I truly believe that once we make it pass 21 years of age, that we should be able to distinguish between fantasy and reality, but that is just not the case with Aikido as a so-called fighting system of self defense. Practitioners of this art are so into the ancient cultural romance and all of the fables that surround it, that it’s a crying shame. I know that even wearing the traditional loose fitting oriental garb with the white fold over top and the over-sized black baggy pants that can double as a skirt, makes even the most inept and unprepared to fight feel cool and combat-ready, when in fact in a real street fight, they would probably get the dust kicked out of their pants.
Reason # 1 Why It Is Ineffective – It It Too Passive – In this system, you must wait for your assailant to move or make the first strike. This is against the precepts of all street fighting common sense. YOU should always strike first after all attempts at negotiating are off. There is a book written by Morihei Ueshiba, the founder, called (Are you ready for this?) “The Art of Peace.” A written review of one of his loyal followers went like this. “Although being a man of peace, he fully understood when force must be used, and even as an old man of 81, he could take on almost any number of opponents, defeat them, but leave them unharmed.” Yeah. In crazy land!! Man, with that kind of fighting love and compassion, he could kick my a… any day of the week! I wouldn’t mind at all. I mean, he could hurt me–and–leave me unharmed! That’s some awesome stuff!
Reason # 2 Why It Is Ineffective – There Are No Strikes – You are totally dependent on your opponent’s first moves or strikes against you. The theory is that you are supposed to be able to go with the movement of the attacker allowing him to “throw himself” to the ground. This system also presupposes that there will always be ample room to fight to be able to throw, flip and twirl opponents across a room. What if you are in very close quarters fighting with lots of furniture all around you?
Reason # 3 Why It Is Ineffective – Aikido Hinges A Little Too Much On Highly Unpredictable And Hard-To-Control Metaphysical Concepts Such As “Ki” Energy – The theory is that we can summon “Universal Energy” from what is called the One Point, a location three inches below the navel where the “ki” energy is stored. When channeled up from the One Point, through the arms and hands, you are suddenly given almost supernatural strength and abilities to control your opponent. It is highly questionable that the average person under the stress and dangers of a real street confrontation, with the heartbeat racing at a rate higher than 180 beats per minute, that he or she would be able to relax enough to channel one’s “ki” energy from the navel throughout the arms and palms of the hand to become an instant action hero with super-human powers. As soon as he or she would see the blade of the knife or barrel of the gun, the accelerated heart rate would create the inevitable adrenaline dump which would trigger the immediate fight or flight response. Since the practitioner of this system is not trained to act but only to react, their reaction is not likely to be the “fight” response but rather the “flight” response. How you train is how you fight.
Aikido moves portrayed while it is being demonstrated on stage are graceful, artistic, cool and beautiful. And even though the audience may cheer and applaud with total abandon, they are still only celebrating the choreographed moves of the greatest system of fighting fantasy ever created.