PDA

View Full Version : atemi - when is a stike not a strike


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


gadsmf@aol.com
01-27-2001, 12:31 AM
Can someone straighten this out for me -
is an atemi actually a strike or is it
merely a representation of a strike
intended to distract an opponent - or can it be both?

Matt Banks
01-27-2001, 06:20 AM
Atemi is an actual strike. In fact there is a separate art called atemi-jujutsu. The diffrence between atemi and a strike is that atemi is used to create balance, rather than just kill someone with it. The most common type of atemi we use is metsobushi, a strike with the middle nuckle between the eyes. In aiki atemi is followed with a tecnique. Yes it can be used to distract someone before the throw occurs, in the same way a kiai is used etc etc. But atemi must connect when truly practiced. We do seminars purely on atemi sometimes, you feel what its really like to have a whole tecnique put on you along with an atemi which connects. To clarify my above statements hijiate (elbow strike throw) is not considered atemi? Gozo shioda I think concentrated on atemi more than an other high ranking I know. In training for us it is always stressed that we must atemi or your tecnique wont work if in a static situation. That is why in rensoku dosa there is so much striking in the yoshinkan.

Matt Banks

Aiki1
01-28-2001, 09:33 AM
This is one of those subjects that is always under debate, because different approaches teach it differently. Some feel like the above post, some feel the opposite; that atemi is not really meant to connect, only distract so at a particular time in the process the attacker has to deal with it, thus having their mind lead that much more, and securing the taking of the center or making retaliation that much more difficult. As I said, different atyles teach different things.

Jim23
01-28-2001, 06:06 PM
From what I see in aikido classes, the strikes are for setting up/distracting the other person. They would be usless to stop a real attacker. Don't fool yourselves.

The other stuff can work, but, please, don't try to punch an attacker - you're wasting your time!

Jim23

Guest5678
01-28-2001, 07:14 PM
I have to agree with Aiki1, in that this subject is always in debate. At Shindai Aikikai we train in atemi probably more than a lot of dojos. Hooker sensei will sometimes devote entire classes to nothing but atemi. It does make contact, and your intention certianly is to strike the vital points, and very hard as well.

I believe the misconception regarding atemi happens while watching advanced people train. The more advanced you become, the more aware you become of the dynamics. When you see someone put a hand it the face of uke, the atemi is assumed and you will see the advanced uke react as if contact was made. This is done so that uke doesn't go home each night in pain and can continue training. Otherwise uke would not be able to attack more than a couple times.

Now, to the not so advanced, this looks rather funny to watch and the wrong idea regarding atemi is formed.

Once you've learned the "where" "how" and "why" of striking, then power and speed should be practiced on bags and not on uke.

Unfortunatly this can leave the wrong impression with new students or those just sitting on the side lines......

Regards,
Dan P. - Mongo

Chris Li
01-28-2001, 08:35 PM
Jim23 wrote:
From what I see in aikido classes, the strikes are for setting up/distracting the other person. They would be usless to stop a real attacker. Don't fool yourselves.

The other stuff can work, but, please, don't try to punch an attacker - you're wasting your time!

Jim23

Plenty of strikes to set up/distract the other person in boxing. I don't know, maybe they're fooling themselves... :-).

Plenty in sumo, too, although they're restricted to using an open hand (doesn't stop them from generating a great deal of power, though).

Daito-ryu, for that matter, uses strikes at times in order to set up portions of techniques, so the practice goes back to the roots of Aikido.

Best,

Chris

crystalwizard
01-28-2001, 10:42 PM
Jim23 wrote:
From what I see in aikido classes, the strikes are for setting up/distracting the other person. They would be usless to stop a real attacker. Don't fool yourselves.

The other stuff can work, but, please, don't try to punch an attacker - you're wasting your time!

Jim23
There's little point in smacking your practice partner as hard as you would someone who was actualy trying to damage you. However you adjust that for the level of the person you're working with. You also adjust that for the level YOU can handle comeing back at you.
Two beginers (read that less than 1 or 2 years) are going to look quite a bit like what you describe. They're practicing, they're trying to learn the movements, they're not all that concerned with much more than that.
You go watch some of the experienced students practcing with each other and you'll see a vastly different picture.

petra
01-29-2001, 05:09 AM
I agree with Kelly, you adjust to your partner. If I train with one of our more experienced students and he tries something (a stike, turn, movement that is not incorparated in the technique we are training to see if it can be done otherwise) I react instinctively. Meaning I strike back or counter my movement, this useally results in me hitting him, let's see, elbow on nose, stike with jo in his neck, push him in one movement flat on his back to the ground and this is just the past 2 months, ;). No injuries resulted from this all, I have a good control of the force with which I apply and he knows that if he tries something he gets a reaction from me. I still keep apologising and he still keeps complimenting me on a good technique / countermeasure after I hit him, very dual but we both learn something.
However, I would never do this with a beginner, they often do not expect an atemi or anything that differs from the movement they have just been shown by our teacher. Furthermore, they often lack the reflexes which after some years of training prevent the uke from getting hurt when trying something different / unexpected.
Aikido is not about hitting people but to unbalance the centre. You adjust to the person you train with, an experienced aikidoka is a lot more difficult to unbalance than a beginner. So what you see more experienced aikidokas do to each other is real, at least in our dojo, but training with less experienced aikidokas they adjust and subsequently the real strike becomes something else, a push or a touch or sometimes just a word.

Dan Hover
01-29-2001, 08:15 PM
I teach atemi as one of three things: 1) a technique in of themselves, if you have any questions as to what this means find some old footage of Saotome sensei and you will see what I mean.
2) to create an opening
3) to cover an opening

whether you are using a atemi to strike for real or feign a blow, it usually falls within one of the aforementioned and as previously said, is both debatable and really comes down to semantics

Kenn
01-29-2001, 09:32 PM
Jim23 wrote:
From what I see in aikido classes, the strikes are for setting up/distracting the other person. They would be usless to stop a real attacker. Don't fool yourselves.

The other stuff can work, but, please, don't try to punch an attacker - you're wasting your time!

Jim23

Jim,

I'd like to ask, what is your intent with the way you ask your questions. My humble opinion is you are trying to incite anger or defensiveness from those who train to avoid conflict, i.e. Aikidoka.

My sensei teaches atemi as part of the whole of Aikido, but don't fool Yourself, if he hit you, it would hurt. Depending on the style, or how a person was trained, atemi tend to either a. distract, as you have noted, or b. attack points along the chi, or ki meridians of the body causing numbness, pain, etc...which I suppose destracts as well.

I would recommend any of the sites on the net dealing with Kyusho. (sp?) or perhaps it is spelled Kyoshu, not sure, anyway, check it out, atemi, as well as Aikido, I have found, is an endless quest. As one layer is peeled off, it simply reveals more layers, more to learn. I have only been Studying Aikido for 6 months or so now, and I feel I have learned much. What excites me about it, is that there is obviously so much much more to learn.

Anyway, for those of you still with me, thank you for listening to me ramble on.

Peace all, Kenn

Jim23
01-29-2001, 09:44 PM
Hi Kenn,

I was just giving my opinion on what I considered poor technique that I observed at a few aikido classes.

No strength, speed or power (I know, they are not necessary). I don't want anyone to fool themselves that something might be effective when, in effect, it might not be in the real world.

Jim23

Kenn
01-29-2001, 09:52 PM
Jim23 wrote:
Hi Kenn,

I was just giving my opinion on what I considered poor technique that I observed at a few aikido classes.

No strength, speed or power (I know, they are not necessary). I don't want anyone to fool themselves that something might be effective when, in effect, it might not be in the real world.

Jim23

Hello Jim,

we are all entitled to our own opinions, i don't think anyone would dispute that, It just seems as though you are making rash decisions, based on little experience, (and if I am wrong about this asumption, I apologize).

May I ask how long you have studied Aikido?

Peace, Kenn

Jim23
01-29-2001, 09:59 PM
Hi Kenn,

Not too long, although I have trained in other MA for much longer and I am trying to give opinions basd on what I have learned over the years.

Thanks for your response,

Jim23

ian
01-30-2001, 06:34 AM
I think atemis are not emphasised enough in the UK. It is only rarely that an instructor seems to discuss 'vital points'. Also I think Aikido (generally) does suffer to some extent from over compliance from uke.

Adrenalin is usually very high during real situations and soft strikes will not even be noticed, let alone distract someone. However harder strikes can open you up for a counter. I know one instructor who was very much into slapping rather than striking. It has several advantages:

- it keeps your hand open to allow you to take the neck/wrist (or eye gouge etc)
- it transfers more inertia to the ukes head (i.e. even through the strike is soft, it tends to push them due to the length of contact)
- it makes a loud noise and is far more distracting than a punch (which you don't generally feel till a lot later)
- it does less damage than a punch.

Ian

ian
01-30-2001, 06:36 AM
P.S. another advantage of slapping is that you can do it relatively hard in the dojo, almost at the same strength you would do it on the street - if uke does not defend themselves against it, it is a good warning to do so next time without inflicting damage!

Ian

BC
02-01-2001, 12:09 PM
I recently read what I think was probably the best descriptions of atemi in aikido in Ellis Amdur's book, "Dueling with O Sensei." In it he references O Sensei's quote that "aikido is 99% atemi," and that it also relates to why an uke should follow the technique. Basically, he described aikido techniques as being a continuous spectrum of potential atemi - that at any point in an aikido technique, there is a potential atemi for nage against uke. Therefore, this is the reason that uke should diligently follow the technique, because if uke tries to divert from the "path" of the correct ukemi, there is the possibility to unnecessarily expose himself (or herself) to a potentially harmful atemi from nage. Mr. Amdur suggests to try stopping at different points during techniques to determine what and where the potential atemi is. To me this is consistent with the common consideration of atemi as a tool to influence uke to move a certain way. Yes, it can be harmful, but it doesn't have to be. Two nights ago the instructor demonstrated this to our class with me as uke. I guarantee you that I could feel the underlying focus, control and power of his tsuki atemi to my floating ribs during the technique.

Also, Jim23 I agree with others on this forum, and suggest you tone down your statements a bit. Yes, some people don't focus on atemi in aikido (especially as beginners), but making blanket statements about what you see after only a few classes isn't going to hold much water. It wouldn't hurt to "empty your cup" a bit before you draw such strong conclusions based on your experience with other arts. IMHO.

Jim23
02-01-2001, 12:47 PM
Point taken.

I'll try to calm down.

The point that I was trying to make was that although aikido is a GREAT martial art, my general observation has been that people do not train at punching. Punches ARE done, but are usually done just to set up the next move - nothing wrong with that. Just don't try to punch in a real fight unless you are a strong person or you train at punching. It's just common sense.

Again, sorry about coming on too strong.

Jim23

REK
02-01-2001, 01:46 PM
Jim,

I agree with your point about training to strike. It is well and good to know where atemi may go, it is another thing entirely to be able to deliver one. Some of the members of my dojo train in other martial arts specifically for the purpose of providing better attacks as uke. For example, its hard to train in Aikido's responses to kicks if none of the ukes can kick well. Some people just focus their training differently, I guess.

I once visited a dojo where the instructor insisted that using atemi was a sure sign of poor technique. I don't think that's totally true. Such diversity in a single martial art!

Rob

Erik
02-01-2001, 04:51 PM
Jim23 wrote:
The point that I was trying to make was that although aikido is a GREAT martial art, my general observation has been that people do not train at punching. Punches ARE done, but are usually done just to set up the next move - nothing wrong with that. Just don't try to punch in a real fight unless you are a strong person or you train at punching. It's just common sense.


For what it's worth I like what you are doing but I'm a troublemaker too.:) I just sit around all day working on a computer so I get bored and amuse myself.

By the way, I agree with the above.

REK wrote:I agree with your point about training to strike. It is well and good to know where atemi may go, it is another thing entirely to be able to deliver one. Some of the members of my dojo train in other martial arts specifically for the purpose of providing better attacks as uke. For example, its hard to train in Aikido's responses to kicks if none of the ukes can kick well. Some people just focus their training differently, I guess.

This has been my own experience as well. I was fortunate to have a teacher who believed in atemi but even then it was rarely taught as such. Any limited punching skill I have is largely because I worked on it outside of class.

[Edited by Erik on February 1, 2001 at 03:58pm]

leefr
02-19-2001, 01:27 AM
Atemi seems to be a subject of continual interest on aikido forums, but I was wondering if maybe there could be another viewpoint added to the discussion. Most of the arguments I see debate the merits of atemi as valid strikes in and of themselves vs. their use as setups for techniques, but I've noticed that most people arguing for "hard"(for lack of a better term) atemi seem to confine themselves to the kinds of punches and strikes that we would see in, say, boxing or karate. Since most aikido dojos rarely train in such methods of striking, it's understandable that some people doubt their effectiveness.
But recently I read some quotes from Gozo Shioda's books on another forum, which were very interesting. First he said aikido was 70% striking/atemi and 30% throws, no special observation in and of itself, but he explained the mechanisms for an aikido "punch" and an aikido "throw" on exactly the same principles, therefore with proper training one should be able to execute a punch with any part of the body. He further went on to say that there would be a "blurring of the line" between strike and throw at some point. Watching video clips of him demonstrate, I have to say he's pretty convincing; sometimes his uke goes flying, and it's hard to tell if he's been thrown or hit, but he goes down hard nonetheless.
So I guess my question is, have any of you trained in this kind of atemi, and what do you think of Shioda sensei's comments?

javi-o
03-03-2001, 09:32 AM
The answer for this question, as being suggested by other members in this forum, would be both. Atemi is , in fact, both a way to distact and a way to really hit an oponnent. Sometimes it generates a gap in order to perform or change the technique, sometimes it is part or the technique itself. A very important mater is to keep fluidity in every aikistuff, some people incorporate atemi in their techniques stopping them, and that is somethign one must never do.
The sensei of my sensei practiced boxing before aikido and my sensei also practiced an strikelike art such as kempo, both insist in this though they also said that it is not easy to acomplish .
Atemi is sometimes soft, others hard, a kick(!) or a blow, one should practice in order to deal with REAL situation.
BUT PLEASE TAKE CARE OF YOUR UKE!

Jim23
03-03-2001, 04:51 PM
I find the responses here really quite predictable. Those who are good at atemi or want to be good at atemi say that punches should be more than just a setup for a technique, they should be a technique in themselves. Those who are not good at it (or don't wan't to be), of course say otherwise.

Imagine having this debate in a karate forum: "Should punches be strong?". kinda funny isn't it?

In other martial arts there are also "fake" punches and kicks to set up other techniques. But the difference is that in training, force is put into the "fake" strikes - that's how you get good at it. Sure you can punch to the body then to the face, or whatever, but training is done to simulate the real thing (without actually hitting the other person).

What I was talking about was the "punch" up, "tap" with a block, then throw, etc.

Scary.

Jim23

aikidoc
03-04-2001, 12:50 AM
It is great to see so much discussion on atemi-waza and its application. I have been working on a paper on the topic, although it has been in limbo for a while. A survey I did over the internet with 5th dans and above was quite interesting. The viewpoints generally corresponded with the head instructors orientation. Softer styles or more ki oriented styles did not feel atemi was advisable. Others felt it was a lost art.

The literature suggest that atemi does not work on everyone depending on the individual's susceptibility to pressure points. Striking vital points/pressure points/acupuncture points or whatever you want to call them can be effectively used to set up technique without disrupting the energy of the technique. If you look at old pictures of O'Sensei, he was constantly delivering atemi. Kyusho-jitsu is an Okinawan art that specializes in striking pressure points. The art contents that the katas of karate are actually strikes or manipulation of pressure points.

A friend and myself content that atemi waza is an effective method of setting up technique and may well be the transition from art to street or marital effectiveness. Learning the appropriate syntax (sequence) of striking or manipulating pressure points can be effective and enhance the art. We feel atemi should be elevated from simple striking as a definition to any form of activating a pressure point (pressing, squeezing, etc.).

Dr. John Riggs

andrew
03-05-2001, 08:29 AM
Jim23 wrote:
I find the responses here really quite predictable. Those who are good at atemi or want to be good at atemi say that punches should be more than just a setup for a technique, they should be a technique in themselves. Those who are not good at it (or don't wan't to be), of course say otherwise.

Imagine having this debate in a karate forum: "Should punches be strong?". kinda funny isn't it?


I think you're missing the point that aikido makes the bodys movement strong and this makes the ukemi strong/effective. Actual "punching" practice is of no interest to me and has less practical aikido application than practiscing any technique.

andrew

giriasis
03-05-2001, 10:02 AM
Jim23 wrote:
Imagine having this debate in a karate forum: "Should punches be strong?". kinda funny isn't it?
Jim23

Should punches be strong in aikido? Not necessary. But our blending better be. Blending is the essence of aikido (in my opinion).

Punching and blocking like it is found in karate is about stopping force not blending with it.

So the better question would be, "Should karateka blend more and punch less?" Why do you punch so much when you can blend? Because that is not what karate is about, perhaps?

Anne Marie

jimvance
03-10-2001, 02:28 AM
I think you are really talking about two different things. Musashi mentions them in the Gorin no Sho as "utsu" and "ataru" or as what could be conjugated as "uchi" and "ate". I got the feeling that uchi (striking/hitting) was used to distract the opponent and that ate (scoring/hitting) was the decisive stroke in the engagement. Musashi was describing his own strategy and not Aikido, but I think the distinction has merit.
In the Daito Ryu, atemi are used to disable the opponent in some fashion with a throw or pin applied afterwards to control or incapacitate them. Keep in mind these men were all armed. Merely punching them was not a decisive victory; seizure or control of weaponry was critical to survival. Whether it was the change in Japanese society by the abolishment of a weapon wielding class that caused the engagement between people seem less deadly, or the emergence of the modern budo as processes for individual growth, the fact remains that emphasis on atemi became watered down.
O-Sensei described aikido as being 99% atemi, then did nothing to pass along that knowledge in any coherent form. Tomiki and Yoshinkai Aikido are perhaps the only systems to codify atemi into recognizable kata. (Notice that Shioda and Tomiki were both pre-WWII students of Ueshiba.) In time and under the watchful eye of Occupational Forces, atemi lost its roots in most aikido.
Keep in mind it was understood that when engaging in hand to hand combat, if one of the combatants could be subdued via atemi (that being a decisive, staggering strike) the whole thing was over. This was not boxing, which believes in pummeling the opponent until they cannot stand up any more (utsu). Atemi is decisive. If the atemi was unsuccessful, you had better have a backup arsenal and voila! techniques of all shapes and sizes are born! They are all "what if" versions born from that one chance-one cut "ataru" Musashi talks about.
So in my opinion, expecting to go into a combative situation without understanding anything about atemi and just trying to pull off a bunch of techniques is going to get you hurt. We are not just talking about clobbering people, but having a decisive outcome from a conflict. If Ellis Amdur could apply some atemi on an opponent whenever he wants, he is either showing off or his ukes are not paying attention. Aiki is born whenever a moment for decisive victory happens. Everything else is just BS.

Jim Vance

Jim23
03-10-2001, 09:43 AM
giriasis wrote:

Punching and blocking like it is found in karate is about stopping force not blending with it.

So the better question would be, "Should karateka blend more and punch less?" Why do you punch so much when you can blend? Because that is not what karate is about, perhaps?

Anne Marie

Hi Anne Marie,

First of all there are "hard" and "soft" blocks in karate, but that's not the issue here.

Karatekas should definitely do more blending - we all should.

Here's a sensible statement: "when appropriate, I'll punch at my opponent/partner in order to set them up for the next move (whatever that might be). However, also when appropriate, I'll strike with a decisive blow if I see an opening" (and I'm not talking about hurting a training partner).

That statement covers both the so called "soft" and "hard" atemi. But people tend to defend one or the other (I think the opinions are based on whether they're good at atemi or not, because there seems to be equally strong opinions on both sides).

Jim23

[Edited by Jim23 on March 10, 2001 at 08:47am]

Jim23
03-10-2001, 10:51 AM
jimvance wrote:
Aiki is born whenever a moment for decisive victory happens. Everything else is just BS.


Jim,

Loved your post. You make sense to me - must be something about the name. ;)

Jim23

giriasis
03-10-2001, 07:57 PM
Jim23 wrote:
Here's a sensible statement: "when appropriate, I'll punch at my opponent/partner in order to set them up for the next move (whatever that might be). However, also when appropriate, I'll strike with a decisive blow if I see an opening" (and I'm not talking about hurting a training partner).

Sounds like a good idea to me and can be applied in either aikido or karate.


That statement covers both the so called "soft" and "hard" atemi. But people tend to defend one or the other (I think the opinions are based on whether they're good at atemi or not, because there seems to be equally strong opinions on both sides).

I don't think you can judge people's degree of skill solely by their opinion on when atemi should be used. Now, if someone could careless about atemi, yeah I guess they would have poor atemi. Unless you mean that beginners (those usually with less skill) use less atemi as it may not be emphasized in their practice as of yet.

I think people based their use on atemi on a variety of factors. It could be that they want to focus on flow of the technique and want to take advantage of the momentum from the attack. It could be they are just learning a new technique and they are still confused about what the heck kotegaeshi is than when they should hit someone. But this does not mean that they don't think atemi is not important, they may be great strikers (you know 2nd dan karate but 5th kyu aikido) but leave it out intentionally to focus on another aspect of aikido.

Also sometimes we just use atemi to show uke where they are vulnerable and that they better guard their openings (my school is real big on this) while receiving their technique. In this case, atemi seems to be a training tool like a quick feint to show an opening in uke's defenses. And if you saw us doing this, it could be easily be misunderstood as poor atemi, when the purpose really wasn't to strike but to teach uke to protect themselves. (so here it's neither to disable nor to give a discisive strike; it's a training tool) Now if someone should know better, then that's another story ;)

Now, in my opinion, where skill does come in is when you are learning a new technique. Or when the more advanced nage will give a lighter atemi, to a less advanced uke. While they are giving a "weaker" atemi and while it may appear less skilled, but in actual practice they have more skill because they are actually controlling themselves. A newer student may not be ready for a fast atemi so the older student will give a slow atemi to demonstrate where to apply it as nage.

In some cases, I have found atemi essential to technique, especially when dealing with people who are strong or like to tank. My fist suddenly coming at someone significantly stronger than me can throw them off balance just enough for me to apply a technique. Or if someone tanks, an atemi might be applied just to make them loosen up a bit. My focus in atemi is not really to disable the person. In these cases, yes, you better know how to strike. And i would think these are more kindred to decisive strikes than the distracting atemi to set up a technique.

But as a disclaimer, I am relatively new to aikido myself (1 1/2 years), and usuage of atemi is really to begin to seep in more of my practice (beginning to be more natural) as I become more skilled. So who knows what I would say a few years from now.

Anne Marie

Jim23
03-11-2001, 08:49 AM
I don't know about people's skill or intentions regarding atemi, just what they have said regarding it.

giriasis wrote:

Also sometimes we just use atemi to show uke where they are vulnerable and that they better guard their openings (my school is real big on this) while receiving their technique. In this case, atemi seems to be a training tool like a quick feint to show an opening in uke's defenses. And if you saw us doing this, it could be easily be misunderstood as poor atemi, when the purpose really wasn't to strike but to teach uke to protect themselves. (so here it's neither to disable nor to give a discisive strike; it's a training tool)


This makes sense - never thought of that.

Jim23

George S. Ledyard
03-12-2001, 09:06 AM
Jim23 wrote:
Hi Kenn,

I was just giving my opinion on what I considered poor technique that I observed at a few aikido classes.

No strength, speed or power (I know, they are not necessary). I don't want anyone to fool themselves that something might be effective when, in effect, it might not be in the real world.

Jim23
To jump in here and lend support to this fellow... In general I agree. Most Aikido people of my acquaintance can't strike worth a damn. they talk about the subject being open for an atemi at certain points but don't have an atemi that would do anything other than make one mad.

This observation my be due to the fact that I teach out on the West Coast where there is much more of a New Age flavor the the practice than what I was used to back East. Saotome Sensei has commented to me about the difference as well.

Anyway, if you went to 90% of the dojos in my Seattle area you would find this gentlemen's opinion about atemi to be true.

George S. Ledyard
03-12-2001, 09:12 AM
gadsmf@aol.com wrote:
Can someone straighten this out for me -
is an atemi actually a strike or is it
merely a representation of a strike
intended to distract an opponent - or can it be both?

I wrote an article for ATM on this subject a couple years ago. I periodically post it to the forum because with the number of new folks who come on board all the time, the same questions arise. If you are interested take a look at:
http://www.aikieast.com/atemi.htm

Jim23
03-13-2001, 07:59 PM
George,

For a minute I was actually doubting what I knew was right - effectiveness (actually, I wasn't, but I was really considering what was being said).

Regardless of the topic being discussed, most people don't want to "jump to the other side", so to speak, to consider another view on any aspect of aikido different than their own - I just don't understand why. Luckly, I'm too new at this and too stupid to take a rigid approach.

By the way, I enjoyed your article on atemi.

Jim23