View Full Version : VERBAL AIKIDO

Please visit our sponsor:

les paul
10-14-2000, 10:20 PM
I know verbal Aikido isn't macho, but it's very important. Verbal Aikido involves detecting possible violence and deflecting it "verbally" away.

Two times verbal Aikido has saved me.
While standing outside a bar a cop mistook me and my friend for some people who were making alot of noise in the back of the parking lot. He got angry because I wouldn't call him sir. When he raised his nightstick to hit me I shouted "I wouldn't do that My dad's a cop". He stoped in mid-swing. He checked my License and asked me what police force my dad worked for. He told me my dad was going to hear about this incident in the morning then drove away. My friend was dazed and said "Lucky your dad is a cop because he was going to beat your head in". I replied "he's not and never was a cop".

"that's Verbal Aikido"

The second time was when I was working security for a hospital ER. This scumbag had just beat up his wife using a broken wisky bottle. I guess he drove to the hospital to get her not to press charges. When I denied him entry into the ER he got hostile. Just as he was going to strike me I said "Hey! your a friend of my brother right? He took a hard look at me. Then I said "You and my brother hang around with....(I paused waiting for him to fill in the blank) "Danny?" he said. I replied "Yea! Danny I haven't seen Danny for months what's up with him". Truth is I didn't know this drunk at all. I used verbal Aikido to deflect his anger and easly escorted him out of the ER.

I believe verbal aikido to just as important as the physical Aikido.

Paul C.

10-14-2000, 11:37 PM
Paul C, I congradulate you on diffusing to very violent confrontations without having to hurt anyone. Your verbal techniques were very effective for the given situations and I would hope that I can make my mind work as fast as yours if such a situation occurs to me.

However I was distressed to note that you used falsehoods or outright lies on both occasions. Everyone is different and has different methods of handling things, I am not qualified to judge these methods right or wrong, just different. However for myself I cannot lie or knowingly give wrong information. Can you or any of the other knowlegable people on this forum give me advice on using verbal skills to resolve confrontations that do not conflict with my core values?

Either public or private replies are greatly appreciated.

Thank you


les paul
10-15-2000, 10:16 AM

I totally understand your point of view. However,I believe I can morally justify my telling of falsehoods from a Machiavellian viewpoint. I rationalize that since this individual is about to commit violence upon me or others "all bets are off"(yes, even the truth).
Both Hobbs and Machiavelli point out
that if you play by the rules against someone who doesn't "YOU LOOSE"!
By playing by the rules against someone who doesn't you only impede yourself and not him. "That's why nice guys always finish last".

If someone is about to strike me I hardly consider them a friend and worthy of the truth. Language is a tool we use to communicate with each other. This tool can also be used for selfdefense. It's the ideas behind the language/tool that make it nobel. By not resorting to violence in both cases I feel I "was" taking the high road (i.e. the honorable path). I know on the surface my last post made it appear that I was somewhat less honorable. So, hopefully this sheds some better light on me and the subject at hand.

Paul C

10-16-2000, 03:31 AM
AikiBiker wrote:
... Can you or any of the other knowlegable people on this forum give me advice on using verbal skills to resolve confrontations that do not conflict with my core values?

Hi Aikibiker!

I'll give it a shot. In my hometown we have some problems with a couple of groups of 2. generation immigrants. It's really sad, because they make it very hard for the rest of the rather large body of immigrants to integrate smoothly into the society. They are quite young (12-18 yrs.) and they spend most nights walking around in groups trying to pick fights.

One night when I'd been to a concert I took a night-bus home and one of these groups were looking for trouble. They had started picking on a young man (perhaps 19-20 yrs.) saying rather nasty things about him but he did his best to ignore them. After a while he tried to move to a different place in the bus one of the bullies took a swing at him - it wasn't wholehearted and it only hit the rim of his glasses but it knocked them of his face and it triggered something in the young man. The next seconds passed by as in slow motion. I saw this young man suddenly all red in the face and just about to explode of rage and I saw the gang members tensing up there muscles - getting ready to beat the living daylight out of this fellow, and suddenly - and to my own surprise - I found myself stepping in between the young man and the guy who he was about to attack. I heard myself saying something along the line of: "come on - take it easy" - everybody was puzzled (including me) since they didn't expect anybody to do what I did. Then I said ".. forgive him - he can't help being an idiot.". Then I bend down and picked up the glasses and turned to the young man and handed them to him while I suggested with a whisper that he should go to the other end of the bus and he did. The hooligans didn't do anything anymore and I think this worked because they have a simple yet important code that they live by, which forbids them to attack anybody without provocation. The things I said made it seem like I took their side - calling the other guy an idiot - so I was not an opponent - and in the same time they were so puzzled that anybody would walk into such a bad position volunteeringly that they forgot to try to escalate the situation any further. Nothing more happend for the next 15-20 minutes when the young man got off the bus unharmed and 10 minutes later the gang left the bus as well. All the time I was alert to the situation but tried not to be provoking in any way. Later I have been wondering why I did what I did, but I haven't figured it out yet. I don't know if it was 'verbal aikido' or not but it was a strange experience where my body/mind acted on it's own without consulting my fear and my reason.

Sorry about the length of this. Hope you found a little bit interesting.

All the best

10-16-2000, 05:57 AM
Hi les paul,

Aikido is sincerity, right? As stated in one of Osensei's doka.

Wouldn't it be better to say:"I know verbal Aikido isn't macho, but it's very important. Verbal Aikido involves detecting possible violence and deflecting it "verbally" and "sincere" away.
I mean there is absolutely nothing wrong with settle a conflict verbally,
without getting someone hurt, but then stay sincere. The guy's intention is to hurt you, why don't you instruct him by means of a technique instead of a lie.
The technique doesn't have to break him in half, but let him know that his violence doesn't solve anything....
No offence, just a thought......

10-16-2000, 06:27 AM
One problem we face is that many attacks are not for 'justifiable' reasons but are people who want to look macho (usually young boys trying to prove themselves in a pecking order) - even the police man; just as you can sometimes find in a dojo. How should you react? One school of thought is to avoid problems by whatever peaceful means possible (as illustrated above). This may help you, but does it help the perpetrator or his next victim?

For example, I was subject to an unprovoked attack by a bouncer, who I managed to remove from my neck as well as dissengage the other boucer friends that came up to help him. The police arrived and it all worked out OK as the police believed me (though would take no action) and no-one was injured (few scratches). However the bouncer who attacked me was very shaken and is likely to re-consider attacking someone half his size again.

Maybe this is wishful thinking, maybe he just spent more time down the gym and practising self-defence so he could destroy his next victim. If you respond physically to a situation you get 3 long term responses:

1. agressor beats you up and feals good about himself and is likely to continue this behaviour
2. you beat up the agressor and he is so ashamed he never picks on anyone again
3. you beat him up and he toughens himself up for the next encounter, becoming even more bitter.

Aikido is like the second option, but without the injury. Although Aikido is 'non-agressive' there is nothing more anoying to a bully than someone who manages to evade his attack in a harmless way. You can just hope that on reflection he will change his ways, or you may be required to give him several atemis to illustrate the futility of his attack.

If you respond verbally to the situation the perpetrator continues with the same attitude. As an Aikidoka I firmly believe that we must interact with our environment and people in an intimate way in order for the flow of ki to pass through us and the universe. In addition we should accept death as part of life and sometimes necessary to achieve harmony. Harmony isn't staying alive, it is achieving peace.

(if Ueshiba wanted to escape death rather than to achieve harmony he would have learnt to be the worlds best sprinter rather than a martial artist. Aikido enables people to be truthful and upstanding members of society without fearing retribution from those who would persecute us.)

10-16-2000, 06:29 AM
I've heard there is form of aikido clothing you can get in Iran where women can cover up the whole of their bodies to deter rape.

(Sincerest apologies if my humour offends anyone)

10-16-2000, 06:40 AM
Harmony should be achieved by accepting people's individuality and preventing conflict by getting rid of the source of the problem.

Many people are voilent and aggressive because they feel a need to prove themselves, or feel excluded from society (it is much easier to destroy something that you have not been involved with building). Maybe our verbal Aikido starts by showing that each person is valued and respected and has an important role in society.

To me Aikido training does this in itself and enables very aggressive people to gain confidence in themselves whilst building respect for others.

In terms of forcing people to comply with the law by using martial arts - that is a different story. We must remember that our right and wrong is very subjective. Law is necessary for society, but in the words of a famous horse-trainer; you should never use physical force to make an animal or person do what you want them to do.

10-16-2000, 06:49 AM
Sorry to keep going on....

Proportionate force is often the best way to prevent a physical attack without encouraging retribution. However efforts should be made for reconciliation after aggresive energy has dissipated.

Peoples attitude towards the correct reaction depends on their ultimate goal. The ultimate goal of verbal Aikido as described above, must only be to avoid physical injury of yourself. Maybe a more justifiable goal is preventing harm to others, maybe the best goal is harmony (which usually comes from a period of conflict, and requires truth).

Besides, if you do the 'do' bit of Aikido and are a buddhist (esp. Zen)truthfulness in view and truthfulness in speech are central tennnets.

10-16-2000, 06:51 AM
Maybe the verbal aikido described here is more like verbal atemis - used to disorientate the uke but not the basis of the technique.

10-16-2000, 06:52 AM
Why someone who has learned enough aikido to contemplate it being used verbaly would be unwilling to humble themself enough to call someone else Sir. The cop might have been out of line but he still outranked you as a member of law enforcement.

Just my 1/2 cent.

10-16-2000, 08:19 AM
ian wrote:
In addition we should accept death as part of life and sometimes necessary to achieve harmony. Harmony isn't staying alive, it is achieving peace.

Maybe harmony isn't staying alive I'm not sure.But Budo is.


10-16-2000, 08:30 AM
What is sepuku/harikiri for then? (not something I practise regularly down the dojo, admitttedly).

[in my view] The only fights that should be undertaken are those which are justified whether you win or loose, live or die.