Thread: Atemi and Irimi
View Single Post
Old 03-22-2005, 05:24 AM   #4
Dojo: Bristol North Aikido Dojo
Location: Bristol
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 659
Re: Equitable?

Mike Sigman wrote:
I can't find it. Can you provide the cite, please?


Mike Sigman
As promised...Am still at work so am not 100% certain of title...but believe this is from 'Aikido - Etiquette and Transmission'.

Its certainly from Nobuyoshi Tamura Sensei.

Tamura wrote:

The Irimi used in Aikido, the law of Irimi, is the root of Aikido. It will be recalled that O Sensel transferred into Aikido the law of Irimi which he learned by the profound study of the Art of the Spear.

The character Iri describes the idea of passing the entrance of a house, to enter it or to be invited into it. The character Mi gives the idea of a child in its mother's womb with the sense of completeness of flesh, bone and blood. Therefore Mi equals body and lrimi, to put ones own body in the body of the opponent. Following the method of the spear, the word Irimi is used to describe the action of penetrating victoriously to the interior of the guard of an adversary armed with a weapon longer than your own when you are armed with a sword or a dagger or even when one is unarmed.

When two forces move in an opposite direction, the force which results is the sum of the two forces. Irimi is the use of this result and its relation to ones own position at the moment of meeting.

We call Irimi Issoku the entry of a step to the side of an adversary. With a profile guard, you are in the position to allow lrimi, attacking the adversary by sending back the force of his attack without using your own force.

Explained mechanically, it is very easy to understand. Do not forget however, that in reality Aite is living and that everything does not work according to theory, especially when he is better armed than you.

With ones bare hands or with a weapon shorter than your opponents, to enter the interior of your opponent's guard or to oppose him with force, you must judge exactly the Ma Ai despite the changing position of Aite. This is normal and needs no further explanation. More important is to forget his body, to enter and pierce and be pierced, to enter without the slightest hesitation.

You press Aite with your mental power to the point where you can contain the attack; taking his attack, using it, you enter!

Accordingly, you will have the feeling of enveloping the adversary, becoming at one with him. He himself will come into your interior. This is the lrimi of Aikido.

and this....

Tamura wrote:

For many people today, the work Atemi describes the punch of Karate, because in Karate the object of training is to destroy the adversary with a punch or a kick.

I am writing this chapter because no-one believes that there is Atemi in the study of Aikido.

Certainly in actual practice, Atemi has been eliminated in order to avoid the risk of injuring the beginner, to prevent reliance on the Atemi to the detriment of the technique and to prevent students with the wrong idea misusing it when they have progressed with the technique.

Therefore those who claim that there is no Atemi in Aikido know nothing about Aikido.

O Sensei, defining Aikido says:

"Aikido is lrimi and Atemi"

All Aikido techniques include Atemi.

Etymologically, Ateru expresses the idea of estimating and evaluating with precision the area and value of a field. By extension it means; "to place exactly"; "to fall exactly on the desired spot", to the centre of a target for example. To the notion of estimating and evaluating is added the idea of success.

Mi means the body. In ancient Budo, Atemi consisted of striking the adversary's vital points to cause loss of consciousness or death. To wound superficially or to break a bone was not Atemi.

In Aikido, Atemi is used to dominate the will of the attacker, to cause a softening of his vital points, to disturb his concentration and to stop his intended action.

From this soft Atemi we pass to Atemi which causes unconsciousness of death. It is good to study with an idea of using such techniques against a knife attack. Obviously the work must include study of the points of re-animation. If you study acupuncture in the form that has recently been developed I hope that you will understand that the points which can bring about healing can also cause death. This is a good example that shows that in everything there is Ura and Omote.

When you have reached a high level of study it will be good for you to discover during practice the possibility of placing here or there an Atemi.

There ya go...a little more than the one liner I started with but hopefully that adds interest.