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Old 03-09-2001, 08:48 AM   #1
ian
 
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Given that 70/80/90% (pick a number) of 'realistic' aikido are atemi, why is training not 70/80/90% atemi based in aikido?

Is it because atemis are easier to learn than the core aikido techniques? It seems all very well saying that a real situation is different from the dojo, but do we practice striking enough; such that it supports our aikido effectively (personally I don't think I do). Any views? Are we conditioning ourselves not to strike, and if this is so, is this a good thing?

Ian
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Old 03-10-2001, 12:28 AM   #2
jimvance
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Atemi waza taught first

Good question Ian. Tomiki Aikido and its derivatives teach atemi waza as the first five techniques in its kihon kata, so not all Aikido is non-striking. I study in the Jiyushinkai and most of our attacks are straight "pushes" to the tori's face or chest so that we can actually make contact and push tori down. We call this testing the attack. It is understood within the context of the exercise that fists, knives, jabbing fingers, et cetera could be substituted for the open hand. We learn kata according to a syllabus, so atemi waza is emphasized over and over as we get new techniques to learn. This can all be done slowly but precisely, adding speed and power as each participant's ukemi gets better. We actually do a lot of "push-down" drills. So uke and tori both get to practice atemi and ukemi at the same time. I don't know if this is something you can utilize, but I think it has improved my combative ability and my attention of ma-ai and zanshin. Perhaps you can make up your own drills based on this concept and apply it to the techniques you practice.

Jim Vance

PS. Atemi is hard. That's why we are taught atemi waza at the beginning; it gets tons of emphasis until it becomes second nature. And I agree, it is the most realistic way to deal with a combative situation.
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Old 03-14-2001, 01:02 PM   #3
tedehara
 
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Atemi

Quote:
ian wrote:
Given that 70/80/90% (pick a number) of 'realistic' aikido are atemi, why is training not 70/80/90% atemi based in aikido?

Is it because atemis are easier to learn than the core aikido techniques? It seems all very well saying that a real situation is different from the dojo, but do we practice striking enough; such that it supports our aikido effectively (personally I don't think I do). Any views? Are we conditioning ourselves not to strike, and if this is so, is this a good thing?

Ian
Ki Society style and some other styles do not practice any atemi (strikes) at all. I have been told that is done because students focus too much on atemi and stop doing the technique.

Because the softer styles concentrate more on leading, atemi (either kicks or punches) tends to break-up the lead of a technique.

A quick kokyunage (timing throw) can be done so quickly and effectively, using an atemi would just get in the way. BTY I've noticed some people who emphasize atemi, usually do have trouble leading/blending in their technique.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 03-14-2001, 02:21 PM   #4
BC
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In the dojo where I practice, most beginners don't practice atemi at all. I think this is because aikido techniques require so much precision, that until you get familiar with them, trying to apply atemi will throw off the timing and flow of the techniques. I occasionally practice them, but that's mainly because I've practiced a couple other striking arts and am curious where the atemi fit in to certain techniques.

It's mostly the senior students who utilize atemi, and usually it's to control uke's movement, balance and body position, like keeping uke from leading with their head during an attack (at least with me).

Robert Cronin
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Old 03-14-2001, 02:22 PM   #5
TheProdigy
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Going off the last post, I'm in kokikai style which I'm told is similar to Ki society. Practicing 3-6mths, I've never heard atemi spoken of. lol had to look it up after seeing it so much in here. However, we do focus on taking their balance and leading as tedehara said. Experiencing the effectiveness of several shodans, I'd say atemi isn't necessary either.

-Jase aka The guy who almost went through a window on day #2... lol

Jason Hobbs
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Old 03-14-2001, 02:32 PM   #6
akiy
 
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Re: Atemi

Quote:
tedehara wrote:
Ki Society style and some other styles do not practice any atemi (strikes) at all.
Really? What about taigi number 19?

-- Jun

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Old 03-14-2001, 06:43 PM   #7
Jim23
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Sometimes I think that people here should be MADE to read every post here before posting. These topics go round and round in circles. I've never seen anything like it before - anywhere! soft-boiled, medium, hard-boiled, take your pick, aikido has it for you. Just don't give me your recipe or opinion, as we only want to hear our own.

This is all so silly.

Jim23

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Old 03-14-2001, 11:08 PM   #8
tedehara
 
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Ai symbol Atemi

Quote:
Jim23 wrote:
Sometimes I think that people here should be MADE to read every post here before posting. These topics go round and round in circles. I've never seen anything like it before - anywhere! soft-boiled, medium, hard-boiled, take your pick, aikido has it for you. Just don't give me your recipe or opinion, as we only want to hear our own.

This is all so silly.

Jim23
Maybe what you want to hear is that:

YES-THE IMPORTANCE OF ATEMI IS OFTEN OVERLOOKED. WE SHOULD ALL BE PRACTICING MORE STRIKES AND KICKS. I'VE FOUND PRACTICING WITH SPARRING TARGETS AND BAGS TO BE MOST EFFECTIVE. WEIGHT TRAINING IS ALSO HELPFUL. O SENSEI DID ATEMI IN HIS TECHNIQUES, SO ANYONE WHO DOESN'T ATEMI ISN'T PRACTICING AIKIDO!
These are all very persuasive arguments. Yet there is still something wrong.

All aiki techniques, whether it's aiki-sword or aiki-jitsu, has some initial leading or blending with the attacker. That's why it's called aiki.

So what do you do with this lead, once you've gotten it? The quickest, most efficient way is to lead to the end of the technique. Doing anything else, including scratching, biting, head-butting, eye-gouging or atemi would be less effective.

Technique X using just a lead
  • lead
  • splat!
Technique X using atemi
  • lead
  • atemi (strike)
  • lead
  • atemi (low kick)
  • splat!

So you can see that a technique using atemi not only has more steps, but during the transition from lead to atemi, there is also a real possibility that the nage could lose the lead/initiative and end up fighting.

So why atemi at all?
Atemi is part of aikido tradition. My instructor teaches it. O Sensei practiced it. More importantly, the concept of ma-ai (distance) is closely linked to atemi, as I believe it should be.

You know there's something wrong when uke can shove their palm in your face or their fist in your gut. In every type of MA, the idea of striking distance is crucial.

If you see a really good aikidoist do atemi during a technique, they really don't appear to atemi. Everything is seamless, so you don't get the step-by-step technique (like I listed earlier) but a single motion. That type of atemi is much more powerful than anything you can get by lifting weights or hitting targets.

[Edited by tedehara on March 14, 2001 at 11:14pm]

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Old 03-15-2001, 06:24 AM   #9
mike brown
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I like atemi; to me it's kind of like kiai-it softens up the really hard cases for my waza.

I'm not sure why O-sensei did it so much; from everything I've read and heard he was temendously powerful and well-balanced even in his eighties. It doesn't seem like he' need atemi to complete his technique. I do because I'm kind of a wimp, in all honesty.

Did O-sensei ever explain why he used atemi?

Mike Brown
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Old 03-15-2001, 07:34 AM   #10
TheProdigy
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Quote:
Jim23 wrote:
Just don't give me your recipe or opinion, as we only want to hear our own.
Personally, I think very few people on these forums think like that. Without sharing your opinion, how do expect to learn another related idea? Or even a reason your current thinking may be wrong.

Quote:
mike brown wrote:I'm not sure why O-sensei did it so much; from everything I've read and heard he was temendously powerful and well-balanced even in his eighties. It doesn't seem like he' need atemi to complete his technique. I do because I'm kind of a wimp, in all honesty.
Well, coming from someone who is completely ignorant(myself) on the topic of atemi, I'd guess it was either because of his previous training, or because perhaps it gives a more perfect technique. As you point out, you use it because of a difference in strength and/or size, perhaps it helps these shortcomings to be overcome. I'm not saying that the size/strength difference makes techniques w/o atemi any less effective, but maybe it helps.

-Jase

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Old 03-15-2001, 03:46 PM   #11
tedehara
 
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taigi 19

Quote:
akiy wrote:
Quote:
tedehara wrote:
Ki Society style and some other styles do not practice any atemi (strikes) at all.
Really? What about taigi number 19?
-- Jun
Of course in some of the taigi, attacks are done by atemi (strikes) by the attacker (uke). In that sense, you could say everyone practices atemi. However, I think that the use of atemi in this discussion was for the defender (nage).

It's true that in many of the techniques, there are places where atemi can be used. However, the most recent instruction I've been hearing is that atemi is used as a distraction to prevent a counterstrike by the attacker or as a spacing device, to stretch out the attacker. It seems to me that the softer styles are almost disregarding atemi, in favor of concentrating on developing the lead.

Just my observation.

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Old 03-15-2001, 03:59 PM   #12
akiy
 
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Re: taigi 19

Quote:
tedehara wrote:
Of course in some of the taigi, attacks are done by atemi (strikes) by the attacker (uke). In that sense, you could say everyone practices atemi. However, I think that the use of atemi in this discussion was for the defender (nage).
Yes, uke attacks with munetsuki in taigi 19, but from the few times I've seen it done, it sure looked like nage was performing some nice atemi, too. Quick search reveals that nage does "Uchiwanage kubikiri," "zenponage kubiuchi," "uchiwanage menuchi," "irimi sudori," "shomenuchi," and "hantai tenkan." At least the second, third, and fifth sure sound (and looked!) like atemi.

Of course, my experience in Ki Society's aikido is pretty limited. Anyone else in Ki Society wish to comment on this?
Quote:
It's true that in many of the techniques, there are places where atemi can be used. However, the most recent instruction I've been hearing is that atemi is used as a distraction to prevent a counterstrike by the attacker or as a spacing device, to stretch out the attacker. It seems to me that the softer styles are almost disregarding atemi, in favor of concentrating on developing the lead.
I seem to remember Kashiwaya sensei saying at the last seminar of his I attended that atemi, especially in randori, should be a last resort thing to do. Rather than relying upon it, nage should be in a good enough position that a (for the lack of a better word) "non-atemified" technique should be available.

Me? I've trained in aikido dojo where atemi are used in almost every technique, where atemi is used sometimes, where the implication of atemi exists and is pointed out, and others in which atemi are hardly ever used.

You know what? In my eyes, they were all doing aikido...

-- Jun

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Old 03-15-2001, 08:52 PM   #13
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it may be because i'm small, and even for my size have small hands, but i usually find it easier to blend and lead, relying on timing rather than atemi. Atemi seems to stop ukes, who when they are big and heavy footed, as many of mine are, getting them moving again can be difficult. I do like to use it if i have to pass close to uke (as in sudori techniques) or if i am committed to a really fast straight in movement. Otherwise acute reality often points out the unlikelihood that my 100 pounds, even if exactly right on target to a vulnerable area (ha) is going to slow down my 200 pound uke. and since i usually find that big male ukes will throw their faces full speed into my outstretched hand, i am beginning to doubt the average American male is willing to get off balance just to save his face.
on the other hand, as i am more than willing to sacrifice my balance or speed of attack to save my face, it does seem quite effective when i work with a good sized nage. i guess, as in everything in Aikido, it just depends...
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Old 03-15-2001, 10:33 PM   #14
Matt
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As Im sure you can tell by my low post number I am fairly new to Aikido. I have, on the other hand, had my fair share of boxing experience (as my bad elbow will atest to). The style that I have been learning is Ki-Aikido so I haven't been exposed to much use of atemi, at least by nage. With the sparing that I have done with my friends, mainly boxers and a few tkd, I have found that atemi only serve to disconnect me from uke. On the other hand, I have found that liberal use of a quick jab, of which I don't mind to say I have, forces uke to respect my ma-ai and dedicate their ki from a distance. I love it when they do that
Matt

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than to live a lifetime on your knees"
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Old 03-16-2001, 08:24 AM   #15
wildaikido
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I have to same most people here seem to think atemi is a punch in the head or a kick to the 'nuts' but osensei said atemi is 70(to 99)% aikido for a reason. Which is (since aikido is related to kenjutsu) we use our tegatana to atemi in EVERY technique, do you not take uke down with your tegatana in irimi nage, and do you not cut down in both shiho nage and ude osae with your tegatana, these are atemi. A quote from Gozo Shioda, "The moment of contact becomes the strike." and "If you make contact with uke with focused power, that is atemi, so it is possible to use your shoulder , your back, or any part of your body to make atemi."
There you go hope it helps some people.

Graham Wild
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