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Old 06-21-2014, 01:51 PM   #1
Blue Buddha
Location: Ljubljana
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Introduction + The missing Atemi

Hello

In the last year I started training again in Aikido after a several year break which involved one year of some very relaxed Cheng Hsin sessions. After that I just could not practice Aikido anymore or anything else. I am 4th kuy.
I find Aikido very very limiting (and limited) in comparison to Cheng Hsin but there is no teacher around me and I have no partner to practice. I am keeping on with my Aikido but realise its many many weaknesses.
Many people have written about the issues with Aikido and I believe that in general if one does not have a couple of dans, they are really not effective.

I am interested in learning how to become more effective in a martial art / self development sense by using only Aikido, if this is possible, but also considering the option of learning another system to complement Aikido's "holes".

It is a real pity to see people with a shodan, that have to rely on force (a lot of it) in order to go through with a technique. Anyway I am a bit sad about this degradation of the art, but we have to work with what we have.

I see the following problems :

1) No real sparing, no real feedback. (Foundational problem)
2) No real atemi. (Degraded Aikido)
3) The whole system works from the outside in, not from the inside out.(i.e. one need many years of practice in order to grasp the basics) (Foundational problem)

For now, I am focusing on n2, which is the horrible use of atemi in the dojo. It is one of the things that the founder of the art was insisting be done properly. In all of the dojos i've been it is a joke.

Since I am only 4th kuy I am wondering if some more experienced aikidokas can share their experience regarding the training of atemi. Do they train? How? Do they teach it? How? It is not just for fun that people in boxing, twd, karate, kickboxing etc, learn to hit. The "hits" must be practiced. No?

In any case since no one has ever taught me how to do a proper atemi, I decided that I need to train that elsewhere. For this reason I am considering taking additional boxing classes or another striking (hard) martial art.

I know there are always mixed views on this but I am mainly interested in hearing what the aikido purists have to say about that. Especially what they would recommend, if there is something, to do inside the framework of Aikido.

All the best.
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Old 06-21-2014, 02:24 PM   #2
Riai Maori
Join Date: Jan 2014
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Quote:
Arno Hist wrote: View Post
Hello

In the last year I started training again in Aikido after a several year break which involved one year of some very relaxed Cheng Hsin sessions. After that I just could not practice Aikido anymore or anything else. I am 4th kuy.
I find Aikido very very limiting (and limited) in comparison to Cheng Hsin but there is no teacher around me and I have no partner to practice. I am keeping on with my Aikido but realise its many many weaknesses.
Many people have written about the issues with Aikido and I believe that in general if one does not have a couple of dans, they are really not effective.

I am interested in learning how to become more effective in a martial art / self development sense by using only Aikido, if this is possible, but also considering the option of learning another system to complement Aikido's "holes".

It is a real pity to see people with a shodan, that have to rely on force (a lot of it) in order to go through with a technique. Anyway I am a bit sad about this degradation of the art, but we have to work with what we have.

I see the following problems :

1) No real sparing, no real feedback. (Foundational problem)
2) No real atemi. (Degraded Aikido)
3) The whole system works from the outside in, not from the inside out.(i.e. one need many years of practice in order to grasp the basics) (Foundational problem)

For now, I am focusing on n2, which is the horrible use of atemi in the dojo. It is one of the things that the founder of the art was insisting be done properly. In all of the dojos i've been it is a joke.

Since I am only 4th kuy I am wondering if some more experienced aikidokas can share their experience regarding the training of atemi. Do they train? How? Do they teach it? How? It is not just for fun that people in boxing, twd, karate, kickboxing etc, learn to hit. The "hits" must be practiced. No?

In any case since no one has ever taught me how to do a proper atemi, I decided that I need to train that elsewhere. For this reason I am considering taking additional boxing classes or another striking (hard) martial art.

I know there are always mixed views on this but I am mainly interested in hearing what the aikido purists have to say about that. Especially what they would recommend, if there is something, to do inside the framework of Aikido.

All the best.
Gosh your drawing a long bow for a 4th Kyu.

There is always 3 sides to a story, their side, your side and the TRUTH
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Old 06-21-2014, 04:39 PM   #3
Blue Buddha
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Quote:
Richard Campbell wrote: View Post
Gosh your drawing a long bow for a 4th Kyu.
If the phrase "4th kuy" was missing from my post, would all the points I mentioned have a bigger validity for you?
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Old 06-21-2014, 07:20 PM   #4
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Quote:
Arno Hist wrote: View Post
Hello

In the last year I started training again in Aikido after a several year break which involved one year of some very relaxed Cheng Hsin sessions. After that I just could not practice Aikido anymore or anything else. I am 4th kuy.
I find Aikido very very limiting (and limited) in comparison to Cheng Hsin but there is no teacher around me and I have no partner to practice. I am keeping on with my Aikido but realise its many many weaknesses.
Many people have written about the issues with Aikido and I believe that in general if one does not have a couple of dans, they are really not effective.

I am interested in learning how to become more effective in a martial art / self development sense by using only Aikido, if this is possible, but also considering the option of learning another system to complement Aikido's "holes".

It is a real pity to see people with a shodan, that have to rely on force (a lot of it) in order to go through with a technique. Anyway I am a bit sad about this degradation of the art, but we have to work with what we have.

I see the following problems :

1) No real sparing, no real feedback. (Foundational problem)
2) No real atemi. (Degraded Aikido)
3) The whole system works from the outside in, not from the inside out.(i.e. one need many years of practice in order to grasp the basics) (Foundational problem)

For now, I am focusing on n2, which is the horrible use of atemi in the dojo. It is one of the things that the founder of the art was insisting be done properly. In all of the dojos i've been it is a joke.

Since I am only 4th kuy I am wondering if some more experienced aikidokas can share their experience regarding the training of atemi. Do they train? How? Do they teach it? How? It is not just for fun that people in boxing, twd, karate, kickboxing etc, learn to hit. The "hits" must be practiced. No?

In any case since no one has ever taught me how to do a proper atemi, I decided that I need to train that elsewhere. For this reason I am considering taking additional boxing classes or another striking (hard) martial art.

I know there are always mixed views on this but I am mainly interested in hearing what the aikido purists have to say about that. Especially what they would recommend, if there is something, to do inside the framework of Aikido.

All the best.
Dear Amo,
Atemi in Aikido is not quite like boxing.Atemi is used to assist in neutralising the intent of uke and is an aid to take and control the persons balance .Atemi can of course be used as a pre-emptive strike.
In most aikido waza there is potential to apply atemi .The question one must ask oneself is this, do we want to injure our training partner or anyone else for that matter?I feel that only when you have no option but to hit someone that is when atemi [attack ] becomes mandatory.
It is also possible that the dojos you visit are not versed in atemi?I can say with authority that there are teachers who know how and apply atemi in a powerful manner.My original teacher [sadly demised ]
could break a one inch or more thick board with his finger tips without any of the usual preliminary moves sometimes seen in karate.May I also say that aikido in general is based on cutting motions.There is a difference between a cutting motion and a hitting motion, especially in traing in swordwork[aikiken ]or batto ho. Cheers, Joe
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Old 06-21-2014, 08:34 PM   #5
Blue Buddha
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Thank you for your reply Joe,

I agree that there are these two different options (neutralising and the pre-emptive strike) and I feel that both have their place in the martial art training. While the decision to use it should be judged accordingly, there is still the need to learn how to apply it correctly. I don't mean injuring the uke, simply learning to throw a good fist or cut.

It is my understanding that several aspects of aikido have atrophied with the years and the proper teaching of atemi is one of them. Even in dojos with teachers who I appreciated a lot, there was never an emphasis on it. If the quality of the atemi is poor, so is the effect of neutralising, and the same goes for the pre-emptive strike. A poor strike could work to neutralise i.e. a skinny attacker but it wouldn't necessary work with a bodybuilder kind of guy who could receive a much harder strike without getting injured.

Even in the fictional fighting environment of the dojo (i.e. no feedback, no sparring), one does not learn how to throw a proper strike in the air. Someone who has never punched anything in his life, would not know where to start.

You are lucky to have this experience with your sensei, but then again I think it is a bit funny to talk about "luck" in regards to people practicing the same martial art. Some things should either be taught or not. It would be perhaps ok, if I knew that on a higher level, after a Shodan people got to learn how to strike, but not earlier. But this is not the case. But as I said I know some arrogant Shodan's who need to use force to do a technique, or make no practical application of basic concepts like taking someone's balance out and reaching for their centre.

To conclude, my interest in boxing lies not only in learning how to strike properly, if needed and in relation to aiki-do, because it trains one to strike, but also because it combines the immediate feedback of your bad decisions-you just get hit by your partner. In a sense it is a much more real interaction, which brings awareness into the game whereas aikido practice is often associated with oblivion.

Boxing would be a patch, if you like, to one aspect of the many holes that I think Aikido has.

Best
Arno
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Old 06-21-2014, 09:32 PM   #6
Sojourner
Location: Adelaide
Join Date: Dec 2013
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Hi Arno,

You raise some good points and people should not shy away from them. Where I train the dojo trains us dually in Aikido and Atemi-Jujitsu. My suggestion is that you might find the history of the World Budo Kan interesting as the founder came to a similar conclusion that you have and developed Atemi-Jujitsu as a result. We still are trained and graded in Aikido because its considered the foundation of Atemi-Jujitsu.

In terms of Atemi Training that is placed with our Aikido we are trained in Western Boxing and Shotokan / Golden Dragon style Karate for the striking aspects.

I came to Aikido from a background in Krav Maga, Its my feeling that my current training offers me more options that Krav when it comes to taking someone down without hurting that person if that is my wish. I hate and eschew violence, yet recognize that in a self defense situation there are sometimes no other options than hard atemi striking to deal with it, yet as I train in Aikido I do see other options potentially opening up, yet like you say I agree that it takes many years of training to be able to do this effectively.

I guess there is plenty more I could say, yet it could be that our history on our website might get it across better than I ever could. - http://www.worldbudokan.org/
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Old 06-21-2014, 11:18 PM   #7
kewms
Join Date: Aug 2002
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Find a different dojo or a different art.

At 4th kyu, I think it's safe to say that your understanding of aikido is incomplete, and further practice may change your opinion.

However, it is also quite clear that you don't have much respect for the teachers and senior students who you have encountered in your aikido journey to this point. It's impossible to say whether your opinion is warranted or not, but as long as you feel that way you are wasting your time as well as theirs.

Katherine
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Old 06-22-2014, 12:10 PM   #8
JP3
 
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Well, let's see...

Q1: No real sparing, no real feedback.

A1: As I don't know which brand of aikido you're doing, I can't tell you if it's "on the way" or "is not going to happen at all." Someone else will have to enlighten you on that. In our little branch of it (Tomiki out from under the Sensei Karl Geis family/tract, whatever), we do "sparring" just like I used to do it in taekwondo & hapkido, but not like Muay Thai, and very much like judo randori. Controled encounter, rules of engagement, try to keep the speed down (speed causes more training injuries than it justifies IMO), and lots of laughing. Easy to learn in a laughter-filled environment. Note, I didn't say pain-free, just laughter filled. IMO it's good to take things out of kata and try to put them to work on a non-compliant uke, even if they are just gently trying to F-up your technique while trying to put theirs to work on you.

Q2: No real atemi. (Degraded Aikido)

A2: Striking is its own practice. Having been boxing trained, I can teach that, if someone wants to learn it, or the striking techniques of taekwondo/hapkido, which are quite effective as many a concrete block and wood board can attest, as well as some few cracked skulls and broken ribs, eh? But, it does take training time, and what I've found is that while an excellent reverse punch or palm heel or knifehand strike is a wonderful tool for your defensive tool kit, so is a very well-honed sense of kuzushi. And, training kuzushi doesn't hurt the practitioner as much as training good strikes, and seems to be just as effective.

Q3: The whole system works from the outside in, not from the inside out.(i.e. one need many years of practice in order to grasp the basics.

A3: That's just about everything, actually. Different styles have differing pedagogy, thus different relative "speeds" of imparting knowledge, as do individual instructors, and even the same instructors on different principles and/or techniques. What I found with my higher-level tkd/hkd training was that, as I advanced in rank, it stopped being about the new combo-strike grip&rip takedown with special effects, but more and more about moving out of the way and dealing with the bad guy from other angles, different positions, etc. Gee.... that's what aikido (ours anyway) starts out with. Down the road, we give them the appropriate strike, if they want to learn something hard, but most opt out and go for a grappling-style thing. I, personally, don't, since I enjoyed my striking time, but they, as is their option on their own path, do.

And finally, on the idea of "Aikido purists..." I don't know what one looks like or sounds like. Almost all of the high level aikido people I know have studied other things as well, and end up in aikido. I think that, rather than the other way, is the baseline.

I find it interesting that the kanji character for kuzushi illustrates a mountain falling on a house.
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Old 06-22-2014, 12:41 PM   #9
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Quote:
Arno Hist wrote: View Post
In any case since no one has ever taught me how to do a proper atemi, I decided that I need to train that elsewhere. For this reason I am considering taking additional boxing classes or another striking (hard) martial art.

I know there are always mixed views on this but I am mainly interested in hearing what the aikido purists have to say about that. Especially what they would recommend, if there is something, to do inside the framework of Aikido.

All the best.
Like you say, to get good at hitting you need to hit. "Atemi" can be more than hitting hard and well, but that's the aspect it sounds like you're focusing on. Not everyone puts much emphasis on hitting and so where it's not as emphasized as you'd like, you'll have to fill in to the degree you like. Your post reminded me a bit of this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbFU6w7q3dQ
So my advice is that when you're on the mat you do your best to understand and respect the effort of your teachers; beyond that, do as you mentioned and supplement; keep trying to find people who are willing to train off the mat with you more in the way you're looking for. The style of martial art ultimately means very little; we're all individuals with our own abilities and understanding, regardless of whether or not we share the same nomenclature or even lineage. Some schools will have very strong hitters because they work on that; some won't. As students it is up to us to find our way...and it sounds like you're doing that as well as most since you're identifying potential problems and addressing them. Maybe your opinion will change over time like mine did (although to be fair I have never been interested in hitting hard, so our goals are quite different).
Good luck!

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 06-22-2014, 01:41 PM   #10
PeterR
 
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Not another one.

Patient: Doctor doctor - it hurts when I do this.
Doctor: Well don't do it.

There is no point in doing aikido if it does not fit the vision of what you think it could be. You wont change your teachers and they wont change you.

That said - it looks like a very limited experience of aikido and what it can and can not do.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-22-2014, 05:53 PM   #11
Blue Buddha
Location: Ljubljana
Join Date: May 2014
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Quote:
John Powell wrote: View Post
Well, let's see...

Q1: No real sparing, no real feedback.

A1: As I don't know which brand of aikido you're doing, I can't tell you if it's "on the way" or "is not going to happen at all." Someone else will have to enlighten you on that. In our little branch of it (Tomiki out from under the Sensei Karl Geis family/tract, whatever), we do "sparring" just like I used to do it in taekwondo & hapkido, but not like Muay Thai, and very much like judo randori. Controled encounter, rules of engagement, try to keep the speed down (speed causes more training injuries than it justifies IMO), and lots of laughing. Easy to learn in a laughter-filled environment. Note, I didn't say pain-free, just laughter filled. IMO it's good to take things out of kata and try to put them to work on a non-compliant uke, even if they are just gently trying to F-up your technique while trying to put theirs to work on you.

Q2: No real atemi. (Degraded Aikido)

A2: Striking is its own practice. Having been boxing trained, I can teach that, if someone wants to learn it, or the striking techniques of taekwondo/hapkido, which are quite effective as many a concrete block and wood board can attest, as well as some few cracked skulls and broken ribs, eh? But, it does take training time, and what I've found is that while an excellent reverse punch or palm heel or knifehand strike is a wonderful tool for your defensive tool kit, so is a very well-honed sense of kuzushi. And, training kuzushi doesn't hurt the practitioner as much as training good strikes, and seems to be just as effective.

Q3: The whole system works from the outside in, not from the inside out.(i.e. one need many years of practice in order to grasp the basics.

A3: That's just about everything, actually. Different styles have differing pedagogy, thus different relative "speeds" of imparting knowledge, as do individual instructors, and even the same instructors on different principles and/or techniques. What I found with my higher-level tkd/hkd training was that, as I advanced in rank, it stopped being about the new combo-strike grip&rip takedown with special effects, but more and more about moving out of the way and dealing with the bad guy from other angles, different positions, etc. Gee.... that's what aikido (ours anyway) starts out with. Down the road, we give them the appropriate strike, if they want to learn something hard, but most opt out and go for a grappling-style thing. I, personally, don't, since I enjoyed my striking time, but they, as is their option on their own path, do.

And finally, on the idea of "Aikido purists..." I don't know what one looks like or sounds like. Almost all of the high level aikido people I know have studied other things as well, and end up in aikido. I think that, rather than the other way, is the baseline.
Thank you all for your replies.

John,

A1. I have trained in 4 different Aikikai dojos in Europe. Only in one of them there was an element of "freeplay" but still the attacks where as most aikido attacks fictionally manufactured- not real. Not in the sense of carrying the intent to hurt, but the ukes already submitting during the attack. I too like the controlled encounters and happy laughing atmosphere. It is just that I think it is more limited than controlled. In a way I prefer to work with a non compliant uke, as it feels more real to me. I don't expect in a self defence situation an attacker to be fully or partly compliant.

A2.The problem, as I see it, is that this practice is not on the horizon at least in my Aikido dojo. I have read/heard numerous people quoting different percentages of what the place of atemi should be (from 70-90%). The founder himself was trained in Jiujitsu and was trained in that quite well and apparently taught that too. But where is it, I don't see it in 4 out of 4 dojos. This is the reason I am talking about degradation of something that apparently used to exist.(the training of atemi).

Kuzushi. Is great. Harmony is great. And I know this has been debated thousands of times, but Kuszushi alone will not be very helpful in a self defence street fight situation. Outside the dojo there is a time when the attacker will have to hit hard. Either on the floor or on the defenders hand/foot.
Although I am only 4th kuy, I have trained with multiple attackers in one of my dojos and I successfully dealt with all of them with various techniques.

When recently my girlfriend and I were attacked by 5 mature - strong men- verbally, but soon the whole thing was escalating too fast, we were lucky to have left the premises before we start fighting. I realised that no matter how many ukes I have thrown to the dojo mat (and even I had to fight just one of these guys) I wouldn't be able to deal with him just by applying Kuzushi.
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Old 06-22-2014, 06:09 PM   #12
Blue Buddha
Location: Ljubljana
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Like you say, to get good at hitting you need to hit. "Atemi" can be more than hitting hard and well, but that's the aspect it sounds like you're focusing on. Not everyone puts much emphasis on hitting and so where it's not as emphasized as you'd like, you'll have to fill in to the degree you like. Your post reminded me a bit of this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbFU6w7q3dQ
So my advice is that when you're on the mat you do your best to understand and respect the effort of your teachers; beyond that, do as you mentioned and supplement; keep trying to find people who are willing to train off the mat with you more in the way you're looking for. The style of martial art ultimately means very little; we're all individuals with our own abilities and understanding, regardless of whether or not we share the same nomenclature or even lineage. Some schools will have very strong hitters because they work on that; some won't. As students it is up to us to find our way...and it sounds like you're doing that as well as most since you're identifying potential problems and addressing them. Maybe your opinion will change over time like mine did (although to be fair I have never been interested in hitting hard, so our goals are quite different).
Good luck!
Mathew, thanks for the nice song. I think you are right But please see my answer to John above as why I am focusing at this moment in atemi. I do respect my teachers and fellow aikidokas. I am a very loving and caring guy. But unlike what Katherine suggests, I agree with the saying that says that respect is earned, it is not a given fact. A shodan who does not know basic stuff and forces her way to a 4th kuy aikidoka is simply for laughs. This person should be stripped from their hakama..

Thank you for your advice and encouragement for supplemental training. In fact I am considering trying jujitsu instead of boxing, for its shared similarities with aikido and because of its use of strikes.

By the way I am reading this book, "meditations on violence" which offers a very good insight into our false assumptions regarding dojo training. Still on the first chapters, hoping the rest is as interesting.

To recap, I am not interested in hitting hard per se. If that was the case, it be studying muay thai or similar. I am just under the impression that I am studying a very watered down version of what the founder taught..
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Old 06-22-2014, 06:47 PM   #13
JP3
 
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Arno said, "Kuzushi. Is great. Harmony is great. And I know this has been debated thousands of times, but Kuszushi alone will not be very helpful in a self defence street fight situation."

Pardon the quote, but "Grasshopper, you do not yet understand the floor upon which you stand."

But, your questions are great, and I expect that you will, probably sooner than some. I would guess that, since you put Kuzushi in the same phrase above, sort of, as Harmony, you may not have ever laid hands on a trained judoka? or, if so, he/she was just goofing off? one way to say it is... well, hmm, maybe, Kuzushi is the disruption of the other's harmony?

I take people's balance. I disrupt their position. I destroy their posture. I'm not terribly harmonious when I do it. I leave the harmony to the end, before the things break or the opponent lands on his head/neck, and I try to get them gently to the ground (if possible, which can be situation dependent, right?).

So, you're in an Aikikai school, in which I've no experience, so can't comment. It's just different from my own brand, I think. I train regularly with a guy who is a double 3rd degree in kick-punch (tang soo do and taekwondo) and the guy hits like a truck. We "could" attempt to wail on each other in class, but that much energy flying around is dangerous as all get out in a training environment, so we don't. We go maybe 15% power and 30% speed, and we learn to deal with it correctly, slowly. Speed is there at need. That's my experience after 30 years.

I find it interesting that the kanji character for kuzushi illustrates a mountain falling on a house.
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Old 06-22-2014, 06:51 PM   #14
Krystal Locke
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Quote:
Arno Hist wrote: View Post
If the phrase "4th kuy" was missing from my post, would all the points I mentioned have a bigger validity for you?
No, but perhaps the phrase " I believe that in general if one does not have a couple of dans......."

Oh never mind. I'm not going to do this to myself this time.

If Cheng Hsin is the art you want, go get it. If you dont think aikido has what you want, dont do aikido. Dont waste your time trying to learn something you dont want to learn. Dont waste our time trying to convince us to fix something that doesn't need fixing. At 4th kyu, you can still get out without throwing too much of (y)our good time after bad. Have a great day.
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Old 06-22-2014, 07:25 PM   #15
Blue Buddha
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Thanks John, what you say makes sense. My point though is that you are going 15% power/ 30% speed and you are limiting yourselves which is a wise thing to do, but aikidokas with no experience/background like you and partner could have this speed /power as their upper limit and not have the extra 85% / 70% if needed. Makes sense?

Krystal, you aren't contributing to this thread, so it seems you are waisting your own time.
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Old 06-22-2014, 07:26 PM   #16
Blue Buddha
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Like you say, to get good at hitting you need to hit. "Atemi" can be more than hitting hard and well, but that's the aspect it sounds like you're focusing on. Not everyone puts much emphasis on hitting and so where it's not as emphasized as you'd like, you'll have to fill in to the degree you like. Your post reminded me a bit of this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbFU6w7q3dQ
So my advice is that when you're on the mat you do your best to understand and respect the effort of your teachers; beyond that, do as you mentioned and supplement; keep trying to find people who are willing to train off the mat with you more in the way you're looking for. The style of martial art ultimately means very little; we're all individuals with our own abilities and understanding, regardless of whether or not we share the same nomenclature or even lineage. Some schools will have very strong hitters because they work on that; some won't. As students it is up to us to find our way...and it sounds like you're doing that as well as most since you're identifying potential problems and addressing them. Maybe your opinion will change over time like mine did (although to be fair I have never been interested in hitting hard, so our goals are quite different).
Good luck!
Mathew, thanks for the nice song. I think you are right But please see my answer to John above as why I am focusing at this moment in atemi. I do respect my teachers and fellow aikidokas. I am a very loving and caring guy. But unlike what Katherine suggests, I agree with the saying that says that respect is earned, it is not a given fact. A shodan who does not know basic stuff and forces her way to a 4th kuy aikidoka is simply for laughs. This person should be stripped from their hakama..

Thank you for your advice and encouragement for supplemental training. In fact I am considering trying jujitsu instead of boxing, for its shared similarities with aikido and because of its use of strikes.

By the way I am reading this book, "meditations on violence" which offers a very good insight into our false assumptions regarding dojo training. Still on the first chapters, hoping the rest is as interesting.

To recap, I am not interested in hitting hard per se. If that was the case, it be studying muay thai or similar. I am just under the impression that I am studying a very watered down version of what the founder taught..
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Old 06-22-2014, 07:27 PM   #17
Hilary
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

You only have a simplistic understanding of the utilization of kazushi. Kazushi in not just the precursor to throwing. Kazushi denies the attacker the structural base from which to mount/continue an attack or generate power, no matter how briefly. If you are unable to capitalize on that with a throw, lock, or atemi then that is a deficit in your abilities and training, not the principle. Kazushi really needs to occur off of strikes not just grabs, “Kazushi it’s not just for breakfast (wrist grabs) anymore”.

As a self-admitted 4th kyu I find it unlikely you have sufficient mastery of any technique to effectively utilize it against anyone with skillful intent. Most training occurs at slow to moderate speed with well-defined attacks because the throw/lock is what is trained, not the defense (those are separate drills and are highly instructor dependent). You need to effect a technique from any attack, any angle, at any speed, under imperfect conditions; that takes muscle memory and a familiarity born of 10,000 plus simple repetitions, before the movement occurs naturally, spontaneously, and under adverse conditions. That is when you get to speed up, noodle, and create, by then you will have hopefully developed the connected body skills to compliment your technique and make your aikido “effective”, not before. This is a long game.
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Old 06-22-2014, 07:37 PM   #18
Blue Buddha
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Thank you for your answer Hilary, it was very helpful. Could you please elaborate on what you said regarding the defense not being trained?
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Old 06-22-2014, 08:30 PM   #19
kewms
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Arno Hist wrote: View Post
But unlike what Katherine suggests, I agree with the saying that says that respect is earned, it is not a given fact.
Oh, I absolutely agree that respect must be earned. And if the people you're training with haven't earned it, you should train somewhere else.

I don't know them, I don't know you. I have no idea whether the individuals you are thinking of are or are not worthy of your respect in any objective sense. But ultimately it doesn't matter. If you don't respect them, you won't learn anything and are wasting your time.

Katherine
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Old 06-22-2014, 08:33 PM   #20
kewms
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Arno Hist wrote: View Post
Kuzushi. Is great. Harmony is great. And I know this has been debated thousands of times, but Kuszushi alone will not be very helpful in a self defence street fight situation. ... I realised that no matter how many ukes I have thrown to the dojo mat (and even I had to fight just one of these guys) I wouldn't be able to deal with him just by applying Kuzushi.
"Just" applying kuzushi?

In my experience, gravity hits pretty darn hard, if you let it.

Katherine
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Old 06-22-2014, 09:45 PM   #21
Riai Maori
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
In my experience, gravity hits pretty darn hard, if you let it.
...and if it wasn't for gravity, us men would be pissing in our faces...The earth sucks!

There is always 3 sides to a story, their side, your side and the TRUTH
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Old 06-22-2014, 09:49 PM   #22
Riai Maori
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Arno Hist wrote: View Post
If the phrase "4th kuy" was missing from my post, would all the points I mentioned have a bigger validity for you?
No, because my next question would be what rank do you hold in Aikido and you would of replied 4 Kyu which speaks volumes in itself. "It is wise to be thought a fool than to open ones mouth and remove all doubt"

Last edited by Riai Maori : 06-22-2014 at 09:52 PM.

There is always 3 sides to a story, their side, your side and the TRUTH
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Old 06-23-2014, 03:59 AM   #23
Mert Gambito
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Given that IP as a component of M. Ueshiba's aiki has been acknowledged by the Aikikai hombu:
  • within that context, IP produces kuzushi on contact;
  • the contact is literal, not philosophical or a feint; and
  • atemi of all flavors are designed to disrupt attacks, and In jujutsu/taijutsu arts, which include aikido, disruption in the form of kuzushi is typically a primary or secondary objective of atemi.

Assuming this was the premise of Ueshiba's statement, that leaves the remaining question as: What comprises the other 1%?

Mert
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Old 06-23-2014, 07:32 AM   #24
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

"When recently my girlfriend and I were attacked by 5 mature - strong men- verbally, but soon the whole thing was escalating too fast, we were lucky to have left the premises before we start fighting. I realised that no matter how many ukes I have thrown to the dojo mat (and even I had to fight just one of these guys) I wouldn't be able to deal with him just by applying Kuzushi."


Another way to look at this is to call a successful self-defense situation. Self defense is not about fighting or saving face. It is about survival. Congrats for getting out a dangerous situation with your lives and no injuries. Not lucky...aware.

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Old 06-23-2014, 09:12 AM   #25
jonreading
 
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

1) No real sparing, no real feedback. (Foundational problem)
2) No real atemi. (Degraded Aikido)
3) The whole system works from the outside in, not from the inside out.(i.e. one need many years of practice in order to grasp the basics) (Foundational problem)

Since there are already some good points... I will try not to duplicate...

1. I am not sure to what this is referring. Kata is a great feedback system, since it is a controlled environment. There is a long-standing debate of kata v. kumite in education context and I would be hesitant to qualitatively assert that kumite is a superior training methodology. Sport-orientation has pushed "sparring" to the forefront of popular arts, but that doesn't mean its better...
2. Again, I am not sure if this isn't just the experience you've had. Most of our techniques provide for the application of striking. Some dojos choose not to show those strikes and some dojos choose not to teach strikes. Those independent choices are not indicative of the art, I think.
3. No, the system is inside out. You only learn one thing: aiki. The rest of our education is how to create ki, express aiki and creatively use it. Again, this is probably more representative of the dojos in which you have trained.

All three comments are fair criticisms of the individual failings of our training, but I would not pass those failings onto the art.

Aikido class is only so long; I see no reason why you would not continue your striking training outside of class. Just because we don't have time to cover it in class doesn't mean it is not important, only that there is other education which takes precedence. This would also go for physical fitness and individual exercises.

Yes, it is possible that your dojo is not optimizing its aikido training. It is also possible that you are not optimizing your aiki training. The concept of cross-training is not foreign to aikido people and my advice would be to keep the training separate and refrain from conflating arts. Western boxing is different striking than Japanese striking than Chinese striking. Bastardizing aikido with your opinion of "should" is not going to teach you aikido.

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