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10-14-2000, 06:45 AM
Since we have been hearing a lot about street aikido and how effective it should be and how you should train for it etc etc I thought about how alot of people talked about street effectiveness, but that there weren't a lot of people that talked about how aikido helped them in a fight situation.

So I thought that I want to start a thread on how street effective Aikido was for anyone who have been in a fight/combat situation. I am out of my nature not a violent person so I have never been in a "real" fight. Not even with my friends when we were young so I don't know anything about such a situation.


10-14-2000, 11:51 AM
I use Aikido everyday on the street. Of course I don't mean in combat. I am talking about riding my motorcycle. The first time I heard my Sensei talk about Relaxing, keeping my one point , and moving with weight underside I couldn't help thinking of the basic rider course I attended to get my motorcycle liscense. The instuctor there said the exact same things. (he didn't mention extending Ki but it sort of follows everything else anyway) ^_^

My point is once you start to get an understanding of Aikido you will how it's principals are applied almost unconsciously to everypart of life, combat is only a small part of what this art has to offer.


10-14-2000, 07:18 PM
Look at:
This is a collection of anecdotes from the aikido mailing list(methinks, anyway)

les paul
10-14-2000, 09:15 PM
Haven't used any aikido on the street, but I used plenty of verbal aikido. This greatly reduces the chance of physical violence(i.e. knowing how to deflect anger verbally) Also you must be able to spot potential conflict before it happens.

This is a huge unexplored area of martial arts. We should start a thread
on verbal Aikido and ways to use it.

Paul C

10-18-2000, 06:50 AM
Christmas time, hungry, lethal weapon two is just about to start I need Ice cream and lots of it with maybe a coke. There is a twenty four hour shop close to my flat. I go. On the way back I walk past a bus stop where four youths are standing. I walk by and one of them says something the others laugh. All of a sudden one of the youths is beside me asking for a cigarette, I tell him that I don't smoke, he asks for some money, I explain that I have just spent it all. All the while I realise that this will become physical, I don't know why sometimes you just know and in Scotland it is not uncommon for muggings to start in this manner. He then takes the cap of my head and starts to walk back to his friends. This is were my wiring became a little crossed. I turned and asked for my cap back, politely he laugh and told me to f*%K my self. I then had another attack of crossed wiring, I "told" him to give me the cap back at this point he starts coming at me to push me, again in Britain most fights require about thirty seconds of pushing each other in the chest, a foreplay of sorts, in the chest very similer to ryote kata dori. Some how I managed to spin him as he came at me and run him into the back of a parked car. He turned and began to struggle I did irimi nage it wasn't working, enter lucidity in all her glory, my instructor had told me sometime ago that if you had a difficult uke to place one hand on the small of his back and push, this along with my hand pushing his chin up and back worked a treat. However as this is going on I can see the three youths at the bus stop finally work out what is going on, I managed to accept the fact that I was going to get one hell of a beating. The first youth is on the ground, unhurt, I "tell him what will happen to him if he gets up and from the corner of my eye I see his friend come sprinting round the car with one hell of a haymaker ( a very bad yokomenuchi) I entered as if to do ikkyo but with out the atemi, can't really think why I didn't, but I did enough that he went onto one leg I then did nothing but step back and he then asks what the hell do I think I am doing attacking his friend, I explain what is going on he hands me my cap from the floor and holds back his now very angry friend.
I pick up my bag walk calmly to the corner and then run like the devil all the way home and manage to get most of the ice cream on the floor due to my shaking.
I think that I was very lucky and if that haymaker had landed I would have been in a bad state. I believe the fact that I scared some sense into the second bloke by dealing with him in such a simple manner helped.
That's it.

[Edited by Paul on October 18, 2000 at 06:05am]

10-20-2000, 11:36 AM
1. attacked by someone about to therow a rock at me - all that boken training and miai came in handy and I moved in very rapidly and deflected the rock down (moving off centre line) and then did a strike to the face (very much in a jo tsuki style, don't ask me why). A bit scrappy after that, but prevented serious injury of both parties.

2. attacked by someone with a knife. Similar story, although I suffered a few superficial cuts.

3. I have a problem with seeing violoence, it makes me very perturbed. In a night club I saw a big muscly bruiser pushing people around to egg them on for a fight. Most people ignored him but this one bloke pushed him back. I could see this big punch coming from the original aggressor and slipped in between to do irimi nage (stange as it sounds - and again, it was just reaction). It was definately an irimi version of it but unfortunately this bruiser was against the wall so I ended up holding him against the wall. He then realised I was really a bit of a weed and pushed me backwards, at which point I did a reverse ukemi and the bouncers jumped on him & chucked him out. The bouncers were very friendly towards me and I got to stay.

4. Another interjection - down a night club and I saw this big bloke pushing someone across the floor, who had blood gushing from his face. I thought he was going to kill the bloke so I did a reverse choke from behind and dragged him back, only to realise that it was a bouncer (from the wire coming from his ear. I then realised that he had actually been splitting up a fight. I let ago immediately, apologising prefusely and holding my hands up passively. He took my wrist in a poor kote-gaeshi )(no movement, just the wrist) and led me out gently (which I obliged with - very civil).

5. I was the victim of an unprovoked attack by a bouncer who grabbed my throat from the front. It took a while to react but I pushed his chin backwards to remove him. Meanwhile his friend had grabbed my arm, and I did nikkyo on this next. I was then hoofed out by the weight of the bouncers that gathered round.

As an aside, I asked one of my instructors what was the best practical application of his aikido. He said some youths were verbally abusing him on this train, and when he got off they leapt off as well to try and beat him up. He moved quickly out of the way and they ran into this post which his body had obscured, knocking one of them to the ground (the rest did not follow).

Lessons I learnt:
-practise aikido until it becomes natural
-always apologise when you are in the wrong

10-20-2000, 12:06 PM
ian wrote:
1. attacked by someone...

2. attacked by someone with a knife...

3. ...slipped in between to do irimi nage...

4. ...I did a reverse choke from behind and dragged him back, only to realise that it was a bouncer...

5. I was the victim of an unprovoked attack by a bouncer...

Lessons I learnt:
-practise aikido until it becomes natural
-always apologise when you are in the wrong

Actually, Ian, it would seem to me that the lessons to learn here are:

-Stay out of niteclubs. Or at least, out of other people's business while in a niteclub.
-Stop having to apologise for being wrong by not putting yourself in the situation to be wrong (stay away from violent places).
-Stop practising Aikido, so that it doesn't become natural. Or, at least, practice real Aikido.

I think that most of us deplore violence. And I can see where using the physical aspects of Aikido to protect yourself and your loved ones might be a necessary evil some day. But there is much more to Aikido than the physical.

And an Aikidoka (especially of low-rank) should not take it upon themselves to be the protector of drunken club-goers. As you can see, you ended up taking out the wrong person, and that should never happen.

And how do you get attacked by someone with a knife? Or worse, a ROCK?

Just please don't go using Aikido as an excuse to beat people up - in the name of protecting them.

10-20-2000, 12:49 PM
One time, sort of. I was playing basketball and this guy starts bumping into me, a lot. He wasn't very good and it became a case where he was constantly grabbing and pushing me. This continued to build until I realized he was looking for a reaction to start some sort of confrontation.

My reaction?

I walked off the court, got someone to take my place, and went home. He cussed at me a bit but that was it. I checked into it later and found out that he left minutes after I did. I don't think he was looking for non-resistance.

10-20-2000, 05:23 PM
A number of incidences pop to miond.
First, most of these were work related. I was working in a school of violent youth and sex offenders.
1: Attacked by a student with a piece of glass, about 5 inches of it sticking out of his hand like a knife. I managed a very nice kotegaish (SP) and actualy used the pin to remove the shiv. Worked quite well, and I was amazed.
2: one stuednt, a biter, was pulling hair and attempting to bite. A very nice ikkyo solved the problem.
3: a student, fooling around, cme running up from behind. I hadn't heard him and just reacted when he grabbed my shoulder. One kokyunage later (of the fling mare type), he was falling to the ground when I realized what had happened and I caught him before he hit. I had no more problems with that student. Ever.

Lest you think I am talking about beating up children, my youngest student was 16 and my oldest 21. I was 24-26 at the time..I could relate more incidences, but no real need. I found Aikido more effective, and safer for all involved, than the restraint training provide by the program. I was aactually used for a helper during the restraint traingint. The teacher was trying to show what to do for a kick and tried to kick me. I wasn't there. Repeat situation 3-4 times. Finally he says, rather frusterated, "will you let me kick you?!?" Just a funny for you all.

Mike Collins
10-20-2000, 06:18 PM
I had just gotten back from picking up pizza, sat down in the kitchen of my mom's home (she had recently passed away, and my sister, my wife and I were cleaning things up, my kids were in a back room.) This young (25-35), strong, drunk guy comes walking in through the kitchen/garage door, acting like he'd just come to a party, and talking loud and belligerant.

I stood up and calmly told him he'd gotten the wrong house and he needed to leave. (In the interest of full disclosure, I'm about 5-6" taller and about 100 lbs heavier than this guy, I thought just standing up would accomplish getting him to leave). He got louder, acted crazy and started swinging. It seemed like everything slowed way down.

I was able to grab his arm after a really bad punch attempt on his part and applied a really strong nikkyo, leaning in towards him. Please bear in mind that I am 6'2-3" tall and weigh almost 300 lbs., this man was roughly 1/2 to 2/3 my size. I heard and felt his wrist pop. He looked at me like I'd just called him a bad name. It had absolutely none of the effect it has in the dojo (lesson 1., pain doesn't work).

Keeping in mind what my teachers have told me, if the first thing doesn't have effect, move on and do another thing- I was able to switch to sankyo, and was able to lead him by moving his structure, rather than causing him pain, out the door. I told him to go away, and that I wasn't interested in fighting with him.

He wasn't through and started breaking things, and punching and kicking my car, and threatening me and my family. I thought it prudent to restrain him till police came, and grabbed him again by the arm to restrain him, and he got ahold of the car and refused to let go. I applied a choke, and he started to collapse, I let up and he wanted to go again. I re-applied a choke and he crumpled. I literally sat on him till police showed up. I started to get off him once and he started punching again (making contact with the groin once, ouch). I sat back down.

When a cop showed up (one) he asked this guy to put his ahnds behind his back, and the guy says no. The cop then says "Hold him a bit longer, my partner will be right here". I started to laugh, got up, turned the guy over, held him in a sankyo kneeling pin and held his other arm, and told the cop to please put his handcuffs on this idiot so I can get up.

Aikido works. It works best when the person using it is experienced enough not to try to get compliance with pain. From that point forward, I've always done nikkyo as a "fading" movement rather than toward my partner. Make the connection and lead them off their center affecting the structure.

Oh yeah, it's also good to be big. We're slower, the ukemi isn't as good, but we bring a lot with us when we go.

George S. Ledyard
10-21-2000, 08:43 AM
Mikey wrote:

I applied a choke, and he started to collapse, I let up and he wanted to go again. I re-applied a choke and he crumpled.
Be careful about applying a choke in this manner. There is a thing called "double choking" which is pretty much exactly what you have here. The subject starts to go out, you ease up, the subject starts to fight and then you sink the choke again and put him out.

Normally there is a feedback loop between the diaphram and the brain which automatically revives a subject who has been choked out. That's why there has bever been anyone who died in judo from being choked out. But "double choking" can disrupt the feedback loop and the subject then fails to come out of unconsciousness on his own.

One of my teachers maintained that one should never be taught a choke without being taught the resusitation technique for reviving a subject who isn't waking up on his own.

The "double choke" used to sometimes happen when law enforcement folks applied their sleeper holds in just such a situation and the resulting fatalities helped put the technique into disrepute. It is only now being "rehabilitated" as a technique in some states that police can use. In most states it is either not done or it is interchangeable with shooting the subject in terms of use of force.

Mike Collins
10-21-2000, 11:15 AM
Just for what it is worth, I never maintained the choke long enough for him to completely lose consciousness, just long enough to submit him. He crumpled, I think, out of fear rather than loss of consciousness. But the reality of the situation was I had to choose between him or my family and my family won. I was not about to start punching it out with this guy and have blood borne pathogens start flying.

What I'd forgotten to say earlier was that there was some really tall guy standing back in the shadows, I had no idea who he was. He turned out to be a new neighbor who had already called the cops on this guy, but I didn't know if he was a friend of this guy or not, so my attention was divided for a while.

10-23-2000, 08:24 AM
Hi Sfellwock,
I understand your concern over my actions but we obviously have a different approach to ethical behaviour.

First, I also dislike violence; I did not 'take anyone out' with my aikido (or even hurt them other than instantaneously). Also I do not use Aikido for beating people up.

You say you use Aikido for protecting yourself and loved ones. I'm sure Ueshiba would agree with that point, except that he would consider every human being to fall in the category of 'loved ones', whereas you obviously don't. You may feel that I stand on high moral ground assisting in fights which aren't mine. However in the cases illustrated I assisted who I thought was an innocent party (in one case) [and I'm sure my actions improved the situation and actually prevented a drawn out brawl]. In the case of mistaken identity, I only intervened because I feared for the young mans life.

I believe we each have a moral responsibility to each other, not just our friends and family, and I shall always be willing to help to prevent injury or death to anyone, even at risk to my own life. It is unfortunate that our society has bred fear into people, such that we should ignore the abuse of other fellow humans. (I can understand this to a degree in America, where it is much easier to be killed by a hand gun - but I still think it encourages a lack of social responsibility, lack of respect for others and perpetuates the fear of innocent people being attacked in broad day light whilst unlookers make no effort to help them.)

The beauty of Aikido as I see it, is that it is the only martial art in which you can protect yourself and your loved-ones as well as others, including the agressor.

You are right on one point though, I realise that many men just use night clubs as a location to stage fights and I very rarely go to them anymore.

As a point made in on another topic, if Aikido was just to avoid personal violence Ueshiba would have spent all that time learning to run very fast. As it is he was disgusted by the injustices of violence and violent people. [I am making presumtions here...in that Ueshiba was obviously influenced by the intimidation which his father suffered and the horror of war, and through this he did not want to avoid confrontation, but stand up to it and, on the long term, make people move away from violence] I also believe that the resolution of violence is not through escape. It is through a confrontation in which you blend with your opponent, and change them in the process.

If anyone wishes to discuss the philosophy aspects further, maybe we should start a new thread.

10-23-2000, 08:34 AM
P.S. I would agree with Mikey, most people are too full of adrenalin to feel pain during real situations - that is why I have wondered about many of these 'pressure points' (unless your striking them for a knock out). Anyone with real experience of using pressure points with their technique?

11-15-2000, 11:38 AM
I work in Law Enforcement and I have used pressure points many times on someone who is high on drugs/alcohol, and I have gotten them to work much better than joint locks when that is the case (alcohol helps them relax and go limp so they don't feel the pain alot of times).

I use pressure points not to hurt them but to cause motor/nerve dysfunction. The latest was a guy who had threw down his girlfriend and then kicked her in the head, on the way in he repeatedly threatened the officer that he was going to kill her as well. Anyways, just a little background that this guy had no problems wanting to hurt someone. He came in and tired pulling away from me, he had himself in a good stance and I couldnt' pull him without overextending myself. To make a short story long, I kneed him in the leg on a certain spot which causes both legs to give out and he went totally limp.

I have used other points with much success. Just a side note, if you look at Ueshiba's book "Budo", the pics of the Noma Dojo techniques all show him striking pressure points as he does the technique.

11-16-2000, 06:38 AM
I have heard many stories about Ueshiba striking lots of pressure points with atemis during techniques- sometimes to the extent that people were semi-conscious during a technique; which surely makes them relaxed enough to blend with. (but maybe these are just stories).

Very recently I have been training with someone who did Chinese boxing, and he was telling me about his instructor that made his body go limp from just pressing on a pressure point on his chest. I feel that pressure points are effective if you hit them correctly and with the right pressure, and also if there are no obstructions such as clothing. This friend also told me about one of the aikido techniques is an ideal set up for a heart stopping technique (which requires 2 pressure points to be hit simultaneously).

P.S. I thought I'd start a new thread on this (techniques), please go to that.


12-15-2000, 02:51 AM
I'm small. And I'm a girl. And I'm only 2nd kyu...

At the time that this incident occurred, I was very new to aikido. But it taught me that using the most basic of aikido principles, I can harness enough power to make someone think twice about pushing me around.

I was at a party and a stranger started bothering me to dance. I was sitting on the grass and he was perhaps twice my weight. After I politely refused several times, he reached down, garbbed my hand and started pulling me up. By the time my ass was about a foot off the ground, I thought "bugger this" and I used my centre to quickly return myself to the ground. The gorilla didn't let go fast enough and almost followed me down...but the look of surprise on his face that a small girl could force him to move in a directionother than that he intended was, well, pretty damn rewarding. And he didn't bother me again after that.

I hope I never ever have to use my training in a real fight. But the more I train, the more confident I feel. I know that avoiding dangerous situations is the best way to keep yourself safe. But sometimes dangerous situations come to you...and if that happens, I think I'll react more quickly, more confidently and more skillfully as my aikido improves.

Any comments from other women out there?


Mike Collins
12-15-2000, 10:38 AM
2 Things to say Matt:

1. You did what you could do and felt you needed to do- good for you.

2. Jesus, man. You live in England, you have an English surname, is English your second language? Think edit. (This is just a little humor, relax)

12-15-2000, 10:50 PM
Let's see...

In 1995, I was in the 12th grade.
A guy behind me was throwing small paper balls at me.
I responded in kind, which got him unbelievably pissed.

After class he dragged me out by the elbow, constantly threatening, being tough guy, yada yada yada...

And then I noticed a crowd of curious observers gather around us, as we stood there for a moment which seemed like an eternity.
It was clear to all that a fight was about to begin.
I remember exactly what I was thinking at that point ...
"I can't fight, I lost most of the fights I've been in, but this time I will not let it happen because I will move really, really... fast."
So I charged at him and he although the fight was shortly ended by a teacher, he was spitting blood afterwards.
And my knees were shaking.

When I took Aikido 11 months ago, for some reason something became very clear to me ...

It wasn't him that was throwing the paper balls at me to start with.

It was the fat guy called Erik that was sitting behind me.

12-16-2000, 01:39 AM
DiNalt wrote:
It was the fat guy called Erik that was sitting behind me.

Just to make it perfectly clear to everyone, it's a different Erik. I've never been fond of throwing things at people (smart ass comments excepted) and I graduated high school just a wee bit earlier than 1995.

12-16-2000, 02:07 AM
Erik wrote:

Just to make it perfectly clear to everyone, it's a different Erik. I've never been fond of throwing things at people (smart ass comments excepted) and I graduated high school just a wee bit earlier than 1995. [/B]

Some people graduate high school several times...
Not that I would know anything about that.

12-16-2000, 01:30 PM
DiNalt wrote:
Some people graduate high school several times...
Not that I would know anything about that.

Actually, some of us never grow up.

And we like it that way.

Hey, I've never been to your dojo. Maybe some time next year as I have this crazy idea of visiting all the dojos in the Bay Area. Of course, it seem's like there's a steady supply of new ones so at what point in time I'll pull this off is beyond me.

[Edited by Erik on December 16, 2000 at 04:54pm]

12-17-2000, 03:37 AM
Well, since this thread is called "Street experiences" (or something closely resembling that), we might as well... carry on.

I'll try to systemize my "street experiences" here...

1) During my life I've been given a black eye around 5 times...

2) I've received an amateur uppercut once which made my head hit the wall behind me, and I saw... many lights.
I've also been hit twice, I think, in the solar plexus, which caused me to bend over.

3) None of the attacks resembled any kinds of martial arts training, and they were all simple.

4) A lot of people actually did the "cock the fist" movement which would've provided for a good yokomen-uchi block if I knew of such a thing at the time.

5) If I was aware of the possibility of putting a bit of body weight into my strikes (mune tsuki), I would've walked unscratched from FAR more than er... 10% of those fights.

6) In most cases the person grabbed me by elbow or wrist first, and once grabbed my shoulder from behind.
I turned around like an idiot, and WHACK !

7) One fight was me vs 2 slightly younger guys.
It would've turned out far better if I didn't wait for one of them to scream, gain speed and jump at my back.

8) I haven't been in a fight since 1995, and don't intend to.

9) All the fights but one happened back in USSR.

10) Oh yeah... my pathetic kicks never worked.

11) All of the fights could've been prevented if I wasn't a dumbass.

12) All of the fights happened before I took up Aikido.

13) I don't like this number.

14) A drunk guy's punch is far easier to block.

Hmm... that about sums it up... minus any traumatic experiences I might've suppressed in my subconscience :)