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Old 08-27-2003, 10:51 PM   #1
Thor's Hammer
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Grr! Atemi

Here is something I don't understand. How is Atemi 99% of aikido, but only practiced in technique? I have reason to believe that technique is not meant to be used outside of the dojo anyhow... give an honest punch, as fast as you can. Blink. I bet you noticed it takes about the same amount of time. Excuse me when I don't understand how I am supposed to tenkan and grab and turn and throw before that punch is retracted. Aikido must then be about moving to evade when under attack. All the techniques are built on the foundation of "if you don't comply, I hit you here, here here, here etc." So where's the atemi class?
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Old 08-27-2003, 11:50 PM   #2
shihonage
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Aikido was initially meant to be studied only by those with a solid background in another art(s).

Those of us who don't have such, are in somewhat deep shit.
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Old 08-28-2003, 12:24 AM   #3
Erik
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Re: Atemi

Quote:
Bryan Benson (Thor&#039s Hammer) wrote:
So where's the atemi class?
It's next to the kick-defense and grappling classes.
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Old 08-28-2003, 02:41 AM   #4
sanosuke
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Quote:
Aikido was initially meant to be studied only by those with a solid background in another art(s).
somewhat correct, but i wouldn't say that aikido isn't suitable for people with little/no background in another MA. All i know is it would be easier to grasp and analyze aikido techniques if someone has solid backround of other martial arts.

Atemi is indeed a strike, but from what i learn atemi is intended to distract your opponent, not to strike. From what i know 'strike' here means more to strike to the mind rather than the body. Atemi doesn't have to be a punch, kick, strikes, etc. a wave of your hand in front of uke's face to distract his view and mind can be considered as atemi, a pinch also is atemi, so if you think a punch is too slow to be an atemi then just wave your hand, pinch your uke or clap your hands in front of their face.
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Old 08-28-2003, 05:46 AM   #5
Paul Smith
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No Previous Training - deep shit

Aleksey -

Once again, pithy genius. I fell off my chair on reading it.

Then I rolled up, armed to the teeth with aiki. Bring 'em on.

Paul Smith
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Old 08-28-2003, 06:58 AM   #6
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But the question is though - Is atemi 99% of Aikido?

It may be 99% of atemi waza, but to me there are a few options.

And as far as the "evading to break balance to apply technique against a quick attack before arm retracts" idea, atemi waza (shomen ate, irimi nage, sokumen, gedan ate, ushiro ate) being "striking" techniques applied as throws, can easily match (or beat)the speed of a one time speed or kick. Or at least it does when we do it

Just a thought.

L.C.

Last edited by L. Camejo : 08-28-2003 at 07:03 AM.

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Old 08-28-2003, 06:59 AM   #7
jxa127
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Bryan,

There are a number of good threads on atemi. Like this one:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...?threadid=3919

Do a search and see what you come up with. FWIW, I've also written about it in my journal on this site.

Regards,

-Drew

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Old 08-28-2003, 08:04 AM   #8
aikidoc
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The 99% shows up in Saito's books. However,John Stevens points out that it depends on who makes the comments. It ranges from 60% to 99%. What is clear from the aikido literature is that O'Sensei placed considerable importance on atemi. Unfortunately, as the art has expanded to the general public (as happened with karate) a lot of the strikes to vital points has been watered down or eliminated. Atemi waza in some cases has been relegated to the role of a distraction by just sticking the fist or hand in the attackers face.

The difficulty with atemi waza is learning to apply strikes to the various points while performing the technique. This can be done easily once you have trained yourself and understand the point locations. For example, you can deliver a minimum of 2 strikes with just a simple tenkan using the tegatana and the elbow on the blend. All without affecting the flow of the movement. It can be expanded to 3 by striking one point initially and then hitting it again. And 4 by grabbing a 4th point and squeezing it. The pain compliance of the atemi causes the uke to drop the shoulder and keep it dropped making the throw easier due to the balance break.

Black Belt Magazine will have my article coming out (last info) in about October-article has been approved and pictures approved. I touch on some of these issues in the article (hopefully I did the topic justice). I am working on turning this into a book focused mostly on the practical aspects (although I'm not pursuing it very aggressively at this time-time constraints).

Last edited by aikidoc : 08-28-2003 at 08:06 AM.
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Old 08-28-2003, 08:08 AM   #9
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Now you've got me really interested, John! Can you expand on your tenkan example?

Thanks

Justin

Justin McCarthy
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Old 08-28-2003, 11:06 AM   #10
kironin
 
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Cool

Quote:
Drew Ames (jxa127) wrote:
Bryan,

There are a number of good threads on atemi. Like this one:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...?threadid=3919

Do a search and see what you come up with. FWIW, I've also written about it in my journal on this site.

Regards,

-Drew
You know, I read what is said here and in that thread and I wonder if I am practicing the same art.

Well, I spent some time in Karate and I have a boxer's break on one knuckle and a herniated knuckle on my other hand. I didn't need to start aikido to learn how to smash people. If I had seen that when I started I would have said like the U.N. did, been there, done that.

What I saw instead was someone dealing with an attacker without smashing them up. I said cool, I want to learn that. I want to learn how to be that way instead of smacking someone with my fists or my feet. I haven't been dissappointed.

one nice thing about training was, we always practiced what we would really do as opposed to the idea of waving a hand to indicate a strike or tapping politely here or there to indicate a vital point much like point karate.

Craig
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Old 08-28-2003, 11:40 AM   #11
jxa127
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Craig,

Are you refering to the incident described in Ellis Amdur's Dueling with O'Sensei?

You said:
Quote:
If I had seen that when I started I would have said like the U.N. did, been there, done that.

What I saw instead was someone dealing with an attacker without smashing them up. I said cool, I want to learn that. I want to learn how to be that way instead of smacking someone with my fists or my feet. I haven't been dissappointed.
What's funny is that on the one hand I agree with you whole heartedly, yet on the other, I'm a big proponent of learning about and using atemi.

The short answer is what I said in my post in the aforementioned thread: "I'd rather know how to cause injury and choose not to than not know how and need to."

Training with atemi can be good, but it needs to be integrated with the techniques, not be separate from them. Done well, that kind of training can lead to more effective and gentle technique.

Regards,

-Drew

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Old 08-28-2003, 12:32 PM   #12
aikidoc
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Craig. The atemi does not have to be the bone breaking/crushing type typical of karate. In fact, striking pressure/vital points does not require it. You can numb an arm of drop a shoulder (some pain involved) by hitting the right point.

Justin. By striking the Large Intestine 11 point as your turn with a glancing blow (or by entering first with extension using the force of the strike to effect the atemi) and then striking the side of the upper arm with the time of the elbow as you complete the turn you have two atemi (just stick your elbow out a bit-it hits that spot between the muscles where your friends always give you a frog). When you finish the tenkan you can cut down on the LI-11 point again with the tegatana and pick up the Lung 10 point on the inside of the thumb with a squeeze if you are doing kotegaeshi. Helps nicely position the uke for a kotegaeshi.
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Old 08-28-2003, 12:42 PM   #13
aikidoc
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p.s. on the irimi tenkan version there is also atemi to the face with the inside hand. This is the version I demonstrate in the article.
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Old 08-28-2003, 02:40 PM   #14
Don_Modesto
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Quote:
John Riggs wrote:
John Stevens points out that it depends on who makes the comments. It ranges from 60% to 99%.
Shioda--Aikido Shugyo, p. 19--said 70% (this was pre-war, Hell-dojo times) and Saito--Traditional Aikido, Vol. 5, p. 38--said 99 (this was post-war, lovey-dovey aikido philosophy times).

Who said 60%?

Thanks.

Don J. Modesto
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Old 08-28-2003, 02:48 PM   #15
Don_Modesto
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Re: Atemi

Quote:
Bryan Benson (Thor&#039s Hammer) wrote:
Here is something I don't understand. How is Atemi 99% of aikido, but only practiced in technique?

DJM: As opposed to what?

I have reason to believe that technique is not meant to be used outside of the dojo anyhow... give an honest punch, as fast as you can. Blink. I bet you noticed it takes about the same amount of time. Excuse me when I don't understand how I am supposed to tenkan and grab and turn and throw before that punch is retracted.

DJM: I do ATEMI precisely for these times. Aikido isn't only technique, it's intuition, too. Knowing when UKE is to attack helps. Applied just as UKE is about to move, ATEMI can induce and slow UKE's attack.

Aikido must then be about moving to evade when under attack. All the techniques are built on the foundation of "if you don't comply, I hit you here, here here, here etc." So where's the atemi class?

DJM: In one of Saito's Traditional Aikido books he demonstrates where you can use ATEMI in a typical SHIHO NAGE. It involves a backfist, a knee kick, and an elbow to the ribs.

DJM: See Osensei's 1933 Budo (the cartoon format) for lots of ATEMI before aikido became politically correct.

Don J. Modesto
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Old 08-28-2003, 03:07 PM   #16
aikidoc
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Don:

I believe this is the reference

Stevens (The Secrets of Aikido) p. 117 (I took that from some notes so I may be off on the page or quote-I'll have to check).

Depending on the storyteller, O'Sensei was reported to have attributed atemi to 30%, 60%, or 99% of an effective technique.

Geez you guys are getting picky-I was pulling the number off the top of my head.

John
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Old 08-28-2003, 04:44 PM   #17
Kensai
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I see atemi as the striking of common sence. All Aikido exercises allow you the potential to develope strong strikes though good balance, posture, weight distribution and dynamics.

Look at how Aikido exercises develope the body: strong wrists, hands, elbows, shoulders, trunk, thighs and knee's, all from making Uke and Nage.

Sure atemi can be quicker than Aiki techniques, but against a strong and conditioned attacker the odd punch might not be enough. I believe that a Kokyunage is more than likely going to be a fight stopper than any punch I can use. Like I said earlier, place them when you can as part of a bigger more Aiki like monster throw of doom picture, or a Nikkyo.......

"Minimum Effort, Maximum Effciency."
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Old 08-28-2003, 05:13 PM   #18
Dennis Hooker
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Atemi

1. Destroy

2. Enter the body thorough the mind

3. Enter the mind thorough the body

Dennis Hooker: (DVD) Zanshin and Ma-ai in Aikido
https://www.createspace.com/238049

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Old 08-28-2003, 05:15 PM   #19
Lan Powers
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Like I said earlier, place them when you can as part of a bigger more Aiki like monster throw of doom picture, or a Nikkyo.......

*Chis Gee

snort!! I LOVE the visual this calls up.

Wait 'till I show Sensei my "Throw of Doom..."

Heading off to class.........Lan

Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
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Old 08-28-2003, 07:01 PM   #20
PeterR
 
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Not sure pressure points (ala Large Intestine 11 point) was ever part of Aikido though strikes to vital areas (for numbing or knock out) surely is. There doesn't appear to be any connection, historical or otherwise. If I remember correctly John and I have gotten into this before. Of course if pressure points interest you and you feel the knowledge can be useful to your Aikido - incorporate away.

The 60/70/90/whatever % of Aikdio being atemi is of course much broader than close fisted percussive strikes. That's also been recently discussed.
Quote:
Aleksey Sundeyev (shihonage) wrote:
Aikido was initially meant to be studied only by those with a solid background in another art(s
Does anyone of an idea if this really was the case. The pre-war greats all had some background in other martial arts (some like Tomiki were quite well known in Judo circles others like Shioda less so) but beyond what they did during their school days I doubt all could be considered kick-ass martial artists. This is especially likely with the cadres he trained at Ayabe and I suspect the majority of students at "the Hell Dojo".

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 08-28-2003, 07:28 PM   #21
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
Does anyone of an idea if this really was the case. The pre-war greats all had some background in other martial arts (some like Tomiki were quite well known in Judo circles others like Shioda less so) but beyond what they did during their school days I doubt all could be considered kick-ass martial artists. This is especially likely with the cadres he trained at Ayabe and I suspect the majority of students at "the Hell Dojo".
There were certainly people with little experience in martial arts who came in via Omoto-kyo. You also have to remember that there were a lot of folks whose "experience" was on the level of an American with baseball "experience" from his little league days .

FWIW, Sokaku Takeda would teach pretty much anyone who could pony up the cash.

Best,

Chris

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Old 08-28-2003, 07:45 PM   #22
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Thanks Chris - that's basically the impression I have.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 08-28-2003, 08:25 PM   #23
aikidoc
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Peter: I believe it was Stevens who said O'Sensei's students saw "lights" when he used atemi-so either his ki was brilliant or possibly he struck some acupuncture points. Many vital points are acupuncture point only the more serious ones. I feel if you're going to hit them at least hit them where it will do some good-i.e. where the atemi will most likely be the most effective.
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Old 08-28-2003, 08:39 PM   #24
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John - I wont disagree with that. I've been to classes where nearly the entire time was spent on where and how to strike. Hell just last month in Athens (when they let me loose to show a bit of Shodokan Aikido) I talked about targetting.

I just don't think Aikido was ever that sophisticated with respect to accupunture meridians and the like.

And by the by - I've seen lights when I was hit too. I'm pretty sure my face is not a pressure point.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 08-29-2003, 12:44 AM   #25
Fausto
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Aikido without atemi can't be done in a real situation, unless you have the skill of O'Sensei or some of his top students or after 40 years of aikido. That's what I think...... maybe I'm wrong maybe I'm not.
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