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Old 06-16-2013, 11:02 AM   #26
JP3's Avatar
Dojo: Wasabi Dojo
Location: Houston, TX
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 291
Re: What He learned from his near mugging

Those stories of Ellis' are great, and they remind me of another youngster in Muay Thai.... the 300 head to knee crunches per set was spot on.

I can't even imagine working that hard now.....

I find it interesting that the kanji character for kuzushi illustrates a mountain falling on a house.
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Old 06-16-2013, 11:46 AM   #27
Walter Martindale
Location: Cambridge, ON
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 761
Re: What He learned from his near mugging

As much as Ellis's story about letting potential bad guys go may have ended up with someone down the road getting hurt, Ellis, as a gaijin in Japan, did what kept him out of jail.

At the Kodokan, in 1978, Sato sensei (no, I don't know his given name - it was 1978, he was rokudan, I was ikkyu, but he was with the police) was regularly teaching sessions at the gaijin dojo. He showed us a few things of "self defense" where - if a Japanese person attacked us, we could defend ourselves without actually hurting the citizen. As we were foreigners, (and he was a cop - oh, I've said that already) if any of us laid a hand on a citizen and left any welts or made them go sleepy-bye or leak red stuff, WE, the gaijin, would be in jail, and no matter how aggressive the citizen was, he or she would be the aggrieved party.

So, as much as it may have taken extra restraint, Ellis probably did the right thing - stopped an attack, kept himself whole, and got home in one piece. It probably helped a LOT that he could do the language. At the time, I couldn't. Still can't. Advice? If you're going to go to Japan for any length of time, learn the language.
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Old 06-16-2013, 12:43 PM   #28
Ellis Amdur
Ellis Amdur's Avatar
Location: Seattle
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 898
Re: What He learned from his near mugging

Walter - I think things are a little different these days. But the laws of self-defense ARE different in Japan - what is legitimate use of force. It would be worthwhile doing some research on this, as they may have changed since I researched them in the 1970's.
Sometimes, however, being foreign (probably of European ancestry, at least) can work to one's advantage. There was an infamous case where an English karateka intervened in what he perceived as a man molesting a woman (he was, in fact, trying to get the drunken woman, the wife of his best friend, home) and when the karateka intervened, the man squared off and the karateka kicked him in the head. The man fell, hit his head on a curb and died. The decision of the court went back-and-forth, but the karateka was eventually exonerated, in part from what the court described as his "chivalrous intent." My visa sponsor, the leading authority on self-defense laws in Japan told me that no Japanese person would have been found innocent in those circumstances.
Ellis Amdur

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Old 06-16-2013, 02:57 PM   #29
Dojo: West Wind Dojo Santa Monica California
Location: Malibu, California
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,295
Re: What He learned from his near mugging

Matt Morris wrote: View Post
Life is a roll of the dice. Walk away from the mugger, he leaves, great Aikido. Walk away from the mugger, he shoots, or stabs you, sad for you, sad for him. Take on mugger - you win and he losses - great Aikido. Take on mugger - he wins you lose, Aikido lacking (perhaps), you sad.

What if? But....

You rolled the dice, and it worked out for you. Lots of people do the same, it works for some, and not for others.

The reason I say this is that the long, dribbly posts about this story are just that - you can say what you like, a lot of luck is involved. Yes it can be mitigated, but when dealing with an unknown mugger, with an unknown weapon you aren't mitigating risk, or practicing good Aikido, just rolling dice.

"Many who deserve to live, die. Many who deserve to die, live. Such is life and death."

Any active duty Police Officer, or soldier, will tell you this.
Yup. This is so true in my experience. I have "lost" many more encounters than I have "won" and the only thing that matters is that I am still here. These days Martial Awareness helps allot to avoid putting myself in situations where the dice are rolled. You never know when your number is up. Thats why I choose to avoid playing "the game" if at all possible, and I highly respect those men and women whose profession it is to take my place against those idiots that think they're never going to lose when they wish to hurt people.

William Hazen

PS. Thats why I love Game of Thrones both the TV Show and the Books. Conflict,War, and Death do not favor the "good guy". Practice Hard. If you're lucky... your life may depend on it someday.
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Old 06-16-2013, 05:07 PM   #30
JP3's Avatar
Dojo: Wasabi Dojo
Location: Houston, TX
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 291
Re: What He learned from his near mugging

Love that Game of Thrones postscript......

I find it interesting that the kanji character for kuzushi illustrates a mountain falling on a house.
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