Don J. Modesto
It's jujutsu, like aikido, so you will have a great deal of overlap--SHIHONAGE, KOTE GAESHI, IKKYO, etc. But Atemi-ryu folks work in a lot more nastiness. Whereas in aikido we normally take someone to the mat and pin, they will do techniques to break them in four places before taking them down and then pantomime breaking their neck, e.g. No doubt many aikido players would find this objectionable.
If it needs saying, Atemi-ryu folk are focused on street application where technique is concerned. Gus himself seems personally interested in philosophy and spirituality, but makes no bones about the fact that he wanted to be able to hurt someone in a violent engagement. Something I found very insightful about his teaching is how he would distinguish situations and appropriate applications, e.g., "Do this if it's five guys in a deserted parking lot, do this if it's your cousin Frank drunk at sis's wedding."
This group has taken some pretty enthusiastic body slams on various internet fora due to claims on Atemi-ryu websites other MAs find questionable. I don't even get into that debate. But what I found consistently while on the mat at Gus's or at seminars in Miami with Chenique or Moses Powell, was hard work, sincerity and respect. I quite enjoy training with them.
I'm pleased to find the ending line of this post is "I quite enjoy training with them". As I was reading along I was cloaked in the thought that everyone needs to find a starting place that matches them right where they are. If you are a hands on kinda gal (or man) you may want some blue collar aiki, and that is perfect for you. It may not be good for someone else who simply can't relate to the beginning point. Within the teachings of the art the nuance and lessons emerge to the practicioner, whatever level you're at.This is the profound beauty of human and character variety.
One of the greatest American (Lakota) warriors was Chief Sitting Bull. He is quoted to have said "It is not necessary for eagles to be crows." Besides the implicit animistic Lakota references in this statement, it implies that we are all our own natures and we do not need to be something we are not. We don't have to put on crow feathers to practice or eagle feathers to practice. We simply learn to fly as the birds that we are.
I believe I would have loved to have practiced with Moses Powell, but I am too young to have done so. I believe that I am a wider human being ( although I'm cutting down on carbs
) from the variety of training that I have undergone, and my training provides me with the tools to continue in my explorations of less comfortable environments. I was more comfortable in the blue collars than the whites. Now, I wear a gi without a collar. I can go anywhere I am invited.
By the way, my Mother lives in Ft. Lauderdale, hint-hint.( all smiles, just being silly.)