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Diana Frese's Blog Blog Tools Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 12-30-2010 03:23 PM
Diana Frese
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Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 43
Comments: 170
Views: 201,323

In General Challenged at a Restaurant Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #18 New 09-21-2011 02:30 PM
I know I've promised to continue some topics, but, hey, they require quite a bit of thought.... so in the meantime, reading around in the free membership section of Aikido Journal (thanks, Stan, for those of us who have to squirrel away some moolah to afford 29 dollars or so a year, we can begin reading a bunch of great stuff)

Anyway, I was glancing through an article about women instructors and suddenly another of my famous memories some of you seem to like a lot (thanks for the validations so far...) returned to my conscious mind.

This wasn't in the YMCA where we trained, fortunately, and it wasn't a physical confrontation, fortunately, at least I don't think it would have even approached that, but a confrontation none the less...

Yep I was really proud of our little group, we had some really good students and fortunately the stuff I was able to pass on to them seemed to hold their interest .... Anyway, to relax and unwind after trying to exit in time for the Y staff to go home .... (we were fortunate to be able to have two hours at the end of the day and had to close class at ten and be out by ten thirty, if you wanted a shower you really had to hurry, and we had to fold up the mats and put them to one side ....)

Well enough background. As the title suggests, we used to go to the Brass Rail, an Italian restaurant just up the hill to the west of the Y. I had my dad's car, and the students thought I didn't drink at all but that was because I had to drive myself home. Anyway I remember really loving Eggplant Parmigiana.

Okay a bit more background because I need to give the old New Haven Aikikai of East Haven (near I-95 exit 50 I think) credit for coming down during our first years to help build a dojo at the Y, and also for starting the Brass Rail tradition with us. I wanted to give them credit for Marianne's formative years in Aikido in that there were two or more archers launching her career (blog entry entitled The Arrow) including myself. But credit belongs to the students, as in the case of Marianne, for coming to class day after day, week after week, etc. and dedicating themselves to absorbing all they could.

Anyway, a few years later the wait person (lady) there knew us really well and if we had to wait for a table that would accommodate us for beer, food or both, she would call us over as soon as one became available. Then one man stood up far to the left and near the table we had been told about by the wait person. (Eek, trying to be politically correct, I've made a confusing pun, sorry)

He seemed to be focusing his challenge on me, because I seemed to be in charge of my group.And since a couple of people might have had gi's with them, he seemed to know it was a martial arts group, and if I remember he was with some sports club, I forget what sport.

I took off in the direction of the ladies room and phones. It was also the rear exit. When I got home (years before cell phones) I called the restaurant. One of my students had no idea why he was summoned to the phone, not realizing I had gone home. I figured the challenge had been directed at me, so I left and the students were fine with their beers, food, conversation.

Not as exciting as some of the legends of budo masters avoiding conflict, but it was rather neat to realize, sometimes this kind of thing works in daily life in a public setting. Glad it wasn't a dangerious one!
Views: 2211 | Comments: 6

RSS Feed 6 Responses to "Challenged at a Restaurant"
#6 09-30-2011 09:33 AM
Diana Frese Says:
Thanks, Graham! Terry Dobson also mentioned in his seminars that the element of surprise was very important. But in my case it was the perfect set up the table-claimer guy was way to the left among several smaller tables and surrounded by his own people and he was on the far side of the long table. On my side of it there was a clear, and sooo inviting way direct to.... the exit! I was the one taken by surprise. I'm sure he never knew what happened.
#5 09-30-2011 09:27 AM
Diana Frese Says:
Thanks Carina, we have middle eastern food popular here, so do you know if Baba Ghannouj is made from eggplant? Mike DiAngelo of the old New Haven Aikikai was crazy about it, he kept talking about it. That and the Pasta Fazool (Pasta e Fagioli) soup with pasta and some kind of bean his father used to make. The great budoka in this case was Terry Dobson, a seminar of whose must have been in the back of my mind.
#4 09-30-2011 09:23 AM
Diana Frese Says:
Thanks again, Aikishihan. I've got to check out the Bruce Lee movies, I missed them and always wanted to watch them. I forget what famous samurai of the past left the challenger alone on the island. I can't really claim credit, my students were cool so I just took off without much thinking necessary to do it.
#3 09-22-2011 05:14 PM
Love it. It's like one of those movies with an unexpected twist at the end. Nice one Diana.
#2 09-21-2011 04:14 PM
guest1234567 Says:
Thanks Diana for sharing this story, you took a wise decision worthy of a great budoka. By the way I like eggplant too prepared in any way.
#1 09-21-2011 03:36 PM
aikishihan Says:
What a marvelous Bruce Lee style of misdirection. Hope that he did not get too lonely on that small island called ignorance. Great stories seem to simply flow from your consciousness! Keep the faith, and the storytelling. They are priceless!

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