Dustin Acuff wrote:
I think I see what you are saying LC. When I was doing kickboxing we would have someone stand behind the bag or beside us and if we did not keep our hands up this person would tap our face as we initiated a technique. Just this touch disrupted the act of initiating a kick or punch entirey and caused the gears to stop for a moment. Is that kind of what you are mentioning?
What you spoke of in the quoted text above is one aspect of using atemi, i.e. as a distraction. Others include balance disruption, pain/injury/shock induced by impact on anatomical weak areas, as finishing techniques and as a psychological disruptor (similar to what Kevin spoke about) where one's intent or hint of applying atemi can affect the attacker's posture, balance, resolve etc. Of course there are probably more ways of applying it than I listed above also.
Uke will not grab you "honestly" without the threat of atemi. He can stay centered and lock down on you. you will have a difficult time getting a ikkyo, nikyo, or sankyo if he can come in indiscriminately not having to worry about atemi.
This is pretty true. Someone who knows that you may be able to seriously hit them when they try to grab you will be very cagey about it and only dedicate when they have found a hole in your defence or a safe way to do so without being hit, or at least where the effect of the atemi is reduced.
However, if they do get a good hold on you there are ways of immediately breaking balance via relaxation, timing and proper body movement in Aikido. It in fact uses the applied force of the grabbing attacker to find the means of disrupting his balance through movement (kuzushi). The chances to apply this though may be limited to the point where the grab is initiated or, in the event that you are already locked down, quickly creating movement by using total body coordination to create another opportunity to re-take the initiative and get off an Aikido throw, lock or pin. If one is unable to capitalize and utilize this sort of timing and movement however (i.e. the exploitation of the attacker's weak lines of posture upon his application of force to grab etc.) then the lock down will mark the beginning of a successful technique by the attacker imho.
At yesterday's Jujutsu session we worked a technique using this same principle, based on a diagonal (yokomen, blade upward) knife slash by the attacker, where the defender evades by entering off line (like in shi ho nage omote) and grabs the attacker's wrist to gain control of the slashing hand while bringing his own knife to bear from his right side near his hip (his left hand is holding off the attacker's knife hand). The attacker sees this and grabs the defender's hand to control it before he can raise the blade. The defender is gripping his knife blade downward, edge outward.
Since his arm is immobilized by the attacker (who is trying to trap the defender's knife hand down against his body), the defender relaxes and goes with the grab and forward, downward push of the attacker by stepping backward with the attacker's movement (tsugi ashi) and sinking his own weight. This draws the attacker's grab beyond it's intended point of control.
Using this momentum, the defender brings his knife arm downwards toward his centre, turns his hips to the left (causing a twisting and unbalancing effect on the attacker's body via his grabbing hand, as in shi ho nage or sokumen) and waves it back towards the neck of the attacker, who has no choice but to go with the kuzushi due to the power of his own grab and the timely disruption of his posture. This movement looks like a variation of sokumen irimi nage in Aikikai terminology, but with a knife held in the hand, the basic entry is seen in number 3 (Gyaku Gamae ate) here
. The end result is a sokumen style entry with the blade's edge at the neck of the attacker while the other hand still keeps the attacker's knife at bay, throwing him to the ground with the blade at his neck as you kneel next to him and or slicing the neck as necessary.
This was during the practice of the Aiki waza portion of the Jujutsu class, so we got to play around with the Aikido type waza and some applications a bit.
Just some thoughts. I hope the story helps illustrate the use of correct tai sabaki and kuzushi to disrupt an attacker even if he has a strong and focused grab without overextending his own balance. This is one of the strengths of all the arts that apply Ju no ri and Aiki no ri imho, Aikido being one alongside Judo and Jujutsu etc.