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Old 09-11-2000, 12:53 PM   #1
George S. Ledyard
 
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Since Jun in his wisdom has opted for another controversial poll, I'd be ineterested in finding out a bit more about the backgrounds of the respondents. Are they instructors, with whom did they train, do they think Aikido is a martial art or not, ....?

It is quire clear from the responses that there is no real agreement about this subject. Just look at that spread!

I suppose that most junior people will simply vote for whatever number seems to correspond with the instruction that they get from their own teachers. But amongst the instructors... If you say that there is little or no atemi in Aikido is that because you don't believe that application of technique for self defense is real Aikido or do you think that you can defend yourself with Aikido technique without atemi?

If you voted for more atemi, does that mean that atemi needs to create pain nad / or dysfunction or is there another use of atemi? Are there people out there who see the locking techniques of Aikido as alternative forms of atemi?

I notice that only around 40% of the respondents think that atemi is over 50% of Aikido. Does that mean that those who believe it has less importance think that they could do an Aikido locking technique on someone like myself who is experienced without using atemi? Or does it mean that any suggestion of competition isn't Aikido and therefore the whole question is bogus?

[Edited by George S. Ledyard on September 11, 2000 at 12:59pm]

George S. Ledyard
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Old 09-11-2000, 01:36 PM   #2
Russ
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Hi George sensei,

I train with and am assistant instructor for Tama sensei in Vancouver. She has always been pretty clear when she teaches that aikido is undoubtedly a martial art. While atemi is not always explicitly shown when we demonstrate, as instructors (other senior students included),we understand that they are implicitly present. I think atemi is most explicitly shown, by all who instruct at our dojo, during the demonstration of basic waza ie. ikkyo and sankyo omote and kotegaishi, to name just three, to provide a distraction to uke so nage may apply the technique.

I think that the bottom line concerning atemi is the fact that is intergal to aikido waza in a very pragmatic way. Most aikido waza would not be possible without atemi, I think. While I'm the first admit I don't train like this all the time there is something to be said for training to create openings and opportunities via atemi.

Best regards,

Russ

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Old 09-11-2000, 02:27 PM   #3
DJM
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Ledyard Sensei,
Well I have to admit that I did indeed vote, and I'm not an intructor - but I'm not most juniors either!
My thinking on the matter was that my Aikido is probably 1/3 spiritual - where it combines with my Taoism to give me stability and flexibility both within and in my dealing with others. The other 2/3 is more physical - but half of that is ukemi, either in taking ukemi in the often meant sense of falling in a safe and controlled manner or in the sense of fostering a unique connection with the person who wishes to enter into conflict with me.
The third that's left, in my mind, would probably need some form of atemi - whether it's stamping on their instep, an elbow in the ribs or something as innocuous as blowing a raspberry (well it IS a distracting blow )..

Hopefully that makes some sort of sense, and more to the point gels with the experience of the more experienced Aikidoka here..

Peace,
David

Sunset Shimmering,
On Water, Placid and Calm,
A Fish Touches Sky
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David Marshall
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Old 09-11-2000, 10:08 PM   #4
Greg Jennings
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Do symbol Not Worth Much, But Here It Is...

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
Since Jun in his wisdom has opted for another controversial poll, I'd be ineterested in finding out a bit more about the backgrounds of the respondents. Are they instructors, with whom did they train, do they think Aikido is a martial art or not, ....?
First let me "answer the mail":

o I'm not an instructor. I'm an ikkyu testing for shodan in a couple of weeks. I lead one class per week and any class that the instructor can't make. I've been leading the one class for two years and any class the instructor can't make for five years. These are unhappy circumstances due to there being no one else to fill the void. One has to make do with what one has.

o My instructor is Ron Myers Sensei. He was a student of Donald Moriyama Sensei of Pearl City Aikikai in Hawai'i. He has been training since 1972. Our practice is nominally of the Iwama school.

o I've never trained with any other Aikido instructor for any length of time. I have trained in collegiate style wresting, chinese kick boxing (their term, not mine) and karate.

o For me, Aikido is a martial way. As such, again just for me, it needs must have a martial art aspect. Everyone else is welcome to practice in their own way.

Now on to the meat of the question:

I can't even remember if I took part in the poll or not. I looked at the question and found it very hard to answer.

To me Aikido is using every means available to bring about resolution of conflict with the minimum harm to all parties involved (including me!).

As such, in some cases Aikido might be 100% atemi. IOW, if my, atemi to a vulnerable part of an aggressor's anatomy ends the conflict, then to me it's certainly still Aikido.

OTOH, if someone gets an attitude that looks like it's leading up to physical confrontation and I verbally blend with them and end the conflict with 0% atemi, then it's certainly still Aikido.

Looking at it in another way, during training whether the technique being practiced explicitly includes atemi or not, and just for the record, most of ours do, I'm always looking for atemi; either to apply or to defend from. I guess to extend that idea, whether I'm nage or uke, I'm always looking for holes to exploit.

I also don't think that an atemi necessarily has to connect to be atemi or to be effective. It just has to generate a reaction. E.g., my favorite randori/jiyuwaza technique is to shoot a tegatana to uke's face in ai hanmi and get them to parry it with their leading hand leading directly to ikkyo. This as the canonical form of shomenuchi ikkyo in the Iwama kihonwaza, BTW.

Oh, well, I've practiced enough kuchiwaza for the evening.

Regards,







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Old 09-12-2000, 06:39 AM   #5
Kensakiro
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Smile

Hello sir,
I entirely understand your point of view. But I have one small thing to add if this is o.k. Aikido should be effective and it's o.k. to know and talk about so much philosophy and stuff, but in reality "you don't take a knife to a gunfight" so you got to know what you're doing and it's got to be real or else it is not a real situation.
I don't think there is someone who can escape reality!!
Thank you!!

Thank you
Kenji Sasaki
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Old 09-12-2000, 08:22 AM   #6
George S. Ledyard
 
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O-Sensei and Atemi

Just as food for thought on this discussion... What O-sensei told my teacher, Saotome Sensei, was that Aikido is 90% Atemi.

What do people think that means in light of their responses to Jun's polls?
Since what you see when most Aikido technique is clearly not physical Atemi what could he have meant?

I am particularly interested in this area myself. In my opinion it is in the area of atemi that we find the elements that make it possible to execute technique in a martial context.

I hope other people keep adding their two cents because I think that the range of replies is a picture of the range of Aikido that has evolved since the Founder died.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 09-12-2000, 08:30 AM   #7
MikeE
 
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I think when discussing atemi we have to look at O Sensei's aikido. If you have seen his demonstrations on tape you notice that you can barely tell who moves first his uke or himself. I think sometimes we forget the martial aspect of "Illiciting a prescribed response". I teach kicks (from the midsection down), strikes to maintain distance as well as getting uke to break their own balance.
I truly believe that as you progress in aikido you will develop your own "type" of atemi. Whether this involves punches, kicks, entering quickly with breathpower, a kiai, or a myriad of other things. Each practicioner will find a way to make his or her aikido effective in a martial aspect, if this is part of their goal when training in aikido.

Just my humble opinion,

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Old 09-12-2000, 09:25 AM   #8
Chuck Clark
 
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Hi George,

I'm one of the folks who clicked the 100 button.

I think all aikido movements come from and are really sword cuts. Atemi does not mean just striking for an effect from the impact with damage being done. Atemi also means something akin to " stunning with your energy" if that makes any sense.

All aikido principle and waza contains atemi in some way.


Chuck Clark
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Old 09-12-2000, 05:08 PM   #9
George S. Ledyard
 
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Atemi

Quote:
Chuck Clark wrote:
Hi George,

I'm one of the folks who clicked the 100 button.

I think all aikido movements come from and are really sword cuts. Atemi does not mean just striking for an effect from the impact with damage being done. Atemi also means something akin to " stunning with your energy" if that makes any sense.

All aikido principle and waza contains atemi in some way.

I went for 90% just because that was what I was always taught. It is my understanding that atemi is implicit in every technique and that it is only necessary to make it expicit in certain circumstances. The idea of stunning with your energy includes the mere possibility of stunning with your energy. The state of potential that makes the atemi possible is a good part of what cathes the mind of the attacker.

It is the possibility of atemi that produces the physical connection between opponents in Aikido. Everyone always emphasizes the blending aspect of Aikido in which the attacker initiates and the defender blends with the attack. But what happens when the attacker doesn't like the direction that the blend is taking him. Unlike the interaction on the mat with an Aikido partner, a real attacker will seek to cut his energy and either stop the technique or break connection and escape in order to regroup.

Aikido people seem to think that by grabbing the attacker they can keep the attacker from "changing his mind" and hold him in the technique. Just try that against someone who is used to doing traps and stripping traps. Your grab will be defeated in the blink of an eye.

It is the possibility of the atemi on a given line of attack (an opening) that forces the attacker to defend that line and thereby stay connected to the nage. He can't pull his hand away to avoid the lock because that would vacate the line of the atemi and result in his being struck. If he acts to defend the line or opening, the nage might not actually throw the atemi but can use the coinnection to effect a balance break or a lock. What Saotome said was that if your partner knew that you would not strike him he could stop any technique. In other words every technique involves a flow of energy. An attacker could put all his energy into countering a given technique if not for the necessity of keeping his energy or attention spread out to cover the many openings he has. It is the possibility of atemi that forces an attacker not to put all his energy into defeating a given technique. If both partners are trained to recognize this then the atemi can stay implicit and there can be a complex interaction that doesn'r overtly seem to have any atemi. But they are there even if you don't see them.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 09-12-2000, 05:26 PM   #10
Chuck Clark
 
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Thumbs down

Good post! I agree with you, George.

I especially think too many aikidoka try to "wrestle" with uke when the technique isn't working quite like you wanted. It's extremely important to know when to stop the problem and use what uke is giving you. Atemi is an excellent choice in regaining the sente.

Cheers,

Chuck Clark
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Old 09-12-2000, 08:47 PM   #11
samurai_x
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Thumbs down

Why ATEMI ? Why use this in AIKIDO ?
Well, If u have been training in AIKIDO
for Years I think it's very clear why.
Regardless of What STYLE or AFFILIATION,
Regardless of Who ur Sensei is or Who's ur Sensei's Sensei.The fact is that it's very clear that without ATEMI in a real situation any Art that falls in the GRAPPLING DEPARTMENT in which i think AIKIDO included cannot rely on the TECHNIQUES alone.

SO WHY ATEMI?
1.TO CLOSE IN THE GAP
2.TO DISTRACT UR OPPONENT
3.TO PROPERLY EXECUTE UR TECHNIQUE
(ESPECIALLY IF HIS TWICE UR SIZE)
4.TO AVOID BEING COUNTERED BY THE OPPONENT
5.TO AVOID BEING ATTACKED W/ 2 OR MORE
OPPONENTS SIMULTANEOUSLY,SO TO KEEP THE OTHER AT BAY

ATEMI- A STRIKE OR A BLOW PRIOR TO A TECHNIQUE

I hope it will help enlighten the readers especially the one's who r new to MARTIAL ARTS or AIKIDO.


IN THE SPIRIT OF AIKIDO

TUOCS TUMULAK
MUSUBI DOJO, PHIL.-Instructor
TIMEX DOJO, PHIL.-Head Instructor

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Old 09-15-2000, 06:54 AM   #12
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I can't remember exactly what I clicked in the pole, but I think atemi ranks very high in aikido. As many have said, we should look to O'sensei for the answer to this. He always used atemi and stressed it. As my sensei, who trained with O'sensei, has told us, O'sensei always used atemi in his technique. Atemi should become a natural part of your aikido, but atemi itself is not aikido. The atemi is not meant to put the attacker down (although sometimes it might), but is meant to disrupt the attackers energy so you can more easily apply your aikido. I go with that line of thinking.
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Old 09-15-2000, 07:07 AM   #13
Kensakiro
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Thumbs down

That's right, Atemi is very important, I agree, My sensei's also trained under O'Sensei, and they stress it too.
One thing to me has to remain important aside using atemi always, is to keep Aikido effective!!!!
Aikido must work anywhere, anyhow!
Thanks!!

Thank you
Kenji Sasaki
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Old 09-16-2000, 11:06 AM   #14
George S. Ledyard
 
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Where are the no voters?

So Chuck Clark Sensei and I have weighed in with votes for 90 - 100 % atemi. Several other posters have signed on in agreement. But I am looking at the results of the voting and see that the large majority of people feel that atemi is less than half of Aikido. I am really interetsed to know what that means.

Do you think that atemi isn't necessary for application of technique on a martial a level? Do you think that over use of atemi is hiding technical issues that should be addressed? Do you think that atemi is not ethical because it is violent> And if so do you really think that non-violent self defense is possible? Do you believe that Aikido isn't even about self defense and is just a moving meditation and not to be used practically?

I have at one time or another heard all of these propositions put forth. I would just like to hear what those folks who think that atemi isn't important have to say about the art. Clearly there are more of you out there than there are people like myself. Explain why you voted the way you did.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 09-16-2000, 07:13 PM   #15
Axiom
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For approx. a month, I attended classes at a classical Japenese Jujutsu school before choosing aikido instead(partly because of the difference in attitude at the two dojos, and mostly for monetary reasons). During a given technique, nage would insert various atemi, not neccessarily because they needed to distract Uke, but because uke was open. And that is what I think is the essence of any given technique- moving into a place where relative to you, uke is open either for an attack via an atemi or a technique. If the technique fails, and uke slips out, you are in a position where uke cannot attack and you can. If you do not use the atemi at all, and don't even aknowlege openings for atemi during practice, you are missing out on a VERY important part of aikido. Also, much of hte positioning that is desirable for nage cannot be facilitated without at least the threat of atemi. Why sweep your foot back to protect yourself when you know that your opponent isn't going to strike you?

One thing that isn't evident in the dojo, however, is that atemi are not always condusive to completing a technique. Often times, if your atemi connects it may distract uke, but it certainly doesn't make the technique any easier, as uke is more likely to curl inwards. If you can find someone who is willing to have you punch them somewhere at a random moment, you'll note that they pull back and protect themselves when it. Also, non connecting atemi, such as hand in the face only work really well against trained fighters. Most people simply don't have the reflexes to move away from your hand in the same way that someone in the dojo does.

Another problem is that atemi can mean giving your opponent your hand.
Here's an example:
Quote:

shoot a tegatana to uke's face in ai hanmi and get them to parry it
with their leading hand leading directly to ikkyo.
Why would they block it when they could simply do ikkyo to you instead of blocking? Or if they practiced some other martial art, bat your hand down, make it unable to block, and strike you?

As someone else in this thread pointed out, though, atemi can be more harmonious than aikido in some cases. Why attempt a technique, be it osae or nage waza, when you could just give your opponent a single solid kick to the groin? Done at high speed, with adrenaline, many aikido techniques have a potental to break bones(esp. nage waza).

These are just my thoughts on the subject. I haven't been doing aikido for terribly long, but I just figured I'd add my 2 common cents. I didn't vote in the poll. My answer is 100% and 0%. It all depends on the situation. I think bruce lee had the right idea- do what you can, when you should. If you cannot do a technique, then do one that you can instead if it'll work as well.

_________
An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind
-- Gandhi
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Old 09-17-2000, 01:13 AM   #16
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Maybe the problem is semantics. It's hard to argue with any of the logic presented so far. It is simply a matter of perspective: How much of making an automobile run is gasoline? Actually, probably only a small percentage, but without it you ain't gonna go far.

Atemi is what sets up technique, distance and timing, but if you are unaware of that fact, and doing Aikido in a set pattern because that's how it is taught, how will you ever learn proper technique? Conversely, if you are aware of the role of atemi, and use it properly, how big a part of your Aikido is it? It is important to breathe and move, but how much do you really think about it?

So maybe for many respondants atemi isn't a big part of Aikido on a conscious level, but that doesn't mean it isn't there?
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Old 09-17-2000, 08:55 AM   #17
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I think this has been a difficult subject for a long time, because people's views of what Atemi is and, in a sense, what Aikido is, differs. If we look at Atemi as just a physical strike, then I personally would say that to rely on it to get one's techniques to work is suspect, for several reasons. I personally don't practice or teach the kind of Aikido where if uke doesn't "take the fall" they will get hit. That to me is sometimes an excuse for people to get away with not understanding how to actually execute technique properly. It will "work" at that level on some people some of the time. I have worked with heavy-duty experienced guys who will never give you an opening for a physical strike. The only time that would happen would be if you are alrady in a position to throw, in which case the strike is not needed. But on the street, the physical strike, or threat of it, can be an important aspect of self-defense. However, it could also create or contribute to a bad outcome too.

This doesn't mean to me that it doesn't have an integral place in Aikido though. I think, like I believe Chuck may have meant, that there are various levels to the word Atemi, and that that's an important and sometimes subtle knowledge.

[Edited by Aiki1 on September 17, 2000 at 09:00am]

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Old 09-17-2000, 02:50 PM   #18
Yo-Jimbo
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Wink Check!

While I believe the only Black and White world is on the chess board, I couldn't answer the poll with 99.9997%. While this discussion is dangerously close to "How many angels can play the same harmonica?" and what exactly is YOUR definition of "playing harmonica", let me tell you a story about two kings.
A wise White king tells his armies to move out into threatening positions developing slowly and not over extending himself or his pieces. His impatient enemy the Black king is threatened and confused by the flury of attacks and so engages them disjointly. The Black king can't remove them all at once and so must respect them all and is thus backed into a corner and pinned down. The White kings sees the openings and puts the Black king in repeated Check. The end is inevitable.
It is possible to win (although rare) at chess without ever taking one of the opponents pieces. Only against fools can one win without ever threatening a piece. For me, winning at chess usually means threatening my opponents pieces, area of the board and ability to move. Most often the THREAT to those things is more powerful than the reality of TAKING them. While one seeks Check-Mate to end the game, the condition of Check FORCES a proper, logical response from the opponent. Chess is not about killing pieces; it is about taking away the others ability to wage war.

"One does not find wisdom in another's words." -James D. Chye
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Old 09-17-2000, 03:46 PM   #19
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Yes, in theory I would agree. However, I'm used to working with guys who are 20 years younger than me and spend some of their time practicing things like BJJ, Krav Maga, Thai kickboxing, wrestling etc. Threaten them with an atemi (depending of course on what you mean by that... ) and they will take you apart.

That is why these moot points and subtle definitions are important. The good thing is that om the street, it's usually a different story, it's a different sense of attack, not a "fight" per se.

Larry Novick
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Old 09-18-2000, 10:11 AM   #20
andrew
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Re: Check!

Quote:
Yo-Jimbo wrote:

A wise White king tells his armies to move out into threatening positions developing slowly and not over extending himself or his pieces. His impatient enemy the Black king is threatened and confused by the flury of attacks and so engages them disjointly. The Black king can't remove them all at once and so must respect them all and is thus backed into a corner and pinned down. The White kings sees the openings and puts the Black king in repeated Check. The end is inevitable.
"The real art of peace is not to sacrifice a single one of your warriors to defeat an enemy. Vanquish your foes by always keeping yourself in a safe and unassailable position; then no one will suffer any losses. The way of a warrior, the art of politics, is to stop trouble before it starts. It consists in defeating your enemies spiritually by making them realize the folly of their actions. The way of a warrior is to establish harmony"
-O Sensei, translation John Stevens.

I read this quote today in a book ("The art of peace") for the first time. I don't want to come across as smug or critical. I don't want to query the validity of your analogy either, but I do question whether it describes Aikido. anyhow....
andrew
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Old 09-18-2000, 10:27 AM   #21
George S. Ledyard
 
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Atemi

I think that this discussion points out some essential areas that need attention in Aikido. When a discussion starts to come down to a discussion of semantics and people are not able to clearly explain the principles that they are utilizing in their technique you have a situation in which sincere students should be taking notice.

There is a lot of lip service to various principles within Aikido. Atemi is one of those areas. I often hear people state in class that the uke shouldn't resist at a given point because they are open for an atemi. However the instructor in question couldn't do an atemi that would be anything other than annoying. They have no idea what strikes are available, have no speed and power in their application of atemi, nor do they know hwere to strike to accomplish their desired end.

In O-Sensei's time semantics didn't matter because you had to be able to walk your talk on the mat. O-Sensei had been in combat and had used his techniques in various challenge matches with practitioners from a variety of arts. Most of O-sensei's students from the early days also had direct experience using their techniques martially.

Is it possible that so many Aikido practitioners do not care if their technique works? This is not an issue of "what one means by works", it means that you have the capability to execute technique outside of a controilled dojo situation. Then there is a range of ability here. Could you execute your Aikido technique when up against someone of equivalent experience from another art?

I frequently get students who have substantial backgrounds in other arts who come to my dojo after travelling around to many schools of different types. I often hear the complaint that they liked Aikido but they didn't feel that the instructor they trained with could actually do the technique on them if they really attacked like they were used to in their previous art. A student with a shodan or nidan in karate or tae kwan do knows that their fourth dan Aikido instructor couldn't handle them if they stepped out of the controlled Aikido form of practice.

In O-Sensei's day you couldn't keep a dojo open if you couldn't handle yourself. Someone would come in and challenge you and if you couldn't handle it your students wouldn't stay. How many dojos would there be today if teachers had to have that level of skill?

I think that a lot of people in Aikido use the fact that "it's not about fighting" as an excuse. It justifies weak technique, lack of knowledge of the fundamental techniques of other arts, and a focus on the fine technical aspects of technique without practical understanding of application. It becomes a sort of hypothetical model for principles of conflict resolution and ethical behavior but it has no martial foundation any more.

I think this fact accounts for the ever rising interest in aikijujutsu which has at least the appearance of a solid focus on technical application. There are a number of people who really want to feel that they can do something on a practical level with their technique not just spout beautiful theory.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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Old 09-18-2000, 10:58 AM   #22
andrew
Dojo: NUI, Galway Aikido Club.
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Re: Atemi

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
A student with a shodan or nidan in karate or tae kwan do knows that their fourth dan Aikido instructor couldn't handle them if they stepped out of the controlled Aikido form of practice.
I'm stunned that a situation like that exists, to be honest. My limited (2 year)experience of Aikido has always had a heavy emphasis on practicality.

Thanks for cutting through the BS there and teaching me something new.
andrew
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Old 09-18-2000, 11:38 AM   #23
Mike Collins
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This may be off topic, but I'm not sure.

The Tae Kwon Do or Shotokan nidan who looks at his yondan Aikido instructor and figures he'll be lost if he really unloads may be looking at things a bit skewed. If a Karate guy launches one of those amazingly fast tsuki's at a yondan Aikido person (I am assuming a certain level of competence here, we probably all know of exceptions), the Aikido person will probably be wondering how come he got hit. That said, I think that the Karate guy is assuming that because the Aikido person is a bit rattled and gets hit that Aikido by this person will not work, and that's probably not the case. The Aikido person will more likely realize that his canned technique will simply not work as it does in training and adjust to do more with body movement than technique. A Karate person, while incredibly fast with their hands and feet, will more times than not, be a bit static with their body movement. At the uppermost levels of both Aikido and Karate, I think that the movement differential is way lessened, but the Aikidoist has been practising since day one (I'd hope) to move his body off the line.

So the Aikido guy will be a bit overwhelmed by the speed and intensity of a good Karate attack, but I do think (assuming survival of the first attack) they will probably adjust.

More on topic, I very much doubt that most Aikidoists will have big success at utilizing atemi against quality Karate people if they are striking at ribs, arms, etcetera. I really believe the only likely atemi to have effect against such people is an attention getting flick towards the eyes, and don't hope for much success at leading someone who attacks with their back straight, their feet spread and their hips stable. Movement is the deal there. I think this may be a time where atemi is a smaller part of the equation; I don't make any claims at expertise, so please feel free to tell me if this observation is off base Mr. Ledyard.

This is only an opinion, and is open to adjustment.
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Old 09-18-2000, 12:31 PM   #24
George S. Ledyard
 
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Atemi

Quote:
Mikey wrote:

I think this may be a time where atemi is a smaller part of the equation; I don't make any claims at expertise, so please feel free to tell me if this observation is off base Mr. Ledyard.

This is only an opinion, and is open to adjustment.
Especially because the solidy grounded attacker won't jsut flow with you, the technique required will be an omote version (entering directly) and yes you are right that the Aikido person will have a hard time landing an atemi on the trained striker. It is the action of the atemi that causes the striker to defend. If he is defending he is not hitting at that instant. That is when movement is possible without the attacker tracking you. The action of the atemi causes the attacker to "give' you a technique rather than you tryiong to take it.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
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Old 09-18-2000, 02:36 PM   #25
Aiki1
 
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I agree that there are some instructors around who have a limited perspective and therefore are somewhat "deluded" about their abilities in the world outside the dojo - to paraphrase. I also have been concerned over the years that many people in Aikido think that to "get it to work on the street" they have to do it harder etc. My experience has been the opposite, and I have had experience on the street, some of it life-threatening weapon stuff. I teach a very, very "soft" style of Aikido, but that doean't make it ineffective. Anyway, that's another issue.

I have one guy who went around to several dojo and no instructor would get on the mat with him and "answer his questions" about effectiveness. When he asked me, I said - sure (not something I do a lot anymore, but he was sincere.) He trains in Krav, kickboxing, BJJ, and some other stuff.

He trains with us now. What blew his mind was not only would I actually get on the mat with him, but that I knew what to do in situations that aren't perhaps "standard" dojo attacks etc., and (back to my other thing) he didn't feel me do it (the "soft" aspect of the art.)

Not trying to toot my own horn, that's not the point. Point is, there is a lot to this stuff - a lot of theory, a lot of practicality, and a lot of different approaches that can be -quite- different in application and philosophy, just within the context of "Aikido."

Larry Novick
Head Instructor
ACE Aikido
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