Originally posted by John Riggs
...3. O'Sensei can be seen in most pictures delivering an atemi while delivering technique.
4. Technique can be smoothly applied without stopping to strike-in other words the strike can occur in the process of the flow of the technique without disruption.
5. Atemi waza is generally best accomplished by striking pressure points to cause pain compliance for setting up a techniuqe, or shutting down the muscle function to a limb.
6. Atemi or pressure point manipulation (kyusho jitsu) makes it easier to apply a technique.
I believe a strong case can be made for the application of atemi to aikido. A survey I performed indicates a lot of interest in the topic.
Dr. John Riggs
3. Perhaps the most dramatic moment during a technique is when atemi is done. This is the photographer's art, not the art of Aikido. Perhaps there are more pictures of Ueshiba doing atemi because the photographer thought it made for an interesting picture, not because O Sensei's Aikido was 90% atemi.
4. Actually this was the reason, I've been told, why my style no longer does atemi. It was felt that most people spent time trying to strike rather than learn the technique. It was also seen as disrupting the flow of techniques.
5. I'm sure pressure point striking would greatly increase the chances of stopping an attacker. However, in a real fight, you may not have the luxury of finding then hitting a pressure point. You just need to strike then do the technique.
6. This brings me to a quandry I've always had with atemi. How do you know if the person complies with the technique because you've knocked them silly? How do I know I can even do a technique correctly unless I practice without doing atemi?
While many people pride themselves in practicing the Art
of Aikido, atemi definitely sits on the Martial
side of the Martial Art
. Perhaps this is the reason it stirs up so much controversy. It reflects our own conflicts of what Aikido really is.
Good luck with your book. As you noted, there is plenty of interest in the topic.