True Aikido War Stories

(To support the discussion as to whether Aikido is a good self-defense)

* 6th kyu student (mellow Deadhead & trained in the dojo for about a year) and owner of a local pizza restaurant closing up shop at 2AM with a few customers still in the store. Drunk comes in off of the street. "Dude, we're closed."
Drunk gets unreasonably aggressive. "No, dude, we're closed." Drunk grabs for student. "It was like Sensei said -- time slowed down & it was like he was handing me a sankyo." Student takes the sankyo (pain compliance hold) into a come-along towards the door. Drunk grabs hold of a stanchion to resist [BIG mistake]. Student cranks on sankyo harder; drunk yelps in extreme pain and student escorts drunk outside store. Drunk winds up outside yelling to customers inside "Did you see what he did to me?" Customers laugh at drunk and also express concern for student's well being.

Female 4th kyu student in a bar. Student's hair on the top of her head is grabbed from behind. She clamps the hand onto her head bends down and ducks under the arm into shiho nage. Other woman shocked as she hits the floor. Bouncers intervene.

3rd kyu getting razzed by his friends about the inadequacy of Aikido as self defense at the pool table. Liquor is definately involved. Student demonstrates ikkyo [1rst pinning technique]; result -- friends generally unimpressed. Later, and outside the bar, an ambush is executed by the biggest 6-foot 3-inch guy. He grabs student from behind & student goes for ikkyo, but the big guy's seen it & resists ikkyo. Student quickly changes technique to udegurami (shoulder entanglement) with tenkan. Big guy shreds his nose and cheek on the pavement. Student apologizes profusely.

* nidan student -- a prodigy in Aikido. This guy's Aikido is what Mozart was to the piano. Even the shihans notice this guy at seminars. Student's in a bar. See's his friend getting into trouble & starts to walk over to help. WHAM! Student gets sucker punched in the side of the head -- puncher gave it all he had and when he doesn't see the 5 foot 2-inch nidan hit the floor, he runs like hell.

The point in these stories is that Aikido seemed to work. But, as in the last story, no matter how much and well you've trained, combat is truly chaos and the unexpected sucker punch happens.

Aikido looks wimpy, but all of those rolls and breakfalls that uke takes are all good conditioning for the punches that the Aikido student thought he was going to avoid surprises his face/body.

May I also direct to and the Aikido Works article by Carlo Fargnoli (NYC policeman)?