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Old 05-23-2004, 02:54 PM   #1
actoman
Dojo: USA Martial Arts Center
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Did the right thing?




Hey all,

I was in a small confontation with a member of the club I attend and when we exchanged words, he approached me and was egging me on to hit him first and then he would quote 'hurt me', which I am not saying I am invincible but the joke would have been on him.


In my unthinking haste, I exchanged words and got him fired up, when he approached I told him that I did'nt want to fight, just for him to leave, which he did.

My question is, did I do the right thing? something in me tells me I should have stepped to him, but my aikido taught me to find the peace in the situation, any opinions?
Thanks
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Old 05-23-2004, 03:14 PM   #2
DarkShodan
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Re: Did the right thing?

You had a confrontation with an Aikido Club member? That's not very Ai Ki like. Verbal Aikido is something we all need to work on. I suppose in the end you did the right thing. Although I know it would have been fun to stomp his face in, but you did the right thing probably. Maybe next time do not antagonize your attacker, that's just want they want, so deflect their comments and be the bigger man.

Victims, aren't we all.
-- Eric Draven
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Old 05-23-2004, 04:22 PM   #3
Jordan Steele
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Re: Did the right thing?

Do whatever is necessary to hold your ground without becoming too aggressive. I don't encourage escalation, but sometimes it has to be done. It all depends on the situation. And to step a little off topic...to all the more philosophical Aikidoka out there, stop thinking you can deflect or re-direct an aggressors verbal assaults because aikidoists never retreat, check your tai-sabaki, we never step backwards, only forwards and to the side. If you don't stand up for yourself when someone attacks you verbally, chances are you probably won't when someone attacks you physically. And back to the point, I think you did the right thing in your situation.
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Old 05-23-2004, 05:07 PM   #4
Nick P.
 
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Re: Did the right thing?

Quote:
Andy wrote:
I was in a small confrontation with a member of the club I attend and when we exchanged words...
So who started it, and why?

Quote:
Jason wrote:
...because aikidoists never retreat, check your tai-sabaki, we never step backwards, only forwards and to the side.
Jason, I agree with every other part of your post, but I have visited some dojos where "changing hanmi" looked and felt an awful lot like backing up. Though where I learn we never back up. Just an observation.

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Old 05-23-2004, 05:35 PM   #5
aikidoc
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Re: Did the right thing?

Conquer your foe by force, you increase his enmity; conquer by love, and you will reap no after-sorrow.

-Fo-Sho-Hing-Tsan-King
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Old 05-23-2004, 08:25 PM   #6
Nick P.
 
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Re: Did the right thing?

...I meant Jason, not Jordan.

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Old 05-23-2004, 09:08 PM   #7
SeiserL
 
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Re: Did the right thing?

Right according to who? We each live by our own consceince.

Sounds to me like he left without anyone, him or you, getting hurt.

Compliments.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 05-23-2004, 09:25 PM   #8
gasman
 
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Re: Did the right thing?

Sometimes, my fellow aikidokas want to go full force, just for fun. And sometimes we do, after practice. Is this what he was after, or was he after something else?
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Old 05-23-2004, 10:04 PM   #9
Daniel-san
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Re: Did the right thing?

I got the impression that it was a night club...
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Old 05-23-2004, 10:43 PM   #10
John Matsushima
 
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I think you limited yourself by thinking your only options were to fight or not to fight. Hindsight is 20/20 (as long as you are honest with yourself), so try to look back on the situation now, and try to think of how many different ways you could have handled the situation in a peaceful manner. Aikido is formless and limitless. The action that you chose ended with a result in which neither of you were physically hurt, but what about the issue which was at hand? It is gone for the moment, but now what happens the next time you meet?
Try to open your mind to the many possibilities. This is the wonderous, creative force of Aiki; using love to create peaceful solutions. Could you have engaged him physically without it being a fight? Could you have stood there and argued with him and let him get all his anger and frustration out till he calmed down enough to discuss it rationally? Could another person have intervened to help? Could you have set up the "fight" for another time, like a week from now, so by that time he would cool off? These are just a few suggestions, with many, many more possibilites.
One of lessons that I've learned from tenkan is that we don't attempt to stop the uke or prevent the uke from attacking. We change ourselves. We cannot change another's will, but we can change ourselves so that you and the uke can go in a new peaceful direction together. (The literal Japanese translation of tenkan is to change.)
So, the question you should be asking youself is not if what you did was right, but whether or not you expressed creative aiki.

Sincerely,

John Matsushima

***To those who think that we never back up in Aikido, I ask you to reconsider, and a whole new range of possible techniques will open up to you.

Last edited by John Matsushima : 05-23-2004 at 10:58 PM.
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Old 05-23-2004, 11:39 PM   #11
Bronson
 
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Re: Did the right thing?

I don't remember who said it, but it went something like: If it's not worth dying over it's not worth fighting over.

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 05-24-2004, 01:41 AM   #12
Ian Upstone
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Re: Did the right thing?

I think it was Gichin Funakoshi who said something like that ...Anyway, without knowing any of the details about what happened in this particular confrontation, I'd say the right thing was done because no one was hurt!

As for stepping backwards - I can think of a few techniques where this works very effectively, uke literally falls into the space you create and is easily controlled or thrown as they are off-balance. I can imagine the verbal equivalent working as effectively!
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Old 05-24-2004, 08:11 AM   #13
actoman
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Re: Did the right thing?

No I work for a health club, and a member who is friends with the owner came and pounded on the door for me to let him in before hours, and in doing so, that is where the words started.

I did'nt step down, not physically but verbally so,
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Old 05-24-2004, 06:02 PM   #14
Jordan Steele
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Re: Did the right thing?

Maybe I better clarify better. I realize there are movements that step backwards, but the intention is always forwards, but where I train we never "retreat." If you step backwards and your body is not actively ready to move forwards again that is a problem. Stepping back is only good for unbalancing on oncoming attack or stepping out of maai to re-align for the next attack. Just my thoughts, hope this clears up my previous statement a little bit. And in contrast to the verbal attacks, that is more a personality thing for me. If someone has something they want to say to me, they should be upfront and get it off their chest as long as they realize they are going to get an immediate response that they might not like.
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Old 05-24-2004, 07:19 PM   #15
Bronson
 
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Re: Did the right thing?

From "That '70's Show".

"If you're not mad enough to bare-knuckle box then you're not mad." Red Forman

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 05-25-2004, 02:28 AM   #16
ruthmc
Dojo: Wokingham Aikido
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Re: Did the right thing?

Quote:
Andy Orwig wrote:



Hey all,

I was in a small confontation with a member of the club I attend and when we exchanged words, he approached me and was egging me on to hit him first and then he would quote 'hurt me', which I am not saying I am invincible but the joke would have been on him.


In my unthinking haste, I exchanged words and got him fired up, when he approached I told him that I did'nt want to fight, just for him to leave, which he did.

My question is, did I do the right thing? something in me tells me I should have stepped to him, but my aikido taught me to find the peace in the situation, any opinions?
Thanks
One question: Where was the instructor during this incident? Did they even know about it? Perhaps you should talk to your instructor about how you handled this

Ruth
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Old 05-25-2004, 04:41 AM   #17
actoman
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Re: Did the right thing?

In the club, I am the sole employee other than management. The instructor was probably at home, as I was in the outside world trying to emulate principles. I guess....
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Old 05-25-2004, 08:46 AM   #18
ruthmc
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Re: Did the right thing?

Quote:
Andy Orwig wrote:
In the club, I am the sole employee other than management. The instructor was probably at home, as I was in the outside world trying to emulate principles. I guess....
So you had this confrontation outside the dojo? Sorry, that wasn't at all clear in your original post. Hmm. In that case it's probably best to avoid your dojo-mates in the Real World (TM) if that sort of thing is going to happen between you

I would still mention it to your instructor, in case it spills over into the dojo.

Ruth
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Old 05-25-2004, 10:39 AM   #19
Bronson
 
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Re: Did the right thing?

I don't believe it was connected with the dojo at all. It wasn't at the dojo and it wasn't somebody from the dojo.

It was at a health club and the other guy is a member of the health club.

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 05-25-2004, 11:51 AM   #20
ruthmc
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Re: Did the right thing?

Quote:
Bronson Diffin wrote:
I don't believe it was connected with the dojo at all. It wasn't at the dojo and it wasn't somebody from the dojo.

It was at a health club and the other guy is a member of the health club.

Bronson
Oh, right! So in that case it's just a case of some nutter with a bad case of testosterone poisoning hassling Andy. In that case Andy, see if you can get him banned from the health club

Ruth
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Old 05-25-2004, 01:56 PM   #21
NagaBaba
 
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Re: Did the right thing?

Quote:
Andy Orwig wrote:

any opinions?
Thanks
Looks like you lost excellent ocassion to test you aikido techniques , but hey! Don't worry, there will be next time!

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 05-25-2004, 05:07 PM   #22
gasman
 
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Re: Did the right thing?

I've got drunken idiots banging on my door every weekend. Best thing is to keep calm, talk WITH the person (not AGAINST), at least pretend to see his/her side of things while calmly and smilingly explaining your side of things. If you can sneak in a harmless joke, all the better. Be careful with escalating language (i.e. "YOU must go") and rather use descalating language (i.e. "I can't let you in, sorry").

Dont let your pride get in the way of your health and remember, it usually takes two to tango...

Hope that helps.
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Old 05-25-2004, 07:04 PM   #23
makuchg
 
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Re: Did the right thing?

Yes, you did the right thing. Proving you can fight is not what our training is all about. We train to keep ourselves and our loved ones free from physical harm. Seems to me like you did this using your mind rather than your hands. Good for you. It takes a bigger man to know you can win and not fight.

I had a similar situation a few years ago. I was working long hours, I was deployed away from home and I lost my temper with another soldier. Fortunately, I regained my composure and walked away before it got physical. Several months later, this soldier showed up at one of my classes (I was teaching a very hard style of aikido, actually leaning more toward aiki-jujitsu). He watched the class as we went through Shionage and Kotegaeshi, over and over again. After class he asked me why I didn't fight him when we had our confrontation, knowing what I know. I looked at him and said I had lost our confrontation when I allowed it to happen. I lost control by allowing it to escalate to the point of almost physical confrontation. I explained that I train not to fight, but to know how to avoid fighting and in the event that is not possible to be able to eliminate my opponent quickly and effeciently.

He apologized for the confrontation as did I and he became a very devout student.

Just my thoughts and opinion, from Iraq...
Greg Makuch
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Old 05-25-2004, 08:18 PM   #24
Infamousapa
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Re: Did the right thing?

kick his ass
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Old 05-25-2004, 11:02 PM   #25
Largo
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Re: Did the right thing?

If he was banging on the door demanding to be let in before hours, I would have shut him out. End of story. You can't really get into a fistfight with someone if they lock you outside. Why do him the favor of letting him in early? Next time, if you see it's him, tell him that you're sorry, but the club is closed. Ask him to come back during hours.
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