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Old 09-01-2008, 09:19 AM   #26
Dojo: Aiki Shoshinkan, Aiki Kenkyukai
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 813
Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

Tom Hill wrote: View Post
thank you all. i have a few things to say in response to people questions and stufff. it is illigal to own a gun in the uk but i do have a air rifle , none of my freinds have been attacked but as you are aware if u live in britian some kid gets stabbed every other week. and i made a mistake by sayin pure self defense. i want a martial art that will teach me how to pass and over come potentiol situations without having to fight but at the same time i wud like to know aikido will help me in a fight if one should sadly ever arise
Hi, I was just browsing through the threads and this one caught my eye. Its an oft repeated question and most times would have been met with pretty blatant 'I'm tired of this kinda questions type of answers'. I guess you just have some decent folks who still try to answer in a decent manner.

In my case I would like to share with you 3 different occasions that I personally went through during my time in the UK. At that point in time I was living in Manchester, and there were some pretty rough neighbourhoods there especially near old trafford where gang fights and guns are pretty much a reality (gun laws in UK not withstanding).

Anyway -
1st incident. Was waiting on a friend who just arrived from Malaysia and wanted to call his girl in London. So we went to a public phone near the pub at Old trafford. Busy road and everything but I still kept an eye out. Until he called me to check the phone ringing tone since he wasn't familiar with it. It took a second for me to go into the booth, listen to the tone and tell him its alright and then as I turned to exit, a large man tried to grab me. I didn't think or tried to do anything, but in a second I had him in a modified jujinage and I was crossing the road. I think the only thought I had at that point in time was NOT throwing him into the moving cars.
After this came the low point of the story... so I'll skip it in the interest of brevity.

2nd. I came across a group of drunks on my way to Odeon City Ctr. I think a girls boyfriend started beating her on the face. At that point in time I had 2 girls with me and there were too many to handle safely so I made a conscious choice not to get involved. Again, a low point in my life.

3rd. This time I saw a girl tussling with a man outside my apartment (near UMIST) as I was walking back home. So I shouted at them about 50m away and jogged towards them. Then I grabbed the guy and threaten to strike him. However, the girl started hitting him and I had to separate them. The man told me the girl ripped him off his wallet. and not a second later she threw his empty wallet at his face and ran off.

Moral of the story
1. keeping awareness is key to good self defence.
2. common sense is also vital. Keeping to a public place is a good idea. but in the end, no one came to help in any of the 3 incidents.
3. So you are responsible for your own safety.
4. Once you start practising seriously, you will do what is necessary to keep yourself safe. But this is true only if your practice correctly applies the principles of the art. If you keep training to master techniques only, you might not benefit entirely from your training.
5. Having practiced martial arts, you will learn your limitations. It's not a license for you to have a go at everyone. So you will learn to recognise situations that call for self defense and other times when you have to leave the place. (its not the movies. Learn the art and beat everyone else up)

Anyway, its good to see you interested in martial arts at 16. I would advice you to learn a couple of martial arts during the early period so that you get a feel of the different emphasis some arts have. That way, you will find one that is most suitable for you.

If this doesn't answer your question then try this.
Ask the aikido teacher at your place that you have concerns on self defense. Ask him if he can demonstrate how aikido can help you. Tell him you will attack him the way you think someone will attack you. If he can show you how to deal with your attacks in a manner you think is positive then go study with him. Just don't think you'll immediately get it.... that takes serious practice.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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