View Full Version : Kentucky Schools Ordered to Stop Using Aikido on Students

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08-05-2016, 09:43 AM
Posted 2016-08-05 08:41:18 by Jun Akiyama
News URL: http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/education/2016/08/04/ky-schools-must-stop-using-aikido-students/88180044/

The Kentucky state education commissioner, Stephen Pruitt, has sent a letter to public school superintendents to stop using a method called "Aikido Control Training" which teaches ways of physically restraining students.

From the article: "Pruitt's letter said that all employees who are trained to utilize prone or supine restraint or have been trained through Aikido Control Training are prohibited from being involved in any physical restraints of students until they are trained through a different program. [...] Dr. Melissa Currie, head of Pediatric Forensic Medicine at the University of Louisville, who reviews cases of injuries to children from suspected abuse, said her office has examined several cases of injuries, primarily broken bones, that she said resulted from the use of Aikido Control Training in Jefferson County schools."

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08-05-2016, 12:27 PM
Wow, ugly situation.


When I went to YouTube and looked up Aikido Control Tactics, this is what came up. This is not the Aikido I learned at any dojo I have ever been to, this is a straight up MMA dojo using Aikido's name to sell to those looking for a nonlethal art.

I cannot think of a traditional technique I was shown that would break both femurs (largest bones in the body, the big leg bone from hip to the top of the knee). I was prepared to think the teacher was claiming to do what they were taught but went off the reservation and did something not in the curriculum. But the aikido curriculum on YouTube is not aikido as I learned it.

The plan is for no students restrained on the floor facing up, or facing down; That means only pinning someone on the floor laying on their side, which of course leads to injuries, or pinning someone against a wall which of course is not safer, or not pinning at all and leaving the situation to escalate.

How to be good enough to avoid all injury or pain? I have to be that much better than the person I am restraining. No school system short order course will offer the many hours required for that high degree of competency.

The father is right to be upset, and the school board is making the right decision. Not sure another weekend course will provide what they want, and I feel aikido has been done a disservice.

Dan Rubin
08-05-2016, 02:02 PM
Just for accuracy, it's Aikido Control Training, not Tactics. The news report at http://www.fox19.com/story/32690794/kentucky-public-schools-to-stop-the-use-of-aikido-control-training, includes a statement by its creator, Ron Boyd, instructor at Ronin Bushido Aikido (see AikiWeb's dojo search). I'm not defending the training, I'm just pointing out that the YouTube video you refer to is different.

08-05-2016, 03:20 PM
Thanks. The site for Roninbushido.com didn't come up with anything just now, and it didn't come up earlier.

Rather than representing the clip as what was taught, I would more point out that even Mr Boyd says his Aikido Combat Training is not related to the martial art of Aikido. Certainly others aren't teaching something I would have recognized as Aikido but using the name aikido.

It is possible that Mr Boyd has been maligned. He seems like a nice guy in this clips. I still have problems picturing a technique that would cause bilateral fractures of the femurs, and such a technique might have never been taught by him. It's not what he is showing in this clip, if this is the correct guy. He might have grounds for legal recourse.


It sounds like a very unfortunate situation has caused him to be blamed, and he might lose a very lucrative contract as a result.

08-08-2016, 05:54 PM
A student of mine forwarded this link to me. My first thought is, the have no idea what Aikido is based on my own personal thoughts that we use technique to learn aikido, not practice technique to learn aikido.



Garth Jones
08-08-2016, 10:05 PM
Not at all. See the other thread: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=347956#post347956

08-08-2016, 11:10 PM
Missed that. Thanks

08-12-2016, 01:43 PM
[Editor's note: Steven's thread has been merged with this one.]

Any other thoughts on this situation of "aikido" techniques being banned by the Kentucky state education commissioner?

-- Jun

08-12-2016, 03:23 PM
Although the domain has expired, cached versions of Roninbushido.com are available through Google search. Take a look.

Mr. Boyd seems to have established his own style at a young age. That and his "martial arts hall of fame" induction give me pause.

Ethan Weisgard
08-16-2016, 09:35 AM
I would recommend a response / disclaimer from an Aikikai-affiliated dojo representative (US or Japan) explaining that the term Aikido has been misused/abused in this case.

08-20-2016, 12:37 PM
Not only has the term Aikido ben maligned, but the name of a good man and program has as well. As a student at Ronin Bushido and a student and friend of Sensei Ron Boyd I've gotta throw in my two cents here.

It seems this whole issue is a case of legislators rushing to legislate before knowing all the facts, and reporters/media issuing a story without confirming all the facts. Most of this began with the Brennan Long case referenced in the links above. The state settled with that family for almost two million dollars which drew the attention of state legislators http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/education/2016/07/20/state-do-onsite-review-jcps-over-restraint-concerns/87345324/. The system in question used on the young man was not ACT, but "Safe Crisis Management", another system taught in Kentucky schools. I believe when Mr. Long made his statement to the board (in the video) he was misinformed, but the board did not investigate properly to confirm his testimony and the facts. It all went down hill from there.

Another article in the Courier Journal even clarifies this... http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/politics/2016/08/11/police-first-refused-jcps-broken-leg-case/88449306/. If you follow the story to about the half way point it reads

"Two staff members who reported seeing the restraint said Brennan had been agitated and not following instructions when Williams approached him from behind and, using an approved "Safe Crisis Management" technique, lowered him to the floor."

It's very troubling since it seems this whole issue is a case of mistaken identity (of the system) leading to reactions not based on the facts. As John H. stated above, there may be grounds for legal recourse. I think Ron, being the kind of man he is, is more concerned about the name of Aikido being besmirched than anything else in this mess. I'm waiting to see how he's going to proceed.


Oh, and forgive me for being overly sensitive but Mark W. I didn't understand what you meant by Ron's hall of fame induction "giving you pause", so if it needs any clarification it can be found via this link. http://www.unitedstatesmartialartshalloffame.com/2006_Inductees.pdf

08-20-2016, 11:11 PM
Thank you for the articles and for speaking up. As Ronin Bushido's site is down, only his detractors are readily available.

The oversight panel classified Brennan's injuries as being from child abuse, concluding that it was impossible that the injuries resulted from a supposedly safe restraint described by school officials.

Thanks for clarifying this too. The investigation is calling the teacher aide and his witnesses liars.

That school system did not automatically know which system of restraint was being taught at their own facility, which says something about the level of oversight.

08-28-2016, 07:01 PM
Oh, and forgive me for being overly sensitive but Mark W. I didn't understand what you meant by Ron's hall of fame induction "giving you pause", so if it needs any clarification it can be found via this link. http://www.unitedstatesmartialartshalloffame.com/2006_Inductees.pdf

I didn't mean that it didn't happen, and thank you for the link.

Your teacher clearly has inspired a loyal student.

Ethan Weisgard
09-04-2016, 05:01 AM
As I stated earlier: I would strongly recommend that an official American representative of the Aikikai make a written statement to clarify the situation regarding the misuse of the term.

Are steps being taken in the state to make this happen?

In aiki,

09-04-2016, 01:11 PM
Wouldn't it depend on how much the student resisted as to the cause or severity of the Injury? Even a non violent restraint can cause injury if the opponent resists strongly.


09-04-2016, 03:13 PM
Wouldn't it depend on how much the student resisted as to the cause or severity of the Injury? Even a non violent restraint can cause injury if the opponent resists strongly.


Still begs the question how a trained adult was 'forced' to break both femurs in a sixteen year old disabled boy to control him until help arrived. And how was the aide's life so very much in jeopardy after the first leg was broken that the second leg needed to be broken as well to stop the student from - what? Not running after the aide.

Resist a Nikyo hard, get a sprained wrist or broken forearm, maybe dislocate a shoulder. But what Aikido technique breaks both legs?