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#414915 - 01/25/09 02:19 PM Kendo, Aikido and a new way of looking at atemi.
Ames Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
Just wanted to share a recent experiane. A good friend of mine is a 2nd dan in Kendo, he has an extra kendo helmet, and we decided to meet up and do some training together. \

Anyway, after we finished with the shinai (he whooped me pretty good), I asked if he wouldn't mind doing some empty hand stuff. I decided to only focus on atemi that I have learned in Aikido (taegatina 'knife hand' strikes, and tsuki's). The result was interesting and gave me a new respect for this often maligned aspect of tradional Aikido.

What I noticed, having just played with the sword in a freestyle environment, was that when I thought of the hands as a sword, and thought of the strikes, not as strikes, but as tools for unbalancing and setting up what I could best describe as 'optical illusions', the results were a lot better than expected.

Keeping in mind that my friend hasn't studied striking arts for a long time (he has a first dan in Shotokan that he received 8 years ago), I'm not going to suggest that someone should try these strikes in a striking environment. But what did become clear was that these strikes:

a) create great setups.

Which leads me to believe there is a good reason why they appear telegraphed. Many are meant to be.

b) When they do land on the tradional targets, they unbalance the opponent from their root, and make a throw or lock much easier to acheive. Now I'm sure any strike to these areas would do the same. My point here is that these strikes do what they are intended to do, and that one may not have to look to a different art for learning them (assuming you work them at your dojo).

c) when done in a relaxed way, like the cutting motion of a sword, the strike are far more effective than when the arm is tensed on any level.

Although they appear to be all 'arm', this isn't really a bad thing. Again, we are not trying for knockouts here. The point is that by 'whipping' the arm, you don't need a strong root from which to throw the strikes. As the strikes are merely setups, this allows simutaneous movement that follows a contradictory path than the strike does (hope that makes sense).

Anyway, I'm going to continue to continue to play with this stuff, and I'm thinking about signing up for Kendo here at the University. What is nice about this, to me, is that Kendo might provide a far more suitable forum, from an Aikido perspective, for engaging in freestyle mock combat, than other combat sports. It may allow one to build attributes that Aikido doesn't usually spend a lot of time on, while not taking away from one of the levels of the 'Aiki' element of the art (as this is found very much in sword arts, including Kendo).


--Chris
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#414916 - 01/26/09 05:50 PM Re: Kendo, Aikido and a new way of looking at atemi. [Re: Ames]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
The first time I encountered the idea of "hands like swords" was a couple of years ago in an article about karate.

Unfortunately I can no longer find the reference...

Personally, I wouldn't bother with modern Kendo, because in modern kendo, the shinai tends to be used like a club and not a sword.

If you're hard pressed finding a proper kenjutsu/iai school, I'd just stick with doing suburi.

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#414917 - 01/26/09 10:16 PM Re: Kendo, Aikido and a new way of looking at atemi. [Re: eyrie]
Ames Offline
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Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
LOL, yeah I can see the Karate comment. Actually what got me thinking of 'hands like the sword' was an article I read a few years back by Tokumune Takeda where he talks about how Sogaku came up with the Aiki-kempo element of Daito Ryu. Aiki-kempo still survives in the hand strikes that nage performs in Aikido, as well as the strikes uke performs. Anyway, apparently Sogaku came up with this when he had to fight someone skilled with their hands. He thought for a while, and realized that he was faster with a sword than the other was with his hands...so he used his hands like swords. This isn't like the Karate 'one killing blow' thing, but it is just the apparent source for much of Aikido's atemi.

As for the other comment, yeah I'm keeping myself open to some Kenjutsu, I'm going to check some out next week actually. I don't think Iaido will serve my research purposes though.

--Chris
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#414918 - 01/26/09 10:51 PM Re: Kendo, Aikido and a new way of looking at atemi. [Re: Ames]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Oh no... I didn't mean the "one killing blow" thing either... I distinctly remember the writer alluding to karate as "hands like swords", which is how you allude to it in the same vein in your first post.

I wasn't referring to iaido in particular... I meant iai generally, but I was more thinking along the lines of battojutsu or iaijutsu - which I'm not sure anyone teaches openly anymore...

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#414919 - 01/26/09 11:34 PM Re: Kendo, Aikido and a new way of looking at atem [Re: Ames]
iaibear Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
<< I don't think Iaido will serve my research purposes though. >>

Might hinge on how you use the bunkai of Iaido kata. If you can visualize or believe in the intent, location and actions of your attacker, it is possible to concentrate on your interaction with him and his attack. It is possible to repeat Shohatto, for example, a dozen times and still have it be fresh, new and available for study.

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#414920 - 01/27/09 12:40 PM Re: Kendo, Aikido and a new way of looking at atem [Re: iaibear]
Ames Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
eyrie, I don't know much about the subject of iai. I know there is a Yoshin Ryu group here that does teaches battojutsu as part of the art, once one gets to a certain point.

iaibear: I'm not try to dis Iaido, so I hope it didn't come off like that. At some point I hope to study it, and I really like the imaginative/visualization aspect of it.

What I meant was that, at this point, I want another person physically across from me, for the purposes of my goals. Namely, I want to learn how to receive the strikes with a soft body, and ground the energy, as well as make contact with a relaxed body. Also, I'd like to learn how the strike is set up with another opponent present, as I think this will benefit my atemi, as well as general Aiki skills.

--Chris
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#414921 - 01/27/09 11:56 PM Re: Kendo, Aikido and a new way of looking at atem [Re: Ames]
AdamAlexander Offline
Member

Registered: 01/27/09
Posts: 30
I spent a few months practicing only weapons. Within a very short time, my entire perspective on hand strikes changed.

I began with front strike and worked on it for about an hour per day. When I came to believe that I understood the movement, I moved on to side strike and followed a similar method.
_________________________
Always the man in whom thought thrusts ahead of thought, allows the goal to move far off.

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#424408 - 01/16/10 06:01 PM Re: Kendo, Aikido and a new way of looking at atem [Re: eyrie]
katana Offline
Newbie

Registered: 03/30/04
Posts: 14
Loc: england,uk
Originally Posted By: eyrie
The first time I encountered the idea of "hands like swords" was a couple of years ago in an article about karate. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Unfortunately I can no longer find the reference... <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />

Personally, I wouldn't bother with modern Kendo, because in modern kendo, the shinai tends to be used like a club and not a sword.

If you're hard pressed finding a proper kenjutsu/iai school, I'd just stick with doing suburi.


shinai is not used as a club if being taught correctly. something beginners do, but is soon rectified. the right arm makes the "cut". also kendo and aikido make great partners of style. although sometimes it may look like a strike not a cut because it is so "fast"
train safe

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#424414 - 01/16/10 11:40 PM Re: Kendo, Aikido and a new way of looking at atem [Re: katana]
iaibear Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
<< shinai is not used as a club if being taught correctly. something beginners do, but is soon rectified. >>

When I was first introduced to Iaido I was told that art was developed by a Kendo master who realized his students did not know how to "cut" with a sword.

Think: the comedian Gallagher and/or ginsu knives vs. a raw tomato.

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#424419 - 01/17/10 06:59 AM Re: Kendo, Aikido and a new way of looking at atem [Re: iaibear]
katana Offline
Newbie

Registered: 03/30/04
Posts: 14
Loc: england,uk
Originally Posted By: iaibear
<< shinai is not used as a club if being taught correctly. something beginners do, but is soon rectified. >>

When I was first introduced to Iaido I was told that art was developed by a Kendo master who realized his students did not know how to "cut" with a sword.

Think: the comedian Gallagher and/or ginsu knives vs. a raw tomato.

a "kendo master" is responsible for what he teaches his students, if they could not cut it was his fault for bad instruction. the thing that has always bothered me about iaido is the lack of fighting spirit, and the one strike thing. it could end in one strike but if two swordsman fought of equal talent im pretty sure it would become a kendo like experience.

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