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 Post subject: BREAKDOWN -PART TWO
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 1999 3:19 am 
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The question was “Do you think you can project? How? What if you can’t; what do you think the punk is thinking if you cannot project?
How many times have you been in a similar situation, perhaps not as direct with swear words and outright aggressive intent, and you simply decided to ignore it, look the other way, pretend the verbal attack is not really taking place, secretly hoping it would go away? Meanwhile an uneasy feeling began the “churn” in your stomach and you felt an emotional slap by the little man on your shoulder that said, “ You big tough karate guy, you are backing down again”!
Never happened to you? Never felt inside as described above? Who are you kidding? How did you feel when you got home? Sleep well? How did you feel the next day when you taught your next class? What lies or rationalization did you feed your students? Did you attack the bag and or the makiwara?
What do think the punk was thinking when he saw you ignore him and back down? Ever consider your demeanor turning into the trigger for him to launch the attack?
Don’t expect too many hits on this one! Remember “DE Nile”??

References: Peyton Quinn




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Van Canna


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 Post subject: BREAKDOWN -PART TWO
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 1999 3:42 am 
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Location: Vincennes, In, usa
Van Sensei_
Well, it feels terrible when something happens like that.

That is the kind of thing that can lead you on a personal quest for answers to the situation that may take you all kinds of places, some not even necessarily connected directly, or not seeming to directly connect to, martial arts.

Ki, Qigong, Philosophy, Religion,Prayer, Meditation,Therapy Groups, New Age Movements,Stress Management Training, Weapons Training,talking with people who have combat experience from wars,are only a few of the avenues that, if one is honest, one might search.

Ultimately the fact is that no one is a Superman, that if you are taken aback, caught off-guard, sick, or just not feeling "with it", this can happen.

The training that one can do, as given in the Tohei book, can enable one to recover very quickly, however, and I hope everyone is able to get a copy of this wonderful manual of Ki training and concepts.

Of course, some people are overagressive and will attack the attacker, needlessly getting themselves and anyone with them into a could-have-been avoided conflict.

Mas Oyama of Kyokushinkai once said that the strongest ki a martial artist could have is just the starting point for a person with a strong religious faith.To hear a martial arts master say a thing like that gives one pause, indeed.

One does need to keep one's awareness about them at all times, if this is possible.Master Tohei says the key to ki is to keep one's focus on the "one point" throughout the day.

But he says it is enough to train in breathing fifteen minutes in the morning and fifteen minutes in the evening.This is interesting because my Okinawan Kenpo teacher said, when I asked him how he trained(he is formidable indeed), that he, too, spent about fifteen minutes in the morning.I asked him on what, and he answered, "Oh, you know-Basics."

Since I had been training with him twenty years, I was perhaps ashamed to ask him to elaborate further.:-)

Wish I had, now.But Mr.Tohei's advice, plus kata, will serve.

Sincerely,
John


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 Post subject: BREAKDOWN -PART TWO
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 1999 4:47 am 
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Good post, John__very good post!

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Van Canna


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 Post subject: BREAKDOWN -PART TWO
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 1999 6:18 pm 
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Location: Andover,MA
Anyway. Indonesia. My friends and I were walking around Bali in an area a large number of street vendors. A man came up to me and started trying to sell me a handful of "Silver" bracelets for 20,000 Rupiah, which is the equivalent of about $2.00. I of course was skeptical of the quality and didn't want to buy them. He kept insisting dropping the price and I just kept saying no. He finally left me alone and I knew he was pissed but what could I do? I didn't want the bracelets.
About 30 minutes later another vendor selling the same bracelets approached my friend and he actually bought some. I guess the vendor who first talked to me saw this and came over to try his hand again. Again I refused. But he wasn't about to take no for an answer I started to walk away and he actually followed me. He was walking right next to me getting more and more frustrated. He started swearing showing me his fist. God knows what he was saying the only thing I could understand was the swearing. I was getting very mad though just kept walking, smiled, even laughed, about 2 blocks later he stopped following me. My friends caught up and we caught a cab back to the hotel. I was fuming the entire ride back.

As to the point of a weapon I don't know if he was caring one. And I'm glad I didn't find out weather he was or wasn't. I assume anyone confronting me on the street is caring a weapon. I think it's safer to go into a confrontation that way.


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 Post subject: BREAKDOWN -PART TWO
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 1999 1:21 am 
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Posts: 288
Location: Randolph Ma USA
Van,

You ask; "Do you think you can project?"
How? What if you can"t; what do you think he punk is thinking if you cannot project?"

I believe that i have been in some situations where i have projecting readiness and confidence. By both physical poise and by calm verbal response. Yes, it has worked on occassion without esculating to the physical level. Even to the point where i was told that "you aren't nothing" as he put down his hands walking away after missing with his telegraphing hook punches.

Did i loose face in this confrontation? I felt so when i got home. Even before that point i began to feel "cowardly" for not ingaging in breaking him up for tryin to hit me. I was congradulated by people around for handling the situation as i did. Why then did i feel cowardly afterwards for not accomidating this persons desire for trouble? That aftermath feeling lingered for many days.

Ignoring someone in hopes that there comments or presence of percieved danger will go away? Yes, been there to. How does one feel afterwards? Is that the question? Humiliated, ashamed, cowardly.
Could i have beaten this person? Does it really matter?

Is it not rational to realize that the many different consequences are not worth finding out? When not given a choice to walk away, then one must do what they can do protect themselves.

To avoid physical confrontation is a wise thing to do, no matter who you are or how tough you may be.

"What do you believe the punk was thinking when he saw you ignore him and backdown?" One of two things, if you walk away "projecting" confidence and show no fear (even though it may be present) he probably is thinking that he is lucky he did not get a new ass torn. However, walking away "projecting" fear i'm sure would reinforce his belief that he is in fact that tough guy he needs to be.

Let us not forget that sometimes we just missunderstand eachother as human beings and a simple apology often defuses the agression.

No De-nile here Van, there are times that we all have backed down only to feel a bit cowardly afterwards.

What do you think?

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Gary S.


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 Post subject: BREAKDOWN -PART TWO
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 1999 5:48 am 
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Location: Vincennes, In, usa
Paul San-
Thanks for the Indonesia story in depth.He was upset because of failing to sell you his wares.

I see it.Maybe he'd had a bad day.I am sure you did it right.

The projecting, I think, can be confidence, humour, or 'glare', depending on the situation.

Like kiai, or assuming a kamae., it should oly be done whena certain point is reached.In the case of projecting, it sould, I feel, be done as Van sensei mentions, when and if the opponentis about to close with you and you have no avenue of escape.

At this point, I feel, a little 'rattlesnake ' behavior-i.e. warning off-is not inappropriate and can often provide good results.

But if one gets to this point, obviously one may be about to have to back up the rattle with some fang.

As I said, if you can get out of the situation, one should I feel do so.

Your point about assuming everyone on the street to be carrying a weapon is a good one, and food for reflection.One may well forget this at times of extreme stress, and it is well to be reminded of this.Thank you.

Little reminder like that can save your life.

Somebody once asked a person, not a martial artist, what he would do when attacked on the street.He responded,"Depends what I can get my hands on at the time."

Also food for thought?

John


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 Post subject: BREAKDOWN -PART TWO
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 1999 5:58 am 
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Location: Vincennes, In, usa
Van Sensei-
Thank you!:-)

It is important that we share our experiences, inforation, hopes and problems in this arena, in an honest spirit.How otherwise are we to discover and share self-defense truths?

Paul-San(Paul Sensei?) I did not take Van Sensei's message to meant that we should turn and devastate our Provoker, but that we should find some way to so project a calm but powerful attitude that we deal with the situation without the other harming us, physically Or psychologically.

Your reaction in the Indonesia event is similar to some I have had where I laughed at a would-be attacker.It seemed to have the desired effect.

But it is an interesting story, and I also would especially like to know if you know why the individual became angry with you.

Been in many cities myself and know that some people carry a bag of anger around with them all day long, just looking for someoone to unloose it upon.:-)

John


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 Post subject: BREAKDOWN -PART TWO
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 1999 3:06 pm 
Van Canna

You always seem to find the best topics...
As a woman, I think females find themselves in these situations probably more than men. It seems like I encounter these kind of similar situations at least once a month. Anytime I go to the mall or the bar or downtown there always seems to be some guy who thinks he has the right to try to intimidate me into either trying to buy something or spending time with him. While the majority of these people are all talk and harmless, you do have to always assume they have the worst in mind. Now on the projecting, it almost seems to work different for women, as long as I just ignore them and keep walking they might follow for a while but will eventually lose interest, but when I get home I do feel like a coward for not making any attempt to put them in their place. Now, if I do the calm, look them in the eye thing, it's like they have been issued some challange. It usually escalates the situation because they aren't going to take that from some girl and have to defend their ego in front of their buds. It usually ends in alot of name calling till they get bored and walk off. I know that puts myself at a greater personal risk, but at least I feel like I'm attempting to control the situation. What usually happens is when the first verbal contact is made, I turn around smile and laugh (still walking)like I think it's funny so they have their sense of accomplishment and I'm allowed to continue on my way without further interuption. Again, when I get home, I have to deal with that feeling of having caved in and catered to their egos. Man I HATE that feeling.

Just a thought.

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Shelly


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 Post subject: BREAKDOWN -PART TWO
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 1999 6:25 pm 
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Location: Boca Raton, FL
Again, when I get home, I have to deal with that feeling of having caved in and catered to their egos. Man I HATE that feeling.(Shelly)

Eating humble pie does not come very easy for most of us. Isn't this what we train ourselves for under the guise of "discipline?" If we were to really give in to our feelings everytime some miscreant mouths off at us, there would be one long trail of bodies behind every martial artist - no? Not very good publicity for our beloved martial arts.

In the immortal words of Patrick Swayze's Dalton character - "Be nice....until it's time not to be nice."

Moe Mensale


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 Post subject: BREAKDOWN -PART TWO
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 1999 8:40 pm 
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Location: Andover,MA
genjumin: I don't think it was just the fact that this vendor didn't sell me anything, but more with peer pressure. You have to understand every other person on that street in Bali was trying to sell you something. They all know each other and most likely work together. He probably felt like an ass in front of his friends and felt he needed to save face by threatening me. I'm sure his found it very amusing.

When dealing with an individual, projecting an air of superiority might work since theres is no one there to back him up. But what about when that individual is apart of a group. You start projecting, and that person bothering you might feel he needs to escalate it or risk looking weak in front of his friends. Peer pressure is VERY powerful. More powerful then any glare I can project.
Humble pie tastes very good when you have all of your teeth.


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 Post subject: BREAKDOWN -PART TWO
PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 1999 8:15 pm 
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Paul C. says:"Humble pie tastes very good when you have all of your teeth."

I don't, but I can still savor the taste of it.:-)

JohnV.(Genjumin)


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 Post subject: BREAKDOWN -PART TWO
PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 1999 6:02 pm 
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My sophmore year of college, my Aikido sensei asked me to run a class for him, since neither he nor any of the other instructors could make it.

Towards the end of class, the instructor from the local Chung Do Kwan club walked into the room, looked right at me, and said "This is our space. Get out!"

Needless to say, I was taken aback...and more than a little scared. At this point, I was a third kyu, with maybe a total of three or four years experience in the martial arts. I felt as though I was being challenged, but I wasn't sure that I could properly respond.

I politely told him that we were wrapping up class, and that we'd be out in a minute, but inside, I felt as though I would puke. While I tried to project an aura of confidence, I don't know that I entirely succeeded.

I spent the rest of the night wondering if I should have handled things differently, and if my training was really worth anything at all.

So, yes, I have had that feeling. It's one of my motivations for investigating things like this forum. While I think my skills at projecting have improved substantially since then, there's no denying that in a confrontation, it can be very difficult to summon up that kind of inner strength, especially if you've never been taught how to do so.


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 Post subject: BREAKDOWN -PART TWO
PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 1999 8:40 pm 
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Location: Rochester, NY, USA
My general impression (as I have no street confrontation experience, being a white boy from the 'burbs), is that if you know what you're doing in a fight, only project if you intend to back it up. Yes, that may intimidate some, but, you never know who in your surroundings will back them up. Plus, you also don't really know who will or won't go totally ballistic. So don't bluff. This is a touchy issue for martial artists, because in a certain sense we're athletes who never get to play our game. We want to fight, if only to see how good we are. However, it occurred to me recently that it's rather selfish to cause another person the suffering of injury for the purpose of testing myself.


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 Post subject: BREAKDOWN -PART TWO
PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 1999 11:56 pm 
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I think there is real strength in the persons who have bared their soul with these responses!
For everyone who has had the courage to speak up about their feelings, there are of course, thousands who are locked up inside in denial!

Some responses deal with the tactical as well! We will discuss that as we go along!

But here the work of Dr. Al Siebert may shed some light as to why we feel the way we do!
As we grow from child to adult, we ingrain feelings about ourselves, we foresee the ability to take effective actions, and we develop an image of ourselves, leading to a strong development of self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-concept!

In other words, how you feel about yourself as a person, how well you expect to do when up against certain challenges of life based on your reliable abilities and strengths!

The validation of this self-concept, this sense of identity, is sought through different life paths!
For some this is derived through academic or business pinnacles, for others, through sports or Martial arts disciplines all of which at some point set down a subliminal model of expected behavior in the subconscious!

Then when sudden crisis hit, say, backing down in a confrontation, a certain hidden weakness is uncovered, as a great deal of anxiety is suffered when unwillingly thrown in a high performance need situation, which in turn leads to a loss of identity because much of that identity was rooted in abstract martial arts concepts.

A positive self concept, strong self confidence, and healthy self esteem need to be cultivated in order to cope with those negative feelings experienced in the aftermath of the above described events!

An emotional nod and acceptance of the mysterious manifestations of the primal brain and wounded pride [an excessively high opinion of oneself], as well as a deep understanding of the tactical, physical, emotional, financial and criminal and civil nightmares that usually follow confrontations, especially if you have a lot to loose, should take care of the “ cowardly” identity crisis by well reasoned rationalization! It is okay to feel that way because All human beings do feel the same “ emotional twinges” by nature’s programming; a survival instinct if you will, to maximize the chances of your avoidance at all cost, so you won’t have to put up with those hideous feelings in the aftermath, among other complications!

Another lesson here is in the teachings of Massad Ayoob of the Lethal force institute.
A responsible man who carries a gun does not respond to provocations as he might if unarmed. The dire consequences of having to deal deadly force with the gun upon the punk who lifts his wife’s skirt in public, as an example, creates a restraint; the gun in his pocket acts as the psychological crutch he needs upon which to rest his outraged pride and fears.
“ If I hadn’t been carrying a gun, I would have punched that wise ass in the mouth, I wouldn’t have taken any s** from the a** h**! That is a common uttered sentiment!

We could substitute the gun for martial arts prowess and use the same line of thinking! The problem is that with the gun we know with reasonable certainty that it is the ultimate degree in personal physical power; with karate we don’t know for sure! And then we have your own peer pressure, you know, the friends who know you are a High Dan rank “promoted in Okinawa”, the same friends being with you when you backed down and felt like puking inside! The friends who don’t know the rationalization process you just went through, a process which you felt compelled to bring to their attention laced with doubts, yours, and theirs!

There must be a transformation “ people are finding that their survival depends on breaking free from the old ways of thinking and functioning that are no longer useful” [Al Siebert]!






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Van Canna


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 Post subject: BREAKDOWN -PART TWO
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 1999 6:27 am 
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Van Sensei:
You quote Al Siebert:'People are finding that their survival depends on their breaking away from the old ways of thiking and functioning that are no longer useful.

If only the world at large would do this, war would be a thing of the past.

I mean, individuals and societies are in the same boat, in a sense:Any conflict on a personal or societal level can well escalate to a degree where it is not only unacceptable losses we face, but unthinkable losses.

We really do have to restrain ourselves and somehow learn to not feel shame about it afterwards.

Perhaps a logical process would be to work off the tensions with kata, and think it through , so:'Okay, jerk assaulted me and my wife, but no harm done. If I had launched on him, his friends might have pulled the roscoes they all had on them, and turned us into Swiss cheese, with maybe a few of them buying it as well-to what end?

Some or all of them die, some or all of us die, or are crippled or vegified for life-for what? An insult that we walked or ran away from?"

Now if it's something that is going to happen every day, and you know it, measures must be taken, within the framework of the law if necessary(make a report) or within the framework of wisdo if possible(stay away from those areas/people) .

If you are already armed whether with unarmed or armed skills, and ready to use them, try like everthing to avoid having to.

Consequences can be very heavy.
Is what I think.

Respectfully, John


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