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Alic
03-03-2012, 01:44 AM
Hi Everyone,

First thread, wooo!

I wanted to hold a discussion (or show and tell, if you will) of our dangerous experiences in life. By this I mean self defense, assaults, dangerous situations, disputes, bullying, abuse, or anything of violent nature that you yourself did not ask for, but is being forced upon you by the will of another. What did you do in response to the aggression, how well did it work, and what did you learn from the experience?

I'll start, and this is gonna be long, so if you don't like wall-o-text, best turn away now.

You see, I've always wanted to train seriously as a martial artist. However, unlike many kids back then who just want to look cool or can kick serious ass, I wanted to train dilligently. Many of those kids try out things like karate or taekwando for like 1-2 month, and give up because they aren't motivated enough, and don't want to pay their dues for the ability to fight well.

I on the other hand, thought that it's not being able to kick ass that's cool, but rather the tough training, guided by a wise master, allows an ordinary person to become extraordinary through hard work and preserverence. Further more, the martial artist can then take a stand against injustice, and not allow others to dictate his life as they wish. That sense of confidence, determination, and independence was what I had wanted, even as a child.

However, I wasn't atheletic at all, and was discouraged doing sports by peers who didn't want me on their team, or teachers who didn't think highly of the slow and pudgy me. So I thought I was a hopelessly talentless person that couldn't trained by any master, and gave up that dream to being strong as being "not possible for me."

Then, all of the sudden, I was told at the last minute that I am immigrating to Canada from my small southern city in China. Shocking as it may, I was being a good sport and said "no problem." Thinking back, I want to kick my tiny self in the rear for being so damn naive. It wasn't gonna be that easy...

Elementary school. Classmates seem ok, even though I understood nothing they said. Ok, why are they taking my stuff and chucking it back and forth? Why won't they give it back? OUCH, why did he punch me? Why isn't the teacher doing anything? I didn't do anything to annoy them! Hell, I can't speak a word of english! OW, stop that! Hey, give that back! What are you saying, I can't understand you! GAH, my kidney... :uch:

That about sums up my memory of first week of school. I told pops friday evening that I wanted to go home. He laughed at me and said, "you are home, now go do your homework." Ok, no help from pops, check. Mom, I'm being beaten by my classmates for no reason! What should I do? "Oh just ignore them baby, they'll get bored of it soon enough" Ok, I'll try that.

Spitballs, my pen stolen, can't find my water bottle, lunch in the garbage for some reason, my notebook drawn in, chair pulled out from under me as I sat, tripped while walking past desk. Why isn't the teacher doing anything??? She's right there and I know she can see me! Hey teach, a little help? "Stop teasing him boys." She says. Stop teasing??? I don't think this is teasing anymore...

This went on for about... a year or so. Getting progressively worse as my english gets progressively better. OK, now I understand they're calling me a fatass, or a faggot. I can't tell which is which. OW, damnit not my teeth! It's falling off! OK asshole, you asked for it! Just scaring them a bit should work right?

Cited for aggrevated assault with a weapon. (reads as: holding a scissor and running forward, no stabbing involved)

Lesson One: aggression right back doesn't work in public eye.
Solution: Don't fight back in public

Doh. What now? Can't fight back, so get ass kicked repeatedly in school. One day, the jerk squad comes up to me, and says "let's take this outside, you, me after school." I thought, awesome, maybe I can settle things so that they'll stop bothering me. Led me to a forested area near school, gang leader clothlines me from behind just as we got there, sits down on my back, and proceed to beat the living shit of out of me. I look back and guess what? Everybody was kicking me and throwing grass on me. This wasn't a duel, this was a gang beatdown!

Lesson Two: dueling doesn't work with assholes
Solution: never trust dishonorable people's words :disgust:

Ok, so I'll just avoid them. Should be ok. Going home perfectly safe, must be a record. Hey wait a mo, I feel eyes on me...looks back over my shoulder - OMH HOLY $#@% how many of them are there?!? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 - :eek: ... is that skateboard in his hand? Why is he walking with it and... SHIT FIND SAFE ZONE. Goes and fake ringing door bell of the closes house to me. Look at street, phew all clear.

Lesson Three: When in doubt, seek help, even if bluffing, better than nothing.
Success! :cool:

Feeling good about myself, they shouldn't be trying that again. Go home - BLARG ouch... bastards were waiting for me... I'm being jumped aren't I? Oh my, that skateboard again... BAM

Darkness. :dead:

Out for 30 minutes until passing car stopped. RCMP showed up, talked to them, didn't get in much trouble, the jerks. I got yelled by the folks for causing trouble. Being called into school by the principle is very embarressing. Dad told me "why didn't you fight back?" Great advice pop...

Lesson Four: never assume you are safe, EVER. Things change in a flash.
Solution: mounties to the rescue!

Peace lasted for approximately... 4 days. Continue as before until graduation. No major ass kicking tho, just small ones everyday. Mounties must be effective!

High School, jerks likes pick on me, so I became invisible. No one see me, I don't get hurt! No social life or popularity to speak of, no girlfriends ever, sucky grades... Kk this sucks. Why am I so pathetic? Holding myself back just because of fear? I'm a bloody coward...

I don't like this feeling... :sorry:

Fast forward to University. Pals in class doing weird wrestling for some reason after class. What you guys doing? Oh, you do martial arts? What kind? Aikido you say? Yoshinkan - what's that? Grab your hand? OK, wh - OOOOOWWWWW.

Uke for the first time in my life: katatemochi sankajo

This shit hurts man... got anymore? Grab your chest? OH DAMN MY ELBOW, what's this? hijishime? Shit, where do I sign up?

Thus began the days of me, the mats, and me blending with the mats. :p

BY THE POWER OF :square: :triangle: :circle:
I AM AIKIDOMAN!

Shadowfax
03-03-2012, 09:20 AM
You pretty much described my childhood except add to it a schizophrenic alcoholic step dad and multiple dirty old men. I ended the school bullying it by taking a 2x4 to someones backside in shop class hard enough to leave a big bruise and moving far far away from my family as soon as I graduated.

Aikido has been a great help in getting rid of a whole lot of bottled up anger among other things.

GMaroda
03-04-2012, 07:52 AM
Sometimes I think about the bullying I had in school, but when I read stuff like this I realize I didn't have it as bad as others. I'm sorry this happened to you and to anyone else who has suffered.

Demetrio Cereijo
03-04-2012, 08:36 AM
I bullied bullies.

Rob Watson
03-04-2012, 02:34 PM
I used to beat people up for picking on other people. Got tired of feeling bad for hurting folks. Then I found aikido so now I could stop the bullies without hurting them because I didn't know any other way. Sure, folks still get hurt but I don't feel so bad about it ... still got stuff to work on.

jurasketu
03-04-2012, 03:37 PM
One of the reasons we homeschool our children is to avoid this type of baloney.

In the child/school world, if a classmate takes my lunch money - its called "bullying" and I'm told that it was my fault somehow. In the adult world, if a coworker takes my lunch money - its called Robbery - a FELONY punishable by YEARS in prison and no one says the victim had it coming. Just sayin'.

lbb
03-04-2012, 07:35 PM
The most dangerous situations in my life haven't involved other human beings.

Malicat
03-04-2012, 08:23 PM
One of the reasons we homeschool our children is to avoid this type of baloney.

In the child/school world, if a classmate takes my lunch money - its called "bullying" and I'm told that it was my fault somehow. In the adult world, if a coworker takes my lunch money - its called Robbery - a FELONY punishable by YEARS in prison and no one says the victim had it coming. Just sayin'.

I find the current situation with bullying in schools confusing, to be honest. I'm of the opinion that having social friction is good for future socialization. Your coworkers probably won't take your lunch money, but in the adult world most people will run into coworkers and bosses that are just as nasty as that bully in school.

When I was in junior high, I had a girl threaten me a few times. This was more than a bit concerting since the last fight this particular girl had been in, she picked up another student by the throat and punched her in the face into a locker. Repeatedly. At the time I had been in karate for over a year, and a good friend of mine had been taking Tang Soo Do for about the same amount of time. She and I pondered it, and came up with some realizations. I just wasn't experienced enough in karate to really defend myself. A teacher wasn't going to interfere unless we said something and begged for protection. Teachers physically can't be everywhere at once, and we knew that if we tried that, when the girl finally got a chance, I'd be in substantially worse shape. So we figured if everyone in school thought I would be likely to win a fight, they would leave me alone. We had an impromptu sparring match in the hallway next to a teacher we were pretty sure would break it up quickly. Neither of us were terribly adept at pulling punches, so I wound up with a black eye, and she was the recipient of a split lip and an equally black eye.

The girl never said a word to me after that, nor did anyone else. That particular incident taught me something though. It gave me confidence that out thinking someone was better than out fighting them, as well as substantially safer. It also taught me a good bit of how to utilize resources and work out solutions on my own, instead of being told to do something by an adult. I'm not saying that kids should be beaten up in school regularly, but I do think that learning how to deal with many different kinds of people is a good thing in the long run.

Just my 2cents though.

--Ashley

robin_jet_alt
03-04-2012, 09:36 PM
Well, like a lot of people here, I was bullied a bit at school, but it never resulted in much physical damage, so I guess I was lucky compared to Alic et al.

I think the most dangerous situation I have been in was when I was serving beer at a summer festival. On my first day, a guy came up and ordered 5 beers. I took the caps off, took his money and gave him his change. Then his friends walked up and he turned around and realised that he only had 3 friends so he asked for a refund on one of his beers. Now, if I had seen his friends when he ordered, I would have refused them service because they were pretty drunk. Anyway, I wasn't allowed to give him a refund since the bottle was open and the transaction was complete, and he accepted that. His friend wouldn't let it go though. He let rip with a bunch of expletives and macho challenging bulls##t. "I'll bash the c##p out of you, you f##king f##ot" "you're dead, you hear me?" That sort of stuff. Anyway, I followed protocol in these situations and said "I will just call my manager who will be able to help you". My coworker ran to the other end of the hall to grab the manager while I stayed behind the counter. He was fixated on me, so my coworker was pretty safe, and if I had left, it would have given him a clean shot. I then continued to serve customers while he was hurling insults at me. My manager got there after a while, and repeated what I had already said. He was just about to send for his manager when the security guards started to converge on us. The guy's friend saw the danger at this point and pulled him away. About 20 minutes later, he was dragged past my counter in handcuffs by the police, still hurling insults at me.

I'm sure a lot of people have been in this situation, but if I had risen to his bait at all he would have been on me in an instant. By not giving him an excuse to come at me, nobody got hurt (he didn't get charged). If I had responded, I may have been able to deal with him, but I was only 2kyu at the time, and he was about twice my size, so I don't really like my chances.

Eva Antonia
03-05-2012, 02:47 AM
Dear all,

there are lots of situations about which I still don't know if they were really dangerous or not, but they were all stupidly self-inflicted, such as trying out the physical limits of a sailplane (when I was sixteen) or getting carried away by the police after a bar fight in my first week in N'Djaména (when I was twenty-three) or giving birth to triplets in some forlorn place in South Ecuador (when I was thirty-three) or getting stung by a used syringe full of dried blood doing waste analysis on Baku landfill (last year)...however, none of these really made me afraid, and certainly none would have been solvable by aikido :p

I was several times scared shitless in airplanes, when they had problems to land due to thunderstorm (once over Ankara; the plane was 300 m or so above ground, the thunderstorm was over the airport, and the plane was flying circles around a big, black cloud that went down to the ground, passengers praying and hoping the cloud would go away before fuel was finished) or to technical problems. I was terribly afraid during the 1999 earthquake in Turkey, when we hurried out of the house thinking it might collapse over us, seeking shelter from downfalling bricks under the portail of the French consulate and being sadly disappointed that no one had the glorious idea to let us into their completely earthquake-safe park...and I am still very afraid that another, bigger earthquake shall strike Istanbul soon.

Another situation that was in my opinion horribly dangerous was when I tried to get out of a province train in Germany at a deserted station, at 02.30 in the morning, two kids are sleeping in the chariot, two others already got out of the train, when the doors close, squeeze me and the chariot back, train starts going, me with two kids inside and two kids running desperately to catch the accelerating train and get in again. I forced the door open and jumped out of the train, being afraid that the two kids outside might fall under the train or whatever, leaving two crying girls behind the closing door. Luckily some other nightowl passenger was cleverer than I was and just pulled the emergency brake.

Still no aikido involved.
Three or four years ago, I took the last subway here in Brussels; the wagon was completely empty and I sat there quietly reading DER SPIEGEL, until a group of drunk male young German tourists came in, singing awful sexist songs and hollering drunkenly around. The see me, being visibly German with my German newspaper and a woman, so an ideal target, they circle around me and start singing things like "Women are an object to share, open your trousers, come on let's switch..." (in German, this thing rhymed, even if the rhymes were very bad), they were fourteen and I was alone. So again no aikido involved. I just continued reading my SPIEGEL and ignoring them completely, because what else could I have done against fourteen drunken thugs? After six or seven stops and an endless journey, luckily they got out.

So all in all, there have been some dangerous situations in my life, luckily no bullying in childhood, luckily none ever took a bad turn (not my merit, sheer luck), but certainly none where I could have used aikido.

Nevertheless, even if this is completely illogical, doing aikido still provides a feeling of being less vulnerable. And moreover, it is a source of happiness.

Best regards,

Eva

Michael Douglas
03-05-2012, 06:03 AM
This looks like the most dangerous situation in your long list of mostly non-dangerous situations ;
...Cited for aggrevated assault with a weapon. (reads as: holding a scissor and running forward, no stabbing involved)
If one schoolchild attacks another with a pair of scissor I'd hope that child would be at the very least reprimanded and watched like a hawk from that day on. Suspension or expelling would be the next step.
I know we're all supposed to take your side as a victim ... but sorry, not this time. Not from me.
Any time I've been furious with other kids at scholl I did not attack them with a sharp weapon, I'm not a psycho.

My dangerous situations ;
Attempting to rescue the occupants of a burning car on a local bridge : car was empty! I avoided the flash fire upon opening the door, axe in hand. Everyone was fine ... I'd do exactly the same thing again, too.

Attacked by three 'yard dogs' in Moscow, hitting them with the end of a longbow and shouting sent them packing ... but I was ready to escalate with something in my pocket. Danger averted, some frayed hemlines, nothing worse.

I have never stolen lunch money or had it stolen, nor would I consider it a dangerous situation. :straightf

lbb
03-05-2012, 07:52 AM
Michael? What were you doing with a longbow?

Alic
03-05-2012, 01:21 PM
Well Michael, that's why we learn and grow right? I never was in a situation that agitating before, since I lived a pretty sheltered life up until that point. I was already naive for a ten year old, so it was baaaaad. I didn't know what punch was until it hit me, and they had like 8 people, with the ringleader this Indian kid. They're all bigger and fitter than I am and knew how to fight. I was a noob and a bit dumb. I didn't know what to do and was totally scared, so I thought I could scare em off if I showed some force. I never intented on stabbing them at all, and simply just held the scissors in my hands.

Now if I was 14 and I did that it would be perfectly fine to yell at me for being a moron. But again, I learned right after that day that it was no good to respond with force, real or bluff.

It's one of those things that makes you better in the long run :)

Conrad Gus
03-06-2012, 11:32 AM
I find the current situation with bullying in schools confusing, to be honest. I'm of the opinion that having social friction is good for future socialization. Your coworkers probably won't take your lunch money, but in the adult world most people will run into coworkers and bosses that are just as nasty as that bully in school.

When I was in junior high, I had a girl threaten me a few times. This was more than a bit concerting since the last fight this particular girl had been in, she picked up another student by the throat and punched her in the face into a locker. Repeatedly. At the time I had been in karate for over a year, and a good friend of mine had been taking Tang Soo Do for about the same amount of time. She and I pondered it, and came up with some realizations. I just wasn't experienced enough in karate to really defend myself. A teacher wasn't going to interfere unless we said something and begged for protection. Teachers physically can't be everywhere at once, and we knew that if we tried that, when the girl finally got a chance, I'd be in substantially worse shape. So we figured if everyone in school thought I would be likely to win a fight, they would leave me alone. We had an impromptu sparring match in the hallway next to a teacher we were pretty sure would break it up quickly. Neither of us were terribly adept at pulling punches, so I wound up with a black eye, and she was the recipient of a split lip and an equally black eye.

The girl never said a word to me after that, nor did anyone else. That particular incident taught me something though. It gave me confidence that out thinking someone was better than out fighting them, as well as substantially safer. It also taught me a good bit of how to utilize resources and work out solutions on my own, instead of being told to do something by an adult. I'm not saying that kids should be beaten up in school regularly, but I do think that learning how to deal with many different kinds of people is a good thing in the long run.

Just my 2cents though.

--Ashley

I think this is my favorite bullying story of all time. Bad-ass.

Michael Douglas
03-12-2012, 09:23 AM
Michael? What were you doing with a longbow?
Mary I was delivering it to a customer in Moscow, through darkened streets past factories and under the railway line. Otradnoe to ... some district with a hyphen. I didn't have arrows with me. :) Shame eh?

But again, I learned right after that day that it was no good to respond with force, real or bluff.
Alic I think you are wrong.

Alic
03-12-2012, 02:14 PM
Michael, I don't understand. It's bad that I learned that violence and aggression doesn't work for self defense? What should I have learned from that experience then? That I should make sure to stab the guy next time?

Forgive me for saying this, but I can practically feel your eyes judging me from way over yonder. I don't understand what you want from me, should I say that I belong in an institution? Or is jail better for a monster like me? Or perhaps you feel like a sociopath like me doesn't deserve to learn Aikido?

I was 10 years old, knew not a word of English, had no friends here, never seen a foreigner before, and the first experience I have of them is that they are violent without reason. I didn't even talk to the guy before he started to attack me physically, and I only realized way down the line that he was also verbally provoking me. I was still very much naive and competitive back then, so my first thought was "I don't understand his words, but I understand his actions, gotta think of a defense NOW!"

More than 10 years later, I understand now that he wanted to get a rise from me. I still don't know, even now, what he lacked that he thought he could've gotten from me, but whatever that thing was, he didn't get it from me, since he never seemed to be satisfied. I felt that he was always trying to provoke me in a certain way, looking something he wanted, to feed a desire within himself.

Are you feeling the same? Perhaps by belittling me, you can also gain something that you feel you don't have right now? I don't know what it is that you want me to say or do, but will that give you relief?

Because if so, I will not be able to give that to you.

Demetrio Cereijo
03-12-2012, 03:18 PM
Alic,

What do you think about this (http://www.army.mil/article/74897/).

Alic
03-12-2012, 04:19 PM
I think it's really risky Demetrio, I wouldn't have been able to pull it off. That kind of action takes brass balls and nerves of steel. I'm no army vet, and there's no way I could handle weapons at my level. Plus, even if I did have the ability, it is far too risky without any immediate need for doing it. I wouldn't done anything unless that person were to try and do something to me or someone there.

Now, I won't say anything bad about this soldier. Obviously he was confident in his abilities, had enough experience, and felt the need to hold true to his words and believes. He must've felt that it was worth it to risk his life doing this. He could've failed and died and still be a hero. That he succeeded is just that much sweeter for everyone.

It all comes down to accurate judgment of yourself, and others. If you think you got the ability to do it, and enough experience to know what to expect, then it all comes down to the question of "do I need to do this, or do I want to?"

Kevin Leavitt
03-12-2012, 04:39 PM
It comes down to courage and willingness to make a stand for something important. Training is also important, but without courage, nothing else matters. Thanks for posting Demetrio

lars beyer
03-12-2012, 04:51 PM
Alic,

What do you think about this (http://www.army.mil/article/74897/).

He was lucky his children would not have to go to his funeral both being an active soldier on duty and putting his life on the line like that.. brave but also selfish and stupid.
On one hand protecting the foundation of his society and at the same time gambling with his responsability as a father towards his family..
Makes me think.. hmm.. I think O´sensei had a very good point.. but that is taking it to the extremes I feel.. maybe..

Peace !

Michael Douglas
03-13-2012, 03:07 PM
But again, I learned right after that day that it was no good to respond with force, real or bluff.
No. It is right to respond with force.

Michael, I don't understand. It's bad that I learned that violence and aggression doesn't work for self defense? What should I have learned from that experience then? That I should make sure to stab the guy next time?
You want to stab someone? In what situation?

Forgive me for saying this, but I can practically feel your eyes judging me from way over yonder. I don't understand what you want from me, should I say that I belong in an institution? Or is jail better for a monster like me? Or perhaps you feel like a sociopath like me doesn't deserve to learn Aikido?
I won't forgive you, you are putting forward a ridiculous and insulting attitude. You have no right to make personal insults about your imaginings of my thoughts. Stop it.

Are you feeling the same? Perhaps by belittling me, you can also gain something that you feel you don't have right now? I don't know what it is that you want me to say or do, but will that give you relief?
Here you are, calling me the bully. You can imagine what I would say right to your face if this wasn't a heavily moderated forum?!

I made two points only ;
1. Child attacking others with scissors = potentially dangerous, should be reprimanded/expelled.
2. Your assertion that resisting with force is wrong, I absolutely DISagree.

Demetrio Cereijo
03-13-2012, 03:14 PM
It comes down to courage and willingness to make a stand for something important. Training is also important, but without courage, nothing else matters.

Courage is cultivated by proper training.

Kevin Leavitt
03-13-2012, 03:27 PM
Courage is cultivated by proper training.

Yup, agreed.

GMaroda
03-13-2012, 03:41 PM
Wow... I'm glad I didn't post the story of how I elbowed a kid in 7th grade for stealing my lunch or some people might start playing "blame the victim" with me too! It's easy and fun!

Watch the kid with the scissors? Sure, but no one gives a damn about the sociopaths who know how to game the system.

Alic
03-14-2012, 12:50 AM
(Sigh)...Damned if you do, damned if you don't huh... Well that's fine, you can have whatever opinion you like Michael, that's your take on it.

I'm more interested in how others have taken on situations that are dangerous to them, and what they've learned from them. In my case, it was a perpetual series of loses on my part, though I'm not certain if there can even be a "winner" in that kind of circumstances. However, thanks to those experiences, I did learn good life lessons that have helped me through my later life.

This one is a more recent escapade, after I've started training in Aikido.

I was walking home from a late night house party during new years eve. Walking down the main road, I passed by a house that was quite rowdy, even for new years eve standards. All that flashing light and music made my gaze linger on the house longer than normal. This attracted the attention of a few of the guys that were sitting on the front steps of the door. I didn't notice they were there until they got up and start to come towards me. What got my attention was that there were four of them, and they walked close together, all looking at me and talking quietly to each other. It wasn't long before I realized that they were stumbling a bit.

Right then, I realized that with the neighbourhood as quite as it was, and them as buzzed as they were, it was likely that whatever they wanted with me, it wasn't going to be enjoyable. I'm not much of a runner, and even drunk guys could probably catch me, so I liked to not be out of breath when having to defend myself. That made me decide that I should just walk quicker and and not appear nervous, but keeping awareness of what they were doing, in case I had to quickly take up stance or bolt for it. They called out to me (hey, you, hey~) but I ignored them and continued on. They followed me for a short while, but since I've already put some distance between us, they must've thought that it's just easier to return to the party. I looked back and they were walking back towards the party. At that point, I let out a breath I didn't know I had held, and relaxed my whole tensed up body, totally glad that they found girls and alcohol to be more interesting than my blood.

I feel that in this case, I was a winner since I had been non-confrontational, and as a result, escaped harm. I believe that I kept good zanshin while still maintaining a nonagressive atmosphere, and as a result, was safe whilst defusing the situation.

Benjamin Green
03-21-2012, 01:37 AM
It's bad that I learned that violence and aggression doesn't work for self defense?

Well it's certainly bad you learned force doesn't work for self-defence, considering all the times I've used it and its worked fine.

What should I have learned from that experience then?

Don't escalate a dominance contest to a survival contest, unless there's something very valuable that you cannot attain by other, less risky, means.

Fighting back against bullies isn't about winning - though of course that's desirable - it's about making it cost the other guy something. If you'd fought them with your fists and lost, they'd still have been hurt, especially had you picked one of them and focused all your efforts on him, and that would have helped persuade them to stop. However, if your first move is to escalate the issue to the point where their only choices are to back off or to try to kill you, you may not like what happens.

That I should make sure to stab the guy next time?

Stabbing a guy in the middle of a school is stupid. If you think the situation justifies lethal force, then you just go and do it. You don't wait for them to come for you, chances are by the time they do it will be too late.

You, however, were not in a situation where lethal force was in any way justified.

Dangerous situations.... In my experience most of the dangerous ones are too well documented for you to learn much that's new from them. You don't learn how to drive from nearly crashing, you don't learn how to shoot from picking up a gun in the middle of a fight.... Combat just puts the edge on things, and keeps the nonsense that people who've never been in a fight waffle on about down to a reasonable level. There's very little nonsense when you can just step out the door and tell someone to prove it, or when your experience of the problem the suggested solution is meant to apply to is such that you can see it obviously wouldn't.

The rest of it's just stuff you learn about how people respond to things emotionally, and a slight sharpening of the 'something's about to go down' instinct. I don't think I could break that down into encounters.

Some people just can't take the idea that fighting's a gamble, that they'll never be good enough to be assured of victory. They tend to take even worse the news that if they habitually use violence to solve their problems they're going to end up meeting people who are better at violence. True misery is the people I've seen who end up dwelling on those sorts of things.

Some people end up going off the deep end. Some people like it just enough to be good at it.

Personally I feel sort of like I'm floating when I'm in a fight, this incredible feeling of calm - you think incredibly quickly in those times. Though it's more becoming aware of your options than verbally thinking it. If I'm nervous beforehand, or preoccupied with something that drops out of the picture immediately once my instincts start calling out for attention.

But, equally, I've seen people go completely to pieces. It's hard to tell which way a person's going to go, though history and general attitude tends to be a fairly good indicator. The guy who says, 'Well in a fight I'll...' and coldly believes it. The quiet guy sitting at the back of a group, planning what he's going to be doing in a few moments? They generally do quite well if you get them in a fight or into combat. It's the people who go, 'I'm not sure,' or who say 'I'd do X' but doubt it deep down in their hearts, who tend to get messed up by it. If someone says 'I'm not sure I've got what it takes....' the answer is probably, 'no.'

Alec Corper
03-21-2012, 10:26 AM
I would strongly reccomend Rory Miller's books on dealing with violence. The mental aspects of martial training are at least as important, if not more so, than the physical. Someone not prepared to use their skills in an appropriate situation may as well not bother acquiring those skills in the first place. Knowing your "go" buttons according to your pre thought ethics, and giving yourself unequivocal permission to act is vital. This ranges from from kid's bullying to life or death scenarios. The angst in aikido about not using force is ridiculous. Read Shioda's "Aikido Shugyo" to see another take of aikido.
P.S. Kevin, you are not far from Holland, as a friend of Dan and Marc, you would be welcome.
Alec

Alic
03-21-2012, 02:37 PM
Well it's certainly bad you learned force doesn't work for self-defence, considering all the times I've used it and its worked fine.

Don't escalate a dominance contest to a survival contest, unless there's something very valuable that you cannot attain by other, less risky, means.

Fighting back against bullies isn't about winning - though of course that's desirable - it's about making it cost the other guy something. If you'd fought them with your fists and lost, they'd still have been hurt, especially had you picked one of them and focused all your efforts on him, and that would have helped persuade them to stop. However, if your first move is to escalate the issue to the point where their only choices are to back off or to try to kill you, you may not like what happens.

Stabbing a guy in the middle of a school is stupid. If you think the situation justifies lethal force, then you just go and do it. You don't wait for them to come for you, chances are by the time they do it will be too late.

You, however, were not in a situation where lethal force was in any way justified.

Benjamin, please note that I never said force wasn't a good idea. If that was the case then instead of studying Aikido, I could just go and join a monastery, and be free of violence forever. Force is definately still on the table for me. The key thing I've learn from all my experiences is basically how to defuse dangerous situations, how to escape it, how to uphold myself to not look vulnerable, and how to protect myself. Force used to defend oneself isn't wrong, but if it's spiced with anger and hate, then you become the attacker instead of the victim.

I have to disagree about your thoughts on bullying though. I do agree about the portion regarding not trying to "win" per say. That's definately true, we're only trying to keep ourselves safe. However, in a school life situation, you don't have the choice of not ever meeting that person again, and if you don't gain a decisive victory over the bully, he (or she) may not ever leave you alone. However, if you attempt to prevent further clashes by trying to cost them something, immature folks like bullies are more likely to come back and try to damage you worse. I've had people I know get jumped because they won a fight against their attackers earlier. Small-minded individuals do not mind ganging up on you to get a victory.

This is why I think Aikido is a good way to deal with bullies. You win decisively and deceptively, but at the same time the opponent isn't badly hurt. Before, I didn't know how to even fight at all, so I was the only one that lost things (dignity, pride, ego, respect, self esteem, etc). They never got satisfied though, and always came back for more, even when I had none left to give. I knew there was only two way for this to end: either win hard, or die hard.

The scissors incident was definately regretful. I was quite dumb back in the days, and in a panic I had picked up the closest thing that could be a weapon and tried to hold the big and scary boys at bay. Never did I consider even then to harm them. I never fought at all and knew no violence beforehand, so it was too much of a shock for me to cope with. It was impossible for me to think about killing at all when all I can think about is how I'm going to die today. Thinking back, it was quite the wonder why I didn't die, as there were so many times where I could've been killed (such as the incident where they pushed me off the slide, about 1 story high drop. I got cut up bad). Dumb luck I guess...

Anyhow, everyone is a critic. I already got those talks from teachers that I can clearly see had no personal experience with bullying and the suffering it produces. It only looks like funny innocent teasing until you're the target.

I'm not trying to excuse myself from my previous action, because I think I wouldn't be who I am now without them. I learned not to be an attacker, because I knew how to victims feel. I think that is the most important thing I learn from my experiences.

I want to see what other people has experienced, and what they took away from their experiences. So if you got something at all, before or after Aikido, I would love to read about it. Maybe I can learn something from it too.

Cheers,

Alic

Benjamin Green
03-21-2012, 06:52 PM
Benjamin, please note that I never said force wasn't a good idea. If that was the case then instead of studying Aikido, I could just go and join a monastery, and be free of violence forever. Force is definately still on the table for me. The key thing I've learn from all my experiences is basically how to defuse dangerous situations, how to escape it, how to uphold myself to not look vulnerable, and how to protect myself.

My instinctive thought – based on how you've portrayed yourself in this thread, is to ask how sure you are that you haven't just learned to perceive threats where none exist. That you then think you've defused when nothing happens.

But as long as it works for you and you're comfortable with yourself. I suppose it doesn't really matter.

I have to disagree about your thoughts on bullying though. I do agree about the portion regarding not trying to "win" per say. That's definately true, we're only trying to keep ourselves safe. However, in a school life situation, you don't have the choice of not ever meeting that person again, and if you don't gain a decisive victory over the bully, he (or she) may not ever leave you alone. However, if you attempt to prevent further clashes by trying to cost them something, immature folks like bullies are more likely to come back and try to damage you worse. I've had people I know get jumped because they won a fight against their attackers earlier. Small-minded individuals do not mind ganging up on you to get a victory.

You can play this escalation game forever. If you come up with a solution to getting jumped, what happens if the other guy brings a knife to school and just stabs you? It's rare but it happens – I know someone who had it happen to them. As it turns out what happened was they knocked the other kid out with a fire-extinguisher.

As I said earlier, fighting is a gamble. Personally, I consider the risks that you're going to get jumped and badly beaten a few times until they realise that's not going to work to break you – or the smaller chance that they'll escalate into killing you – when compared against the near certainty that the abuse will continue otherwise, just part of the cost of not living on your knees.

This is why I think Aikido is a good way to deal with bullies. You win decisively and deceptively, but at the same time the opponent isn't badly hurt.

Kids being bullied don't need something that they're told might work in two years if they practice diligently enough, they need something they can use reliably the minute they walk out of their first lesson because the next day they're going to be back in school getting the crap kicked out of them again. Basics of boxing take a couple of hours to teach someone. They won't be brilliant but they'll have something they can use and any practice on top of that's just going to make them better at it.

I want to see what other people has experienced, and what they took away from their experiences. So if you got something at all, before or after Aikido, I would love to read about it. Maybe I can learn something from it too.

My first experience of any sort of violence was before I went to school. I was of the opinion that I didn't want a bath, my father was of the opinion I was having one anyway. He decided that the obvious solution would be to use force to get his way. I remember my sister used to get beaten for not wanting her hair cut too.

The next moment that springs to mind I was in the first year of primary school. I can't even remember what it was about but a teacher had backed me into a corner and tried to grab me – and I don't think I've ever much liked being touched, so I did the instinctive thing and bit her.

It was later explained to me that she wouldn't have hurt me, that there existed larger legal and ethical frameworks into which her behaviour was meant to fit. My parents never raised a hand to me again.

I didn't have much trouble with people for a fair number of years after that. There were a couple of fist fights but nothing of any interest. Generally all I had to do to get people to back off was give them a pissed off look. I think they realised that while some people were looking for a reason to fight, I was looking for a reason not to fight – my default solution was to fight as seriously as I could the minute a threat presented itself. The reputation I acquired as the resident psycho probably didn't hurt any either.

Let's see, dropped out of formal education at the end of primary school, skipped most of secondary school, attended a sixth form college to get my A Levels. That'd be about the next time I ran into someone who thought that being violent with me would profit them – I was sitting at the bus-stop and a kid, who I later learned was there to resit his GCSEs, decided it'd be fun to flick a cigarette at me. I told him to knock it off, he got up in my face and spouted the usual 'what are you going to do about it?' drivel – he was absurdly over-confident, ended up telling me to take my best shot. So I grabbed his collar and nutted him in the face.

A short time afterwards – a couple of months – I found a drunk gentleman bothering a couple of young girls at that same bus stop. I decided I could probably take him if it came down to it. Went over and told him that I thought he was bothering them. He said he thought he was bothering me. I said maybe he was. He looked me in the eye and backed down. The girls were quite glad as I recall.

I suspect the decision to stick their bus-stop where there's very little pedestrian traffic wasn't a bright idea on that part of whoever planned it. They seem to have a lot of trouble there.

Went off to university, joined the special constabulary, (volunteer police in the UK). Got into a scuffle from time to time that way but nothing particularly hair-raising. I took up aikido at around that time because I wanted something to handle people who weren't any particular threat to me but that I, nonetheless, needed to restrain. Obviously I could just have restrained them by knocking the daylights out of them, but you can't exactly make a habit of that – and let's face it most of them are drunk or stupid anyway, it's sad that their lives have placed them there, but it's not really their fault.

At this point I'd pretty much lost count of the number of situations I'd been in. I always seemed to be the guy that ended up having to take someone down to the ground just because everyone else was waiting for me to do it – which was a bit annoying.

Got out of university without graduating – I just couldn't take the boredom of memorising lists of studies and I've never been one for forming really close friendships, so there was nothing and no-one keeping me there. Joined the military, and that's more or less where I've been since. I like the work, it pays well, and if I didn't do it properly someone else would just do it poorly.

Don't know what I'm going to do once we get out of Afghanistan though. On the one hand, there's always another war at some point. On the other, I'm not sure I could take too much sitting around on base with my thumb up my arse. Probably join the police or a private security company. I've a friend who works for G4S, they seem to offer fairly good opportunities. Might even go back to uni and finish off my degree – I made sure I could when I left.

Alic
03-22-2012, 12:47 PM
Wish I was able to fight back as well as you have Ben, probably would have saved me a lot of grief... I was too weak and unfit to really do anything without technIque, and since I didn't have technique at the time, well...

You should definately go back to universty. If you haven't formed any significant friendships then it's time to try, cause you're missing out on all the fun. Military isn't that stable of a job anyhow, so you might want to increase your future options now. You've got time to burn now anyhow eh?

Lunatic Bodhisattva
03-22-2012, 12:58 PM
No. It is right to respond with force.

I made two points only ;
1. Child attacking others with scissors = potentially dangerous, should be reprimanded/expelled.
2. Your assertion that resisting with force is wrong, I absolutely DISagree.

I'm confused.
You say attacking with scissors is potentially dangerous and therefor wrong, but then you say
it is good to resist with force. Stabbing someone with scissors would definitely be considered use of force. Those two statements seem at least conflicting and at most hypocritical in my opinion.

It appears that you have never had a persistent bully work you over for any amount of time, it is so incredibly unpleasant you will do just about anything to make it stop. How many times here in America have we seen teens commit suicide or homicide that was a direct result of repeated bullying?

For all you know if Alic had stabbed the other child it would have been a life changing experience for both Alic and the bully. Perhaps the Bully would have had an epiphany and never bullied anyone again. Perhaps Alic would have had an epiphany regarding compassion, understanding and non violence.

That said stabbing the child with scissors would have been the wrong way, but that doesn't mean that the bully didn't deserve to have his ass kicked.

What is the best way to deal with a persistent bully?

St Matt
03-23-2012, 07:43 AM
The angst in aikido about not using force is ridiculous. Read Shioda's "Aikido Shugyo" to see another take of aikido.


Thanks for the book recommendation! Thats another £35 spent D'oh!!!

Benjamin Green
03-23-2012, 04:18 PM
Wish I was able to fight back as well as you have Ben, probably would have saved me a lot of grief... I was too weak and unfit to really do anything without technIque, and since I didn't have technique at the time, well...

I don't see how you can know that you were too weak, if you never actually tried to fight back.

Do you have it now? If you're putting being bullied all these years down to a lack of skill, and you think you've got it now, that seems like the sort of thing it would be important to test. You know -- get a guy who does some boxing and try some light-contact sparring without gloves on. See how you do.

You should definately go back to universty. If you haven't formed any significant friendships then it's time to try, cause you're missing out on all the fun. Military isn't that stable of a job anyhow, so you might want to increase your future options now. You've got time to burn now anyhow eh?

Time to burn isn't the same as options to burn.

The decision to go back to university is one that cannot be taken back. Whereas the decision not to go can be taken back at any point. If I try the job market and find that it's ill suited for people without degrees, then that's okay. But if I try the job market and find that it's ill suited for people who took a year or so off of continuing to work -- in order to go and get the last bit of their degree -- that's not something that can be fixed.

#

The lack of significant friends doesn't bother me. It's not clear that becoming attached to people has a reasonable trade off in terms of the amount of fun you can have with them.

Do many people have significant friends anyway? Or, do the ones that profess such a position just have a very constrained experience with others that causes them to place too high a value on the individuals they have direct experience with?

Alic
03-24-2012, 01:36 AM
Hahaha... it's because I tried to fight back that I know I was too weak. I didn't know anything about how to punch, and wasn't fit at all, and slightly overweight. I put up as much resistance as I could, hoping it would deter them. Didn't work as well as I imagined it in my head...

I don't know what the future may hold for you, but many people are going back to college because they lost their jobs. In the current economy jobs are hard to come by for everyone, so trying to get hired now may not be the most prudent thing to do. If you can pull it off, mad props, but it's probably best to take shelter from this storm in a post-sec institution. Gain a degree or certificate in a growing field, and hope for the best. You may just graduate in time to see the next boom. I suggest green tech, as no matter what, it has to grow if this world society wants to continue existing.

Friends come in two categories, people you just like to hang with, and people you know will have your back when you're in deep dodo. I have one in the dojo, and 3 from highschool. It's not very many, but it's hard to find good bros like that, and it's really all you need. Just even one will make a big difference, when you know you got someone you can talk to without fear of ridicule (even if you deserve it for doing dumb shit).

Michael Douglas
03-24-2012, 01:42 PM
Great life story post Ben! There isn't a thumbs-up smiley that I can find ...

You see this bit ;
...I didn't have much trouble with people for a fair number of years after that. There were a couple of fist fights but nothing of any interest. .
There really is no understanding coming from Alic on something as simple and irrelevant as a bit of fisticuffs in our schooldays, his brain is wired so utterly differently. That makes this whole 'danger' thread a bit like the whole 'Aikido' world : people doing completely dissimilar things while dressing the same and thinking that what they do is the real ... stuff.

Alic
03-26-2012, 03:29 AM
Michael, I think when the RCMP comes to specifically address your assault case, it would qualify as more than just a schoolyard fistfight. I already told the one where they followed me home, and the time they jumped me and knocked me out, but there were many many other times where they have truly threatened my safety. I didn't know how dangerous it was back then of course, I was just scared. But now I truly appreciated just how close it could've been.

There was one time when those guys threw water at me, but I was on the class computer at the time, and there on the floor was a mass of jumbled wires, all connected to a maxed out power stripe. If I hadn't taken the full dump of water on my rather broad back, I might've ended up as fried jerky that day.

Another time, they saw me having fun on the slide during recess. That being the only slide on the only playground in the neighbourhood, it was basically the popular kid's only club up there. Under normal circumstances I couldn't even get up close to it without getting my shit ruined, but that day it was slightly drizzling. All the popular kids went indoors, and I decided that a little rain is better than being bored (wasn't like I had friends to hang with at the time). Well, those kids saw me through the classroom windows and didn't like that I was having fun on their property, so they came out to correct my behaviour. I didn't notice them though, and thought they wouldn't come out in the rain, so I let my guard down.

Big mistake. They went up to the top without me noticing, and when I finally turned around they had blocked off all the ladders leading up to the slides. I was cornered, and had only the slide was my escape route. I thought "perfect" and went to slide down and make my getaway, but at that time, the main bully decided to grab my shoulder and shove me around a bit. Well, he actually did Aiki without knowing it, as his push was harmonized with my turn and forward motion, and I went flying forward instead of going down the slide. It was a spiral slide that was open, so instead of simply faceplanting and sliding down, I actually flew out of the track of the slide and fell about one floor down onto gravel. I managed to cut myself on a sharp piece of gravel, right on the chin, and bled like crazy. Those guys ran for it right away after I fell, and left me there. It wasn't until class started that they noticed I wasn't there.

I got carted off to the nurses room with teachers all over me, trying to disinfect and stop the bleeding. Eventually I went to the hospital to have the cut patched up with adhesive skin closures. The scar didn't go away and I could never prop my chin on my palm again after that, being too sensitive now.

Michael, I don't know how strong you were as a kid, or how well you dealt without violence and bullying, but it was obviously better than me (or you were luckier). Either way, what you experienced wasn't the same as what I had to deal with, so please don't assume I imagined the whole thing. I had to deal with their incessent harrassment from when I got here in grade 5, all the way till end of elementary. It affected my self-esteem for years to come, damaged my communication abililty and trust in people, and I became introverted. I couldn't focus on studying and hated going to school for the whole time I was there.

Thing is, I grew out of it. I fixed myself and gotten more outgoing, threw away my fears and made friends, joined clubs and tried out for sports teams, and became a chatterbox. I don't plan on stopping in improving myself either, which is why I train in Aikido. The past is over, and I cannot change it, but I still have a say about how I act in the future, and I will train myself seriously so that next time something like this happens, I will not be forced into drawing the short straw again.

Benjamin Green
03-27-2012, 02:05 AM
Hahaha... it's because I tried to fight back that I know I was too weak. I didn't know anything about how to punch, and wasn't fit at all, and slightly overweight. I put up as much resistance as I could, hoping it would deter them. Didn't work as well as I imagined it in my head...

Mmm, I find it takes a lot more skill to stop a charge than to start one. With a lot of unskilled fighters the person who wins is just the one with the most will to engage - they end up on top, and once you're there you don't need a lot of skill.

Still, as long as you did your best. :)

I don't know what the future may hold for you, but many people are going back to college because they lost their jobs. In the current economy jobs are hard to come by for everyone, so trying to get hired now may not be the most prudent thing to do. If you can pull it off, mad props, but it's probably best to take shelter from this storm in a post-sec institution. Gain a degree or certificate in a growing field, and hope for the best. You may just graduate in time to see the next boom. I suggest green tech, as no matter what, it has to grow if this world society wants to continue existing.

That probably sounds more reasonable to you than it does to me. You can't say, on the basis of your recommendation, whether going to university makes you a given percentage more or less likely to be employed, (within a certain degree of error.)

Maybe it makes you more likely, but there are other, equally plausible, narratives that imply the opposite outcome. Since you can argue equally well for either, you don't actually gain any information you didn't already have.

In order to make an informed decision you need information that will allow you to distinguish which outcome, for a given course of action, is more probable. In the absence of that information it doesn't makes sense to invest tens of thousands of pounds and years of time in something where the only thing you're really sure of is you're going to be bored to tears by it.

Friends come in two categories, people you just like to hang with, and people you know will have your back when you're in deep dodo. I have one in the dojo, and 3 from highschool. It's not very many, but it's hard to find good bros like that, and it's really all you need. Just even one will make a big difference, when you know you got someone you can talk to without fear of ridicule (even if you deserve it for doing dumb shit).

I'm fairly sceptical of any analysis that comes in the form: "There are two types of X: Y & !Y" Frequently the variances between subtypes are just as important as the difference between the types.

I suspect, you just see things that way because ridicule matters to you. Maybe you're younger or something. Whereas I've been employed for years, no-one I know in real life would be unprofessional enough to ridicule me, that's just not how you manage people when you've got to work together.

Indeed a lot of working together is a matter of altering how you socialise when you talk to different people to maintain harmony, to maintain a set of common rules that people can use to keep the conversations they have productive.

If you didn't do that, you'd get to the point where you needed to change jobs - assuming you hadn't been fired already mind - and no-one would give you a decent reference. Even just in working with others, you'd have to continually rely on positional authority - which would make it nigh-on impossible to get anything done.

Malicat
03-27-2012, 05:14 AM
In order to make an informed decision you need information that will allow you to distinguish which outcome, for a given course of action, is more probable. In the absence of that information it doesn't makes sense to invest tens of thousands of pounds and years of time in something where the only thing you're really sure of is you're going to be bored to tears by it.


As an adult who is currently going back to school, I would have to say that the decision should be based on your desire for a final outcome. There are plenty of jobs that don't require a degree, just a passion for the field. And there are jobs that require a degree. I see too many people in school now who are just going back because they have no idea what else to do. That is a huge waste of money. If you don't have an answer as to what field you plan to be working in and why a degree is necessary in that field, you probably shouldn't be in school. I'm not sure what the education costs are like in England, but I will have spent about 75k by the time I finish my undergraduate degree, and I will also need a Masters on top of that. I have a good understanding of what I will be making when I get out of school and the kind of job that I will be doing. Without that understanding, well.. 75,000 dollars is a LOT of money and 4 years of your life is a LOT of time that are both going to waste.

--Ashley

Alberto_Italiano
04-15-2012, 04:38 AM
Lesson Two: dueling doesn't work

True.

Said that, my two cents about one of the few dangerous situations that happened to me.

Years ago I was sitting at a restaurant with my dad, who was about 80, and 5 or 6 friends of his, about his age.

For reasons that it is immaterial to explain, out of the blue two guys come to our table and address me saying they were going (nothing less) to kill me (ok, the reason apparently was that they did not like how I answered to a waitress: "are you foking ignoring us intentionally when we ask you something?").

That was the toughest situation I ever faced in my whole life. In fact, the guys were taunting me in every possibile way and I just sat there and I took it. They were not big guys, to be sure one wonders how guys with that trivial bodyframe may think they can attack safely anyone.

I kept sitting, I kept taking their insults and mockery for a whole full minute which seems an eternity in those cases.
Then I reacted like this: "ok if you really believe I have offended you, I apologize".

This was the toughest situation I ever found myself in. Having to take all that crap and do nothing.
Because you know, I would never, never let my 80 years old father have to see his son fighting.

**dishonourable drums rolling** :D

genin
04-16-2012, 10:40 AM
True.

Said that, my two cents about one of the few dangerous situations that happened to me.

Years ago I was sitting at a restaurant with my dad, who was about 80, and 5 or 6 friends of his, about his age.

For reasons that it is immaterial to explain, out of the blue two guys come to our table and address me saying they were going (nothing less) to kill me (ok, the reason apparently was that they did not like how I answered to a waitress: "are you foking ignoring us intentionally when we ask you something?").

That was the toughest situation I ever faced in my whole life. In fact, the guys were taunting me in every possibile way and I just sat there and I took it. They were not big guys, to be sure one wonders how guys with that trivial bodyframe may think they can attack safely anyone.

I kept sitting, I kept taking their insults and mockery for a whole full minute which seems an eternity in those cases.
Then I reacted like this: "ok if you really believe I have offended you, I apologize".

This was the toughest situation I ever found myself in. Having to take all that crap and do nothing.
Because you know, I would never, never let my 80 years old father have to see his son fighting.

**dishonourable drums rolling** :DWe call that "getting punked", lol. It's a rough thing to go through. Humiliating and embarassing.

I've found that if you are not going to engage them on their level, which is with name calling and the threat of violence, then you should do or say whatever it is that you think will diffuse the situation. It sounds like you did that.

Edgecrusher
05-03-2012, 07:07 AM
You know the saying wish I knew then what I know now? Well, I guess that can be true when we are speaking about experiences whether in school or at a bar of all places. Some dude rolled up to me in a parking lot and appeared to be non threatening. My heart rate was jacked and adrenalin was pumping in excessive amounts. I was waiting for him to make a move but thank God he was drunk. Either way he wouldn't back off, nor was I. Eventually he got the net and went on his way. All I kept thinking was, what if? My victory came when we both went on our ways and peace was kept.

Chris Parkerson
05-03-2012, 05:42 PM
I was a Brown (Mexican) kid in white-bread schools. I was like you in some respects.
IMO - The two best results of martial training are (1) learning not to invest emotional/reactive stuff into encounters and (2) being able to take the strikes that are thrown at you without letting the "butterflies" rule your awareness.

I am committed to the life-giving sword and have made a living protecting people around the world. Phra Wahu (Thai) the Buddha of protection and just causes watching over my 6.

Autrelle Holland
05-17-2012, 02:51 PM
I used to beat people up for picking on other people. Got tired of feeling bad for hurting folks. Then I found aikido so now I could stop the bullies without hurting them because I didn't know any other way. Sure, folks still get hurt but I don't feel so bad about it ... still got stuff to work on.
I say keep beating on them! How have you been, sir?

Janet Rosen
05-20-2012, 04:40 PM
There is a very well-thought out essay analyzing self-defense from a legal perspective at this blog from Colorado Springs Bujinkan (http://web.me.com/keldaerismaster/Colorado_Springs_Bujinkan/Blog/Entries/2012/5/18_When_it_Comes_to_the_Law,_what_You_Don%E2%80%99t_Know_CAN_Hurt_You.html) I thought worth posting a link to. It critiques the concept of a lethal weapon and points out that if you fire a warning shot or slash at a weapon-holding hand, then you are in a world more legal trouble than if you simply lash out in pure self-defense...realizing of course that you may choose to DO the former but at least don't let on for a moment to anybody that you had that degree of brainpower and of self-control. It also points out that walking into trouble is a whole world different than having trouble walk into you.

Belt_Up
05-20-2012, 08:48 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJX9QnrZtfc is a nice one from another thread.

Credit to Gorgeous George for posting it originally.

Rob Watson
05-21-2012, 11:51 AM
I say keep beating on them! How have you been, sir?

Not dead yet. Thanks for asking!

Autrelle Holland
05-23-2012, 11:22 PM
These are all very interesting stories. There is a bit of irony that I think needs to be addressed. Why is it that we train martial arts, and are still expected to accept violation of self or others? Why is it that when a martial artist, rightfully puts the craft to its proper function, "stopping violence," there is criticism? Frankly, Aikido people can be a bit lofty in that regard. I say, don't start any, and there won't be any. I have done a lot of meaningless mean stuff to people in my past youth, and honestly every time was in defense of self or another. And I always made a point to give the person a way out, to deescalate. It's in their hands at that point. I have never seriously hurt anyone, and I have never been hurt (knock on wood). And in the cases that I had run into that person again, for better or worse, they had reflected on their conduct, for the better.

I made an effort, years ago, to tell some of these stories on an old blog in mind, with the idea that there was something to learn from those experiences, and not just about fighting, but about proper conduct. I got a lot of crap about it from people, but, it is what it is. It's easy to judge negatively. I have seen people, good people, close to me, talk about martial arts as just an expression of violence, done by violent people who are simply overcompensating for some defect in their personality. I have heard those same people say "I wish you were here the other night; I really could have used your help."

Violence is a short term solution to an immediate problem, and is only justified in response to, or the prevention of violence. It's almost that simple.

Autrelle Holland
05-23-2012, 11:23 PM
True.

Said that, my two cents about one of the few dangerous situations that happened to me.

Years ago I was sitting at a restaurant with my dad, who was about 80, and 5 or 6 friends of his, about his age.

For reasons that it is immaterial to explain, out of the blue two guys come to our table and address me saying they were going (nothing less) to kill me (ok, the reason apparently was that they did not like how I answered to a waitress: "are you foking ignoring us intentionally when we ask you something?").

That was the toughest situation I ever faced in my whole life. In fact, the guys were taunting me in every possibile way and I just sat there and I took it. They were not big guys, to be sure one wonders how guys with that trivial bodyframe may think they can attack safely anyone.

I kept sitting, I kept taking their insults and mockery for a whole full minute which seems an eternity in those cases.
Then I reacted like this: "ok if you really believe I have offended you, I apologize".

This was the toughest situation I ever found myself in. Having to take all that crap and do nothing.
Because you know, I would never, never let my 80 years old father have to see his son fighting.

**dishonourable drums rolling** :D

Restraint is an art form for the capable martial artist.

chubbycubbysmash
05-29-2012, 09:05 PM
Was never really picked on at school--but a friend of mine was for being overweight. I recall saying some really nasty and damaging things to the leader of the girl clique until she cried. This was middle school. I learned words can be equally damaging as any punch I'd throw. Years later, my friend who I protected became a bully, and the girl who I made cry became a friend. I also learned that the universe has an interesting sense of humor.

High school was interesting. Two boys were playfighting in the hallway, one was a friend and classmate, the other was a kid I used to tutor. Playfight got serious, classmate began choking the other kid out. Red as a raspberry. I stepped between them (full head shorter than both), they're throwing punches over my head. Within a few more seconds, more male friends came and pulled them apart because they were worried I was going to get hit. I learned that if you sufficiently put yourself at risk, have enough friends, people might come to your rescue. Especially if you're a chick.

High school again. My high school was connected to a college. Was walking out of the gym one day texting on my cell phone when some college student came up to me and took my phone right out of my hands. He started going through my numbers right in front of me as I was bewildered and tried to figure out if I knew the guy. Bunch of male friends saw what happened, surrounded him and forced him to give me back my phone, walked me to class, and wouldn't let me out of their sights for the day. Lesson I learned was: if you love and protect others, they will love and protect you back. Oh, and speak up next time, don't stand there gawking stupidly while someone does something weird to you.

High school again, go to a friends birthday party where two opposing gangs were invited. Fight breaks out, noses broken, heads butted, punches almost thrown. At first guys from both sides made us girls stay in, but when one guy floored a friend, I stepped out, yelled at all my friends to get in their and my 'effing car--now! Are you idiots going to make me repeat myself?' Everyone pauses, I must have looked ready to murder someone, but my friends finally listen, we leave. Right before I get an apology from one of the other crew's sober members. Everyone gets home alive. Lesson learned: it's good to be sober sometimes, even at a party. Also, alcohol makes stupid people even stupider. And winning does not mean you allow your friends to get into fights and possibly hurt or incarcerated. Yelling like you're their mother helps. Lots.

College, started aikido, dating my now husband, waiting for him at the dojo because I don't have a key. Jeep drives by, stops, reverses, parks right next to me. Did I mention it's raining? Guy comes out, asks for directions, starts chatting me up, don't think anything of it until he started to try and get me into his car. It was probably a bad idea to have told him my boyfriemd was late and stuck in traffic five minutes before. Guy still won't leave, keeps trying to get me to go into his car. Creep meter going way off, I text the boyfriend--who turned out to be a few minutes away--he comes careening down the road, gets out of the van and starts walking towards us, creep takes one look at him and breaks into a run. Manages to get into his van and leaves. Then boyfriend is very upset with me. Lesson learned: "Come into my car, I'll take you somewhere to wait out the rain" is probably a metaphor for something else, and don't take them up on the offer, especially if the words "I'm probably too old for you" and "my last girlfriend was chinese" had appeared in the conversation not two sentences before.

Also, take down the license plate.

Also, don't talk to strangers.

Also, crazy people don't care if you do martial arts, if your boyfriend does martial arts, or if you are standing in front of a martial arts school. Don't rely on that for safety.

Also, husband's face can turn an interesting shade of red, the likes of which you have only seen on the rear end of a baboon on NatGeo when he thinks you've put yourself in an exceedingly stupid or dangerous position.

Also, make sure you remember faces because you don't want to be the idiot who runs into the same guy who is waiting for you outside of the dojo two weeks later, and only by the saving grace of the universe were there a large amount of members that he doesn't say much and only after he leaves do you remember why he looks familiar. Yeah. Been there, done that.

Police on speed-dial might be handy.

Biggest lesson learned: POLITENESS AND SYMPATHY WILL SOMETIMES KILL YOU.

(which I will probably promptly forget the moment another strange man comes up to me and ask me to help his hurt puppy.)

Abasan
05-29-2012, 10:21 PM
You sound like a 'Bella'.

nerez3
09-12-2012, 06:52 PM
You sound like a 'Bella'.
This.

Lets go put myself at risk, oh wait, I have friends to back me up!
You are extremely lucky. Dont take this the wrong way but while reading your story all I could think of was the typical high school princess. I didnt read the topic as dangerous situations I like to stupidly place myself in.

To OP, you are amazing. It truly takes some resiliense to survive that abuse.

Chris Evans
09-20-2012, 02:16 PM
The most dangerous situations in my life haven't involved other human beings.

me two. so glad we had our "heavy" rifle then: whew! ...and no beings got hurt, we just scared poop-less... aikido or karate no good on 600# bears.

Rob Watson
09-20-2012, 02:50 PM
And in the cases that I had run into that person again, for better or worse, they had reflected on their conduct, for the better.

I missed this bit before. I think it is reflective of what I've interpreted as the promise of aikido. Sadly, those that I've run across again also have appeared to be 'reformed' but only when I was around - I have heard from others that they could likely use another 'adjustment'. Perhaps I was too easy on them the first time.

soupdragon1973
02-02-2013, 04:37 AM
Old post I know. Sorry to hear of the bullying you experienced Alic, it makes it all the more awful reading it as you had come to a new country and didnt know the language. I was bullied in my home country and it was bad enough but as a child I spent two years in America and fortunately wasnt bullied. I adopted an American accent as a kid to fit as I didnt think my peers would understand broad Yorkshire accent lol. As for the scissors incident, I understand your intent and you were showing anger and you learnt from that and wouldnt use that kind of force again, dangerous as it was at the time.

As children we percieve situations that are dangerous at the time that as adults we might take a different perspective on. Being a child and being confronted by a group of 5-6 other children that are threatening or willing to beat the crap out of you is very scary and our body will tell us 'this is dangerous'. As an adult being confronted by a 5-6 adults with the same intent IS dangerous, you can be beat to death and I hear often of stories of people who were killed by one punch, the punch knocked them to the floor and the victim hit their head on the floor in such a way that it knocked them unconcious and killed them.

As for dangerous situations, I have had a knife pulled on me twice, one situation I feared I might have gotten stabbed and the other I think it was more bravado and a threat as I knew the guy weilding the knife. The situation I feared I might have gotten stabbed I ran,ran as fast as I have ever run. The guy weilding the knife, his friend ran in the pub across the street to get his friends inside and soon as I saw them come out I ran down the street. I had boots on a rucksack on my back full of stuff but they couldnt catch me. This was 21 years ago, long before I ever took up martial arts.

Other than that, no real dangerous situations like earthquakes, robbers, fires or dangerous dogs. As I live in UK never seen a gun crime or gun aimed at me. It does happen but I have never seen it. A guy once threatened to point a gun at me, blow my head off but I just ignored him, I think he was bluffing and on drugs but I got on my bike and cycled away. Just and idiot. Shook me up though.

sakumeikan
02-02-2013, 06:24 PM
I bullied bullies.

Demetrio, Bully for you!! Rather than stopping the practice of bullying you became one yourself.Hardly an action which I would consider appropriate.Violence of any sort breeds violence.You would think that after countless wars and millions dead humanity would have realised this by now.Unfortunately this is not the case so bullying [small scale ]and wars [large scale ] just creates pain for the victims.I do hope we reach
a point whereby weapons can be turned into ploughshares.Cheers, Joe.

Messias
02-08-2013, 10:06 PM
Well... I live in São Paulo, Brasil, since 2010. And before that in Luanda, Angola.
I´ve been quite in a lot of countries and seen a lot of strange situations, but I have never, ever, seen such amount of extreme daily violence as here... (ok, I could throw Venezuela in as well).
Here, there´s no "fancy movie stunts" that can save your ass in a tight situation. There is absolutely no "honourable fights" and you´re walking looking above your shoulder.

For those not used to something like this beside in Hollywood movies, it can sound exagerated...but it´s not. Here, guns impose the rules and you see them on a daily basis.
Police standard trafic road control operations are held with glocks and shotguns at hand, on a basis of "shoot first, ask later". 3 months ago some engineer got shot in the head because the "officer" mistaked the cell phone for a gun. "Sorry", they say...To make things worse, last year the local gang (the biggest) declared war on the police. As a result, 93 (and counting) dead officers in broad daylight executions, from shopping malls, to streets... and police stations! Wow...
All summed up it was something around 5.732 homicides last year alone (only this town, of course), not counting the ones that die later at the hospital, nor the ones classified as other than plain homicide (just for the record, robbery that ends up with a dead citizen, does not count towards this numbers)

I live in a building with electrical fences, barbed wires, double gates at the garage (so you enter in a sort of "bunker" prior to getting in the real garage)...the same thing with on-foot access, a bunch of security guards, guns, armored cars and a lot of other stuff that would fill the eyes of the common "civilized-country-action-movie-fan". But it´s living like that for me... and the rest of the neighbourhood!
Just 600mts from here starts a famous "favela" (shanty town) with aprox. 108.000 inhabitants, mostly good people, but out of 108 thousand... there are always a few not so pleasant and peacefull.
After dark, almost all traffic lights become "optional" (although car-lights also seem to be) and you just don´t walk the streets.

I never studied martial arts and the reason I´ve started now has nothing to do with "getting out of trouble". It could help... but not in these kind of environment!

The only possible and feasable defense is... avoid confrontation!
Be alert, anticipate... and avoid.

I´m just starting but I wonder,.. is that Aikido? :rolleyes:

Cheers,
Messias.

sakumeikan
02-09-2013, 05:07 PM
Dear Messias,
Who cares what you call your policy of avoiding trouble or confrontation? Call it Aikido or whatever.I call it using your head and showing common sense.Cheers, Joe.

sakumeikan
02-09-2013, 05:14 PM
Messias,
Sounds like you live in a nice residential area.I bet real estate prices are high.Do you think the area might change from a quiet rural suburb and change into an urban nightmare? Cheers, Joe.

Messias
02-09-2013, 09:55 PM
Messias,
Sounds like you live in a nice residential area.I bet real estate prices are high.Do you think the area might change from a quiet rural suburb and change into an urban nightmare? Cheers, Joe.

:D Yeap... It´s getting harder and harder to find cattle arround the house :D
But surprisingly the real estate prices go sky-high in this area! (some really crazy people).

Well, but my long "speech" up there, was just to pass the idea that my level of understanding iminent "menace" and possible reaction, has kept changing throught the places I lived in. In this one, there are actually zero-to-none chances of self defense. Fights are usually unfair and done 100ft apart from your oponent.

Damn shame...

Cheers,
Messias