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BAP
01-21-2013, 01:27 AM
I was told that including atemi (strike) at the conclusion of an aikido technique was generally viewed a improper traditionally during practice. I can understand why this might be the case coming from the philosophic basis of aikido in general.

At the same time it seems like there shouldn't be some rule which generally looks unfavorably on the inclusion of some strike at the election of the tori. All the old aikijiujitsu and daito ryu finishes tended to include a closing strike. This would just seem to be a general acknowledgement of the martial aspect of the aikido practice.

asiawide
01-21-2013, 02:25 AM
I was told that including atemi (strike) at the conclusion of an aikido technique was generally viewed a improper traditionally during practice. I can understand why this might be the case coming from the philosophic basis of aikido in general.

At the same time it seems like there shouldn't be some rule which generally looks unfavorably on the inclusion of some strike at the election of the tori. All the old aikijiujitsu and daito ryu finishes tended to include a closing strike. This would just seem to be a general acknowledgement of the martial aspect of the aikido practice.

The strike is to kill the uke using a knife or short sword. So it can be... Just don't do it in front of your teacher and keep it in your mind if you think it's right.

robin_jet_alt
01-21-2013, 04:54 AM
We do it. I know Yoshinkan does it. If your teacher doesn't like it, that's fair enough, but it's hard to generalise about things like this.

Carsten Möllering
01-21-2013, 06:33 AM
I was told that including atemi (strike) at the conclusion of an aikido technique was generally viewed a improper traditionally during practice.
We have it.
It's tori who decides wether he does it or not.

Rob Watson
01-21-2013, 12:17 PM
In the Iwama lineage I train there is lot of it - even with weapons. When I trained with Shibata Ichiro shihan there was a fair amount as well. I don't think it would be a stretch call call both traditional.

sakumeikan
01-21-2013, 02:02 PM
In the Iwama lineage I train there is lot of it - even with weapons. When I trained with Shibata Ichiro shihan there was a fair amount as well. I don't think it would be a stretch call call both traditional.

Dear Robert,
Liked the quote by Yamada Sensei at the finish of you blog.Cheers.Joe

sakumeikan
01-21-2013, 02:06 PM
The strike is to kill the uke using a knife or short sword. So it can be... Just don't do it in front of your teacher and keep it in your mind if you think it's right.

Dear Jaemin,
Where do you stash the dead bodies?If you stab your comrades like you say above[[no wonder you dont do it in front of your teacher] I guessyou must have some body count.Enough to rival Ted Buddy /Ed Gein et al. Cheers, Joe

Rob Watson
01-21-2013, 02:16 PM
Dear Robert,
Liked the quote by Yamada Sensei at the finish of you blog.Cheers.Joe

Mr. Curran,
Please click on Yamada Yoshmitsu name in my siggy (it is a link) to find the original document.
Thanks

Don_Modesto
01-21-2013, 02:25 PM
Kisshomaru does it at the end of SHIHOO NAGE, et al. Check out his vids on Youtube.

Mert Gambito
01-21-2013, 02:53 PM
I was told that including atemi (strike) at the conclusion of an aikido technique was generally viewed a improper traditionally during practice. I can understand why this might be the case coming from the philosophic basis of aikido in general.

Seemed O-Sensei seems to have been a fan of using atemi to finish Irimi Nage, if nothing else: http://youtu.be/zkRbVdmTmIA?t=6m. Given that this video was made relatively late in his life, this would indicate that atemi wasn't relegated to Ueshiba's Daito-ryu or other pre-war teaching.

Cliff Judge
01-22-2013, 12:35 PM
I believe the technical term for this strike is a todome and I think you could argue that this is not an atemi at all; there is no further need to fix or shift uke's balance, create an opening, or anything other than make it unlikely that they will ground fight or get back up.

I think todome are not entirely appropriate in a non-kata-oriented setting. Indicative of a cockiness that you should be on the mat trying to tame. The only specific instruction I have received is with regards to knife and sword taking, you don't cut uke with his weapon after you take it, though.

Adam Huss
02-15-2013, 09:23 AM
We usually do a strike at the end of techniques where uke is facing up while down on the mat. This is seen as a way to control one of uke's free hands by keeping it busy with blocking your strike.

I know others that do this, along with a kiai, as an indication that the technique is done with.

Walter Martindale
02-15-2013, 12:49 PM
In the few seminars I attended when Kawahara was Shihan in Canada, he'd show us some atemi early in the techniques, part way through the techniques, and at the end. I think their purpose, respectively, was to distract from the technique being done, same again, and to conclude matters if necessary (as in, if out in a "real" think you won't sit there and hold the person down, you do something to keep him out of action for at least a few moments so you can get up and be on the alert for other attackers - if you've gone to ground in the first place).

Aikeway
02-15-2013, 01:32 PM
I'm a very firm believer that in a life-threatening self-defence situation, atemi should generally be used before the technique (so that the throwing or locking technique can be effectively applied) or as part of the technique (such as with the 5 Tomiki atemi techniques) and that the attacker generally needs to be finished off with an atemi or a submission technique. The theory or philosophy of not finishing off your attacker in a life-threatening situation is flawed - there is far too much risk that they will launch a second attack. The only exception I can think of is applying an effective pin if you believe police may soon arrive.

JP3
04-07-2013, 09:41 PM
Atemi can be used at the end of any technique, once concluded, or concluding. Doesn't need to involve the use of knife or short sword, mindset wise. Palm heel strike to base of skull or knifehand edge to larynx are darn near as bad.

Thing is, if you practice kata as you want to "use it," if you do end up using it, and there's only the one "bad guy," and you train that way .... it's likely that you might finish that way, thus killing/maiming your attacker.

That being said, think about the post-attack ramifications on "defender." You had him controlled, he was at your mercy, and THEN you chopped him in the neck.

Therefore you killed a helpless person. Therefore you just, according to the law of many (perhaps most) jurisdictions, you just committed at least 2nd degree murder.

Just something to consider while you practice kata. What you practice is what you'll do, most likely.

Mert Gambito
04-08-2013, 01:01 AM
Atemi can be used at the end of any technique, once concluded, or concluding. Doesn't need to involve the use of knife or short sword, mindset wise. Palm heel strike to base of skull or knifehand edge to larynx are darn near as bad.

Thing is, if you practice kata as you want to "use it," if you do end up using it, and there's only the one "bad guy," and you train that way .... it's likely that you might finish that way, thus killing/maiming your attacker.

That being said, think about the post-attack ramifications on "defender." You had him controlled, he was at your mercy, and THEN you chopped him in the neck.

Therefore you killed a helpless person. Therefore you just, according to the law of many (perhaps most) jurisdictions, you just committed at least 2nd degree murder.

Just something to consider while you practice kata. What you practice is what you'll do, most likely.
John,

Koryu jujutsu, Daito-ryu, Hakkoryu (to refer to a few arts within the family tree of aikido) all include many waza/kata with ritual finishing "killing" strikes. Based on my experience, however, the flavor of such techniques helps instill a gravity in one's mindset conducive to addressing a violent or potentially violent encounter, vs. resulting in literal, rote execution of a given technique.

ChrisMikk
04-08-2013, 05:30 AM
All the old aikijiujitsu and daito ryu finishes tended to include a closing strike. This would just seem to be a general acknowledgement of the martial aspect of the aikido practice.

I haven't done very many techniques yet, but we (ie, Yoshinkan) do a strike at the end of the first technique, katate mochi shihonage.

Hellis
04-08-2013, 05:54 AM
Kenshiro Abbe Sensei always taught to finish `all` techniques with atemi - If it is not second nature for this to be a part of your technique - then, when the time comes that you need that action to end the situation - it may fail you.

Henry Ellis
Co-author `Positive Aikido`
http://britishaikido.blogspot.com/

phitruong
04-08-2013, 09:26 AM
i atemi at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end. when everything is done, i atemi some more. one cannot have enough. :)

crbateman
04-08-2013, 01:34 PM
I suppose that there are things that could be described as "improper", but atemi isn't one of them. More often, it's a function of your teacher's own style, and that of his/her teacher(s). Atemi has many useful virtues, and practicing it is beneficial to most, but if your teacher does not want you to do it, you can always just visualize your atemi while training.

Dan Richards
04-10-2013, 11:05 AM
I agree with Phi, there is atemi [with multiple possibilities] in every movement of aikido. irimi/atemi is the movement. Not part of it, or an add on. If atemi can't be applied in every movement, then the relationship between uke and nage is in uke's favor. And in terms of nage's execution of movements, the tai sabaki is incorrect, the angle is incorrect, the distance is incorrect, the attitude is incorrect, the understanding is incorrect. And it's not aikido. It's just making movements - which range from silly to dangerous for all concerned.

Cliff Judge
04-10-2013, 01:35 PM
The OP was asking a question about a particular thing - a finishing strike, performed after a technique; more accurately, performed at the end of a kata.

Mainline Daito ryu calls this a todome and I do not believe it is functional. It is a tegatana strike that represents drawing a short sword and finishing the attacker. I don't think a tegatana strike is particularly good for finishing a downed attacker, but anyway, the emphasis is clearly on zanshin and kiai as opposed to how you should be striking them to hurt or finish them off with your hand.

I do find the question of why this was dropped from mainstream Aikido to be interesting and I wish we could have had that discussion. I can tell you that my Aikido tradition eschews this symbol because we would rather demonstrate the absense of it - protecting your attacker, not killing them, etc.

Classical jujutsu systems often have quite functional finishing strikes in their kata. You might see uke thrown, and nage, without really waiting for them to hit the ground, will launch a backfist to their temple or their jaw. There are also finishing techniques that are not strikes, for example chokes.

I have seen Aikido instructors point these types of technique out many times, but in my tradition we don't include them as part of the general technique (as, for example, you would perform for a test). In my opinion it is best to study them as part of a pre-arranged kata because if you throw them in at random eventually someone's head or throat is going to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Dan Richards
04-10-2013, 02:04 PM
Cliff, that's a great post.

I do find the question of why this was dropped from mainstream Aikido to be interesting and I wish we could have had that discussion.

As todome is looked at as a "finishing technique," couldn't we see that in aikido, most notably in the finishing pins of ikkyo, nikyo, sankyo, etc. And also as the finishing "releases" in movements like kaitenage, tenchinage, irmi nage, etc..

Even in actual practice on the mat, it's a form of corrective energy. The pins, over time, clear blocks and open up uke's energy channels, resulting in less tension and overall better flow - with that translating to better performance in their role as nage as well.

The "releases" allow for the corrective training of uke's ukemi over time. And, again, resulting in less tension and overall better flow - with that, translating to better performance in their role as nage.

If nage is moving corrective energy into uke, it doesn't seem to make a difference whether the outer form is an atemi, pin, release, throw, kiai... They're all the same thing. Meaning, aikido does retain todome at the end of the technique - just with a wider pallet of forms.

Interested in yours and others thoughts.

phitruong
04-10-2013, 02:30 PM
i don't normally throw the atemi at the end of the technique, but i usually am in a position to deliver the atemi, be it fist, knee, choke, kick, dropping kitchen sink, at moment notice, i.e. i am not unbalanced or distracted. same goes for when i take ukemi. just because i am on the floor doesn't mean i am helpless and allow you to deliver the atemi unimpeded.

Aikeway
04-12-2013, 07:19 AM
After WW2 there was a general watering down of the martial arts in Japan as required by the occupying forces (US). I expect that this watering down is a reason for the lack of a "killing" atemi at the end of a throwing or locking technique in many styles.

Cliff Judge
04-12-2013, 09:37 AM
After WW2 there was a general watering down of the martial arts in Japan as required by the occupying forces (US). I expect that this watering down is a reason for the lack of a "killing" atemi at the end of a throwing or locking technique in many styles.

No need to blame GHQ for that. Maybe they chose to take out the part of the kata that represents dropping a nuclear device on an already-downed enemy all by themselves.

hughrbeyer
04-12-2013, 10:47 AM
No. Check the 1935 Asahi News video. O-Sensei uses no atemi there.

Cliff Judge
04-12-2013, 12:37 PM
No. Check the 1935 Asahi News video. O-Sensei uses no atemi there.

I don't have my copy of Stan Pranin's Conversations with the Daito ryu Masters with me at the moment, but there is some information in there about the Asahi dojo, one of the more interesting periods in the history of Aikido.

Basically:

1) Osensei was teaching there and they shot that film.
2) Takeda came to town
3) Osensei left rather suddenly, i think to Ayabe.
4) Takeda began teaching at the Asahi News Dojo.

5) Dojo members found a way to express their concern that they weren't being taught anything reproducible. Osensei would just get up there and do spontaneous technique. He left and Takeda did the same exact thing. He'd get ukes to attack him and he'd do some amazing stuff but he wasn't giving them a training method they could use to learn how to do what he was doing.

6) Tokimune was there, and he said "Hey, how about we teach these folks the Hiden Mokuroku like back in the day?"

7) So they studied the Hiden Mokuroku and produced the Soden.

I believe there may have been some normalization between the Takumakai and Tokimune's mainline group in the middle of the 20th centiury. Not sure where I read that but the two groups look somewhat similar these days. Pretty sure the Takumakai does todome now.

So the solution to the mystery of the disappearing todome could be a matter of political de-martialization. Or it could be an issue of Osensei eschewing the kata of Daito ryu and instead focusing on showing off the principals.

It could also be that the todome were not added in until later, too, I am not really sure.

hughrbeyer
04-12-2013, 12:43 PM
So the solution to the mystery of the disappearing todome could be a matter of political de-martialization. Or it could be an issue of Osensei eschewing the kata of Daito ryu and instead focusing on showing off the principals.

Not much political de-martialization in 1935 Japan, if you'll recall. I think it's likely the second.

Dave Forde
04-12-2013, 01:50 PM
i don't normally throw the atemi at the end of the technique, but i usually am in a position to deliver the atemi, be it fist, knee, choke, kick, dropping kitchen sink, at moment notice, i.e. i am not unbalanced or distracted. same goes for when i take ukemi. just because i am on the floor doesn't mean i am helpless and allow you to deliver the atemi unimpeded.

I think your last point is well made phi. actually your whole post is well put. if I for instance attempted to strike my instructor when he was a grounded uke i'd end up exactly where he was except maybe not in as good a shape. we are constantly reminded that when uke goes to ground it is just the beginning.
We are also taught that it is the job of uke to remain extended through which ever limb is being held in the pin and also through any contact with the floor. this allows him/her to 'feel' any atemi or other change in either nage's intent or the technique as soon as nage begins to apply said change. an alert uke can become nage in a split second even from a grounded position, as I find out every single class :uch: .
I would agree with others who have said that if atemi is to be applied it is better to do so before the pin or throw. from my- relatively inexperienced- viewpoint delivering a strike to a grounded uke changes the balance between both uke and nage and a whole new situation may arise. one that nage may be unprepared for. well in my case anyway.

Of course all of the above is only relevant if uke has gone to ground on their terms. otherwise the strike could be redundant as it would have been already applied. by the pavement.

Chris Li
04-12-2013, 03:30 PM
After WW2 there was a general watering down of the martial arts in Japan as required by the occupying forces (US). I expect that this watering down is a reason for the lack of a "killing" atemi at the end of a throwing or locking technique in many styles.

That's really a misconception and a myth - martial arts was taken out of the school curriculum for a time, but there was no general prohibition on training.

Best,

Chris

Aikeway
04-12-2013, 03:41 PM
I don't believe that it was mere coincidence that Funakoshi watered down karate by de-emphasising strikes to vital parts of the body, that Kano who once was enthusiastic about including atemi in judo, decided to abandon atemi except in a few kata and that atemi and vital pressure point manipulation were de-emphasised when aikido developed from Daito Ryu. These all seemed to occur around the middle of last century. The martial aspect of these arts had to be de-emphasised if they were to continue being practised.

In terms of the previously mentioned analogy of a finishing atemi with the nuclear bombs that were dropped - yes a good analogy: atemi can finish a conflict quickly and decisively and avoid the loss of life of the person/s being attacked by a foe who otherwise would not surrender easily.

Chris Li
04-12-2013, 03:56 PM
I don't believe that it was mere coincidence that Funakoshi watered down karate by de-emphasising strikes to vital parts of the body, that Kano who once was enthusiastic about including atemi in judo, decided to abandon atemi except in a few kata and that atemi and vital pressure point manipulation were de-emphasised when aikido developed from Daito Ryu. These all seemed to occur around the middle of last century. The martial aspect of these arts had to be de-emphasised if they were to continue being practised.

In terms of the previously mentioned analogy of a finishing atemi with the nuclear bombs that were dropped - yes a good analogy: atemi can finish a conflict quickly and decisively and avoid the loss of life of the person/s being attacked by a foe who otherwise would not surrender easily.

OK, Kano died in 1938, so it would have been pretty hard for him to modify anything at all after the war.

Certainly, things were modified - and who modified them and why is an interesting discussion - but there was certainly no requirement that they be modified by the occupying forces.

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
04-12-2013, 04:31 PM
6) Tokimune was there, and he said "Hey, how about we teach these folks the Hiden Mokuroku like back in the day?"

7) So they studied the Hiden Mokuroku and produced the Soden.

I believe there may have been some normalization between the Takumakai and Tokimune's mainline group in the middle of the 20th centiury. Not sure where I read that but the two groups look somewhat similar these days. Pretty sure the Takumakai does todome now.

So the solution to the mystery of the disappearing todome could be a matter of political de-martialization. Or it could be an issue of Osensei eschewing the kata of Daito ryu and instead focusing on showing off the principals.

It could also be that the todome were not added in until later, too, I am not really sure.

The Soden was an effort to preserve the techniques of Sokaku Takeda photographically, and it has nothing to do with the normalization that occurred (but never really stuck) in the 1980's.

I don't think that there is a mystery, and that it's a very minor point to obsess over. Morihei Ueshiba taught it before the war, and he taught it after the war. Various people emphasize it to various degrees, and it's pretty much the same in Daito-ryu.

Best,

Chris

Aikeway
04-12-2013, 04:31 PM
I just had a look at Kawaishi's book "My Method of Judo" which was written in 1955. In the forward to the book, he explains how many of the dangerous techniques have been taken out of Japanese judo recently, but that in his method of judo which he was teaching in Europe, he has maintained those techniques as he thought it more appropriate for Europeans to learn a style of judo that still had those "dangerous" techniques.

I tend to believe that rather than any formal declaration that martial arts must take out the martial aspect of their arts, that there was always an underlying threat that unless they do so, the martial art would be banned.

Cliff Judge
04-12-2013, 08:33 PM
Morihei Ueshiba taught it before the war, and he taught it after the war.

Oh yeah? Finishing blows?

Chris Li
04-12-2013, 09:49 PM
Oh yeah? Finishing blows?

Sure, it's even on film.

Best,

Chris

Cliff Judge
04-13-2013, 06:01 AM
Sure, it's even on film.

Best,

Chris

Nice!