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Old 10-02-2003, 10:18 AM   #1
Dojo: North Bay Aikido
Location: Santa Cruz
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 12
Freaky! Atemi


There's nothing like an elbow to the temple or a smack in the face to get your awareness working. However, I have noticed that recently my sempai have been targeting my face more than usual. At first I understood the lesson in my openings and have been working on keeping my head back, not only during ukemi but nage-waza also. But the more I get hit, and the more people who fixate on wanting that atemi, the more it affects my training and the enjoyment I feel training with all people. I'm noticing I cringe when bowing to certain people now. Motomichi Anno Sensei says hurting people intentionally in Aikido "to teach them a lesson" is not always aiki. I wonder about
that and hope someone out there can help me understand this better. What's up with that!!??


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Old 10-02-2003, 10:59 AM   #2
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
Without being there its hard to say. In the yoshinkan, atemi are often part of the techniques. Uke is taught to block and move the target(for instance, your face), which yeilds the unbalancing that is part of the technique. Even when I practice other styles, I tend to always be ready for the odd shot to the face.

I bet if you block and move (2 levels of protection) you won't get hit much at all. If someone then doesn't continue the technique, but continues to try to punch around the block and find you as a target, then hit them back...they aren't playing fair.


(and I have seen people do this. Believe me, they stop when you clock them once or twice)

Last edited by Ron Tisdale : 10-02-2003 at 11:01 AM.

Ron Tisdale
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 10-02-2003, 11:10 AM   #3
Janet Rosen
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Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,339
Have you tried ASKING your instructor about it?

Janet Rosen
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 10-02-2003, 11:50 AM   #4
Dojo: Sand Drift Aikikai, Cocoa Florida
Location: Melbourne, Florida
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 824

Are you becoming more skilled? I know that the more we move up in ranks, the more that is expected of us.

We often atemi, and occaisionally someone gets hit. It's not done in a malicious way and if someone gets it its accidental. I noticed more atemis after my 5th kyu test and, as a 3rd kyu and 4 years of training, I expect it.

Also you can ask your partner during (or after class if your sensei doesn't allow any talking) how to avoid the atemi. There could be many reasons such as your not properly extended, your not guarding your center, your following the technique in a strange way thereby opening yourself up, or your not responding to the hand in your face. If its the latter you need to block it or get your face out of the way by leaning back. There could be other reasons.

Anne Marie Giri
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Old 10-03-2003, 05:13 AM   #5
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 768
Not to discount what others have suggested, but
I'm noticing I cringe when bowing to certain people now.
Are you having a fear response/reaction to getting hit?


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Old 10-06-2003, 12:34 PM   #6
Dojo: North Bay Aikido
Location: Santa Cruz
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 12
Thanks all for your valuable input. I have made several wonderful discoveries while exploring this topic. First, I am advancing, will be taking my nikkyu exam this month. I now believe that something is manifesting itself on the mat to show me certain impurities in my training. Taking time to recognize this has allowed me to grow a little. Although to a certain degree I should be cautious of maliciousness on the mat, I do not believe I should be afraid to train with the partners who choose to challenge me.

I was having a fear response to being hit, and now am trying to understand what it is I'm not seeing. Whether it's being more connected, centered, flexible or whatever, the universe has given me an atemi, or an opportunity if you will, to find out.


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