• June 2, 2013

Ueshiba revealed “atemiwaza” to be 98 percent of the art.”

If this is the case, its implications have gone ignored.  By a logical inference 98 percent of the art is atemiwaza.  The ability to defeat an opponent with a striking technique.  More precisely, the ability to strike the anatomically weak portions of your opponent’s anatomy to cause him or her injury or death.  Thus, all the rest of Aikido, the beautiful throws, the painful joint locks, are only 2 percent of the art.  If this is what the founder of the art said, why are there teachers out there proclaiming that you can subdue your opponent without injuring him or her, that you do not need striking techniques, only the ability to feign a strike to distract your opponent.

Gozo Shioda, founder of Yoshinkan and a Uchideshi of Ueshiba before World War II is of the opinion that Ueshiba was at the peak of his strength before World War II and nothing that he did after World War II can compare.  Shioda goes on to describe modern Aikido as hallow and empty on the inside and, consequently, it seems much like a dance these days.  He does not believe that anyone other than Ueshiba could ever make soft fluffy movement effective.

Of course, the ethical choice is always to run away or distract your opponent or confuse your opponent or use just that amount of force necessary to dissuade your opponent but, frankly, sometimes the tricks do not work, nor does the magic.  Accordingly, you must have the ability to injure or kill your opponent with a striking technique.  Given this, you must train in striking techniques.  Unless you train in striking techniques, you will not be able to execute them against a real attack.

Accordingly, Black Sword Aikido emphasizes striking techniques.