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Old 01-28-2001, 05:32 PM   #1
Jim23
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Should power be put into punches and blocks? From what I've seen in aikido, punches and blocks are like a dance - no power. You couldn't block a real punch. Or execute a real punch.

Upper punch, punch up - above my head (not at it) and I'll simulate a block. Gimme a break!

Aikido punches are for setting up uke/nage period. Don't fool yourselves.

Do what you do best ... don't punch! Or train for it.

Jim23

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Old 01-28-2001, 05:40 PM   #2
Jim23
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Or train for it.

What I mean is TRAIN FOR IT - punches and blocks, that is.

Jim23

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Old 01-28-2001, 06:15 PM   #3
DiNalt
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Quote:
Jim23 wrote:
Should power be put into punches and blocks? From what I've seen in aikido, punches and blocks are like a dance - no power. You couldn't block a real punch. Or execute a real punch.

Upper punch, punch up - above my head (not at it) and I'll simulate a block. Gimme a break!

Aikido punches are for setting up uke/nage period. Don't fool yourselves.

Do what you do best ... don't punch! Or train for it.

Jim23
Jim, I don't know if you're meaning to be insulting, however I doubt that.

This is probably just due to the fact that you've either witnessed a beginner's class, or has been to an unbelievably horrible dojo.
Or you have bad eyesight (like myself).

Either way, you seem to be disappointed in what you saw.

Again, I don't know what you saw, but at our dojo we always aim for the forehead, with a certain sincerity/power to the strike, even when it's done slowly, so that if the person didn't block, you actually hit them.

You don't wait for the nage to block, you just trust that they can, or if they can't then they might get an imprint of your hand on their forehead

And we do practice punches.
Of course we're not really all that concentrated on crushing someone's skull with a punch, but rather intercepting one and using the attacker's lack of stable base at that moment to subdue them.

Of course, all my explanations are for nothing, due to 2 facts :

1) You must participate yourself instead of watching. And yes everyone will tumble for you and expect you to tumble for them in the beginning, for yours and their mutual safety.

I remember when I was naive enough to ask some of the ranked students to "throw me faster" because I felt somewhat insulted that they were still baby-sitting me.

Let's just say I won't be making that mistake again.

2) I've only been studying for a year and I don't know jack

Someone from my dojo is probably reading this and having a good laugh at how I try to explain stuff which I don't know myself

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Old 01-28-2001, 06:21 PM   #4
Matt
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Your right, we dont train to hit in aikido and atemi is used to set up something else. Good observation, you get a gold star. I just hope that you dont think that studying aikido means you cant punch. There's nothing better to make someone respect your distance than a jab or three.
Matt

"It is better to die on your feet
than to live a lifetime on your knees"
Emiliano Zapata
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Old 01-29-2001, 03:30 AM   #5
andrew
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Quote:
Jim23 wrote:

Upper punch, punch up - above my head (not at it) and I'll simulate a block. Gimme a break!

OK, here's a break. Change schools. Where I train any punch that deliberately misses is humiliatingly illustrated to all by tore standing still and pointing out you're supposed to hit him/her.

What do you mean by "simulate a block"?

andrew
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Old 01-29-2001, 03:50 AM   #6
Matt Banks
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Jim 23,

Come train with the yoshinkan mate. We do train to for atemi, and we do make contact and yes it hurts. As for you sayibng train for it, then you obviously dont train for real hitting. Boxing puches etc are useless in a real situation, if your used half the boxing punches in real life you would break your hand. In reality there are few spots on the head and face you can really hit without true injury. If you dont believe it try punching someone without gloves (massive pilllows) on your hands. Systems like chinese temple boxing arguable the most devastting striking art, have a few hits to the face, but noithing to the head cus they know they will come off worse. Most punches people can spar aginst each other with are useless, in a real situation as their designed for gloves. Look at any boxer who enters nhb events they always break there hands and cant fight. Thats why in aikido the strikes are not always dont always connect. Tell me where you live and Ill put you in contact with a sensei who will show you some of our atemi applied. The atemi used in aikido stems from ancient jujutsu arts which are desinged to be deadly, not for idle sparring , where people swing padded clubs at each others areas which without protection could not be struck. When we do make atemi connect on certain training sessions, it is very painful. Often ending in collapse. Plus it can be done with very little power.
I man called George Dillman 8th dan karate, a black belt hall of famer, wrote on article on my exact point. Explaing of punching in boxing was useless, and most karate taught now days , the pratical side of it has been ommitred for safe practice in sparring and the karate-jutsu side can only be practiced in a set form. He explained how he was impressed by the atemi used in aikido, as the movements applied and areas were correct for practicality.
An massive wild upper cut may nock the man back but you will have 4 broken fingers as a result. Your obviously one of these guys who wants to be insultive and provoke a reaction. Go to a Yoshinkan, Iwama etc etc club and choose not to block an atemi from a high grade, when you wake up in casualty, you''l realise.



Matt Banks

''Zanshin be aware hold fast your centre''
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Old 01-29-2001, 06:51 AM   #7
Jim23
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It's funny how everyone gets so defensive when an observation is made.

The reason I commented about punches and blocks being weak, is that the ones that I've seem are. I am by no means suggesting that people be hit in the face in practice, as even a weak hit could cause damage or a black eye, etc. But hit and block hard (without making contact to the face/body) in order to train for the real thing. That way you wont be floored if some idiot tries that stupid punch, breaking his fingers and your face in the process.

Jim23

Remember, all generalizations are false
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Old 01-29-2001, 07:32 AM   #8
lt-rentaroo
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Jim,

Due to my career, I've had the opportunity to travel to various Aikido Dojo across the United States. I've visited Aikikai (my "style"), Yoshinkan, Ki Society, Iwama; just about every major variant of Aikido (except for Tomiki). I admit, I've seen some Dojo that do not use what I would consider to be a committed attack when training. At my dojo, we focus on a committed attack; meaning that if the Uke does not redirect the attack or at the very least move out of the way, the Uke will get hit. Will the Uke get knocked out? No. The reason being is that there is a difference between having a committed attack and an attack that is meant to cause harm. Control is important when studying Aikido; control in attacking, control in defending, controlling the Uke, etc.

OK, about the blocking. I've always been taught and continue to teach that there are no "true" blocks in Aikido. Karate uses blocks which stop the strike or kick, not necessarily redirect it. Aikido (at least not in any dojo I've visited) does not employ blocks that stop the attack, but uses techniques to redirect the incoming strike or kick. This method of defense makes Aikido more fluid. It has always been my opinion that if the person attacking is stronger than you, it's much easier to redirect the attack than it is to try and stop it with a block.
Of course, I could be wrong. But then, it has always been easier for me to redirect my brother's senseless grabs and punches (good natured fun really) than it was to try and block them.

Perhaps the dojo you have started training at does not have the same philosophy as mine. Jim, you said that the punches / blocks you have seen are weak. Please don't think that this is true for all Aikido dojo. Like I said, and Matt as well, different dojo train in different manners.

LOUIS A. SHARPE, JR.
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Old 01-29-2001, 08:06 AM   #9
Jim23
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Louis,

Good answer!

I agree 100% about redirecting the strike. However, I've seen the power vs. power blocks done like they're meant to do nothing but set up the other person. Maybe that's all they were for.

Again, good answer.

Jim23

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Old 01-29-2001, 09:05 AM   #10
REK
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My Shotokan sensei taught that "blocks" were not "force on force". Rather that the intent was to be either redirection / deflection or an atemi in itself. We never blocked a strike just to "stop" it. My wife informs me that this philosophy was shared by her instructor of Chin na. I think many people have gotten the idea that a "block" is technique used to arrest another's movement. That's really new to me....

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Old 01-29-2001, 10:02 AM   #11
Nick
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why are you trying to block, anyways? It doesn't matter how well your block works if you're behind him rather than breaking through him...

Nick

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Old 01-29-2001, 03:37 PM   #12
lt-rentaroo
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REK,

Perhaps I was just a bit too general in my description of a block. I understand that the object of a block is not just to "stop" the attack. I've also studied Karate and Wing Chun Kung Fu and will agree that in the ideological sense, the block is meant to redirect the attack. However, the type of redirection that occurs with a Karate block is a little different than the type of redirection that occurs with an Aikido technique.

An example would be an outer forearm block (sorry, don't know the Japanese term). In Karate, the incoming punch would be redirected to your (if you are being attacked) side, away from your center. In Aikido, the Nage might perform a tenkan (turning / pivoting) movement and redirect the punch downward and behind the attacker, like in Tenkan Kotegaeshi (outer wrist lock / throw). The same could be said about an overhead block in Karate. The attack is redirected off your center, perhaps over the top of your head. In Aikido, a Shomenuchi (overhead strike) is not redirected over your head, but rather in the direction that the attack travels, downward.

I apologize if I was too general in my original post. Jim, I added the English language conversions just for you

LOUIS A. SHARPE, JR.
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Old 01-29-2001, 03:48 PM   #13
Jim23
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Louis,

"doumo arigatou gozaimashita"

Jim

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Old 01-30-2001, 06:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
lt-rentaroo wrote:
REK,

In Aikido, a Shomenuchi (overhead strike) is not redirected over your head, but rather in the direction that the attack travels, downward.

I apologize if I was too general in my original post. Jim, I added the English language conversions just for you
It-rentaroo,

Are you talking about Shomenuchi or Shomenkiri? The difference?

Shomenuchi - head strike, which is usually delivered in a slightly UPWARD direction to the forehead knocking the head back (used to expose the throat for a cut) this is delivered more like a punch (with edge of hand) , to the forehead. This actually causes an UPWARD feel/direction to nage when doing technique, not downward.

Shomenkiri - head cut, which is usually delivered in a DOWNWARD direction starting at the top of the forehead cutting downward through the head. This actually causes a DOWNWARD feel/direction to nage when doing technique.

Sorry, as a swordsman I tend to get rather technical about these things. In Aikido, these are really two separate attacks and technique for these are different as well. I don't believe this difference is emphasized enough in practice as a lot of visitors only seem to know of the shomenkiri attack.

I have been taught that shomenuchi was used in swordsmenship when the enemy had a helment on that also had a piece that covered the throat. It was not wise to try and cut through the helment because your sword could get stuck or break. If the helment was knocked back however (striking the forehead area back) the throat was then exposed for a cut.

Also, depending on who you talk to, the shomenuchi strike was also done with the mune or back of the blade. This was to prevent cutting or sticking the blade into the helment.

Regards,
Dan P. - Mongo
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Old 01-30-2001, 07:29 AM   #15
ian
 
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The more power a punch has the easier the aikido technique (as we are utilising their ki). In aikido we shouldn't be blocking; we should be moving out of the way of the attack (even if this means just a small movement of the head).

However, many attacks are not with as much commitment and are often pulled back quickly - this is where we have to accept that you can't just grab limbs that come at you, but you can move back into uke when they are withdrawing.

Cutting down whilst simultaneously moving off centre line is effective in reality (it redirects the attack).

Ian
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Old 01-30-2001, 11:36 AM   #16
REK
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Quote:
lt-rentaroo wrote:
REK,

Perhaps I was just a bit too general in my description of a block. I understand that the object of a block is not just to "stop" the attack. I've also studied Karate and Wing Chun Kung Fu and will agree that in the ideological sense, the block is meant to redirect the attack. However, the type of redirection that occurs with a Karate block is a little different than the type of redirection that occurs with an Aikido technique.


Agreed.

An example would be an outer forearm block (sorry, don't know the Japanese term). In Karate, the incoming punch would be redirected to your (if you are being attacked) side, away from your center. In Aikido, the Nage might perform a tenkan (turning / pivoting) movement and redirect the punch downward and behind the attacker, like in Tenkan Kotegaeshi (outer wrist lock / throw). The same could be said about an overhead block in Karate. The attack is redirected off your center, perhaps over the top of your head. In Aikido, a Shomenuchi (overhead strike) is not redirected over your head, but rather in the direction that the attack travels, downward.
There's a difference in emphasis, not just direction. In karate, one typically maintains direct contact (literally and figuratively) with uke for a much shorter time, focus tends to be on returning force into a concentrated target. Although hara, zanshin, and kime are important in both, Aikido (a more evolved system of budo, IMHO) allows a much broader range of response due to its greater emphasis on contact with uke ('s center). As for the "rising block" (I think that is age uke), aren't there also numerous techniques in Aikido that serve to raise uke's center?

Rob

PS Mongo: thanks for the precision! I miss kenjutsu!

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Old 01-30-2001, 03:50 PM   #17
lt-rentaroo
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Mongo,

It's been my general observation that in most Aikido dojo the Shomenuchi strike refers to an attack that moves in a downward direction. Meaning, the striking hand (te-gatana portion of hand) would strike Nage on the top of his/her head. I've trained a little in Kendo and from what I've learned, you're right about the difference in attacks. Kendo uses different names for some of the attacks that are practiced in Aikido. I'm not sure why this is, probably to simplify the numerous names for similar attacks. I've visited probably ten or twelve different Aikido dojos over the years (not all the same style) and each one refered to the Shomenuchi strike as a downward strike to the top of Nage's head. Of course, that doesn't make it necessarily correct; perhaps just easier to remember / understand. I don't know, I'm not one to judge.

REK - I agree with your statement on the difference between redirective movements in Karate and Aikido. Timing is everything as they say.

LOUIS A. SHARPE, JR.
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Old 01-30-2001, 07:14 PM   #18
Tony
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Hello everyone

Aikido is an art that is not based on strength. One uses the other person's strenght against them instead of opposing it.

However for aikidoka to be effective at punching they need to pratice punches on a daily basis in order to be strong enough to have an effect on the opponent. Avoid the punches if you can but and dont hit if you can, but if you do punch and want to have an effect, train every day with punching as the bad guy is usually quite strong.

I hope I didnt upset everyone with my opinion.

Tony R.
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Old 01-31-2001, 06:52 AM   #19
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Quote:
lt-rentaroo wrote:
Mongo,

It's been my general observation that in most Aikido dojo the Shomenuchi strike refers to an attack that moves in a downward direction. Meaning, the striking hand (te-gatana portion of hand) would strike Nage on the top of his/her head. I've trained a little in Kendo and from what I've learned, you're right about the difference in attacks. Kendo uses different names for some of the attacks that are practiced in Aikido. I'm not sure why this is, probably to simplify the numerous names for similar attacks. I've visited probably ten or twelve different Aikido dojos over the years (not all the same style) and each one refered to the Shomenuchi strike as a downward strike to the top of Nage's head. Of course, that doesn't make it necessarily correct; perhaps just easier to remember / understand. I don't know, I'm not one to judge.

REK - I agree with your statement on the difference between redirective movements in Karate and Aikido. Timing is everything as they say.
lt-rentaroo,

Yea, I too see a lot of people practicing shomenuchi in the manner you describe. I'm still not sure why though. The influence of sword in Aikido technique is blatantly obvious. The difference for us I guess is that our dojo is heavliy influenced by sword work, which works out very well for those of us training in both sword and Aikido. The Aikikai "style" (I really hate using that word) utilizes footwork from sword and our main instructor, Dennis Hooker sensei has many, many years of experience in kenjutsu and Iaijutsu as well. When I have trouble understanding Aikido technique (and this happens a lot) Hooker sensei will grab a bokken or Iai and demo the origins of the movement. It all seems to come together for me when he does that. Hopefully one day, with enough training, they will become one and the same to me......as they should be.

btw, Personally, I try not to judge what other people practice as right or wrong , just different.....

Regards,
Dan P. - Mongo
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Old 01-31-2001, 07:13 AM   #20
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Re: Hello everyone

Quote:
Tony wrote:
However for aikidoka to be effective at punching they need to pratice punches on a daily basis in order to be strong enough to have an effect on the opponent.
Everything we do in aikido builds towards powerful, whole body movement. Normal aikido training will enable you to punch someone quite hard. It might be a little slower than some other arts that are oriented towards striking, but it will happen.
andrew
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Old 01-31-2001, 07:38 AM   #21
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Re: Re: Hello everyone

[quote]
Quote:
Everything we do in aikido builds towards powerful, whole body movement. Normal aikido training will enable you to punch someone quite hard. It might be a little slower than some other arts that are oriented towards striking, but it will happen.
andrew
I agree. Aikido, by virtue of its instruction in body unity, does build toward powerful strikes. However, I still feel that one should practice the strikes specifically and everyday. Just because one can deliver a blow powerfully doesn't mean that it will be done properly, nor does it mean one won't injure oneself in the process. Try punching the bottom 1/8th of a heavy bag as hard as you possibly can. With a fist. While trying not to get hit, etc., etc. (Written by a practitioner of karate, so you will understand the source of my bias)

Rob

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Old 01-31-2001, 09:30 AM   #22
andrew
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Re: Re: Re: Hello everyone

[quote]REK wrote:
Quote:
(Written by a practitioner of karate, so you will understand the source of my bias)

Rob
I honestly can't see your bias. I saw a good point, mind.
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Old 01-31-2001, 12:01 PM   #23
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coming from a boxers backround I feel one of the most effective and overlooked striking skill is a good stinging jab. I havent been in aikido long enough to have used it in a real fight, but I have been in a few in my life, from that and from plenty of sparing style roughhouse with my friends I have found nothing better for maintaining ma-ai than the jab. Especially when your short on room. I also think that it is something all aikidoka need to learn to defend against. It can be wicked quick because of the whip-like action and it offers very little in the way ki to work with, in other words it doesnt commit much body weight.
Matt

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than to live a lifetime on your knees"
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Old 01-31-2001, 01:58 PM   #24
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Re: Re: Re: Hello everyone

[/b][/quote]

I agree. Aikido, by virtue of its instruction in body unity, does build toward powerful strikes. However, I still feel that one should practice the strikes specifically and everyday. Just because one can deliver a blow powerfully doesn't mean that it will be done properly, nor does it mean one won't injure oneself in the process. Try punching the bottom 1/8th of a heavy bag as hard as you possibly can. With a fist. While trying not to get hit, etc., etc. (Written by a practitioner of karate, so you will understand the source of my bias)

Rob [/b][/quote]

Don't be fooled by just watching aikido. There are strikes hidden in every technique. The force of strike in good aikido is very powerful, but it is a different kind of force. It is the force of a wave or a flood. It can be quite deceitful in it's appearance. The strike in aikido needs only to be a stun or distraction. Then it's over. At my dojo (a part of the "Ten Shin Aikido Association" under Master Teacher Steven Seagal Shihan) attacks in practice are real. If you strike, regardless of the speed practicing, you must intend to make contact. If the nage doesn't move, they get hit. We are always practicing strikes and blocks. You just may not be seeing it.


[Edited by pjdawson on January 31, 2001 at 05:02pm]
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