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Dothemo
02-12-2015, 04:41 AM
G'day,

I am after people's thoughts on working on improving ones Atemi. Recently I was taught that Aikido can be up to %80 percent Atemi, in my limited experience of Aikido so far I can see the truth in this. Before Aikido many years ago I trained in kickboxing. I trained in it very hard for a year and know the basics, my strength is a right cross in boxing stance properly grounded. That is the one technique I became really good at. So the Atemi that I am learning is very different from western boxing/kickboxing utilizing things like backfists and mini punches thrown in (what feels like to me as I am a beginner) awkward positions. I must say I am fascinated by Aikido Atemi and what I have learned but I'd like to practice it and learn a bit more about it out of class as I feel a little awkward. Especially when doing a knuckled back fist, I just don't feel snappy and powerful like boxing. So, Google didn't turn up a whole lot. Can anyone recommend a good book that has a section on learning and practicing Atemi for Aikido? Should I practice the strikes from techniques I have learnt in Kamai perhaps on a boxing bag? Thank you kindly for any advice and thoughts.

-Dothemo

phitruong
02-12-2015, 07:19 AM
i wouldn't learn atemi from aikido. that would be an exercise in frustration. try learning it from a good wingchun or JKD school. and i would encourage you to explore Systema striking approach. i found Systema striking approach fits well with aikido. their strikes flow with the moves, with no wind up, with extreme relaxation, and it has the tendency to penetrate deep inside the body of your target. the Systema folks also teach you how to take strikes too, with relaxation, not tensing up. it hurts more when you tensing up.

btw, if you hit folks in aikido, most of them will get all pouty and accusing you of being a brute. the fix for that is hitting them again, and again until the pouting stop. :)

allowedcloud
02-12-2015, 08:40 AM
I think that the atemi in Aikido is not really meant for striking per say. It is used more in conjunction with entering, or irimi, in order to take and control uke's space. Of course you can make it into a powerful strike if you choose to actually have it connect with uke, but we (usually :) ) don't do this.

dps
02-13-2015, 06:03 AM
Atemi can be any means of disrupting your opponent's balance. It could be a punch, slap, kick, pinch, a touch, bump with the body, pull of the hair on the head or a kiss on the cheek.

dps

phitruong
02-13-2015, 07:20 AM
or a kiss on the cheek.

dps

"kiss on the cheek", really? don't you understand the irimi principle of aikido? you got to french the other bugger! :D

Jonathan
02-13-2015, 09:32 AM
I would second Phi's advice about learning how to strike in the Systema way. Also, learning to generate disabling striking power over a short distance will enable you to have very devastating power over longer striking distances.

dps
02-13-2015, 10:16 AM
Oh so many decades ago my Sensei demonstrated that unique form of Kuzushi. His uke was one of the larger, stronger men in the class who was resisting demonstrating of a technique by Sensei. When Sensei kissed him on the cheek Paul backed up real quick, stumbled and almost fell down. LOL

dps

dps
02-13-2015, 10:20 AM
I would second Phi's advice about learning how to strike in the Systema way. Also, learning to generate disabling striking power over a short distance will enable you to have very devastating power over longer striking distances.

The point is atemi is not necessarily a strike.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atemi

dps

dps
02-13-2015, 10:34 AM
G'day,

I am after people's thoughts on working on improving ones Atemi. Recently I was taught that Aikido can be up to %80 percent Atemi, in my limited experience of Aikido so far I can see the truth in this. Before Aikido many years ago I trained in kickboxing. I trained in it very hard for a year and know the basics, my strength is a right cross in boxing stance properly grounded. That is the one technique I became really good at. So the Atemi that I am learning is very different from western boxing/kickboxing utilizing things like backfists and mini punches thrown in (what feels like to me as I am a beginner) awkward positions. I must say I am fascinated by Aikido Atemi and what I have learned but I'd like to practice it and learn a bit more about it out of class as I feel a little awkward. Especially when doing a knuckled back fist, I just don't feel snappy and powerful like boxing. So, Google didn't turn up a whole lot. Can anyone recommend a good book that has a section on learning and practicing Atemi for Aikido? Should I practice the strikes from techniques I have learnt in Kamai perhaps on a boxing bag? Thank you kindly for any advice and thoughts.

-Dothemo

Aikido Atemi Waza Historical Perspectives

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJUkHZkJMik


How to properly preform atemi in Aikido

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pIut5rFeo4

dps

Janet Rosen
02-13-2015, 07:47 PM
Oh so many decades ago my Sensei demonstrated that unique form of Kuzushi. His uke was one of the larger, stronger men in the class who was resisting demonstrating of a technique by Sensei. When Sensei kissed him on the cheek Paul backed up real quick, stumbled and almost fell down. LOL

dps

I once had nage, a Frenchman, lick my ear at the right moment. Dissolved into laughter and my structure totally collapsed. Most effective atemi I ever received.:)

JP3
02-13-2015, 07:53 PM
i wouldn't learn atemi from aikido. that would be an exercise in frustration. try learning it from a good wingchun or JKD school. and i would encourage you to explore Systema striking approach. i found Systema striking approach fits well with aikido. their strikes flow with the moves, with no wind up, with extreme relaxation, and it has the tendency to penetrate deep inside the body of your target. the Systema folks also teach you how to take strikes too, with relaxation, not tensing up. it hurts more when you tensing up.

btw, if you hit folks in aikido, most of them will get all pouty and accusing you of being a brute. the fix for that is hitting them again, and again until the pouting stop. :)

Man, I love reading your stuff. Another option for learning good striking is a muay thai school. I did that for a number of years, and it's amazing to me how well it flows (knees, elbows, leg kicks, punches... whatever) right into the aikido walk-around we/they do. Ruins the pompous mind-set of folks...

"Hey... that's not what we do, it's not fair."

As if that will work on the guy who jumps out of the alley, eh?

People DO still jump out of alleys here in Houston, just sayin'...

Jonathan
02-13-2015, 10:11 PM
The point is atemi is not necessarily a strike.

Yes, and? You atemi your way and I'll atemi mine. :)

SeiserL
02-14-2015, 08:07 AM
I am old school.
Take some bashing/hitting (non-aikido) instructions.
Buy a heavy bag.
Enjoy ...

JP3
02-15-2015, 05:20 PM
I am old school.
Take some bashing/hitting (non-aikido) instructions.
Buy a heavy bag.
Enjoy ...

Truth speaker, right there.

The list of striking styles is long and wide. Find something you like, then find somewhere that teaches it in a way you want to learn close to you so that you can go to class frequently. Do it on it's own for a period of at least 2 years, possibly more, rinse and repeat.

Come back to your study of aikido with a broader understanding, and THEN take a look at atemi-waza in aikido practice and see what is revealed to you.

I've heard that people who go off into Kendo &/or iaido get a similar (not in technique, but in depth of understanding) learning curve boost from this.

MRoh
02-16-2015, 10:48 AM
I am old school.
Take some bashing/hitting (non-aikido) instructions.
Buy a heavy bag.
Enjoy ...

You really think one could learn the body-work which is the foundation of aikido (and also for the correct application of aikido's atemi), just by hitting a bag in a non-aikido way?

Mary Eastland
02-16-2015, 10:56 AM
I am old school.
Take some bashing/hitting (non-aikido) instructions.
Buy a heavy bag.
Enjoy ...

Not sure how helpful this is because it is a different kind of striking.

Adam Huss
02-16-2015, 03:43 PM
You really think one could learn the body-work which is the foundation of aikido (and also for the correct application of aikido's atemi), just by hitting a bag in a non-aikido way?
He is insinuating aikido teaches poor striking, and to seek instruction on striking outside of aikido - then practice at home with a heavy bag. Not bad advice as most aikido I've seen, in person or online, have poorly instructed and executed strikes. Having proper strikes increases the overall benefits of training for all involved - for both technical and spiritual training.

MRoh
02-17-2015, 04:25 AM
If you learn striking from kickboxing for example, after a while you can strike in a kickboxing manner.
That's not aikido's atemi.
In most places where you learn striking arts, they look at your posture and behaviours you learned in aikido and tell you it's wrong.
So you beginn to learn new postures and mechanics, which are different from what you learned in aikido. That's a loss of time.
If you want to learn boxing or kickboxing it's okay, but to learn striking from other arts as a substitute for aikido's atemi, it's the wrong way.
I learned striking from goju-ryu karate, but to strike in this way I must move different from aikido's movement. To bring it together effectively, you must practice a lot, because the body mechanic is different, the distance is closer and so on.
When I use atemi in aikido, I use aikido's body mechanics, not karate or boxing.
Striking in a non aikido way is ueseful if you want to learn a striking art, or maybe you want to create a hybrid system.
If you want to learn how to knock someone out, it doesn't matter which way you do it.
Poor atemi can only be the result of a poor aikido. If you are strong in aiki, atemi will also be strong.
A high ranked karate teacher once asked Asai sensei how it could be that his atemi were so fast and strong, and wheather he had trained karate or anything else. He knew few karate masters which could strike so fast.
He said no never, only aikido, but the main point is correct movement and timing.
Many people think they have to substitute, but that''s totally wrong.

phitruong
02-17-2015, 06:16 AM
You really think one could learn the body-work which is the foundation of aikido (and also for the correct application of aikido's atemi), just by hitting a bag in a non-aikido way?

didn't know there is an aikido way of hitting a bag. i must have been doing wrong then, because the bag has been talking smack to me lately. i kept telling me that i hit like a girl, and my mama can hit harder than that. i guess i have to learn the aikido way of hitting so i can hit harder than my mama. although, she had known to say that she can bitch-slap me so hard that i would see my ancestors. i have always wondered what my ancestors looked like, but never had the nerve to piss-off my mama. didn't want to see my ancestors with a big hand-print on my face and the left side of my cheek ended up on the right side. would be kinda hard to explain to your ancestors.

MRoh
02-17-2015, 06:37 AM
didn't know there is an aikido way of hitting a bag

Yes, there is.
But I use heavy bags also for swinging them around my body and other things.

she can bitch-slap me so hard that i would see my ancestors.

Maybe she's an aiki-mama?
A friend of mine (1.95 m, 290 lb) told me once, the only human he was afraid of, was his grandmother.

would be kinda hard to explain to your ancestors.

Maybe they look the same. All ended this way, because they didn't know the secrets.

kewms
02-17-2015, 12:14 PM
If you learn striking from kickboxing for example, after a while you can strike in a kickboxing manner.
That's not aikido's atemi.
In most places where you learn striking arts, they look at your posture and behaviours you learned in aikido and tell you it's wrong.
So you beginn to learn new postures and mechanics, which are different from what you learned in aikido. That's a loss of time.

Sometimes it's because aikido is different, but sometimes it's because what you learned in aikido *is* wrong. I think it's safe to say that not all aikido dojos teach aikido-style striking effectively, or at all.

Katherine

dps
02-17-2015, 01:29 PM
Can you post a link to a video that shows an "aikido-style striking".

dps

SeiserL
02-17-2015, 03:40 PM
Its interesting that my aikido technique is better when I am within the non-aikido striking range (maai)and know where all the strikes would be (intent).
Must admit, at some level I find the body structure/posture/alignment and principles in aikido very similar to non-aikido striking arts.
I tend to still practice my aikido as a martial/fighting art.

tarik
02-17-2015, 09:45 PM
I think that the atemi in Aikido is not really meant for striking per say. It is used more in conjunction with entering, or irimi, in order to take and control uke's space. Of course you can make it into a powerful strike if you choose to actually have it connect with uke, but we (usually :) ) don't do this.

We do in my dojo.

To my mind, atemi is the mirror of ukemi. One is about receiving force with the entire body, the other is about delivering force with the entire body. Used together, one can receive and deliver force which is the beginnings of aiki.

kewms
02-17-2015, 11:10 PM
Its interesting that my aikido technique is better when I am within the non-aikido striking range (maai)and know where all the strikes would be (intent).

I've found that as well.

Generally speaking, if I can hit them and they can't hit me, things generally work pretty well. If not, then not.

Katherine

MRoh
02-18-2015, 03:00 AM
Its interesting that my aikido technique is better when I am within the non-aikido striking range (maai)and know where all the strikes would be (intent).


What do you mean with "non-aikido striking range (maai)?
There are different ranges for every fighting style.
Maai is the optimal distance for a fighter, depending on his style.

Can you post a link to a video that shows an "aikido-style striking".

dps

In videos of Shioda Gozo you can see a lot.

SeiserL
02-18-2015, 06:54 AM
What do you mean with "non-aikido striking range (maai)?
There are different ranges for every fighting style. Maai is the optimal distance for a fighter, depending on his style.
Just my experience, but many aikido people seem to find safety being outside the range/distance of influence (the other person cannot hit/influence them - but they cannot either). When I first came into aikido, I seldom had to move with other's atemi because they were not within effective striking range.
I find more safety in the range of mutual inclusion, I only tend enter and take center first (intent, initiation, and timing).
That's all ...

dps
02-18-2015, 09:57 AM
In videos of Shioda Gozo you can see a lot.

Could you be more specific and provide a link and explanation of how he is using "aikido-style striking"?

dps

Dan Richards
02-18-2015, 08:36 PM
I actually felt I could offer something here. From my understanding - having trained in a few styles of aikido, and teaching at a Nishio Aikido-based dojo - the study of the application of atemi is fundamental for learning and understanding body positioning.

Atemi does not have to be used at all during a technique. But... if we don't know where it's applied, then we have no realistic reference for body positioning and angle relative to uke.

If uke attacks, and can strike, but nage can't strike; then nage's not in a very good position to do anything else. In other words; nage is dead.

Atemi acts as a compass, ruler, slide rule, etc. Just as the sword acts as a tool for refining movements - especially concerning the angle of the hands at any given moment in the technique.

A sword in hand is not at all necessary in order to apply effective aikido technique. But a sword is vital for learning how to apply effective aikido techniques. Flowing techniques can absolutely be executed effectively with no atemi applied or any where in sight, but a knowledge of atemi is necessary in order for the flowing techniques to be martially effective.

Someone not training atemi in aikido will not understand the angles and distances of nage and uke. Learning atemi application is like learning the ABCs on the long road of learning how to "write" in aikido. O-Sensei's movements in his later life were still absolutely martially effective, even though it may look to many as if he's just waving his hands in the air. And that type of more flowing aikido could be likened to someone writing their signature. But in order to learn to write a flowing signature, we all had to start out when we were kids and learn how to make letters, then spell words, then write sentences...

My signature shows little remaining evidence of my sitting in grade school learning how to make block letters, and then later, cursive letters. But it's all there.

Atemi is like the scaffolding erected to construct a building: it will serve as a load-bearer, and a frame for proper angles and measurements. And, of course, after the building is constructed the scaffolding is not necessary for the building to stand.

And the role of uke is equally as important in the study of budo as the role of nage. If nage is not applying atemi, uke will not learn about the strike possibilities at any given moment within the technique. As an example, if uke is put in the position to have kaiten nage applied, among other things, they need to know that nage is in the position to be able to plow a knee right into uke's face. An uke trained in atemi will naturally put their hand up to their own face in the direction of nage's inside knee.

Any aikidoka trained in atemi application can easliy spot someone else in training who doesn't have the knowledge of atemi. They're easy to spot because they're often in the position of being wide open to incoming force/s from uke. And I see this even in some high-level aikido practioners. They're open. Which equals: they're dead. I've seen many people training aikido focus so much on the controlling technique being practiced - kote gaeshi, shiho nage, nikkyo, etc - that comes near the end of the technique; that they blindly dance through the initial opening movements not seeing that they're completely open to attack. And those who do not train atemi will also be blind to attack possibilities from uke even during the controlling techniques.

In my training with Nishio sensei, he seemed to have little concern for which model of the controlling technique people chose. To him they were even more of a "massage" for uke. He always stressed being in proper position from the word go to strike uke (in many cases multiple times) and to not allow uke to be in a position to strike. And to continue that relationship throughout all the movements.

Atemi is literally the "inside scoop" to aikido as budo. There is an old masonic creed: measure twice, cut once. And one of the symbols of masonry is the square and the compass.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Square_and_Compasses

Atemi and the sword are the squares within aikido. Atemi, in unarmed applications, is the sword of aikido.

My 2¢.

SeiserL
02-19-2015, 05:23 AM
Atemi and the sword are the squares within aikido. Atemi, in unarmed applications, is the sword of aikido.
Well said ...
Compliments and appreciation ...

Carsten Möllering
02-19-2015, 05:41 AM
... many aikido people seem to find safety being outside the range/distance of influence (the other person cannot hit/influence them - but they cannot either).In wich can they use aikidō waza in such a distance? In wich way do they create contact at such a distance?

SeiserL
02-19-2015, 09:06 AM
In wich can they use aikidō waza in such a distance? In wich way do they create contact at such a distance?
In FMA, we would call it an outside distance, meaning I can hit their hands but not their body while they are aiming for my body.
Since many aikido waza work off the wrist/hand, I tend to see many students making contact with the wrist/hand but not connected to/through the body because they are out of effective range or are not chaining the alignment/structure.
But I have often been kidded that "everything is irimi/atemi" to me and my aikido "stinks of kali/escrima" ... LOL