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Old 07-24-2005, 03:52 AM   #1
Shahryn
Dojo: Bangsar Shobukan
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Ever Had To Use Aikido For Real?

One of the ironies of training in aikido is that aikidokas are generally more environmentally aware ('zanshin') and therefore, don't look so much like potential victims or easy walk-overs. [ As you know, no matter one's sex or physical stature/size, the general vibes one exudes sets one up for potential attack. Or not.] Nevertheless, of all the many aikidokas there are out there these days, I'm curious as to whether anyone here in Aikiweb has ever had to use his/her training for real and would like to share the outcome of that experience with us?

I think about that quote "Aikido works - yours doesn't!" and all the more, it makes me wonder about non-sensei level aikidokas who suddenly get thrown into bad situations and have to work their way out of them.
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Old 07-24-2005, 03:55 AM   #2
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Ever Had To Use Aikido For Real?

There are tons of war stories out there. Dig through the archives of these threads on aikiweb. I use my aikido training everyday! Breath in, breath out!
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Old 07-24-2005, 05:56 AM   #3
Shahryn
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Re: Ever Had To Use Aikido For Real?

Thanks, Kevin! I did check out the threads and many mention some event or other in the context of that thread's main topic as opposed to specifically recounting an incident. I mention this because of the rising incidence of road rage in my neck of the woods - OK, so it's not daily that I encounter aggressive drivers but it's frequent enough that I wonder when (not if) one of these guys is going to be a raving looney toon and want to show what a real man he is. Especially if he's had a few and/or has a pal or two with him. Talk about randori, right? The good news is that I often have my 4 year old with me so mixing it up in those situations - or any - is far from my mind. All the more, I will be the nage, I suppose, as some looney uke grabs a tire iron or some such and decides to show me what about.
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Old 07-24-2005, 06:42 AM   #4
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Ever Had To Use Aikido For Real?

Ego is the factor involved with these situations. Usually you can remove yourself from them. The tough part is doing it when you know your are in the right.

I had a situation where a guy blew by me and cut me off, I was driving my BMW M3, so I had superior breaks and acceleration, and did things that I probably should of even though I was right. He got out of the car and approached my vehicle at the next light. I unlocked my door and unlatched it, in case I needed to "get out". Anyway, he started calling me names and stuff.

I started feeling pretty guilty about me stupidity and said, you know you are right and smiled, and appologized. He back down, we shook hands and realized how stupid we both had been. I have never done this again since!

It was tough to do, but the right thing. What allowed me to do it, was at no time did I feel threatened that he would whoop up on me because of my training. My ego (even though I was initially wrong in the situation), was under control mainly because of my training and I was able to check it, admit I was wrong and move on. My training gave me the strength and confidence to move on.
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Old 07-24-2005, 08:28 AM   #5
Shahryn
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Re: Ever Had To Use Aikido For Real?

I hear you, Kevin!

By comparison, I was trying to cross the street with my then-3 year old son when a cab accelerated to prevent crossing infront of him. This is an area where joggers outrun cars, OK? Traffic is usually so dense (because it's a retail-heavy area) that you can't really move 'fast' anyway but no, this cab wanted right of way. Because I was with my kid, the danger factor in what he'd done was x times worse than if I had been trying to cross the street on my own. I glared at him. No middle finger, no mouthed obscenities. Maybe that was my (limit of) 'control'. The cab driver stares at me and raises his chin up and down in a 'what of it?' kind of gesture. I don't look away (not my ego, my pissed-off'ness now coming through) and the cab driver decides he wants to show me he could get out of his cab and come after me. The car behind him starts honking now because the cab's slowed so much, he's holding up dead traffic, so the cab moves on.

You're right, Kevin. Would I have smiled and apologized? I fear not. Would I have tried to tough my way out with a 3 year old in tow? Probably not also.

It's those situations I am thinking of.

Meanwhile, I have a SUV Montero and my wife says I drive like I'm 70 (not 42) so there's low likelihood I would be heading anyone off. M3, huh? Very nice!
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Old 07-24-2005, 09:30 AM   #6
aikigirl10
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Re: Ever Had To Use Aikido For Real?

One of my fellow aikidoka at my dojo was in a fight at school. His friend said he got the crap beat out of him but of course he says differently
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Old 07-24-2005, 11:31 AM   #7
malsmith
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Re: Ever Had To Use Aikido For Real?

ive never used an aikido technique 'in the real world'... but i have lots of older siblings who like to pick on me, and sometimes my training shines through while rough-housing. but i would never really hurt them or anything.
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Old 07-25-2005, 12:28 PM   #8
Adam Alexander
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Re: Ever Had To Use Aikido For Real?

Real world: several physical altercations. In all cases, I walked away unscathed.

I'll say this about that stuff: I never started anything. However, I made no effort to de-escalate the situations...until the last six months or so.

I've found that as I get better, I don't feel so much desire to prove myself. For me, the lesson has been that people who "want" things to escalate probably have some sort of insecurity to prove...I've had three situations over the last two months where someone "wanted to get nose-to-nose" with me. In every case, when they talked about what they were going to do to me, I just agreed,"Yeah, you'll probably kick my..." (However, I never feigned fear) As long as they kept their distance, we were cool.

I guess what I'm saying, is that Aikido has taught me (myself being the lesson) that people who do crap like that can be handled in the same way as any other Aikido technique: Don't meet the force head on.


Regarding road rage: Pay attention to the road and other vehicles, you'll never have to worry about someone coming after you if you do the right thing.

Kevin, very nice story. Pride is the worst tasting meal, but always seems to be the most beneficial meal to swallow. I'm the only person I know who's gut wrenches because he has to apologize. I imagine it was awful to apologize to someone who's trying to threaten.

Last edited by Adam Alexander : 07-25-2005 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 07-25-2005, 01:16 PM   #9
Michael Neal
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Re: Ever Had To Use Aikido For Real?

From my experience the best way to avoid confrontations is to first be 100% confident and look like it. The trick is to look confident but not to go too far like puffing out your chest and things like that. Then you should not do anything to further provoke the situation if possible.

I have had people in 3 different situations who were walking towards me with fists closed back up after just giving them a stern look. This even worked for me many years ago when I was scrawny and weighed only 145lbs, now at 197lbs I don't ever get any bad vibes from anyone when I am at bars and such. But I have been told I have a pretty mean look when I do that sort of thing so it may not work for everyone.

If you start puffing up and doing things like that it shows you are a little intimidated and need to compensate. That is a sure way to escalate the situation.

Last edited by Michael Neal : 07-25-2005 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 07-25-2005, 03:04 PM   #10
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Ever Had To Use Aikido For Real?

Michael, so you FINALLY took that Charles Atlas course out of the comic books!
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Old 07-26-2005, 08:49 AM   #11
Michael Neal
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Re: Ever Had To Use Aikido For Real?

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Michael, so you FINALLY took that Charles Atlas course out of the comic books!
thats right
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Old 07-26-2005, 01:53 PM   #12
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Ever Had To Use Aikido For Real?

Michael...I will be in DC 17 through 21 August...probably will try and get by and train at NVB. Might also get by Capital BJJ...where are you training???
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Old 07-26-2005, 10:55 PM   #13
Michael Neal
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Re: Ever Had To Use Aikido For Real?

Arlington Judo Club, we train on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:30 - 9:30PM. The only drawback though is that you have to have an active insurance policy with USJF, USJA, or USJI or you will have to pay $35 on the spot to apply in order to practice.

For BJJ I used to practice at Capital Jiu Jitsu but the schedule conflicts with Judo. I am looking at starting to train BJJ at Fightworks in Sterling soon since they are the only ones that have a schedule convenient to me.
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Old 07-27-2005, 12:54 AM   #14
Jeff Sodeman
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Re: Ever Had To Use Aikido For Real?

For what it's worth I've been in an scuffle and a full on fight and used aikido in both and came out on top. The fight was against a much bigger person and I was able to subue him 4 times in a row (though I did get hit several times). Both times I could have personally avoided the situation but chose not to as I think an innocent person with no training would have taken my place.

I have no question about aikido being effective. But those situations brought up other questions, such as once you subdue someone what do you do with them? Sit there pinning them for 20 minutes while you wait for the police?

For a variety of reasons I probably don't look like someone you'd want to pick a fight with - so I think it would be rare for me to end up in another one. But I do think it's likely that I'd come across something between an attacker and a friend or just a random victim. Using aikido in that kind of situation, having to step into an existing conflict where you're not the initial target, is an interesting thing to think about.

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Old 07-27-2005, 01:24 PM   #15
Michael Neal
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Re: Ever Had To Use Aikido For Real?

Quote:
Michael Neal wrote:
From my experience the best way to avoid confrontations is to first be 100% confident and look like it. The trick is to look confident but not to go too far like puffing out your chest and things like that. Then you should not do anything to further provoke the situation if possible.

I have had people in 3 different situations who were walking towards me with fists closed back up after just giving them a stern look. This even worked for me many years ago when I was scrawny and weighed only 145lbs, now at 197lbs I don't ever get any bad vibes from anyone when I am at bars and such. But I have been told I have a pretty mean look when I do that sort of thing so it may not work for everyone.

If you start puffing up and doing things like that it shows you are a little intimidated and need to compensate. That is a sure way to escalate the situation.
I just re-read my post and it sounds so stupid. I really don't look that mean or intimidating but for some reason I have been able to avoid confrontations my entire life by being non-confontational yet confident. That's what I was trying to say without trying to claim I am a badass or something.

Kevin, what is NVB?

Last edited by Michael Neal : 07-27-2005 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 07-27-2005, 05:25 PM   #16
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Ever Had To Use Aikido For Real?

Sorry...should have been ANV..aikido of northern VA...not NVB..which states for Northern VA Budokai or Budokan.

That is why I had to bust on you about the Charles Atlas thing! All in good fun! I knew what you really meant!
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Old 07-30-2005, 07:20 PM   #17
dyffcult
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Re: Ever Had To Use Aikido For Real?

Evening out at local pub after client just convicted of first degree murder for kicking a guy to death in a bar brawl. Had been pondering how quickly someone can die from just such an attack--with none of the attackers intending such a result. Watching my then brother in law posturing at the bar with some other guy. Knowing a fight was brewing and wondering what to do.

The next thing I know, I see both men outside. The other guy sucker punches my brother in law knocking him to the ground. The other guy then starts kicking movements. The next thing I know, I have the guy in a shoulder lock face first in the pavement telling his buddy to back off or I will break his arm. Yes, I used aikido to bring him down. No, I don't recall the technique. Hell, I didn't even remember getting from the back of the bar and out the front door.

Few years later, different setting, same result. Only this time it was two guys controlled.

Slightly different scene. Arrived in the parking lot at the local community college. Guy yelling at and pushing a woman in a parking lot. She was crying and yelling at him to leave her alone. I assumed they were boyfriend and girlfriend or ex-mates. He was physical and yelling lots of obscenities. I walked into his line of sight, about twenty feet away, and made him the entire focus of my being. He stated, "What are you looking at "c..." I said nothing, just kept staring. No aggressive stance. Just there..just kept staring. He yelled a few more profanities at me and the woman and then walked off. After a few minutes, the girl looked at me, curtly said thank you, and then headed towards the class rooms. Aikido? I don't know. Probably more one of those....in order for evil to exist one good man need just do nothing ... kind of things.

Brenda
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Old 08-01-2005, 02:33 PM   #18
Aragorn
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Grr! Re: Ever Had To Use Aikido For Real?

Quote:
Mal Smith wrote:
ive never used an aikido technique 'in the real world'... but i have lots of older siblings who like to pick on me, and sometimes my training shines through while rough-housing. but i would never really hurt them or anything.
tons of older siblings,
but i never can use my techniques while I rough house! they just pick me up. End of Story.

Regards,

P.S.

All that is gold does not glitter. All those who wander are not lost.
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Old 08-01-2005, 03:22 PM   #19
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Ever Had To Use Aikido For Real?

Nice post Brenda, Thanks!

Best,
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 08-02-2005, 12:33 PM   #20
Mel Barker
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Re: Ever Had To Use Aikido For Real?

Brenda, that certainly wasn't Aikido. As many posters will attest, you must turn and run at the first sign of trouble for it to be perfect Aikido.

Good Job,

Mel - tongue firmly in check - Barker
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Old 08-02-2005, 01:23 PM   #21
Mark Mueller
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Re: Ever Had To Use Aikido For Real?

Kevin,

Do we know each other? I was part of Bob G.s dojo when it was called NVB.....It was the dojo over near Old Town Alexandria...later he moved to Springfield(?).

Mark
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Old 08-02-2005, 01:56 PM   #22
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Ever Had To Use Aikido For Real?

I was in Old Town for a short while (the last summer he was open there 1997?). We moved down to Eisenhower Ave in Aleaxandria for about 2 years I believe..then he closed down and Min, Big Dave, and a few others got with Jimmy Sorentino in 1999/2000 and opened up Aikido of Nothern VA.

My wife Lee and I came in there. I was a big Army Ranger type guy with a high and tight that liked to train hard...came down from Takoma Park Dojo after training for a while up there.

I know your name...I think I can even place your face!
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Old 08-10-2005, 05:38 PM   #23
Randathamane
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Re: Ever Had To Use Aikido For Real?

The first time i was forced to use aikido, i was outnumbered as one of my friends made an " Unwise " comment about another bloke in a nearby pub.... who then turned up with his mates.
Lets just say that confrontation was well.... Bad. No major injuries- few bruises, couple of cuts but otherwise fine.

The second time was when visiting friends. a few yobs or "gangstas" as they like to call themselves were following me and my friends. One threw a bottle that nearly hit us. Even number, pitched battle...... LETS DANCE!
At 4th kyu level at said incident- needless to say we won.

Having to use my aikido is not something i want to do, nor is it something that i take pleasure in- but it's nice for the knowledge to be there just in case it all goes pear shaped.
I must also stress that both experiences ( were in hands-worth wood or Birmingham at night) were nothing like the dojo. Uke didn't come full force with their attacks nore did they try to grab my hand or come shomenuchi. To all the other Non Dansha out there BEWARE! one must MAKE aikido work- It doesn't just fall into place, most of the time- it is engineered.

Good against remotes are one thing- good against the living, thats somthing else....
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Old 08-23-2005, 02:23 PM   #24
Min Kang
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Kevin, meet Mark. Mark, meet Kevin.

Mark,

Kevin described himself perfectly as the Ranger type of guy with the high and tights. And yes, he liked to train hard. Unfortunately, Uncle Sam shipped his butt over to Germany where apparently he traded in his classic 2002tii for an M3.

Kevin,

Mark Mueller was a Nidan when I first started with Bob Galeone and I still say that he's the best "teacher" I've had in Aikido. (make whatever you will of the "quotes", Mark ) And then he had to go and get himself married and moved to bumf*cknowhere, Michigan.

Now, shake hands and buy each other a beer and a single-malt.

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Old 08-24-2005, 08:37 AM   #25
Lyle Bogin
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Re: Ever Had To Use Aikido For Real?

I've been battered 4 times (not counting minor assaults like getting "shouldered" on the street), once a front strangulation, once a rear naked choke while sitting in a chair, once a shove into traffic, and once a punch in the gut and a slash with a concealed box cutter. The details are personal.

So far, no permanent damage outside of the mind, but also no amazingly heroic stories of dominating my aggressor. I wouldn't call anything I did "aikido". I would call it survival.
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