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cbrf4zr2
07-15-2002, 10:45 AM
So I'm testing for 2nd Kyu in 2 weeks and some change, and I've been doing some more reading of posts and stories and how other Aikido practioners think and act - or at least how they say they do. And I'm reading stories about how a "true Aikidoka" would run away, would play dead, would be a pacifist, basically it says to me they would do "nothing" that they spend doing in countless hours of training. I then see more re-enforcement of other chiming in with "Yes - that's true Aikido," or other variants which lend creedence that in Aikido you should always run away, or feign injury, or the like. I look at that and say, "What's the point in even physically training?" Why not just take up some non physical training that prepares you to recognize situations to just run away or any of the other previous examples?

I know how to run, I know how to lay on the ground and play dead. If this is Aikido - why am I spending $60/month and training hour upon countless hour, if "real Aikido" is being a giant wuss?

I took Aikido so I don't have to run away, so I could stand up for myself, etc...

Does it make me a "bad" Aikidoka because I won't run away if someone attacks me or leads on that they might?

rachmass
07-15-2002, 11:03 AM
I remember a old parable told to me by a karate teacher back in the 1980's, and hope I get it right....

A group of students were sitting around asking the old karate master about how he would have handled being attacked in a dark alley by a mugger before he started training. His response was "run like he...".
Then the students proceeded to ask him "oh venerable master, now that you have achieved such stature and abilities after all these years of constant practice, what would you do now?" to this, the old master replied:
"run with confidence".

Maybe that helps :-)

All the best, and just keep practicing.

cbrf4zr2
07-15-2002, 11:07 AM
Not really...

I hate to sound condescending but, if I wanted to "run with confidence" I could join the Grand Rapids Track Club. So I take it I'm a bad Aikido since I don't want to run?

rachmass
07-15-2002, 11:17 AM
Nah, not at all. Just trying to add a bit of levity to my response. People train in martial arts for all sorts of different reasons.

I think what the teacher was trying to get at could have been that he still would have walked away from a bad situation, but that he would have been able to respond forcefully if necessary.

My aikido teacher says that you have to know how to kill so as to be able not to kill (not his direct quote). I know what he is trying to talk about is the sword that gives life, not taking it away. The knowledge that you could severely hurt someone through your training, but that you have learned enough not to.

Best

Erik
07-15-2002, 12:06 PM
The point is not to win or lose, it's not to get hurt. How you do that is up to you.

pointy
07-15-2002, 12:55 PM
how about this situation - let's say you are a kindergarden teacher and one of your students gets really angry, saying he wants to hit you. are you going to fight a 6 year old that couldnt hurt you if he tried?

most rational people would probably take the attitude of "im at least 3 or 4 times this kid's age height and weight, i'd better not do anything to hurt him." one thing you probably wouldnt do is break his wrist or knock him unconcious.

could you do it? of course you could. would you? noooooo

aikido is an system that allow us to defuse a potentially violent situation with this point of view. if your skills are at a good level you wont need to beat the snot out of a 6 year old, some spaced out crackhead, a drunk or whoever it is that is attacking you.

no one's telling you not to use your aikido if you need it. does that mean you should act like jean claude van damme in some stupid 80's movie? i hope at 2nd kyu an aikidoka would act more sensibly than that.

now what if that pissed off 6 year old had a knife? or a gun?

it's not a black and white situation. if i'm face to face with an attacker and have ample opportunity to run, with no further danger to myself, why would i want to fight? it just makes the situation more complex than it needs to be. im going to take the simplest path to end the conflict.

if an attacker's punch has been thrown and is on it's way to my face, im gonna move.

if my back is to a cliff and when i irimi, he falls over the cliff, am i going to chase him down there and keep the fight going?

aiki_what
07-15-2002, 01:53 PM
Yes you are.....now go punish yourself.

Kensai
07-15-2002, 02:44 PM
If that is a bad Aikidoka, then so am I.

The way of Harmony is the balance between, Ying and Yang, Right and wrong, life and death. If someone threated me and I did EVERYTHING I could to get out of the situation, then I would use the skills that I have been taught to their fullest effect. I am no coward.
Aikido is about balancing wrongs with rights.

"One who has gained the secret of Aikido has the universe in himself. He is never defeated, however fast the enemy may attack. It is not because his technique is faster than that of the enemy. It is not a question of speed or strength. The fight is over before it is begun."
O Sensei.

To question your "morality" of Aikido is a great thing. Fighting your inner demons, the true enemy. A great question.

Train Well

Deb Fisher
07-15-2002, 03:56 PM
Bad aikidoka? Who is any of us to judge that kind of worth?

On the other hand, is this a smart or useful way to think about training? I've said this before - I maintain that any martial art is a heavily ritualized and abstracted form of fighting, and for that matter, it's usually based on a mutually consensual fight in which the partners are squaring off at eachother.

If I ever need to face off and 'duel' anyone, well... I'll thank my lucky stars that I can unleash my martial arts prowess. (Let me add to that - I also will know exactly what to do if some scofflaw actually grabs my wrist) But to think that I am learning practical, tactical self-defense skills... that would infect me with the kind of false confidence that could really get me hurt, or at least in trouble.

I realize that this is an oft-cited website here on the forum, but why reinvent the wheel?

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

Peace (and a strong pair of running legs to ensure it),
Deb

opherdonchin
07-15-2002, 04:29 PM
I really like Evan Sobel's metaphor of the child. I think it captures something about AiKiDo much more than what I'm about to say.

It seems like two different things are being confused here. They are both 'aikdio cliches,' but they highlight different aspects of the way a lot of people (that I've met) think about the art.

The first is the 'if I was attacked / mugged / whatever, I would run away if I could.' When I say this, I mean to expresses a lack of confidence in my ability to fight effectively, despite my years of experience in AiKiDo. I feel that this lack of confidence is healthy and does not imply fear. Since I haven't been in a fight since I was 13, I really don't know how effective I would be. More than that, I'm not very curious. If I succeed in living my whole life without ever finding out if AiKiDo 'really works,' I will count myself lucky and (ironically) take it as evidence that AiKiDo really works in the important ways that I would like it to.

The second thing is more like 'it is good AiKiDo to manage a situation so that it can be resolved without violence.' Often, when I think of this statement, I remind myself that a lot of effective AiKiDo involves letting go of things that I am holding on to out of habit (the tension in my shoulders, my death grip on uke's wrist, or, in this case, a certain amount of stupid pride) in order to increase my options. If defusing conflict was easy or even easily learned, then we would not need a whole art to help us figure out how to do it. So, when I think of this second statement, I imagine that my years of AiKiDo training are meant, paradoxically, to help me see and understand ways that I may be able to manage without 'using' AiKiDo.

Of course, sometimes I fail to defuse conflicts and the price is that I experience the unpleasant sensation of finding out whether it's me or the other person who is stronger. This is, in my mind, always a failure of my AiKiDo, just like every time I use force to throw down an uke it is a failure of my AiKiDo. However, this doesn't make me a bad aikidoka. It's just part of realizing that I still have a lot to learn.

Thus, if I end up in a fight, and I end up 'using' my AiKiDo, it would be nice if the AiKiDo actually 'works.' It would also be nice if I learn from it how, next time, I could handle the situation in a way that would avoid the fight.

Don_Modesto
07-15-2002, 04:35 PM
I know how to run, I know how to lay on the ground and play dead. If this is Aikido - why am I spending $60/month and training hour upon countless hour, if "real Aikido" is being a giant wuss?

I took Aikido so I don't have to run away, so I could stand up for myself, etc...

I liked the comparison to doing mortal battle with...a six year old. As the ( inevitably hornrimmed glass wearing)wife of Gary Larson's amoeba couch potato so eloquently put it, "Stimulus, response; stimulus, response--don't you ever think?!"

Do we measure "wuss" or "coward" only physically? How about the moral courage to walk away from inane behavior?

cbrf4zr2
07-15-2002, 04:40 PM
I look at it this way. I try to have others control me as little as possible. If I am out walking, minding my own business - why should I have to change my plans and give up my wallet, or whatever it is when I can tell him to back off and continue about what I was doing?
Sorry - but running away at every threat is not the way I want to live my life. I would rather die living the way I choose, than to live knowing I was a sell-out.

rachmass
07-15-2002, 04:42 PM
One thing is that the originator of the thread commented on a couple of times is that he thinks he might be a "bad" aikidoka for having these questions. I guess I dont see this, and just that he is being a "curious" aikidoka. Certainly it is stirring a good response.

I hope that I never end up in a situation where I have to test whether my aikido works or not! I hope that by being aware of my circumstances and environment, that I will be able to avoid a physical conflict. I also hope that I can learn to "tenkan" a bit better when presented with a verbal assult (not good at this!). The main thing is to just keep practicing. No good, no bad, just practice.

cbrf4zr2
07-15-2002, 04:48 PM
I guess what it comes down to is...

Mugger comes up to me with knife - asks for wallet. I choose not to run, and confront him, and I end up unhurt and retaining my wallet. Am I a bad Aikidoka because I didn't run away when I could have?

rachmass
07-15-2002, 04:53 PM
Why do you label yourself? If your life is threatend and you cannot extricate yourself from the situation, you save yourself (if you can). Wouldn't anybody, whether or not they studied a martial art?

cbrf4zr2
07-15-2002, 04:57 PM
I'm not trying to label myself.

The only reason I ask, is because I have yet to see a story where someone used physical conflict and was acknowledged as using good Aikido...invariably - people will say - "a true Aikidoka would have (insert whatever opposite outcome here" and the person gets chastised for his/her actions.

AikiAlf
07-15-2002, 04:59 PM
I don't know. I'm on my 2kyu so from a similar level, I'm kind of feeling less aggressive about things than before. I don't know what to say, I don't think running away is the final answer to life but what are you predisposing yourself for?

you can certainly try and may get away with attacking the mugger twisting his arm into little bits and so forth. I think this must be a common aspiration in aikido
link:http://www.advdojo.org/aiki-man1.html

[tongue out of cheeek by now]
I train in hopes of finding myself able to react responsibly in a situation of conflict. My training might or might not help me there and there's lots of peoplw who are willing to offer opinions about the effectivity of my training or yours (most without having seen it :p ). I mean I hope to not freeze nor to lash out histerically, to keep things in proportion.

There are other Aiki responses to a mugging than being a victim or creating a victim, but who can know beforehand how things will turn out?

If you decide to be Aiki-Man, best of luck.

Thalib
07-15-2002, 05:15 PM
You are not a bad Aikidoka Frederick-san. To me a bad Aikido-gakusha is when one pick fights or be in unnecessary fights or even worse, competing in prize fights.

My sensei use the analogy of military training to explain Aikido training: "It is like a soldier training. Everyday the soldier practices tirelessly for skills that the soldier might not be able to use directly after. But when a war or just a battle breaks out, the soldier will use everything that the soldier had learned. The soldier might die in battle, but the soldier has accepted that fact, because the soldier fought for the soldier's beliefs. During the countless training days, the soldier has prepared for death."

What you were saying is not wrong Frederick-san. When one need to defends life, oneself's or another, or one needs to uphold justice and honor, it is justifiable to use one's necessary skills. Just remember one thing, when one is executing techniques during a physical conflict, one must accept that the outcome for oneself is death.

The statement does not mean that one should just give up or be reckless. It means that when one do defend oneself or others, one must do it 100%. Thinking "Could I die or not?", "Could I succeed or not doing this?, or "I don't want to die", will have serious consequences, one might as well walk away or run away.

One's intention must be pure, whatever that intention is. But, if one has doubts, might as well turn the other way. One quote that I modified a bit from my sensei that I like to use from time to time is, "If I have to die by the sword today, then I will do so with honor."

guest1234
07-15-2002, 05:35 PM
I look at it this way. I try to have others control me as little as possible. If I am out walking, minding my own business - why should I have to change my plans and give up my wallet, or whatever it is when I can tell him to back off and continue about what I was doing?
Sorry - but running away at every threat is not the way I want to live my life. I would rather die living the way I choose, than to live knowing I was a sell-out.

Whether you walk away (or run away) or fight him, that is your choice. If you feel you have to fight him, no matter what, regardless of the situation, then you are letting him control you. Self control and self determination are in your hands, and the consequences of your choice are yours: is what's in your wallet worth his life (or yours), his health (or yours).

People have never said fighting was bad, but choosing to hurt someone when you could also choose to end the conflict without damage, well... in my book not as good a choice.

Blindly fighting for pride, to 'not be a sell out,' that is giving up self control to control by your attacker...as the other person implied with the stimulus-reaction reference.

While I agree with most of what Opher said (hi, Opher, BTW :) ), I do disagree that running away is from lack of confidence in Aikido, but rather that is can be the correct application of Aikido as his fourth paragraph went on to describe.

I guess not everyone is in Aikido to beat up an attacker. If self defense is the goal, especially self defense that overcomes all opponents, perhaps the 60 bucks/month are better spent on a handgun, some classes, and a permit to carry concealed....

my 2 cents

Erik
07-15-2002, 05:39 PM
I guess what it comes down to is...

Mugger comes up to me with knife - asks for wallet. I choose not to run, and confront him, and I end up unhurt and retaining my wallet. Am I a bad Aikidoka because I didn't run away when I could have?

No, but you are probably a stupid Aikidoka. There was a guy in New York during the 60's, I think, who had his car broken into. He got in the car, confronted the kid and was gutted for it. He died a third dan.

The problem is that you are playing the odds. In the first case, I don't know many second kyu's who are going to take a knife away very often. Probably well under 50% of the time. You may be different but no matter who you are you are still playing the odds. Give me enough lives and I'll take out any martial artist on the planet. Eventually, they'll slip, I'll get lucky and they die. The price of losing is too high and sometimes the price of winning is very high too.

By the way, I don't think this is an example of a bad Aikidoka. If we were so good we could take the knife everytime, then we should do it and escort the misdirected individual to jail.

Thalib
07-15-2002, 05:55 PM
Basically not being egotistical is what most are talking about.

My reason if I ever come to conflict with let's say a mugger, we have many cases like that in Indonesia, not quite a safe place, yes, I would not run and stand my ground. But, I have a few reasons for doing this, not because of pride:
1. If I just give the mugger the wallet, than the mugger would be satisfied that intimidation works and will keep doing it to others.
2. Whatever the reason is, mugging is wrong, the mugger must be taught of the mugger's wrongful ways.
3. Is there any guarantee, if I give the wallet that the mugger will let me live?

These reasons are actually caring for others, the person that is attacking you, and for one's own life. Would this be wrong?

I walked away from evil thoughts when a bus sideswiped my car (don't talk about legal issues here in Indonesia), scratched my back tire cover. I could just easily beat the crap out him to teach him a lesson. But picking fights over a scratch on the car, that is silly and stupid, and just egotistical. If I carry on further, I would probably make a fool of myself, create further traffic jams (which was already bad enough at the time), and in the end, the bus driver wouldn't have learned a thing (they are that lowly educated here). So I walked away in the best interest of others and myself, and I felt sorry for the bus driver, because he didn't learn a thing. Walking away in this matter was the best solution.

Chocolateuke
07-15-2002, 07:05 PM
I agree with thalib. Say you can take the mugger ( bad assumption) but for the sake of whatever there is a sake for! (hu?) anyways its like give a man a fish feed him for a day, teach a man how to fish feed him for life. So, you give the scum your wallet, whats he learn? That he can make money by threatning people with a weapon. But, if you take him and retain him he might have second thoughts. Runnings great but as Marc "Animal" Young likes to point out just taking tail and running wont work 90% of the time. Your assuming a few things. heres a few to name:

1. you faster than your enemy.
2. you know your way out and around faster ( how do you know he doesn't have any friends hiding?
3. he's alone.

and more. As for the 6 year old metiphore I dissagree that taking Aikido would be the best thing for training in something like that. Teachers all over the world handle that same situation without any Aikido training whatsoever better most aikidokas can!

PeterR
07-15-2002, 07:11 PM
Trust me Edward - the only people you shoould run away from without fail are those that lecture you on what a "true Aikidoka" should do.

There are two run away camps:

Aikidoist as pacifist - love they attacker, turn your cheek, new-age, etc.

Aikidoist as realist. There are times it is far better to remove yourself from a situation and the art of measured response.

If you are surrounded with the former I would re-evaluate where your train. I would also choose your reading material a bit more carefully - it that is where you got these ideas as to what Aikido is about.

Then again - you may just be a cleverly disguised troll. ;)

Chocolateuke
07-15-2002, 10:02 PM
trolls they turn to stone in the sun dont they? :) but did I make some good points that you cant run every time and therefore should be ready of the possiblity every time?

jk
07-15-2002, 10:28 PM
I guess what it comes down to is...

Mugger comes up to me with knife - asks for wallet. I choose not to run, and confront him, and I end up unhurt and retaining my wallet. Am I a bad Aikidoka because I didn't run away when I could have?

Naw. Mostly lucky.

I've grown fond of this quote: "Sometimes you eat the bear. Sometimes the bear eats you."

Simple enough really...ya gotta make your own judgments within each specific situation.

Regards,

George S. Ledyard
07-16-2002, 02:59 AM
So I'm testing for 2nd Kyu in 2 weeks and some change, and I've been doing some more reading of posts and stories and how other Aikido practioners think and act - or at least how they say they do. And I'm reading stories about how a "true Aikidoka" would run away, would play dead, would be a pacifist, basically it says to me they would do "nothing" that they spend doing in countless hours of training. I then see more re-enforcement of other chiming in with "Yes - that's true Aikido," or other variants which lend creedence that in Aikido you should always run away, or feign injury, or the like. I look at that and say, "What's the point in even physically training?" Why not just take up some non physical training that prepares you to recognize situations to just run away or any of the other previous examples?

I know how to run, I know how to lay on the ground and play dead. If this is Aikido - why am I spending $60/month and training hour upon countless hour, if "real Aikido" is being a giant wuss?

I took Aikido so I don't have to run away, so I could stand up for myself, etc...

Does it make me a "bad" Aikidoka because I won't run away if someone attacks me or leads on that they might?


There is a quote taken from the Aikido Journal Interview with Takamura Yukiyoshi, Aikido Journal 117, Fall 1999

Remember that most people who call themselves martial artists are nothing of the sort. Most dojos are not martial arts dojos either. They are glorified social clubs thriving in an environment of emotional stimulation which is heightened by a false or extremely limited perception of danger. When real danger shows itself in such a dojo, the participants run for cover. In a real dojo the participants run towards the conflict.

I would recommend reading the whole interview as Takamura Sensei had some very interesting things to say about what non-violence and being a warrior really means.
Aikido Journal Article (http://www.aikidojournal.com/articles/_article.asp?ArticleID=1040)

erikmenzel
07-16-2002, 04:36 AM
"What's the point in even physically training?" Why not just take up some non physical training that prepares you to recognize situations to just run away or any of the other previous examples?

ALthough some people disagree with this, physical training in aikido is the way to learn to recognize and evaluate situations.

I know how to run, I know how to lay on the ground and play dead. If this is Aikido - why am I spending $60/month and training hour upon countless hour, if "real Aikido" is being a giant wuss?

Maybe you could just try to have fun.


I took Aikido so I don't have to run away, so I could stand up for myself, etc...

Although this is a good motive to start it also has some (mental) pitfalls.
Reminds me of friend (a nice and really not stupid girl) I know. She was afraid to walk in a certain street at night. A really bad street one would avoid at night. To get home at night she took a detour using well lit and police supervised streets.
Because she felt scared at night she took some selfdefense classes and after 10 sessions she felt she didnt need to be affraid and started to use the unsafe route.
All her friends tried to explain how unwise this was but she said she took selfdefense classes because then she didnt have to run away.
Only after having had to run for her life and being safed by 6 police officers she returned to using the safe route.


Does it make me a "bad" Aikidoka because I won't run away if someone attacks me or leads on that they might?

Depends. Are you excluding other options? Could you have avoided trouble in the first place?
Sometimes just the willingness to go into physical contact is the spark needed for violance.

kmarie
07-16-2002, 04:48 AM
I took Aikido so I don't have to run away, so I could stand up for myself, etc...

I'm very new to the world of Aikido and Martial arts, and began for the same reasons. I'm a young female that lives in a very bad part of a big city (tend to get verbally harassed too often, but nothing more even though I'm often walking alone...even late at night). One thing that i've learned from Aikido (and living in the city) is to BE AWARE OF YOUR SURRONDINGS!! Running away from a situation sounds fine and dandy in this forum, but realisticly I think it could possibly put you more in danger. People prey on the weak.

You shouldn't ever have to be in a situation where you have to run (hopefully), just be aware who is walking behind you (if their pace quickens), look ahead/around you for dark alleys, etc. This stuff in instintual in me,but not in many others unfortunately. Many women are raped in my neighborhood, and unfortunatley in many cases they were jogging while wearing headphones. Be aware, and show confidence. If someone is stalking you, look at them with an evil eye...if that doesn't deter them, go into a mini-market or something for awhile. Prevent the situation these ways, not by letting yourself become a victim and trying to run away. People can unharness a horrible amount of energy and violence (especially when they are trying to rob you for $$ to get their fix), sad but true. I see horrible violence everyday, but these people tend to prey on the weak and ignorant (or should I say clueless (lots of lost tourists)). One other point...most of the attacks in my neighborhood are with guns (and lately caustic chemicals)...you really can't run away from that now can you...or perform expert Aikido if a gun is put to your head or your face is sprayed with a caustic chemical. BE AWARE.

I would love to someday be so profiecient at Aikido that I could severly disable anyone that came in my path, fortunatly or unfortunatly that will take many many years (even though often strangers make comments that make me want to try out my skills), but the best thing for survival (in my opinion) is avoidance (before it gets to the point of having to run away).

Kmarie

mike lee
07-16-2002, 04:50 AM
A man's got to take a good hard look in the mirror once in awhile and decide if he likes what he sees.

davoravo
07-16-2002, 05:34 AM
What are you gonna do if you don't?

As someone's siggie says The Path is Long. "Best not start. Once start best finish."

ChristianBoddum
07-16-2002, 06:44 AM
Hi !
I once had five bikertypes running after me,
after trying to cunn me in to a fight,a little
late but soon enough I realised I had to run ,so I ran and they followed,I was thinking while running what do I do if they catch up with me,
thankfully one by one they gave up and they never tried again.
They used tactics to get me close and I am a curious nature,almost got me.
At another time same street,I was passing by what sounded like someone harming a dog,
turned out to be a domestic brawl,
as the ones around me turned and left the scene,I wanted to make the last leaving,
someone came down a staircase quickly,came right at me and BAM ! right on the jaw,
so I left too,the reason I didn't go down
I guess is because I was relaxed and "absorbed" the punch,but non the less,stupid
me and my curiosity,I couldn't kiss for a month - it was a great punch !
So for me running is great and you can think
while running - what a combination !

SeiserL
07-16-2002, 09:02 AM
No, IMHO, you are not a "bad" Aikidoka. Aikido is a "martial" art. I personal train for practical application and technical proficiency. I may walk away, but I won't run.

Until again,

Lynn

Bruce Baker
07-16-2002, 09:34 AM
Your training makes you more aware of handling situations. It gives you the information you need to assess the situation. To stand and fight, or to retreat, and run ... as some have expressed. Use your knowledge to protect your short life. That is the purpose of your training.

Don_Modesto
07-16-2002, 02:56 PM
Mugger comes up to me with knife - asks for wallet. I choose not to run, and confront him, and I end up unhurt and retaining my wallet. Am I a bad Aikidoka because I didn't run away when I could have?

"I end up unhurt" There defintely should be an "if" in that sentence.

Not bad, foolish.

How much is in your wallet?
How much does the judge award him for injuries you inflicted? (sic--read up on this; it's a real consideration)
How much does the judge award for wrongful death?
How much are your hospital bills?

More importantly, what is the permanent damage to you? (We have a gentleman--I use the word precisely, he is--who chose to fight a man with a knife; one of his fingers is premanently crooked into his palm from the cut he received to connective tissue.)

opherdonchin
07-16-2002, 03:57 PM
I just wanted to say how much wisdom I thought there was in KMarie's post. It's a beautiful example of learning to see the options that are neither running nor fighting, and learning to see them has been the part of AiKiDo I have most benefited from.

Opher

Deb Fisher
07-17-2002, 05:14 PM
As a strong proponent of 'running' earlier in this thread, I have to agree with Opher that KMarie's post is much more aligned with what actually happens.

When I said run, I wasn't very clear that I mean avoid conflict. I totally agree that awareness is the easiest and most effective way to see it coming and make running unnecessary.

But of course, there are people crazy enough to attempt attacking a bad target... and I still say run if that's what it comes to.

Peace,

Deb

Thalib
07-17-2002, 06:49 PM
If I understand correctly, I'm still basically a beginner at this, Aikido is not about avoiding conflict. Through the philosophy I've learned so far, conflict will occur one way or another, it is part of nature. The universe or nature has its own way of dealing with conflict/friction.

When conflict/friction occurs, we deal with it, the best way without any further destruction. For example, in katate-dori-tenkan, one cannot push or pull one's way out of it, that will make the conflict or friction even worse. But instead one lets the arm held making sure that there is no threat coming out from oneself that could worsen the friction. Then go (relatively) the same direction as that friction, by tenkan, but leading that direction or to any other direction, not being lead by others.

In Aikido, one leads the conflict to one's advantage and for the good of others including the attacker. Turning one's back on the attacker would only mean one will get stabbed in the back by the attacker.

But, Aikido is also about the mind and the spirit, if one believes by turning one's back or running or walking away from the attacker is the best solution for others, the attacker, and oneself, then by any means, do it. On the other hand, if one believes that confronting the attacker is the best solution, then do so. Wether to turn one's back, or to confront, do not do it with doubt, as it would be fatal. Also, in both cases, one must accept death for oneself will be the outcome.

drDalek
07-18-2002, 05:06 AM
I think you people are talking and thinking about the possibilities too much, you cannot possibly hope to understand every possible violent situation by intelectualising things. You can debate about the physics of the attack and the position of the body and all those things, and you can train for all those things but when it comes to crunch time, everything you learn falls away and you have to go with instinct.

If you are at the level where you are reasoning that if someone stabs you with a knife like this then you can do something like this... etc... then you have not internalised things enough yet.

Train more, talk less.

Harms
07-18-2002, 07:46 AM
I read something on http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/ that I would like to quote "If he didn't think he could win, he wouldn't be there". So the safest thing to do is to avoid fighting. So what can aikido do for you? Just like the other said, being aware of your surroundings (onagi anyone? :)) and not showing fear has probably allready gotten you away from a fight. And if the person really want's to fight and you don't have any choice then aikido will help you.

It might not be unaikido to fight but I do belive it is unaikido to start a fight or fight if you could have avoided it.

We are here to create harmony and it's only the ones that doesn't get that that we are allowed to create pain in evileyes

;)

/Harms

sleepyshark
07-23-2002, 04:02 PM
Sometimes running is the only correct choice. But to say that it's ALWAYS the right choice ... what a way to live. For those who advise Edward to run ... is that what you tell your children? At life's challenges, run.

When running is not an option, those who stay are either fools or heros. But at least they are facing their terrors. their fates. What if the passengers of the Pittsburg plane had decided to "run" and not confront their terror, "terrorists"?

If we train for years, only to run, what are we receiving from our training? Studying the "softer" side of Aikido and trying to achieve enlightenment is well and good, but if that's all you want, why not study Buddhism? Why waste the martial aspect of Aikido?

We are being trained to defend ourselves and others. We have a responsibility to act. Ideally and firstly, with words. To calm the situation to a non-violent end. If that doesn't work, take the negotiating to the next level, physical communicating. That does not mean intentionally increase the threat level, but be prepared to respond to an increased threat level.

we are martial artists, not dancers or pacifists. If some of us are dancers or pacifists, why train how to hurt people? Being afraid or concerned that your skills will not work is one thing, but to belay all of your training because of a moral imperative not to hurt another human being flies in the face of training in a martial art.

Why do we as aikidoka feel we are morally superior to aggression? Life gives you several options. Sometimes run, sometimes watch, sometimes fight.

I, personally, train for several reasons. Most spiritual, some physical. But I do take my training seriously, striving constantly to improve. To be more balanced, to throw more powerfully, to change techniques if resisted, to have a wide technique vocabulary. Why? Because one day I might have to use it.

Kevin Wilbanks
07-24-2002, 09:07 AM
"Mugger comes up to me with knife - asks for wallet. I choose not to run, and confront him, and I end up unhurt and retaining my wallet. Am I a bad Aikidoka because I didn't run away when I could have?"

If you are considering challenging armed assailants on the street at the rank of 2nd kyu, I think you need a reality check. The way most practice Aikido in the US, it is not even close to a street-ready martial art, especially not after only a few years. Even if it were, confronting someone with a weapon in the street over a few dollars and replacing a few cards is the height of foolishness.

I know a cop who always carries a Glock 9mm with him, even when he is out of uniform. He says if someome mugged him he would throw the wallet one direction and run in the other - to the nearest phone and call the police with an accurate account of the incident. This from a man who is highly trained with his weapon and has it on him.

I recently started taking JKD at a school run by the head self-defense instructor for the Jacksonville Police - also a Vale Tudo competitor. They train seriously there in Muay Thai, BJJ, JKD, and even have classes expressly for those entering no-holds-barred fighting competitions. The range of skills, fitness levels, speed, and amount of force they apply to their techniques were a real eye opener to me. Aikido alone is far from a street-ready martial art. Visit such a place for a few hours, and it might deflate some of your quasi-suicidal delusions.

K.

Thalib
07-24-2002, 01:50 PM
Street-ready martial arts?

There is no such thing.

Fighting arts such as have been mentioned above are far from street ready, many of them have the delusions that they are though. Especially BJJ, which is only one-on-one and ring ready.

No in-dojo training is street ready. People that want street-ready, they go into the streets and pick fights no matter if they have guns, knives, or their posse, now that's truly street-ready.

Even military training they have in the army is not battle/war-ready. The only way to gain that is through experience in the battlefield.

One is only taught how to learn, the rest is up to experience.

Kevin Wilbanks
07-24-2002, 05:11 PM
Well, philosophically speaking, no martial art or combination thereof may be 'street-ready', but I was speaking practically. Philosophically speaking, there is no guarantee that I will be able to eat my breakfast tomorrow morning, or that I even exist. When I said 'street-ready' I was not talking about some rarified level of hypothetical invincibility. By that standard, even someone with lots of 'real' fighting experience cannot be truly ready for the next encounter.

Aikido alone, the way I have seen it trained, has glaring gaps: no ground-fighting, no preemptive attacks, no cultivation of wide-open sparring experience including multiple rapid attacks and continuing through pain... I could go on. Most Aikidoka don't even hold their hands high enough to reasonably expect to protect their head against standard boxing-style punches, or know anything about protecting their knees.

The guys I'm talking about train in all ranges, kick-boxing and grappling. I'm not talking about cocky BJJ-only types. Most importantly, they spar regularly with few rules at an intensity level where bruises, contusions, and serious pain occur regularly and more serious injuries are not uncommon. Many also participate in national, no-holds-barred competitions (vale-tudo). To suggest there is no difference between the 'street-readiness' of such a person, and the average Aikido-only student is absurd.

I think Aikido is a great art - good for learning many things, and a worthwhile way to spend time. However, if one's objective is to challenge muggers or fare well in real street fights, I think it is the wrong place to look.

K.

Thalib
07-24-2002, 05:56 PM
I believe we had the discussion about the practicality of Aikido in real-life situation, I think we even had several discussion. This is now being another one of course.

In Aikido, one studies the principle of the art. Unlike many other martial arts who intensifies on techniques. Techniques without principles are just shells that are easily cracked. One should learn why it was done the way it should, not just how.

I came from a hitting-art background, Karate, WTF TKD, and ITF TKD, in that order, before I came to Aikido. As for grappling or ground fighting, it came as a natural thing to me. Now, I'm focusing on Aikido, I'm learning the principles of Aiki. If one could understand the principles of Aiki, then one could apply it into anything.

The technique that is learned in Aikido is basically Ju-Jutsu techniques (oh, man I'm gonna get a lot of reply by saying that). It is true though, the technique in Aikido is not exclusively Aikido, even Chin-Na and Kenpo has similar techniques. But, what makes Aikido, Aikido, is the Aiki part. When one doesn't learn the Aiki, then one better off learning Ju-Jutsu.

That's also the reason why Daitoryu split the school into three, Ju-Jutsu, Aiki-Ju-Jutsu, and Aiki-no-Jutsu. People who are big and strong are put into Ju-Jutsu school. Aiki-Ju-Jutsu is taught to those who needs it. Aiki-no-Jutsu class is quite exclusive.

When learning Aikido, Aiki should become part of your life. What Aiki means to you, that's another topic.

Chad Miner
07-24-2002, 06:01 PM
I don't think a "street ready" martial art exists, but they can give you kind of a small idea of what you could do in a fight if a situation should happen. Most martial art attacks could be changed a bit to show what to expect on the street. A round-house punch looks quite similar to a yokoman attack, they both have similar points to inflict and both can be dealt with the same way. However, you can still avoid the attack, which i think most aikido dojo's teach. If you feel you can't do a technique just dodge it and keep your distance, a guy can't keep punching forever.

sleepyshark
07-30-2002, 11:38 AM
It seems that we've gotten off topic, Edward's original question. But it also seems that someone has asked the beginner's question, does this really work? I recently saw Kanai-sensei at a seminar. I wouldn't want to throw a punch or a kick at him. Nor would I want to throw multiple punches and kicks, giving him that much more with which he could destroy me.

My suggestion is this: If you feel aikido doesn't work, find a martial art that you feel would. After all, don't waste your time doing something that you think is ineffective. But pease reconsider your attitude towards aikido. Saying this art isn't for you is one thing, but saying that it is not effective after studying for only a few years is premature and not very credible. That's like saying, after driving my Chevy for 5 years and having problems, all Chevy products are worthless. (nevermind Jeff Gordon has won the Winston Cup 4 times in a Chevy). If you've studied aikido under a shihan for over 10 years and still find it ineffective, then somewhere along the line, something went wrong.

Aikido is like everything else in life, if you put forth the effort and believe that the process is worthwhile, you'll receive the results that you deserve and expect. If not, you're wasting your time and those around you.

Bruce Baker
08-05-2002, 06:13 PM
You need to review the simplicity of 'paint the fence' or 'wax the car'.

Question what you are doing, what is the real application of Aikido? If you start to study the applications of pressure points that affect the body, then much more will become clear.

Understand ... the Aikido we practice, the path of non-violence we pursue in Aikido practice, is not a game, or hobby ... although sometimes we consider it as such. Aikido offers us an opportunity to train without injury to ourselves or others.

You can stay or leave ... it is your opportunity.

Joshua Livingston
08-06-2002, 05:05 AM
I look at it this way. I try to have others control me as little as possible. If I am out walking, minding my own business - why should I have to change my plans and give up my wallet, or whatever it is when I can tell him to back off and continue about what I was doing?

Sorry - but running away at every threat is not the way I want to live my life. I would rather die living the way I choose, than to live knowing I was a sell-out.
I'm a big fan of Aiki principles (which I studied years before even taking Aikido) and blending, but I wouldn't consider you a "Bad Aikidoka" or even a "foolish Aikidoka" as a few others have chosen to judge.

If you don't want to run away that's your business and I salute you for having the guts not to let some dead beat criminal force you to do something you don't want to do. To be a "good Aikidoka" one simply needs to follow the basic principles. These can be interpreted in many different ways and thus unless you have a council of every person who is considered to be knowledgeable in Aiki principle declare something unanimously or you can contact O-Sensei, no one can tell you that your interpretation is wrong. That's not to say that it makes it correct, but that it really doesn't matter what others think. One must follow the Aiki way the best one can.

Gozo Shioda Sensei taught police troops to brake peoples arms and all kinds of nasty business that would be scoffed at now days by the "Aiki community." But few would dare to claim that he or his students were "bad Aikidoka."

In my personal opinion, which you can use however you choose, is that all one must do to be a "good Aikidoka" is try your best to follow the core Aiki principles, and to me this can be done simply by trying to blend with life's situations and when you are in a stressful situation try to blend with it and diffuse the situation with the least amount of damage done.

If you think that it is better for you to face an attacker than run away, then do so. I would urge you however, to keep all factors in mind.

If you are willing to give up your life for your wallet, Rolex, pride, state of mind, girlfriend, or a cute little kitten, then that's your business. However, if you have family and friends you should think of how it will affect them. If you have none then you have nothing to loose, if you don't mind loosing your life. But if you do, you should weigh the needs of your family and friends against what you are trying to protect by not running.

If you have children who's survival depends on you, then it may not be worth fighting just so someone doesn't force you to do something you don't want to do. $1,000+ doesn't equal much to missing monthly wages that are brought into a household by you. The sanity of your mother or friends may not be worth you doing something you'd rather not do. On the other hand, if you apprehend the attacker you could have saved the life of someone else who hasn’t had your training and that may be well worth the risk. But, like I said, it is ultimately for you and you only to decide. If you think it is worth it, then go for it.

If you are trained well enough it shouldn't even matter because you will simply react to the situation to the best of your ability with out having to think about it.



:triangle: :circle: :square:

Joshua Livingston
08-06-2002, 05:11 AM
First let me get the Aiki-effectiveness issue out of the way. I worked at a nightclub for about 2 1/2 years. I had 10 years martial experience at the time with a background in Shotokan, Capoeria, American Kenpo, and a mixed martial arts school that had a total of 6 different teachers during my training period, who taught fighting from the ranges of projectiles: long staff (or similar): chains: short staff: swords/baseball bats: sprays/tasers: knives: kicks: trapping: elbow/knee/head butt: standing clinch: partially down (kneeling etc): ground fighting. And probably a few I forgot to list. In other words, they tried to cover everything they could, including psychology and natural body reactions.

During my time with the security force there, I had many physical confrontations with people who were bigger than me, tougher than me, damn near unhurtable due to drug use, and one incident with a knife (which was successful thank God (for Shionage)).

At the beginning of my duty I will admit that I got my ass handed to me quite often, so many times in fact that I nearly got fired because I was becoming a liability. :disgust:

The problem was that I was using too much striking techniques. Part of my job was to make sure I didn't mess up the guys that I was dealing with, because it would end up with law suits against the club. So when I used strikes I found myself either doing too much damage with a strike and then freezing, because I didn't want to hurt the guy or doing too little damage by pulling my punches and getting beat down in the process. Next, I tried taking the aggressors to the ground. Well, most guys had friends who would proceed to kick and stomp me before my back up could get to me, or I would get stomped by the oblivious crowd (ground fighting and moshing don't mix :freaky: )

Well it just so happens that the sixth guy who taught at my mixed martial arts school was an Aikidoka (I believe of 1st Kyu rank in Aikikai USAF at the time) who joined the school about a month before I got my warning that I was close to getting fired.

What he did instead of teaching straight Aikido to us (which as you know takes years to even come close to getting the basics down), was teach how to get to some of the end results of Aiki techniques with what we were already learning as well as the basic Tenkan, simply to get off the line of attack. So, it ended up being a form of Aikijutsu.

The point is when I started using these, I was finally able to use my full skill range and not worry about messing up the aggressor. As a result I was able to reestablish Mushin, which was previously being blocked by calculating what techniques I was "allowed" to do and what force I should use.

I don't care what anyone says, the best way to deal with a combat situation (w/o equipment) is to have the ability to stay calm (bypass the adrenaline rush) and be able to react correctly with out having to think about it. If you have this it doesn’t matter if you practice sport TKD, you can still use it for effective self-defense.

I have now been training at a pure Aikido Dojo for a few years. The only problems with Aikido in the self defense world is that the style takes too long *in relation to self defense remember* to train your body to react without thought to any (or a high number) of combat situations and it doesn't teach how to stay calm and bypass the adrenaline dump in an extremely stress filled situation. This last problem is a double problem, as most Aikido techniques require intricate motor skills, which the adrenaline dump nearly destroys. It also causes you to tense up which everyone knows will throw a major wrench in your Aiki technique.

Most 6th Dan+ Aikidoka and even a few 3rd-5th and fewer Shodan-2nd Dan have the skill to use their techniques w/o thinking in a state of Mushin, reacting to a variety of attacks that they never even trained for. This is due to the fluidity and relaxed nature of the style of Aikido and the constant repetition of techniques. As a result, though Aikido takes a lot longer than other arts to reach a stage of "combat effectiveness," once it is at that level, it can be very superior to most of the other arts that are "combat effective" after only a few months.

The only missing equation is the training to get past the adrenaline dump. Some Aikido Dojo do practice this, most don't. This factor is why even though you can look at Kanai Sensei (and I have) and think "Man no one could ever get past that guy," it is possible that someone could stab him with a knife because he freezes. And that is commonly the case with big time martial artist who end up dead or hurt by attackers who at the Dojo could be whopped by Karate green belts. As has been said previously in this thread, no one is "street ready" and yes it is a disadvantage that Aikido doesn't deal a lot with kicks, projectiles, or ground fighting (though you'd be surprised how your training makes you react to these things). However, even though it is a cliché of Karateka that was pretty much killed by the Gracies, the point is not to let the attacker take you to the ground. If you do, then your Aikido was not good enough, and you loose. It is true that ground fighting could extend your expiration date in a fight, but if your Aikido was good enough you shouldn't need it. And if the guy has friends (and giving a thugs cowardly nature and pack tendencies, they usually do), it wouldn't matter any way.

When it comes down to it, no matter what you are trained in, your technique is either good enough and you get away or it isn't and you don't. Nothing can make you invincible, but Aikido Can give you enough to get out of most confrontations, if you are good enough.

:ai: :ki: :do:

erikmenzel
08-06-2002, 05:21 AM
thank God (for Shionage)).
Why do you thank God for "throwing salt" ??

:D :D :D :D :D

Joshua Livingston
08-06-2002, 06:59 PM
Why do you thank God for "throwing salt" ??

:D :D :D :D :D
Uhhh, I... threw it in the guy's eye? Uh yeah that's the ticket!

Hahahaha

Shihonage :D

opherdonchin
08-19-2002, 05:11 PM
Joshua,

Thanks for the lovely, thoughtful post. I really found it enlightening.

Tomlad
08-22-2002, 02:12 PM
Hi Edward,

There are lot's of replies to your original posting and I've read half of them, so if this is repeating another reply then I apologise.

I have always understood Aikido to be an assertive method of dealing with an attack. You do not need to be aggressive to an attacker, nor do you be passive and run away!

Using Aikido enables you to act positively when an attack comes in and to control the situation as quickly as possible.

Lying down and pretending your dead will probably ensure that that is how you end up, dead.

:ai:

Mel Barker
08-28-2002, 06:06 PM
Excellent thread. I think all serious martial artists ask these types of questions. I sure have! I think a “good aikidoka” is one that acts responsibly given the circumstances and his capabilities. The post about the 6 year old is the start of a way to think about these confrontations. How do you respond to a temper tantrum throwing 6 year old? A teenager vandalizing your car? Your daughter’s physically abusive boyfriend? The knife-wielding attacker who stops you on your regular evening walk with your disabled son? The road rage incident you pull up behind where the 240 pound guy is bashing the 130 pound guy?

In my 9 years of studying Aikido, I’ve never trained for one of the above incidents. Most of the Aikidoka I’ve talked to about these things have no idea what real violent encounters entail. I continually hear either “cowboy scenarios” or “pacifist sermons”.

Having studied videos of actual incidents and crime statistics, I know that rarely does someone have time to enter into extended contemplation about the philosophical and spiritual ramifications of the actions that you may or may not take. Oops, too late. He clubbed you and your lying unconscious and bleeding as he rifles through your pockets.

So, you can choose to run from all the incidents described above. Now, does that make that make you a “good aikidoka”?

So, what do you do? Well, you continue to ask these questions, and train. You talk to your practice partners about it, and you train. You ask your spiritual adviser about the morality of violence, and train. You begin to doubt if any of this even matters, and train. You change your first formed opinion about these matters, and train…

Fortunately, as I have struggled with these questions (and I’m sure I will continue to) I have trained. It’s taken me nine years to begin to see the real power of Aikido. I have found power in several ways in Aikido. First, I just loved it. It made me happy. Then it improved my awareness. Then it gave me something I could do if attacked. Then it gave me the opportunity to work on my inner demons (you can never run away from them). Now I can throw without using strength and my ukes ask what happened when they get up. Each couple of years I find that I have new found new power just piling up one after the other.

Someone said 90% of life is just showing up. A think it’s the same in Aikido. Keep asking the important questions and keep showing up. Maybe I’ll see you one the mat someday. :)

Jermaine Alley
09-09-2002, 01:52 PM
Hey Edward,

I understand what you mean..but i think that you stayed in aikido for as long as you did for your own reasons.

We all study MA for different reasons. Some of us, like myself, do want to learn how to defend myself, because self defense is extremely important if i am going to defend others (police officer). I took on aikido, to enhance my self defense knowledge and experience. I have used it on more than one occasion to defuse situations. Remember that most of us dont study martial arts as a way to just beat on people. We study it as a way to enhance ourselves physically as well as mentally.

Some of us engage in our studies because we understand that historically, samurai and other warriors of old considered a life threatening challenge (and how they dealt with them) as a kind of self examination. That kind of discipline would force certain character traits to the surface. Traits that would enable a person to question themselves, and re-examine their purpose in life.

The study of MA wasn't engaged in with the primary concern being "self defense".

Oh it was important living in those times,

but it wasnt the "primary goal" in my opinion.

To better oneself through balance, centering, dedication, a sense of justice etc.

We all have our different reasons for studying what we study. In no way do i consider Aikido the "play dead" martial art.

I think that some folks out here still believe that the martial art makes the person. No, the person makes the martial art. If a person decided that they wanted to run from a fight, it doesn't matter what martial art they study...a runner is going to be a runner.....no matter what...

j

cbrf4zr2
09-09-2002, 02:10 PM
Thanks for all the responses...I guess it comes down to how we each judge our own actions.

shinji6999
09-10-2002, 07:42 PM
My teacher has worked in security & runs seminars for the security industry in Australia & he always says its better to go to court than to go to hospital.

If you can stop the threat with minimal damage to your attacker, great. If your attacker is insistant on killing you, do whatever you have to.

To me that is aikido, an appropriate level of response to the attack.

Usagi
09-12-2002, 12:37 PM
I think the big issue here is that everybody is looking for support in their own theories...

And that's all right :)

In terms of meeting with agression, there is no recipe to success.

I believe that MA training should help us to turn Fear into Precaution.

The techniques should meant to teach us how frail our bodies really are.

To convey that goal they should be as efficient as possible (if you train techniques that don't hurt, you won't respect the idea of getting hurt).

It is very much like learning first aid:

I learn how to do your best before professional help arrives, but you have no illusions of being a MD.

Martial arts are educational sistems based on combat techniques.

They help us to understand combat moving behaviour, but, like firts aid, without experiencing for real (having to stop someone's bleeding or giving PCR) it is all theory.

IMHO, the point is that self defense is not something you can really train.

You can train the techniques, but your emotional response to sudden attacks (how is it possible to train with friends how to respond to attacks given by strangers?) is not trainable.

Emotional response under stress is, in most cases, the line that divides success from failure.

And as about "flee-or-fight"...

Althrought i believe it is better not to fight, this is not the kind of thing we choose; it happens.

I have an impression that those who advocate "fight for my ground" are using this as an excuse to label what "TRUE AIKIDO" is, and that displeases me as much as the "pacifist munble jumble"...

I believe AiKiDo to be big enough to shelter us all.

If i am wrong im my assumption accept my appologies...

Gorgeous George
03-20-2010, 01:13 PM
When a drug addict followed me late one night, and kept saying to me 'Give me some money' when i'd stopped with my back to the wall with no one around, i tried to remain calm, talked to him without agreeing to his demand, and waited for an opportunity to get out of the situation. I actually remember thinking, at one point 'I wonder if my coat will protect me from a knife if he stabs me.'.

Eventually it kind of escalated, and he tried to pat my pockets, while demanding i show him my phone; when he reached out towards me, i instinctively cut my hand down on his, performed ushiro-tenkan, which created a lot of space between us, and gave me an opportunity to run away from the situation. Which i did. He didn't follow, and i didn't feel i had 'lost face' because i didn't get killed over £5/beat up a human being who is addicted to drugs.

It reminds me of a story i heard to illustrate what Zen is: there was an archery contest, and there was this one archer who was well beyond all others - he was amazing, always hitting the bullseye etc.
A Zen monk saw this man, and after he had won, he approached him, complemented him, and challenged him to an archery contest at a place he would decide. The great archer accepted, thinking he would easily win.

The two met for the match on a mountain. The Zen monk stepped right to the edge of a cliff thousands of feet up, with certain death awaiting should he fail, and fired his arrow. The great archer stepped up, looked at the abyss awaiting him beneath, and stepped back.

I believe the message is this: it is a very different matter doing something (aikido, archery, what have you) well/at all when the stakes are low/non-existent, than it is when your life is at stake.
Which brings me to a story i heard very recently concerning a high-ranking Japanese aikidoka in the UK who was approached by several muggers while walking down the street one day; he threw his wallet to the ground, and told them that he would die for that wallet, and asked them if they would. They didn't wish to find out.

I may be viewed as a coward for not immediately hitting a man, or breaking his wrist or what have you, but hey....
I didn't get down on my knees and beg this man to spare me; i didn't give him my wallet and beg him...i would have defended myself if i had to, but i didn't have to, and i had no interest in finding out if he had a knife, so i didn't escalate the situation: i sought to defuse it.
I have no wish to be six feet under, my family consoled with a gravestone which says 'He died not in vain: he died for his wallet'.

Now if i was as good as the Japanese aikidoka...

I guess if you're that concerned with not losing face, carry a knife/gun with you: that should scare a lot of people off, right?

Hellis
03-20-2010, 02:02 PM
It matters little how many techniques you know, what really matters is do you have the fighting spirit to apply them.

circa 1959/60 ...Kenshiro Abbe Sensei left the Sandwich street dojo Kings Cross, London, on his own, and a little earlier than usual where there would usually be a group of us. Sensei was confronted by three thugs who demanded his wallet, as they made a threatening semi circle around him, he took out his wallet and threw it on the ground just in front of him, he then said to the thugs " I am prepared to die for my wallet, ARE YOU !!! "
Knowing Sensei as I did I doubt there was more than a just a few pounds in his wallet. The thugs looked at each other and changed their minds and they ran off.
www.british-aikido.com

Gorgeous George
03-20-2010, 03:46 PM
It matters little how many techniques you know, what really matters is do you have the fighting spirit to apply them.

circa 1959/60 ...Kenshiro Abbe Sensei left the Sandwich street dojo Kings Cross, London, on his own, and a little earlier than usual where there would usually be a group of us. Sensei was confronted by three thugs who demanded his wallet, as they made a threatening semi circle around him, he took out his wallet and threw it on the ground just in front of him, he then said to the thugs " I am prepared to die for my wallet, ARE YOU !!! "
Knowing Sensei as I did I doubt there was more than a just a few pounds in his wallet. The thugs looked at each other and changed their minds and they ran off.
www.british-aikido.com

That's the story i was thinking of.
Thank you for posting it.

Zach Trent
04-07-2010, 07:25 PM
" I am prepared to die for my wallet, ARE YOU !!! "


I really appreciate this discussion- appropriate levels of aggressive response. I think it is great to talk about, but hard to know until the time comes.

Hopefully you survive it and can reflect back on it. Still, we can develop our own philosophy and stance regarding interpersonal violence, and debate that philosophy with others.

Any way- here is a video of a fake mugging, still I wonder what people think of this response over the real mugging mentioned above. Just curious :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB2VI9PXtxY&feature=PlayList&p=65626F2AB3D479BD&playnext_from=PL&playnext=1&index=15

sakumeikan
04-09-2010, 06:23 AM
I look at it this way. I try to have others control me as little as possible. If I am out walking, minding my own business - why should I have to change my plans and give up my wallet, or whatever it is when I can tell him to back off and continue about what I was doing?
Sorry - but running away at every threat is not the way I want to live my life. I would rather die living the way I choose, than to live knowing I was a sell-out.

Drear Edward,
One of the main objectives of Aikido is the ability to develop Common Sense.Each situation requires different strategies.For example if the threat level is high [two mean guys with baseball bats] would you decide to fight them or give them you mobile phone ?Its a question of judgement and common sense.
If the situation is such that there are no alternatives but to
roll you sleeves up and do battle , so be it.On more than one occasion I have been faced with situations where having explored all avenues of diplomacy, I ended up sorting out the problem with
a few basic waza. I think the maxim that 'retreat is not defeat' is a useful viewpoint depending on circumstances.I much prefer "jaw jaw to war war" as Winston Churchill [ex British Prime Minister in the 40s]quoted.
You can always get another wallet , a few dollars or a mobile phone , but what about getting seriously hurt /killed being
a macho man?
Cheers, Joe.

sakumeikan
04-09-2010, 06:31 AM
I really appreciate this discussion- appropriate levels of aggressive response. I think it is great to talk about, but hard to know until the time comes.

Hopefully you survive it and can reflect back on it. Still, we can develop our own philosophy and stance regarding interpersonal violence, and debate that philosophy with others.

Any way- here is a video of a fake mugging, still I wonder what people think of this response over the real mugging mentioned above. Just curious :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB2VI9PXtxY&feature=PlayList&p=65626F2AB3D479BD&playnext_from=PL&playnext=1&index=15
Dear Zach,
As a good friend of Mr Ellis and considering I knew Abbe Sensei [the gent who was being asked for his wallet] I can assure you that when Abbe Sensei made that statement to the would be muggers the muggers more than likely would have known that they had potentially bit off more than they could chew.
Abbe Sensei was a formidable exponent of Martial Arts.
I dont think Abbe Sensei would a won the booby prize had battle ensued.

Darryl Cowens
04-11-2010, 02:11 AM
Well, fwiw, in our aikido club one of the senior members, a yondan teaches 'self defense' classes on a friday night, as opposed to our 'basics', 'regular', or 'advanced' aikido classes.

What exactly he teaches I'm not entirely sure, as I've never participated, but I do know it isn't aikido. There may well be some aikido techniques and principles incorporated into it, but it isn't an aikido class.

Myself, self-defense is well down the list of reasons why I spend $30 a month.

heathererandolph
04-11-2010, 09:48 AM
Well, our style's motto being "minimum effort maximum result" the goal being when presented with a dangerous situation not to be in a dangerous situation it would make sense to do the least possible to achieve the goal.

CarlRylander
04-11-2010, 12:13 PM
I have a list of one hundred O sensei sayings and he said never run away.

I know a TKWD black belt, and he said he could take a knife off someone, but he would be cut to bits.

I would give him the wallet, though there again you could try not even practising any martial art at all and just carrying a couple of hundred pounds with you, as bribery, in case anyone starts on you.

guillermo santos
04-12-2010, 03:27 AM
Does it make me a "bad" Aikidoka because I won't run away if someone attacks me or leads on that they might?[/QUOTE]

If there is no other alternatives, I think you need to protect yourself.
If you are just going face your attacker to test your Aikido skills, maybe you will hurt someone or hurt yourself. Street fighting has no rule somebody might end up dead and there is no referee to stop.
I believe Aikido is a martial art that trains not only the physical but also for mental and spiritual development. I believe the purpose of Aiki is to teach harmony and peace but if someone who wish to destroy this harmony and peace, then this is the time to make your own decision.
There is a master in Aikido that don't write "DO" in his dojo banner or streamer anymore only AIKI. He explained that the "DO" is now invisible because each and everyone of us has its own "DO" and should discover it not just learn from somebody.
I thinked nobody is a "bad" Aikidoka , everybody has its own way of learning and this is part of the process of good learning.

Zach Trent
04-15-2010, 11:49 PM
Dear Zach,
As a good friend of Mr Ellis and considering I knew Abbe Sensei [the gent who was being asked for his wallet] I can assure you that when Abbe Sensei made that statement to the would be muggers the muggers more than likely would have known that they had potentially bit off more than they could chew.
Abbe Sensei was a formidable exponent of Martial Arts.
I dont think Abbe Sensei would a won the booby prize had battle ensued.

Hi Joe-

I have no doubt at all about Abbe Sensei's combat ability. I wasn't trying to insinuate that at all.

I only posted the video as an alternative response to fighting muggers- I think it is an interesting response. Both responses are quite powerful, really.

I think one of the cool things about Aikido is that there is a core philosophy, but there aren't exactly tenets. That is to say- you can interpret Osensei saying "Aikido is not a technique to defeat an enemy." into whatever makes sense for you and your worldview.

There are clear authorities on the physical side of Aikido, but not the philosophical side. This enables us all to be authorities on what Aikido is or is not, because we are internalizing the art for ourselves.

Of course we can still listen, learn, and push one another's beliefs, but at the end of the day we have no book to follow and relatively little writing from Osensei. So, at the end of the day the only learning comes through our body.

That is some deep sh*t

RED
04-16-2010, 11:36 AM
Wow, this thread was started when I was a senior in high school..... really freakin' old.

CurtisK
04-22-2010, 06:58 PM
Cool, I've never posted in a thread this old anywhere before.

Some of this has been mentioned or alluded to, but it is all about outcomes and probability. Given the actions of the aggressor, what can you do that has the best chance of the best outcome? This will be different for each situation, but avoiding violence if possible will almost always have the best probably of the best outcome.

It helps to have your ego in check. If you need to prove to anyone, including yourself, what you are capable of doing you have already lost, even if you win. A truly confident person is happy to win by losing (or avoiding) since they have nothing to prove to anyone.

Alberto_Italiano
04-22-2010, 08:12 PM
Coming from a boxing background, I ma add my boxing worthless cent to this topic. I can't remember right now which famous world champion once at a social gathering was heavily insulted by some guy. He did nothing and even kept replying gently. Once the "offender" went away, he was asked why he was so kind in his answers. To which he replied "once you have been heavyweights world champion, you can afford being gentle".

So, Edward, I'd say: fight as much as you can in your dojo, being sure your ukes are not treating you like a tea lady. Fight hard. In order to become able to afford such luxury: being gentle.

And, eventually, nobody is going to gather much glory for having grounded an abusive drunkard.

Dennis Kanbier
05-14-2010, 04:47 AM
Does it make me a "bad" Aikidoka because I won't run away if someone attacks me or leads on that they might?

I haven't read all replies, but if you don't mind I'd like to give my view on this. :)

For me, Aikido stands for finding the path of least resistance and use it without harming others.

The physical training is for giving me the tools I need to actually do that if I would have to physically defend myself. With the emphasis on "need", if I can resolve a conflict without actually using Aikido techniques I would.

As an Aikidoka I don't have the need to bring my training in to practise, but when you have to it's not wrong to use it. That doesn't make you a "bad" Aikidoka.

However, if you think paying 60$/month and training hard justifies using Aikido techniques when you do have to option to just walk away from a conflict I don't think you're on the right path.

Andrew Macdonald
05-24-2010, 11:24 PM
to quote one of my favorite movies

'running's not a plan.... running's what you do when a plan fails'