Sensei Mark McGee
Sensei McGee and Sempai Dan Capobianco

I hope you enjoyed watching the Judo videos! Judo is a wonderful exercise and a great self defense.  I trained for a year in Judo, then began studying a modernized version of Aikido in 1962. Judo and Aikido came from similar roots (Jujutsu) and were softened (throwing, trapping, choking, redirecting – rather than deadly response) by their founders (Dr. Jigaro Kano – Judo – and O Sensei Morihei Ueshiba, Aikido). I continued training in both Judo and Aikido at the same time and found that combination complementary in better understanding the science of martial movement.

Aikido taught me a lot about escaping grabs and holds, while also redirecting an opponent’s strength. Our first lessons dealt with escaping from basic single hand grabs to wrist, arm, and shoulder. We learned to escape quickly from both same-side grabs (e.g. right hand grabs left hand-wrist-shoulder), then trained in cross grabs (e.g. right hand grabs right hand-wrist-shoulder). We then trained to escape quickly from basic two-hand grabs to wrist/wrists, arm/arms, and shoulder/shoulders. We began our training with our partner approaching from the front, then moved to training with them approaching from each side and the back.

After being able to demonstrate the ability to escape a variety of single and double-hand grabs from any angle, we moved from escaping from our partner to grabbing our partner and performing a series of throws. The training in Judo was helpful in knowing how to fall correctly (ukemi). From that we moved to locking our partner’s joints to enhance throwing or to place them in a complex joint hold from which they could not recover, thus ending the attack. A student of Aikido learns to take control away from an opponent and take a position of superiority through fluid movement and redirection of force. The purpose is not to hurt your opponent, but to bring the situation into proper balance.

Aikido is an excellent way of dealing compassionately with an attacker. Here are some videos that demonstrate the effectiveness of Aikido. Remember that Aikido is an important part of training in Grace Martial Arts. I’ll share more videos in the coming days.

Aikido demonstration

Aikido Street Defense


Mark McGee

Grace Martial Arts

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