Thread: Atemi
View Single Post
Old 07-21-2008, 09:58 AM   #28
Dojo: West Wind Dojo Santa Monica California
Location: Malibu, California
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,295
Re: Well, now...

John Matsushima wrote: View Post
Hello Stefan,
Well, I'm not a big fan of Nishio's atemi style for the reason that it seems to be done too much as an external art applied in Aikido. In that way, I agree that if one only did atemi then, it might not be Aikido, as you said.
This is the crux of the "problem." The purpose of our Atemi is to show Uke the fight is over before it even begins. This philosophy is based on Aikido as the Sword. If you enter with a sword as Uke it will become really obvious to you that you will be cut The same with our Atemi...To continue with an attack as Uke is to risk getting hit Atemi and our Atemi is designed as a reminder (so to speak) to end the conflict and not necessarily to complete to the technique. Here is a You Tube of Shoji Nishio from the 80's were he illustrates these principles of Atemi "inside" our Tai Jutsu and Ken te Ken

Notice the Atemi is not about "blocking" or "parrying" the punches but more about ending the "fight" while protecting yourself. Also the Atemi is not separated from the technique It's inside of it ready to use if needed.

However, to me, I think that there is what can be called "Aikido atemi". As someone mentioned, you could say that a strike is a strike, no matter what you call it, but the reason I call it Aikido atemi is because the application and method of striking in Aikido to me seems different from other arts
I guess it depends on what you think Atemi should be used for...Without it You seem to risk Aikido no longer having any Martial Value and thus any relevance as a Martial Art.

Here is a clip of one of my favorite Aikido gurus doing atemi. He applies atemi many times without doing anything else, but you can still see the technique. Even though he does not do an irimi nage, and only does atemi, it is still there. In this way, the atemi is uniquely Aikido because the principle and essence of technique, such as irimi nage, is necessary to properly execute the atemi.
Great Clip and since it's from the same Demonstration a great way to compare. Thanks for your insights Sempai.

William Hazen
  Reply With Quote