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Old 03-07-2006, 08:50 PM   #1
Zach Sarver
Dojo: Aikido of Annapolis
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Fight

I didn't know where else to put this so I put this here.

I am a 16 year old in high school and today after school I was walking home and at the back of the school there was a fight going on, so I put my backpack down and went to break it up. As I approach I also see a clump of people watching, not making any attempt to help, just standing there and watching two people try to beat the daylight out of each other. There is also a ring of the fighters "friends" around them cheering them on. Right when I told them to break it up the two kids broke apart, both look scared to death. So, the fight is broken up and I start to leave, as I am walking away another kid comes up and starts challenging me. He does the stereotypical "Wanna fight" So I say no and keep walking.

Now for the discussion.

What are your feelings about such violence?

How much influence does a persons friends have on the fight(I am saying this cause the two kids looked scared and like they would rather not want to fight but were because there friends were egging them on along with the crowd, but this is just speculation.)

How much does pride have to do with this kind of fight and is this really pride or some cheap imitation?

And lastly for my own personal benefit: Was it right for me to walk away or should I have done something about the kid that challenged me?



Sorry if my thread and questions are abit weak, this is my first time.
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Old 03-07-2006, 10:45 PM   #2
Michael O'Brien
Dojo: Nashville Aikikai
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Re: Fight

Zachary,

First off I want to commend you for being a big enough person to end the fight. Peer pressure from friends can be a huge influence on behavior and probably had a lot to do with the fight from the way you describe it. It is sad, but a lot of youth today don't have the courage you have to stand on their own and end up following others and getting into trouble or end up being goaded into doing something that gets them into trouble.

Also, you definitely did the right thing by walking away from the fight when you were challenged. It would have been rather hypocritical of you to break up one fight only to get into one yourself. You were not directly threatened so walking away was the right solution.

I for one will say I think you did a fine job handling the situation and you should be proud of what you did today.

Harmony does not mean that there are no conflicts,
for the dynamic spiral of existence embraces both extremes.
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Old 03-08-2006, 06:10 AM   #3
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
Location: Devon
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Re: Fight

Hi Zachary,

I would like to second Michael's praise for your actions, well done. It takes courage to do the right thing, and this you showed. This is why many acts of violence go unchallenged, passers by lack the courage to take any action, fearing for their own safety overriding the desire to help another human in need. I imagine that feelings of guilt at not lending a hand only go to diminish a persons feeling of self worth.
The scenario you mentioned is not un-typical of young men across the globe. Testosterone and peer pressure are a pretty unassailable combination. The desire to be accepted by the gang overrides the fear for ones own safety as being shunned or ridiculed by you group is a hard cross to bear.
As for the two you rescued from the fight looking scared, I'm not surprised, they both may have been goaded into it be their 'friends' .
I'm sure pride has a deal to do with things, but my belief is that fear plays a much larger part, it my not be so obvious but it underlies most destructive human behaviour, violent or otherwise.
Of course it was right for you to walk away, well done.
I was going add a little about the brain function of an adolescent not being fully developed until around 18 years of age. However when someone like yourself displays such common sense, and you put that against the infinite number of stupid/pointless/violent actions taken by adults, I thought better of it.

A question for you Zachary, how long have you been practicing aikido? and how much of an influence do you think it had on your actions in this case?

regards,
Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 03-08-2006, 08:22 AM   #4
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Fight

Good job. Don't worry about walking away from that sort of challenge, just be careful as you do it. Create distance while facing the challenger, don't just turn your back on him. I think you did fine, just remember that a school yard fight is one thing...serious violence can be something else again. Judge each situation carefully. Sometimes it's actually better to call someone fully qualified to intervene. Obviously, you judged this situation well.

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 03-08-2006, 11:42 AM   #5
James Davis
 
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Re: Fight

Nice job, Zachary.

Pride and stupidity are what start fights. Most people mistakenly think that arguments and fights are things that can be won.

I'm glad you walked away from that guy. It's something you should try to do, IF it's really an option.

Those two guys that were scared as hell of each other were trying to prove their bravery to a bunch of kids standing around them. For what it's worth, you've proven your bravery to me.

People get hurt bad, and sometimes killed, fighting for something stupid. If there ever comes a time that you have to fight, make sure it's to defend yourself or someone else, or for some other reason that really matters.

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 03-08-2006, 11:51 AM   #6
Dajo251
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Re: Fight

Quote:
Zachary Sarver wrote:
I didn't know where else to put this so I put this here.

I am a 16 year old in high school and today after school I was walking home and at the back of the school there was a fight going on, so I put my backpack down and went to break it up. As I approach I also see a clump of people watching, not making any attempt to help, just standing there and watching two people try to beat the daylight out of each other. There is also a ring of the fighters "friends" around them cheering them on. Right when I told them to break it up the two kids broke apart, both look scared to death. So, the fight is broken up and I start to leave, as I am walking away another kid comes up and starts challenging me. He does the stereotypical "Wanna fight" So I say no and keep walking.

Now for the discussion.

What are your feelings about such violence?

How much influence does a persons friends have on the fight(I am saying this cause the two kids looked scared and like they would rather not want to fight but were because there friends were egging them on along with the crowd, but this is just speculation.)

How much does pride have to do with this kind of fight and is this really pride or some cheap imitation?

And lastly for my own personal benefit: Was it right for me to walk away or should I have done something about the kid that challenged me?



Sorry if my thread and questions are abit weak, this is my first time.

Hey, good job on all of it, you did really well and give me hope for the youth out there, Breaking it up took guts and walking away after being challenged took brains, you did really really well, I am impressed.

dan

Dan Hulley
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Old 03-08-2006, 11:53 AM   #7
Dajo251
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Re: Fight

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Good job. Don't worry about walking away from that sort of challenge, just be careful as you do it. Create distance while facing the challenger, don't just turn your back on him. I think you did fine, just remember that a school yard fight is one thing...serious violence can be something else again. Judge each situation carefully. Sometimes it's actually better to call someone fully qualified to intervene. Obviously, you judged this situation well.

Best,
Ron

I once learned that dont turn your back on a challenger the hard way when I was in High School and I got punched square in the back of the head.....that was no fun at all.

Dan Hulley
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Old 03-08-2006, 12:02 PM   #8
James Davis
 
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Re: Fight

Quote:
Daniel Hulley wrote:
I once learned that dont turn your back on a challenger the hard way when I was in High School and I got punched square in the back of the head.....that was no fun at all.
The guy that punched you when your back was turned was a punk. Sadly, people like that are probably in the majority - especially in high school. When someone threatens us, we should all take it seriously.

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 03-08-2006, 02:47 PM   #9
Zach Sarver
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Re: Fight

Quote:
A question for you Zachary, how long have you been practicing aikido? and how much of an influence do you think it had on your actions in this case?
I have been practicing Aikido about a year and 3 months. I think Aikido had a huge influence on my actions. Aikido has made me stop caring about peer pressure and to be more confident in myself, so I didn't care what any of those people thought. It also has taught me that I don't have to prove myself to people, so it wasn't hard to walk away.
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Old 03-08-2006, 03:53 PM   #10
barnibis
 
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Re: Fight

Dan ,

you beat me to it,


when i first read this post, i agree with everyone but i wanted to say that you should never turn your Back on the aggression, like you i learned that the hard way but in my case i received a jumping kick to my lower back it really hurt.

I though it was really neat that you posted the same idea before i got to it.

Sensei always raggs on me to maintain "Zan shin" hope i speed it right, even after a technique, or throw, you have to maintain the connection of awareness until the attacker is no longer a threat.


Zack you are awesome, but when faced with violence, don't lose your connection of awareness.
remember, Dan got punched in the head, and i got kicked in the back.


o..
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Old 03-08-2006, 04:47 PM   #11
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
Location: Devon
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Re: Fight

Quote:
Zachary Sarver wrote:
I have been practicing Aikido about a year and 3 months. I think Aikido had a huge influence on my actions. Aikido has made me stop caring about peer pressure and to be more confident in myself, so I didn't care what any of those people thought. It also has taught me that I don't have to prove myself to people, so it wasn't hard to walk away.
Zachary'
You have gained much so far, and at such a tender age. My hope is that you continue to enjoy your practice, and absorb as much as you can, for as long as you can. The world of aikido needs people like you to shape it's future. Practice in the dojo is all well and good and is the foundation that the practice is built on. For me the greatest benefit of aikido in the world, is the translation of the principles we learn in the dojo, into the everyday outside world. You have shown you are up to it. Search out good teachers, learn from them, follow the way, and make it your own.

regards,
Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 03-08-2006, 05:18 PM   #12
Adam Alexander
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Re: Fight

Quote:
Zachary Sarver wrote:
What are your feelings about such violence?
Boys will be boys. Little slugfests as a teen-ager were very rewarding for me as a person.

First, I've learned some lessons about how I shouldn't behave. Second, I learned that people who you wouldn't expect to be relatively bad people...sometimes turn out to be bad people. Third, I was exposed to fear for my safety, which is a part of who we are. Fourth, I learned that a little fighting can solve a problem that others who wouldn't fight would never work out.

On that last one, it always seemed, as a youngin', in all but one instance, we talked afterward and became friends. Whereas, the clowns who were afraid, if they weren't really pleasant to be around, always spent high-school getting pushed around. Or, the guys who were "tough" enough to not get pushed around by lots of people, spent four years in a ridiculous "rumor war" with a guy they really should of just pounded.

Quote:
Zachary Sarver wrote:
How much influence does a persons friends have on the fight

How much does pride have to do with this kind of fight and is this really pride or some cheap imitation?
I think these go together. My experience is that friends effect your behavior throughout your life. If you hang out with drug-users, chances are you'll end up a drug user. If you hang out with decent people, chances are you'll end up decent yourself.

The question of whether these friends were encouraging the kid to do the "right" thing is really beyond anything we could know...Maybe one was plotting to kill the other's mother and the only solution was to fist fight because "the police could only act with proof"...Certainly, it's out there, but it's an example that you don't know.

I think your question is more along the lines of "Is this courage?" or "a cheap imitation." In everything that I've read, courage and "manly fortitude" (I just finished "1776") have always been considered admirable traits. Standing up for one's self, physically if necessary, is what "should" be done if that's the best solution.

Goodness, could you imagine a Samurai walking away from someone trying to embarrass him?

To reduce the question to simply "violence is never the right choice" is foolish...to say the least. And is the opinion of those with relatively limited life experience.


Quote:
Zachary Sarver wrote:
And lastly for my own personal benefit: Was it right for me to walk away or should I have done something about the kid that challenged me?
Did you do the right thing by walking away? Certainly. You deserved to get cracked in the head for interfering with something you knew nothing about.

School is a microcosm of real life (atleast that's what I've seen). When you're an adult and you mind someone else's business, you'll be talked about behind your back and you may lose out on promotions, clients, reputation, etc. A little bloody-nose would of done you well to teach you a lesson early on before real life hurts.

Don't use Aikido as an excuse for fear.

Keep in mind, this is all just my opinion. And, in reality, I believe there's significant socio-economic issues that relate. If you're poor and in a not-so-good area, you fight with your fists. If you've got some money, you fight with lawyers. Unless you know their situation, you should just mind your business when it's not directly hurting you.
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Old 03-08-2006, 11:43 PM   #13
Dajo251
Dojo: Aikido Downtown
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Re: Fight

Quote:
James Davis, Jr. wrote:
The guy that punched you when your back was turned was a punk. Sadly, people like that are probably in the majority - especially in high school. When someone threatens us, we should all take it seriously.
Yup...he was a punk...it was a stupid fight too, just some kid trying to prove how tough he was....

Dan Hulley
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Old 03-09-2006, 02:57 PM   #14
Zach Sarver
Dojo: Aikido of Annapolis
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Re: Fight

Quote:
First, I've learned some lessons about how I shouldn't behave.
My feeling are that by high school, you should already know how not to behave.

Quote:
Third, I was exposed to fear for my safety, which is a part of who we are.
I don't think that a slugfest is that much of a danger to your safety. Yeah you could get seriously hurt, but if you're able to become friends after, chances are you aren't trying to do that much damage to a person. A bloody nose and a black eye arn't exactly life threatening.

Quote:
Fourth, I learned that a little fighting can solve a problem that others who wouldn't fight would never work out.
Sitting down and talking something out with someone can go a long way, unless the two people don't want to try to talk it out, and even when forced they resist peacefully solving it.

Quote:
On that last one, it always seemed, as a youngin', in all but one instance, we talked afterward and became friends. Whereas, the clowns who were afraid, if they weren't really pleasant to be around, always spent high-school getting pushed around. Or, the guys who were "tough" enough to not get pushed around by lots of people, spent four years in a ridiculous "rumor war" with a guy they really should of just pounded.
You are lumping everyone into two categories. The "brave" people who are willing to fight over anything and the "clowns who are afraid". Just because someone doesn't fight, that doesn't mean they are afraid to. If you don't go around fighting people, that doesn't mean you get pushed around. It means you have either found better ways to solve the problem or you don't think that whatever the person has done is worth fighting over. There are of course those people who talk big, but are actually afraid to fight.

Quote:
The question of whether these friends were encouraging the kid to do the "right" thing is really beyond anything we could know...Maybe one was plotting to kill the other's mother and the only solution was to fist fight because "the police could only act with proof"...Certainly, it's out there, but it's an example that you don't know.
The example is a bit farfetched, but I see what you are trying to say. Even though I doubt if someone was plotting to kill your mother a fist fight would stop them from plotting.

Quote:
I think your question is more along the lines of "Is this courage?" or "a cheap imitation." In everything that I've read, courage and "manly fortitude" (I just finished "1776") have always been considered admirable traits. Standing up for one's self, physically if necessary, is what "should" be done if that's the best solution.
My question had nothing to do with courage. Courage and pride are two very different things. I don't think it takes much courage to fight a kid when you have a bunch of your friends around you. I wholeheartedly agree that people should stand up for themselves, even if it comes to physical violence. But if you are standing up for yourself, the fight should happen as you are standing up for yourself, not on a later appointed day where everyone can watch. This comes back to the pride. When you have a scheduled fight it turns from standing up for yourself to doing something that everyone wants to see.

Quote:
Goodness, could you imagine a Samurai walking away from someone trying to embarrass him?
They were to say the least, fanatics who would kill anyone on the slighest percieved insult. Hell, they would even kill a person walking down the street to test the sharpness of their sword.

Quote:
To reduce the question to simply "violence is never the right choice" is foolish...to say the least. And is the opinion of those with relatively limited life experience.
I agree. Violence sometimes is the only answer, but you should only resort to that after you have used all of your other options.

Quote:
School is a microcosm of real life (atleast that's what I've seen). When you're an adult and you mind someone else's business, you'll be talked about behind your back and you may lose out on promotions, clients, reputation, etc. A little bloody-nose would of done you well to teach you a lesson early on before real life hurts.
You're making the assumption that I have never been in a fight before, or gotten a bloody nose. I have, I know what it feels like. When someone is fighting on public property, it is everyones business. If getting into someones business stops someone from getting hurt, then I don't care if people talk behind my back.

Quote:
Don't use Aikido as an excuse for fear.
I don't remember ever useing Aikido as an excuse for fear. Walking away from a fight that is not worth fighting isn't Aikido or fear, it's common sense. Not being a hypocrite doesn't take much Aikido either.

Quote:
If you're poor and in a not-so-good area, you fight with your fists. If you've got some money, you fight with lawyers. Unless you know their situation, you should just mind your business when it's not directly hurting you.
My school isn't in a "not-so-good-area". It is in a very good area.
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Old 03-09-2006, 04:33 PM   #15
Adam Alexander
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Re: Fight

Quote:
Zachary Sarver wrote:
My feeling are that by high school, you should already know how not to behave..
LOL. Yeah, I imagine that's how most of us feel...or did feel. However, real life isn't so clean. In my life, I've seen few people who behaved correctly in highschool...myself being one of them.

When I was "beat up" in school for good reason, it taught me lessons that have lasted me since.


Quote:
Zachary Sarver wrote:
I don't think that a slugfest is that much of a danger to your safety. Yeah you could get seriously hurt, but if you're able to become friends after, chances are you aren't trying to do that much damage to a person. A bloody nose and a black eye arn't exactly life threatening..
Well, we've got different experiences then. When I was a kid getting into fights, although no one was trained, it was terrifying...even though not life threatening.

I was afraid of getting punched or kicked in the face. I was also afraid of the shame I'd have if I lost. LOL. I'm still afraid of that stuff.

Different strokes I guess.


Quote:
Zachary Sarver wrote:
Sitting down and talking something out with someone can go a long way, unless the two people don't want to try to talk it out, and even when forced they resist peacefully solving it..
Definitely preferred. But, as it relates to this situation, you don't know if those kids already tried it or if the offense justified someone taking a lickin'.



Quote:
Zachary Sarver wrote:
You are lumping everyone into two categories. The "brave" people who are willing to fight over anything and the "clowns who are afraid". Just because someone doesn't fight, that doesn't mean they are afraid to. If you don't go around fighting people, that doesn't mean you get pushed around. It means you have either found better ways to solve the problem or you don't think that whatever the person has done is worth fighting over. There are of course those people who talk big, but are actually afraid to fight.
My comments were in consideration of a necessary confrontation.


Quote:
Zachary Sarver wrote:
My question had nothing to do with courage. Courage and pride are two very different things. I don't think it takes much courage to fight a kid when you have a bunch of your friends around you. I wholeheartedly agree that people should stand up for themselves, even if it comes to physical violence. But if you are standing up for yourself, the fight should happen as you are standing up for yourself, not on a later appointed day where everyone can watch. This comes back to the pride. When you have a scheduled fight it turns from standing up for yourself to doing something that everyone wants to see.
I figure there's things worth fighting for even if it must be scheduled.


Quote:
Zachary Sarver wrote:
I agree. Violence sometimes is the only answer, but you should only resort to that after you have used all of your other options.
Well, maybe. I figure if my wife were being raped, I wouldn't waste time talking.


Quote:
Zachary Sarver wrote:
When someone is fighting on public property, it is everyones business. If getting into someones business stops someone from getting hurt, then I don't care if people talk behind my back.
Different strokes. As long as they're not obstructing traffic, I don't really mind if, as part of the public, they need 100' feet or so for ten minutes.

I'd recommend being concerned about who's talking behind your back. Just my experience, but the more people who's respect you have, the better off you'll be.


Quote:
Zachary Sarver wrote:
My school isn't in a "not-so-good-area". It is in a very good area.
Maybe those guys are from not-so-good areas...or heading for them.
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Old 03-09-2006, 07:04 PM   #16
Zach Sarver
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Re: Fight

Well Mr. Rochefort, I must say that you have made alot of sense. Even though I don't agree with some of the things you have said, I can't fail to see the sense in alot of what you said. I guess you could say that you have brought me back to reality and out of the clouds of my idealistic world. I was "fortunate" enough to get kicked in the face and a broken nose when I was younger, so getting hit in the face has never really scared me since then, cause it made me learn to get out of the way.
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Old 03-10-2006, 04:35 PM   #17
Adam Alexander
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Re: Fight

Quote:
Zachary Sarver wrote:
Well Mr. Rochefort, I must say that you have made alot of sense. Even though I don't agree with some of the things you have said, I can't fail to see the sense in alot of what you said. I guess you could say that you have brought me back to reality and out of the clouds of my idealistic world. I was "fortunate" enough to get kicked in the face and a broken nose when I was younger, so getting hit in the face has never really scared me since then, cause it made me learn to get out of the way.
Yeah, I used to be very idealistic. How's that go? "A cynic is an idealist who's been betrayed?"

I was just looking to bring attention to the generalization of "violence never solving anything" and that genre of beliefs. Take a close look at the people who perpetuate those ideals. The more I read and experience, the more I'm convinced they don't know what they're talking about.

Even from a Christian and Aikido framework, there's nothing about being passive, in that respect, as I understand it. Shifflet, in "Aikido Exercises" makes a point of that.


LOL. I like that getting kicked in the face one.

I've never been kicked in the face...I watched someone on the ground take one by a guy with boots on. The guy on the ground didn't even have anything over his face to reduce the damage--no arms or hands...Just an all out kick to the face.

Since then, I consider that it must be an unpleasant experience which I should strive to avoid...I don't know, it must be the spitting blood and teeth onto the ground that doesn't appeal to me.
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