Monday, October 27, 2008

Do I worry about my aikido students?

The other day one of my students asked me, "do you ever worry about your black belt [aikido] students' ability to apply this stuff on the street?" My answer was simply, "no."
It's not because I think we have the best martial art around (even though I do think that) and it's not that I think I'm making these people invincible, because in a fight there is no such thing as a sure-thing. I simply have no worries about the efficacy of our aikido for two reasons:
  • - I trust my black belt students not to go out and get in fights.
  • - This art has been demonstrated to be extremely effective for self-defense by multiple people in our organization, multiple students of mine, and multiple of my friends that came up through the ranks with me. Sure, each of these cases by itself is pretty much anecdotal, but together they represent a pretty darn good body of evidence.


  1. "I trust my black belt students not to go out and get in fights."

    Probably the best advice any instructor can give his or her students, regardless of the system or art.


  2. What about your Judo black belts? I am kind of itchin to get in a scrap... =:>

  3. Chad, what judo guys lack in sense they make up for in toughness, so no, I don't worry about my judo black belts either ;-)

  4. Trust is good. But there are larger concerns lurking in the question.

    And I think it's fair to continually assess the effectiveness of one's art. Aikido is plagued by pretend attacks that lack realism. Not that that happens in your school, but...

    I teach Taiji and I must stay sunk in my heels to resist the continual efforts to degrade the martial nature of my art.


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