Re: What is the nature of modern fighting
Well, I'm new around here and I don't have much to add to discussions about Aikido per se, but I think I can talk about street fighting. I've worked in the military, law enforcement or security my whole adult life. I've made a few observations about violence and the average American. Not sure how they relate to folks in other countries.
- If you are a law abiding, emotionally stable person and you hang out with the same, your chances of being violently attacked go way down. Many victims of violence become so because they are involved in a criminal enterprise, or choose to hang out with those who do. Others are involved in an awful domestic situation where some one that "loves" them beats them up. If you are in one of those two categories: leave. Also, avoiding bars where people get liquored up and fight helps. Don't get into contests over stupid stuff like who cut off who at the stop light.
- If you can avoid all of the above, the biggest threat to you is random street violence. Alertness and carrying yourself with confidence is the name of the game here. Alertness and awareness will allow you to avoid or at least detect a potential threat before it is fully developed. Potential attackers are looking for people who appear unaware and weak. They are generally cowards who are looking for an easy mark. If you look like food, you may be eaten.
- If the above fails you are in trouble. Law abiding, emotionally stable people are often very reluctant to engage in violence even when all the signs are there that they should do so to save their life. Your adversary will likely be accustomed to violence and comfortable with a level of brutality that you aren't. Hesitation kills.
- You will most likely face multiple attackers who may very well be armed.
- Fights will be at close range, involve grappling and may very well "go to the ground."
- The best strategy in my opinion, is to act decisively, get clear and improve your position by gaining distance.
How does that relate to Aikido?
I think Aikido can be very useful. Many of the defensive tactics I've been trained in have a basis in Aikido. Couple that with some ability in ground fighting and you have a leg up on the world.
For me personally, I already know how to "fight." My interest in Aikido is in reconciling my past as a warrior with my desire to live at peace with the world. But for those who don't have a back ground that involves fighting, your Aikido may serve you well.
It's much, much easier to detect a potential threat and leave though.