3 Ways Aikido Can Enhance Your Self Defence Skills

People think Aikido sucks when it comes to self-defence but they couldn’t be more wrong.

I know we have seen videos of Judoka and MMA fighters taking down Aikido trained martial artists with ease and then tapping them out. It has lead to people thinking Aikido is only able to deal with drunks in a bar.

In this article, we will look at why Aikido enhances you self-defence game in ways you never thought possible and explain why you should look to add a little Aikido to your life.

1. Self-Defence Is Not An MMA Fight (Aikido Is For Reality)

The first and most obvious answer to why Aikido always loses in those challenge matches are that it was never designed for one on one match fights.

The Aikidoka is a peaceful warrior and not a fighter.

So let us break this down further. If an MMA trained fighter was to challenge an Aikido trained martial artist then they would simply walk away.

Now before the crazy web guys start saying ‘but what if he can’t walk away?’ You need to realise that the Aikidoka would not be in this situation in the first place.

This is a major part of the art of Aikido; it does not seek out or need challenges. It is not an art based on ego or the ability to tap out your opponent.

The art is based on defence entirely, so it would not work in those challenge match situations.

Where it does work is in those ever so often and spontaneous self-defence situations that do occur where a person pulls a knife out and thrusts it towards you with serious intent.

It works when the attacker swings at you with a baseball bat and it is there when a group of attackers decide to make you their prey for the evening.

Does this make Aikido less effective? No, because if a wrestler or MMA fighter trains for hours, week in and week out on how to take a person down to the ground they will be able to achieve this goal.

But we know that being on the ground is the most dangerous place in the world to be, so why would anyone choose to do this in self-defence?

Using this as an argument implies the Aikidoka is always alone and has no friends and so these ‘match fight’ scenarios fail to provide any proof of the ability of Aikido in self-defence.

Saying an MMA or BJJ fighter can easily take down and beat an Aikidoka is the same as saying a man with a gun could defeat an MMA fighter, the argument is futile.

Aikido, on the other hand, is totally focused on developing the skills to neutralise spontaneous physical attacks, be it with a weapon or empty hand.

The whole purpose of Aikido is to allow a human being to become more in line with nature and the Universe and yes being able to defend yourself is one purpose of the art. However providing a form of exercise that can be done by all ages is a major upside of the art.

It is these aspects that few truly understand.

2. The Aikido Projections Make A Mess On Concrete

Have you ever seen an Aikido demonstration? You will have noticed that the projections used seem beautiful to watch and they are displayed by Aikidoka that knows how to project and break fall.

You will also notice that the Aikidoka remains on their feet at all times. This is deliberate!

Those projections use the attacker’s energy, and if someone is trying to hurt you, they will place all their energy into taking you apart.

The Aikidoka takes this energy and redirects it towards the ground. For the attacker in the modern world, the ground will likely to comprise of concrete.

This means that any landing is going to hurt an attacker while the Aikidoka is still standing having used minimal force, expended little energy and is ready to deal with other attackers.

Check out the video below to see an Aikido demonstration:

3. Aikido Is All About Movement And Motion

The way we move effects how we fight and the way we move in a self-defence situation can be the make or break moment of victory or defeat.

Aikido has a complex yet effective system of movement that allows natural and realistic movement.

When watching an Aikido display, you will see that the Aikido moves in a circular fashion rather than a forward, backwards and sideways motion as used in boxing and other combat sports.

This was designed to have a 360-degree fighting ability, and it is this motion that allows an Aikidoka to deal with people behind them, in front and to the side in quick succession.

This design is something that you need to experience to appreciate truly, but it changes the game in real situations and allows for rapid turns that allow an Aikidoka to gain the back of their attackers in a split second.


You might have read the bad press Aikido gets or seen one of those terrible match fights on YouTube. However, that is not reality!

Aikido has some amazing qualities but it never once said it was ‘The Ultimate Fighting Art’ or that an Aikidoka could beat all challengers.

Aikido is an art for life and self-defence is just one part of life. That being said Aikido has a lot to offer the world of self-defence if you only give it a chance

Thanks for reading

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