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kewms
09-11-2015, 01:39 PM
Found this on the web today. It seemed apropos of all the "practical self-defense" threads we see around here.

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

Best self defense technique? Don't be there. Which, sometimes, means realizing that no, aikido (or any other art) does not make you an action movie star, and acting accordingly.

Katherine

Dan Richards
09-11-2015, 03:54 PM
Marc MacYoung's entire site, and all those little "hubs" of articles, should be absolute required reading for anyone involved in anything resembling "self defense."

And his articles should be part of frequent conversations in the dojo among students and instructors.

I can think of no better authority on modern self-defense in daily life than MacYoung.

His entire Legal Hub of articles pairs nicely with the article you linked, Katherine.

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

kewms
09-11-2015, 05:12 PM
Absolutely agree. I'm not sure I've read his entire site, but I've read large chunks of it over the years. Definitely required reading.

Katherine

Michael Hackett
09-11-2015, 07:26 PM
Reading the autobiographies of he and his wife make me want to question the entire background, BUT what he has to say about the reality of self-defense and the ramifications of use of force are spot on. His point about how most dojo don't provide the legal context of self-defense is truly important as well. After decades in law enforcement I can say that his advice has great value and is worth considering. He knows what he's talking about.

JW
09-12-2015, 02:28 AM
I've been in situations that had the emotions discussed in the article. I am sure I have a lot more reading to do (Meditations on Violence has been on my list for a while, and thanks for the reference to this site).

But before that, just for discussion forum sake:

There's something here I get and something I don't get. I get the "don't be an a-hole" sentiment, and I get that often these things aren't worth fighting over. So, that means, just don't do the monkey dance, and instead get out of the situation.

But, there's this other feeling I don't get. Let's say someone is a Bad Guy, bully, etc. He does or says racist or sexist things for example, probably directed at you. Or threatens your life with his 2-ton truck because he thinks cyclists are stupid and should get lost. Or he throws trash at you.
The monkey says don't take this lying down (thinking of yourself), and don't condone or encourage it (thinking of others down the line).
So then what?

I don't need to get into a fight because I think someone is an a-hole, but sometimes there is something at work in the aggressor's behavior that seems bigger and more worth standing up for yourself about.

Rupert Atkinson
09-12-2015, 06:40 AM
Anyone watch that Compton movie? I hated every minute of it, but watched it all the same as it was kind of educational to me. Almost every conversation in the movie is a confrontation. Egos abound in every scene. How can any one be such an idiot 100% of the time? Are people really like that in the inner cities of America. Surely not. It's just a movie, right?

Cliff Judge
09-12-2015, 08:59 AM
Anyone watch that Compton movie? I hated every minute of it,

Me too, could never get into that west coast hip-hop.

SeiserL
09-12-2015, 09:30 AM
Many discussions with MacYoung ...
Agree with most of his stuff ... highly recommend ...
Situational awareness and prevention more important than after the fact skills ...
Self-awareness/reflection/realization a must ...

Janet Rosen
09-12-2015, 10:32 AM
(sigh) happened with me in the middle just a couple of weeks ago. At the feed store, a few of us, various individual and family folks playing with or petting the kitties in large cages from a local rescue org up for adoption.
A guy says sort of loudly, "why do they charge so much when you can get a cat for just a few bucks at the shelter?"
Two of us - women - both of us with friendly tones, start to explain that the shelter is county, has a county budget, and HAS to try to deal with a mass of cats, while the rescue is spending purely donated money to foster, treat, etc a limited selection of adoptable cats...he immediately takes offense at the mere fact of women disagreeing with him and gruffily dismisses it and walks off mumbling.
OK. No big deal.
Except hubby of the other woman decides Women Have Been Offended and the offender MUST see the error of his way.
So I'm stuck de-escalating Mr. Married Monkey Brain while hustling the offender off (no big deal, man, just go...) while his totally embarrassed wife just does ineffectual Offended Wife pleading.
Sheesh.
Lest anybody think I'm targeting men here....I know some women who have remarkable ability to go into monkey brain at imagined slights....it truly is a universal trait....

Alec Corper
09-12-2015, 11:49 AM
If you guys are going down this route you need to add the works of Rory Miller to your reading list, along with Dave Grossman and Peyton Quinn. It's good to see people discussing self protection, the cultivation thereof, before a situation degenerates to the physical. As I have said before, in military terms physical self defense represents three levels of weapons failure. In civilian terms they are, loss of awareness, inability to avoid, and inability to de-escalate.
Perhaps for those who go this route the final step is escape, or be prepared to explain your actions. Sitting with your back to the wall is good awareness, unless of course the only exit is at the other end. ;-)

Mary Eastland
09-12-2015, 01:26 PM
(sigh) happened with me in the middle just a couple of weeks ago. At the feed store, a few of us, various individual and family folks playing with or petting the kitties in large cages from a local rescue org up for adoption.
A guy says sort of loudly, "why do they charge so much when you can get a cat for just a few bucks at the shelter?"
Two of us - women - both of us with friendly tones, start to explain that the shelter is county, has a county budget, and HAS to try to deal with a mass of cats, while the rescue is spending purely donated money to foster, treat, etc a limited selection of adoptable cats...he immediately takes offense at the mere fact of women disagreeing with him and gruffily dismisses it and walks off mumbling.
OK. No big deal.
Except hubby of the other woman decides Women Have Been Offended and the offender MUST see the error of his way.
So I'm stuck de-escalating Mr. Married Monkey Brain while hustling the offender off (no big deal, man, just go...) while his totally embarrassed wife just does ineffectual Offended Wife pleading.
Sheesh.
Lest anybody think I'm targeting men here....I know some women who have remarkable ability to go into monkey brain at imagined slights....it truly is a universal trait....

Reflecting back what I am hearing as I read here...it sounds victimy. The first (sigh) and ("So, I am stuck de-escalating...) It sounds like you think you have no choice in the matter. We always have a choice.

Internal language is very important. You made decisions to act a certain way.

kewms
09-12-2015, 01:34 PM
But, there's this other feeling I don't get. Let's say someone is a Bad Guy, bully, etc. He does or says racist or sexist things for example, probably directed at you. Or threatens your life with his 2-ton truck because he thinks cyclists are stupid and should get lost. Or he throws trash at you.
The monkey says don't take this lying down (thinking of yourself), and don't condone or encourage it (thinking of others down the line).
So then what?

I don't need to get into a fight because I think someone is an a-hole, but sometimes there is something at work in the aggressor's behavior that seems bigger and more worth standing up for yourself about.

A couple of things. First, it's still a "fight" or an "assault," rather than "self-defense" if you punch him in the mouth for being a jerk. Which means you are still bringing just as much legal jeopardy down upon your head. Jerks are citizens, too, and I'll bet he looks and acts like the most innocent choir boy you've ever seen by the time a jury sees him.

Second, think of the "bodyguard" metaphor. I don't remember if it was this article or elsewhere, but MacYoung points out that the bodyguard's job is not to beat up the guy who insulted his protectee. It is to keep the protectee safe. Period. End of mission. The applicability of this is obvious if you're with someone else, but even if you're not, you are your own protectee. Your job is to get yourself home in one piece, not to right the wrongs of the world.

Which is not to say you should cringe and cower in the face of bullying. Maybe this fight is worth having. Maybe he's crossed the line from a threat display to a real physical attack, in which case it really is self-defense. Just be aware of the risks -- legal and physical -- that you are running if you decide *not* to walk away.

Katherine

kewms
09-12-2015, 01:37 PM
Anyone watch that Compton movie? I hated every minute of it, but watched it all the same as it was kind of educational to me. Almost every conversation in the movie is a confrontation. Egos abound in every scene. How can any one be such an idiot 100% of the time? Are people really like that in the inner cities of America. Surely not. It's just a movie, right?

Forget inner cities, look at your average business meeting. The posturing may be a little more subtle, but it's still there.

I'd recommend reading anything by Ta-Nehisi Coates. He's an amazing writer, who grew up in a rough part of Baltimore and has written very eloquently about what that's like.

Katherine

rugwithlegs
09-12-2015, 03:00 PM
Reflecting back what I am hearing as I read here...it sounds victimy. The first (sigh) and ("So, I am stuck de-escalating...) It sounds like you think you have no choice in the matter. We always have a choice.

Internal language is very important. You made decisions to act a certain way.

Hm. It is no fun, nor heroic, nor well received when cooler heads need to prevail and by default I find myself stepping up. Yes, it would be easier if I didn't give a crap about the outcome - I'd feel no obligation to prevent stupid people with volatile moods from being stupid, like over reacting to rude comments. It is frustrating and boring to keep the peace and babysit the idiots who are going to be grumpy about me babysitting.

The choice is to leave the world a little better minute by minute in a dozen tiny little ways, or to watch the situation go completely stupid, maybe watch the blood being spilled knowing I could stop it. It becomes a sense of responsibility.

It's the social interaction version of wiping poop and vomit off a combative drug addict patient. I'll take pride that they are cleaner, but I will be irritated too.

Janet Rosen
09-12-2015, 03:12 PM
Reflecting back what I am hearing as I read here...it sounds victimy. The first (sigh) and ("So, I am stuck de-escalating...) It sounds like you think you have no choice in the matter. We always have a choice.

Internal language is very important. You made decisions to act a certain way.

DID YOU ACTUALLY READ THE STORY?
Of course I chose to step in actively de-escalate.
That is what I do.
I am not a victim. I am a person expressing exasperation.
Please do not "language police" me especially if you cannot accurately interpret.

Mary Eastland
09-12-2015, 04:55 PM
Just telling you how I heard it. And no you did not HAVE to do what you chose to do. We always have a choice. You could have let the couple deal with their own dynamic.

Mary Eastland
09-12-2015, 06:46 PM
Hm. It is no fun, nor heroic, nor well received when cooler heads need to prevail and by default I find myself stepping up. Yes, it would be easier if I didn't give a crap about the outcome - I'd feel no obligation to prevent stupid people with volatile moods from being stupid, like over reacting to rude comments. It is frustrating and boring to keep the peace and babysit the idiots who are going to be grumpy about me babysitting.

The choice is to leave the world a little better minute by minute in a dozen tiny little ways, or to watch the situation go completely stupid, maybe watch the blood being spilled knowing I could stop it. It becomes a sense of responsibility.

It's the social interaction version of wiping poop and vomit off a combative drug addict patient. I'll take pride that they are cleaner, but I will be irritated too.

That is the difference between being loving or not. Some people can do the wiping and come from a place of love.(Myself not included) Would not that be the highest form of training?

This view can be a bit shallow and self righteous if we think we always know what it best. Being in the moment and fully tuned in to what is happening affords no judgement.

Getting involved in the conflicts of others can be very dangerous and maybe not the least bit appreciated by any of the parties.

rugwithlegs
09-12-2015, 11:56 PM
That is the difference between being loving or not. Some people can do the wiping and come from a place of love.(Myself not included) Would not that be the highest form of training?

This view can be a bit shallow and self righteous if we think we always know what it best. Being in the moment and fully tuned in to what is happening affords no judgement.

Getting involved in the conflicts of others can be very dangerous and maybe not the least bit appreciated by any of the parties.

I do agree with most of this. Wipe a new born babies bottom, no problem feeling the love. Adult man overdoses again and is trying to throw feces at me for helping him survive - well, it is my job to help but I'll draw the line and probably restrain him. Cause it is dangerous.

Do I always know what is right? No. Sometimes all I have is my job description and my duty.

Being fully in the moment and fully tuned in to what is happening affords no judgement - I guess from a health care professional/former corrections background, being fully alert still allows/demands assessment, evaluation, objectives/goals. The best possible outcome for everyone involved doesn't always just happen and sometimes guidance/intervention is required. My wife would agree with you when she teaches randori; I still start students off with "Where is the door? Where is the second attacker?" If there is no room for judgement, then the success or failure of an intervention cannot be evaluated and a mistaken assessment is not open for debate. The only feedback or situational debrief possible is "be more attuned with the moment." I like to give more concrete help even though this is always good advice, and I think analysis is still part of being attuned.

Again, if I didn't care, easy to do.

Demetrio Cereijo
09-13-2015, 05:04 AM
This 'Don't be the bad guy' seems to me is easily used as excuse for not being the good guy.

kewms
09-13-2015, 10:45 AM
This 'Don't be the bad guy' seems to me is easily used as excuse for not being the good guy.

That might be true, IF there were large numbers of innocent victims needing rescue.

Out in the real world, though, the majority of violence doesn't fit that pattern. (Especially the majority of violence that a private citizen is likely to encounter. Domestic violence tends to take place behind closed doors.)

And even if it did, does "being the good guy" mean chastising the bad guy? Or does it mean getting the innocent victim to safety? The two objectives are not the same and require different strategies.

Katherine

Demetrio Cereijo
09-13-2015, 02:01 PM
That might be true, IF there were large numbers of innocent victims needing rescue.

One victim one could have helped but didn't is enough. You know, the old "Think globally, act locally"

Out in the real world, though, the majority of violence doesn't fit that pattern. (Especially the majority of violence that a private citizen is likely to encounter. Domestic violence tends to take place behind closed doors.)
And around closed eyes and ears.

And even if it did, does "being the good guy" mean chastising the bad guy? Or does it mean getting the innocent victim to safety? The two objectives are not the same and require different strategies.

Well, it depends on the circunstances. Sometimes is time to deescalate, sometimes is time to avoid and sometimes is time to engage. If one has only the tools for one of these, there will be situations where failure to do what is right will be the most probable result.

kewms
09-13-2015, 02:11 PM
Discerning "what is right" is not so easy. Nor is doing "what is right," even if your judgment is accurate and you have the tools available.

Wanting to save the world is a noble impulse. It can also be an extremely destructive one.

Katherine

Demetrio Cereijo
09-13-2015, 02:17 PM
Discerning "what is right" is not so easy. Nor is doing "what is right," even if your judgment is accurate and you have the tools available.

Easy? Who wants things to be easy?

Wanting to save the world is a noble impulse. It can also be an extremely destructive one.
And ultimately futile. The Sun is expected to turn into a red giant in about 5 billion years.

kewms
09-13-2015, 04:03 PM
Easy? Who wants things to be easy?

We all do.

We want to be able to tell who the bad guys and the good guys are.

We want the bad guy to be easy to dispatch, either by chasing him away or knocking him unconscious. And we want him to have no legal or extra-legal recourse after the fact.

We want the good guy to be unharmed, physically or psychologically, to appreciate our efforts, and to live happily ever after thanks to our intervention.

We want our own skills to be up to the task, and to move on with our lives afterward, with no negative legal, extra-legal, social, or psychological repercussions.

And the whole point of the link that I posted is that in real world encounters we are likely to fail to achieve pretty much every one of those wants.

Katherine

Mary Eastland
09-13-2015, 04:20 PM
And because of all that Katherine mentioned, being mindful in every circumstance in important as is thinking before hand about what we are willing to physically fight for and what is not worth getting hurt over.

Demetrio Cereijo
09-13-2015, 05:07 PM
We all do.

...

We all or you all?

jurasketu
09-13-2015, 10:50 PM
Thank you Katherine D. for posting the Marc MacYoung link. I've read parts before, but I needed a refresher. And now this causes me to create another post.

lbb
09-14-2015, 10:17 AM
One victim one could have helped but didn't is enough. You know, the old "Think globally, act locally"

Enough for what? Enough for the overwhelming majority of times when you were wrong, and the resulting violence was perhaps worse as a result? That's the point being made here, it's not a carnival game where if you miss the target, oh well, no harm done. For the one time you are Mighty Mouse saving the day, there are a hundred (thousand? ten thousand?) times that you are making the situation worse.

lbb
09-14-2015, 10:22 AM
Just telling you how I heard it. And no you did not HAVE to do what you chose to do. We always have a choice. You could have let the couple deal with their own dynamic.

You're twisting her words, Mary; Janet never said or suggested that she didn't have a choice. But "deal with their own dynamic" is a pretty antiseptic and above-it-all way to describe what would likely have happened had she acted otherwise. Before you tone-police, remember that her action was to politely offer information and then choose (choice, remember?) to de-escalate when an irrational person chose to take offense. Why do you have a beef with it?

Demetrio Cereijo
09-14-2015, 10:31 AM
Enough for what? Enough for the overwhelming majority of times when you were wrong, and the resulting violence was perhaps worse as a result?
Wait a moment. How do you know that? You are working for the CIA, aren't you?

For the one time you are Mighty Mouse saving the day, there are a hundred (thousand? ten thousand?) times that you are making the situation worse.
I'm pretty sure the people I have laid my hands on them are not to be counted by thousands. However if you have better data about my life, I'm all ears.

jonreading
09-14-2015, 11:54 AM
These are good reads and usually part of my recommended reading for self-defense/awareness. I also recommend Gavin DeBecker's books, which Marc MacYoung recommends from time to time in his articles. As a side note, MacYoung spends much of his time on predator behavior, so random violence and circumstantial violence are different problems.

A big component of awareness is not contributing to the problem. A simple primal trigger can often cause us to become part of the problem. Monkey brain, animal brain, lizard brain - we've all heard reference to a primal urge to act based upon some kind of stimulus. That stimulus is a strong motivator that is hard to control and can get us into trouble because of social considerations.

For this thread as a topic of the "bad guy" theme, I think there is a distinction between being part of the problem and doing no harm. "Doing no harm" is still inserting yourself into the situation, you're just not making things worse. The thrust of several strategies (MacYoung is big on this if you read the other articles) is that your involvement contributes to resolution. More specifically in this article is that your role does not trigger primal responses that deteriorate the situation. Reasoning requires the "reasoning mind," not the "hit it with a stick until it stops moving" mind.

There's also a difference between avoiding a fight and letting a small fight escalate into a bad situation. Permission by subordination... Bully takes lunch money days 1-4, guess what happens on day 5? Kid gives bully lunch money. That fight that wasn't worth it on day 1 has now just turned into a relationship of abuse. Knowing when to fight is just as important as knowing what to fight about. Anyone who's had a boss ask them to work late "just this once..." knows what that leads to - an expectation of work outside business hours. In our passive-aggressive world, fighting over a parking space may actually have little to do with the reason someone has picked a fight over a parking space.

Part of the education process is learning skills that help you contribute to the resolution. I think we often are usually pretty inept at this complicated role. But, we have some mis-education that empowers us to become involved in a situation, often to a unsatisfactory conclusion. From there, we blame other causes for the unsatisfactory conclusion ("well, if he just kept his mouth closed," If she didn't bring up my mother," "if there hadn't been a priest watching...") If the negotiator role was easy, everyone would do it.

lbb
09-14-2015, 12:21 PM
Wait a moment. How do you know that? You are working for the CIA, aren't you?.

YOU WEREN'T SUPPOSED TO TELL.

I think you're willfully missing the point, Demetrio. My guess is that you're already exercising a degree of restraint that's filtering out most of the "make it worse" situations. That's not really what this thread is about.

Mary Eastland
09-14-2015, 12:34 PM
You're twisting her words, Mary; Janet never said or suggested that she didn't have a choice. But "deal with their own dynamic" is a pretty antiseptic and above-it-all way to describe what would likely have happened had she acted otherwise. Before you tone-police, remember that her action was to politely offer information and then choose (choice, remember?) to de-escalate when an irrational person chose to take offense. Why do you have a beef with it?

My beef ( more like my questioning) is with helping where help is not asked for. It can be dangerous and counter productive.

.As to references to tone police I stand by what I said. It sounded martyrish to me. I am not saying people can't say what they want and beat their chests if they want to. Go for it. I do it sometimes. It is part of the human condition.

The original articles are alarmist and fear based. Aikido is a martial art based on becoming strong and peaceful. We really have to step into our strength and awareness and pick our battles. I am not getting injured or even triggered because of someone else's unhealthy relationship. People that get involved in other people's drama often get hurt and are not really appreciated for their actions. I have seen both the attacker and the victim turn on an interferer.

But Janet is a grown women and can make her own choices. And by putting them on a public forum we can discuss them.

kewms
09-14-2015, 12:47 PM
The original articles are alarmist and fear based. Aikido is a martial art based on becoming strong and peaceful. We really have to step into our strength and awareness and pick our battles. I am not getting injured or even triggered because of someone else's unhealthy relationship. People that get involved in other people's drama often get hurt and are not really appreciated for their actions. I have seen both the attacker and the victim turn on an interferer.

Sure. And it's very easy to say that while sitting safely behind a keyboard, and very difficult to actually do it in reality. I posted the original link because so many of the "aikido in real life" threads seem to have little or no understanding of what "real life" can entail, and buy into the "martial artist as action hero" myth.

One shouldn't live in fear, but having a realistic understanding of the possibilities is essential to making wise choices. Some battles are best avoided.

Katherine

kewms
09-14-2015, 12:51 PM
Part of the education process is learning skills that help you contribute to the resolution. I think we often are usually pretty inept at this complicated role. But, we have some mis-education that empowers us to become involved in a situation, often to a unsatisfactory conclusion. From there, we blame other causes for the unsatisfactory conclusion ("well, if he just kept his mouth closed," If she didn't bring up my mother," "if there hadn't been a priest watching...") If the negotiator role was easy, everyone would do it.

And don't forget the ever popular "aikido doesn't work." Which was sort of my point in posting. If you're amped up and tense, your (physical) aikido won't probably work very well, but why didn't your (mental) aikido keep you out of the situation in the first place?

Katherine

Mary Eastland
09-14-2015, 01:53 PM
Sure. And it's very easy to say that while sitting safely behind a keyboard, and very difficult to actually do it in reality. I posted the original link because so many of the "aikido in real life" threads seem to have little or no understanding of what "real life" can entail, and buy into the "martial artist as action hero" myth.

One shouldn't live in fear, but having a realistic understanding of the possibilities is essential to making wise choices. Some battles are best avoided.

Katherine

I do work behind a keyboard in an office by myself in a secluded situation. I use Aikido all the time. I feel safe most of the time and if I don't I do something about it no matter what it looks like or what someone might think or say about it.

jonreading
09-14-2015, 02:56 PM
And don't forget the ever popular "aikido doesn't work." Which was sort of my point in posting. If you're amped up and tense, your (physical) aikido won't probably work very well, but why didn't your (mental) aikido keep you out of the situation in the first place?

Katherine

This is an interesting point. Since it's football season, why not go with the armchair quarterback analogy. Around work coolers across the country today, people will discuss the decision of our lauded NFL quarterbacks, coaches and key players. We will have have some notion of how simple it would have been to throw that pass to the flats. I mean, jeez. Yet most of us are not quarterbacks of NFL-caliber; or even high-school caliber. But we feel we have a valid opinion and expertise to comment. Situational pressure has a crazy effect on the body with all the chemical dumps and physical duress. I think the general idea of martial arts training is to create a management system for that chemical dump and the other physical effects of distress. Although, that would mean at some point your training distresses you, which is a whole other conversation.

We used to work on a weapons drill. place your hands in a bucket of ice water for 2 minutes. Provided you can stand that exercise, there are several tasks you can complete: draw your pistol and cock it, eject and load a magazine, or even load a magazine with ammunition. The tasks are quite hard. As a variation, you can also do survival tasks: open a box of matches and strike a match, thread fishing line through a hook, etc. It's an urban-friendly exercise to help us keep perspective about what we can do and what we think we can do...

Michael Hackett
09-14-2015, 04:48 PM
Mr. MacYoung's articles speak to two issues. The first, you NEED to know what the laws relating to self-defense actually are in your jurisdiction. And secondly, it is foolish to exacerbate the situation with your own conduct.

In general terms, you can use force to protect yourself or others from a violent assault. Whether you should or not is another topic altogether. Calling 9-1-1 may be the best course of action in a particular situation and physically intervening might be in others. You have to make that decision for yourself in seconds. If you do intervene, you'd best be right about the use of force in your area or you might find yourself in serious legal trouble in addition to the possibility that you will be injured or killed yourself. There will be situations where placing yourself in personal danger is the right thing for you to do as part of your decision making process. Only you can decide if you are willing at that moment to sacrifice your life to save another.

In his other point, things get out of hand if you begin to posture and offend the individual and provoke a violent reaction. If you do, you may well have entered into the world of criminal behavior.

Those two points are only tied to the martial arts by the idea that a trained martial artist may believe that he is capable of resolving the issue. Clearly the message is to know the rules and don't get carried away due to your own ego. Seems fairly simple to me.

Janet Rosen
09-14-2015, 06:41 PM
My beef ( more like my questioning) is with helping where help is not asked for. It can be dangerous and counter productive.

.As to references to tone police I stand by what I said. It sounded martyrish to me. I am not saying people can't say what they want and beat their chests if they want to. Go for it. I do it sometimes. It is part of the human condition.

My experience includes many times jumping in "where help was not asked for" doing security or street patrols and successfully de-escalating.
The issue I described, if you would read it again, was NOT an arguing couple but an issue of a rude man who bitched out loud and walked away (which I was comfortable ignoring) and an angry man who took offense on behalf of me and another woman. It was the latter who required de-escalating to prevent an altercation from turning physical.
I have done this since I was 19 years old and yes I do know how to read the situation and know when to act when to not.
If you cannot tell the difference between an exasperated New Yorker and a martyr, that is a level of education I do not know how to provide. I have had misunderstandings with you not accurately reading or writing in response to me and it is time for me to block you.

Mary Eastland
09-17-2015, 06:40 AM
My experience includes many times jumping in "where help was not asked for" doing security or street patrols and successfully de-escalating.
The issue I described, if you would read it again, was NOT an arguing couple but an issue of a rude man who bitched out loud and walked away (which I was comfortable ignoring) and an angry man who took offense on behalf of me and another woman. It was the latter who required de-escalating to prevent an altercation from turning physical.
I have done this since I was 19 years old and yes I do know how to read the situation and know when to act when to not.
If you cannot tell the difference between an exasperated New Yorker and a martyr, that is a level of education I do not know how to provide. I have had misunderstandings with you not accurately reading or writing in response to me and it is time for me to block you.

LOL, Okay Janet. I picture standing you with your hands in your ears singing "lalalalala...I can't hear you.....";)

A more productive exercise might be to ask yourself "Who is the bad guy here? "Why are these words on the screen from a poorly educated woman from Massachusetts bothering me so much I had to write in all caps and then block her?"

I think labeling ourselves by calling ourselves things like a New Yorker and "this is how I act" limits our responses. The part of Aikido that is really interesting to me is my response to resistance.
Am I blaming uke and refusing to look at myself?

lbb
09-17-2015, 07:47 AM
LOL, Okay Janet. I picture standing you with your hands in your ears singing "lalalalala...I can't hear you.....";)

Wow. You get shady with someone, repeatedly, and then think you're in any position to mock them as being childish when they decide to ignore your antics?

A more productive exercise might be to ask yourself "Who is the bad guy here? "Why are these words on the screen from a poorly educated woman from Massachusetts bothering me so much I had to write in all caps and then block her?"

You're either being very disingenuous or you're exhibiting very poor social skills. Neither speaks well of you.

I think labeling ourselves by calling ourselves things like a New Yorker and "this is how I act" limits our responses. The part of Aikido that is really interesting to me is my response to resistance.
Am I blaming uke and refusing to look at myself?

Emphasis mine. It strikes me that refusing to look at yourself is exactly what you're doing here. You said some shady things, now you need to own them.

Mary Eastland
09-17-2015, 09:05 AM
Wow. You get shady with someone, repeatedly, and then think you're in any position to mock them as being childish when they decide to ignore your antics?

You're either being very disingenuous or you're exhibiting very poor social skills. Neither speaks well of you.

Emphasis mine. It strikes me that refusing to look at yourself is exactly what you're doing here. You said some shady things, now you need to own them.

I know I am not a member of the clique that exists on here. It is okay for some people to say whatever they want. That is fine with me. I am not shady and said nothing shady.

Instead of thinking of the worst about me...maybe you could give me the benefit of the doubt and really read what I am saying.

Everything that is written is not intended to be mean.

That last post was light... a jokey thing. Did you see the winky face?

I know Janet feels offended but nothing I wrote was meant to offend her. Whenever I have a response to your (Mary) response's and Janet's corrections about what I don't understand...I try to see your side.

Me shady...that is pretty funny.

I know both of you are really smart and can express yourself well and never write anything that anyone misunderstands. But I have decided to keep posting anyway. :ai: I have a lot to learn. As has been stated more than once by you both.

Thanks you for the corrections. I really do appreciate them.

lbb
09-17-2015, 09:13 AM
I am not shady and said nothing shady.

We disagree, but I accept that that may not have been your intention originally. When you chose to take another swipe at someone who just pointed out what you did, that calls your intention at that point into question. I accept that this, again, may not have been your intention; can you accept that, intentionally or not, you gave this impression?

Thanks you for the corrections. I really do appreciate them.

They're not corrections, just observations.

kewms
09-17-2015, 11:23 AM
Some fights are not worth having, even on the internet...

Katherine

RonRagusa
09-17-2015, 03:56 PM
Let's say someone is a Bad Guy, bully, etc.

He does or says racist or sexist things for example, probably directed at you.

Walk away.

Or threatens your life with his 2-ton truck because he thinks cyclists are stupid and should get lost.

Walk away; no run away, fast. Two ton truck wins every time. Legitimate threats to life and limb require the intervention of law enforcement personnel.

Or he throws trash at you.

Trash? Really, trash? Walk away laughing.

I don't need to get into a fight because I think someone is an a-hole, but sometimes there is something at work in the aggressor's behavior that seems bigger and more worth standing up for yourself about.

And that is one of the reasons we train, to enable us to view a situation thru the lenses of sanity and calmness. Letting one's ego dictate responses gets in the way of that. Short of physical aggression what's the point of continuing the engagement?

Ron

rugwithlegs
09-18-2015, 03:55 PM
I've been in situations that had the emotions discussed in the article. I am sure I have a lot more reading to do (Meditations on Violence has been on my list for a while, and thanks for the reference to this site).

But before that, just for discussion forum sake:

There's something here I get and something I don't get. I get the "don't be an a-hole" sentiment, and I get that often these things aren't worth fighting over. So, that means, just don't do the monkey dance, and instead get out of the situation.

But, there's this other feeling I don't get. Let's say someone is a Bad Guy, bully, etc. He does or says racist or sexist things for example, probably directed at you. Or threatens your life with his 2-ton truck because he thinks cyclists are stupid and should get lost. Or he throws trash at you.
The monkey says don't take this lying down (thinking of yourself), and don't condone or encourage it (thinking of others down the line).
So then what?

I don't need to get into a fight because I think someone is an a-hole, but sometimes there is something at work in the aggressor's behavior that seems bigger and more worth standing up for yourself about.

The last sentence of this comment above shows no desire to resort to physical violence. But, don't speak up when someone throws trash on your lawn, or at the beach, and then eventually there is no walking barefoot, no growing food in your garden, no laying on the beach. Someone needs to clean up. Someone wants to have racist posters on their front lawn, or the KKK which is trying to have a public revival with the Confederate flag debate decides to burn a cross, there is a time to stand up. Violence should be a last resort, but that does not mean tolerance for everything short of life threatening issues.

O Sensei allegedly said Budo and Farming are one, or something along that line. Farmers do put up fences, pull weeds, set traps for coyotes and so on. I don't know where to draw the line, but it is healthy for society and ourselves to drawn lines.

RonRagusa
09-18-2015, 04:02 PM
I am not shady and said nothing shady.

We agree.

You observed and wrote of your observations without judgement. You were pilloried by those claiming to be merely noting their observations while in reality were passing judgement. Such is the nature of the ofttimes Orwellian world we find ourselves in.

Ron

mathewjgano
09-19-2015, 12:29 PM
Some fights are not worth having, even on the internet...

Katherine

True that. Although I think it's illustrative of how differences in personal conventions of expression cause the intended virtues to get lost in translation; the world of difference between intent and expression/receiving. I'm sure there's something useful to be learned from the fact that there are different takes on many situations, and fault need not always apply.

We used to work on a weapons drill. place your hands in a bucket of ice water for 2 minutes. Provided you can stand that exercise, there are several tasks you can complete: draw your pistol and cock it, eject and load a magazine, or even load a magazine with ammunition. The tasks are quite hard. As a variation, you can also do survival tasks: open a box of matches and strike a match, thread fishing line through a hook, etc. It's an urban-friendly exercise to help us keep perspective about what we can do and what we think we can do...
Cool! I've done similar. I tend to reduce most things to being about studying limits and problem solving based on those limits. I remember playing soccer before school during the wintertime. By the time class started I noticed I often couldn't close or open my hands very quickly, and my hand strength was diminished. This led me to play around with the effects and study/practice doing things I might need to do. Since starting Aikido I've had the common experience of my feet going numb from seiza, which is a fascinating (and potentially dangerous) thing to happen if you're not prepared for it. So every time it happens, if I have the time, I pay attention to walking safely without being able to feel my feet (sloooowly). Just being aware of some limit can make the difference in how successful we are, and practicing with limits is crucial to maximizing what remains of our faculties.

O Sensei allegedly said Budo and Farming are one, or something along that line. Farmers do put up fences, pull weeds, set traps for coyotes and so on. I don't know where to draw the line, but it is healthy for society and ourselves to drawn lines.

This is crucial. And how we draw the lines is just as crucial. Sometimes just looking someone in the eyes and letting them know you're paying attention is drawing a line; sometimes keeping it for too long creates a tension they automatically are drawn toward. That fine line between action and inaction; something and nothing, can make all the difference and provides for endless study.
As a personal example for drawing lines: I used to take the view that if someone blamed me for something and I couldn't immediately and quickly explain how they were wrong, I would take the blame as a way of forcing myself to do better (I'd usually rather say sorry and try harder than argue over it). Well, at one job this led to my not getting as much of a bonus. The sad fact was that the reasons I was given for why I didn't get as much were all things I actually wasn't exactly at fault for. Establishing those clear lines proactively often means less work in the long-term.
Take care, folks!

jonreading
09-21-2015, 08:21 AM
I think we need to be careful in confusing "standing up" with "aggression" with "ego". None of these terms are really even synonymous with each other. After all, what is "letting someone else handle a problem," simply a passive action to continue to engage the issue, but allow someone else to intervene? It's not that we're gonna ignore a litterer; rather, we just trust [hope] that the police catch her. So instead of saying, "Hey man, there's a trash can over there. Can you help us keep the park clean? If you are determined to litter, give me your trash and I'll throw it away." We instead watch and hope they get caught. Maybe a fine... Oh, and court appearance with a punishment; like 40 community hours. And a news paper article shaming the offender.

Teddy Roosevelt talked about carrying a big stick. Finding someone with a bigger stick to fight for you is sometimes the right thing to do. But your still supporting the fight, you're just not doing the fighting.

lbb
09-21-2015, 10:45 AM
O Sensei allegedly said Budo and Farming are one, or something along that line. Farmers do put up fences, pull weeds, set traps for coyotes and so on. I don't know where to draw the line, but it is healthy for society and ourselves to drawn lines.

As near as I've been able to track this reference down (and I admit, I haven't tried all that hard), the relationship that O Sensei perceived was that both nourish both body and spirit.

kewms
09-21-2015, 10:54 AM
I think we need to be careful in confusing "standing up" with "aggression" with "ego". None of these terms are really even synonymous with each other. After all, what is "letting someone else handle a problem," simply a passive action to continue to engage the issue, but allow someone else to intervene? It's not that we're gonna ignore a litterer; rather, we just trust [hope] that the police catch her. So instead of saying, "Hey man, there's a trash can over there. Can you help us keep the park clean? If you are determined to litter, give me your trash and I'll throw it away." We instead watch and hope they get caught. Maybe a fine... Oh, and court appearance with a punishment; like 40 community hours. And a news paper article shaming the offender.

Teddy Roosevelt talked about carrying a big stick. Finding someone with a bigger stick to fight for you is sometimes the right thing to do. But your still supporting the fight, you're just not doing the fighting.

Indeed. This is why we pay for police departments and court systems. It is also why vigilantism is frowned upon, and why the laws concerning self-defense are written the way they are.

Katherine

rugwithlegs
09-21-2015, 10:06 PM
As near as I've been able to track this reference down (and I admit, I haven't tried all that hard), the relationship that O Sensei perceived was that both nourish both body and spirit.

Unfortunately, there is increasingly more evidence that many "O Sensei Quotes" are actually poorly translated, or excised from larger lectures and taken out of context, and some maybe even fabricated. I like the idea that you bring forth. It's a beautiful image. I claim no certainty that Morihei Ueshiba actually said exactly this quote, nor do I know what he actually meant. Agriculture in his day also probably didn't mean GMOs, Monsanto corporate vision, etc. I have not heard of O Sensei driving a tractor or milking a cow; maybe it happened. Yes, I have taken my own understanding and I may be way off base.

My memories of living in a small agricultural town was that the farm kids worked hard and were self reliant. There was no delegating what was necessary, no waiting for someone else to step up and do what needed to be done, no leaving the dirty work for someone else. (Tie back to the OP).

I remember having a very romantic version of living on a farm surrounded by animals and being horrified to learn a friend shot his dog because the animal was blind and old - no going to the vet. Animals as products and nature manipulated towards a goal. Fleecing, docking, branding, gelding, milking, breeding. Nature harnessed, not merely witnessed.

I guess my image of agriculture is also affected by Sunday School - the shepards with their slings and staves protecting and guiding their flock.

I still like the idea of nourishing

kewms
09-22-2015, 01:00 AM
TSomeone wants to have racist posters on their front lawn, or the KKK which is trying to have a public revival with the Confederate flag debate decides to burn a cross, there is a time to stand up.

The guy with the racist posters has the same free speech rights as the people whose opinions you find more congenial. So does the KKK. (Cross burning can actually be illegal under some circumstances, however.)

You can stand across the street with a sign. You can organize a counter-protest. You can buy the house next door and paint a rainbow on it. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/19/equality-house-one-year_n_4935716.html) But if you try to physically interfere, you are in the wrong.

Katherine

Peter Goldsbury
09-22-2015, 01:25 AM
O Sensei allegedly said Budo and Farming are one, or something along that line. Farmers do put up fences, pull weeds, set traps for coyotes and so on. I don't know where to draw the line, but it is healthy for society and ourselves to drawn lines.

If you read through the third part of TIE 27, you will find the references. The quote originally was 兵農一如 hei-nou ichinyo, which could be rendered as 'fighting and farming are one.'

The slogan was part of a Meiji government campaign to settle ex-samurai in Hokkaido and the reason was twofold: to give the ex-samurai a means of livelihood and also to maintain a militia, should this be necessary.

The colonization of Hokkaido was the start of a wider campaign to encourage Japanese emigration to Manchuria and other places. One of the samurai who moved to Hokkaido talked to Morihei Ueshiba and this was one of the reasons why he moved there.

The slogan was used by supporters of agrarianism and agrarian nationalism, including Tachibana Kozaburo, who organized a farming commune in Ibaragi Prefecture and attended meetings in Morihei Ueshia's dojo in the 1930s.

At some point Morihei Ueshiba substituted the character BU 武 for HEI 兵 (both mean fighting or war, but have different connotations) and so it became 武農一如 bu-nou ichinyo.

Some lengthy discussion can be found in Kisshomaru Ueshiba's biography.

jonreading
09-22-2015, 08:39 AM
Indeed. This is why we pay for police departments and court systems. It is also why vigilantism is frowned upon, and why the laws concerning self-defense are written the way they are.

Katherine

Trust in the legal process is the desire to continue intervention, but delegate someone else to intervene. I brought up littering because it is a good example of a "crime" that can be avoided by social cooperation without the intervention of law enforcement. Ironically, there is quite of bit of social propaganda promoting littering vigilantism.

Vigilantism is frowned upon because it takes resolution out of "the system." The origin of vigilantism was the absence of a system. It is a pejorative now, but it used to have a function. My point was to frame the article between the bookends of intervention by legal process and the absence of intervention.

I think many of the nonsense articles are intended to reside between action [that puts you at-risk] and "vigilantism" (passing judgment and punishment outside of a legal process). I am critical of this position because I think we are often hypocritical in our perspective of social behavior. We'll use vigilante behavior to curb soft drink consumption or stop wearing fur, but we require that a threat to harm is physically carried out before police can intervene.

I think if you are reading these articles as a replacement for legal justice (i.e. "vigilantism"), you are misreading the intent of the article. I think you are better off reading these articles as a method of satisfactorily resolving issues before the escalate to require legal intervention, but without jeopardizing your safety. I think if you equate intervention with vigilantism, you are missing two critical components of vigilante behavior - passing judgment and executing punishment.

lbb
09-22-2015, 09:05 AM
The guy with the racist posters has the same free speech rights as the people whose opinions you find more congenial. So does the KKK. (Cross burning can actually be illegal under some circumstances, however.)

You can stand across the street with a sign. You can organize a counter-protest. You can buy the house next door and paint a rainbow on it. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/19/equality-house-one-year_n_4935716.html) But if you try to physically interfere, you are in the wrong.

I don't believe your statement is accurate as written. First, consider that this is a world-wide forum, and not every country extends the same rights to expression. Second, the right to speak freely is not an absolute in the United States, and there are many circumstances where harassing or threatening speech can indeed be curtailed (by laws and local ordnances.

rugwithlegs
09-22-2015, 10:28 AM
The guy with the racist posters has the same free speech rights as the people whose opinions you find more congenial. So does the KKK. (Cross burning can actually be illegal under some circumstances, however.)

You can stand across the street with a sign. You can organize a counter-protest. You can buy the house next door and paint a rainbow on it. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/19/equality-house-one-year_n_4935716.html) But if you try to physically interfere, you are in the wrong.

Katherine

As a Canadian, I never had the same sense of Free Speech.

In any event, I was talking about standing up to serious issues, not necessarily resorting to violence. The counter-protest is a great example of standing up. Interference need not always be violent. Legal interference can effect more change than throwing a punch.

Likewise, credit card fraud and identity theft can cause more damage than a punch.

We have many behaviours that can be substituted for violence. It still starts with someone drawing a line, even if only in their heart and mind.

rugwithlegs
09-22-2015, 10:31 AM
If you read through the third part of TIE 27, you will find the references. The quote originally was 兵農一如 hei-nou ichinyo, which could be rendered as 'fighting and farming are one.'

The slogan was part of a Meiji government campaign to settle ex-samurai in Hokkaido and the reason was twofold: to give the ex-samurai a means of livelihood and also to maintain a militia, should this be necessary.

The colonization of Hokkaido was the start of a wider campaign to encourage Japanese emigration to Manchuria and other places. One of the samurai who moved to Hokkaido talked to Morihei Ueshiba and this was one of the reasons why he moved there.

The slogan was used by supporters of agrarianism and agrarian nationalism, including Tachibana Kozaburo, who organized a farming commune in Ibaragi Prefecture and attended meetings in Morihei Ueshia's dojo in the 1930s.

At some point Morihei Ueshiba substituted the character BU 武 for HEI 兵 (both mean fighting or war, but have different connotations) and so it became 武農一如 bu-nou ichinyo.

Some lengthy discussion can be found in Kisshomaru Ueshiba's biography.

Fascinating. Thank you very much! I'll have to re-read the biography.

Greatly appreciated Sensei Goldsbury.

kewms
09-22-2015, 10:59 AM
I don't believe your statement is accurate as written. First, consider that this is a world-wide forum, and not every country extends the same rights to expression. Second, the right to speak freely is not an absolute in the United States, and there are many circumstances where harassing or threatening speech can indeed be curtailed (by laws and local ordnances.

I am not a lawyer, and never claimed to be. But my understanding is that few jurisdictions allow a private citizen to personally "curtail" harassing speech by punching the harasser in the mouth.

The poster I was responding to has an American flag next to his name, so I didn't think it was a reach to assume he was considering the American context.

Katherine

kewms
09-22-2015, 11:04 AM
Vigilantism is frowned upon because it takes resolution out of "the system." The origin of vigilantism was the absence of a system. It is a pejorative now, but it used to have a function. My point was to frame the article between the bookends of intervention by legal process and the absence of intervention.

Fair enough. MacYoung is concerned primarily with physical self-defense. Certainly there are many many social interactions that might be described as "intervention" in another's behavior but do not involve either legal process or physical violence.

Katherine

jonreading
09-22-2015, 12:38 PM
Fair enough. MacYoung is concerned primarily with physical self-defense. Certainly there are many many social interactions that might be described as "intervention" in another's behavior but do not involve either legal process or physical violence.

Katherine

Nononsense is concerned with self-defense. But it's also bigger than self-defense, which is a small segment of permissible assault. One of the things that I like about several of the articles is they help identify ways to think of interaction beyond confrontation-orientation. Under these broader perspectives, you are not limited to talking about "self-defense" or physical altercation scenarios.
http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/realityactuality.htm
This is a good one that starts to set the stage for realizing that if talking to a stranger sets off a "confrontation" feeling, then there may be larger issues at play... In some sense, it is an exercise in de-sensitizing yourself to view your interaction from a more neutral position.

kewms
09-22-2015, 01:50 PM
Right. Like the guy who litters and then, when called on it, just goes *off* into some kind of scary psychopath mode. Complaining about the littering wasn't necessarily bad, but now it's time to back away slowly.

Katherine

jonreading
09-22-2015, 02:59 PM
...And don't make eye contact. :)