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Old 10-19-2007, 07:28 PM   #1
dps
 
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Aikido is 99% strikes and only 1% preparation.

From a blog by Gene Croman.

http://www.aikidojournal.com/index?id=1239

"Let me say it again: Aikido is 99% strikes and only 1% preparation. We give 99% of our time to 1% of the art so that there is no inhibition, no hesitation when the essence of time approaches. We are fully prepared. Thus, we are the masters of our own fate."

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events not of words. Trust movement. --Alfred Adler
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Old 10-19-2007, 08:03 PM   #2
John Bernhard
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Re: Aikido is 99% strikes and only 1% preparation.

Wow, is all I can say. That was an awesome article, reminds me some about what my Sensei said to me when I was first starting out some 10 years ago. I didn't understand it then but its becoming more real now. Thanks for posting that
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Old 10-19-2007, 09:16 PM   #3
eyrie
 
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Re: Aikido is 99% strikes and only 1% preparation.

Quote:
The flowing, graceful movements are deceivingly effective ways by which to overcome attacking forces or to move into a striking position.... “The master understands that the most difficult part of effective self-defense is to find that opening, whether because of a mistake on the part of the attacker, or by creating an opening through techinique or strategy. Punching an opponent is a very easy thing to do, not as difficult as many perceive. The difficult part is finding or creating the opening, not the strike itself. Not even a powerful blow is necessary if the proper point is made vulnerable. In Aikido the goal is always the strike; however, the key is to find the proper opening.
IMO, this whole paragraph is the most important bit.... in any MA

Ignatius
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Old 10-20-2007, 05:37 AM   #4
Aiki x
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Re: Aikido is 99% strikes and only 1% preparation.

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
From a blog by Gene Croman.

http://www.aikidojournal.com/index?id=1239

"Let me say it again: Aikido is 99% strikes and only 1% preparation. We give 99% of our time to 1% of the art so that there is no inhibition, no hesitation when the essence of time approaches. We are fully prepared. Thus, we are the masters of our own fate."
I think the statement is 99% wrong and only 1% right.

If the statement is correct then practising the 1% (e.g. Ikkyo, Nikkyo) prepares the Aikidoka to use 99% strikes with no inhibition or hesitation. Pro boxers fight for serious $. They will do anything they can to gain an advantage. They don't all train Aikido and this tells me all I need to know about Aikido's ability to develop good atemi waza..

Even if practising Ikkyo and Nikkyo etc did improve striking and the mental focus required it won't improve striking as much as doing Thai Boxing or Boxing. However, I do think that it is a good thing for Aikidoka to do some specialised Atemi waza training to develop power and accuracy in their atemi waza. Bag work and focus mits will help alonfg with teaching how to put hips and body weight behind strikes.

Last edited by Aiki x : 10-20-2007 at 05:45 AM.
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Old 10-20-2007, 06:45 AM   #5
dps
 
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Re: Aikido is 99% strikes and only 1% preparation.

Quote:
Neil Harrison wrote: View Post

If the statement is correct then practising the 1% (e.g. Ikkyo, Nikkyo) prepares the Aikidoka to use 99% strikes with no inhibition or hesitation. Pro boxers fight for serious $. They will do anything they can to gain an advantage. They don't all train Aikido and this tells me all I need to know about Aikido's ability to develop good atemi waza..

Even if practising Ikkyo and Nikkyo etc did improve striking and the mental focus required it won't improve striking as much as doing Thai Boxing or Boxing. However, I do think that it is a good thing for Aikidoka to do some specialised Atemi waza training to develop power and accuracy in their atemi waza. Bag work and focus mits will help alonfg with teaching how to put hips and body weight behind strikes.
Click on the link and read the entire article. The author is not talking about developing atemi waza or improving striking.

Last edited by dps : 10-20-2007 at 06:50 AM.

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events not of words. Trust movement. --Alfred Adler
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Old 10-20-2007, 02:39 PM   #6
Paul Sanderson-Cimino
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Re: Aikido is 99% strikes and only 1% preparation.

I'm getting sort of tired of hearing about how aikido's really all about strikes, without any practical clarification of what that means ... much less a demonstration showing it to be a legitimate and effective style of striking. Fantasizing about the awesome moral responsibility of eyegouging or throat-hitting in the midst of compliant kata work does not count.
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Old 10-20-2007, 03:49 PM   #7
aikidoc
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Re: Aikido is 99% strikes and only 1% preparation.

Enjoyed the article.
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Old 10-20-2007, 05:10 PM   #8
Aikibu
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Re: Aikido is 99% strikes and only 1% preparation.

Quote:
Paul Sanderson-Cimino wrote: View Post
I'm getting sort of tired of hearing about how aikido's really all about strikes, without any practical clarification of what that means ... much less a demonstration showing it to be a legitimate and effective style of striking. Fantasizing about the awesome moral responsibility of eyegouging or throat-hitting in the midst of compliant kata work does not count.
Take a nap then. You'll feel much better.

William Hazen

You Tube Shoji Nishio Shihan when you wake up.
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Old 10-20-2007, 05:34 PM   #9
Mattias Bengtsson
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Re: Aikido is 99% strikes and only 1% preparation.

Having read the article I feel compelled to say that it echoes all insights I've made into the art known as Aikido.

And I've only studied it for a year.

Cant say enough how much I concur with the article.

Uke Iacta Est
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Old 10-20-2007, 06:33 PM   #10
Aiki x
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Re: Aikido is 99% strikes and only 1% preparation.

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Click on the link and read the entire article. The author is not talking about developing atemi waza or improving striking.
Even if the author's main point is something spiritual or thoughtful, it is clear he believes that Aikido is 99% strikes and the 1% is about finding openings.

Quote:
Gene Coreman wrote:
In Aikido the goal is always the strike; however, the key is to find the proper opening.
In the training I have done the strike / atemi has been used to set up the technique. The technique has not been done to set up the strike.

Quote:
Gene Coreman wrote:
The strikes are 99% of the art - just the opposite of what is conceived by most students.
I've never seen an aikido instructor teach how to get hips and body weight behind a punch or how to throw a basic jab / cross combination.

Quote:
Gene Coreman wrote:
Let me say it again: Aikido is 99% strikes and only 1% preparation. We give 99% of our time to 1% of the art so that there is no inhibition, no hesitation when the essence of time approaches.
If striking is 99% of the art then Aikido is more about striking than Thai Boxing which has basic grappling and weapons work.

Quote:
Gene Coreman wrote:
The 1% is practiced so much because it represents the hardest part of the art - finding the opening and preparing attack! The easy part is punching in the opening, but survival is the reality. The strike, though easy in itself, equals 99% of the art.
Shiho Nage, Irimi Nage, Nikkyo etc are not about finding openings for strikes. They all seem to be designed to finish the opponent by breaking a joint or knocking them out with a hard fall.

Last edited by Aiki x : 10-20-2007 at 06:36 PM.
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Old 10-21-2007, 04:51 PM   #11
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Re: Aikido is 99% strikes and only 1% preparation.

Quote:
Neil Harrison wrote: View Post
Even if the author's main point is something spiritual or thoughtful, it is clear he believes that Aikido is 99% strikes and the 1% is about finding openings.
I'm not sure I understand the exact meaning behind the idea that Aikido is 99% strikes, but after reading the article I think it's clear he thinks the most important aspect of Aikido or any martial art lies in finding openings; not in striking. In this sense, it seems to me Aikido would seem to be 100% about finding the openings.
Quote:
I've never seen an aikido instructor teach how to get hips and body weight behind a punch...
I have, but I don't think this is much the point. I know guys who've never been trained but can throw a fine punch. I think the point of this article is more about knowing when to punch than on using "best" mechanics.
Quote:
Shiho Nage, Irimi Nage, Nikkyo etc are not about finding openings for strikes. They all seem to be designed to finish the opponent by breaking a joint or knocking them out with a hard fall.
Before you can do these techniques there has to be an opening...suki. In my training, suki and strike, while not synonymous, go hand in hand.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 10-21-2007, 08:10 PM   #12
DonMagee
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Re: Aikido is 99% strikes and only 1% preparation.

I skimmed the article.

Two things I've noticed from my training.

1) Until I was taught how to strike from boxers and mauy thai fighters. My punches were basically ineffective. This means my aikido would be ineffective, because my atemi would be little more then childs taps on my opponent. It took a long time for me to develop even a semi-decent striking ablity. If this is important, then it seems aikido would spend at least time in the kyu ranks teaching people how to strike hard with good posture and balance.

2) Seeing and being positioned for an opening, and using it are two different things. When I started judo, I knew when to go for throws, but I would see them and it would be too late. And this was when I was actually practicing to use these openings. Now they say this is veiled in aikido. So not only are you going to have the same problems I had in judo, but they are compounded by you never actually practicing to use these openings with the strikes you will use. Seems like faith to me, not science.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 10-21-2007, 09:36 PM   #13
eyrie
 
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Re: Aikido is 99% strikes and only 1% preparation.

Quote:
Neil Harrison wrote: View Post
In the training I have done the strike / atemi has been used to set up the technique. The technique has not been done to set up the strike.
In this case, atemi is used to create the opening, rather than as a finishing blow. I think the author was generally referring to atemi as a finishing blow, rather than as an adjunct to create an opening.

Quote:
Shiho Nage, Irimi Nage, Nikkyo etc are not about finding openings for strikes. They all seem to be designed to finish the opponent by breaking a joint or knocking them out with a hard fall.
I think the distinction needs to be made between textbook waza - i.e. waza that has been modified for training safety and/or learning purposes, and a broader perspective of what a "technique" might conceivably constitute and for what purpose.

Within any technique, there are a myriad opportunities for atemi (amongst other things). Some may argue that atemi disrupts the flow of the technique, but I think it really depends on any number of variables. If textbook waza is the learning and training goal, then by all means stick to the textbook. But I think there is a danger in adopting a narrow view of standard textbook waza as the definitive way a technique "should be and oughta be" done - bearing in mind that "techniques" may have been simplified/modified for various reasons - e.g. to hide the original intent, for training safety reasons, or to illustrate specific learning principles.

For example, if you view the irimi nage exit as a forearm strike rather than a throw, it changes the intent and meaning of the "throw" entirely. Likewise, shiho-nage may not necessarily be a "throw" - it could be done as a series of arm destructions prior to takedown. In a similar vein, the wrist lock of nikkyo itself might simply create an opening for a finishing knee strike or kick....

BTW, atemi isn't necessarily a "strike" - I would include cavity seizing, poking, rubbing, and pressing in the full repertoire of "atemi".

Ignatius
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Old 10-21-2007, 10:18 PM   #14
dps
 
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Re: Aikido is 99% strikes and only 1% preparation.

Step back and see the Aiki arts ( which Aikido is a descendant of) in relationship to the other fighting arts that a Samurai would need to have in order to survive on the battlefield.

He would need a means of creating or seeing an opening to finish his opponent with a final strike very quickly before another opponent finishes him. The finishing strike could be from another fighting art.

In Aikido we are practicing a small part of a larger repertoire the Samurai would have had.

David

Last edited by dps : 10-21-2007 at 10:22 PM.

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events not of words. Trust movement. --Alfred Adler
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Old 10-22-2007, 09:08 AM   #15
Gerry Magee
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Re: Aikido is 99% strikes and only 1% preparation.

hey guys,
check out the "martial arts of aikido" thread at www.martialartsplanet.com lot's of great insight into atemi and aikido
Gerry
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Old 10-29-2007, 11:04 AM   #16
Michael Douglas
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Eek! Re: Aikido is 99% strikes and only 1% preparation.

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
From a blog by Gene Croman.

http://www.aikidojournal.com/index?id=1239

"Let me say it again: Aikido is 99% strikes and only 1% preparation. We give 99% of our time to 1% of the art so that there is no inhibition, no hesitation when the essence of time approaches. We are fully prepared. Thus, we are the masters of our own fate."
I thought the article was junk. I don't mean the accepted 'Aikido is life' stuff, I mean the specifics here ;
Quote:
In Aikido the goal is always the strike; however, the key is to find the proper opening. Let me explain.
This point reveals an interesting paradox. The strikes are 99% of the art - just the opposite of what is conceived by most students. Remember, Aikido is the practice of life. Life has no rules; it is survival. In Aikido, one punch, metsubishi, a death-dealing blow, is the reality! The art in the martial sense is a no-nonsense lethal weapon; a killing strike is the awesome reality that confronts an attacker of an Aikido master. If attacked, the master reserves the right to strike at that level which is necessitated by the situation. The flowing movements are actually 1% of the art. What you see then is that Aikido students spend 99% of their time studying 1% of the the art. The 1% is practiced so much because it represents the hardest part of the art - finding the opening and preparing attack! The easy part is punching in the opening, but survival is the reality. The strike, though easy in itself, equals 99% of the art.
Quote:
The teacher is famous: Shannon Kawika Phelps, 10th Dan Shorinjin Ryu Saito Ninjitsu, master of multiple Chinese internal arts, as well as a form of particularly powerful Karatedo, and an ordained Episcopal Minister. His book is called “Demon Chaser” and it’s only available through his school’s website. His school is called the Temple of the Full Autumn Moon. It’s in San Diego. He teaches what he has named the Wu Shan Fa, or the Five Mountain Path (Aiki principles are taught as a step along the way).
His qualifications would make me LESS likely to give credibility to a word he says, especially since he's a NINJA!
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Old 10-30-2007, 02:34 AM   #17
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Aikido is 99% strikes and only 1% preparation.

Well, he might be a Ninja, but he must be a good one because what he says is 100% spot on, in my opinion.

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Old 10-30-2007, 03:30 AM   #18
Aran Bright
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Re: Aikido is 99% strikes and only 1% preparation.

What I got from the article is not that he literally uses atemi, not actually smashing people. Just making the opponent damn well aware that they are an inch away from serious injury. But that injury never comes.

Now that's leading the mind.

http://brisbaneaikido.com

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Old 10-30-2007, 04:45 AM   #19
eyrie
 
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Re: Aikido is 99% strikes and only 1% preparation.

Rumor has it that Ueshiba was a master of ninpo and had mystical ninja-like powers too...

Ignatius
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Old 10-30-2007, 08:05 AM   #20
Basia Halliop
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Re: Aikido is 99% strikes and only 1% preparation.

Quote:
In Aikido, one punch, metsubishi, a death-dealing blow, is the reality! The art in the martial sense is a no-nonsense lethal weapon; a killing strike is the awesome reality that confronts an attacker of an Aikido master.
So he has (presumably) never actually practiced this strike in its correct form, because then there would be a body (and we assume he's not in prison for murder), yet he 'knows' it's lethal. Despite spending 99% of his time training other stuff anyway, but in the tiny amount of time actually spend learning and practicing how to strike, he's discovered and mastered a punch so lethal, so awesome, that it will kill whoever he uses it on, and he now has to build his whole training and practice around that assumption.

He sounds very reasonable and wise, yes indeed.
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Old 10-30-2007, 09:48 AM   #21
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Re: Aikido is 99% strikes and only 1% preparation.

After reading this, and searching many of the old threads on atemi, I've come to the conclusion that there are 2 schools of thought on atemi:

1) Atemi is an important part of all martial arts, aikido included, and helps to create openings, opportunities, and diminish resistance to a technique.

2) Atemi goes against the idea of aikido, and is the resource of those whose techniques are not as perfect as they should be.

My own belief is it boils down to how "martial" your aikido is.
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Old 10-30-2007, 01:59 PM   #22
David Orange
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Re: Aikido is 99% strikes and only 1% preparation.

Quote:
Basia Halliop wrote: View Post
So he has (presumably) never actually practiced this strike in its correct form, because then there would be a body (and we assume he's not in prison for murder), yet he 'knows' it's lethal. . .
Actually, I'm surprised that there is so much resistance to this idea.

Please read:

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=425

""Imperial Demonstration
Stan Pranin:
Ueshiba Sensei gave a special demonstration at the Saineikan Dojo in the Imperial palace grounds about 1941. Did this occur as a result of his connection with Admiral Isamu Takeshita?

Gozo Shioda:
Yes. When Takeshita Sensei was a Grand Chamberlain he was told by the Emperor to arrange for aikido to be shown to him, so he went to the Ueshiba dojo. Ueshiba Sensei answered, "I can't show false techniques to the Emperor. Basically in aikido, the opponent is killed with a single blow. It's false if the attacker is thrown, leisurely stands up, and attacks again. [On the other hand], I can't go around killing my students." He refused the invitation in this way, but when Takeshita Sensei told this to the Emperor, he said, "I don't care if it's a lie. Show me the lie!" ""

So....seems to me the article is exactly right.

Moreover, that explains Sokaku Takeda's saying: "The art of aiki is to overcome the opponent mentally, at a glance, and win without fighting."

How could that be? Because once the aiki practitioner sets his mind that he will have to use real, final technique, the would-be attacker gets the message on a subconscious level and it destroys his inner ability to organize himself to attack. He "just knows better" than to attack and since he doesn't attack, the aiki practioner "wins without fighting."

But that will only work if the aiki practitioner really is set on "final" technique if attacked.

Best to all.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.esotericorange.com
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Old 10-30-2007, 07:40 PM   #23
Dewey
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Re: Aikido is 99% strikes and only 1% preparation.

Increase my killing power, eh?

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Old 10-30-2007, 07:43 PM   #24
David Orange
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Re: Aikido is 99% strikes and only 1% preparation.

Quote:
Brian Dewey wrote: View Post
Increase my killing power, eh?
Killing power.....aaaahhhhggggghhhhh......

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

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Old 10-30-2007, 10:32 PM   #25
Stephen Webb
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Re: Aikido is 99% strikes and only 1% preparation.

The article wasn't written to be completely literally interpreted. I think the key point he makes out is we spend so much time studying the timing of an opponent's attack, and acting instinctively to create and exploit an opening, that the final act (the throw, the strike to the throat, whatever) is almost an afterthought. Think about how much of shiho nage is breaking uke's extended attack, and then how much of it is in the actual throw. When I think about it, I spend most of the time doing shiho nage thinking about preventing counters, dealing with a resistant uke, etc., but once I get that arm around it's work the wrist a little and drop them down. The art is in the preparation for the technique, not the technique itself.
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