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Old 05-24-2002, 05:07 AM   #1
DavidM
Dojo: Aikido of Tucson
Location: Arizona
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 32
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Tongue Aikido IS Self Defense

I've been doing a lot of reading lately about O Sensei and his teachings, and also some things he did to play with peoples minds. But the most common thing asked is, "Is Aikido a real Self Defense MA?" I know, cause I too asked this question to my Sensei. Well here's my take on it...it's long, but interesting...

In Aikido we are taught strikes, which relate to the movements of the sword...but they don't really count as punches do they? We are not taught kicks, and very rarely are we taught how to "Defend" against them. With this is mind...we don't do any hitting do we? We do atemi, but does that really count? So ...we learn to defend against all of these....is that itself not a "Self Defense"?

When O Sensei did his traveling, he was once ambushed by 4 or five guys with wooden guns...little to say that they all went flying through the air, and never attacked him again. When he trained, he always told his students to punch, or kick him, or do what they can...and they ALWAYS went into the air...doesn't that make it a "Self Defense" MA? Aikido was taught to the Japanese military and is still taught to there police officers....but in the military it is taught to "Kill or be Killed"...doesn't that make it an effect art?

I guess the ultimate question is...if O Sensei was still alive ...would you attack him?

So many of us Aikidoka question the art and it's effectiveness...why? I know I know you all are going to say, "You're not supposed to fight" or "If you wanted to learn to fight take TKD" but I honestly don't think none of you took, or take Aikido because it's good for your body...and you will pay X amount to recieve this body conditioning alone. If that was the case I'd tell you to take Yoga.

Well...tell me what you think on this subject...I'd love to sit and pick ya'lls brains...

David
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Old 05-24-2002, 09:05 AM   #2
SeiserL
 
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Dojo: Roswell Budokan, Kyushinkan Dojo, Aikido World Alliance
Location: Roswell, GA USA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,704
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IMHO, a lot of people do not necessarily train with self-defense in mind. Aikido is flexible enough to be good exercise and an opportunity of self-transformation. It may take longer to become good at self-defense in Aikido, but it sure is possible. many of us at The Tenshinkai Aikikai Dojo in Westminster, CA have belts in other forms of martial arts. We train pretty hard and get a sense that yes we could use it. Several already have. I guess it all depends on why and how you train. And yes, there are actually several more reality based systems that have a great background and foundation in Aikido.

Until again,

Lynn
Nidan Tenshinkai Aikido
Lucaylucay Kali JKD

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 05-24-2002, 11:26 AM   #3
Brian Vickery
Dojo: Aiki-Buken Aikido
Location: Gilbert, Arizona
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 208
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Re: Aikido IS Self Defense

Quote:
Originally posted by DavidM

Well...tell me what you think on this subject...I'd love to sit and pick ya'lls brains...
Hello David,

To me, 'Self Defense' is a strategy, philosophy and mind-set, which includes many factors: awareness, avoidance, verbal de-escalations skills, and as a LAST resort, physical force.

There are many definitions of self defense, but the one I follow is: "I'll do whatever I have to do to get home safe!" If my awareness & avoidance skills are up, I won't be an easy target. If I do get in a confrontation with somebody, I'll use my verbal skills to try and talk my way out of it. If the situations turns physical, I'll employ my aikido skills to get me home with as little damage to myself as I possibily can.

So, I do see aikido as being a 'part' of the self defense equation, but it's not all enclusive ...it's just a tool in my toolbox, hopefully one I'll never have to use!

Just my slant on this!

Regards,

Brian Vickery

"The highest level of technique to achieve is that of having NO technique!"
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Old 05-24-2002, 12:20 PM   #4
Erik
Location: Bay Area
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,200
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Quote:
Originally posted by DavidM
When O Sensei did his traveling, he was once ambushed by 4 or five guys with wooden guns...little to say that they all went flying through the air, and never attacked him again. When he trained, he always told his students to punch, or kick him, or do what they can...and they ALWAYS went into the air...doesn't that make it a "Self Defense" MA? Aikido was taught to the Japanese military and is still taught to there police officers....but in the military it is taught to "Kill or be Killed"...doesn't that make it an effect art?
I hear people say that but I've never seen a film of it. Maybe things changed off camera, maybe it was different when he was younger, I dunno. Anyone ever see a film of O'Sensei dealing with a kick? Anyone know someone who knows someone who saw O'Sensei deal with a kick? In fact, the only films I've seen of kick work are Seagal movies. Note: I know it's taught in some places.

As to teaching police officers. The more I think about it the more I think Aikido is extremely well-suited for police officers. Having to protect a gun isn't all that different from having to protect a sword on a gross level. Some of our techniques are ideally suited for control as well.

However, Aikido was created in a cultural and historical vacuum. The MA community has evolved since O'Sensei's time and two of those areas are kicking and grappling. Whether the typical guy on the street will attack that way is tough to say but I've seen films of guys kicking on the street so I'd say that deserves more attention than most of us give it.

As to the rest of it, I'll agree with Brian.
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