Aikido originally included strikes, but they were later eliminated to maintain the art’s philosophies of compassion and peace. Its knife defenses, however, remain and are as elegant and effective as they ever were. Learn FIVE of them from this in-depth technique article!
Few people, martial artists included, understand the real dangers of a knife attack. Only those who have faced cold steel in hand-to-hand combat know the emotions that emerge when a person is assaulted by stabs and slashes. The intensity of the situation demands that the defender prepare himself to the best of his ability if he is to survive. Unfortunately, with the exception of the Filipino martial arts, very few schools of self-defense teach effective hand-to-hand combat methods for countering blade attacks. If you believe some gaps exist in your training, this article will help you fill them in. The Advantage of Aikido Moves Aikido is a nonviolent, noncompetitive Japanese martial art that has gained popularity around the world. Morihei Ueshiba created it after a lifetime of training in other arts. Aikido moves originally included strikes, but they were later eliminated to keep it congruent with the art’s philosophies of compassion and peace. Its knife defenses, which have been part of the aikido moves curriculum from the get-go, have escaped those reductionist efforts and are as elegant and effective as they ever were.
HOW DID AIKIDO MOVES AND OTHER
COUNTERATTACKS AGAINST WEAPONS DEVELOP?
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Aikido Moves vs. Knife Attacks — Angle No. 2 As your assailant launches an angle No. 2 attack, you maintain a neutral stance at a safe distance before any hand-to-hand combat. When the blade is close enough, you intercept the motion of the knife arm and blend with the path of attack. Then you redirect it by spinning under his arm and seizing control using a sankyo wrist lock. Maintaining the hold, you spin once again and take away the knife. Further off-balancing the attacker, you follow up with a strike to the heart or solar plexus using the butt end of the weapon. To finish, you control him by applying pressure to his elbow with the knife handle as you pin him facedown on the mat.
Aikido Moves vs. Knife Attacks — Angle No. 3 Your foe attacks with an angle No. 3 to the stomach. As soon as possible, you blend with and intercept the strike. Then you scrape your wrist bone down his arm and pull slightly to off-balance and control him. Next, you reverse direction while controlling his elbow and applying an ikkyo wrist lock, after which you step forward and transition into an elbow lock. You finish with a disarm.
Aikido Moves vs. Knife Attacks — Angle No. 4 When your adversary commences an angle No. 4 attack, you maintain a neutral stance at a safe distance before entering and controlling his knife arm. Your next task is to blend by stepping behind him with the angle of attack, then redirect and control his elbow. Continuing your circular footwork, you apply downward pressure on his arm and follow through with a takedown. To finish, you effect an arm lock and snatch the knife from his hand.
Aikido Moves vs. Knife Attacks — Angle No. 5 The enemy attacks with an angle No. 5 thrust, and in response, you adopt a neutral stance out of range before countering with aikido moves for hand-to-hand combat against his attack. You then enter and redirect his knife hand before striking him in the face. Continuing your forward momentum, you disrupt his balance, then follow up with a takedown. Once he’s grounded, you control him by using your knee to apply pressure to his elbow, after which you take away the weapon.
Final Advice Regarding Aikido Moves for Hand-to-Hand Combat Remember that the effectiveness of any knife-defense technique depends more on your proficiency than on the style you practice. The aikido moves described above are a fine place to start, but ultimately success will depend on the effort you put into your overall hand-to-hand combat training via such aikido moves. About the Author: Lynn Seiser, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist based in Long Beach, California, and the founder of AikiSolutions. A martial artist for more than 30 years, he holds a second-degree black belt in aikido. To contact him or Dang Thong Phong, write to Westminster Aikikai Dojo, 8562 Westminster Boulevard, Westminster, California 92683. Or call (714) 894-1003 or visit Tenshinkai.com.