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-   -   Poll: How important a goal in your aikido training is the notion of defending yourself while minimiz (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5239)

AikiWeb System 03-28-2004 12:01 AM

AikiWeb Poll for the week of March 28, 2004:

How important a goal in your aikido training is the notion of defending yourself while minimizing or negating damage done to your attacker?
  • I don't do aikido
  • Critically important
  • Very important
  • Somewhat important
  • Not very important
  • Not at all important
Here are the current results.

acot 03-28-2004 02:57 AM

I voted critically important because any other attitude in the dojo is just down right dangerous.

Ryan

Hanna B 03-28-2004 03:00 AM

The question contains two separate ones: How important is the self-defence aspect, and how important is the don't harm the attacker-aspect. I voted Not very important, because I am not so interested in the self-defence aspects.

DaveO 03-28-2004 04:39 AM

I voted 'Somewhat important'.

First; as those who know me know; I study aikido for the interesting tactical - not necessarily SD - aspects. That said; I personally believe aikido to be highly effective in an SD role if the user is effective.

OK; that out of the way; I voted 'Somewhat' for these reasons: 1) If we're talking about an SD situation (which is what the question asks), the attacker's welfare is by necessity less important than my own. However; an attacker comes in a wide variety of roles. It can be a full-out full intent assault; or a guy trying to start something, or a drunk that needs help to a taxi. Or it could be a troubled or autistic teen. While my welfare is more important to me than theirs; based on the situation their welfare's importance can go from 'not at all' (as in a full-out assault) to 'somewhat' (as in a guy trying to start something) to 'damn near as much' (as in an autistic kid). So how much damage is done to an attacker depends on the attacker. If he's swinging a weapon (such as a beer bottle - let's not talk about knives; they're a whole different ballgame); I will break the attacking arm if that technique occurrs; i.e. I won't try to turn it into something less harmful. Why? Safety - mine. OTOH; if it's someone who really doesn't mean it; who doesn't know his own strength or needs help; I'll do everything in my power including taking damage to keep him from harming himself - or me; more than I can avoid. So my answer would be "3a - depends on the situation"; but since that wasn't a choice; I chose 'somewhat'. :)

Michael Karmon 03-28-2004 05:45 AM

It is a question of CHOICE. I can choose to let some a**hole get away with a bad attiude or I can hospitalize the SOB. Aikido gives me a variaty of options where as harder styles are more "punch in his nose firts, ask questions later" way of thinking.

In the dojo it is not so different , I can choose to ease Uke to the matt giving him all the time he needs to adjust himself, or I can slam him down with an extra 'twist'.

I choose to do so according to the way I feel Uke's energy and if he is, junior or a veterain, young or old, "hot" or "cold". The energy I get dictates my reaction. In the street you have to assess the situation and get the energy of the oponent in order to decide the amount of actual danger you are in and so to decide the damage to inflict.

Robyn Johnson 03-28-2004 11:51 AM

I voted "Critically Important" because that's why my mom and I started learning Aikido in the first place!

My brother has Down Syndrome and is very strong and occasionally he would get violent (which is unusual for Down Syndrome people) with my mom or I and we had to try to find some way to defend ourselves without hurting him. A friend pointed us to Aikido nearly 4 years ago and it has been a real blessing! :D We have had to use it before and we were able to get him on the ground and control him until he calmed down and he wasn't hurt! :)

Someday, my brother will have to be placed in a special home. My mom and I have grown to love Aikido so that even after he's gone we plan to keep learning and having fun in our dojo. :)

Robyn :ai: :ki: :do:

Chad Sloman 03-28-2004 12:06 PM

critically important for me

Doka 03-28-2004 12:56 PM

Flip Side!

We don't _defend_ ourselves in the dojo. Our ukes don't (usually) mean us harm.

In the street - Crush 'em! :D

OK, that is simplistic and a big step to take, but you do what it takes!

Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6!

DaveO 03-28-2004 02:21 PM

Quote:

Mark Dobro (Doka) wrote:
Flip Side!

We don't _defend_ ourselves in the dojo. Our ukes don't (usually) mean us harm.

In the street - Crush 'em! :D

OK, that is simplistic and a big step to take, but you do what it takes!

Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6!

Better be careful; that's a dangerous attitude to take, for several reasons. You made a good point when you said "OK, that is simplistic and a big step to take, but you do what it takes"; let me elaborate a bit. :)

The first is entirely defensive: taking an aggressive attitude in an encounter can easily turn it from a defensive situation - which Aikido can deal with - to a fight; which Aikido can't deal with. Let's be clear: in a defensive situation; a defender must have one thought uppermost: Ending the situation safely. In the vast majority of SD situations; that means getting enough position or distance to achieve breakaway; in other words; to escape the situation.Thinking about taking the guy out or finishing the fight can cause you to linger long enough to turn it into exactly that - a fight. And if that happens; you're in major doo-doo. Remember; if a guy is attacking; regardless of the situation he wouldn't be attacking if he didn't think he could win. It takes one person to start a SD situation; the attacker. It takes two to start a fight.

Which brings me to the nastier side of the problem: the legal side. I don't know about other countries; but in Canada and the US; a defender may use only the minimum force possible to defend himself. Doing any more can not only make you look bad; but can in fact turn you into the aggressor; the one they're going to throw the book at.

It may sound nice and neat to say 'Better to be tried by 12 than carried by 6'; but please keep in mind the fact that easy answers are only easy when they're incomplete. :)

Tom Hooper 03-28-2004 02:22 PM

I Voted "Not at all important" but this is because i cant stand people who go out of their way to hurt others, i feel with years of practice i will lose this vindictive nature! But this is the reason i took up aikido because i got rather severely beaten so it made me lose respect for some people.

Tom

mj 03-28-2004 02:34 PM

The prospect of looking out for the guy I was fighting was only presented to me after about 4 years of Aikido. Although it did not improve my aikido, (what a selfish pov) it gave me some basic understanding as to what may actually be going on (imo).

Doka 03-28-2004 03:51 PM

Quote:

Dave Organ (DaveO) wrote:
he wouldn't be attacking if he didn't think he could win.

He may be attacking out of rage, drugs, alchohol, stupidity, mental illness, etc! They don't give a thought to winning!

I think that you missed the dry humour in my post! Dry in that it is so true! You may have to break the everyday law to stay alive! In the UK they call it reasonable force!

True!!??

:ai:

stuartjvnorton 03-28-2004 04:55 PM

Crtically important.

Not for them, but for me.

"Excessive force".

Not exactly a win.

zachbiesanz 03-28-2004 08:29 PM

I voted very important.

It's not critically important only because there are other many things I need to work on before I could create a situation wherein I have the option of not hurting the other person (i.e. getting out of the way). Not injuring the assailant--resolution without winners and losers--is the whole point of aikido. If you don't care about that, maybe you should quit training and go buy a handgun.

Moreover, people are pretty smart (even the wasted or insane ones to a certain degree), and might be able to read your intentions from your body language. If you mean them harm, they might pick up on that and fight harder than if you appear calm and peaceful.

PeterR 03-28-2004 08:43 PM

I voted not at all important.

It really doesn't figure at all in my training and neither does the converse.

Roger C. Marks 03-29-2004 05:29 AM

[quote="Robyn Johnson"]:D We have had to use it before and we were able to get him on the ground and control him until he calmed down and he wasn't hurt! :)

I worked with adolescents with special needs and found aiki really useful for defusing potentially explosive situations. Obviously, the principle of 'no harm' was of primary importance and I found the best techniques were the most subtle, just deflecting energy by tenkan movements which were not recognised as a threat or attempt to control worked just fine. I had less success with outright control movements, especially when dealing with people who had Downs Syndrome. As Robyn says, aggression is not characteristic of the syndrome, however stubbornness is. When at a motorway service station I was with a young man who sat on the floor and decided he was not going to go anywhere and there were 15 other people in our group waiting to move out, there was no way, short of lifting and dragging, that I could get him to move. His acceptance of the pain involved in any technique I was prepared to use was phenomenal so in the end we all waited until he was ready - a long time!

I think waiting was the aiki technique of preference.

ian 03-30-2004 11:02 AM

Quote:

Mark Dobro (Doka) wrote:
Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6!

Why?

Do you pressupose that the goal of life is survival? I think the great paradox of the martial arts is that to become a great martial artist you must be prepared to face death. When this can be done I think it is realised that there is no reason why your survival should be more important than theirs.

When people are attacked, or following war, as far as I am aware (and I'm no specialist)post-traumatic stress is often related to feelings of hatred. Whether you kill someone or not, hating either yourself for what you've done, or the other person, is the thing that will destroy you over the long term.

Ian

Doka 03-30-2004 12:49 PM

Ian

You can devalue your survival, but if someone is intent on killing me, then I will use reasonable force - which means anything in that situation.

Why should my family have to carry on without me?

mj 03-30-2004 03:58 PM

Quote:

Mark Dobro (Doka) wrote:
Why should my family have to carry on without me?

By that logic we can all live as cowards :)

Doka 03-30-2004 04:21 PM

Quote:

mark johnston (mj) wrote:
By that logic we can all live as cowards :)

B*ll*cks! :disgust:

That is complete crap! Where do you get that from? Fighting for your life is cowardess? :confused:

You obviously have no grasp of logic, or are bitter from the taste of the wooden spoon! :rolleyes:

mj 03-30-2004 04:44 PM

Well.I dunna about spoons.

But I have heard lots of excuses for violence from violent people. (Even though 'why must my family live without me' is a pretty crap one - sorry.)

And 'cowardess' looks like such a freudian sli....p :)

Doka 03-30-2004 05:15 PM

OK MJ, someone is trying to kill you!!! He wants to rob your wife and children of their husband and father!!! No Lover to hold, no Dad to help with homework and be there to love them no matter what! I am sorry, but if you can argue against that then you are no husband or Dad! You will be arguing against pretecting your family!

If I am not there then I cannot be there and/or protect my family!!! Can't you see the flaw in what you say?

I would not flinch from protecting my family! I am no coward! The cowards are those who tend to find excuses for not acting! Sticking their heads in the sand!

MJ, you are talking crap! I dragged a friend out of a large group who had targeted him (having never met him before - for fun maybe), who were kicking him repeatedly. I got hit with a tyre iron on the way in and exited with my friend! We were both hurt bt made it out! What would have happened to him if I hadn't of gone in!

Isshin! Absolutely!

OSU!

Nafis Zahir 03-30-2004 10:16 PM

Since the word "attacker" was used, I assume what was meant was someone on the street and not an uke in the dojo. That being said, I voted Not very important. Why? Because I have no control over the extent of damage done to an attacker. The extent of damage to the attacker, all depends on them. If they do not attack me, then there is no damage! If they attack harshly, their own negative energy will magnify any technique I do and make it all the more devestating to them. I may choose a simple technique that may have complex results. After all, my response will be spontaneous and without much thought. I will do no more or no less than what is necessary, but still, the extent of damage is in their hands, not mine.

Michael Karmon 03-31-2004 01:11 AM

Quote:

Ian Dodkins (ian) wrote:
Why?

Do you pressupose that the goal of life is survival? I think the great paradox of the martial arts is that to become a great martial artist you must be prepared to face death. When this can be done I think it is realised that there is no reason why your survival should be more important than theirs.

Ian

Ian, I dare say that your's is one of the weirdest posts I have seen.

If someone tries to physiclly hurt me or anyone I am responsible for then it is my duty to prevent it.

It is my beleive that it is morraly wrong to allow anyone that INITIATES violence to benefit from it and any one who initates violance does it at his own peril.

Furthermore, if someone attacks with deadly intent (knife etc.) then, morraly speaking, he forfeits his life upon doing so.

If it comes down to "my life or his" and no other option then I will kill him and will not think badly of myself.

Samurais were ready to die at an eyeblink but they fought and killed for their honor and duty to their master.

ian 03-31-2004 03:56 AM

Quote:

Michael Karmon wrote:
Samurais were ready to die at an eyeblink but they fought and killed for their honor and duty to their master.

Yep - but whilst serving their Lord (ie before becoming Ronin) they did not fight specifically to protect their lives; in fact 'mutual death' was thought to be very honourable in battle.

I admit fighting for your survival is often a natural biological impulse. Just as protecting your family (to continue your genes) is not far removed from protecting yourself. Also what is said and what is done can be completely different things (I admit myself)! However each one of us will die, our families and friends will die - in fact all humans will die. So what you are talking about is a short term solution; in my view it is far better to live however you (personally) feel is best for you, rather than to worry about right/wrong or survival.

(is that weird enough for you?) ;)

Ian


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