Friday, November 14, 2008

Savage Baptist Joins the Debate on Escape

Mokuren Dojo's post, The aiki gift that keeps on giving, prompted a response post at Colin's Traditional Taekwondo Techniques blog, Aikido Philosophy, Taekwondo Technique ... Is it possible???, as well as mine, Escape as a Strategy in Self-Defense. I'd start in that order to get the full flavor.

I just read Savage Baptist's response to the series of posts at No Blog of Significance.
No Blog of Significance

One of my favorite blogospheric acquaintances, Dr. Patrick Parker, wrote a thoughtful post on how closely some aikido techniques actually match the art's professed ideals. The ensuing discussion, which has spread over three or four blogs at this point, seems to center around the difference between fighting and self-defense, and which techniques and strategies constitute what.

With that, I think he hit the proverbial nail on it's flat head. It's about the difference between fighting, a voluntary engagement of two or more in violence, and self-defense, which is involuntary by one of said parties.

His thoughts on my post:

Nathan, at TDATraining, wrote:

Most of us don't have the time, in a realistic attack, which is likely an ambush of some sort. If I could have escaped, I would have done so. If a situation makes me uncomfortable, I should get out - it's my moral obligation to avoid violence. If, on the other hand, I haven't left, then I didn't expect the attack in the first place.

This provoked several thoughts on my part (Smell smoke? That's probably it...).
Maybe it's just me, but in all my life, I've been in--oh, probably less than ten "confrontations" (I have a hard time thinking of some of them as "fights")--and only one of those involved an ambush. All of them were years ago. I'd say maybe it's just the neighborhoods I've lived in, but most of them haven't exactly been upper-crust, know what I mean? I mean, people do get involved in fights there. Just not me. Why? Who knows?
As an aside, I must also note that I've never had to deal with a complex attack or a skilled attacker. There are times I wonder where the bogeymen that some people write about actually live. All I've ever met are the sucker-punch artists, and not too many of those.
Most of the time, I could smell trouble coming, so to speak. I knew something was going to happen...

I'd agree with that, especially the last statement. If you know something's going to happen, get out, if you can. I'm not so ashamed to admit that, in my younger years, I didn't run either. In fact, if a fight was going to happen, I didn't mind being there at all. That was a choice. Savage Baptist goes on to relate that most of the situations he didn't leave, but could have.

It seems like we're all on the same page, more or less. My post was really related to the fact that 1) I agree with Pat's idea of practicing the evasive technique: no counter, no blend, no grab or throw. Just get into position to escape. I think that was his point (as I saw it). The ideal of nonviolence is just that, an ideal. Where I was heading with my response was that for self-protection, that ideal isn't always the best choice. Indeed, "Immediate engagement can be your best defense - evasion and escape only work if you can outrun or otherwise escape your attacker - if you can't, you could be toast."

Your thoughts?


Savage Baptist said...

"Immediate engagement can be your best defense - evasion and escape only work if you can outrun or otherwise escape your attacker - if you can't, you could be toast."

And I'd have to agree with that. There are times your best bet for survival is to just get in close and knock the snot out of someone.

Jesse Crouch said...

Much agreed. A lot of the time you can see a fight coming, maybe as soon as you walk into a place, maybe you see a guy on the same sidewalk as you. Keep your posture and keep your head up, but don't make eye contact and just walk away.