Has it not intrigued you that some martial artists that have been deemed as masters, who are often depicted as fragile old men with a farmers attire and a life long grown beard, rarely move from where they stand yet magically throw down a handful of baddies that seem to have had an overdose in steroids and caffeine? Or that a slender female stands amidst insurmountable foes and yet ends up being the last one standing? Is it fact? Or is it fiction? The answer that you must be thinking of is probably the very opposite of what is real. The situations are in fact based on reality.

Aikido, a Japanese martial art developed by Sensei Morihei Ueshiba, focused on redirecting an attacker’s momentum and turning it against themselves. This is a perfect situation where one could apply the saying “The bigger they are, the harder they fall”. The practice of the aikido is harmonizing ones’ self with the soul or with nature. The aim of the art is to prevent injury to both the attacker and the practitioner of aikido. Early on in my practice with the martial art, I have learned that during periods of training the practitioner of aikido, or otherwise known as aikidoka, never started a sparring session with a strike. On the contrary, the aikidoka always waits for the attacker to strike. Only then will the aikidoka plan his counter attack on the assailant. This is the true meaning of self defense. The techniques of aikido resulted in a series of circular movements both in the stance and the arm movements that aids in the transfer of energy from the strike of the attacker to the body of the practitioner and then back to the attacker himself. Self defense tactics in aikido usually consisted of joint locks and various throws.

The technique that I have found very useful is one that is called “nikyo” or quite loosely translated as the “second technique”. By definition this unarmed self defense technique is a wristlock which positions the wrist into a prone position and that torques the arm and applies painful nerve pressure. In simpler terms, it places the wrist in a position that it isn’t supposed to be in and that in turn creates a very painful sensation to the attacker.

Other self defense tactics that I have found to be useful occurs when one is being held by the collar of one’s shirt when the attacker is in front of the practitioner. Let us say, for demonstrative purposes that the attacker grabs the right side of your collar with his left hand. The first movement would be to observe how the attacker is applying the force to the practitioner (downward, pushing, or pulling force). This will give the practitioner an idea on how to go about executing nikyo. Next would be to simultaneously placing the practitioner’s left hand on top of the attackers hand, grabbing it as the practitioner twists his body to face left. This will create a Z – lock. The only thing left to do is to put all the weight into the twisted wrist and voila, the attacker is immobilized. From this position, the practitioner can give a strike to the nape, temple, or throat. All of which will further immobilize the attacker and will give the practitioner the time to flee the situation.

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Please don't find yourself wondering what to do when you find yourself in a violent situation. Learn more about unarmed self defense and discover how to destroy an attacker and protect yourself using self defense tactics.