View Full Version : Techniques for breaking up a fight.

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01-21-2005, 12:16 PM
Are there any standard techniques for breaking up a fight in Aikido, or is it just a speciality found in a certain style?

I have only been an aikidoka since last september so I prolly havent even scratched the surface yet. But as I understand it, breaking up a fight would require an offensive move as the fight isnt directed at your own person. And as far as I know, offensive moves arent practiced other than for training purposes.

So if there are such techniques, can anyone provide me with some info plz? :) :)

Jordan Steele
01-21-2005, 01:58 PM
Obviously there is no defensive movement in breaking up a fight. You are involving yourself in something that doesn't involve you. Jumping into the middle of a fight and trying to break it up requires ultra aggressive everything physically and mentally. To make it simple. Hitting hard, yelling, and behaving like a freaking maniac are the only things that will truly break up a fight. Oh yeah...if you're just breaking some random fight, be prepared for both sides to come at you.

Michael Hackett
01-21-2005, 02:29 PM
One of the best techniques is 9-l-l Waza.

01-21-2005, 04:03 PM
A few points to ponder:
If the fight is just getting started, or is still fairly even, one of the best things I've ever seen is to redirect or confuse their focus with something totally out of context. Walk up to them like nothing's happening and ask for the time, ask for directions, tell them there was an accident and you desperately need their help. That will often stop them cold. Then, you can ask them what they were fighting about. When they stop to think about it, they'll either realize it was stupid or possibly look to you as an arbitrator and you may be able to help them settle their differences.

If one of them clearly has the advantage and is just pummeling the other, the clear choice is to defend the underdog. You should be able to slip in next to the victim and use much the same blends and techniques as if you were being attacked. Alternatively, the safer method may be to slip in next to or behind the attacker as if you had already blended with his attack and execute a technique (like kotegaeshi) from there.

01-21-2005, 04:11 PM
I think Nike-waza is a good technique.

Definitely don't do what I did over twenty years ago, and stick your mouth in the way of one of the fighters' friend's fists, and lose a tooth. Not a lot of fun to get emergency dental surgery in the hospital. On New Year's Eve even...

That, by the way, is what prompted me to start practicing martial arts. Haven't even been close to an altercation since then. Go figure.

Kevin Leavitt
01-22-2005, 03:15 AM
breaking up fights can be difficult. Like a previous poster said, both might come at you. It can be easy to secure a joint lock on the dominant person and extract him from the submissive guy, but then it gives the submissive guy the advantage and he will attack with you holding the other guy.

It is best to have a couple of people to help out that know what they are doing. Ideal minimum for two fighters is four people. You divide up into teams. two handle the dominant and the other two the submissive. Then you divide each person one goes high for upper body, the other low for lower body. Then you subdue the guys until the police arrive with minimal force or they go on their merry ways after they cool down.

Breaking up fights can be very dangerous especially if you don't know the people involved. Leave it to bouncers and police...they get paid for it.

Lyle Laizure
01-22-2005, 05:58 AM
Cold water. The colder the better. Something to shock thier system and bring them out of focus. But be prepared at that point to defend yourself.

Thomas Ambrose
01-22-2005, 09:29 AM
I am a secondary teacher-in-training, and to make some extra money for school, I have substitute taught at a local middle school and high school for a while now. I have no experience breaking up "big person" fights, but I have had to break up a few middle-schoolers with raging hormones and the like. I haven't used aikido or anything, but just some quick reflexes and "classroom management."

What I did was, step right in between them, almost like irimi, but with no technique attached. One kid was the very clear aggressor at this moment, so I focused on him. I maintained a stance in between the two boys, so that neither could advance against the other without touching me (neither boy was daring enough to risk the consequences of assualting a teacher, and if they did, I figured I could "take" a hit if need be). This effectively kept them seperated for the time being. While seperated, I kept my eyes focused through the aggressors eyes, and as he attempted to move past me to get back at his target, I was able to place myself in his path keeping him from doing so. Since I was able to maintain eye contact, he couldn't look at his target and in about 15 seconds he was cooled down a little bit. He was then sent to the office, and fifteen minutes later, the other boy was sent as well. Both boys were suspended, nobody was seriously hurt beyond a bruise. :)

Probably not very useful for breaking up bar-fights or other "big-person" fights, but smaller fights like this happen in schools all the time, and so maybe this will be useful for teachers, coaches, after-school activity planners, etc. Especially since the "breaker-upper" doesn't need to actually touch anybody and open themselves up to lawsuits. I think they key to de-escalating them is to keep the combatants seperated, and try keep them out of each other's sight until both are rational again.

01-22-2005, 09:35 AM
Hm..sounds like good advice. The reason I ask is I calculated the odds of me actually getting into a fight versus witnessing a fight between others. I will prolly witness a fight before I ever get into one myself so I figured there might be some kind(s) of techniques for it. Anyways, thanks for the info :)