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Old 03-10-2008, 07:31 PM   #26
eyrie
 
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Re: Aikido is useless without atemi...

John B's post is spot on regarding aite and postural control upon engagement.

Let me make one thing clear... atemi is NOT simply about punching and kicking, nor is it about swinging wildly and trading blows. It is a measured and precise means of effecting a physical response in uke, which (if effective) would allow you to gain postural control.

Which is why I used the words "physical disruption"... Personally, I don't use atemi as a means to "distract", although on *some* level it does cause a distraction and temporary change in focus. (Intense) pain is usually a good distraction and sometimes a helpful deterrent.... Anyone who knows anything about cavity pressing, nerve/pressure/vital points would know what I mean when I say "effect a physical response".

Obviously in training it's not entirely neccessary or even warranted - however, it depends on what people are generally practising and with what level of intent. For me, the intent is always there (and if not, it should be), EVEN if I don't actually do it. Sure, at some level, uke doesn't have to necessarily respond to a "gesture", but I think it is generally good practice for people to remind themselves that the "gesture" is a strike designed to elicit a specific response.

Otherwise, in the remote event that you *might* have to use your aikido for real, you might revert to "training mode" and simply "gesture" at your attacker. And, if you're lucky, he might stop and give you a strange look, and if not... well...

Ignatius
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:51 PM   #27
Dan Richards
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Re: Aikido is useless without atemi...

Reading through - and lurking as I do - I actually felt I could offer something here. From my understanding - having trained in a few styles of aikido, and teaching at a Nishio Aikido-based dojo - the study of the application of atemi is fundamental for learning and understanding body positioning.

Atemi does not have to be used at all during a technique. But... if we don't know where it's applied, then we have no realistic reference for body positioning and angle relative to uke.

If uke attacks, and can strike, but nage can't strike; then nage's not in a very good position to do anything else. In other words; nage is dead.

Atemi acts as a compass, ruler, slide rule, etc. Just as the sword acts as a tool for refining movements - especially concerning the angle of the hands at any given moment in the technique.

A sword in hand is not at all necessary in order to apply effective aikido technique. But a sword is vital for learning how to apply effective aikido techniques. Flowing techniques can absolutely be executed effectively with no atemi applied or any where in sight, but a knowledge of atemi is necessary in order for the flowing techniques to be martially effective.

Someone not training atemi in aikido will not understand the angles and distances of nage and uke. Learning atemi application is like learning the ABCs on the long road of learning how to "write" in aikido. O-Sensei's movements in his later life were still absolutely martially effective, even though it may look to many as if he's just waving his hands in the air. And that type of more flowing aikido could be likened to someone writing their signature. But in order to learn to write a flowing signature, we all had to start out when we were kids and learn how to make letters, then spell words, then write sentences...

My signature shows little remaining evidence of my sitting in grade school learning how to make block letters, and then later, cursive letters. But it's all there.

Atemi is like the scaffolding erected to construct a building: it will serve as a load-bearer, and a frame for proper angles and measurements. And, of course, after the building is constructed the scaffolding is not necessary for the building to stand.

And the role of uke is equally as important in the study of budo as the role of nage. If nage is not applying atemi, uke will not learn about the strike possibilities at any given moment within the technique. As an example, if uke is put in the position to have kaiten nage applied, among other things, they need to know that nage is in the position to be able to plow a knee right into uke's face. An uke trained in atemi will naturally put their hand up to their own face in the direction of nage's inside knee.

Any aikidoka trained in atemi application can easliy spot someone else in training who doesn't have the knowledge of atemi. They're easy to spot because they're often in the position of being wide open to incoming force/s from uke. And I see this even in some high-level aikido practioners. They're open. Which equals: they're dead. I've seen many people training aikido focus so much on the controlling technique being practiced - kote gaeshi, shiho nage, nikkyo, etc - that comes near the end of the technique; that they blindly dance through the initial opening movements not seeing that they're completely open to attack. And those who do not train atemi will also be blind to attack possibilities from uke even during the controlling techniques.

In my training with Nishio sensei, he seemed to have little concern for which model of the controlling technique people chose. To him they were even more of a "massage" for uke. He always stressed being in proper position from the word go to strike uke (in many cases mutiple times) and to not allow uke to be in a position to strike. And to continue that relationship throughout all the movements.

Atemi is literally the "inside scoop" to aikido as budo. There is an old masonic creed: measure twice, cut once. And one of the symbols of masonry is the square and the compass.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freemasonry

Atemi and the sword are the squares within aikido. Atemi, in unarmed applications, is the sword of aikido.

My 2.

Last edited by Dan Richards : 03-11-2008 at 12:05 AM.
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Old 03-11-2008, 12:33 AM   #28
David Yap
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Re: Aikido is useless without atemi...

Hi Dan,

Beautifully posted

You nailed it. Can we see that again in s l o w m o t i o n.

Regards

David Y
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Old 03-11-2008, 07:56 AM   #29
Aikibu
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Re: Aikido is useless without atemi...

Wow Dan,

You must be my clone! Only you're a far more intelligent, articulate, and better looking version of me. LOL

I especially enjoyed reading this "summary"

Quote:
Any aikidoka trained in atemi application can easliy spot someone else in training who doesn't have the knowledge of atemi. They're easy to spot because they're often in the position of being wide open to incoming force/s from uke. And I see this even in some high-level aikido practioners. They're open. Which equals: they're dead. I've seen many people training aikido focus so much on the controlling technique being practiced - kote gaeshi, shiho nage, nikkyo, etc - that comes near the end of the technique; that they blindly dance through the initial opening movements not seeing that they're completely open to attack. And those who do not train atemi will also be blind to attack possibilities from uke even during the controlling techniques.

In my training with Nishio sensei, he seemed to have little concern for which model of the controlling technique people chose. To him they were even more of a "massage" for uke. He always stressed being in proper position from the word go to strike uke (in many cases mutiple times) and to not allow uke to be in a position to strike. And to continue that relationship throughout all the movements.
Amen Dan.

I tried to explain Nishio Shihan's approach the way you did and thanks for giving his views of our practice more depth and weight.

Great Post.

William Hazen

Last edited by Aikibu : 03-11-2008 at 08:00 AM.
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Old 03-11-2008, 09:04 AM   #30
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Aikido is useless without atemi...

Quote:
Alexander Silva wrote: View Post
Atemi is not needed, it's a waste of time. The quicker you can get the person to the ground with a throw or pin the better. What's the saying..."crap or get off the pot." Using atemi breaks flow and timing for a good technique. The more time you waste on a person the more time you give them to respond. If you use an atemi there is not telling what his response is, he may react in a way you don't know. What if the other person IS a marital artists and proceeds to respond in his style. You're better off redirecting the situation before he can regain balance and coordination, at least in countering your flow you can counter back with a different flow. Besides, if you're using atemi you might as well just stick to striking until he's knocked out or on the ground; don't call it Aikido, it's just self-defense.

BJJ practitioners can subdue opponents without blows and it's very effective, there's no reason Aikido can't do the same. Using atemi will reduce your skills in timing, which is a major factor in Aikido. It's almost a unique trait in Martial Arts compared to others. In my experiences with altercation, it lasted less than a second, the longest was about 5 seconds. Don't waste time, get down to business. That could mean pre-empting with an iriminage as he's cocking back his fist, or going under a hook and coming to the outside for kokyunage. Whatever it is, get to it and don't waste time.

So my message: Perfect your technique and timing so you don't have to use atemi. If you need it, you could not complete the technique but you defended yourself. Congratulations. The point of Aikido is to learn to harmonize with attackers and find a peaceful resolution between both people, not enact violence because you fear for your life.

-Alexander
This is sport martial art thinking being applied to Aikido which is not a sport. The reason that BJJ and other mixed martial arts folks can treat the possibility of being hit as casually as they do is that, by agreement, they are not doing the types of strikes which are designed to be lethal or disabling. That is precisely why they can fight with full intensity and power and you have so few people injured in the sport.

If you gave the fellows in the Octagon knives, you would see an entirely different body type and absolutely different attitude. When one strike can finish you, you have to be far more conservative.

I hate to tie this thread into our now perennial discussions of "internal power" but it is relevant. Since we seem to have come to agreement with the idea that various Aikido teachers such as O-Sensei and at least the thirties deshi did achieve some degree of "internal power", we need to consider that, for these people, atemi were fight finishers. The logic of how we move, how we position ourselves, even our basic postures, is all based on the fact that you cannot afford to be struck by someone who has the kind of power that can kill or main in one shot.

I can guarantee you that, if you get to train with someone like Mike S, Dan H, Akuzawa Sensei or Rob, the top Systema folks, you will develop an understanding of what atemi was to the old Aikido greats. When you have an oponent with that kind of power you treat their capacity to strike you as if they had a sword or a knife. The whole, "I can take a punch mentality" goes away quickly.The entire logic of Aikido movement and interaction between the partners is based on atemi. In O-Sensei's Aikido, we go beyond that and use the atemi for other purposes as in the quotes by Nishio Sensei. I wrote an article on this subject which is in the archives here somewhere...

I was taught that, if one knows that his partner will not or cannot hit him, all techniques are stoppable.

O-Sensei's Aikido was not about fighting. For this reason certain problems have developed with the art (as we have discussed in the "internal power" threads.) Many of not most folks in post war Aikido have not put the attention on power which was there in the thirties. So we have an entire generation of folks doing Aikido who can't deliver strikes with the kind of single blow stopping power that was once part of the training.

This causes people to disrespect that atemi. Just as that fool who didn't react to the atemi in his face, folks do not train with the idea that they simply cannot afford to take that strike and they are largely used to their partners not doing it. I would have hit the fellow on the next technique, or done something that would wake him up. You can strike someone in a way that doesn't damage much except his ego...

We were at a seminar in which Vladimir Vasiliev was doing some freestyle with a fellow. Vlad moved as if to punch and the guy simply planted and ignored it. So on the next movement, Vlad hit him... the guy went down (although he was not injured in any way) and you could see that the internal strike that was delivered hurt enough that it really git this fellows attention. So guess what? The next time Vlad moved to strike him, the guy was already moving fluidly and the strike didn't actually need to connect. That is precisely the use of atemi that we make in Aikido.

Aikido is full of folks who, if they weren't doing Aikido, wouldn't be doing martial arts at all. Most of these folks came to Aikido because of their perception that it wasn't a striking art. These folks will not strike their partners, even when they really need to to restore the balance in the training relationship. I've even seen, on many occasions, ukes who wouldn't really strike nage. Ikeda Sensei once called a guy up who simply would not make contact with his tsuki. Five times Sensei said "HIT ME!" and five times the guy failed to make contact even though Sensei hadn't moved. Sensei had him sit back down since any real technique was impossible because the energy was false from the start.

I run into these folks all the time... What they don't understand is that, not only is training with them as partners of absolutely no value to their fellow students, it is detrimental. This is ultimately all about energy and if the basic energy is false, everything based on it is screwed up.

Because we have such weakness in our practice, it leads people to make assumptions about the foundations of the art which are not true. Since the process of correcting the lack of content in people's striking is a lengthy one as we have discussed in the "internal power" threads, I would recommend that people simply change their thinking about what atemi is. If you treat a strike as if it is an edged weapon, you will move properly and develop the proper sensitivity to the incoming lines of force. If you indulge in the knowledge that the person you are training with really couldn't hurt you with their strikes, you deprive yourself of the knowledge to be gained by training correctly. This does require imagination. Perhaps it requires that folks get out there and have a few shots from someone who has the juice to finish you with one blow. Some folks learn from other;'s mistakes and some folks need to make those mistakes themselves; it's your choice.

I think people should reflect on the fact that in the old days, there was an atemi at first contact on EVERY entry. You can see this in the Daito Ryu forms and you can see this in the old Noma Dojo photos of O-Sensei. The fact that in post war Aikido, these strikes are now more implicit rather than explicit, does not mean that they aren't there. They are ALWAYS there, whether you see them or not. The well trained uke will not put his partner into the position of having to show what and where they really are. In our stylized practice, they are, as they are in Systema, tools to communicate with the partner to develop proper awareness of space and posture etc. If you disrespect that use of atemi in the training, then you show a lack of experience with what these atemi could really be.

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 03-11-2008 at 09:07 AM.

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Old 03-11-2008, 09:09 AM   #31
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Re: Aikido is useless without atemi...

Not only that, but in 'real' fights such as MMA vs sport bjj, I know of no bjj practitioners that do not use strikes to help them achieve their goals.

Even in the first UFC Royce was using strikes to get people to turn on their backs so he could choke them. He even used a horrible kick to setup shots. While we don't need strikes to use bjj effectively, it really helps when you can use them.

- Don
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Old 03-11-2008, 09:55 AM   #32
John A Butz
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Re: Aikido is useless without atemi...

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
This is sport martial art thinking being applied to Aikido which is not a sport. The reason that BJJ and other mixed martial arts folks can treat the possibility of being hit as casually as they do is that, by agreement, they are not doing the types of strikes which are designed to be lethal or disabling. That is precisely why they can fight with full intensity and power and you have so few people injured in the sport.
With respect Mr. Ledyard, I would like to disagree with you here. I think that the position Alexander has taken is not only an incorrect representation of an aikido approach to atemi, it is also not universally applicable to sport martial art.

Even in MMA events, with rulesets, limitations and clearly defined parameters for victory, the good fighters don't charge in and take punishment. A good "ground and pound man" will do everything he can to have a dominate positon so his target can't hit back or sweep him. A good stand-up man Will not simply absorb shots, because he knows that the other guy might be able to hit hard enough to put him down with one.

Quote:
I hate to tie this thread into our now perennial discussions of "internal power" but it is relevant. Since we seem to have come to agreement with the idea that various Aikido teachers such as O-Sensei and at least the thirties deshi did achieve some degree of "internal power", we need to consider that, for these people, atemi were fight finishers. The logic of how we move, how we position ourselves, even our basic postures, is all based on the fact that you cannot afford to be struck by someone who has the kind of power that can kill or main in one shot.
While in the MMA world, one is not trying to maim or kill ones opponent, there are a number of fighters known for their "knock out power". While watching a fighter work against someone known to drop a guy with a single hook, you will see a level of maneuver, avoidance, and attempts to change the parameters of the fight so that the devastating blow can not be landed.

In essence I am simply making the point that sport fighting is not synonymous with a "stand and trade" type of striking exchange, although it can degenerate to that.

I entirely agree with the remainder of your points, and my only purpose with this post was to try to make it clear that I believe all effective combatants, regardless of the environment, are aware of the power of a strike and the need to disrupt the opponents ability to to throw that effective strike.

Sincerely,
--John A Butz
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Old 03-11-2008, 10:13 AM   #33
John A Butz
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Re: Aikido is useless without atemi...

Thanks for responding Alexander. If you don't mind, I am going to raise a few points here, just to see where we go with them.

Quote:
Alexander Silva wrote: View Post
Atemi to me is using a strike, or what Aikidoka call strikes before the throw or pin.
I think this is where you and I fundamentally part ways. I don't think atemi is a stirke, in as much as I think atemi is a process of interupting the attacker that can take the form of a strike. It is, even as a strike, not an element seperated from the technique, but an integral part of my movement pattern.

Quote:
Now striking in general, punching, kicking, etc. IS effective, so I'm not saying attacks are ineffective but attacks with Aikido is. In randori, multiple attackers 2-8, you have no time for an atemi AND a throw, only a throw OR atemi. But you can't exactly render an uke unconscious in class so it's hard to gauge the effectiveness of your strike during randori. Aikidoka aren't renowned for their superior strikes, it's something that's sorely lacking. You better throwing your attacker into someone else and controlling the crowd.
I would agrue here that it is in fact not hard at all to gauge the effectiveness of your atemi. The goal simply needs to be defined, and then tested. My atemi is primarily to distort aite upon contact. If his posture is negatively affected, then my atemi was sucsessful. I think that you are employing atemi in your multi person randori in a way that I would call atemi but that you are calling a throw. You mentioned in your earlier post that if someone is loading up to throw a punch you would enter in to throw them. That is an atemi, one executed not with a limb but with the whole body.

Quote:
They are always beaten trying to go toe to toe with someone who SOLELY practices kicking and/or punching.
I think if you read what folks are saying, you will see that the goal of atemi is not to stand and trade, a point that Ledyard Sensei made very effectively in his post, but rather to control posture so that one does not have to stand and trade. I don't go toe-to-toe, I break structure and head to a corner or go around the back, where the guy can't hit me.

Quote:
As for BJJ, the goal is to subdue an opponent with a choke or pin, they don't control positions, they flow with the persons movement and find an opening for a pin or choke.
Respectfully, I disagree. A good groundfighter controls you, as effectively as a good aikido player. If you follow MMA you have heard the phrase "impose his will" used by the ring announcers. That is what I refer to when I say control. I am going to impose my will on you, make you move the way I want you to move, attack you in ways that open up other avenues for me to attack, and negate your ability to defend.

Thank you for responding. I think we have more in common regarding atemi then you might think, I just don't apply as strict of a definition on it as you seem to do.


edit: Apologies for spelling and grammar issues in my post one up from this one, I apparently am not very good at proof reading

Last edited by John A Butz : 03-11-2008 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 03-11-2008, 10:55 AM   #34
GrazZ
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Re: Aikido is useless without atemi...

now the question is, if Aikido is 75-90% atemi.....why is it never practiced as part of the curriculum?

If the above statement is true, than i'd argue we are all terrible Aikidoka...personally i think this is a major problem with Aikido. When you lean how to strike, you also learn how OTHERS will strike and how they will move and react, anything less is just a farce imo because, in reality, i have no idea how someone who is really intent on hitting me is going to act. I've trained with people where we've tried this but the problem is it is very hard to take yourself out of Aikido-mode and just throw the strike without immediately thinking about how you are going to take the ukemi, instead of say trying to find an opening to escape or strike again after the technique has started.

As for Mr. Silva, i'd like to know just what other martial arts you claim to have studied, as well as your "vast" knowledge of real life combat experience in which you are godly enough to use Aikido perfectly with no atemi? I guess on the street you just magically blend with uke when they throw that perfect yokomenuchi, follow you around, watching in awe and feeling a complete sense of wholeness with the universe eh?

In regards to randori, randori in its own right looks nice, but i dont feel it is any more realistic than the rest of regular Aikido training since we are still bound to the "rules" of Aikido as ukes. Anyone with any sense whatsoever is not going to run full speed, head down, trying to grab your wrist in real life for example and yet this is what we do, because this si what we are supposed to do. If the 8 guys you do randori with were to slowly come at you, stalk you, circle you and then attack: one grabbing you from behind, one shooting for your legs while you attempt your ushirowaza, two flanking you from either side so you cant run anywhere, and the rest wailing away when you are trapped, i think you'd have a much harder time with your atemi-less Aikido....

Last edited by GrazZ : 03-11-2008 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 03-11-2008, 10:57 AM   #35
MM
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Re: Aikido is useless without atemi...

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post

I can guarantee you that, if you get to train with someone like Mike S, Dan H, Akuzawa Sensei or Rob, the top Systema folks, you will develop an understanding of what atemi was to the old Aikido greats. When you have an oponent with that kind of power you treat their capacity to strike you as if they had a sword or a knife. The whole, "I can take a punch mentality" goes away quickly.
Just got this far in reading, but I wanted to really, really, really emphasize this point. From personal experience, no less.

Anyone who has been "tapped" (I use this word loosely because it isn't really a tap, but a strike with power, designed to illustrate but not damage) by the above mentioned people understand the capacity for lethality in that atemi.

If you can't fathom this kind of thing, please visit one of those people and ask them about experiencing it. I'll wager you won't ask for a second demo.

Mark
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Old 03-11-2008, 11:19 AM   #36
Aiki1
 
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Re: Aikido is useless without atemi...

Quote:
Dan Richards wrote: View Post
........the study of the application of atemi is fundamental for learning and understanding body positioning.

Atemi does not have to be used at all during a technique. But... if we don't know where it's applied, then we have no realistic reference for body positioning and angle relative to uke.

........Flowing techniques can absolutely be executed effectively with no atemi applied or any where in sight, but a knowledge of atemi is necessary in order for the flowing techniques to be martially effective.

Someone not training atemi in aikido will not understand the angles and distances of nage and uke.

..............Atemi is literally the "inside scoop" to aikido as budo.

.............Atemi, in unarmed applications, is the sword of aikido.
A very nice post, and well-articulated. Coming from a style of Aikido that is "atemi-oriented" it is a good explanation. However, not all Aikido comes from that direction, so to speak. My style does not rely on Atemi, if it's being defined as a strike, and it doesn't make it any less Aikido or effective. In fact, in my style, if Atemi is "needed" - in most cases (not all) then it means that Nage did not understand the process of interaction adequately and had to "rely on technique."

The difference is that I would substitute the notion of Kuzushi for the above, instead of Atemi. Then, Tsukuri is not based on the ability or need to strike (although it is "automatically" there) but the understanding of how Uke will lose their balance properly. When this is applied correctly, Kuzushi is the focus, a complete understanding of angles, distance, and movement is present, everything falls into place (including the "ability" to strike), no pun intended, and that, then, is the "sword of Aikido." For us, not for everyone. There is, truly, more than one way to do Aikido effectively.

Larry Novick
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Old 03-11-2008, 11:39 AM   #37
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Re: Aikido is useless without atemi...

In my view, kuzushi and atemi are (or should be) the same thing. Atemi doesn't mean only a "hit" or "strike"... it is an effect. Atemi can be done with a "look" or a small, precise, focused touch as well as a crushing one stroke kill or cutting action that cuts the opponent in half (depending on the circumstances). It is a culmination of capability within principle and understanding of: target, distance, and timing. With these tools we can then apply strategy and tactics. As in all things my ultimate goal is to do the least amount of harm possible to achieve resolution of the conflict. One of the aspects of my practice that I continually search for is the ability to give as little sense of what is really happening during the interaction. Of course I'm not where I would like to be but am very content with the journey.

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Old 03-11-2008, 12:07 PM   #38
Aiki1
 
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Re: Aikido is useless without atemi...

Hoping you'd chime in here Chuck. Exactamundo.

Larry Novick
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Old 03-11-2008, 12:13 PM   #39
John A Butz
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Re: Aikido is useless without atemi...

Mr. Clark, you have articulated concisely exactly what I have been fumbling around trying to say. Thank you.

Sincerely,
--John A Butz
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Old 03-11-2008, 12:34 PM   #40
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Re: Aikido is useless without atemi...

Quote:
Alexander Silva wrote: View Post
Atemi is not needed, it's a waste of time.
Alexander, go to :
http://www.shodokan.ch/en/index.html,
Technical Reference,
Kihon Randori no Kata - 17hon,
These are animated gif of the first 17 techniques taught in Shodokan Aikido.
The first five techniques are listed as Atemi Waza. Would you consider these techniques a waste of time to learn?

David
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Old 03-11-2008, 12:44 PM   #41
Aiki1
 
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Re: Aikido is useless without atemi...

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Alexander, go to :
http://www.shodokan.ch/en/index.html,
Technical Reference,
Kihon Randori no Kata - 17hon,
These are animated gif of the first 17 techniques taught in Shodokan Aikido.
The first five techniques are listed as Atemi Waza. Would you consider these techniques a waste of time to learn?

David
Numbers one, two, and four are not done in my style, ever, (nor in some others that I am aware of) the third is done Very differently, the fourth is common to my teaching syllabus. I still can't understand why people think there is only one correct approach to Aikido.

Larry Novick
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ACE Aikido
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Old 03-11-2008, 12:57 PM   #42
dps
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Re: Aikido is useless without atemi...

Quote:
Larry Novick wrote: View Post
I still can't understand why people think there is only one correct approach to Aikido.
Do you mean me?

David
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Old 03-11-2008, 01:32 PM   #43
dps
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Re: Aikido is useless without atemi...

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Alexander Silva wrote: View Post
.So my message: Perfect your technique and timing so you don't have to use atemi.
What if atemi is a part of the technique? As the third and fifth technique is in this clip.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...arch&plindex=6
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Old 03-11-2008, 01:50 PM   #44
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Aikido is useless without atemi...

Love that clip!
B,
R (Evil Man Who Loves Atemi)

Ron Tisdale
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Old 03-11-2008, 02:10 PM   #45
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: Aikido is useless without atemi...

I have been uke and tori for those sorts of techniques for many years. If the kuzushi (especially the tsukuri) is appropriate and the connection and timing are right, there is very little felt impact from the "atemi"... the whole waza IS the atemi. It feels like a great ride... sort of like horsemanship.. if the rider and horse are "fitting" properly they act as one and there is no problem. If that fitting isn't right, the rider will soak up lots and lots of force that seems unpleasant to most. If there is too much tension in the connection from either or both sides things like over rotation, uke holding tension or tori having timing problems can cause problems. No such thing as a perfect technique. Some are better than others. Of course there are budoka that have a sense of "if a little force works well then a whole lot must be better." Hopefully we all pass past that stage...

An after thought... Kano's Seiryoku Zenyo and Jita Kyoei are the key.

Last edited by Chuck Clark : 03-11-2008 at 02:12 PM.

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Old 03-11-2008, 02:15 PM   #46
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Re: Aikido is useless without atemi...

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David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Do you mean me?

David
Just a general statement. Should have been more clear.

Larry Novick
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Old 03-11-2008, 03:11 PM   #47
Chris Lacey
 
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Re: Aikido is useless without atemi...

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Love that clip!
B,
R (Evil Man Who Loves Atemi)
Ron, right there with you! We were introduced to our first Atemi (a variant of number 2 on Davids link) during class last night. In Dans clip, I note the knife(tanto, sharp shard of metal..etc.) in Ukes hand. This is a life or death situation and only one way (in my humble opinion) of many techniques where the point is to get away. It seems to me, since uke is off balance (and wanting to pull away..in a hurry) releasing his blade hand as he is pulling to get away and bringing your arm forward is just an "invitation" to let uke get away from getting "clotheslined"

When Sensei introduced a similar Atemi technique, he emphasized timing and the release of the attackers energy and moving the arm forward, if done correctly, will not be bruised by uke and uke will not go away with a headache.

Of course, this is my interpretation and subject to change...with more training. hehe

Be safe and Be well,
Chris

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I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
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Old 03-11-2008, 03:34 PM   #48
Kaze0180
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Re: Aikido is useless without atemi...

Wow, a lot of response since I left. Awesome! Good discussion! So I will respond to all in this one post in chronological order.

George L.:
What I have encountered out there in real life, from my experience, was that sportsmanship and honor is what's needed out there. Not the intent to kill or harm, it's the modern age, and the situations we would get in do not require us to kill anyone. That is the whole point of Aikido, isn't it? Protect yourself and your attacker? What separates this from reality is fear, fear of pain and hurt, this is what get us in the way of reaching the meaning of harmony; because we fear death. Have faith.

Even BJJ sport is deadly! Just a small tweak past your threshold and you have broken elbows and necks. It's a hairsbreadth from getting real and sport, there is nothing fake about it. Neither is there anything fake about UFC, if they extended themselves past the point of knockout you would not stop them.

John B.:
I think you're right. You are using Atemi as a term to describe a moment of disruption to redirect, if so then I will agree. Maybe terminology is what we are arguing, haha. What I see that can be disrupting an attack is maai, kiai, kokyu, poise, eye contact, etc. In your case this is ALL atemi, right?

As for BJJ, if you've grappled with the legends of grappling like the Machado Brothers, the Gracies, or any of their students, they are extremely relaxed and flow despite being clinched. They know how to roll with movements instead of resisting them. What they do use is body weight to tire you out, but to get a pin the roll until you open a position for pin. It's REALLY cool. You should watch their videos if you can't train with their group.

Andrew L.:
hahahaha. Nice sarcasm, funny. I don't have much, only about 15 yrs with Aikido, Karate, TKD, 5 yrs with BJJ, Kickboxing, Boxing, and JKD. What I do see with the extra training is loopholes in Aikido atemi and the assumptions it has. If you really want to do atemi, learn the boxing movements of fast and slippery hits, or the power kicks of kickboxing, or the closing of body position by BJJ. Add that with the situations I've had to be in real life, it gave me a better understanding of what works and what doesn't work in Aikido...for me I should say. The fundamentals are important and so is the philosophy behind it, if you are weak in either it will show when coming up against these odds.

Dealing with skilled fighters takes a mixed approach to getting to Aikido, you have to know their language first before you can translate. But when I was in "real situations" where people aren't trained fighters the principles of randori and its strategies saved my life WITHOUT having to hurt people. Again it's the fear thing, you fear for your life so you over exert yourself. Being considerate to these people also helped me after...as in these people I've had to see again and appreciate the fact that I didn't beat them to a pulp! Something to think about...

David S.:
Great video! A bit different style, but definitely interesting. Again I think this is a matter of definition of what ATEMI is, I have heard several kinds already on this forum already, so I guess we have to start speaking the same language before we ask if we understand each other.

To all these people I replied to, what is YOUR definition of Atemi? This will reveal quite a bit.

-Alexander
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Old 03-11-2008, 07:48 PM   #49
John A Butz
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Re: Aikido is useless without atemi...

Alexander, more or less you are correct. However, in my opinion, when dealing with a skilled attacker intent on hurting you, no amount of poise, maai, or timing etc will be sufficient to forestall his attack if you are not able to, at any point during the course of the encounter, deliver effective percussive force to aite with the goal of destroying his posture. If you are sufficiently skilled, that force can be applied through the structure, but I sincerely believe that you have to be able and willing to hit aite in order to do aikido.

I appreciate the discussion, and lets agree to disagree on this issue.
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Old 03-11-2008, 07:55 PM   #50
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Re: Aikido is useless without atemi...

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John Butz wrote: View Post
Alexander, more or less you are correct. However, in my opinion, when dealing with a skilled attacker intent on hurting you, no amount of poise, maai, or timing etc will be sufficient to forestall his attack if you are not able to, at any point during the course of the encounter, deliver effective percussive force to aite with the goal of destroying his posture. If you are sufficiently skilled, that force can be applied through the structure, but I sincerely believe that you have to be able and willing to hit aite in order to do aikido.

I appreciate the discussion, and lets agree to disagree on this issue.
Are you saying here that you have to "be able to" strike, or you have to actually strike? The way you worded it, I'm not completely sure. If the latter, I not only disagree, but the early BJJers proved that that can be incorrect too many times to count.

It appears again to me that I do a completely different art than some others who are "also doing Aikido." And I can guarantee from experience that it is effective without actually striking.

Larry Novick
Head Instructor
ACE Aikido
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