Thread: Value of atemi
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Old 06-15-2005, 07:32 AM   #15
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
Re: Value of atemi

Dustin Acuff wrote:
Again thanks for the comments!

I'd like to adress some things in no particular order:

We all fully understand that the atemi demonstrated were just that > for demonstration.

The only uses I have seen for atemi are ending fights via shattering bones or causing massive skeletal damage. The uses seen at the expo were along the lines of hitting uke 3-5 times then throwing him. I have never even heard of atemi being used to throw, and the concept actually is almost beyond comprehension. If you can touch someone and throw them then why hit them to throw?
As Larry has mentioned, atemi are used in many places, in many ways, for different purposes. Kondo Sensei has even refered to atemi as being one form of 'aiki', along with timing, breathing and other things. Which I think is a shocker for some. But I have found it to be something that rings true to me. There is a discussion of this in a thread on AJ that follows a review I did of one of Sensei's seminars.

Some examples would be when using the sokomen (side step) entry and evasion, strike with the raised middle knuckle of each hand under uke's rib cage. When this strike is well coordinated with your entry, it works well to release uke's grip, interupt their breathing and timing, take over their space, and steal the initiative back. Then from that angle (about 40 to 45 degrees to the side of uke) there are many techniques you can use. The object here isn't necessarily to break any bones (the floating ribs are somewhat vulnerable, though), but to accomplish the other things I mentioned. The strike by itself, may or may not work...the body movement by itself may or may not work...the idea is to make the very best conditions for your technique to succeed, so you combine as many elements as possible, given the circumstances.

I tend to agree with Ian in most areas. If DR was traditionally taught in three parts, which makes sense, then that is all well and good. But, by his own admission, Sensei is teaching us the way he wishes he was taught instead of the way he was. Ian's explination is quite probable.
Nothing wrong with that. I personally prefer to have someone delineate the differences from their 'traditional' training and their innovations, but that's just me.

I understand that striking is a tool and has a purpose and IS worthy of being trained in. I spent the first 7 1/2 years of my total 8 years of MAs in striking arts in some shape form or fashion. I just wonder why strike when blending is easier and brings about greater affect without hurting uke.
I think one of the issues people deal with is the difference between striking in arts like Tae Kwan Do or Karate, and striking in generic Japanese Jujutsu or specifically, Daito ryu. The goals and the methods may differ widely...which is why I personally am not in favor of adding strikes from other gendai or modern arts to aikido and then calling this cognate 'aikijutsu/aikijujutsu' etc. It isn't. If you want a model for striking in aikido, my belief is that you go to the source...Daito ryu. As to blending being easier and bringing about greater effect without hurting uke...I have a whole bunch of issues with that statement. Briefly,

I 'm not convinced that just blending works that well against serious attacks.

It may be easier in the short run, but if it doesn't work, Uh Oh...

If you combine your atemi with your body movement, atemi is very easy.

The greater control over uke and the earlier in the engagement that you have it, the more mercifull you can be in the long run.

Thanks for the great comments! Just to make sure everyone knows this, I'm not against atemi, just curious.


LOL I just looked at the link for the animated atemi. That is a far cry from the atemi I have seen. It looks as if no strike is really even applied, more a movement of center and a appropriatey placed cut.
The links are good examples of using the entry as atemi, the body for atemi, atemi as displacement of uke's center and body. Yoshinkan aikido uses principles like those illustrated as well.


Last edited by Ron Tisdale : 06-15-2005 at 07:39 AM.

Ron Tisdale
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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