Aikido Atemi

This is a very interesting video because it shows two Aikido yudansha (black belts) practicing atemi (striking techniques) intermixed with Aikido evasive moves, to get out of the way of an attack. They are Swedish aikido instructor, Stefan Stenudd with Andreas Johansson helping him by taking the role of Uke, the attacker.

While many Aikido teachers do not teach striking techniques to their students, there is nothing incorrect about using atemi as part of an Aikido technique. My original Aikido teacher back in Hong Kong in 1967, the late Virginia Mayhew, taught me that atemi could be as light as a flick of the fingers or as hard as a kick or an elbow strike. She had learned her Aikido from Koichi Tohei Sensei and from O-Sensei himself in the early 1960s. Koichi Tohei Sensei was the man who later founded Ki Aikido, which could be super-soft and gentle. But sometimes an atemi — a strike to a vulnerable point on the body — is necessary to break the other person’s concentration. (Virginia always called it breaking the other person’s Ki.) Once you do that and startle your opponent, it is easy to follow up with a throw or an immobilisation hold.

Once when I was still a brown belt, we had a visitor to our dojo who insisted on kneeing me in the stomach whenever he was about to throw me. I can attest it is very effective at loosening you up before the technique hurls you to the mat.

Some atemi (striking) applications to aikido, filmed at my dojo. Uke is Andreas Johansson. My aikido website: My aikido books:

Similar Pages

25 thoughts on “Aikido Atemi”

  1. please show me the proof the US marines train in aikido. everyone knows they train in MCMAP.

  2. yeah, thats nice, can you send me the link for the article or the video you got that information from, or was it your aikido teacher who told you, hahahahaha.

  3. i don’t have to show you anything
    if you want proof you’ll just have to go through the pipeline like i did

  4. Very nice video.

    If you have practiced muay thai and aikido, these techniques will help you to combine both martial arts.

  5. Bcrz this is aikido, most europian school have use the atemi wasa , just american federation don’t wnt to accept it. Bcz aikido and brutality … don’t mach. Such a BS.

  6. Hey guys I know what Atemi means and what an Atemi is use for. But in Aikido the aim is to armonize with the energy of the attack, so the Tori/Nage will immobilize the Uke using the force of the attack by stablishing a correct balance, timing and maai.
    So breaking noses, ribs, genitals and etc, can look cool but it´s not Aikido.

  7. And what is aikido? Rather then a system of some techniques, aikido is some kind of principles, learning how to control a space around you, learning how to find a weak position in an attacker´s motion. And atemi is a huge part of aikido. It doesn´t mean you have to break somebody´s nose, does it? In the early days of aikido atemi were used much more than nowadays. That´s why aikido´s said to have no end. Aikido is principles with a help of techniques application.

  8. What has aim to armonize? You? Your school? Or the Oomoto crap?

    If you want to apply aiki in combat situation you have to cut round corner. If you can not apply what you trained for in combat then it is no Budo. Training like they do, in this video, is a good way to remember what are the applications. It is good Budo. It is Aikido.

    Also if a attacker is truly violent, a atemi to the groin is a good way to armonize him.

  9. Ueshiba said himself that Aikido is nothing without atemi.

    I know it is fashionable in some aikido circles to make aikido into something else, but that is not aikido, at least not as taught by the founder.

    Ueshiba stated that in a real fight it is 70% atemi and 30% other waza. If all you are focussing on is the 30% other waza, then when you need atemi, you will fail.

    Either you try to understand all aspects of budo or you are only practicing a dance.

  10. @Iaazathoth I totally agree..most people dont want to see or practice this part in Aikido.. because (they think) that this has nothing to do with harmonizing and does not fit in their view and knowledge of the art of non violence. A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence.

  11. @IamXrayy prove it! go ahead, provide me with legit government articles that prove this information. Aikido is a very beautiful art but I don’t think its very effective.

  12. @Iaazathoth I think a great dancer would be just as safe as an aikidoka if he/she got jumped and just started dancing. I’ve seen many white belts with a history in dance do awesome randori/jiyuwaza.

  13. that is how aikiki looks in a real situation. what people see et the dojo is just practice.

  14. I’m more into traditional Aikido but their atemi here is nicely than. Would not underestimate this guys.

    Heads up! =)

  15. I’m new on Aikido so I want to ask… Is this the classic aikido style (Aikikai, right?) or is another one? Thanks 😀

  16. @Nagarpo, I belong to Aikikai, but I wouldn’t say that what I show on this particular video clip is basic Aikikai. Actually, Aikikai is an organization, and not really a style. Within Aikikai you can see very different ways of doing aikido.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *