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Old 06-19-2002, 08:21 PM   #1
tedehara
 
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Eek! The Real World

Greetings:

I've been looking over many posts that talk about the REAL WORLD. They talk about using this or that technique and defending from a (fill-in-the-blank) attack by doing (fill-in-the-blank). Of course, this is all garbage!

Assuming the attack is done rationally, this eliminates psychotics, drunks, druggies and arrogant martial artists, your goose is already cooked. Your opponent wouldn't have chosen you as a target unless there was something that told him you were vulnerable and he had an advantage.

This is not the dojo, it is the street. On the street, you probably won't know you're being attacked until it's too late. On the street he has either a knife or gun. Even if it looks like he doesn't have a weapon, check around and see who else is there. They're probably his friends, ready to back him up.

One time I was sitting in a subway car, counting the accomplices to a hustler who was running a three-card monty game. I counted ten people, both men and women!

If all they're asking is your money, give it to them. If they want something else, you've got a hard choice to make. If they want you to go somewhere with them, you cannot go. More than likely, they're taking you to a secluded spot where you will be truly helpless.

For those of you who worry about losing the money and credit cards you carry in your wallet or purse, go down to your local hospital and see what the average costs are for a visit to an emergency room and a one-day stay in a hospital bed. If you're unconvinced, look at the expenses for an OR, surgical team, one-week stay in an intensive care unit with several MRIs, CTs and X-rays for good measure.

The important thing is to treat people with respect. Don't assume that they're stupid or retarded because they're using violence for a solution.

Let's be careful out there.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 06-19-2002, 09:32 PM   #2
jk
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Hi Ted,

That's quite a strong initial statement, although I agree with a pithy homily that I will paraphrase as "you can always earn back the money you lost, but not your life."

To the best of my understanding, what you're saying is to treat people with respect (good advice in general) so that you significantly reduce the population of people who want to kill/maim you. Thus, when/if you get threatened/attacked, the chances are that they only want your money. Again, giving up a bit of money is better than a trip to the hospital/morgue. Is this a fair interpretation of your statement?

However, I do not see where this situation renders the analysis of technique, and discussion of defending against a (fill-in-the-blank) attack by doing (fill-in-the-blank), as garbage. To bring up an admittedly extreme example, in the summer of 1997, there was considerable rioting and assorted turmoil across Indonesia. In a lot of cases, people were attacked, raped or murdered by people they probably didn't know. I would surmise that in these cases, the number of assailants greatly outnumbered the victims. What do you do then? Sit there and give the attackers what they want?

Regards,
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Old 06-19-2002, 09:38 PM   #3
PeterR
 
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Of course in the real world you can go through life and not be robbed at knife and gun point, killed, raped and otherwise messed up.

The amount of time I put into training on the off-chance that I will actually need to use it - is unrealistic.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-20-2002, 01:15 AM   #4
Bronson
 
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Quote:
The amount of time I put into training on the off-chance that I will actually need to use it - is unrealistic.
I've heard my sensei say that if you go to the dojo for ten years and train and you never use what you've learned you've wasted your time and money

His point being that you should be pulling the principles from the techniques/lessons and applying them everyday

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 06-20-2002, 02:13 AM   #5
PeterR
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bronson
His point being that you should be pulling the principles from the techniques/lessons and applying them everyday
Touche' - very Tohei-esque of you.

Just out of curiosity - what principles do you think those are that can not be gotten through a less painful, time consuming, obsessive activity that we all know and love. Careful with the answer - I am feeling playful.

It's a bit of a trick question - like my Israeli commando friend and training partner used to say - Aikido's great but if you want self defence by a gun. In other words even for self defense that are a lot less time consuming options out there.

Last edited by PeterR : 06-20-2002 at 02:38 AM.

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Old 06-20-2002, 03:30 AM   #6
jk
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Quote:
Originally posted by PeterR
It's a bit of a trick question - like my Israeli commando friend and training partner used to say - Aikido's great but if you want self defence by a gun. In other words even for self defense that are a lot less time consuming options out there.
Very true, but with the minor quibble that you still need a fair bit of training to know how to use a weapon of any sort...and let's not even think about bearing anything resembling a weapon in places like Singapore, for example. I don't think it hurts to pay some attention to the martial/self defense aspects of aikido.

But you folks are right in that we don't practice aikido purely for self-defense. We learn other useful things, like...er... Well OK Peter, maybe I should take up ballroom dancing instead...

Regards,
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Old 06-20-2002, 03:47 AM   #7
PeterR
 
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Hi John;

Actually his point at the time was that if you are really worried - go armed, laws be dammed.

Personally I go to Aikido because of its self defence application. Not that I feel any great need but that I get a good physcial work-out and go home with something other than sore muscles.

Don't knock ball room dancing - one month of lessons twice a week and I ended up going out a series of seriously beautiful women. Best bang for buck I ever spent (I did not say that).

Quote:
Originally posted by jk

Very true, but with the minor quibble that you still need a fair bit of training to know how to use a weapon of any sort...and let's not even think about bearing anything resembling a weapon in places like Singapore, for example. I don't think it hurts to pay some attention to the martial/self defense aspects of aikido.

But you folks are right in that we don't practice aikido purely for self-defense. We learn other useful things, like...er... Well OK Peter, maybe I should take up ballroom dancing instead...

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-20-2002, 05:09 AM   #8
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well in that case.....

Peter,

Quote:
Don't knock ball room dancing - one month of lessons twice a week and I ended up going out a series of seriously beautiful women. Best bang for buck I ever spent (I did not say that).
So you've seen the movie "Shall We Dance"? (If not, give it a try....)

Pardon the interuption,

Paul
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Old 06-20-2002, 06:32 AM   #9
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2 cents

Hi all,

Nice thread. Since we're on the topic of real world principles, I think a very important aikido principle that can be applied to "REAL LIFE" is training to keep our centre under stress.

This was tested in me a while aback while being robbed by 2 guys at gunpoint while at a computer client of mine. It's amazing the kinds of things that can run thru your mind at a time like that, almost funny actually. In the end, when the cops finally came, I was the only one coherent enough to give a description of the perps.

The nicest thing about it though, is that nowhere during the entire thing did one feel afraid or overly threatened by what was happening. I just kinda entered the mode I do when yudansha come at me with a bokken at full force.

Maybe it was my mind creating an illusional comfort zone, or maybe I happened to keep my centre/wits about me to avoid flying off the handle and going aiki-ballistic, who knows?

BTW, if you guys think ballroom dancing gets you good bang for the buck, try Latin dancing

Just 2 cents to add to the account.
L.C.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 06-20-2002, 06:53 AM   #10
DaveO
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Exclamation

I think I see the point that Tedehara was making; by the time you get into a situation where Aikido as self-defence is needed; having to think about 'technique A' to counter 'Attack B' means you've already lost - the guy's all over you.
You use what you have at hand.If you can get away, do it. If you can get out of the way without thinking, do it. If you can stop him without thinking, do it. If you can fight him without thinking, do it. The key is 'without thinking'. Having to think about what to do next takes too much time; that's the difference between the dojo and the real world. Rendori - however enthusiastic - is NOT a semblance of the street; it's simply a way to practice Aikido in free-form.
And as to the 'gun' theory; sorry, I know I'm going to set off howls of protest, but the blasted things are WAY overrated in my opinion - and this is the opinion of someone with a great deal of experience with them. As a former soldier and instructor, I personally would be(and have been) more worried about a guy armed with a knife than with a sidearm; particularly if the guy holding it is of the common street-thug class - plenty of aggression, murderous intent, and zip for training. Of course, that's just me; I WOULD be concerned if the guy with the gun was trained...well, like me, to be honest,or like any other experienced career soldier out there, but I've yet to find that situation either on the street, or in Bosnia, or in any of the other places I've been.
Sorry to bust in, but it's a favourite topic of mine. Thanx, friends!
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Old 06-20-2002, 08:47 AM   #11
Brian Vickery
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Wink Re: The Real World

Quote:
Originally posted by tedehara
Greetings:

I've been looking over many posts that talk about the REAL WORLD. They talk about using this or that technique and defending from a (fill-in-the-blank) attack by doing (fill-in-the-blank). Of course, this is all garbage!
Shhhhhh Ted!!! ...You're giving away the BEST kept secret in the martial arts today!!!

...Oh well, go ahead! The 'Dojo-Darlings' won't believe you anyway, and most likely they'll never have to face the real world!
...so just let them dream their little dream!

Regards,

Brian Vickery

"The highest level of technique to achieve is that of having NO technique!"
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Old 06-20-2002, 08:49 AM   #12
akiy
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by PeterR
The amount of time I put into training on the off-chance that I will actually need to use it - is unrealistic.
I remember attending a meeting of the now defunct AANC. Frank Doran sensei asked people to all stand up. First, he asked everyone who had been studying aikido for less than a year to sit down. Then, those people who had been studying less than five years to sit down. Then, ten years. Then, fifteen. Then, twenty. All the way up to something like forty years. A rough estimate probably had at least a thousand years of aikido practice in that single room.

He then asked how many people had been physically assaulted during the time they'd been studying aikido. There were maybe something like 10 instances.

I think his point was the same as what Peter wrote above. If all we're doing is spending our time, money, and energy just for the sake of being able to respond to a physical assault, it seems like we sure are doing this inefficiently. In any other activity in which we'd actually "use" the skills that we learned only, say, once every one hundred years, it'd clearly be a waste of time.

Of course, our training has to include the martial aspect and must be undertaken in such a way as to cultivate such (as aikido is, after all, a budo) in whatever capacity we each can take and hold. However, just as writing a journal isn't usually for the sake of someone else reading it, I don't think the study of aikido is necessarily (for a lot of us, at least) for the sole sake of using it in a physically assault.

Hmm... I hope that made some sense...

-- Jun

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Old 06-20-2002, 08:57 AM   #13
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Self defence?? I have had far more injuries, pain and bruises in the dojo than in the rest of my life put together. If I want to stay injury free my best self defence is to quit aikido! Luckily there are other good reasons to keep going...)
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Old 06-20-2002, 09:41 AM   #14
SeiserL
 
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I always appreciate people who can tell me what is real for me and what isn't. After growing up in the streets of Detroit, being in Nam, and after 30 years of martial arts training, I tend to not be able to tell the difference for myself anymore. I sure wish I knew enough to be able to tell people what their reality should or shouldn't be. I am impressed.

I do, none the less, agree that intelligence and good manner is always the best first line of defense.

Until again (or when I forget what's real),

Lynn

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 06-20-2002, 11:34 AM   #15
tedehara
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by jk
...To the best of my understanding, what you're saying is to treat people with respect (good advice in general) so that you significantly reduce the population of people who want to kill/maim you. ...Is this a fair interpretation of your statement?

...I would surmise that in these cases, the number of assailants greatly outnumbered the victims. What do you do then? Sit there and give the attackers what they want?
Regards,
Of course you should always treat people with respect. But what I was trying to get at is even your months or years of martial arts training will not give you immunity from harm. Respect your opponent, don't think you can get away with anything just because they might be "untrained".

Hopefully, you won't be drawn into a possible conflict. Get you and yours to safety if there is a riot coming towards you. These things generally happen in certain areas during certain critical times. Try to avoid those times and places if possible.

If you find yourself in the middle of something, you have to do the best you can at that moment. Nobody knows what the exact situation will be before it happens. There are no money-back guarantees.

Peter
You're beginning to sound like Kenji Ota Sensei. He said that if you wanted to really learn aikido, you needed to take up ballroom dancing. He is a prize-winning ballroom dancer as well as an Aikido instructor.

To All:
I started this thread because I was worried some people might take certain messages seriously and end up getting hurt or worse. People might delude themselves into thinking they were immune from harm's way because they practice a martial art. The fact is we are all human and we are all vulnerable. That is the simple reality of it.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 06-20-2002, 12:25 PM   #16
AskanisoN
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Thumbs down

Hi All,

This is one of the more memorable sites I came across while researching this topic. The entire site is worth a good read, but I selected this section to post b/c is was directly relevent to this discussion. ENJOY!

Scott


http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/fightingfacts.html
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Old 06-20-2002, 02:23 PM   #17
Bruce Baker
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Awareness, and Acceptence

I see the moral dillema that tears to the heart of this question, fear of not being able to control all of the dangerous situations, and survive.

Somewhere, sometime, you will have to let go of fear to ride out the wild sea into a time of safety ... and there won't be time to worry about it, it will just happen. So stop dwelling on things you can't control, but learn from them if you survive.

On the other hand, are you making yourself a victim, or creating circumstances that give opportunity to become a victim?

If not, they why have you been targeted for being robbed, or harassed?

Simple defense begins with awareness.

Awareness in training, and awareness in life.

I know I have brought it up before, but the wolf hunting its prey, or the wolfpack mentality is my understanding to those who seek to dominate, or take advantage of those they percieve to be weak or easy prey.

You must be aware of where you are, how you look, and if your actions are drawing the preditor towards you. Of course, if you make it too difficult, the preditor will look elsewhere, or if you become somewhat invisible, you will vanish into the crowd.

Vanishing, my favorite place to be, and very frightening for a would be hunter if he meets the eyes of someone who knows who and what he is ... eyes that overcome without fighting but recognize the danger.

Kind of hokey in its premise, but when you spot the hunter and his/her gang trying to corner a prey/target it does make a difference.

I could go on about being invisible, becoming less of a target while picking out the scoundrels who sooner or later visit the barbed wire and iron bar hotel, but these are things you must learn not only from training, but how you apply this training to your everyday life.

Maybe because I am older, much heavier than the average man, I have become less of an easy target. I would like to think it is because I give less opportunity for those who think stealing is the average lifestyle for their neighborhood.

Your Aikido training has many levels of creating awareness, hand and eye co-ordination, and putting yourself in the right place at the right time, but translating these lessons for many students is like trying to read a foreign language without a teacher.

All the same, isn't that why you want to gain control of your life through aikido training?

Awareness.

Acceptence for where you are.

Dealing with whatever comes along.

All part of life.

So stop worrying, learn your lessons, move on.

If you don't like your life, change it.

If you don't like the way your neighborhood is, change it.

If you learn nothing else from practicing Aikido, it is that you have the ability to change your life, and influence those around you.
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Old 06-20-2002, 09:47 PM   #18
giriasis
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I don't believe my aikido will make me immune from harm, but it does increase the odds. Even if your increasing it by 1%, it's better than none. Does this mean I'm going to iriminage someone with a gun or knife? NO, but it aikido does teach me awareness, confidence, overcoming fear, and centeredness -- all which is needed in facing a robber. Hopefully, with my life intact.

Yet, the first line of self-defense is using our own brain, not which technique to use with which attack. My self-defense tactics are about prevention, and aikido does help me there. But I agree, it is not an absolute guarantee. Deluding ourselves in believing otherwise is dangerous.

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
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Old 06-20-2002, 11:27 PM   #19
MaylandL
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Quote:
Originally posted by AskanisoN
Hi All,

This is one of the more memorable sites I came across while researching this topic. The entire site is worth a good read...

This is an excellent site and full of good common sense stuff. Having been jumped in the middle of the night and been lucky to escape with a couple of minor bruises, what he (Mr Marc Mac Young) has to say is absolutely spot on. This site is definitely worth a read.

Last edited by MaylandL : 06-20-2002 at 11:30 PM.

Mayland
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Old 06-20-2002, 11:38 PM   #20
Bronson
 
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Quote:
Touche' - very Tohei-esque of you
Not sure if that was meant as a compliment but I'll take it that way...thanks

Quote:
what principles do you think those are that can not be gotten through a less painful, time consuming, obsessive activity that we all know and love. Careful with the answer - I am feeling playful.
I think I'll be ok, mostly because I can't answer it, because I don't understand the question

Quote:
It's a bit of a trick question
Ooooh, that's why I don't get it. Sorry, I don't do trick questions (I'm too easily confused with straight ones ) If there's something ya wanna ask go ahead and throw it out. You ain't gonna offend me and I'll try to give the best answer I can with the (limited) understanding I have now.

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 06-21-2002, 12:15 AM   #21
darin
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Quote:
Originally posted by PeterR

Don't knock ball room dancing - one month of lessons twice a week and I ended up going out a series of seriously beautiful women. Best bang for buck I ever spent (I did not say that).

Yeah? I think I will check out that salsa bar in Roppongi...
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Old 06-21-2002, 01:02 AM   #22
PeterR
 
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Bronson;

When you come right down to it - all the stated benefits of Aikido - especially by the Ki in Daily Life crowd but also self defence, can be achieved far more easily by other means. If you enjoy achieving your goals through the study of Aikido - well welcome to the club.

However, getting back to the Real World which is what this thread I tend to approach my martial arts training with a strong does of pragmatism which probably reflects my peers. Overtime I have come to appreciate the Do however, I have yet to meet one Japanese who came to the dojo looking to improve themselves, manage their anger, find harmony and fulfil the wide sort of spiritual options that western beginners often expect. There is one young lady that collects Do (chado, shodo, etc. and came to Aikido in search of a more physical variation), many that came for physical fitness, others for a group activity and, especially the young males, to learn how to fight.

In the latter case most, like myself, are not the I want to be the meanest thing on the street, but they do want to hold their own. I will say it very clearly that the fit young men that are a product of this particular dojo don't get challenged very often. They exude a level of confidence that removes them from consideration as an easy mark. It seems to me at least - that reduction of risk is worth the practice especially having seen some of these young men before they started. Does that confidence spill over into their daily lives? Yes it does and that is the nature of the Do.


Last edited by PeterR : 06-21-2002 at 03:00 AM.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-21-2002, 06:16 AM   #23
Bruce Baker
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Love and hate are

I am aware that many Japanese view martial arts as a means to protect themselves or hold their own, but it would seem they are enamoured with the European or westerners ability to use the spiritual side of martial art usually reserved for older men who retire partially from the working world.

I can not tell you how many times I have seen the young Aikido practitioners try to interpret something spiritual or mystical, and the Japanese instructor will get a funny look on his face and shake his head?

Are westerners more like Native Americans, mistakenly called Indians?

Love and hate are said to be the same emotion only an eye lash apart, is it the same way with practicallity and spirituality for those trying to percieve the secrets of martial arts?

Sorry to diverge from the subject.

I know that those who try to preach practicallity are subconcious believers in spirituality and vice-versa. How?

The same as I know that the emotions at either end of the scale are the imbalance of the opposite emotion causing extreme love to be the catalyst to hate, and hate to be the catalyst to love.

What the hell has this to do with awareness of Aikido in dangerous situations?

Balance of body, mind, and emotions (sometimes called spirit) are the key to keeping a clear head when reacting to any situation.

Remember that when you become enamoured with training, or a particular forum so you can find your balance to clearly assess the situation and react appropriatly.
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Old 06-21-2002, 08:08 AM   #24
SeiserL
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by AskanisoN

This is one of the more memorable sites I came across while researching this topic. The entire site is worth a good read. ENJOY!
Scott
http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/fightingfacts.html
Couldn't agree more. The "Animal" has some good words of wisdom, he has a great mailing list of truly humble reality folks, and is a "nice guy" (just don't tell him I said so).

Until again,

Lynn

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 06-21-2002, 08:30 AM   #25
Brian Vickery
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Thumbs down

Quote:
Originally posted by SeiserL


Couldn't agree more. The "Animal" has some good words of wisdom, he has a great mailing list of truly humble reality folks, and is a "nice guy" (just don't tell him I said so).

Until again,

Lynn
...I also frequent this site ...absolutely priceless info on self defense!

...I'm also a member of the 'Animal-List', which I encourage everyone/anyone interested in self defense to join. It's by invitation only, you must apply to be added to the list. The application is available at the website. The list is moderated with an iron fist ...but with the caliber of the folks posting there the moderator's rarely have to flex their muscles! I'd advise lurking on that list for a few months before adding your 2 cents!

Regards,

Brian Vickery

"The highest level of technique to achieve is that of having NO technique!"
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