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Wynand van Dyk 11-24-2004 12:31 AM

Playing around with Atemi
 
Have anyone every played, on their own time or as part of dojo training with strikes? Not in the sense of delivering / defending against them but rather trying to alter the "depth" of the strike, making it penetrate more or diffusing it on the surface of your partner.

I think that you need a partner to practice strikes, you cannot get the correct kind of feedback from a punching bag, I believe that you also dont need to deliver the strikes very hard to get the desired result.

Have anyone here tried using their breathing to change the characteristics of their strikes? exhaling when delivering a strike and inhaling when "cocking" a strike are well known but have anyone tried to alter their breathing when receiving a strike? Do you inhale or exhale or do something completely wierd with your breathing when on the receiving end?

I have some ideas that I want to try out before or after class at our dojo but I first need to find some willing partners to strike and be struck by.

I also want to know what the opinion is of breaking the support / taking the balance of your partner with your legs. Not in the sense of fancy high kicks but maybe dropping a knee into the back of their knee or placing a foot in the spot where you suspect they would want to step to if they wanted to regain their balance and thus foiling their attempt. I understand that tripping and judo style footsweeps are pretty much out of the window when it comes to training Aikido but I believe that being comfortable with using your legs to affect your partner's balance has much worth and should not be ignored.

Opinions and further ideas are welcome.

xuzen 11-24-2004 02:02 AM

Re: Playing around with Atemi
 
Quote:

Wynand van Dyk wrote:
...<snip>...

I think that you need a partner to practice strikes, you cannot get the correct kind of feedback from a punching bag, I believe that you also dont need to deliver the strikes very hard to get the desired result.

Opinions and further ideas are welcome.

Yeah I need feedback too. The only problem I have not met anyone who is willing to stand dummy and take hits, nor am I willing to let my body receive blows. So I am still stuck with non-feedback punching bags. sigh...

Boon.

Wynand van Dyk 11-24-2004 02:13 AM

Re: Playing around with Atemi
 
Quote:

Xu Wenfung wrote:
Yeah I need feedback too. The only problem I have not met anyone who is willing to stand dummy and take hits, nor am I willing to let my body receive blows. So I am still stuck with non-feedback punching bags. sigh...

Boon.

Dont you have any training partners you can trust at your dojo?

Bronson 11-24-2004 02:35 AM

Re: Playing around with Atemi
 
Quote:

Wynand van Dyk wrote:
...have anyone tried to alter their breathing when receiving a strike?

Get thee to a Uechi ryu (or possibly other) karate dojo.

The folks I've seen who practice Uechi and another Okinawan karate....which I can't remember the name for right now :drool:....seem to use a sharp exhale when receiving strikes. This is just what I've observed having never actually practiced Okinawan karate.

Bronson

Bridge 11-24-2004 03:16 AM

Re: Playing around with Atemi
 
Quote:

Xu Wenfung wrote:
Yeah I need feedback too. The only problem I have not met anyone who is willing to stand dummy and take hits, nor am I willing to let my body receive blows. So I am still stuck with non-feedback punching bags. sigh...

Boon.

Hi,

There is another way. Get someone to hold a punch pad or focus mitt for you. The advantage of focus mitt being your practice partner can "mix it up" for you.

Feedback without any (real) damage! :)

Also when getting hit, I tend to "brace" my tummy muscles (Stomach crunch sensation). Involves weird breathing out while holding breath at same time, but is better than getting winded IMO.

If you're ever in Slough Uk, I don't mind holding a focus pad for you!

Wynand van Dyk 11-24-2004 03:55 AM

Re: Playing around with Atemi
 
Quote:

Bridget Chung wrote:
Also when getting hit, I tend to "brace" my tummy muscles (Stomach crunch sensation). Involves weird breathing out while holding breath at same time, but is better than getting winded IMO.

I think bracing is a natural response to getting hit but I have 2 serious issues with it.
1) You are holding your breath which is a very bad thing when you hit the mat as from being thrown.

2) You are introducing muscular tension, ie - resisting when you should try and blend with the attack.

Moving your hips to re-position the target of the strike is also pretty dumb because that means that the opponent is controlling your centre as opposed to you controlling theirs.

As you can see, I am somewhat at a loss here, clearly, the answer to the getting hit issue is to not be there but sometimes you will get hit, no matter how good you are, how do you cope with a strike then?

Pauliina Lievonen 11-24-2004 04:09 AM

Re: Playing around with Atemi
 
Quote:

Xu Wenfung wrote:
Yeah I need feedback too. The only problem I have not met anyone who is willing to stand dummy and take hits, nor am I willing to let my body receive blows. So I am still stuck with non-feedback punching bags. sigh...

No offense, but if you're not willing to let me hit you, I wouldn't be willing to be your practise dummy either...

We sometimes practise puncing each other in the belly. Taking care to hit the stomach muscles, not at the edge of the ribs, because that way you can't go on for long. It's really not that bad. Sensei isn't happy unless I get him to go "ooff" and step back. :cool:

Another thing we do is one partner streches their arm out to the side palm toward partner, and the palm is the target. If you stay relaxed and perceptive you can let the punch swing your hand away and it doesn't hurt too much. If your punch isn't snappy enough you just sort of push at the hand, feels very lame... :p In this position, the muscliest part of the forearm can be a target for shomeuchi practise, too, then you have to allow the arm to drop when hit.

We also use hands as targets for shomenuchi and yokomenuchi practise, hands held palms outward in front of forehead or side of neck. I often do this a couple of times before starting to practice a technique, for a good focused attack.

kvaak
Pauliina

Bridge 11-24-2004 07:52 AM

Re: Playing around with Atemi
 
Quote:

Wynand van Dyk wrote:
I think bracing is a natural response to getting hit but I have 2 serious issues with it.
1) You are holding your breath which is a very bad thing when you hit the mat as from being thrown.

2) You are introducing muscular tension, ie - resisting when you should try and blend with the attack.

Moving your hips to re-position the target of the strike is also pretty dumb because that means that the opponent is controlling your centre as opposed to you controlling theirs.

As you can see, I am somewhat at a loss here, clearly, the answer to the getting hit issue is to not be there but sometimes you will get hit, no matter how good you are, how do you cope with a strike then?

I thought we were supposed to use taisabaki in such a way as to blend with the attacks (ideal) or generally avoid gettting hit?

Well it's possible to brace muscles so you don't hold your breath. Takes practice though.

Block? Not ideal but a reasonable last resort.

If you're unwilling to get out of the way or brace or block, then hide a book down the front of your gi? :D

Suppose one option is adapting our guard so if you do get hit they only hit your arms/elbows etc.

Eric Cyr 11-24-2004 09:31 AM

Re: Playing around with Atemi
 
Never breath in when receiving an attack, always breath out! If you receive a good solid strike to the diaphragm you may die from a heart attack. I remember not breathing out at the exact right time (pardon my English) and crapping water for two weeks! There is no messing around with atemi. It is very serious business! It doesn't take much to hurt someone! Did you know that it only takes 5 pounds of pressure to break someones elbow, not very much. I please ask you to ,like you said, mess around, under the supervision of a qualified instructor. Please! :eek: !!

Michael Young 11-24-2004 11:06 AM

Re: Playing around with Atemi
 
If you get an opportunity, check out some Russian Systema stuff. My impression is, they have systematized a lot of what you are talking about. They practice not only different striking methods, but ways of receiving strikes and "dispersing" the energy through the body. I plan to get to one of the seminars sometime, or at least observing a few classes next time I am somewhere that there is a practicing group (South Texas isn't exactly a hotbed of martial arts centers).

Mike

p00kiethebear 11-24-2004 11:16 AM

Re: Playing around with Atemi
 
Quote:

Never breath in when receiving an attack, always breath out!
Good advice, this is what I see all the combat Ki and chigun masters do when they demonstrate. Didn't harry hudini (spelling?) die of an unprepared blow to the stomach?

Recently in our dojo we've been placing a lot more emphasis on atemi. We never actually talk about it too much but sensei is having us make sure we do it alot on our entering motions for certain techniques. At my particular level of aiki ability, I find it very hard to get certain techniques to work well without atemi.

It is most definitely a necesity to aikido training.

Have you guys considered trying out those padded suits that karateka train with sometimes? Would be seriously hard for uke to move in one of them but you would be able to see if your strikes are effective.

csinca 11-24-2004 11:36 AM

Re: Playing around with Atemi
 
Checking out a Systema seminar would be a good exposure to what you seem to be looking for, I've only been to one but have also They do focus on the energy, depth and direction of a strike; as well as dissipating the energy when struck.

Absorbing/blending with the strike and exhaling is a good general approach.

We work on this fairly extensively doing partner work to understand how different strikes will affect the uke's posture. For example, atemi straight into uke's stomach tends to double them over, possibly trapping your arm. That same strike angle down to their rear triangulation point is going to take their hips back and likely put them on their seat! We also use our legs to break the uke's lower triangle, but it tends not to be as effective if you try to kick or sweep their legs. It gets tricky to describe but you are generally better off making contact on the leg and then placing your foot down and basing to disrupt uke.

Or you can work on a strong, fast roundhouse kick and beat their leg into submission!

Chris

NH 11-26-2004 04:32 PM

Re: Playing around with Atemi
 
Hi Wynand,

Daito-ryu does involve some practice at giving and receiving various atemi on a human body.

But I must agree with the others that the Russian martial art of Systema probably is closest to what you appear to be looking for.

They've got some very very unorthodox ways of hitting. I've experienced practitioners who can cause you to collapse in the strangest ways through different strikes.

They also teach how to breathe so that pain can't enter; they dish out strikes with whips and wooden sticks and you learn to absorb it.

Where in S.A. are you located? I might be able to point you to someone there if you're interested.

By the way, if you want an interesting discussion of atemi as it relates to Aikido, there are some thought-proving essays in Ellis Amdur's "Dueling with O-sensei."

Best regards,

Nick Hallale
England
www.daito-ryu.co.uk

CNYMike 11-26-2004 09:05 PM

Re: Playing around with Atemi
 
I haven't read the other replies, so I am going out on a limb here, but this is just my gut reaction:

Quote:

Wynand van Dyk wrote:
..... Have anyone every played, on their own time or as part of dojo training with strikes? Not in the sense of delivering / defending against them but rather trying to alter the "depth" of the strike, making it penetrate more or diffusing it on the surface of your partner.

I think that you need a partner to practice strikes, you cannot get the correct kind of feedback from a punching bag, I believe that you also dont need to deliver the strikes very hard to get the desired result .....

If you are suggesting that your partner just stands there while you deliver strikes so you can see what happens, I have three words on this idea: DON'T DO IT! Even striking "lightly," there is too much risk of injury for you and a potential partner to risk it. Forget it. Put it out of your mind. It's a bad idea.

Consider the fact that, AFAIK, full contact fighters who, as a regular part of sparring or competing, "receive" and "deliver" hits to each other all the time, don't do the kind of training you appear to be suggesting. They either work the heavy bag or with a parnter who is holding different forms of focus mits, and even that kind of training requires instruction to be done safely. Follow that example.

If I am wrong about what you are proposing, mea culpa. But if I am right, DON'T DO IT! It sounds too freakin' risky to me to even think about it.

Quote:

... I also want to know what the opinion is of breaking the support / taking the balance of your partner with your legs. Not in the sense of fancy high kicks but maybe dropping a knee into the back of their knee or placing a foot in the spot where you suspect they would want to step to if they wanted to regain their balance and thus foiling their attempt. I understand that tripping and judo style footsweeps are pretty much out of the window when it comes to training Aikido but I believe that being comfortable with using your legs to affect your partner's balance has much worth and should not be ignored.

Opinions and further ideas are welcome.
You have a point, and those are valid techniques, but again, you are playing with techniques that carry a significant risk of injury, especially the knee into the other person's knee. You know what I say on that point? Unless your sensei teaches those techniques, DON'T PLAY WITH THEM! You shouldn't even try without supervision of an instructor who knows those techniques and knows how to do them safely.

Bottom line: Unless you can cross-train under an instructor who teaches the sort of techniques you are interested in, DON'T DO IT! Period.

Wynand van Dyk 11-29-2004 02:22 AM

Re: Playing around with Atemi
 
Quote:

Michael Gallagher wrote:
I haven't read the other replies, so I am going out on a limb here, but this is just my gut reaction:

If you are suggesting that your partner just stands there while you deliver strikes so you can see what happens, I have three words on this idea: DON'T DO IT! Even striking "lightly," there is too much risk of injury for you and a potential partner to risk it. Forget it. Put it out of your mind. It's a bad idea.

Consider the fact that, AFAIK, full contact fighters who, as a regular part of sparring or competing, "receive" and "deliver" hits to each other all the time, don't do the kind of training you appear to be suggesting. They either work the heavy bag or with a parnter who is holding different forms of focus mits, and even that kind of training requires instruction to be done safely. Follow that example.

If I am wrong about what you are proposing, mea culpa. But if I am right, DON'T DO IT! It sounds too freakin' risky to me to even think about it.

You have a point, and those are valid techniques, but again, you are playing with techniques that carry a significant risk of injury, especially the knee into the other person's knee. You know what I say on that point? Unless your sensei teaches those techniques, DON'T PLAY WITH THEM! You shouldn't even try without supervision of an instructor who knows those techniques and knows how to do them safely.

Bottom line: Unless you can cross-train under an instructor who teaches the sort of techniques you are interested in, DON'T DO IT! Period.

I dont think you understand what I am on about. I am not talking about delivering full blown atemi to a person just standing there. I am talking about shoving each other around, not grabbing, not manipulating limbs but just pushing each other in different places and seeing how it affects balance and posture and maybe coupling this with breathing to see if you can get a more or less pronounced effect purely by changing your breathing.

The leg stuff would also occur very slowly, again to see how it affects balance and posture. In a sense I am trying to get a greater feel for how the human body reacts to pressure from different angles and this knowledge would be usefull when attempting to deliver atemi in more "realistic" situations.

According to Gozo Shioda's Aikido Shugyo, O-sensei broke a judoka's hip using a rather light touch that was perfectly timed with the judoka's movement. This is something remarkable to work on.

Wynand van Dyk 11-29-2004 02:30 AM

Re: Playing around with Atemi
 
Quote:

Nick Hallale wrote:
Hi Wynand,

Daito-ryu does involve some practice at giving and receiving various atemi on a human body.

But I must agree with the others that the Russian martial art of Systema probably is closest to what you appear to be looking for.

They've got some very very unorthodox ways of hitting. I've experienced practitioners who can cause you to collapse in the strangest ways through different strikes.

They also teach how to breathe so that pain can't enter; they dish out strikes with whips and wooden sticks and you learn to absorb it.

Where in S.A. are you located? I might be able to point you to someone there if you're interested.

By the way, if you want an interesting discussion of atemi as it relates to Aikido, there are some thought-proving essays in Ellis Amdur's "Dueling with O-sensei."

Best regards,

Nick Hallale
England
www.daito-ryu.co.uk

I would be very interested in practicing Systema, I stay in Cape Town and the only Systema school I know of in SA is in Gauteng which might as well be another continent away with my inability to move at this point in time.

NH 11-29-2004 03:12 AM

Re: Playing around with Atemi
 
Quote:

Wynand van Dyk wrote:
I would be very interested in practicing Systema, I stay in Cape Town and the only Systema school I know of in SA is in Gauteng which might as well be another continent away with my inability to move at this point in time.

Sun, Clifton, Table Mountain, V&A ...
Why would you WANT to move? :)

I'll find out where my friend is based and get back to you, but I suspect he is now in Johannesburg.

CNYMike 11-29-2004 09:08 AM

Re: Playing around with Atemi
 
Quote:

Wynand van Dyk wrote:
I dont think you understand what I am on about. I am not talking about delivering full blown atemi to a person just standing there. I am talking about shoving each other around, not grabbing, not manipulating limbs but just pushing each other in different places and seeing how it affects balance and posture and maybe coupling this with breathing to see if you can get a more or less pronounced effect purely by changing your breathing.

The leg stuff would also occur very slowly, again to see how it affects balance and posture. In a sense I am trying to get a greater feel for how the human body reacts to pressure from different angles and this knowledge would be usefull when attempting to deliver atemi in more "realistic" situations.

According to Gozo Shioda's Aikido Shugyo, O-sensei broke a judoka's hip using a rather light touch that was perfectly timed with the judoka's movement. This is something remarkable to work on.

Going very slowly is a step in the right direction safety wise, but even then, I think it's a bad idea to mess around with it. As you noted, O Sensei broke somebody's hip. That's not an injury you heal with a band-aid.

There are other systems that have already made a study of those things you are looking into; you should look into one of them instead of trying to dope it out by yourself, again, because even going slowly, it's just plain safer.

Wynand van Dyk 11-30-2004 12:49 AM

Re: Playing around with Atemi
 
Quote:

Michael Gallagher wrote:
Going very slowly is a step in the right direction safety wise, but even then, I think it's a bad idea to mess around with it. As you noted, O Sensei broke somebody's hip. That's not an injury you heal with a band-aid.

There are other systems that have already made a study of those things you are looking into; you should look into one of them instead of trying to dope it out by yourself, again, because even going slowly, it's just plain safer.

You do first of all realise that the human body is not made of porcelain and that O sensei knew what he was doing right?

The possibility of me, a relative novice being able to hurt someone in that way with a simple punch is astronomical, even if I put everything I have into the punch I would probably just end up hurting myself.

Please, when you respond to a thread in future, take into consideration that I might actually be an intelligent adult human being. Your response, while well meaning was rather patronizing.

rachel 11-30-2004 03:03 AM

Re: Playing around with Atemi
 
Quote:

Wynand van Dyk wrote:
You do first of all realise that the human body is not made of porcelain and that O sensei knew what he was doing right?

The possibility of me, a relative novice being able to hurt someone in that way with a simple punch is astronomical, even if I put everything I have into the punch I would probably just end up hurting myself.



In my experience, beginners are the most likely candidates to get hurt and to hurt others. Beginners are VERY capable of accidentally hurting other people, people become advanced my learning to control their movements and not cause any unintentional harm

Quote:

Wynand van Dyk wrote:
Please, when you respond to a thread in future, take into consideration that I might actually be an intelligent adult human being. Your response, while well meaning was rather patronizing.

Sorry, but my reaction to your original question was very similar to his. I think the entire idea is stupid and dangerous, but I'm not going to discourage you from doing it, just I WOULDN'T. Not only that, but I don't think he was trying to be patronizing, I think he was trying to keep you from injuring yourself or someone else.

Maybe you should consider what others have said, train in an art that works on this. As a rule, this, at the very least, isn't something that you should be doing without instruction.

PeterR 11-30-2004 03:32 AM

Re: Playing around with Atemi
 
OK so the consensus is that care must be taken.

Here's what you do. Buy some head protection, boxing gloves and a mouth guard. Decide between the two of you what you will and will not do. Start slowly and don't rush adding things in.

In the beginning concentrate on getting out of the way while still maintaining control. Boxing gloves aside you'll find joint locks difficult to pull off in any case. This kind of pressure training with resistance is very good and can be found elsewhere. Get used to the same kind of pressure in a boxing gym and the opportunity to use Aikido moves will present themselves.

CNYMike 11-30-2004 08:14 AM

Re: Playing around with Atemi
 
Quote:

Wynand van Dyk wrote:
You do first of all realise that the human body is not made of porcelain .....

No, but it's just as breakable. You have no idea.

Quote:

.... and that O sensei knew what he was doing right?
He did, but you are not O Sensei anymore than I am. If he did the sort of training you suggest, mea culpa, but I haven't heard of him doing so. And O Sensei did say, in his rules for Aikido practice, "Aikido decides life and death in a single strike, so students must carefully follow the instructor's teaching and not compete to see who is the strongest." Note the "life and death" part. (This copy of O Sensei's rules found at http://www.lightlink.com/markr/rulesforpractice.htm ).

Quote:

The possibility of me, a relative novice being able to hurt someone in that way with a simple punch is astronomical, even if I put everything I have into the punch I would probably just end up hurting myself.
Depends on where and how you hit. You nail them in the trachea, that person is in serious trouble to say the least.

I am also practicing Pentjak Silat Serak, considered the deadliest, most violent martial art in the world, and yet there are a lot of similarities between Serak techniques and Aikido. Yet we DON'T "play around with" strikes the way you do. If anything, Maha Guru Victor de Thouars is very vocal and insistent on training safely "to train another day."

Now, if the people praciticng something more lethal than Aikido don't do the sort of training you're suggesting, maybe it's a bad idea? Just a thought.

Quote:

Please, when you respond to a thread in future, take into consideration that I might actually be an intelligent adult human being. Your response, while well meaning was rather patronizing.
I'm not being patronizing; I am being emphatic. And being intelligent overall doesn't mean you can't have a stupid idea.

Martial arts training is, by definition, dangerous. That's why Aikidoka use crash mats and spent so much time on Ukemi waza. This stuff is freakin' DANGEROUS. O Sensei as much as said so in no uncertain terms. Hitting someone to see what the hit does, however lightly, sounds very risky if you don't know what you're doing or are unsupervised by someone who does, and neither is true of you.

Bottom line (again): If you can't find a qualified teacher who can lead you through the areas you are interested in, don't do it. Period.

aikidoc 11-30-2004 08:32 AM

Re: Playing around with Atemi
 
You might also consider reading the Michael Kelly, D.O. book on Dim Mak. Even pressing or brushing vital points in the right sequence can have health implications. I have seen people have a vasovagal faint from just striking points on the arm, and not all that hard. Study and practice with care and protection. Learn katsu (resustitation technique) as well in case you get lucky or unlucky.


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