Joep Schuurkes wrote:
Which leads me to the question: if verbal aikido is such a good method of non-injuring self defence, why do we only train in physical aikido?
Good question. What you are calling verbal Aikido I am seeing as the achievement of a particular feeling of centeredness when confronted by a non-violent attack. As long as I "move" from my center, as with physical technique, I can avoid getting caught up in the emotional component of the confrontation. What makes this possible is the knowledge that if the conflict esclates to the physical plane I am able to take care of myself. This enables me to react without fear or anger. Because I hold the view that mind and body are inseparable, I believe that our physical training educates mindbody in such a way that we are able to deal with physical and non-physical attacks.
As for practical training for students looking for self-defense, my wife, Mary, has incorporated Aikido principles learned on the mat into the system of self-defense she devised and teaches in workshops and at a local college as a PE course. In addition to teaching physical techniques, she makes extensive use of role plays that teach students to employ Aikido in a non-physical way when confronting just the type of situation we are discussing here.