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Old 11-08-2005, 01:57 PM   #26
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
Location: Oceanside, California
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,240
Re: Aikido Skeptic about to take the plunge.

Dear Brian,

I spent over 32 years in law enforcement and 5 more as a Marine and wished that I had been able to train in aikido during that time. My life would have been far easier in many respects. Aikido training will be an asset to you, but certainly won't be an end-all for your defensive tactics work. What it will bring to the field for you is solid movement off the line of attack and a number of techniques such as sankyo that will prove valuable in most of your encounters. My son is a cop and teaches BJJ as well and is more than comfortable on the ground, but will tell you that being on the ground is not a good thing as a cop. There are too many situations where suspects and their associates will dog pile you or kick your brains out. It is wonderful to be able to protect yourself on the ground if you are forced there, but better to be on your feet. That's where aikido can be such an asset.

Aikido can certainly help you in the atmosphere of excessive force issues. Much of what we do appears to be gentle and benign and can be as forceful as necessary. It just doesn't seem to inflame public passion as much as use of the baton, strikes or kicks.

Just yesterday the local TV news showed a former NFL player being arrested after a high speed chase. After getting him out of the car, it took several officers to take him to the ground to cuff him. I didn't see anything to suggest excessive force or misconduct and none was alleged in the broadcast, but there was a certain futility in several normal sized officers trying to force a running back to the ground. There was a host of aikido techniques that could have been applied with greater success I suspect.

I encourage you to train hard in aikido, and if you can take the time and energy, BJJ as well. It will make you a better, safer and more confident officer. Going home at end of watch is a good thing.

"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 11-12-2005, 01:08 AM   #27
Matthew White
Location: OKC, OK
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 28
Re: Aikido Skeptic about to take the plunge.

I don't know if this will help any in your idea or opinion of aikido, but I've heard accounts from my teacher of a couple of guys who were in our system of aikido and left to pursue different martial arts after successfully defending themselves with aikido in actual muggings (or whatever you want to call them? one involved a knife. I believe the other involved a blunt weapon, but I'm not positive). Both of them gave the same reason for leaving. They said something to the affect of "I don't feel like I did anything to the guy" or "it was over before I could attack him". I guess they wanted to "fight" instead of just defend themselves. I get the impression that my brother has the same attitude of aikido "what good is it if you aren't beating the guy up?" as if the attacker slamming himself into the ground isn't good enough...
I don't know if that's relevant to you or not? Just thought I'd throw that thought out there. Chew on it as you will.
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Old 11-12-2005, 09:56 AM   #28
Location: London
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 15
Re: Aikido Skeptic about to take the plunge.

i myself do tomiki aikido, the other day we had a full resistance free play and the brown belts and first dans were pulling off moves on me that i though were impossible if i resisted, i was skeptic about aikido aswell when i first started but now i believe in it 100%
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Old 11-13-2005, 05:18 PM   #29
Adam Huss
Adam Huss's Avatar
Location: Ohio
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 709
Re: Aikido Skeptic about to take the plunge.

Actually its the Pre-WW2 Aikido that is generally considered harder. A good example of this would be the Yoshinkan Style of aikido, which was actually contracted with the Japanese govt. to provide training for the Tokyo Riot police (all must have 1st degree black bely) and the Emperor's private security (must be 3rd deg. black belt). It is broken down step-by-step in, what we call in the Marines, "barney style" wich is a direct result from having a few instructors teach to large groups of government servicemen (in Japan). Ie. they had to do everything step by step to make sure everyone was on the same page and if there was a mistake they would stop class while someone would run over and make a correction. So possibly a Yoshinkan dojo might be more suited to your needs, but then again, as many will state, each dojo has their own flair to them, as does the instructor. Most important thing is to find someone who can teach you what you want. My organization also has a Police Defense Tactics Instruction Org. that is based on the Tokyo Riot police training as well as aikido and is certified through the National Law Enforcement Training Center (in St. Louis?) along with other groups. Anyways, maybe something like that you can use.
Good luck though!

Ichi Go, Ichi Ei!
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Old 11-14-2005, 09:00 AM   #30
ian's Avatar
Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,654
Re: Aikido Skeptic about to take the plunge.

Brian Gibson wrote:
...I've watched some ridicoulous videos of some of the "softer Aikido", that I would never consider in in the least. ...I had read that the Aikikai? "post WW2" stuff was more realistic, applicable and intended to be trained for realistic SD purposes etc...how Aikikai differs from the softer Aikido......and any experiences regarding the different camps/styles
Hi Brian, I hope I can help. I've trained with several different clubs in the UK and have used Aikido in self-defence 4-5 times, including a knife attack.

Firstly, styles are not too important. The quality of the instructor is far more important.
Secondly, aikido is different to many martial arts in that it is not technique based. By this I mean that aikido is a METHOD of training (just as e.g. systema is). All the aikido techniques are found in other martial arts esp. ju-jitsu. I would say the main purpose of aikido is:
1. to develop instantaneous reactions
2. be able to change technique fluidly if the attacker resists/moves differently
3. to be able to utilise appropriate force and thus reduce aggression from the attacker.
4. develop awareness (esp. for multiple attacks)
5. develop timing and distancing

Working in law enforcement you'll know that unarmed self-defence is the last line of defence and ideally situations are dealt with more effectively with other means. I've found aikido useful since it is not an on/off martial art like typical striking arts, but allows a graded response dependent on the level of aggression. We have taught several policemen at our dojo who have used it very effectively.

Pre-war aikido could be considered to be 'harder' although I would ignore the talk of hard and soft. The dojo is a training arena and anyone who believes it is anything like real is fooling themselves. The reason why some aikido looks 'soft' is because people are developing sensetivity which enables them to change technique rapidly and to react (blend) to the attack.

Aikido is really very very simple (a necessaity in real self defence), but it involves overcoming our natural tendency to struggle and instead utilising blending to move with the attacker (whilst maintaining posture). Conversely, some 'hard' clubs are doing nothing but staged ju-jitsu style techniques. Now, I can't vouch for your local aikido clubs, but I can say that you must be clear what you want to get out of your training so you can assess these, and don't presume that because someone is doing it in a hard (or a soft) way it is effective.

People who trained with Ueshiba (aikido's originator) have said that they often felt like they'd fallen over themselves, but no matter how they tried to attack they couldn't stop being thrown. It's a bit like being a butcher - a good butcher does not hack at the meat, they carve it gently and precisely. Neither someone who hacks at the meat, nor someone who gently prods it with the blade could be considered good.

1. find a good martial artist rather than a style (it doesn't even have to be specifically aikido, although I think the training method is most suited to self defence)
2. Find someone who is effective but efficient.

Hope this helps! - if in doubt, just try it

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 12-21-2005, 02:46 AM   #31
Dojo: Pärnu Aikidoclub Singitai
Location: Pärnu, Estonia
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 322
Re: Aikido Skeptic about to take the plunge.

Too bad this guy never wrote how it went...
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