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Old 02-18-2004, 01:37 AM   #1
tedehara's Avatar
Dojo: Evanston Ki-Aikido
Location: Evanston IL
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 826
Question O Sensei starts "No Atemi" Aikido?

Ki Aikido practices without atemi (strikes). I've always thought that was done because of Koichi Tohei, the founder of the Ki Society and former Chief Instructor for O Sensei.

While reading an article about Bernie Lau by Joseph Svinth, I came across the following:
Lau's interest in karate was sparked by two separate incidents in which properly applied aikido joint locks failed to subdue the people he was trying to arrest. "I tried traditional aikido techniques," he says, "and they simply pulled out of them. We're talking big guys who knew how to street fight." He himself did not get hurt as a result, but both suspects and a partner did. This bothered him. "I felt that if I could have better controlled the situation, then things might have turned out differently." When he mentioned the problem to Sadao Yoshioka, a former aikido instructor from Honolulu, Yoshioka replied that strikes could provide openings for locking techniques that were otherwise impossible to obtain. "But there are no strikes in aikido," protested Lau. "True," replied Yoshioka, "but that is because Ueshiba was working on spiritual development rather than fighting, and [color="red"]so he took them out.[/color] Look at old photos and you'll see what I mean."
Does that mean atemi was taken out originally by O Sensei and reinstated later by Aikikai? I have film footage of O Sensei before his death. I never noticed it before, but he never did atemi in them.

Of course, I know that O Sensei did practice atemi, at least earlier in his career. But does anyone have something to refute this quote that it was Morihei Ueshiba rather than Koichi Tohei, who took atemi out of aikido?

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