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Old 03-09-2004, 08:15 AM   #76
aikidoc
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Chris:

On the uchi version of kaitennage there is also atemi suki to the ribs on entering.
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Old 03-11-2004, 05:15 AM   #77
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Thanks john,

I suppose thats the beauty of Aikido techniques,it dosen't matter how long you do them theres always something new to find in them.

Thanks Again.

Chris.
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Old 03-11-2004, 02:12 PM   #78
Don_Modesto
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Quote:
Chris Wright (chris wright) wrote:
...imho i think there are many atemi 'hidden' within our aikido techniques....I was recently shown a kaiten nage, which included an atemi strike to the back of the neck (shuto uchi) and when the hip was brought through for the projection a knee strike to the face.
Free associating here, I've been reflecting on ATEMI after a seminar with William Gleason in Tallahassee. Heretofore I have used ATEMI to pre-empt UKE from hitting me or to distract him/her. Gleason used it rather more elegantly to direct UKE.

He did a very uncomfortable, for UKE, SHOMEN UCHI IKKYO where he allowed the attack to come down on one side of his body (right arm attack coming down onto his left shoulder--I usually like to take the arm quickly into forward SHIKAKU immediately.) His left arm braced UKE's elbow and his right arm bent sticking the elbow very threateningly into UKE's face. This had the effect of turning UKE right where you want him to go.

Now I'm reexaming how I use and conceive ATEMI.

(There were other very interesting things to come out of the Gleason seminar, too. I highly recommend taking him in if you have the chance.)

Last edited by Don_Modesto : 03-11-2004 at 02:15 PM.

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Old 03-12-2004, 07:20 AM   #79
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I personally think that Atemi in all its forms, not just hands but using the whole body, hips, shoulders, head, foot whatever really faciliate leading the Uke for a smooth and powerful conclusion.

From my rather limited experience, I find that striking Uke actually disturbs the power of the finish. If I had to put someone 'down' for real, I believe that they'd stay down from my shiho-nage rather than my atempt to be a Karateka.

Regards,

Chris

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Old 03-12-2004, 09:40 AM   #80
Ron Tisdale
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I'm not sure aikido atemi at their best mirror what karateka do. The use of the hips seems very different to me. Which is not to say that learning to strike as they do is not beneficial. I just don't think it is the best way to deliver atemi in an aikido technique. Whole body delivery of power through knee movement and body movement as opposed to using the hip snap. Gozo Shioda talks about transfering the energy from the ground using the knees in his autobiography, not using the snapping of the hip forward and back as is often taught in karate. But then, I was never very far along in karate. And I still need to work on this, as my understanding is still incomplete.

I do notice that many of the atemi in yoshinkan basic kata seem designed to hit, not just distract, and they generally do not interupt the flow of the technique, as demonstrated by the top instructors. The atemi often seem to be as the foot plants and the body turns (as in yokomenuchi shihonage), or in a body change (as in shomenuchi iriminage ichi), so that the atemi is flowing out of the movement of the whole body. In my experience, etc. etc.

Ron

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Old 03-12-2004, 03:16 PM   #81
Michael Bravo
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Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
I do notice that many of the atemi in yoshinkan basic kata seem designed to hit, not just distract, and they generally do not interupt the flow of the technique, as demonstrated by the top instructors. The atemi often seem to be as the foot plants and the body turns (as in yokomenuchi shihonage), or in a body change (as in shomenuchi iriminage ichi), so that the atemi is flowing out of the movement of the whole body. In my experience, etc. etc.

Ron
From my limited experience I can somewhat confirm this - over the last two or three years our dojo have had the privilege to see Terada Sensei and some aikidokas of his "following". I understand that Terada Sensei has a special fondness of the atemi techniques, and, in fact, he never missed the chance to indicate where the atemi happens "naturally" in the flow of a technique. We just have had a seminar (in February) led by Kenji Nakazawa Sensei, 5th dan from Yokosuka, and the whole 2-day seminar was dedicated to use of atemi in several basic techniques.

/\/\ike
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Old 03-12-2004, 03:54 PM   #82
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Well, speaking of flow in a technique and using the previously given example of potential (or realized) atemi in uchi kaiten-nage -- every one of those strikes would definitely interrupt the throw and/or have the potential to interrupt the throw. And this they would do whether they are actually hitting or merely distracting. This lends one to believe that atemi in Aikido cannot merely be a matter of "seeing the hidden strikes" within a given waza. Real research has to go into such a process. Saying, "Oh, look, I can hit you here, and here, and here.", in my opinion, should not count as real research.

In other words, yes, if I "distract" with the first strike to uke's face, and uke parries with the free hand toward the inside, this would lend itself clearly to the passing on the inside/under of the grabbing arm. BUT, if uke parries to the outside, which he/she may very well do as I cannot presume to dictate the way in which uke's "distraction" manifests itself, then such a parry would lead to a loss in directional harmony if I were to still attempt to pass inside/under the grabbing arm. Or, if uke weaves to the inside of said strike, this too would interrupt the flow of the technique. So too would uke bobbing under the strike since this would greatly lower the arm I would be intent upon passing under. Now, if uke, in his/her "distraction" actually used the grabbing arm with which to deal with this first atemi the whole technique would be nullified as well.

On the other hand, if this first strike actually made contact, anatomical positioning from such a strike would actually cause parts of uke's mass to either halt in its forward progress and/or to actually reverse from its forward progress -- assuming it is not I that would bounce off of the target (which is totally possible as well). Either way, the end result is that I would either be attempting to pass under an arm that is moving away from me, or I would be attempting to pass under an arm that I am moving away from. This would greatly negate the flow of the technique, if not make it impossible. Certainly, it would make uchi kaiten-nage not the best tactical option to choose.

On the next strike, the next one mentioned in the thread (i.e. the elbow to the ribs when passing under), again we have a similar problem. Anatomical positioning from such a strike would make passing under the arm more difficult since said strike would either have the body of uke moving away from me (should I hit high the ribs) or leaning toward me (should I hit low on the ribs) -- thus lowing the arm I am trying to pass under. Again, the flow of the technique would be hindered, and the technique may end up actually being prevented by my own actions. Positioning uke to bend over at the ribs also lends itself to uke being able to counter my movement as I pass under his/her arm -- as in a grappling situation.

On the last two strikes mentioned, the handsword to the back of the neck and/or the knee strike to the head -- both at the completion of the first kuzushi: Again, said strikes would nullify the technique. If I strike the back of someone's neck, anatomical positioning would work to ground their base more -- making throwing highly difficult. Such a strike would be working directly against my intention of having uke's feet and head establish a reversed relationship. The knee strike as well would have uke moving in a direction different from the one required by throwing. On a further note, both of these strikes represent a very effective way of rendering another human being unconscious and/or immobile. If delivered efficiently, which is not all that difficult to do here, the likely outcome is that one would be trying to throw something more akin to a sack of potatoes than a body that is filled with an energy that can be redirected into a throw.

These strikes are all very commonly demonstrated all over the world for this technique. Yes, they flow within the movement of uchi kaiten-nage. Yes, they happen or can happen within the rhythm of uchi kaiten-nage. Yes, they can be thought of as happening on the half or quarter beats of a given technique. But, no, in my opinion, they do not lend themselves to the throw itself. They actually negate the throw, or, in the case of the first "distracting" atemi, have the potential to negate the throw depending upon the myriad of ways that uke can actually be "distracted".

This, to me, is a loss of aiki. And it is every much an error as is trying to force a throw or force a lock. There is a gap here between one's intent and the actual physical outcome of that intent. I hold that this gap comes from some basic assumptions, that are hardly ever questions, and that underlie this entire thread -- assumptions that span across the morality of combat, the path to spontaneity, and even the heart of Aikido itself -- both in terms of its pedagogy and its architecture.

My two cents, thanks so much,

dmv

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Old 03-15-2004, 08:18 AM   #83
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Hi David,

I'd have to politely disagree with most of that last post. In the first instance with uke blocking to a different side or moving a different way than the 'standard' block...do a different technique. Simple. The kaiten nage kata are set up **assuming** a certain reaction...but this does not mean that shite should **assume** any particular reaction **outside of the performance of the kata**.

All of the other points you made simply do not make any sense to me relative to my practice of this technique on the mat. Take for instance using an elbow as I pass under uke's arm. Every time I 'missed' and actually hit uke in the ribs with my elbow, it has facilitated the throw, by uke bending over and following me as I pivoted and crosstepped back. When I strike to the neck as they are now bent over the strike simply get their head down if its not already, or keeps it down. The knee to the face is in the same direction as the movement for the final throw. So I see absolutely no problems with any of the atemi. I guess we just have different experiences in this case.

Ron

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Old 03-15-2004, 02:26 PM   #84
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Hi Ron,

Thanks for posting.

I can understand your point about changing technique should uke do one thing and not another. My experience totally agrees with that as well. But that experience, or the experience of what it is you are sharing, is, in my opinion, the problematic at hand -- isn't it?

My reasoning goes like this:

If I understand atemi as distraction, as in this case we might, but then I go on to objectively determine what that distraction has to be, am I not going to in the end ultimately contradict my own reasoning? I would say "yes," and here's why.

Distraction, as far as it can be manifested, we can say, is at the minimum a mental preoccupation and at most an actual physical reaction. But how distraction actually manifests itself, both along that spectrum and in its actual individuality, cannot be predetermined. It is this lack of predetermination that actually makes something an element of a distraction. Isn't it?

If I know what manifestation a distraction is going to take, and/or if I require it to be something in specific, one is not, in my opinion, throwing atemi as distraction. Rather, I am simply multiplying the various requirements of a given two man form. I think that what you are describing in your post is not so much the throwing of an atemi as an attempt to distract, but rather throwing a fist (or putting your hand up) that is then parried to the outside. It's kind of like dealing with a combination move and/or a two man form that is more akin to a two-man set than it is to a one-step sparring situation (for those that have crossed train or do weapons training): e.g. You do this AND that, and uke does this AND THEN that, etc.

For me, the positing of jiyu waza does not solve the issue that holds that distractions cannot and should not be predetermined. Nor does jiyu waza solve the issue that incorrectly claims a priori that atemi as distraction allows atemi to be utilized without interrupting the flow of a given technique. Too much is being assumed here, in my opinion.

Of course, I would agree with the position that holds that striking is a part of Aikido. I also agree with the position that strikes can precede throws, locks, pins, etc. And I agree with the position that strikes can indeed be thrown in full compliance with the tactic of aiki. It's just that I don't believe that anyone thus far has been able to address these things via the usual positions of seeing strikes as distractions, and/or understanding atemi as part of technique that is asking the overly simplistic question of "Where can I hit the guy now...?"

Admitting that I sense we are talking about similar things but with different words, in order to bring us all on the same page, please allow me to suggest the following practical experiment. It is an easily reproducible experiment that clearly points to a vital tactical truth: Strikes and Throws (sticking with that example) do not tactically overlap in a perfect and complete way. That is to say that there are more situations where one can throw but not strike, or strike but not throw, than there are situations where one can throw and strike within the same energy field being delineated by a given combative environment.

Some background:

Arts come to train themselves through basics. But another way of saying this is that arts come to train themselves by not training in or for every possible situation. As such, arts make use of an ideal, and therefore realistically distant (in that not every situation is addressed), training environment. This all made sense and was perfectly fine when the Shu-Ha-Ri models were not only well in place but were being passed on by folks that actually achieved such a path of training. What happens in this absence, speaking generally, is that ideal phases come to be reified by practitioners that have not yet transcended or reconciled form. That is to say, people come to mistake ideal phases for all the possible situations reality may have to offer. Practitioners come to no longer see such phases as the blinders they in fact are, if and when one's practice remains at the level of Shu.

Related to this, there is the socialization process by which every art comes to both know and rely upon in order to determine both practice and practitioner. Thus Aikido folks attack like Aikido folks. Karate folks like Karate folks, etc. Every ideal assumption, now no longer totally conscious at this socialization processing level, both marks and limits the practitioner within a system of truth games that provides them with the delusion of versatility but is in reality just another example of a frog at the bottom of the well looking up and believing himself to see the whole of the sky.

Of course personalities must be accounted for, in particular as those personalities fluctuate through the common ego elements of fear, pride, and ignorance. That is to say that, for most of us, these three elements also come to define our practice along with previously mentioned institutional sets of assumptions. Combined, it is my opinion, it is these things more than anything else that is governing this thread and even our experiences we are sharing via this thread.

Having trained in both a striking art and a throwing art, I can share with you that fear plays a great role in free-style training or jiyu waza in both arts. On the one hand you have the person (nage) trying to stay within the supposed universality of his/her system, but on the other hand you have the other folks (uke) facing those same artistic assumptions plus the fear of the unknown -- one of the greatest fears Man will ever face. -- or the fear of getting hurt, or the fear of "losing", etc. As a result, motivated by fear, but unknowingly governed by his/her art's assumptions one thing almost always take place: Attackers come to subvert their art's own training assumptions for the achievement or maintenance of something that is egocentrically motivated.

Here is how I came to experience this via my own training environments:

In the striking arts, folks, not wanting to get hit, or folks wanting to "win", or folks not understanding the specific restrictions of one's own art, stopped attacking with a range and energy that had up until then been pre-suited to the responses being practiced. That is to say, for example, rather than stopping themselves in their penetration of target at a range more suited to being struck, they always rushed through the defender in attempt to close the gap quickly, jam any and all defenses, and nullify any chance of being hurt and/or defeated. In short, they were able to take advantage of the one thing the art had been assuming all along within its ideal phases: People, as targets, will accommodate a degree of penetration and a velocity of closure that suits to striking them defensively.

Without an arsenal equipped with throwing and/or ground fighting, such a subversive attack in free-style not only seemed self-serving, it was accepted as a type of "wisdom" that was actually passed along from practitioner to practitioner -- thereby generating a whole new set of reified assumptions and ideal phases. This of course completely ignored the fact that such "wisdom" was only produced via an initial ignorance that reified an initial artistic assumption and definition. (Note: The Gracie's have proven this hands down.)

In the throwing arts you see the exact reverse response -- though it is there for all the same reason: The combination of Fear, Pride, and Ignorance in the face of Jiyu waza plus the reified assumptions of an art's ideal phases. In the throwing arts, come Jiyu waza, attackers facing the unknown, not wishing to be hurt, preoccupied with "not losing", etc., come in with an energy more partial to being struck than to being thrown. Again, "victory" is achieved on their part due to a lack of knowledge concerning striking on the part of the person defending. It is not a real victory -- its merely a matter of taking advantage of an art's ideal phases, and/or its training assumptions. It's not wisdom, it's only a training subversion.

Of course, one can in the happening of such training get an attacker to change his/her energy field. For example, there's no better way of getting an uke to commit to a given vector of attack fully than by peppering him with strikes (taking advantage of the striking energy field he/she is presenting -- the suki that are present). Strike him/her enough times and believe me, forcing them to address their fear, their ignorance, and/or their pride in that way and believe me they will start closing that gap in a hurry just like the striking art folks did when they believed that no throw or grappling situation is lying on the other side of that "all or nothing" charge. I believe that Mr. Ledyard described something similar to this in a post listed above. However, I see this only as a re-subversion of a subversion of a training situation that is plagued by reified ideal phases. This does not in and of itself tell me something about the relationship between strikes and throws. This only tells me something about the state of self in my uke and the training assumptions of my own art.

So I would say to try this experiment. Have your students and/or peers rush you as hard and as fast as they can while you try and strike them. Kicks, knees, elbows, punches, handswords, etc. -- anything. However, make sure their assumptions about ukemi do not get in the way of having them commit fully and to do so for the duration of their onrush. Try and strike, them and you may find, like countless of striking artists all over the world have found, that the best way to counter strikes is by rushing them, jamming them, getting on the inside of them -- that the worse thing you can do is stay in striking range and exchange blows. You will find that such an energy field does not at all lend itself to striking. One's base is easily compromised; one's follow-up strikes are easily nullified, one's penetration of target is easily miscalculated; one's accuracy is greatly reduced; etc. And that's what happens if you happen to be the same size as your attacker or bigger. If you happen to be smaller, forget about it. You're toast. If a person cannot run this experiment himself or herself, one only as to look at how past professional ground-fighters capitalized upon this training loophole time and time again until strikes learned to deviate and/or first counter the onrush before striking. One can, of course, also look kinesiologically at Aikido tactics and strategies and through a process of reverse engineering come to the same conclusion.

Now, take this same attacking energy field and try and throw your uke. Be sure that do not again return to a "gun-shy" state but that they commit with the same veracity that they were using to counter your strikes. Wow! You will find, I suggest, just how easy it is to throw someone. And now, do this experiment in reverse. Have your uke come in very calculating, and/or hesitant, and try and throw them then. It will be nearly impossible but for the element of size (yours being much greater than theirs), and/or the element of social pressure that cause folks to fly when they have not been thrown. Now, try and strike them. It will be like shooting fish in a barrel.

Again, I am not suggesting that this is telling us much more than this: Striking and Throwing do not tactically overlap in a perfect way. I'm not saying that someone can't be hit in one drill but not in the other, or that one can't be thrown in one drill but not the other, etc. However, by understanding this phenomenon, which I imagine takes places all over the world but not at a conscious level, we can come to see that there is indeed a type of gap that exists between the tactical parameters of striking and of throwing: If a combative situation has primed me for a throw, chances are that opting to strike in such a case, or the vice versa, will more often than not lead to my own strategic demise.

Specifically, I am suggesting, that the commonly applied atemi of katate-dori uchi kaiten-nage has to be considered, at least, suspect. If one has experienced this lack of tactical overlap, I believe that they will not so easily be satisfied with the questions and answers that surround the positions of "atemi as distraction" and/or "atemi hidden within the movements of throw."

Other than that, I'm not sure I can disagree with you still. I imagine we are just talking about different things but using the same words -- particularly concerning the handsword to the back of the neck and the knee to the face of uke. Perhaps you are using them in a way that they are thrown earlier than I am imagining, or perhaps you are not penetrating the target as fully as I am imagining for strategic reasons. This I am suggesting because I am of the position that it does not take much to force a person who is already bent over and knock them out, or at least knock them to the ground, with a handsword to the back of the neck or a knee strike to the temple area. In my scenario, as I am imagining it, both strikes would render an opponent flat down, or flat "out" in the prone position.

Again -- thank your post. I most enjoyed it.

Yours,

dmv

David M. Valadez
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Old 03-17-2004, 09:36 AM   #85
Ron Tisdale
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Dear David,

Wow. I have rarely seen such a well written and thought out post on such a complicated topic. I'm going to read it again to see what else I can glean from it.

Myself, I would not focus too strongly on 'atemi as distraction.' If I give an atemi, I may not actually strike my partner if they do not block, but I pretty much always get a reaction as if THEY believe I *might* strike them. Now, do that same atemi to a boxer, as opposed to an aikidoka, and you are correct...you are likely to get a different response due to 'reified ideal phases', and the fact that boxers get hit all the time...and just hit back.

Which is why outside of that 'reified ideal phase' you must at least strongly consider almost always actually making contact, and not hoping for a distraction. And that contact must be mechanically sound...otherwise your wrist breaks, and/or they smile and hit you back

I think the best counter to 'reified ideal phases' is cross training. Working with different arts, working with people from different arts in your art, etc. And even when dealing with karateka who are also trained in aikido, you must be aware that they know you are going for a throw...and that there may be a certain degree of 'tanking' for their own safety (or maybe yours).

I'm not sure how this awareness affects my previous post...but it is an important one, and one I probably do not physically practice under enough.

As to the atemi in some of the typical kaiten nage examples...yes, I would modify the severity of the strike so as not to preclude my end objective...which may change precipitously depending on the responses of a particular attacker. Sometimes the atemi is the throw, sometimes the throw is the atemi, sometimes the technique is the atemi...and on and on and on...

Ron
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Old 03-17-2004, 10:44 AM   #86
George S. Ledyard
 
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Atemi

One of the things to remember about atemi which strike and atemi which don't actually make contact is that they are extremely difficult to tell apart until the end result has occurred. Our eyes are made up of receptors. The movement receptors fire when they register changes against the background. Anything moving across the field of vision is easy to spot and track. That's why irimi can't be done properly by simply jumping out of the way, a motion like that actually draws the attention to it.

But movement that comes straight at the face has the least amount of change in the field of vision from one instant to the next. Something moving straight at the eyes stays the same except that it gets larger as it gets closer. So the minimum number of receptors are firing and the brain gets the minimum amount of information to base its decisions on.

So a full speed, full power strike (I favor the Wing Chun type pulse strike) going straight at the face, but focused a half inch in front of the target instead of several inches through the target, is almost indistinguishable from the real strike. If the partner is open at this point he will be forced to respond.

Aikido people who do atemi waza often are taught to block the atemi. They simply protect their faces and the nage continues through the technique. It is imperative to understand how atemi works and if you are doing it correctly to have the partner act more intelligently. In any other art the opponent would not only deflect the atemi but would instantly counter strike.

If you are doing atemi waza as a distraction it should make no difference whatever if the uke simply blocks or he blocks and counterstrikes. If your execution of the atemi was done properly and didn't break the flow of your movement, his counter strike will miss. You are catching his Mind for an instant; his physical movement will be too slow because it is re-action to your movement.

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 03-17-2004 at 10:46 AM.

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Old 03-17-2004, 10:55 AM   #87
Ron Tisdale
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Nice addition George! thanks,

Ron

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Old 03-17-2004, 06:03 PM   #88
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Again, thank you for these last few posts. I found them to be very informative. There is much to consider and re-consider within. I can also say that the things you are both laying out do capture much of my own experience as well.

Not wishing to mention names or ranks here, because I feel forums are about an exchange of ideas and not an allegiance to authorization, I was once told something relative by a teacher who was asked a similar question concerning distractions with weapons - jo vs. jo to be specific. He was asked whether a particular move in the set we were doing was a distraction (or a feint, a fake, etc.) or a real strike. To this the teacher answered (paraphrasing): "No -- it's a real strike. Combat is difficult enough as it is in regards to staying focused and staying in the dominant position. To throw a strike that has no true intention of hitting is to open oneself up spiritually and physically to a counter. It is automatically a type of suki. You should not see your opponent has having a fettered mind such that he will not take advantage of this suki. Your opponent should be understood to have an unfettered mind -- so he will not fall nor ever for your distractions. Only your true will to strike him as target will get him to move."

Of course, we can play with semantics here regarding exactly what is a "true will to strike," and we can debate over how one should for all practical purposes be able to possess this will even if it is just up to an inch away from the target, but being there I can say that this is not what this teacher meant. Again, I have mentioned this past experience not to say, "There you have it, an authority has spoken..,," but rather to discuss this idea of whether or not we should assume an opponent to have a fettered mind or not, and how such an assumption may indeed a priori provides us with a suki in our own collections of tactics.

Of course, the more you think about what this teacher said, there more you will be able to find -- I suggest. I mean it really is quite profound and certainly goes way beyond the common notions that have plagued such discussions similar to the one we are now having. Nevertheless, I would like to focus in on just a couple of points.

George rightly points out a biological tendency made possible by the physiology of the eye. No doubt - if all of those factors were to occur I think the eye and the mind would in fact respond as described, and for those very physiological reasons. However, and on the contrary, I think Ron also marks out a very significant point. Ron, in talking about what a boxer would do, describes something that is very commonplace or should be very commonplace -- meaning we've seen this or have experienced this quite a lot: "Now, do that same atemi to a boxer, as opposed to an aikidoka, and you are correct...you are likely to get a different response due to 'reified ideal phases', and the fact that boxers get hit all the time...and just hit back. "

That is to say that some folks, and probably a lot more of these kind of folks exist than we would like to believe or come to believe through our training, just hit back when they are about to be struck and/or are being struck. Just because we may flinch within our own ideal phases does not mean that they will or that even we will again within a truly established jiyu waza training environment. Boxers, and others, are either used to being hit and thus not mentally prevented from taking action if or when something is in their face or on it, or they are not even aware that they are being hit or about to be hit -- in which case they would simply continue striking through our "distraction". I think this is one very good reason why or by which we do not and should not assume that our opponent has a fettered mind -- even if we aren't assuming that he/she is an unfettered warrior (or what have you). In short, physiology aside, both an awareness of (almost) being struck, and an absence of training or experience that would predispose one to merely striking back through such an awareness, are required for the distraction to work as intended. Wouldn't you agree? And if that is the case, how and when are you going to tell the difference concerning which type of person you are dealing with? I think this is what that earlier quote is trying to address: You can't tell the difference. So strike to hit because if you do you will be able to address both kinds of folks, or at least the training or lack thereof in both kinds of folks. Hmmm?

This brings us to two other related points: 1) Again, to be distracted by a strike in the physiological way suggested presumes that I will indeed be aware of the strike you are about to have me face. Now I can either be unaware of said strike because I'm so totally focused on my own offense (which a poorly trained fighter will do), as mentioned above, or I can be "less aware" of said strike because I do not, through my training, come to stare at the strikes that are flying at me (which a highly trained fighter will do) - nor thus am I fettered by such things. I think Ron's boxer example can include both of these responses as well but we should also open it up to anyone that has brought their training to a descent level of commitment and investment. Not staring at strikes coming at you is to be sure difficult but also a required skill. In short, I think we have to be cautious concerning how much "distraction effect" we can actually attribute to physiology versus how much we should actually be attributing to our own reified ideal phases and/or underdeveloped training.

And, 2) More related to the latter case (since a trained fighter will watch the body more than the strike of an opponent that is heading toward him/her), while an eye and perhaps a mind can react in the physiological manner suggested, the body, quite early (by which I mean less than 10 years of training) does indeed come to know which amounts of penetration are dangerous and which are not. Striking to distract would require that one's body be in a range that is capable of full penetration of target - as nothing short of this would at all preoccupy the intermediate to advanced practitioner.

I have to point out that whenever I have seen this type of atemi employed, it is rarely at a range that has a full potential to penetrate the target properly. Mudansha, yudansha, and shihan alike all throw this type of atemi from well outside a range of proper penetration. For a person trained to watch the body (e.g. its distance, timing, angle, velocity, etc.) and who does not so crudely become fixated on the individual strikes themselves, attempting to distract this kind of person with this kind of atemi will not find any aid by the physiology of the eye -- in my opinion.

Rather, as the teacher I quoted said, this does in fact leave a suki (either inside, under, on top, outside the extended limb, or the limb itself) or create a suki in one's ongoing tactical employment. On the other hand, throwing this type of atemi from within a range of full penetration only makes these suki bigger.

In the end, I still think we will have to demarcate a difference between atemi thrown in kihon waza, atemi thrown in a jiyu waza that is being plagued by reified ideal phases, and atemi in jiyu waza proper. Perhaps, if we can do this, through things like Ron suggested (e.g. cross training) but also through a whole lot of self-discipline aiming at self-honesty and self-reflection, we may come to understand atemi in all of these cases and thereby determine what it can be and cannot be, or even what it should be and should not be. Having no final answer, and of course no final solution, what began by hearing an answer to similar question a long time ago has led me to this discussion, among other things, and for that I am thankful.

Yours,

dmv

David M. Valadez
Visit our web site for articles and videos. Senshin Center - A Place for Traditional Martial Arts in Santa Barbara.
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Old 03-18-2004, 05:42 AM   #89
creinig
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Just commenting on an isolated aspect, as the finer points are still over my head...:
Quote:
David Valadez

(senshincenter)
wrote:
Ron, in talking about what a boxer would do, describes something that is very commonplace or should be very commonplace -- meaning we've seen this or have experienced this quite a lot: "Now, do that same atemi to a boxer, as opposed to an aikidoka, and you are correct...you are likely to get a different response due to 'reified ideal phases', and the fact that boxers get hit all the time...and just hit back.
If the boxer (uke) can hit back, he can also just "hit". So there's IMHO nothing won by leaving out the atemi. On the contrary -- by launching an atemi at uke I (1) reduce the propability that he'll hit me and (2) move his attention (partially) away from what I *really* want to do - breaking his balance. And once his balance is broken, he'll have problems hitting (back or not) anyway.

So the atemi covers up an opening during a (very short) critical phase of the technique in a way that keeps the initiative with sh'te (nage).
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Old 03-18-2004, 08:28 AM   #90
Ron Tisdale
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Good points all. I think one reason yoshinkan technique (kihon waza, in any case) uses atemi where uke must often block and move is because of the very factors you and I are speaking of, David. Otherwise, by being out of range, not only do you create a suki, but a big, ugly, whopping one. I do think, however, that George addressed that very point...by saying that he must be in range to actually place the atemi for the physiological responses he speaks of to work.

Christian, your statement is a textbook definition of yoshinkan atemi...where there is an opening in the technique (such as in kotegaeshi), use atemi to fill it. I'm not so sure the finer points are over your head...you seem to understand the topic just fine.

As for final answers...I'm sure there cannot be any...but this kind of discussion is exactly why I find this site so rewarding.

Thank you,

Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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