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Old 11-30-2005, 01:22 AM   #1
LadyLailah
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Aikido and Self Defense

Hi all,

Apologies if this topic has been covered before.

What I need is to not only defend myself, but more so others. Also to teach others in the foreseeable future. I'm focused a lot more on defense than offense. Current plans are to attend the National Aikido Federation in Bristol, as I see Aikido as the best art to train for this.

But it's been suggested that Aikido alone may not be sufficient for the level of defense I want. With this in mind I haven't enough knowledge or experience to decide if Aikido is best

If anyone has any opinions or suggestions I would be grateful

V
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Old 11-30-2005, 06:00 AM   #2
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Aikido and Self Defense

I'd say start with one thing (for example aikido) give it a really good shot (train at least three times a week for a while, preferably much more) and then see what you think.

In other words, stop speculating about it, and get to training.

kvaak
Pauliina
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Old 11-30-2005, 06:10 AM   #3
Tim Gerrard
 
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Re: Aikido and Self Defense

I agree with Pauliina, get training and don't expect the quick fix. But my advice is do one to start with, any more and it'll just get confusing, as you may recieve conflicting advice/instruction. Pick one, and go for it whole heartedly.

Aikido doesn't work? My Aikido works, what on earth are you practicing?!
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Old 11-30-2005, 06:56 AM   #4
ad_adrian
 
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Re: Aikido and Self Defense

let me say this, stay long enough in aikido and it will do what u want and more for u,
but dont expect it to happen over night
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Old 11-30-2005, 07:09 AM   #5
LadyLailah
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Re: Aikido and Self Defense

Maybe I didn't put enough information in the post. I'm not looking for a quick fix and don't expect anything to happen over night, I'm also aware I should choose one and stick to it. What I'm hoping for is an experienced opinion on whether Aikido is a suitable art to choose for the level of defense I want, before I make a final decision
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Old 11-30-2005, 07:14 AM   #6
Mark Uttech
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Re: Aikido and Self Defense

Beware of ambition.
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Old 11-30-2005, 07:23 AM   #7
LadyLailah
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Re: Aikido and Self Defense

Of course focusing strongly on a goal can be a hindrance, but what I want is advice to help get on the right foot. Admittedly I have a good idea of which direction I want to go in, but I don't think I'm ambitious at all
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Old 11-30-2005, 07:29 AM   #8
afwen
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Re: Aikido and Self Defense

What level of defense do you want?

Life is like a long journey with a heavy load. --Tokugawa Ieyasu
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Old 11-30-2005, 07:36 AM   #9
Tim Gerrard
 
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Re: Aikido and Self Defense

To expand on the above, What level of defence do you want, and how soon do you wish to attain this? Aikido is a Martial Art, it is not a self defence system, you can apply a martial art to a situation, or you can do a self defence course if you want a few basic moves/counters to your usual mugger. I believe Aikido to work, I have made it work in the real world, but that was after about 3 years practice. Aikido and all MAs take time to master, but doing something like Karate, Kickboxing could give you more conifidence in a self defence situation sooner than Aikido can, as the attacks are more 'real world' than something like Ai-Hanmi, to be honest, when you first start it takes a bit of imagination as how this is a realistic attack.
Not entirely what I hoped to get across, but I'm at work, and time is short.

My 2 bob

Tim

Aikido doesn't work? My Aikido works, what on earth are you practicing?!
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Old 11-30-2005, 07:58 AM   #10
happysod
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Re: Aikido and Self Defense

I'm with Tim here - I would not recommend training solely in aikido as the quickest way of imparting the methods for basic self defense. Most dojos, while they may be martial in intent, are really interested in teaching you aikido.

My suggestions for a quicker "fix" on this would be a combination of boxing (and or full-contact kickboxing) to give you a good base in dealing with strikes (both receiving and giving them) and some form of jujitsu - which would include aikido to my mind.

I don't like most of the self-defense courses I've be exposed to as they're just too short and often rely on one-shot pain compliance techniques which frankly only work if your attacker is a wuss (or you get incredibly lucky).

If your goal is solely self defense in a short space of time, you'll also have to accept the fact that you're going to have to train hard and that you're going to get damaged and hurt to a large degree.

Anyway, good luck and I'd still suggest aikido as (a) I'm biased and (b) it's something that'll last you a lifetime when you move away from the basics.

(OT - no weapons suggestions please, in the UK you get done if your handkerchief is too sharp - yes even canes...)
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Old 11-30-2005, 08:08 AM   #11
SeiserL
 
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Re: Aikido and Self Defense

Level of self/other-defense? What is the threat assessment? What is the intent and intensity of attack and defense?

While IMHO Aikido can provide a viable means of self-defense at almost all levels, it does take more patience and practice to get there, so another art maybe more practical. I personally have long trained in FMA (Filipino Martial Arts/Kali/Escrima/Arnis) and find it very practical and very learn-able. Blends well with Aikido too.

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 11-30-2005, 09:53 AM   #12
roosvelt
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Re: Aikido and Self Defense

The quickest defense is a decisive offence. I was reading a book called "spy manual", which is a actual manual to train spy in the war II. The emphasis in the close hand combat is "attack first, keep attacking until your oppenent is dead." and "if you have this mentality, you'll be very dangerous even to a much well trainned opponents. all the locks and throw in aikido were discounted. The boxing punch was highly discouraged too. They reason "if you have the capability to apply any of the fancy technique, you can do better with the basic methods teached here.". The motheds are

1. hammer fist to head, throat, neck, arm, and stomach.

2. open parm to the throat, face.

3. kneel to the fork (crotch)

4. fingers to the eyes.

5. elbows to the chin.

Of course the very very first choice would be knife to the throat if you have a knife handy. And conveniently they are trained to carry a double edged knife at all time. They said "the only proven ways against a knife is fire arm or ran like hell." I think the aikido knife technique is most for show only not a real life application.

Oh, back to aikido. I don't think aikido is an easy defence art to learn. If you train regularly in aikido for 5 years, I don't think you can improve your sefl-defense skill much.
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Old 11-30-2005, 09:57 AM   #13
Nick Simpson
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Re: Aikido and Self Defense

Quote:
I was reading a book called "spy manual"


Quote:
If you train regularly in aikido for 5 years, I don't think you can improve your sefl-defense skill much.
Eh?

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 11-30-2005, 11:22 AM   #14
Tim Gerrard
 
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Re: Aikido and Self Defense

Quote:
Roosvelt Freeman wrote:
I was reading a book called "spy manual"
Reading isn't the same as Training

Quote:
Roosvelt Freeman wrote:
Of course the very very first choice would be knife to the throat if you have a knife handy. And conveniently they are trained to carry a double edged knife at all time.
In Britain it's called carrying an offensive weapon in a public place and isn't a good Idea

Quote:
Roosvelt Freeman wrote:
Oh, back to aikido. I don't think aikido is an easy defence art to learn. If you train regularly in aikido for 5 years, I don't think you can improve your sefl-defense skill much.
Have you actually trained in Aikido at all, let alone 5 years? If you have and still have this idea, then I don't think Aikido is the one for you, go and find a Krav Maga class, and learn to tear people's windpipes out.

Aikido doesn't work? My Aikido works, what on earth are you practicing?!
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Old 11-30-2005, 11:50 AM   #15
roosvelt
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Re: Aikido and Self Defense

Quote:
Tim Gerrard wrote:

If you have and still have this idea, then I don't think Aikido is the one for you, go and find a Krav Maga class, and learn to tear people's windpipes out.
So you think in the self-defense perspective, Krav maga is more effective and quick to learn?
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Old 11-30-2005, 03:23 PM   #16
DaveO
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Re: Aikido and Self Defense

Victoria. First; since I haven't yet had the opportunity; let me welcome you to the Aikiweb.
I sense in your initial post you have a specific reason for asking - you require these skills for professional reasons? Parental? From your post I suspect it's your kid(s) you're concerned about - if so; I applaud you.

Either way; before learning to defend others; you must of course learn to defend yourself; basic common sense. Aikido is an excellent tool for learning the fundamentals of defense; so long as you don't get wired into 'mat thinking'. IOW; strive to not only learn techniques and how to do them; but also why they work - the underlying fundamental principles of movement, kinesiology, conflict avoidance and resolution. Also; study defense as an entity separate from martial arts - the two are very different, if overlapping at a small point, circles. (Picture a venn diagram and you've got the basic idea.)

If you're looking for an art that will complement aikido; I could make a case for just about any established art - aikido is extremely complementary. Personally I'd recommend silat or kenpo for a good blend of defensive attack/reactive skills. This gives range and flexibility in a defensive situation. Judo would also be very helpful - many aikidoists here are judoka as well - giving an aikidoist ability in both the clinch and grappling ranges. I'd personally shy away from MMA and kickboxing arts - don't misunderstand; I have a great deal of respect and liking for many of them; but they don't blend as well with aikido and are less effective in a purely defensive context.

While you're looking around and trying things out; a couple of points to consider:
1) Defense happens from the ground up. Structure, stability and balance are critically important. Without them, you can't move or act effectively. This is doubly true when acting in defense of another; where the need to move with speed and get in front of the person attacking your charge is paramount. Aikido teaches this well; but there are a great many drills and techniques that are non-martial and defense-specific.
2) Defense happens long before the attack happens. What you do, how you act and what plans you make have a huge effect on determining whether you or your chare may be attacked - an attacker can't assault someone that isn't there, and won't attack someone if he thinks he might not get away with it. (The exception here is high-level security; and if you were in that field; you wouldn't be asking this question. ) Upshot: If a school that advertises 'defense' is not teaching you the skills required to avoid a hostile encounter and is instead teaching strictly physical stuff; it's not teaching you defense - move on.
3) Self defense and Martial Arts are not the same thing - see 2). If your goal is to learn effective defense, martial arts is a good start; but remember an MA's true value is not in its defensive skills; but rather its life skills. To lean defense; study defense.

Personally of course; I'd recommend you start with this site. Marc's a superb teacher with decades of grim real-world experience behind him - he's a voice you can trust.

Good luck; and let us know how you progress!

Answers are only easy when they're incomplete.
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Old 11-30-2005, 03:38 PM   #17
LadyLailah
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Re: Aikido and Self Defense

Thanks for all the input.

I'm really not looking for a "quick fix" and have no idea where this impression came from. I intend to spend the rest of my life training, not just for what I want to achieve but because it's what I enjoy more than anything else.

I'm confident now that if I put the years and comitment into training, Aikido will be as good as any other art I could learn, possibly better than the likes of kick boxing, which I have no time for after practising this in the past.
I understand there may be some techniques that are hard to do, but certainly not impossible. If, in years to come I find any gaps in the training I want, I can seek this elsewhere while still practising Aikido
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Old 11-30-2005, 03:51 PM   #18
LadyLailah
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Re: Aikido and Self Defense

Thank you Dave, that was extremely helpful!

You're right in sensing a reason behind it. If I ever discover what that reason is, I'll let you know It's not just those close to me, but anyone who should require it, regardless of if I think they deserve it even

I agree that defense starts long before any physical contact, and have always had a sense of that. I've spent a lot of time with "myself" mentally, it's certainly time to look at the physical side now

I'll have a look at that site. Thank you again
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Old 11-30-2005, 04:54 PM   #19
Tim Gerrard
 
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Re: Aikido and Self Defense

Quote:
Roosvelt Freeman wrote:
So you think in the self-defense perspective, Krav maga is more effective and quick to learn?
No, what I'm getting at, is by you reading spy handbooks, you assume that the same principles, and motivation apply to Aikido. The kind of unarmed combat that these guys learn is how to Ultraviolence someone into submission/kill them, in the quickest time possible, in the most aggressive way possible, to neutralise a threat, that is it, not to look after Uke, or use 'reasonable' force. It is not pretty nor is it graceful to watch.

The only thing on the widespread market is Krav Maga, developed by the Israelis as their Army's combat system.

All MA after a period of time provide self defence skills but it is up to the practicitioner to apply the principles to the situation.

My original point was, you seem to be interested in the world of sneaky-beaky ninja stuff, thought I'd point you in the direction of what I think you'd be interested in.

Aikido doesn't work? My Aikido works, what on earth are you practicing?!
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Old 11-30-2005, 06:07 PM   #20
Ketsan
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Re: Aikido and Self Defense

Quote:
Roosvelt Freeman wrote:
So you think in the self-defense perspective, Krav maga is more effective and quick to learn?
Dunno about move effective but certainly quicker to learn.
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Old 11-30-2005, 09:54 PM   #21
xuzen
 
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Re: Aikido and Self Defense

Quote:
Victoria Tonks wrote:
Hi all,

Apologies if this topic has been covered before.

What I need is to not only defend myself, but more so others. Also to teach others in the foreseeable future. I'm focused a lot more on defense than offense. Current plans are to attend the National Aikido Federation in Bristol, as I see Aikido as the best art to train for this.

But it's been suggested that Aikido alone may not be sufficient for the level of defense I want. With this in mind I haven't enough knowledge or experience to decide if Aikido is best

If anyone has any opinions or suggestions I would be grateful

V
Dear Vicky,

When asking question like this, being vague will definitely get very vague answers. In other words... we need more specific info / detail to give informed answers.

E.g.,
Patient: I want a good pain killer.
Doctor: What type of pain or injury are you suffering?

Patient: Just give me your best painkiller.
Doctor: Err... all are good painkiller, but without knowing more about your condition, I can't make an informed judgement.

See what I mean.

So more information please.

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 12-01-2005, 01:33 AM   #22
Nick Simpson
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Re: Aikido and Self Defense

Im thinking caped crusader. Anyone else?

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 12-01-2005, 01:49 AM   #23
LadyLailah
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Re: Aikido and Self Defense

Well thank you very much Nick
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Old 12-01-2005, 01:56 AM   #24
LadyLailah
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Re: Aikido and Self Defense

Sorry Xu, I'm not the best when it comes to words...

What it boils down to is if Aikido alone, in the long run, would provide a high level of defense skills - If not, is there anything that could accompany your Aikdo training

This thread has certainly made me think about a few things. Thank you for your input
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Old 12-01-2005, 02:45 AM   #25
Nick Simpson
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Re: Aikido and Self Defense

No probs. Peeps have already given you some great advice, but just to quickly add my thoughts on the matter:

Yes, If trained in correctly, with the right people and the right attitude, Aikido can be great for learning self defense skills/Avoiding violent confrontations altogether. Give it 2 or 3 years though, just a rough number, but I would reckon after that time you would have a good idea of what you could expect to reap from your committment.

Other things to think about that I would recommend, this is all simple stuff, not rocket science:

1) Boxing. One of the most important things you can learn is how to take a punch. It's hard to learn this 100% (as of course, a punch can kill, sometimes) but boxing will definately help with this. Also great to incoporate the idea of uke actually hitting you if you dont evade their attack correctly into your aikido once you get some skill/confidence under the belt. And of course, Im pretty sure you would learn how to punch properly as well as get some very useful fitness training and body conditiong, which is something that a lot of aikidoka overlook or perhaps dont practise as much as they should (myself included at the mo ).

2) Judo. Yes, go for it, awesome stuff. Will improve your balance and centre a lot. Gives you more skills to play with and an insight into clinches and a closer more fight oreintated range. Effective stuff and from all accounts I've heard, a little knowledge in this has at some point later been apllied by folks as SD and helped them out. Even with little training. It will possibly improve your aiki, if nothing else. Two words: Resistance training.

3) Kali/escrima. Knives are scary. Bad people know this. This is why they use them. You want to survive for longer periods of time against a knife? These arts might just give you an insight into just how dangerous a knife can be. Respect the knife, srsly.

4)Muay Thai: Again like boxing this will learn you how to be hit and will REALLY toughen up your body and fitness. But generally less accessible than boxing, so, you know, whatever works for you. The guy's who train properly train in camps all week and swim in rivers, run and train all day every day from a young age. Obviously you cant do that over here in day to day life, but there is some valuable things to think about.

Anyways, theres also a lot to be said for BJJ and perhaps Krav Maga, but it's something I have very little experiance with and I would agree that Judo will blend more with your aikido. I hope that helps

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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