Atemi Waza - Striking Techniques

The following is a brief summary of the striking techniques taught in Aiki ju-jitsu. It is by no means exhaustive but rather is designed to give new students an introduction to the use of Atemi Waza.

Please note that all information provided on this site is intended for use only in conjunction with a proper, supervised training program. All martial arts techniques should be learned and practiced under the supervision of a qualified instructor.

Ude Ate - hand & arm strikes

Shuto (knifehand)
A strike using the outside, knife-edge of the hand - from the base of the hand to just below the first joint of the pinky. When striking hard surfaces, be sure to hit with the knife-edge of the hand and not the pinky itself. Targets include: temples, neck, collarbone, nose, under the nose, the groin.

Heito (ridgehand)
A strike using the inside ridge of the hand, exposed when the thumb is tucked in. Make sure to strike hard surfaces with the ridge of the hand, not the first finger. Targets include: temples, neck, nose, under the nose, the groin.

Tetsui uchi (hammerfist)
A strike using the bottom portion of the hand, which is curled into the fist. It is the knife-edge of the curled hand that makes contact - not the fingers or knuckles. Targets include: temples, collarbone, nose.

Hira Ken (knuckle strike)
The tips of the fingers are curled over, with the rest of the hand remaining flat -not curled into a fist. The middle knuckles are the contact point. Targets and uses include: the throat, soft fleshy areas, nerve/artery attacks.
Note: Strikes to the throat are dangerous. Be aware of the damage that can be caused by interruption of blood flow to the brain and collapsing of the airway. For serious self-defense purposes only - not to be used in sparring.

Empi (elbow strike)
Forward, side and back strikes using the elbow. Targets include: head, ribs, solar plexus.

Tate zuke (lateral punch)
The hand is made into a fist (never tuck the thumb inside your other fingers) and turned sideways. The wrist and elbow are bent slightly so that the contact point is the flat portion of your hand between the knuckles, not the knuckles themselves. The arm extends in a circular motion. Targets include:solar plexus, nose.

Nuke Te (spear fist)
The fingers are held tightly together, slightly curled at the tips, much like a shuto or knife-hand strike. However, the fingertips are the contact point. Targets include: armpits, throat (use caution).

Ashi Ate - foot & leg strikes

Hiza geri (knee strike)
Drive your knee into sensitive areas on the attacker. Pull your attacker into the strike. Targets include: groin, stomach, head.

Mae geri (front snap kick)
A quick, front kick. Curl back your toes - the contact point is the ball of the foot. Targets include: under the knee cap, side of the knee, groin.

Fumikomo geri (foot stomp)
Stomp on the attacker. Targets include: toes, top of the foot.

Heel strike
Drive the heel into the attacker’s shin and rake it down (when attacked from behind). Other targets include: top of the foot, small of the back (on the ground).

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