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06-11-2004, 01:46 PM
I seem to be having a problem with techniques that involve Uke reacting to a strike that results in Uke opening themselves up to any given technique. I don't feel like I am technically proficient enough in these strikes to be viewed as a threat and thus elliciting the necessary response.

Also, I feel like I am skipping the striking aspect and going straight to the elbow, let's say. I assume I shouldn't be "attacking" the arm but getting Uke to break form thus opening themselves up to the technique.

Also, I feel like if Uke doesn't react "correctly" that my strike should be good enough to follow through on. Does this make any sense?

Chad Sloman
06-11-2004, 02:16 PM
yes, you're right, if you apply atemi to the face and uke doesn't move or block then it should jar them, in practice you can go slow but don't miss on purpose, if they don't move their head back move it back for them. Are you using open hand/palm or fist and are you letting them see it? Uke has to see the "hand of death" in order to be afraid of it.

Jordan Steele
06-11-2004, 04:27 PM
Atemi strikes have two purposes....distraction and destruction. They must be practiced with committed intent as well. The post before mine was totally correct. "If uke doesn't move, make them."

Nick P.
06-11-2004, 06:55 PM
I agree with Chad and Jordan, but have always wondered: how does atemi relate to what O-Sensei taught, especially about non-resistence (http://www.aikiweb.com/general/founder.html). Just a thought, but still.

06-11-2004, 08:54 PM
The aikido literature has a lot of references on the issue of atemi. If the thing ever gets published, I have an article coming out on the topic supposedly in August issue of black belt magazine (that was my latest contact anyway).

Your point about O'Sensei is well taken but his students state he placed great importance on atemi. The current Doshu's book describes atemi as strikes to vital points. I would submit that to distract and destroy are but a part: positioning the body for a technique and alterning the nervous system are two other elements.

Jordan Steele
06-11-2004, 09:16 PM
My teacher's instructor was Chiba Sensei(uchideshi of o'sensei). I have heard many stories that O'sensei presented Aikido as a peaceful and delicate art that did not require violence to overcome an opponent, but during uchideshi and kenshusei training he beat the crap out of the students. If they didn't move properly, they got hit....HARD. Atemi is martial arts, the rest is just icing on the cake.

06-12-2004, 03:59 AM
I agree with Chad and Jordan, but have always wondered: how does atemi relate to what O-Sensei taught, especially about non-resistence. Just a thought, but still.

I started to write a long post but then remembered last time how, because of the particular way I say things, they got taken out of context and were completely twisted around. I really dont feel like angering anyone today. :)

In my opinion, atemi is a subset of irimi. Either the uke knows to react accordingly, or gets damaged in either case.
So the better question is, do you consider irimi resistance?
I wouldnt, as the wave can go around the rock (tenkan) just as easily as it can go over it (irimi). Damn, it seems no matter what I do, everything I say sounds like philosophical jibberish.

I also agree. As stated before, when the intent is shown you must react. Whether or not an attack comes is of no consequence. If he attacks, you get your choice of irimi or tenkan. If he doesnt, or feints, I would think irimi would be the best option; since if you are approaching your attacker, and he is doing nothing, you are close anyways, so you might as well irimi. If he attacks by himself, you get the choice of irimi or tenkan. If not, you choose what option doesnt leave you open to the next attacker (i.e. if you choose tenkan, it may take too long before the next attacker arrives, and if you choose irimi, you may find that your attackers are getting up too close to you, and start to surround you). :dead:

I would say that atemi is not necessary for one attacker, but could make your life easier. Destruction or destraction as posted earlier. With multiple attackers, I would think that it makes the impossible possible for us non-superman types. I do admit, that if you do a good mix of irimi and tenkan, you can balance your attackers so you only have to face one at a time. But just think, anytime that you need it, irimi can turn into atemi. Using atemi instead of irimi can help remedy some of the classical problems listed above. :p

ok thats sort of long, but not too long.
*cringes* Please dont hurt me. :uch:


Chad Sloman
06-12-2004, 08:39 AM
you could always accidently-on-purpose jack somebody in the face next time they don't react to atemi and apologize profusely afterward, but I guarantee they'll move the next time

BTW, that was half in jest before I get flamed......... :D , I've never done that

Jordan Steele
06-12-2004, 10:31 AM
Like your style Chad!!!

William Westdyke
06-12-2004, 12:48 PM
I agree with Jordan. Chads got the right idea. I always learn fastest with a bloody nose.

Kyri Honigh
06-13-2004, 12:09 AM
Well, I got hit in the nuts by two different people now. They had a point to prove. And somewhere they both were right. But not everybody takes it the right way. I would first think about whether ur training partner will take it like a sport. If he doesn't it could lead to mean accidents. Someone who's hurt physically doesn't always see it as way of correcting, but as one of humiliation (negative, nothing to do with making somebody more humble, but trying to take away his worth). What if he doesn't show his anger through conversation, but decides to crank ur arm out of its socket during a pin? Just my 2 cents...


Chad Sloman
06-13-2004, 05:34 AM
Actually I should have noted before that usually if I'm going to come at somebody I will warn them before the technique. For instance if I don't think somebody's reacting to my atemi then I will tell them, "hey, next time I'm going to punch you in the nuts" or "next time I'm really going to punch you in the face, protect yourself" or just tell your partner to protect themselves if you don't want to give the atemi away. But if you warn them ahead of time, they have less justification for getting pissed if you land something that hurts them.

06-14-2004, 08:18 AM
[QUOTE=Are you using open hand/palm or fist and are you letting them see it? Uke has to see the "hand of death" in order to be afraid of it.[/QUOTE]

Neither. There is no training on the strike. This is why I am a little confused. I train on my own for striking, but I don't want to have to re-learn a technique to add a strike. I will address this with my sensei. Thanks for all of youer responses!

John Boswell
06-14-2004, 02:00 PM
All things are relative when it comes to atemi, imho.

When a person is first learning aikido, they need to learn what an opening is. Standing in a horse stance with the jewels sitting right there is a good way to get racked. Newbies need to understand these things.

As training progresses, vital points need to be pointed out and shown why they are important. When sensei is cutting someone over into ikkyo... that's one thing. When sensei does the same thing, but first captures the uke's balance with a good atemi... that is another; and it should be taught early on. Expected on tests? Maybe not... but the student should be exposed to it.

As time goes further on, resistence is applied by the uke to ensure that the nage (student) is in fact doing the technique properly. Atemi-waza is very effective here and though you do not HAVE to land a punch, that one is indicated should be sufficent for the uke in "practice" to react to.

Now then... advance practice SHOULD involve atemi-waza. Why? A) So nage can execute it and get it to work effectively and B) So uke can defend against it and protect himself at all times, even during hearvy practice (i.e. randori, jiyu-waza, etc.)

Okay. Let's look now at the question of :ai::ki: or Aiki. Does atemi-waza go against the desire of the founder and his "Art of Peace?" Some say this is so. I say if you subscribe to that line of thinking, you are kidding yourself and are not learning aikido. That's nambie-pambie way and not THE Way. See, that's the problem with society these days: people want to "counsel" bullies and psycoanalyze them and find out that they were abused as a child and that THAT is why they bully kids, etc. etc. Bull. When I was growing up, when you defended yourself and stood up to the bullies, you earned respect. Sure, you both went ot the office and got paddled, but you didn't have to deal with them afterward

"Spare the rod, spoil the child." I hated that as a child... but now that I'm grown and can look back on it, I see it as a nessecary in the world.

Did I get a bit off the subject? I don't think so... just looking at a much broader picture. Hope you can see it too. ;)

Lan Powers
06-15-2004, 10:52 PM
Go John!

Nick P.
06-16-2004, 07:14 AM
What if a nage who is highly skilled in atemi-waza can execute the technique WITHOUT any atemi?
For what it is worth, my first post, like this one, is simply raising the question...mostly because I am not convinced one way or the other as to how or where atemi fits in to my (limited) understanding and practice of Aikido. Perhaps one day it will all be clear to me.


Ron Tisdale
06-16-2004, 08:44 AM
There are pros and cons with atemi...

some people will use it as a cover for technique that is lacking in other ways...

Some people will use it to bully...

Some people feel that you already know how to hit since you were a child...they do aikido to learn other things...

Some people feel that in a serious non-cooperative situation technique without it will fail...

Or is unrealistic anyway...

But when all is said and done, I personally think it should be integral to the many stages of a technique. Yoshinkan basic technique tends to use one focused atemi at specific openings...I've seen others (Ellis Amdur amoung them) show multiple spots in one technique where atemi can be used. I kind of like both approaches. Even the styles that don't focus on atemi the way we do have a lot to show me about other ways of closing shite's openings (different ma ai, alternative methods and places for kuzushi, different methods and places for awase, etc).

In the end, it can all teach you something...learn it all. Then apply what you see fit, when you see fit.


08-03-2004, 01:00 PM
So, does anyone practice jab/cross/hook from western style boxing? I find it to be very complementary. Although, I am working on my proficiency and timing

08-03-2004, 03:06 PM
Even though aikido does not always train to strike the openings or vital points when you seriously look at the technique you can see the opportunity for multiple strikes throughout a technique. This is sort of like some styles of karate like Ryukyu Kempo/Tuite where they show all the strikes to vital points inherent in the forms or katas. As an example, I can think of two atemi strikes that can be performed without disrupting the flow off a tenkan blend against a munetsuki strike. One may be obvious the other more subtle. They can be done with speed and power causing either pain compliance or possibly numbness in the arm. It makes them more compliant for kotegaeshi:).

08-04-2004, 01:07 AM
What if a nage who is highly skilled in atemi-waza can execute the technique WITHOUT any atemi?

Then I'd have to say that the atemi wasn't needed.

I've found that most of what we do is to lead up to the next part of a movement until there is no place else to go (final lock, pin or throw). Atemi is one way to start that process, or to affect your opponent during a technique. If your opponent is already moving in the direction you want them to then I would suggest not distracting them and have them possibly start to move in a direction you don't want them to go.

My opinion is that if the atemi takes 'em out then the technique is over. Use it when you need your opponent to do something or move somewhere they aren't already going. If you don't need it, then don't use it. Techniques that consistantly start with an atemi or have atemi taught within the technique have it there for a reason.

During training it's probably not a good idea to try and take a person out with every atemi (after all, it will be their turn next) but make sure they know that they should have blocked. :uch:

Just a thought or maybe even two...