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Old 06-13-2004, 10:14 PM   #30
Location: New Jersey
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 5
Re: Aikido is still violent......?

I'm a newbie when it comes to the art of aikido, but please here me out before you pounce on me for my lack of knowledge. I'm speaking from what I know and have seen in my life.

I understand what Jordan is talking about and maybe I can help him get his point across. I recently got into this same discussion with my sister and mother over whether or not I should take up this art.

Aikido is violent but not in the respect that most people think of when it comes to violence.

One definition of violence is Moving or acting with physical strength; urged or impelled with force; excited by strong feeling or passion; forcible; vehement; impetuous; fierce; furious; severe;

Now you can apply that definition to just about anything. From Karate to boxing to playing American football or rugby.
You see in these instances the goal is to knock your opponent down or out using maxim force. I can especially relate to that as I have played football for a number of years and have had the mantra to be agile, mobile and hostile, drilled into my head. We were taught to hit through your opponent. Make them think twice before catching the ball. That's violence.

However another definition of violence is: Produced or effected by force

And I think it's this definition that best fits aikido. When a confrontation reaches to the point of physical contact, the goal of an aikidoist is not to knock out the opponent using MAXIMUM force but to resolve the encounter using MINIMUM
force. Yes, physical contact will be made, which makes it violent ,however, it's done in Self-defense meaning there is no unnecessary force used. That's why Aikido is a true martial art of self defense.

My sister who is a non-aggressive person in the world is taking a self defense course. There she's taught how to escape from attackers. One technique she was taught was to take her keys and use them as claws to get away from an attacker. Is that violent, yes. But it's in self-defense. She's not taught that after she claws her attacker she should stomp this guy in to the ground. She's taught to run and get help. And that's what self to defense is all about...doing what needs to be done to get out of the situation, not to beat someone's head in so that you have some sort of rep, so no one bothers you.

After seeing an Aikido class I do believe that the physical aspect of Aikido is self defense...trying to control yourself and the situation to the best of your ability so that in the end minimal damage is done to you and your opponent.

Will it always work out that way? It most certainly will not. But hopefully none of us here will be forced to find out.

Just my 2 cents
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