Sunday, November 25, 2007

One of the most frequent question people ask about aikido is this: Would aikido be useful in a street fight?

Here's my answer: Well, unless you're a 4th or 5th dan, I really don't encourage you to get into a street fight with only an aikido. (maybe aikido plus a big iron rod ... but even then).

But then again, how many times you get involved in a street fight? (Please quit reading if your answer is more than 20 ... per day).

Aikido is all about love and peace, sugar and spice and everything nice. But aikido still resides in the real world and the real world is full of confrontations. We, as human, would face confrontations everyday, from our bosses, our children, our spouses, our friends, our coworkers etc. Heck, we even have confrontation with ourselves.

I really think that aikido, despite not being that useful in confronting a gang of thugs, is very powerful in confronting these day to day stuff. (and no I'm not suggesting an irimi nage on your nagging wife) .

Aikido is made of two things, practices and values. One of the values of aikido is to absorb negative energy from the uke (attacker), transform it to positive and give it back to the uke. Imagine in a, say, maritial fight between husband and wife and the husband knows aikido and its values. The husband could first absorb any negative energy (i.e. let the wife speak her mind, let her finish with her katatedori if you prefer) . Transform that energy into positive without being destabilised (getting angry, blowing the proverbial fuse, using adirect counter attack etc.) and send it back (smile, say you're sorry and give her a hug .. ok ok , so you may get the old "don't touch me" but that's better than a race to see who can shout the loudest) .

Now you see how aikido can help with day to day confrontation.

Some may ask, these values are universal and anyone can use it. Sure, but what aikido does is to transform these values into practice so that, as human being, we can absorb it better. I.e. through practicing aikido, we internalise its values and can use it wherever these values are needed.

And that my friend, sure beat kicking a** in a street fight.

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