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Old 11-02-2005, 06:49 PM   #26
Upyu
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Re: Being able to take atemi for real

Only way to learn to hit, is to hit someone.
Only way to learn to take a hit is to take one
Think its about as simple as you can get.
Tho, if you want an idea on exercises that deal with this in an "intelligent" manner you might want
to check out the systema drills.
Most of those guys can take pretty hardcore body shots that would floor most people.
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Old 11-03-2005, 10:56 AM   #27
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Being able to take atemi for real

I just wanted to add that getting hit can be oddly refreshing.

kvaak
Pauliina
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Old 11-04-2005, 10:44 PM   #28
Shannon Frye
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Re: Being able to take atemi for real

Ben,
I agree that being hit will definitely make you take a sec to regroup (mentally and physically). Training in styles that strike (like Muay Thai) may lessen your recovery time. If unexpected, any atemi (regardless of your training art) can rock your world. Having trained in Muay thai, I can appreciate how hard hitting the training was. In Shaolin Snake style, we often trained the body to take a hit...even to "bait with the body", in order to open the opponent for a more favorable attack.

I think that each art has something to offer ...like pieces in a puzzle. First, know what your puzzle should look like, then train for each piece. Some people complete their puzzle with one art. My puzzle has many pieces, the most recent being aikido.

Shannon
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Old 11-06-2005, 12:21 AM   #29
Michael Varin
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Re: Being able to take atemi for real

David and Chris make good points. I strongly suggest all martial artists spend some time kickboxing and grappling, not to become boxers or wrestlers, but to better understand various techniques and why they may be employed. While a good, solid punch can be devastating and a rear naked choke is as good a finishing technique as there is, one will soon learn that most bare hand techniques are far from fight enders and that the body can absorb much more than we think it can. On the other hand, a stick, a knife, a bullet, certainly a sword can dole out more punishment in one blow than the body can take. Absorbing the blow in these situations is simply not an option. I'm not trying to present an excuse for those that don't train with contact. I just think it's important to understand that the realm of martial arts extends well beyond a one on one bare hand fight. Either way, developing a calm, composed mind is the most essential aspect of effectiveness.

Michael
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Old 11-06-2005, 03:07 AM   #30
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Being able to take atemi for real

For me these things are important to, but it depends on your goals. It is not necessary to study these things if your goal is budo. I sound like a broken record, but we talk about effectiveness and I am not sure we all have the same definition or perspective on it. Empty hand martial arts, in general have very narrow and limited value on martial effectiveness, IMHO. There are many, many other more valuable reasons for studying martial arts, BJJ, or what not than the few paltry "effective" skills you will garner from them.

I just point that out because many times aikidoka, especially inexperienced ones will grow confused listening to all the information that is being put out about MA etc.

I think it is important to me to study atemi, grappling, and what not. It may be important to many of us. However, it is important to me for my own reasons of personal growth. I

I would tend to agree with you. Just want to point out, that this thread in anyway does not mean that aikido is a "lacking or incomplete art".
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Old 11-06-2005, 09:48 AM   #31
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Re: Being able to take atemi for real

Great post David,

We dealt with this sort of situation just a couple weeks ago in training. The ability to acknowledge the effect of negative forces on the mind/body (aggression, intimidation, strikes, becoming tired etc.) but be unfettered by it and not allow these things to take one's mind away to a place of "head in the sand", internal self absorption at the expense of denying what is happening externally (i.e. the attack). It's also interesting to see that the most ego-centred individuals in the dojo tend to be the ones who react most dramatically to being struck etc.

This sort of mind/body training however is fundamental to training in Budo imho. One must learn to transcend the small self and deal with the "real" in a constructive, centred manner without collapsing in mind or body and this is an intrinsic part of Aikido as Budo imo.

With regards to taking hits, I think the tactical paradigm of Aikido requires a level of awareness that should minimiize the possibility of getting hit, but it is still a possibility. As such I don't agree too much with static desensitisation of the body by being hit continuously, but it is good for one to understand what it is like to be hit and more importantly, observe how one reacts to being hit and then seek to develop that base reaction into something constructive and usable, keeping in mind one's goals for training in Aikido as Budo. To me, Budo requires one to get deep inside martial reality and the vagaries of human conflict to come out with a greater and more skillful understanding of how to "stop the spear" (one translation of Budo) by fully understanding the nature of the spear itself. This is part of the forging and evolution process imho.

Quote:
Pauliina wrote:
I just wanted to add that getting hit can be oddly refreshing.
So true - like being doused in the cold water of misogi under a waterfall, it can bring great clarity.

LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 11-06-2005, 09:51 AM   #32
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Re: Being able to take atemi for real

This may sound like this should be in a different thread but for me it is the "for real" of the subject line that makes the following related.

It may be true that Budo does not see martial effectiveness as the end of training, however it is not true that Budo can do away with martial effectiveness as a means of training. It is true that the self or that self-cultivation is the object of Budo training, but we should note that that self-cultivation happens as the technology of martial science is being used as a tool for reflection and reconciliation. In other words, how real your martial science is going to be, that is how real your reflection and reconciliation is going to be in Budo. How effective your martial attributes are, that is how effective your efforts at self-cultivation are going to be. How deeply you penetrate the issues of how to use your own physicality in combat is how deeply you penetrate the Self in Budo. How real your fighting technolgies are, that is how real your Budo is as a technology of the Self. This is why Budo is not tea or calligraphy.

Hence, if we get stuck on our small self when we are hit, if we go egocentric when we are struck, our capacity for selflessness is equally perturbed by other types of energy that tempt us or lure us or similiarly force us to act egocentrically (i.e. an attachment to self, a lack of selflessness, an incapacity for love, wisdom, compassion, etc.) Thus, these things (Budo and "learning" how to take strikes, etc.) go together, or at least should. Hence, I wouldn't say that our individual goals in our training should come to determine whether such things are relative or not. Budo is Budo and in that it is a matter of using a martial edge to hone the Self. What is varied, however, is at what level we may want to do this at. That I would say is entirely a personal matter. We will all seek to penetrate the mysteries of the Self at our own levels.

I'm not sure I'm understanding you correctly, but in our arrest and control training, it comes out pretty clear that one's efficiency in using weapons (from less than lethal to lethal) is greatly supported - even DEPENDENT - upon one's skill at hand to hand combat. There is a strategic support between hand to hand and weapons tactics - kind of like how a ground game can support a standing game (or vice versa) or how atemi can support a throw (or vice versa), etc. Thus, I would tend not to agree with statements that suggest that hand to hand combat training is not so related to martial effectiveness even if one wants to talk about the "grand scheme of things."

David M. Valadez
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Old 11-06-2005, 09:57 AM   #33
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Re: Being able to take atemi for real

Sorry. Forgot to add:

I would say that every art is incomplete. That every art to some degree comes to us as a specialization - which means that every art comes to us as a fabrication that can only be manifested through exclusion. The issue here is that it is impossible to understand - to truly understand - a specialty of anything until one can penetrate to the greater whole of which it belongs. This means that no matter what the art, one is going to have to do a hell of a lot of "reverse engineering" and/or "piecing together" in order to see what is behind and/or underneath or being covered by what is on top, and this they must do in order to truly understand what is in front, on top, and most obviously visible. In the end then, I would tend to say that every art is incomplete but for the human being that seeks to complete it via his/her own efforts at self-completion.

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Old 11-06-2005, 01:11 PM   #34
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Re: Being able to take atemi for real

David,

I think i am following your post and I believe I am agree with it.

The hard part with martial effectiveness is measuring it against something.

For a police officer it is pretty clear I believe. You can study a very distilled and focused defensive tactics designed to be "martially effective" for your job. It is scenario and situationally based.

I think for budo it is much different. In the refinement of self and character, martially effective takes on a whole other meaning. You concentrate on exercises, kata, and methods that seek to help you understand the all the principles that surround budo. A much broader canvas.

So, IMHO, if you come to a traditional martial arts dojo, like most aikido dojo are and are comparing the methodologies and focus against a "for real scenario", I think you definitely come up short since this is not the intent of budo...even though, as I believe you are stating the basis of budo needs to be very real. There is a big difference between real (principle based) and effective.

I am very keen on this now as the U.S. Army has gone head first into combatives. We don't really study them so much to become "martially effective" but to instill a sense of warriorship, really the same goals as budo.

I do agree that their is a huge connection between all use of force applications from weapons to hand to hand. Even employing 50 cal sniper rifles from a distance. The army thinks so! Alot of it has to do with the whole BUDO thing!

It is a very tricky subject to discuss. I like this topic, it is very rationally and intelligently being discussed!

Thanks!
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Old 11-06-2005, 03:14 PM   #35
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Re: Being able to take atemi for real

May I suggest the "Three Stooges": bob, weave, and duck.
(Or is that really the "Three Wise Men"?)

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 11-06-2005, 03:40 PM   #36
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Re: Being able to take atemi for real

Hi Kevin,

Thanks for the reply -- good one. Much appreciation.

I too imagine we would agree on these things -- even all of them. However, it's nice to be able to think these things through with the help of another who can act as a point of reflection. Thus, please allow me to continue a bit with some of the things I've been thinking about lately…

On the issue of "martially effective" being difficult to measure, etc.: Perhaps I could note here that though something is difficult, it does not mean that it is irrelevant or that it could be thought of as irrelevant. Difficulty would only imply that more careful consideration is required, not that we can or should learn to do without something.

I would agree that for a law enforcement agent things are scenario and situation-based, however, I would like to note that those scenarios and/or situations could actually consist of anything. In other words, the Infinite is possible. This would be no different for the civilian. The "job" of law enforcement does not reduce the immense and unpredictable nature of what all would go into being "martially effective." To be martially effective on the job, a law enforcement agent has to be capable of addressing the Infinity that underlies all scenarios and situations. This is what the civilian, the martial artist, must also do -- even if that is only going to take place in a dojo.

This is important, if you will allow me to say up front, because it is only through the Infinite that we find our own inner Self -- which is itself a part of the Infinite. So, how can we, and how should we measure "martial effectiveness"? By measuring our capacity to reconcile the Infinite martially. What does that mean at a technical level (using this level because I think it is the easiest to write about)? It would mean that our architectures must be able to reconcile their own constructed realities by addressing internally things like resistance and/or "what ifs," etc., (e.g. What if uke tries to strike me with the cross-lateral hand in Hanmi-handachi Shiho Nage Omote?") (see: http://www.senshincenter.com/pages/v...periment.html), and by addressing externally the rest of reality's infinite nature through the "emptiness" and/or matrix that exists between every tactical architecture in the art (which is itself always greater than the collection of tactical architectures).

In other words, what one should see, and thus measure for, at a technical level in a martially effective practice are the following three aspects in regards to tactical architectures: 1) Tactical architectures must remain viable within their own idealized assumptions; 2) Tactical architectures must be capable of expanding beyond their own idealized assumptions; and 3) Tactical architectures must be constructed in such a way that they can be interrelated to other tactical architectures ad infinitum.

To (hopefully) make this point clearer, allow me to give some counter examples below:

- When an Aikido tactical architecture "suggests" and/or "prescribes" that uke go topsy-turvy but provides no real physics and/or geometry for how or why the head and feet should inverse their position AND then goes on to construct itself further according to the topsy-turvy response, you have a violation of the first premise. Here you have a technique claiming to do one thing, but in fact is not actually doing that one thing. That one thing, as most often witnessed, is in fact being provided for by the choreography of tradition and/or culture. In short, you have a fake technique -- a technique that is not even viable within its own idealized space/time.

- When an Aikido tactical architecture can only survive within its own idealized space/time, such as when a technique becomes overly dependent upon an uke doing no more than is idealized in order to remain viable, you have a violation of the second premise. An example of this would be a version of Hanmi-handachi Katate-dori Shiho Nage Omote that only functions IF uke is restricted to NOT strike at nage with the cross-lateral hand. Another example of this is any architecture that requires that uke be "distracted" (i.e. uke not be of a mind that is capable of fighting without being fettered) by an atemi in order to proceed.

Any tactical architecture that can only add to an art via accumulation, that cannot merge with the whole of a combative system through the emptiness that relates all tactics with all strategies (and vice versa), is a violation of the third premise. An example of this is when Ikkyo, Nikyo, Sankyo, Yonkyo, etc., present themselves (or are presented) as techniques you just choose between, as your fancy desires.

Now, in all honesty, I'm not sure how to read your statements on "effectiveness" when you speak of Budo. As you must well know, there is a trend in Budo where some would like to say that if the self is being cultivated (such as when Humility is being cultivated because Pride is being reconciled) via a practice (e.g. establishing a proper sensei/deshi relationship for oneself), that practice is being effective. On this statement, I can agree. However, I would not then go on to suggest that this effectiveness is a martial one or that this cultivation of humility could or would lead to some sort of martial viability in and of itself. Moreover, I would not say that the cultivation of such humility through such a means would or could negate the type of cultivation that comes to use via the exposing of ourselves to the honing edge of seeking martial effectiveness.

It is true that such humility is a cultivation of the self. It is also true that the sensei/deshi relationship can work to cultivate such a virtue. Moreover, it is true that the sensei/deshi relationship is central to Budo praxis. However, it is not true that depth of Budo training can or should be sought only through such things. There is a great deal more to Budo's cultivation of the self and that "more" comes to us, in my opinion, by exposing ourselves to the Infinite that underlies martial effectiveness (if you will allow me to say it that way).

The same is true for forms training. Sure, we can do these things very intensely, with a lot of commitment and with a lot of investment, etc., and they will thus require a great deal from us and they will in turn work to cultivate many virtues as well, etc. However, in my opinion, the Self cannot truly (i.e. DEEPLY) be cultivated if it remains only at the level of shu training. And we cannot depart from shu if we do not seek to address the (underlying) Infinite of combat (since we are MARTIAL artists). The beauty of Budo, why it truly does remain a viable spiritual tradition today, is that through the underlying Infinite of combat, which acts as a microcosm to the whole of the universe, we can cultivate all human virtues at a level not possible through mere tradition. Take this thread topic for example: Sure, we have all been hit in regular Aikido practice. Happens all the time -- no big deal. We may think we are then not so prone to being fettered, to being attached to the self, to being plagued by egocentric reactions, etc. -- that we can take a hit, etc. Then we put ourselves in a situation where the unknown is hitting us in the face at the same time that we are being hit in the face, and we come to realize real fast that while tradition (sensei/deshi relationships, forms, etc.) can cultivate us, it can only cultivate us up to certain point in our body/mind development. We realize there is a whole lot more to being unfettered and that whole lot more isn't really going to come to us by being hit or there in our forms training. Etc.

Because Budo connects the cultivation of the self to a martial practice, and because that martial practice finds its effectiveness in its capacity to relate to the Infinite, Budo cannot truly cultivate the self if it limits itself to tradition (for such things) and distances itself from practical application. Practical application, by definition, means that we are dealing with things that must remain viable outside of the dojo greenhouse. Thus, it is not enough, in my opinion, to work only with greenhouse Aikido -- to rely only upon the greenhouse for our cultivations. For if our honing edge is restricted to the greenhouse, then so too are our cultivations. This is why, for example, you get that aikidoka that is so nice and caring and "blending," etc., in the dojo or during their Aikido practice but remains in some
sort of passive-aggressive contest with their spouse and/or quite alienated from their children (let alone their fellow Man), etc.

Again: How real your Aikido is, that is how real your self-cultivations are.

Just thinking out loud now.

Thanks Kevin for this chance to do so.

humbly yours,
david

David M. Valadez
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Old 11-06-2005, 04:48 PM   #37
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Re: Being able to take atemi for real

Quote:
Ben Harrison wrote:
BUT in AIkido there is no sparring and you never get the feel of being punched in the face
Actually i have a story that contradicts this...

Once , not too long after i had started aikido, my sensei taught us this sort of drill taht helped our striking and blocking. He called it trapping hands. I really dont know if its even part of aikido but my sensei is accomplished in several martial arts so it may be part of one of those. Anyway, its this drill thing where one person punches and the otehr does a series of blocks and then they punch and the first person does that same series and it keeps going and going so on and so on, like a cycle. (Its pretty cool actually)

Well one time my cousin and i were practicing this during class because we had done it so much that we had gotten pretty good at it (or so we thought) and we kinda wanted to show off a little, ya know just like any other 10 year olds would. haha.

Well we got going really fast and punching really hard, and the next thing you know, my cousins nose is bleeding.... lol. I didnt realize it till i saw the blood but i actually punched him in the nose. It was horrible at the time but now that i look back on it its pretty funny. lol ...

Just thought i'd share taht.
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Old 11-06-2005, 05:31 PM   #38
Nick Simpson
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Re: Being able to take atemi for real

Sounds like a wing chun drill. If we practise at an intensive level, we have no problem hitting tori/uke if they dont move, this happens regularly and for myself has resulted in slackened teeth, bust lips, bust noses and minor concussion. I broke my gf's nose with shomen-uchi by accident. However, this isnt taking atemi for real, but it is still better than nothing.

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 11-06-2005, 05:46 PM   #39
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Re: Being able to take atemi for real

Quote:
Nick Simpson wrote:
Sounds like a wing chun drill. .
It actually may be something kung fu related because my sensei has studied in shaolin kung fu as well so it probably is something similar to wing chun.
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Old 11-06-2005, 06:15 PM   #40
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Re: Being able to take atemi for real

Sounds about right. Hands trapping is definately in Wing Chun (sticky hands) so it's likely in other forms of kung fu too. It's good fun.

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 11-06-2005, 06:24 PM   #41
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Re: Being able to take atemi for real

Quote:
Nick Simpson wrote:
It's good fun.
Yup, Yup!
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Old 11-06-2005, 07:30 PM   #42
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Re: Being able to take atemi for real

Quote:
Nick Simpson wrote:
Hands trapping is definately in Wing Chun (sticky hands) so it's likely in other forms of kung fu too. It's good fun.
Phon-sau (trapping hands) and Chi-sau (sticking hands) are excellent WC drills to initate Aikido waza.

Lynn Seiser PhD
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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 11-07-2005, 08:38 AM   #43
Nick Simpson
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Re: Being able to take atemi for real

It's something I've been thinking about for a while actually, might have to implement it next time I teach methinks...

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 11-08-2005, 03:27 AM   #44
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Re: Being able to take atemi for real

You want to learn to strike, you have to hit something. Take a hit? You have to get hit.

Atemi is, to me, one of the foundational elements of aikido, because without good atemi, uke cannot make a sincere attack. However, it's been my observation that many aikido dojo seldom actually train folks to do or take atemi. A huge part of ukemi (IMHO) is being able to deal and deal with dedicated strikes. If the dojos curriculum doesn't include the basics of punching and striking, how can folks learn to give proper, committed attacks? If it doesn't teach folks what happens when they get hit, how can they learn to deal with getting hit and continuing to deal with uke?

YMMV.

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Old 11-08-2005, 07:26 AM   #45
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Re: Being able to take atemi for real

Quote:
Ben Harrison wrote:
Now my question is, unless you are a pretty tough person, would it not be a great shock to the system to recieve a blow? In harder styles such as Muay Thai or Karate, where there is sparring, you take punches and kicks all the time so you are accustomed to it and in a real situation you'd not be AS phased as a normal person, BUT in AIkido there is no sparring and you never get the feel of being punched in the face or kicked so I am thinking that it would disrupt your focus and thow you off if it were to happen.
To answer your question: yes it would be a shock. A well-placed punch is always a shock, to some degree or another, to the one receiving it.
As for the rest, I think it depends on how you define "sparring." As one gets more and more intense in their training, the fists fly a little faster and a little harder and sometimes you miss and get bopped a good one. Also I've had the feel of getting hit by a wooden object. I've been hit square between the eyes with a bokken, and the ground flying up to greet my falling head has certainly been a rude awakening. Granted it's less often than Muay Thai or pugilism! I dunno...you can always train by letting your buds take shots at you! I had a friend who loved to "slap box" and some of those open-palmed hooks could knock ya silly! ...and sting too!

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 11-08-2005, 08:06 AM   #46
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Re: Being able to take atemi for real

Quote:
Chuck Gordon wrote:
Atemi is, to me, one of the foundational elements of aikido...A huge part of ukemi (IMHO) is being able to deal and deal with dedicated strikes.
I agree. Whatever ukemi ability I have has come from trying to attack sincerely and being greeted with a similarly sincere atemi. It's kept me from getting hit when off the mat.
Take care,
Matt

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Old 11-08-2005, 02:59 PM   #47
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Re: Being able to take atemi for real

Dave missed you post the other day (#32). Good stuff.

I think you captured the complexity of martial effectiveness.

The problem I always run into is everyone tries to boil it down into something very, very simple and situationally oriented to serve as a litmus test of "it either works or it doesn't".

I wish it were the case. However, as you know, Martial arts/Budo is much, much more complicated and we have to deal with a multitude of factors.

Now back to the subject of the thread and how it relates to all this, IMHO.

It is important to train hard and realistic, tyet, we must learn to use atemi properly. That does require, IMHO, that we train in all aspects of it. BUT, that does not necessarily mean we have to "take it for real" necessarily in order to get there. ( I guess it depends on your definition of REAL).

I certainly don't have someone hit me full force on a regular basis in order to learn these lessons. But, there is a time and place.

I am still out on the issue of how important real, NHB style punching is in budo. I tend to think it is not necessary.

Necessary to train with atemi correctly as Chuck Gordon has stated, but not as a NHB thing.

That has it's pluses and minuses as well.

I would imagine that we don't do it in aikido for a number of reasons. It isn't really in our culture. I imagine that the shihan figured out that it is not that important to understanding and walking on the path of budo. Also, it opens up for alot of liability. I also think it instills or brings out some very emotional issues and leads to some bad habits. My thoughts have been that you need to slow things down and slowly relearn things both physically and emotionally. Atemi done hard and fast sounds sexy, but I think it is not as good a training tool as the way we do it in aikido.

Working with my NHB/BJJ guys, we try and get them to slow things WAAAAYYY down. They are very agressive and want to learn quick. No problem there, they are good fighters. However, some want to be better than a good fighter, so we have to break things down and take baby steps to instill good posture, habits, and emotions.

You can learn to be "effective" fairly easily and quickly for the 90% solution. BUT budo is not about 90%...it is about 100%. That extra 10% takes a little more effort and time than many are willing to put forth.
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Old 11-08-2005, 07:08 PM   #48
eyrie
 
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Re: Being able to take atemi for real

Chuck Gordon wrote:
Quote:
A huge part of ukemi (IMHO) is being able to deal and deal with dedicated strikes.
Or to prevent getting thrown down and locked up, or to prevent a joint dislocation or break....

Ignatius
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