Aran Bright wrote:
I once trained in Hapkido, yes Aikido's distant korean cousin, and at the time of doing my first grading I had to sign an oath. It stated, amongst other things, that I would act with courage in the face danger. This meant that if I saw someone weaker than I in trouble, I would help. And I don't just mean helping with the groceries.
This has stuck with me more than any other moral standard I have wanted to up hold in MAs as I believe it is the most difficult judge.
There are many discussions about what is the right and wrong thing to do in a fight, but I wanted to know, when is it the right time to step in, to intervene?
Are you sure that this was what it meant?
I think there are issues here that are cultural, for want of a better term, and can readily imagine a situation in Japan where people who have attained shodan would never think of becoming involved, especially in a domestic squabble.
In Japan, I can also act with courage in the face of danger, though I never signed an oath to do so (and I would have problems with being required to sign such an oath at shodan level). Among the acts of courage I envisage is the decision not to stand and fight--and I can think of many situations here in Japan where it would simply be foolhardy to stand and fight (on the assumption that such decision would be made on the basis of a foreign view of the situation).
Examples that come to mind here are, eg, an argument on the street involving a man/several men and a woman who is in serious danger of physical violence. But they are all members of gangs and the violence is an internal gang issue. Would you step in, as a foreigner, and try to solve such a conflict on the basis of your oath?
EDIT. On the basis of Mr Sorrentino's post, I should add that the use of firearms in Japan is simply not an issue: any intervention would necessarily have to be unarmed.