“Peace” by Gregor Erdmann

One of the main characteristics of aikido is it aim to see a peaceful resolution to conflict. It has after all been referred to the “Art of Peace” by its founder. As in our mind we do not wish to ‘hurt’ our partner, the use of atemi in training can become largely cosmetic.

If your aikido technique is such that you cannot strongly strike your opponent’s vulnerabilities and are unable to completely disable your attacker, you are probably deluding yourself. The aikidoka should be able to promote peace by choice, not out of necessity. You are not really qualified to fly the peace banner if you are actually incapable of hurting your attacker in the first place.

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  1. bruce baker says:

    Peace is relative to what the situation at hand requires.

    It is like children on the play ground one-up-ing each other.

    Fists, sticks, bullets, grenades, atom bombs? OR mommy grabbing her kid and giving the little brat a spanking for fighting and saying bad words? What is the necessity of the situation to bring peace, to leave a lesson to be learned by the individual?

    What is your capability for the situation at hand?

    Lately, words seem to be the weapons of choice, and ideas are the bullets of choice, but then when it comes to “put up or shut-up” only words and ideas remain with broken promises of deeds-undone. I speak of politics, of laws, of many people in your life and in the media who have taken to their agenda without completing the promises of their words or ideas.

    Bottom line … do you have the tools, the abilities … to back up your words and ideas? In the simple situation of an attack … can you use the maximum required for each situation without losing your head or endangering yourself or others?

    Maybe you should study the strikes, the pressure points, the numbing techniques that we don’t use for Aikido practice but are just a fraction of an inch away from the practice techniques? Yeah, there is a capability of adding many strikes, kicks, and very effective techniques to aikido, but you have find them for yourself. Hopefully, it won’t be during a fight or an attack when it is too little too late.

  2. Very well said. I spotted very early on the openings presented by using aikido techniques. Tae Kwon Do fighting many years ago; As I grew older, the ability to close with my students while sparring became rather illusive. I had to wait for them to come close with hand techniques rather than kicking in order to apply my counters. Then I began to study Aikido. Wow, what a difference a few years makes.

  3. Having taught in Chinese Kenpo and Hapkido schools, I’m not THAT impressed with kicking attacks. Some of the falls are pretty hard, which is the main obstacle to practicing techniques from them. There are some atemi in aikido delivered with the knee, very few that can safely be delivered with the foot. Still, it’s a good idea to practice ALL your atemi, on air if you’re over forty. It keeps your body mindful of the moves. In techniques, I’ve found that overemphasis on atemi makes for choppy forms with hard corners. Motion stops and it’s hard to get going again. Underemphasis leads to artificiality and “consent” practice. As Bob Nadeau sensei put it once with some acerbity, “I’ll tank for you. You tank for me. We’ll call it harmony.”

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