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Atemi

Atemi Kanji

In an interview with Taika in July of 2011, he stated that essentially Atemi is anything that can make the attacker pause.

If you stun the attacker by slapping the arm, which stops their motion, it is Atemi.
If you feint to the groin, and this causes them to bend - thus giving up their punch - it is Atemi.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Japanese name
Kanji: 当て身
Hiragana: あてみ
In Japanese martial arts, atemi (当て身) designate blows to the body, as opposed to twisting of joints, strangleholds, holding technique and throws. Atemi can be delivered by any part of the body to any part of the opponents body. They can be percussive or use 'soft' power. Karate is a typical martial art focusing on percussive atemi. The location of nerve and pressure points, such as might be used for certain acupressure methods, also often informs the choice of targets for atemi.

Some strikes against vital parts of the body can kill or incapacitate the opponent: on the solar plexus, at the temple, under the nose, in the eyes, genitals, or under the chin. Traditional Japanese martial arts (the ancestors of judo, jujutsu and aikido) do not commonly practice atemi, since they were supposed to be used on the battlefield against armored opponents. However, there are certain exceptions.

Atemi can be complete techniques in and of themselves, but are also often used to briefly break an opponent's balance or resolve. (For example, this is the predominant usage of atemi in aikido.) A painful but non-fatal blow to an area such as the eyes, face, or some vulnerable part of the abdomen can open the way for a more damaging technique, such as a throw or joint lock. Even if the blow does not land, the opponent can be distracted, and may instinctively contort their body (e.g., jerking their head back from a face strike) in such a way that they lose their balance. This effect can be similar to that of a powerful kiai.

The development of atemi techniques arises from the evolution of the Japanese martial arts, in particular jujutsu. Early styles of jujutsu from Sengoku-era Japan were created as a means of unarmed combat for a samurai who had lost his weapons on the battlefield. The purpose of jujutsu was to disarm the opponent and use their own weapon against them. As such, strikes to the body were limited as the intended victim would have been wearing extensive body armour. However, in later styles of jujutsu from Edo-period Japan empty-handed strikes to the body became more common as full-scale military engagement began to decline. This meant that the jujutsu practitioner's opponent would not have been wearing armour and the vital points that form the crux of atemi-waza were more exposed. Thus atemi began to play a pivotal role in unarmed killing and restraining techniques.

 

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