Are Aikido Throws Efficient, Effective and Safe
Of course, you will have to work on many other skills, before you can attempt to throw in an effective way. For example, you'll have to learn the Aikido club rules/etiquette, how to fall safely, the movements of a variety of techniques, how to effectively work together with a partner in order to develop your techniques further.
After a while you will be able to perform some amazing Aikido throws, that your training partner would not be able to resist... even if they were foolish enough to try!
What are these Aikido Throws?
Well, there are many basic techniques in the art of Aikido, and hundreds of advanced variations as well. Many are simple takedowns that lead to a controlling pin, or they can be adapted into an Aikido throw.
Aikido teaches you how to be spontaneous during your training and find the best possible way to control an attacker... using the minimum amount force.
So, lets take a look at some of the most effective throws. Now, by effective, I mean those that will work under difficult street conditions. This will limit some of the more complex moves that appear to be more flashy, and unlikely to work in a violent street attack situation.
One of the more basic Aikido throws is tenchi-nage, which is based on the principles of heaven and earth, where you reduce your opponents strength by distracting the mind. This is done by sending their energy up and down at the same time, giving you the ability to unbalance them to the rear.
This can easily be adapted into irimi-tsuki, where you control your attacker by lifting their chin up with the palm of your hand, to off-balance them to the rear... effective for all types of attack, dojo or street.
Of course to make a throw work, there are a series of conditions you will need to observe. You must make sure you get the timing right, or you will be too early or too late. If early you can be accused of attacking them, and if too late, you may be hurt.
You will also need to take control of the opponents mind by distracting them. This can be done with a sudden unexpected move, a ki-ai shout, or even an atemi strike to a pressure point.
Another important aspect of making a simple throw work on the street, is learning how to deal with fear and a surge of adrenaline, that will either...
1 - Make you freeze on the spot, and maybe get hurt.
2 - Walk or run away from the situation... good idea!
3 - Apply a successful defence, using minimum force.
But, you have to ask yourself - Is it safe to throw someone down?
In the training hall your partner has learned how to fall safely, and they have nice mats to cushion the effects. In the street your attacker could bang their head on concrete, or another hard surface. This is highly dangerous for them, so it is much better to control them by breaking their balance and take them down in a controlled manner, if possible.
Another very effective throw is called Koshi-nage, where you duck under your attackers hips. This has the effect of taking their legs away and forcing them into a break-fall or pile driver. This will only work if they are coming at you with plenty of momentum, if not you will be vulnerable!
Once again good in the dojo with experienced training partners and mats, but in the street your attacker could be badly hurt. If it is an all out war that you need to survive, by all means go for it. But in my opinion, there are much safer and effective controlling techniques available.
In time, and with dedication to your training, your Aikido Instructor will pass on to you his experience and knowledge in this area... happy training!
Aikido Health Centre
Tony Wilden has been studying health and spirituality for over 30 years and Aikido since 1985. He founded the Arun Aikido Club in West Sussex UK in 1992, and has given dozens of demo's and 1000's of health treatments.