Re: Atemi waza: good or bad for Aikido?
To me it seems folks here have different view of what an atemi is depending on their school lineage and style.
I am expose to three school throughout my aikido career; Yoshikan, Shodokan and Aikikai Hombu
Of these, I have to discount the Aikikai style simply because when I practice it, I do not recall atemi being a huge part of its syllabus. We are more into the Harmony thingy.
Of these, let's start with Yoshinkan. In kihon practice, we strike, but we always hold our punches as we hope to REUSE/RECYCLE our uke as much as possible. Good uke's are hard to come by... To me, this is unsatisfactory as without full contact we cannot learn the REAL THING (TM).
But there is a way... the SHODOKAN way. If you look at their RANDORI approved technique, you see the first 5 out of 17 techniques are ATEMI-WAZA, namely SHOMEN-ATE, AIGAMAE-ATE, GYAKUGAMAE-ATE, USHIRO-ATE and GEDAN-ATE. And the beauty of it is... you can go full force playing/ experimenting with it, with minimum risk of severe injury provided you are with qualified instruction.
I believe in the SHODOKAN WAY ... for good atemi practice. Go on... do it. I know you want it. You need it.