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roswell1329
11-03-2006, 05:13 PM
Not long ago, I was hosting a party at my house for a few of my wife's co-workers. As I was delivering a drink to my wife, one of the co-workers quickly slipped his arms under mine and executed what I believe to be a full-nelson (uke's arms under nage's and uke's fingers interlaced behind nage's head). While I was taken aback by this uprovoked and ill-timed attack, my wife looked at me and said "He just wanted to see your 'Aikido'". I stood there just thinking of what I should do. I had an instinct to perform a sort of koshinage throwing him over my head, but my couch and fireplace were right in front of me and I had no intention of hurting him. While standing there, all I could think of was that I wasn't in any immediate danger (his hands were behind my neck), and that there really wasn't an 'attack' here. While I was thinking this, he proceeded to jump on my back and wrap his legs around me to pull me down. Looking back, my wife said I was able to keep my balance very well, but this guy continued to jerk me back until I fell backwards landing on top of him (which must have hurt him). At this point, I simply rolled over onto my stomach, grabbed one of his fingers, and bent it back far enough to peel him off my neck.

Afterward, I showed him some more formal techniques to give him what I thought was a better impression of Aikido, but the incident bothered me for quite a while. Why did I just stand there? My sensei told me that he wouldn't have expected an attack at a party surrounded by friends either. Now I'm wondering if martial awareness always has limits, or if my martial awareness will expand to more and more situations like this as I continue to train? I guess I'm also wondering if my ability to react more quickly will also expand as I continue to train?

James Davis
11-03-2006, 05:20 PM
My friends have done this too. You did, in my opinion, just what you were supposed to do.

You don't necessarily have to do technique every time some moron wants to "see what you can do" because he's been watching too much kung fu theatre.

He pushed the issue, and you tweaked his finger for him. You're aikido wasn't "on display", but that's fine.

If he does this in a room full of people again, make him say "Uncle".

A few times. evileyes

Lyle Bogin
11-03-2006, 05:45 PM
Mostly it sounds like you didn't want to look like an ass at your own party, rather than a deficit in your martial ability.

Aristeia
11-03-2006, 06:22 PM
martial awareness has no limits. You should have felt the ripples in the ki around you long before he launched his attack.

Ok seriously. Why on earth would any training give you precognitive or extra sensory abilities? If someone wants to jump you from behind when you're not looking - you're gonna get jumped. Particularly when you're not even in a yellow state of alert.

If you want to take anything from the incident - maybe go back to the dojo and work up an immediate action defence to the full nelson. Other than that, don't worry .

crbateman
11-03-2006, 06:50 PM
You should have told him that you were executing one of your most difficult Aikido techniques... The one where you resist the impulse to smash his shin, crush his collarbone, and then snatch his windpipe out through his mouth.

roswell1329
11-03-2006, 09:12 PM
Wow! Great responses everyone. Thanks for your insight. :ki:

xuzen
11-04-2006, 01:44 AM
Afterward, I showed him some more formal techniques to give him what I thought was a better impression of Aikido, but the incident bothered me for quite a while. Why did I just stand there? My sensei told me that he wouldn't have expected an attack at a party surrounded by friends either. Now I'm wondering if martial awareness always has limits, or if my martial awareness will expand to more and more situations like this as I continue to train? I guess I'm also wondering if my ability to react more quickly will also expand as I continue to train?

Well, even the most well tuned martial artist may not be aware that on the 11th of September, 2001, a jumbo jet would come crushing into the Towers,

You were at a party (friendly environment), with co-workers, some jerk tried to be funny, you reacted accordingly. Well done.

Boon.

Roman Kremianski
11-04-2006, 06:46 AM
Brad: I think your martial awareness reacted correctly. You knew that

A) It was only your friend at your party, and not a real attack

B) Since it was probably a prank or a joke, there is no need to do anything and risk injury.

My Dad grabs me and tries to punch me all the time thinking I'll bust some cool move on him without hurting him one bit. It just doesn't work that way...

kokyu
11-04-2006, 07:10 AM
I asked a similar question some time ago...

At that time, I was wondering why we didn't develop a sixth sense - i.e. the type where we sort of know there are x people around waiting to ambush you...

However, I was told (and rightly so) to develop that type of sense would mean developing a sort of paranoia - that you could always be attacked... I guess it's ok if you were a soldier in a war or a samurai during the Sengoku Jidai (Warring States period)... but the effect on one's nerves can't be too healthy...

Having read through your situation also points to the strengths of different martial arts... I'm not an expert, but IMHO, Aikido is OK for distance attacks... or multiple attack (think randori), but when it comes to grappling with someone close up, it may be good to get some training in judo...

Thank goodness you didn't do a koshinage :D

Aristeia
11-04-2006, 07:29 AM
At that time, I was wondering why we didn't develop a sixth sense - i.e. the type where we sort of know there are x people around waiting to ambush you...

How about this for an answer- human beings a limited to five senses.

Ketsan
11-04-2006, 09:02 AM
I think the only limitation on your awareness is mindful, or conscious you are of your surroundings. The more conscious you are the better you use your five sences and the more you notice small details and so the earlier you pick up on a potentially dangerous situation.

SeiserL
11-04-2006, 09:44 AM
Is it nice to know that you martial awareness was able to assess there was no real threat and gave you time not to immediately respond but to think about what would be the most effective and appropriate response to the context?

Guilty Spark
11-04-2006, 01:15 PM
You should have stomped on his foot.

Ive been in this situation a few times and what I've found myself doing is instead of resisting someone I move with them which seems to really throw them off balance. Of course like it was mentioned, you ran the risk of trashing your stuff.

Being prepared for any siuation to turn bad takes some getting used to. Still you should see it as a great lesson learned. Better you learned this lesson at a party by a peer in good fun, maybe loosing a little face instead of a dark ally loosing more.

Be polite, be courtious, be prepared to kill anyone you meet
Kill of course an be replaced by 'defend yourself against'.

mathewjgano
11-04-2006, 02:08 PM
martial awareness has no limits. You should have felt the ripples in the ki around you long before he launched his attack.
All is know is that those ripples give me "ki-sickness"...ok...I appologize for that one. :yuck:

Ok seriously. Why on earth would any training give you precognitive or extra sensory abilities? If someone wants to jump you from behind when you're not looking - you're gonna get jumped. Particularly when you're not even in a yellow state of alert.
Well, I certainly agree ESP isn't necessarily a side-effect of training, but I do think we can learn to pick up on sublte body-language changes, and the like, and then to react to them automatically. I mean, we all hear stories of some crazy stuff, but I'm inclined to think most, if not all, of that is simply a case of some seriously well-tuned senses...and maybe even a little bit of luck.

mathewjgano
11-04-2006, 02:21 PM
Why did I just stand there? My sensei told me that he wouldn't have expected an attack at a party surrounded by friends either. Now I'm wondering if martial awareness always has limits, or if my martial awareness will expand to more and more situations like this as I continue to train? I guess I'm also wondering if my ability to react more quickly will also expand as I continue to train?
The way you describe it makes it seem like you did quite well. You were aware there was no immeadiate threat which I'm sure affected your taking the time to process things more. Still, if you feel you should have been able to behave more quickly, train with that in mind. Maybe also try to do more ushirowaza. I know in my experience I see a greater portion of training dedicated to front-oriented attacks...and when you have your partner try to be as sneaky and quiet as possible, it makes for some interesting training.
I do think awareness has limitations, whether it's martial or otherwise, but I also think we can develop it further than most people realize...or care to, for that matter.
Take care,
Matt

Amir Krause
11-05-2006, 03:46 AM
How should you have reacted ?

Given the surrounding and your not being unwilling to risk harm to YOUR property, YOUR wife or YOUR guest (and his feelings), Is there anything you could have done that would have kept everything safe?
This was not a threatening situation, thus, any significant atemi that suits such a situation (stomping a leg, or sending your leg back and up) was definitly out of the question. You could not afford to start wrestlling with him, the risk to proprty was too serious...


As far as awareness, he did not have an harmfull intent, thus he was not conspicous in the surrounding. You were with friends all around, thus did not try to keep your distance.

Amir

ian
11-05-2006, 04:52 AM
I think the intent to harm is much easier to detect than some premenition that someone will grab you. Thus, when friends grab you its very hard to realise they were going to do something (indeed, if your friends do this regularly it is likely to make you paranoid). The body language of someone walking towards you, or the way they look at you, is much easier to pick up nasty intent.

I've managed to develop my instinctiveness now to such an extent that I know that a bird is going to grab me 6 months after my birth in a future reincarnation as a snail.

ian
11-05-2006, 04:54 AM
P.S. I was at a party, and I heard this 'what would you...' and before the person could finish the sentance one of my students had thrown him across the room.

- I'm hoping the question was going to be 'what would you do if I grabbed you like this' rather than 'what would you like to drink'.

kokyu
11-05-2006, 07:14 AM
Actually, I'm also quite curious how others would free themselves without getting too physical... Because uke is so close up, and the lock is behind the neck, rather than in front, it's not easy to slide out and perform a lock... either stamping the foot, falling back or a koshinage suggest themselves, but is that all?

Chris Birke
11-05-2006, 10:13 AM
You need to establish control of the top wrist (no one should be interlacing their fingers during a full nelson...), while dropping your weight and torquing your body.

It's an excellent control position, however, and if the person putting it on you knows what they are doing you will have a tough (or impossible...) time getting out. They can easily break down your base and control you. It is illegal in many wrastlin venues for sake of putting pressure on the cervical spine, but it's not really that painful or damaging (imho).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson_hold

Meanwhile, if you want to get a 6th sense of when you're about to be attacked, go to war in iraq or join a street gang and then live through a half dozen attacks to develop the requsite heightened awareness.

I personally don't want that kind of paranoia in relative peacetime.

Guilty Spark
11-05-2006, 10:32 AM
go to war in iraq or join a street gang and then live through a half dozen attacks to develop the requsite heightened awareness.


After being in that situation a few times I'm an even bigger believer of a 6th sense/ heightened awareness. Being at a party having someone goof around probably won't do it but there's a considerable chance when you're life is in danger you're going to get bad vibes from someone or a situation.

Still think one of the best course of action is to do something which takes the persons balance. Most people when unbalanced seem to forget what their doing and instinctivly try to regain their balance.

roswell1329
11-05-2006, 11:09 AM
...if you feel you should have been able to behave more quickly, train with that in mind. Maybe also try to do more ushirowaza. I know in my experience I see a greater portion of training dedicated to front-oriented attacks...and when you have your partner try to be as sneaky and quiet as possible, it makes for some interesting training.
I do think awareness has limitations, whether it's martial or otherwise, but I also think we can develop it further than most people realize...or care to, for that matter.

This is great advice, Matthew. As it turned out, this experience had a great effect on me in the end. It was one of those "humbling" experiences that force us to re-evaluate our training. I found that my training up to that point wasn't as dedicated as it could have been (sometimes just going through the motions without really thinking about the techniques), but afterwards I had a new energy. I began focusing on keeping my center as much off the mat as on the mat. As a result, I feel I've made more progress in the last month or two than perhaps the last year. I also now wonder if by simply being more aware of my own center hasn't increased my martial awareness (or maybe just my martial preparedness) as a by-product?

I did also work more on my ushirowaza. Oddly enough, one of the best techniques I have for dealing with a similar attack is the same over-the-back koshi/kokyu nage that I originally thought of. Go figure. :rolleyes:

Thanks everyone again for the great reponses!

Nafis Zahir
11-05-2006, 08:15 PM
You did have a keen awareness. The awareness that the attack was non-violent and that the person did not mean you any harm. Although you should always be prepared, knowing the difference between negative and positive energy is very vital to your existance. Had you been out in public, I thing your response would have been different.

MikeLogan
11-05-2006, 09:47 PM
I think the only other option would have been to calmly drink the wine with him on your back, ask the dear wife to take the glass, and then introduce him to the nearest wall and/or door jam. But gravity is something you couldn't avoid, and so, much more believable in court :D

Anyhow, yes, you were hosting, and had a glass of a very stainable liquid. You did well, and would only have done better to have gotten the wine all over the jerk for his troubles.

michael.

p00kiethebear
11-06-2006, 01:30 AM
Does your martial awareness have limits?

No, I can dodge bullets when they're fired at me in my sleep.

Kevin Wilbanks
11-06-2006, 02:07 AM
Someone getting a full nelson on you usually involves a fair amount wrestling to get you to elevate your shoulders and abduct your arms and to snake their arms up into position. If you are both standing, during at least the first half of that process, you should be able to prevent anyone up to about twice your size from doing it to you by simply dropping your weight, shoulders and arms. If you make yourself heavy and don't allow them to take your center of gravity by leaning you up onto them, it is nearly impossible to put the full nelson on - a variation on the 'you can't lift me' parlor trick. Once you have them futilely struggling to raise your arms, you should be able to grab one and do something with it.

I think that it is quite possible to get to a point where this particular sneak attack would not be possible to pull on you, no matter how unexpected, unless the assailant used some sort of atemi to distract and loosen you up. I have a teacher who says bumping into Saotome Sensei at a social gathering is like bumping into a tree with something spongy wrapped around it - even when he's just standing around at a potluck he's heavy and grounded. I doubt you could sneak up and put a full nelson on him.

Stomping on the foot is not a very good suggestion in this case, given the info that you did not want to hurt the guy. It sounds to me like he was being enough of an ass that I would not have felt bad if he suffered a minor injury, especially if it was the result of him falling or smashing into something. But, a stomp could crush the instep, breaking bones and/or tearing connective tissue in the foot, landing him in the hospital... a little harder to dismiss with an "oops".

Ron Tisdale
11-06-2006, 10:02 AM
Frankly, I'm usually more worried that some jerk will do something like this, and I'll fail to realise that it is not serious, and hurt them. A friend of mine ended up carrying a friend of his to the hospital with a broken arm because of a prank like that.

As for escape, elbows and shoulders and center down (as others have said), then I clear one leg behind theirs, and either body change or enter in behind them (kokyu nage / sokumen iriminage style). You can also bump their center with your butt, reach down and grab an ankle and lift up, then leg lock them. You can also sokumen step forward, turn and do ikkyo/ikkajo/ippondori. If you can do those, you can do nikkajo, sankajo, yonkajo, shiho, what ever.

And of course, there's always the good old head butt to the bridge of the nose that we used on the playground if they don't cinch it on tight right away.

Best,
Ron

Adman
11-06-2006, 10:07 AM
Kevin,

I was going to post something similar, but I think you got to the point better than I would have. In fact, while a person is unsuccesfully trying to get a firm hold on someone from behind, who is well centered, a simple turn with a "hunh?" to see what's going on, would probably knock the "party-uke" down.

Sorry for drifting the thread.

thanks,
Adam

Brion Toss
11-06-2006, 11:47 AM
Martial awareness is simply awareness, in a martial context. If, as someone noted above, one strains to be aware, stress, nervous exhaustion, and paranoia is the ultimate result, and of course one is not very effective, martially or otherwise, in that state. One is likewise not effective if one is utterly inattentive. The trick, obviously, is to be attentive/aware, and yet relaxed. I believe that getting towards this state is one of the major purposes of Aikido practice, and parties and other places where crowding occurs are great practice opportunities.
With practice, one sees subtler and subtler details, as well as more and more of one's general surroundings. These two might seem to be mutually exclusive, but I think they will must occur together if one is doing things right.
And of course, though awareness is invaluable in conflict, it is priceless in maintaining peace.

roswell1329
11-06-2006, 04:28 PM
Martial awareness is simply awareness, in a martial context. If, as someone noted above, one strains to be aware, stress, nervous exhaustion, and paranoia is the ultimate result, and of course one is not very effective, martially or otherwise, in that state. One is likewise not effective if one is utterly inattentive. The trick, obviously, is to be attentive/aware, and yet relaxed. I believe that getting towards this state is one of the major purposes of Aikido practice, and parties and other places where crowding occurs are great practice opportunities.
With practice, one sees subtler and subtler details, as well as more and more of one's general surroundings. These two might seem to be mutually exclusive, but I think they will — must — occur together if one is doing things right.
And of course, though awareness is invaluable in conflict, it is priceless in maintaining peace.
I have come to a very similar conclusion. I feel now that if I spend my time focusing on my own balance and relaxation that I will naturally become more sensitive to these situations, and will be able to react more quickly.

roswell1329
11-06-2006, 04:31 PM
Someone getting a full nelson on you usually involves a fair amount wrestling to get you to elevate your shoulders and abduct your arms and to snake their arms up into position.
Normally, I would agree with you. In this rare instance, however, I happened to be standing there with my hands on my hips, providing full access for the person to snake his hands through and connect at my neck.

I don't stand that way too often anymore. :D

ian
11-07-2006, 05:44 AM
P.S. recently I was at a friends place and a drunk bloke who was about twice my weight challenged me to try some aikido on him. I kept turning him down but he got up and kept egging me on, saying he'd done martial arts. Well I stood up and he lunged at me with some slapping; I managed to keep the slapping out of the way and illustrate (without contact) that I could hit him in the face, he came around the back of me to try and grab, and as he leant towards me I just moved to the side (with no real throw or contact) and he fell right onto the tiled floor, damaging his knee (he could hardly walk the next day and went to see a doctor). The amazing thing was the lack of contact and the importance just of keeping my OWN balance (he pretty much unbalanced himself as I moved). I also think my recent practise of tai-chi long form (yang style) has helped me improve my balance enormously and the relaxed, balanced movement was the key to this 'non-technique' (admittedly he was drunk, but no more so than I was).

Adman
11-07-2006, 09:10 AM
In this rare instance, however, I happened to be standing there with my hands on my hips, providing full access for the person to snake his hands through and connect at my neck.
Even with "access" it should still be difficult for a full nelson to take hold. On the rare occasion when I practice this (rare, because once it's understood ... you've got it), I open up my arms to give uke full access. They still have a very difficult time, if they're able to get a full nelson at all. I suppose my point is that perhaps martial awareness is more about awareness of oneself. Where is my center? How is my posture? These things I can keep track of a whole lot easier than the guests at a party in a trusting environment. This might not cover a frying pan to the head or an all-out tackle to the side of my knee, but it covers most everyday things.