Thread: unbalanced?
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Old 03-10-2001, 12:28 AM   #2
Dojo: Jiyushinkan
Location: Mesa, AZ
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 199
Atemi waza taught first

Good question Ian. Tomiki Aikido and its derivatives teach atemi waza as the first five techniques in its kihon kata, so not all Aikido is non-striking. I study in the Jiyushinkai and most of our attacks are straight "pushes" to the tori's face or chest so that we can actually make contact and push tori down. We call this testing the attack. It is understood within the context of the exercise that fists, knives, jabbing fingers, et cetera could be substituted for the open hand. We learn kata according to a syllabus, so atemi waza is emphasized over and over as we get new techniques to learn. This can all be done slowly but precisely, adding speed and power as each participant's ukemi gets better. We actually do a lot of "push-down" drills. So uke and tori both get to practice atemi and ukemi at the same time. I don't know if this is something you can utilize, but I think it has improved my combative ability and my attention of ma-ai and zanshin. Perhaps you can make up your own drills based on this concept and apply it to the techniques you practice.

Jim Vance

PS. Atemi is hard. That's why we are taught atemi waza at the beginning; it gets tons of emphasis until it becomes second nature. And I agree, it is the most realistic way to deal with a combative situation.
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