Lv 4
Ippon asked in SportsMartial Arts · 9 years ago

Would AIKIDO honestly be worth taking as practical self defense?

I took Aikijiujitsu for 2 years and was unsure about it. I saw some potential but, doubts entered in.

When others ask this question I ususally say it would after about 3 to 5 years or at a black belt level (8 years). But, even then it would be limited in a groundfight and it's lack of full contact grappling leaves room for doubt.

Do you agree with my views? Do you take Aikido? How does it rate for practical self defense in your opinion?

I'm open to seeing people's views that have taken actual Aikido and put some time in it. I realize sometimes we make too many snap judgements on different martial arts without having first hand experience.

15 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Best Answer

    Aikido is excellent self-defense, IF...

    * the instructor is good

    * you spend enough time learning it (years)

    Note: Aikido is a very misunderstood martial art, mainly because people only see the basics of it 99% of the time. In training the attackers don;t resist. In time they do resist. Because most people see only the basic training with non resisting attackers, Aikido gets a bad rap.


    Source(s): Martial arts training and research (more than 43 years) since 1967. Teaching martial arts (more than 37 years) since 1973.
  • Diane
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    From my experience, if you want a really practical (as in you can actually use it when you're on the street) system of self-defense, you should look up KRAV MAGA. All of the other martial arts are mainly for show (like really showy, cool-looking, and performance geared) or are philosophical (like Aikido, it focuses more on mental strength etc). For example, I've done Taikwondo ever since I was a kid until high school (I'm in college now), and I still can't even defend myself that well on the street. All I remember from TKD training is focusing on forms and breaking boards and stuff. Things that look good when you're performing in front of a crowd, but not very practical on the street. I've also done 2 years of Aikido. I actually really like the philosophy behind it. It's also pretty much an all-out defense art. But, again, it's not that practical when you're on the street. I don't have anything against the other arts. I think they're great for building confidence and developing a philosophy. It's just that when you're on the street, people don't play by the rules. The attacker isn't always going to use roundhouse kicks and straight punches. That's why I recommend KRAV MAGA, which teaches you how to deal with street situations where people play dirty: knee, knives, guns, uppercut, jab, etc. Check it out on wikipedia or youtube and learn a little bit about it to see if it suits you.

  • possum
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    I do take aikido (just over 2 years now), and I don't agree with you. It is not limited to ground fighting.

    Why would it be necessary to use full contact to get out of a situation requiring self-defense? That's the whole point of Aikido - use the opponent's own initiative against himself. The more force he applies, or the faster he goes, the worse off it is for him.

    In practice, when an opponent tries to attack an aikidoist, he should find himself scratching his head as if, "why am I doing this to myself". If course, if he has a weapon, the aikidoist is free to use as much force as s/he wants (well, even if there isn't a weapon, this can still be done).

    It is practical for self-defense. But like any martial art - and this is the key - it requires time and practice. Without either, no martial art's techniques are going to be effective - the practitioner has a skill that s/he does not know how to use. This is often one of the reasons taekwondo is bashed so much - people spend 3 years training to get a black belt with the idea that they are now an expert, only to get pounded and trounced when called on to use their skills. What they don't realize is that belt color has no effect on anything, and that they spent only a third of the requisite time to learn techniques that would be effective, had they spent more time. Many never come to realize this.

    So yes, it is very effective. It's philosophy keeps one out of the court rooms, too.

    There are actually 3 requisites for learning any martial art: time, practice, and good instruction. If you have good instruction, the rest is up to you.

  • 9 years ago

    Aikido is a very misunderstood - and misrepresented - martial art.

    If you look at most - if not all - aikido demonstrations or videos, what you see is the formal, stylized exercises. Aikido kata, if you will. But aikido training as a whole covers a lot more than that: striking drills, randori and jiyu-waza, ne-waza, etc. Yes, aikido also has full-contact grappling and ne-waza training, only with a different 'flavor' than what you see in, say, judo or BJJ. Aikido approaches these two concepts with an emphasis on staying in an upright and mobile position while utilizing atemi and joint locks. (Actually, if you look at some of judomofo's answers from some time ago about BJJ and self defense, this is quite similar to BJJ's approach for actual self defense as opposed to rolling in a controlled environment.)

    Contact and resistance is also handled differently due to aikido's focus on small joint locks; but it is there. Resistance training is usually reserved - for lack of a better word - for senior students because in aikido, adding resistance means that uke needs to be more "honest" about when nage's technique connects. This is also true for the majority of throws in aikido, which almost always utilize a joint lock or manipulate an uke's neck or head. Except maybe for hip and shoulder throws. We love slamming each other really hard while also - when being uke - trying our best to give nage a hard time.

    Also remember that later on in an aikidoka's training, kaeshi-waza or counter techniques will be introduced. This will usually end up looking a bit more like "realistic" training. Jiyu-waza and randori drills will also become harder and harder. Have you ever watched any of those multiple-uke demo videos where all of the uke simply rush toward nage holding their arms out in front of them? Well, what I remember most of multiple-uke randori is being stalked by a couple of my senpai, and finally brought down hard to the ground when they simultaneously pounced from opposite directions.

    Basically training in aikido is a long term investment - even when compared to other traditional/classical martial arts. So, whether it would be worth it or not depends on whether you are willing to invest your time - lots of it - into learning.

    However, all of that being said, it is true that there is a significant portion of aikido dojos that never go beyond the formal, stylized exercises. Some believe that aikido is "above" physical conflict and is all about self-development; some simply don't have a clue of what aikido really is. But there are good aikido dojos out there, and if you can find one, it can, IMHO, teach you a lot about self defense. Again, it takes time; and also a willingness to accept that aikido's approach towards many aspects of self defense might seem unconventional.

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  • 9 years ago

    Aikido is very effective, the catch is it takes a long time to learn, I've been in Aikido for 5 years because I love Aikido, If I had been primarily focused with self defense I would have taken something else. If your goal is simply self defense I reccommend, Japanese Jujutsu, Wing Chun, Kung Fu San Soo, Traditional Boxing, etc.

  • 9 years ago

    I've read and heard it takes years before it becomes useful, as the techniques are so specific - you need to everything just right. You said that lack of full contact leaves room for doubt, one post I saw said that once the opponents started resisting, the moves weren't effective at all. Of course I don't do Aikido so yeah...haha

  • 9 years ago

    Aikido is a beautfiul martial art and acn get you in touch with the culture and traditions of Japan. I have studied it for 10 years now and experienced several styles - including Yoshinkan and Aikikai. But do I believe it's effective for real self defence? I'd say probably not.

    After ten years yes there are techniques I could use very effectively but for most people who only want to know the 'basics' of how to defend themselves in a real situation I'd suggest street self defence is the solution.

    One of aikido's weaknesses is that it teaches defence from what I would call 'classic attack styles.' You usually start learning to defend from 'shomen' attack which is a strike from above to the forehead. Other than someone maybe hitting you over the head with a bottle this just isn't a real attack. In street self defence we learn basic short sharp defences from actual hits and grabs the guy in the street uses.

    In summary I love aikido and would encourage its study but for real self defence that you can learn quickly and use in real fights look elsewhere - ideally street self defence

  • 9 years ago

    I take Aikijitsu and I think mine is effective but then my teacher is a bit unusual too. My school is VERY traditional. I have visited other Aiki schools and with some I had my doubts. So as always it really boils down to the teacher you have and if you are getting the 'fluffy cloud and fuzzy bunny' version or what it really was intended for. Check into the history of Aiki and see what it was developed for. It was for the battlefield and to maim as many people in as short of a period of time as possible.

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  • Kokoro
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    aikido works for self defense it takes time to be able to use it. many police academies use aikido in there training.

    the bs stat of 90% of fights go to the ground is just that complete bs, it was made up by the gracies to promote bjj.

    both aikido and aikijujutsu both have grounding fighting, and do have full contact grappling, that more depends on the dojo you do to and the instructor

    Source(s): 30+yrs ma
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