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Old 03-21-2013, 09:50 AM   #7
bkedelen's Avatar
Dojo: Boulder Aikikai
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 449
Re: Aikido Predator Mindset

It is my opinion that OP may have somewhat misinterpreted Miller's conclusion, and I submit that an Aikido based survival strategy would operate in a fundamentally different way, and on a much larger scale, than the one briefly described.

Rory Miller, Marc "Animal" MacYoung and Lt. Col. Dave Grossman have each written volumes about the toxicity of violence and prioritizing avoidance, suppression, and escape over damage to the opponent and winning a confrontation. It is my understanding that the "predator mindset" is a trait necessary to for managing only a very narrow set of scenarios that is somewhat at the extremity of the situations one potentially faces.

An Aikido approach to strategy, in my opinion, may not be as applicable as we want in that space. From a big picture survival perspective, if you are in a position to need a "predator mindset" you have already fucked up big-time. That does NOT mean you shouldn't train those instincts and those situations. If you are going to take responsibility for your own safety, you may need some or even extensive training in that area. The point is that you should also be taking a variety of other actions to make that training an approach of last resort instead of an approach of first resort. Note that Fire, LEO and Military personnel don't have this luxury, and that is why their sacrifice earns my utmost respect.

This approach dovetails with the strengths that I (and I suspect most experienced Aikidoka) have developed through Aikido training. If you are knocked down you can get up instantly with your ukemi, if you are grabbed you can break the grab or simply walk away from it, dragging the other guy behind you, using your body skills, of you are attacked, you can step right through the heart of the attack and come out the other side running. Through Aikido training you develop a body that has below average offensive capability, but cannot be stopped by ordinary grabbing and hitting.

This approach also works very well with modern defensive tactics. If you are attacked outside your home, your best chance for survival is to proceed to your vehicle and use it to escape. If you are attacked inside your home your best chance for survival is to proceed to a safe room and barricade yourself there until help arrives. Your survival in either of these situations is jeopardized by going apeshit on an an attacker. It can safely be said that you should not even participate in the altercation at all.

Even though it might sting a little, the distinction between survival and winning is an important one for people who are trying to live a life without violence. Real defensive tactics is learning how to lose gracefully, how to acquire assistance from others, and how to architect a life where exposure to violence is minimized in every way possible.

Last edited by bkedelen : 03-21-2013 at 10:05 AM.
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