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Old 12-07-2006, 01:55 PM   #1
Roman Kremianski
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The Aiki way vs kicking someone's ass

Hello

I've been faced with a frustrating decision and I would very much appreciate it if you folks would share your insight and tell me what you would have done in my shoes.

The "incident" took place at school yesterday. A group of us were engaged in a conversation about film making when one member of the group went ahead and comically proposed an idea for a film expressing anti-semitic views and a downright disgusting & immature look at the holocaust. I hardly believe he just uttered that in a public school building in front of other classmates. While I'm personally not Jewish (Father is Jewish, Mother Christian) I was very much offended by these comments. Members of my family were lost in Nazi concentration camps, and hearing someone emitting tasteless jokes about it didn't exactly make me laugh, while a few others around us did.

About half way into his little comical skit, I interrupted and politely asked him to stop it and said that I didn't particularly like where he was going with it. He has no idea that I have any Jewish family connections at all.

At that point he sort of paused and look at me like I was pulling his leg. He smirked and asked the typical "Yeah? What're you gonna do about it?". I just stared at him back for a moment, and had wavering thoughts of just coming up to the punk and simply beating him into a puddle of tar. At that exact moment I remembered that I do Aikido...that we don't do these types of things, that there are other ways, but I couldn't seem them. I tried talking him into it using calm words, but it simply went no where.

He has of course no idea that I practice any sort of martial art, and the fact that he is both taller and physically larger then me probably made it easy for him to brush me off. This isn't the first time he has been saying things like this, but it's the first time I finally grew annoyed and warned him.

Nothing happened, no physical escalation...if I were to go at him, I would be the bad Aikidoka in front of everyone. I happened to go the other route and do the other thing, but I don't feel like there was any exchange of harmony or patience or "love" or any of that stuff that sounds noble on paper. I simply felt like something Aikido-related inside me held my feelings back, and I let the little fucker off the hook making it look like I really don't have what it takes to show him I was serious.

Mind you, I am not saying I was intending on injuring him in any way, but rather to simply make the first physical move in response to his blunt disregard for my polite and fair request.

Can anyone share their thoughts with me here?

Last edited by Roman Kremianski : 12-07-2006 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 12-07-2006, 01:59 PM   #2
billybob
 
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Re: The Aiki way vs kicking someone's ass

Quote:
Nothing happened, no physical escalation...if I were to go at him, I would be the bad Aikidoka in front of everyone. I happened to go the other route and do the other thing, but I don't feel like there was any exchange of harmony or patience or "love" or any of that shit. I simply felt like something Aikido-related inside me held my feelings back, and I let the little fucker off the hook making it look like I really don't have what it takes to show him I was serious.
Well done.

david
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Old 12-07-2006, 02:03 PM   #3
Roman Kremianski
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Re: The Aiki way vs kicking someone's ass

So then you would have done the same bud?

Last edited by Roman Kremianski : 12-07-2006 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 12-07-2006, 02:08 PM   #4
billybob
 
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Re: The Aiki way vs kicking someone's ass

Advice you say.

Ok, anger is fear turned upside down. What is it that you are afraid of?

You did well. DID well.

Now learn from the experience. As enormously gratifying as it seems to cut down your enemies and watch them bleed out it is an empty well. I saved some people from some very bad stuff, at great cost to myself, and I still think they hate me for it. Poor me.

The world doesn't care. You care about yourself. So reflect. Don't beat that ass - you'll pay, in the short term, and in the long term. I fight to protect life - honor be damned! No duels for me.

If you're a little angry and frustrated now I did this right, as others have done for me.

peace

david
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Old 12-07-2006, 02:13 PM   #5
Tom Fish
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Re: The Aiki way vs kicking someone's ass

I know from past personal experience that the short term satisfaction of thumping a jerk is often replaced by the shame of becoming the bully you despise. Your response to his actions were enough to let him know that you didn't think much of his actions and from there on it was up to him to decide how to behave. The fact that you spoke out against his behavior in front of others shows your maturity. So does the restraint.
Best Regards
Tom Fish
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Old 12-07-2006, 02:14 PM   #6
Ron Tisdale
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Re: The Aiki way vs kicking someone's ass

Hi Roman,

I was in a team meeting last week or so, and HR was explaining about how affirmative action was going to play in deciding who might go and who might stay during our current reorg at my company. The person next to me leaned over and said, "I guess that mean's you're ok then, huh?" (I'm african american).

Another time, another black consultant was asked "why do you drive that van, do you sell crack?"

Another time, someone in a previous office used the N word in the workplace, in conversation.

I could go on for ever...

You simply cannot respond to words with violence as an adult. It is not appropriate, it is not always possible, and you will get arrested. Sometimes you will get beaten, too. So put the violent thoughts out of your mind...they don't help.

What you can do, is disagree with the person, calmly, forcefully, leaving no ambiguity what so ever that you think their words are stupid, dangerous, and wrong. You can get up and leave, and if they ask you why, tell them. If you object to what they say, and they ask, "what are you going to do about it", tell them you will do what you are doing right then...speak up, and tell the truth. Let others know you disagree and why.

Best,
Ron (sometimes you do just have to eat it...in the work place, I could report the team mates in the earlier story...but then I get pegged a certain way in the workplace...long term, it could hurt me. Usually I just say something to the person away from the group, or simply say that I think what they are saying is inappropriate.)

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 12-07-2006, 02:15 PM   #7
Roman Kremianski
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Re: The Aiki way vs kicking someone's ass

Thanks David. I can see where you went with that.

I guess I found the thought of not doing anything very frustrating. But I didn't understand when you said

"The world doesn't care. You care about yourself."

Care only about ourselves? Is that what you implied we should be doing?

Thanks

-Roman

EDIT: Thanks for the replies aswell guys. I think simply going as far as words is good enough, even if it makes me look bad. I guess the very thing I was afraid of was not doing anything at all.

Last edited by Roman Kremianski : 12-07-2006 at 02:17 PM.
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Old 12-07-2006, 02:20 PM   #8
Ron Tisdale
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Re: The Aiki way vs kicking someone's ass

Fact is, you can't really control how people see you. Some see black, and that's the end of that.

So What. Their Loss.

Act so that you can look at yourself in the mirror the next day. No bumps, cuts, or busted noses...no shame.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 12-07-2006, 02:25 PM   #9
billybob
 
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Re: The Aiki way vs kicking someone's ass

No Sir. People at large don't give a damn about the sacrifices you make. They are invisible to them.

(Aagh. multiple edits are hurting my brain)

Ron says it succinctly. For me, I need to add that balancing needs of yourself with needs of the tribe can be rough. I've been long time bitter about large sacrifices I made that were thanked with only slaps across the face, literally and figuratively, and people trying to put me in jail. I have to let it go and be the best i can be now - for me, and maybe help others in the future.

Hope that clears the confusion.

dave

Last edited by billybob : 12-07-2006 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 12-07-2006, 02:34 PM   #10
crbateman
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Re: The Aiki way vs kicking someone's ass

David, the cause of the guy's comments was rooted in hate and ignorance. To respond with violence would be to do likewise. Take the high road. The view's better. Hateful people invariably bring about their own come-uppance. You don't have to help.
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Old 12-07-2006, 03:14 PM   #11
James Davis
 
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Re: The Aiki way vs kicking someone's ass

Quote:
Roman Kremianski wrote:
Hello

I've been faced with a frustrating decision and I would very much appreciate it if you folks would share your insight and tell me what you would have done in my shoes.

The "incident" took place at school yesterday. A group of us were engaged in a conversation about film making when one member of the group went ahead and comically proposed an idea for a film expressing anti-semitic views and a downright disgusting & immature look at the holocaust. I hardly believe he just uttered that in a public school building in front of other classmates. While I'm personally not Jewish (Father is Jewish, Mother Christian) I was very much offended by these comments. Members of my family were lost in Nazi concentration camps, and hearing someone emitting tasteless jokes about it didn't exactly make me laugh, while a few others around us did.

About half way into his little comical skit, I interrupted and politely asked him to stop it and said that I didn't particularly like where he was going with it. He has no idea that I have any Jewish family connections at all.

At that point he sort of paused and look at me like I was pulling his leg. He smirked and asked the typical "Yeah? What're you gonna do about it?". I just stared at him back for a moment, and had wavering thoughts of just coming up to the punk and simply beating him into a puddle of tar. At that exact moment I remembered that I do Aikido...that we don't do these types of things, that there are other ways, but I couldn't seem them. I tried talking him into it using calm words, but it simply went no where.

He has of course no idea that I practice any sort of martial art, and the fact that he is both taller and physically larger then me probably made it easy for him to brush me off. This isn't the first time he has been saying things like this, but it's the first time I finally grew annoyed and warned him.

Nothing happened, no physical escalation...if I were to go at him, I would be the bad Aikidoka in front of everyone. I happened to go the other route and do the other thing, but I don't feel like there was any exchange of harmony or patience or "love" or any of that stuff that sounds noble on paper. I simply felt like something Aikido-related inside me held my feelings back, and I let the little fucker off the hook making it look like I really don't have what it takes to show him I was serious.

Mind you, I am not saying I was intending on injuring him in any way, but rather to simply make the first physical move in response to his blunt disregard for my polite and fair request.

Can anyone share their thoughts with me here?
You gave him a second chance, and he chose to continue looking like an ass.

"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 12-07-2006, 06:09 PM   #12
Mark Freeman
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Re: The Aiki way vs kicking someone's ass

Hi Roman,

I can fully empathise with the desire to beat the little punk to a puddle of tar. In the moment, it seems like the righteous course of action and that he would somehow be better off for it. I was in a similar situation myself recently. Like you though, I didn't make the first move and no physical escalation took place. You may walk away feeling that you let him get away with it, but at least you walked away.
Let him live with his ignorance, at least you spoke up, which is more than what some would do.

Once the adrenalin subsides and you have the time to reflect, I'm sure you will be comfortable with the fact that you didn't stove the little twerps head in. And further on you may have some compassion for a person that does not have the intelligence or the sensitivity to understand that his actions are unacceptable.

Just on a slightly 'seeing it from his point of view' moment. Maybe he has seen films that are similar to what he was suggesting, there are plenty of opportunities to view the most unsavory of material available to people of all ages. Possibly he had no idea of how some of these things can effect others sensibilities. With 'comedy' it is sometimes a very fine line between what is acceptable and what isn't. The fact that some things said are so close to that line is what actually makes it funny,(I'm not excusing what he said, here ). Ignorance tends not to know where the line is.

regards,

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 12-07-2006, 06:41 PM   #13
graham
 
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Re: The Aiki way vs kicking someone's ass

Hi Roman,

I'm impressed by your reaction.
Quote:
...I let the little fucker off the hook making it look like I really don't have what it takes to show him I was serious.
I'm not sure that you let him off the hook. You publicly challenged his statements and made it clear that they were not acceptable to you.

The thing is, if you had responded with violence, there's quite a chance that you would simply reinforce his low opinion and view of the world. I'm not saying that it would never be right to step up a bit more and be so "in his face" (without resorting to violence) that he was so uncomfortable he had to stop. But I do think that this time around you did the right thing.

Nice one; it can't have been easy.
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Old 12-07-2006, 11:39 PM   #14
stelios
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Re: The Aiki way vs kicking someone's ass

Regardless of our personall view on the particular matter, you handled the bloke quite well.
Many times in my life have I reached the point of disagreeing so much with another person or even being insulted (physically, spiritually) so brutally that the only things that came to mind was punch-kick-punch. But... My father taught me (long before aikido)that the mother of the person who turned and walked away never had to grief. You must stand up to you beliefs (what you did) but when it becomes pointless (like trying to explain nuclear physics to a fish) just say the hell with it and walk away. Works pretty well and no harm is done to anyone.
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Old 12-08-2006, 05:50 AM   #15
jason jordan
 
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Re: The Aiki way vs kicking someone's ass

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Act so that you can look at yourself in the mirror the next day. No bumps, cuts, or busted noses...no shame.


Ron

Got that right jack!!!!! LOL

Masakatsu Agatsu, in my opinion is often times the most difficult technique. I know it isn't a technique but you get my drift.

That's why true victory is having victory over our self!

I did a blog on this subject if anyone cares to read it, it comes from a Christian perspective but I think it is relevant here!

http://southlakeaikikai.com/notenchi.shtml

Only nice reviews please....

Iesu wa shu
Jason
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Old 12-08-2006, 08:43 AM   #16
billybob
 
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Re: The Aiki way vs kicking someone's ass

Nice article. Nice to see people of faith benefitting from the teachings of someone from another faith.

dave
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Old 12-08-2006, 10:19 AM   #17
po_courcelles
 
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Re: The Aiki way vs kicking someone's ass

Roman,

I think you did well. I also agree with the earlier comments about Masakatsu agatsu, self-control and all the "aiki spirit" or "aiki way" to deal with it.

I want to add another point though.

As I understand, you're going to school with that guy. So, unless you are graduating right now, you'll come across him sooner or later, probably you will have to work on some school project with that guy in a near future. It is always wise to think to the consquences ahead.

The world is small and you never know when this could have come back to haunt you...And, if you're going to school together, i assume you are in the same field (high school? college? grad studies?) Chances are you will continue to have this guys in your professional surroundings for a long time....That is, of course, less applicable if your are in High School hehehe.

"Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen."
--- Albert Einstein
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Old 12-08-2006, 08:16 PM   #18
Roman Kremianski
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Re: The Aiki way vs kicking someone's ass

Thanks for the posts guys.

Pierre-Olivier: Coincidently (and fortunately) I'm graduating high school in 4 weeks and won't see this bugger again. But yeah, if it was a work place, it could've been much worse.
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Old 12-09-2006, 04:14 PM   #19
Jeff Sodeman
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Re: The Aiki way vs kicking someone's ass

Just an anecdote. I was in a fight with someone years ago and used aikido to take him down (4 times). He landed a couple punches but I wasn't hurt, and I left him pretty much unharmed. Aikido worked great, he was trying to hurt me and I came out ok and didn't hurt him back.

Everyone said I did the right thing, the aikido thing, etc. But it took me a long, long time to get over the frustration of not hurting him. I ran over the whole thing in my mind thousands of time. I wanted him to pay in some way physically for what he tried to do (though he did get arrested). Eventually of course I came to terms with it and feel like I learned a lot more than he probably did.
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Old 12-09-2006, 07:38 PM   #20
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Re: The Aiki way vs kicking someone's ass

To listen to someone spew hatred is a difficult thing. unfortunately, as you age, you will run across more and more of those type people. ..they are out there. if you respond in violence each time you may grow tired.

i have found that not responding at all works best for me. that way i don't get emotionally wrapped up in someone else's stupidity. i have never been able to convince a "biggot" to stop being one. so i no longer put much effort into it.
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Old 12-10-2006, 07:44 AM   #21
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: The Aiki way vs kicking someone's ass

I think you did great. You spoke your mind. you can't be responsible for his reaction.. It takes a lot of courage to speak up and disagree with someone...much more than it takes to hit someone to make them stop.

You can't hate a river for flowing ...the way I look at it ...is people are part of the natural world ...they act all sorts of ways.. Their behavior affects me...Aikido helps me choose how I respond....I am trying to creat peacefulness by practicing the principles on and off the mat.

Seems like you are too.

Mary
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Old 12-10-2006, 07:46 AM   #22
Amir Krause
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Re: The Aiki way vs kicking someone's ass

What Ron said.

As much as it infuriates me to hear people talk of the Holocaust in a dismissive way or talking in a racist in manner any other way. So long as talk is all that is involved, a mature person has to protest verbally and not physically, otherwise you demean the very things you wish to preserve.


Best Regards
Amir
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Old 12-10-2006, 09:58 AM   #23
po_courcelles
 
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Re: The Aiki way vs kicking someone's ass

Not really related to the post, but i'm curious.

You're graduating in a month from high school, how can this be? Are you finishing your high school in an "adult class" thing or does the high school system in Ontario allows you to graduate in the middle of the "scholar" year?

As you can see, i'm not really used to the standard "high school/college" :P

Anyways, good luck to you with your future projects and be prepared to face many more ....dumb (to be polite) people like that one. I also found that they get worse with age, so, be cool

"Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen."
--- Albert Einstein
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Old 12-10-2006, 11:49 AM   #24
Cady Goldfield
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Re: The Aiki way vs kicking someone's ass

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote:
What Ron said.

As much as it infuriates me to hear people talk of the Holocaust in a dismissive way or talking in a racist in manner any other way. So long as talk is all that is involved, a mature person has to protest verbally and not physically, otherwise you demean the very things you wish to preserve.


Best Regards
Amir
Amir's comments are not only wise, but are also the law in many places. "There's no such thing as 'fighting words'" is a common saying, meaning that regardless of how provocative someone's words and attitude may be, as long as there is no physical attack on your person, or the verbal threat of an imminent attack on you or another, you can't legally (or ethically) justify a physical attack on the speaker.
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Old 12-10-2006, 12:01 PM   #25
Mark Freeman
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Re: The Aiki way vs kicking someone's ass

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote:
Amir's comments are not only wise, but are also the law in many places. "There's no such thing as 'fighting words'" is a common saying, meaning that regardless of how provocative someone's words and attitude may be, as long as there is no physical attack on your person, or the verbal threat of an imminent attack on you or another, you can't legally (or ethically) justify a physical attack on the speaker.
Unless of course you are Zinedine Zidane

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

This will mean nothing to those who didn't to those who didn't watch the World Cup final.

regards,

Mark

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