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Old 12-30-2008, 09:21 PM   #1
mathewjgano
 
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A situation I was in...

Buck said:
Quote:
I guess what I want to hear is from the voices of those who used Aikido that were able to prevent themselves or loved ones from being harmed. It can be from verbal to the physical. I know I have been in a situation where I had a choice, not all situation are the same, I could have been physical, I wasn't, I was verbal and it worked. I resolved the conflict along the lines of Aikido philosophy. But as I said, not all situations are the same. Physical action in some situations are required where words ain't going to do a thing.
Ok so this probably won't be considered as Aikido by most...and certainly it didn't involve any recognizable techniques, but my responses were shaped in part by my Aikido training. In retrospect, it was simply a bad situation I shouldn't have let myself get in.
Visiting my (now) wife in Japan, i got to spend 2 nights at the San Fran airport. I was sitting, biding my time, when I noticed a guy "casually" make his way over to where I was sitting. He sits down with a disengenuous sigh, so i engaged him by saying "hey, how's it going?" He said something like, "ugh, I just hate fake people." I said, "I hear ya." I knew he was going to ask me for money, but I was happy for a little company...at first anyway. I told him i didn't really have much money, but that I was about to have my lunch and would buy him a sandwhich. We ate lunch and chatted a bit. He asked me several times for money, but I was very clear that I would love to help, but I only had enough money for a little bit of food. i also made it a point to tell him my sob story about losing my passport and needing to sleep at the airport. I thought it was important for him to understand my own situation, but mostly because i wanted him to stop asking me for money.
At any rate, long long story cut short, at one point I'm awoken at 2:30am by him (after taking the opportunity to exit stage left when he went looking for another mark) and find my very groggy self walking down a very deserted stretch of the airport towhere he said he was going to catch his bus. He could have easily attacked me and ran away before anyone came to help.
Now this whole time I tried to be friendly. I'm a firm believer in the power of kindness, but I also know some folks are immune so I made sure the hand closest to him was free; I made sure I was ever so slightly behind him and put my intention/ki in his rear corner as we walked down the long empty corridor; all the while chatting with him. In other words, i was afraid he might sucker punch me, rob me, and run...so I positioned myself accordingly and engaged his mind as much as possible.
So we're sitting "waiting for his bus," and he's getting sketchier by the second. At one point he said, "you look like an undercover cop." Now, my sense of this guy was that he wouldn't hesitate to punch a cop...might even enjoy it more than the next guy. I look him in the eye and very sincerely said, "I don't know what to say, man...I'm not. I'm just trying to get to japan so i can see my fiancee." He seemed to believe me because the next thing I know, he's no longer interested in waiting for a bus (that of course never came) and shows me where the comfortable seats to sleep on are. He falls asleep (after buying me a newspaper with the spare change I ended up giving him earlier for bus fair). I made sure not to. By the time he fell alseep it was almost time for the airport to open up so i quietly made my way to the international wing.
End of chapter 2 of my SFO story. Now, what I should have done was not go with him to the bus stop, but like I said, i was very groggy and not as sharp as I would have preferred. I may well have simply got lucky...in fact, my Bottom Line Philosophy says i was. But I do think I shaped the course of things from being a mark, to being some nice guy not worth messing with.
Thoughts anyone?
Stories of your own?
take care,
Matt

Last edited by mathewjgano : 12-30-2008 at 09:24 PM.

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Old 12-31-2008, 04:58 AM   #2
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: A situation I was in...

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Buck said:

Ok so this probably won't be considered as Aikido by most...and certainly it didn't involve any recognizable techniques, but my responses were shaped in part by my Aikido training. In retrospect, it was simply a bad situation I shouldn't have let myself get in.
Visiting my (now) wife in Japan, i got to spend 2 nights at the San Fran airport. I was sitting, biding my time, when I noticed a guy "casually" make his way over to where I was sitting. He sits down with a disengenuous sigh, so i engaged him by saying "hey, how's it going?" He said something like, "ugh, I just hate fake people." I said, "I hear ya." I knew he was going to ask me for money, but I was happy for a little company...at first anyway. I told him i didn't really have much money, but that I was about to have my lunch and would buy him a sandwhich. We ate lunch and chatted a bit. He asked me several times for money, but I was very clear that I would love to help, but I only had enough money for a little bit of food. i also made it a point to tell him my sob story about losing my passport and needing to sleep at the airport. I thought it was important for him to understand my own situation, but mostly because i wanted him to stop asking me for money.
At any rate, long long story cut short, at one point I'm awoken at 2:30am by him (after taking the opportunity to exit stage left when he went looking for another mark) and find my very groggy self walking down a very deserted stretch of the airport towhere he said he was going to catch his bus. He could have easily attacked me and ran away before anyone came to help.
Now this whole time I tried to be friendly. I'm a firm believer in the power of kindness, but I also know some folks are immune so I made sure the hand closest to him was free; I made sure I was ever so slightly behind him and put my intention/ki in his rear corner as we walked down the long empty corridor; all the while chatting with him. In other words, i was afraid he might sucker punch me, rob me, and run...so I positioned myself accordingly and engaged his mind as much as possible.
So we're sitting "waiting for his bus," and he's getting sketchier by the second. At one point he said, "you look like an undercover cop." Now, my sense of this guy was that he wouldn't hesitate to punch a cop...might even enjoy it more than the next guy. I look him in the eye and very sincerely said, "I don't know what to say, man...I'm not. I'm just trying to get to japan so i can see my fiancee." He seemed to believe me because the next thing I know, he's no longer interested in waiting for a bus (that of course never came) and shows me where the comfortable seats to sleep on are. He falls asleep (after buying me a newspaper with the spare change I ended up giving him earlier for bus fair). I made sure not to. By the time he fell alseep it was almost time for the airport to open up so i quietly made my way to the international wing.
End of chapter 2 of my SFO story. Now, what I should have done was not go with him to the bus stop, but like I said, i was very groggy and not as sharp as I would have preferred. I may well have simply got lucky...in fact, my Bottom Line Philosophy says i was. But I do think I shaped the course of things from being a mark, to being some nice guy not worth messing with.
Thoughts anyone?
Stories of your own?
take care,
Matt
Seems you are a nice chap...... and it looks to me that you were successful.....

Take Care
Tony
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Old 12-31-2008, 07:07 AM   #3
lbb
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Re: A situation I was in...

Why, though, do so many call it "aikido" when they just use sensitivity and common sense in a situation? Does it have to be "aikido" when I defuse a quarrel in a meeting at work -- as if I had no ability to do so before I trained aikido; as if no one who doesn't train aikido can do the same?
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Old 12-31-2008, 08:20 AM   #4
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: A situation I was in...

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Why, though, do so many call it "aikido" when they just use sensitivity and common sense in a situation? Does it have to be "aikido" when I defuse a quarrel in a meeting at work -- as if I had no ability to do so before I trained aikido; as if no one who doesn't train aikido can do the same?
Maybe they are all "aikido mad" and obsessed with it as being the only way for conflict resolution...... Common sense as you say...

Take Care
Tony
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:02 AM   #5
Joe McParland
 
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Re: A situation I was in...

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Why, though, do so many call it "aikido" when they just use sensitivity and common sense in a situation? Does it have to be "aikido" when I defuse a quarrel in a meeting at work -- as if I had no ability to do so before I trained aikido; as if no one who doesn't train aikido can do the same?
In the dojo, when the instructor says, "do ikkyo," you do ikkyo.

In the midst of a situation, so to speak, you do not do ikkyo. For that matter, you do not do aikido either.

Now, someone on the sidelines may say, "Wow! Did you see that? She did ikkyo to that dude! Now that's some aikido right there!" But you did not do ikkyo---you did not consciously select a technique called "ikkyo" and apply it; rather, in the moment, you operated spontaneously in line with your aikido training and whatever other experience you bring.

I think Matt explained it well:

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Ok so this probably won't be considered as Aikido by most...and certainly it didn't involve any recognizable techniques, but my responses were shaped in part by my Aikido training. In retrospect, it was simply a bad situation I shouldn't have let myself get in.

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Old 12-31-2008, 10:00 AM   #6
Janet Rosen
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Re: A situation I was in...

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Why, though, do so many call it "aikido" when they just use sensitivity and common sense in a situation? Does it have to be "aikido" when I defuse a quarrel in a meeting at work -- as if I had no ability to do so before I trained aikido; as if no one who doesn't train aikido can do the same?
Thank you. I, too, came to aikido very well versed in and able to defuse real world situations. Maybe it made certain aspects of aikido easier to comprehend but I never felt like "oh, I've been doing aikido all these decades!"

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 12-31-2008, 11:46 AM   #7
mathewjgano
 
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Aikido or not-Aikido

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Why, though, do so many call it "aikido" when they just use sensitivity and common sense in a situation? Does it have to be "aikido" when I defuse a quarrel in a meeting at work -- as if I had no ability to do so before I trained aikido; as if no one who doesn't train aikido can do the same?
Just to be clear, I didn't call it Aikido, but I probably should have put this thread in the open forum. This thread was a response to a post I read.
I think the answer to your question is that it becomes an easy shorthand. Labels are usually sloppy, in my opinion.
Using the ikkyo example, the same action could be described as Aikido or not-Aikido. Which one is correct? Is it only Aikido if someone who practiced Aikido does it? Does the label change anything about the reality of the situation?
From my perspective, koshinage is Aikido, Judo, Jujutsu and whatever other discipline might perform the same form. Again, i didn't perform any recognizable technique, but I practiced certain principles I practice in Aikido: engagement and positional awareness. No they're not exclusive to Aikido, but very little seems to be...aside from the tradition of practice itself.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 12-31-2008 at 11:53 AM.

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Old 12-31-2008, 12:11 PM   #8
C. David Henderson
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Re: A situation I was in...

I think I understand what Matt is saying this way.

I haven't been in a physical altercation since I was in college (don't ask) and slipped through a number of potential altercations before I began studying Aikido many years later.

About a week after my shodan test, I had to confront a bike mechanic who was holding my wife's road bike hostage (again, don't ask...)

I went to the guy's shop and told him to give me back the bike. He made some threats and some threatening gestures, but it didn't come to blows.

He finally threatened to call the cops. I told him to go ahead. Then the dispatcher asked him a question. He stopped, took our check from his pocket, and said, "Yes, I'm holding it."

Would this have happened if I'd never studied Aikido?

Well, in a very real sense not, because I probably wouldn't have engaged him directly (with inflated confidence, it seemed to me right after the fact).

In another sense maybe so. Because the fight was avoidable.

But I know I made sense of what was happening in part in terms of my practice. I kept calm in part because of my practice.

And I knew when he admitted he'd already been paid that I was walking out of there with the bike.

FWIW

DH
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Old 12-31-2008, 05:28 PM   #9
Buck
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Re: A situation I was in...

Quote:
David Henderson wrote: View Post

FWIW

DH
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Old 12-31-2008, 05:33 PM   #10
Buck
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Re: A situation I was in...

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Why, though, do so many call it "aikido" when they just use sensitivity and common sense in a situation? Does it have to be "aikido" when I defuse a quarrel in a meeting at work -- as if I had no ability to do so before I trained aikido; as if no one who doesn't train aikido can do the same?
Great insight. It gets me thinking, does someone have to jump to blows if they take Aikido? There are all sorts of fight training for that. And realistically, you don't have to be trained in anything at to get into a fight.
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Old 01-01-2009, 11:34 AM   #11
Larry John
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Re: A situation I was in...

Mary,

In my view, there are a number of reasons a person who studies aikido might call their application of what you call "sensitivity and common sense" "aikido." Here are two off the top of my pointed head:

1. They had never demonstrated much in the way of recognizable sensitivity or common sense before they began studying aikido (if that sounds as if it might be autobiographical, it should). Given a situation like the one Matt described, they suddenly recognize that they had applied some of the principles they learned in training to make things work without resorting to violence, validating for themselves the value of their training.

2. Through their training, they have learned a new, aikido-based framework for analyzing the world within and around them. They apply this framework to their daily thought process in the same way a physicist applies a framework based on physical forces and fundamental laws (see the works of Mark Buchanan as an example).

In the final analysis, though, in this case, the process was good, the outcome was good--does the label one chooses to give this phenomenon of peaceful resolution of a potentially dangerous situation really matter?

Larry
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Old 01-01-2009, 05:16 PM   #12
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Re: A situation I was in...

I Personally study several "martial methodologies". I try hard not to place an attachment to anyone one of them as I think it can get dangerously myopic if you only view things there the set of filters that the methodology provides you. After all, the methodolgies are limited by practice since they are desgined to impart certain lessons.

For me philosophically to say you used "aikido" in any situation doesn't compute as you simply cannot do anything directly with a methodology! A strike is a strike. Moving out of the way is simply moving out of the way. A kotegaeshi is a kotegaeshi.

Sure you could say "I did something I learned through aikido", but it in itself is not aikido, but something that you learned in aikido!

I think once you detach yourself from methodology you open your world up to limitless possibilities, not constrained by a particular view point.

Synthesis and integration of what you learn into your life becomes apart of you, and no longer subject to labeling as such...or something like that!

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Old 01-01-2009, 05:43 PM   #13
GeneC
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Re: A situation I was in...

Quote:
Joe McParland wrote: View Post
In the dojo, when the instructor says, "do ikkyo," you do ikkyo.

In the midst of a situation, so to speak, you do not do ikkyo. For that matter, you do not do aikido either.

Now, someone on the sidelines may say, "Wow! Did you see that? She did ikkyo to that dude! Now that's some aikido right there!" But you did not do ikkyo---you did not consciously select a technique called "ikkyo" and apply it; rather, in the moment, you operated spontaneously in line with your aikido training and whatever other experience you bring.

I think Matt explained it well:
In any situation, you resort to your latest level of training/practice.

Only between a single breath is Yin/Yang in harmony
Emotion is pure energy flowing feely thru the body-Dan Millman
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Old 01-01-2009, 07:42 PM   #14
mathewjgano
 
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Re: A situation I was in...

Quote:
Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe wrote: View Post
Seems you are a nice chap...... and it looks to me that you were successful.....

Take Care
Tony
Thank you, I try. All's well that ends well i suppose.

Quote:
Kevin wrote:
For me philosophically to say you used "aikido" in any situation doesn't compute as you simply cannot do anything directly with a methodology!
In this same sense would you agree no one "uses," BJJ, Karate, etc. in some given situation?

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