Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Open Discussions

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 08-05-2000, 09:47 PM   #1
Nick
Dojo: Aikido of Greater Atlanta
Location: Atlanta, GA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 561
United_States
Offline
Would you kill an attacker?

In response to the poll:

I don't think the question is _would_ you kill an attacker, but rather- COULD you kill an attacker? I'm not talking fighting or anything, I'm talking if it came down to it, do you think you could muster up what it takes to end another human being's life?

Something to ponder,

-Nick

---
Nick Porter
"Do not fall into the trap of the artisan who boasts twenty years of experience, when in fact he has had only one year of experience-- twenty times."
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2000, 10:43 PM   #2
Tony Peters
Dojo: Mt Tantalus, Kaimuki Judo club
Location: Honolulu hawaii
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 67
Offline
if necsessary yes

Interesting question, How much do you value your own life? Personaly I would like to think that I could indeed take another life if necsessary...but then I'm in the military and have been indoctrinated into that way of thinking. It comes down to taking responsiblity for your own self. Not expecting someone else (police etc) to look out for you. Most people don't think this way...most don't feel responsible for what they do themselves. Sad state of affairs we're in. I value my own life above all else...anyone thinking to seperate me from that had best beware. I do hope that this will never become a reality. I know that I can trust my judgement though not because I've every been threatened my another human dirrectly but I've had it threatened by circumstance (Aircraftcarrier flightdeck) and I lived through that and thrived in the environment(even and especially at night). BTW many people consider this to be the most dangerous work environment in the world. So yes I think that I could form the raional thought necsessary to end another humans life. However, rarely would a being bent on putting me (or anyone else) in this position considered human, usually this type of being is closer to an animal (though most of those are more polite) and as I will gladly kill what I eat I have no problem killing (not that I would eat a corpse but you get my point)

Peace
Tony
Suck, Squeeze, Bang, Blow
That's what makes my Thumper go
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2000, 08:05 AM   #3
chillzATL
Location: ATL
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 847
United_States
Offline
That's a tough one to answer, for anyone. I think anyone who is trained in martial arts could do it if the situation called for it. The question we have to ask ourselves, and it's different for everyone, is in what situation would we have to kill someone. That mental level is going to be different for everyone. Before writing this I sat back and thought about various situations that might require that and all of them are very extreme. If someone attacked me with a knife and I disarmed them, would I kill them? no. If I felt my life was really, truely threatened, yes, I certainly think I would do it. If there was no other way or I had been pushed to a point that survival instinct had taken over, yes, I would. Those are very extreme situations though. Ones that I hope none of us ever have to experience.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2000, 12:27 PM   #4
Nick
Dojo: Aikido of Greater Atlanta
Location: Atlanta, GA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 561
United_States
Offline
Indeed, we should try to avoid such situations. It just reminds of people, who when it comes down to it, can't kill someone (especially in movies). that's what made me think of it- our training rises us above society to choose to kill or give or give life in one split second, we must decide whether we must become the Katsujinken or Satsujinto. Hopefully, none of us ever need to become the latter.

-Nick

---
Nick Porter
"Do not fall into the trap of the artisan who boasts twenty years of experience, when in fact he has had only one year of experience-- twenty times."
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2000, 04:08 PM   #5
Tony Peters
Dojo: Mt Tantalus, Kaimuki Judo club
Location: Honolulu hawaii
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 67
Offline
lacking to proper mindset

This is not meant to disparage any one or any art. One of the major problems with martial arts in general today is that there is no thought given to what is necsessarilly a life or death situation. No I'm not taking about specific situations rather more of a zanshin type thing. I've had that kind of threat applied to me and I felt a whole hell of a lot better when I got out of that location (an airplane crashed there within 2 minutes of my leaving). The other problem comes as people don't ever think about how far to carry an action. Me personally I personly tend to beleive in the no further threat concept. OK he/she/it is disarmed of a weapon but is he still a threat? If so how do I eliminate that threat? Purely pragmatic. No, death is not the only answer hopefully it will never be "THE" answer but if it is you have to make that choice...or you die yourself. Most people will die...it just not part of their mindset

[Edited by Tony Peters on August 7, 2000 at 09:54pm]

Peace
Tony
Suck, Squeeze, Bang, Blow
That's what makes my Thumper go
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2000, 05:25 PM   #6
chrisinbrasil
Dojo: Lenwakan
Location: Sao Paulo, Brasil
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 44
Offline
Would I kill an attacker?

Yes.

At your service,
Christopher
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2000, 12:22 PM   #7
TomCat
Dojo: American Society of Combat Martial Artists
Location: Abilene, Texas
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 7
Offline
My "first" martial art was/is the pistol. As such, I already made the decision, and would be willing to, kill an attacker. I sought out and started Aikido in order to have other (preferable) options but would still be willing to use leathal force if the situation called for it.

TomCat
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2000, 12:35 PM   #8
HanshaSuro
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 3
Offline
Incredible

I cannot understand how topics like this appear on an aikido message board. Irrespective of whether or not you would/could make the decision to end another person's life in defense of your own, the purpose of training in aikido is to obtain the skills to protect the well-being of those who would try to harm you as you ensure your own safety. Anything less than this goal is a perversion of the ideals of the art.

-------------
-Mike
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2000, 01:00 PM   #9
Bruce E
"Bruce E"
IP Hash: 6a025580
Join Date: Aug 2000
Anonymous User
Offline
Perhaps the classic book on this subject is Grossman's "On Killing : The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society", http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...5116-8973468).

This is a subject that should probably be contemplated on by practicioners of any serious martial art.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2000, 01:24 PM   #10
Magma
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 168
Offline
<<plays devil's advocate for HanshaSuro

Aikido teaches us to use discretion and compassion in life. Would you agree that there might possibly be a situation where one might have to take a life out of compassion? I'm not talking about the philosophical argument of "putting someone out of their misery." Rather, if compassion for a fellow member of your community - who you, as an enlightened, aware individual (read "martial artist"), are duty bound to protect - means taking the life of a third person about to do grave harm to them, could you do that?

The question is not "Do you train to be able to kill someone more efficiently?" or even "Do you train to be able to kill someone?" I think what is at the heart of the question is does the training you take in the dojo prepare you for all that life may throw at you, including specifically a situation where you may called on to take another person's life?

M
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2000, 04:58 PM   #11
HanshaSuro
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 3
Offline
A response for Magma

Quote:
I think what is at the heart of the question is does the training you take in the dojo prepare you for all that life may throw at you, including specifically a situation where you may called on to take another person's life?
The entire reason I decided to begin aikido was because it trains with the highest value placed on human life, both in practice and execution. I would never train in a martial art where the emphasis was becoming the best killing machine I could. So, the training that *I* take prepares me to resolve all situations in the safest manner possible for all those involved. If someone ever died at my hands I'd consider it a failure, not a success.

------------
-Mike
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2000, 05:15 PM   #12
Nick
Dojo: Aikido of Greater Atlanta
Location: Atlanta, GA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 561
United_States
Offline
then, what about a sword duel, in which either you kill or die... of course it would be considered a failure, and all but the most skilled of us couldn't take a live sword from a swordsman... so then, what would you do?

-Nick

---
Nick Porter
"Do not fall into the trap of the artisan who boasts twenty years of experience, when in fact he has had only one year of experience-- twenty times."
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2000, 06:31 PM   #13
HanshaSuro
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 3
Offline
Reply for Nick

Quote:
then, what about a sword duel, in which either you kill or die... of course it would be considered a failure, and all but the most skilled of us couldn't take a live sword from a swordsman... so then, what would you do?
Nick, well, in your example, let's just say you do have this skilled swordsman who you cannot take a sword from. Now, tell me your chances of surviving that fight anyway? Even O-Sensei has spoken of challenges he knew better than to try and defend himself against. It has been said that he has been able to avoid the muskets of men lined up to kill him. However, when an old hunter challenged him to avoid his bullet, O-Sensei sat down with him and looked him in the eye and realized that the man was too determined to kill him, and that if he accepted, he would die. Your contrived example is somewhat off the point. The best defense is to see a fight about to start and remove yourself from that situation. My statement was simply that in unavoidable situations, if I was not skilled enough to prevent the death of someone else, I would consider it a failure. Our training goals are obviously different. In my mind, to kill someone should not be glorified and given respect when other options are available. So, in direct response to your question, if I was in the situation of a sword duel to the death, and was forced to kill the other person, I would consider it a failure.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2000, 07:21 PM   #14
Nick
Dojo: Aikido of Greater Atlanta
Location: Atlanta, GA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 561
United_States
Offline
Hanshasuro-san:

A very good response. I suppose this is what we would call Katsujinken.

-Nick

---
Nick Porter
"Do not fall into the trap of the artisan who boasts twenty years of experience, when in fact he has had only one year of experience-- twenty times."
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2000, 08:34 PM   #15
HanshaSuro
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 3
Offline
Nick,

Domo. O genki de yo.

------------
-Mike
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2000, 08:43 PM   #16
stratcat
Dojo: Chendokan Aikido, Costa Rica
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 34
Offline
"Would I kill an attacker?" and other things that make you go "hmm..."

That's a question I NEVER want to find the answer to, basically. Furthermore, anyone that says that they are capable of killing another human being clearly has never done so. NO ONE who has ever killed another person stands up and proudly proclaims "Hey I've killed someone!" unless they are seriously mentally ill or under extreme psychological duress. Even soldiers in war, trained to kill, do not revel in killing and are loathe to speak of it (the ones I've met, anyway). When they do kill, it's because it's unavoidable, and it happens so quickly that instinct and training take over.
It's all well and good to say, "Hey, in a life or death situation, it's either me or them, so yeah, I'd grease 'em", but when it comes down to brass tacks, the fact is NO ONE KNOWS what they'll do. In a life or death situation, so many factors are at work (psychological state of the attacker and of the intended victim, physical condition of the subjects, type of weapon, mode of attack, lighting, footing, location, etc.), that even if you are specifically trained to kill people (or loonier than a snake's armpit), the outcome is never predetermined. In my line of work (assistant prosecutor)I've known people who claim to be the hardest, meanest cops around, and when they are actually in a situation a life or death situation, they can't deal with it. Conversely, I've met sweet, wonderful ladies who would seem incapable of the least act of violence, stab their abusive husbands 18 times with a meat cleaver and swear they'd do it again and again and again if they could.
The point is, the question is unanswerable. Anyone who says they would do it have never had the experience of grabbing a person's head and jaw and twisting them around until their cervical vertebrae crunch and break, snapping the spinal cord, and turning that being into clay; or have never pulled the trigger of a gun and heard the wet smack of a bullet penetrating the target's thoraxic area and smelling the coppery tang of their blood as spills on the ground.
Our position, not only as Aikidoka, but as martial artists is completely incompatible with the taking of a human life, under any circumstances. Granted, when under attack we must safeguard our lives and that of those in our care and protection. However, we are above petty conflict, and must remember that our Art, whatever it may be is intended to "stop the blade". We must do what is necessary to remove a threat to our person, to defend ourselves, no more, no less. To do any more than that is blatant hooliganism, a petty, spiteful use of our abilities, and a travesty of everything O- Sensei teaches. We train to better ourselves and, through that training, better mankind as a whole. A martial artist is taught to recognize conflict and is taught to resolve it through peaceful means. Corollary to this is the conclusion that ANY conflict must be resolved with the MINIMUM amount of force required. O- Sensei taught that Aikido is to be used to unite the Family of Man in a peaceful way. If you train to become a killing machine, bad mother****** or whatever, Buddy, not only are you learning the wrong Art, you might someday be VERY unpleasantly surprised.
Andy G.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2000, 10:11 PM   #17
HanshaSuro
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 3
Offline
Quote:
. If you train to become a killing machine, bad mother****** or whatever, Buddy, not only are you learning the wrong Art, you might someday be VERY unpleasantly surprised.
Stratcat, 100% my sentiments exactly.

------------
-Mike
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2000, 12:14 AM   #18
Magma
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 168
Offline
Wink Award

The award for "Best Turn of Phrase" in a modern post goes to stratcat, for the entry "loonier than a snake's armpit."

ahem.

I, too, agree with the cat.

M

Tim
It's a sad irony: In U's satori, he forgot every technique he ever knew; since then, generations of doka have spent their whole careers trying to remember.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2000, 05:40 PM   #19
Tony Peters
Dojo: Mt Tantalus, Kaimuki Judo club
Location: Honolulu hawaii
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 67
Offline
limitations

One of the limiting factors is each person's relative skill. It is by far much easier to terminate a conflict by maiming or ending a persons life while protecting your own than it is to end by protecting them and yourself. Everyone has spoken of a perceived failure if the other guy is hurt or killed; well I'm not sorry to say that I look to myself first (probably why aikido doesn't work for me, Mentally at least). Win-Win conflict resoulution is great in theory but it's practice will get most of us killed. Especially if you spend any time whatso ever thinking about not hurting the guy who is trying to kill you.

Peace
Tony
Suck, Squeeze, Bang, Blow
That's what makes my Thumper go
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2000, 11:06 PM   #20
Chocolateuke
Dojo: Muhu Dojo
Location: Middle of nowhere in California 14 miles from Buellton
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 238
Offline
would I kill someone??

would I kill some one only in teh most exstream conditions ( war, Duel) but only if I really could bring myself to it and if there in all the ways to use a throw was no choice. but then I would think why kill someone who wanted to kill me? sure he wants to take my life but still samuries where allways ready to die by the sword. so I guess most likely not and besides what is wrong getting a suntan in heaven?
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2000, 12:58 AM   #21
rch
Dojo: The Dojo
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 14
Offline
huh?

I think the real question is, would you ever *need* to kill someone? I can only think of a couple of reasons why I would ever *need* to kill someone. So far, I haven't had to worry about any of them yet.

On another note...

I'd just like to know why you would be in the mix with a skilled swordsman with a live blade? Not sure about your neck of the woods, but here in Indianapolis, you just can't run around with a katana strapped to your belt.

-Rob
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2000, 04:12 PM   #22
HanshaSuro
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 3
Offline
reply for Tony Peters

Quote:
Everyone has spoken of a perceived failure if the other guy is hurt or killed; well I'm not sorry to say that I look to myself first (probably why aikido doesn't work for me, Mentally at least).
Tony, that's not a wrong or immoral state of mind by any means. I don't think anyone could fault you for feeling that way. However, to train in aikido is to perceive and accept responsibility for your actions in defense. I agree that to be a beginner (as I am) in aikido, the prospects of dealing with a serious attack in such a way that I do not hurt my attacker is not particularly likely. In fact, to try could cost me my life. However, I do dedicate my training in the safe environment of the dojo to increasing my skills to this end. I would still consider it a failure of someone died at my hands, deserving or no - experienced in the art, or no.

-----------------
-Mike
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2000, 05:14 PM   #23
Nick
Dojo: Aikido of Greater Atlanta
Location: Atlanta, GA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 561
United_States
Offline
Re: huh?

Quote:
rch wrote:

I'd just like to know why you would be in the mix with a skilled swordsman with a live blade? Not sure about your neck of the woods, but here in Indianapolis, you just can't run around with a katana strapped to your belt.
Merely hypothetical...

-Nick

---
Nick Porter
"Do not fall into the trap of the artisan who boasts twenty years of experience, when in fact he has had only one year of experience-- twenty times."
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2000, 06:51 PM   #24
Tony Peters
Dojo: Mt Tantalus, Kaimuki Judo club
Location: Honolulu hawaii
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 67
Offline
Safety first

Quote:
HanshaSuro wrote:
that's not a wrong or immoral state of mind by any means. I don't think anyone could fault you for feeling that way. However, to train in aikido is to perceive and accept responsibility for your actions in defense. I agree that to be a beginner (as I am) in aikido, the prospects of dealing with a serious attack in such a way that I do not hurt my attacker is not particularly likely. In fact, to try could cost me my life. However, I do dedicate my training in the safe environment of the dojo to increasing my skills to this end. I would still consider it a failure of someone died at my hands, deserving or no - experienced in the art, or no.

-----------------
-Mike

This is where I see a problem with Aikido; It intsills an atittude of protecting your attacker that is fine and good for the Dojo and, after you have been studying for a decade or two, the street but makes no variation for beginers who haven't the experience or skill to act this way. Of course there are sensei out there who will tell you up front that Aikido isn't a self defence art until you put in a lot of years (the truth). Without putting down Aikido (as I truely enjoyed my study) what I learn provided a great foundation for my ongoing study of Koryu arts. I still relate techniques to aikido (and to a lesser extent jodo) but aikido's approach is not combat/realworld related and using it in such a situation too early can/will get you hurt (of course I, in my only "fight" since I started M.A. 6 years ago, used Nikyo to respond to a semi haymaker, it worked, scared the hell out of me, damn near broke the guys wrist, gave me a newfound desire to avoid conflict where every possible and convunced me to insure that my training was both realistic and traditional not stylized). The thing that is nice about Aikido is that within the system there is a lot of room for practice and variation. If you have an uke who can stay with you playing with things until you get them right is very easy. The converse is also true. Ukemi has gotten me out of more problems that any other aikido related skill.

[Edited by Tony Peters on August 30, 2000 at 05:55pm]

Peace
Tony
Suck, Squeeze, Bang, Blow
That's what makes my Thumper go
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2000, 07:04 PM   #25
HanshaSuro
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 3
Offline
Tony,

A well spoken response.

---------
-Mike
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Aikido DVDs and Video Downloads - by George Ledyard Sensei & other great teachers from AikidoDVDS.Com



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
To Kill or Not to Kill aikiSteve General 14 07-18-2005 12:46 AM
Subliminal gestures willy_lee Techniques 59 05-25-2003 10:04 AM
Something I wrote for a few friends of mine (long) drDalek General 1 11-18-2002 09:44 AM
Randori DavidM Techniques 6 07-08-2002 08:56 AM
Run from an attacker? Kat.C General 65 05-23-2002 05:12 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:40 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate