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Old 06-23-2014, 09:30 AM   #26
Cliff Judge
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Quote:
Arno Hist wrote: View Post
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.
It strikes me that when people complain about atemi in Aikido, they almost never have an explicit criticism.
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Old 06-23-2014, 09:59 AM   #27
kewms
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
"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.
Yep. I would say that (outside of action movies) anyone -- no matter what rank or what art -- who voluntarily takes on 5 simultaneous adult attackers is an idiot. The suggestion that one should be able to do so at 4th kyu -- in any art -- is ludicrous.

And I say this as someone who considers multiple-attacker randori one of the strengths of aikido. That kind of training can certainly improve your odds. But five attackers is too many, and in a real situation the stakes are too high. Avoiding the encounter is always going to be the high-percentage choice.

Katherine
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Old 06-23-2014, 01:47 PM   #28
Hilary
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

When uke stands in hamni and grabs your wrist it is not an attack, you are not defending, it is a connection exercise. Your assignment is to learn how to lock, destabilize, and move meat, bones and gristle. You will do this with meat in all sizes, shapes, colors, densities, flexibilities, intents, and assorted meat connectedness skill levels. Eventually you will learn how to disturb the grey matter which controls that meat, but until you learn to move meat you best concentrate mostly on that.

Other exercises involve moving objects, multiple people walking toward you with their hands out. Your assignment is to avoid, then parry these ships in the night so you learn to see all the ships, avoid collisions and pass them without leaving a wake. Learning to see and move to the negative spaces; intuitively so the conscious mind is free for other things.

We teach you how to walk; you thought you already know how to do that, silly rabbit. You will get lessons, both explicit and implicit, in etiquette, philosophy, ethics, and humanity…with sweat, you will fall down and go boom ad infinitum. You must learn balance, structure and control both mental and physical before we trust you with anything resembling reality. A broken nose is stuffy, a broken elbow is forever.

As always it is fascinating so see how a random beginner can tie up and engage a few collective centuries of martial experience with a simple sentence or two. It speaks to our willingness to teach, share and debate our art(s). It also illuminates certain sensitivities inside, and most likely due, to our big tent. In another time you would be kneeling outside the gate, in the rain, for a few months before we even answered the door and allowed you to sweep the floor. Our collective willingness to share is a benefit of our humanity and modernity but every once and a while … (deep sigh) ahhh the good old days.
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Old 06-23-2014, 02:57 PM   #29
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Quote:
Mert Gambito wrote: View Post
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%?
Hi Mert, i read your post http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22255 which I found very interesting. Saying that, it does make me wonder about why people suddenly discovered the intrinsic powers of the art in the label of IP/AS and specific seminars on it. Weren't they supposed to be included in the art from the beginning?
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Old 06-23-2014, 03:20 PM   #30
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
[i]
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.
Hi Mary, thank you, yes I absolutely agree with you. It's just that I was wondering about the very possible next phase, that is if two of the big guys who were showing the fists to my friend, would start hitting.
Talking one's way out of situation like this is the optimal solution, but I am pretty sure that these people (even if it was just one of them) would not stop an attack just because they hit the ground (hard or not).

The main core of my whole post (and just my questioning really, I don't care to prove anything) has to do with the fact that
a) it feels that daito ryu aiki jujitsu, an arguably tried in the streets & battles, effective martial art, when it was watered down for moral/ spiritual/ self-development purposes, lost a some of its practical appliance in a real world senario, rather than demonstrations.
b) while it is an amazing m.a., it really is not an effective self defence martial art, unless one has reached a quite high level of understanding.

best
a.
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Old 06-23-2014, 03:32 PM   #31
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

I agree. That is true of most martial arts.

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Old 06-23-2014, 03:36 PM   #32
kewms
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Quote:
Arno Hist wrote: View Post
Talking one's way out of situation like this is the optimal solution, but I am pretty sure that these people (even if it was just one of them) would not stop an attack just because they hit the ground (hard or not).
Arguing about hypothetical scenarios via internet is kind of pointless, but all of your complaints about aikido so far sound more to me like failures of imagination or training on your part, not limits of the art itself.

In particular, you might want to reconsider just how much damage an uncontrolled impact with a hard surface can produce. Shiho nage, for example, has killed people, "just because they hit the ground."

Katherine
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Old 06-23-2014, 03:42 PM   #33
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
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.
This has been very informative. I was not aware about the kata vs kumite debate. I will look more into it. Regarding your points, I agree and disagree.

1. Bad Kata is indeed a problem of dojos and not of the art itself. I haven't been in any japanese dojos but I would think that the quality of the exercise is higher. The criticism with kata, as i see it, is that there can be dojos that train kata in a proper way and dojos that don't. The kumite approach, it seems like it would remove this obstacle.
2. I have read that atemi is very important to aikido. I do not believe it makes any sense not to train it properly, in the boundaries of the art. Sounds wrong. It either is important or not.
3. Perhaps you are right. My comparison is with other internal m.a. like taiji and chen hsin, though, which really focus on the internal workings of the body and relationships (intrinsic strength, IP/IS) from their conception. To my understanding/ reading and from all the people I have discussed with, the techniques slowly teach you the "internal" of the art. Not the other way around.

Regarding mixing aikido with a non compatible art. I agree with you. Do you believe that Jujitsu would make a good complement, or is that also not compatible in your view?
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Old 06-23-2014, 04:17 PM   #34
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
It strikes me that when people complain about atemi in Aikido, they almost never have an explicit criticism.
Take an average woman or lightweight man and have them strike a big person and let's see how the atemi influences them. It is one thing to strike and withhold 80% of strength and 80% speed and another thing to have no power to strike with. i.e. reaching almost your max. power at the above said practice level. To me this is ineffective, which means that in one way or another the person in question needs to raise their power. Power does not necessarily mean body mass (although it helps), but it also means correct technique, alignment of the palm/fist, of the hand, of the elbow, of the body, of the knees, of the foot.

In my conversation with aikidokas I hear sometimes one saying that they do not do this technique in the "old school" way, and I am shown a technique were atemi has been removed. And I am wondering: jujutsu was watered down to aikido, aikido was watered down while it was being spread, and now there is some "new" school of thought that decides that it is better to not to use atemi (i am generalising here, but you get my point).

So, here you have it. Is there any chance that the people with high ranks, who are modernising aikido are actually harming it?
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Old 06-23-2014, 04:33 PM   #35
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Quote:
Hilary Heinmets wrote: View Post
When uke stands in hamni and grabs your wrist it is not an attack, you are not defending, it is a connection exercise. Your assignment is to learn how to lock, destabilize, and move meat, bones and gristle. You will do this with meat in all sizes, shapes, colors, densities, flexibilities, intents, and assorted meat connectedness skill levels. Eventually you will learn how to disturb the grey matter which controls that meat, but until you learn to move meat you best concentrate mostly on that.

Other exercises involve moving objects, multiple people walking toward you with their hands out. Your assignment is to avoid, then parry these ships in the night so you learn to see all the ships, avoid collisions and pass them without leaving a wake. Learning to see and move to the negative spaces; intuitively so the conscious mind is free for other things.

We teach you how to walk; you thought you already know how to do that, silly rabbit. You will get lessons, both explicit and implicit, in etiquette, philosophy, ethics, and humanity…with sweat, you will fall down and go boom ad infinitum. You must learn balance, structure and control both mental and physical before we trust you with anything resembling reality. A broken nose is stuffy, a broken elbow is forever.

As always it is fascinating so see how a random beginner can tie up and engage a few collective centuries of martial experience with a simple sentence or two. It speaks to our willingness to teach, share and debate our art(s). It also illuminates certain sensitivities inside, and most likely due, to our big tent. In another time you would be kneeling outside the gate, in the rain, for a few months before we even answered the door and allowed you to sweep the floor. Our collective willingness to share is a benefit of our humanity and modernity but every once and a while … (deep sigh) ahhh the good old days.
Many thanks! You sure have a nice way with words. For this kind of promising insight I would consider the gate in the rain... for a couple of hours
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Old 06-23-2014, 07:46 PM   #36
Cliff Judge
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Quote:
Arno Hist wrote: View Post
Take an average woman or lightweight man and have them strike a big person and let's see how the atemi influences them. It is one thing to strike and withhold 80% of strength and 80% speed and another thing to have no power to strike with. i.e. reaching almost your max. power at the above said practice level. To me this is ineffective, which means that in one way or another the person in question needs to raise their power. Power does not necessarily mean body mass (although it helps), but it also means correct technique, alignment of the palm/fist, of the hand, of the elbow, of the body, of the knees, of the foot.

In my conversation with aikidokas I hear sometimes one saying that they do not do this technique in the "old school" way, and I am shown a technique were atemi has been removed. And I am wondering: jujutsu was watered down to aikido, aikido was watered down while it was being spread, and now there is some "new" school of thought that decides that it is better to not to use atemi (i am generalising here, but you get my point).

So, here you have it. Is there any chance that the people with high ranks, who are modernising aikido are actually harming it?
Hmm.

First of all….Aikido's martial roots were arts were striking with the hand or the foot was a very last-ditch, its-probably-pointless kind of thing. If delivering a powerful blow were incorporated into Aikido, that would be modernization.

There was a technical syllabus that Osensei taught at the Asahi Shimbun in the 1930s that was quite "hard" and involved lots of explicit atemi. The Takumakai maintains this. This is considered by many to be the very golden age of brutal, deadly, ass-kicking (proto-)Aikido, though I have my doubts that this was not basically a temporary digression.

It is interesting that you suggest a small person try to hit a large person, because I think most people who begin Aikido training have considered that scenario and find it futile and ridiculous. If not, they take up an art where people spend most of their time learning how to deliver power in a strike. If they are going to hit a larger person, and they can deliver 80% of their strength, what happens when the larger person hits them and delivers 80%? It is still not a great situation to be in.

I think you found the real point when you talked learning how to use the body efficiently to deliver power in a strike. You mention proper technique, and aligning the body in a chain from the ground to the fist. Here is something to think about: it takes practice to teach one's body to naturally form that chain and transfer the power. Aikido movement also requires lots of practice to teach one's body to naturally form these types of "chains" to properly execute Aikido technique.

What if I told you that the physical component - how to train the body to move and transfer power in a certain way - was quite different between turning, blending Aikido movement and an effective, efficient strike? But that this was only the case for a period of ten years or so. And that ultimately there is mental component - one that enters, penetrates, and overcomes - which is common to both types of art?
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Old 06-24-2014, 12:14 AM   #37
Mert Gambito
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Arno Hist wrote: View Post
Hi Mert, i read your post http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22255 which I found very interesting.
Amo,

Thanks for taking the time to read that thread. You may also find this thread interesting, in a similar vein: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23196

Quote:
Arno Hist wrote:
Saying that, it does make me wonder about why people suddenly discovered the intrinsic powers of the art in the label of IP/AS and specific seminars on it. Weren't they supposed to be included in the art from the beginning?
Again, I think it's interesting that Peter Goldsbury got a straightforward answer from the Aikikai hombu top brass, as related in here: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23596 (the topic of which I'm sure will resonate with you, based on the feelings you've expressed in this current thread). In particular:
Quote:
Peter Goldsbury wrote:
I have asked Doshu and other Hombu teachers whether Morihei Ueshiba did IP training and the answer was yes, but with the rider that he never taught it: he left this type of training to students who perceived it and wanted to do it. The corollary was (is) that this type of training should be a complement to one's 'kihon' training, but not a substitute for it.
Ergo, we get Gozo Shioda (Daito-ryu Kodokai), Koichi Tohei and Hiroshi Tada (Tempu Nakamura), Tetsutaka Sugawara (Chen-style Taijiquan), to name a few; and a bunch of folks today ranging in rank and prominence following this shugyo tradition and undertaking IT with Dan Harden, Minoru Akuzawa, Mike Sigman, Sam Chin and others, as Peter discusses a bit later in that thread: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpo...7&postcount=87. The entire post is worth reading for the purposes of addressing your question, but for convenience, I'll pull this quote as well:

Quote:
Peter Goldsbury wrote:
Quote:
Mert Gambito wrote:
In any case, did Doshu and the other Hombu teachers indicate an acceptance that extant IP training continues via sources outside of the Aikikai (and/or has such a thing as sanctioned IP training expressly designed as a complement to kihon training internal to the Aikikai evolved, even if relatively clandestine and limited to individuals vs. being system wide)?
PAG. I am not sure that acceptance is the right word here. Sufferance might be more appropriate. One of the yudansha who trains with the group I look after in the Netherlands attends the workshops of Dan Harden and Minoru Akuzawa when they come to Europe. His aikido comes from another source, of course, but on one occasion a senior Hombu instructor stopped and asked him, "Why are you so strong?" The question was not meant in a negative sense at all and he was not talking about physical strength. The instructor knew exactly what he was seeing and I believe the older generation of instructors in Japan also know this. But, as you say, this knowledge is clandestine and limited to individuals. These individuals are in the Aikikai, but are dwindling in number.
The more I think about it, if we are to take "99%" at face value, what else could "atemi" mean? There are other words in the arsenal of Japanese martial arts nomenclature that would be a better fit for philosophical and tactical components of one's interpretation of the art that are not a literal form of physical contact that disrupts the uke's/opponent's body/"mi".*

Anyway, if you feel a need to go outside of aikido to develop atemi and/or IP as separate or synonymous aspects of your aikido, history (e.g. Gozo Shioda [Daito-ryu Kodokai], Koichi Tohei and Hiroshi Tada [Tempu Nakamura], Tetsutaka Sugawara [Chen-style Taijiquan]), to name a few prominent exponents during the current and past century) and the current leadership of the Aikikai hombu would at least suffer, if not embrace, such a decision.

For my part, as indicated in the thread you referenced above, I'm enjoying exploring how the various branches and descendant arts of Daito-ryu, as a subset of budo, are common yet different. Within that subset, Ueshiba is not alone in declaring atemi as central to a given art. In Hakkoryu, for example, atemi are literal attacks to meridians and pressure points: some involve leverage of a limb against a tsubo to impart the atemi, while others are hand strikes or kicks; and the "99%" rule could literally apply, since contact with one or meridians during a technique is virtually a given, so that contact is exploited in various ways. So, how to reconcile arts within the Daito-ryu subset that literally deliver strikes to parts of the body with those arts that don't (to keep the comparison clear and concise, regarding aikido we're talking vanilla Aikikai kihon waza here, as mentioned in the "pure" aikido thread, not henka of aikido waza fitting in, for example, a kick or a haymaker, vis-a-vis Hakkoryu or Daito-ryu kihon waza)? IP is the glue that binds in this regard.

* I keep thinking this thread would benefit from Peter, Chris Li or someone else fluent in native interpretations of Japanese martial arts nomenclature to break down the various semantics of "当て身".

Mert
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Old 06-24-2014, 06:14 AM   #38
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Quote:
Arno Hist wrote: View Post
Take an average woman or lightweight man and have them strike a big person and let's see how the atemi influences them.
Do you really think that a small person will have no "influence" on a big person if they strike them? Perhaps that's true if you believe that the mechanics of "striking" involve trying to move someone's entire body mass. I can't say that I ever experienced this approach to "striking" when I studied striking arts. Looking at "striking" another way, I think you will find that if a strike is directed at someone's jaw, their entire body mass will move itself in a most gratifyingly rapid and conclusive manner -- even if the person applying that strike is smaller.
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Old 06-24-2014, 07:12 AM   #39
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Quote:
Arno Hist wrote: View Post
This has been very informative. I was not aware about the kata vs kumite debate. I will look more into it. Regarding your points, I agree and disagree.

1. Bad Kata is indeed a problem of dojos and not of the art itself. I haven't been in any japanese dojos but I would think that the quality of the exercise is higher. The criticism with kata, as i see it, is that there can be dojos that train kata in a proper way and dojos that don't. The kumite approach, it seems like it would remove this obstacle.
2. I have read that atemi is very important to aikido. I do not believe it makes any sense not to train it properly, in the boundaries of the art. Sounds wrong. It either is important or not.
3. Perhaps you are right. My comparison is with other internal m.a. like taiji and chen hsin, though, which really focus on the internal workings of the body and relationships (intrinsic strength, IP/IS) from their conception. To my understanding/ reading and from all the people I have discussed with, the techniques slowly teach you the "internal" of the art. Not the other way around.

Regarding mixing aikido with a non compatible art. I agree with you. Do you believe that Jujitsu would make a good complement, or is that also not compatible in your view?
In your original post, you referred to the absence of kumite as a criticism of aikido. The absence of kumite is not an equivalent criticism of the quality of kata you have observed in a dojo. Kumite is a different kind of training, not better, not worse. It will address some failings in kata training and it will create some failings that are addressed by kata training. My point is simply that both have their place in training and the randori training we have is only part of the larger education.

As for your comments about atemi... Aikido is a large tent that is inclusive of many different people with many different perspectives. I happen to believe that aiki is a foundation training. The striking style into which I put my aiki is a secondary training. To Mert's point, aiki is the attack. We happen to practice striking in our dojo for this reason, using pads. But, there are those in aikido who do not - as long as they can express aiki, who is to say they are wrong? The art is aiki do. Don't mistake the jujutsu facade of curriculum for what we are doing. The curriculum is just a common set of movements to give us something into which we can express aiki.

Speaking personally to your points as a whole... Aikido is packaged to be tangible and accessible to a variety of practitioners. While the methodology may work from this aggregate perspective, it leads something to be desired on the individual level. It is an internal art that is not taught as an internal art. Aikiweb has a number of threads on this debate. Holding similar questions from my younger days, my best advice is to look at other dojos. You want to inherit aikido from an individual that has the goods, not an organization processing students.

Personally, I prefer judo and karate to jujutsu. My issue with jujutsu is that the technical instruction is similar enough to our kansetsu waza that it is very easy to never transcend jujutsu in your training. I think if you find a good internal CMA, that is also beneficial if you can deal with the cultural differences. I think it has already been pointed out, but remember you are not the first person to ask these questions. You will not be the first person to find a path to aiki if you scrutinize your training.

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Old 06-24-2014, 07:57 AM   #40
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Hmm.

First of all….Aikido's martial roots were arts were striking with the hand or the foot was a very last-ditch, its-probably-pointless kind of thing. If delivering a powerful blow were incorporated into Aikido, that would be modernization.

There was a technical syllabus that Osensei taught at the Asahi Shimbun in the 1930s that was quite "hard" and involved lots of explicit atemi. The Takumakai maintains this. This is considered by many to be the very golden age of brutal, deadly, ass-kicking (proto-)Aikido, though I have my doubts that this was not basically a temporary digression.
It is my understanding that Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu, being the root of Aikido, was using striking techniques and powerful blows as a norm. I don't see any modernization here. As a quick reference : http://www.blackbeltmag.com/daily/tr...tsu-vs-aikido/

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
It is interesting that you suggest a small person try to hit a large person, because I think most people who begin Aikido training have considered that scenario and find it futile and ridiculous. If not, they take up an art where people spend most of their time learning how to deliver power in a strike. If they are going to hit a larger person, and they can deliver 80% of their strength, what happens when the larger person hits them and delivers 80%? It is still not a great situation to be in.
I believe the opposite to be true. The clubs promote Aikido as a system that is not based on physical strength, therefore less strong people can effectively confront larger people. And I think this is the main, popular (and dangerous) appeal of Aikido. That is, nice people who are not out seeking fights, who are not lifting weights, who are in a far from perfect physical form, who want to learn to protect themselves in a gentle, moral way. Which is fine - if/when it works. I mean ok, even skinny Shaolin monks or skinny muy thai people, can confront large guys, but what training do they have and what strength lies beneath their skinny-ness. Can the same be said about 2-3 year trained lightweight aikidokas?

I am not a proponent of violence, but I am seeking -and questioning - the martial elements of my art, which I do like.

There is a clip on youtube, a jujitsu lightweight fighting a really strong bodybuilder. What I find interesting in it is that the atemis he used, with the intention of disorienting, disrupting the opponent's body/mind, simply work. Of course in his system, he trained to use these strikes.

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
I think you found the real point when you talked learning how to use the body efficiently to deliver power in a strike. You mention proper technique, and aligning the body in a chain from the ground to the fist. Here is something to think about: it takes practice to teach one's body to naturally form that chain and transfer the power. Aikido movement also requires lots of practice to teach one's body to naturally form these types of "chains" to properly execute Aikido technique.
Again, you say "it takes practice to teach one's body" and I am with you on that. It does take a lot of practice and to me it is a very pleasant journey, to learn to align the body properly for the most effective use (here strikes). But, does it ever start? Not in my experience. Not in the experience of other aikidokas I talk with. This "striking effectiveness" has been consciously left out from Aikido. It started with O Sensei (in a sense) and is further watered down, nowadays, by the majority dojos.
Perhaps you are lucky, but I have yet to find a dojo where atemi is taught in relation to the alignment of the body. To be honest, the only corrections to students regarding atemi is in relation to the Jim Carrey video - that is how to "properly" attack so that the nage can react. Not a word about alignment or effectiveness...

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What if I told you that the physical component - how to train the body to move and transfer power in a certain way - was quite different between turning, blending Aikido movement and an effective, efficient strike? But that this was only the case for a period of ten years or so. And that ultimately there is mental component - one that enters, penetrates, and overcomes - which is common to both types of art?
This is a very nice analogy. I believe so too that after 10 years of "proper" training there is an expansion of understanding of the dynamics involved, solutions etc. Definitely. But please notice that I mention "proper". It is more often the case than not, that illusions are being fed in the dojo environment that are difficult to overcome. Unless someone has an enquiring bug, or a proper 10 year training as you described, or worst a failed self defence by applying things that worked in the dojo.
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Old 06-24-2014, 08:06 AM   #41
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Mert Gambito wrote: View Post
Amo,

Thanks for taking the time to read that thread. You may also find this thread interesting, in a similar vein: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23196

Again, I think it's interesting that Peter Goldsbury got a straightforward answer from the Aikikai hombu top brass, as related in here: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23596 (the topic of which I'm sure will resonate with you, based on the feelings you've expressed in this current thread). In particular:

Ergo, we get Gozo Shioda (Daito-ryu Kodokai), Koichi Tohei and Hiroshi Tada (Tempu Nakamura), Tetsutaka Sugawara (Chen-style Taijiquan), to name a few; and a bunch of folks today ranging in rank and prominence following this shugyo tradition and undertaking IT with Dan Harden, Minoru Akuzawa, Mike Sigman, Sam Chin and others, as Peter discusses a bit later in that thread: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpo...7&postcount=87. The entire post is worth reading for the purposes of addressing your question, but for convenience, I'll pull this quote as well:

The more I think about it, if we are to take "99%" at face value, what else could "atemi" mean? There are other words in the arsenal of Japanese martial arts nomenclature that would be a better fit for philosophical and tactical components of one's interpretation of the art that are not a literal form of physical contact that disrupts the uke's/opponent's body/"mi".*

Anyway, if you feel a need to go outside of aikido to develop atemi and/or IP as separate or synonymous aspects of your aikido, history (e.g. Gozo Shioda [Daito-ryu Kodokai], Koichi Tohei and Hiroshi Tada [Tempu Nakamura], Tetsutaka Sugawara [Chen-style Taijiquan]), to name a few prominent exponents during the current and past century) and the current leadership of the Aikikai hombu would at least suffer, if not embrace, such a decision.

For my part, as indicated in the thread you referenced above, I'm enjoying exploring how the various branches and descendant arts of Daito-ryu, as a subset of budo, are common yet different. Within that subset, Ueshiba is not alone in declaring atemi as central to a given art. In Hakkoryu, for example, atemi are literal attacks to meridians and pressure points: some involve leverage of a limb against a tsubo to impart the atemi, while others are hand strikes or kicks; and the "99%" rule could literally apply, since contact with one or meridians during a technique is virtually a given, so that contact is exploited in various ways. So, how to reconcile arts within the Daito-ryu subset that literally deliver strikes to parts of the body with those arts that don't (to keep the comparison clear and concise, regarding aikido we're talking vanilla Aikikai kihon waza here, as mentioned in the "pure" aikido thread, not henka of aikido waza fitting in, for example, a kick or a haymaker, vis-a-vis Hakkoryu or Daito-ryu kihon waza)? IP is the glue that binds in this regard.

* I keep thinking this thread would benefit from Peter, Chris Li or someone else fluent in native interpretations of Japanese martial arts nomenclature to break down the various semantics of "当て身".
Thank you Mert, this is very informative. I will definitely read the other threads. It is interesting, I have heard from teachers in the past that O sensei was keeping things to himself. It is a pity really to think that an energy based martial art is abstracted by the very core elements that make it powerful. It is of course a good thing that the option to learn IP still exists, although in reality it is not so practical with limited time, limited workshops etc.
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Old 06-24-2014, 08:18 AM   #42
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Do you really think that a small person will have no "influence" on a big person if they strike them? Perhaps that's true if you believe that the mechanics of "striking" involve trying to move someone's entire body mass. I can't say that I ever experienced this approach to "striking" when I studied striking arts. Looking at "striking" another way, I think you will find that if a strike is directed at someone's jaw, their entire body mass will move itself in a most gratifyingly rapid and conclusive manner -- even if the person applying that strike is smaller.
This way of looking is good enough to me. My only objection is that "rapid", "conclusive", "jaw targeting" or ANY other efficient mechanics is not being taught.

Looking at neighbouring threads it seems that besides the efficiency in atemi many are also questioning the defensive techniques in a boxing attack.
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Old 06-24-2014, 08:52 AM   #43
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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This way of looking is good enough to me. My only objection is that "rapid", "conclusive", "jaw targeting" or ANY other efficient mechanics is not being taught.
I'm not sure that they should be or need to be. If the purpose of the atemi is to distract or unbalance, getting a hand in someone's face is generally sufficient -- it does not have to be "conclusive", as the goal is to create an opening, and once again, being female and/or small is neither here nor there. And if the purpose of the atemi is a knockout, complaining that "rapid" "conclusive" "jaw targeting" knockouts aren't taught in an aikido class is a bit like complaining that plant propagation techniques aren't being taught in a physics class.
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Old 06-24-2014, 10:03 AM   #44
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Take an average woman or lightweight man and have them strike a big person and let's see how the atemi influences them. It is one thing to strike and withhold 80% of strength and 80% speed and another thing to have no power to strike with. i.e. reaching almost your max. power at the above said practice level.
As an average-sized woman, in my experience the power of the strike doesn't actually have much to do with its effectiveness as an atemi. Location and intent matter, but power doesn't.

Katherine
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Old 06-24-2014, 10:44 AM   #45
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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In your original post, you referred to the absence of kumite as a criticism of aikido. The absence of kumite is not an equivalent criticism of the quality of kata you have observed in a dojo. Kumite is a different kind of training, not better, not worse. It will address some failings in kata training and it will create some failings that are addressed by kata training. My point is simply that both have their place in training and the randori training we have is only part of the larger education.

As for your comments about atemi... Aikido is a large tent that is inclusive of many different people with many different perspectives. I happen to believe that aiki is a foundation training. The striking style into which I put my aiki is a secondary training. To Mert's point, aiki is the attack. We happen to practice striking in our dojo for this reason, using pads. But, there are those in aikido who do not - as long as they can express aiki, who is to say they are wrong? The art is aiki do. Don't mistake the jujutsu facade of curriculum for what we are doing. The curriculum is just a common set of movements to give us something into which we can express aiki.

Speaking personally to your points as a whole... Aikido is packaged to be tangible and accessible to a variety of practitioners. While the methodology may work from this aggregate perspective, it leads something to be desired on the individual level. It is an internal art that is not taught as an internal art. Aikiweb has a number of threads on this debate. Holding similar questions from my younger days, my best advice is to look at other dojos. You want to inherit aikido from an individual that has the goods, not an organization processing students.

Personally, I prefer judo and karate to jujutsu. My issue with jujutsu is that the technical instruction is similar enough to our kansetsu waza that it is very easy to never transcend jujutsu in your training. I think if you find a good internal CMA, that is also bieneficial if you can deal with the cultural differences. I think it has already been pointed out, but remember you are not the first person to ask these questions. You will not be the first person to find a path to aiki if you scrutinize your training.
I think looking at other dojos is a good advice.Also since you don't dissaprove complementary training do you believe wing chun i.e is a better altermative to jujitsu, despite the later sharing movement and techniques?
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Old 06-24-2014, 11:39 AM   #46
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Arno Hist wrote: View Post
I think looking at other dojos is a good advice.Also since you don't dissaprove complementary training do you believe wing chun i.e is a better altermative to jujitsu, despite the later sharing movement and techniques?
If it's good wing chun, have at it. You should notice significant similarities to aiki training. Just don't conflate the two. In some cases, the Chinese perspective on internal power is going to be a little more clear because they have a robust lexicon for that conversation. The Japanese version of the same training is a little more non-verbal and coaxing, which can make for a longer path.

From my perspective, aiki requires ki, ki requires internal power, internal power requires intent. Until you get to the common expressions of aiki (i.e. the jujutsu curriculum), there is flexibility in your training to develop intent, internal power and ki from a variety of sources. Aikido "aiki" is not unique to aikido, but keep it mind it does has its unique flavor among the internal arts.

Check out Chris Li's blog - he spends some time relating aiki training to Chinese concepts in a few of his posts.

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Old 06-24-2014, 12:05 PM   #47
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Thank you Mert, this is very informative. I will definitely read the other threads. It is interesting, I have heard from teachers in the past that O sensei was keeping things to himself. It is a pity really to think that an energy based martial art is abstracted by the very core elements that make it powerful. It is of course a good thing that the option to learn IP still exists, although in reality it is not so practical with limited time, limited workshops etc.
Amo,

The more you search through threads regarding "IP" vis-a-vis "aiki", the more frustrated you'll get, LOL. That search will take you to multiple forums, where you'll read tome after tome of people belly-aching that all of the traditional internal martial arts suffer from the same problem.

If you feel that the price to attain the power is too high to pay, that's OK. Only a few people per generation, even now, with explicit, proven training IT models, really do the work needed to attain it.

To me, it's simple. Now that the Aikikai has verified that IP is inherent to Ueshiba's aiki, and IP can be identified as a byproduct of the modern IT methodologies by those still alive who've trained with Morihei Ueshiba as well as current senior hombu instructors, well -- if you wanna become adept at aikido, you make the efforts to undertake IT shugyo like all the others who're noted for being not just competent, but transcendent.

Mert
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Old 06-24-2014, 02:40 PM   #48
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Arno Hist wrote: View Post
It is my understanding that Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu, being the root of Aikido, was using striking techniques and powerful blows as a norm. I don't see any modernization here. As a quick reference : http://www.blackbeltmag.com/daily/tr...tsu-vs-aikido/
The author of that article is not credible.
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Old 06-24-2014, 02:53 PM   #49
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Thank you all for your contribution, it has been very informative and there is a lot of info to digest.
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Old 06-24-2014, 04:51 PM   #50
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

A thought to consider. Judo and boxing have weight classes for a reason.

Out in the real world, you probably don't have to worry much about smaller, weaker people attacking you (unless they have weapons, which is a whole other issue). It's the big guys you need to worry about, and that means that you're always going to be at a disadvantage in terms of physical power. Training can offset that, but only up to a point. Sugar Ray Leonard is never going to be able to go toe-to-toe with Muhammad Ali.

So maybe asking about how to get better at hitting is the wrong question. Maybe a more profitable inquiry would be to figure out why so many aikidoka -- some of them very senior and very well respected outside the art -- view hitting as unnecessary. Start from the assumption that they *aren't* all clueless bozos, and see where that takes you.

Katherine
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