Sometimes I think that people here should be MADE to read every post here before posting. These topics go round and round in circles. I've never seen anything like it before - anywhere! soft-boiled, medium, hard-boiled, take your pick, aikido has it for you. Just don't give me your recipe or opinion, as we only want to hear our own.
This is all so silly.
Maybe what you want to hear is that:
YES-THE IMPORTANCE OF ATEMI IS OFTEN OVERLOOKED. WE SHOULD ALL BE PRACTICING MORE STRIKES AND KICKS. I'VE FOUND PRACTICING WITH SPARRING TARGETS AND BAGS TO BE MOST EFFECTIVE. WEIGHT TRAINING IS ALSO HELPFUL. O SENSEI DID ATEMI IN HIS TECHNIQUES, SO ANYONE WHO DOESN'T ATEMI ISN'T PRACTICING AIKIDO!
These are all very persuasive arguments.
Yet there is still something wrong.
All aiki techniques, whether it's aiki-sword or aiki-jitsu, has some initial leading or blending with the attacker. That's why it's called aiki.
So what do you do with this lead, once you've gotten it? The quickest, most efficient way is to lead to the end of the technique. Doing anything else, including scratching, biting, head-butting, eye-gouging or atemi would be less effective.
Technique X using just a lead
Technique X using atemi
- atemi (strike)
- atemi (low kick)
So you can see that a technique using atemi not only has more steps, but during the transition from lead to atemi, there is also a real possibility that the nage could lose the lead/initiative and end up fighting.
So why atemi at all?
Atemi is part of aikido tradition. My instructor teaches it. O Sensei practiced it. More importantly, the concept of ma-ai (distance) is closely linked to atemi, as I believe it should be
You know there's something wrong when uke can shove their palm in your face or their fist in your gut.
In every type of MA, the idea of striking distance is crucial.
If you see a really good aikidoist do atemi during a technique, they really don't appear to atemi. Everything is seamless, so you don't get the step-by-step technique (like I listed earlier) but a single motion. That type of atemi is much more powerful than anything you can get by lifting weights or hitting targets.
[Edited by tedehara on March 14, 2001 at 11:14pm]