Ketsugo - Combat School of Martial Arts

In Japanese martial arts, the term atemi (当身) designates blows or strikes to the body,[1] as opposed to twisting of jointsstrangleholds, holding techniques and throws. Atemi can be delivered by any part of the body to any part of the opponent’s 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 (see kyusho).

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 eyesgenitals, or under the chinTraditional Japanese martial arts (the ancestors of judojujutsu, and aikido) do not commonly practice atemi, since they were supposed to be used on the battlefield against armoured 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 (see kuzushi) or resolve. This is the predominant usage of atemi in aikido.[2] 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.

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, which later gave birth to martial arts such as Atemi Ju-Jitsu.

Atemi-waza (当て身技): body-striking techniques.

Although taught within self defense, kata (型 or 形) and sometimes used within informal randori (乱取), striking techniques are forbidden in sport judo competitions rules.

Ude-Ate-waza: arm striking techniques –

  1. Empi-uchiElbow blow
  2. Kami-ate: Upward blow
  3. Kirioroshi: Downward knife hand blow
  4. Naname-ateFront crossing blow
  5. Naname-uchi: Slanting knife hand blow
  6. Ryogan-tsuki: throat strike – Strike both eyes with fingertips
  7. Shimo-tsuki: Downward blow
  8. TsukiageUppercut
  9. Tsukidashi: Stomach punch with fingertips
  10. TsukkakeStraight punch
  11. Uchioroshi: Downward strike
  12. Ushiro-ate: Rear elbow strike
  13. Ushiro-sumi-tsuki: Rear corner blow
  14. Ushiro-tsuki: Rear blow
  15. Ushiro-uchi: Rear blow
  16. Yoko-ate: Side blow
  17. Yoko-uchi: Side blow

Ashi-Ate-waza: Leg striking techniques –

  1. Mae-ateFront knee
  2. Mae-geriFront kick
  3. Naname-geriRoundhouse kick
  4. Taka-geriHigh Front kick
  5. Ushiro-geriBackward kick
  6. Yoko-geriSide kick
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