practising in your situation could include:

1. Snap kick to groin with top of foot (toes curled down) from rear leg (preceded by a feint to the face).
2. Grab both shoulders and pull your attacker into a knee strike to just below their navel.
3. If someone grabs you from behind - a downward strike with your heel to the pressure point beside the metatarsus (big toe joint) on their foot.
4. If someone attempts to grab you from behind-step back with right foot and deliver a rear right elbow to the solar plexus

These should be regularly practised and then followed by an aikido throw.

Janet Rosen
01-07-2013, 01:15 PM
Janet,

I would probably agree with you in your situation. Suitable atemi worth practising in your situation could include:

1. Snap kick to groin with top of foot (toes curled down) from rear leg (preceded by a feint to the face).
2. Grab both shoulders and pull your attacker into a knee strike to just below their navel.
3. If someone grabs you from behind - a downward strike with your heel to the pressure point beside the metatarsus (big toe joint) on their foot.
4. If someone attempts to grab you from behind-step back with right foot and deliver a rear right elbow to the solar plexus

These should be regularly practised and then followed by an aikido throw.

I'm from Brooklyn and have no qualms about doing wahat has to be done; however our approaches to aikido and how/why we train are clearly very different - but thank you for the suggestions.

Krystal Locke
01-07-2013, 02:12 PM
I'm sure most of us would rather avoid an altercation when that is possible. Sometimes, in a life-threatening situation, one does not have the choice to avoid it (even by running). Including atemi in your aikido is a good way of trying to preserve your life and possibly your family's/partner's - and therefore "training for life".

I never have the option to run, unless I am attacked by an inanimate, immobile object. I dont have it in the Nike-do, so I put it in the aikido. Dont worry, I know how to reach out and touch someone. I'm a pretty big girl who has been around the block a few times. I'd still rather not fuck my hands up any more than they are with making sure I can punch through cinderblocks. I can hit hard enough, when I have to.

Aikeway
01-07-2013, 02:31 PM
I don't think a small amount of hand conditioning stuffs your hands up to any significant degree. I think a hand injury caused by not having your hands conditioned is likely to give you more problems later in life.

sakumeikan
01-07-2013, 05:40 PM
Hard tight fist with proper bone alignment, or a relaxed slapping loose strike? Would I rather get hit with a strike from a hammer or a whip? Which would I rather have in my atemi toolbox, and do I really have to choose.

Phi is hella right, I'd rather touch the wife (mine, Phi, not yours, although I am certain she's lovely) than punch out some Joe. I train for life, not live for training.

Dear Krystal,
You made me nervous for a moment .Glad you do not punch me out. cheers, JOE.

Krystal Locke
01-08-2013, 11:57 AM
Janet,

I would probably agree with you in your situation. Suitable atemi worth practising in your situation could include:

1. Snap kick to groin with top of foot (toes curled down) from rear leg (preceded by a feint to the face).
2. Grab both shoulders and pull your attacker into a knee strike to just below their navel.
3. If someone grabs you from behind - a downward strike with your heel to the pressure point beside the metatarsus (big toe joint) on their foot.
4. If someone attempts to grab you from behind-step back with right foot and deliver a rear right elbow to the solar plexus

These should be regularly practised and then followed by an aikido throw.

Why the right foot? I am far stronger on my left side, I'm going left. And for self defense, I prefer to remove the eyes, knees, and blood flow to the brain as quickly as possible but there are no absolutes in a self defense sitch other than trying to stay alive. I haven't found the groin to be an easily accessible primary target, and somewhat less effective on half the folks. Oh noes, I am doing it wrong.

Forgive my being blunt. Please realize that very many people, yes, even (especially) the women, here have a LOT of martial and self defense training and experience. You are not just preaching to the choir, you are preaching to the post-religion rationalists.

Tell me a bit about your experience, will you? Me? I am an old fat girl. After a few years of surfing introductory free two week sessions at hard style schools as a teen and a couple years of tae kwon do, in 89/90 or so I landed at an aikido dojo I have trained at ever since. I did miss a good chunk of time letting a mess I made die down, but I am back and have always trained with an eye to self defense. Good thing I do, because I have a second job as a bouncer. Gotta pimp out that belt somehow.

Aikeway
01-08-2013, 01:05 PM
Krystal,

The step back with the right foot was mentioned because of the suggested right elbow, if left elbow used then step back with left foot. I use the spearhand (nukite) for attacks to the eyes. Spearhand is your longest range hand weapon. However, it takes many years IMO to develop a good spearhand and I practise on the canvas bag filled with lead shot for this. It's imperative that the groin kick be preceded by a feint to the face so that it is unexpected and the attacker does not catch it with his inner thighs. I now use the toe kick to the groin and lower abdomen, but it takes many years to develop. As you mentioned, attacks to the knees can be devastating, but I believe that a high skill level is required to get them to work, and I haven't been shown the exact angle and pressure point target above the knee by someone who is highly competent at them. Strangles (as I think you are referring to) are also effective, but aikido does not usually devote much time to their practice. I have been training since I was 10 years old, but I have cross-trained heavily in other martial arts and added knowledge from these other martial arts to my aikido base. For example, for the last 10 years I have also trained in BJJ as I found aikido did not adequately address the situation of when an attacker takes you down to the ground. This isn't a fault in aikido, it is a fault in the training methodologies. There are plenty of aikido techniques which can be employed/modified when defending yourself on the ground.

Travers Hughes
01-08-2013, 04:07 PM
Interesting topic - I'm seeing a lot of "hit and then throw" type answers. I look at it slightly differently, due to a different interpretation of atemi. For me, aikido is all atemi (not just the traditional punch/kick etc, but turning up with the whole body and blasting through the centre). As a result of this, there aren't really any throws as we currently practice the movements (This is perhaps another topic, but related). Consider irimi-nage - the final "throw" is a case of turning up with th whole body. At this point you can either pass or capture as a choke or lock etc. Same thing for koshi-nage. For me, it's a passing movement in which your toe shouldn't leave the ground, and you basically wipe other other guy out by passing through his centre - an "atemi with the hips", as it were.
Interested to hear your comments

Keith Larman
01-08-2013, 04:26 PM
Well, as a firm believer in my heavy bag but also as someone who's arms and wrists are critical for my work I've found myself increasingly working on my palm strikes. Since strikes for me aren't generally primary I do still want to be able to do some damage without destroying my hands/wrists. And for me that means practicing on a heavy bag to make sure I know what I'm doing and can deliver it with power and accuracy. So palm strikes to the floating ribs, liver strikes, as well as some head shots can be powerful weapons to have. And I don't worry so much about developing skin of leather and knurled knuckles some of my friends have from too much striking. I've known older guys whose hands were crippled from too many years of makiwara or even heavy bag work.

Chudo...

AsimHanif
01-09-2013, 07:28 AM
Our practice of aikido is very much rooted in boxing as well as weapons. Although most of our members do not train specifically in striking, we do try to be mindful of opportunities to strike as well as be struck. That said, it is more important in our training to be aware of the body mechanics involved in boxing, weapons work, and aikido.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyk2CXC7C5U

Michael Varin
01-09-2013, 11:14 PM
Our practice of aikido is very much rooted in boxing as well as weapons. Although most of our members do not train specifically in striking, we do try to be mindful of opportunities to strike as well as be struck. That said, it is more important in our training to be aware of the body mechanics involved in boxing, weapons work, and aikido.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyk2CXC7C5U

How is it that your practice of aikido is "rooted" in boxing? Beyond mechanics, how do you reconcile the two arts?

AsimHanif
01-11-2013, 07:52 AM
Hi Michael,
I'm not sure I understand what you mean by 'reconcile' but boxing gives me a vehicle to study principles that can be applied to my aikido practice. Conversely aikido does the same for boxing.

phitruong
01-11-2013, 08:05 AM
How is it that your practice of aikido is "rooted" in boxing? Beyond mechanics, how do you reconcile the two arts?

using Kuroiwa sensei's approach? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Qt8DQ3ATek

Michael Varin
01-12-2013, 03:41 AM
I'm not sure I understand what you mean by 'reconcile' but boxing gives me a vehicle to study principles that can be applied to my aikido practice. Conversely aikido does the same for boxing.
Reconcile: to bring into agreement or harmony; make compatible or consistent.

Which principles? Are they a perfect match? By the way, I'm not saying that they cannot be. I was just curious about your approach.

using Kuroiwa sensei's approach? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Qt8DQ3ATek

Nah. I said beyond mechanics.

That said, I've seen that video before, and do like it quite a bit. I think it has to do with the fact that Kuroiwa is wearing a suit and glasses.

Brian Beach
01-12-2013, 07:36 AM
Reconcile: to bring into agreement or harmony; make compatible or consistent.

Which principles? Are they a perfect match? By the way, I'm not saying that they cannot be. I was just curious about your approach.

Nah. I said beyond mechanics.

That said, I've seen that video before, and do like it quite a bit. I think it has to do with the fact that Kuroiwa is wearing a suit and glasses.

It's a weird question because he references mechanics in his statement. You are asking "what you mean about something you didn't say."


Our practice of aikido is very much rooted in boxing as well as weapons. Although most of our members do not train specifically in striking, we do try to be mindful of opportunities to strike as well as be struck. That said, it is more important in our training to be aware of the body mechanics involved in boxing, weapons work, and aikido.

Just as you can see the mechanics behind shihonage though the sword you can see the mechanics of maai though striking. Hitting distance is throwing distance. If you aren't in a strong position to strike you aren't in a strong position to throw.

mickeygelum
01-12-2013, 09:40 AM
Great thread...Striking has always been in Aikido. The nomenclature of atemi...shomenuchi/yokomenuchi/tsuki...can be misunderstood or misrepresented as they relate to hand/fist/elbow, or even more abstract knee/shin/foot.

AsimHanif
01-12-2013, 03:08 PM
Hi Michael,
what should I bring into agreement or reconcile?
As far as principles, keep posture, relax shoulders, be stable, breathe naturally, move your core, etc..

Aikeway
01-12-2013, 04:53 PM
It seems Daito Ryu jujitsu relied much more heavily on atemi to vital spots to precede a throw (and also after the throw) than do most styles of aikido. I also understand that Daito Ryu jujitsu used pressure point manipulation of joints to a much higher degree than aikido. Perhaps Ueshiba Sensei considered that general knowledge of these parts of Daito Ryu jujitsi should be limited in much the same way that when karate was taken from Okinawa to mainland Japan for use by the general population, the pressure point emphasis should be severely reduced?

Brian Beach
01-14-2013, 01:04 PM
I think has petered out but Do people think principles can be shown without mechanics? I can state a principle but I can't show it without mechanics. It has to manifest in the physical world or it's just theory, no?

Aikeway
01-14-2013, 10:33 PM
Here is a link to an interesting article which discusses differences a gloved fist makes when doing atemi.

http://everything2.com/user/Glenburn/writeups/Bare-knuckle+boxing

torres.aikido
01-15-2013, 09:52 AM
I believe atemi has an important role in Aikido. For the most part it's not necessary but good atemi can surely loosen someone up enough to be able to gain control in difficult circumstances. And on the street it can be very useful in self defense situations.

Belt_Up
01-21-2013, 06:48 PM
Here is a link to an interesting article which discusses differences a gloved fist makes when doing atemi.

http://everything2.com/user/Glenburn/writeups/Bare-knuckle+boxing

An interesting write-up, thanks for that.