View Full Version : Poll: Is aikido violent?

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03-30-2003, 01:01 AM
AikiWeb Poll for the week of March 30, 2003:

Is aikido violent?

I don't do aikido

Here are the current results (http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=159).

Kelly Allen
03-30-2003, 06:45 AM
only to the attacker who doesn't know when to stop. (twist, crack, ouch).

I'm not sure if that was a yes or a no.

Cliff Geysels
03-30-2003, 07:28 AM
No, it's not. Because the techniques teached in aikido are only pure defensive, they teach you how to react on an attack. Thus, no aggression will be created by an aikidoka.

mike lee
03-30-2003, 11:36 AM
Aikido's not violent, I am.

03-30-2003, 04:26 PM
Only after a couple of drinks.

Mike Anderson
03-30-2003, 10:06 PM
The whole point of Aikido is peacful resolution of a conflict, not violence

03-30-2003, 10:07 PM
As Mike said, people are violent not the art. We put people in positions where they are very vulnerable and can be easily hurt. Some techniques, like iriminage make it just as easy to knock someone's head off as to do a gentle throw. Maybe this is just semantics but I feel that it certainly can be violent but I am sitting on the fence on this one.


03-31-2003, 12:30 AM
aikido isn't violent.

sometimes the people who train are though, and thats scary because aikido performed with violent intentions can be devastating.

i sometimes have problems with people who can be a little aggressive on the mat. i feel i dont want to train with them as even though they are sempai, they dont respect me as an uke. they think it is up to me to be able to take the ukemi for them even though they may throw in a way that i cannot take ukemi from or that is dangerous for me.

03-31-2003, 01:54 AM
Aikido is a martial art, martial art training is inherently violent. breakfalls are violent, arm and wrist locks are violent. But as with other martial arts, violence is controlled, and proportionally administered according to the practitioner's skills. Violent does not equal lethal or dangerous ;)

03-31-2003, 02:08 AM
I don't think aikido is inherently violent but I do think it can be used in a violent fashion. For me it's kinda like asking, is a rock, stick, knife, gun, car, hammer, chainsaw, etc. violent. It's all in how you use it.


03-31-2003, 03:24 AM
Aargh, this one again! Is there a lawyer in the house? If so, could they please give us their learned opinion on whether a court of law would ever accept that any martial art was inherently non-violent?

Intent may mitigate the results your actions, but does not defend your actions. You've all chosen to learn a martial art which involves learning a systematic way of damaging another human being (your motives for learning it are entirely your own). If you're very skilled, you can choose the limit of damage (right down to mere avoidance and destablising). However, your intent is still to defend yourself through a physical reaction. A truely non-violent response would be to accept the drubbing and "turn the other cheek". Go-on, be a devil and accept there's a little violence in you, you're just being sensible and channelling it in a useful manner....

Ghost Fox
03-31-2003, 08:18 AM
Wan't this poll already asked and answered?

Russ Qureshi
03-31-2003, 11:46 AM
Upon looking up the Cambridge dictionarys' definition of violence: "..action or words which are intended to hurt people...extreme force..." or Websters': "..exertion of physical force so as to injure or abuse.." I would have to say Mike Lee hit the nail on the head. Aikido is not violent, I am.

03-31-2003, 12:59 PM
a: aikido the philosophy, should have the capacity to be non-violent; see b.

b: aikido the techniques, should have the capacity to be violent; see a.

Asking this question multiple times can show three effects:

1)noise or error associated with these polls.

2)how the posing and subsequent discussion changes overall opinion.

3)how recent events effect opinion.

Unfortunately, devolving these effects is not simple; neither are we.

04-01-2003, 06:28 AM
maybe after I get drunk....or high....

Alan Drysdale
04-01-2003, 12:51 PM
Ian said:

>Is there a lawyer in the house? If so, could they please give us their learned opinion on whether a court of law would ever accept that any martial art was inherently non-violent?

It is perhaps not quite the same, but I heard that the Florida court system accepted in a particular case that aikido is a defensive art. I'm not a lawyer, and I'm sure it would depend on the actual words, but that is pretty close to saying it is non violent, per the dictionary definition.


04-01-2003, 04:45 PM
I think that Aikido by its very essence is not violent. it teaches harmony Ai, as its founding principal. violence is opposition fighting not harmony. in my experience (limited perhaps) I have felt Aikido applied "vigorously" but never violently. that is at least what I would call Aikido. I have felt Jujitsu like application which is violent and aggressive.

I think however that Aikido is a philosophy in practice, hence the way of aiki.

violence causes rifts anger hate. Aikido is meant to build love. I think O-Sensei said something along those lines.

I will go on to state that in my opinion you don't walk into a dojo and start doing Aikido. I have only done Aikido a handful of times in the physical sense (from attack). so to me the techniques are only an expression of Aikido not truly aiki.

sorry to go off on a tangent and get all philosophical, and perhaps preachy. these are just my thoughts, perhaps wrong. I don't intend to offend anyone.


04-02-2003, 10:22 AM
Aikido is violent, for sure. The practice of aikido is learning to find the calm in the eye of the storm. Without violence there is no need for aikido or any other martial art. Anyone who thinks aikido is not violent may want to think about changing dojos! Without the threat of violence there is no opportunity for growth on the mat, you're then just learning dance steps.:D

04-02-2003, 02:19 PM
Please note I never said that Aikido did not take place in a violent situation, but like you said Aikido is the eye of the storm, a peaceful center. Not a violent place to be.

:) Marty

04-02-2003, 02:25 PM
Oh one other thing by "I have only done Aikido a handful of times in the physical sense (from attack)" I did not mean to imply from an attacker. my application was just in the dojo setting.


Les Kelso
04-02-2003, 03:44 PM
To wax philosophically..

Men's actions may be violent or not,

whether using table legs or Aikido..like table legs, Aikido has no inherent violent state..the MISUSAGE of either one could be easy to construe as violent..but as the table leg is used primarily (and meaningfully) as a tool for purposes other than violence, so is Aikido..which is also to say either may be used for violence. Just because a 'tool' is used or misused for a specific purpose doesn't mean necessarily that it's use defines its being.

Aikido, like the table leg, can be used

as violently as the spirit of the one wielding it.


"We are just going to have to make table legs

so they are a lot less violent!"

Les Kelso

Ta Ch'u Academy

04-02-2003, 10:42 PM
I think aikido conforms well to the dictionary definition. No matter whether you practice it vogorously or softly, every time you take a breakfall, there is a certain damage to your internal organs. Every time a wrist or elbow lock is applied on you, you feel pain, which is caused by a certain damage to your joints and ligaments.

Now, this damage might be minimal, it might even be beneficial to the development of your muscles and ligaments, some shihan might even claim that breakfalls massage the back and stimulate the activity of the spleen and kidneys, while nikkyo locks stimulate some other internal organs, including lungs and heart.

Nevertheless, since this activity undoubtedly causes damage, regular minor injuries, and occasional major ones as well, it is safe to say that aikido is violent.