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Old 06-21-2002, 01:49 AM   #1
Edward
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Did aikido ever fail you?

Real Life thread gave me an idea. I have read many posts describing how aikido was used successfully to defend against real life attacks, but have never read any describing how someone tried to use an aikido technique to defend himself and failed.

I think it would be very interesting to read about such experiences. Please share them with us!
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Old 06-21-2002, 03:14 AM   #2
erikmenzel
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Aikido never failed me.

I do however wonder about the number of answers you might get.

It kind of reminds me of the claim people make about friendly dolphins that push people swept overboard to shore. Of course the people pushed to open see cannot tell their view on this anymore.

Still I do think it is a good question to ask.

Erik Jurrien Menzel
kokoro o makuru taisanmen ni hirake
Personal:www.kuipers-menzel.com
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Old 06-21-2002, 03:46 AM   #3
PeterR
 
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*****Cliche Alert*****

Aikido has never failed me - my Aikido has failed me.

Luckily that's hapended only in the dojo.
My student was a boxer - I said hit me - he did. A beautiful taisabaki, unfortunately lousy ma ai.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-23-2002, 11:23 PM   #4
Edward
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Thanks Erik and Peter for your replies.

Since there are no posts about aikidoka who have been attacked, tried to defend themselves using aikido, and failed, I can assume the following reasons:

1. Aikidoka are never attacked or get involved in fights.
2. Aikido always works.
3. Aikidoka don't like to mention their failures.
4. They just simply died in the attack.

And Peter, I think there is a big difference between dojo training and real life threats. I think the immediate danger and the adrenaline would create a situation where you become very alert and wouldn't mind harming your attacker in any possible way.

Cheers,
Edward
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Old 06-23-2002, 11:47 PM   #5
Erik
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There's a semi-famous story about an Aikidoist who was stabbed and killed. This was in New York and I believe it was in the 60's. The guy found a kid around or in his car. The guy, a 3rd dan, confronted the kid and the kid did what you do with knives.

I know of another Aikidoist here in the Bay Area who was attacked in bed by her boyfriend and killed. She was very much a beginner from what I know.

No fights nor even serious possibilities since I've been doing this stuff.
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Old 06-24-2002, 12:19 AM   #6
PeterR
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Edward
And Peter, I think there is a big difference between dojo training and real life threats. I think the immediate danger and the adrenaline would create a situation where you become very alert and wouldn't mind harming your attacker in any possible way.
inserted laterReallized after reading your original post that it was not - still what I wrote stands.

Um was this in response to another thread? If it was I indicated there I would not probably not seriously injure the person but qualified that statement that I don't consider broken wrists or noses, and concussions serious injuries.

To be very frank - loving protection of my attackers is far from my world view. I doubt though I would go out of my way to chastise further than what was necessary to eliminate the threat or to recover what was mine. Based on non-dojo experience, some combative, some not.

Last edited by PeterR : 06-24-2002 at 12:37 AM.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-24-2002, 02:41 AM   #7
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Re: Did aikido ever fail you?

Hi and good morning !
Once I was attacked at my home,and this being
maybe with two years of training,I missed
the moment to do an ikkyo,so I had to improvise - which involved some hairpulling,
my luck the guy wasn't a skinhead !
I took him outside still keeping his head down,being outside I was free to run and move,
he made it look like he was going to pull a gun,and to my and his luck there was no gun.
I managed to cool him down and make him my friend and to this day we still are.
I've late found out he has a maniodepressive streak and was beat up by his likewise father a lot as a child,so when alcohol kicks in
he is not always a pleasure,he has a military background and a lot of streetfighting behind him,which I later found out.
But maybe technical side of it didn't resemble
dojo style the outcome was in my opinion very much aikido.
This incident happende because I had a visitor
who didn't lock the door which always is the case normally,he just sat and watched it all.
Life is strange huh ?
yours - Chr.B.
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Old 09-14-2012, 12:17 PM   #8
Jareddw
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My Aikido failed me

I know of many examples of aikido working in aggressive situations, i.e. "real" attacks. I have unfortunately encountered one or two myself. The forums are filled with very good, legitimate examples. What I am looking for is an example where using aikido techniques failed you. And if so, in retrospect did you discover why they failed? Not necessaryily aikido, but your application of aikido.

Thank you in advance for your responses

I
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Old 09-14-2012, 12:31 PM   #9
Mark Uttech
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Re: My Aikido failed me

Onegaishimasu, as I practice aikido in everyday real life, sometimes my aikido fails me too. Those times of failings give me new incentive to practice/study. I like to think that this type of thing makes aikido a 'living art'.

In gassho,

Mark

- Right combination works wonders -
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Old 09-14-2012, 12:47 PM   #10
Don Nordin
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Re: My Aikido failed me

I got into a heated shouting session with my mechanic. I consider that a personal failure in that I did not apply aikido principles and rather met his force with more force.
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:25 PM   #11
aiki-jujutsuka
 
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Re: Did aikido ever fail you?

not trying to be difficult but I guess it all depends what you consider failure? By failure do you mean the inability to restrain an attacker or successfully defend yourself from harm, or do you mean the inability to use Aikido as practised in the dojo on the street? For example today at AJJ I was practising sitting Nidan kata. Surware waza is incredibly difficult to apply to a real life scenario because the paradigm of the kata is so historically specific. Would I ever have need of it in a self-defence situation? Perhaps not. Nevertheless I love learning it because it teaches you that have to remain calm and relaxed and how this is the key to the successful execution of the waza. That has application to how you react to hostile or volatile situations in the street.

If on the other hand you are referring to times when you have attempted to use Aikido in self-defence but failed, I think many martial artists might choke under the pressure and adrenaline surge of a real life attack. I don't have any personal experience of being in a street fight, but one of the guys I've trained with does - he was jumped by a gang of guys who thought he was cheating on one of their girlfriends. They surrounded him and started to punch him and beat him with tools they were using as weapons. He didn't fight back but said he never panicked and remained calm that in the end the thugs ran off after seeing they were unable to intimidate him. He put his calmness down to his AJJ training. I guess you could consider this a failure as he didn't employ his experience but I found this story rather inspirational, I guess if they had been more serious about harming him he may have felt the need to defend himself, but in the situation he didn't feel it was the right thing to do.
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:38 PM   #12
Walter Martindale
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Re: Did aikido ever fail you?

Can't tell personal stories. The late Kawahara Shihan related stories of sandan aikikai people being held up at knifepoint, while telling us not to depend on our aikido waza. I think because he thought most of us don't "get it"... And we practice at really slow speeds.
When I took my gokyu test I thought I was under HEAPS of control and my uke said "SLOW DOWN" (whispered, of course), since then only the "jiuwaza" parts of my shodan and nidan tests have felt anywhere close to "competitive" speeds (from the judo days)..
I think Kawahara was making the point that we (the "we" at those seminars) were practicing way too slow, and not "clean" enough to cope with anything real life...
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:20 PM   #13
GMaroda
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Re: Did aikido ever fail you?

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote: View Post
*****Cliche Alert*****

Aikido has never failed me - my Aikido has failed me.

Luckily that's hapended only in the dojo.
My student was a boxer - I said hit me - he did. A beautiful taisabaki, unfortunately lousy ma ai.
I had that happen to me when I trained Pentjak Silat. Except it was an MMA/prison guard. And I didn't even get a chance to move my feet before his cross nailed me. I didn't even know HOW he hit me, just that he did.
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:45 AM   #14
Cyril Landise
 
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Re: Did aikido ever fail you?

This thread is moderately disturbing to me.
Aikido is a training method which allows the practitioner to become better..at being a person as well as at being capable of defending oneself.
The only failure possible of Aikido, as I see it, would be that someone, after training in Aikido, became a WORST person or LESS able to defend themselves.
This is not to say that I don't appreciate how interesting street fighting tales can be...and personal stories of how Aikido training influenced the story teller's behavior.
Living in center Chicago most of my life has given me plenty of blood and gore stories, some mine, some not. Just recently, as a senior citizen, I had to re-train my "street ready" hanmi stance to a higher hand position after a drug crazed attacker got a hand thru my defenses to my face. I was just a millisecond late and it turned out okay. I have retold this story several times at the dojo...but that doesn't make it a story about how Aikido failed me. It is just a story about an Aikidoist who failed.

However, on 2nd thought, I have a situation in which you might say Aikido failed me. I'll let you decide.
Many years ago, as a young man with less than 10 years of training, I used a jo to eject 3 rowdies from my bar where I was Chairman of the Board, janitor and bouncer simultaneously. I was admittedly quite full of myself as I kept all three at bay with my jo in full sight of an audience of all the patrons. After a randori amount of time, the last of the attackers backed off from the attack in face-twisted frustration and shouted at me that he was going to go home for his gun and kill me when I left work that night. I skulked out of the back door at closing like a coward. He didn't kill me, but he made me feel very, very stupid.
Did I win or lose that one?
I survived, is that an Aikido success or failure?
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:49 AM   #15
graham christian
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Re: Did aikido ever fail you?

Quote:
Edward Karaa wrote: View Post
Thanks Erik and Peter for your replies.

Since there are no posts about aikidoka who have been attacked, tried to defend themselves using aikido, and failed, I can assume the following reasons:

1. Aikidoka are never attacked or get involved in fights.
2. Aikido always works.
3. Aikidoka don't like to mention their failures.
4. They just simply died in the attack.

And Peter, I think there is a big difference between dojo training and real life threats. I think the immediate danger and the adrenaline would create a situation where you become very alert and wouldn't mind harming your attacker in any possible way.

Cheers,
Edward
Never failed me.......yet. Been in a few, actually many, real life situations. To me and for me it was all part of training. So......So far it's always worked. Plus for those I have taught it has always worked.

Being of a mind that Aikido is much much better than many realize I too believe aikidoka along with many others may not wish to promote their failures but each time would be due to not doing Aikido.

Now add to that that I also have the view that a person studying and committing themselves to a martial art of any description should aim to be great at it and have faith in it and in so doing will be it and it will serve them well.

Peace.G.
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Old 09-15-2012, 12:15 PM   #16
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Re: Did aikido ever fail you?

Mostly I failed Aikido, for quite some time.
I failed to understand what Aikido was. I failed to truly explore and take Aikido in. Because of this, for some time I thought Aikido sucked. Aikido didn't do what I wanted it to, so Aikido failed. I was mistaken.

I know you're looking for a, "one time I fought this dude in a bar, and he totally beat me up even though I'm an Aikido black belt." kind of story. And I've got those. There was a period where I couldn't stop ranting about how Aikido was really bad in a fight, and you shouldn't do Aikido if you were interested in learning to defend yourself.

But it was I who failed, not the system. The system just does what it does, it's the student who must understand the system.

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Old 09-15-2012, 01:53 PM   #17
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Re: Did aikido ever fail you?

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
The system just does what it does, it's the student who must understand the system.
Amen
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:53 PM   #18
Anthony Loeppert
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Re: Did aikido ever fail you?

Quote:
Cyril Landise wrote: View Post
However, on 2nd thought, I have a situation in which you might say Aikido failed me. I'll let you decide.
Many years ago, as a young man with less than 10 years of training, I used a jo to eject 3 rowdies from my bar where I was Chairman of the Board, janitor and bouncer simultaneously. I was admittedly quite full of myself as I kept all three at bay with my jo in full sight of an audience of all the patrons. After a randori amount of time, the last of the attackers backed off from the attack in face-twisted frustration and shouted at me that he was going to go home for his gun and kill me when I left work that night. I skulked out of the back door at closing like a coward. He didn't kill me, but he made me feel very, very stupid.
Did I win or lose that one?
I survived, is that an Aikido success or failure?
I'd say you shouldn't have felt stupid going out the back way, though i understand your meaning. You avoided further confrontation and potentially a bullet. Sometimes we instigate matters knowing we can handle the immediate situation yet escalating a later encounter.

I'd say both sides of the exchange learned something that day.
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:40 PM   #19
Nafis Zahir
 
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Re: Did aikido ever fail you?

Many people who study various arts have 'lost' in a confrontation. It is not the art but the person and the moment they are in. It is almost like when the smaller weaker one defeats the stronger bigger one. Sometimes it happens.

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Old 09-18-2012, 06:51 AM   #20
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Re: Did aikido ever fail you?

It is hard to say how anyone will react to a situation until face to face with it. I have faith in my training and the muscle memory that has been created over the years of training. Again, when in a fight or flight situation who knows how it will play out. Instinct and survival should take over. If the confrontation was a loss, I would not blame it on Aikido but, myself.
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Old 09-20-2012, 12:44 PM   #21
barron
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Talking Re: Did aikido ever fail you?

I paraphrase " It's not that Aikido doesn't work. It's your Aikido that doesn't work."

How many times have we all been there in practice ? In a real situation who knows.

1) don't allow yourself to get into a situation
2) If you do get out safely. Run. Cry. Joke. Give them what they want.

" They have already lost by attacking you." (another paraphrase) Why gamble by putting yourself in danger unless your life is on the line and no other option exists.

PS Suggestion: Wear good running shoes, maintain a good aerobic base and run like hell!

Andrew Barron
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Old 09-28-2012, 06:00 AM   #22
Jareddw
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Re: Did aikido ever fail you?

I know this is full of aikidoka (myself included), but you guys are defensive. What I'm asking about is a learning experience. I've only had two hapenstances where aikido was used by myself, and I wanted to know if any had had an encounter where they went "Damn, that didn't work the way I wanted it to. Why didn't it work?" That's all. I'm not attacking the integrity of the martial art, it's purpose in the world, or its relevance. Yes I know its about the training. I'm trying to engage in a dialogue with like minded individuals who differ in experience from me.

Or could it be that we are just superior, and never engage in conflict?

Last edited by Jareddw : 09-28-2012 at 06:01 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:59 AM   #23
Cliff Judge
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Re: Did aikido ever fail you?

My dog does not come in when I call her at night, unless I take her for a walk. And she always knows whether I am actually going to take her for a walk.

So I go outside and she runs around and avoids me. Only, the other night, she was seeing how close I could get before dancing away.

I had a finger wrapped around her collar and she darted sideways, there was a stump blocking my foot, and I fell down, right on top of her.

Didn't hurt the dog.
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Old 09-28-2012, 01:43 PM   #24
graham christian
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Re: Did aikido ever fail you?

Quote:
Jaredd Wilson wrote: View Post
I know this is full of aikidoka (myself included), but you guys are defensive. What I'm asking about is a learning experience. I've only had two hapenstances where aikido was used by myself, and I wanted to know if any had had an encounter where they went "Damn, that didn't work the way I wanted it to. Why didn't it work?" That's all. I'm not attacking the integrity of the martial art, it's purpose in the world, or its relevance. Yes I know its about the training. I'm trying to engage in a dialogue with like minded individuals who differ in experience from me.

Or could it be that we are just superior, and never engage in conflict?
I don't see anyone being defensive. Maybe you should reword your question as I see it has been answered many times. The common theme being that most learned it didn't work because they didn't apply well. Same with getting a maths question wrong or anything else.

A good understanding of anything never fails you so that is the only lesson to be learned really.

By the way, every time I have used it and it hasn't failed I have learned something new also.

Thus learning isn't through failure but through humility.

Peace.G.
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Old 09-29-2012, 01:38 AM   #25
Andrew Macdonald
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Re: Did aikido ever fail you?

ok not a practical situation but i know of someone who aikido has failed completely

even though she has stuided for quiet a while and achieved a dan grade (nidan) she seems ot have learned nothing along the way. she is self obessed, lack communication skills, and is intolerant of people who learn a little slower when she is taking the class. which luckily isn;t often due to her job.

In this instance i feel that aikido is failing her, what has she got a bunch of techniques that she can admittedly do well but nothing else. and remians unable to function well in normal society becaus eof her attitude towards people. she spends her time hiding in the dojo and wearinher hakama like a suit of armour.

we should be getting more out of our practice than just movement
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