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Old 05-01-2009, 06:14 PM   #124
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
Location: Oceanside, California
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,189
Re: Dance, Wrist Locks & Sub-Teens

Mr. Donelson,

Your taxonomy of attackers isn't complete. Some attack from a mindset of anger, others attack from mischief (mischief is perhaps a weak word when describing a bully), and others attack with murderous intent just as you described. There are others who attack because of some gang initiation and/or in relation to a gang initiative, while there are still others who are sociopathic. While the percentage of attackers who initiate an attack because of pathology, gang activity or murderous intent is small, a mischievious attacker or an angry one can quickly become murderous in action. A wise individual who is attacked would assume the worst and protect himself. That does not mean kill or maim his attacker, but rather be willing and able to use the amount of force needed to protect himself. Perhaps a properly applied wrist lock will be sufficient, and it is equally possible that a wrist lock will be provocative enough to escalate the encounter.

I continue to be concerned that your concept is so limited in martial applicability and efficacy. Your potential students need to know what to do if the "wristlock dance" doesn't work. If they don't have that level of knowledge and skill, they will be subject to a sense of false confidence.

Secondly, by your own admission, you are not qualified to teach wristlocks by training, experience or skill. You may be a terrific teacher academically, but you claim little or no knowledge of martial arts training or technique.

Thirdly, you discount the advice given by others that wrist locks are dangerous to youngsters. I am not a physician and have only anecdotal experience in injuries relating to wrist locks and control holds. In thirty years of controlling suspects as a law enforcement officer, I've seen a number of injuries. I am an assistant instructor in a youth class and have seen the lack of control some kids have when doing techniques and it varies from child to child. As a result, we do not teach wrist or joint locks to our youth classes as the possibility of injured joints is just too high.

Lastly, there are some significant liability issues involved. If, even by accident, we are right and joint locks are bad for kids, you, your school administrators and school district may well face litigation. If your training doesn't go far enough to protect the kids, or if you teach something incorrectly, litigation probably will ensue.

You stated earlier that you wanted advice and implied that you aren't interested in criticism. So be it and here it is:

1. Develop a program of instruction and have it peer-reviewed by local martial arts practitioners of instructor level.

2. Develop your own teaching skills to provide the training by attending classes yourself or finding a qualified instructor.

3. Get a buy-in from your school administration to determine if they want to have your program taught and that your program is consistent with their policies regarding self-defense and fighting.

Please remember that this stuff doesn't happen in a vacuum and there are real people involved and real-world consequences. As Bismark said "Any fool can learn from his own mistakes, but a wise man learns from the mistakes of others." Those who have taken the time to reply to you have seen the mistakes of others and have made their own as well. Be wise.

"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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