John Bowers wrote:
Hi, I am a long time reader of this forum and aikido fan whom took three weeks of aikido several years ago before severely aggravating my back and possible herniating my disk. I read everything I can about aikido and try to internalize the concepts as instinct.
I got a serious lesson about mai-ai last week while intervening with a female fast food manager and a (crack-addict or psychotic off his meds). I stepped in between and put my hands up which he came against and repeated the female managers last request to him. Next thing I know I can't see for a half a second because I got clocked with a big right. My exact thoughts were 1. I've been hit. 2.) I'm still standing 3.) I'm in a fight!!!!!
Anyway I didn't do any aikido locks or throws, but man did the posture, blocking and moving into him while reacting to his punches work like a charm. When he clocked me all I could think of was punching him back and I'm not sure what moves I could have used in that small asile besides shomen-ate. I understand most aikido moves but I learned that day unless they are instinct from practice they are not yours. He also threw a wooden baby chair at me from five feet, which thanks to the aikido blocks and unbendable arm, just glanced off my outstreched arm instead of hitting me in the head. The guy ended up running from the police getting maced and I'm told tried to head butt the officer on the way back to the patrol car after I left.
Things I learned that day:
1.) mai-ai is for real, a fight doesn't have to be agreed on by both parties for it to start. If he had a box cutter I would be dead.
2.) It was amazing how well the posture and blocks worked when moving into his space and reacting to his punches. He didn't get a clean punch on me again.
3.) I am lucky, If you see someone you think is dangerous or deranged, believe your thoughts and be careful. confrontation could lead to unexpected results.
1.) How do I intervene without getting suckerpunched? How do I hold my hands? My feet?
2.) what techniques can you use in a narrow aisle?
3.) How in the world do karate folks not mange thier hands in fights? I only punched that guy some 10-12 times and my knuckles and right hand appeared as if broken for the first 4 days after that, now only my index knuckle feels as if it may have been damaged.
It's great that you managed to defend yourself, but I doubt Aikido had that much to do with your reaction, especially if you only took 3 weeks of classes "years ago." Reading and thinking about training != real training.
It sounds like you just put your hands up after someone hit, the natural reaction for anyone. That you managed to weather the storm is to be comended, but I wouldn't credit Aikido for it.