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 Post subject: COFFEE BAR SHOWDOWN
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 1999 2:02 am 
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Posts: 30250
Here is an event as related by a dear friend of mine , Uechi-ryu yondan , very capable and avid reader of my forum ! He wishes to remain anonymous for the time being until sufficient time has passed for tactical reasons !

Here it goes :

" Well, it was strange. I was at a coffee shop where I catch up on
> reading.
> >It is a friendly place with an artistic croud. Not exactly a rough
> place.
> >It was a sunny day. Some woman--rotund and strange--sat next to me and
> >kept making the type of noises that you expect when someone is trying
to engage you in a sob story. I am not interested in sob stories from
> >strangers. Eventually, I got up from the chair and went outside--lady
> >also demonstrated a lack of hygiene.
> >
> >So, I am directly outside. My jacket is on my inside chair with
> some unimportant papers. No one can steal them without passing me. So
I relax. She eventually leaves or bothers someone else. Why leave the
> >stuff? I think I wanted to give the impression I was just going outside
> >rather than leaving. Why disturb her further, I guess.
> >
> >Now I return. There is a bearded 20 something with long-hair sitting in
> >my chair. Do I care? Not at all, actually. However all of my stuff is
> >on the floor, not set aside on the table or ajoining chair. So I ask
> who
> >threw my stuff on the floor. Here is the situation: he is sitting
> in a chair in a corner I am standing above him. To do anything, to
reach me, he must stand and face me. Even if he tried to rush me from the
chair he has to go around a pillar where he his meet my knee. He starts
with the, "you were outside blah blah.," which basically confesses that he
knew it was my stuff, I had not left, and it really does not justify
throwing it on the floor. Now I am mad and he is standing. I want nothing
> better than to smack him. I look him in the eye even though I am watch
him and his hands. "SON," I say firmly, "You do not put my stuff on the
> floor!"
> >
> >This response angers him, but takes him aback. "Son?!" he asks now
> >trying to be tough. "You want your stuff, here" he tries to pick it up
> to toss at me. I kick the chairs out of the way--I want a clear shot,
grab my stuff out of his hands before he can lift them and toss them
behind me--away actually. "That's right, SON!" I say firmly.
> >
> >Okay, now I am angry and--oddly, I do not feel the chemical cocktail or
> >gripping fear. I do not really know why--it will come later! I make a
> >decision. He either leaves or I will take him out. Now, Van, what I
> >mean by that is I will let him leave--I will not escalate--I will not
> call him "#####" or threaten him. I have simply made my displeasure
known and I think he understood the implication of "son."
> >
> >"So you want your chair back?"
> >
> >"Yes."
> >
> >And he left.
> >
> >I sat down and waited--now the adrenaline, anger and all that hits. I
> >begin to wonder how stupid I was. As much as my angry side wanted to
> >pummel him--not too hard given he was in a corner--I also knew how
> >childish--and suicidal that was. I think, if I have to justify it, he
> >"bumped" me with his attitude. He expected me to explode or "try
> >something" or backdown.
> >
> >While I did the "Uechi stare" I tried to maintain calm and
> control--hence the firm "son." Would that I could do that in a sparring
match. "

Any comments ? How would you have handled it ? What did he do right or wrong ? What questions would you ask and why ?


> >

------------------
Van Canna


[This message has been edited by Van Canna (edited 05-12-99).]


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 Post subject: COFFEE BAR SHOWDOWN
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 1999 9:46 am 
Anonymous was ready. I'll bet his blood was really pumping and he said "Whew!" when he sat down. Often in a situation like that you are very focused and don't think of the consequences until AFTER it is over. That was mindset.

------------------
Allen - [email]uechi@ici.net">uechi@ici.net</A> - <A HREF="http://www.uechi-ryu.org[/email]


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 Post subject: COFFEE BAR SHOWDOWN
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 1999 12:41 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 01, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 244
Location: Marblehead, MA USA
Anon, I probably would have picked the coat and papers up myself, got in his face and said "Thanks A***h***" (an invitation) waited a minute, still close enough, then left through the kitchen. But then I might not be here today, every confrontation has a downside. The only mistake I feel you made was to stay there, by doing that you remain a target, this is especailly true in a bar fight/confrontation (since about 99% of incidents involve alcohol). Get out of there as fast as you can without running.
Mike


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 Post subject: COFFEE BAR SHOWDOWN
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 1999 1:13 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 27, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 317
Anonymous,
It sounds like reason prevailed in the end and a very upsetting and dangerous (and unnecessary) public scene was avoided. There was no threat of harm to you at any time, the issue here was one of boundaries and personal humiliation. Fighting is for situations of actual physical threat... whether you were consciously thinking that at the time I don't know, but you seemed to be aware of it inside (and so did he)and no harm was done. Imagine how you would have felt later if you had to justify why you beat someone up because he touched your stuff.


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 Post subject: COFFEE BAR SHOWDOWN
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 1999 1:56 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 875
I'm with Paul-san on this one.

Confrontations occur on a daily basis - in a myriad of places and situations - (parents of teenagers probably have a higher percentage of confrontations every day!) and things like this escalate too quickly - evidence situations of road rage - school violence - workplace "revenge" - etc. etc.

Correct me if I'm wrong - but isn't part of our martial training learning when to engage? If the antagonist had thrown the first attack - or by some teachings by Quinn and others - the merest indication of impending attack - well then sure - reaction goes without saying - but if the entire situation can be avoided - isn't that the true test of mindset? Don't we seek to avoid the conflict first? What does it really cost to attempt to diffuse the situation? "Anonymous" kept his cool while maintaining an air of confidence - it worked this time. Another option would have been to pick up his stuff and either leave or move to another table. Is there really shame in that? I don't know how I would have reacted unless I was there - I tend to believe I would have adopted a similar no-nonsense "don't mess with me" attitude - but again - avoiding the escalation of the conflict seems to be the wisest choice. Why perpetuate or instigate violence just because we may believe ourselves capable of "handling" it? Do we need to test our abilities when there is an idiot testing our mettle? Or is that allowing the idiot control over us - giving him the power to dictate our actions.

The adrenalin surge that came after seems normal - I've felt similar things "after the fact" when a potential escalation of conflict has been derailed.

Kudos to "anonymous" for following what I believe to be perhaps the most critical self-defense skill - AVOIDING the situation.

Peace,
Lori


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 Post subject: COFFEE BAR SHOWDOWN
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 1999 3:34 pm 
Lori,

Do you mean confrontations with teenagers by the parents or confrontations amongst the parents of teenagers?

------------------
Allen - [email]uechi@ici.net">uechi@ici.net</A> - <A HREF="http://www.uechi-ryu.org[/email]


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 Post subject: COFFEE BAR SHOWDOWN
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 1999 6:01 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 16, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 6009
Location: Mount Dora, Florida
Van: Great way to present a situation and learn how others might have wished they would have reacted.

I always try to trust my instincts in a potentially troublesome situation. If it were a coffehouse and I left my coat on a chair, to return later and find it on the floor, I would have rapidly gone to the area, picked it up and excused myself, saying that I forgot my coat and it must have dropped on the floor. I'd been out of the guy's range before he'd have time to react. I would have made my little speach with a pleasant voice and a smile on my face.

Now if the guy jumps up and makes trouble, I have no idea what I'd do. I can speculate, but I don't think that is what Van is looking for. We can strategize initial actions. . . leaving the office and walking towards our car with a gang of kids approaching the car. . . walking towards an open elevator heading towards the garage with another person inside waiting for you. . . These type of actions require a conscious action, one that we probably make mindlessly every day.

How we react once the normally innocent situation turns into a deadly confrontation is where we can't predict our actions.

[This message has been edited by gmattson (edited 05-12-99).]


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 Post subject: COFFEE BAR SHOWDOWN
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 1999 4:15 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 15, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 159
Location: Valrico, Florida, USA
I guess I'm in the minority. As far as I'm concerned, Anon. was in the wrong. Granted he was provoked, but this presentation shows him to be fairly agressive and aguementative in this encounter. Anon. came across, to me, as trying to pick a fight. The setting was a typically non-violent coffee shop.

All that was called for was a, "Excuse me, but that's my stuff there. Could you hand it to me please?" Why go into a stance that's designed to intimidate? And why be verbally aggrssive?

Several assumptions were made...and they may have been wrong. It was assumed the stuff was thrown on the floor...it may have been carefully placed. The other guy may have been prepared to be nice about it all...until CONFRONTED.

Definately not my way of approaching it.


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 Post subject: COFFEE BAR SHOWDOWN
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 1999 5:21 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 311
Location: Washington DC area, USA
This was a bad sort of situation. The guy didn't outright attack you, but knocking someone's stuff on the ground is pretty rude. And if you had bent over to pick it up who is to say he wouldn't have kicked you. Or, if you had got your stuff and went to another table, who is to say that he may not have taken that as an invitation to further harassment. So if you slug first then YOU are the bad guy.

Yet anonymous did the best thing for that moment. It sounds to me like the guy was having a bad day and decided to be a jerk.

The thing that gets me is where were all of the other customers when this was going on? Sheep I tell ya, sheep, they are all sheep, waiting of the wolves to pick them off! If anonymous is old enough to pull of calling this guy son, than it is a damn shame that some other dude in his 20's didn't stand up to the paper pusher just on PRINCIPLE. Oh, there I go, living in a dream world again.

Cecil

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 Post subject: COFFEE BAR SHOWDOWN
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 1999 12:52 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 01, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 244
Location: Marblehead, MA USA
Cecil, As you suggested and it has been my actual experience that a situation, (although perhaps maybe he erred and bumped the chair and was in the process of picking up the coat and papers, brushing them off and buying anon a cafe' late' capuchino deluxe for anon's inconvenience)like that is a "line in the sand" or challenge and would have turned into "an invitation to further harassment" So it's my preference to get it over with one way or the other as soon as possible.


Many years ago while attending the World Famous Mattson Acadaemy on Cambridge St. I saw an incident that left a strong impression on me with the moral being You never know who you are up against!

I stopped in the coffee shop below and ordered a regular coffee since I was actually early for the class. Working behind the counter was one of Bob Campbell's top green belts, a tough fighter for that time and rank. The "gentleman" who sat next to me was of the street so to speak and reeked of urine and vomit. He asked me for money to buy a coffee. I told him yes, put the money down and started to leave because of the overwhelming stence. The green belt came around, grabbed the "gentleman" to throw him out and started yelling at him "... this was the last time he could ever come in here, stay out you piece of ... " To my utter astonishment the "gentleman" threw the green belt over a table, into anoter table and he bounced off the wall where he couldn't get up on his own. The "gentleman" parted with "Don't ever touch ME again!'"

Again the moral "On the street You never know who you are up against!"


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 Post subject: COFFEE BAR SHOWDOWN
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 1999 9:07 pm 
Hello Rick.

I read both that anon did the right thing, and that he did the wrong thing. I infrequently analyze this stuff because you gotta be one of them, or at least be there at the time.

One of the most difficult times possible one can have breaking out of the start of a fight is when there is eye-contact and something clicks between the two of you, and you both start going right down the tubes. It's just like an F-22A locking on a target with radar and firing a missle. When that missle has been fired, there is NO return. ABSOLUTELY NO RETURN. It takes SHEER BALLS to stop right at the instant before firing. How can we even guess anon was not there (mentally), because when I read the writeup I felt he was exactly there (ten people can read the same thing ten different ways).

Whew. Didn't mean to get wound up.

I'm sure words were only part of the action. I was thinking that maybe anon reacted to not only the words, but to the way the words were presented accompanied by eye contact, gestures and mannerisms.



------------------
Allen - [email]uechi@ici.net">uechi@ici.net</A> - <A HREF="http://www.uechi-ryu.org[/email]


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 Post subject: COFFEE BAR SHOWDOWN
PostPosted: Fri May 14, 1999 4:30 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 30250
As most of my readers know by now , I do lots of investigations on violence and death flowing from encounters with or without weapons !

The fun that I have here is to look at all the Monday morning quarterbacking , which although well intentioned , always falls short of reality !

No offense here ; just a reality check ! A learning experience , if you will ! The truth is you don't know how you will react under any type of situation until you are in it up to your neck ! To fight or not to fight is a very personal thing depending on the moment, how you feel on that day, and how you are psychologically affected by the provocation at that point in time ! Also what tactical problems your subconscious perceives at the time , what is your potential opponent like etc. !

When you sit back with clear thoughts , it is easy to rationalize a reasonable response ! That is what judge and juries do all day long , pass judgment on your actions from the safety of their courtroom ! Throw one of them into a similar real situation and they'll come back with a different verdict every time !

Some time it is very difficult to walk away no matter what the consequences ! But I am not telling anything new ! Knowledge of the martial arts sometimes compounds the problem !

Mas Ayoob of LFI fame , explains that a show of aggression , either verbally or transmitted by body language can sometimes forestall violence ; however you must be able to back it up as if the opponent perceives it as an ineffectual attempt or bluff , he will fly into vengeful rage ! Think about it ; it may have happened to you !

Sure there was no threat of violence initially ! But let me ask you this ! Is there a threat of violence if a punk in a calm manner walks up to your wife/girl friend on your arm and squeezes her nipples through the blouse she is wearing and says smilingly " where have you been all my life baby ?"

Now what are you going to do ??




------------------
Van Canna


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 Post subject: COFFEE BAR SHOWDOWN
PostPosted: Fri May 14, 1999 4:37 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 405
Location: Tewksbury, MA USA
Kick his ass.

No questioned asked.

Make up your mind today.

React when necessary.

Respectfully,

Gary


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 Post subject: COFFEE BAR SHOWDOWN
PostPosted: Fri May 14, 1999 5:18 am 
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Gary ,

Love your post !

Here is something else not well known :

Think about the most humiliating put down you have had to put up with in your life , but no violence ! You say " sticks and stones…."
Think again , Bet you never forgot the helplessness and shame which has never diminished after all these years , did you ! …And I know you have had this experience or you would not be reading this forum !

Now try to remember the pain you may have suffered in a physical altercation ; bet you can't !

Mas Ayoob relates that it is impossible for the human body and mind to duplicate the sensation of pain , most of which you did not feel under the cocktail anyway ; not until after you came out of it !

"But the defeat and shame stays with you forever and especially the sense of fearful helplessness they engender ."[ Massad]

Now what would you do in the coffee bar ?

------------------
Van Canna


[This message has been edited by Van Canna (edited 05-14-99).]


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 Post subject: COFFEE BAR SHOWDOWN
PostPosted: Fri May 14, 1999 4:27 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 16, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 84
Location: Albuquerque NM USA
Hooooo Dawggieessss!!! Ah jus' luuuuv these whut ifs!!!

Let's mix apples and oranges!!

APPLE:

"Yeah Judge, my coat was lying on the floor and I felt so humiliated I had to beat the guy up!! Like, you know, man, my whole BEING, MY EGO, was on the line!! In front of the world!!! And you know Judge, how much all those people's opinions meant to me!!! I ain't got no self esteem an' need to prove myself, especially as a MAN (WITH KILLER INSTINCT). I mean, Judge, would you like, want me to go around for the rest of my life feeling like that? I ask ya? Huh? Woodja?"

Ya ‘member that story about the two buddhist priests hanging out by the river? One of ‘em gives a woman a lift across. And like, about a month later, the other priest reminds the first that he's not entitled to his ration of toilet paper because he soiled himself touching a female. And the guy who did the carrying sez back, "are you *still* carrying that woman?"

ORANGE:

He who feels humiliated might as well have his nipples tweaked (squeezed sounds like too much fun) since he's gonna take umbrage anyway. On the other hand, he who has been battered is entitled to defend his honor, right? Or, at least, to get a lawyer. How many times have you had your nipples tweaked (an interesting area of town, I'm sure)? And besides, my girlfriend is a lot faster than I am. *I* wouldn't have to do anything because she's perfectly capable of calling her lawyer herself, regardless of how she decided to respond. And isn't the humility of transgression a victim's prerogative? What about the satisfaction of knowing you didn't rise to the bait? HuH? HuH? What about that??? HuH? Watch ‘em rise...like dough.

Mindset vurks both vayz.

GUESS!!! (signature goes here)

P.S. With all due respect to Anon...self control is a life long learning process. Some have it tougher than others. Including the guy who threw your stuff on the floor. But I don't believe anyone learns anything from fisticuffs.


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