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Old 12-11-2012, 12:19 PM   #37
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Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,153
Re: Just how real is violence? And where does Aikido stands in all of this?

Long Trinh wrote: View Post
Greetings all,

I'm still young (21 years old) so I have to say beforehand I don't have a lot of real life experience in violence yet, that's why I want to ask about the reality of violence.

I love Aikido and yes in training we like to think "oh yes if we get attack we will do this and that", but seriously how often do you get into a fight that you can not foresee or back down from?

I live in Richmond where there is a decent crime rates and spent 5 months in Paris, a huge city that can get quite chaotic. I generally find that most people are really nice, and the people who are not, well I did not get myself in a situation where I have to fight.

Unless you do things like walking alone in the Bronx at midnight, get really drunk and start chatting up someone's girlfriend, or stare at somebody on the street (in all of these cases frankly you are messing up and you got it coming), just how likely is it that somebody is just gonna walk up and tries to beat us up?

There are times when shady people push and threaten me in the subway, I simply move away to a more crowded area and don't say anything or look back at them. Most of the time they leave me alone. In the clubs you have the bouncers if something goes wrong. And the fact that it's modern day, you can't kill someone without having the police up your butt, I think it's pretty safe to live.

But again I might simply been lucky enough that I haven't seen violence directed against me. I hear about talk of violence all the time though. Do you think it's possible to avoid violence altogether if we are a bit careful, which is the goal of aikido anyway?

Of course, if you work in a job that faces danger on a regular basis then that changes the story.
I posted on the other thread, so I guess I'll also post here. Great questions and I have bolded a couple of statements to address specifically, then we'll see how things go...

I believe the world is no less dangerous than it has been. We have different hazards now, but I don't see people waving the "We Have World Peace" flag yet.

First, if you are in a fight, then your opportunity to avoid the fight has passed and you should concentrate on fighting. If you were able to foresee the confrontation or de-escalate the confrontation those would be my first 2 options. However, sometimes the best solution is to deal with the problem and fighting is the best option.

When you look at animals, we are pretty much the only specifies that will deny danger exists. Animals will identify danger and follow a flight or fight response; we look away. This response is largely the result of socialization and a dependency upon a greater entity to influence behavior (namely laws).

Second, aikido does not avoid anything. I take issue with this point because I believe the philosophy of aikido is centered upon understanding confrontation and the path to resolution. I think it prudent behavior to be vigilant in our lives. I think it prudent behavior to curtail risks interacting with people. I think we are fortunate each day our prudence pays off. I think the modern entitlement ideology begs us to embrace the universal understanding that we will not be harmed. As the other thread discussed, we write books advocating this ideology. When we are harmed, we use excusatory rhetoric to project cause anywhere but as a direct challenge to that universal belief.

The reality is that danger exists. It may be the pick-pocket in the subway, the burglar interrupted during his robbery, or the investment banker managing your retirement. Violence is the manner in which a type of danger is acted. Don't give it more power over your life than that.

Last edited by jonreading : 12-11-2012 at 12:21 PM.

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