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Old 04-24-2012, 07:12 AM   #26
Abasan
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Re: What is atemi really for?

Does using atemi to take center necessarily result in you being hospitalized? This means that you believe atemi strikes are more effective than taking center. Oh well I guess then there's really nothing to expand on really.

Where I come from, taking center is paramount. No center, no power. No power means I have control over you since I have power, mine and yours.

I'm not saying strikes don't work or aren't effective, i thought we were talking about atemi and aikido here that's all.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:54 AM   #27
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Re: What is atemi really for?

Ahmad, not exactly sure what you are referencing....but I think atemi is simply a tool. You can use it to get back control of the situation (controlling or taking center), or you can use it to end the fight by continuing your use of force past the point of control.

Really the issue we are discussing, IMO, is spectrum of force of continium of force. That is, how does atemi relate to that.

Ethically, and most rules of engagement of organizations and society dictate that once you have control of a situation, any force used past that is considered excessive. I think this is in line with the overall philosophy of aikido and many other martial arts.

Atemi is but one way to address the situation or threat. Where you are on the spectrum determines exactly what you are doing with it and when it becomes something else.

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Old 04-25-2012, 11:12 AM   #28
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Re: What is atemi really for?

Kevin,

Well I was addressing some of the responses above that lean towards the 'I strike you and the end' part of the spectrum you talked about.

I just wanted to clarify that i don't hold any distinction between atemi that hits and atemi that doesn't. That's probably the spectrum I can accept. As long as its atemi.

What is not in that spectrum would be 'just' hits. An atemi can be a strike, but a strike not necessarily an atemi. The difference would be atemi"s purpose, to take center. So hitting the other guy or not shouldn't be the issue here. But if you have that in your bag of tricks, by all means fire away.

I've been hit many times by my Sensei"s ateru. It doesn't hurt physically as a strike, in fact it feels just like a nudge. But the end result can be devastating... Either you fall or get knocked away or you squish up. In any case, your center has been completely blown away. Would I use it if I could? In a heart beat.

Between waving your hands with intent and hoping the other guy connects enough to you that you can affect him, and actually touching him and having him collapse without any physical harm whatsoever, I'll take the latter anyday.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 04-25-2012, 12:40 PM   #29
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Re: What is atemi really for?

I haven't really thought about it much...but I suppose I don't make a distinction either. to me, a strike is a strike. What makes it different is my relationship to uke at the time I use it. If i am at a disadvantage, that is he has my center and I am trying to buy time, create distance, regain center, then my purpose in using it may be different. The effectiveness and the power might also be different too (weak). If I am centered and I am using it to off center uke, then that would be like mid-range power. If I have use's center, or have him immobilized or pinned...then things might get really ugly.

There are ethics in each of these situations as well as you can imagine that we need to consider when looking at use of force.

However, for me, a punch is a punch...i would hit with the same intent always if I am hitting, and that is to cause pain, damage, or disruption of uke.

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Old 04-25-2012, 02:59 PM   #30
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Re: What is atemi really for?

Under practical points of view (I am most interested in those, and not because I am callous), as far as I understood and I used it, you use atemi merely to break your opponent's attention, that is you buff him on the face while you are already manouvering to place a techinque. It may ease his rigidity because it brings his attention elsewhere.
It is fundamentally a diversion. I consider it delivering intentional disinformation about your intentions while fighting.

Keep in mind that an atemi may divert attention only on people who are not used to be punched in the face. Guys used to get jabs and uppercuts and hooks on their faces won't be significantly affected by an atemi - if any at all.

last but not least, an atemi is almost the same of a tsuki, a punch - as a matter of fact whatever diverts the attention of your opponent is an atemi, even your elbow striking in his face as you get ready to kotegaeshi.

ps or even hitting him on his face repeatdely with his own hand while in position for shihonage, before actually grounding him.

Last edited by Alberto_Italiano : 04-25-2012 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 04-25-2012, 04:26 PM   #31
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Re: What is atemi really for?

The only thing is, I believe when we 'intend' to strike, we have already lost. With atemi, there is no intent anything. Atemi is just incorporated in our every movement but in a more fluid, natural manner rather than a deliberate thing.

Also it's not limited to distractions to the face or just with the hands. In fact one of the more subtle applications of atemi is sokumen nage as in the trailing hand. Whilst the lead hand is basically extended outwards under uke's chin, the trailing hands cuts uke's center and even if uke doesn't see it with his eyes or the fact that it doesn't really touch his body, he will feel his torso being cut or the danger of that impending cut. Don't apply the atemi then, and he will feel all the power of the leading hand and resist.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 04-25-2012, 04:32 PM   #32
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Re: What is atemi really for?

I agree also that uke's who are used to taking strikes, or uke who deliberately ignore the danger of atemi and crazy uke's don't get affected by atemi waza so much until you apply it all the way. That's why atemi needs to take uke's center primarily. Injury and pain is secondary to taking center and the absence on the former two is much more in congruence with the Aikido spirit but remains a valid choice should you want to apply it.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 04-25-2012, 04:45 PM   #33
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Re: What is atemi really for?

Dear All,
If you want to see atemi in action check out Wake Up Call by Chiba Sensei on Youtube.Cheers, Joe.
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Old 04-25-2012, 05:03 PM   #34
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Re: What is atemi really for?

Injury or pain or the perception of it is what creates the conditions for u to take his center. Also don't assume that u si ply are taking his center. If he took yours, then it may be that u must get yours back first.

I don't know about the whole if you intend to strike u already lost perspective. That seems philosophical to me, and I personally don't get that much into the weeds. If I am using ate I, it is because I don't have control and use it to get control. So yeah, losing is there and I don't want to. Already lost though....not in the philosophical since. I'd I gain control...well I'm about winning with what is necesarry.

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Old 04-25-2012, 05:28 PM   #35
Gerardo Torres
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Re: What is atemi really for?

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear All,
If you want to see atemi in action check out Wake Up Call by Chiba Sensei on Youtube.Cheers, Joe.
Hi Joe,

I assume you refer to this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lo5Na1x6sAc

I would be interesting to see that attempted on somebody who would fight back or defend himself (i.e. not have their left arm dangling on the side).
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:04 PM   #36
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Re: What is atemi really for?

Are we limiting atemi waza to just the fist. In the broader sense (ie. the series of atemi waza of let's say Shodokan Aikido) it can include striking by any part of the body. Irimi nage omote is an atemi waza for instance.

I would think that the distracting jab that seems to be discussed here throws out any advantage aikido technique can give. A strike by the fist followed by the whole body on the other hand (there is a pun in there somewhere) can be a thing of beauty.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:23 AM   #37
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Re: What is atemi really for?

Peter, I am not limiting Atemi to just the fist. My assumption is that is involves any use of the body to strike with, but primarily legs and arms.

To me, it does not matter, the mechanics are the same. one of three conditions are pretty much present. You have his center (you dominate), neutral postion (parity), or he has your center (he is dominate).

Those three conditions, IMO, matter more than the method of atemi as it will affect how much force and what you are able and should be trying to do with the atemi/strike. Now, the IT/IS guys like Dan, may present a different take on this as someone like Dan can generate power from various orientations...I'm good with that...but my mind says that even with that, I would see that more as an orientation and not about who is controlling who. i.e. I think it is possible to appear to be out of kilter, but actually be in control. but i'd lump that into the first two conditions which says you have his center, or you are neutral.

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Old 04-26-2012, 03:33 AM   #38
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Re: What is atemi really for?

I got that from your posts and I like your conditions. Somewhat similar to the go no sen, sen no sen and sen sen no sen that I know and love. I do think that atemi waza of any form is more of a pre-emptive (ie. sen no sen) technique - much more effective to dominate from the beginning rather than use it to recover your dominance. Dare I say atemi is a lousy defensive technique.

As for IS/IT (shrug).

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Peter, I am not limiting Atemi to just the fist. My assumption is that is involves any use of the body to strike with, but primarily legs and arms.

To me, it does not matter, the mechanics are the same. one of three conditions are pretty much present. You have his center (you dominate), neutral postion (parity), or he has your center (he is dominate).

Those three conditions, IMO, matter more than the method of atemi as it will affect how much force and what you are able and should be trying to do with the atemi/strike. Now, the IT/IS guys like Dan, may present a different take on this as someone like Dan can generate power from various orientations...I'm good with that...but my mind says that even with that, I would see that more as an orientation and not about who is controlling who. i.e. I think it is possible to appear to be out of kilter, but actually be in control. but i'd lump that into the first two conditions which says you have his center, or you are neutral.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 04-26-2012, 04:23 AM   #39
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Re: What is atemi really for?

Agree it is a lousy defensive technique. for the sake of framing the disucssion though, I think it has to be mentioned. If you are on the bad side of things, there are usually things that you need to be doing other then striking. however, a good slap to the ear to create a disruption, forming a frame to create some space etc...are all things that are useful and I put in the same realm as atemi. you do need to follow that up with core/body movement, for example a clinch, though or it is COMPLETELY useless if you ask me.

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Old 05-03-2012, 09:08 AM   #40
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Re: What is atemi really for?

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Injury or pain or the perception of it is what creates the conditions for u to take his center.
It can, but I don't think atemi is or should be about this. In fact, I think this is a distraction. One cannot predict how another responds to injury or perception of pain, so those things should become incidental to your purpose.

To me atemi is about creating a connection to my partner, and doing with with my entire body, regardless of which part actually is doing the touching, and regardless of whether or not they are destroyed by it. With a connection established, much more becomes possible, and depends upon the partner's response.

If ukemi is about receiving force with the [entire] body, for me atemi is it's mirror image. It's about delivering force, regardless of where that force comes from.

Quote:
I don't know about the whole if you intend to strike u already lost perspective. That seems philosophical to me, and I personally don't get that much into the weeds. If I am using ate I, it is because I don't have control and use it to get control. So yeah, losing is there and I don't want to. Already lost though....not in the philosophical since. I'd I gain control...well I'm about winning with what is necesarry.
From my point of view, if you only use ate when you lose control and are using it to regain control pretty much explains the entire 'philosophical' perspective you mention.

Best,

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

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Old 05-03-2012, 09:42 AM   #41
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Re: What is atemi really for?

Quote:
Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
If ukemi is about receiving force with the [entire] body, for me atemi is it's mirror image. It's about delivering force, regardless of where that force comes from.
Well put.

dps
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:13 AM   #42
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Re: What is atemi really for?

Well whatever it is ....it should be applied early and often.......
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:36 PM   #43
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Re: What is atemi really for?

Miyamoto Musashi claimed that the principles used to defeat one man could be applied to seven, seventy, seven hundred, seven thousand, seventy thousand...

I think it might be useful to borrow from the tactics used by military forces since antiquity and apply to one on one.

There are two standard methods used by competent commanders depending on the "personality" of the opponent...

When the opponent is known to be conservative or afraid...
1. Engage Opponent's Center [Connect]
2. Make flanking attack forcing opponent to commit reserve to prevent defeat [Atemi forcing block or loss of balance]
3. Make decisive attack by attacking between the engaged center and the committed reserve [Opponent's Ki should now be split - enter decisively and defeat opponent]

If the opponent is known to be aggressive, the sequence is this...
1. Attack opponent's Center [Atemi]
2, Retreat in feigned disorder when opponent counterattacks and senses victory [Connect and turn into a ghost]
3. Make decisive attack in flank or rear against now disordered opponent [Opponent's energy is either spent, misdirected or out of balance - enter decisively into opponent's center and defeat opponent]

Naturally, the moment to enter decisively depends on being in harmony with the energy of the conflict at hand...

Note: Some commanders just use brute force (aka frontal attacks) to try and win with superior strength. See the second method - no need to initiate attack - just blend/connect with attack and turn into a ghost. Proceed to step 3.

For me, this applies almost directly to hand-to-hand. And it certainly looks like Aikido to me.

Of course, a competent opponent should know this and will be wary...

Just an observation...

All paths lead to death. I strongly recommend taking one of the scenic routes.
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:42 AM   #44
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Re: What is atemi really for?

Quote:
Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post

If ukemi is about receiving force with the [entire] body, for me atemi is it's mirror image. It's about delivering force, regardless of where that force comes from.
,
wouldn't that mean we should be practice half of our time on receiving and the other half on delivering?

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:11 AM   #45
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Re: What is atemi really for?

"I think it might be useful to borrow from the tactics used by military forces since antiquity and apply to one on one.

There are two standard methods used by competent commanders depending on the "personality" of the opponent..."

Robin....you might want to PM Kevin about the OODA loop......
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:45 AM   #46
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Re: What is atemi really for?

"Robin....you might want to PM Kevin about the OODA loop......"

I think the OODA loop is good stuff. It is a nice generalized theory.

All paths lead to death. I strongly recommend taking one of the scenic routes.
AWA - Shodan - Started Aikido training in 2008
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:00 AM   #47
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Re: What is atemi really for?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
"Although the atemi-waza and kansetsu-waza can be viewed as techniques that can inflict a severe injury on an opponent, if we study the principles of the martial arts well, we realize that they are exquisite techniques for toppling (taosu) or controlling (osaeru) an opponent without necessarily harming him. "

From:

http://www.judoinfo.com/tomiki2.htm;

On Jujutsu and its Modernization
by Kenji Tomiki

dps
I love this. The kosho monks developed a Kenpo style that used atemi to literally guide people into falls. I have reverse engineered this to some degree, applying Daito principles to my Kenpo. It makes great sense. Edmund Parker (American Kenpo) used a tern called frictional guidance. In essence, you can attain kuzushi with. Grab, a brushing of the hand, arm or torso, or you can "fold" people's body with light penetration. Lot's of fun.

You do not have to injure anyone. But a well placed punch still devastates.
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:13 AM   #48
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Re: What is atemi really for?

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
wouldn't that mean we should be practice half of our time on receiving and the other half on delivering?
It depends upon the mode of practice. If I am doing things well, I find that I am usually both receiving and delivering force at the same time regardless of my role. So I practice all the time receiving (whether as uke or even or especially as tori) and most of the time on delivering force (again, both as uke and tori).

Receiving and delivering force is something that is intimately tied together. The idea that you are only doing one or the other in your role as uke or tori is very misleading in my mind, because when I am receiving force I am always looking for a way to channel it through me to somewhere, ideally somewhere that allows me to steal back the sente.

The only difference in my mind with regard to who is in which role is not who is delivering or receiving the force, but who has the sente and can make the next decision (or as Kevin might say, who is ahead in the OODA loop). I can be receiving and/or delivering force and still have the sente. When things happen correctly, uke falls down mostly because of the force that they delivered to me, returned to them skillfully with some of my own force plus gravity.

Also, I, for one, don't go in for the typical, "you throw me 4 times, I throw you 4 times" mode of practice. Even as a student I didn't comply well with that methodology; even when I was in an Aikikai dojo. I'd often insist on remaining uke (or tori) until we were reasonably close to achieving the thing we were supposed to be working on. Sometimes, I'd explain it as.. "I can't count". When I taught there, I'd often set different patterns for learning.

Now that I run my own place, I remain in the role of uke or tori for as long my partner and I feel is necessary for learning. If I remain uke for an entire class, that's just fine for my own learning and often better for my students learning.

Best,

Tarik Ghbeish
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Old 05-04-2012, 02:14 PM   #49
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Re: What is atemi really for?

What is earth-gravity-living without force. We push on the earth, the earth pushes back, we channel that through our skeletal framework to create momentum.

A touch, a push, a strike. They all work the same way. The difference is momentum. If you channel well, your size doesn't matter. If you channel using long leverage, what looks like a slight touch can topple an opponent or do damage to his body.

It is all atemi to me.
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:15 PM   #50
Keith Larman
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Re: What is atemi really for?

I keep reading this thread not knowing what to say. I must just be the simpleton here... Because I keep wanting to say the point of atemi is to hit the other fella. Nothing more, nothing less. Why you may do it varies from situation to situation. When you do it is similarly varied. Asking what it's *really* for is like asking what life is *really* about. Or what love *really* is. Or what is a good car *really*. It just depends. On one level it is what it is. On another level, well, it just depends.

We spend way too much time IMHO chasing after some larger, overarching simplifying explanation that gives us absolute guidance when often there simply isn't one to be had. Well, at least not one any more significant than the obvious answer...

That's my answer and I'm sticking with it...

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