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Old 11-03-2006, 05:13 PM   #1
roswell1329
 
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Does your martial awareness have limits?

Not long ago, I was hosting a party at my house for a few of my wife's co-workers. As I was delivering a drink to my wife, one of the co-workers quickly slipped his arms under mine and executed what I believe to be a full-nelson (uke's arms under nage's and uke's fingers interlaced behind nage's head). While I was taken aback by this uprovoked and ill-timed attack, my wife looked at me and said "He just wanted to see your 'Aikido'". I stood there just thinking of what I should do. I had an instinct to perform a sort of koshinage throwing him over my head, but my couch and fireplace were right in front of me and I had no intention of hurting him. While standing there, all I could think of was that I wasn't in any immediate danger (his hands were behind my neck), and that there really wasn't an 'attack' here. While I was thinking this, he proceeded to jump on my back and wrap his legs around me to pull me down. Looking back, my wife said I was able to keep my balance very well, but this guy continued to jerk me back until I fell backwards landing on top of him (which must have hurt him). At this point, I simply rolled over onto my stomach, grabbed one of his fingers, and bent it back far enough to peel him off my neck.

Afterward, I showed him some more formal techniques to give him what I thought was a better impression of Aikido, but the incident bothered me for quite a while. Why did I just stand there? My sensei told me that he wouldn't have expected an attack at a party surrounded by friends either. Now I'm wondering if martial awareness always has limits, or if my martial awareness will expand to more and more situations like this as I continue to train? I guess I'm also wondering if my ability to react more quickly will also expand as I continue to train?
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Old 11-03-2006, 05:20 PM   #2
James Davis
 
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Re: Does your martial awareness have limits?

My friends have done this too. You did, in my opinion, just what you were supposed to do.

You don't necessarily have to do technique every time some moron wants to "see what you can do" because he's been watching too much kung fu theatre.

He pushed the issue, and you tweaked his finger for him. You're aikido wasn't "on display", but that's fine.

If he does this in a room full of people again, make him say "Uncle".

A few times.

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 11-03-2006, 05:45 PM   #3
Lyle Bogin
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Re: Does your martial awareness have limits?

Mostly it sounds like you didn't want to look like an ass at your own party, rather than a deficit in your martial ability.
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Old 11-03-2006, 06:22 PM   #4
Aristeia
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Re: Does your martial awareness have limits?

martial awareness has no limits. You should have felt the ripples in the ki around you long before he launched his attack.

Ok seriously. Why on earth would any training give you precognitive or extra sensory abilities? If someone wants to jump you from behind when you're not looking - you're gonna get jumped. Particularly when you're not even in a yellow state of alert.

If you want to take anything from the incident - maybe go back to the dojo and work up an immediate action defence to the full nelson. Other than that, don't worry .

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 11-03-2006, 06:50 PM   #5
crbateman
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Re: Does your martial awareness have limits?

You should have told him that you were executing one of your most difficult Aikido techniques... The one where you resist the impulse to smash his shin, crush his collarbone, and then snatch his windpipe out through his mouth.
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Old 11-03-2006, 09:12 PM   #6
roswell1329
 
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Re: Does your martial awareness have limits?

Wow! Great responses everyone. Thanks for your insight.
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Old 11-04-2006, 01:44 AM   #7
xuzen
 
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Re: Does your martial awareness have limits?

Quote:
Brad Edwards wrote:
Afterward, I showed him some more formal techniques to give him what I thought was a better impression of Aikido, but the incident bothered me for quite a while. Why did I just stand there? My sensei told me that he wouldn't have expected an attack at a party surrounded by friends either. Now I'm wondering if martial awareness always has limits, or if my martial awareness will expand to more and more situations like this as I continue to train? I guess I'm also wondering if my ability to react more quickly will also expand as I continue to train?
Well, even the most well tuned martial artist may not be aware that on the 11th of September, 2001, a jumbo jet would come crushing into the Towers,

You were at a party (friendly environment), with co-workers, some jerk tried to be funny, you reacted accordingly. Well done.

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 11-04-2006, 06:46 AM   #8
Roman Kremianski
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Re: Does your martial awareness have limits?

Brad: I think your martial awareness reacted correctly. You knew that

A) It was only your friend at your party, and not a real attack

B) Since it was probably a prank or a joke, there is no need to do anything and risk injury.

My Dad grabs me and tries to punch me all the time thinking I'll bust some cool move on him without hurting him one bit. It just doesn't work that way...
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Old 11-04-2006, 07:10 AM   #9
kokyu
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Re: Does your martial awareness have limits?

I asked a similar question some time ago...

At that time, I was wondering why we didn't develop a sixth sense - i.e. the type where we sort of know there are x people around waiting to ambush you...

However, I was told (and rightly so) to develop that type of sense would mean developing a sort of paranoia - that you could always be attacked... I guess it's ok if you were a soldier in a war or a samurai during the Sengoku Jidai (Warring States period)... but the effect on one's nerves can't be too healthy...

Having read through your situation also points to the strengths of different martial arts... I'm not an expert, but IMHO, Aikido is OK for distance attacks... or multiple attack (think randori), but when it comes to grappling with someone close up, it may be good to get some training in judo...

Thank goodness you didn't do a koshinage
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Old 11-04-2006, 07:29 AM   #10
Aristeia
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Re: Does your martial awareness have limits?

Quote:
Soon-Kian Phang wrote:
At that time, I was wondering why we didn't develop a sixth sense - i.e. the type where we sort of know there are x people around waiting to ambush you...
How about this for an answer- human beings a limited to five senses.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 11-04-2006, 09:02 AM   #11
Ketsan
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Re: Does your martial awareness have limits?

I think the only limitation on your awareness is mindful, or conscious you are of your surroundings. The more conscious you are the better you use your five sences and the more you notice small details and so the earlier you pick up on a potentially dangerous situation.
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Old 11-04-2006, 09:44 AM   #12
SeiserL
 
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Re: Does your martial awareness have limits?

Is it nice to know that you martial awareness was able to assess there was no real threat and gave you time not to immediately respond but to think about what would be the most effective and appropriate response to the context?

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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Old 11-04-2006, 01:15 PM   #13
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Re: Does your martial awareness have limits?

You should have stomped on his foot.

Ive been in this situation a few times and what I've found myself doing is instead of resisting someone I move with them which seems to really throw them off balance. Of course like it was mentioned, you ran the risk of trashing your stuff.

Being prepared for any siuation to turn bad takes some getting used to. Still you should see it as a great lesson learned. Better you learned this lesson at a party by a peer in good fun, maybe loosing a little face instead of a dark ally loosing more.

Quote:
Be polite, be courtious, be prepared to kill anyone you meet
Kill of course an be replaced by 'defend yourself against'.

Last edited by Guilty Spark : 11-04-2006 at 01:21 PM.

If you're hungry, keep moving.
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If you value you're life, keep moving.

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Old 11-04-2006, 02:08 PM   #14
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Does your martial awareness have limits?

Quote:
martial awareness has no limits. You should have felt the ripples in the ki around you long before he launched his attack.
All is know is that those ripples give me "ki-sickness"...ok...I appologize for that one.

Quote:
Ok seriously. Why on earth would any training give you precognitive or extra sensory abilities? If someone wants to jump you from behind when you're not looking - you're gonna get jumped. Particularly when you're not even in a yellow state of alert.
Well, I certainly agree ESP isn't necessarily a side-effect of training, but I do think we can learn to pick up on sublte body-language changes, and the like, and then to react to them automatically. I mean, we all hear stories of some crazy stuff, but I'm inclined to think most, if not all, of that is simply a case of some seriously well-tuned senses...and maybe even a little bit of luck.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 11-04-2006, 02:21 PM   #15
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Does your martial awareness have limits?

Quote:
Brad Edwards wrote:
Why did I just stand there? My sensei told me that he wouldn't have expected an attack at a party surrounded by friends either. Now I'm wondering if martial awareness always has limits, or if my martial awareness will expand to more and more situations like this as I continue to train? I guess I'm also wondering if my ability to react more quickly will also expand as I continue to train?
The way you describe it makes it seem like you did quite well. You were aware there was no immeadiate threat which I'm sure affected your taking the time to process things more. Still, if you feel you should have been able to behave more quickly, train with that in mind. Maybe also try to do more ushirowaza. I know in my experience I see a greater portion of training dedicated to front-oriented attacks...and when you have your partner try to be as sneaky and quiet as possible, it makes for some interesting training.
I do think awareness has limitations, whether it's martial or otherwise, but I also think we can develop it further than most people realize...or care to, for that matter.
Take care,
Matt

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 11-05-2006, 03:46 AM   #16
Amir Krause
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Re: Does your martial awareness have limits?

How should you have reacted ?

Given the surrounding and your not being unwilling to risk harm to YOUR property, YOUR wife or YOUR guest (and his feelings), Is there anything you could have done that would have kept everything safe?
This was not a threatening situation, thus, any significant atemi that suits such a situation (stomping a leg, or sending your leg back and up) was definitly out of the question. You could not afford to start wrestlling with him, the risk to proprty was too serious...


As far as awareness, he did not have an harmfull intent, thus he was not conspicous in the surrounding. You were with friends all around, thus did not try to keep your distance.

Amir
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Old 11-05-2006, 04:52 AM   #17
ian
 
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Re: Does your martial awareness have limits?

I think the intent to harm is much easier to detect than some premenition that someone will grab you. Thus, when friends grab you its very hard to realise they were going to do something (indeed, if your friends do this regularly it is likely to make you paranoid). The body language of someone walking towards you, or the way they look at you, is much easier to pick up nasty intent.

I've managed to develop my instinctiveness now to such an extent that I know that a bird is going to grab me 6 months after my birth in a future reincarnation as a snail.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 11-05-2006, 04:54 AM   #18
ian
 
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Re: Does your martial awareness have limits?

P.S. I was at a party, and I heard this 'what would you...' and before the person could finish the sentance one of my students had thrown him across the room.

- I'm hoping the question was going to be 'what would you do if I grabbed you like this' rather than 'what would you like to drink'.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 11-05-2006, 07:14 AM   #19
kokyu
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Re: Does your martial awareness have limits?

Actually, I'm also quite curious how others would free themselves without getting too physical... Because uke is so close up, and the lock is behind the neck, rather than in front, it's not easy to slide out and perform a lock... either stamping the foot, falling back or a koshinage suggest themselves, but is that all?
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Old 11-05-2006, 10:13 AM   #20
Chris Birke
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Re: Does your martial awareness have limits?

You need to establish control of the top wrist (no one should be interlacing their fingers during a full nelson...), while dropping your weight and torquing your body.

It's an excellent control position, however, and if the person putting it on you knows what they are doing you will have a tough (or impossible...) time getting out. They can easily break down your base and control you. It is illegal in many wrastlin venues for sake of putting pressure on the cervical spine, but it's not really that painful or damaging (imho).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson_hold

Meanwhile, if you want to get a 6th sense of when you're about to be attacked, go to war in iraq or join a street gang and then live through a half dozen attacks to develop the requsite heightened awareness.

I personally don't want that kind of paranoia in relative peacetime.
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Old 11-05-2006, 10:32 AM   #21
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Re: Does your martial awareness have limits?

Quote:
go to war in iraq or join a street gang and then live through a half dozen attacks to develop the requsite heightened awareness.
After being in that situation a few times I'm an even bigger believer of a 6th sense/ heightened awareness. Being at a party having someone goof around probably won't do it but there's a considerable chance when you're life is in danger you're going to get bad vibes from someone or a situation.

Still think one of the best course of action is to do something which takes the persons balance. Most people when unbalanced seem to forget what their doing and instinctivly try to regain their balance.

If you're hungry, keep moving.
If you're tired, keep moving.
If you value you're life, keep moving.

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Old 11-05-2006, 11:09 AM   #22
roswell1329
 
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Re: Does your martial awareness have limits?

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote:
...if you feel you should have been able to behave more quickly, train with that in mind. Maybe also try to do more ushirowaza. I know in my experience I see a greater portion of training dedicated to front-oriented attacks...and when you have your partner try to be as sneaky and quiet as possible, it makes for some interesting training.
I do think awareness has limitations, whether it's martial or otherwise, but I also think we can develop it further than most people realize...or care to, for that matter.
This is great advice, Matthew. As it turned out, this experience had a great effect on me in the end. It was one of those "humbling" experiences that force us to re-evaluate our training. I found that my training up to that point wasn't as dedicated as it could have been (sometimes just going through the motions without really thinking about the techniques), but afterwards I had a new energy. I began focusing on keeping my center as much off the mat as on the mat. As a result, I feel I've made more progress in the last month or two than perhaps the last year. I also now wonder if by simply being more aware of my own center hasn't increased my martial awareness (or maybe just my martial preparedness) as a by-product?

I did also work more on my ushirowaza. Oddly enough, one of the best techniques I have for dealing with a similar attack is the same over-the-back koshi/kokyu nage that I originally thought of. Go figure.

Thanks everyone again for the great reponses!
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Old 11-05-2006, 08:15 PM   #23
Nafis Zahir
 
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Re: Does your martial awareness have limits?

You did have a keen awareness. The awareness that the attack was non-violent and that the person did not mean you any harm. Although you should always be prepared, knowing the difference between negative and positive energy is very vital to your existance. Had you been out in public, I thing your response would have been different.

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Old 11-05-2006, 09:47 PM   #24
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Re: Does your martial awareness have limits?

I think the only other option would have been to calmly drink the wine with him on your back, ask the dear wife to take the glass, and then introduce him to the nearest wall and/or door jam. But gravity is something you couldn't avoid, and so, much more believable in court

Anyhow, yes, you were hosting, and had a glass of a very stainable liquid. You did well, and would only have done better to have gotten the wine all over the jerk for his troubles.

michael.
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Old 11-06-2006, 01:30 AM   #25
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Re: Does your martial awareness have limits?

Quote:
Does your martial awareness have limits?
No, I can dodge bullets when they're fired at me in my sleep.

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity"
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