Ever been in a fight? Not the playground type? A proper one? Highly unlikely for the vast majority of people. The chances of it happening to you are very, very slim. However, if you have, you will know the unpredictable, unstructured, fast nature of one.
So, as a beginner will Aikido, or any martial art for that matter, mean you’re suddenly Bruce Lee’ing your way out… absolutely not. In fact, my personal opinion, it is highly likely to be more detrimental to odds of success than if you flailed about like a demented windmill.
This is not because Aikido isn’t a very capable martial art but it’s you or me, the beginner, we’re not skilled yet. If you have to think about what your going to do or you try to direct the conflict into a direction so as to apply an Aikido move…. then unfortunately it’s unlikely the outcome will be in your favour… Only very competent trained individuals are likely to instinctively respond to the random nature of a street fight.
So, if it is no good in a fight for a beginner, what’s the point training in Aikido?
Well, here’s my thinking.
First, remember Aikido is a defensive martial art. The intention is not to instigate a conflict but to safely extricate yourself from one.
As you train, unknowingly your awareness is improving, your responses are getting faster and you’re developing abilities to control your breathing, body and mind. As these develop subconsciously, they are laying the foundation to being able to control yourself in threatening situations, both physical and verbal through the application of skills and technique.
So finally, when to use Aikido… as a beginner, use it to help your daily “normal” life. Let it help you manage day-to-day stressful situations and conflicts by developing a confidence and calmness that this martial art brings. Use the exercises to improve your coordination and responsiveness. Use it to avoid conflict but if not possible, to reduce the impact of conflict. Ultimately at this stage of skill development avoid over self-confidence in your abilities and walk away. ?
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