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Dissipate 09-17-2004 12:13 PM

Aikido no good for self defense??
 
I've been cruising some martial arts forums over at bullshido.com, and In most of the threads on Aikido there I've seen people call it a "weak" art. Basically, they imply that Aikido is impractical for self defense. Even the co-founder of bullshido.com said that Aikido is ****. The people on the bullshido forums seem to be into Muay Thai and BJJ.

Anyways, I plan on joining my local dojo, not for self defense but because the classes look like a lot of fun.

However, I would like to know if there is any truth to what these guys are saying. I'm talking about the higher levels of Aikido, I know it takes years to master the techniques. But once you do master them is Aikido still impractical for self defense?

DaveO 09-17-2004 12:29 PM

Re: Aikido no good for self defense??
 
Oh Lord no; not again. :freaky: :freaky:
(LOL!)
Hello Steven, and welcome to the Aikiweb! :) :) :)
Steve; don't ask a Porsche owner if you should buy a Ferarri. :)
Aikido is entirely defensive in nature - it has no structure for attack. MMAers point to this as proof of its weakness and unsuitability for defense.

What place attack has in defense; I don't know. :rolleyes:

What they're missing is that while aikido is defensive; it is not passive. Nor is it gentle if applied in crisis. (Or at least, not always.) It is extremely effective for defense; but it is not effective for fighting. The point of aikido is not to fight; but to put the attacker in a position where he cannot continue his attack.

For additional info; I suggest you read this page. It deals with Martial arts as applied to defense from an objective viewpoint. Read it; then make up your own mind. :)

Cheers!

Greg Jennings 09-17-2004 12:34 PM

Re: Aikido no good for self defense??
 
Quote:

Dave Organ wrote:
<snip>Aikido is entirely defensive in nature - it has no structure for attack. <snip>

If you mean initiating techniques, that would not be true of all aikido. Some schools of aikido practice all three classes of initiative (go no sen, sen no sen and sen sen no sen).

FWIW,

DaveO 09-17-2004 12:40 PM

Re: Aikido no good for self defense??
 
Initiative yes; attack no. :)
That's how I define the difference between passive and active defense. :)

SeiserL 09-17-2004 12:42 PM

Re: Aikido no good for self defense??
 
Why to you think they call it "Bull"shido?

I am sorry their training and ability did not make it effective for them. That is a satement about their ability, not the art.

Greg Jennings 09-17-2004 12:50 PM

Re: Aikido no good for self defense??
 
Quote:

Dave Organ wrote:
Initiative yes; attack no. :)
That's how I define the difference between passive and active defense. :)

Could you enlighten me? Here is a scenario:
o Really big guy is standing there in an aggressive posture.
o He's telling you that he's going to clobber you and do it up brown.
o You seize the initiative, stick tegatana in his face, he blocks, you do a nice nikyo ura, drive him to the ground without seriously injuring him.
o You then execute a hasty retreat.

In you book, is that attack or initiative?

Best,

DaveO 09-17-2004 01:06 PM

Re: Aikido no good for self defense??
 
Hi Greg. :)
Good question - the line can be pretty hazy; can't it?
In that specific scenario; I'd call it an attack. This is because the opponent (the great big guy) is standing in an agressive posture (of which of course there are many kinds; the spicific posture could be important as well) saying he's gonna whup your ass.
This is still in the 'warmup' phase of the encounter; the defensive situation has not yet occurred. Should you let tegatana fly; (whether as atemi or simplyto provoke a response); both legally and realistically you've started it; therefore it's an attack. (Legally; you've become the attacker; therefore the one breaking the law.) :)

If on the other hand the agressor does become the attacker (IOW he launches his attack); actively defending means to take the initiative and lead his attack into a position you can deal with. For instance; in the case you mentioned if the attacker starts moving with intent and then you launch tegatana; it's active defense.
:)

Greg Jennings 09-17-2004 01:35 PM

Re: Aikido no good for self defense??
 
Every martial art (3 now) that I've practiced advocated something close to what you're saying.

In some jurisdictions, though, depending on 1: "Reasonable man" and 2: "Fighting words", the defender isn't breaking the law. It's close, though.

In my jurisdiction, if the attacker is threatening you bodily harm and "a reasonable man" would be afraid for his physical welfare or those less capable in his charge (e.g., his kids), the defender can initiate and defend it legally.

I'm not advocating cracking on some guy standing there just mouthing off. OTOH, there is no way I'll let a guy that appears to be serious crack on me. I'll do *something* to sieze the initiative.

FWIW,

Dissipate 09-17-2004 01:47 PM

Re: Aikido no good for self defense??
 
Dave,

I understand that Aikido is defensive in nature. In fact, that is why I want to train in it. I was just wondering, if I happen to stick with Aikido and I progress far enough, if at some point I will be effective in stopping an attacker. On the street, in a bar, anywhere. I'm not even talking about well trained attackers, basically just a Joe Palooka type.

gibsonsensei 09-17-2004 01:51 PM

Re: Aikido no good for self defense??
 
Dave this is where you are wrong! He has made a threat to do bodily harm to you. He has already broken the law. Simple assault by threat due to his size and at minimum disturbing the peace. Legally he is the attacker.

However you still have to do everything in your power not to make the first physical attack or you will blow your self defense plea right out the window. Now it doesn't matter if he threw the first blow or you did, both of you can still be charged with simple assault or disturbing the peace pending on the laws where you are from.( I am speaking from the laws in Mississippi ). If it is simple assault a misdemeanor charge which is a charge less than a felony provided that no law enforcement officer has seen the crime take place the burdon of charging the attacker is on you. This puts you in a bad position if you have assaulted him because he can charge you. If you both charge each other its up to you and your lawyer to prove you were defending yourself.

In this case you have chosen to strike first but only to subdue your attacker long enough to make an escape. The fact that he is so much bigger than you makes you afraid for your life and you only attacked out of fear for your well being. Then you escape after the moment he has been subdued with Nikyo ura which caused very little injury if any to him.

This is a very good argument for your defense. You used a minimal amount of force to escape what is potentially a deadly encounter.

Richard Cardwell 09-17-2004 02:20 PM

Re: Aikido no good for self defense??
 
To go back to the question. Yes, plenty of people's aikido is excellent for self-defense. The old maxim is, it's about the artist rather than the art. If you want to reduce your opponest to a red mush, aikido isn't for you (unless it'll calm you down a bit first). There is aikido which is excellent for the mind (I won't get into anything else abstract), there is aikido which is excellent for self-defense (when combined with some talent on the practitioner's behalf; I believe that's always a prerequisite) and there is aikido which does both.

I really think, though, that if you want to learn a martial art purely for self-defense, there are dedicated self-defense classes, many of which are of great quality and efficacy. Aikido's fairly slow-burning as far as learning goes- one certainly isn't as "effective" after six months' training as someone who'd spent the time doing something totally self-defense orientated. But in terms of what it brings to the table, I'd far rather have it than an equivalent amount of military close-combat training, etc.

I think I'll leave this to the older and wiser types ;) Apologies if I've unwittingly ruffled any feathers.

I tend to think of Bullshido as the more rough-and-ready end of the Baffling and Bad Budo fora at E-Budo.

Dissipate 09-17-2004 02:40 PM

Re: Aikido no good for self defense??
 
Quote:

Richard Cardwell wrote:
To go back to the question. Yes, plenty of people's aikido is excellent for self-defense. The old maxim is, it's about the artist rather than the art. If you want to reduce your opponest to a red mush, aikido isn't for you (unless it'll calm you down a bit first). There is aikido which is excellent for the mind (I won't get into anything else abstract), there is aikido which is excellent for self-defense (when combined with some talent on the practitioner's behalf; I believe that's always a prerequisite) and there is aikido which does both.

I really think, though, that if you want to learn a martial art purely for self-defense, there are dedicated self-defense classes, many of which are of great quality and efficacy. Aikido's fairly slow-burning as far as learning goes- one certainly isn't as "effective" after six months' training as someone who'd spent the time doing something totally self-defense orientated. But in terms of what it brings to the table, I'd far rather have it than an equivalent amount of military close-combat training, etc.

I think I'll leave this to the older and wiser types ;) Apologies if I've unwittingly ruffled any feathers.

I tend to think of Bullshido as the more rough-and-ready end of the Baffling and Bad Budo fora at E-Budo.

Thanks, that's all I really needed to know. No, self-defense is not the primary element I want out of Aikido.

jester 09-17-2004 03:08 PM

Re: Aikido no good for self defense??
 
Quote:

Dave Organ wrote:
Aikido is entirely defensive in nature - it has no structure for attack.

sen-sen no sen, means you anticipate an attack, then attack first (hit the other guy first). To me this is an offensive move, but I guess that can be argued, but I see many ways that aikido can be used for attacking.

billybob 09-17-2004 03:27 PM

Re: Aikido no good for self defense??
 
years ago my buddy (now aikido sandan) was joking with our judo/jujitsu instructor about a bullet hole in one of the dojo's windows (hey, tampa's a rough town). my buddy said - i see that none of your students was hit when the shooting occurred. the old judoka replied "we did better still, we weren't even here when it happened"

that is self defense.

billybob

shihonage 09-17-2004 03:32 PM

Re: Aikido no good for self defense??
 
Quote:

David Knowlton wrote:
years ago my buddy (now aikido sandan) was joking with our judo/jujitsu instructor about a bullet hole in one of the dojo's windows (hey, tampa's a rough town). my buddy said - i see that none of your students was hit when the shooting occurred. the old judoka replied "we did better still, we weren't even here when it happened"

that is self defense.

How is it self-defense when the Judoka's students weren't even aware of the attack ?
It's just a cute story, one amongst many who pretend to be deep and have some relation to the subject - while in fact they aren't and don't.

Charles Hill 09-17-2004 08:47 PM

Re: Aikido no good for self defense??
 
Hi,

Two responses to this thread.

1. Half of what we do on the mat is attacking someone. You`d think that if we spent so much time practicing attacks, we would get good at it. I never understood this "Aikido is only a defensive art" thing. Does that mean if you practice for an hour, you have done aikido for only 30 minutes?

2. If one were seriously interested in self defense, studying aikido or any combative art would be way down on the list of things to do. Well before learning to punch or take a punch, someone interested in serious self defense would be studying: how criminals set up victims, their own personal psychology, a victim`s mentality and how not to have it, and etc. I also would add that one should seriously consider their own psychological issues that motivate them to study a combat art before doing more practical things such as eating a healthy diet, getting exercise, taking a defensive driving course,etc, things that will really promote a long life. Okumura Shihan had a very long warm up period before keiko at the Aikikai Honbu. He said that that was the real self defense.

Charles Hill

Aikidoiain 09-18-2004 06:25 AM

Re: Aikido no good for self defense??
 
I have no formal qualifications in Aikido.

I used to teach Self-Defense before I became housebound. I included a lot of Psychology in my teaching (I have formally studied Psychology). You need to see into the mind of the attacker and learn about "attack scenarios" also. You need to have a good knowledge of Human Behaviour as well, especially, how people react in confrontational situations - including yourself.

I'm not teaching any more. I only taught my friends the basic rules, based on my own real life experience (for what it's worth). I'd listen to the other other guys' advice before mine.

Thanks.
Iain. - :ki:

aikidoka- jalta 09-18-2004 07:19 AM

Re: Aikido no good for self defense??
 
allow me to respond on youre question from my perspective, or my point of view, and hope that i convince you.
When people say that AIKIDO is a weak master, i beleive that they know nothing about the art. because aikido my friend is not concerned only in techniques, and how to apply the technique. while in kick boxing or muway - thai with all respect to the two diferrent schools, there is no philosophy or spiritual ideologies, any way, the real purpose of Aikido, according to the founder, was to make and to preserve peace, to make the world more beautiful and peaceful. let me ask you a question what is youre concept of budo??. as aikidoka evry day we use aikido, not necessarly against physical attacks, but as you deal with youre every day problems. at the end i dont beleive that any type of martial art is no good for self defense. the problem is not in the martial art but it is in the person whose practicing it.

DaveO 09-18-2004 10:22 AM

Re: Aikido no good for self defense??
 
Hi again. :)
Just to respond to a couple comments. :)
Quote:

If one were seriously interested in self defense, studying aikido or any combative art would be way down on the list of things to do. Well before learning to punch or take a punch, someone interested in serious self defense would be studying: how criminals set up victims, their own personal psychology, a victim`s mentality and how not to have it, and etc.
Yes; exactly! Your best bet in self defense is to put yourself in a position where you will not be attacked. In order for a situation to descend into violence; several steps have to occur; each step being a point where the defender can take steps to avoid the conflict. To be fair; these steps can occur is a very short period of time and a person must be aware of his surroundings in order to apply counters nevertheless; if a situation does degenerate into violence; that means essentially the defender failed all previous possibilities at avoiding the conflict.
That said; when studying aikido for self defense; we are studying what to do if it does turn violent. (Keep in mind street violence is not the only use for defensive aikido; there are many benevolent reasons for its use as well. As Ms. Shifflet describes in her books; a big boy with developmental problems or a drunk uncle at a party may require gentle physical control now and then.)
And to my way of thinking; while we study the defensive aspects to assist in the physical conflict; we study the rest of aikido - the 'spiritual' aspect, IOW - for ourselves; for reasons other than conflict - which helps to avoid the conflict in the first place. :)

Quote:

Half of what we do on the mat is attacking someone. You`d think that if we spent so much time practicing attacks, we would get good at it. I never understood this "Aikido is only a defensive art" thing. Does that mean if you practice for an hour, you have done aikido for only 30 minutes?
The 'attacks' used in aikido are meant to teach nage to move against attacks from a given direction - IOW; to deal with an attack vector. They're not valuable as real-life attacks; try a shomenuchi on 'the street' and see what happens. ;)

Quote:

Dave this is where you are wrong! He has made a threat to do bodily harm to you. He has already broken the law. Simple assault by threat due to his size and at minimum disturbing the peace. Legally he is the attacker.
Er.... no. Sorry. :) The laws differ from place to place; but in most States and Canada; what he has done is given a threat - he has not comitted an attack. There is not as yet a physical need to defend; in fact if you were to do so not only would you be giving the cops a very good reason to charge you with the assault; you'd most likely be playing right into the antagonist's hands - by saying these things he's trying to provoke an attack to give himself justification for fighting.

Quote:

However you still have to do everything in your power not to make the first physical attack or you will blow your self defense plea right out the window. Now it doesn't matter if he threw the first blow or you did, both of you can still be charged with simple assault or disturbing the peace pending on the laws where you are from.( I am speaking from the laws in Mississippi ). If it is simple assault a misdemeanor charge which is a charge less than a felony provided that no law enforcement officer has seen the crime take place the burdon of charging the attacker is on you. This puts you in a bad position if you have assaulted him because he can charge you. If you both charge each other its up to you and your lawyer to prove you were defending yourself.
Yah - right on. This is one of the reasons why fighting for self defense is such a sticky problem. You're going to be dealing with the cops and the courts afterward; it is entirely possible that the guy that was actually comitting the assault in the first place can come off looking like a poor little angel in court; while you are painted as the violent criminal. It happens - a lot.

Quote:

In this case you have chosen to strike first but only to subdue your attacker long enough to make an escape. The fact that he is so much bigger than you makes you afraid for your life and you only attacked out of fear for your well being. Then you escape after the moment he has been subdued with Nikyo ura which caused very little injury if any to him.
FWIW; I agree completely. But as far as the courts are concerned; hitting first then running away is still hitting first. :) Again; I stress that depends largely on what the laws are in your area; and what precedence the courts have in such cases. I personally wouldn't want to risk it. :)
Cheers!

gstevens 09-18-2004 10:57 AM

Re: Aikido no good for self defense??
 
Quote:

Dave Organ wrote:
The 'attacks' used in aikido are meant to teach nage to move against attacks from a given direction - IOW; to deal with an attack vector. They're not valuable as real-life attacks; try a shomenuchi on 'the street' and see what happens. ;)

All The time, however not knowing the good Japanese words for it they call it an overhand beer bottle to the head..... ;)

Most fights that I have seen, not a huge number but a few, seem to start with someone grabing the other person. There are a lot of the "attacks" that we learn in Aikido that do mimic real "street" attacks. Yokaman is definately a beer bottle up side the head, or a punch to land on the ear. It probably will not come as a hand edge, but the vector and the reply are the same.

Self defense is more than the defense of ones body in the face of a physical attack though. How many ways are you attacked everyday ways that never involve anyone touching you.

Guy
:-)

Shane Mokry 09-23-2004 09:31 PM

Re: Aikido no good for self defense??
 
I know I'm late coming into this one but for some reason I just can't let this one sit.

First of all, I agree with Greg again. (That makes twice today) :) Defense by nature is always LATE! Most victims of voilence are covered with "defense wounds" at their autopsy. :dead: If you are moving first, at least you know when the attack is coming. IMO your psyche should always be set in attack mode. This does not have to be violent. It just means that your intent should be to take over your opponent's/partner's center...even with just a touch. My teacher says if you don't want your partner to touch you touch him first. :D

Second, the truth is, you have to be vulnerable to be dangerous. This is the nature of our practice. What was almost a good gyaku game ate can become tai otoshi in the blink of an eye...and vice versa. Giving up to this vulnerability during training to develop good solid timing and technique is difficult enough with people you trust much less with a thug that wants to cut your head off as you walk out the bar with his girlfriend. Eventually you realize that outside of the dojo, most people don't know what to do with your center when you hand it to them! But then again, most people are too afraid to do it. :blush:

Finally, yes, Aikido is a very effective form of "self defense". Or should I say self preservation. But not because of the superiority of the techniques. It's because of the principles that get instilled in your mind and body by practicing the techniques. Also, training fosters a certain awareness about other's intent that is hard to develop anywhere else. For some reason, which I don't fully understand yet, it is very difficult, if not impossible to hide your insides when you are sticking your hands in someone's face. Picking up on these "vibes" during class translates to feeling and seeing specific danger and malice toward you in the world.... and goodwill for that matter. Again, choosing to listen to the cues and act is another story. Learning to trust your intuition is the key. For me, seeing deceitful intent is easy. Deciding what to do when I recognize it has been very difficult. Probably cost me a job or two and several relationships. You win some you lose some...but you have to do SOMETHING!

Shane

P.S. I'll never reply to an "Is Aikido good for self defense" post ever again.....not here anyway :D ...Just practice

Infamousapa 09-24-2004 01:50 AM

Re: Aikido no good for self defense??
 
I studied Aikido for 3 months and found myself going back to muay thai..I think bruce lee said it best in TAO OF JEET KUNE DO "worse still,super mental power and spiritual this and spiritual that are desperately incorporated until these practitioners drift further and further into mystery and abstraction.All such things are futile attempts to arrest and fix ther ever-changing movements in combat and to dissect and analyze them like a corpse.When you get down to it,real combat is not fixed and is very much alive.The fancy mess (a form of paralysis) solidifies and conditions wha was once fluid,and when you look at it realistically,it is nothing but a blind devotion to the systematic uselessness of practicing routines or stunts that lead nowhere.When real feeling occure,such as anger or fear,can the stylist express himself with the classical method,or is he merely listening to his own screams and yells?

I dont know about you guys,but it seems like this quote was aimed towards aikido practioners.

shihonage 09-24-2004 02:10 AM

Re: Aikido no good for self defense??
 
Quote:

Tony Sapa wrote:
I studied Aikido for 3 months and found myself going back to muay thai..I think bruce lee said it best in TAO OF JEET KUNE DO "worse still,super mental power and spiritual this and spiritual that are desperately incorporated until these practitioners drift further and further into mystery and abstraction.All such things are futile attempts to arrest and fix ther ever-changing movements in combat and to dissect and analyze them like a corpse.When you get down to it,real combat is not fixed and is very much alive.The fancy mess (a form of paralysis) solidifies and conditions wha was once fluid,and when you look at it realistically,it is nothing but a blind devotion to the systematic uselessness of practicing routines or stunts that lead nowhere.When real feeling occure,such as anger or fear,can the stylist express himself with the classical method,or is he merely listening to his own screams and yells?

I dont know about you guys,but it seems like this quote was aimed towards aikido practioners.

What you're describing sounds more like something about classical forms of Karate, with fixed katas and strikes that hit the air and carry no power.

Aikido's movement is based on solid physical principles, and it _only_ works when it is live, adaptive, unrestricted, and encompasses common sense.

Within 3 months you are still learning how to do static, as opposed to dynamic, techniques with no real power or intent, and are incapable of dynamic ukemi, so no one is either attacking or throwing you all too seriously.

I'm sorry to hear that the learning curve was too slow for your liking - hey, to each their own.

batemanb 09-24-2004 02:26 AM

Re: Aikido no good for self defense??
 
Quote:

Steven Kane wrote:
I've been cruising some martial arts forums over at bullshido.com, and In most of the threads on Aikido there I've seen people call it a "weak" art. Basically, they imply that Aikido is impractical for self defense. Even the co-founder of bullshido.com said that Aikido is ****. The people on the bullshido forums seem to be into Muay Thai and BJJ.

Anyways, I plan on joining my local dojo, not for self defense but because the classes look like a lot of fun.

However, I would like to know if there is any truth to what these guys are saying. I'm talking about the higher levels of Aikido, I know it takes years to master the techniques. But once you do master them is Aikido still impractical for self defense?

I posted this link in another thread this week. It's a very nice article, the second part covers some of your worries but read the whole thing.

http://www.iwama-ryu.se/page/154/160

regards

Bryan

shihonage 09-24-2004 02:55 AM

Re: Aikido no good for self defense??
 
Quote:

Bryan Bateman wrote:
I posted this link in another thread this week. It's a very nice article, the second part covers some of your worries but read the whole thing.

http://www.iwama-ryu.se/page/154/160

regards

Bryan

I'm sure, when a 16 year old stoned prick with an attitude takes a swing at Mr. Moberg outside of a downtown McDonalds, he is going to stop him with his disarming smile and then put him to sleep by reading him an abstract 2 hour lecture largely consisting of words like "contemplate" and "hitherto".


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