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Old 06-16-2003, 07:49 AM   #1
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Aikido saved my beer! (Real-life incidents)

A popular topic on the discussion board is "Is Aikido effective in a fight?", a topic which, while always interesting, is getting sort of threadbare.

But in this thread, I want to hear about anytime when Aikidokas out there have used Aikido in real life. This can mean that time a thug attacked you in the subway with a knife, and Segal-style you flipped him into an oncoming train with an effortless kotegeishi. But I'm more interested in hearing about any incident, combative or non-combative, in which you have directly benefited from your Aikido training, no matter how minor.

Off the top of my head, here are some real-life times when I've used Aikido during my five or so years of training.

1. I was walking through a crowded university hallway and a door opened into my path. It might have hit me in the face, but my hands flew up in an ikkyo motion, and I stopped it. A friend who was with me commented on my fast reflexes, but actually I'd had plenty of time, because my training had focused me on my surroundings.

2. I was dancing with a girl on a crowded dance floor when she tripped on someone else's foot. She began to fall, but in a sort of reverse-ikkyo, I supported her just above the elbow and lifted her up. She said, "Nice catch," and we kept dancing, hardly missing a beat.

3. I have a girl friend (not a girlfriend) who tends to get aggressive when she's drunk, albeit in a playful way. Once she kept punching at me, and I found myself holding her hand as if to do nikkyo, although I didn't apply the pin or move to do a throw. She tried to get at me with her other hand but couldn't. I wasn't even really aware I was immobilizing her until she yelled at me to let go.

4. Those of you who have been to Mardi Gras in New Orleans know that as a parade passes by, float-riders throw beads into the crowd, and everyone clamors to catch them. So at a Mardi Gras parade, someone in front of me was backing up to catch some beads and seemed about to crash into me and my full beer in a plastic cup. Just as he was about to collide into me, I did a ten-kan out of the way, he brushed by my arm, and I saved my beer.
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Old 06-16-2003, 08:40 AM   #2
Robyn Johnson
 
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Hey Henry!

How's Japan? Are you planning to visit New Orleans and the dojo anytime soon?

Robyn
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Old 06-16-2003, 08:50 AM   #3
LukeTBrown
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There is nothing more important than saving a beer.

I'm a touch bored this morning at work, so I'll share a story for you.

In my high-school baseball days, I was covering first base and had two people throw over to first at the same time, one from shortstop and one from third base. (All out throws, not tosses) I was able to lock on to both baseballs and catch them both, one with my glove and one with my bare hand. It was that or get hit in the head.

I still share that story.
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Old 06-16-2003, 09:54 AM   #4
Veers
 
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Mine's pretty boring compared to your four...

But anyway...At I almost always walk around with my hands up in a triangle covering my face, or at least ready to bring them up. Also, I always push doors open using a kokyu-sort of te-gatana movement (using the outside of my hand and my hips to push the door open without bending my arms much). One girl said it looked funny (I almost hit her with the door) but she admitted that having my hands up and ready like that was smart.

Hopefully I never have to tell a story where I had to pull a Nina or Aoi and really hurt someone.

The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
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Old 06-16-2003, 10:01 AM   #5
gasman
 
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I was riding my bike (too fast) around a corner and found a father wheeling his baby carriage in my immediate path. trying to fling the bike up on the sidewalk I failed to get the front wheel high enough in time, so the bike stopped short on the curb. I went head first over the handles, and as if in slow motion I flipped myself over and made a perfect high breakfall. I was even able to catch the bike as I fell over me after.

The father was mighty impressed (and forgot to give me the talking to that I deserved )
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Old 06-16-2003, 12:43 PM   #6
JimAde
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More non-fighting ukemi

I have ridden horses about three times in my entire life and it has never gone well. I like horses but they don't seem to like me. One time, the horse got spooked and jumped sideways so that my right foot came out of the stirrup. I barely stayed on and couldn't get my foot back in. The horse started running at a good clip and I started s-l-o-w-l-y sliding off to the right, a little farther with each bump. I quickly realized I wasn't going to find the stirrup with my foot in time. So I threw myself off sideways into a decent side breakfall, with all my limbs out from under the horse's hooves.

My hand was a little sore for a couple of days, but I didn't even get a bruise.

I haven't been on a horse since.


Remember: No matter where you go...There you are.
-Buckaroo Banzai
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Old 06-16-2003, 01:43 PM   #7
The Wrenster
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I was out cylcling to college, on a wet morning, rushing to get to maths in time. By the way, it was Autumn, and the road I have to go down was littered with half an inch of leaves. This was not good. There is a sharp right turn approaching. There is a car on my right. I cannot cut the corner. I try to round the bend. The wheels move, I plough over the kerb as both wheels slip sideways from beneath me, heading towards a wall. Fortunately, because of Aikido and Judo, I performed a stunning front breakfall onto the concrete, my bike crashing into the wall. I got up, replaced the chain and got into college. The drivers were quite surpised I think, as I was going too fast, but only barely grazed my hand as i slid on my stomach to stop neatly facing my bike. I feel that if i hadnt done aikido, then i coud well have ended up taking a trip to hospital for something broken.

When you decide to cause harm, you are breaking the harmony of the Universe, and thus you are already defeated.
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Old 06-16-2003, 02:20 PM   #8
Carl Simard
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A few weeks ago, in a soccer game, someone just put his leg in front of me when I was running. Instead of falling flat, face in the ground, I've just managed to do a front roll, get up, and continued to run as if nothing happened.

It made quite an impression...

Last edited by Carl Simard : 06-16-2003 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 06-16-2003, 04:14 PM   #9
blackburnaj
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I was having a few at a going away party. My buddies had a trampoline for his kids and we decided to try it out. Afterward, I was attempting to put on my shoes and another drunk buddy was kinda pushing at my shoulder. Completely impeding my putting the shoes on process. I kinda, absentmindedly, caught his elbow and flipped him. He landed on the old tuckus and retained his beer. It was kinda funny the whole thing. Crazy military people we were.

Peace and Jokes!
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Old 06-16-2003, 10:02 PM   #10
zachbiesanz
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My friend Jen went through a phase where she would get drunk and try to get her friends to fight her. I was denying her one night but she just kept punching me, so I gave her a playful ikkyo into a bookcase.

I found out that skateboards and gravel scattered across concrete don't mix well and front-rolled pretty well while I reflected on the discovery.

I used a pretty basic pin to hold down a white supremacist who was starting trouble in my neighborhood until the cops showed up.

Aikido is the art of hitting an assailant with the planet.
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Old 06-17-2003, 01:46 AM   #11
shadow
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another bike story, i had just bought a shiny new mountain bike and was taking it out for my first ever off road bike with my friend and his girlfriend. trying to impress i raced off down the hill (not knowing much about mountain biking i didnt realise to displace my weight backwards when going downhill) and there was a tiny little ditch in the path, my front wheel lodge and stopped and i went flying over the handlebars. without even knowing what i was doing i took a nice side fall and apart from hitting my hand on a rock when i tried to brake the fall i was completely uninjured. although my hand did swell up and i finished the 30km ride with only one hand (very hard to change gears with only one hand) i wasnt in too bad a state for a fall that in previous times would have definately resulted in a broken bone (i have broken about 7 of my bones pre-aikido, none since).

ive also used aikido on drunk friends who get a bit carried away and swing punches.

oh and the greatest is the irimi feeling when walking through crowded areas. when walking with non-aikido friends i leave them a long way behind because of the hip turning and entering movements making walking through a crowd very easy.

happiness. harmony. compassion.
--damien--
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Old 06-17-2003, 01:29 PM   #12
shihonage
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Quote:
Damien Bohler (shadow) wrote:
oh and the greatest is the irimi feeling when walking through crowded areas. when walking with non-aikido friends i leave them a long way behind because of the hip turning and entering movements making walking through a crowd very easy.
Whenever I walk with someone like this, they start to freak out and ask me to stop acting like an idiot.



Once I was walking with a friend from a movie theater, and some girls were walking straight into me, so I suddenly "blended" and let them pass.

My friend started laughing hysterically.

I tried to explain it to her but it was of no use.
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Old 06-17-2003, 02:14 PM   #13
DGLinden
Dojo: Shoshin Aikido Dojos
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My wife Laurie was visiting Budapest with her elderly parents a few years ago. She was apparently targeted by a group of pickpockets/purse slashers when they approached the subway. My wife is a shodan BTW.

As they were surrounded on the train car she felt herself being groped and her purse being pulled away. She went with it and follwed with a kokunage, turned and attacked the man who was attacking her mother and then proceeded to drag the whole lot off the subway car as the doors opened. The bad guys ran, her father lost everything, but she and her mother were fine and lost nothing.

Needless to say I was, and am, very proud of her. Poise is the first problem in an attack. Once you find that the rest comes fairly easy.

Daniel G. Linden
Author of ON MASTERING AIKIDO (c) 2004
Founder Shoshin Aikido Dojos
www.shoshindojo.com
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Old 06-17-2003, 02:55 PM   #14
Ron Tisdale
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My only war story...

I used to rollerblade a bit...my neighbors think I'm a little crazy...there's a running, blading, biking path that leads down to a dead end at the bottom of a hill in my complex. I used to rollerblade down at top speed, and at the dead end, do a high flying breakfall and come right up on my feet.

You should have seen the look on this guy's face when I appeared around a corner, hit the dead end and took off...I was laughing so hard I almost messed up the breakfall!

Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 06-22-2003, 12:05 PM   #15
bob_stra
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aikido is EEEEEVIIIIL

Quote:
Aleksey Sundeyev (shihonage) wrote:
Whenever I walk with someone like this, they start to freak out and ask me to stop acting like an idiot.



Once I was walking with a friend from a movie theater, and some girls were walking straight into me, so I suddenly "blended" and let them pass.

My friend started laughing hysterically.

I tried to explain it to her but it was of no use.
I've done that and continue to do it. Much to my family / friends embarassment.

It's actually worse in supermarkets...dodging around other shoppers / trolleys / small kids.

And for some reason, door are a endless source of fascination.

*sob*

aikido has RUINED my social life.
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Old 06-23-2003, 12:49 AM   #16
Conrad Gus
 
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I've been doing Aikido for 7 years and am starting to notice some interesting results.

For instance, I started working in an office that is a bit of a maze. As a programmer, I tend to wander back and forth from the coffee machine to my desk with my mind working on a solution to some problem or other.

I walk a bit fast and have almost bumped intopeople coming around corners just about every week. The funny thing is that I always seem to notice them in time to stop and I'm not startled if you know what I mean. The other person is jumping out of their skin from surprise. This has happed frequently enough for me to wonder if maybe Aikido has heightened my awareness or something.
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Old 06-23-2003, 01:07 AM   #17
PeterR
 
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Quote:
Conrad Gustafson (Conrad Gus) wrote:
This has happed frequently enough for me to wonder if maybe Aikido has heightened my awareness or something.
Nah - its the caffein.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-23-2003, 07:09 AM   #18
Avery Jenkins
 
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Good lord, can't anybody on this forum ride a bike without crashing into things?

Avery

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Old 06-23-2003, 10:14 AM   #19
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I only did aikido for a short time, but i found the concepts of blending and turning very useful. I am able to incorporate these along with circularity into everyday things.

melior est canis vivus leone mortuo
Bog svsami!!!
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Old 06-23-2003, 05:50 PM   #20
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The best real life Aikido story I ever heard didn't happen to me. My first instructor told me something which happened to his instructor:

He was riding on a subway when he saw a dishevelled-looking man moving through the car towards him. The man was acting in a very aggressive manner towards everyone around him, waving a knife at people in the car. The Aikido instructor started preparing himself for what he would do when the man got to his part of the car; "if he does this, I'll do this move, if he does that I'll do this move.." etc. Before the deranged man got to where he was, though, he had stopped to threaten and old man and the old man began talking to him. the two of them continued to talk and as they did so the man became less and less agitated. By the time the instructor got off the train, the man who had been terrorizing the car was sitting next to the old man with his head in the old man's lap, crying as the old man spoke softly to him. He realized that what he had been planning to do wasn't Aikido at all, and what the old man had done had been true Aikido.
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Old 06-23-2003, 07:15 PM   #21
cbrf4zr2
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My anecdote really doesn't have a whole heck of a lot to do with technique or blending, but here it is anyway:

I recently got my pilot's license and during the training the flight instructor will occasionally simulate engine failure by cutting the throttle. He tried every possible way and moment to try and get me to panic and make a mistake so he could make a point. Unfortunately for him, he never got that opportunity. Finally near the end of my training he asked why he could never get me rattled. I smiled and said, "You ever have 3 black belts coming at you when you have 1/10th of a second to make a decision? At 3,000 feet I've still got a few minutes to decide what I'm going to do next." He never simulated engine failure again.

************************
...then again, that's just me.
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Old 06-23-2003, 10:35 PM   #22
shihonage
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Quote:
Scott Sweetland wrote:
The best real life Aikido story I ever heard didn't happen to me. My first instructor told me something which happened to his instructor:
So your instructor's instructor was Terry Dobson.

Got it.


Quote:
Bob Strahinjevich (bob_stra) wrote:
And for some reason, door are a endless source of fascination.
A security guard at work keeps asking me if I'm using "CHI" as he says it, to open both doors with a seemingly slight movement.

I told him, no, just physics.

And of course everytime I encounter any door of any kind, I try to find the most optimal way to open it.

Last edited by shihonage : 06-23-2003 at 10:42 PM.
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Old 06-23-2003, 11:51 PM   #23
Scott Sweetland
 
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Quote:
Aleksey Sundeyev (shihonage) wrote:
So your instructor's instructor was Terry Dobson.

Got it.
Yes he was.. I was wondering how you knew that so I did a search and I see that story is all over the Internet lol.

I guess I'm a little out of touch..

I've always loved that story though.
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Old 06-24-2003, 03:43 AM   #24
Liz Baron
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Talking A genuine beer-save

For some years, my partner and I used to do a firework party (Nov 5th) for friends - they supplied the location and the food and drink, we supplied the fireworks and launched them. We generally avoided cheap fireworks, as the quality control was poor, and they had a nasty tendency to misfire, but someone always brought along a box or two. One year, a rocket misfired and flew off sideways after launch. At the time I was standing in a greenhouse, selecting the next batch for launch. The rocket hit the glass and smashed straight through it, but didn't have the power to go through the opposite wall, and started fizzing round the greenhouse. I exited the greenhouse, picked up a bucket of water (preparation is everything ) and dowsed it, and went back to sorting out the next flight. Much muttering amongst the crowd...

At the end of the evening, after the fireworks when I finally got to have a beer, the last few of us were sitting round the fire, chatting and roasting a few chestnuts, when we were interrupted by the unmistakeable fizzing of gunpowder. Some twit had fished the remains of the rocket out of the bucket of water and put it in the embers. By the end of the evening it had dried enough to ignite.

We vacated our chairs rapidly as the thing exploded.

It was only afterwards that I was informed that I had apparently gone from a relaxed seated position with beer in hand, vertically over the back of the chair (which remained in situ), and landed behind it to make good my escape.

And no, I didn't spill my beer.

L


L


Windcheetah 176
"Handbuilt by Daleks..."
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Old 06-24-2003, 10:09 AM   #25
Lyle Bogin
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If we train in martial art as a lifestyle, than can we really do anything without some of the essence of that training affecting it?

"The martial arts progress from the complex to the simple."
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