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Atemi is 80% of aikido


Excellent video shamelessly pilfered from Sensei Strange's YouTube site

A commonly-cited rule of thumb is that 80% of all problems in aikido can be solved with atemi (striking techniques). That's probably not the result of any sort of scientific study - rather, it is an anecdote that serves to emphasize the importance of atemi in aikido - but let me run with that 80% statistic a little.
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The Pareto principle would suggest that 80% of all problems can be solved by 20% of all techniques. If you say there are about 20 unique fundamental techniques in Tomiki aikido, then 20% of that would be four techniques. What are your 4 tokuiwaza (best/favorite techniques) from aikido?
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For me, I'd say those 4 would be shomenate, aigamaeate (A.K.A. aikinage or iriminage), oshitaoshi (A.K.A. ikkyo), and wakigatame (A.K.A. gokyo). Some folks might differ on those last 2-3 techniques, but I bet, shomenate (A.K.A. palm jab under the chin) is on nearly everybody's short list. If not, it should be.
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Not only can 80% of all problems be solved with atemi, but I bet 80% of those atemi will be shomenate. (That would make shomenate about 65% of all aikido.) Want to get a good headstart at learning aikido? Work on shomenate a little bit each class.
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Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: mokurendojo@gmail.com or phone 601.248.7282
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