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drDalek
02-02-2004, 08:50 AM
I was walking through the city as I usually do around lunch-time and I saw a minor traffic incident. Both parties pulled their cars to the side of the road and started arguing with each other. One of the drivers walked back to his car and fished a tire-iron out of the back of the car and walked back to the other driver.

I am dissapointed that I did not rush in and restrain captain tire-iron right then and there and instead decided to wait and see if any blows get traded.

Luckily no blows were exchanged and after some posturing both drivers got back in their cars, flipped each other off and drove their seperate ways.

If only I rushed in and did my duty, then I would finally know whether my Aikido works for real or not and I can get on with my training without this constant nagging in my mind. If my Aikido actually works, I would feel justified, validated and have full confidence in my chosen art. If not I would rather be beaten to death than face the humiliation and having to pick a different art that is effective.

I know my attitude is stupid but I'm very disturbed about this incident and not grasping the opportunity to put my mind to rest (or pour it out like an egg onto the hot tarmac) is going to bother me now for a few days.

SeiserL
02-02-2004, 01:56 PM
My compliments for waiting and seeing what happened versus rushing in and escalating the situation.

This was about them, not your ego.

Now, back to training.

DGLinden
02-02-2004, 02:10 PM
About thirty years ago a friend of mine, a very accomplished karateka, saw two acquaintances being dragged from a car. He pulled over and grabbed at one of the assailants and was then shot to death.

He had stepped into the middle of drug bust.

I don't know you, but I would still feel very bad for you if you were beaten to death by someone. A tire iron in the hands of an anger-deranged motorist with his adrenalin popping is no person to try out any new knowledge. If you really feel compelled to 'Try it" go get in one of the Bad Man Competitions. Then if you get the crap smacked out of you there will at least be medical help standing by.

BTW I put no ethical or moral qualifications on curiosity. Be safe. And also bear in mind that many Aikido techniques are, by design, intended to kill. You don't want to kill someone out of curiosity.

Do you?

Don_Modesto
02-02-2004, 03:11 PM
If you really feel compelled to 'Try it" go get in one of the Bad Man Competitions. Then if you get the crap smacked out of you there will at least be medical help standing by.

BTW I put no ethical or moral qualifications on curiosity. Be safe. And also bear in mind that many Aikido techniques are, by design, intended to kill. You don't want to kill someone out of curiosity.

Do you?
Hi, Dan. Great post. I totally agree.

As to the ethical mandate to stop violence, it's entirely possible that stepping between the two might, indeed, have exacerbated it. I know I wouldn't want someone condescendingly trying to take my prerogative in an argument.

Jesse Lee
02-02-2004, 03:36 PM
IMHO the aiki "do" would mandate first trying to diffuse the situation with words if reasonably possible, should you get involved.

It does not entail looking around the street for an ethical green light to kick ass and test your training.

Again just my opinion.

Jamie Stokes
02-02-2004, 03:53 PM
Wynand-san,

If you can, read Terry Dobsons "A Kind word turneth away wrath".

(I think it was Terry Dobson)

As for inserting yourself into the fight before it starts, this time, it didn't.

(I know this may spark off a long discussion about interevention before esculation, I'm not going to address it now. if ever.)

AIkido is to restore Harmony. (quoting O'sensei)

They restored harmony themselves.

As for the doubts about testing your aikido, perhaps this wasn't the time.

Back to training, and next time you feel the urge to insert yourself into conflict, ask if your being a peacemaker, Nage, or Uke.

Lynn-san and Daniel-san have put this much more elegantly than I.

Warmest respect,

Jamie

Don_Modesto
02-02-2004, 03:53 PM
an ethical green light to kick ass
LOL

PeterR
02-02-2004, 03:59 PM
That is the difference between the fantasy and life. That's what we all get from reading too many comic books as kids. We all want to save the day - but in the end would we?

My personal Aikido fantasy revolves around my daughter and her first date. Far less risky than tire iron wielding motorists.

Jesse - there are some major Aikido players that did/do just that. Some of them don't even look for an ethical green light but just put themselves in harms way. Personally I'ld rather just mess around with a fake knife - I do Aikido for health and actually fighting is just so unhealthy.

Andy Scaley
02-03-2004, 04:39 AM
It is good you had the self control to look at the situation and not add to the volatile situation. We are always taught if u can't control urself u can never control others.

As to if Aikido really works, trust me it works. Trying to find out if Aikido works in the real world is what its about just be happy u didn't have to use it.

Chad Sloman
02-03-2004, 07:14 AM
Wynand,

I understand you're feeling of frustration of not intervening. I think a lot of us wish that we could do the cavalier thing and literally stop violence, but an incident here a couple of weeks ago got me thinking.

Here in Panama City, a man was walking to his car in a parking lot early in the morning when he saw a man beating a woman senseless. He ran and stopped the fight and diffused the situation. By this time I think a small crowd had appeared and he made sure the woman was OK and turned to go to his car. The other man pulled out a pistol and shot him in the back of his head as soon as his back was turned. The woman and the man then took off. Police questioned the woman as to what had happened--turned out that it was her boyfriend and she would not tell the police where he was. She was hiding the man because she "loved him". Anyways, the good news is that they caught the guy but the bad news is that the good samaritan is still just as dead. Makes me think about intervening at the behest of damsels in distress.

Paula Lydon
02-03-2004, 08:17 AM
~~Hi Wynand! IMHO I think you performed admirably. I think your call is at the heart of Aikido. You watched a budding confrontation(were aware), you waited(perceived correctly in the moment), you were primed to intercede(sensitive to the flow of the conflict) and you did nothing(felt the lessing of tension). All sound martial principles to me! Heho.

~~I have no doubt that if matters had torqued up more you would have tried whatever words and attitude might have calmed them--I might have stepped in sooner(for good or ill, as that's my nature)but a female has an angle a male does not. Maybe I'd play the ditzy lost lady or 'oh, I hadn't noticed you were about to kill each other'. Perhaps you would have gotten in a bit 'o Aikido on the primary aggressor if it'd reached that sad point. Most folks do bark more than bite. Good job!

~~Not long ago I came across two racially divergent clusters of young men where they had halted their cars in the road, heading oppositely, and were puffing and pionting as young men will. VERY slowly (time) I pushed my little car between their groups (diversion/space), smiling appologetically (silly woman)because I couldn't figure out how to get around them (whatever reason works). By the time I'd passed, enough wind had been taken from their sails that, almost kicking at the dirt like little boys in a pout, each group got back in their cars and drove off.

~~Mine were conscious acts; I think violent tensions and explosive acts are not, so to me that's more what the training's about at my current stage:)

Paula Lydon
02-03-2004, 08:31 AM
~~In GENERAL, there is a thread entitled 'Dissapointed in myself' that I think address the spirituallity of Aikido, whether intended or not. What do you think?

Michael Karmon
02-03-2004, 08:48 AM
Hi, Outstanding thread Wynand.

You have done well to stand back from the fight

I have a rule I try to follow and I teach it to my two sons. NEVER NEVER EVER break up a fight. NEVER EVER go into someone else's fight.

You do no know the reasons and the persons in it, most likely they are on the edge while you are still warming up. There are too many sad storles about a guy who tries to make-the-peace and ends up seriously hurt.

As some one who got himself in (and out) of tough spots I can add only this:

Should you get into a breaking up a Streetfight against pesrons you do not know thete is only one concept - take out everybody as quickly and as nastily as you can. DO NOT ignore the side that seems weak and give no warning shots. You want both of them DOWN, NEUTRALIZED, NOW.

Sometimes, the best way to keeping peace and harmony is by knocking everyone out.

Ian Upstone
02-03-2004, 10:15 AM
Michael, I'm sure you meant "take out everybody as quickly and as *effectively* as you can"

Aikidoka aren't allowed to be nasty. It's an old tradition or something.

But you have a point about not getting involved unless you absolutely have to, and especially about ignoring the weaker side.

I have read many examples where a bystander or supposed victim suddenly turns on the person who is trying to do the right thing and break up a fight.

Jesse Lee
02-03-2004, 12:37 PM
Geez it is so awful to read these stories of gallant samaritans stepping in and getting killed for their efforts!

I admire Paula's strategy of deflection, but then this seems like really great advice too:
Should you get into a breaking up a Streetfight against pesrons you do not know thete is only one concept - take out everybody as quickly and as nastily as you can. DO NOT ignore the side that seems weak and give no warning shots. You want both of them DOWN, NEUTRALIZED, NOW.

I hope I pick the right tactic when the time comes....

Michael Karmon
02-04-2004, 01:50 AM
Michael, I'm sure you meant "take out everybody as quickly and as *effectively* as you can"

Aikidoka aren't allowed to be nasty. It's an old tradition or something.

.
Ian, I respectfully beg to differ on that point.

This is a very nice and honorable idea when in a dojo but on the street, Nasty is the name of the game.

In our dojo we touch the dirty tricks department. The Sensei will sometimes show the technique the Kihon way, the more advenced way, the painfull way and (every now and then) the seriouse damage way.

In my next life when I reach 6th Dan I will be able to gently lead away my attackers w/o harming them. In my current low abilities I will use any bit of technique to cause my oponents out-of-commission to such a point where there is no way he will be commeing back at me.

Here is the golden rule my dear late Father tought me: "I would rather pay for your bail then for your headstone"

And in this happy note...

Ian Upstone
02-04-2004, 08:33 AM
My comment about aikidoka not being allowed to be nasty was meant to be humourous! If anything it was a sly dig at those that see aikido as nothing more than a dance.

I apologise for not putting on one of those smiley things. I keep forgetting that it is difficult to always read the tone of the persons message. :)

Patrick Barr
02-04-2004, 04:56 PM
It seems to me that the author of this post did actually get to practice aikido. Our Sensei says that you cannot change other people (and should not try) but change yourself.

Rich Stephens
02-04-2004, 06:27 PM
I once experienced a very similar situation - a road rage type incident where two guys got out of their cars and yelled at each other right across the street from my Aikido dojo in Tokyo! Just like Mr. van Dyk, I crossed the street to see if I would get between them and break it up but they went their separate ways before I found out how much courage I had. Now that I've read the stories in this thread, I'm glad I didn't get involved!

Michael Karmon
02-05-2004, 07:16 AM
My comment about aikidoka not being allowed to be nasty was meant to be humourous! If anything it was a sly dig at those that see aikido as nothing more than a dance.

I apologise for not putting on one of those smiley things. I keep forgetting that it is difficult to always read the tone of the persons message. :)
Where is it ? where is it? I droped and stepped on my sense of humor during my last Ukemi

;)

Michael Hackett
02-05-2004, 11:23 AM
If you choose to intervene in a street confrontation involving folks you don't know, do so knowing that you may well be sacrificing your life. Those are the stakes and the incidents of good samaritans losing thier lives or futures are legion. This isn't to suggest that you shouldn't rush to the aid of someone, just rush in with the full realization of the possible consequences. Dialing 9-1-1 works really well too.

John Boswell
02-05-2004, 11:35 AM
That's just it... aikido is a lot about learning to "pick your fights." Whether you jump right in or let it pass... your training will almost always dictate what you should/shouldn't do.

As for the note about "dirty tricks", all you have to do is just train and you'll see them. Who couldn't go out of their way during Shiho and snap and arm or dislocate someone's shoulder? Or with a little more Mmph, you could irimi that street punk right INTO the concrete! Atemi? Don't even get me startedf! Or pressure points!? Wow! My sensei teaches these when time allows and we all get to learn the value of "pain compliance." Oh ya... lots of joy there! HUH!:rolleyes:

hehe...

Pick your fights. Aikido is as much about NOT fighting as it is about fighting, imho.

Dan Rubin
02-05-2004, 04:57 PM
And hereís something else to considerÖ.

In the dojo Iíve learned many techniques to use against a person who is attacking me, but Iíve never learned a technique to use against a person who is attacking someone else. If you want to learn how to do that, take a course in bodyguarding.

Dan Rubin

Bronson
02-07-2004, 01:21 AM
Iíve never learned a technique to use against a person who is attacking someone else.
Really?!? We practice this on a semi-regular basis. We call it third party intervention. Most of the basic techniques can be done this way.

Bronson

Dan Rubin
02-09-2004, 11:19 AM
Bronson

Thatís interesting, Iíve never known of dojos that practice defending a third person. Iím curious about how aikido deals with that. Doesnít aikido require nage to blend with the energy directed at him/her? When you practice those techniques, do you get uke to re-direct the energy toward you? Or do you somehow blend with the energy directed at the third party?

Dan

Rachael
02-09-2004, 12:11 PM
I think that by standing by and watching you demonstrated the principles of Aikido effectivelt, Wynand.

There's a time and a place for fighting and I think you chose the correct road by NOT intervening, but by being ready to if needed.

I know that getting a chance to try out Aikido in a 'real' situation would have been a good experience for you (it's always a good feeling to find out that something you do actually works and I'm not just talking about martial arts) but it's better that you are alive and able to continue training, rather than jumping into a situation in which you could have been injured or,even worse, killed.

Don_Modesto
02-09-2004, 03:04 PM
Iíve never learned a technique to use against a person who is attacking someone else. If you want to learn how to do that, take a course in bodyguarding.
Ah! Still another niche for a creative aikido dojo. I've seen Systema videos where they do this. Also, Black Belt Magazine has an offshoot publication devoted to women's self defense and they've had articles about how to fend off an attack while carrying a baby, e.g.

Dennis Hooker
02-09-2004, 03:17 PM
[QUOTE="Wynand van Dyk (drDalek)"]I was

I am dissapointed that I did not rush in and restrain captain tire-iron right then and there and instead decided to wait and see if any blows get traded."

First let me ask this. When was the last time any of you were in a street fight? If you were could you have avoided it?

If you have never been in a street fight you should look at video footage of gang fights, fighting at soccer game riots and street fights between two or more people. There is video available, just last night I watched an hour of it on some "real" TV program. It confirmed my earlier evaluations and statements in other threads. These people are for the most part unskilled and clumsily. If you have trained for a good while and can keep you head you should be able to handle yourself OK. These people are not Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris,. If they had the discipline to train correctly they would not be street fighting in the first place.

Also with today's technology it would need to be an extreme situation for me to get physically involved. To call to 911 I have just to put my hand in my pocket and pull out my cell phone. If you have people depending on you at home, people you love and people that love you then be very cautious about getting into a situation you can avoid. Even a clumsy blow to the right place can kill easily. We have teens here in Florida convicted of manslaughter after being involved in a school yard fight. Had they known how easy it can be to take a life I think they may have reconsidered fighting."

Say you get into a fight in a public place, most likely you will both go to jail until the law can sort it out. How will for family, friends and employer view that? What if you kill or get killed? It is easy enough to do. Who takes care of you family now?

If you want to fight go to war. If you want to almost fight go to a judo or karate school and ask nicely so spar with someone of your rank. Otherwise use your training to make yourself a better person, not necessarily a tougher one. But if you are a young guy full of piss and vinegar like most of us were you probably think this post is bullshit anyway.

Dennis Hooker

www.shindai.com

Bronson
02-09-2004, 09:06 PM
do you somehow blend with the energy directed at the third party?
Yup, pretty much. The tai sabaki and kuzushi may end up being a little different, but the basic kernel of the technique is the same.

Bronson

p.s. We also do "American suwariwaza & hanmi handachi" where you do techniques from a chair :freaky:

Bronson
02-09-2004, 09:18 PM
Black Belt Magazine has an offshoot publication devoted to women's self defense and they've had articles about how to fend off an attack while carrying a baby, e.g.
Man, my dojo must be a big bunch of freaks :freaky: I had to do the baby thing on my nidan pre-test.

Bronson

p.s. We are sometimes jokingly/lovingly called the "Death Dojo" by our organizations Kancho. A title that most of us feel is completely unwarranted...but we like it anyway :D

p.p.s. Agree completely with what Dennis said. Wish I could have said it that well.

Jesse Lee
02-09-2004, 09:57 PM
Yeah awesome post Dennis, even though my glass of piss and vinegar is still half full

Dan Rubin
02-10-2004, 04:46 PM
Bronson, I find very interesting the idea of blending with energy directed at someone else. I think thatís pretty neat. I canít even blend with energy directed at me.

I contributed to this thread because, in Wynandís post, he did not express disappointment because he failed, as a martial artist, to take action. He expressed disappointment because he missed the opportunity to ďfinally know whether my aikido works for real or not.Ē

I agree with the other posters who have reassured Wynand that his hesitation was wise, and that to enter such a situation, in order to test his aikido, would have been foolhardy. I wanted to add my thought that, had Wynand entered the fray, he might not have had the opportunity to test his aikido, anyway. Surely, he would not have limited himself to techniques that he practices in the dojo. He might have tested his bravery, his awareness, his balance, etc., qualities found in many martial arts. But, having survived or even triumphed, he still might not know whether his aikido works for real or not.

This thought is related to my increasing difficulty, over the past year or so, in defining just what is or is not aikido, to the point that Iíve pretty much decided that I have no idea what aikido is. But thatís another subject, for other threads.

Dan

Ian Williams
02-10-2004, 09:16 PM
I might be terribly naive.. no - scrap that! I *AM* terribly naive, but surely *NOT* fighting is the single best way of proving your Aikido does work?

If you've initiated a fight, doesn't that show that you've already failed?

PeterR
02-10-2004, 10:19 PM
Man, my dojo must be a big bunch of freaks :freaky: I had to do the baby thing on my nidan pre-test.
Do the techniques vary depending on whether its your baby or not?

:D

Bronson
02-11-2004, 10:47 PM
Do the techniques vary depending on whether its your baby or not? :D
Possibly. As I don't, and never will, have children or as I like to call them Shrieking Naked Yard Apes :D My techniques in that particular portion may have left a little to be desired. Especially the one where I threw the baby at the attacker :blush:

Bronson

Michael Hackett
02-12-2004, 01:31 AM
Regardless of how much piss and vinegar one has on board, Dennis Hooker is correct in my opinion. After spending 30 years on the street I've formed the conclusion that intervening in some knucklehead's threatening behavior is foolish for those who aren't paid to do it. Most guys mouthing off to one another are hoping for an excuse not to fight and looking for a face-saving out. Once things start to escalate they seem to act like trapped animals and do really stupid things to one another. Today with the proliferation of firearms on the street, it becomes even more dangerous. As a general statement I think it wise to avoid trying to intervene between two individuals as described. As Mr. Hooker said (at least in spirit)his cell phone is his most effective weapon in those situations. It might be an entirely different situation if it were some innocent person being attacked or victimized.

I've been in about a gazillion of those events over the years and it usually hurt to win. One win resulted in me wearing a cast for six weeks and almost cost me my career. If you really, really want to have fun, intercede between husband and wife! You just don't know how to enjoy life until you try to subdue Hubby while his wife is attacking you from behind.

Save the rescues for the weak and victimized. Let the knuckleheads prove natural selection until the cops arrive.

vanstretch
02-12-2004, 08:05 AM
Hi all, cop chiming in here guys!, I am in absolute agreement with Hooker Sensei, and most responses to the original post seem very common-sensical and rational. Trying to be a hero is the ego kicking in at the wrong time and can cost one dearly. A cell phone can be used tactically to report crime but for an accurate and quick police response,you have to know where you are. Lets say its night and there are no visible street signs. always know which way is north if you can. a good cop ,a good soldier knows his surroundings and always keeps his bearings. easier said than done yes, yet another skill to practice and hone-your ability to give your exact location. lost seconds to a 911 dispatcher can and have cost lives due to some of the above mentioned. try this right now=point north.(no, not up either!) time how quick that took. take care, keep rollin. DJ.

alecellis
02-12-2004, 07:47 PM
I think when you first start learning a Martial Art, also depends on the age, you tend to get a feeling of invulnerability building inside you. This shows in your character, you get stronger and people feel it. Some people challenge it and others just acquire a growing respect for you, sub-conciously usually, not many people would admit it.

You tend not to come across situations such as Wynands, it just works out that way, to many people I know's "dissapointment". I know a few that would just pile on in. I find that these types dont do Aikido very long.

A (now) good friend who was once not such a good friend, used to go to Disco's looking for people to pick on him, then he would decimate them with a form of Karate (cant remember the style, very ruthless kick boxing style), and then restrain them with Aikido moves. He learnt a lot, ok... mostly to get a bad reputation for himself.

Our teacher enrolled us in competitions together, doing Tomiki Aikido, a little more aggressive. This helped us to work out some problems. It took me 4 years to click into 'auto pilot', ie defending by aggression rather than regression (forward rather than backward), after that everything became great fun, and we made our own moves.

Anyway... back to the plot... we were taught at the very beginning that Aikido was for defence, of oneself. Then later you are taught that the open hands can close and should!! into Aikijitsu, a very nasty "mame and kill" style... no nonsense. I never actually got there in total, just touched upon it, as the Tomiki style promotes.

I think you were CORRECT to hold back, for many reasons. To assertain the field, who was actually the aggressor, who was correct, who is the strongest, "is there a gun?" (no martial art can stop a bullet, maybe 10 ninjas back to back? <grin>).

Aikido I beleive was a a warriors style, and as such, no warrior is going to just rush in without checking out the filed of play.

You did right by default I beleive, and Aikido is primarily a "self" preservation art.

If you want to get involved, take 5, check out the scene first, then come in with strength!!