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Pierre Kewcharoen
12-11-2007, 12:16 PM
This guy gets sucker punched and robbed at a mcdonalds of all places and all the guy got was 2 bucks. Was their anything he could have done aiki wise that would have prepared him for that?
He wasn't in a dark and shady area but inside a mcdonalds ordering a burger. Would you have been more aware of your surroundings and situation regardless of how comfortable a place may be? Im sure the thought of getting rocked and robbed in a fast food place with people around didn't pop in his head. Thoughts?

http://youtube.com/watch?v=OMLxRi5wIxE

Jonshez
12-11-2007, 01:18 PM
My first thoughts are that at the point the attack took place there is very little aikido techniques can do. If you aren't aware of the swing coming then you can't do anything.

So, awareness. I remember reading an article linked from these forums that talked about the key in self-defence being nothing to do with physical techniques, more that preventing yourself from being in the position of danger in the first place.

If I recall correctly it discussed the elements of a triangle that when completed meant trouble.

First, Capability. If someone is capable of inflicting harm on you - that is the first edge.

Second, Opportunity. If someone has the opportunity to inflict harm (you are alone in a car park for example), that is another edge.

Finally, Intent. If someone shows intent to harm then that is the final edge.

The idea behind the triangle was that if you could see two of the three elements in place you should be aware of the third being created and ensure the the trangle is never completed.

I think it is fair to say in that video, the assailant has the capability, opportunity (because although in a McD's you are away from help), at which point anyone looking for the third element would have either been more aware or avoided the situation completely by sitting at a table away from him or going away and coming back later.

As it happens the triangle model seems to work pretty well when evaluating scenarios, but whether I would have realised I was in danger... hard to say. It's quite an extreme example.

Whoa, that's a lot for me to post.

Jon

Pierre Kewcharoen
12-11-2007, 01:27 PM
Good post, I think the emphasis is more on the awareness part of aikido more so than the self defense part. Some people just have the intiuition that something bad is going to happen even in a seemingly safe place like a mcD's. Im assuming the lesson learned is always have your guard up no matter where you are.

Jonshez
12-11-2007, 01:31 PM
I've dug out the link for anyone who hasn't read it.

I found it a very interesting site.

http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/five_stages.html

I don't think it's so much about having an intuition, the system the link uses to identify when danger is present is pretty straightforward and useful. Anyone can use it and I've passed it on to as many people as I thought might benefit whether they study martial arts or perhaps more for those who don't.

Joseph Madden
12-11-2007, 05:21 PM
This may be a little of topic Pierre, but since I have a background in security/enforcement I would have to agree with points that Jon has made, but I would like to add something else. Working in my field you develop a certain instinct of people. Not so much a more highly developed sense but rather a bubble of containment. I know who I want near me and who shouldn't be near me. Gavin de Becker's excellent book "The Gift of Fear" talks about how people choose to ignore those gut instincts that kick in the moment they think something is wrong. That's why they are raped, punched, robbed etc. It be interesting to find out if the punchee was aware and then just ignored it.

crbateman
12-12-2007, 03:18 AM
I'd like to leave the physical dimensions of this scenario for others to comment on, and speak to the mental aspects instead. I have heard it said many times that people who "prey" on others, for want of a better word, actively look for those who give the appearance of ill-preparedness, discomfort or lack of confidence. Certainly, any budo training (not just Aikido) can help in these areas. I think most would agree that everyone has a sort of "sixth sense" regarding their surroundings, but some choose to ignore it, while others try to nurture and develop it. Once again, budo training can help with this.

O'Sensei left a standing challenge to his deshi to try to attack him at any time, regardless of the location or current activity. Those who attempted it, even his senior students, usually found themselves on the ground, with a laughing O'Sensei standing over them. This light-hearted behavior demonstrated his ability to sense an impending attack before it happened. This was not some superhuman trick, just the manifestation of years of training to feel those around him and develop a nonstop awareness and focus.

My personal view is that this is doable to some degree for almost anyone, and although I have not personally been able to master it, I can say that my peripheral attention has improved, and I don't feel that there are many times that I give the impression of vulnerability that would make me a tempting target to a street punk, yet without acting confrontational. I think these qualities are well within the boundaries of aiki, although not the exclusive property thereof. Perhaps the best way to exit this scenario is not to be involved in the first place.

Amir Krause
12-12-2007, 04:29 AM
I agree with the above posts.

Most people confuse S.D. and fighting, and thus talk of M.A. phisical training as a means of S.D.

In fact, S.D. is primarily about preventing a conflict before it started:
* Being aware of your sorounding, noticing the threats
* Preventing a conflict from escalating into a fight, even it you are likely to win it.

The technical solutions of M.A. to a fight only come next, and only if those first steps have failed. As we recently discussed, even in those stages one can just pass - disengage loosing some money\face, or do something exraordinary in the "aiki" style as described in the well known Teri Dobson story.

Had that person gotten a glimpse of the attack, he could have found lots of technical solutions with ease. The attacker was not stable nor anything similar.

Amir

graham
12-12-2007, 05:52 AM
I'm sure I'm gonna reveal myself to be the complete newbie that I am here... but I don't want to be continually 'aware'.

Do we really want to live like this, bordering on the edge of paranoia?

dps
12-12-2007, 06:52 AM
I'm sure I'm gonna reveal myself to be the complete newbie that I am here... but I don't want to be continually 'aware'.

Do we really want to live like this, bordering on the edge of paranoia?

It is not paranoia. It being aware of where you are, who is around you and what is going on around you. Similar to driving a car, you should have an idea of any cars near you and what they are doing.

In the video the guy's concentration is completely on the menu board.
Come on, that menu board at McDonald's hasn't changed in years.

David

Kevin Leavitt
12-12-2007, 07:52 AM
A few years ago I pulled up to a 7-11 store in DC Area. I parked in front of the window as most do, put the car in park, I looked in the window, the body language of those in the store did not seem quite right to me. Spider senses were going off for a reason I could not place.

So, I put it is reverse and backed out and pulled out.

As I was leaving, the police were pulling in big time!

Never knew what was really going down in there, but It was nothing good!

Kevin Leavitt
12-12-2007, 07:55 AM
I travel alot to third world countries. I have never been mugged or anything. Many of my co-workers have.

When I travel with them and we go "out on the town". It becomes very apparent why this is happening to them.

You can reduce risk a great deal by simple, simple things that all start with awareness.

Pierre Kewcharoen
12-12-2007, 08:06 AM
In the video the guy's concentration is completely on the menu board.
Come on, that menu board at McDonald's hasn't changed in years.

David

LOL

crbateman
12-12-2007, 09:57 AM
I agree that the last thing you want to focus on in a McDonalds is what you are eating... :D

DW Ederer
12-12-2007, 06:24 PM
One of the transforming events in my life happened about 1 PM while walking across a major intersection in downtown Washington DC. I had been practicing judo a few years and am a pretty big guy, 6'3" and 225 lbs at the time. I was wearing a suit and walking with a few friends. As I walked I noticed a street person walking across the street towards me but didn't think much about it since it was a common sight. He made no eye contact and I didn't think much about him. Right after he passed he whipped around and sucker punched me in the ribs - cracking two of them.

My awareness had noted him but my surroundings were comfortable and apparently safe. His attack made no sense and had no warning.

As I turned towards him he cringed away waiting for my response. Just that morning I had read an article in the Washington Post about street people attacking folks that would then injure them so they could go to the hospital and get pain medication. When I backed away from the much smaller attacker he looked disappointed.

This was a transforming experience because even though I was somewhat martially aware and competent I was successfully attacked in an open and public place. It cracked my self confidence for years. The pain in the ribs reminded me of it for a month.

Now that I've been practicing aikido for 7 years I am certainly more aware of my environment but still not sure I would be able to avoid a random attack. I would certainly be able to avoid a confrontational situation in the street that was somewhat obvious but a random attack from the back I don't know.

The environment and expectations have much to do with situational awareness. Maybe a McDonald's menu is enough distraction for things to happen.

Pierre Kewcharoen
12-12-2007, 08:13 PM
Just that morning I had read an article in the Washington Post about street people attacking folks that would then injure them so they could go to the hospital and get pain medication. When I backed away from the much smaller attacker he looked disappointed.



So the guy was expecting you to beat the crap out of him so he could get pain meds from the hospital? What people will do for drugs.

Hardware
12-13-2007, 01:36 PM
It is not paranoia. It being aware of where you are, who is around you and what is going on around you. Similar to driving a car, you should have an idea of any cars near you and what they are doing.

In the video the guy's concentration is completely on the menu board.
Come on, that menu board at McDonald's hasn't changed in years.

David

Very well said.

senshincenter
12-13-2007, 03:56 PM
Hi All,

When it comes to situational awareness and kihion waza, for example, some practitioners mix it all into one package, such that one without the other is nothing, or if this is missing, then nothing. I try to be one of these folks. Hence, I do not distinguish between Aiki, SD, and MA, etc., or, if I do, I certainly do not do so in terms of contrast and/or difference.

That said, if we are going to talk about awareness, I feel fine having that be part of Aiki - if not Aiki itself, if not that which is necessary for Aiki to even exist. In other words, there was a heck of a lot this guy could have done aiki-wise to get out of this unscathed.

When watching the video, from my point of view, the man knew he was in trouble, knew that guy next to him was trouble, etc. Hence, why he noticed him following him into the Mc-D, and also why he's doing everything he can to look away, "be away," from the puncher when he's standing next to him at the cashier. Please note how he's not looking in that direction and trying, as best he can, to turn away from him without making that obvious. He's not focused on the menu; he's focused on ignoring the guy next to him. What we are seeing here is a clear example of how delusion and denial are part of a loss of awareness. With the presence of delusion and denial, and with the loss of awareness, the puncher, as a predator, felt he had his opening (i.e. a surprise attack), and so he took it.

In addition, I would suggest that it is the reconciliation of delusion and denial that separates awareness from paranoia, as paranoia is as much seated in delusion and denail as unawareness is. If you will allow me to say, awareness is about being in the moment as it is. The guy that was attacked was doing all he could to make it seem to him that he was some place else, standing next to someone else, etc. That is very un-Aiki.

Here's something else to chew on - if you look to the mindset underneath it. A firearms instructor of mine in law enforcement always used the following line when discussing the combative mindset:

"When you go into a room, make sure you have a plan on how to kill everyone in that room. When, or if, you do not need to do that, good for you; but you should always have that plan."

dmv