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Old 04-27-2007, 05:21 PM   #55
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Dojo: ACE Aikido
Location: Los Angeles
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 346
Re: Atemi waza: good or bad for Aikido?

Christian Moses wrote: View Post
At the risk of sounding VERY rhetorical, even if it is your will to simply not allow someone to impose their will on you, to achieve that, you will have to impose your will.
Ha. Seriously though, not really, to me there's a difference between imposing ones will on someone and putting one's will out into the universe, so to speak.

I hate when people drag up the founder's words, but I do come back to the quote that "90% of Aikido is atemi."
Heard this for years as well. I simply don't take it at face value. And, -when- he said it in the context of his whole life is important, I think.

If one does a style of aikido that doesn't use atemi, can you really say you are still doing aikido? Not that I see anything wrong with NOT doing aikido, the stuff I'm working on these days is sufficiently different from aikido, that while it has obvious roots in aikido, I refer to it as aikibudo to avoid confusion. I could get away with calling it aikido, but I don't think it would be right. I do think that in our experimentation with aikido, we can walk too far down a path that takes us off of what aikido is. Again, I'm not putting any kind of moral judgment on that. But I do not feel that there is an unlimited range of variation in what can still be considered aikido.
I agree. Let's stop for a moment - by atemi, do you mean actual striking? I ask because there are styles of Aikido that don't actually strike, or much anyway, that come from very close students of O Sensei. Would you say they are not doing Aikido?

Plus, I think most if not All of what we see are interpretations of Aikido. What makes one more valid than another? Certainly, there are things that would. Is the specific use of atemi, in a specific way, one of them? If you were to ask me personally, in the strictest sense of how O Sensei defined his art at a Spiritual level, I would say any style of Aikido that actually hits is not Aikido. But that would be absurd.

Or would it?

In the US, I think we have taken far too many liberties with the traditional syllabus without having a deep enough understanding of the art to do so. In Kendo they have the concept of shu-ha-ri. I think most of the silverbacks in aikido in the US started teaching while in the shu phase of their training, quickly moved into the ha phase, but because of their isolation from their seniors, stayed there rather than progressing to the ri phase where experimentation and evolution can take place in a way that's in keeping with the art.
I'd tend to agree actually.

As for what you're talking about being achievable, we all have our own experiences.

I have never seen or felt anyone who can do what you are describing the way you are describing it however, so until I experience otherwise, I'm stuck with my own experiences as a guide.
Me too.


Larry Novick
Head Instructor
ACE Aikido
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