View Full Version : Verbal Aikido (Defense and Descalation)

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Brian Sutton
02-10-2015, 07:33 PM
I have a business that occasionally works with at risk inner city youth. As disturbing and dangerous as the work can be, it is rewarding and a priceless learning experience.
One thing I have learned is the difference between verbal self defense and verbal descalation. Defense is how an altercation effects me with efforts to defend my integrity. To ignore or to not take things personally are defense techniques. To descalate is to create an effect in another person in the realm where violence begins ; the mind.
I have a technique where I ask questions in response to an insult.
Uke : I think your a worthless sun of a gun.
Nage: Why would you say that?
Uke: Because its true
Nage:How do you know it's true?
Uke:Because you look like one.
Nage: What could I change to not look like one.
Uke. Forget you man, just stay out of my way.

I give that technique an 80%success rate. If nothing else it brings thought into the situation and where there is thinking, alot of times, tensions subside. Problem arises when questions are perceived as a probe or sarcasm, then problems arise. To ignore or agree with are signs of weakness. So those techniques are out.
So there it is . Any suggestions for Aikido verbal descalation techniques. On a final note , I think Verbal Aikido is very relevant in the modern world and worth discussion in and out of the Dojo..

Janet Rosen
02-11-2015, 08:08 AM
If presented with that kind of insult I tend to just shrug and say, "yeah, OK, I probably am" in a totally casual way - not putting myself down, just offering zero fight or opening, which I think de-escalates more so than "how do you know its true?" which is - in my experience - just a fancier way of expressing a challenge. I aim for no challenge, just being present and relaxed without backing down or showing fear or weakness.