Real World…Real Aikido
The Aikido Techniques of Morihei Ueshiba are sometimes accused of being too soft for real combat. Such a statement merely shows that a person doesn’t know the nasty tricks underneath this wonderful art. One should remember, however, that this art is derived from Aikijujitsu, which art was taken directly from the battlefield some thousands years ago.
Before continuing, let me say that this article doesn’t propose the use of purely destructive techniques. After all, studying an art for the purity of harmony should provide one with a philosophy that will enable one to avoid fights. That said, understanding the deadlier techniques will enhance the student’s understanding of techniques, and in the event that the philosophy proves insufficient to the moment…one will have the extra tools.
Something every Aikido student understands is the importance of break falls, called ukemi, and rolls. Thus, instead of placing an attacker gently on the mat, one could place them ungently. Simply throw your attacker in a manner in which he will be unable to roll, and thus will encounter injury.
Another trick, related to the first, is to throw the attacker into something. When Uke offers his attack, simply extend the circle of your defense a little too long, or a little too short, and throw your attacker into a wall, over a curb, into a glass window, over a cliff…you get the idea. Practicing this, with caution, in a dojo, will actually enable you to find more harmony when you do the throw to the correct proportion.
There are several jointlocks which, if taken to the extreme, will render your opponent broken. Any jointlock can be enhanced by taking it too far. Again, knowing how to do this (cautiously and with care in the dojo) will enable one to find more harmony in the actual martial arts technique.
The best way, of course, is to undertake a study of Atemi. Atemi are the strikes that were taken out of Daito Ryu Aki jujitsu, thus helping the transition into Aikido. One can study strikes through the practice of any hard style martial art, even boxing or MMA, and then simply incorporate them into Aikido techniques.
The final method for making your Aikido into a less than solely defensive art is to hold weapons while you practice it. You can practice this by wearing a white tee shirt and holding red markers. This is safe, educational, and a heck of a lot of fun!
In closing, I reiterate that Aikido is best fulfilled when one sticks to the purity of the founder and seeks harmony in the spirit. That said, one should insure that their martial art is sufficient to the task, and not just an empty tiger. Learning how to make your Aikido techniques more aggressive and damaging to an opponent through the advice of this article is a good start.
Here’s a great Aikido Article about Morihei Ueshiba.