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Old 12-30-2012, 02:49 PM   #40
Dojo: Torrey Pines Aiki Kai
Location: San Diego
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 104
Re: Atemi and Aikido

While I applaud everyone who tries to train against real attacks (and more should), I don’t see that done well in either of the videos. In the first one I see a larger yudansha attacking (poorly) smaller kyu ranked students. Even when the kyu/uke is wielding a “weapon” the senior student attacks, which goes against virtually every armed vs. unarmed orthodoxy I have ever encountered. Once contact is made I see a lot of fighting over the lock, now it is just a brute force contest aided by a smattering of aikido mechanics, balance is rarely broken and the take downs are almost all forced by the joint lock or protecting of the joint. These have become a force on force contest which completely side steps the aspects of the art that make Aikido unique. I like what they are trying to do; just not the way they are doing it.

The second video is obviously style/formalized. Poor knife skills are then shelved, while the unarmed person struggles to make a throw while ignoring the now dormant weapon hand. The focus seems to be on I must throw him rather than how to manage the conflict. This is obviously a more formalized training drill given the odd/intermittent use of the stabbing fan. The drill should be commended, but the combatants should be instructed to deal with the attack and flow from opportunity to opportunity rather than just struggling to turn the first clinch into a throw. Lock the joints to control the shoulder, to move the center, not lock the joint and crank until they submit. Both of these guys are going to get seriously cut if they deal with knives that way even if the attacker is an amateur.

In the posts about the single attack some seem to be referring to uke, some to nage. We often train off of the first, second, third, fourth strike. Statistics aside, strikers typically do not expect that the first or second strike to be the knock out. A series of strikes are utilized to set up the knock out. As an aside, the Gracies policy of entering for a takedown assumes the first punch is not a knockout and so they can take the hit to enter, take down and pin the opponent.

For kyus, and while formally reviewing basics, and learning new techniques, the single strike attack is appropriate. If you are yudansha and you only train this way then you will be surprised by the real world. You should be parrying multiple strike attacks finding the techniques, then abandoning and moving to secondary and tertiary locks/techniques if the first one is not perfect.

Yudansha who have no other training should go find a striker and learn the basics of how to hit; reverse punch, back first, palm heel and shuto strikes from the asian arts, jab, cross, hook and upper cut from the western arts. Basic front, side, back, roundhouse, and crescent (for when you are feeling festive) kicks. You don’t have to master them, but you should know how to throw them well enough to train your partners and to understand their proper form and use. Failing to understand how to hit (in my mind) indicates a fundamental disrespect for martial theory and indicates you have chosen to live in a bubble of your own awesomeness. It is a martial art treat, it as such; know what to expect in the real world.
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