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Old 05-04-2012, 05:58 PM   #51
phitruong
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Re: What is atemi really for?

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post

That's my answer and I'm sticking with it...
my answer: atemi is really for reaching enlightenment.

"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, 10:06 PM   #52
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Re: What is atemi really for?

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my answer: atemi is really for reaching enlightenment.
Caught an atemi with my face last year. Zigged when I should have zagged. Lit me up... Or is that the wrong enlightenment?

Actually I was quite proud that I kept on working and moving. I only whimpered quietly later...

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Old 05-04-2012, 10:14 PM   #53
Chris Parkerson
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Re: What is atemi really for?

LOL Phi. I love your response.
Perhaps it is a paraphrase of Edmund Parker's statement in the Zen of Kenpo.

"Purity comes only when pure knuckles meet pure flesh, no matter who delivers or receives.”
Kind of like the Zen Master who throws his disciple into the frigid water. For that one instant, there was indeed nothing else pressing upon his awareness.

For me, all punches designed to destabilize and throw an opponent touch the center and create kuzushi. Other punches touch the center but drive the unstable frame "inside" use's stance so the natural skeletal resistance is produced. These do internal damage.

Either way, punch/throw or Punch/penetrate all punched touch the center.
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:03 PM   #54
John Thomas Read
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Re: What is atemi really for?

The moment uke (the attacker) forms intent to attack nage (the defender) he (she) commits to the level of psychological concept; that is, uke becomes enveloped in the world of thought. Now there is no doubt that when properly used, thought is very useful to human beings. But on the martial level, thought also has the unfortunate tendency to constantly stop on things, so when uke's mind becomes caught in conception, 'suki' inevitably appear, 'openings' that are vulnerable to attack.

Thought is contracted energy, not unlike material substance. When uke forms intent to attack nage, his mind enters a predictable state, like a mass in motion. Simply by observing uke commit to his conceptual structure, nage will find a way to take advantage of the weaknesses inherent in the human mind's conceptual predictability.

In martial arts, atemi is most commonly thought to involve a strike toward a vulnerability in uke. But atemi can be understood in other ways. For example, it is entirely possible for nage to 'throw atemi', not by throwing a strike, but by placing definitively (setting in space) a certain 'stillness' (often of the hand) in the midst of a high speed technical movement.

Such a stillness stands out and catches uke's mind, causing it to stop for a moment. As uke's mind stops on nage's set of technical stillness, nage himself does not stop and instead continues to flow through the technique. The result is that uke, caught for a moment in a conceptual stop, loses any lead, any initiative he may have had, and becomes trapped into a lagging position from which he cannot escape throughout the remainder of the throw.

The set of the hand in space may or may not contain real potential for an actual strike to uke's body - but it doesn't really matter. Nage really has no intent to strike uke at all. Instead, nage's atemi is intended to catch uke into a reactive and therefore lagging position within the technique.

Advanced Aikidoists are generally very skilled in moving quickly, precisely, and powerfully, but many are less skilled with the placement of silent stillness as part of waza. I believe it is important to understand the implications of silence and stillness, and recommend spending considerable time exploring the use of these in one's Aikido techniques.

Interestingly, when nage does grasp the importance of this 'set of stillness' type of atemi, in practicing it is common for nage to become caught into into his own atemi! For this reason (among others) it is important to spend time examining the nature of thought, and how uke's mind, as well as one's own, is vulnerable to psychological entrapment.

One might begin such a study by observing the movement of thought in one's own mind, and making a distinction between the content of thought, and the structure of thought.
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Old 05-05-2012, 02:47 AM   #55
Chris Parkerson
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Re: What is atemi really for?

An excellent treatise, John. And in a majority of cases, I know this to be true.
Most attackers form an intent. We tend to train "mushin" as counterfighters; an the one who responds to an attack using blending and filling holes in an attackers posture, and/or the angles and zones That present during the attack.

Then Bruce Lee turned such dogma on it's head. He, in zen awareness, simply said, "The hand hits". For him that was true whether he was uke or nage. He claimed to have attained silent stillness by "becoming like water". His body just filled efficient spaces whether he initiated an attack or defended against one.

Perhaps we can attain silent stillness in our attacks as well as our defenses too.
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Old 05-05-2012, 09:02 AM   #56
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Re: What is atemi really for?

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Keith Larman wrote: View Post
I keep reading this thread not knowing what to say. I must just be the simpleton here...
Nah.

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Keith Larman wrote: View Post
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.
Well, I take the question as asking about the strategic use of atemi in aikido. It certainly is different than the strategic use of atemi in boxing. The mechanics are different, the intent is different, the desired affects are usually different, but there are strategic and tactical reasons for how any why atemi are used in different arts.

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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.
Those are useful and important discussions to have at the right time. Like on a conversational forum.

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
On one level it is what it is. On another level, well, it just depends.
It always just depends. But principles are there to guide people. I talk to my children a little bit every day about what life is about, about what love is, about all that sort of stuff. And one of the things I teach them all the time is "it depends".

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Keith Larman wrote: View Post
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...
I think it's ironic that you made this statement, because your initial response is the biggest simplification of all "I keep wanting to say the point of atemi is to hit the other fella. Nothing more, nothing less.". There's nothing wrong with that opinion.. in fact, I don't disagree, even though I would then have to qualify what I mean by "hit" and how to do that and work the specific skill set. And guess what, there are different ways, means, and times to do different kinds of "hitting" to achieve different purposes.

Life is complicated, but there are simplifying principles for just about everything I've encountered in my life from the biologic sciences, to software development, to behavior modification to child raising and so on. Principles don't necessarily eliminate complexity, but they improve our ability to comprehend and navigate it, and see the exceptions more clearly.

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Keith Larman wrote: View Post
That's my answer and I'm sticking with it...
Ditto. :-)

Best,

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:28 AM   #57
Chris Parkerson
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Re: What is atemi really for?

Atemi no Jitsu
(With a Little bit of "enlightened" Tong-lin to see it through)

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Old 06-21-2012, 09:21 PM   #58
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Re: What is atemi really for?

One perspective ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPdtF...eature=related
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Old 06-26-2012, 05:31 AM   #59
Simon Lai
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Re: What is atemi really for?

I remembered that when one incorporate serious atemi, uke can be persuaded to be more compliant.

Also, when uke is made to know that he will be expecting serious atemi, he is more alert and dare not slack, lest he/she suffers fat lips.

I did the Yoshinkan style and all our kihon waza (basic technique) emphasizes atemi.

Also in jiyu-waza, when one uses atemi, you will get to see very surprised and distracted uke and that makes for beautiful throw.

Simon
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:08 AM   #60
Cliff Judge
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Re: What is atemi really for?

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Simon Lai wrote: View Post
I remembered that when one incorporate serious atemi, uke can be persuaded to be more compliant.

Also, when uke is made to know that he will be expecting serious atemi, he is more alert and dare not slack, lest he/she suffers fat lips.

I did the Yoshinkan style and all our kihon waza (basic technique) emphasizes atemi.

Also in jiyu-waza, when one uses atemi, you will get to see very surprised and distracted uke and that makes for beautiful throw.

Simon
I don't think surprised and distracted ukes make for a beautiful throw 90% of the time, unless you like throwing people who are tight and can't feel where they are supposed to go.

I find that if you train this way, ukes pick up very quickly on the idea that nage is going to pop his or her fist towards them and learn to deal with that. That may or may not be good training, I have no idea. But it does tend to expand the number of "beats" in a technique (literally). Just a personal opinion, lately I am more into making the whole technique a single step.
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:44 AM   #61
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Ai symbol Re: What is atemi really for?

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I don't think surprised and distracted ukes make for a beautiful throw 90% of the time, unless you like throwing people who are tight and can't feel where they are supposed to go.

I find that if you train this way, ukes pick up very quickly on the idea that nage is going to pop his or her fist towards them and learn to deal with that. That may or may not be good training, I have no idea. But it does tend to expand the number of "beats" in a technique (literally). Just a personal opinion, lately I am more into making the whole technique a single step.
I agree. Ideally, I hope to have their balance broken to some degree at least as they grab or are striking. Certainly, I want their balance broken by they time we make contact minimizing the need for atemi. However, that said I do have an array of strikes that I will use if it all goes sideways or needed to grease the wheel in a particular situation because Aikido interactions are usually set up with perfect outcomes. I just never want to use them at the expense of connection, stopping their energy.

I often wonder how good many of our techniques or interactions in general would be if we were taking strikes like in a real fight. How skillfully would we be able to employ shio-nage after taking one in the kisser? Your eyes are watering,,blood running, can we stay or regain our focus to terminate the situation and restore harmony? MMA guys, boxing, and kick-boxing practitioners properly have a better idea than most Aikidoka.
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:00 AM   #62
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Re: What is atemi really for?

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I don't think surprised and distracted ukes make for a beautiful throw 90% of the time, unless you like throwing people who are tight and can't feel where they are supposed to go.
OTOH, is a beautiful throw really a desirable outcome?

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-26-2012, 10:35 AM   #63
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Re: What is atemi really for?

This is an article I wrote years ago but the subject keeps coming up periodically so I guess it's relevant:

The Use of Atemi in Aikido

George S. Ledyard
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:53 AM   #64
Cliff Judge
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Re: What is atemi really for?

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
OTOH, is a beautiful throw really a desirable outcome?

Best,

Chris
I am at a point on the curve where it seems to me that working towards making my throws as smooth and controlled and as comfortable for uke as possible in the dojo is the way to get the most out of my Aikido training. It is as simple as the fact that this seems like the most difficult way to go about things. No need to try to make my throws clumsy and awkward, that's how they've been for over ten years now.

The way I try to accomplish this is to take uke's balance at or before contact and lead them through the technique with as few rough edges as possible. I don't want to rely on a flinch or defensive response from my uke, so I don't like to apply joint locks for pain, and I am trying to get out of the habit of throwing the atemis of opportunity. Seems to me, based on observing myself, that the people you train with will adapt to your shenanigans. if you have a habit of sticking your fist in your partner's face they learn to expect it, perhaps they won't give you as much. if you have a habit of cranking joints, your ukes are most likely going to throw themselves into technique for you if they aren't in the mood.

And like I said above, one thing that concerns me lately is how even if its a big movement, a technique should be as simple as possible. Blam and its done - every atemi you throw in there while training is another blam. Every beat it takes you to finish the technique is a chance for uke to do something - whether or not they can hurt you based on the position they are in, they can maybe shift their balance back or change things.
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Old 06-26-2012, 01:48 PM   #65
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Re: What is atemi really for?

Which just suggests that atemi when you don't need it is as much a mistake as no atemi when you do.
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Old 06-26-2012, 05:03 PM   #66
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Re: What is atemi really for?

Atemi in many DR kata is done so uke can see it coming, in order to take the mind...not so much as a strike. Eventhough, when you are hit with it, it does hurt...!!! Not to say there are no strikes in DR either. :0)

Almost like a no touch throw done by some Aikido shihan...movements that move uke's mind/body that make kuzushi...

CW
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:15 PM   #67
Simon Lai
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Re: What is atemi really for?

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
I don't think surprised and distracted ukes make for a beautiful throw 90% of the time, unless you like throwing people who are tight and can't feel where they are supposed to go.

I find that if you train this way, ukes pick up very quickly on the idea that nage is going to pop his or her fist towards them and learn to deal with that. That may or may not be good training, I have no idea. But it does tend to expand the number of "beats" in a technique (literally). Just a personal opinion, lately I am more into making the whole technique a single step.
Throwing compliant uke does not provide good feedback/learning. Maybe good to learn the basic, but not in application part.

Throwing, ideally should have a feeling that uke has this "resistant is futile" kind of flavour to it.

My former sensei used to tell us to resist all you want, if he feels that we shut his technique completely, he'll just change direction, or just improvise the technique or change technique completely.

Once I lock him up so much, he just fall down and do a sutemi-waza. I was caught completely surprised, and luckily my ukemi was up to par at that time. Good times, good times.

The atemi part if from my own experience, especially in jiyu-waza, sometimes, at random, by throwing a non-telegraphed atemi can really throw my uke off guard and this gives me opportunity to really throw them (usually kokyu-nage type of technique), hence the term beautiful throw.

Simon

P/S: All this talk of the good old times, has made me drooling and eager to go back to the mat again.

Last edited by Simon Lai : 06-26-2012 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:51 AM   #68
Cliff Judge
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Re: What is atemi really for?

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Simon Lai wrote: View Post
Throwing compliant uke does not provide good feedback/learning. Maybe good to learn the basic, but not in application part.

Throwing, ideally should have a feeling that uke has this "resistant is futile" kind of flavour to it.
Thanks for your comments.

What I am after is MAKING uke compliant, especially if they don't want to be. it seems like atemi should be another tool for making this kind of thing happen, but it's not been working out for me. I get too much shock in the system.
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:30 AM   #69
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Re: What is atemi really for?

when i grabbed Ikeda sensei, he threw the atemi inside me and knocked me off balance. atemi doesn't have to be external.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 06-27-2012, 08:19 PM   #70
Simon Lai
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Re: What is atemi really for?

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Thanks for your comments.

What I am after is MAKING uke compliant, especially if they don't want to be. it seems like atemi should be another tool for making this kind of thing happen, but it's not been working out for me. I get too much shock in the system.
To me, atemi is one of many tool to create kuzushi (unbalancing or distraction).

Atemi works for me in creating kuzushi, if it does not, then there are many more methods to create kuzuhi, may you find one soon.

Further more I want to add that tai sabaki, kihon dosa (body movement) is a training tool to create tsukuri (body position).

Shuchu ryuku (concentrated power) and kokyu power is a process to effect kake (finishing move).

Simon
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Old 06-28-2012, 07:55 AM   #71
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Ai symbol Re: What is atemi really for?

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
when i grabbed Ikeda sensei, he threw the atemi inside me and knocked me off balance. atemi doesn't have to be external.
We just hosted Ikeda sensei and in September I'm going to see him again! Every time I experience him I am fascinated! It is certainly is an aspect of my training that I will to continue to explore. In addition, I certainly understand that until more of us are at a level where it can be understood and applied, grabs are the primary method of teaching this line of training. However, I have two primary concerns when it comes to this type of training whether it be classified as IS or not:

1) Early on in a confrontation the Flight or Flight response kicks in, at least for most of us mortals unless perhaps you regularly experience physical confrontations. The fine motor skills are the first to go when the adrenaline rushes in.....probably why most reality based systems, Krav Maga for example seem to have more gross motor moves. Atemi would certainly help to minimize the exposure, but begs the question of how applicable this type of response would be in a real confrontation?

2) As I mentioned earlier, hand and shoulder grabs seem to be the primary means of transmission of this type of knowledge. I understand why in a seminar format this is done. I am wondering if this type of response is employed against jab-reverse punch combinations, elbows, knee strikes etc perhaps by other teachers? Can one trust their butt to it when it counts in a violent confrontation or only after 50 years of doing it? If not, then atemi will often have to come into play to create openings to establish a connection and terminate the situation?
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:13 AM   #72
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Re: What is atemi really for?

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However, I have two primary concerns when it comes to this type of training whether it be classified as IS or not:

1) Early on in a confrontation the Flight or Flight response kicks in, at least for most of us mortals unless perhaps you regularly experience physical confrontations. The fine motor skills are the first to go when the adrenaline rushes in.....probably why most reality based systems, Krav Maga for example seem to have more gross motor moves. Atemi would certainly help to minimize the exposure, but begs the question of how applicable this type of response would be in a real confrontation?

2) As I mentioned earlier, hand and shoulder grabs seem to be the primary means of transmission of this type of knowledge. I understand why in a seminar format this is done. I am wondering if this type of response is employed against jab-reverse punch combinations, elbows, knee strikes etc perhaps by other teachers? Can one trust their butt to it when it counts in a violent confrontation or only after 50 years of doing it? If not, then atemi will often have to come into play to create openings to establish a connection and terminate the situation?
it's IS and aiki training. the way he does stuffs, the chinese called it huajin, a chinese term for aiki. that's a grossly simplified explanation. there is a different between training and "is". Ikeda went past the training stage. he's in the "is" stage. he is aiki. everything he does. that's the essence of the "do", the way. when you are eating, breathing, walking, living and everything you do is aiki, then your response, regardless of external conditions, is aiki. aiki-do. many of us still think about it. i don't think he thinks about it. he would have to think about it in order to explain to us, but he just does it. same goes for Saotome sensei. he just is. there are many in the IS/aiki field who are the same way, not necessary from aikido. they just are. they got the point that they just are. and the kind of things, that they can do, are just out of this world.

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Old 06-28-2012, 10:29 AM   #73
Cliff Judge
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Re: What is atemi really for?

Quote:
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We just hosted Ikeda sensei and in September I'm going to see him again! Every time I experience him I am fascinated! It is certainly is an aspect of my training that I will to continue to explore. In addition, I certainly understand that until more of us are at a level where it can be understood and applied, grabs are the primary method of teaching this line of training. However, I have two primary concerns when it comes to this type of training whether it be classified as IS or not:

1) Early on in a confrontation the Flight or Flight response kicks in, at least for most of us mortals unless perhaps you regularly experience physical confrontations. The fine motor skills are the first to go when the adrenaline rushes in.....probably why most reality based systems, Krav Maga for example seem to have more gross motor moves. Atemi would certainly help to minimize the exposure, but begs the question of how applicable this type of response would be in a real confrontation?

2) As I mentioned earlier, hand and shoulder grabs seem to be the primary means of transmission of this type of knowledge. I understand why in a seminar format this is done. I am wondering if this type of response is employed against jab-reverse punch combinations, elbows, knee strikes etc perhaps by other teachers? Can one trust their butt to it when it counts in a violent confrontation or only after 50 years of doing it? If not, then atemi will often have to come into play to create openings to establish a connection and terminate the situation?
The type of training you do with Ikeda Sensei is meant to change the way you organize your body and your energy to interact with whatever your partner is doing. This is actually the same goal that any "reality-based" martial art like KM has - to change the way you act and react in the slivers of an instant before you can think about it. I don't think there is much point worrying about application. It should just "come out" if you've learned it.

Trying to do this type of stuff in a more live training scenario is a great idea, but it raises ( ) the question: if you can't make it work while taking your time with a static grab, is it going to be easier to make it work when you have a split-second to connect to a strike?
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Old 06-28-2012, 05:27 PM   #74
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Re: What is atemi really for?

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What is atemi really for?
Making your point really, really clear.

Ahoy,

Dave
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:03 AM   #75
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Re: What is atemi really for?

all martial arts techniques start with Atemi, but if that Atemi to create an "opening" ends the physical-conflict right there then there's no need to proceed further. often, most of us, have not cultivated enough skills to resolve the conflict at the initial contact, so we must follow-through on our commitment.

i have seen someone hit so aptly, with suprise & timing, on the throat that the more powerfully built aggressor no longer wanted to continue, as he got off the floor.

Last edited by Chris Evans : 08-06-2012 at 09:06 AM.

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