Aikido "Knife Techniques"


Aikido “knife technique” click here to view video.

Hmmmm. There is a lot of debate as to the effectiveness of the tanto techniques in Aikido.
Many practitioners, especially those following Tomiki-style practice would argue that the knife-taking techniques are efficient and martial. Others fall in the camp of “not martial but promote zanshin” point of view.

Hmmmm. A tricky one this.

Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to train on a regular basis with several police officers, body guards and jujutsu people, and the general consensus from these guys, all who at one time or another have been faced real people brandishing real pointy-things, is that 95% of the commonly taught aikido knife techniques are simply unworkable outside the dojo.

If you are unfortunate enough to be put in the position of having to defend yourself against a blade, the reality is that you are probably going to get cut – the important factor is how badly.

Here’s an interesting exercise. Get a practice tanto, and cover the blade with lipstick. Then get your partner to “attack” your body, not in a formal aiki way, but just at random. Use whatever aikido defense you can muster. You WILL get marked, 100% guaranteed.

What this tends to reveal is that you can stay relatively safe, by keeping your distance and accepting that your hands are there to project your body and vital organs.

I think it’s important that these techniques and skills are passed on, but I personally always teach them with a “disclaimer”, putting the focus upon what we can learn from the movement (the development of body movement, judgment of distance and getting accustomed to facing someone with a potentially lethal weapon) rather than on the pure self-defense aspect of the technique.

My feeling is your best form of self-defense against any weapon is to be out of range!

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2 Responses to Aikido "Knife Techniques"

  1. FiuzA says:

    I just wanted to say congratulations for your blog. It is quite interesting. Keep up the good work! :)Regards from a portuguese aikidoka

  2. Thanks! Feel free to contribute.DF

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