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AikiTao 12-26-2012 05:49 PM

Atemi and Aikido
 
Having posted something very similar to this on other forums, I'm interested in hearing what you guys have to say. I've always trained in striking arts and a few forms of grappling. Having done Aikido for about 9 months now (4th Kyu), I've fallen in love with it, but our dojo rarely addressed striking (as a set up, and we've never gone into striking on its own). This has been a little discouraging as a lot of the times, we train with over-compliance and some of the applications presented are both impractical and dangerous.

I've done a lot of research on atemi and Aikido and it seems that most Aikidoka prefer using atemi exclusively as a means to an end (or as a set up). In my opinion, one should at least have some knowledge of striking on its own so that if grappling skills fail, they have something to fall back on, which is exactly why I love watching these guys:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spPNW...6&feature=plcp

They use striking often as a set up (multiple strikes) but are pretty capable when it comes to just striking alone. Not just that but I feel their style of striking, which includes mostly open hand strikes and a couple of basic kicks, keeps in line with the principles of Aikido. Although it may not be as "nice" in the street, it definitely has it's use.

What is too much? At what point is Aikido not considered Aikido? I get caught up on training strikes with Aikido because I almost feel guilty that it may interfere with the 'flow of Aikido', but I also feel that when trained properly, it matches Aikido perfectly. I believe Aikido to be a pretty open art and as long as practitioners keep close to tradition, even when training things that aren't necessarily part of the curriculum, then all is well.

Thoughts? This may've been covered in other topics but I'm more concerned with practicing in a way that doesn't disrupt Aikido, so hopefully I can get a few things cleared up. Other than that, please feel free to give your opinion of Atemi and it's use in Aikido and how you practice it, if at all.

ewolput 12-27-2012 11:49 AM

Re: Atemi and Aikido
 
Although many people cannot accept Tomiki's Aikido with a competition flavour, this style is practised a lot in the USA. If you like atemi waza, you will find alot of atemi in this style especially during randori. Atemi is used to throw someone or to create an opening for other techniques. Tomiki Aikido is also called Shodokan Aikido.
Find here a clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8etlpBbC6o4

Eddy

AikiTao 12-27-2012 12:38 PM

Re: Atemi and Aikido
 
Quote:

Eddy Wolput wrote: (Post 321003)
Although many people cannot accept Tomiki's Aikido with a competition flavour, this style is practised a lot in the USA. If you like atemi waza, you will find alot of atemi in this style especially during randori. Atemi is used to throw someone or to create an opening for other techniques. Tomiki Aikido is also called Shodokan Aikido.
Find here a clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8etlpBbC6o4

Eddy

I do enjoy watching Shodokan Aikido but their striking is always followed by an Aikido technique, it seems. Not to say that that's improper, but the atemi I wish to see more of consists of continuous strikes (that work alone and could win alone) until an Aikido technique presents itself. I've rarely seen randori like that, though. Nice vid!

TokyoZeplin 12-27-2012 02:27 PM

Re: Atemi and Aikido
 
Thought I would chime in, and say I'm pretty sure the first video is Aikido S.A. (Shoot Aikido (Shoot is sort of Japans MMA in some ways)).
Not 100% sure, but I've seen it referenced in context with A.S.A. and the dojos seem to be located at the same places.

My own, completely uneducated, view on it:
As long as you use the Aikido principles in your Atemi (and not just pure strength, for instance), I say it's still Aikido. Gozo Shioda talks quite a lot about the importance of Atemi in his semi-biographical books.

Michael Hackett 12-27-2012 03:50 PM

Re: Atemi and Aikido
 
Eddy, could you give a brief overview of the rules in Tomiki competition? It seems that both defenders would have been seriously injured in a real knife attack, but points were given apparently for only stabbing wounds. No criticism, I'm just curious.

BJohnston 12-27-2012 09:20 PM

Re: Atemi and Aikido
 
I began my fascination with aikido exactly 3 years ago. I'm definitely not the authority on aikido, but I'll offer my own $.02. One thing that we must keep in mind as beginners is the vastness of O'Sensei's knowledge and teachings. Much of what he taught was based upon the idea that you actually understood and/or had a background in martial arts. Some of that has been taken for granted over the years. One thing that we try and stress in our classes is how important committed attacks are to the development of Aikido. Proper stance, proper punching technique, proper kicking technique is something that we try to be aware of while training. I'm fortunate in that many of the aikidoka that I train with, including our sensei, have vast martial arts, military, and law enforcement backgrounds.
Aikido was founded on principles found throughout karate, judo, aikijutsu...etc...all aggressive striking arts. As you progress throughout your aikido training you'll see that the strikes are there. If that's what needs to be done then it can be be done. Many people watching videos of O'Sensei later in his years wonder how a man can do the extraordinary things shown in those videos. Throwing people with, what looks like, nothing but a mere glance or simply his Ki. We forget that there's been years upon years upon years of hoaning his craft. He had to kick a lot of ass before he got to that point. The higher learning aspect of O'Sensei's Aiki(do) era teachings put a different twist on the possibilities of "the atemi". This is a highly debated topic throughout the Aikido community. My belief is that the use of atemi is of upmost importance. Whether you decide to pull the punch or not is up to you. I don't necessarily subscribe to the theory that Aikido is a completely painless art. That to me is the beauty of it. Anything...and I mean anything is possible with Aikido.
If you can go to a seminar with George Ledyard Sensei...or watch some of his videos. He does a great job of describing atemi and striking. He's one of the best.

Cheers

B

AikiTao 12-28-2012 12:37 AM

Re: Atemi and Aikido
 
Quote:

Philip Zeplin-Frederiksen wrote: (Post 321009)
Thought I would chime in, and say I'm pretty sure the first video is Aikido S.A. (Shoot Aikido (Shoot is sort of Japans MMA in some ways)).
Not 100% sure, but I've seen it referenced in context with A.S.A. and the dojos seem to be located at the same places.

My own, completely uneducated, view on it:
As long as you use the Aikido principles in your Atemi (and not just pure strength, for instance), I say it's still Aikido. Gozo Shioda talks quite a lot about the importance of Atemi in his semi-biographical books.

Sounds interesting. May have to look into that. How, in you opinion, can atemi follow Aiki principles?

Quote:

Barry Johnston wrote: (Post 321016)
I began my fascination with aikido exactly 3 years ago. I'm definitely not the authority on aikido, but I'll offer my own $.02. One thing that we must keep in mind as beginners is the vastness of O'Sensei's knowledge and teachings. Much of what he taught was based upon the idea that you actually understood and/or had a background in martial arts. Some of that has been taken for granted over the years. One thing that we try and stress in our classes is how important committed attacks are to the development of Aikido. Proper stance, proper punching technique, proper kicking technique is something that we try to be aware of while training. I'm fortunate in that many of the aikidoka that I train with, including our sensei, have vast martial arts, military, and law enforcement backgrounds.
Aikido was founded on principles found throughout karate, judo, aikijutsu...etc...all aggressive striking arts. As you progress throughout your aikido training you'll see that the strikes are there. If that's what needs to be done then it can be be done. Many people watching videos of O'Sensei later in his years wonder how a man can do the extraordinary things shown in those videos. Throwing people with, what looks like, nothing but a mere glance or simply his Ki. We forget that there's been years upon years upon years of hoaning his craft. He had to kick a lot of ass before he got to that point. The higher learning aspect of O'Sensei's Aiki(do) era teachings put a different twist on the possibilities of "the atemi". This is a highly debated topic throughout the Aikido community. My belief is that the use of atemi is of upmost importance. Whether you decide to pull the punch or not is up to you. I don't necessarily subscribe to the theory that Aikido is a completely painless art. That to me is the beauty of it. Anything...and I mean anything is possible with Aikido.
If you can go to a seminar with George Ledyard Sensei...or watch some of his videos. He does a great job of describing atemi and striking. He's one of the best.

Cheers

B

I think that teaching commitment (too much) can backfire. A lot of Aikidoka have a false expectation of what an attack looks like because we generally fully commit to our attacks, which makes it easier for Nage. Without doing so, you'll likely expect resistance and have to work around it, which I think is important anyways. But for the sole purpose of training techniques, it is necessary to commit fully... just gotta make sure that the newer Aikidoka mistake that as what could happen for it will likely not, but I definitely agree with everything else.

Another post I enjoyed on the other forums was where a member said that in order for an Aikidoka to be effective, they must be in a position to strike their opponent down, but use technique as an alternative as to show compassion. They quoted their teachers as saying something along the lines of "if you want to be able to make the decision to be able not to destroy, you must first know how to destroy". I personally love that outlook. Very much like my philosophy on martial arts: If you want to truly know and appreciate peace, you must first understand war (or in this context, self-defense and intense levels of training).

Just my humble opinion though. :)

Lyle Laizure 12-28-2012 02:14 AM

Re: Atemi and Aikido
 
In order to properly deliver an atemi the individual must know how to properly punch/kick. Atemi are an important part of Aikido training but all to often it is neglected. As mentioned previously, in OSensei's day the vast majority, if not all, of his students trained in other arts and knew how to strike. Today that definately isn't the case. In some instances there are instructors that simply do not know how to strike and therefore teach it incorrectly or do not teach it at all. The emphasis during training is generally spent trying to work on the technique and striking is left out as it clutters the training making akward movements that much more akward. All that being said atemi should definately be taught but more importantly how to strike should be taught.

ewolput 12-28-2012 03:18 AM

Re: Atemi and Aikido
 
Quote:

Michael Hackett wrote: (Post 321012)
Eddy, could you give a brief overview of the rules in Tomiki competition? It seems that both defenders would have been seriously injured in a real knife attack, but points were given apparently for only stabbing wounds. No criticism, I'm just curious.

You can find the rules here : http://www.tomiki.org/rules.html

Enjoy,
Eddy

BJohnston 12-28-2012 09:16 AM

Re: Atemi and Aikido
 
Quote:

Lyle Laizure wrote: (Post 321018)
In order to properly deliver an atemi the individual must know how to properly punch/kick. Atemi are an important part of Aikido training but all to often it is neglected. As mentioned previously, in OSensei's day the vast majority, if not all, of his students trained in other arts and knew how to strike. Today that definately isn't the case. In some instances there are instructors that simply do not know how to strike and therefore teach it incorrectly or do not teach it at all. The emphasis during training is generally spent trying to work on the technique and striking is left out as it clutters the training making akward movements that much more akward. All that being said atemi should definately be taught but more importantly how to strike should be taught.

Agreed. We've started a youth class at our dojo. Since the students are a little too young to dive right into Aikido we've based the curriculum around karate basics. Trying to get them fundamentally sound with striking is important for their Aikido.
Occasionally, in the advanced adult classes, we will have free form practice where the Nage has no knowledge of what type of attack will be presented. I find this type of training the most helpful and challenging. The idea is to relax, let go, and react in some way...even it's not perfect. Aikido, at least my Aikido at this point, looks quite different when you practice this way.

B

Cliff Judge 12-28-2012 01:25 PM

Re: Atemi and Aikido
 
My $.02:

Striking at a very basic level is fundamental to martial arts, but if there is anything you can't accomplish with a single, strong, balanced attack, you are either:

a) using the wrong tool
b) in a fight you have the option of not being in

The martial traditions from which Aikido is descended assume a generalized tool, and assume that b) is not the case.

The essential problem with getting too fancy with your striking and grappling when practicing Aikido is that you are no longer training for a life-or-death situation that came out of nowhere that you are trying to survive with limited information as to what is really going on.

Which is not to say you shouldn't do it at all, it is just not something that your regular general Aikido training should focus on.

All Aikidoka should learn to deliver a single, balanced attack to whatever part of another human body they choose, using anywhere from 0 to 100% of the force they can muster with their entire being. You have to work at this but it isn't rocket science (or even sweet science).

Aside from that, I tend to believe that the strikes that nage might do while performing a technique are just pugilistic sugar.

Chris Li 12-28-2012 02:06 PM

Re: Atemi and Aikido
 
Quote:

Cliff Judge wrote: (Post 321031)
My $.02:

Striking at a very basic level is fundamental to martial arts, but if there is anything you can't accomplish with a single, strong, balanced attack, you are either:

a) using the wrong tool
b) in a fight you have the option of not being in

The martial traditions from which Aikido is descended assume a generalized tool, and assume that b) is not the case.

The essential problem with getting too fancy with your striking and grappling when practicing Aikido is that you are no longer training for a life-or-death situation that came out of nowhere that you are trying to survive with limited information as to what is really going on.

Which is not to say you shouldn't do it at all, it is just not something that your regular general Aikido training should focus on.

All Aikidoka should learn to deliver a single, balanced attack to whatever part of another human body they choose, using anywhere from 0 to 100% of the force they can muster with their entire being. You have to work at this but it isn't rocket science (or even sweet science).

Aside from that, I tend to believe that the strikes that nage might do while performing a technique are just pugilistic sugar.

My feeling on training to land a single, balanced attack is that it only ends up being useful in a strictly kata situation. If you look at the top boxers - only the really top guys have a connect rate over 40%, for most boxers (even good ones) the connect rate is much lower. If you rely on that one attack then you've got less chance of connecting then if you just flipped a coin.

It works the same if you're giving or receiving - if you only work against that single balanced attack then you're training yourself to work against something that really doesn't happen very often.

Fine for Kata training of course.

In terms of the mechanics - I feel strongly that strikes have to come out of the same basic body usage as everything else.

Best,

Chris

Cliff Judge 12-28-2012 02:18 PM

Re: Atemi and Aikido
 
Quote:

Christopher Li wrote: (Post 321032)
My feeling on training to land a single, balanced attack is that it only ends up being useful in a strictly kata situation. If you look at the top boxers - only the really top guys have a connect rate over 40%, for most boxers (even good ones) the connect rate is much lower. If you rely on that one attack then you've got less chance of connecting then if you just flipped a coin.

It works the same if you're giving or receiving - if you only work against that single balanced attack then you're training yourself to work against something that really doesn't happen very often.

Fine for Kata training of course.

In terms of the mechanics - I feel strongly that strikes have to come out of the same basic body usage as everything else.

Best,

Chris

I am not talking about "relying" on it at all. And I am not even saying you only get one of 'em. I am mostly saying that working on combinations and jabs and such does two things: takes time away from learning technical basics, and moves you into the realm of sport fighting.

What are you saying doesn't happen very often?

Mario Tobias 12-28-2012 02:27 PM

Re: Atemi and Aikido
 
There are several types of atemi as per my interpretation.

1) Atemi is enough if you still maintain connection with partner imho in case of a set-up.

2) It is used as a distraction to lessen uke's commitment to an attack. Even if you get hit, it's not as devastating if you hadn't done atemi. Perfectly timed atemi would totally make uke's attack harmless imho.

3) it is also used during transitions within a technique to close openings for uke. there are several techniques which offer uke openings to attack nage during a technique and atemi can be used to close these gaps.

4) It can also be used as a technique in itself to throw uke

Chris Li 12-28-2012 02:32 PM

Re: Atemi and Aikido
 
Quote:

Cliff Judge wrote: (Post 321033)
I am not talking about "relying" on it at all. And I am not even saying you only get one of 'em. I am mostly saying that working on combinations and jabs and such does two things: takes time away from learning technical basics, and moves you into the realm of sport fighting.

What are you saying doesn't happen very often?

I'm saying that encounters with just one fully committed strike don't happen that often - and if they do they tend to be fairly low level.

I think that it's a long way from combinations and jabs to sport fighting, there's a whole world in between.

Anyway, by "relying" I meant that if that's how you train then that's how you'll end up.

For technical basics - the strikes are (or should be) all in the technical basics, all in the same basic method of body usage, if you've got one you've got the other, IMO.

Best,

Chris

Cliff Judge 12-28-2012 03:09 PM

Re: Atemi and Aikido
 
Quote:

Christopher Li wrote: (Post 321035)
I'm saying that encounters with just one fully committed strike don't happen that often - and if they do they tend to be fairly low level.

I think that it's a long way from combinations and jabs to sport fighting, there's a whole world in between.

Anyway, by "relying" I meant that if that's how you train then that's how you'll end up.

For technical basics - the strikes are (or should be) all in the technical basics, all in the same basic method of body usage, if you've got one you've got the other, IMO.

Best,

Chris

I'm not sure I can credit what you are saying well enough to really respond. Seems like encounters with no fully committed strikes can and should be exited.

How about you rely on, say, throwing or taking the attacker down so you can get yourself a moment to escape the situation you are in? Or just stab the guy or something. I don't think getting into a boxing match on the street is the revolutionary new self-defense idea of the 21st century that those medieval Asians were too stuck on tradition to imagine.

Chris Li 12-28-2012 05:31 PM

Re: Atemi and Aikido
 
Quote:

Cliff Judge wrote: (Post 321037)
I'm not sure I can credit what you are saying well enough to really respond. Seems like encounters with no fully committed strikes can and should be exited.

How about you rely on, say, throwing or taking the attacker down so you can get yourself a moment to escape the situation you are in? Or just stab the guy or something. I don't think getting into a boxing match on the street is the revolutionary new self-defense idea of the 21st century that those medieval Asians were too stuck on tradition to imagine.

I'm not sure what you mean by fully committed, but if I go by what Aikido folks usually mean, then yes, it's very possible to strike someone in a way that is not fully committed by that definition with strikes that are very dificult to exit.

BTW, I'm not advocating boxing, and never said that I do - I only brought it up to show how small a percentage of strikes actually connect enough to do any damage, a small enough percentage that focusing on "one strike" is probably not realistic at all.

Best,

Chris

Cliff Judge 12-28-2012 06:42 PM

Re: Atemi and Aikido
 
Quote:

Christopher Li wrote: (Post 321041)
I'm not sure what you mean by fully committed, but if I go by what Aikido folks usually mean, then yes, it's very possible to strike someone in a way that is not fully committed by that definition with strikes that are very dificult to exit.

BTW, I'm not advocating boxing, and never said that I do - I only brought it up to show how small a percentage of strikes actually connect enough to do any damage, a small enough percentage that focusing on "one strike" is probably not realistic at all.

Best,

Chris

I don' t understand what you are saying and you do not seem to understand what I am saying.

Chris Li 12-28-2012 08:13 PM

Re: Atemi and Aikido
 
Quote:

Cliff Judge wrote: (Post 321045)
I don' t understand what you are saying and you do not seem to understand what I am saying.

Hmm, let me try to put this better...

You said:

Quote:

Cliff Judge wrote: (Post 321045)
All Aikidoka should learn to deliver a single, balanced attack to whatever part of another human body they choose, using anywhere from 0 to 100% of the force they can muster with their entire being. You have to work at this but it isn't rocket science (or even sweet science).

My point in bringing up boxing is that we can see from the stats that a single attack actually has only a very small chance of connecting.

Then what?

Well, if you only train withat single attack (which is what is pretty standard in conventional Aikido), then you're stuck. Yes, the same principles apply, but I think that it's a pretty big leap to make on the fly.

There's nothing wrong with throwing your attacker down (as you mentioned in another post), but the same problem applies. If you look at Judo or other grappling arts, you can see that only a small percentage of throws actually go to completion cleanly.

Then what?

It's a similar problem, IMO.

Best,

Chris

Michael Varin 12-28-2012 09:30 PM

Re: Atemi and Aikido
 
Logan,

Good questions.

I realize most see it the other way, but I think aikido should be practiced more with the feeling of a striking art than a grappling art. Of course the strikes that will "fit" into the classical presentation of techniques the best will be weapon striking movements, i.e., shomenuchi, yokomenuchi and tsuki. This in no way means that other strikes aren't valid, simply that the appearance may change.

I practice striking quite frequently.

Something that I find interesting, and you may find useful is to look not so much at the external movements, but rather how they arise. There is no attack in aikido, but there is striking! Kote gaeshi and ikkyo can be, and often are, applied with an attacking spirit just as easily as tsuki.

Watch a true and pure counter striker in boxing and tell me if they are not following aiki principles?

I think it has a lot to do with whether you are responding to the aggressive intention of the other or attempting to impose your will upon them.

A question for you, what do you mean when you say "when trained properly, (striking) matches aikido perfectly?"

Michael Varin 12-28-2012 09:36 PM

Re: Atemi and Aikido
 
Quote:

Logan Light wrote:
I think that teaching commitment (too much) can backfire. A lot of Aikidoka have a false expectation of what an attack looks like because we generally fully commit to our attacks, which makes it easier for Nage. Without doing so, you'll likely expect resistance and have to work around it, which I think is important anyways. But for the sole purpose of training techniques, it is necessary to commit fully... just gotta make sure that the newer Aikidoka mistake that as what could happen for it will likely not, but I definitely agree with everything else.

I think that you are talking about at least two different things here. Many people get caught up in this notion of commitment. I've discussed this with aikidoists many times in person. I think we need to make finer distinctions. A good question to start with is: Commitment to what? It is probably also helpful to consider what someone's objectives are.

In some sense, there will always be a moment in which we commit to any action we are engaging in. I think this is an important moment to take notice of.

I can promise you that when boxers strike, they are committed to that strike. And I don't believe that fully committed attacks are easier to deal with.

How do you think the experience for nage varies as uke takes each of the following as an objective?

(1) Assist nage in learning/executing this particular technique
(2) Assist nage in executing any aikido technique
(3) Hit nage full power in the face with this particular strike
(4) Hit nage full power in the face in any way
(5) Defeat nage

Obviously, there are many more possibilities, but this is a good place to start.

(My apologies to Mark Murray for stealing his trademark numbered list format. ;) )

Michael Varin 12-28-2012 09:44 PM

Re: Atemi and Aikido
 
Quote:

Christopher Li wrote: (Post 321047)
My point in bringing up boxing is that we can see from the stats that a single attack actually has only a very small chance of connecting.

Then what?

Well, if you only train withat single attack (which is what is pretty standard in conventional Aikido), then you're stuck. Yes, the same principles apply, but I think that it's a pretty big leap to make on the fly.

There's nothing wrong with throwing your attacker down (as you mentioned in another post), but the same problem applies. If you look at Judo or other grappling arts, you can see that only a small percentage of throws actually go to completion cleanly.

Then what?

It's a similar problem, IMO.

I think I see what Chris is getting at, but there are a multitude of reasons for those percentages.

In my opinion, that is what aiki is all about. . .

Randomness is not acceptable.

AikiTao 12-29-2012 12:06 AM

Re: Atemi and Aikido
 
Quote:

Christopher Li wrote: (Post 321047)
Hmm, let me try to put this better...

My point in bringing up boxing is that we can see from the stats that a single attack actually has only a very small chance of connecting.

Then what?

Well, if you only train withat single attack (which is what is pretty standard in conventional Aikido), then you're stuck. Yes, the same principles apply, but I think that it's a pretty big leap to make on the fly.

Then what?

It's a similar problem, IMO.

Best,

Chris

Good point. I think many Aikidoka have a misconception, probably because of too much emphasis on training statically, that they can deliver one strike and transition to a technique, which I doubt is rarely ever the case. This is why I believe training in striking alone is necessary as when that one strike misses or doesn't do it's job, you don't have to get caught up trying to force a technique that doesn't clearly present itself.

Quote:

Michael Varin wrote: (Post 321049)
Logan,

Good questions.

I realize most see it the other way, but I think aikido should be practiced more with the feeling of a striking art than a grappling art. Of course the strikes that will "fit" into the classical presentation of techniques the best will be weapon striking movements, i.e., shomenuchi, yokomenuchi and tsuki. This in no way means that other strikes aren't valid, simply that the appearance may change.

I practice striking quite frequently.

Something that I find interesting, and you may find useful is to look not so much at the external movements, but rather how they arise. There is no attack in aikido, but there is striking! Kote gaeshi and ikkyo can be, and often are, applied with an attacking spirit just as easily as tsuki.

Watch a true and pure counter striker in boxing and tell me if they are not following aiki principles?

I think it has a lot to do with whether you are responding to the aggressive intention of the other or attempting to impose your will upon them.

A question for you, what do you mean when you say "when trained properly, (striking) matches aikido perfectly?"

Never thought of boxing like that but I can definitely see a lot of the defense and even some offense being Aiki by nature.

When I said that striking matches Aikido if trained perfectly, I was mostly saying that with the first video I posted in mind, although it wasn't necessarily perfect but pretty on point in my opinion. I think that as long as striking is used properly, depending on the situation, then it can blend well with Aikido as long as, like others have said, it sticks to Aiki principles.

For example, using an irimi with a few palm strikes to transition to another technique may be aggressive, but I don't see any reason for excluding it from Aikido or considering it a contradiction of Aiki principles.

Quote:

Michael Varin wrote: (Post 321050)
I think that you are talking about at least two different things here. Many people get caught up in this notion of commitment. I've discussed this with aikidoists many times in person. I think we need to make finer distinctions. A good question to start with is: Commitment to what? It is probably also helpful to consider what someone's objectives are.

In some sense, there will always be a moment in which we commit to any action we are engaging in. I think this is an important moment to take notice of.

I can promise you that when boxers strike, they are committed to that strike. And I don't believe that fully committed attacks are easier to deal with.

How do you think the experience for nage varies as uke takes each of the following as an objective?

(1) Assist nage in learning/executing this particular technique
(2) Assist nage in executing any aikido technique
(3) Hit nage full power in the face with this particular strike
(4) Hit nage full power in the face in any way
(5) Defeat nage

Obviously, there are many more possibilities, but this is a good place to start.

(My apologies to Mark Murray for stealing his trademark numbered list format. ;) )

When I say commit, I personally tend to think of overcommitment or a level of commitment that is dramatic and not likely to see in a violent encounter. While a blitz, or rushing attack is likely, a mune tsuki punch isn't. In that context, I don't consider boxers to commit. Although their punches are definitely committed, both physically and mentally, they don't do so statically, with a pause, or with compliance like some of us are taught. When we strike nage, at least starting out, we learn to give them our Ki so they can perform the technique at a basic level. We are committing our strike so they can continue with it or do whatever it is they're supposed to be doing. Boxers don't do that.

Just my thoughts though. Just depends on how you're looking at it.

I think another point to bring up is psychological aspects of striking. Not to get off topic. I feel that we should all train if not to deliver than to understand proper striking. I know a few people who truly believe that how we strike is what they may encounter in the street or that someone will assault them from 10 feet away. While possible, not likely. This is hugely why outsiders sometimes look down on Aikido... because at first sight, we don't train for your average street brawl.

This video about sums it up:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZyUub1Jn3Y

They train for what you may likely encounter.

Another example:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6lra...4O65g&index=54

The first video I posted is still, in my opinion, a very good style of striking to mix. The open hand strikes allow for what would probably be less damage to the opponent (at least visibly) while allowing transitioning to techniques easier.

Rupert Atkinson 12-29-2012 07:17 AM

Re: Atemi and Aikido
 
Well - those two vids above are all well and good but it's nothing to do with Aikido. How are you going to learn aiki if you train like that? Aikido is The Way of Aiki as far as I'm concerened. Atemi in Aikido (or Jujutsu for that matter), if that is what you want to do, simply have to be applied within the flow of the technique.

chillzATL 12-29-2012 10:36 AM

Re: Atemi and Aikido
 
IMO training atemi like that is like trying to put a square peg into a round hole. That's not to say I find it pointless, I just don't think it's addressing what the art of aikido is supposed to be about. To me it's a modern response to the question many people have about how impractical the techniques of aikido seem to be in actual fighting situations. So they take the "aikido is 80% atemi" quote and head off into the weeds in an effort to figure out how to actually apply an ikkyo to some big strong guy in a bar fight or worse yet, someone with some fighting skill. So you end up training to delivery semi-decent strikes (at best) while moving into techniques, but you've done nothing to address when the guy stumbles, falls into you and you both go crashing to the ground because you lack the stability and structure to stay on your feet and then you're off looking for something else to cross-train in (unless you've already done that) to get that and maybe still wondering how O'sensei was able to do what he did while really only training in one thing... ymmv


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