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TigerJK
06-17-2006, 07:54 PM
The following was on this very website, here:
http://www.aikiweb.com/general/shifflett1.html

Abusive Children
When my husband's 12-year old son came to visit us he took to hitting me, slapping me, kicking me at every opportunity. When I spoke to him, he "wasn't doing anything" or he was "just playing." Understandable -- he loves his Mom and loves his Dad and tho they'd already been divorced for 7 years when we met, it's clear to a kid that if only this strange other person who he doesn't know at all would just GO AWAY, then Mom and Dad could get back together again. Wrong -- but understandable. Problem was, the "kid" was as big as me and weighed more. And being abusive. What am I to do? Yell "just wait til your father gets home!!" at every incident? Pull out my handy .45 or Uzi and blow him away? Hmmmmm. Time for some Real Life Aikido! The next punch got him flipped onto the couch. The next grab got him rolled gently across the rug and the next kick got him a firm but authoritative face-plant. Any combination of these got him thoroughly out of breath (as he's also fighting gravity) but he was allowed to live.
And I did not get arrested for murder.

Doesn't anyone else find this article disturbing?

Now some of you would say this is a good example of defense and since the kids was just as big and being unreasonable, so this was simply a good example of Aikido not hurting anyone but still used for defense.

Well I say that this is a very superficial and disturbing point of view. The thing is, this action and thinking is very "un-aiki" in and of itself. Beyond defending yourself without hurting your opponent, doesn't anyone else find it odd that the writer (whoever she is) immediately went to the conclusion of confrontation, and somehow felt like she was being moral by tossing the kid around instead of breaking him?

What am I to do? Yell "just wait til your father gets home!!" at every incident? Pull out my handy .45 or Uzi and blow him away? Hmmmmm. Time for some Real Life Aikido!

Notice she seems to be trapped in this mentality of "confrontation." She acts as if these acts are the only possible solutions. The yelling at him, shooting him, and even using "aikido" techniques on him are forms of confrontation. She never once even mentions giving any thought to making peace with him mentally, emotionally, verbally, or in an otherwise peaceful manner. And isn't that our way? Avoiding conflicts before resolving them? Peace and Harmony?

If you say something such as "she didn't hurt him and still defended herself" - to those I ask, do you realize the difference between Aikido and Jujutsu?

She may have harmonized the attacker physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually she is no different from a guy kicking a mentally/emotionally disturbed and weaker (not in a sense of weight and muscle, but the fact hedidn't learn Aikido) kid and walking away. If she knows that the kid must obviously feel pain and issues from the new relationship (she states clear knowledge of this) then why not try to help him resolve the pain and issues, and dissipate the source of the violence, instead of giving a show that she can't be messed with? I feel really sorry for the kid who was both the attacker and the victim in this.

Some may think she was justified because the kid attacked first - those who say that fail to see the true nature of our aiki way.

Clearly this anecdote was not an example of "Real Life Aikido" as the title stated. This was just a damage-minimal physical technique used to get a 12 year old to back off, warranting serious questions such as "Is training in aikido a right or privelage?"

TigerJK
06-17-2006, 08:11 PM
It is particularly disturbing that not seriously injuring the child isn't already assumed as part of her "Aikido," but she acts as if this is some undeserved privelage she has granted out of her supreme grace:
Any combination of these got him thoroughly out of breath (as he's also fighting gravity) but he was allowed to live.

Guilty Spark
06-17-2006, 08:20 PM
Doesn't anyone else find this article disturbing?

Well I say that this is a very superficial and disturbing point of view. The thing is, this action and thinking is very "un-aiki" in and of itself. Beyond defending yourself without hurting your opponent, doesn't anyone else find it odd that the writer (whoever she is) immediately went to the conclusion of confrontation, and somehow felt like she was being moral by tossing the kid around instead of breaking him?quote]

I don't think so. I've found that you can't tell someone their wrong. They have to come to the conclusions themselves. Best one can do is guide them along that path.
As well, you can't expect everyone to be enlightened for lack of a better term. You need to start "the path to peace" with very tiny steps. When your hurt it's natural to want to hurt back. Ever stub your toe and you take it out on someone around you?
I've had people wrong me and I wanted to smash them good. It's a learned behavior that you can't just switch off. Regardless of her feelings I think it's important to point out that she DIDN'T smash him. Sounds like she's just starting off baby steps.

[quote]She never once even mentions givign any thought to making peace with him mentally, emotionally, verbally, or in an otherwise peaceful manner. And isn't that our way?

I can't judge her. She doesn't sound perfect but how many of us are? Sounds like shes on the right path.

Avoiding conflicts before resolving them? Peace and Harmony?
Someone offered me a good quote on here from O Sensei- Sometimes the enemy will not allow you to retreat.

I think it's important not too get too far ahead of ourselves. This is a woman dealing with a kid/teenager whatever who is acting out. Sometimes you gotta put the fear of god (for lack of a better phrase) into bad kids, simple as that. Not saying you have to pound them or even hurt them but you need to put a stop to them testing your boundries. Sometimes smiling holding hands and talking won't work. That can come after.

spiritually she is not different than a guy kicking a homeless man and walking away.

Have to disagree.

I feel really sorry for the kid who was both the attacker and the victim in this.


I'm somewhat uncomfortable with this. While I applaud your compassion this statement reminds me of criminals who break into someones house, get hurt and turn around and SUE the home owner. Or someone who chooses to drink at a party, drive home, get into a car accident and then sue the party host.

TigerJK
06-17-2006, 08:23 PM
Sometimes the enemy will not allow you to retreat..
How do you know until you try?

Better yet, why approach him as an enemy?

Isn't he a potential son-in-law? The issue of divorce is also at play here but I will get into that later.

And for now, the fear of God? Clearly she just wanted the kid to fear her.

TigerJK
06-17-2006, 08:28 PM
I don't think so. I've found that you can't tell someone their wrong. They have to come to the conclusions themselves.

I hate to disagree with you, but I have to say I feel this is very un-aiki as well.

Instead of directly telling someone they are wrong (the social equivalent of tackling an attacker straight and head on) why not ask the child, "What's wrong?", and instead console him, show him understanding, say she wants to be friends, and shows sympathy for his pain (the social equivalent of irimi - entering energy) and slowly gain trust, then try create friendship where there was once violence (redirection of force).

Also, she fails to realize the importance of both parents to the child. Perhaps she can say that she is not here to replace his mother, and maybe even help the kid do something for his real mother. Even non-aikidoka do things like this! How can we as aikidoka say we promote harmony and peace any more than the common individual when we seem condone the use of our techniques for such "first resort" use? Techniques are the last resort! We in the aikido community must work this out in our minds and not send any mixed messages to those who see us as representatives of our art.

TigerJK
06-17-2006, 08:45 PM
I hate to disagree with you, but I have to say I feel this is very un-aiki as well.

Instead of directly telling someone they are wrong (the social equivalent of tackling an attacker straight and head on) why not ask the child, "What's wrong?", and instead console him, show him understanding, say she wants to be friends, and shows sympathy for his pain (the social equivalent of irimi - entering energy) and slowly gain trust, then try create friendship where there was once violence (redirection of force).

Also, she fails to realize the importance of both parents to the child. Perhaps she can say that she is not here to replace his mother, and maybe even help the kid do something for his real mother. Even non-aikidoka do things like this! How can we as aikidoka say we promote harmony and peace any more than the common individual when we seem condone the use of our techniques for such "first resort" use? Techniques are the last resort! We in the aikido community must work this out in our minds and not send any mixed messages to those who see us as representatives of our art.

P.S. I know the apparent self-contradiction. I say telling someone they are wrong is bad, and yet I seem to do this to you here in this post.

Well I hope that when we discuss here, we are not speaking as harmonized enemies, but "opposed brothers" if you will. I speak you to as a friend, which requires complete honesty, rather than the indirect approach I would use against someone I oppose.

Guilty Spark
06-17-2006, 08:48 PM
How do you know until you try?

Better yet, why approach him as an enemy?

Isn't he a potential son-in-law? The issue of divorce is also at play here but I will get into that later.

Of course my friend. Just a wide example and my fledging attempt at using quotes from o sensei :)

Obviously this kid is not an enemy. Hindsight is 20/20, always. I just feel that sometimes, especially with teenagers, you need to ensure they realize you are the boss.

And for now, the fear of God? Clearly she just wanted the kid to fear her.
Maybe, maybe not. I can't say what she was thinking or feeling. Maybe she's in uncharted waters herself and doesn't know the best recourse. I won't fault her for making a mistake.

Instead of directly telling someone they are wrong (the social equivalent of tackling an attacker straight and head on) why not ask the child, "What's wrong?", and instead console him, show him understanding, say she wants to be friends, and shows sympathy for his pain (the social equivalent of irimi - entering energy) and slowly gain trust, then try create friendship where there was once violence (redirection of force).

Thats a great way to approach the situation. I've begin approaching arguments this way myself. I think in the fore mentioned situation it would work great so long as the kid isn't physically threatening her. To me her physical safety takes precedence.

I hate to use you as an example, but I have to say I feel this is very un-aiki as well.

Instead of directly telling someone they are wrong (the social equivalent of tackling an attacker straight and head on) why not ask the child, "What's wrong?", and instead console him, show him understanding, say she wants to be friends, and shows sympathy for his pain (the social equivalent of irimi - entering energy) and slowly gain trust, then try create freindship where there was once violence (redirection of force).

Mmmmm, I'm a little confused :)
It sounds like your actually agreeing with me according to your paragraph.
She can't tell the kid he is wrong because he won't listen. She needs to figure out how she can guide him to a spot where he realizes he is wrong for his actions himself, which is basically what you outlined. No?

Tharis
06-17-2006, 09:19 PM
I think it may be very difficult to convince someone to have an open, emotionally revealing conversation when they're trying to physically abuse you, especially from a position of relative physical parity. Sounds she needed to find a way past the physical confrontation (irimi) before she could start turning him around (tenkan).

You can't do aikido unless you are in a position of martial superiority; you have to be in control of the situation. In this case, I think that includes first making it VERY clear to the troubled youth that he wasn't going to physically intimidate her. Given the means she had of doing this, I think aikido, yes, physicaly aikido, is about as well as could be done under the circumstances. Once the child realizes in his rage that this behavior isn't going to help his situation, then they can start talking about alternatives and get at the underlyling issues.

In this situation, you can't negotiate from a position of weakness, IMHO.

TigerJK
06-17-2006, 09:30 PM
It sounds like your actually agreeing with me according to your paragraph.
She can't tell the kid he is wrong because he won't listen. She needs to figure out how she can guide him to a spot where he realizes he is wrong for his actions himself, which is basically what you outlined. No?


Well my friend, it looks like we have the same logic and yet a different conclusion.

When the abuse first started I think she should have imediately set up a meeting with the father (and possibly even the mother depending on her siutation) and then the discussion would be controlled, I doubt the kid would attack physically in this situation, and even if he does, the dad could handle it. Having the dad there would be "atemi" I guess.

This would create a good situation in which to have the above-mentioned talk and counseling session, as it were.


On the other hand, she did say she felt physically hurt by a strong kid and guiding him physically to realize fighting would solve nothing does indeed provide a situation for the kid to reconsider his physical attacks on his own.

I was just disturbed in that she seemed to be very unsympathetic to the child and even proud that she resorted to techniques not because she wanted to guide him to the realization of the pointlessness of violence, but because:
Problem was, the "kid" was as big as me and weighed more.
What does that mean if the kid was only 50 pounds? Would she then just ignore this kid's outbursts as signs of insecurity? And she seemed proud of not seriously hurting him
"he was allowed to live. And I did not get arrested for murder." which also comes off as both "high and mighty" and self-righteous. Had her attitude seemed more humble, or at the least actively concerned for the child's emotions (planning on talking to him when he's cooled off), I might agree with her actions.

But I'm glad we can have this dialogue together as brethren in aikido :)

Guilty Spark
06-17-2006, 09:59 PM
I was just disturbed in that she seemed to be very unsympathetic to the child and even proud that she resorted to techniques not because she wanted to guide him to the realization of the pointlessness of violence, but because Problem was, the "kid" was as big as me and weighed more.

think she was proud that her aikido worked against a male who was her size and likely more muscular.
I know aikido teaches us to be humble and such but I don't feel there is anything wrong with being proud of your art or having your aikido work. I know when someone grabbed me from behind and I dropped down putting him in sonkajo (I'm sure that's spelt wrong!) I was VERY happy that it worked. I acted like it was no big deal but I felt DAMN that works!

I think in aikido, where there is a huge "that crap won't work in a real situation" having your techniques work gives someone a HUGE confidence boost. Maybe it was a little superficial or prideful of her but I can deffinatly see where she is comming from.

I do see your point of view though in that if she isn't careful she can go down the wrong path and end up doing good things for the wrong reasons.

It's fairly easy to look at a situation like this after the fact and point out all the errors. I would guess the same way you can point out how someones aikido techniques are wrong after they've done it. I'm all for discussing what someone could have done better (thats how we learn) but I just don't like critisizing them for what decisions they made "at the moment".
She does seem to have a bit of an attitude but I think that can be chalked up to heat of the moment/inexperience.

But I'm glad we can have this dialogue together as brethren in aikido
Naturally :)

aikidoc
06-17-2006, 10:14 PM
James: How do you define aiki-like? Is she supposed to stand there and let the kid physically abuse her? Yes, care must be taken, however, this kid has emotional problems and needs mental health care. He also needs to know that there are consequences to his behavior. I don't think aiki-like is intended to mean standing there and getting your ass kicked. I'm sorry, but I think the woman has a right to defend herself when attacked or abused by anyone. By controlling him and not injuring him she let him know she was not going to put up with his abuse, i.e., she drew the line in the sand. He now has the choice to get his behavior under control or risk escalation of her self defense. She does need to go one step further and get the father involved and mental health care specialists. Otherwise, this kid is going to be a handful.

We are raising a bunch of kids these days who think they can do whatever they want without responsibility or consequences to their behavior (I'm sure some will disagree with me on this-so be it). I'm sorry but I don't agree with that strategy. If I had smacked my mother or for that matter step mother around my dad would have beat my ass royally. He would have never tolerated that level of disrespect.

George S. Ledyard
06-17-2006, 10:22 PM
The following was on this very website, here:
http://www.aikiweb.com/general/shifflett1.html



Doesn't anyone else find this article disturbing?

Now some of you would say this is a good example of defense and since the kids was just as big and being unreasonable, so this was simply a good example of Aikido not hurting anyone but still used for defense.

Well I say that this is a very superficial and disturbing point of view. The thing is, this action and thinking is very "un-aiki" in and of itself. Beyond defending yourself without hurting your opponent, doesn't anyone else find it odd that the writer (whoever she is) immediately went to the conclusion of confrontation, and somehow felt like she was being moral by tossing the kid around instead of breaking him?



Notice she seems to be trapped in this mentality of "confrontation." She acts as if these acts are the only possible solutions. The yelling at him, shooting him, and even using "aikido" techniques on him are forms of confrontation. She never once even mentions giving any thought to making peace with him mentally, emotionally, verbally, or in an otherwise peaceful manner. And isn't that our way? Avoiding conflicts before resolving them? Peace and Harmony?

If you say something such as "she didn't hurt him and still defended herself" - to those I ask, do you realize the difference between Aikido and Jujutsu?

She may have harmonized the attacker physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually she is no different from a guy kicking a mentally/emotionally disturbed and weaker (not in a sense of weight and muscle, but the fact hedidn't learn Aikido) kid and walking away. If she knows that the kid must obviously feel pain and issues from the new relationship (she states clear knowledge of this) then why not try to help him resolve the pain and issues, and dissipate the source of the violence, instead of giving a show that she can't be messed with? I feel really sorry for the kid who was both the attacker and the victim in this.

Some may think she was justified because the kid attacked first - those who say that fail to see the true nature of our aiki way.

Clearly this anecdote was not an example of "Real Life Aikido" as the title stated. This was just a damage-minimal physical technique used to get a 12 year old to back off, warranting serious questions such as "Is training in aikido a right or privelage?"

This is way too little info to decide anything. But I think it is ridiculous to expect this woman to put up with physical abuse. Period.

You want to try the love and understanding approach, you do it after the young man understands that his physical aggression has consequences. When he realizes that the physical aggression approach isn't going to have positive outcome, that's the time to be offering to talk, to listen, and to be compassionate.

This got posted under the "Spiritual" section so I am assuming that some of you think that this is some sort of spiritual issue. What ever happened to the anti-violence against women crowd? I've done restraint training for both public and private schools locally and for a juvenile corrections aganecy in San Jose. You have sixth grade males who outweigh their female teachers or guards, They are raging, many with perfectly good reasons, and the are dangerous.

No one, especially a woman, has to put up with physical violence. Period. My ex is a karate yudansha and also has some Aikido experience. My fifteen year old is running his stuff. Some of it has to do with the divorce. He does the teenage raging thing periodically. If he were to get physically abusive I would expect her to knock him flat. I'd back her 100%. Of course then she'd be dealing with CPS and a host of social workers and all sorts of folks who would question why a hundred pound female might need to defend herslef against a 140 lb 15 yr old who can bench press more than she weighs.

By the time she had convinced the social service people that she wasn't abusing the poor child, we'd have the juvenile authorities involved because we'd be talking about assualt now. I know I'd be really happy if he went to juvie...

She effectively defended herself. Did it without hurting the poor dear. Demonstrated to him that attacking women has potential consequences which he might not like (a lesson more people could do with). No CPS, no juvenile authorities... Now is the time for family therapy, anger mangement, and all the love and affection they can dish out to the kid. But not when he is being assualtive, sorry.

mathewjgano
06-17-2006, 11:47 PM
After reading the article itself, particularly the scenario above the one in question, I don't think she was necessarily being confrontational. I think she used extream examples, but that was, I think, likely based on the larger issue of potentially violent situations in general. I seriously doubt she was considering the idea of using a gun on a 12 year old who seems to be acting out his resentment of her, which she seems to sympathize with a little. Perhaps she didn't explain that very well though.

sullivanw
06-17-2006, 11:58 PM
Well, the writer of the original article did say that she tried talking to him, but he didn't respond. So, what form was this 'talking'? Maybe as minor as, "Don't hurt me", but maybe it was more of an attempt to truly communicate about the deeper issues behind the kid's aggression. In either case, she at least stopped the violence, which was hopefully a slap in the face to the kid that opened up some channels of communication.

I think we've all been in situations where someone is beyond talking to, and we either have to remove ourselves or somehow change the context of the interaction. So, were her actions moral? I don't think we can tell from what we can glean from the article. But I'm leaning toward moral, because the writer stopped the violence and the child was not harmed.

mathewjgano
06-18-2006, 12:01 AM
Now is the time for family therapy, anger mangement, and all the love and affection they can dish out to the kid. But not when he is being assualtive, sorry.

I agree. If someone, even a child (and especially a child who has the power to do damage), attacks, you must handle the physical situation directly. How one handles the situation is up to the individual: an Aikidoka seeks actions which do no harm, but which still handle the situation. If there's a physical componant, I say address that componant. Many of us feel attacks are intrinsically flawed. How do you teach that? One way is through demonstration.
Whether she was acting with conflict in her mind isn't something we can be sure of. I think the fact that such extream counter examples were described made it seem she was herself acting/thinking in an extream manner, but I can see how one might try to establish a logical framework by using two extreams: killing; and life-affirming. I know I've often had that habbit in the past, at least, and it has confused many people I've spoken with.
Take care,
Matt

Chris Li
06-18-2006, 12:20 AM
It is obvious from the original (quoted) post that this was a continuing problem, not a spontaneous attack which required an immediate defense, which rules out (for me) the "self-defense" justification.

Of course, this is a perfect example of why people with minor children ought not to remarry until the children are older, but that's just me. In any case, I don't think that laying your hands (no matter how gentle your intentions are) on somebody else's 12 year old is advisable in any circumstances unless it is absolutely unavoidable. I would think that it is actually illegal in most states. She's an adult, she ought to have handled it like one.

Best,

Chris

Michael Hackett
06-18-2006, 12:29 AM
I can understand where a 12 year old kid, a product of a broken home, charged with changing hormones might be coming from. I can appreciate his rage and his helpless feelings of personal powerlessness. I get it.

I also understand that no one should expect to be treated like a punching bag.

I'll bet he understands now that his new step-mom won't be treated like one for sure. Good for her! Good that she understands his pain and cares, but even better that she won't tolerate pain, violence and injury from this poor little darling.

Hanna B
06-18-2006, 12:38 AM
The story is short - it is focusing on the point the writer wanted to make, leaving lots of other things out.

She never once even mentions giving any thought to making peace with him mentally, emotionally, verbally, or in an otherwise peaceful manner. And isn't that our way? Avoiding conflicts before resolving them? Peace and Harmony?

How do you know she did not try, but did not think this was the scope of the article so she did not include it there? Personally, I can not believe that she did not try to talk to the kid. The story says she tried but the kid responded he was just playing. We do not know the extent of events before she used aikido techniques to stop him. As George Ledyard already said, we have too little information.

Clearly this anecdote was not an example of "Real Life Aikido" as the title stated. This was just a damage-minimal physical technique used to get a 12 year old to back off

and that is not real life aikido - you know that as a fact? Is there a clearcut definition of real life aikido then, and you have it? Ah, I see. It is this part.

Avoiding conflicts before resolving them? Peace and Harmony?

How extremely judgemental. Maybe that is the ideal, but if someone is confronting you maybe sometimes confrontation is unavoidable. Few people are perfect, aikido practitioners and non-aikido practitioners alike.

The ones who gave me that peace and harmony-shit were those who abused me. I find your post much more disturbing than the article, and I throw up in your general direction.


This got posted under the "Spiritual" section so I am assuming that some of you think that this is some sort of spiritual issue.

I also find that weird. Apply spiritual aspects on violent situations you were in yourself, fine! but please, not on other folks' stories of physical abuse.

dps
06-18-2006, 03:25 AM
The following was on this very website, here:
http://www.aikiweb.com/general/shifflett1.html



Doesn't anyone else find this article disturbing?

(No.)

Now some of you would say this is a good example of defense and since the kids was just as big and being unreasonable, so this was simply a good example of Aikido not hurting anyone but still used for defense.

(Yes.)

Well I say that this is a very superficial and disturbing point of view. The thing is, this action and thinking is very "un-aiki" in and of itself. Beyond defending yourself without hurting your opponent, doesn't anyone else find it odd that the writer (whoever she is) immediately went to the conclusion of confrontation, and somehow felt like she was being moral by tossing the kid around instead of breaking him?

(No.)



Notice she seems to be trapped in this mentality of "confrontation." She acts as if these acts are the only possible solutions. The yelling at him, shooting him, and even using "aikido" techniques on him are forms of confrontation. She never once even mentions giving any thought to making peace with him mentally, emotionally, verbally, or in an otherwise peaceful manner. And isn't that our way? Avoiding conflicts before resolving them? Peace and Harmony?

(The best way to avoid conflicts and to live in peace and harmony with someone who assaults you is to let know you can defend yourself and hurt them if neccessay.)





If you say something such as "she didn't hurt him and still defended herself" - to those I ask, do you realize the difference between Aikido and Jujutsu?


(Definition of Jujutsu: a method of self-defense without weapons that was developed in China and Japan; holds and blows are supplemented by clever use of the attacker's own weight and strength)

(Definition of Aikido: The word "aikido" is made up of three Japanese characters: AI - harmony, KI - spirit, mind, or universal energy, DO - the Way. Thus aikido is "the Way of Harmony with Universal Energy." However, AIKI may also be interpreted as "accommodation to circumstances.)


She may have harmonized the attacker physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually she is no different from a guy kicking a mentally/emotionally disturbed and weaker (not in a sense of weight and muscle, but the fact hedidn't learn Aikido) kid and walking away. If she knows that the kid must obviously feel pain and issues from the new relationship (she states clear knowledge of this) then why not try to help him resolve the pain and issues, and dissipate the source of the violence, instead of giving a show that she can't be messed with? I feel really sorry for the kid who was both the attacker and the victim in this.


(She moved his mind to a place where he would respect her.)


Some may think she was justified because the kid attacked first - those who say that fail to see the true nature of our aiki way.

(Definition Aiki: United spirit. The spiritual principle of destroying an adversary's will to fight, or the physical act of dominating an adversary by harmonizing with his force and redirecting it. (Japanese))



Clearly this anecdote was not an example of "Real Life Aikido" as the title stated. This was just a damage-minimal physical technique used to get a 12 year old to back off, warranting serious questions such as "Is training in aikido a right or privelage?"

Training in Aikido is a choice. If her training had been in Karate, the kid may have been sent to the hospital and she may have been sent to jail.

giriasis
06-18-2006, 08:32 AM
I think someone needs to seriously re-read this article without such a judgmental attitude, and you would notice that she was not advocating hurting the child, but using her aikido to defend herself against someone bigger and stronger than her.

When she said: What am I to do? Yell "just wait til your father gets home!!" at every incident? Pull out my handy .45 or Uzi and blow him away? She was being sarcastic. The first option would to too passive and the second one too aggressive. She stating too extremes that both of which are not good alternatives. Instead she chose to apply aikido to a real life situation.

You see here point wasn't that you should use a uzi on a 12 year old, but that her point was when people go around talking about "Real Life Situations" they don't normally think about controlling an out of control and aggressive child. No, most people think about brawls, UFC fights, stranger attacks, but they don't think about domestic violence situations. Here, I think she handled the situation perfectly by controlling her aggression and not allowing him to continue abusing her. In the end she ended up controlling the situation and defending herself.

Mary Eastland
06-18-2006, 08:55 AM
I have used aikido on my daughter in a conflict situation....no one got hurt....my anger went away as I connected with my center and gently put her down on the ground. She never touched me aggressivly again. She felt the power and got the message.

You can't create peace from a victim position.


James:

I ask you this because of your extreme judgement.
Have you walked a day in her shoes?
Do you know how you would react in a similar experience?

Mary

mathewjgano
06-18-2006, 09:00 AM
It is obvious from the original (quoted) post that this was a continuing problem, not a spontaneous attack which required an immediate defense, which rules out (for me) the "self-defense" justification.
I don't think self-defense was given as a justification. The idea was to demonstrate why hitting people isn't a good way of acting without harming the child.

In any case, I don't think that laying your hands (no matter how gentle your intentions are) on somebody else's 12 year old is advisable in any circumstances unless it is absolutely unavoidable. I would think that it is actually illegal in most states. She's an adult, she ought to have handled it like one.
I don't think we can judge whether or not she handled it "like an adult" based on the information. Laying your hands on someone works both ways. If a child tries to hit me, I certainly won't let him. If I'm related to said child, I'd feel even more comfortable responding. If a punch comes at me, I'll probably have to make contact to redirect it.
You might be correct and the woman didn't behave as well as she could or should have, I don't know. However, as far as "laying hands on someone," in and of itself, I'm not going to let anyone hit me, particularly after having already asked the person to stop.

Tomas Grana
06-18-2006, 11:21 AM
[QUOTE=James Ko]I hate to disagree with you, but I have to say I feel this is very un-aiki as well.

Really? I thought that if someone wanted to hurt me, and I blended with them, redirected their energy without hurting them and convinced them that violence was not an option, that was about as "aiki" as it got.

Let's extrapolate to an extreme example: say you were a high school teacher and embarrassed or humiliated one of your students during class by making him feel stupid. You didn't mean to cause him harm, but you did and you understand why he's hurt. If he decided to take out his pain/frustration/anger on you after class with a stiletto, when he charged at you, would you stand there telling him you understand his pain/frustration/anger, telling him you want to be his friend? I don't think anyone with a right mind can say that disarming that kid at that time, shouldn't be priority #1. Hopefully you do that with as little harm to him as possible. That depends on your skill and nervousness at the time. After that, you can talk about it, if he lets you. How is this other situation that much different, in principle?

I'm afraid that some aikidoists take the whole "peace love and harmony" thing too far. Don't get me wrong, I practice Aikido to avoid conflict, but I'm aware that sometimes, I might have to deal with it.

James, don't forget that Aikido is still a martial art. A particularly compassionate, altruistic one, but martial nonetheless. We can quote O-sensei about blending, and universal energy, etc. all day long, but he also said stuff like "to do Ikkyo, first you must smash your opponent's face".

Chris Li
06-18-2006, 11:25 AM
I don't think self-defense was given as a justification. The idea was to demonstrate why hitting people isn't a good way of acting without harming the child.

Not in the original article, but a number of people have cited it, or variations of it, as a justification.

I don't think we can judge whether or not she handled it "like an adult" based on the information. Laying your hands on someone works both ways. If a child tries to hit me, I certainly won't let him. If I'm related to said child, I'd feel even more comfortable responding. If a punch comes at me, I'll probably have to make contact to redirect it.
You might be correct and the woman didn't behave as well as she could or should have, I don't know. However, as far as "laying hands on someone," in and of itself, I'm not going to let anyone hit me, particularly after having already asked the person to stop.

If a child attempts to hit me I probably will attempt to prevent that - but this wasn't a spontaneous occurrence, it was an ongoing situation. I really question the wisdom of a premeditated plan to physically discipline a child not your own.

Best,

Chris

giriasis
06-18-2006, 01:08 PM
If a child attempts to hit me I probably will attempt to prevent that - but this wasn't a spontaneous occurrence, it was an ongoing situation. I really question the wisdom of a premeditated plan to physically discipline a child not your own.

Chris, this sounded like a step-child but a step-child that was bigger than she was. You are seeming to forget this or choosing to ignore it. Of course it was self-defense. Just because actions are ongoing (i.e. not spontaneous) and the person previously accepted the actions (i.e. previous occurrences), does not waive the person's right to defend themselves. The notion of premeditation does not come into play here. All that matters is that the child intended to attack her, he attacked her and she defended herself appropriately in the given situation. And by the way it sounds, it sounds like she choose to respond appropriately.

What you are advocating is as absurd as saying that an abused spouse does not have the right to defend themselves while they are being beaten even though in previous beatings they did not fight back. Are you trying to say it's not abusive behavior because it's coming from a child? Punching and kicking an adult that the child's father loves is wrong, too, you know. This isn't a school situation where there is a total hands off policy where people (i.e. teachers) are not allowed to touch children, even in self-defense. This isn't physical discipline that going on here. She's talking about defending herself from punches and kicks -- from assault and battery. Punching and kicking loved ones is wrong, period. Is it somehow okay because it's coming from a 12 year old? A 12 year old on the brink of puberty and who is bigger than the woman in question?

I guess you would have preferred that she allow him to continue punching and kicking her? It sure does sound like it. I'm sorry, but it's not "aiki" to be a doormat.

Hanna B
06-18-2006, 01:28 PM
The most surprising part of the story, to me, is there was a second and a third time. I can imagine a normal kid... well... yes. I can imagine a normal kid under stress trying to kick or slap a parent's spouse, but after having been put to the ground once - in my mind most kids would stop there. The story does not tell, but I believe there is probably something seriously wrong about this twelve years old. Of course I am judging from a fairly short story, I could be very wrong.

Chris Li
06-18-2006, 03:42 PM
Chris, this sounded like a step-child but a step-child that was bigger than she was. You are seeming to forget this or choosing to ignore it. Of course it was self-defense. Just because actions are ongoing (i.e. not spontaneous) and the person previously accepted the actions (i.e. previous occurrences), does not waive the person's right to defend themselves. The notion of premeditation does not come into play here. All that matters is that the child intended to attack her, he attacked her and she defended herself appropriately in the given situation. And by the way it sounds, it sounds like she choose to respond appropriately.

What you are advocating is as absurd as saying that an abused spouse does not have the right to defend themselves while they are being beaten even though in previous beatings they did not fight back. Are you trying to say it's not abusive behavior because it's coming from a child? Punching and kicking an adult that the child's father loves is wrong, too, you know. This isn't a school situation where there is a total hands off policy where people (i.e. teachers) are not allowed to touch children, even in self-defense. This isn't physical discipline that going on here. She's talking about defending herself from punches and kicks -- from assault and battery. Punching and kicking loved ones is wrong, period. Is it somehow okay because it's coming from a 12 year old? A 12 year old on the brink of puberty and who is bigger than the woman in question?

I guess you would have preferred that she allow him to continue punching and kicking her? It sure does sound like it. I'm sorry, but it's not "aiki" to be a doormat.

An abused spouse, a conflict between two adults, is very different than a conflict between an adult and a child, no matter how large the child happens to be. Also, a step-child is not your child unless you adopt them - being married to their parent doesn't give you any particular right to physically discipline them. The reason that I discount self defense is that this was clearly an ongoing problem to which she planned a physical response, not a sudden attack. There are better ways to handle twelve year olds, especially one that's not your own child.

Best,

Chris

dps
06-18-2006, 04:10 PM
Someone has to discipline the kid. If not this women then next time maybe it will be the police.
This women had every right to protect herself from violence. No matter what the reasons behind the kid's behavior, she has to protect herself first and foremost.

Carol Shifflett
06-18-2006, 04:44 PM
I am the author of the essay in question.

Many appreciative thanks to Anne Marie Giri and George Ledyard and all the others (parents, I suspect) who recognize what was really going on. For those of you who see a Monster Mom, well, your concern is obviously for a sad young boy and I can't object to that. I wish with all my heart that he had gotten that concern from his Real Mom from the very beginning. His story would have been very different.

Meanwhile, look again at Jun Akiyama's intro to this essay. He posted it for good reason. Editor's note: This article was written as a contrasting viewpoint to an ongoing discussion on the Aikido Mailing List regarding subjects such as Hollywood Super Bad Guys, Movie "Martial Arts," Automatic Weapons on the Street, the "killing techniques" found in aikido, and the "impossibility" or "stupidity" of protecting the attacker.This essay was a response to yet another "Gun War" with endless rants about gun control vs. muzzle velocity vs. stopping power vs. self-defense On The Street .

Caring for your attacker is neither impossible nor stupid. The hard truth is that most attacks you will face in your life will NOT be from ninja drug-lords parachuting out of the sky, it's going to be from people you know and care about. And defending yourself against people you really care about in Real Life, on a daily basis, is much tougher than the fantasy cartoon situations.

Meanwhile, James, you left out the Tae Kwon Do black belt . . .
. . . whose fraternity brothers were coming home drunk and throwing punches and kicks at him so he would "show them his moves" -- not realizing that his moves were designed to smash teeth and rip out lungs. His unwillingness to harm was getting him beaten up. "What can I do?" he said. "These are my brothers. I don't want to hurt them!" We showed him tenkan. He stayed.
There's really no difference in attackers here -- except in size, weight and strength. Now we're talking Real Aikido, responsibility, range of options.

Are you going to purposely smash that person you care about? Do everything you can to crush and destroy? or -- Be rendered completely helpless by unwillingness to harm? Or are you going to be effective and real glad that the effectiveness and control come with the option NOT to smash and destroy?
And maybe you might train for that? The fact is, I cared about Chris, I cared about the law, and I cared about protecting myself. As Anne Marie says, it is NOT Aiki to be a doormat. I am also trained in karate -- and yes I had that option and chose not to use it. It was inappropriate. Aikido was appropriate and gave me the ability to protect both of us.

Did I talk to him? Work with him? Oh yes I did. When he arrived in Virginia he could not read at all. Real Mom didn't care enough to look at his homework or talk to him after school -- apparently too busy with a stream of "boyfriends." I taught him to read by sitting and reading Jules Verne's "Voyage to the Center of the Earth" one paragraph for me, one paragraph for him, Treasure Island, and others, for hours at a time and yes you can go see "Jurassic Park" movie as soon as you read the book. He read the book but came back from the movie disappointed. "They took out all the GOOD parts!" (YESSSSSS!!!!) . . . this from a boy who, at 12, could only read comic books. And why was that? Because someone else hadn't cared enough about this child to be a Real Real Mom. He was treated badly, but not by me.

Real Parents know that you can't negotiate or talk or work with a child who is being abusive -- and successful at it. Hey! He's winning! Why would he stop what works?

As George Ledyard points out, that behavior must stop before anything else can happen -- for all the same reasons that you don't hand the car keys -- or that .45 or Uzi -- to a 5 year old.

I used to tell Chris that a parent's job is to keep their kids safe until their frontal lobes develop. To my mind there wasn't much difference between his treatment of me and discovering his plan to spell out "Happy Halloween!" on the front lawn with the gasoline can and light it on fire. Seemed reasonable to him, and a great Hollywood Special Effect, and yes, I shut that down too.

Discovering his plan ahead of time was a good opening for a lecture on vapor pressure; if it had been later, well, better an ikkyo than the burn unit. Better a koshi than juvenile detention.

At any rate, please remember that this was written as a counter to the notion that an attacker (any attacker!??) deserves whatever he gets. I don't agree.

You do what is appropriate. Nothing more -- and nothing less.

Carol Shifflett

George S. Ledyard
06-18-2006, 05:26 PM
There are better ways to handle twelve year olds, especially one that's not your own child.

Best,

Chris
Chris,
No one is saying that this is a "preferred" method of handling a child. In the case of my sone, he goes to counseling, his Mom and Step Dad are trying all sorts of strategies, all the usual stuff. He has not crossed the line when he rages and so one might say that what we have been doing has been successful. But my son had a friend whose father is under a restraining order for domestic violence against the Mom. Their fifteen year old started getting violent with the Mom. He went o juvenile detention and is now on probation. I can assure you that avoiding getting involved with the State is a priority for everyone involved in these issues.

I find that folks, especially folks who have limited experience with kids get very judgemental on these issues. My ex and I had eight between us and I can tell you I have seen quite a range. People could look at any one of our kids and reach absolutely different conclusions about what type of parents we have been. If you looked at our second oldest daughter you might think we were terrible parents. She ran away twice, had major league eating disorders, got pregnant etc. You could look at the next sister down and conclude that we were clearly exemplarly parents since she was a straight A student and star athlete. Both were raised in the same household... I can tell you definitively that there are problems which you encounter with kids that seem to have no solution. You try your best but sometimes they just don't respond .

I don't know that patriculars in this case, but I can pretty much guarentee you that no step parent "wants" to have this type of interaction with the child. Normally there are various strategies in place at the same time these behaviors are taking place. They may be working but slowly, they may be not working... The bottom line is that no one must put up with physical assault. Period. You don't let a twelve year old put you in a state of fear and you don't let them make you reluctant to enter you own home. Assuming that there were other remedies being put into place, like family counseling, anger management, individual counseling, etc I have no problem with the Step Mom protecting herself, especailly as she didn't hurt the young person at all.

I would ask the key question... where is the father? I can tell you that if one of my sons (I have three) assaulated his step Mom or my ex, she wouldn''t be left to figure out how to handle the situation.
The young man in question would be dealing with me.

giriasis
06-18-2006, 06:03 PM
Carol, thank you for being so articulate. And thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

The reason that I discount self defense is that this was clearly an ongoing problem to which she planned a physical response, not a sudden attack.

Chris, I think Carol just very clearly explained the point of her article so I'm not going to go into your other points.

First, this is a violence domestic situation. And yes, domestic violence can easily be wrought by children onto parents and between siblings. And it can be between spouses not just husbands onto wives but wives onto husbands. Step-family is included in this as well. As far as I know, there is no step-family exclusion to domestic violence.

Second, I believe your understanding of what constitutes self-defense is misguided. What really is self-defense? Self-defense is the right of a person to touch another person, without that person's permission, and use reasonable force necessary that they believe and that the situation dictates is reasonably necessary to prevent themselves from being subject to imminent physical harm or threat of imminent physical harm. There is no exception to using self-defense if it is a child who is attacking you. However, the fact that a child, a relative or not, is attacking a person should be taken into consideration as to the amount of reasonable force necessary to defend oneself. For example, if a child was attacking you with knife would allow them to stab you? I don't think so. But, does this mean you have a right to use lethal force, may be not.

The notion of intent (premeditation as you try and term it) for a victim of assault and/ or battery using self-defense is the intent to prevent harm to ones body. It doesn't matter whether this has happened before. It only matters that the person perceived an imminent threat of physical harm to her body. Just because it comes from a 12 year old or any other child, relative or not, is irrelevant to her right to defend herself. It only really comes into play as to the amount of force she needs to use. If she hit the child using her karate training instead then that's referred to as "excessive use of force." Then, she would have had problems and then your point would come more into play here.

The notion of knowing the attack is going to happen because it happened in the past is not relevant at all here in this situation. You still have right to defend yourself even if the attack is not a surprise attack. Just because she thought about how she would respond does not waive her right to defend herself. Often times in domestic situations, the abuse victim will know its coming, but they don't have right to defend themselves until the threat is imminent. You would have a point if she was not responding to an imminent threat and instead just walked up to the child while watching television and just started throwing him around. And you might even have a point that she justified doing this as some form of discipline for his previous acts. However, he was actually throwing punches and kicks at her and she responded to those. This is not discipline. This IS self-defense. She is not punishing the child for punching and kicking her in the past. She acted reasonably under the circumstances to prevent further imminent harm from occurring to her body.

Chris Li
06-18-2006, 06:47 PM
Second, I believe your understanding of what constitutes self-defense is misguided. What really is self-defense? Self-defense is the right of a person to touch another person, without that person's permission, and use reasonable force necessary that they believe and that the situation dictates is reasonably necessary to prevent themselves from being subject to imminent physical harm or threat of imminent physical harm. There is no exception to using self-defense if it is a child who is attacking you. However, the fact that a child, a relative or not, is attacking a person should be taken into consideration as to the amount of reasonable force necessary to defend oneself. For example, if a child was attacking you with knife would allow them to stab you? I don't think so. But, does this mean you have a right to use lethal force, may be not.

My argument is not over whether or not someone has the right to defend themselves when attacked, it is over whether deliberately planning a strategy of physical confrontation is the best approach when dealing with a child in a situation in which the "attack" is clearly anticipated long in advance. I wouldn't think that it is a particularly good approach for dealing with adults, much less children, where a much greater standard of caution is generally expected.

Best,

Chris

Avery Jenkins
06-18-2006, 08:10 PM
Frankly, I applaud Carol's actions. I cannot think of a better way to handle the situation as described, and my hat is off to her for handling it as well as she did.

Avery

Lan Powers
06-18-2006, 09:08 PM
Step-parenting is way hard.
Lan

giriasis
06-18-2006, 10:14 PM
My argument is not over whether or not someone has the right to defend themselves when attacked, it is over whether deliberately planning a strategy of physical confrontation is the best approach when dealing with a child in a situation in which the "attack" is clearly anticipated long in advance. I wouldn't think that it is a particularly good approach for dealing with adults, much less children, where a much greater standard of caution is generally expected.

Best,

Chris

It is the best approach when dealing with aggressive behavior because you go into it with a clear and calm mind and maintaining your psychic center. As a result, you don't allow the situation to escalate but rather help diffuse the situation.

No one is advocating shooting the kid, beating the child, hurting the child, being abusive back to the child. But I am saying that if an aggressive child who is acting out is trying to hurt someone smaller than them, yeah they have the right to use appropriate force to defend themselves. Because, you can't deal with a physical attack until is actually happens. Having a good strategy (ikkyo, perhaps?) as how to deal with his next punch or kick is an excellent way to deal with the situation.

Whenever I get on the mat and practice the effectiveness of my techniques, I'm deliberately planning a strategy of responding to a physical confrontation of a potential attacker regardless of who they might be. Sometimes a real life situation is not a stranger on the street trying to rape me. More likely than not a real life situation for me will come at the hands of my brother, mother, father, step-father, step-mother, neice, nephew, boyfriend, friend's boyfriend, etc. They could be an out of control client. But whenever you enter a potentially dangerous situation, you always go into it with a plan of defense, especially if you know what your dealing with. You just cannot act, until its necessary to act.

Chris, if I may ask. Have you ever been subject to a domestic violence situation? Have you ever known any one in a domestic violence situation? Have you ever had to stand up to an abuser to protect the girlfriend he was trying to abuse? I have to all three. Because, I really don't think that you really are grasping the scenario here otherwise you would not have put the word "attack" into quotes as if there really was not an attack to begin with. I can just see you sitting there thinking, "what do you mean, a 12 year old can't possibly hurt a grown woman?" Yes, I really think if she just continued to do nothing she would have been hurt. I guess you missed the part that he was her size and weighed more than her.

Let's stop blaming the victim, okay? Carol appears to be completely within her rights -- legally and morally -- to roll the boy gently across the rug and then pin him to the ground to no injury as it appears.

dps
06-18-2006, 10:24 PM
My argument is not over whether or not someone has the right to defend themselves when attacked, it is over whether deliberately planning a strategy of physical confrontation is the best approach when dealing with a child in a situation in which the "attack" is clearly anticipated long in advance. I wouldn't think that it is a particularly good approach for dealing with adults, much less children, where a much greater standard of caution is generally expected.

Best,

Chris
It is not like she could avoid the boy, she lived with him in the same house. I bet that if the father did intervene he probably could not be present all the time the step mom and boy were together. The problem with the boy escalated even though the step mom tried other methods. Her final option to stop the physical attack was a thought out plan in which herself and the boy did not get hurt. The boy needs to learn that there are consequences to his behavior. The more severe the behavior the more severe the consequences.
Bravo for her. I hope her actions has help the boy.

Chris Li
06-18-2006, 10:49 PM
I can just see you sitting there thinking, "what do you mean, a 12 year old can't possibly hurt a grown woman?" Yes, I really think if she just continued to do nothing she would have been hurt. I guess you missed the part that he was her size and weighed more than her.

I never said that he couldn't hurt her. What I said was that this was a continuing situation, and not a spur of the moment attack. Given that, there are better ways of handling the situation than getting involved physically with a twelve year old.

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
06-18-2006, 10:55 PM
It is not like she could avoid the boy, she lived with him in the same house. I bet that if the father did intervene he probably could not be present all the time the step mom and boy were together.

Yet another argument, IMO, against remarriage while minor children are still in the household.

The problem with the boy escalated even though the step mom tried other methods. Her final option to stop the physical attack was a thought out plan in which herself and the boy did not get hurt.

Luckily, but what if he had? People forget, but it's easy enough to injured right in the dojo, under controlled circumstances. Morihei Ueshiba injured any number of people by accident, it could happen to anyone. Given that it wasn't even her child (despite active involvement, stepparents have almost no actual parental rights), the risk is quite high.

If you try something like this and it works out, then great, but if some 40 year old came to me and said that they wanted to try this type of approach on a neighborhood 12 year old I would absolutely advise against it.

Best,

Chris

dps
06-18-2006, 11:49 PM
Luckily, but what if he had? People forget, but it's easy enough to injured right in the dojo, under controlled circumstances. Morihei Ueshiba injured any number of people by accident, it could happen to anyone. Given that it wasn't even her child (despite active involvement, stepparents have almost no actual parental rights), the risk is quite high.



Best,

Chris

Since no other approach worked than her alternative was to let the boy continue with his attacks and hurt her?
Have you ever been in a situation such as hers? I have and no amount of counseling, therapy, time outs, positive reinforcements, etc. worked. What did work was a very direct and physical intervention on my part that ended up with me holding the twelve year old boy up against a wall explaining to him that if he ever touched my wife again what I would physically do to him. He never physically bothered my wife again and over time the counseling and me keeping close watch on him changed his behavior dramatically

I would like to read about your own real life experience with a similar situation that this step mom had and how you resolved it.

Carol Shifflett
06-19-2006, 12:04 AM
What I said was that this was a continuing situation, and not a spur of the moment attack. Given that, there are better ways of handling the situation than getting involved physically with a twelve year old. Right. Had you considered a day-in day-out continuing situation of spur-of-the-moment attacks? -- with power and energy behind them? You know, the sort of thing that allows Aikido in the first place?
There are good and appropriate ways of dealing with almost everything before it happens -- but you deal with a blatant physical attack in a physical manner, wether the kid is 12 or 2 or 22.

Now, practically speaking, are you now or have you ever been a parent or stepparent of an angry dysfunctional 12-13 yr old boy? If not, then I must suggest that your comments, while lovely and surely well-intentioned, are purely theoretical. This here is real Aikido. When you're a really a parent, you don't get to bow out, you don't get to quit.

Believe me or better yet, believe the voices of the many obviously experienced parents and therapists here -- all the theory in the world is NOTHING like the Real Thing.

Cheers!
Carol Shifflett

dps
06-19-2006, 12:26 AM
all the theory in the world is NOTHING like the Real Thing.

Cheers!
Carol Shifflett

Very well said Carol

Chris Li
06-19-2006, 12:43 AM
Since no other approach worked than her alternative was to let the boy continue with his attacks and hurt her?
Have you ever been in a situation such as hers? I have and no amount of counseling, therapy, time outs, positive reinforcements, etc. worked. What did work was a very direct and physical intervention on my part that ended up with me holding the twelve year old boy up against a wall explaining to him that if he ever touched my wife again what I would physically do to him. He never physically bothered my wife again and over time the counseling and me keeping close watch on him changed his behavior dramatically

And where was the father in this case, and why didn't he intervene in this manner? I also note that you didn't actually engage the child physically - there's quite a difference between holding and threatening and actually applying a throwing technique.

Best,

Chris

dps
06-19-2006, 12:53 AM
I also note that you didn't actually engage the child physically - there's quite a difference between holding and threatening and actually applying a throwing technique.

Best,

Chris I said,
"I bet that if the father did intervene he probably could not be present all the time the step mom and boy were together."

In Carol's situation the boy would only be physical when dad was not around. In my case at, I was able to be at home to deal with the situation.


You weren't there. As I said, " ended up with me holding the twelve year old boy up against a wall explaining to him that if he ever touched my wife again what I would physically do to him."

What is your experience?

Chris Li
06-19-2006, 12:53 AM
Believe me or better yet, believe the voices of the many obviously experienced parents and therapists here -- all the theory in the world is NOTHING like the Real Thing.

Cheers!
Carol Shifflett

I've been a stepchild, and I've been (and am) a parent, all of which is beside the point because I don't need to get shot in the foot to know that I wouldn't enjoy the experience. Have an opinion on Iraq? How can you possibly have an opinion for or against without having been there - but millions of people obviously do, and not having been there doesn't diminish the validity of their (pro or con) opinions.

I could bring up long lists of experienced parents and therapists who would be of the opinion that no non-adoptive parent has any business physically disciplining a stepchild - would you believe them? Maybe we could compare lists, but so far as I know there's really no general agreement on this issue.

Anyway, my experience with children is that it's generally a bad idea to physically engage with a 12 year old, even more so if it's not actually your 12 year old. I'm glad that things worked out for you, but as I pointed out earlier, the risks are also great, and if someone training with me were thinking about such an approach I would recommend against it very strongly.

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
06-19-2006, 01:02 AM
I said,
"I bet that if the father did intervene he probably could not be present all the time the step mom and boy were together."

In Carol's situation the boy would only be physical when dad was not around. In my case at, I was able to be at home to deal with the situation.

By "where was the father" I meant generally speaking, not at any one particular time, since this was obviously a situation that continued over a certain time period.


You weren't there. As I said, " ended up with me holding the twelve year old boy up against a wall explaining to him that if he ever touched my wife again what I would physically do to him."

What is your experience?

You can see my other posting about the last part. As to the first, you mean that you threw him around first and then finished by holding him up to the wall? I can't say if I would advocate that or not without knowing more about the situation, but as above, I don't think that I'd recommend it as a planned response to a continuing situation applied on a child that isn't your own.

Best,

Chris

Michael Hackett
06-19-2006, 01:15 AM
From what I've been reading, it doesn't seem that Carol was trying to discipline him - that is change his behavior through a system of punishment, but rather to protect herself from harm. If he learned a valuable lesson, so much the better. I've been called to far too many homes where violence was acted out by out of control kids, some younger and some older. Their attacks can be quite frightening, dangerous and injurious. Sorry, kumbaya has its place around the campfire, but not as a response to a physical attack. She did the right thing.

dps
06-19-2006, 01:24 AM
I don't need to get shot in the foot to know that I wouldn't enjoy the experience.

If you shot yourself in the foot you know how other people who have been shot in the foot feel. Better yet shoot yourself in the foot everyday and you would know how people who get shot in the foot everyday actually feel.

Chris Li
06-19-2006, 01:41 AM
If you shot yourself in the foot you know how other people who have been shot in the foot feel. Better yet shoot yourself in the foot everyday and you would know how people who get shot in the foot everyday actually feel.

I could just as easily have said that any comments made by people who haven't been stepchildren (as I have) are invalid because they don't know how those people actually feel. But I haven't. Experience, of course, is a great thing, but it isn't the only thing, and I feel that it is counter-productive when you try to counter an argument by arguing against the presenter of that argument rather than dealing with the argument itself.

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
06-19-2006, 01:49 AM
From what I've been reading, it doesn't seem that Carol was trying to discipline him - that is change his behavior through a system of punishment, but rather to protect herself from harm. If he learned a valuable lesson, so much the better. I've been called to far too many homes where violence was acted out by out of control kids, some younger and some older. Their attacks can be quite frightening, dangerous and injurious. Sorry, kumbaya has its place around the campfire, but not as a response to a physical attack. She did the right thing.

It's not about kumbaya, if a twelve year old walked up to you and suddenly attacked, and you managed to subdue them without physical injury then I would applaud your performance. A planned physical response to a continuing situation, on the other hand, is a different situation.

Best,

Chris

Hanna B
06-19-2006, 02:21 AM
Carol, I appreciate that you come here and told a little more background. A big problem with this discussion is the text snippeted out of context; just a link to the article instead would have made people read it in context including Jun's comment.

And where was the father in this case, and why didn't he intervene in this manner?

IMO that was explained in the original article: doing the "Wait until your father comes home" every time just did not work. I.e. the kid choose to do this when the father was not at home, and dealing with it afterwards when he did come home for some reason did not have effect. That it did not work could be because the father did not manage (not all pops are perfect!) or because the child was a very troublesome one (Carol has already described the kid as "dysfunctional"). Besides, obviously Carol had taken on a parenting role here.

A planned physical response to a continuing situation, on the other hand, is a different situation.

In a way I agree with you, but regarding truly dysfunctional kids... maybe one has to be satisfied if things works somewhat OK. In this case maybe it means no one gets hurt and the family relations are somewhat restored, meaning the kid will not become the "boss". That would truly hurt him, in the long run.

With all due respect Chris, it sounds like you are arguing more concerning your own feelings regarding stepfamilies than this actual case. It seems to me your main arguments are against the fact that a step mom acted as bravely as if she was the mother. You are entitled to your opinion that divorced people with children should not remarry, i.e. a stepfamily is in itself something evil. Sure being a step parent is hard but your opinion does not match my view of the world and most of the stepfamilies I have seen... IMHO quite a bit of the "family evil" takes place in non-step families as well.

Chris Li
06-19-2006, 02:35 AM
With all due respect Chris, it sounds like you are arguing more concerning your own feelings regarding stepfamilies than this actual case. It seems to me your main arguments are against the fact that a step mom acted as bravely as if she was the mother. You are entitled to your opinion that divorced people with children should not remarry, i.e. a stepfamily is in itself something evil. Sure being a step parent is hard but your opinion does not match my view of the world and most of the stepfamilies I have seen... IMHO quite a bit of the "family evil" takes place in non-step families as well.

There are many problems associated with stepfamilies, of which this is a prime example, but it has nothing to do with "evil", my experiences as a stepchild were just fine. I don't think that that people with minor children ought to remarry because, statistically, it means dragging them through a second divorce experience. Now that's not very romantic, but those are the numbers - over 60% of second marriages fail, and the percentage is even higher when children are involved.

In any case, my point was that a premeditated physical engagement (as opposed to a spontaneous instance of self defense) with a 12 year old is not something that I would recommend. That the 12 year old is not actually your own child (step or otherwise) only makes the strategy that much more difficult to recommend. I'm glad that it worked for Carol, but I certainly wouldn't encourage it in any student of mine who proposed using their training in that way.

Best,

Chris

George S. Ledyard
06-19-2006, 02:38 AM
I think we are talking at cross purposes here. Chris is absolutely right that step parents have almost no rights regarding childrend these days. But frankly, neither do the birth parents when it comes to something like this.

That's why I said that no one I know would look at this interaction as "desirable". When things get physical, the legal authorities start getting involved. And that is one of the very worst thing that can happen.Either you are guilty of abusive behavior or the child is guilty of assault. Either way you will get to meet all sorts of folks you didn't want to know...

So, of course you do what you can to head off this kind of confrontation. It really is bad. You feel horrible. The child really doesn't feel good about his own behavior... Bad ju ju all the way around.

But I still maintain that there is a bottom line which is that no one has to put up with assaultive behavior. I also maintain that, finding out that women can be quite powerful and capable of defending themselves is not a bad lesson for a young adolescent male to receive. There is absolutely no reason that this lesson needs humiliating or demeaning in any way. It totally depends on the spirit in which it is given. Once the point has been made you get back to giving the child in question all the love and attention he can handle.

ruthmc
06-19-2006, 03:44 AM
In my experience with kids and young teens, talking doesn't always work. If they decide to get physical, you have to protect yourself and the kid. Aikido works very well for this.

In the case of kids with behaviour issues (from being upset to severe autism) you won't always get though to them by talking - they stop listening to anyone else and act on their own feelings. They cannot be reasoned with when they are like that.

I think Carol has been doing a great job, and I applaud her for her efforts!

Ruth

dps
06-19-2006, 04:02 AM
This boy has learned from someone (probably the rotating boyfriends of Real mom) how to treat women by physical intimidation and abuse.
The two best ways for him to learn otherwise is an adult male role model (preferably a father even if it is the second marriage or third) that treats the mom with love and respect and a "mom"( real mom, step mom, foster mom, etc) to show him with, love and compassion, how to treat women and how not to treat women.
It is better if the parents do preplanned responses for repetitive negative behavior so that you can be in control of yourself and the situation when you respond. Otherwise your reaction might be uncontrolled explosive anger with the greater chance of physical and psychological injury.
If the child is having emotional problems with his past and/or present family situation and is acting out in a physical and destructive way, then physical means to stop this child will happen if not by the parents themselves then by the police, children services, juvenile justice system," all sorts of folks you didn't want to know" that George is talking about. Being in "the system" of "the folks you didn't want to know" is not a better situation for the kid and he will probably end up in worst physical and psychological shape.
I would definitely recommend physical intervention to help the child as long as the response is reasonable as the situation dictates.

Esaemann
06-19-2006, 08:22 AM
Probably not to popular an opinion in this day and age, but maybe she should leave. After all, shouldn't the father's kid come first.

Qatana
06-19-2006, 12:29 PM
I'm sorry but promising yourself that "if he does this again I will have no choice but to physically defend myself:" is not a pre-meditated attack. It is taking the last resort, and it IS self defense.

Trish Greene
06-19-2006, 02:17 PM
Chris,

I do not know your background but I really have to disagree with this statement of yours.

Yet another argument, IMO, against remarriage while minor children are still in the household.


You would rather the child live in a single family home then have two parents available? My husband's parents divorced and his mom remarried when he was 8 yo. I thank god that the man that came in to his life at that time was there to raise him, his real father was dealing at the time was dealing with his own addictions and a second family that he had started. My husband at the time was an angry little boy.

His step father was a good man, and a martial artist. At one point my teen-aged husband let his hormones get away from him and threatened his mother, his stepfather promptly reacted by putting him up against a wall with this warning "she might be your mother, but she is my wife, do not disrespect her like that again." . Contrary to what some might think, this did him a world of good to help him get his priorities straightened out. Now as a 40 yo man, my husband praises his stepfather left and right for being there to raise him as he did. I couldn't imagine what and where my husband would be at this time if he didn't have a father figure there.

As for the rest of the posts.. I will comment on those when I am finish reading them!

John Boswell
06-19-2006, 02:55 PM
Teenagers... fight. It's not a "generalization" to me. It's just a fact. My parents never divorced and I remember very clearly my brothers... one by one... picking a fight with Dad when they started to seek their independence as teenagers (young "adults"?).

When my turn came, I was 16, furious and in Dad's face. And he was eggin' me on! (Not a healthy attitude at the time, but I learned a lot from it.) And instead of doing like my brothers... throwing a punch, I laughed and told him that fighting him was going to be the LAST thing I ever did. Then I got the hell outta Dodge.

Point is, kids fight. It could be something or someone, but it is going to happen. The kid from the original story? Sure, the step-mom might have tried other avenues ot calm the kid down, but how do we know she didn't? If my son ever gets physical with my wife (his mother), he will find himself in more trouble than he knows what to do with... and she doesn't know martial arts of any kind! And then it'll be MY turn to "talk" to the boy.

Nope. I think there is too much "unknown" information for the original author of this thread to reach the conclusions that he did.

Imagine a child in the "terrible two's." Remember those days? They're little HELLIONS! They know better, but they slap at Mommy and Daddy anyways... even after they get in trouble... they'll still do it.

You gonna stand there and take it? Try and reason with a two year old?

Chris Li
06-19-2006, 04:13 PM
You would rather the child live in a single family home then have two parents available?

I mentioned it elsewhere, but the reason that I don't believe that parents with minor children ought to remarry is that, statistically, it means dragging the children through a second divorce experience.

No, it's not romantic, but that's what the numbers say - over 60% of second marriages end in divorce, and that percentage is even higher when children are involved.

Best,

Chris

Trish Greene
06-19-2006, 04:26 PM
Well if you are strictly looking at odds... whats the percentage of first marriages staying together? Heck, those are pretty dismal too! Lets just all stay single and not have kids then to spare them what could "statistically speaking" be a bad life!

But thats not what life is all about...

(sorry about the minor rant!)

Chris Li
06-19-2006, 04:34 PM
Well if you are strictly looking at odds... whats the percentage of first marriages staying together? Heck, those are pretty dismal too! Lets just all stay single and not have kids then to spare them what could "statistically speaking" be a bad life!

But thats not what life is all about...

(sorry about the minor rant!)

You're right, statistics for first marriages aren't that great either, but they're still quite a bit better than for second marriages with children. For two out of three second marriages with children you're looking at subjecting children already dragged through the divorce experience once to being dragged through it all over again. Now, with anything in life you take your chances and hope for the best, but IMO those odds are not good enough to gamble on.

Of course, everybody thinks that it "won't happen to me", but it seems clear from the numbers that it's happening to somebody - quite a lot of somebodies.

Best,

Chris

TigerJK
06-19-2006, 06:33 PM
lol looks like most disagree with me.

Well since I stated my opinions, assuming you read all of my posts and dialogue, it's useless to "argue" any more.

But let me agree - that is with Chris Li:

I never said that he couldn't hurt her. What I said was that this was a continuing situation, and not a spur of the moment attack. Given that, there are better ways of handling the situation than getting involved physically with a twelve year old.

Best,

Chris

From her story, she says this was not the first time, but as Mr. Li states, a continuous thing.

at every incident

She made her decision quite some time after he first began hitting her. That being said, why didn't she set up a meeting with the kid's dad as soon as it began? (see page 1 in my posts for the discussion I am referring to) She should expect hostility before she even met him because of the divorce situation, so both a pre-emptive and a IMMEDIATE post-attack meeting with the father would be optimal. As you know, in so-called "Real Life Aikido" timing is one of the most if not the most important parts of any technique.

On top of this, she clearly states that she didn't bring this up with the father. Not only is this irresponsible for someone dating the father, this is even irresponsible for a human being period. Even completely unconnect people who were attacked by the child would bring it up with the kid's parent, in this case the dad. This not only worsens the situation (kid not realizing the father would be against this) but that also shows her ulterior motivation - staying with the kid's dad. She prevents all knowledge of the situation with the father

What am I to do? Yell "just wait til your father gets home!!"

and it would seem that she feels this information would be threatening to her relationship, a severely irresponsible and immoral cover-up.

The fact is, is not that this was a sudden attack and she suddenly defended herself out of necessity. She had several incidents of being attacked before doing anything. Basically the attacks weren't more than average beatings by a kid (having taught small classes I know) and despite possibly being painful, since she acted as if nothing happened to the father it is clear evidence that she was holding it.

Holding it shows three things -
1. These were not truly threatening or else she would have immediately informed the father, and on top of that even is she tried to hide it, her injury was not noticed by the father, suggesting hard bruises at most.

and more importantly the next two points:

2. She clearly doesn't like the child but held both informing the parent and even phsyical reacting to the hitting. This built up an obvious, thought-disruptive grudge (She brags that she does not "murder" the child in the last sentence as if the temptation were unbearable.)
She is clearly only motivated by maintaining the relationship even to the point of #3:

3. DISHONESTY, DECEPTION, CORRUPTION, and ATTACKING FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS!

The fact that she says
What am I to do? Yell "just wait til your father gets home!!"
Shows she was HOME ALONE with the child, as in THE FATHER WAS NOT ONLY CLUELESS TO THE CONFLICT, but ACTUALLY TRUSTED THEIR FELLOWSHIP ENOUGH TO LEAVE HER ALONE WITH HIM! This is a relationship built on lies, and beyond even aikido, lying is against even the basic human moral code, so why would this website community have spread her story as a good example of "real life aikido"?? Is this how we want aikido to be spread to those who doubt the physical prowess? As a method of getting away with dishonesty???

If she had been a military, government, or even a dojo authority figure, such a cover-up of conflict would be taken as obvious corruption for the sake of promotion, so why is she praised for it within our aiki community?

And most importantly to the father and son, she is severely disrupting and disrespecting their connection. Forget the fact that the parents are divorced, even forget the fact that the child wants the mother. The witholding of information and lack of honesty are clear obstructions in the communication between the father and son. The divorce and want of the mother can both be cured if she had tried to work things out with both the father and son present together, and set up an open dialogue about how the child understandably feels, and how they can still be friends, and how she is not there to replace his mother, etc, etc, etc. Instead, she pushes it under the rug, then is frustrated by the dust bunny she created and is not responsible enough to do anything but toss a kid around instead of admitting both her wrongful cover-up and deciding to talk about it in the manner of even the common adult!!!!!

Hanna B
06-19-2006, 06:42 PM
That being said, why didn't she set up a meeting with the kid's dad as soon as it began?

What? "Set up a meeting" with her husband? What if the dad, because of the kid's nature, had little influence on what he did when the father was not around?

On top of this, she clearly states that she didn't bring this up with the father.

I must have missed that. Please, tell me where that is in writing? No, I think you must have gotten things very very wrong.

Why are you talking about "she". Carol has participated in this thread, it seems like a good idea to address her directly. Maybe that way of discussing would make the kind of tone you have in your last post, son, less possible.

Chris Li
06-19-2006, 06:58 PM
lol looks like most disagree with me.

Well since I stated my opinions, assuming you read all of my posts and dialogue, it's useless to "argue" any more.

But let me agree - that is with Chris Li:

I don't think that I would be as harsh as you were, certainly I wouldn't be without more in-depth information. Anyway, my main point was that this was a risky strategy that happened to turn out well, but that I certainly wouldn't recommend to others.

Best,

Chris

TigerJK
06-19-2006, 07:06 PM
What if the dad, because of the kid's nature, had little influence on what he did when the father was not around?

Then why was she home alone with him? Not a very wise decision is it?

As far as Carol... it is good that I saw her posts only after stating these facts - otherwise I would be biased wouldn't I? (watch Sanjuro http://www.apolloguide.com/mov_fullrev.asp?CID=1510)

Well I've said all I have to say on the public fact stating level, except this:



One day, one of the instructors was shocked to realize his leather jacket was missing. He immediately lined up all of the students and began shouting furiously at them, severely chastising all of them for theft and demanded to know who took it. During this time, leather jackets were extremely expensive in Japan. When O'Sensei leanred of what had happened, he came to the dojo, and to everyone's surprise, chastised the instructor. Ueshiba sensei said it was the instructors fault for being so attached to the jacket, and that a good martial artist would never have behaved as him.


Try to figure out what the "jacket" is in this story. Let me give you a hint, it's not Carol or her body.

Well, Carol, if you would like to address me, please pm. I am done for public discussion on this - as of now I have said all I wanted to say about this. Arguments to reinforce things already stated are futil, but feel free to discuss with me on pm, I would like to hear your clarifications of your thoughts and actions.

P.S. Hanna, I would appreciate it if you did not call me "son," especially considering the fact you are okay with throwing "sons" around using what you have learned in aikido.
But though
I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.
Voltaire, (Attributed); originated in "The Friends of Voltaire", 1906, by S. G. Tallentyre (Evelyn Beatrice Hall)

TigerJK
06-19-2006, 07:09 PM
I don't think that I would be as harsh as you were, certainly I wouldn't be without more in-depth information.

Oh, thanks for the clarification. Sorry if I misused your quote there.

Well I'm glad I was harsh, or else honest discussion (something I value above fake relationships) would not have been possible in this controversial issue, at least with my current limited communication ability.
"There are some that only employ words for the purpose of disguising their thoughts."
Voltaire, Dialogue, XIV, "Le Chapon et la Poularde" (1766)


But I respect your ability to be both polite and honest at once, even envy it.

In Conclusion,
James

Hanna B
06-19-2006, 07:30 PM
Then why was she home alone with him? Not a very wise decision is it?

Providing the kid is living with his father, how on earth can you avoid being alone with the kid of your husband. Just how old are you, James? which is what I kind of hinted with the "son" remark.

You said Carol never talked to the husband. When I asked you where that is stated, you do not respond. I will not feed you any more on this web board.

Hanna B
06-19-2006, 07:44 PM
Voltaire, (Attributed); originated in "The Friends of Voltaire", 1906, by S. G. Tallentyre (Evelyn Beatrice Hall)

Voltaire never said that, actually. The phrase was coined by Evelyn Beatrice Hall as a way to summarize what Voltaire stood for.

George S. Ledyard
06-19-2006, 07:57 PM
I don't think that I would be as harsh as you were, certainly I wouldn't be without more in-depth information. Anyway, my main point was that this was a risky strategy that happened to turn out well, but that I certainly wouldn't recommend to others.

Best,

Chris
No question... not something you want to have happen if there is any way to avoid it.

dps
06-19-2006, 09:30 PM
On top of this, she clearly states that she didn't bring this up with the father.threatening to her relationship, a severely irresponsible and immoral cover-up.

[/B]
Carol wrote,

"Abusive Children
When my husband's 12-year old son came to visit us he took to hitting me, slapping me, kicking me at every opportunity. When I spoke to him, he "wasn't doing anything" or he was "just playing." Understandable -- he loves his Mom and loves his Dad and tho they'd already been divorced for 7 years when we met, it's clear to a kid that if only this strange other person who he doesn't know at all would just GO AWAY, then Mom and Dad could get back together again. Wrong -- but understandable. Problem was, the "kid" was as big as me and weighed more. And being abusive. What am I to do? Yell "just wait til your father gets home!!" at every incident? Pull out my handy .45 or Uzi and blow him away? Hmmmmm. Time for some Real Life Aikido! The next punch got him flipped onto the couch. The next grab got him rolled gently across the rug and the next kick got him a firm but authoritative face-plant. Any combination of these got him thoroughly out of breath (as he's also fighting gravity) but he was allowed to live.

And I did not get arrested for murder."


And she also wrote,


"I am the author of the essay in question.

Many appreciative thanks to Anne Marie Giri and George Ledyard and all the others (parents, I suspect) who recognize what was really going on. For those of you who see a Monster Mom, well, your concern is obviously for a sad young boy and I can't object to that. I wish with all my heart that he had gotten that concern from his Real Mom from the very beginning. His story would have been very different.

Meanwhile, look again at Jun Akiyama's intro to this essay. He posted it for good reason.

Quote:
Editor's note: This article was written as a contrasting viewpoint to an ongoing discussion on the Aikido Mailing List regarding subjects such as Hollywood Super Bad Guys, Movie "Martial Arts," Automatic Weapons on the Street, the "killing techniques" found in aikido, and the "impossibility" or "stupidity" of protecting the attacker.
This essay was a response to yet another "Gun War" with endless rants about gun control vs. muzzle velocity vs. stopping power vs. self-defense On The Street .

Caring for your attacker is neither impossible nor stupid. The hard truth is that most attacks you will face in your life will NOT be from ninja drug-lords parachuting out of the sky, it's going to be from people you know and care about. And defending yourself against people you really care about in Real Life, on a daily basis, is much tougher than the fantasy cartoon situations.

Meanwhile, James, you left out the Tae Kwon Do black belt . . .

Quote:
. . . whose fraternity brothers were coming home drunk and throwing punches and kicks at him so he would "show them his moves" -- not realizing that his moves were designed to smash teeth and rip out lungs. His unwillingness to harm was getting him beaten up. "What can I do?" he said. "These are my brothers. I don't want to hurt them!" We showed him tenkan. He stayed.
There's really no difference in attackers here -- except in size, weight and strength.

Quote:
Now we're talking Real Aikido, responsibility, range of options.

Are you going to purposely smash that person you care about? Do everything you can to crush and destroy? or -- Be rendered completely helpless by unwillingness to harm? Or are you going to be effective and real glad that the effectiveness and control come with the option NOT to smash and destroy?
And maybe you might train for that?
The fact is, I cared about Chris, I cared about the law, and I cared about protecting myself. As Anne Marie says, it is NOT Aiki to be a doormat. I am also trained in karate -- and yes I had that option and chose not to use it. It was inappropriate. Aikido was appropriate and gave me the ability to protect both of us.

Did I talk to him? Work with him? Oh yes I did. When he arrived in Virginia he could not read at all. Real Mom didn't care enough to look at his homework or talk to him after school -- apparently too busy with a stream of "boyfriends." I taught him to read by sitting and reading Jules Verne's "Voyage to the Center of the Earth" one paragraph for me, one paragraph for him, Treasure Island, and others, for hours at a time and yes you can go see "Jurassic Park" movie as soon as you read the book. He read the book but came back from the movie disappointed. "They took out all the GOOD parts!" (YESSSSSS!!!!) . . . this from a boy who, at 12, could only read comic books. And why was that? Because someone else hadn't cared enough about this child to be a Real Real Mom. He was treated badly, but not by me.

Real Parents know that you can't negotiate or talk or work with a child who is being abusive -- and successful at it. Hey! He's winning! Why would he stop what works?

As George Ledyard points out, that behavior must stop before anything else can happen -- for all the same reasons that you don't hand the car keys -- or that .45 or Uzi -- to a 5 year old.

I used to tell Chris that a parent's job is to keep their kids safe until their frontal lobes develop. To my mind there wasn't much difference between his treatment of me and discovering his plan to spell out "Happy Halloween!" on the front lawn with the gasoline can and light it on fire. Seemed reasonable to him, and a great Hollywood Special Effect, and yes, I shut that down too.

Discovering his plan ahead of time was a good opening for a lecture on vapor pressure; if it had been later, well, better an ikkyo than the burn unit. Better a koshi than juvenile detention.

At any rate, please remember that this was written as a counter to the notion that an attacker (any attacker!??) deserves whatever he gets. I don't agree.

You do what is appropriate. Nothing more -- and nothing less.

Carol Shifflett"


Can't find your quote anywhere in what Carol wrote. You lose alot of credibility when you make up facts to support your argument.

TigerJK
06-19-2006, 09:33 PM
Providing the kid is living with his father, how on earth can you avoid being alone with the kid of your husband.
because the kid wasn't.
When my husband's 12-year old son came to visit us he took to hitting...

TigerJK
06-19-2006, 09:38 PM
Thanks for the clarification David Skaggs, I was going on the article itself, which suggested that she did not speak with the father
What am I to do? Yell "just wait til your father gets home!!" at every incident?

dps
06-19-2006, 10:06 PM
Thanks for the clarification David Skaggs, I was going on the article itself, which suggested that she did not speak with the father

Bit of a stretch between" suggested" to "clearly states".

When I write a post and before I submit it I do three things.

1.Check Spelling, my addled brain does not remember how to spell as well as it used to.
2. Preview Post, make sure I wrote what I meant to say because of my addled brain.
3. Erase what I wrote and take a some time to think about what I want to say as concise and brief as possible. The addled brain thing again.

Not that I am suggesting that your brain is like mine but it does make for clearer written communications. :)
David Skaggs

P.S. I rewrote this post three times and spelled addled wrong all three times.

P.S.S. I would like to add a fourth thing to do before posting. Look up the definition of any words you may not be sure of.

Definition addled:

1.An egg that has become rotten or the living contents of which have died or been destroyed. Purple Martins commonly roll their addled eggs out of their nest cups into the nest periphery, or out onto the porches of their houses.
www.purplemartin.org/main/Terminology.html

2.confused and vague; used especially of thinking; "muddleheaded ideas"; "your addled little brain"; "woolly thinking"; "woolly-headed ideas"
wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

I of course mean the second definition.

David Skaggs

dps
06-19-2006, 11:11 PM
Definition addled:

1.An egg that has become rotten or the living contents of which have died or been destroyed. Purple Martins commonly roll their addled eggs out of their nest cups into the nest periphery, or out onto the porches of their houses.
www.purplemartin.org/main/Terminology.html

David Skaggs

Now that I think about it I do have a recurring dream of falling out of the bedroom window and when I wake up I am on the front porch. Hmmm I need to ask my wife about this.

TigerJK
06-19-2006, 11:14 PM
Yes.... my posts were made in haste and in a very rambled way. Oh, well, live and learn.

I hope I can improve my communication next discussion. Thanks for the advice David. :)

Mark Uttech
06-20-2006, 04:05 AM
Parenting itself is a martial art. Hopefully, by the time you are a grandparent you are at a 'safe' yudansha level. What is a 'safe' yudansha level? It keeps going. Hopefully the entire family gets
to a place where everyone together practices tea ceremony. So, a worthwhile goal (if you must have a goal) is simply "world without end."

Hanna B
06-20-2006, 04:30 AM
Thanks for the clarification David Skaggs, I was going on the article itself, which suggested that she did not speak with the father

What am I to do? Yell "just wait til your father gets home!!" at every incident?

This does not clearly say and actually it does not even suggest she did not speak with the father, unless you choose to read it so. It only means that it is impractical to wait for the father to get home every time - maybe because this did not stop the kid from being violent, maybe for other reasons. Please learn how to read what it actually says in a text, before you go attacking people on public forums. (Oh yes, you have attacked the woman who wrote that article and said all kinds of nasty things about her which you have simply made up in your own mind.)

Ron Tisdale
06-20-2006, 08:14 AM
I have to (politely) agree with Hanna here. It seems much ado about nothing much at all. With a lot read in to the text...even after the writer added more context.

Best,
Ron

Trish Greene
06-20-2006, 02:32 PM
I hate to say this but I am more Disturbed by the tone of this aikiweb thread then the original article......

Ron Tisdale
06-20-2006, 02:50 PM
Good point Trish...

B,
R

James Davis
06-20-2006, 04:15 PM
I hate to say this but I am more Disturbed by the tone of this aikiweb thread then the original article......
Don't let it disturb you, Trish. :)

In my opinion, this whole thread started because people look way too hard for things to be disturbed about. :rolleyes:

Janet Rosen
06-20-2006, 07:33 PM
yep. I've known Carol for yrs. I read the article yrs ago. A big 12 yr old gets out of control for reasons an older, smaller woman has no control over, and she uses aikido to safely take him down, both (1) not permitting him to harm her and (2) demonstrating that his attacks are pointless.
It is rather amazing to me how much other people have read into this, guessing about history, father, etc etc....
I wonder, if a man had written essentially the same scenario, would it have triggered so much discussion based on extraneous baggage?

Chris Li
06-20-2006, 08:34 PM
I wonder, if a man had written essentially the same scenario, would it have triggered so much discussion based on extraneous baggage?

You mean a man, a trained martial artist, applying techniques on a 12 year old girl who wasn't his daughter? Doesn't sound like that great a situation to me...

Best,

Chris

giriasis
06-20-2006, 09:29 PM
You mean a man, a trained martial artist, applying techniques on a 12 year old girl who wasn't his daughter? Doesn't sound like that great a situation to me...

Best,

Chris

It's never a great situation whenever a situation turns violent. Never. EVER. EVER. No one said it is Chris. I would expect a trained male martial artist to apply aikido in a controlled gentle manner if this 12 year old girl, who's not related to him, kept attacking him with punches and kicks.

The right to self-defense does not involve fear just the anticipation that you are going to get hit.

The right to self-defense does not depend on your relationship to the attacker.

The right to self-defense does not depend on the number of times the attack occurred in the past.

However, how you defend yourself depends on how you are being attacked and on the attacker's characteristics.

Premeditation only applies to 1st degree murder not self-defense.

Chris Li
06-20-2006, 10:08 PM
The right to self-defense does not involve fear just the anticipation that you are going to get hit.

People keep on bringing up "rights", but I'm not really disputing the "right" to self-defense, what I'm disputing is the wisdom of the chosen strategy. Having the "right" to do something doesn't mean that it is necessarily a good choice - especially when, as in this case, you are able to anticipate the situation.

Best,

Chris

giriasis
06-20-2006, 10:50 PM
People keep on bringing up "rights", but I'm not really disputing the "right" to self-defense, what I'm disputing is the wisdom of the chosen strategy. Having the "right" to do something doesn't mean that it is necessarily a good choice - especially when, as in this case, you are able to anticipate the situation.

Best,

Chris

First, it is rather wise to plan how you are going to respond to the situation in advance. It is especially moral to do so, as well. It's moral because since you know what is coming you don't have an excuse that you didn't know what was coming so you used more force than necessary. You know how he is going to attack and once that attack is imminent, you may defend yourself. Thus, by preparing in advance, you will know the best way to respond to the situation in a calm, cool and collected manner.

Second, since when is defending one's self, one's being, not moral or not wise? Since when does wisdom or morality require me to sacrifice my well-being so that an out of control pre-teen (insert any person here) may inflict harm on my body?

Third, since the courts and the law recognize the importance (the morality) of protecting one's own body from harm they have encoded law that reinforces this morality into rights. So when it comes to self-defense, the right to defend one's body from harm is interwined with the morality of protecting our own bodies and our own selves from harm. Thus, the issues of rights are discussed.

In application, I do not question the wisdom, the morality, of Carol's chosen strategy. Because, wisdom and morality tell me that she does not have to sacrifice her body so that an enraged pre-teen can act out on her physically, regardless of the fact that she knew he would try and punch and kick her again. It was wise that she chose her aikido training over her karate training. It was wise that she gently rolled him across the rug. It was wise that she pinned him after he got back up and attacked her again -- so that he could not get back up again. It was wise because SHE DID NOT INJURE HIM. It was wise because this is just the kind of thing that we train for in aikido. It was wise because she was fully capable to effectively respond to an attack with the least force necessary. It was wise because it evidently set her boundaries -- that she does not have to accept being hit by any body

It was wise.
It was wise.
It was wise.

Hanna B
06-21-2006, 02:38 AM
I wonder, if a man had written essentially the same scenario, would it have triggered so much discussion based on extraneous baggage?

I think not. My personal belief - belief only - is that if it had been a man who told about doing ikkyos etc. on his stepson, people would have assumed the attacks to be more of a real threat since he actually needed to defend himself. People seldom expect of men to recieve violence, any kind, and not respond physically - for pride, if nothing else. I also believe a woman who, unlike in this story, did physically hurt the kid in question while trying to protect herself would be more harshly criticized than a man who did the same - but again, this is just my beliefs based on my views of the world.

Hanna B
06-21-2006, 02:42 AM
People keep on bringing up "rights", but I'm not really disputing the "right" to self-defense, what I'm disputing is the wisdom of the chosen strategy. Having the "right" to do something doesn't mean that it is necessarily a good choice - especially when, as in this case, you are able to anticipate the situation.

Maybe you have already written it someplace else, if so my apologies. I just wonder what, in your opinion, would have been a good way to act? Leave the household when the kid visited? Never be alone with the child? To say whether that would be relevant or not, we really need a lot more info than we have. Other suggestions?

Hanna B
06-21-2006, 03:02 AM
At second thought, I think the above post of mine is not very good.

Remember the context in which the story was written. Of course this action is not the first resort, but we do not know how many ways of talking and threatening and bargaining the father and stepmother did. It is just not included in the story. My post above assumes that kind of things were tried and found ineffective. I do not know that as a fact of course, but assuming otherwise is IMO judging the story from an unfair view.

Hanna B
06-21-2006, 03:18 AM
I'm glad that it worked for Carol, but I certainly wouldn't encourage it in any student of mine who proposed using their training in that way.

In my opinion, that is kind of beside the point. There are many things that can not be generally recommended that has worked well for some people in one occasion or another - this does not mean these people should be bashed for doing that specific thing at the specific time.

I do not read the original article as an instruction in how you handle your violent stepkids. If it was, I think the story - not the action, but the story - needed som criticism since many many aspects are not covered. What it is, is a story giving examples of situations when it is necessary to protect the attacker. This in contrast to the mailing list post it was written in response to: Hollywood Super Bad Guys, Movie "Martial Arts," Automatic Weapons on the Street, the "killing techniques" found in aikido, and the "impossibility" or "stupidity" of protecting the attacker.

Steve Mullen
06-21-2006, 05:01 AM
Abusive Children
When my husband's 12-year old son came to visit us he took to hitting me, slapping me, kicking me at every opportunity. When I spoke to him, he "wasn't doing anything" or he was "just playing.[/I]

This, to me, says that she has talked to him about it before the incident where she used very very reasonable force to handle this kid.

Force is never the best first option, sometimes its the necessary first option, in this case it was the option taken only after she had tried talking to him, and whatever else she tried but didn't mention in the post.

For those of who who have Criticised her actions, I would be very interested in how you would have handled the same situation if, after the talking he kept on hitting. I would also like to know how her relationship with the kid is now, just out of interest.

Cheers

Krista DeCoste
06-21-2006, 08:25 AM
I have a twelve year old son and he will soon be bigger than me, his friends already are. If he (or any other twelve year old) hit, kicked, punched, tripped me even once, I would be very shocked. Adolescent boys need to learn, if they haven't already, that violence against women is not an option. We need to teach our youth to be responsible for their behaviour and not let them off the hook by trying to blame the woman who is being abused for not handling the situation quite right. Based on what I read, and I do not know the whole story, I could easily understand the action this woman took to get the message through to this boy without hurting him.

Krista

TigerJK
06-22-2006, 01:22 PM
I wonder, if a man had written essentially the same scenario, would it have triggered so much discussion based on extraneous baggage?

Are you kidding me? People would have gone raging mad and marching about a father using MA, however gentle, on a child. Look how many organizations there are about "abusive fathers" and look how many there are about "abusive mothers."

Anyways, I regret the way I have stated my opinions, I have some communication problems so i am sure the way I wrote things was not the thing I wanted to say. I could also have been more polite, so I apoligize.

However, I still stand by my opinion, at least the ones I had in my mind and was trying to communicate.

Possible biases I may have:
I at one point was the kid in the story.

However, I must note that I was beaten down several times as a child for attacking others. To be honest people controlling my attacks only made me worse, I was a very violent kid.

I know this is a strange story, but the event that changed my life the most was when someone didn't use physical moves/force on me. The changing event of my life was when I attacked a janitor for no reason. I punched him in the gut and knocked the wind out of him. Now I was 9 years old, but to be fair I hit pretty hard and I knew pressure points. So after he bend double I walked away and assumed a stance, ready to be beaten, and not caring about the fact that I would lose since I sincerely enjoyed hurting those trying to control me, even in a gentle way. However, to my shock, he stood up, looked at me like he felt sorry for me, and said, "You can keep hitting me if it makes you feel better." I can't even describe the shock, guilt, and tears that flowed from me. I can honestly say it was the first time I ever felt regret in my life. Having been abused at home and elsewhere, I felt good about hurting those who hurt or even defended themselves against me. This however, was like a situation of "hitting Ghandi", there is no one on earth who could feel good about that. I started crying and he sort of patted me on the back and said it's okay.

Well this incident really changed my life. I also feel this is what guided me to eventually learning Aikido, the art of Peace.

I do realize not every kid or situation is like me, but I just wanted to share both the bias and opinion changing event I had in life.

Peace.

Guilty Spark
06-22-2006, 01:29 PM
I'm not a big fan of suggesting violence against specific genders is unacceptable. Wouldn't violence in general be more appropiate?

Hanna B
06-22-2006, 01:46 PM
I know this is a strange story, but the event that changed my life the most was when someone didn't use physical moves/force on me. The changing event of my life was when I attacked a janitor for no reason. I punched him in the gut and knocked the wind out of him. Now I was 9 years old, but to be fair I hit pretty hard and I knew pressure points. So after he bend double I walked away and assumed a stance, ready to be beaten, and not caring about the fact that I would lose since I sincerely enjoyed hurting those trying to control me, even in a gentle way. However, to my shock, he stood up, looked at me like he felt sorry for me, and said, "You can keep hitting me if it makes you feel better." I can't even describe the shock, guilt, and tears that flowed from me. I can honestly say it was the first time I ever felt regret in my life. Having been abused at home and elsewhere, I felt good about hurting those who hurt or even defended themselves against me. This however, was like a situation of "hitting Ghandi", there is no one on earth who could feel good about that. I started crying and he sort of patted me on the back and said it's okay.

Well this incident really changed my life. I also feel this is what guided me to eventually learning Aikido, the art of Peace.

... and so a woman repeatedly hit by a kid physically bigger than her should do the same as this person.

Right.

Now imagine you come back and hit this person again and again and again, and expect the same treatment.

Bronson
06-22-2006, 03:28 PM
I have a deeply ingrained respect for my mother, born of a deep seated fear of her :D

Here's my story:

I was around 5 years old and had been sent to my room for some minor infraction. When my mother came in to talk with me about it I told her to "go to hell". She slapped me. I then took it upon myself to get up on my toybox and punch her square in the nose.

I remember her just looking at me. She turned and started to walk away but came back and just looked at me again. I was just standing there feeling big and bad. Finally, she hauled back and hit me one good one right square in the face... knocked me off the toybox and into my closet. She walked out of my room and that was that.

During my life when I would get mouthy or start pushing the boundaries with my mother there was this little 5 yr old in the back of my head saying "she kicked your ass before and she'll probably do it again".

What I found out years later when I asked her about this was that when she left my room she broke down crying. She said that she didn't know what to do. She finally decided that she had better stop it when I was young or when I was 16 she wouldn't be able to stop it (she's not a very big woman).

I see the flip side of this with my nieces and nephew. My sister was unwilling to lay down the law when the kids were young; she didn't want to be the disciplinarian like my mother was. Consequently her kids walk all over her. They do what they want, when they want, and she has no idea how to stop it.

Was my mother right? I don't know. She did the best she could with what she had. It worked out in the end. I guess it made such a big impression on me because that wasn't her normal way of dealing with me. It definitely didn't teach me that "violence is the answer". If anything it taught me that violence on my part will get me punched in the face and getting punched hurts like hell :uch: :D

Bronson

Trish Greene
06-22-2006, 03:41 PM
Bronson,

Thanks for sharing your story! I have one like that, when I became a mouthy teenager and decided to mouth off to my Mom when she was picking me up from HS, she hauled back and smacked me across my face in front of all my friends and then made me walk home.

I never mouthed off to her again!

Ron Tisdale
06-22-2006, 03:43 PM
Great Story! Personally, I do think there are limits to acceptable corporal punishment, but the fact is that today, your mom would be reported to Child Welfare services. My parents never hit me in the face...but I got hit a lot with a belt on the bum, and knew my limits very clearly. A lot of the youth today have no clue what a limit is.

Frankly, I think your mom probably did the right thing at the time...

Best,
Ron

Bronson
06-22-2006, 03:57 PM
Frankly, I think your mom probably did the right thing at the time...
As do I. I was a rotten little kid. I look back at things I did as a child and understand why many animals eat their young.

Maybe one day I'll post some more stories ;)

Bronson

Basia Halliop
06-22-2006, 04:01 PM
Maybe it was just how I read it, but all I read was a violent and physically combative adolescent being physically restrained without any harm done to anyone? No "punishment", no "beating", no "intimidation" as I understood it, more akin to holding the wrists of a smaller person trying to injure you and holding them at arm's length -- only since that wouldn't work unless you're much stronger than the other person, a few less size-dependent techniques were apparently used in the same way, i.e., harmless neutralization. If other people (other parent, group home worker) etc were always on the scene during such an attack it just would have been someone else physically controlling the child instead of her, no? If a child (never mind a mid-sized adolescent) is violent sooner or later someone is going to be physically restraining or overpowering them to make sure no one gets hurt.

As a beginner, I've certainly had more experienced students or instructors gently pin me or get me to the ground in a way that did not hurt but left me unable to resist.

It sounded like the author didn't write a book giving all the particulars of her child-raising history since the point of mentioning it was apparently just to say that it's useful to have some tools to defend yourself against a physical attack without hurting the other person, and that "realistic" self defense is not always about hurting the other person as badly as possible...

Anyway, that's all I read into it...

Trish Greene
06-22-2006, 04:21 PM
Ron,

That was really the first time my mom ever got physical with me. I was the youngest of three girls and I can never remember getting spanked at all. That was the only time! Personally, I should have probably been spanked more and had more limits as well. There are so many fine lines to walk as a parent... "don't be too hard.. don't be too "easy" ... don't have too many limits.. don't limit their creativity.."

I don't ever remember being handed a childrearing manual as I was being discharged from the hospital. We are doing the best we can and the best we were trained to be.

dps
06-22-2006, 04:57 PM
...but I got hit a lot with a belt on the bum, and knew my limits very clearly.

Same here from my father. My mother on the other hand could deal with the situation in a non-violent way. With just a few words she could stop me in my tracks. She would say, "wait till your father comes home."

James, we can now better understand your reaction to Carol's story.
Thank You

dps
06-22-2006, 05:01 PM
I don't ever remember being handed a childrearing manual as I was being discharged from the hospital..
You had to purchase it in the gift shop on the way out.

Guilty Spark
06-22-2006, 05:36 PM
This makes me ask the question is pain a bad thing? Or the reason (intention) behind why pain is being caused.

I'm a believer that pain is a huge teacher in life, as harsh as that sounds.

-Don't pull the dogs tail or he will bite you
-Don't touch fire or you will get burned.
-Don't wear too many pairs of socks on a march or you will get blisters.
-Don't cheat on your partner or you will get caught and dumped.
-Don't hit other people because they might hit back.
-Don't keep your toes straight when you roll or you're going to get matt-burn.
-Don't play with knives or you will get cut.

From the moment we are born (well maybe a little while after) we are given boundaries and we push those boundaries until pain stops us.

Hurting pain may not always be the answer, looks like in this case when the child pushed the boundaries and reached a point where he didn't like the repercussions, he backed off.

Everyone is going to have exceptions from the rule. Speaking only from experience watching friends with children (or observing parents with children) the ones who spank their children or at least have the threat of physical pain (not abuse) have kids who are better behaved.
A friend of mine, single mother with 3 children, has an out of control 9 or 10 year old. he is already nearly her size and he is starting to become physical with her. She doesn't believe in spanking them or hitting them. When you see them interact you can tell i's only a matter of time before her kid starts beating on her. It may be an unaikido way of thinking but I defiantly think physical pain as a deterrent goes a long way in stopping someone from pushing their boundaries.

TigerJK
06-22-2006, 06:44 PM
I have a deeply ingrained respect for my mother, born of a deep seated fear of her :D

Thank you for sharing Bronson

I think that there is a different "correct" method for dealing with each person, I guess.

I know most people this method you describe works.

I guess however my response to being beaten was different since basically my mother beat me without actual cause (came straight home and beat me down with a cane). Basically my mom hated my dad so she took it out on me all my life from around 4 years old, almost killed me one time. So I felt like I didn't care that fighting back would lead to more pain (since I always got beaten no matter what I did or didn't do) or even about the pointlessness of me fighting back, I just wanted to let everyone how much I hated them for abusing me without cause, you know what I mean? I think that this janitor at my school had such an affect on me because he was the only person I recall who didn't show me hate as a child.

To Grant, with all do respect, even if pain teaches most of the time I don't believe it always works. In my case it only made me worse until for the first time someone didn't cause me pain.

If anything the pain taught me how evil my mom was, I haven't talked to her since she left me at 16. If you want to put it in your format:
-Don't go near your mom or she'll beat you.

But from seeing that Carol's situation improved, I suppose that for her situation it was the appropriate method.

But I do still believe that there is no one universal method for each situation, it certainly would not have worked on me as a child. After all, Aikido has thousands upon thousands of technique for each situation

Guilty Spark
06-22-2006, 08:38 PM
To Grant, with all do respect, even if pain teaches most of the time I don't believe it always works. In my case it only made me worse until for the first time someone didn't cause me pain.

Are you so sure my friend? :)

However, to my shock, he stood up, looked at me like he felt sorry for me, and said, "You can keep hitting me if it makes you feel better." I can't even describe the shock, guilt, and tears that flowed from me.

It sounds like the emotional (spiritual perhaps?) pain you suffered manifested itself in a physical form. Shock and tears are physical, as is being "wracked with guilt"as the saying goes. When you get bad news you *feel* it in your stomach. To me thats physical, I don't think physical pain has to be specifically getting physically hit and suffering bruises.

The pain you felt from the guilt of hurting that guy who didn't physically hurt you shocked you into a life change.

Qatana
06-22-2006, 08:38 PM
James that janitor did aikido on you as surely as Carol did aikido on her stepson.
She didn't Beat him, she ended the conflict. Sometimes blending doesn'thave to be physical...and sometimes a person can do way more damage with words....

TigerJK
06-22-2006, 11:36 PM
Are you so sure my friend? :)



It sounds like the emotional (spiritual perhaps?) pain you suffered manifested itself in a physical form. Shock and tears are physical, as is being "wracked with guilt"as the saying goes. When you get bad news you *feel* it in your stomach. To me thats physical, I don't think physical pain has to be specifically getting physically hit and suffering bruises.

The pain you felt from the guilt of hurting that guy who didn't physically hurt you shocked you into a life change.


Ah, I see the interepretation.

Hm.... to be honest when I feel that type of pain it is distinctly unphysical... except I hyperventilated and crying so much I ended up feeling some pain anyways (eyes and chest).

Well then I guess I can agree with the overall pain idea... still not sure about physical pain to be honest though.

James that janitor did aikido on you as surely as Carol did aikido on her stepson.
She didn't Beat him, she ended the conflict. Sometimes blending doesn'thave to be physical...and sometimes a person can do way more damage with words....

Yes, that janitor was the most aiki man, except maybe my sensei, that I ever knew. It's a shame I lost contact with him but I know some people that would know him, maybe one day I will go and thank him, I should.

That is why I appreciated non-physical aikido and will always prefer it to physical aikido.

Ellis Amdur
06-23-2006, 12:39 AM
My mom started teaching music right out of college - a 21 year old young woman assigned to teach high school seniors in a Pennsylvania farm town in the early 1940's. On her first day in her first class she introduced herself and asked the class to open their books. A young man in the back of the room, a farm boy well over six feet tall, said, "f** you." My mother said to him, "What did you say?" He got up, strutted up to the front of the room and stood over her and said, "F*** you." My mom decked him with one slap. She looked down at him as he stared up at her in shock and said, "Now go to the principal's office and tell him what you just said to me." He got up and did so.
Times are different. My mom never had a moment's trouble as a teacher after that. There was no complaint from his parent. There was praise from the principal, and the young man later returned to class, always respectful. Now let's see - what was it Osensei is supposed to have said? "Oh yeah, aikido is 90% atemi."

TigerJK
06-23-2006, 01:27 AM
hahaha nice

To be honest I have had a certain teacher (won't say who) who on the first fault of mine knocked the wind out of me clean. I mean, my lungs were gone. I couldn't breath for another good minute and a half. He was probably the only teacher who ever successfully taught me with pain, and this was in church! lol

What made me respecthim was that I was clearly wrong though. And he never showed anything but respect for me, even when he hit me which was a very strange feeling of respect to have being hit.

This thread has helped me bring back a lot of memories. Nevermind, I take back what I said earlier, pain can definitely be used to teach. Sorry but I guess I must have bad memory to not remember him.

The main difference was that if someone is known to constantly hit you without cause (parents) then it becomes a detracting factor. But if it is carried out politely and respect (it is possible to hit someone like that) and only when the receiving party is at fault, it can definitely be used.

Also, I prefer knocking the wind out if physical things must be used. During one of the longest minutes of my life, I was really able to think. It felt like a good half hour of just a long "pause button" in life to not breath after being hit in the gut, the solar plexus that is. So if you have to, I recommend the solar plexus (if you go higher you may crack a rib and if you go lower you may deliver organ damage)

Ron Tisdale
06-23-2006, 08:10 AM
Thanks everyone for this thread...it has turned into quite an eye opener. I'd also like to highlight one thing...in all the instances where physical means were used sucsessfully, it seems that there is one thing in common. There was a thinking, rational adult on the other side. These were not instances where someone lost their temper, or struck in anger. If you do need to go here (and it seems that is sometimes so), then don't go there in anger.

Best,
Ron

dps
06-23-2006, 08:24 AM
There was a thinking, rational adult on the other side. These were not instances where someone lost their temper, or struck in anger. If you do need to go here (and it seems that is sometimes so), then don't go there in anger.

Best,
Ron

I agree with Ron with one addition, if you do express anger then let it be momentary for that instance only and let the person (especially kids) know that you are no longer angry at them. If five minutes after the situation is over and you are still angry and expressing it then you need to work on controlling your anger.

Been there done that.

David

Michael Douglas
06-23-2006, 03:23 PM
The modern western world is a terrible place.
Teachers should be EXPECTED to slap unruly youths,
and should then be rewarded for good teaching.
No, I'm not joking.
I hardly ever smacked my kids, and when I had to it was always on the leg,
but I'd sure sign a waiver to allow them to be smacked or even caned in school.
Of course our evil government won't allow such a situation.

As for the originator of this thread : Seems reasonable to dump the aggressive kid on the floor without undue violence, very good response.
I used to play-fight with my dad loads when I was a kid. Kept bending his glasses. Oops.
BUT I would never even dream of play-fighting, let alone attacking someone who wasn't my dad, brother or school-mate.
Such a child must be a bad-un!
Teach them HARD the right way to behave, before they get to be a mugger or rapist. It's the only road they are going down otherwise ...

Trish Greene
06-23-2006, 04:43 PM
The modern western world is a terrible place...

As for the originator of this thread : Seems reasonable to dump the aggressive kid on the floor without undue violence, very good response...

BUT I would never even dream of play-fighting, let alone attacking someone who wasn't my dad, brother or school-mate.
Such a child must be a bad-un!
Teach them HARD the right way to behave, before they get to be a mugger or rapist. It's the only road they are going down otherwise ...

Hi Michael,
Thanks for your thoughts, I read thorugh your post agreeing with some aspects and puzzled a bit by others. Yes the world tends to be a terrible place, both Western and Eastern, depending on your point of view.

Sometimes until kids can reason with you, corporal punishment is the only solution. You can't reason with a two year, so there is the spanking on the butt to get them to understand how serious you are. You can't reason with a teenage boy who is so distraught with life he thinks the only thing he can do is fight. So you drop him and hold him there until he calms down enough to listen to you.

I can't agree with you about the statement you made about the only road left open to "a kid like that" is a mugger or rapist. You will be amazed how much peoples lives can change when they finally "get it".
I prefer to not give up hope!

Adman
06-23-2006, 05:41 PM
Teachers should be EXPECTED to slap unruly youths, and should then be rewarded for good teaching.
Egads!
You can't reason with a two year, so there is the spanking on the butt to get them to understand how serious you are.
Double Egads! So you can't reason with a two year old, but you expect them to understand the reason for the spanking? :confused:

TigerJK
06-24-2006, 05:32 PM
Thanks everyone for this thread...it has turned into quite an eye opener. I'd also like to highlight one thing...in all the instances where physical means were used sucsessfully, it seems that there is one thing in common. There was a thinking, rational adult on the other side. These were not instances where someone lost their temper, or struck in anger. If you do need to go here (and it seems that is sometimes so), then don't go there in anger.

Best,
Ron

Yes, thank you to everyone, I have now seem my own thoughts and memories form a new perspective, and I have learned much from the writings in this thread.

Ron, your thoughts on the common point of the "success" stories are very insightful, I will try to apply this thought to my life starting today.

Michael Douglas, I am not so sure about your ideas about what is "modern western" but I agree that to a certain extent teachers could (if many, many conditions are met first) be allowed to use physical punishment. It is now banned in Korean, however, for a good reason - many were simply abusive. However, there were some very, very remarkable exceptions. I will list three teachers who took their power of physical punishment to a shockingly new level:

1. Physical education teacher and former profession weight competitor. Took the first kid to disobey and hit him once. Once because his hits were so hard the room shook! The "example method." After that there was never another disturbance in class, and he usually treated the kid he hit to something as a semi-apology, worked every year :D
2. English teacher - gave a LONG speech about how she is doing this out of love and explained in detail the reason for the hitting rather than the stupid "You know what you did" approach. Really made people think and accept the punishment and responsibility.


Most unique of all
3. Math teacher - HIT HIMSELF! Truly incredible sight to see! If the class every got "chatty" he got a cane and beat himself and started crying about how he is a failure as a teacher if he has to resort to physical punishment just to make his students obey! He never hit a single student and yet his class immediately stopped and behaved

However, about the western thing, didn't England until very recently allow hitting, even whipping in school? Or am I misinformed?

TigerJK
06-24-2006, 05:37 PM
So you can't reason with a two year old, but you expect them to understand the reason for the spanking? :confused:

Yes, I have to say that if a child doesn't first know the reason for the punishment, this is the worst evil you can do. Then they will not only be hurt for no reason (it sure won't make them stop doing something they are even aware of) but on top of that is will make them think lowly of all authority figures, punishment, rules, laws, parental figures, and possibly even the gender of the hitter. Not only that it will make them think highly of using violence to get what they want - when you start getting old and they start getting big, I am sure you will regret this method.

Three Steps of French Alchemy (IN ORDER!):
1. Understanding
2. Decomposition/Destruction
3. Composition/Creation

I am sure you can see the other applications of this school of thought.

Mark Freeman
06-25-2006, 08:35 AM
However, about the western thing, didn't England until very recently allow hitting, even whipping in school? Or am I misinformed?

I believe corporal punishment in UK schools was dropped around 30 years ago.

regards,

Mark

shadowedge
06-25-2006, 02:22 PM
my this thread has gone a long way...

first off, James thanks for sharing your exp. with the janitor, you see I'm not used to anyone beating me up, if that was me in that situation, I probabbly woudn't have allowed it go on....

but because of what he did and how it taught you, it gave me second thoughts on how I should interact with the world as an aikidoda... :)

I hope hope things are working out for Carol now. I do believe however, that she had every right to defend herself, but in agreement to what others have already posted, as much as possible we do our best to avoid physical confrontations.

from what I've followed in this thread 2 things crossed my mind:

1 - "Munen Mushin" an old samurai principle about being in a state of calm... your mind should be clear and still as a lake, be free of fear and compassion and execute what the situation calls for.

this applies to the "self defense" part, who and when to apply it to. and most of all why? I guess, its our responsibity as aikidokas, to be careful judges of the situation, which leads to the second thing...

Yes, that janitor was the most aiki man, except maybe my sensei, that I ever knew. It's a shame I lost contact with him but I know some people that would know him, maybe one day I will go and thank him, I should.

2 - I haven't met the janitor but I'D LIKE TO THANK HIM myself! It was a very wise thing not to fight back, given the situation. It's knowing when to hold back, and knowing why, that marks a wise martial artist...

_______________________

this has been more than just an interesting thread... I actually set aside my overtime work just to read all this! :D

cheers!

TigerJK
06-27-2006, 07:11 PM
Just saw this on the front page:
A person who
In any situation
Perceives the truth with resignation
Would never need to draw his sword in haste.

- Morihei Ueshiba

:ai:

PhilMyKi
07-20-2006, 06:44 AM
I believe corporal punishment in UK schools was dropped around 30 years ago.

regards,

Mark

Not to be picky, more like twenty. I am twenty eight and can remember getting a tanned arse from my primary school headmistress for head butting some scroat who pinched my little sister. I still say Mrs Chorley was one of the best teachers I had, looking back all my favorite teachers commanded respect from the first moment (none of this softly softly BS that exists in Britain's schools today).

Whilst I do not agree with the summary punishment which was handed out on that day, I appreciate it was swift, final and for want of a better phrase justified. I was the larger and stronger child albeit younger who according to my grandad packed a big punch (he was a boxing champ in the army) I did not do anything like that again.

Mark Freeman
07-20-2006, 07:41 AM
Not to be picky, more like twenty. I am twenty eight and can remember getting a tanned arse from my primary school headmistress for head butting some scroat who pinched my little sister. I still say Mrs Chorley was one of the best teachers I had, looking back all my favorite teachers commanded respect from the first moment (none of this softly softly BS that exists in Britain's schools today).

Whilst I do not agree with the summary punishment which was handed out on that day, I appreciate it was swift, final and for want of a better phrase justified. I was the larger and stronger child albeit younger who according to my grandad packed a big punch (he was a boxing champ in the army) I did not do anything like that again.

The young 'Zinadine' moment definitely needed to be punished, but whether smacking is the 'right' way is academic. It is now illegal to do so. The problem with corporal punishment was that some teachers were sadistic in their delivery, so in banning the practice, we are protecting kids from undue harm, but we have removed an effective deterrent.

I had a teacher at junior school who used to regularly smack the backs of my legs, she wore rings on all of her fingers, those slaps bloody hurt :uch:

I'm a fair bit older than you so my not getting the time of the ban right may be down to failing memory :crazy:

regards,

Mark

PhilMyKi
07-20-2006, 07:59 AM
The young 'Zinadine' moment definitely needed to be punished

Trust me compared to the head butt I delivered Zee Zee's was a love tap :grr:

I agree with everything else you said. It is wrong for people who are entrusted with our kiddies welfare to dish out punishments that many of my peers never got at home ... but they are doing between 5 and life with a 15 tariff. Bad analogy, but true all the same. Such are the mean streets of Watford. (Go Hornets!!!!)

Mark Freeman
07-20-2006, 08:39 AM
Such are the mean streets of Watford.

You have no idea of what it's like down here on the mean streets of Totnes we regularly have drive by shoutings, and many a poor unsuspecting victim gets hugged on their way home from their yoghurt weaving class :D

regards,

Mark

MM
07-20-2006, 10:35 AM
Years ago, I dated a woman who had a 7 year old son. He was fairly unruly and very disruptive in class. It was very hard being in that situation, where I'm not the father, I'm not the step-father, but I am somewhat an authority figure. I did the best I could.

One day, I got the call that he was being disruptive in class and to come pick him up. I got there and he was still very disruptive. So much that I couldn't even talk to the teacher. I told him to sit and was surprised when he complied. It didn't last long as he screamed and yelled and started to get up. He had his backpack on and in a relaxed manner, I placed one hand on his backpack and settled my weight through it into the floor. He couldn't get up and got madder, flailing his arms around. Some time later, he quit yelling and flailing. I got to talk to the teacher and finally we left. He walked out with me and I took him home.

A short time later, his mother and I parted ways. She made a choice that hurt me. But what really got to me more than that was when I was leaving, the boy ran over, hugged me tight crying and said I don't want you to go. That just struck all the way down deep.

I don't think I ever realized just how much my actions affected those around me until that moment. Where I thought I wasn't making any difference, I found out the hard way that I was. Even in short time frames, what you do can have major resounding affects throughout the people you interact with on a level that you may never know about. The world is never the same again when you're taught that lesson the hard way.

Mark

gdandscompserv
07-20-2006, 10:49 AM
I worked a couple of years in a youth center with teenagers. During that time there were a couple of situations in which I felt it necessary to not only defend myself, but also to send a clear message to the testosterone pumped teenage boys that became a little too physical with me. Fortunately, I was able to deliver the message quickly and clearly without injury. One ended in a sankyo pin and the other in a modified gokyo. Not only were the techniques effective, but I was able to remain fairly calm. Without Aikido training I think I would have been inclined to get angry and lose control, thereby possibly injuring the boys. I might have gotten hurt as well. :crazy:
There was a "new found" respect from the boys and they never attempted anything physical again.
"By the book", I should have called the police in each case and the boys would probably have been arrested. And since I don't think the "state" does a very good job of dealing with our kids, I think the Aikido way worked out best. :D