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Old 10-26-2004, 05:22 PM   #1
jitensha
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beyond atemi in aikido

Hello all,

I know the use of strikes in aikido is constantly being discussed,
and this may be a hackneyed topic but....

My question is how exactly should strikes be executed as proper, effective aikido techniques by nage (not necessarily uke).

For example it seems that some arts have striking techniques which are fairly rigid and involve tension at the moment of
impact. Although effective, these types of strikes appear (to my
novice eyes) to be "ki blocking", and not really in the spirit of aikido technique. So I guess I'm asking people's thoughts on proper, powerful ways to deliver effective strikes using aiki principles.
(Something similar to Kanai Sensei's strikes in the Technical Aikido video)

This issue seems relevant if people wish to study striking arts
to complement their aikido training. It could counteract one's development of aikido technique, and it would therefore be better
to learn atemi within a more aiki curriculum.

-Chris

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." (Bertrand Russell)
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Old 10-26-2004, 08:15 PM   #2
Anders Bjonback
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Re: beyond atemi in aikido

I remember in the Randori class at my dojo, some people would criticize others who studied striking arts because they tended to want to get into sparring rather than just entering and turning, thus creating a problem for their randori. Other people seem to think that studying a striking art would counteract their learning aiki technique. I think that learning in such a way is learning through a weakness. Maybe good in the short run, but maybe not so good in the long run.
I'd rather learn how to punch and kick effectively while learning "aiki technique." Even though this might create some problems in the short run, I think it would make me an overall better martial artist in the long run.
Of course, I'm not experienced to know much of anything, though.

"For peace and happiness are presences, not objects we can grasp and hold onto."
--Lilian Smith
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Old 10-26-2004, 09:04 PM   #3
xuzen
 
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Re: beyond atemi in aikido

Quote:
Christopher Rogers wrote:
Hello all,

<snip>....

My question is how exactly should strikes be executed as proper, effective aikido techniques by nage (not necessarily uke).

...<snip>
-Chris
My own thought... Do you do jo strike? To be specific... jo is rigid right, instead of thrusting the jo, hold it firmly on your hands, move forward your whole body using the tsugi ashi movement... this itself is a powerful thrust already... now move forward in tsugi ashi movement plus a thrust, sprinkle with the attitude of shuchu ryuku (sp??/ focused power), what do you get? A powerful tsuki attack. Now, apply the same principle to your bare hands (hara-te/empty handed).

Of course this is my interpretation, there are many other various ways of atemi'ing. I maintain that aikido is derived from weapon arts, and its strike/atemi should be consistent with weapon attack principles.

My two cents ramble,

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 10-26-2004, 09:37 PM   #4
xuzen
 
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Re: beyond atemi in aikido

Oh btw, more atemi(s)...

1) This is for very close distance, sink your breath / qi to your hara; You should feel is like rooted to the earth as though a strong magnet is pulling your feet to the ground; with a strong kiai or quick exhale, you expand and screw you hand into the uke's body...

2) Hitting... this hit feels like bouncing off a body.

3) Slapping... This one feels like whipping someone, e.g. gyake yokomen. The power is generated from the hip. The hip is coiled and sprung loose like a coiled spring. (like a baseball batter)

That is all the ramble I know; so much to learn so little time, sigh.

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 10-26-2004, 10:14 PM   #5
senseimike
 
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Re: beyond atemi in aikido

I use atemi in my aikido, but don't get obsessed on making each hit a "knock out" blow. The strikes should flow with the aiki movement. For example, when entering on ikkyo omote strike the ribs while they're stretched out; elbow strike to back when doing tenkan for kotegaeshi, etc. Any strike I happen to do to the face is done to get a reaction. If it's not blocked then the technique becomes easier or unnecessary. If it's blocked it distracts the attacker from his intent thus, as my sensei puts it, takes his mind. The strikes I use to the face are not always solid punches but slaps, flicks, even eye jabs.... my favorite. I always like to quote Musashi when talking about atemi. He said to cut the corners, meaning that you may be facing the best sword fighter in the world, but is he the best sword fighter with a cut wrist, the best with a cut knee, the best with blood in his eyes, etc. I use the same idea with atemi, is my opponent the most effective he can be with a sore back, with sore ribs, with a numb arm from a nerve strike, or with my finger jabbed in his eye.....

Just a different take on the idea

Mike Taylor
Godan
Chief Instructor, Rising Star Aikido
South Bend, Nebraska, USA
www.risingstaraikido.com
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Old 10-27-2004, 03:03 AM   #6
Bridge
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Re: beyond atemi in aikido

Quote:
Christopher Rogers wrote:
Hello all,

For example it seems that some arts have striking techniques which are fairly rigid and involve tension at the moment of
impact. Although effective, these types of strikes appear (to my
novice eyes) to be "ki blocking", and not really in the spirit of aikido technique.

-Chris
Hmm, I'm not sure which styles you're thinking of, but the end of the strike (where the tension is) is not actually where the point of impact is. Point of impact comes before end of strike, so what happens is, the strike is at it's full speed/momentum just inches (or less if you're Bruce Lee) before you focus the technique.

So when you are hitting something properly (e.g. a pad or assailant) you are actually aiming to get your hand or foot past the target.

That said, I would love it if I got the chance to learn atemi with aiki approach. Might be a whole new ball game altogether, then again it might well be nigh on identical.
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Old 10-27-2004, 03:14 AM   #7
xuzen
 
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Re: beyond atemi in aikido

Quote:
<snip...>
That said, I would love it if I got the chance to learn atemi with aiki approach <snip...>
Dear Bridge,

Simple, after giving someone a bloody nose, apologize and offer to pay for his medical bill, that is the aikiway.

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 10-27-2004, 03:27 AM   #8
Bridge
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Re: beyond atemi in aikido

Quote:
Xu Wenfung wrote:
Dear Bridge,

Simple, after giving someone a bloody nose, apologize and offer to pay for his medical bill, that is the aikiway.

Boon.
Cheers Boon,

In which case, better not, I've already dished out plenty of bloody noses without the extra helping of on top.

And I automatically apologise afterwards. Profusely. But offering to pay medical bill that's gotta be going the extra aiki mile.
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Old 10-27-2004, 03:46 AM   #9
Yann Golanski
 
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Re: beyond atemi in aikido

Bridget,

Come over to York and we'll teach you some aikido atemi waza. The first five basic Shodokan techniques are all stricks.

The people who understand, understand prefectly.
yann@york-aikido.org York Shodokan Aikido
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Old 10-27-2004, 03:51 AM   #10
PeterR
 
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Re: beyond atemi in aikido

Yeah but Yann most people when they think of atemi have very limited views or at least very strong views about what is and is not atemi.

None of the Shodokan atemi waza are done with a closed fist. Perfectly acceptable within the Japanese context and very effective in their own right but its rare to get the opprotunity to actually convince by demonstration.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 10-27-2004, 04:21 AM   #11
grondahl
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Re: beyond atemi in aikido

Why use a closed fist?
http://www.pekiti-tirsia.net/openHan...&file=openHand
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Old 10-27-2004, 04:31 AM   #12
PeterR
 
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Re: beyond atemi in aikido

Peter - In Japanese martial arts atemi means striking with body.

That can include fist, open hand, body check, etc. An open hand also allows much more control of your opponents body in addition to its potential percussive effect.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 10-27-2004, 05:03 AM   #13
Yann Golanski
 
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Re: beyond atemi in aikido

The way my sensei described it was to use closed fist if you are moving away from uke and open palm if you are moving towards uke. Allows for more control and less damage for everyone.

The people who understand, understand prefectly.
yann@york-aikido.org York Shodokan Aikido
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Old 10-27-2004, 05:12 AM   #14
Bridge
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Re: beyond atemi in aikido

That's interesting. I was taught you should strike hard objects (e.g. the head) with a soft object (e.g. open hand). And a soft target (e.g. belly) should be hit with a hard object (e.g. closed fist). For greater power transmission.

Hitting like with like doesn't make for good transmission and also hurts the person doing the hitting.
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Old 10-27-2004, 08:19 AM   #15
Yann Golanski
 
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Re: beyond atemi in aikido

Yeah, I guess it's a pretty similar way here.

The people who understand, understand prefectly.
yann@york-aikido.org York Shodokan Aikido
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Old 10-27-2004, 09:10 AM   #16
SeiserL
 
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Re: beyond atemi in aikido

IMHO, a strike is a block is a lock is a throw. Stay loose and use atemi towards the kuzushi balance point. Practice slowly and find where the atemi appears naturally and the body reaction to being hit, or avoiding being hit, is actually an aid to the overall movement of the technique. Its how you apply atemi in Aikido that make it different, though similar, to the bashing arts.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 10-27-2004, 01:54 PM   #17
jitensha
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Re: beyond atemi in aikido

I really like Boon's comments regarding the relationship between
tsuki open hand and tsuki with the jo. Any connection with weapons makes me feel like we are going back to "aikido first-principles".

Bridget, thanks for correcting my observation of karate-like
striking techniques...I think my mistake comes from watching
kata and solo practice and not understanding where the theoretical targets are supposed to be located.

I think it's great that strikes are taught from the beginning in some
dojo's, (e.g. the aforementioned shodokan schools) and aren't included as an afterthought. At the dojo I train at, atemi is always emphasized. 99% of the atemi i've observed there are open-handed...closing the fist is seen as disrupting the energy flow. And blocking uke's strikes is always a big no-no...

This post on e-budo is kind of what made me wonder about
atemi as technique in itself and not as an accompaniment to
an immobilization or projection.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." (Bertrand Russell)
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Old 10-27-2004, 09:23 PM   #18
xuzen
 
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Re: beyond atemi in aikido

Quote:
Christopher Rogers wrote:
I really like Boon's comments regarding the relationship between
tsuki open hand and tsuki with the jo. Any connection with weapons makes me feel like we are going back to "aikido first-principles".
Quote:
"Bila sudah tersilap jalan, balik ke pangkal jalan" - an old malay/indonesian saying
translation - when you are lost, go back to basics.

I too constantly revisit the basic principles of aikido. In defense of aikido, I think once you have move to a higher level of understanding, you begin to see the strategy behind the arts' every intention. Why do we do this, why do we do that, why not like this, why not like that? When your mind is clouded this way, its good to revisit the basic principles, and understand why such technique exist.

Quote:
This post on e-budo is kind of what made me wonder about
atemi as technique in itself and not as an accompaniment to
an immobilization or projection.
Chris, thanks for sharing the article. It reaffirm my view that at higher level of understanding, we should be looking at strategy/principles/Essenes behind aikido and not the form.

Form - all the myriad techniques found in aikido and any of those you can think off to get a job done.

Strategy - to use minimal force necessary to get the job done .

Essence - To love mankind and have a colossal amount of compassion for all sentient beings

Ok, that is all, time for me to go back to my cave and meditate some more.... <hmmmmmmm>

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 10-27-2004, 10:29 PM   #19
Bronson
 
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Re: beyond atemi in aikido

Our style doesn't use atemi so my sensei uses what he calls "percusive blending" The strikes are loose and relaxed the entire time and they feel like they are going deep to your core and not just hitting on the surface.

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 11-07-2004, 06:50 PM   #20
JasonFDeLucia
 
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Re: beyond atemi in aikido

Quote:
Christopher Rogers wrote:
Hello all,

I know the use of strikes in aikido is constantly being discussed,
and this may be a hackneyed topic but....

My question is how exactly should strikes be executed as proper, effective aikido techniques by nage (not necessarily uke).

For example it seems that some arts have striking techniques which are fairly rigid and involve tension at the moment of
impact. Although effective, these types of strikes appear (to my
novice eyes) to be "ki blocking", and not really in the spirit of aikido technique. So I guess I'm asking people's thoughts on proper, powerful ways to deliver effective strikes using aiki principles.
(Something similar to Kanai Sensei's strikes in the Technical Aikido video)

This issue seems relevant if people wish to study striking arts
to complement their aikido training. It could counteract one's development of aikido technique, and it would therefore be better
to learn atemi within a more aiki curriculum.

-Chris
the strikes of nage should be rhythmically connected to the techniqes in use .for reference if i may be so bold please click to atemi in waza bare in mind that these are nhb matches with no constraints so as to dispell ''does it work or not '' .it's a matter of proper kokyu (timing linked to breathing).i'm sorry if i didn't ask permission to give this link but it is relevant.
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Old 11-07-2004, 09:02 PM   #21
JessePasley
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Re: beyond atemi in aikido

In the style of Taijiquan that I studied back in college, it was first taught as a form of boxing, ie strikes. As Jason describes, the use of kokyu is paramount. The idea of 'harmonizing' breath, strike, and deflection seems to me totally in line with Aikido principles. Furthermore, to dispell the idea that striking is somehow stiff or somehow un-aiki, I would suggest looking at some good Western Boxing matches, espcially Ali. Boxers have to be relaxed and natural for what they do. Pay special attention to the way boxers roll and doges attacks. That requires real sensitivity.

So how does one add 'real' striking to an aikido lesson without it just becoming 'aikido plus a little karate'? Besides the obvious first step of actually learning good striking from another art, put on some safetly equipment and adapt the striking to techniques already well known. The footwork, timing, distance....it's already there.

The atemi waza of Shodokan jumps out at me as obvious choices....shomenate, aigamaeate would be jabs and crosses, respectively, gyakumaeate could be an an elbow or forearm strike to the head, gedanate an elbow to the ribs, and ushiroate a forearm strike to the side of the head.

But you what....I'm getting way ahead of myself.
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Old 11-14-2004, 06:16 PM   #22
JasonFDeLucia
 
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Re: beyond atemi in aikido

Quote:
Jesse Pasley wrote:
In the style of Taijiquan that I studied back in college, it was first taught as a form of boxing, ie strikes. As Jason describes, the use of kokyu is paramount. The idea of 'harmonizing' breath, strike, and deflection seems to me totally in line with Aikido principles. Furthermore, to dispell the idea that striking is somehow stiff or somehow un-aiki, I would suggest looking at some good Western Boxing matches, espcially Ali. Boxers have to be relaxed and natural for what they do. Pay special attention to the way boxers roll and doges attacks. That requires real sensitivity.

So how does one add 'real' striking to an aikido lesson without it just becoming 'aikido plus a little karate'? Besides the obvious first step of actually learning good striking from another art, put on some safetly equipment and adapt the striking to techniques already well known. The footwork, timing, distance....it's already there.

The atemi waza of Shodokan jumps out at me as obvious choices....shomenate, aigamaeate would be jabs and crosses, respectively, gyakumaeate could be an an elbow or forearm strike to the head, gedanate an elbow to the ribs, and ushiroate a forearm strike to the side of the head.

But you what....I'm getting way ahead of myself.
i think that the footage of nariyama sensei doing the techniques is one of the best standards for atemi in the kyu.it also most easily relates to other martial artists who might be integrating aikido as the shinogi are very 'kenpo, kung fu ish' .
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Old 11-14-2004, 07:32 PM   #23
aikidoc
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Re: beyond atemi in aikido

"percusive blending" I like that term. My opinion is the atemi most of the time should be part of the blending motion not a separate strike like in karate.
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