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The first and only time I've been involved in a mugging was in my early twenties.
My friend, his nephew and I were leaving the movie theater after seeing 'Three Musketeers'. It was about 11:00 at night. On our way to the parking lot, two guys joined us and were complimenting my friend on his football coat.
I remember the strange vibe in the air and felt the red flags going up when another guy eased in from some parked cars and slid behind me.
'You best be getting out of that coat,' said one of the hooded guys to my friend.
Almost without hesitation, my friend began taking his coat off as the mugger was pulling at it.
It's funny in those situations how you almost go on auto-pilot.
I recall saying, 'hey hey hey' or something like that as I grabbed the coat from being pulled of my friend.
'Just let them have it Frank,' my friend said. 'It's no big deal.'
Those team coats were expensive I knew, and these thugs...these kids were only 13-15 years old. I couldn't believe this was happening and my friend was just letting it happen to him.
The nephew was standing there in utter shock and scared as they yanked that jacket off. He was maybe 11 or so at the time.
My friend opened the car door and got in, leaving me standing there humiliated, pissed and shaking as the teens ran away whooping and laughing...and they didn't even take anything from me.
The car ride back home was solemn. The nephew was in the backseat crying, my friend was driving and silent and I sat there shocked at my friends quick surrender and at myself for listening to him in the heat of the moment. Why did I stop? Did I subconsciously not want to fight? I don't know.
What I DO know is that some kids just came and took what they wanted.
We could've taken them I kept thinking. My friend was a stocky guy. I was not involved in Aikido at the time but we still outsized and outweighed them even if it might of been just the two of us actually fighting. They were young teens for pete's sake!
Then I began thinking about what I saw when we left the parking lot. Watching those bloody kids laughing as they climbed into a running 4-door Oldsmobile parked a little further away. There were other people sitting in that car.
Had there been an altercation would others have gotten involved? What if my friend had not even joined in had I done anything? Would there have been knives or guns pulled? Perhaps my friend actually saved us from early headstones?
I don't know.
I wonder what I would've done differently since training in Aikido.
I would've been more aware of my surroundings, that's for sure.
At the time I had no idea where they came from. They were suddenly just there.
Perhaps hanging back and talking with my friends instead of walking obliviously to a remote section of a parking lot.
Regardless, it burns me that punks like that get away with those things on a daily basis.