I've seen many discussions on this and other forums, concerning the effectiveness of aikido and/or various other martial arts, on the street. In a REAL
confrontation, how would aikido stack up against some drunken, steroid-taking, bad guy? After researching this topic, I believe I have a possible answer.
from Street Fighting: American's Martial Art, "How to Hire and Use Muscle"
While I have always believed in fighting your own battles whenever possible, there are times when you are outclassed. No matter how well you learn to fight, there is always going to be somebody bigger and tougher: somebody you can't take. If you run up against this person in the street you're going to lose. If such a person decides to beat you up, to mug you, to attack you, then he has a definite advantage over you. Unless you are Superman, there are plenty of people who fit this category. And sometimes you will simply be outnumbered. Chances are that your attacker will be somebody who has sized you up and knows damn well that you don't have much of a chance against him.
The way you can beat this is to bring in someone bigger and badder against him. This makes it a whole new ball game; the odds are not on his side anymore - they're on yours. If your business takes you into a rough part of town, or you have to deal with belligerent characters in some way, then there is just no substitute for muscle. Not everyone is six feet, four inches tall or weighs 250 pounds, but if you have a muscleman approaching this size then you've pretty well got everybody licked. When you hire muscle, either to get something done, for protection, or for settling accounts, whatever the case is, then your advantage is instant. You don't have to build yourself up or build muscles or get a dog. All you have to do is get somebody you can depend on. If you've got the money, he's got the time, and money talks. It screams! With it you can get a lot of things accomplished. When somebody knows he's getting paid for a job, he will do a lot of things for you. There is a tremendous amount you can accomplish, even against your next-door neighbors.
This quote reminds me of a story the late George Simcox Sensei told. He was traveling around and visited a small ju-jitsu dojo. This small dojo had an even smaller class, since three of its members were currently in jail for assault (aka fighting). Something the instructor was apparently proud of.
However Simcox Sensei ended the story by asking "Why are we teaching people the martial arts? What kind of society are we building?"
To those questions I'd have to add:
"What type of martial artist do I want to become? What do I need to do to help me towards my goal?"
I'm sure everything suggested in Street Fighting
will probably work quite well. However I am also glad that I am not the author's next-door neighbor.