View Full Version : pedro martinez/don zimmer bad aikido

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10-12-2003, 01:51 PM
there was a yankees/red sox game on saturday. i dont normally watch baseball but im at the in-laws' house and they're all baseball freaks over here :p

the game got really heated and this manager from the yankees named don zimmer (who is 72 years old) comes charging and hollering at the red sox's pitcher pedro martinez (25 years old?). as zimmer gets close, he sorta throws this left hook at martinez's head. it looked somewhat like a yokomen strike.

remember, zimmer is 72 years old and martinez is 20 something...

martinez watched him run up real carefully. when zimmer got close enough, martinez took him by the head and threw the guy to the ground. he almost flipped the old guy over even.

sound familiar? i gotta say it looked a lot like some sort of kokyunage. ive even practiced a very similar technique as part of an aikdio class before. the post-game discussion even described it as that ("martinez didnt really hit him, he just sort of directed his head to the ground").

good move - totally horrible choice of target (why should a 25 year old pro athlete be beating up on a 72 year old man????). i couldnt help but see the situation from an aikido point of view.

it seemed to me that martinez had at least 2 other options. one would be to laugh (at the obviously rediculous sight of an unarmed, out of shape, angry old man running at him) while running away with his hands up. i mean, it's not like martinez would lose any face by not picking a fight with a revered 70 year old. IMHO i think people would have cheered that and it would have had the added benefit of cooling down the situation with a little bit of humor.

the other choice he had was to step away, like how an aikidoka might do from a simialr yokomen kind of attack- except not pound the guy into the ground.

i thought it was an odd contrast between a well performed technique and it not being done at all in accordance with aikdio sensibility (not that im implying this martinez fellow knows aikido from a hole in the wall).

what good is being able to do something like that if you have no clue about when the appropriate time to use it is?

another thing about it was, that im not even sure if zimmer was really going to throw a punch at all. he certainly looked pissed but it seems a little suicidal to be attacking a guy like that at his age. i kinda got the feeling that even though martinez didnt move much while zimmer was approaching, he did something to cause zimmer to attack. i think we here can see some value in that.

anyway, just some food for thought for anyone who may have seen it. im not normally a sports person but i couldnt resist :) im sure a replay is available around the web on a million websites for anyone who is interested.



10-12-2003, 03:43 PM
I wouldn't want a pissed off Yankees manager, or any pissed off New Yorker for that matter, charging me, regardless of age.

10-12-2003, 07:57 PM
It looked me like kokyunage too (backstep and all...tenkan with spikes!). I believe Zimmerman had no business bull rushing Martinez in the first place, and Martinez made a split second decision. Yes, he couldīve taken the shove but it seems to me his reflexes took over (Zimmerman is fast for someone his age!). Zimmerman was carried off in a strecher :eek: but heīs fine, his ego is a bit bruised. For the record both have been fined for their troubles. Aikido, the new national pastime? :D

10-12-2003, 10:20 PM
There couldn't be bias here could there?

Location: brooklyn, ny USA


Suzanne Cooper
10-13-2003, 10:57 PM
Aikido shows up everywhere, eh? Martinez had to protect himself--unlikely, but what if Zimmer had had a knife?

I heard a cable news anchor say that Martinez should have 'just stepped backwards' away from Zimmer. He said that's how everyone does it in New York when they're attacked by 72 year old men! He really did!

Ha! Did he really think Zimmer wouldn't have come at him again? And again? And again? Until he finally did connect a blow?

I was impressed with Martinez's self-control. He disabled his attacker without inflicting severe injury--I heard that Zimmer got a butterfly bandaid for his effort.

Lan Powers
10-14-2003, 12:16 AM
I thought that looked like a "sorta" kokyu-nage as well.......the coach rushed foolishly into battle, (lucky the young athlete was "polite" enough to just direct him down.)

I don't think there was anything wrong in the reply, (he had to react, or be hit, in a very rushed situation.) After all in the crowd that was around him there wasn't much room to move anyway. The best I remember, from one view of the clip.

I thought he showed considerable restraint, since the tempers were flairing VERY hot at that point.

Just my opinion,


10-14-2003, 12:21 PM
I saw the incident live as well as in many replays. I have more complaints for Martinez' initial behavior reagrding the hit batsmen and finger pointing than I do his response to Zimmer.

I am also younger and smaller than Zimmer. If I had been in that position I would have considered it a success to simply move slightly to the side and redirect Zimmer's energy past me. Zimmer's ukemi needs some work - especially if he plans to repeat the charge. Note that Martinez did not pursue Zimmer, he just avoided the majority of the energy.

For the record, I have been enjoying the playoffs but my team (Minnesota) is already finished. I'm not seriously rooting for any of the remaining teams.


10-14-2003, 12:47 PM
compared to what martinez could have done to zimmer his treatment was relatively gentle. he could have really clobbered the guy if he wanted to. that doesnt mean that he could not have been less violent too. the way he approached it was like he let some of zimmer's energy pass, while getting himself wrapped up in some of it too.

im thinking about it like, what if you're a parent whose child is retarded and maybe the child's not aware of his own violent tendencies? usually, i would think, you're just not going to accomplish anything by throwing the kid to the ground by the head. even if you can get away with the move. there has to be another way of dealing with the situation so that the kid doesnt get hurt but you dont get hurt either.

i use that example because a friend of mine used to work in a sort of day school for teenage retarded people. some of these guys are really strong physically (they're built like football players). they often dont have a lot of control over what they are doing, and are sometimes violent when they need to express something they cant get out another way. my friend said that in training for this they taught him some things to do to keep himself safe that doesnt injure the students yet doesnt involve treating them violently. actually it's kind of funny, they taught him some system called S.K.I.P.

a martial art called SKIP! hahahaha

as for zimmer, yeah, his ukemi needed some work (lol :) ). it looked a little like an aikidoka getting thrown that every once in a while, when they really truly lose their balance and just go FLOP!

10-14-2003, 03:35 PM
Not too sure if the quote below were written in jest or from reality, but I thought it was interesting, nonetheless:

"Pedro, showing off the results of a one-week Aikido workshop, feinted out of harm's way while directing Zimmer to the ground."

From: http://www.foxsports.com/content/view?contentId=1748214

-- Jun

10-14-2003, 11:01 PM

I've already had this discussion at work and everything thinks I'm nuts, so maybe an aiki crowd will back me up.

Even people in this thread are joking about this out of shape 72 year old man...against this 25 year old athlete...how does this matter. And I do not mean in the "...if he had a knife..."way, but in reality and exactly how it happened. So what that he is 72 and fat...does he have previous MA training?...fighting experience (military)?..we don't know our attacker, so we should not underestimate him

Zimmer is not a small guy. I have a boxer friend who is fond of saying any punch with 200lbs behind it will knock anybody out cold if it hits the button.

Zimmer was and is just as capable of doing as much serious damage as Martinez. And as far as Evan saying an "obviously rediculous sight of an unarmed, out of shape, angry old man running at him..." , sounds like the description of the guy in the picture we have hanging at the front of our dojo.

As for the technique...I thougt it was perfect Aikido...in all aspects.

10-14-2003, 11:16 PM
o'sensei wasnt out of shape or typically infested with rage when he was really old.

i never said that martinez should have stood there and took the punch because zimmer was this old man. he could have just stepped away instead, that's all. i totally give him props for busting out whatever you wanna call that throw. it was good, technically speaking.

what if it was martinez's mother, just as old and out of shape - and just as angry...? would he have thrown her too?

when i was about 12 i had a fight with my brother that was broken up by my grandfather. i couldnt believe how strong he was!

10-15-2003, 10:59 AM
im thinking about it like, what if you're a parent whose child is retarded and maybe the child's not aware of his own violent tendencies?
So you're saying Zimmer is retarded? ;)

Go Sox!

10-15-2003, 11:07 AM
I don't think because people are weaker than you, you should give in to voilence from them. For example, men who are abused by their wives at home tend to be physically very strong (and often physically abusive men in marriages are weak).

Aikido should relate the level of defence to the level of aggression - ideally it is a repsonse in which (naturally) the harder they attack the harder they fall. People often talk about aggression as if it is purely physical - the projected hatred can be just as important as the damage, and really it is the hatred we wish to prevent.

I didn't see the game, but I'd ask, how did the old man take it?


P.S. there was a question about someone with mental illness (?) We had a spate of deaths in the UK from the 'care in the community policy' where schitzophrenics killed people because they had forgotten to take their drugs. What's the answer? - minimum force, and to me aikido can be just that. It is just as sad if the schitzophrenic died, but if you are going for minimum over-all damage a severe response could be necessary.

Weak/retarded people don't have a greater right to life than others!

Suzanne Cooper
10-15-2003, 07:04 PM
Alert! More information about this situation! :O

My manager, a HUGE Yankees/baseball fan, said that Zimmer was provoked when Martinez pointed his finger at his head, made a trigger-pulling motion, then pointed toward Zimmer as though threatening to shoot Zimmer.

It was then that Zimmer dashed towards him.

That changes the complexion of the event, to me.

If true, then shame on Martinez. Even perfect technique is wrong if used after provoking the attack. To me, at least!

10-15-2003, 11:04 PM
Well I did not see anything about the trigger-pulling thing, but with regards to Ian's post...I do feel the level of defense did match the level of aggression. Zimmer (uke) came charging at Martinez (nage) for what looked like a tackle/takedown. Nage stepped off the line of attack and directed Ukes energy away and down.

If Martinez really did provoke the attack, then I agree the spirit of Aiki was not there, but the technique was still well executed.