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SteliosPapadakis
07-18-2012, 01:34 AM
Standing by the beach, early afternoon, awaiting for my elder son to finish with his swimming training.
A group of teenagers gathers around a same age bossy guy. You average teenage picture, boys and girls (10-12 of them) in their swimsuits. The guy in the middle gives orders to the group, like "you! now leave", "you! go there". The orders are followed without second thought by his peers.
Small type gang, i think.
Yet what can possibly go wrong? We are in a beach, it is 16:00 in the afternoon, the beach is full of people of all ages.
Then the group moves 10-15 metres up towards the road. I keep watching but cannot hear what they say anymore.
I can see that the "bossy" guy talks calmly to another lad. They stand very close to each other, less that a metre away pelvis to pelvis. They talk and look each other in the eyes. No gesturing, no tightness in the body language.
Suddenly the bossy guy moves his fist with enormous power and fierce speed back and forth towards the belly of the other guy.
The latter steps back and begins to run holding his abdomen. By the time he runs close to me i can see that his has been slashed as blood floods out running down his legs as he runs.
Police came later, them had all vanished.
The question, maybe thought more precisely, stands.
The distance was very close. "uke" and "tori" were a foot or two from each other. No warning to alarm on intentions (none i could tell, at least), no visual with the hands (on the victim's side).
Was there any chance of defence?

JJF
07-18-2012, 02:32 AM
First of all: I hope the guy is okay, and that you are too. It must have been a quite unpleasant experience.

Defence aganist that attack would probably not be possible once the situation has gone so far as you describe. Maybe there is the odd chance that a very skilled martial artist would have reacted on the shift of the guys balance, flicker in the eyes or what ever other sign one can pick up.

In my opinion the best defence in this particular situation is to not get into such close contact with a possible assailant - nor to allow the situation to escalate to such a point. This is a lot easier said than done, but the sooner a dangerous situation can be sensed, the easier it can be avoided.

If somebody really want to hurt you, and they are cold and experienced enough to lure you into a situation to there advantage, then there is little to no chance of getting out of it unharmed regardless of how much practice you have. A knife, a gun, a hand grenade... something will be more than you can cope with.

Once again - I hope the victim is okay.

JJ

TokyoZeplin
07-18-2012, 05:17 AM
Echoing what Jørgen said, sounds like a horrible experience, and I hope the guy is doing OK!

I don't really see a defence for that. Not just with Aikido, but with any martial art. If you are already that close, and the knife isn't visible, then I doubt that anyone would have fast enough a reaction time to block the attack. And not only block it, but block it in a way appropriate for a knife attack.

The average human reaction time is, what, around 0.3 seconds, right? Even if a martial artist, through training, could cut that in half, that might not be enough to completely avoid the slash. Especially if it was as fast as you said. And if it really looked like they were just being casual and doing small talk, then chances are the guy that was slashed, never saw it coming, didn't expect it at all. You'd really have to be a very skilful and highly trained Martial Artist to avoid something like that, no matter the style.

Belt_Up
07-18-2012, 06:45 AM
I don't really see a defence for that. Not just with Aikido,

You haven't started aikido training yet.

They stand very close to each other, less that a metre away pelvis to pelvis. They talk and look each other in the eyes. No gesturing, no tightness in the body language.

Sounds like a typical "squaring up" situation to me. They're often a precursor to a fight and that the situation went beyond talking shouldn't surprise anyone.

The average human reaction time is, what, around 0.3 seconds, right?

180-200 milliseconds for a simple visual stimulus. http://biae.clemson.edu/bpc/bp/Lab/110/reaction.htm#Type%20of%20Stimulus

phitruong
07-18-2012, 06:59 AM
The distance was very close. "uke" and "tori" were a foot or two from each other. No warning to alarm on intentions (none i could tell, at least), no visual with the hands (on the victim's side).
Was there any chance of defence?

at that distance, the chance for defense is very low, almost none. in that sort of situation, the best defense is offensive, attack first.

Benjamin Green
07-18-2012, 07:14 AM
Once the attack was in the air, no I don't think there's much chance of defence. Especially a defence that would have been effective enough to stop the other person quickly enough to render the knife a non-issue. Squaring up is intimidating entirely because it makes defence almost impossible. Beforehand he could probably have backed down though, or escalated the situation himself and retained some degree of control.

Cliff Judge
07-18-2012, 07:36 AM
An effective defense for this type of attack would have had to begin before the attacker's body was in motion at all.

TokyoZeplin
07-18-2012, 07:44 AM
You haven't started aikido training yet.
Man, what's up with you... you've been taking a stab (no pun intended) at me in 3 threads, in the last 20 minutes.
By all means, then, explain to me how apparently Aikido has a defence for this situation?
Lets recap:
Standing close, talking casual, you are not aware an attack is coming, you are relaxed and unaware of danger, you do not know the person has a knife, and the strike comes with "enormous power and fierce speed".

Please, enlighten me as to what technique would allow you to properly defend in this situation.
Are you honestly telling me, that you believe that you, or an average person, and even a "skilled person", training Aikido, would be able to defend in such a situation?
So far, the other replies would disagree with you.
And if you aren't saying that... then what's up with your reply to me?

180-200 milliseconds for a simple visual stimulus. http://biae.clemson.edu/bpc/bp/Lab/110/reaction.htm#Type%20of%20Stimulus
Average median reaction time, 215ms. Personally I'm all the way up a bit above 300.
http://www.humanbenchmark.com/tests/reactiontime/index.php

Dazzler
07-18-2012, 08:21 AM
Aikido defence - Maai...distance.

Non Aikido defence - look up The Fence & Geoff Thompson.

anyone thats done even the smallest amount of verbal training will recognise the symptoms of an impending attack. You don't need waving hands or great big signals...a single word, a nod of the head...a fixed stare or gritting of the teeth. Any of these are clues that someone is puffing themselves up for a bit of reputation building at the victims expense.

Of course there are no guarantees....the real circumstances here are hidden but you don't need to be a genius to work out that standing in front of someone and arguing can be a recipe for disaster.

Regards

D

SeiserL
07-18-2012, 08:43 AM
Look up Sensei Dye in Costa Mesa, CA. For LEO, he teaches Aikido on one tatami mat. Close range, hallway space.

IMHO, Aikido usually trains against and attack, not an ambush. But its still very applicable.

BTW, love Thompson's fence.

Situation awareness sees the set up before the attack/ambush.

Mark Harrington
07-18-2012, 08:56 AM
Distance is the defense. Ma-ai , stepping back and speaking with someone at slightly more than arm's length so that they have to take a step and give away their intention to attack is crucial.

phitruong
07-18-2012, 09:24 AM
Distance is the defense. Ma-ai , stepping back and speaking with someone at slightly more than arm's length so that they have to take a step and give away their intention to attack is crucial.

your statement reminded me of this movie http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTT4Kw-wohA

Belt_Up
07-18-2012, 10:25 AM
By all means, then, explain to me how apparently Aikido has a defence for this situation?


I never claimed or implied it did. My point was quite separate from that.

TokyoZeplin
07-18-2012, 10:36 AM
Distance is the defense. Ma-ai , stepping back and speaking with someone at slightly more than arm's length so that they have to take a step and give away their intention to attack is crucial.

Obviously that would work, but I don't (as far as I understood it) think that was the original question. Rather, the question was if there was a defence for that specific situation - where you are NOT standing far away, but rather very close.
There are certainly psychopathic people out there, who would show no hint of doing you harm, before it was too late. To me it sounds like the guy was practically set up for a "hit", called up for a casual chat, nothing alarming, and BANG out of nowhere.

I never claimed or implied it did. My point was quite separate from that.

Then I don't understand the relevance of what you were saying at all.
My answer was not specific to Aikido, it was a matter of human reaction time and circumstances. I don't see any Martial Art, or any technique, that could have avoided the attack, unless you were a very honed master.

Benjamin Green
07-18-2012, 10:38 AM
your statement reminded me of this movie http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTT4Kw-wohA

Whole thread reminds me of something that was on Dan's blog recently

http://dandjurdjevic.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/introduction-surviving-that-nasty-first.html

Especially this vid.

http://youtu.be/AJfsdBn7UYE

Belt_Up
07-18-2012, 10:57 AM
Whole thread reminds me of something that was on Dan's blog recently

http://dandjurdjevic.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/introduction-surviving-that-nasty-first.html

Especially this vid.

http://youtu.be/AJfsdBn7UYE

Good stuff.

Then I don't understand the relevance of what you were saying at all.

That's been happening to you a lot on here.

TokyoZeplin
07-18-2012, 11:07 AM
:freaky: Whole thread reminds me of something that was on Dan's blog recently

http://dandjurdjevic.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/introduction-surviving-that-nasty-first.html

Especially this vid.

http://youtu.be/AJfsdBn7UYE

Super interesting, that right there!

That's been happening to you a lot on here.

Well, if I aknowledge I don't get your point, and you still refuse to explain it, then we aren't going to get anywhere then, now are we :crazy:

Rob Watson
07-18-2012, 11:17 AM
Surrounded by 10-12 folks in a semi-unified group ... yeah, never saw a thing coming. Right. When was the last time you were surrounded and did not have all kinds of 'spidey-sense' bells going off? Common sense is a prerequisite for any successful violent encounter.

I can't even hang out with that many of my own family without getting twitchy.

I'll bet there is quite a back story to all this that put things into context that might even make some sort of sense.

Basia Halliop
07-18-2012, 03:20 PM
I don't know how much defense there would be by the time they got in that close to each other.

But, OTOH, the guy sounds creepy just from your description before then... normal friends don't order each other around like trained dogs.

So in that sense, maybe it might have been preventable. Don't hang around with assholes?

Belt_Up
07-18-2012, 04:05 PM
Well, if I aknowledge I don't get your point, and you still refuse to explain it, then we aren't going to get anywhere then, now are we

I'm not looking to "get anywhere". I made a very simple point. Incredibly simple. Why should I go on to elucidate further, if I cannot make it any simpler. If there were 253 working defences in aikido from an attack like that, how many would you know? Please take some advice, and wind your neck in a little bit.

Mark Harrington
07-18-2012, 04:10 PM
Obviously that would work, but I don't (as far as I understood it) think that was the original question. Rather, the question was if there was a defence for that specific situation - where you are NOT standing far away, but rather very close.

Philip,

I think ma-ai is the answer to an effective defense, because I think the attack had begun some time before the actual weapon was used. The attack did not begin when he slashed the victim, it began when he was talking, closing the distance, setting up his position, looking for a moment of inattention. To phrase the question, "what is the effective defense?", should allow that the defense can begin at the same time as the attack.

James Sawers
07-18-2012, 05:28 PM
Ma-ai, distance, is a good defense against a knife. My hand-to-hand combat instructor in the army used to say that you run from a knife and charge a gun (you can't out run a bullet, so goes the theory). But, if you have to get in a knife fight, expect to be cut, just try to make sure you are not cut in a vital area before you manage to take down the other guy or make your escape....

As for an aikido defense against such an attack, I think it is good to remember that while aikido is generally characterized as a "defensive" martial art this does not mean that you just have to stand there and wait till some aggressor makes an overt move against you. Aikido training also has to do with observing your surroundings and other people. If you perceive an imminent attack, nothing in aikido says (just the opposite, in fact) that you can't do a preemptive strike of your own against your attacker.

tlk52
07-19-2012, 10:32 AM
yes, ma-ai and constant vigilance etc... but

the Chinese martial arts have a saying that I don't remember exactly, something to the effect that "anyone can make themselves unbeatable but that to do it you have to make yourself into a savage beast"

ie: Samurai from the warring states period (or even the stories about Sokaku Takeda) who basically considered anyone within a few feet of them as possible enemies, especially any groups. never relaxing garde, always being armed and even sleeping with weapons, etc... living as if in a mortal threat situation at all times.

most of us wouldn't want to, and probably don't need to, live with that consciousness. but in threatening situations it's something to remember re the ma-ai. if their standing where they can touch you then you're in active danger.

*there's a self defense program (http://www.rmcat.com/) that demonstrates exactly this attack (they describe it on their website) . the instructor with a concealed practice knife starts talking pleasantly to the group and moves close to someone, puts his hand on their shoulder, and suddenly pulls the knife out stabs several times

and a very interesting self defense site (not "how to" techniques is http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/

here's a quote
"Let's start with the fact that the self defense defense is an affirmative defense.

Go back and read that again, it's important. An affirmative defense means, by claiming self-defense, you are coming out and saying "I did it."

Specifically, you are admitting to actions that are normally a crime.

Read that again, you're admitting to what is 99% of the time, a crime. But, you are saying that you did those actions in order to stop the same criminal act from being unjustly done to you.

Once you claim 'self-defense' you can't go back and say "Well, I didn't mean that" when -- and if -- things start going badly for you. You've confessed already. Even if it started as self-defense, if you crossed the line, you've just plead guilty to it.

Let's add another term to your legal repertoire: Burden of Proof

By using the self-defense defense, the responsibility of proof is on you! You're no longer innocent proven guilty! By confessing, you're guilty until YOU can demonstrate differently! YOU have to PROVE that what you did was not only self-defense, but justified. It isn't self-defense just because you say it was (Remember both sides in a fight claiming it was 'self defense?'). So right off the bat, you're going to have some explaining to do.

This is why it is important to know where your actions stop being self-defense and turn you into an aggressor. If, upon investigation, it is found that you crossed the line from self-defense into assault, you've confessed to that too."

a

JJF
07-19-2012, 12:14 PM
your statement reminded me of this movie http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTT4Kw-wohA

Made me think of this one
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_vvI26NnwE

Slightly different approach, but still.. if you don't train for realistic situations..

sakumeikan
07-19-2012, 12:38 PM
Made me think of this one
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_vvI26NnwE

Slightly different approach, but still.. if you don't train for realistic situations..

Dear Phi,
If you look for Tommy Cooper Karate Instructor on youtube you will P yourself laughing.Give yourself a taste of British comedy. Cheers, Joe

James Sawers
07-19-2012, 04:08 PM
Toby:

This is a good site, full of useful info: http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/

But the question was is there an aikido defense against the attack in the proposed scenario, not is there a legally defensible attack. Personally, I would rather be around to tell my side of the story than not be. Also, a defense does not have to be lethal or even that destructive, just enough to keep you safe.

SeiserL
07-19-2012, 06:27 PM
*and a very interesting self defense site (not "how to" techniques is http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/

And a really good guy.
Always worth a read and a ponder.
Highly recommend.

Hilary
07-19-2012, 07:16 PM
If you have to react to this then you are done. If you are already mentally connected to uke then you can control him. Looking him in the eye is a distraction, your mind is focused on his face (the brain spends a lot of time on faces, they are great distracters). You should be controlling him by slight moments and leading him to inconvenient postures before the attack. I assume the knife was not in the attacker’s hand (if it was, why would anyone let him get that close) so he had to reach for it. That requires uke to move and that is when you enter or exit, and no, it is not easy or a sure thing. Obviously the kid was not trained and even if, not likely to have the presence of mind to not look at the face, keep hands in front , pick up on subtle cues of intent and lead uke through small movements etc. To defend against sudden unexpected attack requires skills at the no mind level and even then nothing is certain.

TokyoZeplin
07-20-2012, 09:12 AM
Philip,

I think ma-ai is the answer to an effective defense, because I think the attack had begun some time before the actual weapon was used. The attack did not begin when he slashed the victim, it began when he was talking, closing the distance, setting up his position, looking for a moment of inattention. To phrase the question, "what is the effective defense?", should allow that the defense can begin at the same time as the attack.

I completely understand what you're saying, but that's more down the line of avoiding the attack, or making sure it never gets to that (or gets to such an unfavourable situation). Of course, I could have missundestood the question, but as I read it, what I got was "once you're in that situation, is there a defence that could work effectively?" - just saying "avoid getting in the situation" isn't really answering that. Sure, it would be good to do, if you can, but not really an answer.

And that's assuming a lot of things about the attacker. From the description, it sounds to me like it was a person he knew, and someone that he had no clue would do such a thing. Everything that people so far has posted, is under the assumption that you can feel a bad vibe going, that can "see the attack coming", so to speak. While most of us are lucky enough not to know people crazy enough to do this, there are psychopaths insane enough to set up a kill on someone they closely know, and do so in a calm non-threatening manner.

Kevin Leavitt
07-20-2012, 09:51 AM
A big part of the problem for me is "when you gain or begin to percieve knowledge about what is happening". That is the crux of the whole issue or at least a large part of it that dictates success.

We all like to think that we have time to deal with it the fact of the mater is we may or may not....most likely if we are in a H2H situation, then we are already at a huge disadvantage...assuming we are in a defensive situation.

I read through the no nonsense website a little.

I have a small issue with the psychology that attempts to mitigate or reason with violence. That is...going through the stages to of violence. In theory I agree...but IMO if we are in a violent encounter..the irony is we did not recognize the first three stages.

The caution I have is developing the mindset that we can reason with things or prevent it. It is fine, however, IMO attacks come when we don't expect them, we are surprised by them, and we are usually on the losing end of things and that is when martial skill and the ability to mitgate or recover from it physically matters.

So, from my simple perspective...you are either winning or losing...it is that simple. If you are winning it means you did something to gain dominance on your opponent...if you are not...then you are losing and need to do something to regain.

So, that means from the start of the fight you either pre-empt....or you are allowing your opponent to pre-empt (or start)...if he starts...then he dictates terms and you are responding...which means you are losing..even if for seconds until you gain control.

Ironically, we study this very relationship in Aikido. However, I think it gets lost in translation through romantic notions that say we can reason with our opponent and buy time and try to resolve things peacefully, while allowing the opponent to dictate the terms of the relationship.

For me, if I am concerned with someone physically attacking me, then I am going to dictate the terms of the realtionship. I am sure if I read through the website more I'd see that he is advocating that...I hope.

Positioning is a big part of it, IMO...not giving your opponent an opening.

That said....I'd hesitate to get too far along trying to reason with someone while they were trying to "interview" me. Not saying that the website is advocating it...just that I think some might take this perspective.

Again, my position is, that in reality, I don't think you have much knowledge that this interview is happening prior to an attack...or you failed to recognize it. Yeah...maybe learning to recognize the signs and mitigate this "interviews" is important skills to have. Absolutely. Being in the nature of work that I am in...I can say that I am pretty good at this process and feel I have avoided much by percieving risk, identifying risk, and mitigating them through positioning.

However, martially...I think in our training we spend way too much time on parity or practicing from the standpoint that puts us in a position that says "yeah, I recognize what is happening and dealing with it".

I think we martially we need to either practice krav maga style that says violence of action rules and I am going to physically pre-empt...which can be a dangerous proposition asa far as self defense.

Or, we recognize that we are most likely in a situation of failure martially and practice things that allow us to recover and gain control.

Garth
07-20-2012, 10:52 AM
Or, we recognize that we are most likely in a situation of failure martially and practice things that allow us to recover and gain control.

Agree as in try to regain or get ahead of the "OODA' loop again, ( I think) as Kevin has explained before.

Quick related matter as it happened to me yesterday.
I was driving my son to practice yesterday in a residential suburb yesterday, (Staten Island which is not exactly NYC if you dont know, totally opposite) and noticed what appeared to be a "homeless" type person standing on the corner of busy thorofare/intersection. Certainly by manner of dress(shabby/dirty ) and actions(rocking back and forth on his heels) , he looked out of place.
+1 for me because I noticed. Defcon 1 or yellow alert.
5 to 10 minutes later I am returning along the same thorofare and low behold he is still there (buses run like every 5 minutes here) , BUT now I am stopped right there at a red light. AKA sitting duck.
Window is down , person in question steps off curb and looks to be crossing street .( also hood is up on a hot summer day and he is looking at the floor) . As he crosses in front of my car( 2nd lane from him) he makes a bee line for my window. Oh forgot to mention Defcon 4 here as thoughts of what I should do are now pulsing thru my head at his first step towards me and boring holes thru him with laser stare. Cant blow the red light,cant run the guy down, I am not armed and am sitting in a car behind the wheel. ( I understand as the enviroment changes so should I here)
The only thing I could do is roll up the window and lock the doors, without looking like a total maniac.
4-5 feet from window he looks up and sees I am not "happy" stops and with a slightly off kilter voice asks for money without taking another step. Once I see his eyes and hear his voice, I can tell he is "off" a couple of cards.
Now, a couple of things. Street begging although rarer now since Mayor Giuliani cleaned up the place in the 90s can be very sucessful in New York especially by non native NYers who still believe in the goodness of people (IE recent transplants to NY have softer hearts and readily give)( an over generaliztion but witnessed non the less). Also, I realized immediately after my encounter that I could have just rolled the window up no matter how inhuman or unmanly that is deemed to be), but also realized that at the time I had locked my self into a confrontation or relationship with this person by sitting there with the window open. Had he had ill intentions, I would have been forced to deal with it from a seated position of a car in gear. Other options? not many unless you practice this sought of thing at least in your head. Throw the car in park quickly, maybe? Watch the light to change to green while I delayed him with BS and speed off?(some suburban traffic lights are notoriously long). Mace??
I am thankful for the awareness, but as we can see here and in Colorado last night, there are certain situations that lend itself to putting you behind the loop .. very fast.
Besides most people in aikido it seems to me, dont seem like confrontation initiators, so what to do?
:confused:

Basia Halliop
07-20-2012, 01:05 PM
"Everything that people so far has posted, is under the assumption that you can feel a bad vibe going, that can "see the attack coming", so to speak."

Maybe it's just the words that were chosen in the original description -- describing the group as a 'gang' and talking about how one ordered the others around and they obeyed unquestioningly.

To me, those DID seem like massive warning signs in this particular case that even if the victim might not have expected the guy to do anything quite that bad, or may not have thought he himself would be a victim, that it was at very least clearly not a healthy situation or 'friendship' to be in.

Of course it's hard to write something like that in an unbiased way once you've seen how it ended, so maybe it wouldn't have seemed so creepy in real life.

But to me the description sounded creepy long long before he got to the stabbing part.

Of course it's theoretically possible to literally be a victim 'out of the blue' but it's about a million times more likely to happen to you if you go hanging around in stupid situations.

SteliosPapadakis
07-21-2012, 01:33 AM
But to me the description sounded creepy long long before he got to the stabbing part.

And it was, believe me on that.
I am an ex marine, have seen a couple of things in my life and been in another couple of constipated situations myself. But this was out of every description (or maybe i am getting old or more cautious since i fathered children) i have encountered so far. Children, bright daylight, very crowded open public place, absence of shouting or gesturing, blind obedience... Creepy indeed! I have been scared once or twice in my life but right there i was gasping for guts! So intense it was that i assumed camae (although i was more that 10-15 metres away from the stabbing) and soon as the son's lesson in the water ended i rushed, covered him in the huge towel and rushed for the car without any delay.
Indeed, proper maae would (might, could) have been the only solution so as to avoid the attack but once it commenced i see no way out of it...
Thank you all for your posts, great inspiration and food for thought.
:)

Sasha Mrkailo
07-23-2012, 02:30 PM
For what its worth, I had a situation a couple of nights ago. A drunk person was kind of intimidating toward my group of friends. When I asked him to move away he did so, but some buddy of this guy was acting as his backup muscle and closed up to my face. I felt a wave of aggression coming from him, not from his words of or anything, yet his approach instantly fired a red alarm in my head. No way I could know if he had weapons or was preparing a sneak attack. Without any conscious thought about it I pushed him instantly away from me, at full power. He was a strong guy and didn't fall down, but he was pushed for a couple of meters away from me. He reconsidered his approach, and withdraw immediately.

The point of this story? If there is aggression in the air, and he is in your space he is already attacking you. It's a dangerous place to be in.

Honestly, I am glad I didn't hurt him. Yet I think, in retrospection, I've could managed to completely avoid this confrontation. I guess this would be the real aikido.

Aikido as a martial art did not fail me. In mu view, aikido is a martial art in the first place, and this is how I approach my training. Yes, it strives to transcend violence, but it's hard, if not impossible to learn inner meaning of aikido if the martial element of it is not understood or if it cant be applied in thorny situations. If it is just about mumbo jumbo, peace harmonizing bunnies, you loose both the martial element and the deeper meaning of aikido.

Chop wood, carry water before enlightenment. Chop wood carry water after the enlightenment.
Practice martial art before enlightenment, practice martial art after the enlightenment.