View Full Version : Disabling the attacker through the art of peace

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09-28-2002, 03:05 PM
Something gets in my mind and bothers me from time to time. If I were to throw a real enemy, should I let him get back up or kick him in the face while he's on the ground? If I let him get back up, would he attack again? I would like to do minimal damage to an attacker, but of course I value my own life too. So, how soon should a nage attempt to disable the attacker in a real martial situation?


09-28-2002, 03:42 PM
I think assessing the situation would be neccessary.. If you think you can get away after throwing the person, I would. But if you know the guy is going to get up and come after you, you should get right in one him before he realizes he is on the ground. From there, keep him pinned until you feel he is no longer a threat.. which might consist of a boot to the head etc ;)

I think it's all about assessment.



Kevin Leavitt
09-28-2002, 10:33 PM
agree with Eric. It is situational dependent.

The best thing you can do is train your mind, body, and spirit properly so when the time comes, you will have the skill set and the mind set to make the right decision!

09-29-2002, 07:48 AM
IMHO self defence is about defending yourself and ending a specific threat then and there and as quickly as possible so that you can get away and/or call the police and other relevant authorities - especially in the heat of the moment when you think your life is being threatened. Legally the self defence rule can be a real legal minefield

An interesting question was raised when we discussed this after class one night - would the attacker have the same moral constraints about not doing you any harm and if you have those moral characteristics, then are you already at a disadvantage?

It was certainly an interesting discussion and debate.

Happy training all :)

Bruce Baker
09-29-2002, 08:24 AM
The real usage of Aikido is to know when it is necessary to strike an attacker on the way down. How far should you crank an attacker to cause enoough injury to them to protect yourself or others?

This is the question you begin to ask when seeking the actual application of Aikido verses the tenents of safe practice.

What opportunities present themselves in the techniques you are learning, and should you use more violent means than the safe practice?

Now ... this story is for humorous content, and not to be taken literally, but here is a story I tell from when I worked one summer for the National Park Service.

We had two events where the cleanup crew was called to detain a flasher, and someone commiting a crime. In both these events the question came up, if these suspects tried to hurt or injured us in a fight, how much violence should we use? Well, the official answer was that if we injured the suspects there would be many pages of paperwork to fill out for injury or accident reports, but if the suspects were dead the local authorities took over and there would only be one page of paper work to fill out. So, we all decided if someone was to injured, we could get home quicker if they were dead. So long as they went quietly, or were dead it didn't matter to us.

Now this is humorous in the respect that we would never use deadly force, or the system to justify deadly force, but indeed the person or persons who caused a death would most likely spend the rest of their life in jail.

Although, telling this story to loud mouthed tough guys usually resulted in their arrest or them leaving in a huff, I have yet to resort to using deadly force after telling this story before I have to resort to force.

In fact, telling this story to three loud mouth wrestlers called the "Mean Street Posse" got the attention of Vince MeMahon in 1996 to scout me for a new wrestler in the old WWF, but that is another story for another day.

Jim ashby
09-29-2002, 01:07 PM
To quote my late father (an unreconstucted man) " if a man strikes you on the right cheek, turn unto him your left. If he raises his hand to strike you on your left cheek, kill him, he's had had his chance." Not entirely PC but works for me.

Have fun

anthony semone
10-06-2002, 05:39 PM
I cannot speak for jurisdictions outside the United States. Here, only that amount of force can be used by a defender in a confrontation which is equal or proportional to the amount of force given by the attacker, UNLESS one is a law enforcement officer acting as such and identified to the attacker as a law enforcement officer. In that case, said LE can use necessary and reasonable force at a level which in practice turns out to be one stage (at least) above that shown by attacker.

Absent such LE credentials, for someone trained to high levels of lethality in any martial art to employ deadly force, the attacker must have threatened to use or in fact used such a level of force as would convince "the reasonable person - read 'jury'- that the defender was in immediate danger of grave bodily harm or death, that the defender had done nothing to provoke the attack, had sought an avenue of retreat if (1) required by the jurisdiction in which the altercation took place, and (2) if so, such retreat could have been accomplished in complete safety.

the reasonable person standard will, in an effort to assess the proportionality of the use of force by the defender, look at such factors as the attacker's ability as to whether or not it is disproportionate to that of the defender. E.g., was the attacker stronger, taller, younger, different in gender, i.e., male attacker v. female defender,were there more than one, and did the attacker(s) have weapon(s) commonly regarded as capable of inflicting grave bodily harm or death.

Second, the trier of fact (reasonable person) will evaluate the attacker's opportunity to deliver an attack, i.e., what is the distance between the attacker and the defendant; e.g., an attacker with a knife at a distance of 21 to 30 feet from a defender can in fact launch a fatal knife blow to the defender, unless the route to the defender is in some way amplified or blocked, even if the defender has a distance effective weapon - read 'firearm'- and is skilled in its use. Within this range, w/o a firearm, the defender is at a lethal disadavantage.

third: jeopardy - had the attacker manifested a behavioral intent to employ lethal force against defender, i.e., not only words, but associated physical activity, e.g., lunging forward, crouching and leaping, with such behavioral indicators occurring concurrently with the verbal attack or in close temporal proximity thereto.

I could go on and on here, but must add one more critical variable a jury would consider. Let's assume that you as AiKiDo practitioner, irrespective of ranking, but with a demonstrable record of systematic dojo practice, were required by force of some confrontational circumstance to employ moves, throws, counters, etc., consistent with your AiKiDo training, the prosecutor would use that information to hold you to a higher standard as to your responsibility for DISENGAGING from any such use of force on your part. This prosecutorial move would gain added crediblity because the "literature" of AiKiDo speaks so definitively of "not harming one's attacker."

While what I have just said is NOT LEGAL advice, because I'm not a lawyer, I am a multiply certified use of force instructor.

I would caution those of you who read this in USA to "get the heck out of dodge at the first sign of difficulty." For those of you in other countries where the rule of law disparages the use of force in the defense of self, I would encourage you not to be in confrontational circumstances to begin with.

I hope this is helpful and forgive me in advance if anything in my post sounds arrogant or offensive - I did not intend it to be so.


10-06-2002, 11:25 PM
I also agree with the earlier posts (and great stories, too!). Most styles of aikido teach the thought of "appropriate usage of ki" (ki no myoyo tadshiku?) in some form or another (I know Seidokan among possible others makes this an actual "principle" to follow).

So Drew, probably not the easiest answers you were hoping for, but it really is tough to "mandate" when it is appropriate.

When in doubt, resort to the legal implications and morals, not to Hollywood. :)

10-07-2002, 08:40 AM
." For those of you in other countries where the rule of law disparages the use of force in the defense of self, I would encourage you not to be in confrontational circumstances to begin with.

um.. Usually you dont have a choice on whether you want to be in that place in the first place. That sentence makes it sound like you went out looking for trouble (which would mean you were the aggressor anyway..) Making that point of yours rather moot..

edit:quote tag

10-07-2002, 11:37 AM
To simplify anthonys legal discussion projected onto the Swedish society the general praxis here is that of:

First punch - OK; Second punch - your convicted of unneccesary use of force.

That is, in a situation of self defence (say someone try to sucker punch you or threatens with it) then you can punch once... Now since you floored him with this excellent atemi on the nose, you canNOT punch or kick him again (at least not while he's on the floor).

There are exeptions of curse:

There was the time my friend was sucker punched by some stranger (he didn't even see it coming) he went down, and up again and as he see who did it he punched back and broke the blokes nose. My friend wasn't convicted, but his ensurence company had to pay for the guys broken nose.

If you however would use your knowledge in aikido (hard not to per definition) and e.g. throw someone to the ground with a simple movement as he attack you. If this guy would be harmed (say, had some of his teeth knocked out 'cause he didn't know how to fall safely), It's my understanding that it would be hard to convict you of anything, since you didn't do much of anything, more than move out of the way. Again your ensurence company might have to cough up some money for the teeth, but I'm not sure of that even.

So my main point is - Don't punch or kick someone lying down, but don't freeze because you don't know what to do standing up. Aikido works just fine. Don't be afraid to move out of the way, and helping the attacker down. The blame is then always on the attacker.

anthony semone
10-07-2002, 12:11 PM

thank you for that clarification. My intent was to say that "confrontational contexts should in fact be avoided in the first place." I did not intend to imply at all that anyone should go 'out looking for trouble.'

In my country, in most jurisdictions, even if one find's one self in a confrontation as a function of simple bad luck or chance occurrence, I even then have the legal obligation to retreat, provided that such retreat can be accomplished in "complete safety.


Bruce Baker
10-07-2002, 01:16 PM
We have disabled attackers without peace, but how about the tricky situations of verbal intercession as opposed to physical violence?

How about, some stories on using peaceful means to disable attackers, or conversations gone wrong?

10-07-2002, 02:08 PM
Having lived in Russia for more than a few years, and unlike many of my foreign friends here speaking the language fluently, I have had the opportunity to defuse many a bar brawl by actually being able to speak with the (usually Russian, although we are often not entirely blameless :) ) aggressor. Nine times out of ten it all ends peacefully, usually with the other guy joining us in a beer or dozen.

In terms of hitting someone on the way down or while they are down, it depends entirely on the circumstances for me. In said bar brawls, given that I normally have a few friends about as back up, I would give the guy the chance to get up and realise the error of his ways.

However, I have a young family, and if I thought there was the slightest chance he might get up and threaten them I would let him have it right in the teeth. Protecting my girls takes precedence over doing the "right thing" any day. It is one of the core reasons I have taken up a martial art.

Bear in mind I am a aikido newbie and actually being able to get an aggressor down is probably a long way off for me yet... :D


Jim ashby
10-08-2002, 04:36 AM
I really must stop being flippant, I get taken so seriously. The quote really was from my late father.
I have posted on other threads regarding the legalities of self-defence in the UK.
Can we "disable an attacker through the art of peace"? Depends on the intent of the attacker but don't get sucked in to the idea that all conflicts can be resolved peacefully. Some attackers just will not learn by themselves, they have to be taught. What form that teaching takes should never be up to them.

Have fun