Chad Sloman wrote:
Ledyard Sensei, is it wrong to just go ahead and apply the atemi? In the past I had problems with some techniques because I was told that I was being "too nice", i.e. I was applying atemi but missing the target on purpose because my partner wasn't moving. So I was taught to just go ahead and land the atemi, if they didn't move out of the way then it was their problem. Now I don't mean to say that I strike my partner's head as fast and as hard as I can but I put real intent behind the atemi which seems to really help my technique.
When my peers and I trained together we would actually land the atemi but we would adjust the focus to the surface rather than through the target as one would normally do. This let you bop someone in the face if necessary without actually causing any real injury. I had my nose flattened a couple of times, enough to recognize that I had been grievously open, but never enough that I was really hurt. You really do need to be careful, the more junior you are the more slack you need to put in for safety. Later you can get to the point where you are making contact but controlling how hard it hits.
This also goes for the uke as well. You can adjust where an attack is focused and give your partner a 100% commited attack which won't actually injure him if he blows his move simply by aiming at the surface of the target rather than through it. This is much better than lowering the force involved because it feels the same to the nage so he isn't being mislead about what an attack feels like. Also, up to the point of impact it actually does carry the right energy so that if he tries to block or catch the strike he will feel the impact that comes with opposing the incoming attack rather than blending with it.