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Young Grasshopper Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 01-28-2011 02:49 PM
A blog written from the point of view of a martial arts beginner, which I am. You can find the full blog at http://yghmartialarts.blogspot.com. Here on AikiWeb, I'll post only those entries which are relevant to aikido.
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 28
Comments: 78
Views: 130,917

In General Aikido for the Classroom, Part II Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #17 New 04-20-2011 09:39 PM
No plan of operations extends with certainty beyond the first encounter with the enemy's main strength.
- Helmuth von Moltke the Elder

I had to restrain a really, truly violent student for the first time two weeks ago.

For the sake of those involved, I won't go into details. It's enough for now to say that when I arrived to respond to a frantic distress call, the situation was already well beyond any solution but physical intervention. A very large, very angry adolescent needed to be stopped now, and I was going to have to be the one to do it.

Procedures were forgotten. Training was forgotten.

I should have known better, of course; besides my regular training in aikido, I had been through training specifically for situations like this through the school system. But I charged in mindlessly, shoving a desk out of my way, with no plan except to be bigger and stronger than the student.

The trouble is, I almost wasn't.

I like to think that regular martial arts training and exercise makes me a little stronger than the average musician/teaching aide, but hell hath no fury like the pent-up rage of a large tweenager. It took everything I had to stop his charge without hurting him, and a little more I didn't know I had until then to avoid hurting myself. Had he been any bigger, or had I been any smaller, I likely would have failed to stop further violence.

What did I do wrong? Well, nothing. And everything.

The hold I tried on him was indeed one prescribed by my training, but it only barely worked. Not because I was doing it incorrectly, but because I wasn't really big enough or strong enough to pull off this particular hold on such a large student. Had I kept my presence of mind, I might have realized that it was too risky to try and pull this off with brute strength, started my half of a more appropriate two-person hold, and yelled for help from one of the other adults in the room.

But I didn't. I gave my mind over to instinct, and started a contest of strength. Thankfully, I won this one, and prevented any further violence or injury. But I must admit, I got lucky.

What have I been learning in a year-plus at the dojo if not to stay centered and avoid dependence on strength? Apparently, I haven't learned it enough.

One thing I learned in this instance, though: I've got a lot more training to do.
Views: 2263 | Comments: 6

RSS Feed 6 Responses to "Aikido for the Classroom, Part II"
#6 04-30-2011 02:22 AM
Sounds like a WIN. Take wins where you get them, and dont overanalyze. Most folk dont get a chance to put their training to the test. Enjoy what you can of the experience. Learn a little from it, but dont beat yourself up.
#5 04-27-2011 10:25 AM
OwlMatt Says:
Thanks for the reassurance, everyone. I don't mean to belittle myself or make stoping violence sound like a failure, but this particular incident opened my eyes to how much I have to learn.
#4 04-27-2011 07:56 AM
valjean Says:
I've been training for about two years now, and I'm still struggling to muscle through techniques which, when performed by somebody really competent, don't require much strength at all. The subtlety of the mechanics in aikido is very hard to pick up, at least for me. And that's with me practicing in the safety of the dojo, not with an enraged opponent. I think you did great!
#3 04-22-2011 04:12 PM
Lan Powers Says:
Gotta second Ms. Luu's remarks..... Irimi into the situation= Aikido too much reliance on physical strength+ most "off the cuff" Aikido (Mine included) It DOES take a while to ingrain new responses to the bodys first OH $%^t reaction. Sounds like you made it work....(and THAT is Aikido too)
#2 04-22-2011 12:35 PM
Daisy Luu Says:
(cont'd from below) We've all got a lot more training to do, but keep this in mind: you jumped right in to help resolve a conflict, and that is aikido. You tried to do so without injuring the other person or causing much harm to yourself, and that is aikido. It takes a while to hone the other details. But you carry more of the dojo spirit around than you may realize.
#1 04-22-2011 12:35 PM
Daisy Luu Says:
Hi, Matt, speaking as the usually-smaller person in any paired-up training partnership, I can attest to techniques failing because I am simply not strong enough to make them work--at least until I either get stronger from consistent practice and/or get better at timing the execution precisely to take balance.

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