Aikido Defense


Aikido Defense
Original Poster: Kenjiru
Forum: Japanese Martial Arts
Posted On: 15-03-2007, 23:17

Orginal Post: Kenjiru: Hi all,

I am currently not training but thinking of taking up Aikido due to the many principles it has.

But from the clips i have seen of Aikido i havnt seen anyone like try and punch an Aikidoist ( sorry if not the right word for it).

Can anyone explain is there defense for a straight punch to the head or hook punch and if so care to explain ?

As would greatly alliervate alot of thinking and would greatly decide would i would like to train in.

Post: bamboo:

It depends on your dojo and your teacher and the willingness of others to experiment. My old teacher taught off of basic striking combinations and even worked with us to check kicks. Now, I’m not suggesting that this was part of the regular studies, it was simply his efforts to plant a seed of awareness in his students in hopes that we would do something with it ourselves. No other dojo I’ve ever seen did the same.

The basic answer is no.

My answer to the hook and straight lead to the face- good footwork. It will always put you into a superiour position.
We never practiced aikido defenses from a shot either yet I managed to work out the footwork to work with those as well. There really is no limit if you simply train.


Post: Kenjiru:

Thanks Bamboo for the reply.

Currently i am at a loss for even though you say foot work pays off and would maneuver into position for a diffrent move i cant Believe that O sensei didnt think of something to counter act those specific attacks.

To say that im perticulary disheartened by that>

Post: bamboo:

I am not O sensei.

Aikido is not what it was when O sensei practiced.

Perhaps he would said something along the lines of “aikido defeats all attacks by leaving no openings”.

Don’t let my meager opinion change your ideals, go practice and find your aikido. Remember, aikido is not about specific responses to attacks, its about principles and universal truths. Back in the “hell dojo” days, I would think that had you asked that question he would have thrown a hook at you and told you to figure it our yourself.

best of luck


Post: Kenjiru:

Hey Bamboo,

After reading your post i went and called a local dojo near my place which happened to be Yoshinkan Aikido. Sensei Mori was very patient and explained to me there was defense against such attacks so. And imagine my suprise that he was a Ushi-deshi under Sensei Shioda and is a 6th dan black belt so. I think i have found a really good school.>

Post: bamboo:

Yoshinkan is fantastic stuff, hope you really enjoy your stuff.

You don’t see a lot of yoshinkan teachers teaching off of hooks, your quite lucky to have found him. You’ll have to come back and let us know how it went.

Best of luck,



I was going to reply and suggest you look for a Yoshinkan dojo. That is what I teach.

For others who may find this and have the same questions:

In general, Aikido teaches you to defend against attacks from different directions. There is essentially no difference between and open hand or closed fist attack. If you think of yokomenuchi (a side strike with the open hand) or a hook punch – they are both attacks with similar force coming in from the same direction. The defense is the same. Some schools may not use the punch, but it should not matter. As long as you understand the energy and force, you can defend against the attack.

Aikido schools generally use the open hand when attacking. The open hand represents a sword, which can also be looked at as another weapon. Originally, these techniques were designed to defend against an armed person wearing armour. Any technique that will work against an armour clad warrior weilding a weapon, will certainly be effective against an unarmed person who is also not wearing armour.

Even though most Aikido is not taught was Ueshiba originally taught, you can still take the principles and techniques that you learn and apply them to self defense.>

Post: bamboo:

I would suggest that practicing against the actual attack is very good idea since a proper hook and a powerful yokomenuchi look similar, they are not at all the same attack as the body mechanics are different.
As, well, a hook comes in most often as part of a combination rather than a single attack as does yokomenuchi.

When you execute yoko- the hand is open with tegatana towards nage, this keeps your elbow down and allows for relaxed muscles and a powerful attack. If you close your fist and angle the knuckles to nage and use the same mechanics, you end up with your elbow up and a very awkward, powerless hook, one that I would not call a hook at all. This is why I suggest that although principles are great (my strongest background is in aikido), unless we practice with what we want to defend, we are never truly prepared.

Kenjiro- after a good years worth of yoshinkan aikido, you should be solid enough in the kihonwaza to visit a boxing gym for some friendly testing of your own and see how what you have learned off of yokomenuchi, tsuki, etc. translate into the situation you originaly mentioned. Hopefully they will work for you, if not, just take a step back use the new knowledge to better your aikido and your understanding of the principles taught.

For me, aikido is all about the footwork, but then I’m a slow learner. (-:



this is very true. Atleast for the most part.

What you will find, is the same taisabaki that can defend against yokomenuchi will also defend against a hook.

What you will also find is that your Aikido will not work in a boxing gym. There they tape thier hands/wrists and put boxing gloves on and add rules that ban your Aikido. Once you add rules you lose touch with reality.>

Post: bamboo:

I agree completely with the taisabaki, I mentioned this in my first response to kenjiro but it unfortunately disappointed him.

Kenjiro, instead of a boxing gym, you may find a MMA school that would open up the rules so you could practice against the techniques you asked about. Too bad your not in my area, thats exactly what I try to deal with in my little club.


Post: bamboo:

BTW- Welcome Jamtx.

I look forward to hearing more from you in the future. Diversity of opinion lends to great conversation.



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