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Old 08-10-2012, 04:31 PM   #226
graham christian
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Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

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For me, this is prostylization. For me it is also arrogamce. That is, another person sits in judgement and determines what is better for the other.

I think it is arrogant to believe u can restore harmony in another. (Whatever restoring harmony means).. I believe all you can simply do is set the example and expose them to alternatives, show compassion and strength. They have to make the changes for themselves if they want them. Happiness, if this is what u mean by harmony....is personal. What makes one person happy might be different than another. We don't get to sit in judgement over this. With the exception of when ones happiness causes harm to others or self.

Again, look at the model closel. Self defense is a part of the whole. It is a what budo is all abut. The ability to be strong, unyeilding and to set a good compassionate example. It is okay to defend yourself for the right reasons. Look at the seven tenants of budo...you have to be able to stand up for them...this isn't just about a state of mind...it is about the capacity to actual do something real and physical.

All we can do is be the change we want to see in the world.

Religion is a good example. Some people find happiness through it, others have suffered greatly at the duality that it can create. Looking at how indigenous people lived prior to missionaries that showed up to bring god to them...I personally saw a lot of suffering happen because of it. All those missionaries had good intentions I am sure to fix those folks too.
I'm glad you said that. So now I see what you think arrogance is. You translate what I said as such thus you misunderstand what I said. It is actually humility and compassion in action.

I don't do to or against but return to harmony. This is my model of Aikido. Tenets of budo? I like and follow the five spirits of budo, five 'minds' and they don't conflict with what I say.

I am not contesting other models but presenting one. One I believe is the goal of Aikido.

For me the correct principles of religion, understood, cannot create duality but only more oneness and harmony. The true path of all religions. It's all dependant only on the awareness of those using the religion.

Peace.G.
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Old 08-10-2012, 04:40 PM   #227
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Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

Thanks for clarifying Graham. How do u restore harmony. Or more specific sense restore is an action, then the effects can be measured and modeled. So, if we can restore something, then it means it is lost. Thus we can model this. What is harmony? What does it mean to restore it? How do we know when it is restored?

Assuming I am in conflict with someone. We are arguing. I have land, he wants it. He feels it is his and I feel it is mine. How do you resolve this as a win win for both? We could split of down the middle, but one or both of us will still feel we compromised.

So what is the feedback loop that says..mission accomplished...I have restored harmony?

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Old 08-10-2012, 04:53 PM   #228
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Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

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Thanks for clarifying Graham. How do u restore harmony. Or more specific sense restore is an action, then the effects can be measured and modeled. So, if we can restore something, then it means it is lost. Thus we can model this. What is harmony? What does it mean to restore it? How do we know when it is restored?

Assuming I am in conflict with someone. We are arguing. I have land, he wants it. He feels it is his and I feel it is mine. How do you resolve this as a win win for both? We could split of down the middle, but one or both of us will still feel we compromised.

So what is the feedback loop that says..mission accomplished...I have restored harmony?
O'K' Let's take your example.

Firstly I say this, if you are arguing then you and indeed both parties are already out of harmony in yourselves.

This is the first and most important point to realize. Spirit and mind in harmony has no argument, is calm, not upset, happy and fells good.

Secondly there is a situation and the one you describe is who owns the land. You must find the path which leads to the resolution, just like the circle in Aikido. When both parties, being of sound and calm and amenable disposition (in harmony with themself) agree on a path, a course of action and are happy with it and whatever the result of such a path would be then they have found the 'circle' Harmony. It would probably take some discipline.

Peace.G.
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Old 08-10-2012, 05:06 PM   #229
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Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

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O'K' Let's take your example.

Firstly I say this, if you are arguing then you and indeed both parties are already out of harmony in yourselves.

This is the first and most important point to realize. Spirit and mind in harmony has no argument, is calm, not upset, happy and fells good.

Secondly there is a situation and the one you describe is who owns the land. You must find the path which leads to the resolution, just like the circle in Aikido. When both parties, being of sound and calm and amenable disposition (in harmony with themself) agree on a path, a course of action and are happy with it and whatever the result of such a path would be then they have found the 'circle' Harmony. It would probably take some discipline.

Peace.G.
How would you go about someone claiming your land apart from walking the "circle of aikido?"
I feel you are being a bit vague in your responce ?
Itīs easy to talk about harmony but actually achieving it in a situation of conflict is a different matter.
Agree on a path: How ?
Dicipline-offcourse
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Old 08-10-2012, 05:16 PM   #230
graham christian
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Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

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How would you go about someone claiming your land apart from walking the "circle of aikido?"
I feel you are being a bit vague in your responce ?
Itīs easy to talk about harmony but actually achieving it in a situation of conflict is a different matter.
Agree on a path: How ?
Dicipline-offcourse
Thought it was pretty clear rather than vague.

A course of action both parties agree to and agree to abide by. Straightforward. It's what is needed. Those who want harmony see this. Those who don't pretend they don't see this. Thus they are already out of harmony with theirself.

Peace.G.
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Old 08-10-2012, 05:21 PM   #231
graham christian
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Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

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Thanks for clarifying Graham. How do u restore harmony. Or more specific sense restore is an action, then the effects can be measured and modeled. So, if we can restore something, then it means it is lost. Thus we can model this. What is harmony? What does it mean to restore it? How do we know when it is restored?

Assuming I am in conflict with someone. We are arguing. I have land, he wants it. He feels it is his and I feel it is mine. How do you resolve this as a win win for both? We could split of down the middle, but one or both of us will still feel we compromised.

So what is the feedback loop that says..mission accomplished...I have restored harmony?
The effects can be measured and modeled yes. Person attacking is already out of harmony with self and other. So harmony is the lost thing to be restored. Back to a state of feeling better or good about self and other.

Peace.G.
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Old 08-10-2012, 05:27 PM   #232
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Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

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Thought it was pretty clear rather than vague.

A course of action both parties agree to and agree to abide by. Straightforward. It's what is needed. Those who want harmony see this. Those who don't pretend they don't see this. Thus they are already out of harmony with theirself.

Peace.G.
I was not asking for the desired endresult of a harmonius conclusion, but how to get there ?
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Old 08-10-2012, 05:37 PM   #233
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Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

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I was not asking for the desired endresult of a harmonius conclusion, but how to get there ?
Communication. That's how. The fact that people think it's 'not so easy' shows how out of good communication they are really. That's the simplicity and in Aikido that's the 'connection.'

Peace.G.
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Old 08-10-2012, 05:50 PM   #234
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Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

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Communication. That's how. The fact that people think it's 'not so easy' shows how out of good communication they are really. That's the simplicity and in Aikido that's the 'connection.'

Peace.G.
Ok,ok.. I get your point !
Cheers
Lars
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Old 08-11-2012, 12:55 AM   #235
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Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

graham, we don't agree on much, but I do agree that communication is key.

however, we are taking the conversation in a different direction from the discussion concerning self defense. The OODA framework Boyd proposed emphasized the tactical realm and the process of making tactical decision and then actions to be successful in a fight or in this case self defense.

However, I think the framework can also apply to the bigger picture, which is where u have directed the conversation dealing with harmony...a end state that looks beyond the immediate concern of simple self preservation and or physical victory.

So going in that direction, I think it is the same process, but we will spend much more time on the factors influences orientation. Things such has cultural traditions, experiences, skills etc.

So yes communication. Or better yet understanding, empathy and compassion.

What u are proposing is focusing on those things that make two individuals see that by compromising it is in their self interest and long term happiness to work together. A huge challenge in many cases as we have to over come many cultural and emotional issues (experiences) to bridge that gap.

Agreed.

I think though that it requires a budoka to understand more than just the theory of this, but at the base level to be able to transcend the complete spectrum of conflict. We have many diplomats and scholars that can provide us the expertise in these areas...but it is the warrior that alone can stand at the crossroads of conflict and tip the scales in either direction.

I have personally chosen to stand at that crossroad. That is what we should be working toward if not literally then figuratively to at least understand it and support it.

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Old 08-11-2012, 04:41 PM   #236
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Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

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graham, we don't agree on much, but I do agree that communication is key.

however, we are taking the conversation in a different direction from the discussion concerning self defense. The OODA framework Boyd proposed emphasized the tactical realm and the process of making tactical decision and then actions to be successful in a fight or in this case self defense.

However, I think the framework can also apply to the bigger picture, which is where u have directed the conversation dealing with harmony...a end state that looks beyond the immediate concern of simple self preservation and or physical victory.

So going in that direction, I think it is the same process, but we will spend much more time on the factors influences orientation. Things such has cultural traditions, experiences, skills etc.

So yes communication. Or better yet understanding, empathy and compassion.

What u are proposing is focusing on those things that make two individuals see that by compromising it is in their self interest and long term happiness to work together. A huge challenge in many cases as we have to over come many cultural and emotional issues (experiences) to bridge that gap.

Agreed.

I think though that it requires a budoka to understand more than just the theory of this, but at the base level to be able to transcend the complete spectrum of conflict. We have many diplomats and scholars that can provide us the expertise in these areas...but it is the warrior that alone can stand at the crossroads of conflict and tip the scales in either direction.

I have personally chosen to stand at that crossroad. That is what we should be working toward if not literally then figuratively to at least understand it and support it.
Transcend.....I agree.

Peace.G.
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Old 08-24-2012, 08:30 PM   #237
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Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

I realise this is an old thread, but I wanted to write that I think martial arts are generally afforded too great a status for their role in self defence. The element of surprise is, to my mind, worth far more than a few years' training of any martial art of your choice. The greatest component of self defence, I believe, is one's awareness of dangerous situations and their ability to either avoid or extricate themselves from them. Given this, aikido is one of the more valuable practices because of its emphasis on zanshin.

If you find yourself in a violent altercation with a foe, most likely aikido's strongest assets have already failed - that is, the mindset to allow you to avoid such a situation. Once this happens, this is where cross-training may benefit you. The techniques practised in aikido are not what makes aikido aikido - it is the intention and philosophy they embody. The techniques learnt in aikido, once having reached this violent situation, may or may not be of benefit to you, depending on your technical proficiency. I tend to believe that technical proficiency in aikido to practical levels is harder to achieve than in other arts, so this is not one of its strong points. So my thoughts on the matter are that one should practise arts that have the strengths that are being looked for by the practitioner, because a person would be hard-pressed to find an art that is good at everything.
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Old 08-25-2012, 12:57 AM   #238
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Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

Hey Matthew, agree with your assessment, about awareness and actions to mitigate or avoid prior to. Very important things. I think that a lot of what we learn and spend time on especially in aikido is what Boyd would call the observation and orientation phase. By doing so, there is much we can learn about ourselves and others, and you are correct, I think for most things we will encounter, concentrating on increasing awareness of ourselves, others, the world around us...expanding our ability to perceive correctly and respond with action prior to an violentand physical encounter is going to be the best use of our time.

I also agree that if self defense it your main concern then their is time better spent learning other thing that can help us.

However, that does not mean we should throw up our hands and say that empty hand martial training is a waste of time all together. Given a correct, sound, and foundational practice, we can do much to improve our odds and in the process learn how to deal with increasingly shorter and shorter "loops" of decisions and action cycles. Having the right type of strength and skills and taking the appropriate actions even when things are extremely not going our way can turn one persons failure into another's success.

Plus the side effects of training in this manner inform the other side, which allows you to observe and orient much better I think. Good budo in my opininon works that way.

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Old 08-25-2012, 12:43 PM   #239
graham christian
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Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

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Matthew Bowen wrote: View Post
I realise this is an old thread, but I wanted to write that I think martial arts are generally afforded too great a status for their role in self defence. The element of surprise is, to my mind, worth far more than a few years' training of any martial art of your choice. The greatest component of self defence, I believe, is one's awareness of dangerous situations and their ability to either avoid or extricate themselves from them. Given this, aikido is one of the more valuable practices because of its emphasis on zanshin.

If you find yourself in a violent altercation with a foe, most likely aikido's strongest assets have already failed - that is, the mindset to allow you to avoid such a situation. Once this happens, this is where cross-training may benefit you. The techniques practised in aikido are not what makes aikido aikido - it is the intention and philosophy they embody. The techniques learnt in aikido, once having reached this violent situation, may or may not be of benefit to you, depending on your technical proficiency. I tend to believe that technical proficiency in aikido to practical levels is harder to achieve than in other arts, so this is not one of its strong points. So my thoughts on the matter are that one should practise arts that have the strengths that are being looked for by the practitioner, because a person would be hard-pressed to find an art that is good at everything.
I have never found this to be the case. Is your view based on experience or are you supposing?

Peace.G.
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Old 08-25-2012, 09:21 PM   #240
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Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

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I have never found this to be the case. Is your view based on experience or are you supposing?

Peace.G.
Are you referring to my claim about the element of surprise? I suggested it because I see it as an environmental factor that is generally out of the control of the martial arts practitioner that also has a significant weighting on the outcome of a violent confrontation, and one that is not trivially compensated for with training. I don't base it on personal experience (I'm lucky enough not to have had to put my myself to the test like that), but it seems intuitive to me that should I be surprised by a blow to the head, I would not be confident that a few years' training would be enough to outweigh that disadvantage (though in a sport like boxing perhaps it would be).

The initial disorientation from an attacker's first strike would make it difficult to assess what was happening quickly enough in order to engage in an appropriate defensive behaviour before being struck again and then repeatedly. People that have not been trained to receive landed punches are generally not well-equipped to handle them, and attacks can happen lightningly quickly - before you know it, a person can be upon you, levying a series of blows that have left you injured.

I wouldn't identify the element of surprise alone in trumping a person's initial forays into martial arts, but also weapons, body-size, etc. In my opinion, it seems likely that it would take a fairly significant amount of training to surpass these relatively simple environmental advantages an attacker may have.

As I say, however, I'm not speaking from my own experience of being attacked, only from how confident I personally feel in my own self-defence. If I'm off the mark then at least I suppose it's better to underestimate oneself than overestimate, and I appreciate your views on the subject.
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Old 08-25-2012, 11:06 PM   #241
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Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

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Are you referring to my claim about the element of surprise? I suggested it because I see it as an environmental factor that is generally out of the control of the martial arts practitioner that also has a significant weighting on the outcome of a violent confrontation, and one that is not trivially compensated for with training. I don't base it on personal experience (I'm lucky enough not to have had to put my myself to the test like that), but it seems intuitive to me that should I be surprised by a blow to the head, I would not be confident that a few years' training would be enough to outweigh that disadvantage (though in a sport like boxing perhaps it would be).

The initial disorientation from an attacker's first strike would make it difficult to assess what was happening quickly enough in order to engage in an appropriate defensive behaviour before being struck again and then repeatedly. People that have not been trained to receive landed punches are generally not well-equipped to handle them, and attacks can happen lightningly quickly - before you know it, a person can be upon you, levying a series of blows that have left you injured.

I wouldn't identify the element of surprise alone in trumping a person's initial forays into martial arts, but also weapons, body-size, etc. In my opinion, it seems likely that it would take a fairly significant amount of training to surpass these relatively simple environmental advantages an attacker may have.

As I say, however, I'm not speaking from my own experience of being attacked, only from how confident I personally feel in my own self-defence. If I'm off the mark then at least I suppose it's better to underestimate oneself than overestimate, and I appreciate your views on the subject.
Hi Matthew.
O.K.....A person training in a martial art inherently has as one of their goals the gaining of an ability to handle just such an event, one that is environmental and out of their control. In fact I would say that's why the thoughts of it always come up in the mind of the practitioner and the cause of debate by others and indeed this thread.

Those factors you identify in trumping a persons initial forays are no doubt true and so the overcoming of them is all part of training, bit by bit.

This however is also an initial look, an initial contemplation and conclusion.

The true test is not by peers therefor or in a ring or even randori of various kinds for these would still come under practice. The only true test is in life itself and the handling of the unexpected and real for when you can do that quite comfortably then the expected is in comparison much easier. This is martial training.

Now contrary to mass popular belief this does not mean therefor that the solution is to dive into lots of doing this or that hard training or chasing ideas of super strength or inner power that will make you ready for the unexpected for that is a fools paradise. It's all useful, it's all beneficial, it's all part of different training methods but it's not the 'magic' solution

The unexpected by definition is not what you expect. Life will always give you that now and again.

In fact we will always give ourselves that too as we give ourselves unexpected lessons to learn and place ourselves in seemingly impossible positions and dangerous situations. Thus more masakatsu agatsu.

Most martial arts when you think about it are preparing and training for specific competition, specific fight situations and even if you go into the broader area of security forces and armies then it is seen as the same type of thing, scenarios and what ifs. This is not actually training for the unexpected but still is on the path of basic martial art and thus on the path of martial but still only initial, partial, limited even if necessary.

So it all boils down to getting eventually a better understanding of what truly martial is.

Now, to go back a bit to my question to you as to if you were talking from experience. I asked for a specific reason and yes you answered quite clearly thank you.

One of my first really great 'wins' and thus validations was precisely in such a scenario for only then did I know it really did work in such a scene. These things you cannot plan for for then they would be expected.

So part of the martial lesson here is to train well and learn the principles well and learn how those principles apply to all walks of life too and thus live those principles and only then do they become you and natural to you and most importantly have faith in them.

Only then when the unexpected happens will you find out that they actually work and that it was all worthwhile. Only life can give us these truly unexpected lessons. Only faith in what we are doing can lead to that accomplishment. Trying to train from fear of what might be will only lead to a paranoia about needing to do all kinds of everything in case of all kinds of imagined possible foes and an inverted martial attitude.

These are my thoughts on the matter and experience.

Peace.G.
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Old 08-26-2012, 02:16 AM   #242
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Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

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The initial disorientation from an attacker's first strike would make it difficult to assess what was happening quickly enough in order to engage in an appropriate defensive behaviour before being struck again and then repeatedly. People that have not been trained to receive landed punches are generally not well-equipped to handle them, and attacks can happen lightningly quickly - before you know it, a person can be upon you, levying a series of blows that have left you injured.
.
Your assessment is spot on. This is my greatest priority in studying martial arts. That is training at point of failure. Too often it gets dismissed as "well what can u do about it", or " just don't let him do that", or " train to prevent it from happening", or "budo is not about this". Etc.

I spend most of my training in this mode, that is, my opponent, assailant etc has the tactical advantage and I need to mitigate this, recover, and put myself back in control.

Those that dismiss this or fail to address this aspect typically do not understand fighting and/or do not have the ability to teach it, so therefore they don't emphasize it.

it may also not be your thing either and you are doing budo for another reason, I'm good with that as long as u are not giving flippant remarks concerning the importance of addressing this important dynamic in a fight.

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Old 08-26-2012, 03:18 AM   #243
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Re: How effective is aikido in self defense?

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Your assessment is spot on. This is my greatest priority in studying martial arts. That is training at point of failure. Too often it gets dismissed as "well what can u do about it", or " just don't let him do that", or " train to prevent it from happening", or "budo is not about this". Etc.

I spend most of my training in this mode, that is, my opponent, assailant etc has the tactical advantage and I need to mitigate this, recover, and put myself back in control.

Those that dismiss this or fail to address this aspect typically do not understand fighting and/or do not have the ability to teach it, so therefore they don't emphasize it.

it may also not be your thing either and you are doing budo for another reason, I'm good with that as long as u are not giving flippant remarks concerning the importance of addressing this important dynamic in a fight.
It reminds me of an interview in Aikido Journal with Isoyama Shihan who was teaching aikido to american soldiers in the Japanese Air selfdefence force. (I canīt remember which issue Aikido Journal) They complained
to him that none of the techniques he taught were done from a position where uke has the tactical advantage so he allowed one of the students to grab hold of him from behind and then he busted his nose with the back of his head. As far as I recall he said: "Aikido is Budo, donīt forget that !" or something like that.
I guess in that context anything goes as long as it puts nage ahead in the "loop" again.
Still it doesnīt steal away from the fact that situational awareness is key, Itīs just a different aspect I guess..?
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