View Full Version : Aikido Scenario?

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Pierre Kewcharoen
12-07-2007, 12:25 PM
There seem to be alot of discussion about using aikido in certain scenarios. Alot of the scenarios however are described in text which may never give a good picture or feeling of what it would be like in that situation/predicament. Below is a link to a news story/video of a girl gang attacking a guy on a subway. More specifically 6 girls attacking a guy. Not only is the guy faced with being on the train while moving, but also facing a mob that is trying to start a fight. Also he is faced with the issue that if they start attacking him, should he hit back since they are females. From an aikido point of view, what would you do if you were in his place?


12-07-2007, 12:47 PM
Interesting scenario...In that situation I personally would have stood up and squared off. if my size and disposition did not give them pause I would look for and move to a good defensible position near the door where I could exit at the first opportunity if needed...
PS. The dude looks like a classic victim and I don't exude that at all. That and having worked with Gang Bangers over the years may give me a slight edge up on most folks in these kinds of scenarios...

PSS. After the first chick hit me (that is the tough part of this conumdrum... Do I hit a chick first??? More than likely no...) I would have used whatever force I felt I needed to end the fight.

William Hazen

Keith Larman
12-07-2007, 01:17 PM
Yeah, interesting scenario. And I agree with William on the strategy.

I've also found the whole "never hit a girl" dynamic really interesting in a sociological/psychological sense. It might just be me growing up with a tough neighbor girl and also having trained with talented women who don't hesitate to try to hit me... But I don't have a lot of problem with the notion of hitting back...

I remember an old story about (I think) the late Ed Parker. Something to the effect that he was run off the road by a group of toughs at night. He got out of the car and walked up to the group of guys. He picked the closest one who was standing in the headlights and quickly broke his nose (Parker was *really* fast -- I'd seen him a few times since he was here in Pasadena when I was a kid -- lord that man could move). The story went that he picked the guy and the attack so he'd end up with a seriously bloodied t-shirt in the bright lights. It took the desire out of the rest of the group.

Frankly getting attacked by a group of women would be a difficult problem. I would worry about weapons. But if cornered I see it as no different from any other scenario -- do some damage to the first one and hope to god the rest are freaked out enough by it to back off. Weird dynamic here, though. With the females they may be relying on the idea that people would back off because they're girls. Going back to the Parker example if I was cornered by any group I'd probably try to start by standing up to make sure my size is obvious. If that didn't work and we're talking multiple attackers, well, usually your best choice is to lay the first one out completely and quickly. This is a deadly force scenario. 30 against 1? So I'd probably try to do as much damage as possible to the first one -- a broken arm, nose and dislocated shoulder is terrible to see happen -- and from experience I can tell you that a person with a severely dislocated shoulder is going to be in agony -- everyone around will know it too. At the point they attack gender isn't going to be an issue for me. Ovaries or not there comes a time when you need to defend yourself.

And always keep looking for that exit and run like hell...

Demetrio Cereijo
12-07-2007, 01:22 PM
Guy talks too much and lacks initiative. Victim.

John Connolly
12-07-2007, 01:44 PM
When I was in my mid 20s I got jumped by a group of teenagers while riding the city bus through the (now just a memory, all removed by 2005) Robert Taylor Homes projects.

No threats, just an attack. I backed to the wall of the bus covered my face and kicked the crap out of those kids who just landed glancing blows against my arms. My boot covered feet, however landed squarely into their torsos. This was with no warning. I did the best I could, and hurt them badly enough in the 1/2 minute flurry of attack and defense that they ran off as soon as the bus stopped.

If I had an option, like the guy in the video had, and were in his situation, I would have gotten into a different area, which could not be attacked from all sides, or I would have gotten off the train when stopped at the station, which I believe it did during the course of the video. I would definitely be concerned about razors. In my experience, tough girls in the neighborhoods I came up in always carried them. It was a sign that you were a girl to be reckoned with if you had a razor scar to show you'd been in battle and survived.

The guy in the video wasn't thinking straight, and seemed to feel like he could argue his way through. It is clear that these women were sizing him up in the classic "interview process", testing his resolve to attack them or defend himself.

12-07-2007, 02:02 PM
The victim did all he could to avoid confrontation, but failed to realize confrontation was inevitable. He should have initiated action when he felt his comfort zone disappear. And as for, " You don't hit a girl ", that is correct...you blast them into next year!


Will Prusner
12-07-2007, 02:35 PM
I remember reading something by Bruce Lee where he mentioned that a sound strategy for winning a fight was to attack (and to continue attacking until it's over) before the other person involved realized that a physical fight was inevitable.

Personally, I think that dude should have pepper sprayed 'em, AND THEN thrown 'em a beatdown.evileyes (it's possible I've been off the mat too long and that all my comments should be skipped over and that I personally be forgiven:) )

...oh man, i hope sensei doesn't read this thread...:o :sorry: :dead:

Lan Powers
12-07-2007, 03:18 PM
Treat a woman like a Lady ....untill she proves otherwise.
She hits-she gets moved out of the "chivalry"slot in the deep-south mind-set.
Attackers are not ladies, just uke's (or more relistically, opponents) to my mind.

12-07-2007, 04:23 PM
Woman? Where are the women there?
That is a mob behaviour scenario: no kids, no women and no innocents. Mass histeria is something we fight alot in Italy during soccer matches where the supporter reach the point to kill one another. The mind of a single gets voided by the mind of the mob.

The guy in the video did what he could to avoid the situation. In the beginning it seemed all the women where kidding and having fun and he played along. Then the strong woman of the mob escalated to a nervous attitude and that dragged the rest along.
He probably at that point shouldn't have headed for the door (too late, he should have gotten off the train much earlier), but hold his positions. Trying to get up put him in the middle of the mob in a moving train. Staying sitting down would have given him the chance to kick their knees while protecting his head and the moving train would have helped him in having the women lose balance.

12-07-2007, 07:00 PM
I hate it when Aikiweb eats my reply.should he hit back since they are females Train with more women and you'll see how silly a question that is.

Unless I'm with company, or it's in the morning when most trouble-makers are in bed, or at least busy on their way to work, I stand on the train, and always near the door for my next stop for just this reason. I've seen this sort of thing happen before, but not to such a resolution, and never with a camera documenting the action. I bet they were out for a trophy, for giggles at seeing themselves make him squirm. The thing is he suffered from the same need to defend his pride before this seemingly absurd barrage of antagonism, for some perceived slight on his behalf.

Just the fact that he probably argued against the point of why and how they were arguing with him likely served to spur them on, then through a poor turn of phrase he likely came off as suggesting in his expression or tone the idea that he thought them ridiculous. Perceptions of insult and injury escalated because he was too obsessed with the absurdity of their actions, rather than the reality of the situation he was rapidly approaching. He was outnumbered, they were agitated, and he had no where to go.

When someone in a 1.5 ton truck pulls out in front of me while I have the right of way and I'm doing 60, I might find that an absurd act on their behalf. They are still in a 1.5 truck. The universe is on their side. The 'absurdity' of it is not going to save me from eating my steering wheel as I cuddle up to their tail-gate....


12-07-2007, 09:47 PM
Arguing with people is inherently pointless and often as not it's just a way attackers size you up and with gangs like this violence pretty much is going to happen sooner or later.

I'm not sure there is an "aiki" solution. Anything I'd have done would have happened around 44 seconds. The loud mouth is standing up, her friends are sitting behind her. So maybe go in with a front kick, hoping to knock her onto her friends and then lay into them with more kicks before they could recover or respond until the train stopped and then walk away.

"You can't hit women" is medieval horseshit as far as I'm concerned.

12-07-2007, 09:53 PM
" Victim" spend too much time talking but too little time preparing for the fight or flight response. Remind me of the Pizza Parlour incident...

I think sometimes when you talk to much, you give out too much info-emotion which enabled your aggressor to know too much about you. I would have preferred to have a " hidden face" .


Marc Abrams
12-08-2007, 06:56 AM
In the mid '80's I was in Rome with my girlfriend (at that time) spending the holidays with her family (she was from Rome). We were walking around by the Spanish Steps. She had warned me about the gypsie kids. I spent most of my life in the NY metro area. I was raised by a southern dad, where hitting a woman was to never happen. My girlfriend was the one unaware as around an 8 y/o girl was sneaking up to grab her bag. I did not show that I was tracking her movements. As soon as she was behind me, I spun and back-handed her across the floor (airborne child). The other children scattered, only to attack an oriental couple several minutes later.

Sometimes, you have to do what you have to do to stay safe.

Marc Abrams

12-08-2007, 10:51 AM
Hehe, thankfully that was 20 years ago, and you now use a more subtle and elegant kotogaeshi to throw 8 year old girls across the street?


John Connolly
12-08-2007, 06:24 PM
Just wanted to clarify...

My experience getting jumped was not Aikido, just trying to protect my face and injure my attackers in the blinding instant of the attack.

Nor do I think my suggestions would be Aikido, but rather just good strategy.

Back to your regularly scheduled program...

Angela Dunn
12-08-2007, 06:37 PM
Its situations like that which make me seriously think about replacing my personal alarm!

I would not have gotten into the argument with them in the first place, I would not have spoken to them , a strategy that has served me fairly well in the past. I would have also moved away at the first opportunity, sometimes the best defence a person has is to remove themselves from the conflict at the first opportunity, he was out numbered. Actually If I saw a group like that on a train I would not have sat near them in the first place! To be really honest thanks to an experience admittedly milder than that but with the same outcome (single female travelling alone, late-ish train group of drunken lads) I always make sure I sit near the staff if travelling alone and if possible I always travel with other people. Not sure if subways have staff though, my knowledge of US culture is lacking.

That was a rough situation to be in though, those girls where looking for a fight and if it had not been with him it would have been with someone else. Somehow I think once they caught sight of him there was not a lot he could have done to avoid that situation .

As for the whole they where female, yeah I can see why he would not have pulled the first strike but I think now especially with gangs now it may be morally and legally wrong but sometimes it may be the only way out of a situation like that!

Lyle Bogin
12-08-2007, 09:16 PM
I ride that line to get to my dojo.

The doors opened a few seconds in. He should have just switched cars. They lock most of the inner doors since sept 11 so people can't pass between cars.

He acted as if he was better than them, and they reacted with rage. No shock there.

An easily avoidable and common situation in NYC. Angry kids startin' trash....

Janet Rosen
12-08-2007, 11:06 PM
I rode NY subways alone at all hours as a teenage girl in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Never got messed with.

If you are paying attention, there ARE wiles/rules you learn young about eye contact, ways of responding semi-verbally that indicate you know you have been addressed but give nothing to offend the other person with, ways of moving the body, etc. None of this is a guarantee, of course, against random events, and I've no doubt pure luck was also part of the picture for me. But I also know of a few situations where folks considered me and moved on, and one that still makes me chuckle today in which I actually scared the hell out of a guy w/ what I thought was very casual body language on my part...
Bottom line, if suddenly being attacked by many people, survival is the essential thing, and the age or gender of the attackers and whether or not you are employing aikido should not be what you worry about!

Avery Jenkins
12-10-2007, 08:43 AM
There are about 18 different ways that guy screwed up, from beginning to end. Gender is immaterial.

Pierre Kewcharoen
12-10-2007, 08:47 AM
That guy was lucky that he was getting hit with punches as opposed to knives.

Michael Douglas
12-11-2007, 01:11 PM
When I was in my mid 20s I got jumped by a group of teenagers while riding the city bus through the (now just a memory, all removed by 2005) Robert Taylor Homes projects.
No threats, just an attack. I backed to the wall of the bus covered my face and kicked the crap out of those kids who just landed glancing blows against my arms. My boot covered feet, however landed squarely into their torsos. This was with no warning. I did the best I could, and hurt them badly enough in the 1/2 minute flurry of attack and defense that they ran off as soon as the bus stopped.
Just wanted to clarify...
My experience getting jumped was not Aikido, just trying to protect my face and injure my attackers in the blinding instant of the attack.
Great strategy John. You have my admiration.

John Connolly
12-11-2007, 01:29 PM
I was happy that it worked great for punchins...

Maybe not so super for stabbins.

(Although receiving arm cuts beat receiving head and neck cuts any day)

Cover up, limit your attackers ability to attack you from multiple angles, and strike back hard is something I learned from basic street fighting, not martial arts training.

12-12-2007, 10:07 AM
to me, the tricky part about a situation like this is - at what point do you know it is time to act?

personally i think i would have not gotten myself into his mess to begin with (body language telling them to move on, or just moving when it got loud - definitely would not have been the first time i changed my seat on the subway because of something similar), but somehow this guy got himself into a mess...speaking for myself, 100% in hindsight of course - i think i would have gotten up and took care of whoever invaded my space with that plastic bottle as soon as that happened (or maybe the leader or whoever was closest at that moment). seems kokyu nage might have been about right with me sitting and their arm outstretched. just get up with a big movement after directing the bottle arm to the side. also would have given me enough momentum to send myself clear of the immediate area right after doing it too. cuz if im already getting up and moving, there's no reason to hang out right there once all the ugliness has been set in motion

but in the situation, with the people all in my face and loud, my heart pounding, adrenaline going, my thoughts probably a bit unclear for all the obvious reasons...im not really sure what id do. so far in 8 years of aikido ive managed to keep all the evil doers away with body language :D. or by just removing myself from the situation before they know im aware it could be a situation.

but anyway, sucks for this guy. a nasty situation for a so called pacifist. classic line, calling himself a pacifist. yeah, ok. that's why you let yourself get roughed up. i do feel bad for him though

these are all the same things i talked about with my wife when we read about this in the newspaper the next day. it's not suprising, but it's kind of good to see other people viewing the situation in the same light.