Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

aikido articles


dojo search
image gallery
links directory

book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews


rss feeds

Follow us on

Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > General

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Thread Tools
Old 10-23-2009, 12:04 AM   #1
Lorien Lowe
Dojo: Northcoast Aikido
Location: California
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 289
types of atemi

Hi all-
I come from an atemi dojo, and recently I was thinking about two different types of atemi. For example, with the technique tsuki sumi otosh ushiro, one can strike across one's body (with the outside hand) towards the side of uke's head as uke is coming around, or one can strike directly to uke's face or center once uke is around.

The first is nearly impossible for uke (or me, anyway) to avoid or even see; often I don't even react to it until I'm already on the way down. I imagine, however, that someone with great upper body strength could knock uke out at that point.

The second means that uke gets further before being corrected, but personally I react quite strongly to a strike (or even the suggestion of a strike) towards my face.

I'd like people's opinions on which atemis are more effective in the martial sense and/or in dojo training, as well as how their philosophy of aiki fits in with that.

I'm sure that non-atemi people will also reply and tell me that striking in aikido is verboten, but I'm just going to ignore that.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2009, 12:45 PM   #2
Kevin Karr
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 41
Re: types of atemi

I know the atemi of which you speak from sumo otoshi. I usually do the one directly to the face. I know that when it is done to me, it is there before I know it and it really throws off my balance. It is very effective.

Aikido without atemi? What is that? Aikido without atemi would definitely be missing a lot of that "Aiki" stuff for which we are always searching. Imo: atemi = integral part of Aikido.

Watch videos of Tamura Sensei doing sword awase with a partner. That is all atemi, totally aiki, and he can unbalance and hold a person to the ground without even touching them with the sword. Saying this is "atemi" I mean, he can do this because of his obvious thorough understanding of atemi and exploiting openings to effect kuzushi; and this is done by the guy who people say has technique that feels the most like O'Sensei....(things that make you go, "Hmmmmmm?").
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2009, 02:48 PM   #3
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,615
Re: types of atemi

If you have real power behind your strikes, then I think the atemi an attacker does not even see works best.

In training, maybe not so much... Maybe there the atemi they see but does not have to land works best.

Other things to consider, atemi with body parts other than hand to body parts other than face...faces have teeth, which can cut your hands.


Ron Tisdale
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2009, 02:39 PM   #4
Lyle Laizure
Lyle Laizure's Avatar
Dojo: Hinode Dojo LLC
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 566
Re: types of atemi

There are all kinds of atemi. Personally, I like to use a kissing atemi. It distracts completely and doesn't cause physical damage.

Lyle Laizure
Deru kugi wa uta reru
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2009, 07:41 PM   #5
Dojo: Aikido of Madison
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 189
Talking Re: types of atemi

Lyle Laizure wrote: View Post
There are all kinds of atemi. Personally, I like to use a kissing atemi. It distracts completely and doesn't cause physical damage.
However, if you don't know them that well it might just get you punched!
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2009, 07:54 PM   #6
Janet Rosen
Janet Rosen's Avatar
Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,339
Re: types of atemi

Lyle Laizure wrote: View Post
There are all kinds of atemi. Personally, I like to use a kissing atemi. It distracts completely and doesn't cause physical damage.
I used to do a "I'm your old Aunt Janet" atemi (pinching the cheek - always gently but nobody ever had faith it would be gentle!)

Janet Rosen
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2009, 08:28 PM   #7
Dojo: Aiki Shoshinkan, Aiki Kenkyukai
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 813
Re: types of atemi

Tamura sensei? He's the old guy that can roll on one spot? Amazing style. I like the fact that he really tries to show what you have to do and gives you the chance to fail there and then. Most senseis can't be bothered after decades of students being blind.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2009, 02:47 AM   #8
Location: Victoria
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 132
Re: types of atemi

There are really only two types of atemi in Aikido... the one you see most often is going to result in nage splitting their knuckles, breaking their fingers or knuckles, or giving uke a slight pause - the second and more elusive beast is a properly timed atemi.

There is a tendency to use atemi to the face to prompt a reaction from uke, and if that is your intention (to more or less take them off line or take their balance) then this is all good. If you want to make the strike work then you need to aim and time your strike with much greater accuracy.

Ron is right that the atemi that uke does not see is the clear winner. This is true whether you actually land the atemi or not.

A lot of other factors such as the distance between yourself and uke have a huge bearing as does the direction you are coming in from.

I come from a Kyokushin background and can punch, elbow, knee, kick, strike tetsui or uraken very effectively from just about any range. What I've learnt since beginning Aikido is that those same strikes can have just as much of an effect on nage as uke. Strikes that are rounded in origin, highly vertical, require a lot of hip movement, etc. can really throw off the rest of your technique.

Strikes to soft tissue points whilst passing are not likely to knock your uke out, but can give you vital seconds to perform a technique. I watched a BJJ-style class before our class during the last week and watched the instructor try to atemi before moving in on his opponent. He struck his fingers against his opponents knuckles on the way through, pulled back and spent five or six seconds shaking his very sore fingers. Interesting to watch.

Remember as well that everyone reacts differently to an atemi too. Before beginning Aikido, and probably one of the major factors I started Aikido, involved a very serious fight with a family member (ex-military). His first punch to my face snapped my head backwards and off the brick wall he had me pinned to. All it did was make me madder - it didn't slow me down and I'm not as hard as some of the people I used to train with.

You're right that atemi is a fundamental part of Aikido in my opinion (sorry to the people who don't practice it) but its an interesting path to follow and to try to stay true to Aiki principles.

Best of luck with figuring it out
  Reply With Quote


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Use of Atemi (Striking) in Aikido George S. Ledyard External Aikido Blog Posts 2 08-08-2009 10:09 AM
Striking in your Aikido JamesC Training 41 06-09-2008 06:34 AM
Value of atemi DustinAcuff Techniques 67 06-08-2007 09:35 AM
O Sensei starts "No Atemi" Aikido? tedehara Techniques 89 03-18-2004 09:28 AM
teaching effectiveness Hagen Seibert Techniques 28 05-03-2001 08:02 AM

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:30 PM.

vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2023 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
Copyright 1997-2023 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate