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Old 10-27-2002, 05:00 AM   #1
DaveO
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Final defence

Friends:
This concerns a judoka, not an aikidoka; but I believe the lessons here are germane to some of the arguments we've had here.

Please read this news story:
http://www.canoe.ca/TorontoNews/ts.ts-10-27-0012.html

I would like to hear your views on this matter, and share my own.
In my opinion, this story teaches several things. 1st; even considering the million-to-one chance of such a thing happening, it demonstrates how a sudden violent situation can occur anywhere, any time. 2nd, it demonstrates to me just how Judo - often considered a 'soft' and 'gentle' art - can be used to deadly effect when required. (We can apply this lesson to Aikido by extension.) 3rd, I believe firmly that the judoka had no intention of killing his attacker; he simply used maximum available force - certainly (IMO) justified under the circumstances. In this situation; my sympathies are not in the slightest directed towards the dead man; IMO he got what he deserved. They go rather to the survivor who was forced to kill him to save his own life.
Those are my own opinions; I'd like to hear yours.
Thanks, all.

Answers are only easy when they're incomplete.
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Old 10-27-2002, 05:44 AM   #2
paw
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Dave,

What I got from the story:

1. One strike, one kill ain't necessarily true. This fellow survived two blows with a hatchet to the head. The thought process of "one kick to the ..../one throw with .... and that will end the confrontation" isn't one to bet one's life on.

2. I don't believe you can draw any conclusions about judo's effectiveness for self-defense from this one incident. Not all judo players are at the same level. 15 years in a local club could equal a local black belt, or it could 15 years in some of the premere clubs and equal a national level judo player. It depends on the club and the individual athlete.

One incident is hardly conclusive of anything. I could open the daily paper and find an example a day of someone who successfully survived real world violence with no martial training at all. I certainly couldn't do that with any martial art/system/sport. Should I conclude that all martial training is, therefore, a waste of time for self-defense?

There are pretty significant differences between in judo's training method and aikido training method. I wouldn't draw any conclusions between the two arts because of the differences.

Regards,

Paul
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Old 10-27-2002, 06:40 AM   #3
Kevin Wilbanks
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Re: Final defence

I think one must also hold point one to scrutiny for overplaying an anecdote...
Quote:
Dave Organ (DaveO) wrote:
Friends:

In my opinion, this story teaches several things. 1st; even considering the million-to-one chance of such a thing happening, it demonstrates how a sudden violent situation can occur anywhere, any time.
I'd say 1000000:1 odds are probably quite liberal. Most of us would be slated to get killed in car accidents a dozen times, hit by a couple bolts of lightning and maybe even a small meteorite before a lone psychotic attacker lures us out of a camper to bludgeon us... especially in Canada. If the implication you're driving for is to emphasize the need for self-defense preparation to preserve ourselves, I don't think this unusual incident presents a compelling case.
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Old 10-27-2002, 09:51 AM   #4
mike lee
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terminology

Quote:
... it demonstrates to me just how Judo - often considered a 'soft' and 'gentle' art - can be used to deadly effect when required.
To my knowledge, judo has never been considered a soft art.

For some reason (humor?) the founder of judo sometimes called it the "gentle way."

Maybe, in comparison to hacking someone with a sword, it may be considered gentle.

An expert in judo, like aikido, can slow down a technique to make it "gentle" if he wishes.

As far as I know "soft" or internal ki is not intentionally cultivated in judo.

I would also have to question why this judo "expert" allowed himself to be struck in the first place. Basically, the man's lucky he lived and I don't think he serves as a good example of martial arts skills.

Also according to the story, he apparently killed the attacker and didn't even know it. After all why would he ask for rope to tie up a dead man?

Last edited by mike lee : 10-27-2002 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 10-27-2002, 12:04 PM   #5
shihonage
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The moral of the story is - it's never too late to start studying Judo, even if you're 34 at the time !
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Old 10-27-2002, 11:50 PM   #6
SmallFry
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Hi! I re-read the article and it says the victim received two hack wounds at the back of his head. So this statement implies that it was a surprise attack from behind, probably while the victim was busy doing the thing the attacker supposedly asked helped for.

In any case, the victim was indeed lucky he wasn't knocked out and was able to turn to defend himself...
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Old 10-27-2002, 11:58 PM   #7
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Exactly. Nothing like having a ready made defense in case someone tries to pin excessive force on him. Two hatchet blows to the back of your head - wow!!

What I would be interested in is how the foolish scum died. I read in one place that he was thrown several feet away and somewhere else that he was killed with bare hands. Former is a split skull (irony) or a broken neck. Latter, a choke or broken neck. I must say I would be far more impressed by the former in that under stress executing a throw seems far more difficult.
Quote:
Nel Malabonga (SmallFry) wrote:
Hi! I re-read the article and it says the victim received two hack wounds at the back of his head. So this statement implies that it was a surprise attack from behind, probably while the victim was busy doing the thing the attacker supposedly asked helped for.

In any case, the victim was indeed lucky he wasn't knocked out and was able to turn to defend himself...

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 10-28-2002, 12:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
I re-read the article and it says the victim received two hack wounds at the back of his head.
I think the attacker may have hit him with the back of the hatchet. Still a sucky thing to have happen but a lot different than getting hit with the blade.

"Once outside, the 38-year-old attacker hammered (emphasis mine) his victim twice on the back of his head with a hatchet."



Back in my medieval recreation days we tested some live weapons against some old 16 guage steel armor someone had. None of the swords we had would do more than put a small crease in the steel. The hand axe however would consistently put a 2 to 3 inch gash in the metal.

If the guy was hit twice with the blade he should be on tv next to the guys who's parachute doesn't open and then get up and walk away without any broken bones.

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 10-28-2002, 12:44 AM   #9
Jucas
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Quote:
Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
Exactly. Nothing like having a ready made defense in case someone tries to pin excessive force on him. Two hatchet blows to the back of your head - wow!!

What I would be interested in is how the foolish scum died. I read in one place that he was thrown several feet away and somewhere else that he was killed with bare hands. Former is a split skull (irony) or a broken neck. Latter, a choke or broken neck. I must say I would be far more impressed by the former in that under stress executing a throw seems far more difficult.
I do not mean you any disrespect Peter, but a man died because this event.... however sick and twisted he may have been. Impressed or not impressed with how someone killed a man... That is a pretty sick thought.

  • Like a rotten log half burried in the ground.
  • My Life which has not flowered.
  • Comes to this sad end.
-Minamoto Yorimasa
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Old 10-28-2002, 12:54 AM   #10
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I am well aware that a man died but we study an art derived from killing techniques. There is a long history of analyzing what works and what doesn't at the expense of failure and from success.

This seems like a clasic case of what many people envision an attack will be and I make no appologies for wanting more detail.

I want to know what was resorted to under extreme pressure.
Quote:
Jonathan Auch (Jucas) wrote:
I do not mean you any disrespect Peter, but a man died because this event.... however sick and twisted he may have been. Impressed or not impressed with how someone killed a man... That is a pretty sick thought.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 10-28-2002, 04:46 AM   #11
ian
 
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Reitteratted something I've realised long before - moving off centre line is more important than a thousand techniques!

The man 'got what he deserves' eh? Was he mentally ill? Was he seeking vengence for the judoka killing his child? Was he seeking vengence for the judoka sleeping with his wife?

I'm not saying people are not responsible for their actions, nor that I was particualrly upset to hear the offender had died - however I don't think we have the information to say that he got what he deserves.

Ian

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 10-28-2002, 05:07 AM   #12
mike lee
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objectivity

Quote:
What I would be interested in is how the foolish scum died.
The judoka most likely used a basic hip throw, followed by a choke. Nevertheless, after being attacked, the judoka probably had a massive adrenalin surge which he probably didn't even feel until after the incident. He probably choked the life out of his assailant without even realizing it because of an abnormal surge in strength. His attacker was also probably caught off guard when his victim countered. If it was a throw, the victim was probably stunned and had no response, making it even easier to apply the choke.

P.S. I also find PR's response to the article to be tasteless and immature.

Last edited by mike lee : 10-28-2002 at 05:13 AM.
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Old 10-28-2002, 05:38 AM   #13
Bruce Baker
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The point of the story is that we have trained in techniques that can be used to kill if not understood to their full potential.

Our safe training methods are indeed a wonder to behold with the minor sprains or pain supplications, but do not make the mistake of thinking you are playing a game of kick the can, or tag ... you are training in techniques designed to kill if used to their full potential.

That out of the way, the story keeps going to the main page of the paper, glitch? or doesn't the link go directly to the story being quoted?

If it is as the posts indicate, there is no mercy for those trying to kill you.

Don't get on your moral high horse because looking back at a what happened as you have your coffee, or write on your computer you have moral consciousness attacking the repulsiveness of one person killing another, you weren't there, you didn't have to make that choice.

I am not going to get into details, but being aware of someone who is attacking you with a weapon and they are intent on killing you, or doing you serious injury ... lucky for me I stopped such a thing and had the police follow up to take such a person into custody for their own protection as well as protecting the community.

Been there, done that, got lucky without injury to myself or others.

Sorry the about the circumstances of this story, but real life sometimes plays out stranger than fiction.
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Old 10-28-2002, 05:50 PM   #14
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What interested me is that the unhappy camper seems to have achieved a state of Mu something we all seek (it the core of the michi) but few truely do. I suspect it needs something overwhelming to trigger.

Even shiai is a relatively controlled environment so although spontanteous techniques under duress arise it is not true mu. You have the option of backing off or taking the fall.

Under these conditions what was he able to accomplish.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 10-29-2002, 03:08 AM   #15
ian
 
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I think Bruce and Peter have a good point; you can't judge someone on their actions when they were acting instinctively - also every situation is different and I couldn't say myself that I wouldn't have tried to kill them given the same situation. However does this give us an obligation to practise non-lethal restraint techniques? I believe if this man had not done Judo he would not have been as capable in killing the attacker.

Ian

Last edited by ian : 10-29-2002 at 03:13 AM.

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Old 10-29-2002, 03:11 AM   #16
ian
 
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P.S. I have been in a real situation where I was actually choking someone out - but I have a missing piece in my memory; the next thing I remember was waggling my finger at them in an accusing way (and they were concious).

This was many years ago and I still don't know what happened.

Ian

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Old 10-29-2002, 03:22 AM   #17
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Re: objectivity

Quote:
Mike Lee (mike lee) wrote:
P.S. I also find PR's response to the article to be tasteless and immature.
And how is that (oh I forgot you seem to have some sort of personal bone to pick - well I'm in good company).

I have a technical interest on what works under what conditions. Too much Aikido is based on what looks pretty. Up the stress and most goes out the window.

Most schools of Budo make quite a bit of techniques tested over time whether on the battlefield or elsewhere. This is elsewhere.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 10-29-2002, 03:35 AM   #18
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Quote:
oh I forgot you seem to have some sort of personal bone to pick ...
What sort of personal bone would that be?
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Old 10-29-2002, 06:00 AM   #19
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Friends, so many threads on this forum seem to devolve into personality conflicts; please lets not let it happen here. Please allow me to post a few responses to the posts in this thread.

1st; let me say I had no moral or intention in mind when I posted this thread; other than the discussion of different opinions such a controversial situation would create.

I am honestly surprised at the response that Judo is not considered a 'soft' art - though I took it for a bit when I was a kid, I really know nothing of it, but everything I've heard from a variety of sources is that it is considered 'soft' - that is; no less effective or potentially deadly, but non-aggressive and purely defensive in nature. If I'm wrong in that; oops, sorry folks. I'l ask the Sensei of the Judo club in which we train about it. (Wayne Erdman; 6th Dan - former coach of the Canadian Olympic team)

To Kevin: You're right, a million to one is quite liberal; I was using the phrase as a term, not a specific number. However, I take mild objection to your comment, 'Especially in Canada'. Thank you for the compliment, but please be aware that the stereotype of Canada being a nice, safe place is sadly becoming false - our ratio of violent crime to population is growing in alarming fashion; exponentially in some areas. My point was that wherever you are, whatever you're doing, something could happen.

I agree with Peter; I'd like to know exactly how the man died; there is no macabre fascination involved; simple professional curiosity - it would answer a lot of questions about the situation, and the judoka's reaction.

Finally, let me say that yes, the attacker got exactly what he deserved. There are no reasons, no circumstances which would make the sudden, deliberate and sadistic attempt at murder forgiveable. Whatever his motivations, whatever his illness, he made the decision to pick up a weapon, lure a total stranger out of his camper and attack with the clear intent of brutal murder. I would never be so cruel as to say the man 'deserved to die', but I believe firmly if you intend to kill, you had better be prepared to die, because in such a case, turnabout is very definitely fair play.

Thanx for reading this.

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Old 10-29-2002, 06:04 AM   #20
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BTW: Bruce; the link I posted went straight to the story. Sorry if it screwed up on you; it probably would have been better if I'd just copied and pasted the entire thing into my post - it was short enough.

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Old 10-29-2002, 06:38 AM   #21
mike lee
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multiple misconceptions

Quote:
.. but everything I've heard from a variety of sources is that it [judo] is considered 'soft' - that is; no less effective or potentially deadly, but non-aggressive and purely defensive in nature.
Once again, the concepts of "hard" and "soft" are related to ki. It has absolutely nothing to with whether one considers an art to be defensive.

Judo is considered to be a form of self defense, but judoka are not necessarily "defensive" in their approach to a fighting situation.

Ask anyone you want. Nevertheless, I am and expert and I know.

Last edited by mike lee : 10-29-2002 at 06:41 AM.
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Old 10-29-2002, 07:21 AM   #22
DaveO
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Re: multiple misconceptions

Quote:
Mike Lee (mike lee) wrote:
Ask anyone you want. Nevertheless, I am and expert and I know.
I never said you weren't, Mike. I said I wasn't. Did my intention to ask someone offend you?

Answers are only easy when they're incomplete.
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Old 10-29-2002, 07:25 AM   #23
mike lee
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Quote:
Did my intention to ask someone offend you?
No. But an implication that I don't know what I'm talking about, did.
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Old 10-29-2002, 07:39 AM   #24
DaveO
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Implication?

Let's look at this again, shall we?
Quote:
I am honestly surprised at the response that Judo is not considered a 'soft' art - though I took it for a bit when I was a kid, I really know nothing of it, but everything I've heard from a variety of sources is that it is considered 'soft' - that is; no less effective or potentially deadly, but non-aggressive and purely defensive in nature. If I'm wrong in that; oops, sorry folks. I'l ask the Sensei of the Judo club in which we train about it. (Wayne Erdman; 6th Dan - former coach of the Canadian Olympic team)
Now would you kindly explain, exactly where was the implication in that statement?

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Old 10-29-2002, 07:52 AM   #25
mike lee
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Quote:
Now would you kindly explain, exactly where was the implication in that statement?
It continues to negate everything I said about the concepts of "soft" and "hard," which, once again, are releated to the use of internal and external ki and not whether one views an art as "defensive," which, by the way, also creates its own host of misconceptions.
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