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John Boswell
03-01-2003, 10:19 AM
A very interesting thread is currently underway in this forum that has drifted onto the subject of Atemi. (click on link)

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3452

I would like to put the subject of Atemi itself on the stand here. Just what IS Atemi? How do YOU teach it? How do YOU use it? And do you believe you are in line with O'Sensei and his teachings?

Atemi is defined as:
ATEMI
Strike; blow. Used to distract or unbalance the attacker during execution of a technique.http://www.aikidojournal.com/new/encyclopedia.asp?entryID=50


According to the Japan Aikido Association:
The atemi waza in aikido are used to break an opponent's balance, the aim is not to inflict injury with the impact of a strike punch or kick. Consequently, there is no need for any special training to toughen the hands, fists, etc.
http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/en/kyogi7.html

As I am a first year student of Aikido, I admit I know nothing on the subject but what I have read and been taught. However, when a debate takes place on a subject I am interested in, I like to dive in and learn as much as I can... strike while the iron is hot. So, if you have a voice on this subject, I'd like to listen! Let's hear it!

PS: I've searched far and wide but can not find what O'Sensei himself has said on this subject, else I would quote it here for you. If anyone has such a link or quote, I'd be very interested in that too.

George S. Ledyard
03-01-2003, 12:12 PM
A very interesting thread is currently underway in this forum that has drifted onto the subject of Atemi. (click on link)

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3452

I would like to put the subject of Atemi itself on the stand here. Just what IS Atemi? How do YOU teach it? How do YOU use it? And do you believe you are in line with O'Sensei and his teachings?

Atemi is defined as:

http://www.aikidojournal.com/new/encyclopedia.asp?entryID=50

According to the Japan Aikido Association:



http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/en/kyogi7.html

As I am a first year student of Aikido, I admit I know nothing on the subject but what I have read and been taught. However, when a debate takes place on a subject I am interested in, I like to dive in and learn as much as I can... strike while the iron is hot. So, if you have a voice on this subject, I'd like to listen! Let's hear it!

PS: I've searched far and wide but can not find what O'Sensei himself has said on this subject, else I would quote it here for you. If anyone has such a link or quote, I'd be very interested in that too.
Hi John,

I've posted this link before, apologies to thiose who have seen it already. But it's a lot easire than repeating the same ideas everytime this question comes up so check out:

Atemi in Aikido (http://www.aikieast.com/atemi.htm)

I hope this makes some things more clear and raises more questions for your training to address.

DaveO
03-01-2003, 12:36 PM
Terrific articles; George, I learned a lot. Thank you. :)

aikidoc
03-01-2003, 05:59 PM
John:

See me in class I can give you a lot of references on the topic.

aiki_what
03-01-2003, 06:40 PM
Atemi- The intent to strike

Bud
03-04-2003, 04:11 AM
the short answers (my 2 cents anyway)..

Definition of atemi - a strike that is intended to distract an attacker prior to and during and after the application of a technique.

uses - depends on circumstances, I either apply it as an alternative to the orthodox response to a attack (like applying atemi in response to a yokomen uchi), in the middle of the technique to cover an "opening" on my part(uchi kaiten, some kokyu nage) and as a finishing blow with the uke on the ground (shiho nage).

sanosuke
03-04-2003, 05:36 AM
atemi is defined as 'strikes' used for off-balancing opponent. But i think atemi is not only 'strikes' but also things you do to distract your enemies. A snap of your finger or oface your palm in front of uke's face can mean an atemi too, at least these kind of atemi is what our dojo emphasized instead in form of punching or elbow strike.

aikidoc
03-04-2003, 08:10 AM
The following are some definitions I have come up with from the aikido literature (I'm only reporting so those of you that detest the topic please give me a break): set up blows for techniques; strikes to vital points for distraction or unbalancing; blows to disturb ki; control and balance taking (kuzushi) blows; termination of the attacker; a neutralizing force; a blow to end confrontation causing disability, unconsciousness, or death; a method to facilitate technique due to pain compliance, energy shifting or posture alteration; and use as a method to control the attacker’s mind.

Atemi can be used to distract the attacker, break balance, set up technique, cause coordination difficulties, shut down or alter the nervous system, cause numbness or weakness to limbs, damage tissue, and kill.

Disclaimer: These definitions and comments are from the aikido literature and an internet survey. They are not the end all of possible definitions and some aspects may not fit the aikido paradigm of some aikidoka. Multiple influences affect how one perceives the topic: prior training and experience; philosophy; legal issues; one's paradigm of aikido; organization membership; and interest.

Ron Tisdale
03-04-2003, 01:56 PM
Nice disclaimer...may I borrow that?

RT

jxa127
03-04-2003, 04:23 PM
Hey Ron,

What did you think of Ellis's use of atemi at the seminar we both attended?

For others: Ellis Amdur put on a fantastic seminar near Harrisburg, PA in January. He did a lot of work on atemi, showing us all of the different opportunities for strikes exist in aikido techniques.

My impression is that Ellis considers atemi as valid and valuable techniques in their own right, not simply as distractions.

Regards,

deepsoup
03-04-2003, 05:33 PM
Just to add a bit more to the mix:

Kenji Tomiki had an interesting perspective on Atemi, which is probably a bit different to most of the definitions that have come up so far.

The way he saw it aikido techniques basically fall into two categories, atemi waza and kansetsu waza. And in trying to come up with a safe system of 'competitive' randori, he saw two distinct ways to classify them:

" 1. The atemi-waza control an opponent by hitting, thrusting into, or kicking the physiological weak points of the body; while the kansetsu-waza control an opponent by inflicting a sprain or dislocation on a joint. That is to say, these techniques were devised with the purpose of maiming or killing, and so are fundamentally dangerous.

2. The atemi-waza topple an opponent by applying force to the mechanical weak points of the attacker's body in order to gain kuzushi, the breaking balance, and then push him over; while the kansetsu-waza restrain an opponent with a minimum of force by utilizing the limits of joint movement to pin the opponent down. "

The first category are probably the atemi waza that most aikidoists think of as 'atemi', but in the terminology used in Shodokan a lot of important techniques are classified as atemi-waza of that second variety.

A couple of examples are irimi nage and tenchi nage (both varieties of aigamaeate in Shodokan terminology), and sokumen irimi nage (gyakugamaeate). And if you think about tenchi nage for example, you can see how it might fit into the first category too - sure your 'heaven' hand can go over uke's shoulder, but it can just as easily smash into uke's face.

Sean

x

ps: The quoted bit is from Fumiaki Shishida and Robert Dziubla's 1986 translation of Kenji Tomiki's essay "On Jujutsu and its Modernisation" (http://www.tomiki.org/article_tomiki_jujutsu.html) from the JAA/USA website. -I'm sure its on the Shodokan Honbu (http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/en/index.html) website too, but since it was revamped I can't seem to find it.

aikidoc
03-04-2003, 08:21 PM
Any time Ron. I just made the disclaimer up on the fly since I've had a few daggers thrown at me (not the topic) lately when discussing the issue.

PeterR
03-04-2003, 08:37 PM
Hi Sean;

Is this what you are looking for.

http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/en/kyogi8.html

Also there is an new section under articles that you may find interesting.

http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/en/articles.html

deepsoup
03-05-2003, 03:49 AM
Hi Sean;

Is this what you are looking for.

http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/en/kyogi8.html

Also there is an new section under articles that you may find interesting.

http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/en/articles.html
Hi Peter,

That'll be it, I actually looked right at it yesterday and didn't recognise it, D'Oh! (Its organised a little differently to the version I've seen before, and the translation seems to have been tightened up a bit here and there.)

Thanks for pointing out those articles, I think I'll print them out and read them properly at leisure. (There's something about reading things off a vdu that makes the material difficult to take in, or maybe thats just me. :))

Regards

Sean.

jxa127
03-05-2003, 10:24 AM
Just to add a bit more to the mix:

1. The atemi-waza control an opponent by hitting, thrusting into, or kicking the physiological weak points of the body; while the kansetsu-waza control an opponent by inflicting a sprain or dislocation on a joint. That is to say, these techniques were devised with the purpose of maiming or killing, and so are fundamentally dangerous.

2. The atemi-waza topple an opponent by applying force to the mechanical weak points of the attacker's body in order to gain kuzushi, the breaking balance, and then push him over; while the kansetsu-waza restrain an opponent with a minimum of force by utilizing the limits of joint movement to pin the opponent down.

The first category are probably the atemi waza that most aikidoists think of as 'atemi', but in the terminology used in Shodokan a lot of important techniques are classified as atemi-waza of that second variety.
Actually, the second category is more in line with the usual aikido idea that one can use atemi to distract or off-balance an uke. The first category is more in line with what I experienced at Ellis Amdur's seminar, however, he also showed how being aware of, and training with atemi made the non-atemi version of techniques better.
A couple of examples are irimi nage and tenchi nage (both varieties of aigamaeate in Shodokan terminology), and sokumen irimi nage (gyakugamaeate). And if you think about tenchi nage for example, you can see how it might fit into the first category too - sure your 'heaven' hand can go over uke's shoulder, but it can just as easily smash into uke's face.

Sean
Sean,

I like your example for tenchi nage. The thing is, I can see a strike to the face, in the manner you describe, as fitting into both of the categories. So I guess that atemiwaza needn't be fitted neatly into one category or the other.

Thoughts?

Regards,

deepsoup
03-05-2003, 04:41 PM
I like your example for tenchi nage. The thing is, I can see a strike to the face, in the manner you describe, as fitting into both of the categories. So I guess that atemiwaza needn't be fitted neatly into one category or the other.
I agree entirely, Drew, the boundaries are blurred.

In fact tenchi nage (aigamaeate) is most often practiced with the strike to the face in Shodokan dojos, and definitely fits into that second category as the strike's usually done in a 'low impact' kind of a way. (If a 'low impact' strike makes sense - maybe its a blending thing.)

There are some animated GIF's of Prof. Tomiki's five basic 'atemi waza' techniques here (http://www.tomiki.org/kata_animated_atemi.html) and here (http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/en/kyogi10a.html), if it helps to make sense of what I'm waffling on about.

The essay I quoted from was mainly concerned with Prof. Tomiki's efforts to develop a safe system of 'competitive' randori, so I think the point of making that distinction was to classify which atemi can safely be allowed in competition and which can only be practiced in regular 'cooperative' training.

Ellis Amdur's course sounds interesting. He was over here not so long ago, but work commitments kept me from going. Looks like I missed out. :(

Regards

Sean

x

jxa127
03-07-2003, 06:57 AM
Sean,

Thanks for posting those links. The animations are very interesting.

You said:
In fact tenchi nage (aigamaeate) is most often practiced with the strike to the face in Shodokan dojos, and definitely fits into that second category as the strike's usually done in a 'low impact' kind of a way. (If a 'low impact' strike makes sense - maybe its a blending thing.)
I know exactly what you mean. A few of us played around with variations on what you describe at an open mat session before last night's class. We struck the face, but then went past it to finish the technique.

Regards,

mura-san
03-08-2003, 08:09 PM
Hello i'm spanish aikido's student,sorry for my bad english.

About of this post,i'm think that the answer to the atemi in aikido there is in the fundator Ueshiba's book BUDO,becuse it's legacy for the study of aikido.

it's the most important file over the aikido for stundet that "open his mind's eye"

There are in the book some photograpy of Ueshiba's atemis art,there are more of one atemi for page,it include text for the ensinament of where used atemi in the body's partner.

You can said me that this text is before to the war,it's true but in the book there are photograpy of wakayama time over 1951 whit terribel atemi of old Ueshiba.

This is one of the foundator's legacy for the aikido we don't forget it.Buy you the book over other text of aikido,it is going to be necesary more times for own study to the atemi and more..."open you mind eye".

A lot of salutes of Spain.

PD:more intersting page of foro in spain http://faserline.com/aikiforum/index.php

Ron Tisdale
03-12-2003, 12:46 PM
Hi Drew, just got back to this post. Yep, I loved Ellis's seminar. I'd go again in a minute (sides, I'd get to see some folks again).

On Tenshinage...I recently kind of fell into a new (for me) version: top hand starts off palm out away from uke (but on the inside of the wrist), then as the bottom hand unballances uke, you cut with the tegatana to uke's neck/collar bone. Done well, it produces some **really** nice flying ukemi :) With good forward focus and a little momentum, uke's feet go all the way over the top, their body basically rotating around the bottom hand. A nice variation after the initial xstep...

xstep in once, lower hand unbalances, xstep in again cut, xstep back as you complete the cut. Be carefull of uke...if you drop them out of their fall too quick, they land on their head.

RT

Tim Clark
03-12-2003, 02:43 PM
According to Shioda soke, Ueshiba sensei said, "in a real battle, technique is thirty percent, atemi is seventy percent". Atemi is also defined by Shioda as, "whenever you make contact with focused power [this is atemi], so it is possible to make atemi with any part of your body."

John Boswell
03-12-2003, 03:17 PM
Tim,

Not that I doubt you and what you say, but have you seen anything written as far as Atemi, percentages and what O'Sensei has said?

I've heard something similar to what you just said, though it was more 90%? Again, I'm not saying one is right or wrong, just wondering if anything like this was written down somewhere.

Thanks!

aikidoc
03-12-2003, 03:47 PM
According to John Steven's the percentage depends on who you read. I've seen anywhere from 70 to 99% quoted.

W^2
03-12-2003, 07:39 PM
If you think broadly about Shioda Soke’s definition of Atemi - ”whenever you make contact with focused power [this is Atemi]” - then you could restate it as ‘intentionally directed energy at the point of contact’, and for the sake of simplicity I’ll limit the point of contact to the physical domain. Applying the broader definition to Aikido we find that all techniques are Atemi, and the seeming controversy over the application of Atemi in Aikido becomes an argument for which technique is appropriate for a given situation. Hence, which of the three ‘Atemi’ is appropriate should be rather straightforward given the specific circumstance, personal belief systems not withstanding. In this way we can see how Aikido is Atemi used in harmony with a situation, instead of viewing it on the surface as merely ‘striking’ or some other pugilistic connotation. Again, this is just an application limited to the physical side of techniques. I don’t mean to suggest here that Kiai and Aiki are one and the same, as they are obviously complimentary.

Actually, given the variable of ‘contact’, inductive logic yields an even broader definition – ‘ Intentionally affecting [the energy of] some other system ‘ - such as a training partner for instance. The notion of intention brings us back full circle to the difference between Aikido and ‘Striking’ Martial Arts, although I would say that many seek to achieve balance/harmony as well.

If you think about this carefully, you will find that what appears to be very different on the surface - the differing Martial Arts - are in fact connected in deep ways.



Anyhow, these are just some of my thoughts on the subject – it’s just food for thought.

~ Ward

aikido_fudoshin
03-13-2003, 05:09 AM
It was in "Aikido Shugyo" that the 70% atemi comment was made. Shioda states that this percentage applies when your life is threatened and faced with multiple attackers. In a situation like this you will often not have much time to perform a throw, or a lock therefore a quick and powerful blow is a necessity. He also states that when dealing with a drunk you will probably want to use a locking technique. Just as it was previously stated, atemi depends on the situation at hand.

George S. Ledyard
03-13-2003, 08:33 AM
It was in "Aikido Shugyo" that the 70% atemi comment was made. Shioda states that this percentage applies when your life is threatened and faced with multiple attackers. In a situation like this you will often not have much time to perform a throw, or a lock therefore a quick and powerful blow is a necessity. He also states that when dealing with a drunk you will probably want to use a locking technique. Just as it was previously stated, atemi depends on the situation at hand.
Last year at the Aiki Expo we were sitting at breakfast with Goldsbury Sensei chatting about various subjects and this one came up. He stated that the number isn't 70% or 90% but 100%. At this point I agree with him.

Saotome Sensei said that if one knew that the opponent wouldn't strike him, ALL techniques would be stoppable. In other words whether you see the atemi or not, the need to keep ones energy evenly distributed and not narrowly focused on defeating a particular technique is what allows you to do technique in which the atemi contained within stays inplicit rather than becoming explicit.

aikidoc
03-13-2003, 08:37 AM
George:



You're such a heretic! Sorry, couldn't resist. Well, I guess it won't do anyone any good to tell the IAF (Dr. Goldsbury) since he seems to agree on the importance.

Dennis Hooker
03-13-2003, 11:24 AM
I believe in atemi every time. However there are at least three scenarios I use and teach.

First and most basic is to destroy, injure or disoriented.

The second is to enter the body through the mind, Uke being cognizant of his environment recognizes the opening and moves to cover it and Nage can now control body and mind unified.

Third enter the mind through the body. Uke attacks with out regard and nage strikes a part of uke's body to draw the mind there and then applies technique thereby unifying body and mind and controlling at that point.

1. Destroy, injure or disorient

2. Enter the mind through the body

3. Enter the body through the mind.

Ron Tisdale
03-13-2003, 11:31 AM
Well put, Hooker Sensei...can I borrow that one?

RT

Dennis Hooker
03-13-2003, 12:52 PM
Ron, you may use anything I say, just not against please.

John Boswell
03-13-2003, 01:30 PM
Hooker Sensei,

With regard to your first scenario: Destroy, Injure or Disorient, this Atemi is a more drastic one over the other two in that it goes above and beyond mere control of the Uke, correct?

Just making sure I understood what you were saying. I really like the concepts of the last two, but wanted to clarify the first. The first scenario could easily be rolled into the other two points, but I think you intend not to do that. ;)

Just checkin', Thanks!

Dennis Hooker
03-13-2003, 03:57 PM
John, sometimes drastic measures are called for to restore harmony. Sometimes when we are sick we take poison to kill the sickness. Drastic measures are necessary at times. Sometimes the brutal nature of the act of violence committed against us or a loved one or a stranger may necessitate a quick and definitive act to bring harmony back into balance. Yes I would say it should be a last measure but not one to be ruled out on principle at all cost.

Peter Goldsbury
03-13-2003, 04:20 PM
The 99% figure appears on p.38 of Morihiro Saito's "Traditional Aikido" Vol. 5 and the whole of Vol. 4 is devoted to the subject.

Best regards,

aikidoc
03-14-2003, 08:53 AM
Dennis:

I like your categories. I'm glad to see the topic has been kept on an even keel.

Dr. Goldsbury's point on Saito's book is well taken. If I recollect correctly, Saito shows atemi on just about every page of that volume. He does not go into detail about the intent or the location but he shows the strikes.

George S. Ledyard
03-14-2003, 11:06 AM
I believe in atemi every time. However there are at least three scenarios I use and teach.

First and most basic is to destroy, injure or disoriented.

The second is to enter the body through the mind, Uke being cognizant of his environment recognizes the opening and moves to cover it and Nage can now control body and mind unified.

Third enter the mind through the body. Uke attacks with out regard and nage strikes a part of uke's body to draw the mind there and then applies technique thereby unifying body and mind and controlling at that point.

1. Destroy, injure or disorient

2. Enter the mind through the body

3. Enter the body through the mind.
Nice description Dennis! I'll probably steal it but I'll give you attribution when I use it when I am teaching. "As the renowned Dennis Hooker Sensei says..."

John Boswell
03-14-2003, 12:51 PM
"As the renowned Dennis Hooker Sensei says..."
One reason I like keeping up with this forum is all the "Big Dawgs" that hang out here. Good bunch of quality sensei roam these parts. :D

aikidoc
03-14-2003, 12:56 PM
Dennis:

I would add one more descriptive to your destroy, injure or disorient and that would be distract

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
03-14-2003, 09:58 PM
Perhaps the intent of "70% (or whatever) atemi" was that uke's actions determine what happens, more than what shite chooses to do does?

jxa127
03-17-2003, 07:05 AM
Perhaps the intent of "70% (or whatever) atemi" was that uke's actions determine what happens, more than what shite chooses to do does?
Hmm. I don't think so. I've only been thrown a couple of times by highly ranked people, but when I was, there was no choice as to where I was going or what I was doing after initiating my attack.

I take O'Sensei's comment to me, at least in part, what I've read here and elsewhere: that nage (or shite) should be in a position to perform an effective strike at any point in the technique. One should be able to stop a technique part of the way through and strik uke from a position where the strike would be effective and uke could not strike back.

The idea (as I understand it) is that a sensitive uke will know he or she is vulnerable and keep trying to move to a position of less vulnerability from which to attack.

I know I'm starting to sound like a fanboy, but I like Ellis Amdur's idea for training ukemi: basically, nage should stop the technique part way through and check his or her body's relationship to uke. Nage should see if he can perform a good ukemi from that position. If not, adjust. If so, continue the technique to a different point and check again. This requires an uke who will work with you and provide helpful feedback.

I don't think there is anything revolutionary in Ellis's suggestion. It's simply a good way to check that one has proper body position and itent while performing technique. I've done this a couple of times with a guy in my dojo and it really points out where I need work (and boy do I need work!). :)

Regards,

-Drew

Peter Goldsbury
03-17-2003, 07:37 AM
Hello Drew,

My take on 99% atemi is that you need to unbalance your partner/opponent right from the very beginning of the encounter and maintain the state of unbalance right to the end of the encounter. So this means that you are in a position to deliver various atemi right through the encounter. Is this what Mr Amdur was teaching?

The point of the atemi is that you yourself emerge from the encounter comparatively unscathed, unlike your opponent. Am I right?

Best,

jxa127
03-17-2003, 08:38 AM
Hello Drew,

My take on 99% atemi is that you need to unbalance your partner/opponent right from the very beginning of the encounter and maintain the state of unbalance right to the end of the encounter. So this means that you are in a position to deliver various atemi right through the encounter. Is this what Mr Amdur was teaching?
Yes, as I understand it. Bear in mind that I've only been training since late '99, so some I'm sure my perspective on what Ellis was teaching is different than others who've been around longer. But here goes: unbalancing and proper body position are a product of being in the right place and time to perform good strikes throughout the technique.

When we trained at the seminar I mentioned earlier in this thread, Ellis had us moving seamlessly from one strike to the next throughout a technique. However, we started in stages -- slowly adding one strike to the next. These strikes can be very devastating to uke (safety was constantly stressed), but they led to a constant unbalancing of the "attacker." The unbalancing was a result of the body movement that we performed (at least in part) in order to strike.
The point of the atemi is that you yourself emerge from the encounter comparatively unscathed, unlike your opponent. Am I right?
I feel a bit awkward answering if you're right given your experience relative to mine. :) Having said that -- I'm not sure. On one hand, of course that's the point of atemi. On the other hand, we can choose not to do the atemi, but maintain the proper body positioning and unbalancing that comes from atemi, thereby (in theory) not harming the attacker more than might occur from the fall.

My instructor, Keith Engle (whom I think you know), also makes the point that a really good attacker will not offer many opportunities for really effective atemi.

The only time I've had to use aikido outside the dojo, I really did not want to harm the person I threw. I used no atemi, and the throw and pin defused the situation very quickly. In that case, I wasn't thinking about whether or not to use atemi. Something happened, and the throw happened a second or two later; without a lot of conscious thought on my part. In the end, my "uke" was unharmed, and I got a bruise from running into some furniture while performing the throw.

For me, right now, the main purpose of atemi is to help me train unbalancing and good body position.

I should add that Ellis's views on atemi can be found in one of the essays in Dueling with O'Sensei.

Regards,

-Drew

George S. Ledyard
03-18-2003, 09:03 AM
My instructor, Keith Engle (whom I think you know), also makes the point that a really good attacker will not offer many opportunities for really effective atemi.
Yes, this is the point. What would that good attacker do when you threw your atemi? He would deflect it and strike your center. Or he would defect it and run a counter technique. If you are executing your Aikido movement properly you should be able to do your technique if the uke is attempting to defeat your atemi and counter strike or counter throw. It is precisely the instant in which he attempts to counter your atemi that you can enetr and take his center (for instance on a technique in which you have to move under the uke's arm like Sankyo). While the uke is trying to strike you, you are moving under the arm, his need to block or deflect the atemi in the first place put you ahead of him on your timing and you will pass under the arm to safety an instant before his atemi arrives to strike you. I'd like to see somone move under that arm without an atemi.

Peter Goldsbury
03-18-2003, 03:41 PM
I feel a bit awkward answering if you're right given your experience relative to mine. :) Having said that -- I'm not sure. On one hand, of course that's the point of atemi. On the other hand, we can choose not to do the atemi, but maintain the proper body positioning and unbalancing that comes from atemi, thereby (in theory) not harming the attacker more than might occur from the fall.

My instructor, Keith Engle (whom I think you know), also makes the point that a really good attacker will not offer many opportunities for really effective atemi.

For me, right now, the main purpose of atemi is to help me train unbalancing and good body position.

Regards,

-Drew
Yes, I am sure Mr Engle is right. In my experience with taking ukemi from top Aikikai shihans like Chiba and Yamaguchi, they expect hard attacks and can/will use atemi at any point—and they expect you to counter as well. That is why they are 'sensei': they have figured it out already.

I think to get to anything near their level, you need advanced 'research training', where the roles of uke and tori can become very blurred. But you also need to have mastered the forms, so that they become virtually automatic.

I always use atemi with my beginner students. My colleagues do not do so as much and the students have figured out that in my classes they'd better be ready...

Best regards,

jxa127
03-19-2003, 07:09 AM
Mr. Ledyard and Mr. Goldsbury,

Thank you for the responses. After reading your posts, I feel that I'm on the right track to a greater understanding of strikes in aikido.

Regards,

-Drew

Alec Corper
04-11-2003, 07:46 AM
Great thread, I'm almost afraid to add anything, but anyway here goes. George Ledyard's article is excellent and right to the point.Firstly what I would suggest is that too many Aikido practioners have no experience of delivering or receiving atemi and therefore no realistic idea of what degree of power is required to actually affect someone, especially someone big and strong. A long time ago I practised Chinese boxing and fought in regular competitions. Even taking into account the difference adrenaline/psychology wise between this and real combat, after a match you discvered countless bruise and pains that had no effect whatsoever at the time. I think that, a la Systema, we need to practise on each other safely to gain some understanding of soft targets, depth focus , pain thresholds, and even correct hand and foot tensions. I have seen yondans and godans suggesting kicks with their toes, which in most cases would end their chances of even standing up.

Greetings to Peter, I always enjoy the realistic use of atemi and your analyses of suki in a technique. I have noticed that for beginners (less than 10 Years) the focus on atemi leads away from Aikido to something more like bad karate because of peoples continuing fascination with the destructive power of a strike. I try to teach this as well to my students but it remains an open question. I think Ellis Amdur says it perfectly in duelling with oSensei. Read it if you haven't yet.

greetings Alec corper

Alec Corper
04-11-2003, 07:55 AM
PS to Peter, the suggestion concerning Ellis Amdurs book was a general one to all on the thread, I know you have read it.

sumimasen, Sensei

Peter Goldsbury
04-11-2003, 08:16 AM
PS to Peter, the suggestion concerning Ellis Amdurs book was a general one to all on the thread, I know you have read it.

sumimasen, Sensei
Hello, Alec,

I have just agreed to review the book for the "Journal of Asian Martial Arts". The review is meant to be short, sharp, and critical, and I will do my best, as the Japanese say.

Best regards,

Dave Miller
04-24-2003, 09:25 AM
Hi. I am new to the forum and fairly new to Aikido. I have been training for less than 2 years now. I hold the rank of Ikyu and hope to attain Shodon in a couple of months. I say that not to brag but to say that I am close to having a good grasp of the basics of Aiki (at least, I hope so ;)).

As I understand atemi (which is just a pretty basic understanding at this point) it seems that everything we do should carry at least a small amount of it. I view atemi as "intentionality" or, if you like, the projection of your ki in such a way as to alter your opponent in some fashion. This can be done through atemi-waza or kansetsu-waza with the common notion being that both must start from the ground. Any force that we apply that doesn't come from the ground, through our opponent, will be ineffectual.

It is this ineffectuality that, at least in my dojo, leads to kata being more dance-like and less martial. Uke just does what they're supposed to for tori to complete the technique. This is how kuzushi get's sloppy and technique in general begins to degrade.

Recently, while preparing for a demo, we decided to use more "realistic" strikes. We did this simply because "outsiders" don't generally understand the types of attacks we use. The unintended result of this is that uke was attacking with force and intentionality and tori was forced to respond in kind. Although a little intimidating for lower ranks, it made for a great demo and illustrated nicely the need for atemi by both uke and tori. We are currently thinking of how to incorporate this type of practice into our normal randori regimine.

mura-san
04-30-2003, 11:24 AM
http://www.daito-ryu.com/im/132.jpg

http://www.daito-ryu.com/im/133.jpg
It's two photo of ueshibas aikido's guide.