Thread: Punches
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Old 03-31-2005, 10:02 AM   #16
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
Re: Punches

Jory Boling wrote:
Hi Mike,
I don't have that book and am relatively new to aikido. Can you elaborate about things you do for atemi? like a strike witih a shoulder or a head butt?
It's tricky in Aikido (and other martial arts, often) about "what is allowed", even though common sense would tell you that you need to learn to respond to all things if you're going to fight. Notice that there are a number of set "attacks", like tsuki, shomenuchi, yokomenuchi, etc. The attack is called for and expected. There is a set way to respond in order to "do the technique correctly" in most dojo's. So if you do something outside of those bounds, many people will take umbrage.... i.e., whatever the lip-service may be, you're really not "allowed" or encouraged to do actions which don't conform to the expected protocols. On the whole, this is good for training, but there needs to be (if Aikido is going to ever be used as an effective martial art) some way to practice a wider variety of techniques, and this includes various atemi's.

My general approach to atemi is that "the body is your hand". You should be able to strike extremely hard with your hand, elbow, shoulder, back, chest, head, hip, knee, foot, etc., using the same kokyu power that is in all the throws (albeit I use an additive component to increase that power and shorten the impact time). If I went into most dojo's and did something like that in practice, I'd be ushered out the door with admonitions about "harmony", "Aikido is the dance of the souls", etc. "Harmony" is the pigeon-Japanese word for "do it our way", all too often.


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