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Old 07-05-2010, 04:11 PM   #28
Keith Larman
Dojo: AIA, Los Angeles, CA
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,604
Re: Life Question - Harming Another Human Being

I've always wondered with these sorts of questions. If someone had attacked o-sensei with the intent to kill him do you think the attacker would have left the confrontation still breathing? Or without injury?

How is "order" restored to the universe in the event of an attack? Does it mean talking him out of it? It might mean calming him down. It might mean being pinned until he calms down. It might mean a busted arm. It might mean a concussion from the impact with the ground. Or taking his bat away and taking out a kneecap? Or it might mean his knife ends up in his ribs instead. Attackers don't always give you choices. And each person's level of ability to "resolve" conflict (not to mention situation specific issues) don't always leave one with an infinite number of options. Or to put it another way, maybe the safest place for the attacker's gun to be pointed is back at the attacker's center mass. Such that if it goes off, at least his body will stop the bullet instead of hitting some innocent bystander. Philosophy is a great thing -- a guide, a means of understanding one's goals. But... When the rubber hits the road sometimes you find that the domain of possible actions becomes severely constrained. Then what do you do? Sometimes restoring order might mean that other guy *will* be severely injured. Or killed.

There was a famous story (which I'm not sure is true) about the late Ed Parker. Apparently he had a confrontation with a group of young "toughs" on the side of the road at night. Parker picked the closest guy wearing a white shirt who happened to be well lit by the headlights of his car. He shattered his nose in the blink of an eye leaving him with blood gushing down his shirt. That was enough to take the desire to fight out of the rest of his friends. So an act of "pre-emptive" violence prevented further violence. Right? Wrong? Order restored? I would hate to even consider what kind of damage Parker would have brought to those kids. He was the fastest guy I'd ever seen.

In the movie "History of Violence" there was a horrifically violent scene where the main character stops two homicidal maniacs in his diner. Frankly I was glad it was so graphic because the director wanted to show the absolute horror of something like that. And the fact that there was little else that could have happened to prevent violence. Sometimes the only question is *who* is going to get hurt or die. So maybe the only choice is to choose whether it is the innocent or the not so innocent. Yes, it is ugly. But life isn't always cookies and sunshine.

So... Shrug. Of course some of my friends like to call me "Anakin" for my approach to Aikido. So consider the source.

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