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Old 09-18-2000, 03:41 PM   #26
Mike Collins
Location: San Jose
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 189
I have had a devil of a time getting the few "good" Karate guys I have trained with to respond as I'd like to my atemi. Often they will stand dead still and just know that in the dojo I won't clip them. These same guys will usually let me irimi and be in a lovely position to choke, break a kidney, whatever. It has to do more with training mentality that quality of technique. While I know that in a reality situation, the atemi would/should be fully executed, I am not willing to hurt someone else (even an idiot who doesn't realize what that hand at his nose represents), so I've had to adapt even for the sake of training.

I guess what I am/was getting at is, if atemi isn't available or servicing appropriately, movement takes center stage, doesn't/shouldn't it? There are some people who simply will take three to give one in the belief that that one will do what your 3 didn't. I have met such people, and in certain circumstances, I've been one. Mind you I'm not arguing, just a little back and forth, to keep me thinking.
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Old 09-19-2000, 08:37 AM   #27
George S. Ledyard
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670

Aiki1 wrote:
I agree that there are some instructors around who have a limited perspective and therefore are somewhat "deluded" about their abilities in the world outside the dojo - to paraphrase. I also have been concerned over the years that many people in Aikido think that to "get it to work on the street" they have to do it harder etc. My experience has been the opposite, and I have had experience on the street, some of it life-threatening weapon stuff. I teach a very, very "soft" style of Aikido, but that doean't make it ineffective. Anyway, that's another issue.

I have one guy who went around to several dojo and no instructor would get on the mat with him and "answer his questions" about effectiveness. When he asked me, I said - sure (not something I do a lot anymore, but he was sincere.) He trains in Krav, kickboxing, BJJ, and some other stuff.

He trains with us now. What blew his mind was not only would I actually get on the mat with him, but that I knew what to do in situations that aren't perhaps "standard" dojo attacks etc., and (back to my other thing) he didn't feel me do it (the "soft" aspect of the art.)

Not trying to toot my own horn, that's not the point. Point is, there is a lot to this stuff - a lot of theory, a lot of practicality, and a lot of different approaches that can be -quite- different in application and philosophy, just within the context of "Aikido."
Nicely said. Principle is universal and what you do in the Aikido context applies in all situations. But that fact doesn't mean that the Aikido practitioner knows or understands how the principle applies. As Clint George Sensei says, there's a lot of "wishful thinking Aikido" out there.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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Old 10-16-2000, 10:15 PM   #28
Dojo: Komurokwai kin kuso aikijutsu
Location: Sheffield, UK
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 11

George S. Ledyard wrote:

I notice that only around 40% of the respondents think that atemi is over 50% of Aikido....
Atemi is 95% of Aikido. O Sensei said that.

Ever tried to apply Nikyo on someone who is incredibly strong? A quick Atemi to the floating ribs diverts their attention well enough for you do almost anything you want.


My thoughts on the matter: atemis although not essential, are hugely useful.

Wes Harris
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Old 10-17-2000, 12:05 AM   #29
Dojo: Chendokan Aikido, Costa Rica
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 34
Ai symbol Atemi -siveness

Contrary to some people's belief, atemis in Aikido are not form of agression. Aikido is a multi-faceted martial art, wherein atemis CAN coexist with the application of non- agressive, i.e. "non- impact" techniques. Atemis do not need to be rationalized in the martial context of Aikido; the fact of the matter is, in Aikido, the atemi serves a vital purpose. It is not used to cave in an opponent's face, it is used as a vital and necessary DISTRACTION in order to apply a technique. On the street, a straight shihonage without atemi will get you killed or at least hurt. Unquestionably.

The Senseis in our dojo emphasize the importance of atemis with two exercises that non- believers in atemi (heathens!) should try, and clearly illustrate a well placed atemi's usefulness:
A- Have a partner perform unbendable arm. Without telling your partner, as you're trying to bend his/her arm, jab your partner in the ribs (or tickle; a kick in the shin also works nicely) with your finger. Remember to keep trying to bend his/her arm as you're jabbing. Your partner will not be able to keep unbendable arm and will accuse you of cheating. But you will have bent his arm- think about what an actual atemi to the ribs (liver) can do. (Enter into technique, such as katadori shihonage)

B- Have your partner throw a punch at you, it can be any kind (yoko, tsuki, shomen). Enter inside of the punch and stick your hand in his face, in front of his eyes, as close as possible, effectively obstructing his field of view or blinding him/her. Do not touch your partner's face (you can also try lightly touching your partner's forehead, or making as if you're sprinkling water in their face, etc., as long as you obstruct their field of view as much as possible, as close as possible). Your partner will instinctively draw back and lose his equilibrium. Think about what an actual atemi to the face (nose, mouth, ears, jab in the eyes, etc.) can do.
(Enter into technique such as tsuki kokyu-ho or sankyo, etc.)

The argument "Morihei didn't use atemi" is clearly untrue: there are many photographs available wherein O'Sensei clearly focuses atemi at an uke to then effectively enter into a technique.

IMHO, training atemis is an important aspect of the martial facet to Aikido. Many Sensei do not obviously demonstrate atemis when they teach a technique; however, that doesn't mean thet they are not used, important or necessary. They are IMPLIED, not IGNORED.

Andy Hertz.
"Standing before me
enemies my mind does not ignore
I take a step forward
and act!"
Morihei Ueshiba
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Old 10-17-2000, 09:05 AM   #30
George S. Ledyard
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670

[quote]Axiom wrote:

shoot a tegatana to uke's face in ai hanmi and get them to parry it
with their leading hand leading directly to ikkyo.

Why would they block it when they could simply do ikkyo to you instead of blocking? Or if they practiced some other martial art, bat your hand down, make it unable to block, and strike you?

If you are really training for martial effectiveness then you have to have a partner who will try to do this. If your technique is working they can try but they will not be successful.

But remember, in a fight nage doesn't care what technique he uses. He has no investment in HOW he ends the fight. So if an attacker is able to protect his openings against a movement, it simply results in a flow into a new technique. It doesn't mean that the attacker actually beat that technique. In a real interaction the technique that succeeds isn't usually the technique that the defender attempted first. What should happen is, if the defender gets a position of advantage, whatever the attacker does to try to defeat his techniques will lead to greater disadvantage until finally it the defender is successful in controlling the attack.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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Old 10-21-2000, 10:58 AM   #31
IP Hash: 18f95b57
Join Date: Oct 2000
Anonymous User

I think atemi is vital for any true self defense situation. It is not necessary to crush your opponent with a devistating atemi, but I feel that it is important to misdirect or trap their attention with an atemi. I believe this allows you to finish the rest of your technique 100% effectively. In a true self defense situtation 100% effectiveness can be a matter of life and death. If you are fully confident in your techniques and their effectiveness then perhaps you do not need any atemi. This would be the most harmonious and loving way to defend yourself, but I believe this confidence takes many many years to achive.
Personally I just try to stay out of any situations where violence can occur, or at least try to change a situation of tension to one of relaxation through the use of the right words.

In daily akido training I don't think atemi are as important but the techniques should be learned nun the less.

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Old 10-21-2000, 11:07 AM   #32
Aiki1's Avatar
Dojo: ACE Aikido
Location: Los Angeles
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 346
Well yea, with a name like "Spanky" I'm not surprised you're so in to Atemi!


Larry Novick
Head Instructor
ACE Aikido
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Old 04-08-2007, 11:04 PM   #33
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 25
Re: Atemi -siveness

[quote=Andy Hertz;3209. Many Sensei do not obviously demonstrate atemis when they teach a technique; however, that doesn't mean thet they are not used, important or necessary. They are IMPLIED, not IGNORED.[/QUOTE]

Many Sensei also demonstrate a technique against a type of attack (based on uke's body angle) and at a distance where an aikido throw or joint manipulation is completely out of place, ineffective and even counter productive. When they are resisted/countered they say to you that they could have hit you instead but chose to ''spare you'', the thing is, based on the attack, the throw or joint manipulation can always be resisted/ countered at which point it is to late to hit your now successful attacker, which makes attempting the technique in the firt place foolish and illogical.
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Old 04-10-2007, 12:40 PM   #34
Eric Winters
Dojo: Aikido of San Leandro and Berkeley
Location: Emeryville, CA
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 81
Re: Atemi

Hi everyone,

This is my first post in 5 years. I never took the poll but i would have to say that atemi is 90% of aikido. That doesn't mean you have to deck someone everytime you do a technique. But you should be in a position to do an atemi. I also believe that atemi should not interrupt the flow of the technique too much. It basically should flow naturally with the movement through the technique and still be strong. I have practiced striking arts before and I'm currently studying krav maga in addition to aikido. If nage knows how to throw a good strike it should make your technique stronger. I found out something interestiong about a month ago. I was training with one of the students at my dojo and throwing clear strong atemi. At some point during our training together I stopped doing atemi entirely. After a few techniques done without atemi my partner told me that it still felt like I was doing the atemi. This leads me to believe that if you know the aikido technique well enough, you know how to perform strikes correctly and you know where the openings for atemi within the technique, the nage will not need the physical atemi as much. (but physical atemi will still be very important) For non-physical atemi to work you have to have the strong intention and know how to do it.

Have a great day and fun training,

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Old 04-11-2007, 08:27 AM   #35
Location: Victoria
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 132
Re: Atemi

We had an incident a few months back that reinforced the idea of atemi. The person acting as uke had said a few minutes earlier "I doubt if atemi would do very much", when both uke and nage mis-timed their technique. Nage entered too deeply with an palm-heel to ukes forehead, nothing too hard, but there was a slap and uke fell to the ground at his feet.

I went straight across to see what damage had been done as I'd only seen the contact out of the corner of my eye. Nage was apologising and uke said rather sheepishly "I guess it really does work; after that hit me you could have dragged me wherever you wanted"

It wasn't a hard hit or malicious, but it certainly proved how effective even a simple atemi can be. I don't think either uke or nage in this instance will quickly forget the reaction.
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Old 04-11-2007, 08:42 AM   #36
Dirk Hanss
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Dojo: Aikidoschule Trier
Location: Merzkirchen
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 471
Re: Atemi

Hi Sean,
sounds as if nage had done a good job, relaxed, but firm ukemi. Depending on the level of the students, I would say it was uke's job to protect himself.
Sometimes effectiveness can occur by both participants not expecting it happen.

Cheers Dirk
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