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Old 04-13-2009, 05:59 AM   #9
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
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Re: Dance, Wrist Locks & Sub-Teens

This is certainly a difficult topic to communicate about over a thread as there is a lot of "non-verbal" communication that goes on in the process that I am sure we are missing.

That said, based on what you have described above, I can't agree with your reasoning at all.

I believe if you are going to use martial arts training, specifically aikido, to help kids deal with bullies etc it must be taking almost entirely as a holistic tool to teach kids how to better understand themselves and their emotional, mental and physical states when they are dealing with situations that are stressful, deal with peer pressure and bullies.

It is complex.

I thiink if you are approaching it from a tactical standpoint of "how to engage a bully physically without showing any signs or preception of injury or agression". You are completely wrong. I would not even teach my soldiers this way. It is dangerous to both parties, the one you are teaching especially I think!

Students are either in a fight or they are not. Assuming that you are teaching the "good" side of the fight, that is the one that does not want to fight, then you are sending them a message that it is okay to engage in a fight....as long as you don't leave any marks or show any signs.

OR you are teaching them the preception that they should attempt to control the situation within a narrow set of guidelines when indeed, most likely those options (the option of choice) has been taken away from them and they could not walk away from the fight and must engage in something that may be serious.

You are teaching them ways to lose on many, many levels IMO.

Conflict resolution is a very difficult set of skills to learn. I have been struggling with this for many, many years, and I personally do not possess the skills that you are professing to teach your students.

If I have the choice to walk away from a physical altercation, then I do so, at all cost.

If I don't, then I fight. I fight to get control of the situation, kuzushi with my opponent on the ground and I am in control. What happens after that is what happens. I had no choice. (philosophically I do, but that is another discussion) and now must deal with the consequences of said fight.

If it required striking, pushing, or creating distance to gain control then that is what it takes...remember, the choice to fight has been taken from me and I am fighting to prevent myself from getting injured.

If I am in control of the fight, then I don't really need those skills do I? I can choose to disengage and walk away.

I tihink this is the dynamic you should be teaching your kids. That fighting is serious, that it has 2nd and 3rd order effects that can live with you for the rest of your life. That when you fight, you do so cause you have no options left.

Your training should center around teaching them that there are many, many ways and that skill can be gained to avoid physical confrontation.

But when it does happen, here are the tools and things you have and this is the damage that they can cause...so be careful when you make that decision to fight....it has responsibility..great responsibility.

Wrist locks and "aiki tactics" are very narrow in the dynamic of the fight. They can get you in over your head and in big trouble trying to fight from such a narrow paradigm.

I think you are setting up conditions that are very dangerous if you approach training this way.

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