Aikido Touch

In Aikido, there is almost no kicking, nor serious punching technique.


This is my understanding of the whole matter. If you are an adept puncher, boxer, and and if you are nicked ‘The Switch’ because you punch so hard and so fast, you knock the lights out of your opponent, and ‘switch’ them off. In a conflict, nine times out of ten, you’ll switch off the other person, period. straight to the point. Punch, punch, punch… why talk? just switch him off, you win hands down.

How, then do you knock a person out if you cannot touch the person? If your opponent studies distancing so well, that no matter how fast you are, and nimble, you simply cannot close that gap between you and that person. If your punch cannot connect,you punch air. Same goes for kicks, and other impact techniques. You have to have contact with that person to do bodily harm.

Aikido trains exactly for that. Contrary to  many perceptions of Aikido, Aikido is full contact, full and complete contact. Our hand grasp is full and absolute contact, We train in full contact so that we know how and are skilled to break contact. So we trained hard to move at will, even when restrained by our partner’s grasp. And when we can move at will even when we are held down by more than two guys, we surely can move freely, when we are unrestrained. And we do not need to sacrifice as much in movement

A punch or kick on the other hand demands a great deal of coordination, and sacrifice. In order for you to successfully kick a person, you must use one of your two appendages, in some exaggerated cases, both. You throw your entire balance into the attack, with no absolute guarantee of success. And the kick might not land, and the punch might not connect.

Aikido syllable tends to pay attention to out of line movement, the play of distance, it is extremely difficult to hold a skilled Aikidoka down, much less punch him/her. We train full contact so that we make any attempt to connect ineffective. It takes a lot of calm and equanimity to move that fast and swiftly, not arrested by the prospective thought of being punched.

And when an Aikidoka does hold you, our touch is not one of imposing our will, we hold you to help you get your balance. we restrain you to make sure you do not hurt yourself. And we train very very hard to make sure we have the skills to help you even when you want to fight us.

Sometimes in reality, it is not so easy to determine who wins, or put a judgement on a person’s actions. Surely it is always easy to get straight to the point and fight it out and let the punch decides who is the winner. but that does not solve the deeper issue. We train long and hard to uncover the deeply ingrained issues and angst. and a fist fight is certainly not the best way to handle angst.

So we need to talk and negotiate a amicable recourse. since we do not need to show off our ‘switch off’ skills, we have already left our egos outside the door, and talk with courage and openess. A fight only occurs when one wants to win, at the cost of the other fella. True victory comes only when we all win, at no cost to all parties.


About Who is Randy Lim

This blog is about the journey and experiences in my life as an Aikidoka. With close to 20 years in the arts, I'll make comments and judgements based on 2 principles, E&E. Experimentation and Experiential reflection. please enjoy, and comment freely.
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