Venusian aikido (sometimes called Venusian karate) was an unarmed combat style used by the Doctor in multiple incarnations, including their third, fourth, fifth, sixth, eighth, twelfth, and thirteenth, as well as several of their companions including Sarah Jane Smith, Jo Jones, and River Song, to defend themselves and others.
According to some accounts, and the Thirteenth Doctor, it was developed by Venusian nuns (TV: The Ghost Monument) on Venus, which meant it worked best with five arms and five legs (PROSE: First Frontier), with the Doctor musing that he was one of the few two-armed beings to become truly adept with the martial art; (PROSE: The Eight Doctors) when asked by Nardole how he managed Venusian aikido, as, to Nardole's knowledge, one "needed five arms for Venusian", the Doctor quipped that he had "hidden talents — as well as hidden arms". (TV: World Enough and Time) Another account stated that the Doctor himself had invented it. (PROSE: Interference - Book One)
It could be used to immobilise an opponent by using pressure points (TV: The Mind of Evil, Inferno) and perform joint locks, throws and kicks. (TV: The Claws of Axos) It tended to use the attacker's own movements against them. (PROSE: Freedom) These were effective against many different humanoid species, but were useless against non-human duplicates and seemed to have no effect on Ogrons or Sontarans. (TV: The Claws of Axos, Day of the Daleks, The Time Warrior) While amnesiac and trying to remember his Venusian aikido training, the Eighth Doctor recalled "flying through the air" before turning back to face his Venusian instructor. (PROSE: The Eight Doctors)
The Second Doctor learned the arts of Venusian Aikido whilst on Venus with Jamie McCrimmon and Victoria Waterfield. (AUDIO: Voyage to Venus) The Eighth Doctor would remember being taught by "a many-armed glowing-eyed being in a misty cavern". (PROSE: Endgame)
In an attempt to trick Curatrix Zennox and stop her from completing her plan to bring back the Cybermen, the Sixth Doctor claimed that he used Venusian Karate to overpower Jamie McCrimmon. She thought he was making that up. (AUDIO: Last of the Cybermen)
The Eighth Doctor used Venusian Aikido against Grandfather Paradox, who countered his every move. Grandfather then boasted he was the only one-armed being who ever mastered it. (PROSE: The Gallifrey Chronicles)
The Twelfth Doctor used Venusian aikido on Abesse after she repeatedly attacked him in the Prison canteen. He stated that he didn't use it on ladies as a general rule, but that Abesse wasn't a lady. (PROSE: The Blood Cell)
Calling herself a "grandmaster pacifist", the Thirteenth Doctor used Venusian aikido to stun Epzo with only one finger. The Doctor commented that the Venusian nuns who created it were "clever." (TV: The Ghost Monument) When Jarva Slade pointed a gun at her, she also used the same move to disable him briefly, to disarm the man, who recovered once she moved her finger away. (TV: Kerblam!) The Doctor used Venusian aikido again in Hong Kong in 1972, fighting against Chen Luo’s men alongside Bruce Lee who was intrigued by her fighting style. (COMIC: The White Dragon)
In their time together, the Third Doctor taught Jo Grant Venusian aikido. Forty years later in her personal timeline, she used it against him to knock the Doctor unconscious, intent on sacrificing herself in the Doctor's place. (AUDIO: The Sacrifice of Jo Grant)
After learning of the fighting style in a fight with Rey Malvado, Señor 105 studied Venusian martial arts at the House of Five Creeds with Theo Possible, Litany Chromehurst, and the adventurer Possible called "El Jefe". (PROSE: The Rise & Fall of Señor 105)
Behind the scenes
- Barry Letts was opposed to the idea of an aggressive Doctor. Therefore, Terrance Dicks suggested aikido as it has no attacking moves. (DOC: Can You Hear the Earth Scream?)
- In the comic story Terrorformer, which is set after Robot of Sherwood, the Twelfth Doctor states that he has just remembered knowing Venusian karate, suggesting that Venusian karate and Venusian aikido may be different disciplines.