Bowing out to avoid a conflict
Bowing out early b4 the end of the class to avoid a conflict or to neutralise an ugly situation is good move, IMHO.
I had done this (bowing out) many many years ago (when I first started to train) to avoid any serious injury(ies) that could be rendered to my kohai (not by me mind you but) by an assistant instructor. That incident at that time left a bad taste in my mouth about aikidokas in general and question the philosophy of love and harmony preached in aikido - hence I stopped training aikido for quite a lot, definitely not with the same group. I can clearly remember the details of what happened that evening.
We were practising munetzuki kotegaishi. My kohai (the nage) did not side stepped as I came in with punch. He grabbed my hand, immediately turned it over and attempted to do the kotegish while still standing in my line of attack and with me firmly rooted. I offered to attack him again but he declined and continued to twist my wrist and attempted to push it down to the floor. In the process, I could have punched him in the face five times over. It caught the attention of the assistant instructor. He then came over and enquired what was happening. I told him the nage was attempting to bring me down just like that. He then took over the nage's grip on my hand and immediately sent me down to floor with such force that almost dislocate both my hand and elbow and said, "Like this, who said it can't be done?". I was totally surprised by his speed and force and was irritated with the fact that he had cheated on the situation - me offering to him my hand on a plate; I cheekily said, "That's excessive force". He didn't like what he heard and asked my kohai to attack him. He was frenzy mad, he threw the guy forcefully over and over again, put the guy in a strong ni-kyo lock when he was down on the mat. Poor guy was tapping out in pain and wriggling his legs and butt all about yet the assistant instructor held on to the lock. He kept throwing and locking the guy over and over again. In my mind, I told myself "Shit!! look what you've started". The class instructor could only looked on timidly. In disgust, I bowed out of the class hoping that my absence would cool him down.
A couple of weeks later, I met the chief instructor on the street. He heard about me leaving the class early. I explained what really happened. He said never mind the assistant instructor, that he was young, hot-tempered and immature. I told him the least the instructor could do was stopped it with a clap of his hands. He said that the instructor didn't see the incident. That's BS. As far as I was concerned, the instructor had lost control of his class. Here was a typical incompetent group, you have an assistant instructor who lost control of himself and took his anger out on the students and an instructor who lost charge and a chief instructor who wanted to be a "Mr. Nice Guy" and not said anything. That's about waiting for a disaster to happen.
In hint sight, I never regretted that early bow.
Last edited by David Yap : 11-21-2003 at 05:05 AM.