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Old 08-17-2004, 05:55 AM   #1
Luis Orozco
Dojo: Suomen Ki-Aikido Yhdistys, Helsinki
Location: Espoo, Finland
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Assaulted in a bar

Hi guys,

I just had an "adventure" last weekend and thought about sharing it with you, to get your points of view on the issue.

On saturday night we went to a friend's party in his house (80's themed so we were all in costumes, I even had a wig). At around midnight, we decide to leave his house and go to a neighbourhood bar. Most of us had been drinking but were in a pretty good mood.

We get to the bar and everybody leaves their jackets in the cloakroom. I'm the last one and after paying ask for my ticket (which I hadn't seen they'd given to my girlfriend). They ignore me and I continue asking. Suddenly this bouncer (double my weight and probably on steroids) comes from inside of the bar, grabs me from the shoulders, pushes me out of the bar, takes me to the ground and puts his knee on my chest. I practise both aikido and capoeira, and on the moment decided to apply neither so that the situation wouldn't escalate, so only cushioned my fall by grabbing his arms and doing a small backward ukemi. They also kicked my friends out of this place (I was the only foreigner in the group, and do stand out). We're reporting them to the police, as we have plenty of witnesses.

The only thing that keeps nagging me in the back of my mind is: should I have used any tecnique (irimi nage would have been perfect, but a good kick would have worked as well) or did I react in the right way? I feel rather humiliated because it's the first time something like this happens to me and I really didn't do anything wrong, I'm not a violent person at all.

In the aftermath, I just got a small bruise in the elbow and my chest hurts slightly because of his knee, but basically no harm done.

So what would you say?

Last edited by Luis Orozco : 08-17-2004 at 06:09 AM.
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Old 08-17-2004, 06:06 AM   #2
Troy
 
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Re: Assaulted in a bar

I think you did the right thing. You didn't want the situation to get out of hand, so you went with the flow (so it sounds like). I have a feeling that if you did anything, the bouncer would tell the police that you assulted him. I probably would have did the same thing. Either that, or tried to do something to escape his hold. But I am glad that you and your frields are alright.

"The Art of Peace is the religion that is not a religion; it perfects and completes all religions."
-Morihei Ueshiba
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Old 08-17-2004, 06:39 AM   #3
Yann Golanski
 
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Re: Assaulted in a bar

As far as I am concerned you did the right thing. The bouncer was way out of line and I would bring charges of assault against him.

Fundamentally, no one was hurt which is a good thing in my book. Of course, the bouncer should feel the full weight of the book (TM) being thrown at him. *grins evilly*

The people who understand, understand prefectly.
yann@york-aikido.org York Shodokan Aikido
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Old 08-17-2004, 07:02 AM   #4
DaveO
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Re: Assaulted in a bar

My first question would be 'why did they kick you out?'
That's kinda the critical question here; everything else hinges around it. Not sure what bars are like in Finland; but in my experience bouncers - even bullying ones - need a reason to act in such a manner. For bullies; that reason can be very petty indeed; the least bit of provocation can spark a response.
Those types don't last long though; not as bouncers. Around here a hair-trigger bouncer generally lasts one day on the job; the bar that employs him won't accept such a liability - a civil suit can ruin an establishment.
(That's not to say there's not a lot of pi$$-poor, muscleheaded bouncers out there; there are. There's a lot of thick-skulled gorillas that like the petty power-trip of being the thug in the yellow shirt; the one to be feared. But the ones that start swinging without reason are setting their employer up for a major lawsuit. Taverns cannot afford that kind of legal risk; so the real mean brutes tend to get fired quickly.)
So anyway; now that you're sober it's time to look honestly and objectively at the events and isolate what you did - for you said you were the initial target of the bouncer's attention - that gave him (at least in his mind) reasonable cause to forcefully eject you. Caution: I am not assuming you were in the wrong; that hasn't been determined. I'm asking what did you do/say to make him select you at the target for ejection.
I'll look at your post from a site security viewpont.
1)
Quote:
"(I was the only foreigner in the group, and do stand out)."
Without more information/evidence; I'm going to reject your racial inference completely - I assume that wasn't what you intended.

2)
Quote:
"On saturday night we went to a friend's party in his house (80's themed so we were all in costumes, I even had a wig). At around midnight, we decide to leave his house and go to a neighbourhood bar. Most of us had been drinking but were in a pretty good mood."
Translation: You'd been drinking all night; and arrive at a bar already drunk. From your description; it sounds like you were in party mode. That's cool - I like doing that sort of thing myself; but look at it from a security point of view:
People go to a bar to socialize and drink. If you go to a bar already drunk; you've just placed yourself on the security staff's watch list - because you're already drunk; and are about to get drunker. Especially if you're in a large group (5+); that's a potential danger for the bouncer - people are braver when they're within their circle of friends and might do things - such as get violent when being cut off from the bar - they'd otherwise not do. That applies to anyone; not just bikers and greasers; a wise bouncer will tag such groups carefully.

3)
Quote:
"We get to the bar and everybody leaves their jackets in the cloakroom. I'm the last one and after paying ask for my ticket (which I hadn't seen they'd given to my girlfriend). They ignore me and I continue asking."
It's a basic fact all cops know: No-one has ever started anything. Ever. It's always the other guy that started it - be it an argument, a fight, whatever. Ask anyone who's ever been tossed - particularly if you're in uniform when you're asking - and they'll tell you they were speaking calmly, rationally, etc. So I've got to ask you - just how nicely were you asking? How busy was the coat check - were you the only one there ore were they dealing with other clients? How insistent were you?

Look Luis; I've gotta be blunt - your description of your behaviour in the incident smells more than a bit like fish to me - sounds exactly like every other explanation I've heard from everyone who's wound up kissing concrete in front of a bar. Now please be aware; I'm not saying you were in the wrong; it's entirely possible the bouncer overreacted; it just that this is what I'm reading from what you've said; so my initial assumption is he most definitely had probable cause. I base my assumption both on what I've listed above and the following quotes as well:
Quote:
"I practise both aikido and capoeira, and on the moment decided to apply neither so that the situation wouldn't escalate, so only cushioned my fall by grabbing his arms and doing a small backward ukemi."
Quote:
"...should I have used any tecnique (irimi nage would have been perfect, but a good kick would have worked as well) or did I react in the right way?
OK; as someone who's been through way, way more physical encounters than I ever wanted to; I read it this way: Bouncer who was much larger than you grabs you, hauls you out of the bar etc. You could have taken him but chose not to.
Ermmmmm......... no. Sounds to me like he did his job well - got you out of there fast not giving you a chance to fight back. The "I could have done this and this to him" are just face-saving ploys.
Once again, I could be wrong; I know neither you nor him, I just know I've had to lay my hands on quite a few aggressive drunks in my time and have heard all the after-the-fact stories.
One last thing:
Quote:
"...I'm not a violent person at all."
That's just about the most common self-justification used. No-one ever is the violent one; though in your case I believe you wholeheartedly - your post reads that way to me. Alcohol does funny things though; some of the nicest people I know have done some pretty stupid crap when plastered.

I know this is not what you're looking for, I'm sorry - but if you're looking for honest opinions; this is mine.

Last edited by DaveO : 08-17-2004 at 07:10 AM.

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Old 08-17-2004, 07:05 AM   #5
Greg Jennings
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Re: Assaulted in a bar

You did The Right Thing (tm).

The only thing that I would have done differently is to either tried to subtly get off line of the first attack or to have taken him into guard once it was obvious I was going down on my back.

Regards,

Greg Jennings
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Old 08-17-2004, 07:34 AM   #6
David_francis
 
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Re: Assaulted in a bar

I agree that you did the right thing. Of course it would have been good for your ego to get a irimi nage on him but not good for a possible law suit. Live to fight another day.
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Old 08-17-2004, 07:43 AM   #7
Luis Orozco
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Re: Assaulted in a bar

Hi Dave,

Thanks for a very good response from the "bouncer/security point of view". I'll answer to your questions one by one.

Quote:
Translation: You'd been drinking all night; and arrive at a bar already drunk. From your description; it sounds like you were in party mode. That's cool - I like doing that sort of thing myself; but look at it from a security point of view

People go to a bar to socialize and drink. If you go to a bar already drunk; you've just placed yourself on the security staff's watch list - because you're already drunk; and are about to get drunker. Especially if you're in a large group (5+); that's a potential danger for the bouncer - people are braver when they're within their circle of friends and might do things - such as get violent when being cut off from the bar - they'd otherwise not do. That applies to anyone; not just bikers and greasers; a wise bouncer will tag such groups carefully.
Yes, we arrived in the bar after drinking during the night, but however, that's socially acceptable and expected here (few people get drunk in a bar, as it is extremely expensive). You see plenty of people already drunk entering bars (it was funny to me the first months, but it is like that). We were more than five, but that includes girlfriends (don't know if it's a factor).

Quote:
OK; as someone who's been through way, way more physical encounters than I ever wanted to; I read it this way: Bouncer who was much larger than you grabs you, hauls you out of the bar etc. You could have taken him but chose not to.
Ermmmmm......... no. Sounds to me like he did his job well - got you out of there fast not giving you a chance to fight back. The "I could have done this and this to him" are just face-saving ploys.
Once again, I could be wrong; I know neither you nor him, I just know I've had to lay my hands on quite a few aggressive drunks in my time and have heard all the after-the-fact stories.
On taking him, one thing to forgot to mention was, there was another bouncer behind him very close to my girlfriend, so I didn't want to put anybody in danger (yes, me included).

Quote:
It's a basic fact all cops know: No-one has ever started anything. Ever. It's always the other guy that started it - be it an argument, a fight, whatever. Ask anyone who's ever been tossed - particularly if you're in uniform when you're asking - and they'll tell you they were speaking calmly, rationally, etc. So I've got to ask you - just how nicely were you asking? How busy was the coat check - were you the only one there ore were they dealing with other clients? How insistent were you?
The guy in the cloakroom was not busy after I had given them my jacket as I was the last one, but didn't even turn to face me. I didn't touch him. I was a little insistent, though. I didn't use a swearword (I know because I don't know how to use them in Finnish and not sound childish), and didn't oppose any resistance either other than hold the bouncer's arms when he was pushing me to the ground to cushion the fall.

However, when they were pushing the rest of the group out they did call us something like "go away f****ing drug addicts!", so it was not exactly a nice affair. None of them opposed physical resistance.

Before doing anything related to law, I did ask one of our group (who was sober and saw everything, being just before my girlfriend in the cloakroom) if I had done anything irrational and for his version of the story, and it checks up with what I'm telling you here.

So in short to
Quote:
My first question would be 'why did they kick you out?'
I can only answer that I can't think about anything other than asking for the ticket to my coat.

If you want more details I can give them to you. Thanks for a honest reply!
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Old 08-17-2004, 08:32 AM   #8
DaveO
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Re: Assaulted in a bar

Hi again, Luis.

Hmmmm - this is a bit of a poser for me; I can't provide an answer for this one; though that's not exactly uncommon. (Actually; I've always got an answer for everything - whether or not what I think reflects reality is another matter. LOL!)
I don't know enough about Finnish culture and evening habits to be able to say one way or the other; what's normal one place certainly might not be in another.
But; the thing that's got me confused concerning the situation is the actions of the bouncer in question - the physical force he used on you. It sounds to me like an ejection; not an assault - he acted in your description like a good bouncer might; getting a disorderly person out the door fast and with a reasonable amount of safety. A bully would likely have been far more rough given the chance - I'm sure there are lots of us who've seen what some bozos'll do given the least bit of opportunity.
Your statement that: "they did call us something like "go away f****ing drug addicts!" helps a bit; but there's still a huge grey area there; assuming everything you've said is factually correct. (Sorry; had to put that in - the difficulty in dealing with eyewitness accounts; especially from the people involved, is that what they can see and experience might be vastly different from what actually happened; due to their emotions and viewpoints colouring their testimony.)
If you wish there's another source of information I could try; one which would certainly yield results:
I belong to a mailing list which serves as a forum for defence professionals within a vast field of experience; from LEO's to lawyers, government sources, soldiers, martial arts practicioners/teachers, etc., ad nauseam. The list is worldwide; and I know several of the lists's members have first-hand experience in Finland.
This has got me curious as well ( ); so with your permission I'd like to forward this post to the list to get their take on it - if the respondents give permission I could forward their responses to you.
(FYI; the List is here; part of the No Nonsense Self Defense site - very, very highly recommended reading.)

Any sort of assault or physical confrontation is a very serious affair; at the very least it provides a valuable lesson so I'd like to help. If you want; please say so and I'll have it up in about 2 minutes.

Cheers!

Answers are only easy when they're incomplete.
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Old 08-17-2004, 09:25 AM   #9
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: Assaulted in a bar

Hmmmm. It does sound like an eventful evening. I would have to agree with Dave's first and second post.

Lyle Laizure
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Old 08-18-2004, 05:07 AM   #10
Luis Orozco
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Re: Assaulted in a bar

Hi, thanks everybody for your responses. I'll check it out and tell you what happens.

Regards,
Luis
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Old 08-18-2004, 07:57 AM   #11
ian
 
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Re: Assaulted in a bar

It's very difficult, and unfair, to judge a situation from a verbal or written description. So many subtle things happen in a confrontation. Personally if no-one gets seriously injured I always consider it a success. Aikido isn't about winning fights, it is about successfully dealing with confrontation. Don't beat yourself up about what you should and shouldn't have done. Many bouncers try to get rid of perceived threats before they even know the situation (which got me involved in a fight once).

I doubt if the police will do anything. Write to the manager of the club, identify the person who threw you out and tell them that you will no longer frequent the club. I doubt if anything will happen, but these places can legally throw you out for no reason.

I was impressed you did a reverse ukemi. If you are ever put on the ground the best thing is to get up as quick as possible because it is a life threatening situation. There is a difference between not insitgating violence and being passive. Protecting yourself doesn't mean hurting them.Yeh, maybe you should have avoided being touched at all, but who am I to judge? Use this as a practical lesson.

Ian

Last edited by ian : 08-18-2004 at 08:04 AM.
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Old 08-18-2004, 09:22 AM   #12
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Re: Assaulted in a bar

Quote:
Luis Orozco wrote:
Hi guys,
So what would you say?
Now you know, that your Ki aikido is completly useless outside of dojo.
You wasn't able to keep one point, extend your Ki and relax you shoulders. Have you ever seen what K.Tohei sensei did with attackers against grab to the shoulders? Shame on you. This is basic attack. K.Tohei NEVER let grab his shoulders, he was always moving and attackers felt down themselves.

Now all pll will think that Ki aikido is not good for fighting and every bouncer can kick aikidokas ass. Nice done.

Nagababa

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Old 08-18-2004, 09:40 AM   #13
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Assaulted in a bar

Ian alludes to something I was thinking as well. I also agree with his position of it being difficult to judge from the written accounts.

I think you did the right thing generally. However, I would not have let him get close enough to get his hands on me to begin with. It's not to say that I would do anything to attack the person, I would just not let them get their hands on me, while keeping distance and forcing them to rationally state why they are removing me by calmly talking and asking them why I should leave. This adds time for them to cool down their initial thrust and address the actual issue intellectually (even if at some basic primitive level), if there really is one. Often I've found that whether it be cops, security officers, bouncers etc. the initial contact tends to have much more energy and emotion attached than necessary and this can end up injuring someone (or getting injured themselves if the target is uncooperative, equipped and motivated).

In my experience (which may not be yours) bouncers tend to fall into 2 types - those professionally trained at some level to handle conflict with an understanding of the force continuum and escalation, and the muscle bound, over kiaied ex-security officer, martial artist etc. etc. etc. One tends to take a calmer, more informed and focused approach towards removing a potential threat than the other.

Imo, taking you to the ground and putting his knee on your chest was going overboard as he had already placed you out of the establishment (at least from what I've read). At that point he went over the line as his job authority is limited to the establishment and removing you if you are causing trouble. The sort of action he used afterward would only have been justifiable had you begun to fight back or something, requiring this extra degree of force to control you.

As said earlier, it's hard to determine either way what really happened from the account, so I say be thankful that neither of you were put in a position where injuring the other became a preferable option and that no one got seriously hurt.

LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 08-18-2004, 11:08 AM   #14
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Re: Assaulted in a bar

Dude you did the best thing, had you resisted you would have had the s*it kicked out of you, bouncers don't move alone and you would have had two or three of them kicking your head in.

Live with it.

You did alright
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Old 08-18-2004, 11:24 AM   #15
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Re: Assaulted in a bar

And to all you fantasists, your not Ueshiba you know! Wakey wakey hands off snakey.
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Old 08-18-2004, 12:29 PM   #16
Mark Uttech
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Re: Assaulted in a bar

[b]Going to a bar at night is always the first bad move. In gassho, tamonmark
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Old 08-18-2004, 10:23 PM   #17
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Re: Assaulted in a bar

I don't agree with people trashing the fact that Luis was taken to the ground.
I sure as hell know that if I had been drinking that I most likely would not 'get off line' or use my ki. Drunk people tend to have trouble with that sort of thing

"flows like water, reflects like a mirror, and responds like an echo." Chaung-tse
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Old 08-18-2004, 11:26 PM   #18
Infamousapa
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Re: Assaulted in a bar

you should of applied something on the bouncer.Hey you were attacked,when will you use your practi ce on someone.you bitched out
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Old 08-19-2004, 01:32 AM   #19
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Re: Assaulted in a bar

I think you should go back to the bar completely sober at the beginning of his shift and POLITELY and HUMBLY ask the bouncer what you did wrong so that you could make every effort to not make the same mistakes in the future.

Let us know what he says

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 08-19-2004, 09:49 AM   #20
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Assaulted in a bar

Drunk or not, a bouncer has no right to take a person to the ground if he has already removed the person from the establishment, unless they are resisting and making things continually difficult, in which case, taking them to the ground adds a degree of leverage in securing the resistant person. From the story it is not clear how drunk the people involved were, but it is stated that Luis was taken to the ground after being placed out of the establishment, which imho is beyond the bouncer's jurisdiction. As no one was actually there but Luis, it is difficult to make specific judgements either way.

On another note, it has become instinctive in our dojo's training to deter being taken to the ground as much as possible as it is not a preferable position from which to mount an effective defense using the Aikido we do. But this is just my view.

The thing is, it left him very vulnerable had the bouncers (or anyone else who had the urge) possessed other objectives like kicking his brains in for the fun of it etc. It's just not a good place to be, especially with someone
Quote:
double my weight and probably on steroids
.

In these situations stupid moves and choices can often cause things to escalate very stupidly and get folks killed even more stupidly. It has happened recently in this country. Luis did well to not fight back, but being taken to the ground is not a preferable position had things suddenly changed for the worse, given his stated training imho. The Art of Peace is not the Art of putting oneself in unnecessary danger imho.

Just my feeling, I reserve the right to be wrong.
LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 08-19-2004, 10:54 AM   #21
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Re: Assaulted in a bar

Sapa how many bouncers have you fought in your time? Furthermore how many "real fights" have you had, sapa where do you live? oh thats right, Hollywood.

Here is a checklist for Luis:

1- Do you have all your teeth? check
2- Do you have both eyes? check
3- Both lungs in working order? check
4- Spine intact? check
5- Can you walk?check
6- Nose and ears? check

No one is addressing the fact that aikido although a very effective art, Im not debating that, will not make anyone invincible, these guys are very strong and hit very hard and are not shy of using metal bars, bats or other goodies kept behind the counter if things get outta hand.

This is Tony keeping my aikido brothers and sisters real.
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Old 08-19-2004, 01:14 PM   #22
Jorx
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Re: Assaulted in a bar

I would like to point out one thing:

The bouncer was fairly large and after taking you down he put a knee across your stomach (I've never seen a groundfighting-noob do that). Quite a few of bouncers in Helsinki train in Alliance Jiu-jitsu club. Sounds like one of those huge bluebelts to me. SO probably if you would have done ANYTHING to provoke him further it would've ended badly to you as you are trained in Aikido and Capoeira both arts rarely train against resistance and bjj does that daily.

As far as the assault goes, I think it was a misunderstanding in your favor - when you drop charges the you'll be the righteous one in court.
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Old 08-19-2004, 01:51 PM   #23
shihonage
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Re: Assaulted in a bar

I think there's a middle solution that you were unable to implement, and that's whats nagging at you.

The middle solution would be to avoid the bouncer from shoving you around by keeping your "ukemi" one step ahead of the bouncer.

So, he would achieve his goal of you leaving, without letting him throw you on the ground and put a knee on your chest.
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Old 08-19-2004, 02:37 PM   #24
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Re: Assaulted in a bar

Perfectly put Aleksey.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 08-19-2004, 05:51 PM   #25
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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Re: Assaulted in a bar

I guess I've got to disagree with most of the folks commenting here. Hindsight indicates you did the right thing from the standpoint that no one was hurt badly etc. But when the bouncer placed his hands on you without provocation, you didn't know that's how it was going to turn out. You could have just as easily been seriously injured or killed. A guy "twice (your) size and probably on steroids" shoves you out of a bar, knocks you down, then puts his knee in your chest and you didn't resist at all? I would have feared for my life the moment he touched me, and acted accordingly. You put way too much faith in that guy's intentions and sense of mercy, especially when he had just proven that he was willing to attack you without provocation. It could've gotten you killed. I think deep down you know this, which is why you're questioning yourself now. If I were you, I'd resolve to never allow someone to threaten my safety again, and I'd be ready to argue this in court if it came to that. Better to be judged by twelve than carried by six.
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