and Self Defense
The principle of aikido is to
blend in with the force or attack, join it and continue using
the other persons power along with your own power against them.
Aikido uses a system of leverage, finger, wrist and arm locks
to subdue their potential attacker.
Students spend a great deal of
time learning to fall and roll, usually on padded mats. This
is necessary as the practice of aikido requires practitioners
to be able to withstand various types of throws, sweeps and
Typically, after a couple of years
of training, students of aikido are able to defend themselves
from various type of open handed and weapon attacks.
Watching a skilled Aikido student
can be beautiful. It seems so effortless in their maneuvers
that they are able to send their would be attacker flying in
While this is all true in the
Aikido dojo, the questions remains, will they be able to really
execute this on the street?
To answer this we must look at
the typical effects of adrenal stress on most people, trained
or un-trained. One of the most devastating effects of the "adrenaline
dump" is the loss of fine motor coordination. The other is a
limited access to our cognitive thinking. Both of these factors
weigh heavily against the aikido practitioner.
While under a heavy surge of fear
induced adrenaline, it is hard to think very clearly or certainly,
very quickly. In an art like Aikido that requires a multitude
of highly technical techniques, it is doubtful whether most
would have mental access to this arrary of precision hand meneuvers.
Additionally the manual dexterity
required for most of the wrist manipulations would unlikely
be useful because of the loss of fine motor coordination during
the adrenaline stress of a real attack.
Our experience with our F.A.S.T.
Defense (Fear Adrenal Stress Response Training) training confirms
this. We have seen experienced Aikido practitioners fail to
apply these techniques while adrenalized.
Written by Shihan Michael Pace
Shihan Pace is the author of Street
Self Defense 101.