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Old 05-07-2004, 03:21 AM   #1
domidude
Dojo: Kobayashi Dojos, Hungary
Location: Hungary
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atemi

is there any good way to practice atemi? like hitting a bag or something... i'd like to do some training at home for about an hour every morning, the warm up exercises do me good for about 1/2 hour, for weapons i'm not focused enough that early in the day. i just wonder because we never practice atemi alone in the dojo...
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Old 05-10-2004, 06:24 AM   #2
arderljohn
Dojo: Manila Aikido Club
Location: manila
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Re: atemi

Hi Dominick, i would like to share and tell you something about Atemi.if you dont mind, for me Atemi is a kind of destruction that cause an injured to the opponent. learning Atemi is like learning to destruct the opponent. and that will lead you to be strong physical and mentally fit. anyway, being a student of Aikido. we try to solve the situation according to the technique. and the momentum of the agressor anyhow, anything that cause destruction is against to the art of peacefulness. i'm not saying no to Atemi. but, it's better to concentrate in technique and postures. as you can see theirs a lot of kind of Atemi you can poke the eyes or stamp their feet even. kids can do that such thing it i they can punch and they can kick they can do Atemi to but doing a perfectly Technique and posture is more harder together with proper balance.
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Old 05-10-2004, 07:01 AM   #3
Tommy_S
Dojo: Aikido society Zagreb
Location: Zagreb
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Re: atemi

IMHO punching bag excercise is good only to practice the strength of the kicks/punches, but not so good for practicing technique because the punching bag can't return a punch (like a real person in sparring)......

BTW I know every Aikido dictionary says that atemi is a strike to a vital point, but I've never seen the list or a schematic of human body with these points....
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Old 05-10-2004, 07:09 AM   #4
Dario Rosati
Dojo: Zanshin - Milan
Location: Milan
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Re: atemi

Quote:
domidude wrote:
is there any good way to practice atemi? like hitting a bag or something... i'd like to do some training at home for about an hour every morning, the warm up exercises do me good for about 1/2 hour, for weapons i'm not focused enough that early in the day. i just wonder because we never practice atemi alone in the dojo...
Maybe because the atemi in Aikido *NEEDS* to be practiced with an Uke

The main purpose of atemi during training (as far as I've seen and understand... I'm a newbie so maybe it's not the real case, maybe a sensei reads this and states the thing correctly) is not to "hit hard"... rather to unbalance, to provoke an "instinctual" reaction which prepares the continuation of the tecnique, to show openings, to gain control (you're supposed to stop and not to harm your uke) and to show what's wrong in an execution of a tecnique by an Uke.... generally speaking, to give a deeper meaning to the tecnique.

This training should put you in the position of hitting/grappling/unbalancing/throwing/blocking hard someone without even noticing, if by misfortune you'll be confronted and forced to apply Aikido in a real situation.

This is why practicing atemi alone doesn't make much sense by an aikido perspective.

Comments from people more competent/skilled than me are welcome

--
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Old 05-10-2004, 07:16 AM   #5
villrg0a
 
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Re: atemi

IMHO punching bags will develop power but not speed, i believe aikido atemi should have that super fast speed (to distract and not to damage), work on snap jabs instead. Hang a letter size paper in front of you and do snap jabs without destroying the paper....good luck!
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Old 05-10-2004, 08:17 AM   #6
happysod
Dojo: Kiburn, London, UK
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Re: atemi

Quote:
to distract and not to damage
have to disagree here - a distraction isn't an atemi, it's a distraction. An atemi (however you wish to describe it) must have the intent to cause damage, even if the intent isn't realised.

John, join in here please, you've made a greater study of atemi than me..
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Old 05-10-2004, 09:24 AM   #7
SeiserL
 
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Re: atemi

IMHO, hitting a heavy bag builds power, hitting a speed bag builds speed, hitting a double-end bag builds accuracy with movement, hitting at paper or candles build focus, hitting through boards and brick builds calluses and broken fingers (just kidding), and hitting at tennis balls on a string build accuracy with movement if you tie the tennis balls at head, heart, and groin level. Don't forget shadow boxing, by walking threw your techniques including atemi. Wooden dummies can be fun and if you have a training partner focus mits are great. (JKD)

IMHO, while I agree the literal translation I think means a strike to a vital target, atemi can also be used to distract or unbalance if timed right. But, they must all be thrown with honest intent.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 05-10-2004, 10:38 AM   #8
Mark Balogh
Dojo: Mushinkan Dojo, Guildford
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Re: atemi

The best way I have found to practise atemi is to...

1) Understand the Atemi you are going to practise (which technique, the shape, angle, target and it's effect)

2) Practise with a partner (don't actually hit them! )

3) Once you have the feel for it, by yourself practise the movement slowly with full body co-ordination and breath, atemi is about feeling. Do this a little, a lot.

There are more advanced methods, involving circles etc but that should give you a good start.
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Old 05-10-2004, 11:14 AM   #9
aikidoc
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland Texas
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Re: atemi

I agree with Dario that practicing atemi needs to be done with a partner. If you choose to do it with actual strikes then protective padding would be advised. You can do it without landing; however, that is on par with scoring points in a karate kumite without landing punches. It trains the body to respond in a realistic fashion under actual combat (i.e., you might pull the atemi). There are practice dummies you can buy shaped like the human body however they are not realistic in they do not involve setting up the technique which is where the openings (suki occur).

Just some initial thoughts.
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Old 05-10-2004, 11:33 AM   #10
aikidoc
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
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Re: atemi

That should have read "unrealistic fashion". Atemi practice is of little use when not practicing actual stikes to openings in my opinion. However, one can train to effectively strike by practicing striking against a punching bag or punching dummy. It sometimes amazes me how few aikidoka really know how to deliver a strike or punch, or even use other parts of the body for atemi (elbow, knee, etc.). Many times they have not trained in a striking art. This also sometime affects their understanding of blocking an attack and striking pressure points when executing a block or blend.
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Old 05-10-2004, 12:15 PM   #11
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: atemi

Quote:
domidude wrote:
is there any good way to practice atemi? like hitting a bag or something... i'd like to do some training at home for about an hour every morning, the warm up exercises do me good for about 1/2 hour, for weapons i'm not focused enough that early in the day. i just wonder because we never practice atemi alone in the dojo...
There are so many systems for delivering impact techniques... most karate, boxing, muy thai, etc. tend to focus on delivering "knockout power" type impact techniques. Many of the Chinese styles use striking techniques which are better for close quarters striking which makes them very appropriate for use in Aikido. Hsing I wold be representative of this approach. It strives to deliver explosive power with a minmum of movement required. The nice thing about the Hsing I training is that much of it revolves around doing their forms which makes solo practice possible. If I wanted to focus on devloping my atemi waza I would find a way to do some Hsing I.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 05-10-2004, 12:33 PM   #12
kensparrow
Dojo: Methuen Aikido
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Re: atemi

I understand when people say that you should focus more on the technique than on atemi but I truly believe it's important to practice striking for a number of reasons:

1) The situation where a true hard contact atemi is required (i.e. outside the dojo and in big trouble).

2) For non-contact atemi safety. People who don't practice throwing (and controlling) strikes are MUCH more likely to hit you inadvertantly (shame on you for missing the block!) .

3) For non-contact atemi effectiveness. If it sounds like a duck and it smells like a duck... Uke isn't going to move (at least he or she shouldn't) just because you make some vague gesture at their face. A "fake" strike needs to look just like a real one in order to work and the only way to make it look real is to know how to really do it.

All that being said, I think Ms. Seiser's list of training methods is pretty complete. I always liked taping a piece of paper to a wall so it hangs 1/8" - 1/4" off the surface. Hitting the paper without hitting the wall helps develop a good kinesthetic sense. Start off doing it from a static stance and build up doing it while moving. Be careful though! You don't want to have to take time off from aikido because you broke your hand punching a wall! You could also buy a makiwara (padded striking board) from any martial arts store and use that instead of the bare wall.

Good luck.
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Old 05-11-2004, 04:31 AM   #13
foad
Location: Zagreb
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Re: atemi

Try to find something about acupuncture on the net and you will find many schemes of human body with vital points marked on them. that could help....
I agree with romuel that the purpose of atemi should be to distract the opponent from technique you are doing, and if atemi is placed on the vital point half job is done...
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Old 05-11-2004, 09:15 AM   #14
jxa127
Location: Harrisburg, PA
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Re: atemi

Hi all,

There are some excellent suggestions for practicing atemi. One thing that bothers me is that most of the responses in this thread deal with using atemi when performing as nage. However, uke must be able to perform good atemi as part of offering nage a good attack.

At the dojo I attend, we focus a lot of attention on giving proper strikes as uke. We do solo practice, much like weapons suburi, from time to time as well. This kind of practice has been very beneficial for me.

The purpose and form of strikes are different for nage and uke, but I think it's unwise to focus on just one role, but not the other.

Regards,

----
-Drew Ames
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Old 05-11-2004, 09:38 AM   #15
SeiserL
 
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Re: atemi

Quote:
Drew Ames wrote:
One thing that bothers me is that most of the responses in this thread deal with using atemi when performing as nage. However, uke must be able to perform good atemi as part of offering nage a good attack.
Totally agreed. Atemi is atemi is atemi. Learn to strike with honest intent and intensity as both uke and tori/nage.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 05-12-2004, 02:45 AM   #16
domidude
Dojo: Kobayashi Dojos, Hungary
Location: Hungary
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Question Re: atemi

At the dojo I attend, we focus a lot of attention on giving proper strikes as uke. We do solo practice...

...so, how do you practice atemi solo exactly?
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Old 05-17-2004, 06:22 PM   #17
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: atemi

I would suggest crosstraining in an art that focuses on punching and kicking. Anything will be sufficient so long as you have a good instructor. I would reccomend Chong Nhu or Enshin Karate as Chong Nhu incorporates Aikido in their curiculum and Enshin Karate has a lot of circular movements. Once you have practiced a striking art for a while then you can incorporate this into your Aikido training, making it smooth and flowing. It is important to understand that atemi is more than punching and kicking. A kiss on the cheek is a wonderful atemi.

Lyle Laizure
www.hinodedojo.com
Deru kugi wa uta reru
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Old 05-18-2004, 04:19 AM   #18
tranhanguyen
Dojo: Hoang Van Thu, HCMC
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Re: atemi

Hi everyone,

I have noticed that with some techniques, it's very difficult to take uke's balance if we don't use an atemi. But practicing it? I think everyone practices atemi when they pose as uke for others, attack with a strike (shomen or yokomen). If atemi is about hitting one certain point with acuracy and speed, then every single movement with our arms is practice for atemi. I mean we train until we can master the move of our arms and hands with accurate velocity, then there's no need to "practice atemi" anymore.
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Old 05-18-2004, 08:42 AM   #19
jxa127
Location: Harrisburg, PA
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Re: atemi

Quote:
dominick saxon wrote:
At the dojo I attend, we focus a lot of attention on giving proper strikes as uke. We do solo practice...

...so, how do you practice atemi solo exactly?
The same way we practice solo sword or jo strikes.

Regards,

----
-Drew Ames
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Old 05-18-2004, 10:04 PM   #20
Ian Williams
Location: Adelaide, Australia
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Re: atemi

Quote:
Lyle Laizure wrote:
A kiss on the cheek is a wonderful atemi.

Smoochie-waza?

I like it
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Old 05-21-2004, 07:43 AM   #21
Steven Scott
Dojo: Ki Shin Tai Aikido Kan
Location: Kilmarnock
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Scotland
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Re: atemi

Hi Dominick,

Before studying Aikido, I trained for twelve years in Shukokai Karate. During that time I learned how to punch and kick correctly, accurately, and with a lot of power against strike pads, focus mitts and punch bags (unfortunately, against people as well I may add).

I can safely say that all that training in striking has served me no useful purpose as effective Atemi whatsoever.

I do not encourage any of my students to actively participate in the pursuit of strong striking methods, but rather to look at why they feel these methods are necessary. Then, by analysing the need for these methods, they are encouraged to seek out alternative means of achieving the same result without resorting to destructive means.

I use the term 'Mental Atemi' regularly in my classes in an attempt to draw away the feelings of a strong powerful strike to take an opponent center. An effective strike (call it a feint or bluff if you will) that takes an opponents mind is even better than one which physically changes someones actual body. It can take longer to recover from mental confusion than physical pain.

In the past (and still today) I have lost count of the amount of times I have to correct a student by reminding them that you cannot perform Shiho Nage when an Uke is doubled over or falling backward. At this moment they are out of your control and while you may gain a few seconds, you also step their levels of anger and desire to strike you back harder several notches up the chart.

An atemi does not need to connect to be effective, although I do concede that on occasions it may be the only means left. yet I would also question why it is so necessary to practice strong atemi, if the power and devastation is all that is required to make a technique work, and that is your favoured response to an attack then why not follow a striking art instead. As an example: 1) you bump your hand and immediately withdraw it, it hurts but you can continue on with your life. 2) You are walking along the street away from the car park and think 'did I turn the lights on the car off' , you spend several minutes running through the post-parking check in your mind and take a few steps forward, then go over it again, then walk on a little, then go over it again and finally retrace your steps to actually look at the car and make sure - all in all about ten minutes to recover from a neat little mental 'car light hip throw'. We have all experienced this in some respect. While this is of a different context, it is the recovery time I wish to highlight here. Physical pain is momentary yet mental confusion lasts much longer.


Aikido gives you the tools for your own path, it gives you the key to complete control or total devastation, but ultimately it is your responsibility for your actions.
When I studied striking arts all i could do was block, punch and kick, responding with the fight or flight (usually fight) style of thought. Through Aikido, that window of responses has been immeasurably broadened.

Atemi should be a tool for use in your Aikido, not a means to an end. Aikido will not function correctly if you have to stop your movement and use proper hip power generation to land a powerful strike in to a vulnerable spot on a relatively small target. Yet we can readily perform tai no henka while passing our hand across the vision of the attacker as an atemi and still achieve extremely effective Aikido.

Yours in Aiki
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