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Old 01-01-2013, 03:25 PM   #51
Belt_Up
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Re: Atemi and Aikido

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Why would someone throw a low-strength punch at you unless you had thrown down?
So who starts the fight changes the methodology? That's a bizarre thing to say.
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:30 PM   #52
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Re: Atemi and Aikido

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
I doubt it. Why would someone throw a low-strength punch at you unless you had thrown down? If somebody wants to use force on you for some end (kill you, rob you, abduct you, etc), they are not going to waste their time standing in plain virew boxing with you. You are better off learning how to handle unexpected, forceful attacks, and learning how to stay out of fights you can avoid.

It's a valuable thing to learn on the side but too much of it makes you fight, which I think tends to spell trouble.
I've seen a lot of fights that start with "low-strength" punches. Typically starting with pushing-shoving-punching and escalation. People who have gotten into fights before (and there are a lot of them in some neighborhoods) or anyone with a little experience (a lot of mma guys out there these days) are rarely going to start something with a haymaker. Even if they do - is expecting them to start with what is arguably the most easily handled scenario really a good training strategy?

And no, it's often not that easy to disengage, even from a "low-strength" punch, and it's not really a great training strategy to depend upon it.

Best,

Chris

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Old 01-01-2013, 05:57 PM   #53
Hilary
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Re: Atemi and Aikido

Hi Gary and a happy new year to you, expect to see you soon, I will pass on your greetings to sensei. We are not so much training at full speed these days (we are starting to get a little a older), though we regularly utilize continuous attacks. My attacks particularly during Jiyu Waza are unexpected and more varied than most. Typically I will let nage know that there will be a little razzle dazzle in their near future; hauling off with a flurry when the exercise calls for a single step in strike, is just rude and disrespectful of sensei as well.

We recently worked with a straight punch with a follow up elbow strike, guess what the elbow is handled the same as a right hook only closer. But now all who enjoyed that class now see the potential elbow strike against them a little more clearly and move accordingly. We did get a new student with substantial boxing and kung fu experience and look forward to doing some reaction drills and such. I think I will be washing off my mouthpiece and dig out my head gear for some full speed drill work. Just parrying combos and allowing uke to enter at speed, not sparring, very different those two.

Cliff - I can throw a decent jab starting with my hands in my pockets, leaning against a wall, and step in with the cross & hook. I can throw a face level vertical thrust punch from folded arms (old Black Belt article on the "Manly Art of Sucker Punching", worth a read if you can find it). A jab is very close to Aikido atemi in that it is designed to move/setup your opponent, not finish them; if it powerful enough to do damage it is a bonus. And given that MMA is all the rage expect to see MMA tech thrown at people for the foreseeable future.

I want to be clear I am not advocating every one start boxing around the dojo all the time, but if you have never trained with someone throwing an upper cut you will likely get hit, because you have never been hit from that direction and all those years of muscle memory have a blind spot. I understand (what I think is) your concern about getting off track and playing to the martial art de jour. We are studying Aikido and that is our focus and our strength, but if we ignore the basic hand and foot strikes thrown by close to 100% of the world's striking arts, we are intentionally leaving out the lingua franca of the majority of the world's martial arts. In that context, purity is a vice not a virtue.

As an aside on poor attacks, last year had a hombu trained (so he claimed) dan show up at a seminar I was attending (last year's memorial workout - Gary). His attack was to hold his elbow at his rib so his torso punch extended at solar plexus level, he would then run at me, arm fixed. He almost hit me because I was flabbergasted at the "punch" (I doubt this was a mind lead). Somewhere some instructor taught him that this was a good way to train, my head still tilts sideways (as in a quizzical pug) whenever I think about it.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:15 PM   #54
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Re: Atemi and Aikido

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Hilary Heinmets wrote: View Post
.............As an aside on poor attacks, last year had a hombu trained (so he claimed) dan show up at a seminar I was attending (last year's memorial workout - Gary). His attack was to hold his elbow at his rib so his torso punch extended at solar plexus level, he would then run at me, arm fixed. He almost hit me because I was flabbergasted at the "punch" (I doubt this was a mind lead). Somewhere some instructor taught him that this was a good way to train, my head still tilts sideways (as in a quizzical pug) whenever I think about it.
I think I remember that guy...tall for a native Japanese....a very nice person, but not much base. See you toward the end of the month.
Gary
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:28 AM   #55
Michael Varin
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Re: Atemi and Aikido

Well. . .

This was a very useful thread.

I think we really got to the bottom of some stuff.

-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 01-02-2013, 06:35 PM   #56
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Re: Atemi and Aikido

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Michael Varin wrote: View Post
Well. . .

This was a very useful thread.

I think we really got to the bottom of some stuff.
It was at least nice to hear different opinions.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:02 PM   #57
aikidoc
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Re: Atemi and Aikido

Several years ago we had a very vibrant thread on the atemi issue. I believe I started it-no matter. I did some research on the issue surveying 5th dan sensei's and above in about 2004/5 culminating in an article in June 2005 Black Belt Magazine. George Ledyard sensei also published one prior to mine in Aikido Today Magazine.

Let me state up front my general opinion: "To fail to use tools available in a combat situation to ensure a favorable and safe outcome is irresponsible and shows and ignorance of the possible implications of violence." Me, Black Belt Magazine, June 2005, p. 126.

Historically, from both an origin of the arts perspective (Daito-ryu, etc.), atemi was frequently displayed by O'Sensei and his senior instructors. One of the sessions I recently attended with Saotome sensei at winter camp was almost entirely atemi.

My research showed a couple of factors eliciting the practitioner's perspective: organization/style-softer styles like Ki Society tended to be less favorable of atemi. Harder styles like Yoshinkan tended to favor it more. Another factor was the training background of the sensei. Some trained with senseis that simply did not teach them any atemi.

Personally, I teach and favor atemi. Aikido is a martial art. Atemi was a part of it historically and in my opinion should be now as well. I think you need to learn to do it properly. It is defined as strikes to vital points by sandai doshu. Therefore, you need to learn not only how to strike properly, but also you need to learn some anatomy of various vital/pressure points. You need to know how to hit them properly to make the atemi effective. Various levels have been bandied about in the literature up to the statement that 100% of aikido is atemi. The choice to throw or lock someone out and pin them is a choice not to deliver an atemi. I also favor other forms of "atemi" such as pressing, pinching, etc. of vital points.

Last edited by aikidoc : 01-04-2013 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:58 PM   #58
Aikeway
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Re: Atemi and Aikido

I would like to add that not only do you need to learn how to deliver atemi correctly and at what specific vital targets, but you need to practice very regularly and in my opinion toughen up the hands and feet so as to be able to deliver atemi techniques with power. The skin, the knuckles, the wrists, the finger tips and toes (if you use spearhand and toe kicks) need to be hardened. The wrists need strengthening so they don't collapse with a punch. I use a makiwarra, leather punching bag without gloves and a canvas bag filled with no. 3 leadshot (for nukite strikes) to strengthen my hands and feet for atemi. For blocking practice, I get a training partner to strike me randomly with a shinai (bamboo sword) which is great for reflexes and it also toughens the body up.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:00 PM   #59
Belt_Up
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Re: Atemi and Aikido

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toughen up the hands and feet so as to be able to deliver atemi techniques with power.
I don't understand how this increases your striking force. Even a basic understanding of physics would tell you having tougher/thicker skin will not affect how hard you can strike. Or is my moisturising regimen actually undermining my atemi?
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:10 PM   #60
aikidoc
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Re: Atemi and Aikido

Sorry. I have to disagree on the hand conditioning need. Generally you will be striking soft targets. You would be better served working on precision and knowledge of the vital points. Timing, accuracy, speed, flow, etc. are also important. Not all of the strikes need to be of the karate bone crushing form necessitating conditioning.
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:56 AM   #61
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Re: Atemi and Aikido

In a life threatening situation against probably a bigger, heavier attacker you need to be able to deliver full power atemi to vital points, if you are using atemi in your aikido to defend yourself. Even on soft vital points, your probability of success increases with how hard you can strike those targets, all other things being equal. To deliver the full power strikes requires training at full power strikes. To do the training with a heavy bag (without gloves) or a makiwarra requires some degree of hand conditioning. If your skin on your knuckles breaks or your wrist collapses, or your hand becomes sore after one or two hard strikes against a makiwarra or a heavy bag, then you really can't do the necessary training to develop those strikes. Try hitting a heavy bag or a makiwarra without any hand conditioning, then see how hard that same bag or makiwarra can be hit by someone who conditions their hands (or feet). There is a significant difference in power. I agree that not all atemi requires hand conditioning. Tomiki Sensei identified two types of atemi, one which uses a strike to a vital point and the other which uses a strike to off-balance to effect a throw. The second type does not need the hand conditioning. I also agree that accuracy, timing, speed etc are also extremely important in atemi.
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:23 AM   #62
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Re: Atemi and Aikido

Quote:
Daniel Wilson wrote: View Post
I would like to add that not only do you need to learn how to deliver atemi correctly and at what specific vital targets, but you need to practice very regularly and in my opinion toughen up the hands and feet so as to be able to deliver atemi techniques with power. The skin, the knuckles, the wrists, the finger tips and toes (if you use spearhand and toe kicks) need to be hardened. The wrists need strengthening so they don't collapse with a punch. I use a makiwarra, leather punching bag without gloves and a canvas bag filled with no. 3 leadshot (for nukite strikes) to strengthen my hands and feet for atemi. For blocking practice, I get a training partner to strike me randomly with a shinai (bamboo sword) which is great for reflexes and it also toughens the body up.
Dear Daniel,
Rather than condition the feet /hands by punching bags etc why not concentrate on speed , correct form and accuracy in delivery of attack/defence movement?Too much makiwara training could result in the development of arthritis .Why get spmeone to hit you with a shinai?How are your reflexes being trained if indeed the you get hit?If you have good reflexes surely the opposite should be happening ie you do not get hit?Do you get bruises?I much prefer getting hit with a feather duster myself.Of course maybe you like a bit of pain???When I need a bit of pain I watch the X Factor or a party political broadcast.
Cheers, Joe,
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:56 AM   #63
aikidoc
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Re: Atemi and Aikido

Generally, your wrist should be strong from doing aikido. You should not have to hit the vital points repeatedly. If you do, you're in a boxing match. Conditioning the hands and knuckles repeatedly requires the willingness to pay a price: loss of some function or permanent soft tissue/joint damage. I used to do the makawari board years ago in tae kwon do and still have coarse skin over those knuckles.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:54 PM   #64
Aikeway
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Re: Atemi and Aikido

I'm not advocating the heavy hand and foot conditioning that the old time atemi masters used to engage in. I only engage in one session per week at home on the makiwarra, canvas bag and leather punching bag. Also once per week I add on an extra half hour to a training session at the dojo where I use the focus pads, hand held bag, shinai and sometimes light sparring (if I can practice with sombody who has had experience in a striking art). This really isn't enough training in atemi but it is far better than none at all. One of the good things about supplementing your training with some makiwarra and bag work at home (perhaps once per week) is that you are not sacrificing your usual training sessions at the dojo. With the shinai training I get some bruises, especially on the thighs, but it does improve your reflexes. I suppose I manage to block about 90% of the shinai cuts and stabs - at first my success rate was down around 50%. If you blocked 100% of the attacks, it probably would not be improving your blocking/taisabaki skills that much. I think we can handle a small amount of pain in a training session, and whilst you may not enjoy it at the time, afterwoods you usually are glad that you did it, especially with the knowledge that you are one step closer to your goals, whatever they may be.
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:11 PM   #65
Michael Varin
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Re: Atemi and Aikido

Quote:
Daniel Wilson wrote: View Post
I suppose I manage to block about 90% of the shinai cuts and stabs - at first my success rate was down around 50%. If you blocked 100% of the attacks, it probably would not be improving your blocking/taisabaki skills that much.
So your arm would get cut off 90% of the time. Blocking has severe limitations.

-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 01-06-2013, 12:00 AM   #66
Janet Rosen
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Re: Atemi and Aikido

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Michael Varin wrote: View Post
So your arm would get cut off 90% of the time. Blocking has severe limitations.
Personally, I'm training in aikido, not boxing or sparring, and don't see any need to "toughen up" my hands beyond what normal gardening plus the continual pricking of pins and needles in the sewing studio does....

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Old 01-06-2013, 03:03 AM   #67
Aikeway
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Re: Atemi and Aikido

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Michael Varin wrote: View Post
So your arm would get cut off 90% of the time. Blocking has severe limitations.
Blocking the shinai cuts and strikes is a method of training for blocking against punching and kicking by an aggressor, not against sword cuts and stabs.
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:54 AM   #68
Michael Varin
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Re: Atemi and Aikido

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Blocking the shinai cuts and strikes is a method of training for blocking against punching and kicking by an aggressor, not against sword cuts and stabs.
I pretty much gathered that from your earlier posts. By no means am I trying to negate that aspect of training.

But, it's important to understand that this skill may very well fail against an attack of superior force. After all shinai just don't make that much impact.

-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 01-06-2013, 05:58 AM   #69
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Atemi and Aikido

I would like to say - when people try to block my atemi, I can anticipate it and often can just go right through it. Or, with a small change, I can often use their block - en route to the strike. Or, if I choose, I can just strike their block. I have trained this for years. In fact, I like it if they block - it's more fun.

And in response to something above - your block/parry should work equally well against a blade or an arm ... if you train with that in mind. And finally, if you hit him at the right time, you should really only need half a hand - not calloused makiwara full force blind might. That is a far more interesting aim that just training to beat the hell out of someone (if that's what you want - go learn Karate). It's called - control.

Last edited by Rupert Atkinson : 01-06-2013 at 06:01 AM.

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Old 01-06-2013, 11:20 AM   #70
Krystal Locke
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Re: Atemi and Aikido

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So who starts the fight changes the methodology? That's a bizarre thing to say.
You know, I think that it does matter who starts the fight, who continues the fight, who is right, who is wrong, why the fight is fought. I think all of that does change the methodology of the fight.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:39 AM   #71
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Re: Atemi and Aikido

The ability to deliver a well-timed, fast, accurate and hard atemi strike doesn't preclude the ability to deliver a softer response when that is appropriate.
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:16 PM   #72
Michael Douglas
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Re: Atemi and Aikido

Quote:
Daniel Wilson wrote: View Post
In a life threatening situation against probably a bigger, heavier attacker you need to be able to deliver full power atemi to vital points, if you are using atemi in your aikido to defend yourself. Even on soft vital points, your probability of success increases with how hard you can strike those targets, all other things being equal. To deliver the full power strikes requires training at full power strikes. To do the training with a heavy bag (without gloves) or a makiwarra requires some degree of hand conditioning.
I've seen posters disagreeing with many of Daniel's points.
I'd just like to butt in and completely agree with what's in this quoted paragraph.

Personally I don't use a makiwara or (intentionally) rough contact surfaces, that's my choice. Skin-toughening sometimes occurrs as a sorry side-effect for me, not an aim.
I also don't use spear-hands or unshod toe-kicks.
Apart from that : condition away! Have at it! If you don't possess a seriously tested knock-out-force strike you're missing a BIG piece of what Ueshiba had in his arsenal.
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:53 PM   #73
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Re: Atemi and Aikido

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Krystal Locke wrote: View Post
You know, I think that it does matter who starts the fight, who continues the fight, who is right, who is wrong, why the fight is fought. I think all of that does change the methodology of the fight.
Sorry Krystal, I expressed myself poorly. What I meant to say was more along the lines of: Irrespective of who starts the fight, that doesn't change how you fight. If an aikidoka starts a fight, or defends themselves they will most likely do so using aikido/a boxer with punching, etc. I'm not sure how being the aggressor or defender would change what method you used to fight. Your training is your training, it doesn't magically change based on you kicking it off or not.

Quote:
To do the training with a heavy bag (without gloves) or a makiwarra requires some degree of hand conditioning.
But does it really make any difference if, for instance, you hit a bag with gloves? I was always under the impression it was how much force you could generate, and then how much of that force you can transmit (technique). I'm not sure how much of that is particularly influenced by how hard your hands are.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:43 PM   #74
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Re: Atemi and Aikido

I'm not really sure that if you always train with gloves on a bag and then take those gloves off, you can hit as hard. A boxer could answer this question better than me. When you wear gloves the material on the inside of your hand prevents you from forming as tight a fist as the traditional bare seiken fist. This may or may not impair your ability to strike with the first two knuckles with approx. 30% of the force on the first knuckle and approx. 70% on the second (most prominent knuckle). With some people, the knowledge that they are no longer wearing gloves and may therefore injure their hands may act as an impediment to full power strikes. My view is if you are training to fight with gloves (eg a boxer or kickboxer) then train with gloves, if you are training to defend yourself (without gloves) then train without gloves, unless your occupation requires extremely good fine motor skills, such as a surgeon. Gloves don't seem to work well on a makiwarra, and the makiwarra is great for developing powerful straight line punches.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:34 AM   #75
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Re: Atemi and Aikido

i got puched by karate and kungfu folks, no gloves, i.e. bare knuckles. none of them went in deep, i.e. you feel it inside your body, as when i got punched by the systema guy. his hands weren't heavy conditioned, actually kinda girly he was just flick his arm, and it wasn't looking much of a punch. man, i saw stars even though he droped his fist on my heavy chest muscle. one of my sempai said the same thing. those systema buggers punching are kinda strange. they hit you on one part of the body and you feel it somewhere else. and they hit from oddest angles. i used to hit wooden posts and things like that, but haven't done those sort of things for decades. my hands are girly now. i liked to conditioned it with regular lotions, since it tends to dry and crack. the wife doesn't like callous hands. since i touched the wife more than i would hit folks, so i would go with the lotion conditioning approach. and if i happen to hit someone, they would appreciate the good smell and softness of my hands. and they might even asking for more.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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