Survival Aikido

How to do Freestyle

by John Kilpatrick, Godan

© 2013 John Kilpatrick All Rights Reserved.
Hikuta Of Louisville
Okolona Aikido

Beautiful in its form, the tornado has aroused the interest of people for centuries. It appears still, poised and relaxed. From a distance it is awe inspiring. Its rage and power does not become evident until one ventures too close. Its center is calm and protected, fluid in motion, adaptive only to the terrain beneath it, and the instigative circumstances that created it. At the point of confrontation, it will release a very direct and concentrated force. It cannot be reasoned with, is unstoppable, and impenetrable. In its wake, a trail of death and destruction. As quickly as it appeared, it is gone. As mysteriously as it has appeared, it has vanished.

Ryan Ingwersen

"Survival Aikido: How to do Freestyle" is not your typical Aikido book. Rather than going through the typical Aikido katas it takes the point of view that they are mostly irrelevant to freestyle. Freestyle is the practice of Aikido as a martial art. In freestyle several people attack the trainee at once, frequently using training weapons. The trainee has to defend against these attacks. The salient feature of freestyle is that there is no time. The attacks are right on top of each other and the trainee does not even have time to perceive the attacks, much less think about what is coming or do a complex Aiki Jujitsu defense. The defense has to be the very simple and basic Aikido movement with an included strike.

Aikido as martial art is profoundly simple and the basics can be quickly learned. Here you will learn the simple body movements that are the secret of effective Aikido. The method of striking taught in Aikido is explained and the Kuta training methods are included. An Aikido student who was a full time boxer for the Army for three years found that after one class in striking he could punch at least 60% harder than his best boxing punch. Other boxers also hit much harder with this method. The three Aikido rules and two Kuta rules of freestyle are given. The book then takes these basics and gives examples of how these simple moves are used against the formal Aikido attacks used in freestyle and against some common attacks likely to be encountered in a real fight. There is also a section with some basics of Aiki weapon use.

Besides price an advantage of the Kindle version is that the table of contents is hyperlinked to the desired section. There are also hyperlinks to the definitions of technical terms. A possible disadvantage of the Kindle version is that the pictures may not display well on the original Kindle or on mobile devices. It should be good on Kindle Fire and Kindle Paper. They assured me it would be fine and any problems I was seeing was with their viewing tool but I am not so sure.

Videos for both versions are available at

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What Others are Saying about the Author
Shortly after beginning formal judo classes in 1963 at Louisville's Downtown YMCA, I became aware of aikido and waited for the teacher to arise; this student was ready.

But, it was almost half a century later when I met Aikido Master, Sensei John Kilpatrick. I consider him one of the finest martial arts instructors whom I've had the pleasure to know these last 4-5 decades.

Sensei Kilpatrick wrote an important article, "Judo vs. Aikido", which is being considered for publication by Black Belt magazine. Among other observations, he noted that while aiki does not do so, judoka use their feet and legs as weapons.

This is also noteworthy: O-Sensei Phil Porter, Judan (10th degree Black Belt) compiled five hours worth of dvd instruction on how to counter ippon seoinage, "one-arm shoulder throw", the most attempted judo throw at shiai (judo tournaments). I asked Sensei Kilpatrick his take. With a single step, subtle and simple, he showed me how to counter this technique; this response to the powerful throw was the most effective I've witnessed in person or dvd...

Shortly thereafter, I promoted John to the rank of Shodan (1st degree Black Belt) in Kodokan Judo. This is one promotion I will never regret.

Sensei Kilpatrick and I have undertaken to understand and blend our respective Japanese arts and therefore continue the martial arts dialectic, forming a new martial art we call "aiki judo". In addition to throws from both arts as well as judo pins, armlocks and chokes, there will be aiki strikes (while judo has atemi waza, striking techniques, they are banned from competition). We intend to incorporate strikes as well, endeavoring to return to bushi spirit and principles.

John eschews what some call "aikido ballet". He makes the art work, makes it a viable self-defense art, returns it to the real world. He analyzes aikido techniques, teaches those that work and discards those that don't.

There are many paths up the mountain, it is said, and Sensei Kilpatrick walks the true aikido path to the top.

John Kilpatrick is a remarkable scholar of the martial arts and I expect we will learn more about him---and from him---for decades to come.

Carl Brown
8th Dan Judo
1st Dan Jujitsu
Grand Master Imua Kuon Tao Kung Fu
Louisville, KY

I have been a student of the martial arts for twenty years as of this writing. I studied aikido first, and eventually left the art due to a gnawing dissatisfaction with its combat effectiveness. The other arts I ran across, including Hung Gar and Kali, were interesting but also left me with a hollow feeling. Something was missing. Teachers would move away, college got in the way, and I left the dojo for a long time, practicing with friends when the opportunity arose.

I met John Kilpatrick in December of 2010, and my life changed for the better! I once read something to the effect of, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." I must have been ready, because the teacher appeared. John understands aiki. Why is this important? I've had one other aikido instructor, sadly deceased, who understood aiki (at least in terms of the aiki jujustu techniques normally taught as aikido), so what sets John apart? He can teach it, and he can do so in a simple, straightforward manner that leaves no question as to its supreme importance in combat. I felt like a beginner again, and I was, but I didn't feel that way for long. After three or four months with John I felt more confident in facing multiple attackers than I did after all my years in other schools, and a single attacker, though obviously a serious consideration, then seemed not nearly so daunting. Then John, great friend that he has become, brought me back down to earth and showed me what I didn't know. I was a beginner again! Then John performed the impossible task of teaching me what I didn't know. It is an amazing cyclic phenomenon, an evolutionary process.

John is constantly refining his art, and I call it his art because I know of no other person doing it like he does it. Just when you think it can't get any gets better. I am honored to be a small part of this process, and I'm almost frightened to think of where it might go. If it's this good now, how great will it be a year from now? I can't wait to find out, and I'm overjoyed to be on the front line. Many thanks to John, the teacher who finally appeared.

Erik Riker

I saw your Hikuta sections on your site- GREAT job!
In a newsleter I'll plug your site and school.

Jack Savage
Master Instructor of Hikuta
Tactical ops/spec ops specializing in counter-terrorism

As an Infantry Officer I have no reservations about giving my strongest recommendation to Dr. Kilpatrick. He has the in depth experience, mentality, and practicality to expand on our modern army combatives program. Any Soldier would benefit from additional training with him. His practical approach is the hallmark of his training.

Lance Hublick

As a progressive defense and security consultant, I have to continually advance my skill sets to stay ahead of the antagonistic criminal mind in order to provide cutting edge training to the civilian population. John Kilpatrick's class helps to do this by providing a superior mindset and training philosophy that is sure to prove victorious when nothing but victory is acceptable. This type of training differs from others by becoming part of your instinctive and reflexive attitude rather than trying to memorize complex movements that can be hard or even impossible to execute in a high stress environment. His no-nonsense approach accelerates the student's ability to learn and retain defensive strategy in a way that is not overwhelming or confusing. One should not feel intimidated or out of place at any experience level. John's patient and helpful personality is sure to make even the beginner feel comfortable to train and ask questions without fear of embarrassment. If you are defending our nation and its objectives or if you are defending your children and loved ones, John is sure to have a defensive strategy applicable to your needs.

Ryan Ingwersen
Progressive Defense and Security Consultant

As a former Marine and an avid practitioner of Boxing I had reservations about martial arts being effective. However after taking just one of Dr. Kilpatrick's classes I saw that his approach to martial arts was surprisingly practical, I have been a student ever since.

James Ussery
NRA Certified Instructor Tactical Firearms Instructor

Simply put. My experience with aikikuta for 7 months has eclipsed my prior martial art's training of 5 + years with tae kwon do, karate & aikido. I feel more confident with my ability to defend myself than I ever have, and actually have fun practicing this art with Sensei. I strongly recommend this art to anyone who would like a simple, easy to use system, which can be learned quickly.

Greg Ross
Louisville, KY

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