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Old 03-10-2006, 03:52 AM   #1
David Yap
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Atteru and Ki

Hi all,

Here's an interest article by Robert House sensei of Aikido Commerce Dojo:

Article

Can anyone help put the kanji for "Atteru" in the context of the article?

Much thanks

David
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Old 03-10-2006, 07:35 AM   #2
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: Atteru and Ki

Ateru defined by Kenkyusha's fourth edition: apply; lay; hold; place; put; press 当

(see atemi also)

Interesting article and expression of a fundamental aspect of aiki.

Chuck Clark
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Old 03-10-2006, 07:23 PM   #3
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: Atteru and Ki

I just found a comment by Peter Goldsbury from 2002 that sheds some light on this question.

The ateru I spoke about above isn't the same according to Prof. Goldsbury. Here is his comment:

"...Similarly with 'atteru'. When I first came across this term, I thought it was a mistaken spelling for 'ateru' (as in 'atemi'). This is not the case. I consulted with a Japanese colleague in my university and learned a whole new view of the word. 'Atteru' has completely different kanji and means something like 'to match exactly'. It is another way of reading the 'ai' in 'aikido'.

Now, Bryan Bateman sent a post with a link to an essay about a seminar taught by Seishiro Endo. But Endo Sensei never explains what 'atteru' actually means. In Japanese, 'pittari kuru' might convey the sense, but this means really 'what is exactly right for the situation' and this is what 'atteru' actually means. So the movement is exactly right for the attack."

I would also like to see the kanji for this atteru.

Chuck Clark
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Old 03-11-2006, 12:43 AM   #4
David Yap
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Re: Atteru and Ki

Thanks Chuck.

I am hoping that guys/gals training in Japan and and who are familiar with this term "atteru" can help. The kanji will be a great help to understand it further/deeper.

Regards

David Y
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Old 03-11-2006, 05:30 AM   #5
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: Atteru and Ki

You guys know the kanji: 合ってる.

It seems like the word is being treated as a noun, like "ki" or "kokyu". But actually it is a verb, in a progressive conjugation.

合う - au "to match, to meet"
合って(い)る - atte-(i)ru "matching, meeting"

It seems like Endo-sensei was using it particularly idiomatically to indicate a certain kind of matching, perhaps an interaction with the opponent's ki, the ki "matching".

This reminds me of something I heard and saw demonstrated by an Iwama instructor in Nagoya (Takumo Sensei of Saito Hirohito's Iwama Shinshin Aiki Shurenkai). He told a student that he was doing great, but he would really improve when he grasped "awase".

Now, "awase" is written with the same kanji as "aiki", and the same kanji as "atteru": 合わせ. But while 合う is intransitive, 合わせ is transitive (in this case in a gerund form). The instructor went on to explain "awase" as (he said) Saito Morihiro used to demonstrate it.

He had the student grab his hand in morotetori, as hard as he could (as we are wont in Iwama style). With the student holding on hard, he said, "With awase, you should be able to scratch your head, and your butt." Then with a slight movement, vaguely similar to morotetori kokyuho, he reached up and scratched his head, despite the students efforts to hold his arm down. Then he brought his hand down on the same track, slightly turned his body, and scratched his rear-end. There was no straining, or muscling up; he moved his hand up as if the student wasn't there, and then back down the same way.

Working out with this exercise, it definitely reminded me of my work out with Rob John. I don't actually think Takumo-sensei is a master of internal power (though I may be wrong!), but I think what he was teaching was certainly a fundamental aspect of aikido, and if nothing else the very beginnings of internal training.

Essentially, IMO, Endo-sensei and Takumo-sensei were talking about the "ai" of aikido, what exactly it means.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
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Old 03-11-2006, 05:45 AM   #6
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: Atteru and Ki

Thanks Josh. I was so sidetracked by Endo's use of "pressure" that it was confusing. Your post makes a lot of sense.

Chuck Clark
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Old 03-11-2006, 07:18 AM   #7
Mike Sigman
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Re: Atteru and Ki

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote:
You guys know the kanji: 合ってる.

It seems like the word is being treated as a noun, like "ki" or "kokyu". But actually it is a verb, in a progressive conjugation.

合う - au "to match, to meet"
合って(い)る - atte-(i)ru "matching, meeting"

It seems like Endo-sensei was using it particularly idiomatically to indicate a certain kind of matching, perhaps an interaction with the opponent's ki, the ki "matching".

This reminds me of something I heard and saw demonstrated by an Iwama instructor in Nagoya (Takumo Sensei of Saito Hirohito's Iwama Shinshin Aiki Shurenkai). He told a student that he was doing great, but he would really improve when he grasped "awase".

Now, "awase" is written with the same kanji as "aiki", and the same kanji as "atteru": 合わせ. But while 合う is intransitive, 合わせ is transitive (in this case in a gerund form). The instructor went on to explain "awase" as (he said) Saito Morihiro used to demonstrate it.

He had the student grab his hand in morotetori, as hard as he could (as we are wont in Iwama style). With the student holding on hard, he said, "With awase, you should be able to scratch your head, and your butt." Then with a slight movement, vaguely similar to morotetori kokyuho, he reached up and scratched his head, despite the students efforts to hold his arm down. Then he brought his hand down on the same track, slightly turned his body, and scratched his rear-end. There was no straining, or muscling up; he moved his hand up as if the student wasn't there, and then back down the same way.

Working out with this exercise, it definitely reminded me of my work out with Rob John. I don't actually think Takumo-sensei is a master of internal power (though I may be wrong!), but I think what he was teaching was certainly a fundamental aspect of aikido, and if nothing else the very beginnings of internal training.

Essentially, IMO, Endo-sensei and Takumo-sensei were talking about the "ai" of aikido, what exactly it means..
Thanks, Josh. I think you're right and there's an implication of the same essential idea being conveyed by idiomatic choices of various words. To over-interpret each word would miss the point, IMO.
Quote:
The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
Too soon Old; Too late Smart.
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Old 03-11-2006, 07:49 AM   #8
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Re: Atteru and Ki

Ack, ack! Takamo-sensei, not Takumo-sensei. Ugh. The Bokken of Linguistic Pedantry hits hardest when it bounces back and hits one's self... Also, the Jo of Disappearing Edit Functions...

Quote:
Too soon Old; Too late Smart.
Well, Chaucer liked the flowery language, y'know.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
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Old 03-13-2006, 01:40 AM   #9
David Yap
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Re: Atteru and Ki

Thank you, Josh, for the kanji and the informative explanations.

Regarding "awase", I had this problem ...

In a dojo where I've trained in a few years ago, the instructor's favorite Japanese term was "awase" which he dispensed frequently in class. My understanding of "awase" in relation to martial art is that the Nage must blend with the attack (the aggressive action) and the Uke must blend with the Nage after realizing that his/her aggressive action has been defused/neutralized and there is no possibility of him/her to re-launch a second attack. The instructor's understanding was different from mine. He emphasized that both Nage and Uke must blend with each other at the onset -- similar to doing a waltz with a partner. He was teaching aikido as form of dance. In kata training it was helpful for the beginners as each attack was choreographed from the direction it should be launched right down to the footwork. But in jiyuwaza, I have had problems as I didn't know what techniques he was going to do. There were times when I was quick to regain my balance and he couldn't execute his technique in flowing manner or he just couldn't execute them at all and he ended up holding me on the mats as if we were about to start a waltz routine. It wasn't fun for me either as he punished me by pinching/squeezing my arms (while we stood on the mat) leaving nasty bruises there. To avoid such "punishment" I tried to fall at the moment of unbalance; it made him looked good with his techniques but the problem was that at times it wasn't his intention to throw me and I fouled up his routine and he thought that I intentionally do them to belittle him by giving him "charity" falls. So, I move on.

My next question is if the instructor was right that there should be "awase" between the nage and uke at the onset of the attack, what did I or he miss out in our practice?

David Y

Last edited by David Yap : 03-13-2006 at 01:42 AM.
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Old 09-16-2006, 08:22 PM   #10
dawolfie
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Re: Atteru and Ki

I am a student of Robert House and I have had the honor of attending one of Endo's only two US visits. The principle as taught by Robert House Sensei is the uke and nage's ki coming together and forming a new energy.

I am sure Robert House Sensei would love to explain it further if anyone would like to email him.

BTW, if you get a chance to see any of Endo's clips on youtube.com, you may be able to see what they're talking about.
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Old 09-18-2006, 12:50 AM   #11
ivobear
 
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Re: Atteru and Ki

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote:
You guys know the kanji: 合ってる ...
Ciao Joshua, I met Endo sensey only once ... in Wien a couple years ago ... but I ramember his teaching.
Endo sensei focus the 3 day stage on atari, is it the same as ateru?
Reading the article it seems that the concept is similar, but I do not know enough japan to be sure ...

Ciao ciao (bye bye ), ivobear.
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Old 09-18-2006, 01:49 PM   #12
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Atteru and Ki

Hi David. I've always been wary when people define awase as "blending"...my own japanese instructor always responds with "what is this blending???".

I like the definitions above much more. I think they describe what was missing much better than I can. One thing I've heard my instructor say though is that if you don't meet the attack (on shomenuchi ikkajo ni for ex.) how do you know uke's power?

Best,
Ron (he also defines harmony as taking two opposing forces and creating something more / positive from it...awase?)

Ron Tisdale
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Old 09-18-2006, 05:17 PM   #13
Mark Uttech
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Re: Atteru and Ki

I came across a definition of Awase as "together". That certainly makes a lot of aikido sense to me, so I use that definition in class when I use the word awase.
In gassho,
Mark
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Old 09-19-2006, 07:00 PM   #14
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Atteru and Ki

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Hi David. I've always been wary when people define awase as "blending"...my own japanese instructor always responds with "what is this blending???".
Mark mentioned that awase can be translated as "together". That's not bad for a one word definition but the word as typically used in Aikido is more complex.

Awase has the flavor of being "in phase" as in the waves viewed on an oscilloscope. When a training exercise focuses on awase the partners are trying to match one another. It is a method used to develop sensitivity. You first learn to match another's movements before you go to the more "applied" level which would be called for in an actual confrontation.

One would not normally strive for awase in an applied situation. In a real conflict one would attempt to put the attacker "out of phase" with his movements (thus preventing kaeshiwaza). Pulse type movements, timing changes, strong balance breaks and atemi are all ways to accomplish this.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 09-19-2006, 07:23 PM   #15
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Re: Atteru and Ki

Quote:
David Yap wrote:
My next question is if the instructor was right that there should be "awase" between the nage and uke at the onset of the attack, what did I or he miss out in our practice?

David Y
\

Hi David,
This instructor is using the term differently than I would. One establishes ki musubi when standing across from an opponent. The opponent is placing his attention on you as the target for his attack. The body won't attack unless the mind tells it to so the attention precedes any action. Also, the attacker must not only place his "attention" on you but he must project that "attention" out to you with some power or focus, which is called "intention".

The defender does exactly the same thing. He reaches out to the attaker's center and places his attention there. He can vary how much "intention" he wishes to show to the attacker. he might be low "intention" and give as little away as possible or he can be high "intention" and blast the attacker with the strength of his own projection.

Anyway, there is only one channel at work here. So both the attacker and defender are streaming their consciousness in the form of their "attention" out to the opponent. Ki Musubi as I currently understand it and teach it is when I extend my "attention" right down the channel through the oncoming "intention" of the attacker. If I can be relaxed, in a state of fudo shin, or immoveable mind, then like a tuning fork I can begin to feel the other's "intention" and intuit the instant at which he decides to attack. This of course precedes the instant at which he starts to move.

I do not believe that ki musubi and awase are interchangeable concepts. One uses awase in training to help devlop the ability to accomplish ki musubi. As I stated in my other post awase is like being "in phase" with the partner. You mentioned dance... dance with a partner is really all about awase.

I can have continuous ki kmusubi and put myself out of phase with him. In fact, creating the "in phase" and "out of phase" states relative to the partner requires ki musubi.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 09-19-2006, 09:04 PM   #16
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: Atteru and Ki

Good post George. This is also my understanding. Lots of folks using these terms differently though.

Whack Aaron for me when you see him...

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Old 09-20-2006, 09:26 PM   #17
David Yap
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Re: Atteru and Ki

Thank you, George sensei, for the excellent post.

You have re-affirmed my understanding of the term "Awase" from the MA point of view. TQ too for your explanation on "ki musubi".

Regards

David Y
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Old 10-02-2006, 10:21 PM   #18
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Re: Atteru and Ki

The original "atteru" in this thread is most likely meant to be "atari" (""), a term that Endo sensei uses quite a bit.
Interestingly, according to a conversation with him last spring, Yamaguchi sensei started using the expression "atari" because he didn't like the connotation ("ҤӤ) of "atemi", which Kisshomaru Doshu was using to describe the same thing, expanding the definition from its original one of "strike".
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Old 07-02-2011, 11:54 PM   #19
David Yap
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Re: Atteru and Ki

Just an update after all these years.

Endo shihan's video on Atari http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHxBV...feature=relmfu

The Japanese writing for Atari as on the title of video is 当たりと. My understanding of Atari from one of teachers is to match the opponent's strength/force/energy to create a new movement.

Last edited by David Yap : 07-03-2011 at 12:00 AM.
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