Street fighting budo verses Aikido
There is a mind set of many inner city, and sometimes suburban youths of street fighting.
This would involve the learning of both dirty tricks, and learning whatever you can from martial arts. Most of us older citizens have passed this culture by, and become the status quo of stability in our society.
My question is, for most of you younger citizens, is "how much of this street fighting mentality exists in your world?"
As practitioners in Aikido, I would hope this type of behavior is overcome as your mind and body to mature. But for my early growing years of the fifty's, sixtys, and even my early adult years of the seventies the gang culture could be seen moving about in the shadow of quiet peaceful society.
How much of this streetfighting mentality causes interest in Aikido, and the questions that poses Aikido's effectiveness against other fighting arts?
Bruce I grew up in a place called Clay County Kentucky. There was an unemployment rate of over 94%, the highest teenage dropout rate in the state, the highest teenage pregnancy rate of any county in the nation, the number one marijuana producer for three years running, and a violent crime per capita rate equal to New York City. When you consider that there were only about 2000 people in the county seat population certain things become evident. Certain violent crimes get ruled out. There were only three armed robberies in my twelve years there, an only one drive by in the history of the county. That leaves mostly just the various kinds of assault to make up that violent crime statistic. I realize that's not the ghetto, but the ghetto didn't have anything on us. That environment was almost animalistic at times. Some of us lived by instinct alone. Everyday was an exercise in fear and survival. I sought out the martial arts not to learn self defense despite all that. I sought out the martial arts to overcome that nature.
I'm still learning. I have a tendency to growl and try to stare down other potential males. I know that seems silly, but I lived with it every day. I'm still very protective of my pack. Don't underestimate the pack instinct. It's human nature.
These days I live in the suburbs of Chicago and there isn't much use for my old habits. Do you have any specific questions you'd like to pose?
I grew up the ghetto factory belt of Detroit. Spent time riding with a scooter gang and did a tour in the service. Came to Aikido through the bashing arts.
Interestingly, the percentage of actual criminal or violent behavior in our (US) society is low (less than 10% criminal and less than 3% violent).
The mind set of the predator is always alive and well living in the shadows. Never considered street fighting a Budo, just a way of life. To prepare to fight against it, one must understand it.
IMHO, the street mentality has not created much interest in Aikido since it is an entirely different mind set. There are some people at the Aiki-Extension conference in October that are presenting on working with youth if you are truly interested.
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