Tuesday, April 02, 2013

To strike the un-strikeable strike

So, in my previous post I basically said that Aiki guys need to use strikes to be "real martial artists", but not really.  Some of my readers jumped in on my FB group and said, "That's stupid, there's nothing keeping an Aiki-guy from knocking someone senseless (in a loving harmonious way) if'n they so desire.
You guys are catching onto a couple of my big secrets...
  1. I am not infallible in my opinions - sometimes I'm even completely full of B.S.
  2. No blog post is complete - that's the nature of the beast.  In fact, the most successful blog posts are selective enough to stir enough controversy to elicit a reader response.
But, let's get back to the idea of atemi - to smash or not to smash.  I gave several rules of thumb yesterday about why percussive atemi is non-preferable in aikido.  Today maybe we could point out and discuss some specific instances where we like the effects we get from percussion.  Here's a handful of my favorites that might not be as intuitive as a knuckle in the nose...
  • I am a big fan of the outward hammer from naihanchi/tekki applied to the corner of a jaw.  I frequently tell folks if they end up on the inside in control of one arm and want to slow down or eliminate the threat of the other arm, to turn uke's face away by pushing (or hammering) on the opponent's jaw.  This is one of my favorite atemi in aiki situations.
  • I also enjoy cuffing ears with a cupped palm - certainly not on ukes or partners, but I will often indicate in iriminage where the head grab could just as well be a percussion to uke's far eardrum if you needed to disorient him more or dispose of him sooner.  This air-pressure cuffing strike is also extremely disorienting when applied to the orbit of an eye.
  • I have found that a straight, open-handed strike/push to uke's hip joint can be very disruptive and helpful in situations like kaitennage, udehineri, gedanate, or sukuinage.
How about you guys - where do you find some unusual atemi in aiki encounters?

photo courtesy of SigurdR

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Patrick Parker
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