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07-05-2000, 12:02 PM
I have just recently started training in ki aikido. I have the impression that most of the work seems to be in defense against grabs of all sorts. Does aikido also deal with punches, kicks and elbows/knees?

07-05-2000, 12:27 PM

Most aikido places start with grabs because a lot of people think that grabs are easier to deal with than punches and such.

-- Jun

Kristina Morris
07-05-2000, 01:18 PM
I think most Aikido starts out with defenses dealing with 'grabs' because grabs are the most common. Someone attacking an individual has a much better chance of succeeding in their attack if the arm, wrist, or a fistful of the victim's clothing is 'grabbed' first - before the other free hand strikes them. An attacker will usually try to control their victim (get a good hold on them) before punching them. Training in defending off kicks will come later as you progress in experience.


George S. Ledyard
07-05-2000, 04:02 PM
russworld wrote:
I have just recently started training in ki aikido. I have the impression that most of the work seems to be in defense against grabs of all sorts. Does aikido also deal with punches, kicks and elbows/knees?
The techniques of Aikido are not originally derived from an "empty hand" art as we think of it. Aikido techniques were originally part of a comprehensive system of fighting meant for Samurai. There was no such thing as an unarmed Samurai (unless he had been knocked out and disarmed and captured), they were walking weapons systems. As soon as you introduce the aspect of weapons into the system the grabs we have start to make sense. Katate-tori and Kosa-dori were done in oreder to jam the sword draw of an opponent. This didn't become really apparent to me until I stated teaching police officers. They have a variety of weapons and they get grabbed all the time. A subject trying to keep from being struck by a baton will grab the striking arm etc.

The strikes we do are from the same source. Anyone who knows how to fight will comment that the strikes we use to practice seem artificial and unrealistic. No one uses his hands that way. If however you put a short sword into the hands of the attacker the movements are much more realistic. These were weapons strikes not empty hand strikes.

Striking in the traditional Samurai arts was very technical and was meant to be done on armored opponents. Which made targeting quite adifferent affair than it is in contemporary self defense. I had to laugh when I briefly viewed a fight scene in Xena Warrior Princess in which one of the heroes delivered punch after punch to the body of an attacker who was wearing armor. Duh!

This is why many Aikido people who are fairly good at their traditional practice can't defend themselves against attacks by practitioners from othe arts. Boxers, Muy Thai, Jeet Kun Do, Kali / Silat, even Japanese Karate students simply do not do their empty hand techniques the way we do. Those who aspire to be able to really walk their talk in a martial sense need to be knowledgeable about the manner in which these other arts use their bodies and bring an element of that practice into their Aikido.

[Edited by George S. Ledyard on July 5, 2000 at 04:04pm]

07-06-2000, 09:31 AM
I agree with George that the strikes we use to practice in aikido initially seem artificial and unrealistic. But I would also characterize them as inefficient and exagerrated as well. However, in our dojo, when we practice against tsuki, the tsuki we attack with is the same as a traditional karate punch (reverse punch). Having practiced in another martial art prior to aikido (one which is considered one of the more "street effective" arts) I think there is another reason that the strikes we practice in aikido seem inefficient and exagerrated. This is so that the practitioner can understand the basics of the attack and the underlying movement. Once the aikidoist (or any martial artist) gets the basics down, THEN he can begin to work on responding to variations on those attacks (ie, more efficient and realistic strikes and attacks). Since I'm still working on getting the basics down in aikido, I can only support this argument based on my previous martial arts experience in observing my own and my previous students' development. But in the previous art I studied, the approach on practicing with such "exagerrated" attacks was the same.

By the way, even though it is not so common in aikido to practice techniques against roundhouse punches (probably the most common "street" attack), the body mechanics and movements associated with a yokomenuchi are almost identicle to a roundhouse punch. Just an observation on my part...



07-06-2000, 10:37 AM
Sure our attacks are not realistic. at first at least. That can cause a real problem. there is a girl who is in my class and is same 7 kyu as me. but one thing she hates is right hand chest grab. at first we do the arm out and walk twards throut then we go a little faster. remember it is chest grab because after we get a feal of our throws sensi makes us attact by really trying to get our gi. and that is what most people hate because they were in a good dream of it is so easy to hey dont get my gi. I dont know what other attacts sensi will make us do but I know that finnaly he will make us box and the tori has to throw from random punches. so it is realistic till you learn the latter stuff. in my opion any how