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Old 04-26-2010, 03:22 PM   #1
Aikirk
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The use and strength of atemi application

Hello!

I was wondering to what extend, an atemi is supposed to be able to knock down the opponent, og even finish him off.

I've heard, that the atemi is a way of taking the mind of the opponent. But I cannot quite understand that I am being told, that in order to give back the opponent his life, you have to have his life in your hands when making a technique?

The atemi-strikes seems to be very central to aikido along with basic moves like irimi and tenkan, så in order to train selfdefense too, I would like to get it right.

Apart from that, I also wondered how the atemi should be applied. Are the angels from where the atemi is applied not quite important, if pressure points are utilized?
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Old 04-26-2010, 04:08 PM   #2
odudog
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Re: The use and strength of atemi application

If you happen to knock out the person from the atemi, well OK. But the goal of atemi is not to knock the person out. The main goal is to distract so that you can continue to the next step in the technique. Once the technique is finished, then you have the person's life in your hands. You can now decide to spare it or to finish him/her.
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Old 04-26-2010, 05:49 PM   #3
Abasan
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Re: The use and strength of atemi application

For some of the atemi, it concludes the kuzushi aspect, thus certain angles do come to play, not so much the way the systema guys do it though.

That's almost ritualised though because it follows form and for some of it requires uke's anticipated response to follow suit.

Atemi that takes the mind is one with good intention, mind and ki behind it. It does not have to connect physically to affect uke. Think Tiger standing behind you as you try to putt the winning hole and that's about the same.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 04-27-2010, 05:22 AM   #4
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Re: The use and strength of atemi application

This makes sense, also considering the way we train in our dojo. Thanks a lot Ahmad and Mike.

But this leads me to another question which is, weather you should apply atemi softly and relaxed or tense and hard like most karate-people do?
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Old 04-27-2010, 06:53 AM   #5
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Re: The use and strength of atemi application

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Simon Kirk Sørensen wrote: View Post
But this leads me to another question which is, weather you should apply atemi softly and relaxed or tense and hard like most karate-people do?
Have you actually studied karate?
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Old 04-27-2010, 06:55 AM   #6
niall
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Re: The use and strength of atemi application

Atemi in aikido are not primarily to do damage - they are used mostly to distract or unsettle the attacker as Mike and Ahmad said. And in aikido mostly we try to be relaxed but full of energy - that is different from some other martial arts that deliberately transition from a relaxed state to a powerful focus. But relaxed doesn't mean soft for atemi.

Simon also mentioned the pressure points and for example you can do atemi against a specific point with the knuckle of your middle finger or forefinger protruding.

And any time you can get help from the angels you should take it.

we can make our minds so like still water, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life
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Old 04-27-2010, 07:21 AM   #7
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Re: The use and strength of atemi application

Personally, I think of this question in terms of nage's ability to deliver an effective atemi.

Most of the atemi I've seen would result in nage breaking fingers or knuckles if they tried to apply any force to the strike. I'll qualify this by saying that after fourteen years of kyokushin you learn very quickly how not to strike.

A well placed atemi doesn't need a lot of power to be effective. As the old boxing axiom goes, everyone has a glass jaw. Some people can receive atemi very well, most people can't.

Angles and body position are very very important to the delivery of atemi. As a simple exercise, try delivering an atemi along the line of your uke's toward their neck/chin/nose/cheek/etc. and then try the same by "swinging" your arm to deliver the atemi. Feel what it does to your centre and the shape of your body and feet as you deliver the strike.

Mary is right about the comment about karate being tense and hard. With experience you develop a very fluid and flexible strike. Maximum power comes from moving your whole body in unison... much like Aikido
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Old 04-27-2010, 07:26 AM   #8
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Re: The use and strength of atemi application

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Have you actually studied karate?
No, i haven't. And it is not my statement that all karate-people do it this way, but the ones I know about and have spoken with do. Anyway this was not meant to be a discussion point.
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Old 04-27-2010, 07:32 AM   #9
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Re: The use and strength of atemi application

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Simon Kirk Sørensen wrote: View Post
No, i haven't. And it is not my statement that all karate-people do it this way, but the ones I know about and have spoken with do. Anyway this was not meant to be a discussion point.
you want to be relaxed while doing techniques, so you would want your atemi to be relaxed also. Otherwise you'll probably be tense when moving into the technique as well. Relaxed doesn't mean flacid though.
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Old 04-27-2010, 08:12 AM   #10
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Re: The use and strength of atemi application

maybe this video gives you ideas on atemi http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOTDA...eature=related (the younger version)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F97km...eature=related (the older version)

sometimes it's hard to know the different between aikido and karate with him.
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Old 04-27-2010, 09:19 AM   #11
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Re: The use and strength of atemi application

Relaxed, and powerful, atemi.

David Henderson
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Old 04-27-2010, 11:18 AM   #12
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Re: The use and strength of atemi application

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maybe this video gives you ideas on atemi http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOTDA...eature=related (the younger version)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F97km...eature=related (the older version)

sometimes it's hard to know the different between aikido and karate with him.
His atemi (the 2nd video) won't hurt you that's what... but fall you will.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:08 PM   #13
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Re: The use and strength of atemi application

Just depends on the situation.

Lyle Laizure
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Old 04-28-2010, 12:19 AM   #14
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Re: The use and strength of atemi application

Striking is just that... a strike. I noticed you train at Arhaus Aikido... which if I am not mistaken follows Shoji Nishio's approach to Atemi and emphasizes that every technique is done to the rhythm and flow of Atemi. Executed properly Atemi strikes can come from almost anywhere inside a technique and use not only the hands... but the elbows... and kicks too.

Every Atemi should be executed to finish/end the attack and at the same time allow you to enter and blend with your attacker.

Every technique starts with an Atemi.

William Hazen
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Old 04-28-2010, 05:22 AM   #15
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Re: The use and strength of atemi application

William:

Yes, you are quite right, we do follow Nishio Sensei's teachings. Thank you for the clarification.

But it made me think. Is the opening atemi supposed to be able to finish the attack whith a knockout, but we choose not to because of the filosofi behind Aikido?
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Old 04-28-2010, 07:52 AM   #16
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Re: The use and strength of atemi application

Quote:
Simon Kirk Sørensen wrote: View Post
William:

Yes, you are quite right, we do follow Nishio Sensei's teachings. Thank you for the clarification.

But it made me think. Is the opening atemi supposed to be able to finish the attack whith a knockout, but we choose not to because of the filosofi behind Aikido?
Exactly right...Not with a "knockout" necessarily ...but with enough intent to help our attacker/uke stop fighting with us. The first Atemi should give us a method to end the attack and/or help facilitate an opening to execute whatever technique our attacker gives us. In most cases (as shown in Saotome's Sensei's excellent video clips in this thread) some form of Iriminage.

William Hazen
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Old 04-28-2010, 08:04 AM   #17
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Re: The use and strength of atemi application

The real devastating skill of ate waza is best understood where any contact point along a path can be a strike and any contact point can absorb and make a negative/ positive connection to effect change in the opponent. So when they hit or grab you- you absorb while entering in yourself. Once in- you stick and strike without the need to wind up. I call them "Two for ones." They do a thing, and I get two, sometimes three, for their one. Just the fact that there is no windup leaves them open the majority of the time. Moving from center and expressing real Aiki and in all of your contact points avoids time delays and perceptible motion for them to read. This gives you a "real time" advantage as they cannot feel any weight shift or feel the strikes and kicks coming, and they end up playing catch up to your movement. Then, when you don't move away or do the tell tale windup, but instead hit them again and again from impossible angles- you dominate.

Why and how is that pertinent to aikido? The strike in aikido is supposed to have that same quality and ability. It is soft power-the likes of which is knock out power. One word of caution I have is that impressive demo's, power releases and strikes that a high school wrestler could avoid is not the way to go. No matter how much power someone has- if they do not know the how's and where's to use it and what will actually work under stress and at speed ...well then...it can be back to zero in finding out how.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 04-28-2010 at 08:12 AM.
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Old 04-28-2010, 08:51 AM   #18
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Re: The use and strength of atemi application

That's a really good point Dan makes.about not telegraphing an atemi. A perceptible cocking of your arm (in any technique by the way) leaves you open to an atemi or another technique yourself.

And one more detail: atemi in aikido are usually with the fist vertical (not horizontal with the palm down like a karate punch).

Other common atemi are elbow strikes and open hand strikes. Dan also mentions kicks but I have rarely seen them in dojos in Japan (I have seen kicks in Korea in a hapkido dojo). Judo includes atemi waza in one or two of the kata in the same way as they are used in aikido and in at least one kata (Kime no Kata) the tori also uses kicks.

And you don't have to do atemi. You can also understand atemi as potential strikes that can be included or deliberately omitted at various points during a technique.

Last edited by niall : 04-28-2010 at 08:59 AM.

we can make our minds so like still water, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life
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Old 04-28-2010, 12:01 PM   #19
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Re: The use and strength of atemi application

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And you don't have to do atemi. You can also understand atemi as potential strikes that can be included or deliberately omitted at various points during a technique.
I agree. Also, to me, atemi is/are simply part of not allowing any openings. For me, to think of it as a strike is not the right mind-set, and can quickly turn nage into uke. If it flows organically from the overall process of alignment, musubi, tsukuri etc., it's a different thing altogether.

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Old 04-29-2010, 10:03 PM   #20
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Re: The use and strength of atemi application

what Dan is talking about is rarely seen,and difficult to comprehend.

stan
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Old 04-30-2010, 06:18 AM   #21
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Re: The use and strength of atemi application

Well, I really don't know how rare it is, Stan. Granted, I've not met any teacher in the Japanese or ICMA who can do what I am talking about in the format I am discussing, but I'm sure they are out there! Some of ICMA teachers I've met have real power and aiki, but they have not pursued the use of it in the type of venues that would pressure them in the same way. I am sure that were they to do so, they would arrive at similar conclusions about using power-in an MMA type of format. Why am I so sure? That type of training, combined with IP/Aiki, is so rational that it would become obvious to most real researchers willing to do the work. I just don't think many TMA would want to go there. Limited play; push hands and throws is what most are satisfied with.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 04-30-2010 at 06:21 AM.
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Old 05-03-2010, 04:08 PM   #22
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Re: The use and strength of atemi application

Funny...maybe i'm the only one from this kind of school, but i've been taught a very different meaning for an atemi.

For many of Chiba Sensei's older students, the atemi is the start of many if not all techniques once you get to a certain level (say shodan or ikkyu if your sensei thinks you're ready for it). However, it's my observation that if the atemi works and is successful in getting rid of the threat, Great! Done and done.

If however, the uke knows what they're doing and they either blend or stick, then that's when the rest of the technique is required. As for my dojo: if you're not paying attention, Sensei's atemi will knock you on your ass! He really doesn't pull his punches when you get to a certain level.
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Old 05-03-2010, 05:59 PM   #23
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Re: The use and strength of atemi application

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Funny...maybe i'm the only one from this kind of school, but i've been taught a very different meaning for an atemi.

For many of Chiba Sensei's older students, the atemi is the start of many if not all techniques once you get to a certain level (say shodan or ikkyu if your sensei thinks you're ready for it). However, it's my observation that if the atemi works and is successful in getting rid of the threat, Great! Done and done.

If however, the uke knows what they're doing and they either blend or stick, then that's when the rest of the technique is required. As for my dojo: if you're not paying attention, Sensei's atemi will knock you on your ass! He really doesn't pull his punches when you get to a certain level.
This is the way we teach it in Shoji Nishio's style too.

William Hazen
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:20 PM   #24
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Re: The use and strength of atemi application

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William Hazen wrote: View Post
This is the way we teach it in Shoji Nishio's style too.
My bad Will, I totally glanced over your post. Are there any students of Shoji Nishio in Southern California? I thought most of them were centralized in the Eastern US and Europe. Any info here would be great because I'm always looking for a new place to meet people and experience new styles
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:10 AM   #25
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Re: The use and strength of atemi application

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Greg Tabata wrote: View Post
My bad Will, I totally glanced over your post. Are there any students of Shoji Nishio in Southern California? I thought most of them were centralized in the Eastern US and Europe. Any info here would be great because I'm always looking for a new place to meet people and experience new styles
Yup Greg. There are a few....The Southern California Group is the largest as far as I know. PM me for my contact info and I'll hook you up.

William Hazen
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