Verbal Aikido – A Self-defense Technique Against Verbal Attacks

Verbal aikido - a self-defense technique against verbal attacks

Verbal aikido is a technique derived from the martial art of aikido. This martial art came into the world in modern Japan, where it was created by martial arts champion Morihei Ueshiba. It is based on the principle that if you are in a conflict, then you should try to neutralize your opponent and not harm him.

Like all other martial arts, aikido is not just about martial arts. There is a whole underlying philosophy. Those who cultivate it seek more than any other personal development. They include the physical, mental and spiritual in their pursuit. They do not look down on their opponent, but they try more to understand them and learn from them.

A group of writers began to introduce the same principles into their communication. It is thus that the concept of verbal aikido came into the world. They found that this technique was an excellent way to avoid and / or deal with everyday conflicts. We can exercise it to bring more peace, serenity, and joy into our lives. As with all other techniques, it is something that can be learned and practicing it brings great benefits.

Verbal aikido and the answer to an aggression

People who use verbal aikido say that when they receive a verbal aggression, the most important thing is to maintain their own well-being. An aggression can provoke a host of emotions that can confuse your mind. Therefore, it is important to maintain a sense of calm and focus on the purpose, which is to solve the problem and not make it worse.

The first thing you need to do is avoid an automatic reaction, but instead use all the force with which you are being attacked to turn the situation around. This should place you where the attacker wants you. Instead of seeing it from the opposite side, the idea is that you should see what that person sees.

Couple arguing

Verbal aikido techniques

Verbal aikido has some key techniques for when exposed to verbal assault.

These techniques are:

  • Agree and hold back. Use this technique when the attack is not a risk to you and when the attacks repeat themselves. This is an internal process and should be used to prevent the attack from hurting you.
  • Hold back and stay in your position. This means that you must acknowledge that the other party has a point in its argumentation. At the same time, you remain true to your own point of view and you say this out loud. This technique can be used in intellectual disagreements.
  • Smigr. You can use this technique when someone verbally assaults you for the purpose of showing that they are superior.
  • Detoxifying response. This is when you respond again to a verbal assault with a question. This has two benefits. On the one hand, it allows the other party to consider whether he has been reasonable. On the other hand, it gives you a bit of time to cool down and not react hostilely.
  • Objective confirmation. This is when you let the other party know that you well understand why, they are mad at you. At the same time, you must express that you want to correct these differences between you through healthy communication. You can e.g. say “I know you are not entirely comfortable with my idea, but I would like to be allowed to explain why I think the way I do.”
  • Confrontation. This puts the brakes on the lack of respect or excessive verbal aggression that the other party brings. It could be expressed like this: “I may have made a mistake, but you have no right to treat me like that and I want an apology.”
  • Moderates your tone. In this way, you are trying to make the other person aware that they are hurting you. And that they will not admit it. For example: “If you keep talking to me that way (or in that tone), then this conversation is over.”
Woman practicing verbal aikido

Resolve your conflicts with intellect

Ultimately, verbal aikido is about dealing with conflicts in an intelligent way. You only use the necessary energy. Ideally, you have learned to count to 10 first so that you do not react aggressively, and then you use any of the mentioned effective techniques.

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