View Full Version : Self defence situations

5th April 2001, 10:36
Hello all,

I know this is a typical question but let me ask it anyway:
I was wondering if anybody has had the opportunity of using their martial art in a combat situation, and if you have, what exactly could you remember ?

Thanks for any input on this :)

Regards :nin:

5th April 2001, 11:12
OK, boys'n'girls, take a seat and listen quietly.
It was about 6 years ago, while i was a police officer. A case of robbery, two suspects at run. I got separated from the rest, pursuing on of the suspects on foot (a mile run, no joy) . Finaly reached him, got him cornered and so we fought. He was on drugs, did'nt even blink when i jabbed his eyes. A groin grab helped a little ( a golden target, hehee) and then for the good old shimewaza. Took time and effort but i got him cuffed. That's when i really believed in KISS.

Be well

Sven Salumets

5th April 2001, 16:57
I've read a number of stories in different forums in which Aikidoka and Aikijutsuka have had to practice their art in self-defense. The most dramatic are usually police officers.

I've had two experiences myself. One in which a guy a bit bigger than myself decided I was an easy mark to pick on. He pushed me out of his way while waiting in line for take-out food. When I responded with a sarcastic "excuse me," he told me he'd meet me outside. Sure enough he was waiting for me, and charged me as I tried to talk him out of that course of action. I was definitely afraid, I had less than a year of aikido training nevertheless I moved without too much thought. An irimi to his right side, I slid my left arm up his chest as if to do kokyu, but then wrapped my arm around his neck and dropped my weight. I forget the name of the technique, but I held onto his neck with my left arm and his right hand with mine. After a few seconds of pointless struggle I said to him, "this is over, okay!" When I let him up he just stormed off.

My most memorable experience was one in which no actual fighting took place. At the time I was studying for my first kyu and practicing quite a bit. Late one evening I was standing alone on a subway platform when I noticed a guy sneaking up on me. What happened next was truly strange, but instead of being afraid, I was filled with excitement. I was so happy to have the opportunity to practice again. O'Sensei describes this experience often - enjoying your opponent. I turned to this fellow and smiled, he must have thought I was totally insane because he just turned around and started running away. Now that's aikido.


6th April 2001, 10:05
Originally posted by Den

I turned to this fellow and smiled, he must have thought I was totally insane because he just turned around and started running away. Now that's aikido.


Just thought I'd mention my appreciation of this one. It brought a huge smile to my face!

Jeremy Hulley
6th April 2001, 23:40
I was in an empty bar in New Orleans in November. My significant other and I had been keeping the bartender company for several hours. Two gentlemen came in and seemed rather friendly with each other but within minutes were yelling at each other. The bartender asked them to keep it down and be calm. After about five minutes of talking they started again. One of the men threw a beer bottle at the other and then headed for the door. The other gentleman hoped off his barstool and was standing in front of me. He reached down and picked up his barstool and lifted it over his head to hit the other man. I stepped behind him, grabbed the chair and dropped my center. The chair came right out of his hands and at that moment I realized the man was much larger than me. Our eyes met briefly and then he left... The bartender gave us the rest of our drinks for free.

7th April 2001, 01:14
Hi there,

Since this is an Aikido thread, I'll pass on a story an Aikidoka told me about his fellow student.

She was a good about training often, and consistently, but was reprimanded from time to time for neglecting her left side. Her excuse being that if she ever had to defend herself she'd use her dominant right side.

A few years ago she left Arizona to visit family in LA. While she was there a mugger came up to her on the street and grabbed her left hand!

For a split second she froze, panicking, remembering all the talk of her seniors and peers about beefing up her neglected left side. In protest she screamed, "No this one!" Holding up her right hand!!

Now the mugger, was used to hearing people scream no, help, please, etc...and this confused him, because, "this one." still gave him permission to continue...the guy actually let go of her left hand and switched to her right wrist...where upon she promtly took him down with Shiho nage and held him until the police arrived.

When she returned to Arizona...she practised her right and left sides regularly :)

Eric Bookin

8th April 2001, 05:51
In regards to using aikido for self defense, yes, I have used it in situations of physical conflict.

I was walking home, through a bad part of town and a crack dealer started to pester me. No matter what I said he wouldn't believe that I didn't want anything from him.

I remember from other training I used to do that a martial artist should:

Strike First
Strike Fast
Strike Hard

This is true for aikido as well.

I failed to recognize the problem was that this guy wouldn't stop bothering me, I failed to realize I was being victimized.

All I wanted for him to do was to go away and leave me alone, but my actions were not accomplishing this.

Eventually he saw an opening and went for it. I did not react in time.

He managed to take something of value from me, and hold it until his demands were met. In this case he had my glasses!
He took my vision from me, and I was more than annoyed...

So now the situation became one where it wasn't that he was pestering me, but now he had something I wanted. He reversed the situation. There was also another problem, I didn't want my property damaged. After all, this guy had nothing to lose, he's dealing crack on a street corner all night long.

As soon as he ripped my glasses of my face, things changed, I was not ignoring him, he became the focus of my attention, and I pinned him in a choke hold against a sign post.

His right hand could not be stressed or contracted in any way or my goal would not be realised, that hand had my glasses. Rendering him unconcious would have taken a long time as I would of had to get him into a better position, and really all I wanted to do was disable him are without him reacting. I grabbed his wrist for a kote gaeshi but he was really tense, and I risked again damaging my property by manipulating his arm.

I decided that since he hadn't kicked or struck me while I had him in this hold, he was truly desparate, but more than likely wacked out.

Sun Tzu said it is too dangerous to fight an enemy that is truly desperate, since they have nothing to lose. That was this guy.

So I let him go and started to reason with him. I told him what I wanted and asked him what he wanted. After some negotiation I paid him $3 and I got my glasses back. My glasses would have cost me $600 to replace.

I guess this was a win/win situation. I really didn't want to fight this guy, but he was pushing it. A fight would have been costly bost physically and monetarily. There is a good chance that he was HIV positive as well since there are 5000 IV drug users in this neighbourhood, and I couldn't risk bloodshed over something like this.

Remember that aikido is about using your head to unite the world in peace. $3 is a bargain.

Train hard.

Richard Stride
East Vancouver

8th April 2001, 06:05
Originally posted by TIM BURTON
I am a police officer in the UK and have twenty two years in the job. I have had live experiences against many situations empty handed against one, two and more attackers. I have faced people armed with weapons, (usually Knives, sometimes bottles and blunt instruments) sometimes these attacks have been unforeseen and I have had to react spontaneously. Other times they have been telegraphed and I have been able to access the use of a weapon, in the early days of my service this was only a truncheon. In the latter days of my time in the job this has been the PR24 baton, Casco baton, Kwik Kuffs and most recently CS incapacitant spray. As a member of my forces Tactical Firearms Unit I have only been shot at once by an armed subject. On this occasion I wish I could have dug a hole in the wall I was pressing against with my butt. Not an experience I wish to repeat.
Really I have only had two major encounters that occurred before I changed my opinion on self preservation. One occurred whilst on lone patrol when I made an arrest of a drunk who had broken a shop window, whilst trying to get him into the panda car. I was not aware of the approach of his associates, the first I knew was the blow to the back of my head that dropped me to my knees. Kicks and punches followed and it was then that I decided that I would not go down and exploded into an attacking motion, mainly Kyokushinkai I think. I cannot to this day tell you the specifics of this fight, only that I was found dazed and bleeding by my colleagues with two out of how many attacked me unconscious by my side. My prisoner had escaped (never did find out who he was). The most vivid memory of that night was being pulled to my feet by other officers and hearing the cheers and calls from a chip shop across the street. There I saw at least six unconnected men who had witnessed the whole event. None had even thought to come to my aid.
My next encounter came a few years later when I gave chase to persons we had disturbed breaking into a shop in the early hours, I ran after one up the street and my partner chased the other. Again all I can remember is that he stopped and turned. The next memory is that I have him restrained and have taken a steak knife from him, don’t know how to this day.
After this I have had a few encounters but have chosen to stop them by more preemptive techniques, taking control of the situation before it becomes to hard and dangerous to handle.
Tim Burton Taiho Jutsu

8th April 2001, 07:36
Originally posted by fury
Remember that aikido is about using your head to unite the world in peace. $3 is a bargain.

It doesn't necessarily have to be aikido, but I was in a nearly identical situation, although it was at least 15 years before HIV raised its ugly head.

It cost six dollars in my case and there was more than enough time to figure that the six bucks in my pocket and no credit cards in my wallet made the decision easy.

But yes, you got a bargain.


8th April 2001, 20:05
It is quite difficult to convey to anyone who has only experienced the use of his or her “Aikido” under dojo conditions, compared to the difference of when it is used for real.
From the moment we rei onto the tatami we are not only taught how to execute particular techniques, but also how to react to their application. Our fellow students have to “go to work in the morning”, just as we have to “earn a crust”. All of these are limiting factors to successful application of a technique. We are used to room, we like space. We don’t like it when the tatami is crowded and we have to watch where we step. If we apply Kote geashi, then we expect a Kote geashi breakfall and some continued movement to allow that pull over onto the chest. If we apply Kote mawashi we expect a sinking down and tap out.
Enter reality, Mr Untrained, what’s Kote Geashi?, what’s a breakfall?, why should I allow myself to be dragged onto my front? I am going to do my utmost to injure you, I don’t care if you do Kung Fu, Taebo or that Bruce Lee stuff.
Here your technique has to become tighter, smaller, vicious. If it is not working you must change it immediately. Be prepared to get hurt, the Kote geashi that does not work and gets you a left hook that knocks a tooth out, the Kote mawashi gets your face clawed or your family jewels grabbed. These boys don’t know the rules.
Think about the new member, the white belt who frustrates you because they don’t know the score, the old adage, white belts injure you more than Dan grades. It’s right, they don’t know what’s coming so they react differently.
Aikido, Judo, Jujitsu and some Karate are excellent methods of preservation because the actual techniques are applied and one is able to form an understanding of what the effect will be, even if diluted by law or compassion. But it is imperative that we understand that in actual combat it changes.
Make an attack circle in you dojo, stand in the middle and give students free reign to attack, if possible use lower grades and do not apply techniques, just monitor the pattern of attacks. Suddenly no-one, wrist grabs, two wrist grabs, straight arm strangles or front bear hugs, they are not that stupid. Rear strangles, bear hugs, drag you back straight away and only if they can get away with it. What about the kicks? Where did they come from, not Mae geri, more a penalty kick, conversion kick, tin can kick etc. Initially some of your techniques will go to mush, especially if your attackers are told to evade your counters. Suddenly a poorly executed Gyaku gamae ate gets you strangled or punched, a Gedan ate has you losing your footing and going to the ground. Punches are no longer thrown and held out for your technique, they are snatched back or a second punch is launched at your face.
When facing a real threat, the best possible strategy, if you cannot defuse the situation by any other means is to keep the fact that you have a skill under your hat. When the violence comes, explode with your best technique, if it fails change it on the spur of the moment. When someone finds themselves on the floor (us or them) we do not consider how? Only that we are down or defeated.

9th April 2001, 08:53
On the point of having your wrist grabbed in a real situation, one should realise that the circumstances dictate the action. Unless you have equipment on a belt it will be very unlikely if your attacker would grab your wrist in the classical fashion. YOU must be doing something that the aggressor wants to stop or control. Such instances could be as you are trying to open a door or you are being dragged by the wrist into an alley. Simply offering your wrist for the taking is very unlikely to result in it being seized. Think about it, your attacker comes to the point where they initiate that first pent up violent burst of energy towards you that nature has proved for self preservation. Are they going to unleash it in an attempt to pound your face in or are they going to seize your wrist with commitment and focus.
Experience tells us that our wrists are more likely to be grabbed as a result of what WE are doing, so lets examine this. In a live situation our hands are raised above our waist unconsciously to cover the body and throat. We see it ritualised normally as the pointing of a finger or the showing of our palms dependent on our intent.
With a partner test this out, point your finger at them and start to get in their face they will grab the arm in a different fashion. You will find that it is now grasped from underneath with their thumb uppermost. Likewise move towards your partner slapping out at their face with both hands and they will grab both your wrists in a similar fashion to prevent being struck, these are the most common wrist grabs you will encounter. What techniques will work from this grip position, work something out. Remember that it might be you forced to make that type of grab, what techniques can you apply if you are gripping in this fashion with one or both hands, work something out.
Finally a reality check, it will all probably go to rats when you unconsciously point that finger and say, “stay away from me” only to have your hand slapped away with a growl of “don’t point that at me”.

9th April 2001, 18:43
Like Tim I have been a Police Officer for over 25 years.
Like Tim I have been in many incidents involving force.
As a British Police Officer up until several years ago all we had to defend ourselves was a 15inch piece of wood.
Very few officers used it - because it was inefectual.

So we learned the art of talking - if that did not work and things got bad - we had to defend ourselves.

Times are different know although not armed with a firearm we do have effective batos, cuffs and CS incapacitants.

Stephen Sweetlove

9th April 2001, 18:44
Like Tim I have been a Police Officer for over 25 years.
Like Tim I have been in many incidents involving force.

Stephen Sweetlove

9th April 2001, 18:46
Like Tim I have been a Police Officer for over 25 years.
Stephen Sweetlove