Aikido Black Belt Tested His Knife Defense Techniques

I’ve trained Aikido knife defense techniques for over 15 years. I finally decided to see how they hold up against real pressure.

Welcome to the Martial Arts Journey YouTube channel!

My name is Rokas. I’m a Lithuanian guy who trained Aikido for 14 years, 7 of them running a professional Aikido Dojo until eventually I realized that Aikido does not live up to what it promises.

Lead by this realization I decided to make a daring step to close my Aikido Dojo and move to Portland, Oregon for six months to start training MMA at the famous Straight Blast Gym Headquarters under head coach Matt Thornton.

After six months intensive training I had my first amateur MMA fight after which I moved back to Lithuania. During all of this time I am documenting my experience through my YouTube channel called “Martial Arts Journey”.

Now I am slowly setting up plans to continue training MMA under quality guidance and getting ready for my next MMA fight as I further document and share my journey and discoveries.

If you want to support my journey, you can make a donation to my PayPal at

SUBSCRIBE to see when the next videos will come out:

Check the video “Aikido vs MMA” which started this whole Martial Arts Journey:

If you want to support me and this channel on a regular basis check my Patreon page:

#Aikido #SelfDefense #MartialArts



  1. One more point I didn't stress in the video: knife defense techniques are super hard to pull off, even the good ones. If there's any way to avoid a knife defense situation – that should be a top priority. Also there are other possible solutions to consider if for some reason you can't run away. That is: improvised weapons, use of environment, bringing attention to the scene and anything else that can give you an advantage.
    Become a member of the Martial Arts Journey tribe to see the full 30 minute knife defense exchange with Jari here:

  2. here is what aikido will do for you: in a streetfight, it gets you beat up. in a fight with an attacker that carries a knife…….it gets you killed. walk into a boxing or kickboxing school and say that you practice aikido……… gets you laughed at. so yeah, awesome martial art lol.

  3. it brings lots of channel traffic, but actually you're missing the whole point of aikido. you are a waste of this philosophy and better if you've just moved on with your life. any beginner would know from day one- no one would defend himself on a street fight with an ancient beautiful art of the body! aikido meant to show you things you will never see if dealt only with the scene of a street fight. but clearly you think you know better. good luck bro

  4. Good morning! In the video you mention that you hold the rank of 3rd degree black belt in Aikido. My understanding is that you tested for Nidan (2nd degree black belt) in March 2014 (when Aikido Siauliai was a member dojo of CAA Division 3). I'm curious… When and where did you test for Sandan? My recollection, as well, is that you've mentioned that you hold a Nidan fairly frequently up until about the 2017 time frame. Well past the time after you closed your dojo… Maybe I'm not hearing this correctly in the video?

  5. The lesson you learned about keeping your arms close for a leverage multiplier demonstrates to me the reason lower belts should focus on curriculum. There is so much to be honed in the grappling arts. Yes we are all different and different techniques work better for other body types but what I'm talking about is deeper. There's a difference in begginer round kick to the thigh than a guy that's been doing it for years. Same thing with a blue belt squeeze vs a black belt squeeze on a rear naked. Just because you know how to do a technique doesn't mean you're done honing it. There is a white belt shrimp move a black belt shrimp move huge difference between the two. Spend time honing what you're learning. We only have so much time and energy get that black belt it'll be a new beginning.

  6. The best is to RUN AWAY. However!!! when there is no other choice, you're cornered it's a different story. YET….
    This kind of experiment is called "CHEATING" because the guy with the knife ALREADY knows what is gonna happen. (You first asked his permission on knife defense experiment before doing the recording, didn't you?)

    2nd, the reason why the technique fail is because you didn't do surprise attack that can change your opponent rhythm, distraction (see at min 2:43, stuck on holding your opponents knife).

    To compare how you did??? Even on that Controlling the core, your opponent giving the kick to the groin to distract (see at min 3:30) !!! You did NOT know that he will kick your groin, did you?

  7. 1:55 is what we always learned in aikido to control the wrist of the opponent. We did aikido with resistence so putting your opponents wrist close to your body is natural to get control of it. That's what I have noticed from your aikido videos. The uke follows along or even leads the moves, making you not properly learn the techniques. (Note that im not saying aikido is a good martial arts, just that you learned it particularly badly).

  8. Stange how you were taught to hold your arms out like that. When I was taught aikido throws and wrist locks and stuff I was told to keep the opposing hand close to my body for the best leverage.

  9. I know you always try to be polite when talking about akido but seriously, after those knife defense moves..

    Surely Akido practicioners have questioned this shit if nothing else. This shit will get you killed, literally.

  10. I'm very curious what's up with the video clip at 1:17 where it's pretty much all blurred out. Seems like an odd piece to keep during editing since it doesn't really show anything. Great video, I just pay attention to some of the strangest things at times.

  11. I have been obsessed with empty handed knife defense (self defense in general) since I was cornered by knife carrying thieves in front of my home at the age of 20. I have limited training but here's my experience:
    I don't advice anyone to resist someone who carries a knife. When I encountered thieves I screamed and run away from them and still believe this is the best approach:) With regards to aikido, 1) aikido does not work on anyone who expects you to apply a certain technic, because they will resist 2) Aikido does not work on anyone who is stiff as hell and is in a combat mood like during an ongoing fight. 3) Aikido works if the aggressor does not expect you to counter in such a way. Like during physical harrassment or when the aggressor reaches you in order to hold on to you, or already has grasped you. 4) In order to understand aikido you have to understand limitations of joint movement. Aikido is said to be peaceful (may be it is) but if it is to be effective it must be applied taking the risk of seriously damaging the joints of the aggressor. Otherwise, it won't work.
    In general I would not say it is ineffective, but it is effective only in certain situations and it is hard to demonstrate its effectiveness.

  12. The same recipe can taste different in the hand of different ppl. One ppl can make the food even tastier than the recipe. The other one can make it the worst food. Intelligent differ to any individual. Calling some technique useless because failed by non intelligent person is wrong. What works is works okay, but doesn't mean something that you deemed doesn't works have no merits at all. Do you really learn your lesson Rokas?

  13. Aikido is a genre of Dancing –
    – in dancing, you need a good partner, or your moves don't work;
    – in dancing, you have pre-choreographed moves, and you stick to it;
    – dancing is good for your health and cardio,
    – dancing is fun and socially involving activity;

  14. Anyone that has trained in a dojo should realize by now it is not real world training you are receiving when dealing with knife fighting. You can see in the aikido footage in this video, the "attacker" lunges and stops, waiting for the defender to apply his technique. The surveillance footage that was blurred out shows what will actually happen when someone wants to stab you. There is no stopping while attacking.

    If someone is coming at you with a knife and you can't immediately run, grab whatever you can and start swinging it or throwing it (I know it looks ridiculous when you see someone throwing things at people in the movies, but it distracts the person), whatever you can do to create an opening to run. That will be how you survive a knife attack.

  15. Watch the founder of Aikido perform his techniques. They are very different from today's Aikido. Ushiba hardly moves while changing his position, he doesn't do those long movements with his arms either. I think today's Aikido has nothing to do with Ushiba's Aikido.

  16. This again shows that you've been taught wrong. If it's new to you that you need to keep your body close to your arms when doing joint manipulation to get strength there's been really bad teaching. I kinda understand also that extending thing,but you'd need to be really good and know how to steal balance. Seems like you've done ONLY drills all your life, when you in reality need fighting and pressure testing. Again for the aikido, install atemi use in you and you'll get everything you've supposed to get from your aikido

  17. Wow perfect example of speculation ‘of body mechanics’ vs ‘actual body mechanics’. those flaws in known techniques can also be, just a step to know the real one.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.