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Old 01-21-2013, 01:27 AM   #1
BAP
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atemi at end of technique

I was told that including atemi (strike) at the conclusion of an aikido technique was generally viewed a improper traditionally during practice. I can understand why this might be the case coming from the philosophic basis of aikido in general.

At the same time it seems like there shouldn't be some rule which generally looks unfavorably on the inclusion of some strike at the election of the tori. All the old aikijiujitsu and daito ryu finishes tended to include a closing strike. This would just seem to be a general acknowledgement of the martial aspect of the aikido practice.

Blair Presson
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:25 AM   #2
asiawide
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Re: atemi at end of technique

Quote:
Blair Presson wrote: View Post
I was told that including atemi (strike) at the conclusion of an aikido technique was generally viewed a improper traditionally during practice. I can understand why this might be the case coming from the philosophic basis of aikido in general.

At the same time it seems like there shouldn't be some rule which generally looks unfavorably on the inclusion of some strike at the election of the tori. All the old aikijiujitsu and daito ryu finishes tended to include a closing strike. This would just seem to be a general acknowledgement of the martial aspect of the aikido practice.
The strike is to kill the uke using a knife or short sword. So it can be... Just don't do it in front of your teacher and keep it in your mind if you think it's right.
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:54 AM   #3
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Re: atemi at end of technique

We do it. I know Yoshinkan does it. If your teacher doesn't like it, that's fair enough, but it's hard to generalise about things like this.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:33 AM   #4
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Re: atemi at end of technique

Quote:
Blair Presson wrote: View Post
I was told that including atemi (strike) at the conclusion of an aikido technique was generally viewed a improper traditionally during practice.
We have it.
It's tori who decides wether he does it or not.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:17 PM   #5
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Re: atemi at end of technique

In the Iwama lineage I train there is lot of it - even with weapons. When I trained with Shibata Ichiro shihan there was a fair amount as well. I don't think it would be a stretch call call both traditional.

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

Ultracrepidarianism ... don't.
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:02 PM   #6
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Re: atemi at end of technique

Quote:
Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
In the Iwama lineage I train there is lot of it - even with weapons. When I trained with Shibata Ichiro shihan there was a fair amount as well. I don't think it would be a stretch call call both traditional.
Dear Robert,
Liked the quote by Yamada Sensei at the finish of you blog.Cheers.Joe
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:06 PM   #7
sakumeikan
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Re: atemi at end of technique

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Jaemin Yu wrote: View Post
The strike is to kill the uke using a knife or short sword. So it can be... Just don't do it in front of your teacher and keep it in your mind if you think it's right.
Dear Jaemin,
Where do you stash the dead bodies?If you stab your comrades like you say above[[no wonder you dont do it in front of your teacher] I guessyou must have some body count.Enough to rival Ted Buddy /Ed Gein et al. Cheers, Joe
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:16 PM   #8
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Re: atemi at end of technique

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Robert,
Liked the quote by Yamada Sensei at the finish of you blog.Cheers.Joe
Mr. Curran,
Please click on Yamada Yoshmitsu name in my siggy (it is a link) to find the original document.
Thanks

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

Ultracrepidarianism ... don't.
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:25 PM   #9
Don_Modesto
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Re: atemi at end of technique

Kisshomaru does it at the end of SHIHOO NAGE, et al. Check out his vids on Youtube.

Don J. Modesto
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:53 PM   #10
Mert Gambito
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Re: atemi at end of technique

Quote:
Blair Presson wrote: View Post
I was told that including atemi (strike) at the conclusion of an aikido technique was generally viewed a improper traditionally during practice. I can understand why this might be the case coming from the philosophic basis of aikido in general.
Seemed O-Sensei seems to have been a fan of using atemi to finish Irimi Nage, if nothing else: http://youtu.be/zkRbVdmTmIA?t=6m. Given that this video was made relatively late in his life, this would indicate that atemi wasn't relegated to Ueshiba's Daito-ryu or other pre-war teaching.

Mert
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:35 PM   #11
Cliff Judge
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Re: atemi at end of technique

I believe the technical term for this strike is a todome and I think you could argue that this is not an atemi at all; there is no further need to fix or shift uke's balance, create an opening, or anything other than make it unlikely that they will ground fight or get back up.

I think todome are not entirely appropriate in a non-kata-oriented setting. Indicative of a cockiness that you should be on the mat trying to tame. The only specific instruction I have received is with regards to knife and sword taking, you don't cut uke with his weapon after you take it, though.
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:23 AM   #12
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Re: atemi at end of technique

We usually do a strike at the end of techniques where uke is facing up while down on the mat. This is seen as a way to control one of uke's free hands by keeping it busy with blocking your strike.

I know others that do this, along with a kiai, as an indication that the technique is done with.

Ichi Go, Ichi Ei!
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:49 PM   #13
Walter Martindale
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Re: atemi at end of technique

In the few seminars I attended when Kawahara was Shihan in Canada, he'd show us some atemi early in the techniques, part way through the techniques, and at the end. I think their purpose, respectively, was to distract from the technique being done, same again, and to conclude matters if necessary (as in, if out in a "real" think you won't sit there and hold the person down, you do something to keep him out of action for at least a few moments so you can get up and be on the alert for other attackers - if you've gone to ground in the first place).
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:32 PM   #14
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Re: atemi at end of technique

I'm a very firm believer that in a life-threatening self-defence situation, atemi should generally be used before the technique (so that the throwing or locking technique can be effectively applied) or as part of the technique (such as with the 5 Tomiki atemi techniques) and that the attacker generally needs to be finished off with an atemi or a submission technique. The theory or philosophy of not finishing off your attacker in a life-threatening situation is flawed - there is far too much risk that they will launch a second attack. The only exception I can think of is applying an effective pin if you believe police may soon arrive.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:41 PM   #15
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Re: atemi at end of technique

Atemi can be used at the end of any technique, once concluded, or concluding. Doesn't need to involve the use of knife or short sword, mindset wise. Palm heel strike to base of skull or knifehand edge to larynx are darn near as bad.

Thing is, if you practice kata as you want to "use it," if you do end up using it, and there's only the one "bad guy," and you train that way .... it's likely that you might finish that way, thus killing/maiming your attacker.

That being said, think about the post-attack ramifications on "defender." You had him controlled, he was at your mercy, and THEN you chopped him in the neck.

Therefore you killed a helpless person. Therefore you just, according to the law of many (perhaps most) jurisdictions, you just committed at least 2nd degree murder.

Just something to consider while you practice kata. What you practice is what you'll do, most likely.

I find it interesting that the kanji character for kuzushi illustrates a mountain falling on a house.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:01 AM   #16
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Re: atemi at end of technique

Quote:
John Powell wrote: View Post
Atemi can be used at the end of any technique, once concluded, or concluding. Doesn't need to involve the use of knife or short sword, mindset wise. Palm heel strike to base of skull or knifehand edge to larynx are darn near as bad.

Thing is, if you practice kata as you want to "use it," if you do end up using it, and there's only the one "bad guy," and you train that way .... it's likely that you might finish that way, thus killing/maiming your attacker.

That being said, think about the post-attack ramifications on "defender." You had him controlled, he was at your mercy, and THEN you chopped him in the neck.

Therefore you killed a helpless person. Therefore you just, according to the law of many (perhaps most) jurisdictions, you just committed at least 2nd degree murder.

Just something to consider while you practice kata. What you practice is what you'll do, most likely.
John,

Koryu jujutsu, Daito-ryu, Hakkoryu (to refer to a few arts within the family tree of aikido) all include many waza/kata with ritual finishing "killing" strikes. Based on my experience, however, the flavor of such techniques helps instill a gravity in one's mindset conducive to addressing a violent or potentially violent encounter, vs. resulting in literal, rote execution of a given technique.

Last edited by Mert Gambito : 04-08-2013 at 01:03 AM.

Mert
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:30 AM   #17
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Re: atemi at end of technique

Quote:
Blair Presson wrote: View Post
All the old aikijiujitsu and daito ryu finishes tended to include a closing strike. This would just seem to be a general acknowledgement of the martial aspect of the aikido practice.
I haven't done very many techniques yet, but we (ie, Yoshinkan) do a strike at the end of the first technique, katate mochi shihonage.

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Old 04-08-2013, 05:54 AM   #18
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Re: atemi at end of technique

Kenshiro Abbe Sensei always taught to finish `all` techniques with atemi - If it is not second nature for this to be a part of your technique - then, when the time comes that you need that action to end the situation - it may fail you.

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Old 04-08-2013, 09:26 AM   #19
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Re: atemi at end of technique

i atemi at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end. when everything is done, i atemi some more. one cannot have enough.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:34 PM   #20
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Re: atemi at end of technique

I suppose that there are things that could be described as "improper", but atemi isn't one of them. More often, it's a function of your teacher's own style, and that of his/her teacher(s). Atemi has many useful virtues, and practicing it is beneficial to most, but if your teacher does not want you to do it, you can always just visualize your atemi while training.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:05 AM   #21
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Re: atemi at end of technique

I agree with Phi, there is atemi [with multiple possibilities] in every movement of aikido. irimi/atemi is the movement. Not part of it, or an add on. If atemi can't be applied in every movement, then the relationship between uke and nage is in uke's favor. And in terms of nage's execution of movements, the tai sabaki is incorrect, the angle is incorrect, the distance is incorrect, the attitude is incorrect, the understanding is incorrect. And it's not aikido. It's just making movements - which range from silly to dangerous for all concerned.

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Old 04-10-2013, 01:35 PM   #22
Cliff Judge
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Re: atemi at end of technique

The OP was asking a question about a particular thing - a finishing strike, performed after a technique; more accurately, performed at the end of a kata.

Mainline Daito ryu calls this a todome and I do not believe it is functional. It is a tegatana strike that represents drawing a short sword and finishing the attacker. I don't think a tegatana strike is particularly good for finishing a downed attacker, but anyway, the emphasis is clearly on zanshin and kiai as opposed to how you should be striking them to hurt or finish them off with your hand.

I do find the question of why this was dropped from mainstream Aikido to be interesting and I wish we could have had that discussion. I can tell you that my Aikido tradition eschews this symbol because we would rather demonstrate the absense of it - protecting your attacker, not killing them, etc.

Classical jujutsu systems often have quite functional finishing strikes in their kata. You might see uke thrown, and nage, without really waiting for them to hit the ground, will launch a backfist to their temple or their jaw. There are also finishing techniques that are not strikes, for example chokes.

I have seen Aikido instructors point these types of technique out many times, but in my tradition we don't include them as part of the general technique (as, for example, you would perform for a test). In my opinion it is best to study them as part of a pre-arranged kata because if you throw them in at random eventually someone's head or throat is going to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
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Old 04-10-2013, 02:04 PM   #23
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Re: atemi at end of technique

Cliff, that's a great post.

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
I do find the question of why this was dropped from mainstream Aikido to be interesting and I wish we could have had that discussion.
As todome is looked at as a "finishing technique," couldn't we see that in aikido, most notably in the finishing pins of ikkyo, nikyo, sankyo, etc. And also as the finishing "releases" in movements like kaitenage, tenchinage, irmi nage, etc..

Even in actual practice on the mat, it's a form of corrective energy. The pins, over time, clear blocks and open up uke's energy channels, resulting in less tension and overall better flow - with that translating to better performance in their role as nage as well.

The "releases" allow for the corrective training of uke's ukemi over time. And, again, resulting in less tension and overall better flow - with that, translating to better performance in their role as nage.

If nage is moving corrective energy into uke, it doesn't seem to make a difference whether the outer form is an atemi, pin, release, throw, kiai... They're all the same thing. Meaning, aikido does retain todome at the end of the technique - just with a wider pallet of forms.

Interested in yours and others thoughts.

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Old 04-10-2013, 02:30 PM   #24
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Re: atemi at end of technique

i don't normally throw the atemi at the end of the technique, but i usually am in a position to deliver the atemi, be it fist, knee, choke, kick, dropping kitchen sink, at moment notice, i.e. i am not unbalanced or distracted. same goes for when i take ukemi. just because i am on the floor doesn't mean i am helpless and allow you to deliver the atemi unimpeded.

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Old 04-12-2013, 07:19 AM   #25
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Re: atemi at end of technique

After WW2 there was a general watering down of the martial arts in Japan as required by the occupying forces (US). I expect that this watering down is a reason for the lack of a "killing" atemi at the end of a throwing or locking technique in many styles.
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