A new martial arts teacher and perspective

Re-engaged with a new (old) teacher for physical security training recently. I’ve known this fellow for years, trained under him awhile ago, and trust him to teach me these potentially deadly techniques with the correct mindset. Specifically, one of being positive and solution-focused.

He was open to contracting with me for private lessons in a customized format, makes my dojo commute time only 15 minutes (by bicycle) each way, and meets with me during my lunch break. Cool.

We’re studying the same practical topics as krav maga (unarmed defense against chokes, strikes, kicks, knife, and gun), but from an aikido perspective. Aikido is known as the only martial art that is non-aggressive. While I appreciate that fact because I believe in seeking harmony, it also leads to criticisms of the art.

We are attempting to remedy these critiques by bringing in portions of other disciplines, such as Brazilian ju-jitsu (ground work/escape), Wing Chun (close combat), and Muay Thai (striking/kicking distance), with a focus on simultaneous defensive and offensive maneuvers.

Because all aikido-based techniques wait until the other person attempts to do something negative to you before responding, it is great for diffusing potentially negative situations. But in case they can’t be diffused, I’ve added weapons training to my sessions for the jo, kubotan, and stick fighting. Why those specific weapons? Because I already carry them every day.
  • A jo is basically a long stick. Between hiking sticks and garden tools, I spend a fair amount of my day with something like a jo already in my hand.
  • A kubotan can be any small cylindrical object. For me, that’s the space pen, small tactical flashlight (during travel) , or pocket multitool (not during travel) that are always in my pockets.
  • The fighting sticks are martial arts version of a policeman’s baton. I keep a collapsible ASP baton attached to my bedside so I can sleep better.

And why weapons training at all? Because a recent discussion with my wife made it clear to me that I will never be allowed to store guns in our house, loaded or unloaded. Scratch that, once the local coyotes and raccoons started attacking our chickens, guns made it onto the approved list. But this logic still applies for those (many) times when I am not armed. I can usually find something nearby to serve as a stick.

I do not disagree with any of her arguments; I could make all the same arguments myself. But it convinced me of one thing. If I cannot have a “weapon” in the house (e.g. a gun), then I need to become the weapon myself.

Which is going to take *alot* of work.