I have often wondered why inevitably, traditional forms of hand-to-hand combat was prejudiced by the increasing use of firearms and yet, in spite of this, boxing, wrestling, fencing, judo, TKD and karate (just to name a few) all survived and even flourished in their sport forms. The answer I think is simple. In every society there are people who resort to violence to cheat and molest innocent victims. If you become such a victim, you would have no wish to submit, and if you saw someone else being attacked, you would feel bound to go to his/her aid.
If you are armed, of course, you will stand a much better chance. But which weapon would you choose? A gun is certainly effective, but it is lethally so. A knife is undoubtedly expedient, but if you use one, you are forced to kill or maim... maybe even yourself. On the other hand, let us not go to the other extreme and say the armed assailant is merely psychologically disturbed and that we must avoid him. Our aim, then, is to defend ourselves adequately, and at the same time to be able to control the degree of pain and injury we inflict on the assailant. Thus we must seek a weapon that, when applied with skill, can overpower and subdue without having such lethal effects as a gun, knife, stick, etc.
All these things we must bear in mind when we come to choose a weapon to defend ourselves with. It must be one that is incorporated into comprehensive technique with proper training. It must allow us to disarm and control an assailant and, if the circumstances require it, to inflict pain on him, without running the risk of permanently injuring or most importantly, killing him. In addition it is preferable that the weapon be commonly available and is often at hand, not forgetting that is must not be unlawful in the government's "eyes". Thus the choice of weapon (personal choice) is the empty-handed self defence, which comes in the form of Aikido... Ki-Aikido to be specific.
Aikido in general has become very popular over the last few years. However, to be able to acquit yourself without injury when attacked by armed assailants requires a degree of skill that is achieved by few. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and this was never truer than in regards to fighting and self defence. Yet, it is astonishing to see how supremely and foolishly confident people can become after a few years of training, worst still "self-taught" through books and articles in any form of Martial Arts... Ki-Aikido and Aikido is no exception too.
Ki-Aikido can be both creative and destructive. Used as a means of aggression, they will eventually destroy the person who uses them. Used correctly, they can provide a practical and stimulating experience, and at the same time they can be a means of education and discipline.
Dated 4th Aug'01 - J. Anthony Neo, Instructor