View Full Version : New to Aikido

18th June 2000, 05:56
Hi everyone. I'm thinking of studying Aikido, and was wondering how useful it is for self defense. I know Aikido stresses non-violent ways of dealing with situations, but how well does it work when its too late to talk or run? Does anyone have any expirences with using Aikido for self defense? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Dave Schweizer

18th June 2000, 19:08
Loki, eh? That's interesting. Not ten minutes ago I was talking to this huge guy who was looking for you because he can't find his hammer or something. I figure he was the guy who moves appliances for the maintenance department. He didn't look real happy. Oh well.
As for Aikido, I have not yet had reason to use it to defend myself from a serious attack. I hope that I will not, but if the situation did manifest itself, I have also trained in Karate and I suspect that this might modify my response. I am fond of Aikido, though, and I believe that it is effective if properly taught. Several of my friends who are police officers have found it useful. You may also find this to be the case.

Krzysztof M. Mathews
" For I am the Cat who walks by himself, and all places are alike to me"
-Rudyard Kipling

Gil Gillespie
18th June 2000, 19:23
Dear Dave

I'll leave it to others to tell combat Aikido stories. I don't have any. But I do have a couple of illustrations. Years ago a guy tried to bash me with a chair. I knew I had to get inside the arc of that chair. Later when I learned the principle of irimi (entering) I had an "aha."

In high school a car ran a stop sign in front of my motorcycle & I went flying. Something told me to roll as I landed and I came out unscathed. Twenty years later when my Aikido training commenced with forward rolls and I was taught that ukemi would save my life I went "aha."

As far as your particulars, you're in Chicago so track down Kevin Choate and his people. You'll be walking into one of the premier Aikido dojos in America.

Mastering even the basics of Aikido takes years. As a Yoseikan seminar rep said years ago: "If you want to learn fighting, you should leave. If you want to learn self-defense you should leave. But if you want to invest years in a long journey to make yourself a better person, come on in and meet Mochizuki Sensei."

Hopefully you'll take that first step and embark on one of the most rewarding journeys of your life. As my sensei said about the self-defense apps of Aikido: "If you ever need to use this stuff to really save your ass, the little bit of Aikido you've internalized will just be part of your repertoire along with every bad punch you've thrown since fourth grade."

Train joyfully.

19th June 2000, 02:49

THe Founder of our school of Korean Karate (yup, it relates to Aikido,read on...)and Self-Defense.was also ranked in Aikido, and included elements of it in his course of study.

We use techniques that are from the harder side of mainline Aikido, specifically derived from Yoshinkan and Tomiki styles of Aikido. These techniques enable us to perhaps launch a control technique and possibly a pin after long-range strikes have degenerated into close in-fighting.

Sometimes, situations call for a control technique, rather then a powerful strike. Where I live, I take good old NYC Transit, and if an individual attacked me, on the stairwell of the Grand Central Station, #7 Flushing Line, (the train of John Rocker fame)I'd rather re-direct and control the attacker with a joint technique or a pin, rather then launch a reflexive middle target snap kick, which could send the attacker bouncing down a flight of concrete stairs.

The control and pin techniques would lessen the possibility of civil and/or criminal charges, in response to the attack I received.

In my experience, I have used both Aikido and Judo techniques in response to altercations in the past, although these were NOT 'life or death' situations.

This is interesting, as the core of our curriculum is the hitting and kicking strikes of Tae Kwon Do (we study 'shotokan-lite' TKD.). I just feel most comfortable responding with other then striking techniques when caught by surprise. Our Founder always said, try to learn everything and use what works for you, meaning your abilities, age, physical limitations, etc.

In my opinion, Aikido can be used for self-defense, but the student will not be able to use it for Self-Defense as quickly as the students of Karate, Judo and/or other arts.

One person's opinion, for what it;s worth!

Tommy K. Militello

3rd August 2000, 02:25
i have not had to use any of the physical aspects of aikido for self-defense, but i will concur with those that have posted that you probably won't get much physical self-defense after just a few classes.
however i think you can learn some non-physical ways to defend yourself by training aikido. when you learn how to harmonize with your opponent, redirect where they are going, you begin to realize that those concepts transcend just body mechanics. i have been able to use what i've learned in aikido as a form of conflict resolution/management when dealing with people who have a chip on their shoulder.
and i wouldn't say that aikido stresses non-violent ways of dealing with situations, it can be very brutal but subtle

3rd August 2000, 14:53
Non physical defence aside,self defence doesn't depend on what you study , it depends on how you do it :). Positive, dynamic aikido is as effective as any other martial art in a self defence situation.That doesn't mean it has to be violent or damaging, it just means you have to do it with conviction.

7th August 2000, 15:44
I believe aikido can be used as an effective form of self defense, but not only in terms of physical attacks. One of the most important lessons one learns in aikido (and many other martial arts for that matter) is an awareness of yourself and your surroundings. Although I am fortunate to never have had to utilize my aikido training in a physical confrontation, I have used it to be able to avoid potentially dangerous physical situations (in Chicago, no less!). I would encourage you to check out various dojos in the Chicago area to find one that suits you, and definitely include the Midwest Aikido Center as one of them (a shameless plug for where I practice! :D ).

[Edited by BC on 08-07-2000 at 10:46 AM]