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
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 takedowns.
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 different
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.