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Thor's Hammer
08-27-2003, 11:51 PM
Here is something I don't understand. How is Atemi 99% of aikido, but only practiced in technique? I have reason to believe that technique is not meant to be used outside of the dojo anyhow... give an honest punch, as fast as you can. Blink. I bet you noticed it takes about the same amount of time. Excuse me when I don't understand how I am supposed to tenkan and grab and turn and throw before that punch is retracted. Aikido must then be about moving to evade when under attack. All the techniques are built on the foundation of "if you don't comply, I hit you here, here here, here etc." So where's the atemi class?

shihonage
08-28-2003, 12:50 AM
Aikido was initially meant to be studied only by those with a solid background in another art(s).

Those of us who don't have such, are in somewhat deep shit.

Erik
08-28-2003, 01:24 AM
So where's the atemi class?
It's next to the kick-defense and grappling classes.

sanosuke
08-28-2003, 03:41 AM
Aikido was initially meant to be studied only by those with a solid background in another art(s).

somewhat correct, but i wouldn't say that aikido isn't suitable for people with little/no background in another MA. All i know is it would be easier to grasp and analyze aikido techniques if someone has solid backround of other martial arts.

Atemi is indeed a strike, but from what i learn atemi is intended to distract your opponent, not to strike. From what i know 'strike' here means more to strike to the mind rather than the body. Atemi doesn't have to be a punch, kick, strikes, etc. a wave of your hand in front of uke's face to distract his view and mind can be considered as atemi, a pinch also is atemi, so if you think a punch is too slow to be an atemi then just wave your hand, pinch your uke or clap your hands in front of their face.

Paul Smith
08-28-2003, 06:46 AM
Aleksey -

Once again, pithy genius. I fell off my chair on reading it. :D

Then I rolled up, armed to the teeth with aiki. Bring 'em on.

L. Camejo
08-28-2003, 07:58 AM
But the question is though - Is atemi 99% of Aikido?

It may be 99% of atemi waza, but to me there are a few options.

And as far as the "evading to break balance to apply technique against a quick attack before arm retracts" idea, atemi waza (shomen ate, irimi nage, sokumen, gedan ate, ushiro ate) being "striking" techniques applied as throws, can easily match (or beat)the speed of a one time speed or kick. Or at least it does when we do it :)

Just a thought.

L.C.:ai::ki:

jxa127
08-28-2003, 07:59 AM
Bryan,

There are a number of good threads on atemi. Like this one:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=3919

Do a search and see what you come up with. FWIW, I've also written about it in my journal on this site.

Regards,

-Drew

aikidoc
08-28-2003, 09:04 AM
The 99% shows up in Saito's books. However,John Stevens points out that it depends on who makes the comments. It ranges from 60% to 99%. What is clear from the aikido literature is that O'Sensei placed considerable importance on atemi. Unfortunately, as the art has expanded to the general public (as happened with karate) a lot of the strikes to vital points has been watered down or eliminated. Atemi waza in some cases has been relegated to the role of a distraction by just sticking the fist or hand in the attackers face.

The difficulty with atemi waza is learning to apply strikes to the various points while performing the technique. This can be done easily once you have trained yourself and understand the point locations. For example, you can deliver a minimum of 2 strikes with just a simple tenkan using the tegatana and the elbow on the blend. All without affecting the flow of the movement. It can be expanded to 3 by striking one point initially and then hitting it again. And 4 by grabbing a 4th point and squeezing it. The pain compliance of the atemi causes the uke to drop the shoulder and keep it dropped making the throw easier due to the balance break.

Black Belt Magazine will have my article coming out (last info) in about October-article has been approved and pictures approved. I touch on some of these issues in the article (hopefully I did the topic justice). I am working on turning this into a book focused mostly on the practical aspects (although I'm not pursuing it very aggressively at this time-time constraints).

justinm
08-28-2003, 09:08 AM
Now you've got me really interested, John! Can you expand on your tenkan example?

Thanks

Justin

kironin
08-28-2003, 12:06 PM
Bryan,

There are a number of good threads on atemi. Like this one:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=3919

Do a search and see what you come up with. FWIW, I've also written about it in my journal on this site.

Regards,

-Drew
You know, I read what is said here and in that thread and I wonder if I am practicing the same art.

Well, I spent some time in Karate and I have a boxer's break on one knuckle and a herniated knuckle on my other hand. I didn't need to start aikido to learn how to smash people. If I had seen that when I started I would have said like the U.N. did, been there, done that.

What I saw instead was someone dealing with an attacker without smashing them up. I said cool, I want to learn that. I want to learn how to be that way instead of smacking someone with my fists or my feet. I haven't been dissappointed.

one nice thing about training was, we always practiced what we would really do as opposed to the idea of waving a hand to indicate a strike or tapping politely here or there to indicate a vital point much like point karate.

Craig

jxa127
08-28-2003, 12:40 PM
Craig,

Are you refering to the incident described in Ellis Amdur's Dueling with O'Sensei?

You said:
If I had seen that when I started I would have said like the U.N. did, been there, done that.

What I saw instead was someone dealing with an attacker without smashing them up. I said cool, I want to learn that. I want to learn how to be that way instead of smacking someone with my fists or my feet. I haven't been dissappointed.
What's funny is that on the one hand I agree with you whole heartedly, yet on the other, I'm a big proponent of learning about and using atemi.

The short answer is what I said in my post in the aforementioned thread: "I'd rather know how to cause injury and choose not to than not know how and need to."

Training with atemi can be good, but it needs to be integrated with the techniques, not be separate from them. Done well, that kind of training can lead to more effective and gentle technique.

Regards,

-Drew

aikidoc
08-28-2003, 01:32 PM
Craig. The atemi does not have to be the bone breaking/crushing type typical of karate. In fact, striking pressure/vital points does not require it. You can numb an arm of drop a shoulder (some pain involved) by hitting the right point.

Justin. By striking the Large Intestine 11 point as your turn with a glancing blow (or by entering first with extension using the force of the strike to effect the atemi) and then striking the side of the upper arm with the time of the elbow as you complete the turn you have two atemi (just stick your elbow out a bit-it hits that spot between the muscles where your friends always give you a frog). When you finish the tenkan you can cut down on the LI-11 point again with the tegatana and pick up the Lung 10 point on the inside of the thumb with a squeeze if you are doing kotegaeshi. Helps nicely position the uke for a kotegaeshi.

aikidoc
08-28-2003, 01:42 PM
p.s. on the irimi tenkan version there is also atemi to the face with the inside hand. This is the version I demonstrate in the article.

Don_Modesto
08-28-2003, 03:40 PM
John Stevens points out that it depends on who makes the comments. It ranges from 60% to 99%.
Shioda--Aikido Shugyo, p. 19--said 70% (this was pre-war, Hell-dojo times) and Saito--Traditional Aikido, Vol. 5, p. 38--said 99 (this was post-war, lovey-dovey aikido philosophy times).

Who said 60%?

Thanks.

Don_Modesto
08-28-2003, 03:48 PM
Here is something I don't understand. How is Atemi 99% of aikido, but only practiced in technique?

DJM: As opposed to what?

I have reason to believe that technique is not meant to be used outside of the dojo anyhow... give an honest punch, as fast as you can. Blink. I bet you noticed it takes about the same amount of time. Excuse me when I don't understand how I am supposed to tenkan and grab and turn and throw before that punch is retracted.

DJM: I do ATEMI precisely for these times. Aikido isn't only technique, it's intuition, too. Knowing when UKE is to attack helps. Applied just as UKE is about to move, ATEMI can induce and slow UKE's attack.

Aikido must then be about moving to evade when under attack. All the techniques are built on the foundation of "if you don't comply, I hit you here, here here, here etc." So where's the atemi class?

DJM: In one of Saito's Traditional Aikido books he demonstrates where you can use ATEMI in a typical SHIHO NAGE. It involves a backfist, a knee kick, and an elbow to the ribs.

DJM: See Osensei's 1933 Budo (the cartoon format) for lots of ATEMI before aikido became politically correct.

aikidoc
08-28-2003, 04:07 PM
Don:

I believe this is the reference

Stevens (The Secrets of Aikido) p. 117 (I took that from some notes so I may be off on the page or quote-I'll have to check).

Depending on the storyteller, O'Sensei was reported to have attributed atemi to 30%, 60%, or 99% of an effective technique.

Geez you guys are getting picky-I was pulling the number off the top of my head.

John

Kensai
08-28-2003, 05:44 PM
I see atemi as the striking of common sence. All Aikido exercises allow you the potential to develope strong strikes though good balance, posture, weight distribution and dynamics.

Look at how Aikido exercises develope the body: strong wrists, hands, elbows, shoulders, trunk, thighs and knee's, all from making Uke and Nage.

Sure atemi can be quicker than Aiki techniques, but against a strong and conditioned attacker the odd punch might not be enough. I believe that a Kokyunage is more than likely going to be a fight stopper than any punch I can use. Like I said earlier, place them when you can as part of a bigger more Aiki like monster throw of doom picture, or a Nikkyo.......

Dennis Hooker
08-28-2003, 06:13 PM
Atemi

1. Destroy

2. Enter the body thorough the mind

3. Enter the mind thorough the body

Lan Powers
08-28-2003, 06:15 PM
Like I said earlier, place them when you can as part of a bigger more Aiki like monster throw of doom picture, or a Nikkyo.......

*Chis Gee

snort!! I LOVE the visual this calls up. :)

Wait 'till I show Sensei my "Throw of Doom..."

Heading off to class.........Lan

PeterR
08-28-2003, 08:01 PM
Not sure pressure points (ala Large Intestine 11 point) was ever part of Aikido though strikes to vital areas (for numbing or knock out) surely is. There doesn't appear to be any connection, historical or otherwise. If I remember correctly John and I have gotten into this before. Of course if pressure points interest you and you feel the knowledge can be useful to your Aikido - incorporate away.

The 60/70/90/whatever % of Aikdio being atemi is of course much broader than close fisted percussive strikes. That's also been recently discussed.
Aikido was initially meant to be studied only by those with a solid background in another art(s
Does anyone of an idea if this really was the case. The pre-war greats all had some background in other martial arts (some like Tomiki were quite well known in Judo circles others like Shioda less so) but beyond what they did during their school days I doubt all could be considered kick-ass martial artists. This is especially likely with the cadres he trained at Ayabe and I suspect the majority of students at "the Hell Dojo".

Chris Li
08-28-2003, 08:28 PM
Does anyone of an idea if this really was the case. The pre-war greats all had some background in other martial arts (some like Tomiki were quite well known in Judo circles others like Shioda less so) but beyond what they did during their school days I doubt all could be considered kick-ass martial artists. This is especially likely with the cadres he trained at Ayabe and I suspect the majority of students at "the Hell Dojo".
There were certainly people with little experience in martial arts who came in via Omoto-kyo. You also have to remember that there were a lot of folks whose "experience" was on the level of an American with baseball "experience" from his little league days :).

FWIW, Sokaku Takeda would teach pretty much anyone who could pony up the cash.

Best,

Chris

PeterR
08-28-2003, 08:45 PM
Thanks Chris - that's basically the impression I have.

aikidoc
08-28-2003, 09:25 PM
Peter: I believe it was Stevens who said O'Sensei's students saw "lights" when he used atemi-so either his ki was brilliant or possibly he struck some acupuncture points. Many vital points are acupuncture point only the more serious ones. I feel if you're going to hit them at least hit them where it will do some good-i.e. where the atemi will most likely be the most effective.

PeterR
08-28-2003, 09:39 PM
John - I wont disagree with that. I've been to classes where nearly the entire time was spent on where and how to strike. Hell just last month in Athens (when they let me loose to show a bit of Shodokan Aikido) I talked about targetting.

I just don't think Aikido was ever that sophisticated with respect to accupunture meridians and the like.

And by the by - I've seen lights when I was hit too. I'm pretty sure my face is not a pressure point.

Fausto
08-29-2003, 01:44 AM
Aikido without atemi can't be done in a real situation, unless you have the skill of O'Sensei or some of his top students or after 40 years of aikido. That's what I think...... maybe I'm wrong maybe I'm not.

PeterR
08-29-2003, 02:26 AM
Can't be done .... unless ... ;)

It really depends on what you mean by atemi and what you mean by doing Aikido.

It is entirely possible to do very effective Aikido without close fisted percussive strikes. Of course in a real situation why would you even consider restricting yourself.
Aikido without atemi can't be done in a real situation, unless you have the skill of O'Sensei or some of his top students or after 40 years of aikido. That's what I think...... maybe I'm wrong maybe I'm not.

happysod
08-29-2003, 04:02 AM
These atemi threads always leave me a bit uneasy for several reasons. The inference (or even definitive statement)that aikido cannot be used without atemi implies aikido take-downs are actually less effective than the grappling arts or, for example, judo, which I belive don't normally rely on strike before technique - which is worrying (go for it Paul). Then there's the overly ambitious expectations of what atemi can actually do for your aikido which I've seen ruin a perfectly good technique.

I've been taught aikido (and aikijitsu) with atemi and without (ok, not aikijitsu) and haven't noticed any real difference in the effectiveness of either when done correctly. Atemi should be part of your aikido arsenal, I agree. However, too much emphasis on atemi can be disruptive to your technique and all atemi should be used only if the circumstances and technique warrent it. Too often I've seen it used instead of aikido rather than with good aikdo.

Kensai
08-29-2003, 06:27 AM
snort!! I LOVE the visual this calls up.

Wait 'till I show Sensei my "Throw of Doom..."

Heading off to class.........Lan

lol, I did giggle to myself too.

Yesterday in my class we did a variation of a kokyunage from 2 hand hold on the same arm (8th form, cant remember the Jap name) with a kind of backfist to the face and the BOSCH the throw went miles. Bloody cool. Even if your aware of the atemi, you buck your head back so not to get hit, I think this really improves the throw as it gives you more of there balance.

Chuck Clark
08-29-2003, 11:07 AM
Target, distance, and timing ... with ki, ken, tai ichi.

Your full focused intent extending through the aite ... it doesn't matter what the initial contact body part is ... metsuke, tegatana, shotei, etc. it is all ATEMI.

Different applications of your intent cutting through the opponent at all times. It may be soft and controlling or it may be overwhelmingly powerful and crushing. Fit the effect to the need. It is all "striking" uke with your intent to control their mind and body.

Don_Modesto
08-29-2003, 02:20 PM
Don:

I believe this is the reference

Stevens (The Secrets of Aikido) p. 117

DJM: Thanks.

Geez you guys are getting picky-I was pulling the number off the top of my head.

DJM: 30%?!...who said that? (:))
These atemi threads always leave me a bit uneasy for several reasons. The inference (or even definitive statement)that aikido cannot be used without atemi implies aikido take-downs are actually less effective than the grappling arts or, for example, judo, which I belive don't normally rely on strike before technique

DJM: But judo is unabashedly a sport.

Thor's Hammer
08-29-2003, 07:48 PM
Few people answered my question-

HOW, or, where can I learn how? Is it OK to learn strikes from a karateka? I hardly know how to punch!

paw
08-30-2003, 07:04 AM
Don,

Ian wrote:
These atemi threads always leave me a bit uneasy for several reasons. The inference (or even definitive statement)that aikido cannot be used without atemi implies aikido take-downs are actually less effective than the grappling arts or, for example, judo, which I belive don't normally rely on strike before technique

You replied:
DJM: But judo is unabashedly a sport.

Which ignores the admittedly few dojo that do teach the entire Kodokan Judo cirriculum and ignores that in any context you image judoka, wrestlers, sambists, bjj'ers, etc... have entered, taken down/thrown highly skilled martial artists without use of atemi.

Bryan,
HOW, or, where can I learn how? Is it OK to learn strikes from a karateka? I hardly know how to punch!

I would recommend going to a boxing gym (western boxing, thai boxing, savate....) If all you want to do is learn how strike, that will suffice. However, you will be on your own for integrating your strikes with your aikido. For already integrated striking with aikido, your aikido instructor should be showing you.

Regards,

Paul

PeterPhilippson
08-30-2003, 12:23 PM
Atemi are vital parts of some Aikido moves. You can't do irimitenkan without atemi - you just get hit yourself, since you are on the live side mostly.

Whether it is a full blow or a distraction is a choice to make in the situation. I don't think it is any more moral to hit people hard with the ground than with your fist.

Many aikido techniques also contain atemi: iriminage, tenchinage, any uchikaiten.

Yours in aiki,

opherdonchin
08-30-2003, 06:16 PM
You can't do irimitenkan without atemi - you just get hit yourself, since you are on the live side mostly.You can't. Maybe I can't and maybe I can. I certainly know some people who can.

L. Camejo
08-31-2003, 07:44 AM
A while back I was asked by a student who did striking arts before Aikido, why we don't train with makiwara and do breaking practices to practice our atemi in Aikido.

My little answer to that was both makiwara and breaking practice are based on striking from pretty static positions, also in the case of breaking, this is practice of "hard" atemi utilising mostly our own force to generate power.

The atemi waza we do in Aikido can be applied either soft or hard, but more important than that is the ability of the atemi to disrupt the attacker's balance while in motion and utilising the attacker's incoming force/momentum to set up powerful atemi waza (basically by making em run into the strike). I think timing is very important to apply atemi properly within the flow of technique, but one should not rely on the percussive (pain inflicting) aspect of atemi alone to make effective technique.

So, getting back to topic - I think application of atemi in striking based arts like Karate, TKD etc. is a little bit different to Aikido application, i.e. to disrupt uke's physical and mental balance to create openings to apply successful technique.

Though I would also admit that thorough knowledge of striking can only help one's Aikido.

Just some thoughts.

L.C.:ai::ki:

kironin
08-31-2003, 11:26 PM
I've been taught aikido (and aikijitsu) with atemi and without (ok, not aikijitsu) and haven't noticed any real difference in the effectiveness of either when done correctly. Atemi should be part of your aikido arsenal, I agree. However, too much emphasis on atemi can be disruptive to your technique and all atemi should be used only if the circumstances and technique warrent it. Too often I've seen it used instead of aikido rather than with good aikdo.
Exactly!

I agree with your unease.

To often these threads come down to people worrying about being able to smack people at vital points or otherwise because of the insecurity they feel in their own technique (only O-sensei or his senior students could do this without atemi...) when in actual fact they need to understand better how to lead and unbalance with the initial engagement.

If one defines Atemi as it was so succintly put below, then I have no problem with one saying that Aikido is 99% Atemi.



=========

Atemi



2. Enter the body thorough the mind



3. Enter the mind thorough the body



__________________

Dennis Hooker

==================

<rei> Hooker Sensei

If you have become convinced that outside the dojo you need to hit to make your technique work, then you need to look real hard at how you train.

Craig

Vincent Munoz
09-01-2003, 04:51 PM
Sempai,

I respect ur principle in aikido. just a piece of advice, make sure that when you make the atemi, the fluidity of ki is not STOP. because that ki(force) is suppose to be the thing we use to deflict our aggressors. if its stop, then they'll become very heavy and difficult to lead. when you do a technique, theres should be a continuous flow of ki. atemi is usually used if or when the aggressors establish a holding attack. if there's ki, u dont need an atemi to throw the uke.

CORRECT ME IF I'M WRONG.

shiete

kironin
09-01-2003, 09:48 PM
Atemi are vital parts of some Aikido moves. You can't do irimitenkan without atemi - you just get hit yourself, since you are on the live side mostly.
If atemi means wave a fist this is not true.

There seem to be two general categories:

Those who break balance or facilitate unbalancing before doing irimi

and those who wave a fist or palm in uke's direction in the hope that this will distract/unbalance uke long enough to allow them to do irimi.

My personal experience is that the majority of those who train in latter way are living in a fantasy that will break the first time someone chooses to stop play acting. I just hope the discovery is made in the dojo.

In fairness, honest ukes are needed in the first case.

Craig

HKS