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Old 05-31-2005, 01:23 PM   #26
Paul Kerr
Paul Kerr's Avatar
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 63
Re: Atemi Question

Mark Johnston wrote:
To me this was a waste of time for both of us.

Should I have hit him?
It sounds as if you just had the misfortune to practice with an asshole. Something you'll come across from time to time at seminars.

Where I train we're taught to land atemi - if uke is senior and fails to get out of the way or deflect it's their problem. If he can't deal with an atemi what business does he have being a yudansha?

The other option is simple - just bow out, walk away and choose someone else to train with.
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Old 05-31-2005, 01:33 PM   #27
Dojo: Shobu Aikido Cape Cod
Location: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 152
Re: Atemi Question

I like the soft tap approach to get the wandering mind of Uke back to the current place and time. As I said earlier.....the index finger to the cheek...and softly press may get Uke's attention. But, also be prepared for a spirited attempt to reverse and cause some pain to the less senior Nage. A person such as Mark described here would, most likely, take serious objection to a student of lower rank correcting their(mindless Shodan Uke) performance on the mat.
And if that does not work, as a few others have said...bow with respect and find another partner with whom you can practice.

Or......plant a big wet kiss on his/her cheek.....I promise that will get movement out of Uke!!!!!!!
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Old 05-31-2005, 04:13 PM   #28
Location: livingston, scotland
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 715
Re: Atemi Question

You are all very considered with your responses.

I don't feel the guy was an asshole however. Over 4 days we did 20 hours of training and this happened in the 20th hour. If I am annoyed with anyone it is myself, because nothing productive happened.

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Old 05-31-2005, 04:19 PM   #29
Stefan Stenudd
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Dojo: Enighet Malmo Sweden
Location: Malmo
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 539
Changing partner in the midst of it

Larry Murray wrote:
as a few others have said...bow with respect and find another partner with whom you can practice.
I'm not sure about that. It's an aggression in itself to bow and leave, before the teacher of the class says you can do so. And it gives no room for finding a mutually beneficial solution.

I still think that the best to do would be to ask the guy for advice on how to do it right.
Either he would give an answer, and probably feel fine, or he would not - and then it would be clear that he just did not want to train. Still: wait it out with that partner.

In Aikikai Hombu dojo, you're supposed to work with the same partner the whole class. Such differences will have to be worked out, somehow, or both get a really boring class.

Stefan Stenudd
My aikido website: https://www.stenudd.com/aikido/
My YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Aikidostenudd
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Old 05-31-2005, 08:47 PM   #30
Dojo: Roppongi Yoshinkan Aikido / Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan
Location: Tokyo
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 571
Re: Atemi Question

It seems that in addition to ignoring the atemi he wasn't gripping very strong. My first instinct - okay, 2nd instinct - would have been to ask him to grip hard and push/pull as the technique required. If he didn't do that then I would have moved and created his grip myself.

WRT the atemi...I would've wanted to smack him and end the technique (1st instinct), but I do believe that would have been the wrong thing to do. I think that Szczepan's idea of slowing pushing would work best (I've done this before and had it done to me when I have forgotten to block and with the proper grin it really does wake you up without any confrontation).

But the best approach, IMHO, is to have focused on the grip and the movement from that and not the atemi if the guy was being an idiot.

Another good ploy would be to ask the instructor to help you out since obviously you were doing something wrong. That'll show the guy

My few yen,


Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 05-31-2005, 10:00 PM   #31
eyrie's Avatar
Location: Summerholm, Queensland
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,126
Re: Atemi Question

It seems to me that this black belt was not particularly interested in training with you OR he did not *know* what the technique was and was looking at how others did it. In any case, there are people like this with a rather distasteful attitude undeserving of their bestowed rank. Simply ignore them.

Larry has a point. If you hit him, he would have most likely responded in kind. If you're not prepared to handle the reprisal, it could be bad news for you.

Others have suggested a light tap, push, slap, bop etc. yes, whatever works.

Rob has a nice solution - not worry what they're doing, just move as if they were. Soon they will look really silly standing there while you're practising on your own.

John also has a nice solution - bow out and go train with someone else. He's paying for seminar time, and so are you. By not practising in a cooperative manner commensurate with each other's skill level, nobody is learning. You'd be better off getting your monies' worth, training with someone else who does want to learn.

Sometimes, aikido is about finding alternative solutions to peaceful conflict resolution, sometimes not....

Yes, my first instinct would be to smack him one in the kisser, but most people won't move unless you really hit them, and I really, really hate doing that.

I much prefer the use of cavity press and nerve points. It's not overt as a strike, but the resulting pain compliance is a wonderful way of getting them to cooperate quite nicely. Yes, yes, it's not "aikido".... but it works for me. ::

Coz I don't have to hit you to hurt you or make you move, if I can "touch" you, I can hurt you or make you move.... Yes, yes, sooooo, "un-aiki", but if shiatsu is used to move and disperse blocked energy, why would it not be "aiki"???

It's also interesting how people like that don't want to play with me afterwards... and just when I'm starting to really have fun... especially when they can get a free "massage"...

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Old 05-31-2005, 11:19 PM   #32
xuzen's Avatar
Dojo: None at the moment - on hiatus
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 965
Re: Atemi Question

If it is not considered too rude... KIAI!. That should send him a warning call and proceed with the atemi. If the ATEMI connects... then it his fault. You have done everything that is to do. It is his fault. Oh one more thing I believe that will help is intent. You know the intense look on your face that you mean business, or the "I am serious about hitting your nose" look. Maybe that was the factor lacking.

Another thing... Mark, you are a SHODO-THUG aren't you? Act like one .


SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 06-01-2005, 12:50 AM   #33
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Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
Location: Himeji, Japan
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 3,319
Re: Atemi Question

Xu Wenfung wrote:
Another thing... Mark, you are a SHODO-THUG aren't you? Act like one .
ok I will answer this as a Shodothug

This phasing out during training I've seen a number of times before even occaisionally, although not often, at Shodokan Honbu. There is some reasoning behind it.

This soft focus is actually taught with regard to keeping everything in view but in my experience its pretty easy to understand when someone is really doing this or just pretending.

Would I as a Shodothug hit the person - no. We are afterall gentle souls.

Step back and simply ask "Are we boring you?"
No matter what they say respond with "I can't practice safely if you are not paying attention."

Safety trancends grade and if he is of a different organization grade is meaningless anyway. Safety never is.

If the conversation degrades then in true Shodothug fashion you threaten to reach down his throat and remove his entrails (just kidding).

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-01-2005, 03:52 AM   #34
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 691
Re: Atemi Question

To me it sounds like he was simply a bad Uke. no point in trying to figure out why, since there are too many possible reasons (from tiredness to distaste of the concept taught).

However you can learn one thing from this exercise - you don't transmit intent. Personally, when practicing, I too stand sometimes and absorb an atemi or even an attack. one of my reasons for standing and receiving is to feel the intent of the action. More often then not, I find the atemi/ attack does not land on me, even though I specifically requested my partner to hit me, hence I keep standing until they will strike me at least once (I ask them to really hit next time), only then do they realize it is OK for their atemi/attack to lend and continue with some intent.
As mentioned before, one can feel the intention of an atemi/attack long before it hits. And when Sensei performs it, you will find me reacting as if the strike has landed while it is still more then 10 cm away (sometimes just from the approach gives that sense).
In this part, of transmitting your intention to hit, you have failed. Note that it is not always necessary to transmit this, sometimes it's better to let the strike land. But if you wish to create a strong kuzushy without hitting, you must.

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Old 06-03-2005, 11:17 AM   #35
James Davis
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Dojo: Ft. Myers School of Aikido
Location: Ft. Myers, FL.
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 716
Smile Re: Atemi Question

To play devil's advocate for just a moment...

I've never done this at a seminar, but once or twice at the dojo I've kept an eye on my beginner classmates to make sure they weren't hurting each other by performing technique improperly. An odd number of students had shown up for class, so I paired off with somebody. Admittedly, I was teaching a class at the time, so I was responsible for their safety. It was always prudent to say, "Matte. Please excuse me." so they didn't take my head off, though! Since then, on the nights that I teach, I've stopped pairing with students while others are training. If an odd number shows, some people will just have to form a trio.

Maybe he was looking into the distance out of concern for a classmate?

Also, I believe I read that you had been training with him for a number of hours at this seminar. Had you given him any reason to believe that you would really hit him? It would be really silly for him to let his guard down, but maybe he had gotten used to you NOT hitting him?

(On a side note, I LOVE talking to other aikidoka on this website! )
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Old 06-03-2005, 01:42 PM   #36
Location: Vancouver Washington
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 21
Re: Atemi Question

This seems like a simple subject to me.

At a seminar there would be many partners to work with. I'd try to learn what I can from the interaction, even if it's to learn that there are people to avoid training with.

If the situation presents itself that little or nothing can be learned with the partner I am training with, I would excuse myself and find a new partner.

Training time is too valuable to waste on partner that is not learning or teaching. There is always something to learn because learning even comes from teaching.

You should not take responsibility your partners lack of participation, nor take it personally. That interaction gave you a reason to begin a this discussion which has provided an additional learning experience for all of us that have participated.
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