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Old 04-24-2003, 10:16 AM   #1
Stone
Dojo: Aikido Kokikai, Rochester, NY
Location: Webster, NY
Join Date: Aug 2000
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Freaky! Quandary

I am having a problem with my 13 yr old stepson. He knows I practice aikido and is constantly trying to 'attack' me in the house. Granted, the kid (5'7", 175 lbs) is almost as big as I am, (5'10", 195 lbs) but still I can't very well throw him across the room or drive him into the floor without damaging him or the house.

I am also reluctant to do nikkyo or sankyo on him because he's so animated that he's liable to keep turning and snap his own forearm or wrist.

Finally, many times he cautiously creeps up to me and just jabs at me with a lot of fakes which aren't real conducive to aikido since there is no energy. I can create the energy, bu then we are back to the first paragraph where I can't very well throw him across the room without smashing something (or someone).

It's kind of a powerless feeling that you want to try to show the kid a few moves, yet because I don't want to hurt him or the house, I'm severely limited in what I can do. Plus the faking and jabbing stuff drives me nuts. I just want to enter and do kokyu nage on him, but there's no mat.

Any suggestions on how to approach this?
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Old 04-24-2003, 11:09 AM   #2
kensparrow
Dojo: Methuen Aikido
Location: Massachusetts
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There is a guy at our dojo who has the same exact problem with a co-worker. There have been lots of suggestions about how to deal with it but none of them have been very good. Given that this boy is your step son your options are pretty limited. You could simply tell him to cut it out (teenagers always do what you tell them ) and leave it at that. A better alternative (if its feasible) is to get him into your class. He might be 'attacking' you because he is curious about aikido or as a way to connect with you (attacks as a form of connection... where have I heard that before?). At the very least it would give him an outlet for his energy.

Good luck!

PS If it comes down to it, don't use yonkyo - it leaves a mark!
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Old 04-24-2003, 11:33 AM   #3
mike lee
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
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safety first

There's a time and a place for everything. The place, generally speaking, for practicing aikido is in the dojo. The primary reason for this is safety. The dojo environment should be a structured, orderly, well maintained place to practice. This is mostly for safety.

I think that if your step-son has a sincere interest in martial arts, he should take some classes from a qualified instructor.

Also, it generally takes longer to become proficient in aikido than in many other martial arts. Your step-son may want to take this into consideration and be a little more respectful of you while you go through the learning process. Maybe show him what you're learning, but don't try spontanious applications at this time.

By fooling around in the home, sooner or later something is going to get broken and someone is going to get hurt. There's just too many sharp edges around and too many variables.

Stalking games can improve awareness, and can be followed up with a tap on the shoulder, not an actual attack. But even this could be hazardous. What if, for example, you think your step-son is not at home and somone sneeks up on you. You may throw them and hurt them, and when the lights come on, it may be your step-son!

I'm speaking here from year's of experience in "playing around" with aikido in a wide range of environments such as bars, homes and outside, and it often ends up being unsafe, with someone getting injured, especiallly if there's some drinking involved. This applies to situations where both people know some aikido or where only one of them does.

Anyway good luck!
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Old 04-24-2003, 12:19 PM   #4
MikeE
 
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I had this problem with my nephew. To be brutally honest, when he grabbed one too many times, I just applied nikyo on him and kept it tight all the way to the ground for a pin. I didn't hurt him, but, he was sore for a couple of days, and never attacked me again.

Mike Ellefson
Midwest Center
For Movement &
Aikido Bukou
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Old 04-24-2003, 12:59 PM   #5
opherdonchin
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
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I say move in for a hug. Hug-nage is one of the most effective, easiest to apply, and safest techniques available if you don't have to worry too seriously about being punched.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 04-24-2003, 01:28 PM   #6
shihonage
Join Date: Sep 2001
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Re: Quandary

Quote:
Scott Stoner (Stone) wrote:
still I can't very well throw him across the room or drive him into the floor without damaging him or the house.

I am also reluctant to do nikkyo or sankyo on him because he's so animated that he's liable to keep turning and snap his own forearm or wrist.

Finally, many times he cautiously creeps up to me and just jabs at me with a lot of fakes which aren't real conducive to aikido since there is no energy. I can create the energy, bu then we are back to the first paragraph where I can't very well throw him across the room without smashing something (or someone).
You are not limited in what you can do.

Either make him run after you and then tenkan him into a couch, or , during his jabbing, suddenly close the distance with fast, nearly-connecting atemi to his face, and do an ikkyo or iriminage or a neck control or whatever else depending on situation.
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Old 04-24-2003, 01:41 PM   #7
rachmass
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
Location: Somerset Michigan
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You can't script this type of thing very well, and someone is bound to get hurt.

As the mother of a 13-year old (who also likes to sneak up on his step-dad and wrestle around like a maniac), I fully agree with Opher's techniques. Hug-nage is most likely what the squirt will respond best to (after the initial struggle).

Actually, I just asked my son how he would like this to be handled (putting him in the shoes of the other 13-year old), and he said that the step-dad should just tell him firmly but kindly to stop.

Hope that helps,
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Old 04-24-2003, 01:59 PM   #8
gamma80
Dojo: Avon Kempo & Aikido Academy
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Sounds a little like the inspector Clouseau and Cato routine!
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Old 04-24-2003, 02:01 PM   #9
Dave Miller
 
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Quote:
Jaime McGrath wrote:
Bring him to class
Definitely! Bring him to class. After he takes some hard ukemi, he will either understand why you won't do anything at home and quit or he'll love aikido and then you'll really have something in common.

BTW, I would favor Nikyo (just the lock, not necessarily to the ground) but being sensitive enough to be able to let go before any real damage is done but making sure it hurts good.

DAVE

If you're working too hard, you're doing it wrong.
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Old 04-24-2003, 02:19 PM   #10
Bronson
 
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Quote:
Definitely! Bring him to class
Yeah, it's not abuse if you've signed the waiver
Quote:
I say move in for a hug
Hey Opher did you ever do yokomenuchi makiotoshi when you were with seidokan? Kobayashi sensei developed his particular version from playing with his young daughter. She'd run at him and jump up to hug him. He'd move in and turn and gently lay her down. I hear she thought it was great fun.

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 04-24-2003, 08:09 PM   #11
William Boyd
Dojo: Aikido of Reno
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Hi Scott,

I agree with Dave & Jaime, take him yo class If that dosn't work you can always try nikyo
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Old 04-24-2003, 08:16 PM   #12
Mallory Wikoff
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Get him in the jujinage position.. make sure he's off balence.. then say: ok, on the count of three!

if your enemy hungers, feed him
if he needs cloths, cloth him
in doing this you are piling burning coals on his head.
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Old 04-24-2003, 10:56 PM   #13
PhilJ
 
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Bronson, Kobayashi's makiotoshi was amazing... it was like being taken to the ground by a feather. Of course, once everybody saw him jumping up to do it, they started to... forgetting that Kobayashi sensei was shorter than just about everyone in class!

I actually have the same issue with my dad! He likes to wrestle with me still and see if he can still whup my butt (this goes way back to my youngest years and he is very strong). I don't apply technique because I know that when it suddenly is applied, it could hurt him seriously. The same applies to pressure points.

Instead, I use parlor tricks like 'unbendable arm' to lift his body in the air, or a non-painful ikkyo to pin him to the ground, or using yin motion to counter yang (and vice-versa) to show him that he simply cannot contain me anymore. It's WAY fun.

*Phil

Phillip Johnson
Enso Aikido Dojo, Burnsville, MN
An Aikido Bukou Dojo
http://www.aikidobukou.com
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Old 04-25-2003, 12:01 AM   #14
Bronson
 
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Quote:
it was like being taken to the ground by a feather.
I should hope so if he developed it using his little daughter as "uke" Mrs. Kobayashi recently told us he used to call that technique yokomenuchi michiyotoshi (Michiyo is his daughter)
Quote:
once everybody saw him jumping up to do it, they started to... forgetting that Kobayashi sensei was shorter than just about everyone in class!
ugh, I know. We always hear "but that's how sensei does it on the tape".

I'm reading Ellis Amdur's "Old School" right now. I can't remember the style or the sensei but he writes about a jo sensei who was rather short and during one kata the end of his jo would hit the ground. Eventually his students started doing it because "that's the way sensei did it"

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 04-25-2003, 02:51 AM   #15
ian
 
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Don't try and do 'techniques' try and do aikido. i.e. blend with them and think of it as good practise for yourself. Have you ever done aikido with a dog? As it comes to bite you can irimi tenkan and give it a playful push etc.

I had the same problem once with a small boy - I did do nikyo very gently on him but I heard something click in his forearm and he never approached me again. I don't really suggest this approach. (Yonkyo is probably a less risky approach and very easy to do on small people).

I think most people have a different view of martial arts to those that do aikido and they are looking for 'competition'. Aikido isn't about looking good in a fight or being top dog, it is about conflict resolution.

Also, don't forget - they may be seeing whether it is worth practicing aikido. If you can show that you can avoid harm without causing harm you may be succesful in this.

Ian

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 04-25-2003, 09:35 AM   #16
opherdonchin
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
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Quote:
Hey Opher did you ever do yokomenuchi makiotoshi when you were with seidokan?
Yes, that's exactly what I had in mind. I never had the priviledge of working with Kobayashi Sensei's Aikido, but my Sensei back in Israel, Eli Landau, is probably 260 lb with a touch as light as a feather. It was very inspiring for me.
Quote:
I did do nikyo very gently on him but I heard something click in his forearm and he never approached me again.
Yeah, I'm not overly excited about all the technique suggestions. The goal, I would imagine, is to build a relationship with the boy. In this situation, focusing on Aikido as an art of peace seems a lot more appropriate than focusing on proving to yourself that Aikido is an effective martial art. We talk a lot in these forums about what you would do if you were 'forced' to 'defend yourself.' This situation seems like one where those sorts of instincts lead you down exactly the wrong path.

On the other hand, I know nothing about your situation.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 04-25-2003, 04:48 PM   #17
willy_lee
Dojo: City Aikido
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Quote:
Rachel Massey (rachmass) wrote:
Hug-nage is most likely what the squirt will respond best to (after the initial struggle).
And then you can tickle him....



=wl
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Old 04-26-2003, 07:55 PM   #18
taras
Location: West Yorks and Merseyside, UK
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I have a 7-year old step-son who is a murder for attacking me whenever he feels like it. I found that direct iriminage works excellent. If you don't move from where you started he will fall on top of you, that way you can support him and make sure he doesn't hurt himself. For a series of fast jabs I found Tai Chi's 'sticky hands' to be a good solution. It helps you to learn blending. He sometimes climbs on my knees (so i have no chance to move away) and pretends that my torso is a punching bag. I hold his fists but make sure that my hands are totally relaxed and blend with his jabs just making sure that he misses me. it can be a lot of fun.

I wouldn't advice kokyunage if you want to avoid damage. if he is interested in Aikido, like many people here said, take him to your dojo. A common interest like this should give you both another way to bond.

have fun
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Old 04-29-2003, 08:11 AM   #19
Bronson
 
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Quote:
I never had the priviledge of working with Kobayashi Sensei's Aikido, but my Sensei back in Israel, Eli Landau, is probably 260 lb with a touch as light as a feather.
Hey Opher,

I just heard that Landau sensei is planning on coming to this years Seidokan Summer Camp here in Michigan. Thought you might like to know in case you wanted to come to the Seidokan Summer Camp and see him again
Quote:
Kobayashi's makiotoshi was amazing... it was like being taken to the ground by a feather.
Hey Phil,

I mentioned this post to Janean Crapo and she thought she remembered you from the Seidokan Summer Camp in '94. Was that you? Anyway if you get a chance you should come up this June for this years Seidokan Summer Camp

Bronson

p.s. Sorry about hijacking this post for my own purposes. If you want to talk to me about it I'll be at the Seidokan Summer Camp this June. Stop by and I'll apologize in person

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 04-29-2003, 09:40 AM   #20
DavidEllard
Dojo: Dunstable/Dinton
Location: Milton Keynes, Uk
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Strange - I see summer camps swimming in front of my eyes...

Anyway...

I'm in a similar situation my partners daughter is Twelve and enjoys attacking me, in turn i enjoy the rough and tumble play.

She would love to come to Aiki - but there isn't a childrens class that she can get to - nor can she get to my adult classes to join in. (although I have promised to take her to iaido in the summer holidays!!)

What i've found is that if we are just fighting then Huganage is the best solution - followed the suggestion above - Tickling! although she did attack me in bed recently and I ended up projecting her with a kokyu style move into the wall - amusing cos she wasn't hurt - but a lesson in control for me...

however she does sometimes ask to "do aiki". when we do this i normally just get her to practise ai hamni ikkyo. Which she does way to fast - I've told her when she can control this i may show her some more!

Something to bear in mind is that children ('specially this young) do seem to want - shall we say - use their skills...

She told me recently that she walked a girl who had been bullying her for months round the school in the folded over ikkyo position.

I wasn't entirely sure what to feel about that...
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Old 04-29-2003, 10:51 AM   #21
Darren Raleigh
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Join Date: Apr 2003
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I notice that the initial post and some of the responses mention "step-son."

It is not unheard-of for the child of a first marraige to have some covert hostility toward the new spouse. Are you sure that your stepsons haven't taken advantage of your aikido to find a way to act out some violent feelings?

If it were me, and I'm glad it's not, I would let step-son know that among our family, either adopted or biological, we're safe all the time - even fake hitting is not to be done. I won't hit you and you won't hit me.

I may have the wrong read on this - it may be no more than a harmless game. But just as "playful" insults had to come from somewhere, it may be good to examine possible motives for those "playful" attacks.

Peace.

"If he would not be a stick whirled and whelmed in the stream, he must be the stream itself, all of it, from its spring to its sinking in the sea."
- Ogion the Silent
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Old 05-01-2003, 09:35 AM   #22
Stone
Dojo: Aikido Kokikai, Rochester, NY
Location: Webster, NY
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***It is not unheard-of for the child of a first marraige to have some covert hostility toward the new spouse. Are you sure that your stepsons haven't taken advantage of your aikido to find a way to act out some violent feelings?***

Darren,

I'm not 100% certain that his intentions are entirely playful, I think most likely if they aren't, it's not a conscious effort. He's very physical anyway, and yes, it is a lot like Clouseau and Cato sometimes.

I'm 2nd Kyu, so I've developed some sense of control and can usually gauge my responses accordingly. I have done nikkyo on him though out of reflex, and did cause him some pain, since he really wasn't expecting it. It certainly hasn't deterred him though. I have also done some kokyu nage into a couch, or gently setting him down on the floor.

I would say he is probably borderline hyperactive or something, very aggressive, and I've mentioned his size (5'7", 180lbs) so his 'attacks', although playful, I don't take lightly.

I'm torn between not hurting him, not getting hurt, showing aikido's effectiveness, and not destroying everything in the house. It's a rough balancing act.

Everyone's suggestions were helpful. I have asked him to cool it with the 'surprise attacks' so we'll see where it goes. I have taken him to the dojo, and he seems interested in trying it. We'll see...
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