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Old 07-21-2008, 09:36 AM   #26
John Matsushima
 
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Re: Well, now...

Quote:
Stefan Stenudd wrote: View Post

Moving on: As for the effectiveness of atemi, I find that rhythm has a lot to do with it. The element of surprise, of striking in a "syncopated" way, i.e. right before it is expected, and to do it paying attention to the movement of the opponent (either with it or right against it), and so on.
Atemiwaza is a martial art of its own, if studied profoundly. And true: when you know it well, you don't need any aikido techniques to follow up - but then, of course, it is no longer aikido.
Hello Stefan,
Well, I'm not a big fan of Nishio's atemi style for the reason that it seems to be done too much as an external art applied in Aikido. In that way, I agree that if one only did atemi then, it might not be Aikido, as you said.

However, to me, I think that there is what can be called "Aikido atemi". As someone mentioned, you could say that a strike is a strike, no matter what you call it, but the reason I call it Aikido atemi is because the application and method of striking in Aikido to me seems different from other arts

Here is a clip of one of my favorite Aikido gurus doing atemi. He applies atemi many times without doing anything else, but you can still see the technique. Even though he does not do an irimi nage, and only does atemi, it is still there. In this way, the atemi is uniquely Aikido because the principle and essence of technique, such as irimi nage, is necessary to properly execute the atemi.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRYJGTePCrY

-John Matsushima

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http://onecorneroftheplanetinjapan.blogspot.jp/
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Old 07-21-2008, 10:32 AM   #27
Aikibu
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Re: Atemi

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Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post

FWIW, I think Nishio's atemi (as demonstrated in the Yusuru Budo book and DVD series) is rubbish... and if I were to be more polite - at best, pre-school level atemi waza.

The videos posted by Salim are closer to what I learnt in karate-jutsu and jujitsu, and I think are far more appropriate in terms of setup, execution and follow thru for Aikido 'techniques"... and closer to what I've seen of good hapkido.

I would suggest to the OP, get yourself an anatomy reference and a good set of pressure point charts. Find a list of various hand/fist formations and kicking techniques used in karate (or even CMA in general). And then find yourself a teacher who can teach/show you this stuff - and then work out how you can integrate it into your Aikido "techniques".
"Pre-School" Atemi Waza??? LOL

Well everyone is entitled to their opinion even if it's based on reading books and watching videos and not actual experience.

William Hazen
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Old 07-21-2008, 10:58 AM   #28
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Re: Well, now...

Quote:
John Matsushima wrote: View Post
Hello Stefan,
Well, I'm not a big fan of Nishio's atemi style for the reason that it seems to be done too much as an external art applied in Aikido. In that way, I agree that if one only did atemi then, it might not be Aikido, as you said.
This is the crux of the "problem." The purpose of our Atemi is to show Uke the fight is over before it even begins. This philosophy is based on Aikido as the Sword. If you enter with a sword as Uke it will become really obvious to you that you will be cut The same with our Atemi...To continue with an attack as Uke is to risk getting hit Atemi and our Atemi is designed as a reminder (so to speak) to end the conflict and not necessarily to complete to the technique. Here is a You Tube of Shoji Nishio from the 80's were he illustrates these principles of Atemi "inside" our Tai Jutsu and Ken te Ken

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYrHb...eature=related

Notice the Atemi is not about "blocking" or "parrying" the punches but more about ending the "fight" while protecting yourself. Also the Atemi is not separated from the technique It's inside of it ready to use if needed.

Quote:
However, to me, I think that there is what can be called "Aikido atemi". As someone mentioned, you could say that a strike is a strike, no matter what you call it, but the reason I call it Aikido atemi is because the application and method of striking in Aikido to me seems different from other arts
I guess it depends on what you think Atemi should be used for...Without it You seem to risk Aikido no longer having any Martial Value and thus any relevance as a Martial Art.

Quote:
Here is a clip of one of my favorite Aikido gurus doing atemi. He applies atemi many times without doing anything else, but you can still see the technique. Even though he does not do an irimi nage, and only does atemi, it is still there. In this way, the atemi is uniquely Aikido because the principle and essence of technique, such as irimi nage, is necessary to properly execute the atemi.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRYJGTePCrY
Great Clip and since it's from the same Demonstration a great way to compare. Thanks for your insights Sempai.

William Hazen
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Old 07-21-2008, 11:50 AM   #29
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Re: Atemi

I've just listened to a podcast I found on itunes last night. It was an interview with Ellis Amdur. He said according to him, the atemi in aikido forms is usually an extension of the arm or running the arm along uke's limb. An example he had is in nikyo, tori could come down with an elbow strike.

I see some of this aspect with my sensei. When I have to receive kokyu ho I usually have to keep my head close to his arm. If I don't he would hit me with his elbow (and from my reaction he could then throw me easily). It's similar with irimi nage. If I don't move, he could just strike my face with his fist while pulling on my collar to make me throw myself.

In the book best aikido, there's also some explanations of the use of atemi with the doshu punching uke's rib as he enters for irimi nage. It's also worth noting that he used a vertical punch (like a tsuki movement).

In uchi kaiten nage or uchi sankyo, there also seems to be a variety of atemi ranging from an uppercut punch, a wave of the hand, a palm smash to the chin or a vertical punch. I don't think it matters that much if what you really want is to get on with the technique safely. Atemi from the bottom of the face seem more effective martially though as they are harder to see coming.
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Old 07-21-2008, 06:27 PM   #30
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Re: Atemi

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William Hazen wrote: View Post
"Pre-School" Atemi Waza??? LOL
Well everyone is entitled to their opinion even if it's based on reading books and watching videos and not actual experience.
For a "big" man... and a self-professed Buddhist priest, that's just way below the belt. Perhaps you'd could try a little better to keep the discussion on topic and avoid the personal snipes.

Ignatius
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Old 07-21-2008, 06:29 PM   #31
Stefan Stenudd
 
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"Ateminage"

Quote:
John Matsushima wrote: View Post
Here is a clip of one of my favorite Aikido gurus doing atemi. He applies atemi many times without doing anything else, but you can still see the technique. Even though he does not do an irimi nage, and only does atemi, it is still there. In this way, the atemi is uniquely Aikido because the principle and essence of technique, such as irimi nage, is necessary to properly execute the atemi.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRYJGTePCrY
With blushing cheeks I must admit that I am not that fond of the solutions shown on that video. They are techniques done almost solely with atemi. Let's call it "ateminage" - uke falls because of the strike.
In my perception of it, Nishio sensei's way of using atemi was more in line with what I would call aikido atemi - they were entrances and distraction strikes, leading up to proper aikido techniques, which were not done in a striking manner.

Myself, I experiment a lot with trying to do aikido techniques so that atemi are not needed. Whether I succeed or not, I like the idea, so it's worth trying for some years. I find atemi often applied as an "easy way out" - forcing uke to yield or fall, without tori taking the proper trouble to learn the technique well enough to work by itself.

Not that I don't also enjoy a few good atemi between friends...

Stefan Stenudd
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Old 07-21-2008, 07:05 PM   #32
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Re: Atemi

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Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
For a "big" man... and a self-professed Buddhist priest, that's just way below the belt. Perhaps you'd could try a little better to keep the discussion on topic and avoid the personal snipes.
Better late than never on your part. I just took upon myself to defend your "personal snipe" of Nishio Sensei's book and videos.

My Apologies...And by the way we're on topic.

For the record I am not an ordained Buddhist Priest nor have I ever "professed" to be one.

William Hazen

Last edited by Aikibu : 07-21-2008 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 07-21-2008, 07:32 PM   #33
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Re: Atemi

My mistake... "practicing" Buddhist. Perhaps less "Buddhist" and more practice might be in order. How is my opinion of the aforementioned publicly available and published material a "personal snipe"?

By all means defend the material... but there's no need to get defensive about the man and take it personally. Insinuations regarding experience or lack thereof is neither warranted nor "on topic".

Ignatius
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Old 07-21-2008, 08:26 PM   #34
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Re: Atemi

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Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
My mistake... "practicing" Buddhist. Perhaps less "Buddhist" and more practice might be in order. How is my opinion of the aforementioned publicly available and published material a "personal snipe"?

By all means defend the material... but there's no need to get defensive about the man and take it personally. Insinuations regarding experience or lack thereof is neither warranted nor "on topic".
Sorry I simply asserted you did not have enough experience with Nishio Sensei's Aikido to accurately assess the materiel. it was not meant to be an insinuation on my part.

My Apologies again.

Feel free to PM if you wish to continue this dialog and so that we do not continue to waste everyone else's time.;

William Hazen

Last edited by Aikibu : 07-21-2008 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 07-21-2008, 09:19 PM   #35
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Re: Atemi

Again, your "assertion" is off-base. Experience, or lack thereof, of a specific style, is irrelevant to a material assessment of the prima facie value of information presented. Besides, I have sufficient experience in various striking arts to understand that what is being presented in the material is aimed at a basic, kindergarten level, and that it in no way represents a "true" application potential.

I get the gist of what Nishio is showing in the book and videos, and I don't have a problem with it. But I do stand by my earlier conviction. If the goal is to "stop" the attack without necessarily completing the technique, that's fine - I'm not discounting that as a potentially valid use of atemi. However, I prefer to take a pedantic view of atemi as a "hit (to the) body"... and that such "hits" will result in one or more of the following:
1. A predictable physiological response in uke
2. Disturb/disrupt or even break uke's balance
3. Causes uke to change their priorities and respond in a predictable fashion
4. Create an opening to allow insertion for a technique
5. Allow for completion of the technique

Whilst Nishio does demonstrate some of these to an extent, I don't think he articulates or emphasizes it sufficiently. Certainly, the voice over on the video doesn't, or glosses over it briefly - resulting in vague instructions, like "do it like this".

So, I don't think further PM or discussion of my experience is necessary... besides, I left the beautiful young girl by the river ages ago... I hope you're not still carrying her.

Ignatius
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Old 07-21-2008, 11:00 PM   #36
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Re: Atemi

Although not nessarily atemi demonstrated, most definitely great application that atemi could be applied in many of these techniques.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=SivWAcPlzFg&feature=related
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Old 07-22-2008, 12:23 AM   #37
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Re: Atemi

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Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post

So, I don't think further PM or discussion of my experience is necessary... besides, I left the beautiful young girl by the river ages ago... I hope you're not still carrying her.
Sadly I am.... She is spending the night with me and we're going surfing in the morning....I guess I am just not as good as Buddhist as you.

As for the rest of your observations I will let them stand without comment and with the humble suggestion you give Nishio's Akido a go if you ever get the chance. You might be surprised since your assumptions are solely based on a video and a book.

There are others here like Ellis and Stefan both of them Yudansha to whom you might ask about Nishio Shihan's Atemi.
Both of them are far more eloquent and experienced in these matters and can articulate the experience much better than I can.

WIlliam Hazen

Last edited by Aikibu : 07-22-2008 at 12:30 AM.
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Old 07-22-2008, 12:35 AM   #38
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Re: Atemi

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Salim Shaw wrote: View Post
Although not nessarily atemi demonstrated, most definitely great application that atemi could be applied in many of these techniques.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=SivWAcPlzFg&feature=related
Roy Dean and company are definitely a class act. Great Video. I love everything the guy does.

William Hazen
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Old 07-22-2008, 01:14 AM   #39
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Re: Atemi

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William Hazen wrote: View Post
...with the humble suggestion you give Nishio's Akido a go if you ever get the chance. You might be surprised since your assumptions are solely based on a video and a book.
Just can't let it go can you? A gentle suggestion... stop taking it so personally. There's no need to defend the man... I think he's well past caring.

By your own admission, you state that the material in the book and DVDs are outdated and no longer representative of how Nishio did it in his later years.

So, instead of ASS-U-ME-ing I made an "assumption"... why not address my observations directly? Tell me if I am indeed wrong, instead of implying that my analysis and assessment of the material is assumptive and dismissive of Nishio's aikido generally and that I should experience it for myself.

Ignatius
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Old 07-22-2008, 02:10 AM   #40
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Re: Atemi

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgF623TxWSI

One more for the mix.

David M. Valadez
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Old 07-22-2008, 04:27 AM   #41
Stefan Stenudd
 
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Atemi purpose

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
I prefer to take a pedantic view of atemi as a "hit (to the) body"... and that such "hits" will result in one or more of the following:
1. A predictable physiological response in uke
2. Disturb/disrupt or even break uke's balance
3. Causes uke to change their priorities and respond in a predictable fashion
4. Create an opening to allow insertion for a technique
5. Allow for completion of the technique
I agree. Very well put. That's how I try to use atemi.

Regardless of the video and book discussed above, it was my experience that Nishio sensei used atemi in this way, too.
Primarily, he used atemi to show the attacker that attacking is wrong, thereby giving the attacker a chance to cease with it. A kind of philosophical statement, which Nishio sensei had at the entrance to every technique, taking a superior position and showing it to uke with an atemi - sort of saying: "See what I could do to you."
It is particularly evident in his sword techniques.

Secondarily, he used atemi in the ways described in 1-5 above.

Nishio sensei also insisted that aikido students need to know about proper atemi, so that the atemi become believable and functional. Otherwise they would not work as deterrents, nor that well in the 1-5 functions above.
So, when he showed how to strike, it was not to teach students an alternative to aikido techniques, but a functioning atemi deterrent/distraction/et cetera, to use with the aikido techniques.

Stefan Stenudd
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Old 07-22-2008, 08:20 AM   #42
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Re: Atemi

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David Valadez wrote: View Post
Nice. So much better than most Aikido demonstrations. I like it.
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Old 07-22-2008, 11:23 AM   #43
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Re: Atemi purpose

Quote:
Stefan Stenudd wrote: View Post
I agree. Very well put. That's how I try to use atemi.

Regardless of the video and book discussed above, it was my experience that Nishio sensei used atemi in this way, too.
Primarily, he used atemi to show the attacker that attacking is wrong, thereby giving the attacker a chance to cease with it. A kind of philosophical statement, which Nishio sensei had at the entrance to every technique, taking a superior position and showing it to uke with an atemi - sort of saying: "See what I could do to you."
It is particularly evident in his sword techniques.

Secondarily, he used atemi in the ways described in 1-5 above.

Nishio sensei also insisted that aikido students need to know about proper atemi, so that the atemi become believable and functional. Otherwise they would not work as deterrents, nor that well in the 1-5 functions above.
So, when he showed how to strike, it was not to teach students an alternative to aikido techniques, but a functioning atemi deterrent/distraction/et cetera, to use with the aikido techniques.
For me, there is a purity to human-vs-human violence. By that I mean, it defies delineations, and, in the end, is what it is. As such, for example, for me, when it is time/place to strike, it's time/place to strike. Outside of that instant, I am more of the opinion that it is misplaced to formulate a striking or a throwing, etc., "position." This is because to do so is to deny the purity of violence, the "is what it is" of it all.

Thus, I'm very hesitant to compare or contrast, for example, striking and throwing ("Aikido technique"). Such formulas, for me, do not so much show an unfamiliarity with "striking" or "throwing" as much as the do with violence.

Why should a strike be able to say, "Here, look what I can do to you" and a throw or a pin cannot? Why can a stopped-short strike be a deterrent and stopped-short throw or pin cannot? Somewhere behind such positions, if you dig deep enough, lies an unfamiliarity with, or at least an unthought-out detachment to violence - or at least a method by which one may make him/herself unfamiliar and/or detached from the purity of said violence.

For me, the moral high ground cannot be found in an arsenal, however that may be delineated. For me, a viable/practical morality can only be found in a non-attachment to our egocentric tendencies. For example, to not "have" to strike someone or throw them, and "hurt" them, start to practice a life armed with a capacity to free oneself, in a moment and overall, from the spiritual immaturity of pride, ignorance, and fear, from the non-virtues of anger, jealousy, vengeance, etc. In time, your life will readjust, and in that readjustment, the times you will encounter violence will also readjust and reduce. Meaning, such encounters will all but disappear from your experience of the world, making the position of having a moral high ground within a violent encounter irrelevant - a kind of, "If you were on the moon, and you only had one chop stick, what would you..." kind of question.). Of those encounters that may be present in your life, well, they will be experienced in a clarity that contradicts the "clarity" of technical and/or philosophical breakdowns, in the purity that is violence. You will be left with striking when you strike, throwing when you throw, pinning when you pin, etc. You will only have the "it is what it is."

For me, the "difficulty" of understanding strikes in Aikido, such that formulas and positions have to go well beyond tactical or architectural considerations, suggests that the plain and simple truth is that Aikidoka do not practice striking enough. In the fact that striking is not practiced enough, comes the not-needed but very present difficulty of relating, and even justifying, a type of training that today has marked the majority of Aikido for the majority of folks practicing Aikido (i.e. Kihon Waza) that is pretty much strike-free.

David M. Valadez
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Old 07-22-2008, 11:55 AM   #44
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Re: Atemi purpose

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David Valadez wrote: View Post
For me, there is a purity to human-vs-human violence. By that I mean, it defies delineations, and, in the end, is what it is. As such, for example, for me, when it is time/place to strike, it's time/place to strike. Outside of that instant, I am more of the opinion that it is misplaced to formulate a striking or a throwing, etc., "position." This is because to do so is to deny the purity of violence, the "is what it is" of it all.

Thus, I'm very hesitant to compare or contrast, for example, striking and throwing ("Aikido technique"). Such formulas, for me, do not so much show an unfamiliarity with "striking" or "throwing" as much as the do with violence.

Why should a strike be able to say, "Here, look what I can do to you" and a throw or a pin cannot? Why can a stopped-short strike be a deterrent and stopped-short throw or pin cannot? Somewhere behind such positions, if you dig deep enough, lies an unfamiliarity with, or at least an unthought-out detachment to violence - or at least a method by which one may make him/herself unfamiliar and/or detached from the purity of said violence.

For me, the moral high ground cannot be found in an arsenal, however that may be delineated. For me, a viable/practical morality can only be found in a non-attachment to our egocentric tendencies. For example, to not "have" to strike someone or throw them, and "hurt" them, start to practice a life armed with a capacity to free oneself, in a moment and overall, from the spiritual immaturity of pride, ignorance, and fear, from the non-virtues of anger, jealousy, vengeance, etc. In time, your life will readjust, and in that readjustment, the times you will encounter violence will also readjust and reduce. Meaning, such encounters will all but disappear from your experience of the world, making the position of having a moral high ground within a violent encounter irrelevant - a kind of, "If you were on the moon, and you only had one chop stick, what would you..." kind of question.). Of those encounters that may be present in your life, well, they will be experienced in a clarity that contradicts the "clarity" of technical and/or philosophical breakdowns, in the purity that is violence. You will be left with striking when you strike, throwing when you throw, pinning when you pin, etc. You will only have the "it is what it is."

For me, the "difficulty" of understanding strikes in Aikido, such that formulas and positions have to go well beyond tactical or architectural considerations, suggests that the plain and simple truth is that Aikidoka do not practice striking enough. In the fact that striking is not practiced enough, comes the not-needed but very present difficulty of relating, and even justifying, a type of training that today has marked the majority of Aikido for the majority of folks practicing Aikido (i.e. Kihon Waza) that is pretty much strike-free.
This is the dividing opinion of methodologies that will never be agreed upon. Those who see atemi or using aggression as necessary and those who see it as simply violence. Both sides have to agree to allow each side to exist. Some people want more of a martial attribute to their Aikido. Atemi and it's application are tremendously important for those. Those who want a philosophical/religious approach to Aikido, will want the "strike free approach." The world (America for most of us) is a place of aggression. I would never practice Aikido if it were purely a religious, philosophical attribute. I have a religious foundation, so Aikido for me is purely self defense and finding out about my own physical development . Others will want Aikido for other reasons.
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Old 07-22-2008, 12:02 PM   #45
Aikibu
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Re: Atemi

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Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
Just can't let it go can you? A gentle suggestion... stop taking it so personally. There's no need to defend the man... I think he's well past caring.

By your own admission, you state that the material in the book and DVDs are outdated and no longer representative of how Nishio did it in his later years.

So, instead of ASS-U-ME-ing I made an "assumption"... why not address my observations directly? Tell me if I am indeed wrong, instead of implying that my analysis and assessment of the material is assumptive and dismissive of Nishio's aikido generally and that I should experience it for myself.
Your questions have been answered dozens of times on AikiWeb. You need only look. Stefan Stenudd has addressed them for you. and like I said in a previous post.... His personal experience with Nishio Shihan exceeds mine, and as does his gift for explaining concepts and I consider him my AikiWeb Sempai.

Otherwise feel free to win this conversation at anytime.

William Hazen
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Old 07-22-2008, 12:04 PM   #46
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Re: Atemi purpose

Quote:
Stefan Stenudd wrote: View Post
I agree. Very well put. That's how I try to use atemi.

Regardless of the video and book discussed above, it was my experience that Nishio sensei used atemi in this way, too.
Primarily, he used atemi to show the attacker that attacking is wrong, thereby giving the attacker a chance to cease with it. A kind of philosophical statement, which Nishio sensei had at the entrance to every technique, taking a superior position and showing it to uke with an atemi - sort of saying: "See what I could do to you."
It is particularly evident in his sword techniques.

Secondarily, he used atemi in the ways described in 1-5 above.

Nishio sensei also insisted that aikido students need to know about proper atemi, so that the atemi become believable and functional. Otherwise they would not work as deterrents, nor that well in the 1-5 functions above.
So, when he showed how to strike, it was not to teach students an alternative to aikido techniques, but a functioning atemi deterrent/distraction/et cetera, to use with the aikido techniques.
Perfect. Thank You Sempai.

William Hazen
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Old 07-22-2008, 12:13 PM   #47
lifeafter2am
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Re: Atemi purpose

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Salim Shaw wrote: View Post
This is the dividing opinion of methodologies that will never be agreed upon. Those who see atemi or using aggression as necessary and those who see it as simply violence. Both sides have to agree to allow each side to exist. Some people want more of a martial attribute to their Aikido. Atemi and it's application are tremendously important for those. Those who want a philosophical/religious approach to Aikido, will want the "strike free approach." The world (America for most of us) is a place of aggression. I would never practice Aikido if it were purely a religious, philosophical attribute. I have a religious foundation, so Aikido for me is purely self defense and finding out about my own physical development . Others will want Aikido for other reasons.
I may be reading this wrong, and I apologize if I am, but it seems as if you DENY the philosophical side of Aikido just because you have religious background? If this is true that would seem counter to any martial art, as they all have a philosophical side to them, any true budo at least. Heck even when I trained in Muay Thai there was a philosophical aspect to it, without which it would just be violence.

Again, I could be mistaken, but this is how I interpreted it. Damn internet! lol.

"The mind is everything. What you think you become." - Siddhattha Gotama Buddha
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Old 07-22-2008, 12:33 PM   #48
salim
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Re: Atemi purpose

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Andrew Hanson wrote: View Post
I may be reading this wrong, and I apologize if I am, but it seems as if you DENY the philosophical side of Aikido just because you have religious background? If this is true that would seem counter to any martial art, as they all have a philosophical side to them, any true budo at least. Heck even when I trained in Muay Thai there was a philosophical aspect to it, without which it would just be violence.

Again, I could be mistaken, but this is how I interpreted it. Damn internet! lol.
More of the religious zealousness approach is where I draw the line. There is more of the sentiment today among the many Aikidoist, that Aikido is more religious based than martial. I would not be surprise that those same people who hold this opinion probably despise the MMA concepts and the UFC. They probably see them as barbaric. Roy Dean probably catches a lot of criticism for his MMA concepts to Aikido, he is a class act, very professional. The religious extremist with among the Aikidoist is something I can't agree, but accept that it exist.

There seems to be a growing attempt to remove ATEMI from Aikido altogether. People try to hide the fact that it's necessary for self defense and try to intellectualize self defense. Philosophical ideas are always necessary to a degree. Roy Dean's Academy is a class act to self defense and I share in his marvelous approach. I believe atemi should be an active, perpetual method practiced and used in Aikdio.
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Old 07-22-2008, 12:52 PM   #49
lifeafter2am
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Re: Atemi purpose

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Salim Shaw wrote: View Post
More of the religious zealousness approach is where I draw the line. There is more of the sentiment today among the many Aikidoist, that Aikido is more religious based than martial. I would not be surprise that those same people who hold this opinion probably despise the MMA concepts and the UFC. They probably see them as barbaric. Roy Dean probably catches a lot of criticism for his MMA concepts to Aikido, he is a class act, very professional. The religious extremist with among the Aikidoist is something I can't agree, but accept that it exist.

There seems to be a growing attempt to remove ATEMI from Aikido altogether. People try to hide the fact that it's necessary for self defense and try to intellectualize self defense. Philosophical ideas are always necessary to a degree. Roy Dean's Academy is a class act to self defense and I share in his marvelous approach. I believe atemi should be an active, perpetual method practiced and used in Aikdio.
I don't know anything about Roy Dean so I can not comment there, but I don't find MMA barbaric at all, but it is just a sport. I don't see strict MMA training as a viable self-defense method because you are working within a rule system, which doesn't exist in true self-defense situations. I also don't really find boxing all that viable either, although I know many who would disagree. Not to mention you don't train against multiple opponents, like you would at the higher levels of Aikido training.

I see no need to remove Atemi from Aikido, sometimes it is necessary .... but self-defense can be intellectualized, just to a certain point. I think a lot of people miss the point that the moves you learn in Aikido are a starting point for you to develop your own effective "style" (approach may be a better term here). No one person's style (approach) is effective for everyone, and you must do what works for you. For me it includes Atemi, and some groundwork as well.

You and I we will likely disagree that Atemi is "necessory for self-defense" (your quote), because I don't believe to be effective in defending youself you have to strike, but, this is based on my subjective experience, as your opinion is more than likely based on your subjective experience (or vicarious experience / anecdotal evidence which essentially equates to the same thing). Like I said, to me Aikido gives me the option to use "gentler" methods, something that other arts do not provide. But, there are times to use Atemi as well .... whether it should be taught at lower or higher levels of learning is another discussion entirely.


"The mind is everything. What you think you become." - Siddhattha Gotama Buddha
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Old 07-22-2008, 01:01 PM   #50
Aikibu
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Re: Atemi

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David Valadez wrote: View Post
Not bad for both Atemi and Randori and it illustrates a basic difference between some styles of Aikido and IMO can be dangerous...

When Uke strikes Nage stops the attack by focusing on the hand blocking/grabbing it before "doing something Aikido like" We teach our students to leave the hand alone IOW let the strike pass and focus on taking Uke's center. Your focus should be on Uke's center not on blocking the strike..A good boxer or striker would destroy you if you did not enter with them and take their center right away.

Timing is everything..I also find that if I focus on the strike I miss the opportunity most of the time to enter. Also if I assume some kind of fighting stance an experienced person may not enter right away but will themselves move and try to get a better angle of attack. Basic sparring is all about looking for an "angle of attack"

I like the kind of advanced Randori were Ukes look for an advantage and try to exploit openings themselves Let me tell you if I am being honest with myself and focused on bettering my Aikido. most of the time the Uke's win...Why?

Fight or flight takes over and I start fighting (like assuming a fighting hanmi) IOW I get tired and start trying to box with a boxer or grapple with a grappler...I lose most everytime if I stay solely within the bounds of Aikido

In the context of how I interpret Nishio Shihan's Atemi I differ a bit from my Sempai. Atemi must be good enough to end a conflict...
Now I am not talking about one punch knockouts but if your Aikido is going to work at all your Atemi needs the kind of power to end the conflict.

That is my interpretation of what Nishio Shihan meant and fits in perfectly with the philosophy of Aikido is the Sword. All Tsuke with a Sword is meant to be a killing thrust. Atemi IMO must have the same philosophy. For Aikido to work as a Budo it must be a Martial Art. This where I completely agree with the IMA and DR guys. All too often Aikido folks have no idea how to use Atemi do not practice it enough. Then there are those who come to the Dojo who have no experience with any striking art....and as they grow in their practice this weakness becomes the flaw which makes them doubt the authenticity of Aikido Waza. Who can blame them if all they know how to do is try to grab or block Uke's fist...Or...If all they have experienced is some Aiki Bunny Uke dancing up to them with their arm extended and their fist out?

That is why IG's view of the book and tapes misses a little something. Nishio Shihan simply shows how and why the fight is over through Atemi and like Stefan suggested we invite Uke to end the conflict at many points during the technique. However he could walk the walk too... Believe me if he or one of his Senior Students did hit you "stopped" fighting and allowed them to finish the technique or end the conflict. I mention one of Nishio Sensei's Senior Students Tanaka Sensei allot ( He is an Uke in some of the Videos). When I met him I noticed right away his knuckles had calluses on them as thick as quarters. He looked like he knew how to use Atemi.

William Hazen

Last edited by Aikibu : 07-22-2008 at 01:10 PM.
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