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Old 04-22-2007, 06:07 PM   #1
Dewey
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Atemi waza: good or bad for Aikido?

We all have at one time read/hard the quote from O'Sensei: "Aikido is 90% atemi..." or some other variant/percentage thereof.

Question: what role do you think atemi waza plays in "modern" Aikido? Does it have a place, should it have a place, etc. If so, what sort of atemi waza would best fit modern Aikido?

I'm not trying to "stir the pot" or provoke responses via a rhetorical question...I'm genuinely curious as to others' opinions & experiences.

On a personal note: currently I am taking an 8-week "crash course" in Kajukenbo, specifically the Chu'an Fa variant, which heavily emphasizes strikes. It has given me much reflection lately.

Thanks,
Brian
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Old 04-22-2007, 06:24 PM   #2
Aikibu
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Re: Atemi waza: good or bad for Aikido?

Quote:
Brian Dewey wrote: View Post
We all have at one time read/hard the quote from O'Sensei: "Aikido is 90% atemi..." or some other variant/percentage thereof.

Question: what role do you think atemi waza plays in "modern" Aikido? Does it have a place, should it have a place, etc. If so, what sort of atemi waza would best fit modern Aikido?

I'm not trying to "stir the pot" or provoke responses via a rhetorical question...I'm genuinely curious as to others' opinions & experiences.

On a personal note: currently I am taking an 8-week "crash course" in Kajukenbo, specifically the Chu'an Fa variant, which heavily emphasizes strikes. It has given me much reflection lately.

Thanks,
Brian
There is no Aikido without Atemi. that is of course if you practice Aikido as a Martial Art.

In our Aikido we even have an Atemi and Kicking Kata and you don't progress that far without it.

Some our Senior Yudansha like Tanaka Shihan even have thick calluses and knuckles, due to thier constant practice similiar to what you would see on most Karate Yudansha.

William Hazen

Last edited by Aikibu : 04-22-2007 at 06:31 PM.
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Old 04-22-2007, 07:00 PM   #3
Michael Varin
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Re: Atemi waza: good or bad for Aikido?

Quote:
Brian Dewey wrote:
Question: what role do you think atemi waza plays in "modern" Aikido? Does it have a place, should it have a place, etc. If so, what sort of atemi waza would best fit modern Aikido?
I suppose this depends on each individual's perspective of "modern" aikido.

I don't think it's wise to disregard the practical application of the techniques, so I definitely think atemi has a place. I've found that elbows, knees, head butts, and, to a somewhat lesser extent, punching are useful. Having said that, I like to train the majority of the time without atemi, because I can put more focus on the other techniques.

Also, in a one-on-one boxing/kickboxing/mma paradigm aikido techniques have little practical relevance.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 04-23-2007, 03:37 AM   #4
aikishrine
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Re: Atemi waza: good or bad for Aikido?

essential
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Old 04-23-2007, 06:19 AM   #5
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Atemi waza: good or bad for Aikido?

I you look down to the bottom of this page you will see many threads on this subject...some of them very good...

Best,
Ron (my opinion is that atemi are crucial...but it is also beneficial to understand how to release power in a manner appropriate to aikido waza...not to just graft another system of striking onto aikido joint locks and controls).

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 04-23-2007, 08:19 AM   #6
Gerry Magee
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Re: Atemi waza: good or bad for Aikido?

I feel we should view Aikido holistically, to take parts away or place more importance on one part or another dilutes the art as a whole.
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Old 04-23-2007, 10:16 AM   #7
Cory Hansen
 
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Re: Atemi waza: good or bad for Aikido?

Every Aikido technique has Atemi hidden in the technique. I think that we need to know where they are in each technique. I believe there is a time and place for Atemi.

If you are in a bar and some drunk guy messes with you, you probably are not going to use atemi. We call this the "drunken uncle" situation. You want to get the guy to stop bothering you but don't want to hurt him.

Then there is the situation where someone is threating you or a love one with body harm or if someone has a weapon. That when I feel the loving/peaceful part of our art takes a back seat and the Martial part comes out. I am going to use everything necessary to protect me and my love one and that is where atemi in crucial.

My Sensei always says that "this is still a Budo" and we have to train to know both sides of it.

Just my opinion
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Old 04-23-2007, 10:34 AM   #8
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: Atemi waza: good or bad for Aikido?

Quote:
Gerry Magee wrote: View Post
I feel we should view Aikido holistically, to take parts away or place more importance on one part or another dilutes the art as a whole.
Kind of like taking out an appendix just because we don't know how the body functions.
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Old 04-23-2007, 04:28 PM   #9
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Re: Atemi waza: good or bad for Aikido?

I always see atemi as the natural progession from mat-work to applied techniques. Essential for the greater purpose of the art, yes.
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Old 04-23-2007, 06:34 PM   #10
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Re: Atemi waza: good or bad for Aikido?

IMHO, if you think of atemi has cutting (not just feints or hitting), and you treat all your movements as cuts (Aikido does have some roots in kenjutsu), many (if not most) of your movements (waza) will be greatly improved.

I guess that would be a vote for atemi-waza good.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 04-23-2007, 09:44 PM   #11
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Re: Atemi waza: good or bad for Aikido?

It is important to learn how to deal with people using atemi on you, and to do that you have to take and give atemi.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 04-23-2007, 11:17 PM   #12
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Re: Atemi waza: good or bad for Aikido?

Atemi waza is part and parcel of the Aikido syllabus; at least it is in the Yoshinkan and Shodokan (aka Tomiki) school. And Shodokan (is as modern as modern get.

Boon.

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Old 04-24-2007, 01:29 AM   #13
Yann Golanski
 
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Re: Atemi waza: good or bad for Aikido?

Yeah, atemi waza is part of kihon waza for us shodothugs.

It's essential that you understand how to do them within all timing opportunities.

The people who understand, understand prefectly.
yann@york-aikido.org York Shodokan Aikido
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Old 04-24-2007, 07:49 AM   #14
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Atemi waza: good or bad for Aikido?

Absolutely!!
Aikido without atemi?
Can't see it somehow
Tony
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Old 04-24-2007, 09:21 AM   #15
Dewey
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Re: Atemi waza: good or bad for Aikido?

Thanks for the replies thus far. Another question: at what grade/rank should atemi waza begin to be taught? Should they be taught to beginners as well as to higher kyu grades?
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Old 04-24-2007, 10:03 AM   #16
ChrisMoses
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Re: Atemi waza: good or bad for Aikido?

Atemi is really tricky in aikido practice. Personally I feel that it's absolutely critical, but that the way it's used by many (in the US at least) is completely wrong. Atemi within aikido should be different from the kinds of strikes and impacts that one sees in karate or tae kwon doe for example and should generally be used at *the beginning* of the encounter. Atemi can be categorized as impactful or penetrating. Impactful atemi affects the body whole and can be used to create kuzushi or affect uke's structure. Penetrating atemi is done to cause pain or damage. Striking arts use both, but generally emphasize penetrating atemi over impactful atemi. Unfortunately, many in the aikido community also employ this kind of atemi (penetrating) and it's my opinion that it is a mistake to do so. I believe atemi within aikido is best used at the beginning of the interaction in order to position uke and/or create kuzushi, but then kansetsu or nage waza takes over the exchange. Certainly like Lynn mentions, these movements themselves can (and often should) have atemi like body dynamics, but that does not make them atemi. Too often I see atemi used in aikido to cover up sloppy technique. This kind of atemi is used later in the technique when nage realizes that they are going to be unable to complete their technique with the desired results. "Oh no, my kotegaeshi isn't working, what to do? I know, I'll hit them in the face!" I'm sorry, but if the end result of your aikido technique is just to pound someone in the face for not falling down, you might as well study boxing, it will teach you how to do that much faster and with much better results. In this scenario, atemi is used as a conditioning tool (punishment) to train students to fall down despite poor technique. This kind of training doesn't help ANYONE, and it is not how the art was developed. Atemi in aikido should be part of the nage's movements from the beginning, and not something that's added in here and there. An excellent example of what I'm talking about is Kondo Sensei's demonstration of Ippondori (the ancestor of aikido's ikkyo). In this video note how two atemi are used on the entry. Kondo Sensei's initial entry is impactful, disrupting aite's initial attack and positioning him to deliver a second (penetrating) atemi to the floating ribs. This is all within a cohesive framework that allows him to transition between atemi and kansetsu waza without giving up any control over uke. Note too, how the more critical of the two initial atemi is the impactful one. If that atemi was not successful, there would never be the opening for the second one. Some of you may not see the first move as an atemi, but rather an example of irimi. To that I say, "poo!" Irimi is atemi!

So as to your second question, I believe atemi must be taught from the very beginning in order for aikido to have any martial merit, but the atemi may not look or feel like what one is expecting.

Chris Moses
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Old 04-24-2007, 11:06 AM   #17
SeiserL
 
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Re: Atemi waza: good or bad for Aikido?

IMHO. atemi-waza and kihon-waza are the same. They are thought/taught from the beginning and throughout.

Lynn Seiser PhD
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We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 04-24-2007, 12:00 PM   #18
Aikibu
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Re: Atemi waza: good or bad for Aikido?

Quote:
Brian Dewey wrote: View Post
Thanks for the replies thus far. Another question: at what grade/rank should atemi waza begin to be taught? Should they be taught to beginners as well as to higher kyu grades?
From the beginning regardless of prior experiance.

William Hazen
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Old 04-24-2007, 12:06 PM   #19
philippe willaume
 
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Re: Atemi waza: good or bad for Aikido?

Hello
As per the other atemi thread

I would say that atemi are the same as if we were fencing with a sword or a knife.
It is of as much use as to do damage than it is to control or opponent movement by restricting it in certain direction and promoting it in other direction as well as creating or increasing our time and distance advantage.

phil

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Old 04-24-2007, 12:53 PM   #20
Marc Abrams
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Re: Atemi waza: good or bad for Aikido?

I frankly don't see how Aikido exists in absence of atemi. I strongly recommend that people read George Sensei's column on Atemi: http://www.aikiweb.com/columns/gledyard/2004_08.html

Chris makes a very good point that many people use an atemi as an attempt to compensate for the failure to unbalance the person (which an atemi is an indispensable component of).

marc abrams
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Old 04-24-2007, 02:12 PM   #21
aikidoc
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Re: Atemi waza: good or bad for Aikido?

See my detailed comments in the June 2005 article on atemi in Black Belt Magazine, or when it comes out in the French Aikido Journal-coming out soon.

It is very important-although a lost art.
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Old 04-24-2007, 09:30 PM   #22
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Re: Atemi waza: good or bad for Aikido?

Quote:
Yann Golanski wrote: View Post
Yeah, atemi waza is part of kihon waza for us shodothugs.
Are there percussive atemi at any point, though? The closest I've seen to that so far is the little feint at the beginning of gedan ate...
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Old 04-25-2007, 02:09 AM   #23
Yann Golanski
 
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Re: Atemi waza: good or bad for Aikido?

David,

That is just a safety point. All the atemi waza clearly come from belting uke one in the jaw. Clearly this conflicts with some of the more harmoniouse aspects of Aikido as well as with safety. If you have ever watch Enter The Dragon with Bruce Lee, he used aigamae ate in his first fight -- but he hits instead of placing the hand and throwing.

BTW, anyone who wants to practice atemi in the sense of hitting things, I suggest you learn how to punch from someone who knowns how to do it. Otherwise, you'll likely to break your finger or/and hand... Just a little warning.

The people who understand, understand prefectly.
yann@york-aikido.org York Shodokan Aikido
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Old 04-25-2007, 05:05 AM   #24
Michael Douglas
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Re: Atemi waza: good or bad for Aikido?

What about the one-knuckle punch?
Has it been mentioned yet, and if not, why not?
I have some recollection of that being the primary
atemi shown in some early book but for the life
of me I can't remember which one.
In my experience that punch is very nasty and 'distracting'
and oh-so-japanesey
but to avoid injury to the hand it really needs to be
trained and trained and trained.
Where are the atemi training opportunities and equipment
within your run-of-the-mill Aikido dojo?

I'd especially like to hear from those who train or have
trained in Japan. Do their dojo's have special setups for
aquiring substantial atemi?
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Old 04-25-2007, 06:55 PM   #25
Aiki1
 
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Re: Atemi waza: good or bad for Aikido?

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
There is no Aikido without Atemi. that is of course if you practice Aikido as a Martial Art.
Well. Actually, it all depends how you approach Aikido. There are ways of approaching it such that Atemi is essential. There are also ways of approaching it where atemi is almost incidental or even undesirable. They can both be martially effective. You have to have the knowledge and experience. Some do, some don't, some don't care.

There are real reasons why Atemi has it's limitations, under many circumstances - in fact, it can be your certain undoing if you're not careful.

There is no one way in Aikido that is the only effective way.

Larry Novick
Head Instructor
ACE Aikido
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