Aikido: 5 Rules of Fighting Back

Posted by – January 04, 2017
Categories: Martial Arts

istock_74391219_xlargeHave you ever wanted to go beyond the basic skills of self-defense? Or, have you ever wondered how to prove a point without throwing punches? In honor of the New Year festivities, we celebrate one of the disciplined forms of Martial Arts: Aikido is the Japanese art of self-defense that uses the principle of nonresistance to cause an opponent’s own momentum to be used against him or her (1). Aikido in Everyday Life, by Terry Dobson and Victor Miller, offers a third option to a fight or flight response: restore harmony. This book provides readers with the proper fighting techniques to safely win an argument without doing any serious damage.

Solving conflicts is something we do everyday, whether it’s responding calmly to an angry email or cleaning up someone else’s mess. We have mere seconds to decide our reactions…what do we do: fight, flee, or restore the peace?

Before doing anything rash, check out this adapted excerpt below from Aikido in Everyday Life.

5 Rules of Fighting Back

  1. Be confident.

    You must know at as deep a level as possible that you have the right to life, and the entire universe sanctions your right to fight to preserve it. Being self-assured in your ideals will intimidate your adversary, which will promptly end a fight before one can properly begin.

  2. Don’t be desperate.

    Never fight against anyone who has nothing to lose. Your opponent will stop at nothing to achieve a goal, even ending his or her own life.

  3. Don’t overexert.

    Use the minimal force necessary to restore harmony. Your focus should be on solving the problem, not on ruining some poor slob’s self-image.

  4. Be balanced.

    You must never extend your counterattack beyond the possibility of return. Too much force is a sign that you’re unbalanced and, thus, can be easily taken down.

  5. Know the situation.

    Don’t Fight Back if you don’t have to. The bigger person walks away from a fight, not starts one.

If you are determined to fight back, you should prepare for the three stages of the fight:

  1. Immobilization

    You must stop your opponent’s advance so that you can exert control over the situation. For example, you could use words to calm your opponent down: “Now, you hold on! I will not be insulted!”

  2. Control

    The result of the force of your argument; you are, in effect, leading your opponent to see the situation from your perspective. The best way to gain control is by fighting fair and staying specific. Do not stoop down to your opponent’s level. Your job is to keep advancing with clear intention and all deliberate speed to regain control of the situation.

  3. The Restoration of Harmony

    The goal of all conflict. You must work very hard to find a way in which both combatants “win.”

Reference: 1. “Aikido.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 4 Nov 2016.

Tags: Aikido Terry Dobson Victor Miller

About the Author

Before officially joining NAB, Katie earned her BA in English at Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo. There, she learned that working with books was an actual career! After her first year at school, she worked for two small publishing houses as an editorial intern. Returning from a four-month adventure in Spain, she began working for the Graduate Education Office as a thesis editor. She then stumbled upon a marketing and publicity internship with (drumroll please) North Atlantic Books—and loves that she’s back! Katie spent her last year of school publishing a literary facsimile and contemplating life’s greatest questions. As a former fitness instructor and current avid reader, Katie is thrilled to work with a wide range of books that matches her range of hobbies!