Thread: Atemi
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Old 07-27-2008, 11:18 AM   #103
Dojo: West Wind Dojo Santa Monica California
Location: Malibu, California
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,295
Re: Atemi

David Valadez wrote: View Post
If folks want to get a whiff of what I'm trying to talk about, before anyone answers with "strikes are in all my techniques, even if I don't throw them" or "learning how to throw is conducive to learning how to strike," etc., (which are not true), please just truthfully answer the following questions:
Ok. Here we go.

1. Out of an hour training session, how many minutes are dedicated purely to striking practice?
It depends Most of us are experienced Martial Artists who know how to hit people. There is allot of Atemi in everything...

2. What strikes do you practice regularly?
Irimi Tsuki every technique Elbow, ridge hand, Palm. In every technique we practice I make it a point to strike to show our Aikido more Martial Application. Sensei usually points out the subtler aspects of Atemi.

Does your dojo own heavy bags, kicking shields, focus mits, makiwara, etc.?
Yup We share a Goju Ryu Karate Dojo.

4. Does your dojo use such equipment as often as it does not, more than it does not, less than it does?
We try to but right now we have allot of new folks and most of them have Martial Arts backgrounds so they already know how to hit people. Those that don't get a little work in our striking Kata. They are there to practice Aikido.

5. Do you practice sparring in your dojo? How often?
Randori yes Alive Uke's yes. Sparring no...Again for most they get that outside of practice

6. Do you consider your dojo an average Aikido dojo?
Nope It's very small and hands on for one thing. Another is we practice Nishio Ryu Aikido and most people in the US have little to no experience with it.

Granted there is much more to striking that this, but in all the Aikido dojo I have ever trained at as a deshi, taking all of them as one, just with these questions, here is what my answers would look like:

1. None
2. None regularly, but occasionally we threw an upper-cut or middle knuckle strike to the head area (various targets) or the ribs.
3. Only one dojo owned (only) makiwara.
4. The only dojo that owned makiwara used much less than the mat was used.
5. No, never.
6. Yes.

In my opinion, according to the larger martial arts world, answers like these cannot support the position that striking is really part of Aikido practice (which is different from whether it should be or could be) - not at least currently, and not outside of Aikido's analysis and formulas of or for striking.
In General I would agree. However, That is not our experience. When I started I am just glad Susan Perry was kind enough to give me Masa Tazaki's contact info and that Masa introduced me to Micheal Fowler. I wanted to practice Aikido as a viable Martial Art. When I looked around L.A. 20 years ago I was not impressed even with the mighty Steven Seagal who was all the rage back then.
Don't get me wrong there is good Aikido everywhere and a wealth of Great Teachers all over LA. This just fits me.

I live just down the road Sempai in Malibu and I am up in Santa Babara all the time. Hopefully I can come by for a visit. I would love to share the mat with you.

William Hazen

Last edited by Aikibu : 07-27-2008 at 11:21 AM.
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