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Old 02-16-2005, 03:36 AM   #5
ian's Avatar
Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,654
Re: The Real World: How to Reconcile?

Aikido is a training method - the dojo is completely unrealistic; real confrontations are far more complex and less predictable and the emotional state of the people is entirely different. It's a way of training timing, awareness, distance, reactions and body movement, not a way to do 'shiho-nage' etc. The most impotant of these is awareness (zanshin). Without awareness, no matter what you have trained in, it is easy for someone to attack you. Randori, confidence in your self-defence abilities, a relaxed but confident attitude, regular high pressure aikido training - all these can help awareness.

I was lunged at once by someone with a knife, and if I had not had the instinctive reaction to move off centre line and strike I would probably be dead today. Martial arts will not make you invincible but I believe (especially in aikido) regular training can improve your chances of reacting in a way which can give you more of a chance. Use these events as a spur to focus on the IMPORTANT aspects of martial arts, so that you get beyond the technique obssessed technical side. Eventually it will make you a better martial artist. Don't forget, your objective in a confrontation is not to do 'shiho-nage' or 'ikkyo' but to leave the confrontation unharmed (both physically and psychologically).

Now, it seems the problem isn't self defence (you seemed to do that effectively), it's coping with conflict (during and afterwards). I know the feeling myself, where anger or fear washes over you after a particularly frightening event. What helps me is this:

- I always consider around 5% of people to be truly altuistic, 5% of people are truly sadistic and 90% of people are mostly just self-interested. Don't let some people's bad actions colour your approach to everyone
- hate will cause you more damage in the long term than any minor injuries; bad people are often unhappy or psychologically disturbed (not that this excuses them, but the point is that violence is related to suffering on their part because they want something they feel they can't get by other means).
- people are really just animals with hightened social awareness and intelligence; most have patterns of behaviour. esp. if he was a former marine he may be used to more violent patterns of behaviour (but still, it doesn't necessarily mean he is tough).
- everyone is going to die, so there is no loss or gain in any ultimate sense, so it's best to realise they haven't 'put something over' on you because, just like you, them, and any ancestors you or they have, will all be lying in coffins.

Hope this helps,


Last edited by ian : 02-16-2005 at 03:43 AM.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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