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 Post subject: What would you do?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 1999 3:20 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 405
Location: Tewksbury, MA USA
Joe Madonna will probably love this one, and I'm sure we've been over this before:

I'm at the Red Sox game last night with the Mrs., Margaret Chojin's uncle (seventy-something yrs old) and the 12 year old son of one of my best buddies (visiting the U.S. from Japan for the first time).

And here come the ***holes.

We're walking to our seats and here come 3 drunk morons from behind us, spitting, slurring, making fun of "Mr. Miyagi", the whole 9 yards.

So what did I do?

Nothing.

In my mind, most of my group doesn't speak English anyway, so the only one getting offended is me. I ignore, we get to our seats, my friend's son has the night of a lifetime and Margaret's uncle doesn't have to witness a homocide.

But OH MAN!! Wouldn't you love to?

And how many of us have at one time or another?

I often wish life was a movie where you could do what you WANT to do and then rewind the film and do what you HAVE to do.

I dunno. G. Khoury off on another rant. Go figure.

Gary


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 Post subject: What would you do?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 1999 10:58 am 
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Location: Boston, MA
Go RED SOX, Go! (In my head, when reading the papers.)

Truth is, Gary, I don't go to sporting events, concerts, or real crowded places because of sh*t like that.

Years ago, I got free tickets to the Celts' game with the Atlanta Hawks. Celts still had Bird and Hawks a heathy Kevin Willis. I was not never much of a spectator, except for fighting sports. Anyway, there were these two women sitting right in front of me who obviously knew little about basketball -- less than me -- except to know who Larry Bird was. They were saying really innocuous stuff like, "who's that? Why's that an offensive foul?", etc. No big deal, right? Well, bad day for the home team. Hawks were kicking butt and taking no prisoners. The women were still saying really neophyte stuff and giggling. All of sudden two guys to the rear and left of me started screaming at the women, "Shut the F**K up you stupid b*tches! Why are you here?" The women retorted with their own salvo of French. This went back and forth. I got up and left. Even though I wasn't on the receiving end of it, it was very unpleasant to watch and hear.

I broke my own rule about crowded events when I went to the recent Blade Show in Atlanta Georgia, and a sort of second rule/peference about not crossing the Mason Dixie line. In addition to the show, I was meeting up with some FMA guys to train. I only knew three folks -- the Instructor, the assistant and a student -- and nothing about the rest. Well, two southerners in the group I didn't know offered to pick me up at the airport which was a good 40 miles from the show and hotel. I was a bit uneasy when these two huge mountains of men came up to me in the luggage area and asked me if I was so and so. They recognized me because they were given my description: short, bald asian guy. Not too many in the Atlanta Airport. Turned out these guys were real gentlemen, in a quiet deadly sort of way. I had a great time at the show. No hassles. Of course, it helped that just about everybody was packing a knife or two if not a gun or two.

Some interesting things (at least for me): I was outside smoking in the loading area of the convention center. A guy came out to do the same. He asked me in a Southern draw, "what do ya think of the show?" I told him I was new to this stuff. We got to talking about knives, blades, steels and stuff. Turned out the guy is a Master bladesmith who forges his own steel for knives. He spent at least half an hour with me, explaining stuff that would've taken books and hours to understand. Such kindness and consideration.

I was in my hotel room when one of the guys who picked me up at the airport called, "Whatcha doing?" "Nothing", I said He said he'll be over in five minutes to show me some stuff. Soon he was over with his assorted goodies -- various knives and weapons (no guns, he was from out of state), a large notebook he had assembled of various charts and descriptions of the human anatomy with respect to crippling, bleeding, and killing targets, etc. Pretty gruesome stuff, actually. "Nice" said I. He was going to make copies for people in the classes. We got to talking about training, life experiences, etc. Anyway, at some point, he said, "I don't why but my brother hates Orientals. He goes around beating them up when he sees them. Me. I ain't got problem with them. I ain't got no problem with you. My brother and I are from the same womb, same blood coursing through us. Go figure..." I said, "Hate is there in every group, including mine, and I've been caught in that to." I felt a kinship with this man who is from another place, another culture.

During training, I noticed an indentation on thigh of the other guy who picked me up at the airport. I've seen those before. In a quiet moment, I asked the guy, "How did you get shot?" He looked embarassed for a moment and said, "I shot myself while messing around with my gun." He showed me the exit hole in the back side the thigh just above the knee. "I was lucky. Didn't damage the bone and just went through the muscle." I later learned this guy used to be with the ATF and did some undercover infiltration of hate groups.

Finally, on the last day, I was sitting in the hotel lobby with this Korean guy who works as an engineer for the Air Force base in Georgia. Some white women walked by with some black men. He grimaced. I said, "What's matter? In a whisper, he said, "I hate it when white women date black guys." I asked, "You don't approve of cross racial relationships?" His reply, "Just black and white. I don't mind if they date me." Well... I just left it at that. Go figure.

It's the cynical side of me. I expect the worst and get that sometimes. But I am always surprised by the kindness, respect and gentleness of some the people I meet as well.

david

[This message has been edited by david (edited 07-23-99).]


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 Post subject: What would you do?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 1999 1:19 pm 
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Posts: 244
Location: Marblehead, MA USA
Gary, I had an interesting experience while teaching at Manny's in Lynn in 1990. Mr. Takameeagee, Mr. Hega and a whole entourage came over for classes, workouts, sushi and on the town. When we went to a club on Route 1 late that night, I spotted a close friend who came over. I introduced him and his date to the group, whereupon he started dancing around, thumbing his nose with his hands up saying:
"Come on you muther chukahas! Let's see who can really fight! I'll take you all on at once!"
I had no idea he and his date were so drunk. I was mortified and embarrased. He is not a fighter but I wanted to paste him because anyone in that group could've killed him twice before he hit the floor. Descretion being the better part of valor I just guided them back to their own table. When I returned Mr. Takameeagee asked me if that person would come back and show them how to do that "new dance". I just laughed with him and said maybe later. The friend didn't remember many details about the incident.

I guess I just mentally set up that circle or mental line not to be crossed and bite my tongue until they do, then explode.

It's funny the contradiction in booze, besides it being a will-reducer and responsible for about 99% of all fights, is the fact that: Nothing you do is better while drunk but you think it is!


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 Post subject: What would you do?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 1999 2:25 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 635
Location: Johnston, RI
Gary,
I think we all agree you did the right thing. If your guests had understood English, then I think trying to get them to be quite would have been appropriate. Since YOU were the only one who knew that these guys were complete morons, better to let them have their stupid laugh. You'd like to think that people have gone past this stuff in life. But I'll tell you this, if they had known your martial arts credentials, they would not have said squat. Bozos like that are only brave when they think they have you outnumbered. It is a lot like the America on Line martial arts forums. Everyone has such a big mouth (or keyboard) while they hide behind their screen names. Someone once had something to say about me on these forums that wasn't very nice. I let it be known that I knew who he was and why he said what he said. You know, he never posted again. Because now what he did not want to happen actually had. He never had the stones to say it to my face, but then wound up doing so.
All those guys saw was an old man, a young boy, and you. If you had called them on, they probably would have backed down. I think you did a much better thing by not letting that 12 year old see that.
Best wishes,
Raffi


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 Post subject: What would you do?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 1999 7:55 pm 
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Excellent thread!

And very profound observations to the point by everyone!

As our good DR. X points out, absent actual physical jeopardy, the real threat to us, at times, comes from our having to deal with the rage boiling within and how to soothe the burning of the “emotional slap” to our self esteem!

Self-control here is very difficult to achieve, and response action is in proportion to who you are and what your past experiences have been!

In situations such as these, human feelings take the form of a bewildering maelstrom spinning at neutral warp speed in your brain! In some of us there is a strong primal urge to kill lying dormant in our psyches!
Cecil and others have given us some examples of what may be lying ” down below”!

Einstein noted that man has in him the need to hate and destroy _

A good percentage of us trigger with “malicious intent” both offensively and defensively! That is why it is not wise to have a “loud keyboard”, as Raffi sensei points out, because regardless of how big or tough you think you are, when you really piss somebody off you might be up against “extreme prejudice”, not at all a component of a “fair fight” _i.e., The “little guy” you think you can dust the floor with will slice you open with a knife or shoot you in the head with a .44 magnum!

Drunken white thrash punks looking for a cheap thrill are a fact of life these days especially in the good ole USA where we are brought up to get “ass puking drunk” before we can feel like real men! Go out on the town at night with your good looking wife or girl friend and brace yourself for the “cat calling” __ And if you stand out because you are black, Asian etc., you are sure to get hassled by the a** wipes of our society!

Some of the insults, tongue wagging, spitting and other “missiles” {beer bottles} hurled at people with their families along, can trigger the darkest blackest rage in some , with no way back!

In the story I previously told of the attack upon me by a dozen armed punks while a teenager in South America, the physical assault was preceded by base vituperations which set in motion a dark desperate rage within and which exploded in a violent frenzy of survival with me seemingly on the sidelines watching my physical self trying to kill one of my tormentors after I ripped from his hands a riding crop he had hit me in the face with! After I threw him down like a rag doll I kept wanting to plunge the hard handle and pommel of the “whip” through his throat, but he protected himself well so the best I could do was to flap the entire side of his face open maiming and disfiguring him for life! The counterattack was so savage that it stunned his buddies into frozen disbelief for a moment, giving me a chance to bolt to safety! That dark killing rage stayed with me for quite a while and it became the source of inquietude in the years to come!

So I know what Gary means when he talked about thoughts of “homicide” in his incident!

And I am sure that lots of you may recognize this in yourself now!

Pretty scary and not easy to control in spite of all the “Traditional” training you might have been subjected to!

Let’s keep discussing this, there are some recommendations on how to program “antidotes” to such “neural high-jacking”




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Van Canna


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 Post subject: What would you do?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 1999 8:25 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 61
Location: dartmouth, ns canada
Gary-

Good call. You did the right thing.

I admire your restraint, you should be proud. There is enough trouble in life and the world in general, if we can avoid it we should. If our ego is sound and that is all that is threatened, then it becomes easier to walk away or ignore it.

Last week I was in a situation that I felt could have easily escalated. I was behind an excrutiatingly slow driver in a parking lot(and of course I was in a hurry.) When we were both parking, I made the mistake of showing my irritation in a fleeting glance. It was stupid of me. The man (who was with his wife, and was quite a bit older than me)was watching me, and he froze. He stared aggressively. In that second, I knew a confrontation was going to be instigated by him(I could tell by his face), and I also knew that I was going to try to avoid it. I was not afraid of him, or the situation, but I did feel like I was above a road rage argument. So I tried to avoid him, I tried to wait it out in the car. He waited for me. I got out and turned my back and started walking away towards a further entrance. He yelled after my back, "you should learn some patience!" At least 5 reponses jumped to my tongue! The first one being that he was old enough to know better than to try to start fights with strangers who obviously are not interested in fighting back. But I said nothing, only kept walking away. Let him yell at my back. And although I was angry and irritated, I knew that nothing would be accomplished by talking (or yelling)back. Five years ago my reaction would have been very different.

You must have touched a nerve here, most of the posts contained stories of their own.

Cheers,
Natalie

[This message has been edited by natalie lane (edited 07-23-99).]


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 Post subject: What would you do?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 1999 8:56 pm 
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Posts: 61
Location: dartmouth, ns canada
Van-Sensei

I didn't see your post until after I made mine. Very interesting. I particularly enjoyed your description-


In situations such as these, human feelings take the form of a bewildering maelstrom spinning at neutral warp speed in your brain! In some of us there is a strong primal urge to kill lying dormant in our psyches!


Perfectly stated.


You also wrote-

Let’s keep discussing this, there are some recommendations on how to program “antidotes” to such “neural high-jacking”

What are they? I am interested in everyone's ideas on any antidotes. Mine were always gritted teeth, and digging deep to hold on to reason and logic.


Natalie


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 Post subject: What would you do?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 1999 10:29 pm 
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Natalie,

The example given is the typical road rage incident triggering immediate thoughts of outrage and revenge, akin to what Gary must have felt in his “ family racial insults incident”!

Goleman writes: In the car your knuckles go white as you grip the steering wheel, you shake, you sweat, your heart pounds, your face is locked in a scowl, you are ready to kill! Then a car behind you honks because your driving is erratic, the driver may give you the finger or yell something, and you are now ready to explode rage at that driver too! {Recognize yourself?}

One suggested way to escape the easy seduction of rage, unless called for in survival scenarios, is to replace its buildup with a more charitable line of thought toward the other driver/loudmouths i.e., he did not see me, it was unintentional, he has a medical emergency; the punks were drunk or they would not talk that way; when sober they would probably be ashamed of what they said etc. ~~~~ Trying to see things differently; reframing the situation more positively “douses the flames of anger” {Goleman}

Good luck!


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Van Canna


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 Post subject: What would you do?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 1999 11:28 pm 
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The “emotional maelstrom” can trigger malevolent rage even absent an immediate physical threat, i.e., by a symbolic threat to self-esteem or dignity; being treated unjustly or rudely, being insulted or demeaned, being flamed on the forums, being frustrated in the pursuit of life’s goals etc. The limbic energy surge will impact with “emotional ferocity” lasting long minutes preparing the body for a good fight or a quick flight or “give-in” in proportion to how the opposition is sized up and what circumstances you find yourself locked into! {Your job / career might be at stake, your family might be placed at risk if you blow your cool etc.}
Anger builds on anger in a compound effect; then it shifts in a vacuum it seems, from an immediate rage trigger platform to more of neocortex generated, calculated angers, such as cool-headed long range preordained revenge which hits like a bolt of lightning out of nowhere when least expected!

Frightening examples of this are manifest through certain overseas cultures, in particular the vendettas of a particular nationality!

Women in particular are susceptible to irrational violent “scapegoating” by the sparks of “road rage” or “any rage” as they are perceived to be an easy target by demonic males already primed for anger by the day’s previous events {tough day at work, his wife being a bitch etc.}

The Internet, for example, has spawned some hideous murders because of the flame wars and we are all at risk of falling prey to calculated anger!

This is why I will not permit any flaming or even veiled insults on my forum and I usually delete without warning, freedom of speech cries be damned!

I am very pleased to report that so far this forum has not really had a problem!



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Van Canna


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 Post subject: What would you do?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 1999 11:46 pm 
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One frightening case of calculated rage I investigated, involved this lovely young woman, a cashier in an unlocked cinema ticket’s booth who came under irrational unprovoked attack!

A trailer thrash punk who had just been dumped by his girlfriend had bought a butcher’s knife which he had been carrying concealed under his coat all day while cruising the downtown area looking for someone close in looks to his Ex!

He zeroed in on this hapless victim sitting in the booth, smiling and dispensing movie tickets!

He yanked the side door [unlocked] wide open and in a split second plunged his foot long knife into the liver of the young woman!


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 Post subject: What would you do?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 1999 12:15 am 
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Posts: 2424
Location: MARSHFIELD, MA. USA
Hello all:

One remains polite, as was noted, because one should be and you NEVER really know who you're dealing with.

People who violate that rule don't understand that being polite is a survival trait.

J.

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 Post subject: What would you do?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 1999 5:20 am 
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Posts: 288
Location: Randolph Ma USA
To all,

Certainly everyone agrees that Gary did the right thing by avoiding conflict. However, it is very difficult for many of us when situations present themselves that really test our self control to walk away. Especially in a situation as that which warrents an ass kicking.

I myself have had situations that i have avoided by taking in a deep breath and thinking to myself, "is this worth it? I can get seriously injured, or possibly go to jail if i do the injuring"

Most of the people on this forum are very capable of doing serious harm to the average "loud mouth". However there could be some finacial and/or legal problems to follow. Something to remember. Once you square off with someone in verbal confrontation, you have to be ready to back it up if needed.

As John mentions, "you don't know who you are really dealing with." How true. Van mentions how the previous days events can spark rage. We know not who has just lost a family member or their job. Maybe a forecloser or a cheating spouse. In our fast pace life there are hundreds of reasons that one can be on the edge. So why do some continue as adults to act as children with insults and verbal attacks? It seems to be socially accepted. Impatience, rudeness and lack of common courtesy seems to be where these situations develop.

Unfortunately we cannot change that in people. therefore, we must strive to be better than those individuals. How difficult at times.

The question "What would you do ?" It all depends on the given situation and the circumstances that we are presented with. Certainly the kind of day "we have" would influence our reaction. I have always found that when i avoid a confrontation it bothers me for some time. I question myself as to my actions. Was it the right thing to do?




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Gary S.


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 Post subject: What would you do?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 1999 3:38 pm 
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Location: worcester,Ma.
Hi all;

I cann't remember where I heard this line but "an armed society is a polite society". I think of this every year when I go to bike week in Laconia N.H. Thousands of big tattooed bikers all crammed in to one little spot. The thing I find amazing is that nobody bumps into you. Everyone there is 100% aware that the guy (or girl) that is standing next to you could be carring a gun. Not to mention the five buddies he has with him. I had one guy who slightly brushed against my arm walk about 20 feet back through the crowd to apologize.

steve
~~~~~


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 Post subject: What would you do?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 1999 4:32 pm 
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That line came from Jeff Cooper, the “gunfighters’ guru`”

It really makes sense when you think about it. For example take a road rage incident where people would chase each other yelling, “pull over” so they could teach each other a lesson! Now in the states with ccw permits you rarely see this anymore!

The fear of being gunned down like a mad dog keeps you “smart”! If you thought the average person you are being rude to, may be packing a gun, would you not be more polite?

Same goes for street crime or run of the mill confrontations in parking lots, malls etc.!

Funny thing is that the “hoplophobes” deny that they benefit from this even though they are scared to death of weapons!




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Van Canna


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 Post subject: What would you do?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 1999 12:22 am 
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“ I have always found that when I avoid a confrontation it bothers me for some time. I question myself as to my actions. Was it the right thing to do?”

Any confrontation engenders a myriad of emotional triggers!

Goleman, of emotional intelligence, writes that there are hundreds of emotions, along with their blends, variations, mutations, and nuances! Certain class of individuals is susceptible to a dedicated mix of emotional high –jacking!

Take the average martial artist, for example; he most likely got into karate because he might not have fared too well, physically and psychologically, in previous confrontations and he has now acquired that certain veneer of “invincibility”
Through the practice “rituals” as Dr. X points out! He is now totally hopeful of having left those “limitations” behind and fairly confident at the conscious level to be able to deal with the enemy without and within!

This emotional “model,” when facing up to serious physical conflict, will still trigger anxiety, apprehension, nervousness, concern, misgivings, wariness, edginess, dread, and possibly panic! {Something which he still associates with his pre-ritual past experiences and which may cause subliminal dismay}!

Then comes the anger stage i.e., fury, outrage, wrath, exasperation, indignation, hostility and, possibly, violence!

Next, regardless of the outcome of the confrontation, he will register a combination of astonishment, wonder, elation, shame, guilt, embarrassment, and humiliation!

If he backs down/avoids the confrontation, in spite of his “martial maturity” that little voice inside his head may whisper “ well you took up the martial arts so you would not have to back down, and now you are no better than before”!

The problem compounds if he is in company of friends or family because although he may have come to accept the common sense of conflict avoidance, that little voice again might be whispering “ well you might believe that but your friends or family and everyone else will think you are a coward, including the snickering punk you backed down from “!

Then you will have a seducing thought: people who get beat up badly heal up their physical injuries pretty quick but the emotional slap to my manhood / self esteem, will never stop burning!

And so we see the same individuals at the dojo the next day, beating up on his friends to regain his “lost honor” and by rationalizing and fantasizing his “response” in a continuous mental “loop”!

Accept that you will be in an emotional “trap” to be faced entirely alone, like death, when the time comes!

Professor Steiner wrote that every martial arts student must clearly understand that the energy he has available to do battle will inevitably be in direct proportion to his respect and to the good opinion he has for his own dignity!

There is no easy answer!



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Van Canna


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