Shodokan Aikido for Street Self Defense!
A lot of people hold that aikido is not a real martial art. Shodokan Aikido is the martial art that proves them wrong.
To begin, one should know that while Aikido is focused on spiritual development, it was born in one of the toughest war eras in history, the warlord wars of Japan a thousand years ago.
The art first took form as Daito Ryu Aiki Jujitsu, and it consists of over 3,000 techniques. And these techniques were the most brutal martial techniques the samurais of a thousand years ago could come up with. These are the techniques that enabled these iron men to survive the fiercest battles in the world.
Morihei Ueshiba, O Sensei, refined this art into a more spiritual way. Indeed, it is renowned as a spiritual way.
What Shodokan Aikido has done has introduced competition to the art. While some hold this makes it a sport (in a sport one has an opponent, in an art the opponent is oneself), it really just sharpens the beast.
Students have to solve more intense problems, make the art work in the face of resistance, and this makes the art street workable.
The techniques are harder, sharper, and they are able to be used against the real punch or knife, and not the stylized attack that classical aikido offers.
The good news is that there appears to be negligible effect on the spirituality of the art. One still trains techniques in the Ueshiba method, they just have to make them work no matter what.
While there was a lot of controversy when Shodokan Aikido first appeared, the conflict has died down. The art survives, and one has no doubt that O Sensei would be proud. O Sensei, Morihei Ueshiba, was, after all, an innovator par excellence. His teachings are being passed down, and the idea that Aikido is a workable art is being upheld.
Yes, Shodokan Aikido is a good martial art for self defense.