Here is an excellent photo of Katsuyuki Kondo, Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Menkyo Kaiden, executing a technique in which atemi plays an essential part. Atemi, or “combative strikes,” serve the purpose of disturbing an opponent’s attack and balance paving the way for the execution of a technique. The use of atemi fell out of favor in the aikido that was spread in the postwar era due to a variety of factors.
Morihei Ueshiba, for his part, regularly used atemi when demonstrating techniques. To a certain extent, Morihei’s study of the ken and jo went hand in hand with his use of atemi in empty-handed techniques. Atemi consist of strikes and jabs and such movements have analogs in weapons use.
Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu was the jujutsu art learned by Morihei Ueshiba as a young man from Sokaku Takeda. Most of aikido techniques derive from this sophisticated jujutsu system. Aikido Journal has a huge amount of source material on this and related subjects. Click here to access Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu resources on Aikido Journal
Click here to access Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu resources on Aikido Journal