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Old 11-10-2003, 12:43 PM   #1
Bronson's Avatar
Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,677
attackers mind

The "getting attacked in the toilet stall" story made me think of something.

When I was fencing a lot one thing I would do was to take my weapons and face myself in the mirror. I would examine my stance/guard and think "if I was facing this guy, where would I attack him?".

Without ever really thinking about it I've kind of transfered this into everyday mundane stuff. Like when I'm in a toilet stall, walking, getting in my car, etc. I think "if I were a 'bad guy' how, when, would, I attack me?". I don't obsess or lose sleep over it but it does enter my mind.

I also play the "improvised weapon game". It's where you pick up random objects and try to figure out how you might use it as a weapon if you had to.

Maybe it's too many movies or roleplaying games but I often find myself thinking how I would do things I don't want done to me. Things like steal a car, shoplift, or mug somebody. The toilet stall story sparked this off because years ago I thought if I were going to mug somebody that'd be how I'd do it.

My question is does anybody else find themselves doing this or am I just a weirdo.


p.s. Ok, I already know I'm a weirdo but you know what I mean

"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 11-10-2003, 12:52 PM   #2
Dojo: Shobu Aikido Cape Cod
Location: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 152
You are not a weirdo at all!!! Well....just how much time do you spend in front of a mirror?!?!?

When I practice jo-kata, I will do so in front of a mirror. I am able to catch myself cheating!!!

No better critic of one's self...than one's self!
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Old 11-10-2003, 01:37 PM   #3
kung fu hamster
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 166
well I do admit wondering much the same thing when I saw the shower scene in 'Psycho', however aikido seems to have an answer to shomenuchi from whatever circumstances... they haven't addressed sneaky ankle grabs though... yet...

By the way, something that many thieves calculatedly bank on is that when a woman hangs her purse over the hook in the public bathroom stall, they have enough time to reach over the door, snatch the purse and run, as she'll most likely take the time to pull up her pants before running out of there in hot pursuit... many people have switched to fanny packs or made other changes in their habits to prevent openings like this, so I believe that yes, people do think of mundane vulnerabilities in everyday life and take steps to preventatively remedy these possible openings if they can find a good solution.
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Old 11-10-2003, 02:29 PM   #4
Location: Tempe, Arizona
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 37
I've heard that Musashi never took a bath because he didn't want to leave himself so vulnerable.
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Old 11-10-2003, 02:38 PM   #5
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
Location: Oceanside, California
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,240
And time for another story....

While attending the FBI National Academy in Quantico, my friend Jerre and I decided to visit the Inner Harbor in Baltimore on the weekend. We parked in a public parking lot and under a street light as we knew we would be there for several hours. We visited all the tourist attractions around the Harbor and decided to have dinner in Little Italy a few blocks away.

Baltimore has, at least in the minds of some of us from the West, a reputation of being a dangerous inner city. Jerre and I spoke with a Baltimore officer and asked if there was any problem walking at night to the restaurant row of Little Italy. He assured us that we would be perfectly safe as tourists.

We had a wonderful meal and were walking back the several blocks in the dark to our car when we noticed two young men in jogging clothes following behind us. They weren't jogging and were closing on us fairly quickly. When we got to the parking lot our car was the only one still parked there and the two young men had closed to a distance of about 50 yards. Neither of us was armed and we probably appeared to be a couple of grey-haired tourists who had consumed too much wine with dinner. We certainly have grey hair and we certainly were tourists, but neither of us drink at all.

When we got to the car, the two characters had closed to about 15 yards and were moving rapidly, directly towards us. Jerre and I simply took our parkas off and turned to smile at the gentlemen. They made eye contact with us and then each made a quick turn and walked away in opposite directions. We got in the car and drove back to Quantico without further incident.

This incident had little to do with aikido,but did have a lot to do with being aware of the world around you. I will never know if these two meant us any harm, but after thirty years in law enforcement apiece, we both believed that we were being set up for a street robbery. That we were aware and not willing to be victims may have prevented an attack. Then again, maybe they were simply walking to a neighborhood gym to go play basketball that evening. I do know that we didn't end up as a statistic for the Baltimore Police Department.

Being aware of your surroundings and being confident in yourself sends an important message to street thugs usually. They are looking for the path of least resistance and don't want a real confrontation that they might lose. Paranoid or common sense? You choose. I do recall a poster I once saw at a Mental Health facility.....it said "Just Because You're Paranoid Doesn't Mean They Aren't Out to Get You."


"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 11-10-2003, 02:56 PM   #6
Dojo: Sheffield Shodokan Dojo
Location: Sheffield, UK
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 524
David Enevoldsen (Atomicpenguin) wrote:
I've heard that Musashi never took a bath because he didn't want to leave himself so vulnerable.
Wasn't he famously once trapped in a bath house by an enemy who tried to boil him alive? That's the sort of thing that might put a person off taking a bath in the future.
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Old 11-10-2003, 02:57 PM   #7
Anders Bjonback
Dojo: Boulder Aikikai
Location: Boulder, CO
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 129
Re: attackers mind

Bronson Diffin (Bronson) wrote:
Maybe it's too many movies or roleplaying games but I often find myself thinking how I would do things I don't want done to me.
Naaa. It's too many roleplaying games if you walk up on the mat and think, "This person must have a dexterity of 16. Although that guy, he probably has a strength of 7 or 8. I could easily take him with my strengh of 13, and with my experience in martial arts, I probably have a +3 attack modifier in addition to the strengh bonus. Hmmm... I wonder if aikido would count as a weapon-finesse feat, though. If that's the case, then my attack modifier is probably +6! God I'm badass. Somebody set up a random encounter. My 20-die is hot and ready."

And then, taking ukemi, "Difficulty class 15. Reflex save? 9 + 3(dex. mod.) + 4 (ranks in tumble) ... Sucessful."

Last edited by Anders Bjonback : 11-10-2003 at 03:00 PM.

"For peace and happiness are presences, not objects we can grasp and hold onto."
--Lilian Smith
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Old 11-10-2003, 04:14 PM   #8
Amassus's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Musubi Ryu/ Yoshin Wadokan
Location: Hamilton
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 306
New Zealand
I think what we are talking about here is that 'calm awareness' we are supposed to develope through training, especially in Randori. The ability to be aware of our surroundings at all times. Part of this is to try and jump into our attacker's mind.

Hell, its practical self defense, diffuse or avoid the situation before it occurs.

"Being aware of your surroundings and being confident in yourself sends an important message to street thugs usually. They are looking for the path of least resistance and don't want a real confrontation that they might lose."

I totally agree Michael.

I like to think I haven't been in a confrontation yet because I keep my wits about me.

"flows like water, reflects like a mirror, and responds like an echo." Chaung-tse
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Old 11-11-2003, 08:56 AM   #9
SeiserL's Avatar
Location: Florida Gulf coast
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,888
IMHO, the best defense is to understand attackers.

Knowing them and knowing yourself assures victory. readt that somewhere. Actually several somewheres.

Predators/offenders.attackers think differently than defenders/victims.

No, you are not alone in playing mind games. It actually not bad to include mental practice when we cannot get to the dojo.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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