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Old 08-06-2002, 05:59 PM   #51
Joshua Livingston
 
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Location: QLD Australia
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Re: OT

Quote:
Erik Jurrien Knoops (erikknoops) wrote:
Why do you thank God for "throwing salt" ??

Uhhh, I... threw it in the guy's eye? Uh yeah that's the ticket!

Hahahaha

Shihonage

Joshua Livingston
Aikido of Ashland (USAF)
Gold Coast Jujutsu
Capoeira Zambia Congo Group
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Old 08-19-2002, 04:11 PM   #52
opherdonchin
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
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Joshua,

Thanks for the lovely, thoughtful post. I really found it enlightening.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 08-22-2002, 01:12 PM   #53
Tomlad
Dojo: Tanworth in Arden
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Smile Reply

Hi Edward,

There are lot's of replies to your original posting and I've read half of them, so if this is repeating another reply then I apologise.

I have always understood Aikido to be an assertive method of dealing with an attack. You do not need to be aggressive to an attacker, nor do you be passive and run away!

Using Aikido enables you to act positively when an attack comes in and to control the situation as quickly as possible.

Lying down and pretending your dead will probably ensure that that is how you end up, dead.

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Old 08-28-2002, 05:06 PM   #54
Mel Barker
Dojo: University of Louisville Aikido Club
Location: Louisville, KY
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Excellent thread. I think all serious martial artists ask these types of questions. I sure have! I think a "good aikidoka" is one that acts responsibly given the circumstances and his capabilities. The post about the 6 year old is the start of a way to think about these confrontations. How do you respond to a temper tantrum throwing 6 year old? A teenager vandalizing your car? Your daughter's physically abusive boyfriend? The knife-wielding attacker who stops you on your regular evening walk with your disabled son? The road rage incident you pull up behind where the 240 pound guy is bashing the 130 pound guy?

In my 9 years of studying Aikido, I've never trained for one of the above incidents. Most of the Aikidoka I've talked to about these things have no idea what real violent encounters entail. I continually hear either "cowboy scenarios" or "pacifist sermons".

Having studied videos of actual incidents and crime statistics, I know that rarely does someone have time to enter into extended contemplation about the philosophical and spiritual ramifications of the actions that you may or may not take. Oops, too late. He clubbed you and your lying unconscious and bleeding as he rifles through your pockets.

So, you can choose to run from all the incidents described above. Now, does that make that make you a "good aikidoka"?

So, what do you do? Well, you continue to ask these questions, and train. You talk to your practice partners about it, and you train. You ask your spiritual adviser about the morality of violence, and train. You begin to doubt if any of this even matters, and train. You change your first formed opinion about these matters, and train…

Fortunately, as I have struggled with these questions (and I'm sure I will continue to) I have trained. It's taken me nine years to begin to see the real power of Aikido. I have found power in several ways in Aikido. First, I just loved it. It made me happy. Then it improved my awareness. Then it gave me something I could do if attacked. Then it gave me the opportunity to work on my inner demons (you can never run away from them). Now I can throw without using strength and my ukes ask what happened when they get up. Each couple of years I find that I have new found new power just piling up one after the other.

Someone said 90% of life is just showing up. A think it's the same in Aikido. Keep asking the important questions and keep showing up. Maybe I'll see you one the mat someday.
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Old 09-09-2002, 12:52 PM   #55
Jermaine Alley
Dojo: Aikido Of Richmond
Location: Richmond, VA
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Good/Bad Aikidoka

Hey Edward,

I understand what you mean..but i think that you stayed in aikido for as long as you did for your own reasons.

We all study MA for different reasons. Some of us, like myself, do want to learn how to defend myself, because self defense is extremely important if i am going to defend others (police officer). I took on aikido, to enhance my self defense knowledge and experience. I have used it on more than one occasion to defuse situations. Remember that most of us dont study martial arts as a way to just beat on people. We study it as a way to enhance ourselves physically as well as mentally.

Some of us engage in our studies because we understand that historically, samurai and other warriors of old considered a life threatening challenge (and how they dealt with them) as a kind of self examination. That kind of discipline would force certain character traits to the surface. Traits that would enable a person to question themselves, and re-examine their purpose in life.

The study of MA wasn't engaged in with the primary concern being "self defense".

Oh it was important living in those times,

but it wasnt the "primary goal" in my opinion.

To better oneself through balance, centering, dedication, a sense of justice etc.

We all have our different reasons for studying what we study. In no way do i consider Aikido the "play dead" martial art.

I think that some folks out here still believe that the martial art makes the person. No, the person makes the martial art. If a person decided that they wanted to run from a fight, it doesn't matter what martial art they study...a runner is going to be a runner.....no matter what...

j
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Old 09-09-2002, 01:10 PM   #56
cbrf4zr2
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 114
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Thanks for all the responses...I guess it comes down to how we each judge our own actions.

************************
...then again, that's just me.
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Old 09-10-2002, 06:42 PM   #57
shinji6999
Dojo: Aikido Shudokan
Location: Australia
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My teacher has worked in security & runs seminars for the security industry in Australia & he always says its better to go to court than to go to hospital.

If you can stop the threat with minimal damage to your attacker, great. If your attacker is insistant on killing you, do whatever you have to.

To me that is aikido, an appropriate level of response to the attack.
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Old 09-12-2002, 11:37 AM   #58
Usagi
Dojo: ShinToKai
Location: Salvador-Bahia/Brazil
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I think the big issue here is that everybody is looking for support in their own theories...

And that's all right

In terms of meeting with agression, there is no recipe to success.

I believe that MA training should help us to turn Fear into Precaution.

The techniques should meant to teach us how frail our bodies really are.

To convey that goal they should be as efficient as possible (if you train techniques that don't hurt, you won't respect the idea of getting hurt).

It is very much like learning first aid:

I learn how to do your best before professional help arrives, but you have no illusions of being a MD.

Martial arts are educational sistems based on combat techniques.

They help us to understand combat moving behaviour, but, like firts aid, without experiencing for real (having to stop someone's bleeding or giving PCR) it is all theory.

IMHO, the point is that self defense is not something you can really train.

You can train the techniques, but your emotional response to sudden attacks (how is it possible to train with friends how to respond to attacks given by strangers?) is not trainable.

Emotional response under stress is, in most cases, the line that divides success from failure.

And as about "flee-or-fight"...

Althrought i believe it is better not to fight, this is not the kind of thing we choose; it happens.

I have an impression that those who advocate "fight for my ground" are using this as an excuse to label what "TRUE AIKIDO" is, and that displeases me as much as the "pacifist munble jumble"...

I believe AiKiDo to be big enough to shelter us all.

If i am wrong im my assumption accept my appologies...

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and i- i took the one less traveled by,- and that has made all the diference!"
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Old 03-20-2010, 12:13 PM   #59
Gorgeous George
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Re: Am I a "bad" Aikidoka?

When a drug addict followed me late one night, and kept saying to me 'Give me some money' when i'd stopped with my back to the wall with no one around, i tried to remain calm, talked to him without agreeing to his demand, and waited for an opportunity to get out of the situation. I actually remember thinking, at one point 'I wonder if my coat will protect me from a knife if he stabs me.'.

Eventually it kind of escalated, and he tried to pat my pockets, while demanding i show him my phone; when he reached out towards me, i instinctively cut my hand down on his, performed ushiro-tenkan, which created a lot of space between us, and gave me an opportunity to run away from the situation. Which i did. He didn't follow, and i didn't feel i had 'lost face' because i didn't get killed over £5/beat up a human being who is addicted to drugs.

It reminds me of a story i heard to illustrate what Zen is: there was an archery contest, and there was this one archer who was well beyond all others - he was amazing, always hitting the bullseye etc.
A Zen monk saw this man, and after he had won, he approached him, complemented him, and challenged him to an archery contest at a place he would decide. The great archer accepted, thinking he would easily win.

The two met for the match on a mountain. The Zen monk stepped right to the edge of a cliff thousands of feet up, with certain death awaiting should he fail, and fired his arrow. The great archer stepped up, looked at the abyss awaiting him beneath, and stepped back.

I believe the message is this: it is a very different matter doing something (aikido, archery, what have you) well/at all when the stakes are low/non-existent, than it is when your life is at stake.
Which brings me to a story i heard very recently concerning a high-ranking Japanese aikidoka in the UK who was approached by several muggers while walking down the street one day; he threw his wallet to the ground, and told them that he would die for that wallet, and asked them if they would. They didn't wish to find out.

I may be viewed as a coward for not immediately hitting a man, or breaking his wrist or what have you, but hey....
I didn't get down on my knees and beg this man to spare me; i didn't give him my wallet and beg him...i would have defended myself if i had to, but i didn't have to, and i had no interest in finding out if he had a knife, so i didn't escalate the situation: i sought to defuse it.
I have no wish to be six feet under, my family consoled with a gravestone which says 'He died not in vain: he died for his wallet'.

Now if i was as good as the Japanese aikidoka...

I guess if you're that concerned with not losing face, carry a knife/gun with you: that should scare a lot of people off, right?
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Old 03-20-2010, 01:02 PM   #60
Hellis
Dojo: Ellis Schools of Traditional Aikido
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Re: Am I a "bad" Aikidoka?

It matters little how many techniques you know, what really matters is do you have the fighting spirit to apply them.

circa 1959/60 ...Kenshiro Abbe Sensei left the Sandwich street dojo Kings Cross, London, on his own, and a little earlier than usual where there would usually be a group of us. Sensei was confronted by three thugs who demanded his wallet, as they made a threatening semi circle around him, he took out his wallet and threw it on the ground just in front of him, he then said to the thugs " I am prepared to die for my wallet, ARE YOU !!! "
Knowing Sensei as I did I doubt there was more than a just a few pounds in his wallet. The thugs looked at each other and changed their minds and they ran off.
www.british-aikido.com

Last edited by Hellis : 03-20-2010 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 03-20-2010, 02:46 PM   #61
Gorgeous George
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Re: Am I a "bad" Aikidoka?

Quote:
Henry Ellis wrote: View Post
It matters little how many techniques you know, what really matters is do you have the fighting spirit to apply them.

circa 1959/60 ...Kenshiro Abbe Sensei left the Sandwich street dojo Kings Cross, London, on his own, and a little earlier than usual where there would usually be a group of us. Sensei was confronted by three thugs who demanded his wallet, as they made a threatening semi circle around him, he took out his wallet and threw it on the ground just in front of him, he then said to the thugs " I am prepared to die for my wallet, ARE YOU !!! "
Knowing Sensei as I did I doubt there was more than a just a few pounds in his wallet. The thugs looked at each other and changed their minds and they ran off.
www.british-aikido.com
That's the story i was thinking of.
Thank you for posting it.
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Old 04-07-2010, 06:25 PM   #62
Zach Trent
Dojo: Integral Dojo
Location: Tel Aviv
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Re: Am I a "bad" Aikidoka?

Quote:
Henry Ellis wrote: View Post

" I am prepared to die for my wallet, ARE YOU !!! "
I really appreciate this discussion- appropriate levels of aggressive response. I think it is great to talk about, but hard to know until the time comes.

Hopefully you survive it and can reflect back on it. Still, we can develop our own philosophy and stance regarding interpersonal violence, and debate that philosophy with others.

Any way- here is a video of a fake mugging, still I wonder what people think of this response over the real mugging mentioned above. Just curious

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB2VI... t=1&index=15
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Old 04-09-2010, 05:23 AM   #63
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
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Re: Am I a "bad" Aikidoka?

Quote:
Edward Frederick wrote: View Post
I look at it this way. I try to have others control me as little as possible. If I am out walking, minding my own business - why should I have to change my plans and give up my wallet, or whatever it is when I can tell him to back off and continue about what I was doing?
Sorry - but running away at every threat is not the way I want to live my life. I would rather die living the way I choose, than to live knowing I was a sell-out.
Drear Edward,
One of the main objectives of Aikido is the ability to develop Common Sense.Each situation requires different strategies.For example if the threat level is high [two mean guys with baseball bats] would you decide to fight them or give them you mobile phone ?Its a question of judgement and common sense.
If the situation is such that there are no alternatives but to
roll you sleeves up and do battle , so be it.On more than one occasion I have been faced with situations where having explored all avenues of diplomacy, I ended up sorting out the problem with
a few basic waza. I think the maxim that 'retreat is not defeat' is a useful viewpoint depending on circumstances.I much prefer "jaw jaw to war war" as Winston Churchill [ex British Prime Minister in the 40s]quoted.
You can always get another wallet , a few dollars or a mobile phone , but what about getting seriously hurt /killed being
a macho man?
Cheers, Joe.
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Old 04-09-2010, 05:31 AM   #64
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
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Re: Am I a "bad" Aikidoka?

Quote:
Zach Trent wrote: View Post
I really appreciate this discussion- appropriate levels of aggressive response. I think it is great to talk about, but hard to know until the time comes.

Hopefully you survive it and can reflect back on it. Still, we can develop our own philosophy and stance regarding interpersonal violence, and debate that philosophy with others.

Any way- here is a video of a fake mugging, still I wonder what people think of this response over the real mugging mentioned above. Just curious

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB2VI... t=1&index=15
Dear Zach,
As a good friend of Mr Ellis and considering I knew Abbe Sensei [the gent who was being asked for his wallet] I can assure you that when Abbe Sensei made that statement to the would be muggers the muggers more than likely would have known that they had potentially bit off more than they could chew.
Abbe Sensei was a formidable exponent of Martial Arts.
I dont think Abbe Sensei would a won the booby prize had battle ensued.
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Old 04-11-2010, 01:11 AM   #65
Darryl Cowens
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New Zealand
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Re: Am I a "bad" Aikidoka?

Well, fwiw, in our aikido club one of the senior members, a yondan teaches 'self defense' classes on a friday night, as opposed to our 'basics', 'regular', or 'advanced' aikido classes.

What exactly he teaches I'm not entirely sure, as I've never participated, but I do know it isn't aikido. There may well be some aikido techniques and principles incorporated into it, but it isn't an aikido class.

Myself, self-defense is well down the list of reasons why I spend $30 a month.
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Old 04-11-2010, 08:48 AM   #66
heathererandolph
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Re: Am I a "bad" Aikidoka?

Well, our style's motto being "minimum effort maximum result" the goal being when presented with a dangerous situation not to be in a dangerous situation it would make sense to do the least possible to achieve the goal.
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Old 04-11-2010, 11:13 AM   #67
CarlRylander
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Re: Am I a "bad" Aikidoka?

I have a list of one hundred O sensei sayings and he said never run away.

I know a TKWD black belt, and he said he could take a knife off someone, but he would be cut to bits.

I would give him the wallet, though there again you could try not even practising any martial art at all and just carrying a couple of hundred pounds with you, as bribery, in case anyone starts on you.
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Old 04-12-2010, 02:27 AM   #68
guillermo santos
Dojo: aiki goshinjutsu kenkyu-kai / hokkaido Japan
Location: date city, hokkaido
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Re: Am I a "bad" Aikidoka?

Does it make me a "bad" Aikidoka because I won't run away if someone attacks me or leads on that they might?[/quote]

If there is no other alternatives, I think you need to protect yourself.
If you are just going face your attacker to test your Aikido skills, maybe you will hurt someone or hurt yourself. Street fighting has no rule somebody might end up dead and there is no referee to stop.
I believe Aikido is a martial art that trains not only the physical but also for mental and spiritual development. I believe the purpose of Aiki is to teach harmony and peace but if someone who wish to destroy this harmony and peace, then this is the time to make your own decision.
There is a master in Aikido that don't write "DO" in his dojo banner or streamer anymore only AIKI. He explained that the "DO" is now invisible because each and everyone of us has its own "DO" and should discover it not just learn from somebody.
I thinked nobody is a "bad" Aikidoka , everybody has its own way of learning and this is part of the process of good learning.
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:49 PM   #69
Zach Trent
Dojo: Integral Dojo
Location: Tel Aviv
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Re: Am I a "bad" Aikidoka?

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Zach,
As a good friend of Mr Ellis and considering I knew Abbe Sensei [the gent who was being asked for his wallet] I can assure you that when Abbe Sensei made that statement to the would be muggers the muggers more than likely would have known that they had potentially bit off more than they could chew.
Abbe Sensei was a formidable exponent of Martial Arts.
I dont think Abbe Sensei would a won the booby prize had battle ensued.
Hi Joe-

I have no doubt at all about Abbe Sensei's combat ability. I wasn't trying to insinuate that at all.

I only posted the video as an alternative response to fighting muggers- I think it is an interesting response. Both responses are quite powerful, really.

I think one of the cool things about Aikido is that there is a core philosophy, but there aren't exactly tenets. That is to say- you can interpret Osensei saying "Aikido is not a technique to defeat an enemy." into whatever makes sense for you and your worldview.

There are clear authorities on the physical side of Aikido, but not the philosophical side. This enables us all to be authorities on what Aikido is or is not, because we are internalizing the art for ourselves.

Of course we can still listen, learn, and push one another's beliefs, but at the end of the day we have no book to follow and relatively little writing from Osensei. So, at the end of the day the only learning comes through our body.

That is some deep sh*t
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Old 04-16-2010, 10:36 AM   #70
RED
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Re: Am I a "bad" Aikidoka?

Wow, this thread was started when I was a senior in high school..... really freakin' old.

MM
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Old 04-22-2010, 05:58 PM   #71
CurtisK
Dojo: Aikikai Victoria
Location: Victoria, BC
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Re: Am I a "bad" Aikidoka?

Cool, I've never posted in a thread this old anywhere before.

Some of this has been mentioned or alluded to, but it is all about outcomes and probability. Given the actions of the aggressor, what can you do that has the best chance of the best outcome? This will be different for each situation, but avoiding violence if possible will almost always have the best probably of the best outcome.

It helps to have your ego in check. If you need to prove to anyone, including yourself, what you are capable of doing you have already lost, even if you win. A truly confident person is happy to win by losing (or avoiding) since they have nothing to prove to anyone.
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:12 PM   #72
Alberto_Italiano
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Re: Am I a "bad" Aikidoka?

Coming from a boxing background, I ma add my boxing worthless cent to this topic. I can't remember right now which famous world champion once at a social gathering was heavily insulted by some guy. He did nothing and even kept replying gently. Once the "offender" went away, he was asked why he was so kind in his answers. To which he replied "once you have been heavyweights world champion, you can afford being gentle".

So, Edward, I'd say: fight as much as you can in your dojo, being sure your ukes are not treating you like a tea lady. Fight hard. In order to become able to afford such luxury: being gentle.

And, eventually, nobody is going to gather much glory for having grounded an abusive drunkard.
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Old 05-14-2010, 03:47 AM   #73
Dennis Kanbier
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Posts: 4
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Do symbol Re: Am I a "bad" Aikidoka?

Quote:
Edward Frederick wrote: View Post
Does it make me a "bad" Aikidoka because I won't run away if someone attacks me or leads on that they might?
I haven't read all replies, but if you don't mind I'd like to give my view on this.

For me, Aikido stands for finding the path of least resistance and use it without harming others.

The physical training is for giving me the tools I need to actually do that if I would have to physically defend myself. With the emphasis on "need", if I can resolve a conflict without actually using Aikido techniques I would.

As an Aikidoka I don't have the need to bring my training in to practise, but when you have to it's not wrong to use it. That doesn't make you a "bad" Aikidoka.

However, if you think paying 60$/month and training hard justifies using Aikido techniques when you do have to option to just walk away from a conflict I don't think you're on the right path.
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:24 PM   #74
Andrew Macdonald
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Re: Am I a "bad" Aikidoka?

to quote one of my favorite movies

'running's not a plan.... running's what you do when a plan fails'
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