Links and differences between aikido and Verbal Aikido

The links between martial aikido and Verbal Aikido are too numerous to list, but indeed the principle of ‘emerging victorious every time and in every situation, by not fighting’ is predominant in the teachings of both. Throughout the articles and the book, the links between the two will be used to illustrate concepts and clarify certain points.

The philosophy of Verbal Aikido is based directly on that of martial aikido but there are differences. Verbal Aikido is proposed as a tool to manage verbal abuse, and though extremely effective when used correctly, it is not the answer to every conflictual situation. It has limits and differentiates with the practice of martial aikido in the following ways:

  • The belt-grading system differs significantly.
  • Verbal Aikido can be quite useless in a physical attack.
  • Although martial aikido tries to prevent the attacker from harm, the attacker often ends up on the ground and/or in a rather uncomfortable position; the aim of Verbal Aikido is to leave the attacker ‘standing’, having saved face.
  • Martial aikido’s principal goal lies in the development of a veritable philosophy through which one can defend one’s self against a physical attack. Verbal Aikido’s principal objective is to find an emotional balance in verbal exchanges, and its practice often results in teaching others how we would like to be treated. It may be considered as simply a branch of the martial aikido philosophy.
  • Verbal Aikido is centered around three simple core steps.
  • Martial aikido uses the term ‘Uke’  (or ‘Aite’)  to describe the ‘attacker’ and ‘Tori’  to describe the one executing the defense technique, or what we simply call the ‘Aikidoist’.

If you are already familiar with martial aikido, you will recognize many connections between the physical and verbal approach presented on this site, in the written works and workshops. If you are new to aikido, you will discover a means to manage conflict from another perspective: one that gives you access to this admirable and effective philosophy without having to leave your seat!

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