Larry Camejo (L. Camejo) wrote:
To me, it is as if many use atemi to make up for poor tai sabaki, timing, ma ai control and kuzushi.
In my opinion, it is through atemi that one can have good tai sabaki, timing, ma ai control and kuzushi. My technique really changed after realizing that Yasuno Shihan at the Aikikai Honbu always does this.
For example, with Shomenuchi Ikkyo, he does not grab his partner`s wrist. He keeps the outside hand extended toward his partner`s face throughout most of the technique. Uke must keep her hand in place to avoid getting hit. Shihan uses this to create the form of Ikkyo.
The people I find really good at techniques are very active as tori/shite. Katatetori is not a grab to hold tori in place, it is a defense move by uke to keep from getting struck. They both can look the same, but the intention is different.
If, as tori, I consider myself as being attacked with a wrist grab, both my and my partner`s attention will be on my wrist and by extension, my center. This way, doing a technique becomes difficult.
If, however, I move in a dynamic way, with the intention of hitting uke, uke responds by attempting to prevent getting hit by grabbing. This way both of our attentions are on the target I`m trying to hit and by extension, uke`s center, and the technique becomes much easier to do.
This all is something that I`m still trying to figure out and be able to do. I think that this is what is meant when O`Sensei supposedly said that Aikido is 99% atemi.