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Old 09-18-2004, 09:22 AM   #19
Dojo: Great Wave Aikido
Location: Alberta, Canada
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 543
Re: Aikido no good for self defense??

Hi again.
Just to respond to a couple comments.
If one were seriously interested in self defense, studying aikido or any combative art would be way down on the list of things to do. Well before learning to punch or take a punch, someone interested in serious self defense would be studying: how criminals set up victims, their own personal psychology, a victim`s mentality and how not to have it, and etc.
Yes; exactly! Your best bet in self defense is to put yourself in a position where you will not be attacked. In order for a situation to descend into violence; several steps have to occur; each step being a point where the defender can take steps to avoid the conflict. To be fair; these steps can occur is a very short period of time and a person must be aware of his surroundings in order to apply counters nevertheless; if a situation does degenerate into violence; that means essentially the defender failed all previous possibilities at avoiding the conflict.
That said; when studying aikido for self defense; we are studying what to do if it does turn violent. (Keep in mind street violence is not the only use for defensive aikido; there are many benevolent reasons for its use as well. As Ms. Shifflet describes in her books; a big boy with developmental problems or a drunk uncle at a party may require gentle physical control now and then.)
And to my way of thinking; while we study the defensive aspects to assist in the physical conflict; we study the rest of aikido - the 'spiritual' aspect, IOW - for ourselves; for reasons other than conflict - which helps to avoid the conflict in the first place.

Half of what we do on the mat is attacking someone. You`d think that if we spent so much time practicing attacks, we would get good at it. I never understood this "Aikido is only a defensive art" thing. Does that mean if you practice for an hour, you have done aikido for only 30 minutes?
The 'attacks' used in aikido are meant to teach nage to move against attacks from a given direction - IOW; to deal with an attack vector. They're not valuable as real-life attacks; try a shomenuchi on 'the street' and see what happens.

Dave this is where you are wrong! He has made a threat to do bodily harm to you. He has already broken the law. Simple assault by threat due to his size and at minimum disturbing the peace. Legally he is the attacker.
Er.... no. Sorry. The laws differ from place to place; but in most States and Canada; what he has done is given a threat - he has not comitted an attack. There is not as yet a physical need to defend; in fact if you were to do so not only would you be giving the cops a very good reason to charge you with the assault; you'd most likely be playing right into the antagonist's hands - by saying these things he's trying to provoke an attack to give himself justification for fighting.

However you still have to do everything in your power not to make the first physical attack or you will blow your self defense plea right out the window. Now it doesn't matter if he threw the first blow or you did, both of you can still be charged with simple assault or disturbing the peace pending on the laws where you are from.( I am speaking from the laws in Mississippi ). If it is simple assault a misdemeanor charge which is a charge less than a felony provided that no law enforcement officer has seen the crime take place the burdon of charging the attacker is on you. This puts you in a bad position if you have assaulted him because he can charge you. If you both charge each other its up to you and your lawyer to prove you were defending yourself.
Yah - right on. This is one of the reasons why fighting for self defense is such a sticky problem. You're going to be dealing with the cops and the courts afterward; it is entirely possible that the guy that was actually comitting the assault in the first place can come off looking like a poor little angel in court; while you are painted as the violent criminal. It happens - a lot.

In this case you have chosen to strike first but only to subdue your attacker long enough to make an escape. The fact that he is so much bigger than you makes you afraid for your life and you only attacked out of fear for your well being. Then you escape after the moment he has been subdued with Nikyo ura which caused very little injury if any to him.
FWIW; I agree completely. But as far as the courts are concerned; hitting first then running away is still hitting first. Again; I stress that depends largely on what the laws are in your area; and what precedence the courts have in such cases. I personally wouldn't want to risk it.

Answers are only easy when they're incomplete.
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