View Full Version : Correct Approach to Situation?

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The Molinjir
11-01-2004, 05:44 PM
Yesterday, (in my time zone) was Halloween. I was out around 9:15 PM, doing a bit of friendly sparring/fencing with mock kendo blades, as both of our costumes were related to swords.

As we fenced, an egg suddenly flew past my head, landing with a splat on the concrete near me. Before I go any farther, I must explain, I live in a nice area, but with a lower-income section only a few miles away. I looked over, and saw half a dozen black teenagers on the other side of the street, throwing raw eggs and shouting obcenities at us. Myself and my friend are both thirteen, and these egg throwers were easily between 14-17. As they began throwing eggs more rapidly, at both us and my house, my first reaction was to remove the padding from the sparring weapon, and run over to them, and attack, as they were throwing eggs, which leave quite a stain. Obviously, I repressed this urge, as I would not only probably lose, but perhaps be seriously injured, depending on what they were carrying. My friend and I yelled for them to stop, but when the only response came in the form of a hurled egg and a threat, we instead called the police, but naturally nobody was there by the time they got there.

I was furious at these kids, but what is the correct procedure for dealing with such situations (Aikido)not necissarily violence.
(Is this the correct forum for this question?)

Thanks in advance,

Janet Rosen
11-01-2004, 06:19 PM
Well, the outcome of what you did was: nobody hurt. So that's good, right? (smile). Retreat to safety and calling the police sounds like it was a prudent response; you did not leave others in harm's way by your retreat, and engaging in a fight would have proved nothing, gained nothing.

11-01-2004, 06:42 PM
... my first reaction was to remove the padding from the sparring weapon, and run over to them, and attack, as they were throwing eggs, which leave quite a stain....

I'm not sure, Paul. You're better to train in a hall, or if outside to train in prviacy.

11-01-2004, 06:43 PM
Two on six is hardly a fair fight, even if you are holding weapons. That said, I was in a similar situation when some High School freshmen threw something at a car belonging to a friend of mine, while we were in it. We chased them down and made sure they were still there when the cops showed up, and, though we were outnumbered 6-1, they were not aggressive and we evidently intimidated them quite a bit. I kept them in my sights while my friend called the police, even jogging after a group of about ten of them, by myself. Alone.

In both of our conflicts, thankfully, nobody was hurt. Which one of us had the greatest chance of walking away? I'll tell you, if a dozen high school kids jumped me and him, we would have gone down. We would have made them pay dearly, but we would likely not have walked away from the fight.

On the other hand, in my case, the perpetrators were caught, identified, and their parents and baseball coach were notified.

It's all a matter of judgment. So long as nobody is hurt, and you did what you thought was right, then everything is okay. I'm not saying what I did was smart, and I'm not saying that your track was better or worse.

In the end, and I'll say it again, all that really matters is that you are here to tell the story, and you didn't do anything you would later regret. (Willingly hurting other people will never leave you undamaged, especially if there is an alrernative.)

Dan Gould
11-02-2004, 10:53 PM
I've also had the same - I have nowhere to go except up the valley and onto a mountain that I live just below - hard work for the sake of casual sparring - so I practice next to my house, on a flat piece of road. However, this road is accessible by the road coming up to it, a road coming down, and a long road coming straight in to it, where you can see for about five blocks. There are also steps coming down to it, and an alley way coming up to it. There's a wall and a bench overlooking it too :-p We're regularly heckled. Wow, never knew it was so public.

Anyway, my friend and I get a LOT of comments, including kids gathering to stare or take the piss, take their mood. A few times we've had groups walk past and make comments like "Look at them, they're kids!" or something, even had a 9 year old ask our ages, telling us to grow up, "playing with sticks!" (to which I always reply "fighting with swords would be a bit stupid, wouldn't it, use your skull!"). I answered 17, and he shouted back "No you're not, I know you're 34!" to which I had to laugh. Then he threatened to throw a glass bottle at us.

Another time we went to a somewhat private area, next to a football field that's usually empty, and a park with swings and a see saw (call that a park?) next to it, also empty. Except when we arrived with sai, tonfa, bokken, and hanbo, the place was full of kids who then proceeded to steal my weapons. I scared them with ki (that was funny, lol), and my friend chased them off. It's damn annoying.

I just try to either ignore them and walk away, or scare them away by whatever means. Usually I'd carry on as normal, but do slightly more impressive or fast techniques, as if to say "I'm not just playing with sticks, mate, trust me!"

It's annoying as hell. And btw, my house regularly gets egged. I have some young friends, about 9 years old, one of which I was talking to a few nights before halloween. He asked what I was gonna be doing, and I said "I'll be waiting in the bushes with a bokken, and if anybody so much as looks at my house with an egg in hand, I'll twist his head backwards."

Ok, ok, I know, bad aikido, bad strategy, but they're only words - didn't have a peep of bother come halloween though :-)

11-03-2004, 04:20 AM
correct procedure: realise that they are only kids and you''l forget about this within the year. Most fights, especially if they result in serious injury or death, you never forget about.

Yann Golanski
11-03-2004, 06:00 AM
Just a thought: take pictures of them. When the police come over, pass them the film as evidence.

11-03-2004, 08:42 AM
Paul, sorry if I sound a little suspecious but let's break this down:

Before I go any farther, I must explain, I live in a nice area, but with a lower-income section only a few miles away. I looked over, and saw half a dozen black teenagers on the other side of the street, throwing raw eggs and shouting obcenities at us.

How does mentioning the fact that they were black and were from a low-income neighborhood help in assessing the situation? Did that make the sitation so much more threatening to you that your first thoughts were to attack these hooligans? Or was it the possibility of getting an egg stain that could justify you smacking some guys with a stick? Just some things to think about...

Paul Melsness
11-03-2004, 10:25 AM
Yann's got a good idea. Perhaps even take a video of them in action.

11-03-2004, 10:53 AM
Somebody once sent me a picture which I think was taken in rural Britain IIRC.

The picture had a sign at the edge of a field near a road. The sign said "Do NOT Throw Rocks At This Sign". As you would probably guess the sign was dented and in poor condition because of all the rocks that get thrown at it.

You, my friend, were the sign ;)


Dan Gould
11-04-2004, 04:49 AM
Gotta laugh, happened again last night. Couple of girls walked past and asked why I was "playing star wars." Most people are ignorant and more often than not, closer to stupid than smart. I agree as long as nobody was hurt, it's not important. I only remember MY hecklers because it amuses me some of the stuff they come out with :-) I can imagine how you must have felt though, I'd personally be more than a little scared (but that's me, I'm a coward :-p). Ian's right, you'll forget about it altogether before long. Only one heckler really sticks in my head, and that's the one that resulted in a fight.

Also coz that fight was funny as hell XD But that's another story.

11-04-2004, 12:07 PM
Usually the only people who will bother you are ones who don't understand or are simply jealous. I practice my jo suburi all the time, sometimes at the park and sometimes on my college campus. The difference is pretty amazing.

At the park, I get veiled comments (most people don't say things to my face, just to their friends loud enough for me to hear) and a lot of ignorant questions.

At SSU, people will sit and watch sometimes, and I never get any comments. I guess it's just a measure of maturity.

Hagen Seibert
11-04-2004, 01:43 PM
We already have done weapon classes in the local park,
in summer when the gym is closed,
and never had any problems.
People look sometimes, some are interested and ask,
and once we had a dog running to us:
"Ohh, so many sticks, will they throw them for me ??"
Itīs a place with many activities, people playing soccer, jogging, frisbee, inline-skates...

Guees itīs a good place, might be different in other places, so you have to pick it carefully.
And donīt be shy to practise in full public !