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Old 09-16-2001, 10:44 AM   #1
Caio
Dojo: Awase Dojo
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Question Aikido and crew-members

What do you think about the idea of teaching Aikido to crew-members (flight attendants mainly) in order to give them a notion on how to respond to an angry passenger or other situations that might require physical reaction?
I used to be a flight attendant for 7 years, and started learning Aikido in my last 2 years in the company.
I never needed to restraint anybody on board, but I've heard a lot of histories about it.
There are many situations where Aikido can be used to avoid problems on board.
Maybe the airlines could get in touch with experienced sensei and develop a training system to be used on board the planes.
What do you think?

Caio
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Old 09-16-2001, 11:49 AM   #2
Dajo251
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Recently I remember seeing somthing on 60 min or one of those news shows about flight attendents being taught some self defense techniques, but I could be wrong. If I am wrong I think it would be appropriate if ll flight attendants were instructed in aikido.
Dan

Dan Hulley
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Old 09-16-2001, 09:32 PM   #3
L. Camejo
 
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It's interesting how harmonised the universe can be. I was thinking about creating a program like this just today.

I think it would be a great idea and I really believe that aikido would be the best platform from which to establish this sort of in-flight defence system. My plan included some research into counter terrorism awareness techniques also, to add some military insight into the the particular circumstances of self defence on aircraft, and if possible, to terrorist situations.

Good idea.
L.C.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
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Old 09-17-2001, 03:44 AM   #4
Hagen Seibert
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Aikido is certaily useful to flight crew member in order to deal with angry passengers, and better suited than other MA as it allows a "peaceful" response, and also as a way of avoiding physical conflict.

As a means of dealing with terrorists IŽd have severe doubts. I just imagine some naive aikidoka fellow standig up to a hijacker and finding out that he has problem with his sabaki in the airplane gangway. ( Sorry, I have the opinion that many aikido people are not very critic about their abilities and limits. )

( Have to make this more clear: Saying Aikido I mean the sort of aikido practised today in most dojos, which has no primary focus on self defence. The principles of course work for self defence, but scarcely few have managed to reach this. And this were certainly not main stream Aikido )
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Old 09-17-2001, 09:37 AM   #5
L. Camejo
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hagen Seibert
( Have to make this more clear: Saying Aikido I mean the sort of aikido practised today in most dojos, which has no primary focus on self defence. The principles of course work for self defence, but scarcely few have managed to reach this. And this were certainly not main stream Aikido )
I'm happy you clarified that statement, and you are correct, mainstream Aikido and even Aikido that is more tailored to self defence may not stand up against terrorism in itself. There must also be some training in understanding how the terrorist works, thinks and acts. I think that is the true power of Aikido - the Aiki part, that ability to harmonise with ANY aggressive force. This, however, is directly related to understanding how the mechanism behind the
aggression (in this case terrorism) actually works.

L.C.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 09-17-2001, 10:13 AM   #6
PeterR
 
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Actually a flight attendent is more at risk from a drunk and abusive passenger than any terrorist.

A few restraint techniques wouldn't hurt but most Aikido training is not that good a platform for that. On one hand you have dojos that teach so many variations they have kissed the KISS principle good bye and on the other hand you have dojos which are as direct and violent as anything taught anywhere. Teach a limited number of control techniques in the context of their current training. Just as the police do.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 09-17-2001, 10:45 AM   #7
shihonage
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Aikido needs years and years in order to be able to comprehend and apply it's principles, while there are certain things which can be practically taught and applied much faster (just look at Marc MacYoung, Richard Dimitri, Sammy Franco).

By the end of the Aikido course you can be sure that most flight attendants would still have no clue of what they're doing, and a lot of false self-confidence.
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Old 09-17-2001, 01:43 PM   #8
keith g
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I would submit that one shouldn't try to teach flight attendants Aikido in the traditional sense, but incorporate some of the principles and techniques into a simple, practical system, probably involving techniques from other styles as well. Can anyone deny that SOME such training is better than nothing? Of course there are no guarantees that the training would work but when in life do we get such guarantees? Perhaps the scores of passengers and crew on the WTC flights correctly assessed that they had little chance of winning a hand to hand confrontation. But in sad hindsight, they had nothing to lose. I, for one, would much rather go down the way the men on the Pennsylvania flight did. It seems likely that they saved thousands of lives. One wonders what might have happened if the flight crew and some of the passengers had been trained specifically to handle weapons attacks. Maybe nothing, but maybe...
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Old 09-17-2001, 02:40 PM   #9
Erik
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GET TO THE BACK OF THE PLANE NOW! NO ONE WILL BE HURT! NOW! GO! I DON'T WANT TO HURT YOU BUT I WILL.

You notice a dead stewardess. You didn't even see it happen. Now you see knives, everything is happening way too fast, people are pushing towards the back of the plane. You aren't in your standard Aikido stance, nor feeling very centered right this second, despite all that training.

These hijackers mean business.

What have you been taught about hijackers? They want something. You give them that something, anything and the life of the hostages are paramount. Most of the time, the vast majority of the time they can be saved. Every one of you, every airline and virtually every law enforcement officer has suggested exactly the same thing to a potential crime victim. Don't be a hero.

You, the heroic martial artist, are going to do exactly what? Exactly what you've been taught and told to do. You go to the back of the plane, because the hijackers have said that no one will get hurt if you do this. Someone has already died and you are very disoriented. Despite your hyper-bullshit-awareness, which has never been confronted with dead people you are stunned into submission with everyone else.

Actually, you didn't even have time to think about all of this, all you heard was a bunch of screaming and people started moving towards the back of the plane. YOU WILL FOLLOW THE CROWD mostly because everyone else is following the crowd.

The rules of engagement for this sort of event have always been very clear. You go along and most likely you survive. These guys knew this and used it to their advantage, particularly with the airline crews. The pilots probably fell very hard for this. They also used tactics meant to disorient you and I guarantee these were successful and would have been on most of us.

The reason a flight fought back is because they discovered what was in their future. At that point, fighting back made sense. The rules of engagement had changed. Everyone understood the price of not fighting back and THEY HAD TIME TO THINK and gather information. The initial shock had worn off. Baring cell-phones, they too would have plowed into something or been shot down by US fighters.

The other night I endured some conversation from individuals on how they would have fought back in that situation. It's a bunch of bullshit and it's ok because it makes us feel better. I was tempted to show them just how fast it would have happened and just how surprised and shocked they would have been but I realized it was just a way for them to feel better. That's not a bad thing but we should be better than that.

There are very few people who would have fought back in that situation. The instinct is not to fight back. I don't mind the fantasies, I've had a few of heroically saving a flight myself but realistically I know what would have happened. As martial artists, you are fooling yourselves if you think you would have done any better.

As to teaching Aikido to airline personel? It wouldn't hurt. There's value in centering, staying relaxed and being calm. I think it would be good for airline folks to learn this sort of thing. But as an anti-terrorist practice, I think most of us are blowing smoke. Not on the efficiency of the techniques per se, just that we have no frame of reference for dealing with the reality of what happened there.

Committed attackers who are going to sacrifice themselves, you and a bunch of others. It's a new game.
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Old 09-17-2001, 02:44 PM   #10
JMCavazos
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I agree that a flight attendant may not learn enough or have time to practice enough to have a useful aikido. There are a few techniques that can be used with little training, but what do you do against a cold blooded killer?

Maybe teaching jo techniques would be better. It's a wooden weapon and anything that lenght could be used against a knife wielding person. The hardest thing (I think) would be for someone to have the conviction to use the art forcefully and with maximum "maiming" effect. That's the only way these terrorists would be subdued - they are on a mission of self destruction.

I agree with keith, that anything is better than nothing. I also would have used this art had I been in that situation (nothing to lose). Although I would have had to leave the way we are taught to train, and used the art "a la Seagal" - take no prisoners type of thing.

I am thankful that I have not been in that type of life of death situation like those poor people were put into. I am proud of the Pennsylvania flight people and the fight that they must have put up. You know there had to be casualties of trying to take the plane back from those bad people.

Anything that we can do as a martial art community to give anybody the ability to fight back these terroristic threats is OK by me!
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Old 09-17-2001, 03:59 PM   #11
Jim23
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Quote:
Originally posted by Erik
GET TO THE BACK OF THE PLANE NOW! NO ONE WILL BE HURT! NOW! GO! I DON'T WANT TO HURT YOU BUT I WILL. <snip>
Finally, a breath of fresh air.

I was getting very frustrated by the stupidity in this thread - this is real dangerous stuff here.

The most effective route would possibly be to have a few plain-clothed "martial beasts" (probably armed) hidden amongst the passengers.

Would even that work?

Jim23

Last edited by Jim23 : 09-17-2001 at 04:47 PM.

Remember, all generalizations are false
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Old 09-17-2001, 04:12 PM   #12
shihonage
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That's what I was thinking too, Erik.

It's very hard, nearly impossible, and takes a truly heroic effort to step up when it's YOU, right HERE, right NOW, and you know that you will most likely painfully bleed to death from your throat and nobody else will move and help you anyway.

They'll just stand there frozen in fear, and watch you convulse on the floor and make lots of gurgling sounds.
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Old 09-17-2001, 04:46 PM   #13
Erik
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jim23
The most effective route would possibly be to have a few plain-clothed "martial beasts" (probably armed) hidden amongst the passengers.

Would even that work?

Jim23
It does for El Al.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2...urity.htm#more
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Old 09-17-2001, 05:08 PM   #14
Jim23
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I avoided posting here due to the severity of the recent events and the silly comments that have been posted since.

I have also avoided posting on the other thread (Chit Chat) which I find even more frustrating.

The U.S economy has been attacked, the Pentagon has been attacked, thousands of innocent people have been killed (from many different countries). Yet people are asking how aikido could solve problems and pull the world together. What would O-Sensei do? What did his writings say?

No disrespect people, but for heaven's sake, visit planet earth at least once this month!

Jim23

Remember, all generalizations are false
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Old 09-17-2001, 07:53 PM   #15
Caio
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Hello guys,

if you take another look at this thread, I never said anything about combating terrorists on board. Maybe this is my fault, bad timing...
I started thinking about this long before the attack to the WTC.
I used to be a flight attendant, and I know flight attendants who have been pushed, punched in the face, attacked with food carts, bottles, etc.
I think its easier to handle a situation with a drunk or angry passenger when you have some notions on how to stop him or her.
Knowing something is better than nothing, like someone already said.
I'm not telling that flight attendants must be heroes for Christ sake!

Peace!

Caio
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Old 09-17-2001, 08:29 PM   #16
Erik
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Quote:
Originally posted by Caio
If you take another look at this thread, I never said anything about combating terrorists on board. Maybe this is my fault, bad timing...
I started thinking about this long before the attack to the WTC.
I used to be a flight attendant, and I know flight attendants who have been pushed, punched in the face, attacked with food carts, bottles, etc.
I think its easier to handle a situation with a drunk or angry passenger when you have some notions on how to stop him or her.
Knowing something is better than nothing, like someone already said.
I'm not telling that flight attendants must be heroes for Christ sake!

Peace!
I understand. This was more a case of frustration with some other events on my part. Listening to people talk about what they'd have done.... I actually know a stewardess for American Airlines. She has 20+ years of Aikido. I don't know how she would feel about all this and I haven't asked.

If you want the real truth, I was genuinely irritated at the MAAT thing and wasn't directing this towards you.

Last edited by Erik : 09-17-2001 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 09-17-2001, 08:40 PM   #17
Erik
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jim23
I have also avoided posting on the other thread (Chit Chat) which I find even more frustrating.

No disrespect people, but for heaven's sake, visit planet earth at least once this month!
Jim, since I'm the one who put one of the postings you are likely referring to, I'd like to hear your thoughts. I was hoping that it would stimulate discussion, but it really hasn't. This type of board is somewhat unique because we have a variety of different countries represented and really with remarkable diversity. There are people here, that if we could entice them out, will have a far different perspective on this issue than most of us and a much deeper understanding. They've lived with this, whereas those of us in the US are just barely waking up to it. I'd love to get that perspective out here.
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Old 09-18-2001, 09:19 AM   #18
keith g
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Erik, putting aside for the moment your apparent claim to know exacty what terrorists do and did under these circumstances (learned from where? A Harrison Ford movie?), and cutting through the vitriol of your comments, one fact remains clear, a group of passengers on one of these flights did have the opportunity to mount a counter-attack, and by all press accounts they saved either the White House or Camp David. Say whatever you want about their chances, giving people ANY tools to help in such a situation cannot be a bad thing. It's fine if you would have obeyed the terrorists and gone to the back, and it's even fine if you would have locked yourself in the lavatory while other passangers tried to do something, but the reality is that the rules HAVE changed. We are at war, and we know exactly what terrorists are intending to do now. If you're living in the 1970's and waiting for them to land the plane and make demands, you're delusional. Do what you want, Erik, but maybe you shouldn't disparaging ANY effort to increase whatever minute chance there is for innocent people to do something in their own defense. The ONLY success--the ONLY positive thing that happened last tuesday was a group of passengers doing exactly that. But I'm sure you probably know better...

And if you're angry about the MAAT idea, maybe you should respond directly to it, share your wealth of knowledge about terrorist attacks and explain how teaching awareness to people (likely the primary work of MAAT) would hurt. It's ok to feel helpless buddy, but why attack those who are trying to help in some small way.
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Old 09-18-2001, 09:57 AM   #19
Jim23
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I think you missed Erik's point (unless I did).

What I think he meant was that the aikido "dreamers" who think that they could really stop rabid, armed terrorists need to wake up.

I don't think he was saying that people should not take action (if they can).

Jim23

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Old 09-18-2001, 10:14 AM   #20
keith g
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I have not seen one person claiming that they "could have" or "would have" subdued the attackers with Aikido or anything else. In that sense, I think Erik and perhaps you are missing the point. The question at issue is whether there is anything that can be done to increase whatever small percentage chance there is for a positive, or at least less disasterous, outcome. Lumping this issue in with "Aikido dreamers" is a generalization, which you seem to be against.
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Old 09-18-2001, 10:26 AM   #21
Steve
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Flight attendants don't need to stop terrorists. The terrorists just need to be stopped at the door to the flight deck. If you can't get to the controls you can't steer the plane into a skyscraper. How did they get into the pilot's cabin? Perhaps by pretending to be pilots and asking for a courtesy tour. They sure didn't force the door open using box openers and pocket knives. Keep the door locked and the bad guys can't get in. Duh.

Steve Hoffman
+++++++++++
That's going to leave a mark.
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Old 09-18-2001, 10:46 AM   #22
shihonage
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From the various sites (BBC, CNN, MSNBC), I gathered this:

1) On one airplane they locked the door, and two stewardesses stood up and protected it & got their throats slit.
Then the locked cabin was broken into anyway.

2) On another plane they also locked the door.
In response those animals started killing stewardesses in the back of the plane, which forced the pilots to open the door as they came out, trying to help.
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Old 09-18-2001, 11:55 AM   #23
Andy
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Quote:
Originally posted by shihonage
From the various sites (BBC, CNN, MSNBC), I gathered this:

1) On one airplane they locked the door, and two stewardesses stood up and protected it & got their throats slit.
Then the locked cabin was broken into anyway.

2) On another plane they also locked the door.
In response those animals started killing stewardesses in the back of the plane, which forced the pilots to open the door as they came out, trying to help.
Links, please.
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Old 09-18-2001, 12:25 PM   #24
Erik
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jim23
What I think he meant was that the aikido "dreamers" who think that they could really stop rabid, armed terrorists need to wake up.
Pretty close. I just don't believe that anyone would have reacted differently in those situations.
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Old 09-18-2001, 12:30 PM   #25
shihonage
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Here's one link :

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/ar...TICLE_ID=24445

Couldn't find the other at this point.
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