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Old 06-24-2014, 06:12 PM   #51
Mert Gambito
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Quote:
Arno Hist wrote:
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.
Yeah, I don't care for the article either. For example, I'm trying to make heads and tails out of this: "Daito-ryu aikijujutsu is one such splinter style that has somehow managed to adhere to the traditional teachings of its core style forerunner (daito-ryu) and its predecessor (aiki)."

That said, I agree that in general that Daito-ryu incorporates ample striking (at that, striking is a subset of atemi utilized in Daito-ryu): for example, it's utilized throughout the Hiden Mokuroku techniques, if one requires a canned reference (sample waza: http://youtu.be/bvla9IRwtb8), and the body movements built on spiraling set up ample opportunities for striking in free-form application. As with any art, the efficacy of the strikes depends on the degree to which the atemi-waza is applied and tested with resistance within and outside of the waza.

Mert
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Old 06-25-2014, 12:24 AM   #52
Mert Gambito
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
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,

You don't have to name names (though that would help for context, if you're so inclined), but is this to say that these senior aikidoka view hitting as never being necessary in any scenario within or outside of the dojo, up to and including self defense? I'm asking for clarification because the OP is putting a premium on atemi for effectiveness outside of the cooperative confines of much of modern aikido.

Setting aside arts and styles, if someone's not willing to at least do something common sense like stomp on someone's foot or poke an eye to help get out of harm's way and see the next sunrise, well, good luck with that.

Mert
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:17 AM   #53
lbb
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
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.
I agree with your observation on who's likely to attack you, but I'm not sure I agree with your conclusion. There are weight classes in judo and boxing because size is a significant advantage over the course of a regulated match. If you must continue to stand up against a boxer who outweighs you (thus, all other things being equal, produces a more powerful punch) and outreaches you (thus, all other things being equal, lands more punches) for the duration of 12 three-minute rounds, the outcome is less in doubt with each successive encounter.

So, I don't think the size advantage of a likely attacker means that "getting better at hitting" is a useless pursuit if you practice aikido. The problem is in how you go about it, and what you hope to gain from it. It is like any other skill: to be effective, you need a good teacher and a lot of practice. It isn't the function of an aikido dojo to provide the instructional and practice time to serve that need -- even if you have senseis or members who have good striking skills (and many dojos do), that would have the effect of robbing the aikido practice.

As for striking being "unnecessary", that's kind of an odd way to put it. Necessary for what? Unless you qualify that, ultimately nothing is "necessary", not even oxygen -- it's just that without it, there are certain consequences. The same is true of striking skills. I have no doubt that many aikidoka view striking as unnecessary, and also no doubt that for at least some of them, it's true -- their aikido is good enough to be the only tool they need if they are attacked. For the rest of us, I think it's wise to consider how to do effective atemi. That does not have to mean learning how to administer a knockout punch, but it does mean going beyond vague and ineffective hand-waving.
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:17 AM   #54
Hilary
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

So Mert what you are really saying is that you would resort to a two fingered eye poke to pull your nyuck nyucks out of the ringer? I call that the Niagra Falls defense…slowly I turn...
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:26 AM   #55
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

It is an interesting point being made about weight classes. In boxing training generally you don't really put too much thought into the weight class of your sparring partners and the same is true for judo. In the latter, where I was weight class only started playing a role in grading competitions after nidan. I would think that there is good reason to train with bigger and stronger partners no matter if you goal is competition or self defense.

The other point, I think already mentioned, is that striking evolved differently in Japanese jujutsu. Percussive strikes are somewhat foreign and tend to be delivered during the course of the encounter (i.e.. after connection has been made) rather than an exchange/avoidance of blows. IMHO trying to graft boxing punches onto aikido is self defeating and would cause a degradation in both.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-25-2014, 11:40 AM   #56
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

I have heard several individuals make the qualified claim that the explicit use of atemi is not required to train aikido, provided uke respected the implied use of atemi. George Ledyard's article on striking still remains one of the best articles on atemi; in it he not only advocates for its presence in aikido, but outlines the uses of atemi in training. Separating the absence of striking knowledge from the abstinence of striking is important, too.

Second, I think there is distinction between [your] ability to receive force and [your] ability to exert force. Striking is an exertion of force. The assumption of predatory response is going to suggest that victim selection is based upon a favorable odds of success. To avoid victimization, we do what we can to tips the odds. Striking is a tactic can can do this, independent of our ability to receive abuse during the attack.

Third, the physical advantages of size and power are important considerations. The separation of weight and power is common not just in combat sports, but athletics in general. Also, there is also separation by experience in combat sports and athletics. So we are not just claiming that you cannot be bigger or stronger, but also more experienced. We sometimes do not give this the proper consideration because a PR point of aikido is the fact that "size does not matter."

Aikido is a creative solution to deal with that fact that God cursed me to be average size, which puts me on the radar for predators. The best I can do is work towards keeping that scale tipped in my favor.

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Old 06-25-2014, 12:12 PM   #57
kewms
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Mert Gambito wrote: View Post
You don't have to name names (though that would help for context, if you're so inclined), but is this to say that these senior aikidoka view hitting as never being necessary in any scenario within or outside of the dojo, up to and including self defense? I'm asking for clarification because the OP is putting a premium on atemi for effectiveness outside of the cooperative confines of much of modern aikido.

Setting aside arts and styles, if someone's not willing to at least do something common sense like stomp on someone's foot or poke an eye to help get out of harm's way and see the next sunrise, well, good luck with that.
I don't think any of the teachers I have in mind would object to foot stomps or eye pokes. OTOH, I don't think they would devote a lot of dojo time to teaching eye pokes, either.

Which is sort of my point. Aikido is not karate. Even in the most atemi-focused dojos, striking is seen as a way to facilitate the successful application of *aikido* techniques and principles, not as an end in itself. Perhaps the OP's time would be better spent figuring out why that is the case.

In my own experience, having the positioning and alignment that I would need to strike successfully dramatically reduces the chance that I will actually need to use an atemi. So I see the OP's focus on inflicting damage as somewhat missing the point of atemi in the aikido context.

Katherine
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Old 06-25-2014, 12:17 PM   #58
kewms
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
As for striking being "unnecessary", that's kind of an odd way to put it. Necessary for what? Unless you qualify that, ultimately nothing is "necessary", not even oxygen -- it's just that without it, there are certain consequences. The same is true of striking skills. I have no doubt that many aikidoka view striking as unnecessary, and also no doubt that for at least some of them, it's true -- their aikido is good enough to be the only tool they need if they are attacked. For the rest of us, I think it's wise to consider how to do effective atemi. That does not have to mean learning how to administer a knockout punch, but it does mean going beyond vague and ineffective hand-waving.
Absolutely agree. I think my point is that you don't get to a place where striking is unnecessary by focusing on how to break boards (or jaws). What role does atemi play in successful technique? If teacher X takes out (overt) atemi and his technique still works, what's going on?

Katherine
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Old 06-25-2014, 12:20 PM   #59
kewms
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Peter Rehse wrote: View Post
It is an interesting point being made about weight classes. In boxing training generally you don't really put too much thought into the weight class of your sparring partners and the same is true for judo. In the latter, where I was weight class only started playing a role in grading competitions after nidan. I would think that there is good reason to train with bigger and stronger partners no matter if you goal is competition or self defense.
Oh, I agree. But one of the things you learn by doing that is that strength and (physical) power don't help much if the other person has more of them, and therefore relying on them in a self defense situation is extremely unwise.

Katherine
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Old 06-25-2014, 12:23 PM   #60
kewms
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
I have heard several individuals make the qualified claim that the explicit use of atemi is not required to train aikido, provided uke respected the implied use of atemi. George Ledyard's article on striking still remains one of the best articles on atemi; in it he not only advocates for its presence in aikido, but outlines the uses of atemi in training. Separating the absence of striking knowledge from the abstinence of striking is important, too.
Full disclosure: I currently train at Ledyard Sensei's dojo.

Ob disclaimer: My opinions are my own, and he may or may not agree with them.

Katherine
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Old 06-25-2014, 12:42 PM   #61
kewms
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
Second, I think there is distinction between [your] ability to receive force and [your] ability to exert force. Striking is an exertion of force. The assumption of predatory response is going to suggest that victim selection is based upon a favorable odds of success. To avoid victimization, we do what we can to tips the odds. Striking is a tactic can can do this, independent of our ability to receive abuse during the attack.
Not sure I follow this. If you're in a situation where striking is appropriate, victim selection has already occurred: the attacker is within striking range and has committed some overtly threatening act.

Katherine
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Old 06-25-2014, 01:01 PM   #62
Blue Buddha
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Mert Gambito wrote: View Post
Katherine,

You don't have to name names (though that would help for context, if you're so inclined), but is this to say that these senior aikidoka view hitting as never being necessary in any scenario within or outside of the dojo, up to and including self defense? I'm asking for clarification because the OP is putting a premium on atemi for effectiveness outside of the cooperative confines of much of modern aikido.

Setting aside arts and styles, if someone's not willing to at least do something common sense like stomp on someone's foot or poke an eye to help get out of harm's way and see the next sunrise, well, good luck with that.
Exactly this, "outside of the cooperative confines of much of modern aikido".

What I find interesting is that even in the internal CMA, the element of striking exists. And it is a really a big misconception (not a criticism addressed to anyone in this thread, just an observation) to assert that not striking is a philosophical/spiritual thing and this seems one of the things that might make many aikidokas (especially beginners) feel in a way "morally superior".

Bringing in the senior aikidokas, I think it avoids the question. In this example we can talk about an "attacker" who is also senior in another fighting system, and to my understanding people who reach a certain level in their MA training become more understanding/wise towards the triviality of a street fight...Senior aikidokas are another breed. Since the post has to do with a self defence situation, it makes little sense to talk about a 10 year long education, just to achieve (only) that skill set.

Regarding "the cooperative confines": It is broadly accepted, that outside the cooperative confines of the JJJ dojos, 2nd belts in BJJ can successfully take down black belts in JJJ. Even Randori is strictly outlined. Personally, I do not have any boxing skills, but I do have a strong sense of balance and used to have a very good awareness (both skills gained from my former Cheng Hsin training). Now, I am pretty sure, if I protect my balance and raise my awareness and start boxing, very few Shodans in my dojo will be able to defend properly. In a recent training in the dojo, with knife attacks, the nage could simply not perform the technique, because I didn't want to give my balance away. And you know what the nage said? I was not "committed" enough.. Apparently, the cooperative confines of Aikido need an uke who has no sense of their body, balance and improvisation abilities. and this is called "committed". In my dictionary, committed means a person who does all they can in their abilities to perform something. And giving my balance away, or leaving my hand/arm hanging forever (instead of pulling back) for nage to grab is not commitment. It is illusion. I know this will come back to the necessity of Kata discussion, but the problem is that even in Randori, neither real commitment nor real atemi is used.

I read recently an account of the fight between Wong Jack Man (Northern Saolin) and Bruce Lee (Wing Chun) The essence I gained from it was the actual moral superiority of Wong who (apparently) could use his system's more offensive techniques, but decided not to do so. And this is a behaviour from someone trained in a hard, physical, external style. (http://www.kungfu.net/brucelee.html)

I think it was Jon who noted in a neighbouring thread that Aikido is an education and its ethos comes from those who teach it. I used to consider the hard arts, without any ethos, but I was wrong. The fact that a more aggressive group of people was/is drown to them does not diminish their quality (I am talking about the eastern MA external and internal).

To me the only valid point that can be made, is in terms of the integration of striking to the mechanics of the Aikido movement. If it degrades the other aspects of the art, it obviously has no place in it. But I cannot express any opinion on that as I am not that advanced.

Sorry for the long post. Rainy day.
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Old 06-25-2014, 01:08 PM   #63
kewms
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Arno Hist wrote: View Post
Now, I am pretty sure, if I protect my balance and raise my awareness and start boxing, very few Shodans in my dojo will be able to defend properly. In a recent training in the dojo, with knife attacks, the nage could simply not perform the technique, because I didn't want to give my balance away. And you know what the nage said? I was not "committed" enough.. Apparently, the cooperative confines of Aikido need an uke who has no sense of their body, balance and improvisation abilities. and this is called "committed". In my dictionary, committed means a person who does all they can in their abilities to perform something. And giving my balance away, or leaving my hand/arm hanging forever (instead of pulling back) for nage to grab is not commitment. It is illusion. I know this will come back to the necessity of Kata discussion, but the problem is that even in Randori, neither real commitment nor real atemi is used.
And here we come back to the difference between the limitations of your own dojo and the limits of the art itself. Aikido does not require that uke be an idiot. If your dojo does, then you need to be training somewhere else.

(With the caveat, of course, that uke should tune his attack to the level of his partner.)

Katherine
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Old 06-25-2014, 01:14 PM   #64
Blue Buddha
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
So I see the OP's focus on inflicting damage as somewhat missing the point of atemi in the aikido context.
Katherine
My point is precisely what was noted on the post just above yours, "Separating the absence of striking knowledge from the abstinence of striking is important, too."

We don't have to dwell in a fragmental either/or mental place, where it is either ethereal, circular, graceful movements or damage, destruction, incapacitation.
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Old 06-25-2014, 01:14 PM   #65
kewms
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Arno Hist wrote: View Post
Since the post has to do with a self defence situation, it makes little sense to talk about a 10 year long education, just to achieve (only) that skill set.
Well, it doesn't make any sense to talk about "self defense situations" as a general class at all, since the number of variables is so huge. Skills that are perfectly adequate to handle a belligerent drunk in a bar might fail completely against an armed assailant in a domestic violence or home invasion scenario.

Katherine
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Old 06-25-2014, 01:34 PM   #66
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Not sure I follow this. If you're in a situation where striking is appropriate, victim selection has already occurred: the attacker is within striking range and has committed some overtly threatening act.

Katherine
Not necessarily. There is the obvious action that I may initiate the strike as a preemptive means of controlling the situation. Also, just because the preventive decision did not come out in your favor doesn't mean you cannot strive to change back those odds to your favor.

If you fail the initial preventative decision (i.e. you are attacked), there still exists a duration of time during the attack when you can deter the attack (i.e. fight back). The duration of time is dependent upon your ability to withstand punishment before you become incapacitated (or the attack ends). This is your "self-defense" time. The focus of your actions has shifted from preventing an attack to deterring the continuation of an attack. It is during this period you have an opportunity to convince the attacker the cost is greater than the benefit (i.e. stop attacking).

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Old 06-25-2014, 02:15 PM   #67
kewms
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
Not necessarily. There is the obvious action that I may initiate the strike as a preemptive means of controlling the situation.
This might be tactically desirable, but puts you on pretty shaky legal ground. If you initiate the strike, it is no longer "self defense."

Katherine
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Old 06-25-2014, 02:16 PM   #68
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Mr. Hist

Step 1: Stop training aikido for the next ten years.

Step 2: Spend these ten years training seriously in judo and boxing; you'll obtain the foundational physical and psychological skills and attributes required.

Step 3: Go back to aikido.

And that's all you need.

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Old 06-25-2014, 02:25 PM   #69
Janet Rosen
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
In my own experience, having the positioning and alignment that I would need to strike successfully dramatically reduces the chance that I will actually need to use an atemi.
That's how I feel. At each moment, is my position and structure optimal relative to my partner? If I *could* attack well, then yes. If my *partner* could attack well, then no.

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Old 06-25-2014, 02:25 PM   #70
Hilary
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Ok this has really turned into everybody defining boundaries for what they think Aikido is and is not. What’s in the club or not, and under what circumstances, and do they have their passports? Can you say Balkanization. We have so much hair splitting going on I find this thread in dire need of some serious conditioner; Fructis anyone?

In our little corner of the tent we think if you maintain one point, if you put no power at the point of contact, if you remain loose, relaxed and follow the principles, it is aikido no matter if you are engaging in randori, drinking a cup of tea or wrangling a toddler. Aikido is a state of body, mind, and being, not a collection of techniques that may or may not include the forbidden dance.

Yes most basic atemi is utilized to control rather than damage uke, but a knee to face half way through kaiten nage really refreshes my day; why the limitations. As to atemi I always liked this guy and he smiles the whole way through. I bet he serves cake at the end of class.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ut2ttM10Wik
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Old 06-25-2014, 03:31 PM   #71
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Oh, I agree. But one of the things you learn by doing that is that strength and (physical) power don't help much if the other person has more of them, and therefore relying on them in a self defense situation is extremely unwise.
Well, yeah, but striking doesn't rely on strength and physical power -- not if you're doing it right. Ref. the point I made earlier: you don't have to be very strong or hit someone very hard, if you hit them in the right place.
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Old 06-25-2014, 07:50 PM   #72
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
But one of the things you learn by doing that is that strength and (physical) power don't help much if the other person has more of them, and therefore relying on them in a self defense situation is extremely unwise.

Katherine
Hi Katherine,

The point that I would like to make is that whilst it's fair to say that atemi striking is effective with strong physical power, that is not true in all cases. Atemi points are the weakest points in the body and injuring them does not in all cases need a great deal of force. In Atemi Jujitsu we are trained to strike at the side of the kneecap with a Muay Thai styled kick which needs very little force to take someone's kneecap off. Ribs are often easily broken with the correct style of punch where the knuckles pass between the ribs and enter the rib cage. Throat striking is another effective use of Atemi.

Whilst it's not Aikido I am aware of a young female who used her Hapkido training (Hapkido like Aikido being from the family tree of Daito Ryu Jujitsu) to defend herself against a rape situation in a local park. She with not a great deal of strength applied a finger lock that broke the assailants fingers, hand, wrist and dislocated the shoulder. She was in tears afterwards, not because someone had tried to assault her, but because of the physical damage that she had done to this person. Granted fingerlocks are not strikes, but they are a good example of atemi used in the correct way for self defence purposes.
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Old 06-26-2014, 05:18 AM   #73
Mert Gambito
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Arno,

I'll propose the following to you, as my final, final corollary here.

Granted, the aiki greats who learned from Sokaku Takeda were typically versed in multiple budo and/or bujutsu: they were in general well-rounded martial artists. Yet, once they attained high-level efficacy with Daito-ryu IP/aiki, that was all she wrote. Those body skills within their respective flavors of the art had everything inherently needed for goshin-jutsu, and techniques were spontaneously "born", to cite Ueshiba, as necessary to readily dispatch any challenger/uke, regardless of that other person's skill set. Yeah, it sounds like hyperbole, but once you've met people who are living proof that it's not -- well, the choice is yours.

Yet, you suggested this might be too much time and effort earlier. Heck, isn't it a lot easier to train in one thing (the way of aiki), than too many arts simultaneously?

Mert
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:25 AM   #74
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Thank you all fot your input. I have more than enough material to think about. In the long run if I could choose only one art (that i had access too), Aikido would be it and it most likely will be. I am hoping that with time, its shortcomings (in relation to my needs) will start to fade away. I might wait a couple of years to become shodan, and see if this changes my perspective on things.
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Old 06-26-2014, 09:48 AM   #75
Cliff Judge
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Re: Introduction + The missing Atemi

Quote:
Mert Gambito wrote: View Post
Yeah, I don't care for the article either. For example, I'm trying to make heads and tails out of this: "Daito-ryu aikijujutsu is one such splinter style that has somehow managed to adhere to the traditional teachings of its core style forerunner (daito-ryu) and its predecessor (aiki)."

That said, I agree that in general that Daito-ryu incorporates ample striking (at that, striking is a subset of atemi utilized in Daito-ryu): for example, it's utilized throughout the Hiden Mokuroku techniques, if one requires a canned reference (sample waza: http://youtu.be/bvla9IRwtb8), and the body movements built on spiraling set up ample opportunities for striking in free-form application. As with any art, the efficacy of the strikes depends on the degree to which the atemi-waza is applied and tested with resistance within and outside of the waza.
I think it is pertinent to note that the mechanics of deliving power in these strikes - just speaking at an external, muscles-and-skeleton level here - are different than the mechanics of deliving a punch the way one is taught in a puglisitic style.

The point being, teaching the body to hit is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Good Aikido training should teach you how to move into relationships with your partner where you could deliver an effective atemi if you needed to.
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