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Old 08-31-2004, 10:38 PM   #1
mgreen
 
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Gun beats rock, paper, Aikido

My Sensei was in the special forces in South East Asia during Vietnam. He is always very down to earth about how really, any dim wit can go to a firing range for a day, learn to shoot a 9mm, and blow your 8th Dan ass away. All that training down the drain. How many teachers out ther are honest enough to share this with their students? I think many are afraid that people will think "then why bother!". Has anyone had this problem? Interested in hearing back....
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Old 08-31-2004, 10:48 PM   #2
shihonage
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Re: Gun beats rock, paper, Aikido

Any dimwit can learn to drive, run a truck through your dojo wall at 80mph and flatten a dozen 8th dans at once.
Why bother training ?

A sufficiently large dimwit can catch your daughter in a dark alley, rape her, and then dispose of her body in a dumpster.
Why bother having a child ?

Tomorrow, entire California may be rocked by an earthquake and sink into the Pacific.
Why bother living ?

Last edited by shihonage : 08-31-2004 at 10:50 PM.
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Old 08-31-2004, 10:56 PM   #3
mgreen
 
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Re: Gun beats rock, paper, Aikido

Quote:
Aleksey Sundeyev wrote:
Any dimwit can learn to drive, run a truck through your dojo wall at 80mph and flatten a dozen 8th dans at once.
Why bother training ?

A sufficiently large dimwit can catch your daughter in a dark alley, rape her, and then dispose of her body in a dumpster.
Why bother having a child ?

Tomorrow, entire California may be rocked by an earthquake and sink into the Pacific.
Why bother living ?
I like your outlook very much. I find it to be very simular with mine. Why bother living? Why not? I was really interested in seeing if anyone has ever had this problem with students leaving a dojo for this reason.
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Old 08-31-2004, 10:59 PM   #4
vanstretch
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Re: Gun beats rock, paper, Aikido

Why waste your time going to a firing range if you're a nitwit? Right Matthew? All u gotta do is squeeze your trigger finger. Don't waste the rangemasters time junior.
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Old 08-31-2004, 11:33 PM   #5
Nick
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Re: Gun beats rock, paper, Aikido

I know I said I'd only be a lurker, but:

I've found that many people start aikido to learn self defense. This is no surprise. However, I have yet to meet any yudansha that studies aikido purely for the self defense aspect.

You may come for the self defense, but you stay for the exercise, the physical (as well as spiritual and mental) challenges, the joy of learning new things and relearning old things, and the fellowship of a good dojo that have led to some of the closest friendships I've ever had. As for myself, I'm not really worried about self defense. I avoid fights and dangerous situations and have enough charisma to talk myself out of the rest. I like that aikido is in fact a form of self defense as it does give us an end to work toward (and validates it as a martial art); however, in the end it's the work that matters.

And if you ever delve into the philosophies that make up ancient bujutsu, you are actually validating your own point. As Uesugi Kenshin put it: "Those who cling to life die, and those who defy death live." Your 8th dan ass could, in fact, get blown away by some drunk with a gun on the walk home from the dojo. Or you could get hit by a car, or you could die in a million other horrible and/or humorous ways. That's what makes life so special: it could be gone at any moment. James Dean put it best when he said "Dream as though you'll live forever. Live as though you'll die today."

The chances that I will get shot one day are pretty slim. However, it is a certainty that the joy and peace of mind that I get from Aikido will follow me all the days of my life, and that is why I train.

Cheers,

Nick
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Old 08-31-2004, 11:38 PM   #6
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Re: Gun beats rock, paper, Aikido

There are a lot of us in country grunts from accross the pond who can honestly admit the limits of our art without being dimwits or nitwits.

My complimenst and appreciation to your Sensei. Now get back to training.

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 08-31-2004, 11:58 PM   #7
xuzen
 
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Re: Gun beats rock, paper, Aikido

A pepper spray cost RM 30.00 (approx USD 4.30) in my country. Guns are illegal here, so are tazer and its equivalent. My point is with USD 4.30 and minimal training (you don't have to train for decades and obtain black belt to utilise it efficiently) you can sucessfully neutralize more proficient MArtist of any style. So why train in "insert style of MA here"?

Maybe it is the mental preparation that it offer? Any more insight into this perennial question?

A similar anology would be the arrival of musket in Japan brought by the Portugese or Dutch missionaries in the 16th Century. Years of training in the koryu bugei will not defend a distinguished warrior from a lowly peasent wielding a musket. But fast forward to this modern era, MA is still very much alive despite the advancement of more practical means of Self-defence. I don't have a good answer to the above question, any one wishes to attempt to answer the question?


Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 09-01-2004, 05:08 AM   #8
paw
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Re: Gun beats rock, paper, Aikido

Eat right. Exercise. Die anyway.

I train because I enjoy it.


Regards,

Paul
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Old 09-01-2004, 06:07 AM   #9
Nick Simpson
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Re: Gun beats rock, paper, Aikido

Is a pepper spray gauranteed to "neutralise" everyone???? Youd have to pull it out and get it in their face first, as well as hope it would be effective enough to drop the person. Theres a lot of variables in this eqaution Xu.

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 09-01-2004, 06:19 AM   #10
Chuck.Gordon
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Re: Gun beats rock, paper, Aikido

Quote:
Matthew Green wrote:
My Sensei was in the special forces in South East Asia during Vietnam.
That's cool. He joins the ranks of some veyr august folks in the aikido community, then. I love working with the SF guys.

They're focused, brighter than your average bear and usually fitter, too.

What's your teacher's name and do you know what his unit was? I may know or have buddies who know some of his peers.

Quote:
He is always very down to earth about how really, any dim wit can go to a firing range for a day, learn to shoot a 9mm, and blow your 8th Dan ass away.
Yes. Entirely possible. You could also step in front of a bus, slip in the shower (though ukemi can help with this problem), contract a dreadful disease. Death awaits us all.

Quote:
All that training down the drain.
Not necessarily. Depends on what you're training for.

[/quote] How many teachers out ther are honest enough to share this with their students? I think many are afraid that people will think "then why bother!". Has anyone had this problem? Interested in hearing back....[/quote]

Not sure what the problem is. Could you define it more clearly? Are you questioning the efficacy of aikido? The purpose of training? The benefits of training? Something else entirely?

Also not sure what the SpecForce/aikido connection has to do with anything, could you please clarify?

Chuck

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Old 09-01-2004, 07:54 AM   #11
billybob
 
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Re: Gun beats rock, paper, Aikido

your sensei does well to teach you you are vulnerable - as if all the bruises and sprains didn't tell us already!!!

perhaps he is encouraging you to look within yourself. one person said he is nonviolent and talks his way out of situations - hats off to you. i am arrogant, brash and a pain in the butt. i have studied judo, jujutsu, aikido, and marksmanship (master of none). i train in aikido to be more like the person who avoids conflict.

and i believe that tuning in to ourselves and our environs like OSensei did means we can avoid a lot of deadly situations, and maybe be lucky enough to be fully aware when we die.

billybob
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Old 09-01-2004, 08:30 AM   #12
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Re: Gun beats rock, paper, Aikido

To take a page out of our very own Jim Baker's Just Ask Jim page:

Q: Is Aikido the best martial art?
No, thermonuclear warfare is the best martial art; followed by long range artillery, armor, guns, knives, and large guys named Bubba. If you want to defend yourself in the street, buy a tank. Aikido isn't about that, neither is real Budo.

-- Jun

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Old 09-01-2004, 09:10 AM   #13
kironin
 
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Re: Gun beats rock, paper, Aikido

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote:
To take a page out of our very own Jim Baker's Just Ask Jim page:

Q: Is Aikido the best martial art?
No, thermonuclear warfare is the best martial art; followed by long range artillery, armor, guns, knives, and large guys named Bubba. If you want to defend yourself in the street, buy a tank. Aikido isn't about that, neither is real Budo.

-- Jun

Just wait till we figure out how to make an anti-matter bomb.

that little thermonuclear warhead you be packing there will be like a candle.

goodbye Earth,

thanks for all the fish

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Old 09-01-2004, 09:11 AM   #14
kironin
 
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Re: Gun beats rock, paper, Aikido

Quote:
paul watt wrote:
Eat right. Exercise. Die anyway.

I train because I enjoy it.

Regards,
Paul
A wise man speaks....

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Old 09-01-2004, 10:15 AM   #15
DaveO
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Re: Gun beats rock, paper, Aikido

All that being said and for the most part agreed with; aikido is a superb defensive system.
It seems so many people try to define aikido by what it is not - i.e. it is not good for fighting; it is not good against a gun, it is not about self-defense, etc. (Side note - I for one simply cannot understand the negative connotation that such vulgar and mundane ideas like personal safety and defense seem to hold among aikidoists - but that's another topic.)
OK; I think we've beaten to death what aikido is not; why don't we look at what it is for a while?
As I said; it is a superb defensive system. It is so because it teaches exactly those things one needs to be able to defend onesself: movement, body dynamic, awareness, stability, relaxation of the body; among others.
It is a good, even balance of effective technique, physical/physiological training and nonviolent philosophy.
It is a defensive system with a fairly even demographic; that is to say just about anyone who wishes to can learn it. If they have the right mindset and instructor; they might even learn to effectively defend themselves with it. (Make no mistake - learning aikido and learning to defend onesself with aikido are two very different things.)
It is a fun, low-stress and low-impact system to learn; thus making it far less intimidating and damaging to the body than the high-powered striking arts.
It is a system that actively encourages a student to improve; 'good enough' simply doesn't exist - practice for 30 years; you still won't have kokyunage perfect. Some see that as a failing; I see it as a brilliant encouragement to get better.
And from a defensive standpoint; very importantly it is always close at hand. You don't need to pick anything up or ready an object; it's with you here, now and ready for use - if you are yourself ready to use it.

So with that in mind; let's go back to the argument.

First; Jun's comment. Jun's pretty much the last guy I want to criticize here; he's probably the nicest and friendliest mod of any forum I've ever seen. But Jim's comment there misses the mark by a pretty huge margin and here's why:
How many people walk down the street with an ICBM in their back pocket? How many women have used a Leopard II to resist a sexual assault? How many people have an M109 in the front hall to stop a home invasion? That line was a joke; supposedly with a point, but to me - a person who's used guns, knives and my own body to defend myself and others, it only shows the limitation of that kind of thinking.
Look; we can safely eliminate the first three objects; nukes, artillery and tanks; they're just idle humour. But guns, knives and backup? They're real - far too real. But are they useful for defense?
No. Not even remotely; aside from the intimidation factor which is minimal. (If, for example, a weapon is concealed if on the body or in the sock drawer at home; how the heck is it gonna scare off an attacker who doesn't know it's there?) These are offensive weapons; and offensive weapons do not a good defense make; and forget the old saw about 'the best defense'. OK; a guy's coming at you headon from fifty feet out. You're going to draw, make ready, aim and fire in enough time to stop him, eh? Possibly - from fifty feet out, dead ahead. But doubtful; for the majority of the population. I can draw, aim and fire a weapon from an open thigh holster in the kneeling position with a 90% accuracy rate in around half a second. That's sloooow folks; and terrible aim - handguns always were my worst weapon. A lot, a lot, a lot can happen in that space of time. Now; knowing that time and accuracy is insufficient to provide reliable defense; can you match it pulling the handgun out of your shoulder holder or purse?
Besides; this was a headonn rush from 50 feet out. How many attacks start like that? What are you going to do with your fancy little 92F if he blindsides you? Or your Cold Steel? I'll tell you exactly what you're going to do: you're going to go down fumbling for it; if you unfreeze in time to remember the damn thing.
Now let's look at the psychological aspects: let's assume you've got a weapon loaded, made ready and raised. Your attacker is square in the sight. Can you pull the trigger? Don't just laugh that question off and be macho about it; could you do it? I've known soldiers with years of dedicated, aggressive training under their belts who couldn't - and hesitated in that crucial fraction of a second. Are you prepared to deal with that question? And would you be prepared to deal with the overwhelming emotional aftermath if the answer is yes? It's time to stop thinking Bruce Willis and start thinking reality when talking about guns and knives.
Now of course; the original question posited that it is the attacker has the handgun. Good point; a very good point. What are your chances?
I know of one situation in which you'd have no chance - that being no training at all. You'd simply be unprepared to deal with the situation.
So - by learning aikido you can defend against a handgun? No; not unless a very specific set of criteria are met. One; you must be specifically trained in anti-weapon defense; far above and beyond what is taught in any civilian dojo. Two; you must be sufficiently experienced and prepared at that moment to deal with the attack. Three; you must have the specific combat attitude and mindset that would enable your body to react instantly in the correct way. Four; the circumstances of the attack must fall within a very narrow range that would allow you to succeed in your defense. In other words; you must see your attacker with sufficient time to move out of the arc of fire; you must be close enough to maximize the arc of fire; you must literally have the weight on the correct foot to moce instantly - even something that small will make the killing difference.
In other words; it's possible - but you have to win a freakin' lottery to do it.
I know - I've done it. Without going into details and please don't press me on it, it's something I don't like having to bring back; I was fired on by a man ready and prepared to shoot the first soldier through the door he was guarding. He fired from less than five feet away. He is now dead.
He is dead because I killed him.
Had not all those circumstances not come together; my luck plus my skill; he would have killed me.
So just between us; please don't anyone try to hand me some damn line about unarmed skills being useless against a handgun, alright? For 99.99% of the population it may well be; but I belong to that .01%; and view things differently as a result.

Now to the other part of Jim's comment that Jun put up: "Aikido isn't about that, neither is real Budo."
OK... I'm sure it isn't; so many people tell me so.
Lemme ask one quick teeny-weenie little question here....
If aikido isn't about defense; why are we throwing people around?!? Why is one 'uke' (attacker) and one 'nage' (defender)?
People seem to think that by looking at the defense; we ignore the spiritual/self-betterment side. Can we possibly turn that around and say the reverse? By concentrating on the spiritual; we ignore the defensive?
Is it not possible; by the slightest part, that the defensive side and spiritual side are in fact equal? Or is my interpretation of budo wrong and closeminded?

As for the original poster: Matthew; you're instructor told you something very true. Now let me tell you something very true: water is wet. Here's another one: Irons get hot when you plug them in. It's true; but what's the bloody point? If he's going to use his prior experience to hel you in the field of self defense; ask him to tell you something you can use.

Rant mode off.

Answers are only easy when they're incomplete.
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Old 09-01-2004, 10:26 AM   #16
akiy
 
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Re: Gun beats rock, paper, Aikido

Hi Dave,

All great thoughts. Thanks for posting them!

(Hopefully, Jim will see what you wrote and will reply in kind...)

-- Jun

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Old 09-01-2004, 10:52 AM   #17
DaveO
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Re: Gun beats rock, paper, Aikido

Thanks, Jun.
Sorry about the rant, really; it's just that particular topic hits a little close to home. The problem with self defense - especially as taught within the confines of the MA - is that by ratio very, very few people know how to do it effectively; and even fewer know how to teach it. No question; there are many, many, many superb aikido instructors out there; but of them only a tiny fraction are capable of teaching effective self defense - it's a totally different thing.
(Some people get confused or pissed off when I say that. Look at it this way: How many people on this forum are pilots? Quite a few I know; myself among them. OK; we can fly planes. Think we could shoot down an enemy plane in a dogfight? No way - that's a totally different skillset; one is flying the plane; the other is fighting it. For the vast majority of GA pilots; that's a skill they'll never need; the joy and pleasure of flying is enough. But for the others - the combat pilots; it's an essential skill; one known to be separate from the flying part. There are, of course, a lot of GA pilots who think they could fly in combat, for instance - let's face it; which new pilot hasn't pretended he was taking off in a Spitfire during the Battle of Britain during one of his early solo flights? Heh heh - been 16 years and I still do. Fortunately for us; we'll never have to learn otherwise - the same can't be said for all MAists; the possibility of an attack; infinitesimal as it is; is there.
As for my position on the different aspects of aikido - self defense; spirituality, etc.; to avoid misunderstanding I recommend this thread.

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Old 09-01-2004, 11:31 AM   #18
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Re: Gun beats rock, paper, Aikido

Quote:
Dave Organ wrote:
People seem to think that by looking at the defense; we ignore the spiritual/self-betterment side. Can we possibly turn that around and say the reverse? By concentrating on the spiritual; we ignore the defensive?
Is it not possible; by the slightest part, that the defensive side and spiritual side are in fact equal? Or is my interpretation of budo wrong and closeminded?
I have no problem with your interpretation.
The defensive side grounds the spiritual side in the world.
The spiritual side opens one to a vista beyond one's personal defensive concerns. In-Yo

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Old 09-01-2004, 11:47 AM   #19
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Re: Gun beats rock, paper, Aikido

My Sensei's name is James Shell. I made the SF connection, because hes kinda a gun nut too. Not in a violent manner, but as a marksman. ( I suppose he was violent in the SF though....) I agree that there Is engouh talk about what Aikido isnt. I think we all know its boundries, and limitations. What dosnt have them? My sole reason for practicing is because it inhances my life physicaly nd spritualy. I practice Zen Buddhism, and I feel that Aikido enhances this very much. Ive already said this on another thread, but I still think good Karma is your best defense.
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Old 09-01-2004, 11:53 AM   #20
Troy
 
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Re: Gun beats rock, paper, Aikido

I remember reading in one of John Seven sensei's books about how O-Sensei dodged a bullet point blank in one of his Aiki gardens. I think that depending on the situation, if us Aikidoka focus hard enough, and train hard enough, we too can reach that level. "Make the enemies arrogance your weapon." A samurai once said.

"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 09-01-2004, 12:41 PM   #21
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Re: Gun beats rock, paper, Aikido

Excellent posts, Dave.

Regards,

----
-Drew Ames
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Old 09-01-2004, 12:58 PM   #22
Paul Sanderson-Cimino
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Re: Gun beats rock, paper, Aikido

My own view on the topic:
Aikido, like most martial arts, can improve your ability to defend yourself. Maybe not fighting off six uzi-wielding cyborg ninja in an alley, but maybe knowing enough to spin out of a grab and make a run for it, or to pin an angry friend. I think it depends on how you train.
As for the spiritual/defense 'split', I'm one of those possible cop-outs who says they're intimately related. Most of us get our attacks in emotional or verbal form, but in all cases it's "controlling aggression without inflicting injury", as O-sensei said.
Of course, I think many of us know an answer to this question:
1) Fortunately, not all attacks are from an armed assailant, probably from a hidden position, out to kill us
2) Aikido can be applied every day to live better, fuller lives and help others around us do the same.
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Old 09-01-2004, 01:40 PM   #23
vanstretch
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Re: Gun beats rock, paper, Aikido

There is test world and there is real world. Two entirely different entities. I remember going thru police academy years ago and rembering little of what I was taught. I remember much more deeply and thoroughly what my field training officer and other veterans were doing in particular instances, and watched and learned from them. I learned to study others more critically and worked to avoid a rookies tunnel vision attitude. Aikido did and has helped quite a great bit. But YOU have to learn to adjust that inner dial accordingly. Dave Organ is right, and I can tell you that no officer wants to take a life, but sometimes they have to. (We do not kill anyone, We stop the threat.)That is how I can articulate my actions; to my sgt, to my partners, to a jury of my peers, to a judge. As long as I can articulate my actions and show that I had no alternative but to take the action(s) that I took, then my chances of clearance are much more in my favor. sorry for rant,many good points thru this learning curve of a thread. Take Care All. daniel.
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Old 09-01-2004, 03:43 PM   #24
Suru
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Re: Gun beats rock, paper, Aikido

A friend of mine carries a Colt .45 with him wherever he goes. He has a concealed weapons permit. He is the exception, not the norm. If I'm at the pool hall playing billiards and I accidently bump into a drunk guy while he's shooting, he might throw a punch or what have you. I seriously doubt he would be packing heat and pull out a side arm. Since it's extremely rare that people carry firearms, Aikido is well-suited to handle most conflict scenarios.

Drew
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Old 09-01-2004, 06:12 PM   #25
vanstretch
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Re: Gun beats rock, paper, Aikido

Drew, no offense but come on man!!!, maybe thats true with concealed carry permits for the few;(leo's,feds,bh's and some security,and/or those with permission). You can not make the correlation(assumption) that few people carry arms and so aikido will solve all. It will not, did you read Dave O's post in this thread? You know it is true that the gun laws of the US are a joke(most crime packed areas=inner cities,have the strictist laws). I just hope that you would rethink your assumption that not may carry arms on their persons. How could you possibly know this? You can't assume and you know why. Thank you.
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