Well it's certainly bad you learned force doesn't work for self-defence, considering all the times I've used it and its worked fine.
Don't escalate a dominance contest to a survival contest, unless there's something very valuable that you cannot attain by other, less risky, means.
Fighting back against bullies isn't about winning - though of course that's desirable - it's about making it cost the other guy something. If you'd fought them with your fists and lost, they'd still have been hurt, especially had you picked one of them and focused all your efforts on him, and that would have helped persuade them to stop. However, if your first move is to escalate the issue to the point where their only choices are to back off or to try to kill you, you may not like what happens.
Stabbing a guy in the middle of a school is stupid. If you think the situation justifies lethal force, then you just go and do it. You don't wait for them to come for you, chances are by the time they do it will be too late.
You, however, were not in a situation where lethal force was in any way justified.
Benjamin, please note that I never said force wasn't a good idea. If that was the case then instead of studying Aikido, I could just go and join a monastery, and be free of violence forever. Force is definately still on the table for me. The key thing I've learn from all my experiences is basically how to defuse dangerous situations, how to escape it, how to uphold myself to not look vulnerable, and how to protect myself. Force used to defend oneself isn't wrong, but if it's spiced with anger and hate, then you become the attacker instead of the victim.
I have to disagree about your thoughts on bullying though. I do agree about the portion regarding not trying to "win" per say. That's definately true, we're only trying to keep ourselves safe. However, in a school life situation, you don't have the choice of not ever meeting that person again, and if you don't gain a decisive victory over the bully, he (or she) may not ever leave you alone. However, if you attempt to prevent further clashes by trying to cost them something, immature folks like bullies are more likely to come back and try to damage you worse. I've had people I know get jumped because they won a fight against their attackers earlier. Small-minded individuals do not mind ganging up on you to get a victory.
This is why I think Aikido is a good way to deal with bullies. You win decisively and deceptively, but at the same time the opponent isn't badly hurt. Before, I didn't know how to even fight at all, so I was the only one that lost things (dignity, pride, ego, respect, self esteem, etc). They never got satisfied though, and always came back for more, even when I had none left to give. I knew there was only two way for this to end: either win hard, or die hard.
The scissors incident was definately regretful. I was quite dumb back in the days, and in a panic I had picked up the closest thing that could be a weapon and tried to hold the big and scary boys at bay. Never did I consider even then to harm them. I never fought at all and knew no violence beforehand, so it was too much of a shock for me to cope with. It was impossible for me to think about killing at all when all I can think about is how I'm going to die today. Thinking back, it was quite the wonder why I didn't
die, as there were so many times where I could've been killed (such as the incident where they pushed me off the slide, about 1 story high drop. I got cut up bad). Dumb luck I guess...
Anyhow, everyone is a critic. I already got those talks from teachers that I can clearly see had no personal experience with bullying and the suffering it produces. It only looks like funny innocent teasing until you're the target.
I'm not trying to excuse myself from my previous action, because I think I wouldn't be who I am now without them. I learned not to be an attacker, because I knew how to victims feel. I think that is the most important thing I learn from my experiences.
I want to see what other people has experienced, and what they took away from their experiences. So if you got something at all, before or after Aikido, I would love to read about it. Maybe I can learn something from it too.