Thursday, August 13, 2009

Has aikido ever NOT worked?

Photo courtesy of Justin Lowery
You know, people are frequently complaining that aikido sucks because it's not this, or because it's not that. I can't count the times that I've been told that aikido sucks for self defense. I have written more than a handful of articles defending aikido as a pragmatic martial discipline and as an effective self-defense. Then it struck me, none of these folks that I've ever heard complaining about the viability of aikido have ever cited any actual experiences in which aikido has failed in self-defense. Their complaints are based on their personal theories of combat.
So here's your opportunity. I want to know...
  • Have you ever heard of an aikido practitioner of any experience failing to defend himself in any sort of physical confrontation?
  • If so, what were the conditions? Multiple attackers, weapons, ambush? Why did the aikido fail?
Note, I don't want to hear that you think aikido sucks because it's too slow or too soft or only compliant partners or no resistive sparring or etc... I don't want to hear complaints based on your theories and fantasies about combat. But I DO want to hear details if you have ever actually heard or seen an aikido person get beat up. I'll go first...
I recall reading a long time ago that the founder of aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, got mad at a bunch of kids that had beat up his young son, Kisshomaru. According to the story, Morihei got so enraged that he ran at the kids to catch them and beat them up, but they evaded and laughed at him. OSensei supposedly got so careless in his frustration that he tripped and fell into a mud puddle, embarassing himself.
Ok, that's my story. If y'all don't give me some more stories then I'll assume that aikido has only failed once in the last hundred years. That will give me lots of great advertising ammo - having a claim similar to Helio Gracie's ;-)
Patrick Parker, is a Christian, husband, father, judo and aikido teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: or phone 601.248.7282
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