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vanstretch
09-01-2003, 05:34 PM
hi all,i just had a street encounter i want to share with you all. first, i have been a police officer for 7yrs and involved in aikido for approximately 5yrs. i just received shodan and am really enjoying training and helping others out. i have found that the last 2-3 yrs, that things have been better for me in that i have less problems dealing with stressful situations; irate irrational persons, micro-manager persons and especially newer officers who feel the need to impress an aggressive attitude to the public,giving a bad perception from the jump. and i have found smoother ways to handle these problematic people; attention to body language,agreeing with their perceptions,letting them speak and giving a mission for them to go to take pro-active steps in helping them resolve or de-escalate their issue into some type of positive outcome. Ok, now here is what happened; i was in downtown atlanta looking for a futon and the model i wanted would'nt fit into my small car ,so i called my friend who had a larger vehicle, this friend(another officer), said he would be there to help in about one hour,just about when the tore would be closing-5pm est. and as he pulled up at about 505pm i told my friend that the store had just closed,i got out of my car to go tell him and i heard a male voice yelling from across the street, i turned to see a young man in his 20's who was yelling if i was going to pick up my cup? i asked him what cup and he said the cup i just threw under my car. i then was puzzled due to me having no cup,but i then realized i did pitch a piece of paper under my vehicle as i got in(guilty as charged-sorry all!-my fault-shame on me etc....) but this guy was still yelling at me and the peripery were perking up to his angered voice, i looked at my friend and shrugged my shoulders and he acknowledged this and i knew he had my back whatever would happen from this point. well, as i walked towards my car he continued to yell at me and he really seemed upset over this,so i looked towards him and asked him if he was the litter cop for the area(yes,i probably agitated him,and i let him slightly irritate me with his continued banter.) (also a girl was standing next to him and i could not determine if he was showing off for her in some weird way),well,he then ran towrds me with an intent that i read as aggressive, i still wasnt sure what his real intent was but i observed him making a bee-line towards me. I took a deep breath and kept my sunglasses on. i was visually frisking him as he approached(hands out of pockets,no one else on approach,his neck and facial muscles tight and his left in a fist,small wiry lean build. i found him now within my personal space and felt myself in left hanmi and continued silently watching him. god ,this felt surreal,but he was for real and right in my face still screaming. i did observe his dialogue change as i assumed hanmi-he stated things like "your twice my size,what are you gonna do?", and "you thing your big and bad with your car!" i again shrugged my shoulders and let him know to be careful and to step away from me and go back across the street.(i believe i said this to him and that he could worry about more important things besides a piece of paper, and yes that i was guilty for dropping it-so sorry). well, no punch was thrown and he just truned to walk away still ranting about his issue that he felt the need to stand up for(i think-still unsure).I looked to my friend ,again shrugged my shoulders and we left to go to red lobster to review the encounter and to eat!,like all good cops do. In my mind if it did come to him pushing or swinging at me and if/or a struggle began, i cant say what aikido technique that i would apply and strangely enough, i have not been pre-occupied with reliving this scene over and over in my head with concern for what i 'wouldda or coulda ' done to him.I can only speculate that if i did take any physical action i would be confident that one would come from the left hanmi and that some type of hold would enable me to hancuff him(without injury if possible). i have to say that i am somehwat happy and proud of how i conducted myself here. I know it could have gone smoother if i didn't engage him verbally at all,but somehow he did manage to strike a cord of anger in me anyway and i was still able to contain myself. i am just glad that no one was hurt physically and that i did not have to arrest him. i really feel that aikido training helped me in many ways and am thankful for continued training with good people. as i sat down to eat a red lobster,my friend made a funny observation, he said that "that guy almost got into a fight, little did he know how close by the police were." i think that the aggro guy was mad at the world and focused on me at the moment i crossed his radar. i could be wrong(i sometimes am) but i wish that young man well and hope things smooth out for him. i hope this story is helpful and insightful and that aikido was used even though no physical fight occurred . thank you all, take care.

Bronson
09-01-2003, 08:27 PM
"that guy almost got into a fight, little did he know how close by the police were."

The other guy should have gotten a ticket for littering. Too bad the police weren't there.

Just playin' ;)

Bronson

PhilJ
09-01-2003, 09:19 PM
Great story. :) This always reminds me, for some reason, of training I had as a lifeguard. They taught that when someone was drowning, and you absolutely (last resort) had to swim out to them... well, if they dragged you under, get away, they'll keep themselves afloat.

People like the Screamer keep themselves afloat, they need little effort from others to do so. In fact, any attempt to add energy makes them retaliate.

Let them blow their bolts and keep on keepin' on. Some people have far greater troubles and, eventually, the dangers they create will come back to them.

Think if you were a violent felon, Daniel... You could have just saved his life and he'll never know.

Good job, methinks. :)

*Phil

SeiserL
09-01-2003, 10:20 PM
Compliments and appreication for sharing. Your training has stood you well.

Bronson
09-01-2003, 10:23 PM
Ok this has nothing to do with the story but your lifeguard story sparked it off in my memory.

One of my students was trained as a lifeguard in Vietman. He was taught to punch somebody unconcious if they didn't calm down enough to be dragged out.

Bronson

PhilJ
09-01-2003, 10:29 PM
Seems a little unnecessary...

..one thing more occurred to me Daniel. I'll second Lynn's motion on your success in training, but don't let it rule your future encounters. Stay in control, celebrate in moderation. ;)

*Phil

Zak Webber
09-03-2003, 05:34 AM
My stint as a security guard has given me a few insights. Once I had to intervene when a couple were have a loud verbal fight in the corridor of a residential block very late at night. The man became very aggressive and stepped towards me menacingly. Did I get into a neutral half-body stance in readiness for an attack? No. Should I have done? I'm not sure. I just stood square, a calm expression on my face, and opened my arms in a placating gesture (OK, I *did* have a big butch walkie-talkie in one hand, maybe that helped!) ... and the guy backed off.

Another time I had to persuade a young guy to allow his pregnant girlfriend to gain access to her own room so that she could sleep (yes, he was a real Prince Charming). Once I got him to open the door I stuck my foot in to keep it open, telling him "It's not your room." He pushed me over, very quickly, very hard and unexpectedly. So much for my zanshin! My ukemi didn't let me down, though, I bounced right back up and resumed my place in the doorway, repeating "It's NOT your room!" Said youngster gave ground then, saying to the audience that had gathered "I don't want to hurt him!"

Afterwards I chided myself for not being aware and being able to protect myself. But then I realised that, actually, it worked out perfectly. He just gave me a push, he wasn't actually trying to hurt me, and if I had used a technique on him it could well have looked very bad for me in that situation.

If you know what you are doing, and your spirit is strong, you have what you need.

Kensai
09-03-2003, 02:39 PM
Congratulations on your maturity to the situation. I'd like to think that I'd respond in such a positive way.....

kironin
09-03-2003, 06:15 PM
Ok this has nothing to do with the story but your lifeguard story sparked it off in my memory.

One of my students was trained as a lifeguard in Vietman. He was taught to punch somebody unconcious if they didn't calm down enough to be dragged out.

Bronson
Interesting idea but not a good one.

Have you ever tried to punch someone in the water who is flailing ? (add some waves)

Lifeguards should never close the distance with out first assessing the situation from a good maai. :)

Then you throw the float on a rope to them to grab on to pull themselves up. What happens from there depends on the available equipment.

Getting close enough for them to grab is considered a bad idea but there are escapes taught using your legs to push them away if things get screwed up.

oh, to the original poster, thanks for sharing your story.

Craig

Water Safety Instructor in another life.

DCP
09-03-2003, 07:13 PM
If you have to go in after someone that's drowning, let them wear themselves out, get behind them, and grab a bunch of hair. Speak in a calm voice, "I intend to help you. If you fight, I'll let your ass drown!"

Can you say tangent?

Bronson
09-03-2003, 07:31 PM
Interesting idea but not a good one.

Agreed. I never condoned it, I just thought it interesting and odd.

Bronson

DancesWithGhost
09-04-2003, 04:38 AM
No offence mate but would a simpler option would have been to pick up the piece of paper, you are a police officer and should be setting a good example. I believe, the fact the you were even prepared to fight over such a trivial issue is fundamentally wrong. Nothing personal just my opinion.

vanstretch
09-04-2003, 07:49 AM
hi again, just want to let everyone know,that i am not perfect-never claimed to be. i am glad i started this thread and shared my experience-i have heard from several police persons that i could have arrested the guy easily for simple assault(threatening my person with the attempt to cause me bodily injury with his verbal intention etc..)or beat the living shit out of him for invading my personal space(could have let him touch me with his nose or chest and went from there etc..)and then arrest him for affray,but no, i did not take those steps and my intuition and gut(training) feel decided to let the guy rant then walk. even a municipal magistrate would say that guy was way out of line for threatening somone for littering(allegedly)again i did litter, and that was wrong. i am so sorry and will try for this never to occur again. i ask, has anyone ever received a littering ticket? what were the circumstances? i can say to everyone that i have never issued a littering citation,nor a tinted window violation, and recently(within last 2yrs any minor speeding citations(20 and under on main roadways)why all of the above? because i do it myself at times and deem it hypocritical to write someone for doing what i sometimes do. i am a cop and i make mistakes and do not claim to be perfect,please believe that i do my best but i am known to let the little things slide(depending on totality of the circumstances).how many times have policeman heard from people stopped on the roadside "don't you guys have anything better to do than to be bothering me,don't you have some REAL criminals to catch?"Most officers hear this so much every day that they are numb to it. i prioritize calls due to severity and necessity. I am not a hard ass who "hassles", the citizens,and calls it a day after i write 20 tickets for which i receive NO revenue from(hey if i was comp'd for each ticket i wrote, i'd be writng non-stop on any and every violation i could find.)To sum up i could be an extreme prick,but i am not,i really strive not to get petty with people,although i am human and i make mistakes sometimes, true,and i must add that it is very easy to judge a policeman, and i urge persons not to make your decision with out all pertinant facts in front of you. please do not judge so quickly.If i went into your job and told you what to do you would go apeshit i suspect(i could be wrong,i sometimes am). anyway, i am more of a walk n' talk kinda patrolman. i am a rare breed to even be speaking on a forum of my style,but find it most important due to the way aikido has shaped how i view life now. i would guess that a policeman who trains regularly in the art of aikido in the u.s. is a rare thing(i could be wrong). i plan to get out of law enforcement soon to somewhere i may be able to better channel the multitude of skills i have aquired while blending the aikido energy into the task at hand(any suggestions?). does this make sense(all of the above) to anyone? thanks again,keep training and take care. daniel

Adrian Smith
09-04-2003, 05:53 PM
OK, so we're agreed, no more littering. Now how about some capitalization and appropriate punctuation in posts? :)

-drin

Bronson
09-05-2003, 12:24 AM
Now how about some capitalization and appropriate punctuation in posts?

Ok, so we've probably picked on Daniel enough now :)

Back to the post. My original post probably came across as a bit harsh when that wasn't the (main) intent. I was a bit over sensitive to the whole littering thing because I had just gotten back from a canoe trip where I got to see the effects of people throwing their garbage into the wild...it struck the wrong nerve at the wrong time and I let it get to me a little, sorry.

As to the story; congratulations. It's cool when that sneaky training worms it's way into your life ;)

I hope that should I ever find myself in a similar situation I can remember your story and learn from it.

Bronson

p.s.
has anyone ever received a littering ticket? what were the circumstances?

I have not. My friend has. Littering on the highway...$500.00. He deserved it and I mocked him and offered no sympathy.
i can say to everyone that i have never issued a littering citation

Please do. Of course I'm a bit of a hardass over the whole thing. I'd be happy if they gave one of those $500.00 tickets to everyone who flicked a cigarette butt out their window. If you don't want it in your car what makes you think we want it on our roads.

But that's just me.

Bronson
09-05-2003, 12:31 AM
OK, so we're agreed, no more littering. Now how about some capitalization and appropriate punctuation in posts? :)

-drin
I just realized the irony in this. I'm no english major but I think that technically the "appropriate punctuation" for the shortened version of your name, assuming that's what it is, would be 'dri'n :confused:

I may be completely wrong. Truthfully, I don't really care :p

Bronson

ian
09-05-2003, 09:08 AM
I'm pretty sensetive to the whole littering thing - Northern Ireland has run out of areas to bury its rubbish and still the shops insist on giving you plastic bags ,

which tend to blow around our coastal area.

I've actually gone up to people's cars that have been left running outside to turn off the ignition, and also asked people to pick up their rubbish (which almost always produces an aggressive response). Littering is an offence and also suggests an attitude of 'f*ck you' to others that have to share your environment.

You must remember, he probably was as fed up as I get with people carelessly littering and all you had to do was say sorry and pick up your rubbish.

Question is, did you pick up your rubbish?

Ian

P.S. it reminds me of a story where a bloke kept flashing his headlights to get passed another car. Irate, the first driver stopped to give him a piece of his mind and noticed blood all over the car. The driver flashing his lights explained that his daughter had split her head open and he was trying to rush her to the hospital.

The point being, it's easy to do things which other people think are wrong (face it, we all think we are in the right) - that is why killing or injuring people in such situations can be such a bad thing. Who's to say someone else's values are less important than our own?

vanstretch
09-05-2003, 03:49 PM
hi ,to ian-did you know that if you stick your hand in anothers personal auto you could be charged with Entering Auto?(by your police) and or shot or beat for doing this?(by owner of the vehicle of course) i have taken many reports and followed ambulances to hospitals,ambulances carrying persons doing what you have done. please be very careful. i know the u.s. is a different country, and i empathize with your passion on the littering issue,but god man, please think-even if you are a big strong man,i'd hate to see you hurt for your heroic actions of attempting to right a wrong, and/or arrested for entering auto. again i have stated that i did litter and no,i did not pick it up, at the moment i turned towards my approaching agitated individual, i became then concerned for my safety,and welfare and i then let the mad guy allow me to decide(by his actions),what my next action would be. again ,i was wrong for littering and apologize. i am not perfect(never claimed to be). take care all and kepp training.

deepsoup
09-06-2003, 05:58 AM
hi ,to ian-did you know that if you stick your hand in anothers personal auto you could be charged with Entering Auto?(by your police) and or shot or beat for doing this?(by owner of the vehicle of course)
There's no such crime as "entering auto" in the UK, and while Ian might trigger some kind of road-rage incident that way he's extremely unlikely to be shot. (Even in Ulster :p)

Sean

x

vanstretch
09-06-2003, 08:40 AM
sean, thanks for responding, i hope i haven't offended anyone here. just trying to illustrate what could happen. the u.s. can be a very violent place and i can only speak from my experience/perspective yet i do appreciate yours and everyones. i guess the theme i want to impart here is that if someone has brought themselves to the point of violence for something petty to begin with, then that is their issue and they will have to deal with the consequences of their actions. i can tell you,(as an example), if i became personally offended by every speeder on the roadway, i would soon become one sad and sorry son-of-a-gun,and become quite a stress case or hot head etc..,(many patrolmen already are), due to others actions affecting me and bringing me to anger. i really find talking to everyone as a form of applying aikido, and enjoy talking with you(you truly do help my training). i respect your insights and hope to keep learning from everyone. thanks again,take care and keep on training in aiki principles. daniel.

rachford
09-06-2003, 03:00 PM
hey daniel,

you're the kind of cop I need next time i get confused visiting geo.tech. and make a wrong turn on you multiple peachtree streets. ;-)

Adrian Smith
09-06-2003, 04:17 PM
I just realized the irony in this. I'm no english major but I think that technically the "appropriate punctuation" for the shortened version of your name, assuming that's what it is, would be 'dri'n

Bronson
Yes it would, but it would probably be MUCH harder to pronounce. :p

By the way, I wasn't trying to pick on Daniel. I simply find it extremely difficult to read through a lengthy post lacking in appropriate capitalization and punctuation. Stream of consciousness writing isn't my thing, James Joyce aside.

-(A)dri(a)n

Bronson
09-06-2003, 11:19 PM
Yes it would, but it would probably be MUCH harder to pronounce. :p
But it looks like a cool Jedi name. You should consider it ;)

Bronson

ian
09-07-2003, 02:51 PM
Hi Daniel,

my actions probably will end up in a bad way as you suggest (esp. as I'm actually quite a little man)! I'm hoping as (or if) I get older I will mellow out :).

Ian

P.S. this thread has given me alot to think about.

aikidoc
09-08-2003, 11:54 AM
Daniel:

From what I can tell you train with Paul (he's one of my former students)-tell him hi for me.

John Riggs

vanstretch
09-08-2003, 12:26 PM
hi john riggs!, yes, paul is now chief instructor of dojo, and i really enjoy training with him and all the other guys too! your welcome at kyushinkan anytime. also please see our website at www.acza.net. take care. daniel.