Aggression has two parts, what part do you attack?

September 2003

Volume 5 Issue 9

Aibudo Kanji

The New Martial Arts?

For one reason or another, there isn't hardly a day goes by that I think I have lived too long.  I just received this month's issue of a professional martial arts magazine and after reading an article by the publisher, the above thought just hit me again.  It was stated that "----as long as the student feels they're right, they're right.  It's never in your interest to prove them wrong.  Once you do, you lose them, even though you win the "I'm right" contest".  I'm "sorry" (not really), but within a martial arts system, there are rights and wrongs, but the rights and wrongs are always that, irregardless of the students or instructors personal desires or beliefs.   To keep students from quitting, this publisher recommends sending a gift certificate to the students or families.  Another suggestion for dealing with an upset student is to send a note of apology and along with it, a free gift!  He even says that you should ask the student what you can do to make it up to them.  What would you like me to do?  You should do all you can do in making sure that the disgruntled student is satisfied with the recourse.  The rest of the article is just more and more of the above.

Enough is enough.  If the martial arts is to turn away from personal responsibility, then I'm done.  I will not humiliate myself or the system to apologize to someone who is upset with what goes on within the martial arts training regimen.  One of the main purposes behind the Aibudo martial arts system is in training individuals to survive in today's world and one thing that all of us have to learn to do, is to stand up for ourselves.

If the martial arts schools, organizations and/or classes of today have to "poo poo" the students in order to keep them in class, then it's time to hang it up.  Now if, during training, myself or another student accidentally strikes to hard or the like, then naturally we should apologize as common courtesy, but that's as far as that goes.  The modern day adage that you should do whatever it takes to maintain numbers and dollars within the classes, is failing the martial arts.  We are in the business of training others to protect themselves and others who are not capable of doing so and this "new" idea of training is not going to develop the forward attitude of doing that.  All they are going to produce in these "new world" classes is a bunch of "cry babies", not capable of standing up for themselves, but depending on someone else to "make them feel good".  Well, martial arts world, it's time to wake up before our whole industry is turned into a trash heap of baby sitting classes.  It's almost there already.  When I was coming up through the arts, if I got knocked down, busted up or whatever, Sensei Leisure would tell you to get up and start again.  There sure wouldn't have been an apology for my mistake or ignorance and there sure wouldn't have been a free gift of some kind.  During my second week in the arts, a black belt kicked me and fractured a rib on my right side.  Did he apologize?  Not on your life!  I was training in an industry that was to develop the necessary toughness to survive and help others to do the same thing.  I might not have understood that fully at that time, but that was what it was all about then and I or the Aibudo system is not going to change now, to adapt to the "new world"!

Countering Aggression

This subject is a "no-brainer" for the professional martial artist and/or self-defense specialist, but I thought I would discuss it anyway as a bit of a reminder and positive reinforcement.

To the inexperienced who is approached with a baseball bat toting aggressor, they generally focus on the ball bat, although that is exactly the wrong place to put your mental and physical efforts.  The baseball bat is actually taking it's orders from the hand and arm, via the shoulder.  The shoulder starts the movement and the ball bat finishes it.  It's not any different than a mob, getting all worked up and excited to the point of being destructive.  Did they do it all by themselves?  No!  There was someone, out in front, screaming and yelling, this and that, until the group in front of them, was ready to cause mayhem.  The speaker in the front  then gives the "orders" and the group follows.

When it comes to countering the effects of what the ball bat could do, you attack the upper arm and shoulder area.  That's totally on the opposite end of the appendage and weapon, but that's the correct point of focus.  If you remember, that to stop the nunchuka, you strike the shoulder area of the opponent and the chuck swing instantly stops and drops straight towards the floor.  If you had attacked or attempted to counter the swinging chuck directly, you would have most definitely become injured to one degree or another.  Another comparison, as the Aibudo practitioner already understands, is that it is much safer at the butt of the rifle than looking down the barrel!  Attacking toward the individual and not the bullet.

Picture of Shihan