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Dojima
03-01-2012, 07:31 PM
Hey lads and ladies.
I have a question and i hope i'm not bothering anyone with asking it.
I'm looking for a sport/lifestyle to put my body and soul in and Aikido seems very nice.
But my question is, is Aikido abit useful as self defence?

I'm not a voilent person but i do wanna protect myself when i have to.
Ofcourse i'm talking about a 1vs1 (robber ect) or a 1v2.

Hope you could help me out abit:)
PS: just registerd, forum seems very nice, reading alot atm :)

Alic
03-01-2012, 08:40 PM
Almost all Aikido styles, when done seriously (no shortcuts, do hard body training, execute proper techniques) will be powerful. It is one of the best martial arts out there when it comes to defending yourself. However, unless you're a 5th dan or above, I'd highly recommend evasion and running when dealing with armed attackers. Remember that if you mess up, which is highly possible, it's a death sentence.

That's where the nonconflict and harmony aspect comes in. Blend with the attacker's mindset, try to understand why he/she is doing this, and talk to them. You may be able to get them to calm down and reconsider. If you jump straight to violence but cannot deliver, it will only make their resolve to kill you that much stronger, which is what you want to avoid at all cost.

Remember this though: Aikido is not a sport, not even Shodokan (the serious students anyhow). It is a traditional Budo, which requires some serious discipline (if you don't have that, training will give it to you). Many of the techniques can easily permanently damage or kill the recipient. When you learn, you have to be serious and have the correct mindset. If you start with a frivolous spirit, you won't be able to stick to it long enough to see good results, and result can take a while to show up. You must also treat the skills you learn with healthy amount of respect, as if it's a loaded gun, and be very careful when you use it.

Having said all that, fighting should be the very last option, even when you are skill. As such, the main draw that keeps you coming back will be the good feeling you get after a hard session of training, and learning about a new way of life and how to see things in a different perspective.

Now, I don't know if this helps, but here's something that happened to me:

I have been training in Yoshinkan Aikido for about 7 month now. At first, I couldn't even hold the proper stance and had a seiza time limit of about 30 seconds. Every breakfall was like a ton of falling bricks, and I couldn't pivot to save my life. I wanted to be a stronger and better man, so I kept working at it, going to all the classes and training in my spare time. However,I couldn't see any appreciateble results, since I don't get into a lot of dangerous situations anymore, so I thought I had improved none.

Then came the Christmas Self Defense training week. A full week long dojo seminar on both special and improvised defense techniques, all based on Aikido's techniques and principles. We were shown special techniques first, stuff like countering various grabs and evading punches, and it felt like regular stuff, nothing special really. Then came the improvised techniques. We were told to try and do anything in response to a certain grab. I panicked thinking I can't do anything, but as so as I was grabbed on the chest, I immediately went into movement, and before I knew it, I had applied the eblow lock (hijishime) on my uke. Funny thing was, I didn't even trained in that technique yet, only saw my sempai's training and vidoes of it's movement, yet somehow it was ingrained in me enough that I could do it. Next came katatemochi, and again my body just moved on it's own, and I had a shihonage going. Next came a perfect nikajo, a kotegaeshi, and a ikkajo, in that order, and ending with my best and personal favourate: irimizuki. All the while, I kept thinking: oh my god, I'm strong now. I can fight. I can WIN. Nobody will push me around as they wish anymore. I finally have a say in my own fate!

After that, I went into training with double the gusto. You see, Aikido does not have sparring (unless you're in Shodokan) so it's hard to see our own progress, but because we keep working on the basics so much (at least at Yoshinkan we do), the unnatural movements slowly become more and more natural as we intergrate it into our movements. Eventually, the techniques almost come pouring out of youself when the situation calls for it. Your training literially kicks in and takes over.

I don't know if that helps or not, but my recommendation is: give it a shot. At least 3 month of solid training, at least 3 times a week. You'll definately improve in that time.

If you suck at all kinds of sports, I recommend my own style of Yoshinkan. Shioda Gozo sensei made the course syllabus with the intention of being able to take the least coordinated and talented guy in the world, and with the proper training method and intensity, make him into at least a shodan. It is built entirely on baby steps and natural skill progression, so you are never given more than what you can handle, and as a result you'll feel less confused and frustrated. Aikido is a complicated art, so it's nice that our training handbook feels like a "For Dummies" guide to Aikido.

Dojima
03-01-2012, 08:49 PM
Thanks for your honest answer and you're time :)
I'm living in the Netherlands so i gotta take a look around on what schools or dojo's are near that can teach me :)

Alic
03-01-2012, 09:37 PM
If you want to learn how to fight with Aikido, you could always go for Shodokan school. They are the only Aikido branch style that has full on randori with point system. Be careful not to train solely to win the competitions however... use it as a means to evaluate your skills and a simulation for actual combat. If it becomes winning for the sake of winning then all you have is a sport that is no more deadly than Judo... A sport losses nearly all spiritual training and becomes less and less about combat effectiveness...

Kano Jigoro would cry to see the sorry state of international Judo today...

Michael Varin
03-01-2012, 09:45 PM
Hello Robin,

You should definitely give aikido a chance. I like Alic's suggestion of committing to three months training at least three times per week.

I have been training for over twelve years and although self-defense was one of the things that brought me to martial arts, I have long since left that behind. Truly committing to a study of aikido can be a fascinating journey... It's really more of an obsession for me now (and has been since about my fourth month of training!)

Lately, I have had great appreciation for a particular quote from aikido's founder:

"In your training do not be in a hurry, for it takes a minimum of ten years to master the basics and advance to the first rung. Never think of yourself as an all-knowing, perfected master; you must continue to train daily with your friends and students and progress together in Aikido." -- Morihei Ueshiba

I don't know exactly where you are located, but below is a link to a dojo in the Netherlands. The teacher is an old friend/training partner of my former sensei, and is very skillful. I have no doubt you would benefit greatly from studying with him.

http://traditionalaikido.eu/EN/teacher.asp

Dojima
03-01-2012, 10:02 PM
Thank you guys :)
I live in the south of the Netherlands, in the province Limburg.
Also, thank you for all the advise.

phitruong
03-02-2012, 06:21 AM
If you want to learn how to fight with Aikido,..

i thought the way to fight with aikido is to carry a big burly aikido guy around. when you get into a fight, just throw the aikido guy at the other bugger, and you run away in the opposite direction. or you could also bring along a hakama and insist the other bugger to put on the hakama before you fight. while the other bugger tangled in the straps, you kick him in the nuts and run away.

* did i mention that i belong to the school of anything-goes? * :D

chillzATL
03-02-2012, 06:37 AM
for self defense, yes, but it depends on how you train and where.

sakumeikan
03-02-2012, 07:25 AM
Thanks for your honest answer and you're time :)
I'm living in the Netherlands so i gotta take a look around on what schools or dojo's are near that can teach me :)

Dear Robin,
There are many Aikido dojo in Holland.There are at least two in Amsterdam, a couple in Utrecht, and Eindhoven has a dojo. You should be able to find on easily.
Cheers, Joe.

Dave de Vos
03-02-2012, 09:25 AM
Googling a bit, it was not hard to find a couple of aikido schools in Limburg too (particularly, in Venlo, Heerlen, Maastricht)

I hope you'll find what you're looking for :)

lbb
03-02-2012, 10:36 AM
Hey lads and ladies.
I have a question and i hope i'm not bothering anyone with asking it.
I'm looking for a sport/lifestyle to put my body and soul in and Aikido seems very nice.
But my question is, is Aikido abit useful as self defence?


Emphasis mine. Those are two different goals, and while they're not necessarily mutually exclusive, I think whenever you have multiple goals, it's a good idea to figure out what you really want, and what's a nice-to-have. That way, if (as is often the case) the two goals start to diverge, at least you will recognize the fact and pursue the one that matters the most to you, rather than seek a solution that isn't really very good for either goal.

I'm also curious why you want to "put your body and soul" into a martial art. That sounds to me a little like putting the cart before the horse: deciding that you want to have a consuming passion for something, then going out to find a something to direct your passion at. Why not just try martial arts training and find out how you feel about it?

Don Nordin
03-02-2012, 12:35 PM
IMHO if one learns the basic principles of Aikido such as maintaining proper distance from an adversary, avoiding conflict, being aware of one surroundings, then more than half of the self defense issues are taken care of. And yes this applied to pretty much any martial art in some form, but with Aikido these prinicples are streesed more often and probably more important. For example if you do not maintain proper distance the Aikido technique may not work well or at all.

BTW everyone asks this question, however the vast majority of people will never need self defense tactics if they just maintain an awareness of their surroundings, and conduct themselves in a calm assertive manner. Not easy to do though!

Which reminds me of a story a read on a bicycling forums quite sometime ago. It seems that this cyclist got into a confrontation with an elderly motorist. The motorist followed the cyclist to his destination and then proceed to scream at the cyclist and tell him he should have run him over and so on. Here is the good part, the cyclist reached into his pocket and got out a pen and started to wirte on his arm, seeing this the motorist stopped his rant and asked the cyclist what he writing down. The cyclist response was I have written your license plate number on my arm with a message to the authorities stating that I have just been murdered by someone driving a car with this plate number. So it would be in your best interest for me to live until I get home. He said it completely diffused the situation, and the motorist begged him to remove the writing from his arm. No physical conflict, and the cyclist still did a great job of ensuring his safety. :circle: :square: :triangle:

dalen7
03-07-2012, 02:57 AM
But my question is, is Aikido abit useful as self defence?

Short answer... No.
Long answer... could be.

You have to ask yourself a number of questions, many of which you will not know to ask until you have experienced certain events which create the space for such thoughts to be reflected upon.

Having been in 'real' fights before outside of sport I can say this...
... Given the right circumstance Aikido can be one of the many tools in your path which help you realize that many fights can be avoided. In that sense Aikido works as it was part of your path to enlightenment along with the teachings of Eckart Tolle, Buddha, Jesus, etc.

And... if your are fighting a hot tempered person who is clueless you can probably do something.
I have a police officer friend who modifies techniques and can use them in tight situations, but your working with an element of surprise and not 'squaring off'.

Now there are many who can perhaps add to what Im about to say... well not many but a couple from what I have seen on the boards, but...

Take someone experienced in Aikido and let them try it against BJJ, a very gentle art which allows for various levels of control. [I know the match between Tate and Ronda would look different with that arm bar, but her choice was not to tap]

But take it in and see what you can and cant do.

Against any art that actually puts in live sparring/resistance Aikido will not hold up on its own... period.
If it does, I want to see the video and then that person can be my Sensei.

I have tried out Aikido in MMA and had the daylights knocked out of me for something that I should have just used common sense about but was doing the Aikido way.

And in the grappling portion I pulled off Kotegaishi on the ground. Albeit it was not a well trained grappler I was going against. [So mileage may vary.]

In short, this is my own interpretation, Im not taking anything from anyone - they have the right to see how they see things... but Aikido did come from Jiu-Jitsu.
As one person pointed out to me its a game of range.

Are you far away and entering, then up close and taking to the ground like Judo wrestling, and then on the ground BJJ, etc.
Its a shame things got divided up, however the founder of Aikido was on his own path and it did what he needed it to do.

Things divided up, no one used resistance with sparring past JiuWaza for the most part, and then it was a mental game of which technique worked.

The Gracie bros said that once you have your arsenal of techniques not all will work all the time against each person. Many in Aikido have this mindset, to a degree, and miss why the technique works.

In BJJ it has been compared to a chess game. Yeah, you may have a queen but you move it wrong you will lose it. The mindset is different cause you feel it.s

I do what I can to try my Aikido out for 'real' in the dojo. I have to be sensitive about this though.
Some appreciate this, and others can get defensive really quickly as with time...

... time the ego develops and who wants to say they worked 5+ years for Shodan and then say that all in all its useless in a live situation and only benefited spiritually. [If the latter were true then it would be no problem... but as we see its another form of ego.]

Best thing with fighting is to learn why fights start... typically from some stupid argument of right and wrong, or projecting low self esteem and you become a bully target, etc. And work on yourself on the inside.

If you want to get in exercise and play the game of chess then do BJJ, etc.
If you want to be competitive and have super energy go with Thai Boxing, etc.

Even throw in Yoga and ballet. Think its a joke? Check out Eddie Bravo and his rubber guard.
People can now chat whether its relevant etc.

But even in BJJ its now known that the "Take a bigger opponent down" is only when they do not know what they are doing, and speed, strength... and flexibility come into play.

How many overweight blackbelts do you see in Aikido vs. a sport art?
Am I picking on anyone? No, I got out of shape myself and can say ultimately they only hurt themselves and their quality of the latter years and set a bad example for people who believe conditioning has no role. [Even in spiritual life the mind and body are 'one' and the outer reflects the inner state.]

So, get a good diet, exercise, work on your inside, [Jesus, Krishnamurti, Eckhart, etc.] and then do whatever art[s] for the fun of it.

For me its a puzzle. I want to mix Aikido, the best I can with BJJ and if I were ever able to Judo.

To be clear, each person has their path and no one can tell them where to go or where they should be as they can only be where they are at this moment... but if the door is open, I can point at it and you can enter at your own choice.

Peace

Dalen

p.s.
I hold NO belt in BJJ at all. I only recently started doing Gracie Bullyproof with my kids and we all enjoy it.
I have on a couple occasions tried some BJJ moves in Aikido.
With my post it may seem that I have more experience, well I dont count the grappling I did a while back as it was in a non structured environment and for a short time with me mostly trying out my aikido.

I have mainly been closely observing BJJ, and trying out my own Aikido and based on these observations and experience make the statements that I do.

Point is... try it out. ;)

p.s.s.
As for Aikido I started in April 2007, went through 6,5th,4th, and 3rd kyu and stopped for 2 years.
[After my MMA experience and an 'awakening' as to what was what. For naysayers I was close to testing for 2nd Kyu and my 3rd kyu test already implemented Koshinage which is not in many places until 1st kyu. And I had to go with the flow with higher kyus and gently show them when their techniques were not working.]
I started back this January, for various reasons.

Perhaps to be a missionary within the art to show that its not about isolationism, and while doing just this one art may be fine for some, not to make it out as something its not, and try to expand ones mind to embrace things as a whole.
This is an Aikido mentality and a mentality in general which could alleviate much of the pain in the world caused by 'divisions'. [politics, etc.] :)

Alec Corper
03-07-2012, 05:24 AM
As a teacher of Aikido i would have to say that far too much emphasis is put upon learning technique and not enough upon the principles of self protection. I am guilty of responding too much to the desire of my students to learn aikido as it is generally taught. In the military they view hand to hand combat as the result of at least 3 levels of weapons failure. In other words you have already screwed up big time. If a person has to use any form of physical self defense there have been at least 3 levels of self protection failure: Awarenesss, Avoidance, and De-escalation. Defense comes next, followed by Escape/Explain. This model (AADDE) and there are others, is the basis of my thinking about personal protection.
Of course Aikido can used for self defense, I have taught bouncers who use it in their work, but IMHO, if you want all round skills you will eventually need to cross train, and get away from practicing in a dojo wearing a keikogi, and practice outdoors or in a club wearing street clothes and shoes.
However i want to stress again that physical self defense is the wrong place to begin if you are seriously concerned about safety. You need to develop a strategic mindset with a high degree of situational awareness, learn to read people, understand the signals your body, clothing and demeanor send out, (prey or predator, potential victim, out of your territory, etc.), and develop good verbal skills, including how to apologize, if fitting, look fearful before you explode, use distraction, use the environment, and many other things not worth going into in a short mail.
Aikido is a Do which contains the jutsu, but it is not always adjusted to the realities of city life in a global 21st century youth culture.

lars beyer
03-07-2012, 05:48 AM
Hi Robin ! :)

Whether Aikido is usefull in any type of conflict is a matter of believing I think.

From a technical/ martial view there are many usefull tecniques in Aikido, even it will take time to put to good use, from a philosofical standpoint there are many ways to deal with conflict and that is a gateway to building a stronger character.
I believe if you put your heart and soul in training it will work for you regardless of your build, if you are strong, thin, tall, small, skinny etc. and the good thing about Aikido training in my personal experience is that it makes me happy.
Onegaishimasu (I wish (to learn))
In Aiki
Lars

Alec Corper
03-07-2012, 06:53 AM
Politely Lars, I do not think belief plays a role in defending oneself unless you can but you do not believe you can, in which case you won't. As for aikido making you happy, i agree and that's great, but again it has nothing to do with personal protection unless stress and depression are your opponents. I do think some people still want to study aikido as self defense and the techniques and the philosophy (technical) do lend themselves to that. The quasi-spiritual, metaphysical stuff does not.

lars beyer
03-07-2012, 11:04 AM
Politely Lars, I do not think belief plays a role in defending oneself unless you can but you do not believe you can, in which case you won't. As for aikido making you happy, i agree and that's great, but again it has nothing to do with personal protection unless stress and depression are your opponents. I do think some people still want to study aikido as self defense and the techniques and the philosophy (technical) do lend themselves to that. The quasi-spiritual, metaphysical stuff does not.

Hi Alec, I think you put it just like I would have done if I was you and I agree.
Apart from that I think happy people are less prone to get into a fight.
Lars
:)

NagaBaba
03-07-2012, 12:12 PM
As a teacher of Aikido i would have to say that far too much emphasis is put upon learning technique and not enough upon the principles of self protection. I am guilty of responding too much to the desire of my students to learn aikido as it is generally taught. In the military they view hand to hand combat as the result of at least 3 levels of weapons failure. In other words you have already screwed up big time. If a person has to use any form of physical self defense there have been at least 3 levels of self protection failure: Awarenesss, Avoidance, and De-escalation. Defense comes next, followed by Escape/Explain. This model (AADDE) and there are others, is the basis of my thinking about personal protection.
Of course Aikido can used for self defense, I have taught bouncers who use it in their work, but IMHO, if you want all round skills you will eventually need to cross train, and get away from practicing in a dojo wearing a keikogi, and practice outdoors or in a club wearing street clothes and shoes.
However i want to stress again that physical self defense is the wrong place to begin if you are seriously concerned about safety. You need to develop a strategic mindset with a high degree of situational awareness, learn to read people, understand the signals your body, clothing and demeanor send out, (prey or predator, potential victim, out of your territory, etc.), and develop good verbal skills, including how to apologize, if fitting, look fearful before you explode, use distraction, use the environment, and many other things not worth going into in a short mail.
Aikido is a Do which contains the jutsu, but it is not always adjusted to the realities of city life in a global 21st century youth culture.

This is one of the rare, excellent posts here on aikiweb that contains very valuable content. I'm impressed.

lars beyer
03-08-2012, 02:08 AM
As a teacher of Aikido i would have to say that far too much emphasis is put upon learning technique and not enough upon the principles of self protection. I am guilty of responding too much to the desire of my students to learn aikido as it is generally taught. In the military they view hand to hand combat as the result of at least 3 levels of weapons failure. In other words you have already screwed up big time. If a person has to use any form of physical self defense there have been at least 3 levels of self protection failure: Awarenesss, Avoidance, and De-escalation. Defense comes next, followed by Escape/Explain. This model (AADDE) and there are others, is the basis of my thinking about personal protection.
Of course Aikido can used for self defense, I have taught bouncers who use it in their work, but IMHO, if you want all round skills you will eventually need to cross train, and get away from practicing in a dojo wearing a keikogi, and practice outdoors or in a club wearing street clothes and shoes.
However i want to stress again that physical self defense is the wrong place to begin if you are seriously concerned about safety. You need to develop a strategic mindset with a high degree of situational awareness, learn to read people, understand the signals your body, clothing and demeanor send out, (prey or predator, potential victim, out of your territory, etc.), and develop good verbal skills, including how to apologize, if fitting, look fearful before you explode, use distraction, use the environment, and many other things not worth going into in a short mail.
Aikido is a Do which contains the jutsu, but it is not always adjusted to the realities of city life in a global 21st century youth culture.

I think this is very good, thank you for sharing.
Best
Lars

Dojima
03-08-2012, 07:00 AM
Hey guys, thanks for all the honest answers.

aikidoka81
03-14-2012, 01:41 AM
Hey lads and ladies.
I have a question and i hope i'm not bothering anyone with asking it.
I'm looking for a sport/lifestyle to put my body and soul in and Aikido seems very nice.
But my question is, is Aikido abit useful as self defence?

I'm not a voilent person but i do wanna protect myself when i have to.
Ofcourse i'm talking about a 1vs1 (robber ect) or a 1v2.

Hope you could help me out abit:)
PS: just registerd, forum seems very nice, reading alot atm :)

Give it a try Dojima. Learn something new and enjoy yourself ;)