Re: Atemi and Aikido
I'm not advocating the heavy hand and foot conditioning that the old time atemi masters used to engage in. I only engage in one session per week at home on the makiwarra, canvas bag and leather punching bag. Also once per week I add on an extra half hour to a training session at the dojo where I use the focus pads, hand held bag, shinai and sometimes light sparring (if I can practice with sombody who has had experience in a striking art). This really isn't enough training in atemi but it is far better than none at all. One of the good things about supplementing your training with some makiwarra and bag work at home (perhaps once per week) is that you are not sacrificing your usual training sessions at the dojo. With the shinai training I get some bruises, especially on the thighs, but it does improve your reflexes. I suppose I manage to block about 90% of the shinai cuts and stabs - at first my success rate was down around 50%. If you blocked 100% of the attacks, it probably would not be improving your blocking/taisabaki skills that much. I think we can handle a small amount of pain in a training session, and whilst you may not enjoy it at the time, afterwoods you usually are glad that you did it, especially with the knowledge that you are one step closer to your goals, whatever they may be.