The Essence of Atemi
The legend tell us that the old Atemi master could only by pointing at a point make his opponents qi disturbed so he died or fainted. Other legends tells about a master landing a Atemi technique and nothing happens until several days later when the person suddenly falls down dead. Atemi can paralyse, give pain or kill. Let us see closer into Atemi.
This is a classical technique where Atemi are in use
Atemi is Japanese. The word atemi means Hit (ate) body or person (mi). Atemi means to strike the body. Atemi has a several thousand years of history from Asia and Japan. The same Marital Art is called in China for Dimmak and in Japan Atemi. Atemi is systematization of strikes and joint manipulations. Acupuncture points are very central within Atemi. According to history Atemi developed from the Chinese Dimmak, and become the Japanese Atemi. Through history Atemi has focused on the use of nerve and acupuncture points. This gives extra information about where to hit or manipulate your opponent.
Anatomy, physiology and acupuncture points were core information when Atemi were developed a long time ago. According to stories about Atemi Convicts were used as Dummies in the initial phase of the Art. (The Israeli Krav Maga system used the same method when developing their techniques and testing them.) The findings from this type of pseudoscientific experiments were often subjected to secrecy and to the chosen one. Stories about Secret techniques emerged from this tradition.
Today the true masters of Atemi are just a few. But many make themselves to be masters, descendents of or founders of this old Art. By logging in on this homepage you can see several videos of people using Atemi; whom many practitioners are fakes and/ or opponents fake or has as strong believe in the practitioner. Any how the True Master exists.
Atemi is a type of hand-to-hand combat. Atemi training is designated to special techniques. Atemi Techniques focuses on hitting, strangleholds, holding and throws using atemipoints. Traditional Martial Arts using Atemi is Karate. Traditionally Karate use Atemi by striking vital parts of the body to kill or incapacitate. Normally an Atemi technique is made to open the opponent up to other attacks. Traditionally we see Solar plexus, Temple, under the Nose, in the Eyes, Genitals, and under the Chin as special areas of importance. Today you find some Atemi in the Japanese martial arts. Some do not mention atemi, but others might name themselves as Atemists. The level of Atemi Quality varies a lot. Some practise Atemi as a simple distraction. Others train Atemi as a source to Deadly techniques.
The traditional Atemi technique focuses according to some simple targets:
– Acupuncture points
– Nerve endings
– Arteries running close to bone
– Joints like elbow and knee, fingers, wrist
– Sensitive organs like the eyes, ears and throat
General Atemi introduction
A. Aim at Atemipoints
The Atemi practitioner need to aim correct at the point on the opponent. This means that the Atemists first need to study the location of the Atemipoints and second select points to use before the technique starts. This Atemipoints is often called kyusho or pressure points. The correct name for the points is Acupuncture points. Due to clear reasons the Martial Art want a distance itself from Medicine. So the world acupuncture points have been faded away.
This is a model of some Atemipoints on the head
B. Distance to Atemipoints
Position and distance is important to consider because the essence is to reach the Atemipoints you want. A proper distance gives a better timing for the angle and depth of the impact. Within Atemi it is important both to penetrate deep and – shallow. Distance is of high importance.
C. Angle of an Atemi attack
Different Atemipoints requires different angles of impact. Since the Atemists want to manipulate the opponent in a specific way he needs to use the proper angle to get the intended effect. This is why Atemi emphasize the position when executing a technique. Without the correct angle the technique might fail.
D. Speed of an Atemi technique
The faster the speed the higher the impact. Atemipoints will work better if stricken with high speed. The impact on the atemipoints gives different effects on different speeds. A high speed might create a milder pain than a lower speed, but the high speed might kill the opponent. One of the secrets of delayed death in Atemi is founded in speed.
E. Analysis within Atemi
Atemi requires quite a lot of analysis of the opponent. Through finding the weak spots on the opponent through mapping openings or making them intentionally it becomes possible to make an important technique. Japanese language calls this Kyo-jitsu, weakness and strength.
Different Japanese styles of Budo and Atemi
All clams to have Atemi, but this are a truth with modifications. Many sources tell that Ju jutsu are supposed to be the origin of Atemi. At the same time many sources tell that Judo has eliminated all Atemi techniques, but according to other sources it exist a Kata with Atemi within judo. As confusing as it might be it exists, but not. Another Japanese art Aikido have im-matriculated some Atemi in their basic techniques; Making Aikido a type Atemi hybrid. That said Aikido has saved many Atemi techniques from extinction. The well known
Karate has a profound focus on Atemi. This focus is not always articulated by the style, sensei or club. Only a few karate-kas understand the Atemi within Karate. If a kata from karate is analyzed you will find several Atemi aspects, but sadly only a few understand the Atemi within the Karate kata. As Atemi gain territory in the World it is important to understand that the Japanese styles need to meet to exchange knowledge. All styles have unique aspects of Atemi, latent or profane. Let the message from this text be to unite, preserve and make accessible for practitioners of Japanese Martial arts. Exist as Separate distinct Styles, but Coexist as United Active Atemists.