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Old 07-15-2014, 11:40 AM   #1
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What would you do if someone attacked you in the street?

"Sensei, what would you do if someone attacked you in the street?"

I was taken aback momentarily as I was quite enjoying my chicken teriyaki. So, how to answer this question coming from this young aikidoka?

In a flash and moment of nostalgia, I recalled when I was first introduced to martial arts around the age of 12, it was instilled in me that I should not tell people that I was training in the arts. This was partly strategic as the element of surprise in an altercation would be an advantage and there was always someone who would want to test your skills.

I was also reminded of a TV series that I watched in the early 1970's (yes -- I'm old) about a young Shaolin monk who was taught that when faced with aggression, it was better to walk away but if necessary, it was better to "Hurt rather than maim. Maim rather than kill. Kill rather than be killed." Something like that

Fast forward to today when cowards' one-punch or knockout games are often reported in the media, and back to the young aikidoka's question

Well recently I was in a small regional town having a cup of coffee, just hanging around, enjoying the ambiance and watching the passing parade of locals when there was quite a commotion coming towards me.

There was a mass of people running away from a machete welding young man -- all coming my way! As the young man approached, he sliced a few trees and destroyed a metal garbage bin. (Later the locals told me that he was a little high on meth ice -- apparently a rare event in town thankfully, else the tourist trade would be disrupted.)

If you've ever watched a wildlife documentary when a herd of gazelles is suddenly chased by a lion, the potential preys all turned and bolted away from the predator at the same time. That's what it was like.

But at that moment as the drug affected young man approached me, I had visions of applying a kotegashi on him or some other appropriate technique and saving the local community.

As I related my recent experience to the young aikidoka, he seemed very keen to hear how I'd dealt with the young man and his machete.

"So what did you do Sensei?"

"I ran."

"I ran very fast"

"I think I was at the front of the pack running. Or very close to the front. Yes -- my aikido came in very handy!"

The young aikidoka may have been a little disappointed by my answer which didn't have much of a WOW factor. But I was quite comfortable with my response.

BTW -- no person got hurt by the machete welding young man and the trees recovered. And my response to the young man would have been very different had he threatened those I love.
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Old 07-16-2014, 07:43 AM   #2
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: What would you do if someone attacked you in the street?

Bravo!

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Old 07-16-2014, 11:47 AM   #3
Marie Noelle Fequiere
 
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Re: What would you do if someone attacked you in the street?

I love your story, Sensei. I'm so tired of young people asking me what I'd do if I was attacked. That would be the same as you did, but your narration is priceless, so I am asking permission to share this.
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Old 07-16-2014, 11:53 AM   #4
Janet Rosen
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Re: What would you do if someone attacked you in the street?

:-)

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 07-16-2014, 12:17 PM   #5
reza.n
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Re: What would you do if someone attacked you in the street?

I'm one of those men who won't use a one million dollar missile to neutralize a target with a baseball bat.
I made it clear
I finish the fight with a single super fast sucker punch and save my expensive and precious holy missiles and artillery for another day!
well not so professional answer!
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Old 07-16-2014, 12:33 PM   #6
Marie Noelle Fequiere
 
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Re: What would you do if someone attacked you in the street?

The golden rule in Aikido is: Get Out Of The Line Of Attack!
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Old 07-16-2014, 12:51 PM   #7
Janet Rosen
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Re: What would you do if someone attacked you in the street?

Quote:
Marie Noelle Fequiere wrote: View Post
The golden rule in Aikido is: Get Out Of The Line Of Attack!
Gee, I thought it was "control the line of attack"....but I still applaud the OP's decision to flee in this case :-)

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 07-16-2014, 07:07 PM   #8
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Re: What would you do if someone attacked you in the street?

Quite a few of the aikido people I know would respond with something to the effect of: "Does he stop attacking when I draw my Sig from the concealed-carry holster?" (Or Baretta, or Smith & Wesson, or whatever).

I, however, don't like guns, so I guess I'm out of luck. I've got to get out of the guy's way and maybe stick out a foot or something like that.

I find it interesting that the kanji character for kuzushi illustrates a mountain falling on a house.
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Old 07-17-2014, 10:36 AM   #9
Marie Noelle Fequiere
 
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Re: What would you do if someone attacked you in the street?

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Gee, I thought it was "control the line of attack"....but I still applaud the OP's decision to flee in this case :-)
This can be re-phrased as: Get Out Of The Trajectory Of The Attack.
If you meet the attack head on, the strongest will win. Of course, another golden rule is to stay with the attacker, but sometimes, you can negotiate that one.
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Old 07-17-2014, 11:21 AM   #10
Steven
 
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Re: What would you do if someone attacked you in the street?

Hi Tom,

Well said and done! Now when are you and your bride coming back for a visit?

-- Steven

Quote:
Tom Seeto wrote: View Post
"Sensei, what would you do if someone attacked you in the street?"

I was taken aback momentarily as I was quite enjoying my chicken teriyaki. So, how to answer this question coming from this young aikidoka?

In a flash and moment of nostalgia, I recalled when I was first introduced to martial arts around the age of 12, it was instilled in me that I should not tell people that I was training in the arts. This was partly strategic as the element of surprise in an altercation would be an advantage and there was always someone who would want to test your skills.

I was also reminded of a TV series that I watched in the early 1970's (yes -- I'm old) about a young Shaolin monk who was taught that when faced with aggression, it was better to walk away but if necessary, it was better to "Hurt rather than maim. Maim rather than kill. Kill rather than be killed." Something like that

Fast forward to today when cowards' one-punch or knockout games are often reported in the media, and back to the young aikidoka's question

Well recently I was in a small regional town having a cup of coffee, just hanging around, enjoying the ambiance and watching the passing parade of locals when there was quite a commotion coming towards me.

There was a mass of people running away from a machete welding young man -- all coming my way! As the young man approached, he sliced a few trees and destroyed a metal garbage bin. (Later the locals told me that he was a little high on meth ice -- apparently a rare event in town thankfully, else the tourist trade would be disrupted.)

If you've ever watched a wildlife documentary when a herd of gazelles is suddenly chased by a lion, the potential preys all turned and bolted away from the predator at the same time. That's what it was like.

But at that moment as the drug affected young man approached me, I had visions of applying a kotegashi on him or some other appropriate technique and saving the local community.

As I related my recent experience to the young aikidoka, he seemed very keen to hear how I'd dealt with the young man and his machete.

"So what did you do Sensei?"

"I ran."

"I ran very fast"

"I think I was at the front of the pack running. Or very close to the front. Yes -- my aikido came in very handy!"

The young aikidoka may have been a little disappointed by my answer which didn't have much of a WOW factor. But I was quite comfortable with my response.

BTW -- no person got hurt by the machete welding young man and the trees recovered. And my response to the young man would have been very different had he threatened those I love.
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Old 07-18-2014, 11:31 AM   #11
Anjisan
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Ai symbol Re: What would you do if someone attacked you in the street?

Quote:
Tom Seeto wrote: View Post
"Sensei, what would you do if someone attacked you in the street?"

I was taken aback momentarily as I was quite enjoying my chicken teriyaki. So, how to answer this question coming from this young aikidoka?

In a flash and moment of nostalgia, I recalled when I was first introduced to martial arts around the age of 12, it was instilled in me that I should not tell people that I was training in the arts. This was partly strategic as the element of surprise in an altercation would be an advantage and there was always someone who would want to test your skills.

I was also reminded of a TV series that I watched in the early 1970's (yes -- I'm old) about a young Shaolin monk who was taught that when faced with aggression, it was better to walk away but if necessary, it was better to "Hurt rather than maim. Maim rather than kill. Kill rather than be killed." Something like that

Fast forward to today when cowards' one-punch or knockout games are often reported in the media, and back to the young aikidoka's question

Well recently I was in a small regional town having a cup of coffee, just hanging around, enjoying the ambiance and watching the passing parade of locals when there was quite a commotion coming towards me.

There was a mass of people running away from a machete welding young man -- all coming my way! As the young man approached, he sliced a few trees and destroyed a metal garbage bin. (Later the locals told me that he was a little high on meth ice -- apparently a rare event in town thankfully, else the tourist trade would be disrupted.)

If you've ever watched a wildlife documentary when a herd of gazelles is suddenly chased by a lion, the potential preys all turned and bolted away from the predator at the same time. That's what it was like.

But at that moment as the drug affected young man approached me, I had visions of applying a kotegashi on him or some other appropriate technique and saving the local community.

As I related my recent experience to the young aikidoka, he seemed very keen to hear how I'd dealt with the young man and his machete.

"So what did you do Sensei?"

"I ran."

"I ran very fast"

"I think I was at the front of the pack running. Or very close to the front. Yes -- my aikido came in very handy!"

The young aikidoka may have been a little disappointed by my answer which didn't have much of a WOW factor. But I was quite comfortable with my response.

BTW -- no person got hurt by the machete welding young man and the trees recovered. And my response to the young man would have been very different had he threatened those I love.
I am so glad that you mentioned that your response would be different if your love ones were involved. Often I read how someone would just run away. However, one may not always have that luxury and then what? I think of this especially when innocents are involved and one cannot just say run out of the house and leave grandma or the kids behind.
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Old 07-18-2014, 12:23 PM   #12
reza.n
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Re: What would you do if someone attacked you in the street?

Of course there are body language and linguistic skills and techniques which can improve your charisma or make your opponent calm and empty and I found some psychic techniques that drive unreal fear into the opponent's heart!
with all these I avoid 99.9% of really possible fights in my past few years.
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Old 07-18-2014, 09:47 PM   #13
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Re: What would you do if someone attacked you in the street?

Quote:
Marie Noelle Fequiere wrote: View Post
I love your story, Sensei. I'm so tired of young people asking me what I'd do if I was attacked. That would be the same as you did, but your narration is priceless, so I am asking permission to share this.
Please do. :-)
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Old 07-18-2014, 10:09 PM   #14
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Re: What would you do if someone attacked you in the street?

Quote:
Steven Miranda wrote: View Post
Hi Tom,

Well said and done! Now when are you and your bride coming back for a visit?

-- Steven
Osu Steven Sensei!

Next year will be our 30th, so we hope to replicate the honeymoon trail from CA to Canada. Still looking into the details but hoping for 2015!

Also next year will be a busy year: AYNSW will celebrate its 10th in Sydney, and there will be a big birthday party in Tokyo for one of our Sensei with details to come I understand. Must catch up with you some time/where.

;-)

Osu!

Tom
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Old 07-18-2014, 10:16 PM   #15
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Re: What would you do if someone attacked you in the street?

Quote:
Jason Rudolph wrote: View Post
I am so glad that you mentioned that your response would be different if your love ones were involved. Often I read how someone would just run away. However, one may not always have that luxury and then what? I think of this especially when innocents are involved and one cannot just say run out of the house and leave grandma or the kids behind.
Agree ... I think one has to think of the worst case scenario, decide ahead what you may have to do, and take it as it comes hoping you never have to deal with the worst case. As much as we like to avoid conflict, sometimes it comes to you and there may be no choice. Cheers!
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Old 07-19-2014, 09:43 AM   #16
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Re: What would you do if someone attacked you in the street?

Quote:
Tom Seeto wrote: View Post
Please do. :-)
Thank you, Sensei.
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Old 07-21-2014, 10:51 AM   #17
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Re: What would you do if someone attacked you in the street?

Bleed.

dps
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Old 07-21-2014, 10:56 AM   #18
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Re: What would you do if someone attacked you in the street?

Seriously, avoidance is the first line of defense. You should always consider; where are you, who are you with, what are you doing, why are you there.

dps
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Old 08-02-2014, 08:48 AM   #19
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Re: What would you do if someone attacked you in the street?

Agreed, knowing your surroundings and what you are up against will be helpful and if possible, talking yourself out of the issue is always a must. However there are situations where diplomacy fails and you have to resort to violence. In that case, adrenaline and survival come into play and technique go out the window. If you have been training for a while ( more than 3 years ) you will be able to react. It is extremely difficult to say "if I were attacked in the street, I am going to do Aigamae ate or kote hineri. Instinct will always come into play. Be prepared to take a punch you may immobilize the attackers but, not unscathed.
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Old 08-04-2014, 07:21 AM   #20
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Re: What would you do if someone attacked you in the street?

Quote:
Kenneth Hannah wrote: View Post
Agreed, knowing your surroundings and what you are up against will be helpful and if possible, talking yourself out of the issue is always a must. However there are situations where diplomacy fails and you have to resort to violence. In that case, adrenaline and survival come into play and technique go out the window. If you have been training for a while ( more than 3 years ) you will be able to react. It is extremely difficult to say "if I were attacked in the street, I am going to do Aigamae ate or kote hineri. Instinct will always come into play. Be prepared to take a punch you may immobilize the attackers but, not unscathed.
Emphasis mine. If "technique go out the window", what is the point of even learning techniques?

The answer, of course, is that technique doesn't go out the window, unless you redefine technique to mean "a process beginning with a conscious mental deliberation by which I decide to use a particular technique and then set myself up and do it".
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Old 08-04-2014, 07:23 AM   #21
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Re: What would you do if someone attacked you in the street?

Any fellow aikidoist that had to fight (even in a friendly, controlled manner) a real boxer (friend or other in sparring mode)?
A real nutshell-closed boxer who would attack as fast as he would parry and avoid everything? Someone who would have a low weight centre but would be able to move freely around?
Not all street attackers (or your average street mugger) are like that but you never know, do you?
Best option is not to be there in the first place. Running away comes second, and mr 9mm third
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:39 AM   #22
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Re: What would you do if someone attacked you in the street?

So we are saying a beginner student with no prior experience is attacked in the street, they would be able to subdue the attacker 100% effectively? I think I may have been misinterpreted and it really does not matter at this point, so who cares? Bottom line a beginner might not make it with "TECHNIQUE", whereas a student with many years behind them may be way more successful utilizing what they have been learning with greater confidence and muscle memory reaction.
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Old 08-04-2014, 12:25 PM   #23
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Re: What would you do if someone attacked you in the street?

Quote:
Kenneth Hannah wrote: View Post
Bottom line a beginner might not make it with "TECHNIQUE", whereas a student with many years behind them may be way more successful utilizing what they have been learning with greater confidence and muscle memory reaction.
Put that way, it seems staggeringly obvious, doesn't it? If a more experienced student *doesn't* have more confidence and better muscle memory, then what's their experience worth?

On the other hand, the more experienced student, like the OP in this thread, might also be able to figure out that confronting a drug-addled maniac with a machete is just dumb.

Katherine
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Old 08-04-2014, 04:25 PM   #24
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Re: What would you do if someone attacked you in the street?

Sadly a similar situation happened in San Francisco when someone attacked people with a baseball bat in a line waiting to get into a movie. Many people did get hurt in that situation and everyone did run and to the best of my knowledge that individual was never caught. I am not sure this would have been the right answer in that situation and I am not young enough to say definitely what I would do in that situation had I been there.

The closest thing to that situation I have ever encountered was a drunk who ran his car into the center divide and I pulled over and removed the keys from the ignition so he would not drive away and I would not hand them back until the police arrived.

Respectfully

Chris

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Old 08-06-2014, 05:31 PM   #25
Mario Tobias
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Re: What would you do if someone attacked you in the street?

I saw a youtube video of a man hacking another with a machete in an internet shop. It was traumatizing just watching the video. I thought about this for awhile and probably the best course of action if I were involved was either

1. Grab a weapon, any weapon, any thing that you can throw at or ward off the attacker. In the internet shop, it would be a chair or a computer. You shouldn't care if you trash the place.

2. You friggin' run.

Don't have the grand delusion your martial art will save you since you probably will forget everything in the heat of the moment.

Cheers,
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