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Old 12-16-2007, 12:22 PM   #101
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

I have no issue using current events, poltics, and issues to discuss the topic as long as we stay focused on the original issue, which was dealing with killing on an individual level.

Yes, we do need to look at things macroscopically, consider societal perspective and all that and link it back to the individual and how those things affect the individual.

I agree with WIlliam Hazens comments about "authentic courage". I also agree that fear is the big motivating factor that our current implementation of policy is based on.

"the big scarey terrorist".

If we look back through history, there is always a boogey man for every major conflict. We give that boogey man a personality, a label, form an attachment to him and then we proceed to "Kill" him.

I am a firm believer that the only way we can really solve this problem is through Knowledge, Wisdom, Compassion. Once we have an authentic understanding of the boogeyman, we can find that there really is not much to fear, and we can resolve problems more skillfully.

I am a firm believer also, that this must be done on a humanistic level. That is, we must first come to grips with ourselves and our own personal demons, boogeyman, (fears).

Once we do this, we are able to see things more clearly, and courage is easy when you absolutely KNOW your actions are the right things to do!

I think budo is a great way to learn these things about yourself.

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Old 12-16-2007, 01:33 PM   #102
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

Kevin:

They say that sex sells products and fear sells politicians.

Knowledge, Wisdom, and Compassion. The core of personal integrity. Many people are not willing to experience the crucible of life which forges the integrity and character that we need so desperately in our leaders today. It is becoming harder for our society to instill this in our citizens. It is far easier to live in blissful ignorance. The classic book "The Underground Man" was written a long time ago, exploring the same dilemma that we face today. The boogey-men are frequently representative of that with which we cannot make peace with in ourselves, mixed in with an unhealthy dose of ignorance.

I am an old fan of the "MASH." One of my favorite episodes was where Colonel Potter told a wounded soldier who was mentally suffering watching the enemy that he shot die in a bed next to him that every soldier should be placed in a room with the "enemy" that they are about to kill for one hour. At the end of that hour, they could then have their weapons back and make the choice to kill one another.

There is easy access to the tools designed to kill, yet it is harder to instill the integrity of character necessary to make the decision to kill in order to preserve life. Budo should be one crucible that does help us develop the integrity of character necessary to make the right choice.

Marc Abrams
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Old 12-16-2007, 02:22 PM   #103
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

Marc,

I agree with the conclusions on your post. the only thing I have a comment on is the MASH example.

Of course, MASH, outside of the entertainment aspect was a social/polictical criticism directed at war and the casualties of war.

So, philosophically speaking the example you have would be an interesting experiment for sure!

However, the basic logic of it is flawed I think when you consider soldiers. Again, the key word is choice. I can speak on my own behalf as a solider, reflecting my personal ethics and those of the Laws of Armed Conflict, that I would consider it murder to sit in the same room with an "enemy" talk to him, and then give back weapons and then see if we would make the choice to kill each other. CHOICE.

When I enter to clear a building as a combatant, there is the SITUATION. It is unknown what lay there. There is the assumption that a deadly threat awaits. At the time you decide to pull the trigger to end the "enemy's" life, there is the assumption that he is a clear and immediate threat upon which there is no other way to mitigate that threat except with deadly forcce.

I do not have the luxury to get to know him, I do have the CHOICE to kill him or not. However the alternative to choose not to kill him is assumed to be my own or my fellow soldier's death.

So, you have to make up your mind concerning how you view Harm, or killing, and the justfication to do so, pretty darn quickly.

In the MASH example, i think the logic is an appeal to emotion, and a false one that gets people thinking in the wrong direction when we consider individual actions of killing.

Macroscopically, societal, and philosophically...yes....I agree. If we took time to understand the "enemy", then we might reach an understanding and harmony.

that said, your "enemy" may not have the same agenda in mind! As is such the case with many of the terrorist we face today.

Same with robbers, muggers etc. You simply may not have the time or choice to reason with, harmonize with, or get to know him on an interpersonal level.

He simply wants to use force, coercion, or bodily harm in attempt to control you to his benefit. He does not care that you give to the poor, work at the soup kitchen, or give boots to the homeless.

He has made up his mind that his actions are just, and that your life is simply not as valuable as his.

So, budo, I think, gives us the ability to see things for what they are. Helps us to understand ourselves, the nature of others (good and bad), and philosophically and sometimes physically...gives us tools to more skillfully make decisions to make the right Choices in the face of adversity...those that may require little or no thought on a active basis!

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Old 12-16-2007, 02:57 PM   #104
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

I cannot say it clearly, I should be in the situation, but most likely not.
I got in few fights back in school years and never managed to hit back cause I hated hurting people, but of course my life was not in danger.
In the past Sensei had us work on a couple of techniques (don't know names) where you throw Uke grabbing the head and twisting it...kind of those moves where in movies people break necks from behind. I admit I felt very uneasy and scared in doing them, glad it is a long time he hasn't let us do them again. Just like as Uke by mistake I manage to hit in the face...for the next 3 or 4 attacks I can't give a full intent attack, but I still feel the fear of hitting again.
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Old 12-16-2007, 03:42 PM   #105
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I have no issue using current events, poltics, and issues to discuss the topic as long as we stay focused on the original issue, which was dealing with killing on an individual level.

Yes, we do need to look at things macroscopically, consider societal perspective and all that and link it back to the individual and how those things affect the individual.

I agree with WIlliam Hazens comments about "authentic courage". I also agree that fear is the big motivating factor that our current implementation of policy is based on.

"the big scarey terrorist".

If we look back through history, there is always a boogey man for every major conflict. We give that boogey man a personality, a label, form an attachment to him and then we proceed to "Kill" him.

I am a firm believer that the only way we can really solve this problem is through Knowledge, Wisdom, Compassion. Once we have an authentic understanding of the boogeyman, we can find that there really is not much to fear, and we can resolve problems more skillfully.

I am a firm believer also, that this must be done on a humanistic level. That is, we must first come to grips with ourselves and our own personal demons, boogeyman, (fears).

Once we do this, we are able to see things more clearly, and courage is easy when you absolutely KNOW your actions are the right things to do!

I think budo is a great way to learn these things about yourself.
We Sir are in complete agreement and it's Officers like you that are our hope for the future...

Sua Sponte Sir,

William Hazen
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Old 12-16-2007, 03:43 PM   #106
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

IMHO, we all make choices and we all pay the consequences for those choices.
If training and forethought can be brought into the equation, the responses have a better chance of going in the direction of the training. Chance favors the prepared mind, conditioned response, and neuroplasticity.
Many choices need to be discussed and made way before one finds themselves in a situation that requires the action to be taken.
If you choose not to fight (or kill) you live with the consequence of that decision. If you choose to fight (and kill) you live with those consequences.
We each need to make the decision we can live with (because we will have to) and train in that direction.

Lynn Seiser PhD
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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 12-16-2007, 07:12 PM   #107
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

Kevin:

I was speaking at a "Macroscopically, societal, and philosophically..."level (your words were well spoken). Colonel Potter also talked about putting the leaders of countries at war in an arena to fight it out amongst themselves. I think that we are basically on the same proverbial page.

O'Sensei spoke of how he believed that leaders misused budo for their own purposes. I am profoundly disturbed when the men and women who serve to defend our country are "misused" by our leaders. The casualties of war (those who have died, been wounded, or psychologically wounded) are great. If we ask these men and women to make those great sacrifices, then it should be for the right reasons. Killing another person to preserve life should be just as it is, to preserve life. Those that do live have to live with the legacies of what it took to preserve life. In many ways, that is a far greater task than to take life.

Marc Abrams
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Old 12-16-2007, 07:37 PM   #108
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

Marc, yes...I agree. Thanks for taking the time to post your thoughts and point of view.

It takes a whole country to fight a war, not less than 1%.

If I was granted one wish in the world, I think that wish would be to have everyone in it realize how closely everything is interconnected and related. That is, that we cannot disassociated or detach ourselves that which we do not like or want to face.

There are many ways to kill, and more than just the physical.

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Old 12-16-2007, 07:43 PM   #109
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

William,

Sua Sponte! RLTW! Hooah.

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Old 12-16-2007, 08:09 PM   #110
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
If I was granted one wish in the world, I think that wish would be to have everyone in it realize how closely everything is interconnected and related. That is, that we cannot disassociated or detach ourselves that which we do not like or want to face.

There are many ways to kill, and more than just the physical.
Agreed, and there are equally as many ways to be dead.

Lynn Seiser PhD
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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 12-17-2007, 11:05 AM   #111
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

Quote:
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Otherwise this is what a culture of violence can lead to:http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...la-home-center
or this...


I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration...

ART! - http://birdsbeaks.blogspot.com/
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Old 12-17-2007, 01:06 PM   #112
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

I have enjoyed reading this post. It has been one of the better reads on aikiakweb. I agree with Kevin that political commentary is probably a separate issue that may better better expressed on aother thread. We are discussing a complicated topic, which probably will only be clouded by adding new issues to the thread.

This thread has already matured beyond the original question, but maybe I can add some more comments...

The decision to end a life is a separate one from the committment to end a life. In chronological order, you must first decide to act, then commit to the action. Before you make a decision of any kind, you must first evaluate the actions from which you may choose. I have read through what [to me] is three separate issues which need to be unravelled from eachother.

Aikido teaches us to make better decisions. We learn techniques and train to provide more options from which to choose when making a decision. We practice the decision making process to accelerate our ability to choose correctly from the options presented in a given situation. Through training, we become confident in our ability to make and execute decisions correctly, and that empowers us to commit ourselves to executing those decisions.

We are speficially discussing an extreme decision to take a life. The moral and personal repurcussions of taking a life are severe, and I don't think anyone disagrees with this. However, I think we are again dealing with a different question. If the moral weight of taking a life prevents you from taking a life, than you remove that option from your decision-making process and the question is unequivically answered, "no, I cannot take a life under any circumstances because I cannot bear the burden of that weight." Choosing not to act on behalf of others because the personal responsibility is too great? This is not the aikido I know. This kind of spirit is perhaps preservative, but not courageous. The aikido spirit I train teaches me to help others, even at personal cost to myself.

Each day, we are challenged to make decisions that result in a moral dilemma. For example, "I've only have two beers with dinner, I am fine to drive." we justify our decision with probability - I won't get pulled over, I won't hit another vehicle, I will see that pedestrian. The perceived probablility of becoming involved in a drinking related incident is low compared to the probability that I will be arrive home safely. So we get into the car and say, "I am fine, I'll be home before you know..." Our moral compass does not prevent us from driving drunk, it just justifies the probablilty that we won't kill someone. It's not that we are morally oppossed to killing, just to the responsibility that comes from comittment.

"What is the probability that I will be involved in a life/death situation? That is a ridiculous scenario that will never happen."

I think our comments speak volumes about who we are. Even if the question is ridiculous.
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Old 12-17-2007, 03:08 PM   #113
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

Jon, good stuff as always!

You bring up some interesting points concerning courage, actions, and moral dilemma.

In some of his interviews the Dali Lama is asked if he considered his actions to not oppose the Chinese were the right ones. He has said, (to over paraphrase) that he might choose to fight them in retrospective, even though he is committed to non-violence as he sees that it might have been a better course of action.

The point is that even though you might consider all life sacred and cannot imagine taking a life or committing to some action that might result in death, I think you have to consider, as you mention Jon, all the issues surrounding it.

I think there is a point in time when it is "just" to do so. I think what is key is that it is done, not out of emotion or anger, but out of compassion for saving life.

Conversely, action might also mean that you give your own life for a greater good.

I like many of the writings concerning bodhisattvas in Buddhist writings, and many of the writings and stories of Saints within the Christian context. They are good compasses to which we can reflect on about who we are as a people and society.

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Old 12-18-2007, 11:51 AM   #114
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Kevin, if the LEO / Military folks train for this stuff, then why the PTSD? I mean, if all this training is worth while?

Nice to see some usefull stuff come out of this topic...

Best,
Ron
There are endless reasons how/why people get PTSD.

Someone who was well trained and killed an enemy combatant in a cut-&-dried contact probably has a better chance of not suffering PTSD. However when you factor in things like loosing comrades, seeing intense cruelty and suffering (i.e. virtually all of the peacekeeping missions Canada has been involved with throughout the '90's) the likelihood of getting it increases.

I've alse read studies that explored other factors. One paper compared how during WWII, military units trained together and then went overseas as a unit. During Vietnam, individuals were sent into various units - unit cohesion was poor.

There's also the fact that training someone to deliver deadly force and preparing them mentally so they don't hesitate under stress, doesn't necessarily prepare them for coping with it all afterwards.
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Old 12-19-2007, 03:42 PM   #115
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

yes, absolutely.

I think that you have no idea of how you will react in such a situation until you are faced with it. Genuine fear and adrenaline change things.
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Old 12-19-2007, 05:05 PM   #116
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

Quote:
David Peling wrote: View Post
I think that you have no idea of how you will react in such a situation until you are faced with it.
Yep, gotta go along with this one.
We all think we know until we are faced with knowing for sure.
For so many things, there is only one way to find out and I sincerely hope most people never have to.

Lynn Seiser PhD
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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 12-20-2007, 07:17 PM   #117
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.


Increase my killing power, ehhhhh?




Seriously, though. As many others have stated, I think it's really a matter of situational ethics. Do I have the technical ability?...questionable at best. That's not what Aikido is about. Do I have the "guts".....yes. I wouldn't hesitate...leaving aside the legal ramifications.

Last edited by Dewey : 12-20-2007 at 07:20 PM.
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Old 12-20-2007, 08:16 PM   #118
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

I think everyone probably says the same thing regarding technical ability.

You know I would consider myself fairly "well trained" in technical ability when it comes to "50 ways to kill" having spent the greater majority of my adult life training and employing weapons in various tactical situations.

However, there is always more to learn, always guys that are way much better at it than I. Then there are the situational factors that come into play that will thwart even the best of us!

Again, I think Musashi had it right.

attitude, disposition, and perspective count for alot....what you would call guts.

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Old 12-27-2007, 08:00 PM   #119
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

If it was a matter of life or death in the instance that i was being attacked or an innocent, Absolutely

Tony Strickland
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Old 12-28-2007, 10:28 AM   #120
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

A 32 year old Japanese student was murdered (stabbed in the throat), for no reason, last night at Perth Bus Station by a 22 year old psycho with a knife. I just found out this evening that the victim was someone I met a few times at a friend's house some years ago. My condolences to his family, colleagues and friends.

http://au.news.yahoo.com/video/local/wa/
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Old 12-30-2007, 07:54 PM   #121
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

A couple years ago my best buddy - we've been friends for forty years - killed a guy who broke into his home. The deceased broke in by throwing a rock through a window and then crawling through the glass encrusted broken frame and into the house. The attacker then picked up a fireplace poker and threw it at my friend's fleeing infant children and their mother.

The attacker then picked up another fireplace implement and started going after my friend who had the time and presence of mind to grab a large kitchen knife off the kitchen counter rack.

Long story short...my friend, who has no aikido training but has had some exposure to other martial arts over the years, fended off some blows with the fireplace tool and then got in close and stabbed his attacker in the chest.

The knife broke against the breastbone and the attacker who, yes, was very high on drugs, advanced again. This time my friend once again got in close and slit the attackers throat. The attacker fell to the floor bleeding out quickly and dying moments later.

I think the basic thread question doesn't really make sense. If someone is trying to kill you I think most folks would, in their attempts to survive, do whatever they could to survive.

Maybe that would be to run like hell, maybe it would be to counter the attacker's advances with whatever techniques one knew or could muster up, maybe call the police and then climb up on a roof, whatever...

If one was trained in aikido and was forced to defend oneself I am absolutely sure that some, if not all of their responses to the attack would be aikido based if only because it would be second - or rather first! - nature to do so.

The other side of the coin is I am a true believer that all methods of spiritual advancement, whether they be of a physical variety like aikido or yoga or a tai chi are equal in what they create to non-physical spiritual endeavors.

That being a dynamic field of well...I don't know what to call it, how to term it though I've seen it in action. It's kind of like the person is invisible but they're not. It's just an "energy"...an energy which does not accept, or rather disallows aberrant behavior from interacting with it.

It nips it in the bud, maybe never even allowing it to germinate in the first place.

Anyway...to me, that is the promise of aikido and all the other countless methods of training/practice humans have come up with over the years to become closer to the mystery.

The promise. To create a world where all human beings are one family, yes indeed but additionaly that all human beings know they are one family.
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Old 01-03-2008, 03:12 AM   #122
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
Yep, gotta go along with this one.
We all think we know until we are faced with knowing for sure.
For so many things, there is only one way to find out and I sincerely hope most people never have to.
Lynn I do agree with you and Mr. Peling!!!

I have read a lot of the replies here and have seen some very thoughtful and incitefull comments but in my experience being a us military veteran as well as a fire fighter and well... a good ole' boy nobody really knows how they will react in any given situation without actually having been in that situation. Everyone can say what they want and I hope that most will know themselve's well enough to make an educated statement about what they would do. As far as using Aikido or another martial art to kill someone.... if I happen to react properly and those techniques are the one's I was able to utilize then so be it but I do remember that (I believe) Lynn made a comment about knowing faster/easier ways of doing it which I do as well but... I hope that nobody including myself ever has to be put in the spot of taking someone's life as there are a lot of things that go along with it besides the obvious problems no matter if it was justified or not!
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Old 01-03-2008, 03:29 AM   #123
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

I believe that anyone is capable of doing anything at anytime. It is a matter of self control that a person has that prevents them or allows them to act. Fortunately most people have that control most of the time. That is why awareness of your surroundings in everything you do is so important, to catch the times when someone loses control, and when to exercise yours.

David
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Old 01-13-2008, 11:42 AM   #124
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

Quote:
Joseph Madden wrote: View Post
T If someone was attempting to kill you with an edged weapon would you defend yourself using lethal force if your life depended on it.
Yes without a doubt.

Here is a link to a recent issue in Alberta regarding your OP.
http://www.edmontonsun.com/News/Albe...56214-sun.html

Police are looking at charging a home owner who in the process of defending himself against two scumbags breaking into his house (while at home with his wife) killed one of the criminals and stabbed the other 12 times.

Quote:
....... But the self-defence umbrella only covers incapacitating an attacker, not continuing to harm them once they no longer pose a threat.

The problem, said Kanwar, is that using "reasonable force" to fight back is measured differently in each case, meaning there are no black and white boundaries for self-defence -- and reactions in some cases could result in second-degree murder or manslaughter charges.

Defining boundaries may not help because human nature doesn't always allow for rational thinking in the heat of the moment, said Kanwar.

"When you are afraid for your life, you don't think about what is reasonable, you don't even know what you're doing."

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

You don't own what you can't defend
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:42 AM   #125
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Re: Would you kill someone using Aikido if you had to.

yes... Aikido or no Aikido.... eye for an eye... if the attack and intent were strong the response also would be strong.

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