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Old 10-10-2005, 12:54 PM   #201
rob_liberti
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Re: atemi is 90% of Aikido

I strongly agree with you that using the hara in atemi has a lot to do with Aikido.

We could of course talk about my background if you like, but I think it would be better to stick to the topic... So I'll only meet you half way.

As for my atemi practice, Gleason sensei grabs my arms and I attempt to thrust as if I were holding a sword. If it is a whole lot like trying to tickle a cow, then I need to organize my body differently before trying again. If he moves a little, I try to feel the difference between what I just did and my previous attempt. I find the main problem is that if I don't unify myself before he grabs and then with him as he grabs I have a heck of a time recovering. There are all sorts of other aspects to success in that exercise. I have to set a direction, and make space, I have to drop all excess tension except for my fingertips. I find I get more out of focusing just below his center than anywhere else, and then I need to follow the energy out of his center in such a way we are both contributing to the overall movement. I also find that when I non-verbally communicate the feeling of drawing the person in to me as I approach them just before we connect I get much better results. I can't explain that very well, but it seems to help me stay more internally organized.

For thrusting out in that fashion, to keep everything connected I find the most success in a wrist up and fingers down position. I find it a bit difficult to translate that into a typical punching fist.

Rob
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Old 10-10-2005, 02:11 PM   #202
Mike Sigman
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Re: atemi is 90% of Aikido

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote:
IMHO, you could atemi by (1) moving the hara/hips so the wave snakes or rises vertically into the atemi, (2) pop the weight down and under to uproot as in a WC/JKD 1-3" punch, or (3) pivot horizontally on the toes rotating the hara/hips and extending the arms, similar to a boxer's hook.

All three actions can be added dynamically to Aikido waza through the center and towards the kuzushi balance points or merely to irritate and distract by leading the mind so that the slight of hand and body goes somewhat undetected.
OK, Lynn, good points. I don't actually do things quite the way you described, but you're showing that there are certainly other considerations other than just using the shoulder, etc., which I suggested was not really much of a solution, body-mechanics-wise.

If, as an example, I came up to you can claimed to be an expert in Wing Chun (or JKD) and yet I indicated that I have no knowledge of #2, you would understand the perspective I was originally trying to convey, I think. If I and a few of my buddies all ganged up and said you were making a mountain of a molehill, you'd understand even more clearly. (I'd like to discard for moment any questions of pivoting and twisting on the foot, just to keep the conversation simple).

My real question, though, goes immediately to your #1 and the way you consolidate the terms "hara" and "hips". To me they are two very separate things. Sit in a chair (that will more or less lock your hips into one position) and move your stomach-area from side-to-side. That will give you a *rough* idea of what I move when I move my "hara" as opposed to when I move my hips. I power things from the hara; the hips are secondary. I.e., I can release a lot of power from a sitting position in which the hips are locked.

The point of my question is how is the hara used in atemi, and I meant it in terms of typical or traditional Aikido usage. The description of the Wing Chun technique may or may not be appropriate (that's what the discussion is about and I'm open to listening to this thesis), but Wing Chun is one of the "closed posture" styles of southern Shaolin and would not be 100% compatible with the techniques of atemi in Aikido, **in my opinion** (i.e., I'll debate it, but I could be wrong).

Regards,

Mike
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Old 10-10-2005, 04:32 PM   #203
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: atemi is 90% of Aikido

A quick language question- what do English-speaking people in general, or the people in this discussion in particular, mean with "hips"? In Finnish, I would make a distiction between pelvis and the hip joint, and Finnish aikido people usually talk about the pelvis, but I mostly hear hips in English.

kvaak
Pauliina
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Old 10-10-2005, 04:44 PM   #204
Mike Sigman
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Re: atemi is 90% of Aikido

Quote:
Pauliina Lievonen wrote:
A quick language question- what do English-speaking people in general, or the people in this discussion in particular, mean with "hips"? In Finnish, I would make a distiction between pelvis and the hip joint, and Finnish aikido people usually talk about the pelvis, but I mostly hear hips in English.
???? I'm lost, Pauliina.... where are you? I thought you were in Holland.

I see your point.... but I think generally the pelvis movement is viewed as accompanied by a twist at the hip joints. So really "hip movement" in English refers to the movement of the pelvis as a result of power applied at the hip joints, though of course there is some power from the torso muscles as well.

The "dantien" is a literal and figurative focus of power within the abdomen/waist area. People who *really* use the dantien for power (even moving the pelvis with it) can develop a muscular ball just below the navel (called a "qi ball") and can articulate that ball at will. This sort of power is considered a nexus of the connective tissue, tendons, muscular power, etc., used in conjunction with jin/kokyu power.

So using "hip" power and using "dantien" power are really different things, even though of course people using dantien power will also integrate hip movements, etc.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 10-10-2005, 06:49 PM   #205
the_aikido_hamsta
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Re: atemi is 90% of Aikido

i guess atemi is important in the early stages of aikido note tt as ppl proceed further into aikido
there's lesser need for it cuz they're more pro
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Old 10-10-2005, 07:11 PM   #206
PeterR
 
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Re: atemi is 90% of Aikido

Much as I hate anonymous articles.

On Aikido Journal we have Aikido and the Art of Atemi
http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=1239

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 10-10-2005, 07:38 PM   #207
mathewjgano
 
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Re: atemi is 90% of Aikido

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Just to keep this on topic... what can you tell us about the use of the hara in the atemi, as you use it?
Per my limited frame of reference, hara is "behind" every movement, so this seems like a vague question to me. If your posture is balanced it can be connected to a hand cutting down (such as in sumi otoshi) while also connected the other hand as it raises and extends/cuts through the shikaku of uke's spine. Stable hara allows for dynamic and potent everything else, so far as I know. Maybe I don't understand your question. Would you answer your own question so I better know what you mean?
Take care,
Matt

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Old 10-10-2005, 08:02 PM   #208
mathewjgano
 
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Re: atemi is 90% of Aikido

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
The point of my question is how is the hara used in atemi, and I meant it in terms of typical or traditional Aikido usage.
I think most people say "hips" as a means of getting the whole body into their action. The hara sits upon the hips, after all, and so is dependant upon them to move. Hence, one extends through the ground via whatever their base happens to be, be it suwari-waza; tachi-waza; or sitting in a chair (isu-waza?lol). Then the action proceeds through hara and up along the spine to the arms, etc. So far as I know, everyone I've trained with in Aikido is aware of hara, even if they don't refer to it as such. "Center" is a more common term in America perhaps. And i would argue those who reject "hara" as a concept, if they do indeed exist commonly, simply reject a mystical description of it. Everyone can get behind "center of gravity" I think.
Some people I think prefer to analyze in a linear manner, such as I described just now, and some prefer to analyze in segments, maybe thinking about how to channel power through their shoulder before they analyze how to get power through their hara, for example. What ultimately matters, I think, is that we constantly strive to refine our methods. I'm decent at being strong in my hips/hara, but getting that strength into my arms is something I'm lacking I think.
Anyhoo...
Take care,
Matt

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Old 10-10-2005, 08:34 PM   #209
mathewjgano
 
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Re: atemi is 90% of Aikido

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote:
Much as I hate anonymous articles.

On Aikido Journal we have Aikido and the Art of Atemi
http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=1239
I really enjoyed that article! Thanks!

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 10-11-2005, 04:16 AM   #210
David Yap
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Atemi is 99% of aikido

Matt,

Bet you will enjoy this even more:

http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=1239

David Y
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Old 10-11-2005, 04:26 AM   #211
PeterR
 
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Re: atemi is 90% of Aikido

Um David - its the same article.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 10-11-2005, 07:11 AM   #212
Zato Ichi
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Re: atemi is 90% of Aikido

Peter, I think you'll enjoy this article on Aikido Journal:

http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=1239
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Old 10-11-2005, 07:51 AM   #213
Ron Tisdale
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Re: atemi is 90% of Aikido

Quote:
I also find that when I non-verbally communicate the feeling of drawing the person in to me as I approach them just before we connect I get much better results.
Hi Rob,

If I read you correctly, you are speaking about connecting before physical contact, right? I have found that usefull as well, especially when unaware of exactly what attack is coming. But I haven't been able to describe it well yet. Thanks for that...
Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 10-11-2005, 08:18 AM   #214
Ron Tisdale
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Re: atemi is 90% of Aikido

Quote:
The "dantien" is a literal and figurative focus of power within the abdomen/waist area. People who *really* use the dantien for power (even moving the pelvis with it) can develop a muscular ball just below the navel (called a "qi ball") and can articulate that ball at will. This sort of power is considered a nexus of the connective tissue, tendons, muscular power, etc., used in conjunction with jin/kokyu power.
Hi all,

I have felt this separate dantien (separate from the hips) in some taiji folks, and it is distinctive. I'm not sure if I've felt this in terms of daito ryu or aikido folks...at least not with the same clarity or to the same extent. In taiji folks, it kind of felt like trying to catch ahold of a greasy ball...everytime I thought I had it, it slipped out of my grasp.

I've been told one reason I can't always feel it with Daito ryu or really good aikido folks is that they make a point of hiding it...but I can't really speak to that.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 10-11-2005, 08:20 AM   #215
Ron Tisdale
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Re: atemi is 90% of Aikido

Quote:
So I often use it in jiyu-waza (aka randori) and also have used it on the few occasions when I have had to use aikido outside the dojo.
Hi Peter,

I was wondering if you could share one of those 'few occasions'. I think it might reveal something about the nature of atemi.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 10-11-2005, 08:44 AM   #216
Ron Tisdale
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Re: atemi is 90% of Aikido

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
Did you place your palm against anyone's chest and, without drawing your hand or shoulder back, hit people powerfully using your dantien and jin?
Rob
Not in this session, no. In a previous seminar with Okabayashi Sensei (Hakkuhokai), we did practice this a bit. Okabayashi Sensei placed his hand against a aikidoka/karateka's chest and pretty much collapsed his structure and sent him flying with a no inch punch.

In this seminar, that same type of energy seemed to be in use in ippondori, on the kick to the downed uke's ribs, followed by pinning the hips with your knee. You could feel the difference on the pin with people who could transfer their energy on the pin.

We also work pretty extensively on the proper tsubo for strikes, correct configuration for various strikes, and whole body movement / stepping into strikes during various ushiro waza. One tsubo that got a lot of attention is about an inch and a half above the solar plexus / suigetsu on the sternum. Both the ipponken and the elbow were used in relation to this tsubo. Tegatana was used in ushiro waza to the short ribs or liver.

Quote:
Or were you just wasting time?
Nope, didn't waste my time...but I have to say that doing these seminars once a year is NOT the best way. I just haven't been able to put aside the time to train in Daito ryu more often. And I won't be leaving aikido to do so.

Quote:
Maybe it would have been better for you to stay here and post.
Naaaa...
Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 10-12-2005, 07:30 AM   #217
rob_liberti
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Re: atemi is 90% of Aikido

Ron, you are a good sport.

For me, communicating the feeling of reaching out (especially under their center which tens to make people just a bit uncomfortable but anywhere that gets their attention works for me) and communicating the feeling of taking the person in before physical contact has dramatic effect on the other person. As far as atemi goes, I think that kind of thing centers me a bit for sure, but I think it more centers the target relative to me in a noticable way. I get to work out with lots of people who've never done aikido before and the concept seems to work pretty well in general. I think you would have to train yourself to ignore responding to that feeling. I use the same feeling of gathering into myself when I'm doing katatetori drills where you typically wonder why the uke doesn't just let go. I find they have a much more difficult time wanting to let go when they are experiencing whatever the heck I'm communicating to them through the touch. I don't really have a good releasing/exploding analogy in my head (or in my actual ability). If someone has one, I'd be interested...

Rob
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Old 10-12-2005, 07:35 AM   #218
Mike Sigman
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Re: atemi is 90% of Aikido

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
I've been told one reason I can't always feel it with Daito ryu or really good aikido folks is that they make a point of hiding it...but I can't really speak to that.
I hide my ability to levitate, too. Pish. Tush. ;^)))

Mike
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