Re: What He learned from his near mugging
I'm sorry that these kinds of stories are not occasionally balanced by the other side of the equation. However, I doubt that many of the people here would want to read the horror stories that result from meeting real predators. Of course most of those people are either dead or too traumatized to want to write a cute story about how they used "calm and assertive" (a la Dog Whisperer) behavior to survive a real assault.
I am not dismissing that it can work but let me embarrass myself with an event from long ago that shows how complacency and superiority can creep up on a martial "artist". Way back in my twenties, over 30 years ago I got in an argument at a party. The guy squared up and gave me plenty of warning, which by the way almost never happens in a really serious situation, and I followed my Sensei"s instruction, ( and the ridiculous legal requirement in the U.K. at that time) and I warned the guy that I was a Black Belt (ooohh shiver). He changed his demeanor immediately and we cooled it out. A minute later whilst chatting with someone else he hit me with a bottle, which by the way didn't break like it does in the movies, I went down and he kicked the s**t out of me. I was lucky this was the 70's and no one joined in, nowadays it would probably not go down that way.
O.K. I know I showed no zanshin, my am ai was lousy, and my head too soft but I was a fighter then, not aikido, but contact Chinese boxing 15 hours a week, it made no difference. There are people out there who have the will to do harm and , as George has indicated, if you mange to deflect or outmaneuver them, it's going somewhere else.
I love Aikido precisely because it attempts to reconcile a peace desiring way of life with a warrior practice, and I have always believed that they should go hand in hand. In my mind it is a middle way we seek, and I believe it was Tacitus who said, " those who love peace prepare for war". I have no problem with people who insist that Aikido is about resolving conflict without doing harm but we do ourselves a disservice when we preach that side only. Life is not so simple. I am not a police officer but I struggle with the role of a martial artist in our society, and the older I get the more of an issue it will be.