PDA

View Full Version : To help or not to help


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


Aikiman001
04-06-2010, 10:25 PM
I was watching a short documentary on TV last night that had people tell their stories of how they were beaten up, bullied and stabbed and whether by-standers came to their aid or not.

In one story an innocent bystander was punched to the ground and kicked in the head by 2 guys until he was unconscious just for looking at the wrong person. Luckily for him an older couple were crossing the road at the time and intentionally created enough of a scene that the 2 guys strolled off and were never found or convicted. After recovering from his injuries, the victim is so thankful for the people who helped him and believe he wouldnt be a live today if it wasnt for them.

In another story a teenage girl and her friend were confronted by a pack of girls on a bus. One of the hoodlums took a disliking to one of the girls and ended up punching her to the floor and jumping on her face and chest. Despite her screams for help, none of the other passengers came to her aid and in fact was told to be quiet by one of them. This girl still suffers from nightmares and anxiety attacks since the attack, a loss of confidence in herself and others for not helping her.

The 3rd story was about this young guy who decided to help these little kids who were being bullied for money. As he approached the other group who were also quite young and confronted them, he was stabbed in the heart later dying in hospital.

Also only 12 months ago in my own city, a man who tried to help a woman who was being mugged, was stabbed to death while she got off with minor cuts and bruises and most likely some anxieties from the attack.

So where am I going with all this? I guess there is an expectation that if somebody is being attacked then as by-standers we are obliged to come to their aid even if it means risking our own life. Why is this?
Twenty years ago, before I began training in Aikido, this would have been my first impulse. I would have a righteous anger that would motivate me to help the victim and put my own life at risk. Afterall I would want somebody to do the same for me.

But today with my Aikido training I find myself less likely to want to get involved in altercations. I am more concerned with my self preservation like the people on the bus were, than to help somebody in distress. I am a little concerned about this mind set because I once believed that if I knew Aikido I would go to anybodies aid, Im not so sure now.

If you saw somebody pointing a handgun in the face of an innocent by-stander and demanding money would you intervene?

Brian Gillaspie
04-06-2010, 10:58 PM
It's hard for me to answer the question of "would I help" because I believe everything is situational. If I am by myself and I see someone on the ground getting kicked repeatedly I feel obligated to help. However, if I have my two young kids with me I would lean towards getting my kids somewhere safe and that may mean that I don't jump in and break things up. However, I am talking a hypothetical situation so to be honest I can't say for sure what I would do if something happens.

I went to our city's St. Patrick's day parade in 2009 and about 10 feet from me and my family an adult male and and adult female start screaming and yelling at each other about where to stand for the parade (they were great role models for my kids :-)) . In this case I left it alone because there were plenty of cops around and there was no physcial violence.

Janet Rosen
04-07-2010, 12:04 AM
I have stepped into situations where other people later felt I was either very brave or taking a real chance, yet my own gut level reading of the situation was that it was going to be ok - and it was. Other times - only a very few - I read it as totally unsafe; ie, no way for a positive outcome via direct intervention, and retreated to summon formal help. Every time I have success in trusting my instinct, the lesson is: trust my instinct.

Abasan
04-07-2010, 04:26 AM
It all depends on whether you believe you're training in Budo or not. If Aikido is recreational exercise for you then I suppose you shouldn't. But if it means more to you then, your heart will decide.

I myself have stopped and intervened in 3-4 altercations and I chose to ignore 1. In the 2 cases that I intervened, it was the victim that was misconstrued as being the aggressor. It has so far all ended in a positive note, but I pray I do not encounter another one.

Garth Jones
04-07-2010, 08:22 AM
If you saw somebody pointing a handgun in the face of an innocent by-stander and demanding money would you intervene?

That is a particular, and difficult situation. Approaching the gun wielding mugger openly is likely to get me shot before I can close enough to try for the gun. And even if I get there without being noticed if my technique isn't clean I will likely die. If, in that instant of seeing the problem I thought that the mugger would behave rationally and leave with the wallet without violence, then no, I wouldn't step in. If, on the other hand, I thought the guy was going to start shooting, then I might well try something. After all, if I'm close enough to intervene, I'm likely next on his list anyway.

Some kids stomping another kid - sure, I'll try to stop that.

lbb
04-07-2010, 09:55 AM
If you saw somebody pointing a handgun in the face of an innocent by-stander and demanding money would you intervene?

No.

Not having any illusions here about how tai sabaki can stop a speeding bullet...

dps
04-07-2010, 10:29 AM
I have stepped into situations where other people later felt I was either very brave or taking a real chance, yet my own gut level reading of the situation was that it was going to be ok - and it was. Other times - only a very few - I read it as totally unsafe; ie, no way for a positive outcome via direct intervention, and retreated to summon formal help. Every time I have success in trusting my instinct, the lesson is: trust my instinct.

100% agree with this.

David

David Maidment
04-07-2010, 12:13 PM
In all honesty I would intervene, but not directly. I'd be more likely to creep up on the aggressor with a bit of wood than go running into the middle of things and try to fight/diffuse the situation. You've got to be realistic about these things.

SeiserL
04-07-2010, 03:32 PM
I have never regretted the times I stepped up and stepped in.
I have always wondered about times I didn't.

Aikiman001
04-07-2010, 10:11 PM
Thanks for everyones comments, Ill let them sink in for a while. :)
I hate seeing innocent people being bullied, intimidated or hurt but it would be worse if I stepped in and added to the casualties.

SeiserL
04-08-2010, 06:01 AM
Sometimes it is only a question of who is the casuality and to what extent. They set that parameter when they started intimidating the weak and innocent.

Train and walk in loving protection.

earnest aikidoka
04-21-2010, 05:12 AM
this really depends on the situation u r in. if it is a simple mugging, stand by and see how it plays out. if the mugger is jus after cash
let him go, cash is nothing compared to ur life. however, if that person has intent to hurt or kill, wld ur conscience spare you if u fail to act?

personally, i absolutely detest those people who stand by and let others hurt people with such blatant disrespect and impunity. i knw how it feels to be alone and totally without any support or help from others and it is not a good feeling. i ignored such an incident once and i have been hoping ever since that one day i will be able to make up for it.

but, thats just me, do watever rocks ur boat, as long as u can live with urself afterwards for the rest of your life

Amir Krause
04-21-2010, 05:22 AM
Often, you can intervene by calling the authorities with minimal risk to yourself.

Amir

danj
04-21-2010, 06:50 AM
What I found interesting in doing some reading, and its a bit off topic, is that random crime is not so common. So while the discussed cases are interesting to think about there are many others that might be more likely scenarios esp. domestic violence and altercations between those that know each other. In these situations it might be difficult to distinguish victim and perpetrator from each other and both might be likely to turn on someone that intervenes.

dan

lbb
04-21-2010, 07:31 AM
What I found interesting in doing some reading, and its a bit off topic, is that random crime is not so common. So while the discussed cases are interesting to think about there are many others that might be more likely scenarios esp. domestic violence and altercations between those that know each other. In these situations it might be difficult to distinguish victim and perpetrator from each other and both might be likely to turn on someone that intervenes.

There you go, Dan, talking common sense...sheesh! :p

Seriously...everybody's favorite "what if" self-defense scenarios involve random crime, not the more likely situations where, as you say, victim and perpetrator know each other. My guess as to why is that, while the former situation is more rare, the latter situation is more frightening -- because if you accept the truth that most violence is not perpetrated by strangers, you suddenly start to feel a lot less secure in your snug little world. People would rather train for "self-defense" against a nonexistent threat than accept that they may be living with a real one.

DonMagee
04-21-2010, 08:43 AM
For those who do not know, I carry a firearm every single place I go. This simple fact has added a whole different level of awareness to how I approach confrontation outside of the mat.

Example: I was at the mall with my wife, A small fight brought out between a group of teens and another teen. All the adults in the area where standing around watching this, myself included.

Now I wanted to help that kid who was fighting solo or at least break up the fight, but I didn't. This was my reasoning.

1) The kid was for the most part holding his own and not in any danger of being seriously hurt/killed.
2) The mall has a police station, so I was sure within the next 3-5 minutes the police would be on site. (Would be sooner, but those segways only move so fast you know)
3) If I got involved, I may be forced to use my firearm or much worse I may get my firearm taken from me by one of the 'gang'.

I think had we been in a place where the police were not going to show up any second, or if the kid had been in serious danger (say baseball bat, or even being ground and pounded) I would have attempted to break up the fight.

I guess for the most part I have reached a level where my decision to act comes down to the use of a firearm. If the situation is not severe enough to warrant the use of a firearm, then engaging is probably not the route I'm willing to take in most cases.

It's really interesting how wearing a firearm has changed by thoughts about martial arts, distance, conflict, and even living in general. For example, I am very uncomfortable when sitting in a place where my back is not facing a wall. It has changed my outlook from things worth walking away for, things worth fighting for, and things worth killing for to simply things worth walking away for and things worth killing for. I think this makes me a much calmer and less agressive person because when it really comes down to it, there are very few things worth killing for.

Abasan
04-21-2010, 09:57 AM
Never draw a weapon you're not willing to fire. Same thing with stepping up, never step up unless you're willing to finish it.

Rob Watson
04-21-2010, 05:41 PM
I carry a firearm ...
It's really interesting how wearing a firearm has changed by thoughts about martial arts, distance, conflict, and even living in general.

This is a tough one. The possibility of escalation is so great and the outcome rapidly approaches terminal.

Lest we not fool ourselves please consider a recent event in Oakland where a father and son are 'king hit' out of the blue (according to the story so far) and the father falls striking his head and soon died from the head trauma. Seemingly out of the blue random crime with one punch becoming fatal. Not a hypothetical but 'pulled from the headlines' from a place I've walked many times - my favorite sewing machine/vacuum repair shop is right around the corner. No time for deliberation or observation and precious little time to draw a weapon or even bother attempting to intervene.

The real question for me is the case of these two fellows (the 'perps') most likely were not out for blood but just for kicks and I'll wager they have done this type of thing before. What if by not 'stepping in' this type of behavior is allowed to persist, grow and 'blossom' into fully fledged social pathology that wrecks many lives and possibly worse? It seems the personality type is emboldened by each event and unless checked (maybe even in spite of) grows more terrible.

If we are to believe that aikido (or your favorite 'do' art) is to help build a better society then either we all must train or those that do train must become more active in society. Which is more likely - all train or become active? I know, I can tend towards idealistic day dreaming but sometimes my blood boils and I'm compelled to act.

As for having kids around as an excuse/reason to stand off ... I'm of two minds. What kind of impression is left on the impressionable young minds seeing the 'bad guys' (as my son calls them) left unchecked versus seeing dad play 'good guy' and deal his brand of justice? Sometimes all that is needed is a firm word ... one time it did escalate to a face off but the old indomitable spirit was with me and my steely gaze was enough to quell to situation. My kids didn't even seem to notice that anything had happened ... or the wife for that matter.

I'm not advocating vigilante action but 'we the people' means all of us. If 'someone else' is expected to step up then just exactly who are 'they' and what does that make 'us'?

danj
04-21-2010, 06:18 PM
I recently put a digest of Australian violent crime statistics up on my website. http://www.aikidorepublic.com/self-defence
(the page is still under development but its a start) Its really sobering stuff. If sexual assault is closely examined you find out that it happens mostly in someones house and by someone you know (and very often a relative)...it really turn things like self defence training on its head.

On the subject of guns and without wanting to start a flame war and continuing to head further off topic in the recent past Australia made moves to make it more difficult to own guns and keep them in the house.

I think the rationale was based on the statistics of incidents between those known to each other (80% of homicides, 60% sexual ) and in a home or dwelling(57% homicides, 67% sexual) and removed the opportunity to grab in the heat of the moment. It has lead to a significant decrease in the homicide rate.

Over whelmingly violent crime statistics point to common risk factors like young males (both the perp and victim), drugs and alcohol.

Heading really off topic It might seem that awareness / ma-ai training might be the most important skill in terms of self defence and seems to be a common thread of the collective wisdom in this thread

best,
dan

Kevin Leavitt
04-21-2010, 07:00 PM
I'm not a gun carrier in civilian life. Mainly for the exact reasons that Don mentions above. I have a different philosophy based around the concerns that Don mentions. So I don't carry and probably never will unless the risk factors of where I go and what I do warrant it. They don't so I don't.

That said, I think much like Don does concerning assessing the situation.

More general than that, I think it boils down to "sheeps and wolves".

Some of us in society are sheep and will sit back and simply watch as one of the heard gets picked off too scared on removed from the situation to get involved.

Others of us are wolves and will do what we need to do to protect ourselves and others when the situation warrants it.

It is not necessarily a matter of training or skill, but a matter of courage, strength, and compassion to do the right things no matter what.

Of course it helps to have training and skills and I think through Budo training that we can learn to find our courage and confidence as well as improve our abilities to make sound decisions in stressful situations.

The willingness to act in the face of danger or adversity, is what my good friend Matt Larsen says is the defining characteristic of a warrior!

Michael Hackett
04-21-2010, 10:56 PM
Without having a duty to intervene, it is ALWAYS safer to step back and call 9-1-1 and be a good witness. The safer route isn't always the best route and sometimes a person has to take a stand on behalf of others. I think Janet hit in on the head with her comments about trusting your instincts. If you feel you can intervene successfully, you probably can. Remember, the bad guys have instincts too and if the hair on the back of their necks stand on end, you may have a successful resolution.

Choosing to intervene in a violent situation is truly choosing to lay your life on the line for someone else. That may sound dramatic, but you can die as a result. Firearms, knives, chemical sprays, clubs, martial arts training are all great tools, but the greatest weapon in your holster is your resolve to save someone regardless of the personal consequences.

Kevin mentioned sheep and wolves. Some are also sheep dogs. Kevin is a sheep dog on a global scale. I received my kibble for many years for tending a local flock and Its hard to turn that off. I honestly believe that Janet's comments are the most valuable here and if you trust your instincts in such a situation, your choice will be much easier.

Rob Watson
04-21-2010, 11:42 PM
Without having a duty to intervene ...

It is my considered opinion that if one does not believe they have a duty to aid ones fellows then all hope is lost. The most fundamental building block of society is our willingness and desire, indeed, our duty, to help one another.

Michael Hackett
04-22-2010, 12:58 AM
Robert, you are a sheep dog at heart. I agree that we all have some level of "duty" to help others. Some of us have that duty, even at the cost of one's own life by virtue of occupation. The rest of us can fulfill that duty, that obligation by acting according to our personal strengths and attributes. In some cases we can choose to enter the fray and in others we can provide help by summoning aid. At the very least we can summon aid - remember the name of Kitty Genovese? She was the New York woman who screamed for help while she was being stabbed to death. Many people admitted hearing her cries for help and NO ONE even bothered to call. While we all can call dial a phone, yell out, pull a fire alarm, not all of us have the capacity to physically intervene.

I used the term "duty" in the sense of a specific and legal obligation rather than a moral one. After living in the world of the former, I recognize no other way for me to behave. I will trust you and others to exercise your best judgment and act accordingly. The world we live in would be a better place if more people felt the way you do.

lbb
04-22-2010, 07:30 AM
It is my considered opinion that if one does not believe they have a duty to aid ones fellows then all hope is lost. .

Maybe so, but "duty to intervene" has a legal meaning. I suspect Michael was using it in this sense and not in the philosophical sense.

genin
07-26-2011, 11:33 AM
It comes down to the fact that we are not here to save the world. Unless you have a big "S" painted on your chest, you are not Superman. Unless you have a badge and a gun, you are not a cop. You don't have to save the world, it's simply not your job.

Half the time, the person whom you'd be "saving" from trouble played a role in getting themselves in trouble in the first place. The girl you think you are saving from being raped may indeed be a prostitute arguing with her John over money. You never know. People often will try to drag others into their own drama in order to give themselves leverage in the conflict. And they'll use you as a pawn in the process.

Realistically, you'll never be in the right place at the right time. At best, you'll strive to be the hero and try to find ANY situation in which you can jump in and save the day. But you must ask yourself, "Am I really concerned about the welfare of the world, or am I just trying to fulfill an internal need to be 'the hero'?" The way you answer this question determines what course of action you should take.

George S. Ledyard
08-15-2011, 12:51 PM
Basically, I think that someone who pursues Budo as a Path has an obligation to use those skills to protect folks who are not capable of protecting themselves. What else is your training for?

That said, you have to be realistic and understand that ANY time you intervene it could instantly and without warning become a life and death matter. If you don't go into it with that mindset, don't intervene. Also, in a violent confrontation, it makes no sense to intervene unless you actually have the skills to back up your words.

In Seattle during Mardi Gras a number of years ago there was a woman being assaulted by a group of guys and a young 18 year old intervened to help her. They killed him. Just like that. Good intentions without skills just add to the victim count. I suppose you could say that he saved her... but he died doing it and I don't see needless sacrifice as much of an improvement.

Mindset is everything. You get involved in a confrontation, you have to be impeccable. By that I mean you have to accept the fact that you could be seriously injured or killed and you have to be willing to do what is needed to protect yourself and the victim you are intervening to help. Willingness and commitment to do what is necessary and knowing you have the skills to do whatever becomes necessary without hesitation... if you don't have these, it's better not to intervene. Call the police. Make lots of noise, set off a fire alarm, something... But don't get directly involved unless you can take it to the finish if it goes badly. There's simply no point in substituting one victim for another or simply adding to the victim count.

That said, in my own mind there are certain situations in which you simply do not consider your own welfare. A child needs help, a woman is being assaulted, you go to the center and do what you need to do. But you need to be clear that you could die doing it. The power that comes with the clarity that accompanies that willingness is quite tangible and is often enough to take care of an issue. Predatory types are both good at identifying victims and good at deciding when it isn't worth the sacrifice to get what they want.

I have had this conversation wit my sons. My eldest had a good object lesson. Several years ago he spent the summer with his jaw wired shut after he tried to break up a fight at a party. A guy no one even knew came up behind him and cold cocked him, breaking his jaw in two places. The guy wasn't even one of the guys in the fight. I explained to him that there was a reason why the police don't do anything without back up. I told him that, while I wasn't opposed to the idea of intervening, he should never do so without someone watching his back. Anyway, in hindsight it was a cheap lesson he will NEVER forget.

My other son stepped in one night when a couple of guys were drunk and were being abusive to their girl friends. He took issue with their behavior... they took issue with his interference. He showed up back home with a black eye... I asked what had happened and he said "I had to beat them up. Afterwards I helped the girls put them in the car so they could take them home." So, while I was pleased to know that my son's assessment of his ability to handle himself was realistic in the case, I talked to him about the risks involved with fighting at all, even when you are sure you can win. I told him about the Univ of Wash student who took one punch at a party and died on the spot. Now the idiot who punched him is a murderer. So, we had the discussion about doing everything one can to avoid having to get physical while still doing what is right by protecting the ones that need protecting.

I think it helps clarify what you really believe on this subject when it's your kids you are talking about and not just yourself. It puts risks and consequences in perspective.

lbb
08-15-2011, 02:20 PM
... it makes no sense to intervene unless you actually have the skills to back up your words....

...Good intentions without skills just add to the victim count. I suppose you could say that he saved her... but he died doing it and I don't see needless sacrifice as much of an improvement....

Willingness and commitment to do what is necessary and knowing you have the skills to do whatever becomes necessary without hesitation... if you don't have these, it's better not to intervene...

That said, in my own mind there are certain situations in which you simply do not consider your own welfare.

Here's a question: if you change the scenario slightly, from being assaulted by a thug to being drowned by a river, does this change your response and the logic behind it? Why or why not?

Janet Rosen
08-15-2011, 05:53 PM
Here's a question: if you change the scenario slightly, from being assaulted by a thug to being drowned by a river, does this change your response and the logic behind it? Why or why not?

I can't see that anything is different except each respondant's assessment of personal risk will vary depending on their relative skill level in each of those two situations.

In any case I would be doing a rapid risk analysis and going with my gut - there are times I have interceded/will intercede and times I didn't/won't - personally I'd be less likely to jump in the river because I think my risk of throwing my life away in vain is much greater in the river. Based on my life experience to date I have much more faith in my ability to handle human situations than to swim that well in a river (don't get me started on the people who drown trying to save their dogs...).

ryback
08-16-2011, 03:43 AM
I believe that every real life and death situation is unique and it has its own parameters and...x factors.Although the topic is very interesting, its analysis is difficult because it's like you are trying to put yourself in a hypothetical scenario. So,in essence,you don't know what is the right way to act, unless you're already there facing the danger, where all your training should come out and act accordingly.In real confrontation there is no "invinsible warrior", but then again there aren't "no winning scenarios" either.The spirit of true budo has nothing to do with the outcome.A warrior that died while deffending himself or others is still a warrior, he doesn't have to be victorious, in a real fight you never know.So i guess it is just a matter of perception and personal choise...

dps
08-16-2011, 07:31 AM
(don't get me started on the people who drown trying to save their dogs...).

Lol. We have a local radio talk show host who one morning during rush hour traffic got out of his car and stopped four lanes of speeding cars to allow a mama duck and ducklings cross the road safely.

dps

lbb
08-16-2011, 07:46 AM
I can't see that anything is different except each respondant's assessment of personal risk will vary depending on their relative skill level in each of those two situations.

In any case I would be doing a rapid risk analysis and going with my gut - there are times I have interceded/will intercede and times I didn't/won't - personally I'd be less likely to jump in the river because I think my risk of throwing my life away in vain is much greater in the river. Based on my life experience to date I have much more faith in my ability to handle human situations than to swim that well in a river (don't get me started on the people who drown trying to save their dogs...).

Hi Janet,

What prompted me to ask my question was the phrase "That said, in my own mind there are certain situations in which you simply do not consider your own welfare", which was a bit at odds with the rest of the post (paraphrased: don't risk yourself to try to help in a situation where you don't have the skill to actually help). The situations may not be analogous, but then again they may be. It's not completely impossible to save someone while drowning in the attempt, it does happen, but much more commonly both victim and would-be rescuer drown (and, possibly, the victim might have lived if the rescuer had run for help instead). It's perhaps somewhat less unlikely to save someone from an attack while getting hurt or killed yourself, but I don't know.

A lot can be encompassed by the phrase "try to help", and maybe that's what we need to focus on. If you take a lifesaving course, they teach you to "reach, row, throw, go" to a person in trouble in the water, in that order -- all ways to try to help someone. A swimming rescue is the very last choice, to be used if other options (safer for you and more likely to have a good outcome for the victim) have been tried. "Try to help" in an attack should be regarded the same way.

jonreading
08-16-2011, 09:37 AM
I think George Sensei is correct, budo is about empowering yourself to make better decisions and be a better person; as a better person, you inherit obligations to improve the world around you. What have you contributed with your life if you do not improve the world around you?

That said, I think the fantasies of thwarting a mugging or saving a baby from a burning building are hypotheticals that are entertaining but not practical. We all have our opinions of what we would do, but the safety to know the chances of encountering the scenario in question are pretty slim. I am impressed by those individuals who I know that have encountered those dangerous situations and I appreciate their actions even if they are not consistent with what I believe.

There are the everyday decisions that we face that take courage and conviction. For some, the two are the same; firefighters, police, military, physicians, etc. These people entertain dangerous scenarios as their role in society. Lifeguards, for example, are equipped to conduct water rescue. Lifeguards receive special training to empower them to perform water rescue. Civilians do not have that special training - a few classes at the YMCA is not training.

However, there is that rung down. A more practical question for most of us, I think, is how can we exercise the fruits of our training in our daily lives? How do you tactfully tell your boss she is wrong? How do you decline a beggar with dignity but conviction? How do you keep your distance from a stranger? How do you compassionately chastise your child?

This is where we prove our hypocrisy, right? We preach on about samurai spirit and courage in class. Enter under the blade, blah blah blah.Then we leave class and avidly avoid confronting our problems.

Helping can be a big thing or a little thing. There is risk in helping. Unfortunately, even asking someone to turn down the music is dangerous. That's a critique about the tolerance of society though. Some people can help big. They have training and skills to inherit danger and manage risk. But even if you can't help big yet we can start small. When was the last time you mowed your neighbor's grass? Or helped an old lady cross the street? Bought the groceries for the single mom in line behind you? Do you call traffic police when you see a car broke down on the side of the road? I think budo is about transforming the answers to these questions from "that's not my responsibility, some else will do it." to "I am able to help so I will".

Belt_Up
08-16-2011, 09:58 AM
I think budo is about transforming the answers to these questions from "that's not my responsibility, some else will do it." to "I am able to help so I will."

Hear, hear.

I don't think the mere presence of risk should dissuade us. It is the level of risk we need to take into account.

phitruong
08-17-2011, 07:56 AM
Lol. We have a local radio talk show host who one morning during rush hour traffic got out of his car and stopped four lanes of speeding cars to allow a mama duck and ducklings cross the road safely.

dps

and then there are those who wouldn't stop to help a hit-n-run victim. http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=5013503

Mary Eastland
08-17-2011, 08:26 AM
All answers are in the moment...

graham christian
08-20-2011, 08:04 AM
All answers are in the moment...

I agree Mary.
Herein lies the difference for in the moment there is no fear, there is no danger, there is no opponent.

Thus there is only help, selfless harmony.

Regards.G.

ryback
08-20-2011, 09:03 AM
[QUOTE=Graham Christian;290682] in the moment there is no fear, there is no danger, there is no opponent.
QUOTE]

Nice phrase, i believe you' re right!

Michael Hackett
08-20-2011, 09:08 AM
Graham, when Mary wrote that all answers are in the moment, I thought I understood her to be saying that at that moment in time, a person would know what to do. Then I read your last comments and simply have no idea what you are saying. Difference in what? Why do you suggest that the various qualities of life disappear "in the moment"? Why would certain qualities be displaced by others such as help and harmony? Please explain further or send me a bicycle helmet to wear during training, although that may be too late apparently.

graham christian
08-20-2011, 09:24 AM
Graham, when Mary wrote that all answers are in the moment, I thought I understood her to be saying that at that moment in time, a person would know what to do. Then I read your last comments and simply have no idea what you are saying. Difference in what? Why do you suggest that the various qualities of life disappear "in the moment"? Why would certain qualities be displaced by others such as help and harmony? Please explain further or send me a bicycle helmet to wear during training, although that may be too late apparently.

Michael.
I'm talking Aikido. It's spiritual discipline which indeed does lead to quantities rather than qualities of life dissappearing in the moment. The best relationship for you I can give is zen, here and now, living in the moment.

Then zanshin is understood as is hara. Only from there may you experience your true self, your true nature and indeed get a grasp of what O'Sensei meant when he spoke for then you will notice what I have said.

And yes, 'normal' dualistic mind is no longer and what it is replaced with is what is natural to your true self, such as the spirit of loving protection and the doorway to Aikido.

Regards.G.

Michael Hackett
08-20-2011, 02:51 PM
Thanks for your efforts Graham - send the helmet.

graham christian
08-21-2011, 02:19 PM
Thanks for your efforts Graham - send the helmet.

You're welcome Michael. Especially for you I'll send a blindfold. Ha,ha.

Michael Hackett
08-21-2011, 04:42 PM
Nah, send me a big German Shepherd instead.

graham christian
08-22-2011, 01:38 PM
Nah, send me a big German Shepherd instead.

Ha,ha, Don't forget your gun and your cannon.

Abasan
09-19-2011, 06:44 AM
Basically, I think that someone who pursues Budo as a Path has an obligation to use those skills to protect folks who are not capable of protecting themselves. What else is your training for?

That said, you have to be realistic and understand that ANY time you intervene it could instantly and without warning become a life and death matter. If you don't go into it with that mindset, don't intervene. Also, in a violent confrontation, it makes no sense to intervene unless you actually have the skills to back up your words.


There are so many thoughtful things written in the post that it'll be embarrassing to voice out dissent. And logically I agree totally with mr ledyards post, do budo? Protect others. However don't do it if you can't and don't do it without back up.

However, I think though we do budo as something tangible in our training, the spirit of budo exists regardless. It also remains absent regardless. The spirit of budo is upon your true self to manifest.

Thus having a spirit of bushi/budo the question or choice to protect others is moot. You either do it or you don't have it.

There are situations where categories of protectees exists (is that even a word) that require you to prioritize but all in all, it's your responsibility to protect the right.

Logically, do it when you can win. But when is that ever certain? A seasoned combat veteran gets stab by a kid after a long campaign. An undefeated warrior, gets run over by an assailant who lost earlier... Such is the world of violence. Thus you can only do your best and hope for the best. A famous general said something along the lines of an imperfect plan today is better than a perfect one tomorrow, essentially saying sometimes time is of the essence and we can't be 100% of anything. Having said that, entering training, getting experience are ways to improve your chances. But a gamble it remains.

Waiting for back up. Well that's all well and good when you're in uniform. In a mob... You do what you have to do.

Finally of course, a smart warrior is a live warrior. A brave warrior is a dead one....

worrier
09-22-2011, 08:48 AM
It depends on the situation for me, to be honest. Well, first of all, I can't say definitely what I'm going to do or not, cause people often say those types of things but then they find themselves in the actual situation and it's all different.

But anyway, if I think I have an actual chance of doing something (like I wouldn't get in an argument between big groups of men or somebody with a gun, which could result in me getting killed, as well as the person I was trying to help), I think I would try to intervene. My self-preservation instinct isn't that strong anyway :D

Aikironin21
11-22-2011, 12:52 AM
I have worked the past ten years on a prison yard. My partner and I supervise about 200 of California's finest citizens. The answer to whether or not you intercede in an altercation is entirely scenario specific. A proper threat assessment, is paramount. What is a proper threat assessment? Maybe we should consult Sun Tzu. Know your enemy, know yourself, know your environment.

In first aid you are taught that your safety is paramount in attempting to render any kind of aid. I think, in this subject, the tenants of first aid hold up. First you call, to summons help; then you take whatever action you can safely take, within your scope of knowledge or ability, as long as the scene is safe to do so.

Now you have already called for help, or had someone call for you. Next, identify the players involved. This may prove difficult. How do you tell if a particular onlooker or group of onlookers is associated with one of the combatants? The easiest solution is to assume all of the onlookers may be associates of one of the combatants, or at the very least hostile toward you for trying to interfere with the fight. If there are onlookers not trying to break it up, assume they are hostile. Try to get some of them together to assist you in ending the fight. Who knows, maybe both combatants are equally represented and either side can successfully pull their guy from the fray. You have to know your abilities and whether you can successfully convince a good number of them to help.

Knowing yourself and your abilities is important, because you don't enter a fight unless you know you can win. You can't know this unless you have seen your adversary in action and are honest with yourself and what you can accomplish. If there are no onlookers, you had better be sure of your skills before you attempt to break up the tussle.

It is much easier to apply Aikido techniques as a third party for sure. The two are focused on each other and the window of opportunity to slap on a sankyo or nikyo is wider, than if one was focused solely on harming you. If two are actively fighting and able to defend themselves, I wouldn't intercede till one was unable to put up a successful defense anymore. A this point, you aren't likely to face two who turn on you, and/or the dominating one is more likely to listen to a third party saying he won, or the other has had enough.

Obviously if there are weapons involved, unless you have some sort of force multiplier to answer whatever force is present, the scene is unsafe for you to intercede. About all you can do, after calling for help is be a good witness. Even if you spent three classes a week on tanto-dori, you most likely won't want to intercede in a scenario where someone has already shown the willingness and ability to use the knife on another human being. The threat of death or great bodily injury is present, and the gun carriers on here would be justified in the use of deadly force in many places.(check your local laws)

As a parent, or someone with anyone else in my care, interceding while with the kids or maybe a girlfriend, or wife, is never wise. For one, you don't know what you may be called to do or what they may see. If you go down, they have no advocate. You commit those with you to something they may not be prepared for. Still, take what action you can safely take. If this means simply calling for help, then that's all you can do.

As an average citizen, are you legally obligated to help someone? That depends on where you are, and what the law says. I believe most places, today calling the authorities is enough to satisfy any obligation. If you feel you have a moral obligation, because you train in Budo or whatever gives you the feeling of obligation, weigh your obligation to the stranger to the obligation to your family, friends and employer. I still hold that you are not obligated to render aid if the circumstances of the scenario are beyond your abilities.

Kevin Leavitt
11-22-2011, 09:43 AM
Great post from both Jon Reading and George Ledyard...as well as a few others too!

Where to start? Not sure, but a few thoughts come to mind based on my experiences, military of course.

In my community, a smaller subset of the military, we talk about sheeps and wolves. Overly simplified of course, but I think for the most part this is true. You can divide most people into two categories, sheeps and wolves. I was on a subway train once and a lady got her arm stuck in the door. I am a wolf, I had to get up, walk past several abled body males that could help that were standing there not doing anything processing her plight. They were sheep.

Wolves take action, sheep follow the herd. I think we are training to be wolves in budo. That doesn't mean we aimlessly prey on the weak and helpless as you might think, but wolves are out there, watching, acting on their own accord, making things happen. Sheep, well they follow the herd and keep their head down and eat grass. Staying in the herd is safety for them. A small border collie is all that is needed to keep them in check. They don't question the herd or their situation, they keep there head down and eat.

So, I think the first question you have to ask yourself is are you a sheep or are you a wolf? That is, do you determine your own actions or do you rely on the herd for safety.

THis is not really related to the sheep/wolf analogy, but I think it is important.

Taking action. I have found that I know when to step in and do something. I know when it is right and I don't think to much about it...I just do it because it is the right thing to do. How much do I weigh my own safety? It depends on many, many factors...but sometimes you just do things cause it is the right thing to do even if you are placing yourself in great personal danger.

That said, knowing the difference between help and futility is a good thing and that does have to come into play I think at some point, however, for me, if there is any chance I can do some good then I will do it. Sometimes you just have to run into a burning building cause it is the right thing to do and you know it is, what can you say. Heros are special people for a reason.

I have had the fortune of knowing some very extraordinary people that have done extraordinary things at great personal risk and sacrifice. I can only say to that...it gives me hope for mankind that we have people that will do things for others without regard for themselves.

I think Jon and George covered it very well. Of course there are some things that you just need to walk away from, or you call 911 for and get help for....absolutely. I think good judgement and common sense comes into play in many situations. However, there are times when it just doesn't apply.

I think budo at least philosophically is about preparing us to deal with not only life, but death. If we are living a good life and are at peace with ourselves, have clairity of mind and calmness, it hopefully allows us to see the honesty of a situation and allow us to simply make the right decision for ourselves when the time comes to make that decision.

Trust. Trust is probably the most important thing. We have to trust ourselves and others in dangerous situations. We are putting ourselves out there on the line and trust is all we have when it gets down to it. We have to trust our training, we have to trust others will help, we have to trust our opponents will act the way we want them to.

I was running around in the Afghan mountains last year with about 20 Afghan commandos that I had never met and knew very little about. By myself and miles from anyone, I had to simply trust that they would do the right things, protect me, and not harm me. There were no guarantees...period. That is the thing about dangerous situations....no guarantees that it will work out for you the way you want it to. Trust is important. Trust yourself, your training and others...might also call it faith, but I think trust is a better word as I don't put much stock in faith as faith implies that I am "hoping" that things work out the way I want them to. Trust to me implies a much simplier concept in which I already know I want things to work out favorably (duh), and I am placing trust in the fact that they will. I participate in the process of trust. In faith I am turning my participation over to something external. For me, Sheep have faith. Faith in the herd for instance.

Anyway, rambling thoughts on the subject.

Kevin Leavitt
11-22-2011, 10:18 AM
Thus having a spirit of bushi/budo the question or choice to protect others is moot. You either do it or you don't have it.

There are situations where categories of protectees exists (is that even a word) that require you to prioritize but all in all, it's your responsibility to protect the right.

Logically, do it when you can win. But when is that ever certain? A seasoned combat veteran gets stab by a kid after a long campaign. An undefeated warrior, gets run over by an assailant who lost earlier... Such is the world of violence. Thus you can only do your best and hope for the best. A famous general said something along the lines of an imperfect plan today is better than a perfect one tomorrow, essentially saying sometimes time is of the essence and we can't be 100% of anything. Having said that, entering training, getting experience are ways to improve your chances. But a gamble it remains.

Waiting for back up. Well that's all well and good when you're in uniform. In a mob... You do what you have to do.

Finally of course, a smart warrior is a live warrior. A brave warrior is a dead one....

Good post and agree with alot of what you say for sure. Agree either you do it or you don't have it. This harkens to what I was getting at with sheep/wolf analogy.

Do it when you can win. Well I think winning has very little to do with it. Of course we all want to win in a bad situation. We want to come out on top and uninjured. However, from my experiences and looking at the experiences of others that have made great sacrifices they put much bigger things ahead of their own personal safety and do these things without regard for their own personal safety or concern for "winning". You could argue that "winning" for them was doing what they did, because in the greater scheme of things, failure to do so would equate to losing. People that do dangerous things and make personal sacrifices typically do these things because the thought of living with themselves by not doing anything was unbearble to even consider. So I think the pyschology is much more complex than this. Budo, I believe, is as much about being prepared to die than it is about living and understanding yourselve and what you are willing to do. There are situations in which I have no issue with going into in which I may not come out alive. I've done it without regard for my own personal safety and would not hesitate to do those things again. Losing was never an option in any of those cases or considered. I also did not think about "winning" or look at the odds. I did what I needed to do cause it was what I needed to do and just did it.

I had to laugh about getting hit by a car. When I come back from "down range" I think about that alot. Great just went through alot of dangerous stuff and I get hit by a teenager texting! I worry more about this kinda stuff than I do about bad guys with bombs to be honest!

" Thus you can only do your best and hope for the best" I think this beckons to what I was talking about with trust. Do your best...always. That is all you can do.

"Finally of course, a smart warrior is a live warrior. A brave warrior is a dead one...."

A warrior is a warrior...period. that is, if he is indeed a warrior. Defined as such dead or alive you can pass no judgement on "smart" or "brave" based simply on defining success based on living or dying.

I guess that is what bothers me a little about some of the connotations concerning the valuation of risk in this thread. Alot of emphasis is being placed on the value of your personal life and success being defined on how you end up in the situation. Sure it is important, but for a warrior, it is secondary to many, many other factors.

genin
11-22-2011, 12:51 PM
In some martial arts, like ninjitsu, warriorship is based primarily on survival. I think the notion of bravery being associated with dead warriors came about as a way to make the deceased person's family feel better.

To me, bravery just means that you are able to overcome fear. It doesn't mean you are fearless. Also, you can be a smart warrior and be brave. In the Civil War, both armies lost thier best, most aggressive soldiers very early on in the war. The reason is because those were the soldiers who ran the fastest and led the charges--only to be shot down first. Many of them probably never even got the opportunity to fire their weapons before being killed. I see this is as stupid, not brave.

Kevin Leavitt
11-22-2011, 05:35 PM
Roger, I disagree with your assumptions and conclusions categorically.

Aikironin21
11-22-2011, 06:46 PM
Great post from both Jon Reading and George Ledyard...as well as a few others too!

Where to start? Not sure, but a few thoughts come to mind based on my experiences, military of course.

In my community, a smaller subset of the military, we talk about sheeps and wolves. Overly simplified of course, but I think for the most part this is true. You can divide most people into two categories, sheeps and wolves. I was on a subway train once and a lady got her arm stuck in the door. I am a wolf, I had to get up, walk past several abled body males that could help that were standing there not doing anything processing her plight. They were sheep.

Wolves take action, sheep follow the herd. I think we are training to be wolves in budo. That doesn't mean we aimlessly prey on the weak and helpless as you might think, but wolves are out there, watching, acting on their own accord, making things happen. Sheep, well they follow the herd and keep their head down and eat grass. Staying in the herd is safety for them. A small border collie is all that is needed to keep them in check. They don't question the herd or their situation, they keep there head down and eat.

So, I think the first question you have to ask yourself is are you a sheep or are you a wolf? That is, do you determine your own actions or do you rely on the herd for safety..

In the military application, wolves and sheep are the focus. In the civilian world, we strive to be the sheepdog. Not quite wolves but definitely not defenseless sheep unaware. The sheepdog is ever vigilant and watches over the flock. In the case of civilian life, the size of your flock or herd varies. When I am on the job, I am watching the wolf packs and protecting them from each other. When I am out with my family, they are my primary concern. I will always stop and help someone change a tire, or pull them out of the mud, when on my own, or maybe with my wife even, who is also an officer. When I have the kids though, sorry folks, I can't take the chance of a set-up with those who can't protect themselves. My wife can say, "I don't think we should stop this time, or don't get out of the car honey." I respect her intuition. Being a sheepdog means not taking the flock into dangerous territory.

I think Aikido is more the sheepdog mentality. You have the option to try and fight off wolves, or steer the flock as to avoid them. The decisions you make determine how long your career will be. Yes there is a lot to be said about getting a wolf to watch the sheep, if you can keep that wolf from eating the sheep. The wolf will be very capable of fighting other wolves one on one, but what of the flock while the wolf is preoccupied?

A sheep dog must always be able to determine when a sheep has wandered off, and keep it near. If it wanders too far, and the sheepdog has to make a decision to protect the one or the remaining herd, the one is SOL. It is the same in human terms when dealing with a fellow man who has strayed too far from safety and is being devoured. The sheep dog may not want to leave the safety of the flock because of what he has there to protect. I like a quote from Mel Gibson in the movie "The Patriot". He said, "I'm a father, I don't have the luxury of principles." We can agree, we would do what we can to help someone in distress. It doesn't make you bad person, or warrior to weigh all your obligations before stepping in harms way to help a stranger. The military model doesn't really cross over, into civilian life. Neither does the LEO model. By being professionals, we have already made a contract to intercede with what ever we encounter in the course of our duties. Once we are in the civilian realm, our internal call to duty drives us to intercede. That's why we have stories of people who survived in Iraq or Afghanistan, only to be cut down or shot in the parking lot of a pub or bar.

One of the first things I learned on the job was, "Even a coward can kill" Most often it is a coward who has a weapon and will use it out of fear, whether he created the circumstances or not. Here in The US there is an ever growing segment of young men, who sincerely believe, they can say whatever they want and not have any repercussions for doing so. These are the guys who will carry a knife or gun to protect themselves, when their mouth over runs their ability to back it up.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-22-2011, 06:55 PM
In the civilian world, we strive to be the sheepdog. Not quite wolves but definitely not defenseless sheep unaware. The sheepdog is ever vigilant and watches over the flock.

But not for the benefit of the flock but owner's.

Aikironin21
11-22-2011, 06:59 PM
Your flock is usually those who depend on you. Like your family and employer! They may not always be present, but they will always impacted by the results of your actions leading to injury to yourself.

graham christian
11-22-2011, 07:51 PM
Wolves and sheep? Not a very good analogy.Wolves don't just take action, they follow what the leader tells them. I wish some military were more like them for only the wisest get the rule the pack.

Roger, time to rethink your views I think. The one thing warriors do have in common is selflessness.

Regards.G.

graham christian
11-22-2011, 08:00 PM
Just thought though, aikidoka as animals? Mmmm. There was the shihan who followed the way of the goldfish. It could turn quite shaolin. You could even float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.

Then again you could look at how animals help or don't help and decide which you are most likein Aikido.

Or you could simply say Aikido is how to help. Woof, woof, that's my dog.

Regards.G.

Aikironin21
11-22-2011, 10:18 PM
The wolf, sheep, sheep dog analogy is used in our training in Corrections here in California. It's not so much the characteristics but the mindset of each. The sheep are unaware and passive, the wolves are aggressive and take advantage of any lapse in awareness, and the sheepdog is constantly aware of his surroundings but not to the point where he is attacking anything that comes his way.This analogy is coupled with the OODA loop/ goofy loop and color coded conditions of combat or Cooper's color code.

So yeah military types and some LEO types are like wolves as are criminal gangs and individual criminals who would be lone wolves. Sheep are the unsuspecting public easy to take advantage of, and sheepdogs are specific LEOs and general public who have a sense of looking out for the rest and try to maintain a certain level of awareness, that is somewhere between wondering who is knocking on your door and paranoia.

I think this type of training should be incorporated into every martial art. Physical training, is of no use if you are sacked before you even know to get your guard up. Being aware is great condition to maintain. If you can learn to be relaxed and have fun, while still being aware of who and what are around you, you are that much more ahead in the game.

Janet Rosen
11-22-2011, 11:10 PM
In terms of hooved and hunting critters I guess I'm a llama - the cranky, spitting companion of the sheep - though I think of myself as a badger.....

Kevin Leavitt
11-22-2011, 11:46 PM
Larry Robinson. Good stuff. I like your analogy of the sheepdog. Spot on.

Kevin Leavitt
11-22-2011, 11:56 PM
Wolves and sheep? Not a very good analogy.Wolves don't just take action, they follow what the leader tells them. I wish some military were more like them for only the wisest get the rule the pack.

Roger, time to rethink your views I think. The one thing warriors do have in common is selflessness.

Regards.G.

It is much more complex than for sure. Group think is on of the biggest problems we have today in the military. We need a culture that is less about following and doing what is popular and more about doing what is right, which is some times the hard thing to do.

What I have always found interesting is how closely current codified military values are with the values of bud. Selflessness, courage, candor...stuff like that.

There is always a balance between leading and following. Thetr have been many, many situation in which I was in charge I was the law and the enforcer...judge and jury and what did determined the outcome of the situation. It was not about following or taking orders at all. This requires you to have a very strong character to make the right and moral decisions.

Very interesting subject. I apologize for steering it off course, however I think when it gets down to helping or not helping at the core you have to make a decision to act or not act. Our choices or better what informs us to make choices is our past experiences and training. as budoka, I think we tend to look much harder (or should) at the things that go into such acts or non acts.

Kevin Leavitt
11-23-2011, 12:20 AM
the problem with sheep/wolf analogies are they tend to over simplify things for sue and the dynamics are much more complex. However it does help generate thought and discussion which I think is the point of making these analogies. Larry why I think we do't talk about sheepdogs.....

One military guys can't relate on a base level. They are not the cool thing. And as you state, they are there to protect the flock. Both in LEO and Military alot of times it is not only about protecting, but also about hunting. So you need a predator trait to relate to that goes after the bad guys. Sheep dogs don't really do this.

However I agree, that a sheepdog is much more applicable to a civilian process where we are simplu concerned with protecting and taking action when necessary to keep the flock inline and alert the shappard when there is trouble.

Kevin Leavitt
11-23-2011, 12:21 AM
In terms of hooved and hunting critters I guess I'm a llama - the cranky, spitting companion of the sheep - though I think of myself as a badger.....

Badgers are cool! And without them we would not have dachshunds! karma is awesome isn't it!

SeiserL
11-23-2011, 07:01 AM
Yes agreed.

Its important to make a distinction between a sheepdog (herding and protecting) and a hunting dog.

IMHO, its important to know what type of dog you are.

And yes, by the way, I know, accept, and appreciate being compared to a dog. We need to be our own best friend.

To help or not to help? Always help!

genin
11-23-2011, 07:25 AM
I heard a military guy on TV comparing terrorists to wolves, and inferring that civilians are the sheep, although he didn't ever call them sheep or sheeple. In that sense "wolves" are those who prey on the weak. You can also shift that analogy so that the wolves are those who are aggressive and in control, but not necessarily evil.

graham christian
11-23-2011, 09:16 AM
The wolf, sheep, sheep dog analogy is used in our training in Corrections here in California. It's not so much the characteristics but the mindset of each. The sheep are unaware and passive, the wolves are aggressive and take advantage of any lapse in awareness, and the sheepdog is constantly aware of his surroundings but not to the point where he is attacking anything that comes his way.This analogy is coupled with the OODA loop/ goofy loop and color coded conditions of combat or Cooper's color code.

So yeah military types and some LEO types are like wolves as are criminal gangs and individual criminals who would be lone wolves. Sheep are the unsuspecting public easy to take advantage of, and sheepdogs are specific LEOs and general public who have a sense of looking out for the rest and try to maintain a certain level of awareness, that is somewhere between wondering who is knocking on your door and paranoia.

I think this type of training should be incorporated into every martial art. Physical training, is of no use if you are sacked before you even know to get your guard up. Being aware is great condition to maintain. If you can learn to be relaxed and have fun, while still being aware of who and what are around you, you are that much more ahead in the game.

I get it. O.K. See where your coming from giving the view of awareness and alertness. Plus the intention to look after and protect.

Poor old wolves, always seen as pure aggressive creatures. I think the red indians understood them better.

Anyway, the way you put it I concede, not a bad analogy.

Regards.G.

graham christian
11-23-2011, 09:25 AM
It is much more complex than for sure. Group think is on of the biggest problems we have today in the military. We need a culture that is less about following and doing what is popular and more about doing what is right, which is some times the hard thing to do.

What I have always found interesting is how closely current codified military values are with the values of bud. Selflessness, courage, candor...stuff like that.

There is always a balance between leading and following. Thetr have been many, many situation in which I was in charge I was the law and the enforcer...judge and jury and what did determined the outcome of the situation. It was not about following or taking orders at all. This requires you to have a very strong character to make the right and moral decisions.

Very interesting subject. I apologize for steering it off course, however I think when it gets down to helping or not helping at the core you have to make a decision to act or not act. Our choices or better what informs us to make choices is our past experiences and training. as budoka, I think we tend to look much harder (or should) at the things that go into such acts or non acts.

Good points. You find yourself in such positions and at that point you are as you say judge and jury so hopefully wise. Funny thing is that in the military it's generally all about following orders. Thus the ones following the orders are sheep and yet if they are courageous in action you could say they are like lions.

Looking into such things instead of blindly following is indeed what we should do in order to learn more I agree. What is help? is a good question all of it's own.

Regards.G.

Mark Freeman
11-23-2011, 09:31 AM
Poor old wolves, always seen as pure aggressive creatures. I think the red indians understood them better.

.

Oh Graham, you may take some flack for that description, I haven't seen that used since watching the Lone Ranger, you are showing your age:o

genin
11-23-2011, 10:00 AM
Oh Graham, you may take some flack for that description, I haven't seen that used since watching the Lone Ranger, you are showing your age:o

Just say feather, not dot. They'll know what you mean.

Kevin Leavitt
11-23-2011, 10:32 AM
Good points. You find yourself in such positions and at that point you are as you say judge and jury so hopefully wise. Funny thing is that in the military it's generally all about following orders. Thus the ones following the orders are sheep and yet if they are courageous in action you could say they are like lions.

Looking into such things instead of blindly following is indeed what we should do in order to learn more I agree. What is help? is a good question all of it's own.

Regards.G.

It is generally NOT all about following orders. No more than anyone else in society has to follow orders. The nature of my "orders" in many cases are very, very broad such as "go forth and secure the area" and then I must do whatever I do within the context of the law to make things happen. It is not so much about micromanagement or mindless compliance. I have always tried to instill in my subordinates the ability to make decisions and choices within very broad guidance.

It really works much like successful businesses or companies. You empower your subordinates to make decisions and take action that they determine is correct. Of course you have constraints of laws, rules, treaties, money, diplomacy that must be understood.

Following orders...well certainly privates that have a few months in the military don't make many big decisions and do alot of following orders, but still make decisions that are appropriate for their pay grade.

graham christian
11-23-2011, 12:26 PM
Oh Graham, you may take some flack for that description, I haven't seen that used since watching the Lone Ranger, you are showing your age:o

Not sure what you mean there. Lone ranger? My comments not connected to that. Were there wolves in it?

I could show my age by mentioning mutley though.

Regards.G.

graham christian
11-23-2011, 12:44 PM
It is generally NOT all about following orders. No more than anyone else in society has to follow orders. The nature of my "orders" in many cases are very, very broad such as "go forth and secure the area" and then I must do whatever I do within the context of the law to make things happen. It is not so much about micromanagement or mindless compliance. I have always tried to instill in my subordinates the ability to make decisions and choices within very broad guidance.

It really works much like successful businesses or companies. You empower your subordinates to make decisions and take action that they determine is correct. Of course you have constraints of laws, rules, treaties, money, diplomacy that must be understood.

Following orders...well certainly privates that have a few months in the military don't make many big decisions and do alot of following orders, but still make decisions that are appropriate for their pay grade.

Seems reasonable the way you put it. Maybe your used to a good unit or maybe that's more widespread than I realize. But the structure is one of command and thus orders. What happens if someone disobeys a direct order?

There are many examples of what I talk about here form the first world war and the trenches, wow, what a mess. To what I view on the news in the middle east, soldiers firing on civilians and many who don't want to but are under orders.

In the police force for example a good friend of mine was sent years ago because of his size and capability up north to help deal with the minors strike in the Thatcher years. The things they were ordered to do took him a little while to recover from.

The fact is that when someone in charge isn't so wise then the subordinates generally have to follow the orders for that is all part and parcel of command structure, without which it breaks down. Ther'es not many who would stand up to and go against bad orders.

Once again it comes down to those in charge in such structures. Wiser people in charge then things pan out as you describe. Arrogant control freaks in charge, mmm, trouble and sheep.

Regards.G.

hughrbeyer
11-23-2011, 12:52 PM
He's telling you we don't say "red Indian" anymore. We say "native American." Get with the program. :+)

And wolves aren't aggressive, at least not in the hunting context. It's a category error, like referring to wild animals as "gentle." Anybody who says something like that is not only clueless, but is blowing a particularly dangerous variety of smoke.

graham christian
11-23-2011, 01:25 PM
He's telling you we don't say "red Indian" anymore. We say "native American." Get with the program. :+)

And wolves aren't aggressive, at least not in the hunting context. It's a category error, like referring to wild animals as "gentle." Anybody who says something like that is not only clueless, but is blowing a particularly dangerous variety of smoke.

Oh, political correctness. Duhhh. Yeah, wolves make great pets. All animals are aggressive at times but there again so are humans.

You ever seen a good documentary on wolves? The leader is never the macho bullying one. It's very interesting. Same with elephants on the whole.

The subject of wolves reminds me of one of Nialls blogs, different cultures see them differently.

I did like lone wolf mcquade though and lone wolf and cub.

Anyway, what's a wild animal? No second thoughts, don't go there.

Regards.G.

SeiserL
11-23-2011, 01:42 PM
Its important to make a distinction between a sheepdog (herding and protecting) and a hunting dog.
And lets us never forget the lap dog and the attack dog!

Kevin Leavitt
11-23-2011, 02:56 PM
Seems reasonable the way you put it. Maybe your used to a good unit or maybe that's more widespread than I realize. But the structure is one of command and thus orders. What happens if someone disobeys a direct order?

There are many examples of what I talk about here form the first world war and the trenches, wow, what a mess. To what I view on the news in the middle east, soldiers firing on civilians and many who don't want to but are under orders.

In the police force for example a good friend of mine was sent years ago because of his size and capability up north to help deal with the minors strike in the Thatcher years. The things they were ordered to do took him a little while to recover from.

The fact is that when someone in charge isn't so wise then the subordinates generally have to follow the orders for that is all part and parcel of command structure, without which it breaks down. Ther'es not many who would stand up to and go against bad orders.

Once again it comes down to those in charge in such structures. Wiser people in charge then things pan out as you describe. Arrogant control freaks in charge, mmm, trouble and sheep.

Regards.G.

Sure those things happen and we tend to hear about the things that go bad in the news and not so much about the things that go right.

WWI was essentially a mess because of changes in technology. Barbed wire, machine guns, and tanks to be specific. These three things essentially forced a change in tactics which not one military was really prepared to deal with, so yes, you had some very bad decision making going on that led to the trench warfare quagmire that developed.

Can you give me a specific instance in which soldiers have been given lawful orders to fire on peaceful citizens? In fact, all Soldiers under the Geneva Convention are bound to disobey such unlawful orders under severe penalty.

Have you ever been in the Military? You don't seem to understand Military Law and the Geneva Convention. It is important to understand these things.

Are there breakdowns in the system? yes of course, Abu Ghrab is a good example.

Do we all military and civilian have to obey "orders" and laws that we don't agree with? Yes. I don't like paying taxes to a State I am not even living in. I don't like the speed limits on some of the roads I drive on. I don't like the way my Grocery Store ques lines. I don't like many of the decisons my elected officials make. I see very little difference really in the rights and responsibilities that ANY citizen has in most of the free world.

I think a whole TV Series as done on bosses that make stupid decisions...what is that show? Office. How is this any different than the dumb decisions that a Military leader makes over a civilian boss? Sure the consequences may be different and stakes may be higher in many instances, but non of us are really above having to listen to the stupid rules that someone imposes on us that has power over us.

Abasan
11-23-2011, 05:59 PM
Wow the thread has sure drifted a lot.. Anyway for Mr Leavitt's benefit and anybody else that cares, soldiers do follow a lot of 'lawful' orders that end up killing a lot of innocent civilians. I have a bunch load of pictures of children dead from those orders. They call em collateral damage and spokesman always 'regret' the incident afterwards. And yes American soldiers have been involved. I won't get into the Israeli's story because they don't follow the geneva convention but well it's pretty well documented what they do civilians.

I chose not to post the pics because they are pretty graphic. You could see some in paknationalist.com, those came from American drones. But one of the most damning scenes was contributed in wikileaks, a video with Audio of the helicopter strike on civilians. The pilots were pretty revved up as they killed a couple of journalist along with a dozen or so other civilians including 2 children from a civ ambulance. This was confirmed by their own army on the ground that did the cleanup. But that's ok... Children are not children unless they are American children right?

Don't get me wrong, i've nothing against Americans in general. But the world views it differently when there are double standards. Just like the 99% rile against the elites of corporate America, so does a bunch load of middle east commoners hate how the west and the Israelis have permeated their lives with violence. Payback? For what exactly? More like genocide.

And ... Flame on!

graham christian
11-23-2011, 11:51 PM
Sure those things happen and we tend to hear about the things that go bad in the news and not so much about the things that go right.

WWI was essentially a mess because of changes in technology. Barbed wire, machine guns, and tanks to be specific. These three things essentially forced a change in tactics which not one military was really prepared to deal with, so yes, you had some very bad decision making going on that led to the trench warfare quagmire that developed.

Can you give me a specific instance in which soldiers have been given lawful orders to fire on peaceful citizens? In fact, all Soldiers under the Geneva Convention are bound to disobey such unlawful orders under severe penalty.

Have you ever been in the Military? You don't seem to understand Military Law and the Geneva Convention. It is important to understand these things.

Are there breakdowns in the system? yes of course, Abu Ghrab is a good example.

Do we all military and civilian have to obey "orders" and laws that we don't agree with? Yes. I don't like paying taxes to a State I am not even living in. I don't like the speed limits on some of the roads I drive on. I don't like the way my Grocery Store ques lines. I don't like many of the decisons my elected officials make. I see very little difference really in the rights and responsibilities that ANY citizen has in most of the free world.

I think a whole TV Series as done on bosses that make stupid decisions...what is that show? Office. How is this any different than the dumb decisions that a Military leader makes over a civilian boss? Sure the consequences may be different and stakes may be higher in many instances, but non of us are really above having to listen to the stupid rules that someone imposes on us that has power over us.

Granted, no military experience. Also I see you are of the military and a bit apt to therefore overdefend as I may be a bit apt to speak about something I'm not actually a part of. But I think we've kept it quite clean.

Asking for specific instances seems a bit odd seeing what's going on in the middle east and arab countries with peaceful protests.

As I said, idiotic control freaks in charge in that system leads to such orders and soldiers scared not to obey. Just fact. Not put down of you. No trying to link you into that. I think you'll find oppression by militaristic governments fits the bill nicely and in such cases what geneva convention? But alas we stray from help.

Military in the right way can help of course. There you are, nicely back on topic.

Regards.G.

Aikironin21
11-24-2011, 04:15 AM
Back to the question at hand, do you, as a civilian, or even a military man, or off duty LEO, physically intercede when someone is being physically assaulted and battered? It easy out of a sense of pride, machismo, or duty as a budo practitioner to say yes yes yes.

Let's be honest here. This is an Aikido forum. How many Aikidoka, do you train with, that you honestly think have what it takes, to apply what they have learned, to save you, or one of your loved ones. Honestly it is very few, even among the lower Dan ranks, that I have known. So let's take Aikido out of the equation. How do you know when it is appropriate for you to intercede, and to what level do you get involved?

I still maintain, the first aid model. You see something, you observe, determine that there is an actual emergency (not just some horse playing), you call, or have someone call for help, then take whatever action you can safely take.

I think it is the "safely" we are having a discussion about. How do you judge if it is safe for you to take any action. First, Know your enemy. If you are walking up on a fight in progress, you have very limited details. You may see one guy getting beaten pretty bad, by three others. Most assume the one guy to be the "good guy" and the three to be the "bad guys". Get rid of that view. They are all fighting, they are breaking the law, they are all potential enemies to you. You have no side in this exchange so don't buy into one. Do any of them appear to have any weapons, or fighting as if they have any particular training, or is it just a free for all all out hay maker fest, where maybe less than 25% of strikes are even landing? The people involved may not be any better trained than you, and unarmed. The only obvious advantage to them is numbers.

Know yourself! Are you proficient enough at what you know and fit enough to hang long enough to get away from them should they come after you while trying to stop the fight? Do you have anyone with you, to even up the numbers, and out of who is with you, who has the ability to stand and fight if needed. Is there anyone with you, who would become a detriment to you trying to defend yourself, if need be. Like a child, or elderly family member of friend? Do you have any means of force multiplier, which may aid or possibly hinder you before during or after the incident?

Know your environment. If you approach the people fighting can you get away from them? Make sure there are two ways to get away from where they are fighting. Can others see you from the street or walkway? Are there potentially dangerous stationary objects, or potential improvised weapons laying about? What's the wind direction? How's the lighting? How many people are "watching" and what do they seem to be saying?

After you have done this, and you determine you can approach or at least get a little closer, you move in. You appeal to the one or people who seem to be in control or dominating. You say things like"Come on guys, looks like he's learned his lesson" or "Ok, Ok, that's enough, don't kill the man." If that doesn't seem to slow them down, verify your egresses are still there, and tell them the police have been called. This is why you make sure there are two ways to get out. One for you, and one for them so they don't have to go through you to get away.

If you do all this and they remain, you evaluate all over again, but this time, you weigh actual physical contact of trying to pull them back or off their opponent. If there are a number of them try to get some on the scene help from fellow bystanders. Try to get to the side, never in between them and their opponent. Don't rush in and start punching or trying to slap on a control hold or something. In fact if you have pepper spray, check the wind direction, and go for it. But realize, you will be the new target after you spray them. May be best to spray then egress away.

This is just an example, but this is how you need to think, and it looks like a lot and a drawn out process written out, but all this takes seconds to do in your head, if you work at it. Working at these things is what develops your situation awareness. Over time you will be constantly doing this subconsciously, especially in Aikido where we try to develop that sixth sense for danger.

The answer to whether or not or how to intercede definitely will be on a case by case basis. Knowing the what details to think of to make the decision should be thought of before hand. You don't want to bi in the situation to try and figure out on the fly what to ask yourself.

Kevin Leavitt
11-24-2011, 04:42 AM
Granted, no military experience. Also I see you are of the military and a bit apt to therefore overdefend as I may be a bit apt to speak about something I'm not actually a part of. But I think we've kept it quite clean.

Asking for specific instances seems a bit odd seeing what's going on in the middle east and arab countries with peaceful protests.

As I said, idiotic control freaks in charge in that system leads to such orders and soldiers scared not to obey. Just fact. Not put down of you. No trying to link you into that. I think you'll find oppression by militaristic governments fits the bill nicely and in such cases what geneva convention? But alas we stray from help.

Military in the right way can help of course. There you are, nicely back on topic.

Regards.G.

Hey Graham, no issues and good discussion. I guess what I was really trying to say is the things you are pointing out tend to be the exceptions and not the norm. What I clue in on are words such as "Usually". Of course there are exceptions and we tend to hear about these things and we also tend to filter and focus on those things that validate our thought processes. I am just trying to present a better perspective of the issues from my own experiences in an attempt to get you and others to see an expanded view that things are not so clear cut and black and white. thats all.

graham christian
11-24-2011, 02:08 PM
Hey Graham, no issues and good discussion. I guess what I was really trying to say is the things you are pointing out tend to be the exceptions and not the norm. What I clue in on are words such as "Usually". Of course there are exceptions and we tend to hear about these things and we also tend to filter and focus on those things that validate our thought processes. I am just trying to present a better perspective of the issues from my own experiences in an attempt to get you and others to see an expanded view that things are not so clear cut and black and white. thats all.

I agree. Then we are both doing the same thing. Command structure is a good topic to study. It's plusses and it's minuses. Examples where it works well compared to examples where it didn't. As I've said before spotting the differences is the difference.

An ideal one would help. A not ideal one would destroy. So knowing the qualities needed inherent to a good one as opposed to a bad one is the difference.

It can lead to a whole broad area of study actually. For instance, most people see, and have experienced, the effect of command structure where all goes one way, from top to bottom. A one way flow. Compare that to a communication structure. Communication, or good communication is a two way flow. A circle if you like. You to me and then me back to you.

Now try to communicate back upline on a command line. Mmmmm. not usually so easy, especially if you disagree. Could even get you shot. (extreme I know but just magnifying a point)

In communication you are communicating to another person. In a command structure in comes ego and arrogance and you are then communicating either to 'above your paygrade' type attitude or to subordinates, 'huh, what do they know.'

A fascinating subject and when wrong hinders rather than helps wouldn't you say. On the other hand you could say that when good then as it's an organized body can therefore do more good than an individual.

Anyway. I'm signing off on this one. Good talking to you.

Regards.G.

Alberto_Italiano
04-15-2012, 05:58 AM
(...) A guy no one even knew came up behind him and cold cocked him, breaking his jaw in two places. The guy wasn't even one of the guys in the fight.
(...)
I told him about the Univ of Wash student who took one punch at a party and died on the spot.

Yes, those are things most people willing to intervene don't know beforehand, until it's too late.

Firstly, as so rightly said, one punch may kill. It is obvious enough that it is not in the intentions (no one throwing a punch does that in order to kill) and yet a punch may kill. Most fatalities ensuing one mere punch derive from persons falling and hitting their heads on concrete or objects.

Many persons do fall with one punch - something that may startle you if you're into some martial arts, but those who aren't may fall indeed.
And if they don't, you may be in for a regular fight, with all the dangers implied: a guy who does not fall under a good punch can be:
1) drunk
2) competent
3) well, both...
In the second case you're in trouble. In the third it depends on how intoxication affects him.

Another thing often forgotten, totally unexpected (and vicious, at times) weapons may be suddenly produced out of seemingly nowehere. They can be weapons carried and concealed in the funniest places (I know plenty of bouncers who hide weapons, inclusive of heavy sticks, in their socks!).
People may use their own belts with the intention to hit you with the buckle.
Nearby objects may be seized and suddenly prove to be effective weapons.
As George reminds us, people apparently unconnected may simply get in - you may never know why!

By and large I have come to the conclusion that you should never intervene, in no case. And you should resist at all costs the temptation to intervene to "save" a lady.

Keep in mind that also intervening verbally may mean you've already committed yourself to the physical level in the eyes of your counterparts: if you speak, you also beat.

My rationale for never intervening rests fundamentally on this: you do not know what is going on, despite you have made a fictional picture in your mind about what was going on: the truth being you have indeed no idea what was really going on. Realize you are living a fictional fantasy.
You may end up injuring yourself or finding out you were so valiantly defending a lady from her... pushers whom she did not want to pay! Or stuff in similar lines, knowing which you would have decided otherwise.

Call 911 and as pointed out, at most you can be a witness.

aikidoka81
04-16-2012, 02:04 AM
Basically, I think that someone who pursues Budo as a Path has an obligation to use those skills to protect folks who are not capable of protecting themselves. What else is your training for?

That said, you have to be realistic and understand that ANY time you intervene it could instantly and without warning become a life and death matter. If you don't go into it with that mindset, don't intervene. Also, in a violent confrontation, it makes no sense to intervene unless you actually have the skills to back up your words.



Completely agree George :)