Fundamentory, the techniques of Aikido are similar to those used in Judo but with one distinction. Judo is governed by a code of regulations designed to test skill in sporting contest; Aikido is bounded by no such restrictions and is not classified as a sport. Regulated contest cannot be held: only exhibitions. Aikido is in short, the perfect form of emergency self-defence and, correctly used, is a simple and very dangerous weapon.
Everyone first must clear away any erroneous ideas that may exist concerning practising of Ki-Aikido or Aikido. Ki-Aikido cannot be mastered purely from reading any printed documentation; nor, indeed, from sporadic experimentation with any known techniques. The old saying "Practise makes Perfect" applies in this art as in any other. Therefore anyone who seeks proficiency must be prepared to work for it; there is NO SHORT CUT. Practise diligently until you can execute any technique without any "jerky" motions. Strive to perform a technique in a single well coordinated movement with Mind & Body Unified.
Aikido techniques may be applied even when attacked by clubs, sticks, knives or swords. Unfortunately, personal supervision under a qualified instructor is required in order to develop one's timing along with Mind & Body Coordinated to the extent that it would become possible to apply Aikido techniques against armed assailants. This is, of course, true in any training along the lines of self-defence. Still, conscientious and constant practise of even a single defensive technique can eventually build up the abilities of an Aikido student whereby that person will gain the necessary confidence required in a situation of self protection.
Complete mastery of Aikido techniques can enable an individual to actually defend oneself from simultaneous attacks by 2 or more persons. However, this is possible ONLY after serious study and build up by continuous training under the personal instruction and supervision of an Aikido expert over a period of years. So how many years of practise is required... you may ask. Here is a sentence which can summarise the "number of years required" - "Attaining the rank of Shodan [1st Dan] is like arriving at the foot of Mount Everest"... the journey has only just BEGAN!
Dated 29th May'01 - J. Anthony Neo, Instructor