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: www.stenudd.com My aikido books: www.amazon.com www.amazon.com
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