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Old 10-30-2013, 02:15 PM   #51
sakumeikan
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Re: My forum pet peeve: "I never got in a fight - the ultimate self-defense!"

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
a bit off topic, but why do we need to get out of the way of the attack? in order to reach me, your body has to be in a certain location and range. what if my fist, foot, and/or weapon occupied that space first?
Phi,
This means the attacker is in your line of attack. joe.
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Old 10-30-2013, 03:19 PM   #52
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: My forum pet peeve: "I never got in a fight - the ultimate self-defense!"

Quote:
Yannis Mousoulis wrote: View Post
I agree completely with the above comments about what a "pacifist" really is, although I'm not actually very fond of the "isms" of this world.
The only thing that doesn't sit well in me about this thread is the predetermined idea that if one answers that he chooses not to fight is a way to avoid telling that aikido doesn't work.
Aikido is a martial art and, as such, it works fine in self defense situations. But since self defense means to save yourself from another person's violence, isn't it the best way to actually not be there?
In aikido we don't block a punch,we step slightly out of the attack line and control the strike. So when the punch reaches it's target, we are not...there.
In the same mentality, one should avoid fighting as best as possible, and engage only if he has no other choice.
Avoiding fighting when possible and using aikido effectively when you can't avoid it , is indeed the ultimate self defense...
Yannis,

Yes I think it is logical to assume that the best way to save yourself from another person's violence is to NOT be there. Of course.

to also comment on moving out of the attack line and controlling the strike:

The problem I see with both these statements is that they assume a great deal of control in the situation. By NOT being there in the situation you obviously have control and don't need to be there.

getting out of the line of attack assumes alot of control as well. You even use the word control.

In a perfect world...yes...I think both these things are appropriate responses.

The issue is that in many situations, I'd say most situations where we are facing genuine violence that we can't avoid...control is a very limited thing and a precious resource that we need to obtain.

On an attack getting out of the way of the initial attack may not grant you the control you need and may serve only to spiral you into a deeper hole of problems. At some point we will have to move in and engage in some manner in order to disrupt what your opponent is doing to you and then regain control.

yes, at some point we need to regain control of the situation if we want to have a choice in the decisions that are made in the situation. In most cases I believe it requires you to enter and engage or to irimi to use an aikido word.

The problem I have found with "only engaging as a last resort" is that many times we wait way way too long to engage until we have had so many of our options removed that we have put ourselves at great risk. The mentality that trains "only engage as a last resort" trains use to bargain and reason with our opponent until the very last possible moment. This is a very, very fine line I think. Many of us will yield way too much ground and experience a large amount of dissonance in a violent encounter until it is too late.

I think in practice it is better to practice hard and determine your "redlines" that is, those points that you will not allow to be crossed and when they are you immediately take action without emotion or futher thought.

"engaging as a last resort" requires us to invest a great deal emotionally in the situation as we reason with our opponent. This might be good sometimes, maybe not so good in others. If I feel physically threatened, I can tell you I am not going to reason or emotionally invest in my opponent I am going to state my redlines, mitigate them as best I can, and take immediate action.

That action may be to slowly back to a door, align myself with my friends, or it may be to pick up a chair and crack him with it before he does it to me. it just depends on the situation.

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Old 10-30-2013, 03:28 PM   #53
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Re: My forum pet peeve: "I never got in a fight - the ultimate self-defense!"

Kevin, there is little difference between the "last resort" and your "redlines". I get your point, and absolutely agree that many people will choose a last resort that is simply too late. Your redlines and mine may be very close and very similar - I suspect they are, given our similar histories. I strongly believe that any individual needs to consider where his redlines are in the cool light of day and not in the heat of the moment.

Michael
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Old 10-30-2013, 03:44 PM   #54
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Re: My forum pet peeve: "I never got in a fight - the ultimate self-defense!"

I am sure they are!

I suppose my concern is that there seems to be a psychology in Aikido that somehow we can gain these tremendous insights into conflict resolution and gain a great deal of skillfullness in "verbal aikido" or something along those lines. That may be true in many cases I suppose.

I tend to see these not as primary, but secondary. that is, we gain these insights and abilities through first being able to understand the physical aspects of violence and how to physically deal with this stuff.

I believe that once we understand this, and can apply it some what, then we gain more insights to verbal or even non-verbal cues that inform us "more correctly" about what we are experiencing.

I agree that you need to understand where your redlines are in the cool light of day. I firmly believe to do that, you need to practice in a very real and authentic physical manner...not a philosophical one.

Failure to do this results in a disconnection and a dissonance that is experienced in the heat of the moment.

I can tell you I have probably retreated more from situations that I knew were probably not good ones that I would "win" since I have been practicing budo than I have engaged in. So, ironically, I learned to do exactly what the original poster states in the header...the ulimate self defense is the fight I never got into!

I think some fights are simply not worth fighting and as Mushashi is keen to point out, live to fight another day! It is better to yield on the tactical fight than to lose the strategic one!

However, there are some fights that cannot and should not be avoided. For those, we need to completely commit ourselves to our calling and make sure we make appropriate and correct choices in the heat of the moment!

Thanks for the comments Michael!

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Old 10-30-2013, 04:02 PM   #55
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Re: My forum pet peeve: "I never got in a fight - the ultimate self-defense!"

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I suppose my concern is that there seems to be a psychology in Aikido that somehow we can gain these tremendous insights into conflict resolution and gain a great deal of skillfullness in "verbal aikido" or something along those lines. That may be true in many cases I suppose.
I'm going to disagree with your terminology. Aikido does not, cannot, have a "psychology". It does not have a nervous system, it does not have a brain, it does not have thoughts and beliefs.

Now let's talk about brains and nervous systems and how they can lead us to perceive things in certain ways. I think that we humans tend to notice and exaggerate whatever goes against our view of how things are (or ought to be). When you're driving, you don't notice the hundred drivers all doing what they're supposed to; you notice the one jerk who isn't, even if his jerk-ness doesn't impact you. So it is with beliefs that we find silly or annoying or unsubstantiated. If you've read my posts, you know that I'm waaaaaay over at the skeptical end of the spectrum regarding the belief that aikido training teaches us conflict resolution and "verbal aikido" and all that stuff. At the same time, I don't find that these beliefs are really all that prevalent: in forums, in real life, whatever. Looking at it as objectively as I can, I don't believe that they are either widely held nor proselytized in the overbearing, ubiquitous manner that would justify the irritation expressed towards them. But if you think it's all a lot of nonsense (or what's that British expression, codswallop? Have I got that right? great word...), then the one-in-a-hundred instances of this will cause you to scream "AAAAAAH THIS CRAP IS EVERYWHERE!!!"

So maybe it's time to take a deep breath. Seems to me we've had a few too many "those people/you people" threads around here lately, filled with sparkling logical gems like "all those people, and they always, and they never, and and and" that convey great passion, but (sadly) aren't so well grounded in reality. Rather than rail against all Those People Out There, maybe we can try to drop our story lines and engage with what's actually in front of us.
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Old 10-30-2013, 04:18 PM   #56
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Re: My forum pet peeve: "I never got in a fight - the ultimate self-defense!"

You could be right Mary, as most certainly I don't have empirical knowledge to these facts. however, I have had many a discussion in forums and in the dojo concerning this very thing that have led me to believe that there is a propensity for practitioners to interpret aikido in a particular manner.

Now they are free to believe what they want to believe and I am also free to make my assumptions and opinions which I clearly state (or try to) that they are mine.

I have seen enough and discussed enough things such as "aikido is about moving off the line and avoiding the attack". Aikido is about blending with the attack. Aikido is about creating harmony with your opponent.

The founder was clearly an idealist in my opinion. However he reached his conclusions based on his experiences and realities as a realist. I believe Ueshiba had a certain pragmaticism that may not have been carried forth during the spread of the art post World War II.

I certainly don't want to argue and create divisiveness to say that my way is the only way and every one else is wrong. I hope that I am not doing that.

I only wanted to state my observations and define the things that I think are maybe not correct and maybe someone will find value in pondering on them...maybe not.

I think the OP has a very valid point concerning his pet peeve. I do agree that we need to be careful about glossing over the fact that at a very basic level that fighting is really about fighting, and avoidance is a luxury that may not be available to us.

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Old 10-30-2013, 04:57 PM   #57
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Re: My forum pet peeve: "I never got in a fight - the ultimate self-defense!"

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Hey Matt,

Just my take and thoughts on this so please take them for what they are worth. In my mind and thinking....I don't believe SD training should start with prevention, I think that should actually be the conclusion not the beginning. I think we first need to face the cold hard facts about the realities of violence and to reach a intimate understanding that someone that is hell bent on hurting you might just do that and what are you going to do about that if he is. The answer may be "holy shit! I'm a 100lbs soaking wet and it is not going to end well for me if someone attacks me in a dark alley! Let me look at what I need to do to not get in that situation!"

I'd rather have a person reach that understanding than go through a self defense warm and fuzzy seminar that talks about prevention and the groin grab and heal stomp and go home feeling good about themselves all empowered like.
Hi Kevin, good points! Thank you every time for sharing your insights!

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Tokyo Zeplin wrote:
That... pretty much sums up what I needed a dozen paragraphs to say!
Well, to be fair, it took me about a dozen attempts to whittle it down to that.
Take care!

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 10-30-2013, 05:00 PM   #58
Michael Hackett
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Re: My forum pet peeve: "I never got in a fight - the ultimate self-defense!"

Avoiding a fight is wonderful, when possible. That isn't aikido or any other martial art, just common sense.

Talking some aggressor down is wonderful too. It even works sometimes, and I doubt that doing so is aikido or any other martial art, just human experience, a gift of gab, and perhaps good fortune.

Being able to defend yourself and those you protect is wonderful as well when the first two just aren't working. That might be aikido, some other martial art, something else, or maybe even a good escape plan.

For me, talking someone down is a luxury I enjoy because of my training, demeanor and will and not a component of those qualities. It might even work and when it does, life is good. If it doesn't, hopefully all those sweaty and sometimes bloody hours of training will work. It if doesn't and there is no escape available, I hope the cavalry is right around the corner. As a last resort I will threaten to give Phi their home phone number!

Michael
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Old 10-30-2013, 05:13 PM   #59
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Re: My forum pet peeve: "I never got in a fight - the ultimate self-defense!"

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
a bit off topic, but why do we need to get out of the way of the attack? in order to reach me, your body has to be in a certain location and range. what if my fist, foot, and/or weapon occupied that space first?
Of course.It could be that you enter while he raises his weapon e.t.c. I used what I said as a mere example of "not-being-there-effectiveness" from a physical expression to the extend of avoiding the fight state of mind...
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Old 10-30-2013, 05:24 PM   #60
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Re: My forum pet peeve: "I never got in a fight - the ultimate self-defense!"

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Bill Danosky wrote: View Post
And what do you do about the second, third, fourth, etc. punches? I have heard there are circumstances where attackers just throw as many punches as they can.
They can throw as many as they like, there is only one line of attack even if it keeps on changing in a split second.
How you finish this is a matter of applying your technique in between that little time, but that is a technical off-topic matter.
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Old 10-30-2013, 05:24 PM   #61
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Re: My forum pet peeve: "I never got in a fight - the ultimate self-defense!"

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I have seen enough and discussed enough things such as "aikido is about moving off the line and avoiding the attack". Aikido is about blending with the attack. Aikido is about creating harmony with your opponent.
My Aikido is about throws and joint locks.
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Old 10-30-2013, 05:28 PM   #62
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Re: My forum pet peeve: "I never got in a fight - the ultimate self-defense!"

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Yannis Mousoulis wrote: View Post
They can throw as many as they like, there is only one line of attack even if it keeps on changing in a split second.
Well, I had a dream where I was floating down a river of milk chocolate. It was very pleasant, too.
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Old 10-30-2013, 05:34 PM   #63
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Re: My forum pet peeve: "I never got in a fight - the ultimate self-defense!"

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Yannis,

Yes I think it is logical to assume that the best way to save yourself from another person's violence is to NOT be there. Of course.

to also comment on moving out of the attack line and controlling the strike:

The problem I see with both these statements is that they assume a great deal of control in the situation. By NOT being there in the situation you obviously have control and don't need to be there.

getting out of the line of attack assumes alot of control as well. You even use the word control.

In a perfect world...yes...I think both these things are appropriate responses.

The issue is that in many situations, I'd say most situations where we are facing genuine violence that we can't avoid...control is a very limited thing and a precious resource that we need to obtain.

On an attack getting out of the way of the initial attack may not grant you the control you need and may serve only to spiral you into a deeper hole of problems. At some point we will have to move in and engage in some manner in order to disrupt what your opponent is doing to you and then regain control.

yes, at some point we need to regain control of the situation if we want to have a choice in the decisions that are made in the situation. In most cases I believe it requires you to enter and engage or to irimi to use an aikido word.

The problem I have found with "only engaging as a last resort" is that many times we wait way way too long to engage until we have had so many of our options removed that we have put ourselves at great risk. The mentality that trains "only engage as a last resort" trains use to bargain and reason with our opponent until the very last possible moment. This is a very, very fine line I think. Many of us will yield way too much ground and experience a large amount of dissonance in a violent encounter until it is too late.

I think in practice it is better to practice hard and determine your "redlines" that is, those points that you will not allow to be crossed and when they are you immediately take action without emotion or futher thought.

"engaging as a last resort" requires us to invest a great deal emotionally in the situation as we reason with our opponent. This might be good sometimes, maybe not so good in others. If I feel physically threatened, I can tell you I am not going to reason or emotionally invest in my opponent I am going to state my redlines, mitigate them as best I can, and take immediate action.

That action may be to slowly back to a door, align myself with my friends, or it may be to pick up a chair and crack him with it before he does it to me. it just depends on the situation.
Well,of course it depends on the situation. A fighting situation has a lot of x factors and there is no guarantee about any outcome.
The main point of my post was that, just because someone would choose not to engage in a fight, doesn't mean that his aikido doesn't work.
Even the best ever warrior, stands his best chance of surviving if he stays outside of conflict...
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Old 10-30-2013, 05:42 PM   #64
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Re: My forum pet peeve: "I never got in a fight - the ultimate self-defense!"

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Bill Danosky wrote: View Post
Well, I had a dream where I was floating down a river of milk chocolate. It was very pleasant, too.
Who knows, if you were practicing instead of dreaming about milk chocolate,maybe you would find out that with practice, some people can do what other people just dream of.
I have, and still am working hard to make my dreams come true and it works. Try it sometime, you might be surprised...
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Old 10-30-2013, 10:22 PM   #65
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Re: My forum pet peeve: "I never got in a fight - the ultimate self-defense!"

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Yannis Mousoulis wrote: View Post
Who knows, if you were practicing instead of dreaming about milk chocolate,maybe you would find out that with practice, some people can do what other people just dream of.
I have, and still am working hard to make my dreams come true and it works. Try it sometime, you might be surprised...
Maybe my dream is to float down a river of chocolate. You don't know.
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Old 10-31-2013, 07:32 AM   #66
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Re: My forum pet peeve: "I never got in a fight - the ultimate self-defense!"

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Michael Hackett wrote: View Post
As a last resort I will threaten to give Phi their home phone number!
hey! that shouldn't be your last resort. it should be next to last. your last resort should be strip naked and said "do ya feel lucky, punk?!" most folks would have problem with attacking a naked guy, unless, a naked guy as good looking naked as i am, then that's a different story. especially, when he also has a jar of kimchi and said "lets get it on!"

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 10-31-2013, 07:40 AM   #67
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Re: My forum pet peeve: "I never got in a fight - the ultimate self-defense!"

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I think the OP has a very valid point concerning his pet peeve. I do agree that we need to be careful about glossing over the fact that at a very basic level that fighting is really about fighting, and avoidance is a luxury that may not be available to us.
"...; in death ground, fight" - Sun Tzu's Art of War

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Old 10-31-2013, 10:22 AM   #68
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Re: My forum pet peeve: "I never got in a fight - the ultimate self-defense!"

Wonderful Phi, NOW I have to find a concealed holster to carry a jar of kimchi.

Michael
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Old 10-31-2013, 01:39 PM   #69
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Re: My forum pet peeve: "I never got in a fight - the ultimate self-defense!"

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Michael Hackett wrote: View Post
Wonderful Phi, NOW I have to find a concealed holster to carry a jar of kimchi.
Well, I guess in addition to making kimchi and making weapons bags I can start making kimchi carry bags

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Old 10-31-2013, 08:34 PM   #70
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Re: My forum pet peeve: "I never got in a fight - the ultimate self-defense!"

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Philip Zeplin-Frederiksen wrote: View Post
Just please stop twisting questions into meaning something different, just so you can reply with the answers that personally suite you the best.
I second this.

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Old 11-01-2013, 11:40 AM   #71
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Re: My forum pet peeve: "I never got in a fight - the ultimate self-defense!"

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Michael Hackett wrote: View Post
Kevin, there is little difference between the "last resort" and your "redlines". I get your point, and absolutely agree that many people will choose a last resort that is simply too late. Your redlines and mine may be very close and very similar - I suspect they are, given our similar histories. I strongly believe that any individual needs to consider where his redlines are in the cool light of day and not in the heat of the moment.
A friend with whom I grew up used to be involved in many fights, primarily because he was a member of a gang. You could visually watch his body transition into "fight" mode when he decided a fight was coming on. I would tease him that he reminded me of when a shark rolls its eyes back as it bites its prey. He was very keen at discerning when a a situation was heading south.

I think good tactical programs delineate the indicators of an imminent tactical situation and the desperation to recover control in a situation. They discern ideological perspectives from pragmatic solutions and often tie your ideological constraints to your tactical solutions, for good or bad.

There's a difference between understanding the guy asking for a light is receiving permission to break your personal space barrier so he can move within attack range and defending yourself from a guy that just asked for a light and hit you in the face.

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Old 11-01-2013, 04:35 PM   #72
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Re: My forum pet peeve: "I never got in a fight - the ultimate self-defense!"

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
..You could visually watch his body transition into "fight" mode when he decided a fight was coming on. I would tease him that he reminded me of when a shark rolls its eyes back as it bites its prey. He was very keen at discerning when a a situation was heading south.
That's something you can't learn in a dojo. I'd venture that's all backbrain activity.
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:22 PM   #73
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Re: My forum pet peeve: "I never got in a fight - the ultimate self-defense!"

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
There's a difference between understanding the guy asking for a light is receiving permission to break your personal space barrier so he can move within attack range and defending yourself from a guy that just asked for a light and hit you in the face.
Word.

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