Atemi – the truth about the body



The truth about the body

Atemi is mostly understood and explained as strikes directed to vital points of the body, rapid body punches or demolishing leathal strikes. That is the common meaning of words used in martial arts world. But let me read the atemi through the glasses of my beloved signs and discover the very truth.

to – righteous, examination,

a(taru) – to be filled with something, to hit, to touch, to strike, to shine on

a(teru) – to hit a mark, to expose to something, to apply, to state, to devote, to put, to strike,

a(tarareru) – to be affected by,

masa ni – properly,

a(taranai) – to be not justifiable,

a(tari) – bruise, contusion, in direction of,

a(te) – aim, hope, aspiration, idea,

a(tezuppo) – guesswork,

a(tekko) – guesswork.

The sign is constructed out of two layers: the upper one means „small” and the lower means pig’s head. Please keep it on mind that in China pig has a good vibration of meaning and is a good symbol.

mi / karada – body, person, soul, heart, meat, life, skill

mi(jirogu) – to stir lightly

mi(gonashi) – manner, reaction, movement,

This particular sign was devoted at the beginning to present pregnant woman. That is probably the source of its multimeanings.

Let me conclude then: atemi is not only a lethal strike aimed at your weak points to „dismantle” your attack but also precise heart examination, seeking for the truth about the body, touching its abilities of surviving, its manner and reactions. Atemi is like a needle that when inserted into a point for healing purposes shows your body a way to healing. Atemi shows the attacker that he just reaches to our body and its bareers and if the situation between us does not change rapidly and gets cleared – that certain spot will get viciously attacked, bruised, hit or destroyed. Atemi will become the answer, solution. You must remember that atemi points are the acupuncture points!!!

I think we use our everyday atemi – mostly in its double sided versions: destroing and healing. Atemi are words we use to criticise or to support. It is our character, our relations with others, our wise softness or rapid blows. Atemi is not right or wrong, no. It can heal or destroy. If I remember that mi (身 ) means also „life” – atemi is everywhere in life.

Atemi is our choice – our concept on filling (ataru) our spirit and spirit of others.


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