The same thing happened to me several years ago (and sometimes you don't have a choice of being 'put in that situation' - it just happens. It was so fast there was absolutely no time to turn and run without being stabbed in the back (so that option is out the window).
In fact, like any real situation involving high adrenalin levels, you don't make a choice - you respond instinctively. Luckily for me my first instinct was to move off centre line following the first stab (and yes, it was quite a conventional tsuki - since he was trying to get the suprise in immediately and wasn't 'showing' he had a knife). I did an atemi to the face which stunned him for a second (whilst cutting down the knife hand), however I didn't do a 'technique'. After a few more strikes he ran away. Though I didn't realise it at the time I had been slashed on the arm and neck (although quite shallow cuts).
People often think aikido isn't realistic because they apply it to a competitive 'sparring' situation. However, this event made me realise that it is the simple, instinctive training which saves you. We train for the first strike in aikido, and this is why I believe 'sparring' is not as beneficial for self-defence training: the first strike CAN kill, and often you are not aware they are going to strike, nor are they aware of what your response will be.
As far as killing or not - I think you should always allow someone to live to regret their actions. Surely aikido is about influencing people through example, rather than changing them through force? If you truly believe that 'you are the universe' killing them is no more of a win than getting killed yourself.
Last edited by ian : 08-28-2002 at 03:42 AM.