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Old 05-31-2008, 06:41 AM   #21
Kevin Leavitt
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Dojo: Team Combat USA
Location: Olympia, Washington
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Re: Striking in your Aikido

At a base level, all martial arts deal with three things:

Stimulus....Response....and Choice(s)

Choices go into the gap between stimulus and response. At a low level, we have few if any choices. As we gain skill, hopefully we broaden that gap through training where we have more choices available to us.

Aikido to me is an art that explores the realm of choice.

At a high or evolved level, we should have many choices. One such choice would involve the use of atemi (to use it or not to use it).

To dismiss the study of atemi, or to not expand you understanding of it, the timing, use, and exploitation of it...means that you have chosen to eliminate your ability to make a choice to use or not use it skillfully.

I personally put a lot of stock in atemi and I am a firm believer that at all points in your practice you should explore and exploit the it. Always entering, always the threat is there.

I see lots of people that try to do aikido to an extremity and allow uke to exist right next to them with no fear of consquence! How can you influence some one with aikido without the tactical ability that atemi gives you?

I don't think you can, unless they make that choice to let you. But that is clearly not your choice, but his!

The problem with atemi in aikido, especially for those that come from other arts is understanding the speed, timing, and intensity (or lack thereof) that we train in aikido. It is hard for to see how to respond or to implement when you move in a seemingly unrealistic way in response. Not that the body structure is incorrect, but the timing, speed, and maybe distance.

It is a challenge understanding the place that atemi has in aikido for sure, but one we must stay focused on....choice!

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