Ethan_K asked in SportsMartial Arts · 1 decade ago

Is Aikido an effective martial art for self defense?

There are some Aikido classes on my campus and I was wondering if it really is effective for self defense, because I'm thinking of going to them. If so, how long does it usually take to become proficient in it?

14 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    I think to consider whether Aikido is effective or not look to an Aikidoka black belt level and beyond. This is a good rule of thumb for any martial art.

    Now, I believe, approximately, an Aikido black belt, generally, takes 8 years of dedicated practice.

    So, observing an Aikido black belt what do you see and not see?

    You do see:

    - The Aikidoka defending against various handstrikes to his head.

    - The attacker is generally running at him with these strikes.

    - Aikido can be done from a sitting on your knees position.

    - Speed, quickness, agility.

    - Select striking. Aikido has strikes but are normally blended in with the throws to help throw a person easier.

    - Various types of throws.

    - Quick Reactions.

    - High level of skill.

    - A, mostly, defense only approach.

    - A calm, reacting mind.

    - The attacker landing in an Aikido pin with their face to the floor.

    - Wrist locks

    - Various defenses against upper body grabs

    - Defenses against weapons.

    - Defenses against multiple attackers.

    Some of the things you do NOT (or rarely) see:

    - Defense against kicks

    - Defense against a wrestler who shoots to the legs.

    - No ground defenses from the bottom.

    - No full-contact, with full resistance, sparring or competitions.

    - Attacks.

    - Lots of punching, kicking, and various strikes to beat an oponnet to submission or K.O. him.

    - The use of brute strength.

    So, Aikido has it's advantages & disadvantages. I think for people to say it is total garbage is ridiculous. It is obious an Aikido black belt could defend himself against an attacker. Could he be successfull against any attack or attacker in the world? No, of course not! But, this is true for other martial arts too. Just watch an Aikido black belt at those classes you are taking. Watch Aikido black belts here on YouTube. I think it's safe to say they have reasonable self-defense ability.

    But, you know, Aikido is not invincible by a long shot. It is vulnerable to a good grappler. I see this as it's central weakness. This is not to say an Aikidoka could not defend himself against a good grappler. But, the grappler would have a strong advantage if they were to play a who is a better grappler game. The Aikidoka would be toast on the ground against a good grappler. It is very weak in this area. A shoot to the legs could probably take them down too. The Aikidoka also does not test his skills full-contact. So, he misses out on the strong benefits that brings. He does not learn: how he well he can take a hit, how calm he can be under attack, what throws-pins-techniques-strategies work well (for him) and what doesn't, how well his endurance will hold up, if he can figure a solution to wherever the fight goes, etcetra. Things a good sparring session/competitions can teach you. So, Aikido has it's weaknesses for sure.

    But, on the top levels Aikido is about prinicples as well as techniques. It has been said that even though an Aikidoka hasen't faced a particular attack doesn't mean he can't find some way to apply the principles and techinques he has learned to face it. A read a story one time of an Aikidoka who faced a Muay Thai Kickboxer. The Aikidoka never learned how to face kicks. But, he managed to take the Muay Thai Kickboxer and pin him. So, it is possible for the Aikidoka to find ways even though he hasn't specifically trained in a particular area.

    How long does it take to be effective? The opinions vary a lot on that question! Some say 2 years, others say 10 years, the rest say never! I would say from my experience in Aikido's parent art Aiki Jiu Jitsu (2 yr. of it), study of Aikido through reading, observation, and being a new student of Aikido, 3 years. I would say, on the average, most people would agree with 3 years as being basically ready for a 1 vs. 1, unarmed, unskilled attacker. It does take a while. It is a complicated style to study.

    So, you wouldn't go wrong studying Aikido for self-defense. You just have to be really patient and dedicated with it. If you want a quicker martial art to learn for self-defense, and probably help you defend against more specific attacks, they are out there, Judo being one of them. So, it is your choice. I hope this helps you.

  • 1 decade ago

    I believe that any martial art can be effective with a lot of practice and hard work. It sounds really corny but it is the truth.

    But once you get past that, i think that there are a few thing to consider. Such as your body type and who you are athletically. Maybe you are on the stronger side of most people. That strength would be to your advantage. But at the same time, that could make a "gentle" martial art such as Aikido easier for you.

    Also, are you a person who has a quick reaction time. Certain martial arts involve blocking which works better for someone who is a little slower on their feet. In aikido, it revolves more around counters or reversals. You are using the opponents strength and technique against them. But this means that you must not only anticipate their attack, but use it against them and do all of this in the time of as low as 1 second.

    Aikido is also known to take longer to become proficient in. So if these classes are something that you plan on taking for a year to just get a background in self defense, maybe you should look for something else. But if this is something that you will be committed to, say as much to 5 years (the time it usually takes to become proficient) then definitely go for it.

    So, consider all the things above, and then make your choice. Remember, if you think Aikido isn't for you, then don't just settle for it because it is on your campus. There are tons of different martial arts out there. Good luck

  • Miriam
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    There is no best martial arts.That is like saying what is the best color yellow or purple. People can only give an opinion not based upon facts. For those that said krav magna. It is not a martial art. It is a fighting system. It uses techniques from martial arts. the same things are taught in other martial arts. Other martial arts teach a lot more than you will ever learn in krav magna. It is nothing more than a women self defense class. That means your training is limited. The ideal about woman's self defense class is to get you to join the real class for more and better training. MMA is not a martial art. It was not made for self defense. It was created to make money through sports. It is designed to win in the ring, not to save your life. However, because the techniques they often use comes from several martial arts I believe they will survive a one on one attack with no weapons. What you see in a karate, tkd tournament is light sparring, but depending on the school that is not all you will see in the dojo or dojang. People need to do their own research instead of parroting what they have heard. I could tell you to learn one of the arts that I teach. They are the best! That would be a lie. They were the best for me, but not for everyone. The techniques we teach do work. But these techniques are taught in practically every art. Those techniques may have been slightly altered, but they still work. You need to find a good instructor. You need to learn how to apply what has been taught. You must be dedicated to learning and perfecting your art. You must also have patience. Rome wasn't built in a day. But it was built! There are good and bad school in every art or combative systems. You have to find the right school for you that you can afford.

  • 1 decade ago

    Tsk tsk tsk...some people here seem to think the only way to address a self-defense situation is by meeting force with force. This is what an "MMA Mentality" does to you - it makes you think combat only happens one way. There are many situations where it is inappropriate or not required or not economical.

    I've actually used Aikido in several self-defense situations and with satisfactory results. Technique is effective but the individual makes it work.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Its all about technique dude,most martial arts teach the same principles they just use different strategys and techniques.A master in aikido would just be as dangerous as a master in kung fu in a self defence situation against some thugs who are looking for trouble.

  • 1 decade ago

    Aikido's approach is a tough one to put to use in any short time frame. Even after many years of practice, you generally don't ever apply it against real punches and kicks in training.

    Of course, it's all about what you want to get from the style. Since you said you wanted self-defense, I would not recommend that particular approach.

  • Dan
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Yes, but it'll take a while to get good at it. It's better for situations where you're facing more then one person, because then you need to save stamina, and aikido is all about efficiency.

    However, it's very hard. Using a persons force against them isn't that easy, because force always changes.

  • 1 decade ago

    Akkido is not a striking form. Its for self-defense and is mainly pressure points, and controlling holds. However, combine it with a good striking form like Karate, and you would be a well-rounded fighter.

    Martial arts require years of training. At least 3-5 years to be proficient and at least 10 to be at an expert level.

    Source(s): 15 years of Martial Arts (Aikido and Ju-Jitsu) 4 years as a Mixed Martial Artist
  • 1 decade ago

    All of you douche bags saying Aikido is useless are ******* retarded. The whole idea behind Aikido is is self defense. You use your attackers aggrssion against them.

  • Kokoro
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    aikido is very effective, it does take longer then other martial arts, it can take several years to become effective at it.

    aikido has no strikes its all about redirecting your opponent.

    if it wasn't effective, many police academy wouldn't use it, the reason they use it is because there is no strikes

    Source(s): 30+yrs ma
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