Thread: Verbal Aikido
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Old 03-16-2009, 08:35 AM   #26
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
Re: Verbal Aikido

Hi Ellis
As you already know, I am a firm believer in training under pressure. We are one of the few places I know where people get bruised and beat on at speed with weapons and have to maintain their composure. And away from weapons, the same mindset is developed in grappling. The end results I have seen when my guys have gone out to various events is that they are innately calm and undisturbed. Over the years several have reported stories of real life stressed environments and were the calm in the storm.
But there is a real area of expertise in self defense that has gone untrained. And in this day and age should be the most pronounced - verbal de-escalation.
I believe that your books should be a mandate for any serious martial artists-(no not sport grapplers) but people who see past that limited setting into a larger framework of development. In the end the best way *not to fight* is de-escalation before it begins.
It has been my experience in some bad situations that men typically do not want to get to that point. That there was an inherent mechanism of either defensive risk assessment and fear, or inhibition out of knowing they were wrong all before the fight began. It is anther example of the old axioms coming true, in this case men needing to get themselves psyched-up for a fight. Having "talked a guy out of killing his girlfriend, and then being patted on the back, I never felt comfortable with the accolades. I "knew" he didn't want to go through with it and desperately was looking for a way out. I think if we learn to overcome our own fear of fighting, and become very good at it, we can divorce our ego from it and see it as a tool. But more importantly it should not be the only tool in our tool box, the only weapon in our arsenal-of defensive options-not even the best one. But here's the rub, without experience in stress, without having the benefit of experience in say: a trial lawyer, EMT, LEO, Hell even an architect/ construction MGR...Anyone who routinely faces conflict and people in opposition who are facing losses in their life. But where does one go to get that training or understand it? To get *that* tool?
I will go so far as to make your books mandatory reading in my dojo. I'll buy them, they have to read them.
Might I be so bold as to speak to the aikido community?
Many of you are currently training with certain of us who are showing you real power, and a far more capable and realistic means to address an aggressor with skills that are capable of truly stopping people without really hurting them. Might I suggest a different sort of seminar from an expert?
Host a verbal de-escalation seminar, and give people-some of whom are truly passive / aggressive- tools and skills to deal with aggression and self defense on another level. It is after all another means to Ueshiba's end goals of budo-stopping violence. Think of it like the real sounds of the universe- the kotodama of a calming presence and a voice of reason in the midst of anarchy.
Or in another vien-becoming another sort of Martial art profesional ...beside being able to beat people up.
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