The autumn leaves are falling like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are always two cups at my table.

T’ang Dynasty poem

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~


Sunday, November 02, 2008

Self Defense and Current Events.



If you click on the title of this post, you'll be directed to a post at the Aikido Journal, which has some pretty good advice for everyday self defense. I have posted a portion of the article below. Please pay a visit.

As for current events, my oldest daughter got a job! After over 6 months of looking and some 500 resumes sent out, she finally got a job in marketing with the local public transportation company. It's not her dream job, but it's a paycheck and those aren't easy to come by these days.

The important thing is that she's off of Dad's payroll. She'll start accumulating some experience on her resume that will help her get something more of what she'd like to do. Now she gets to move on with her life.

The younger daughter is receiving acceptance letters from some of the universities she's applied for. If volleyball doesn't work out for her she'll still be able to have her choice of schools.

I just noticed that Cook Ding's Kitchen has surpassed 30,000 hits! Thank you for coming by.

Closing this post is a film clip of an older Hapkido master. I don't know who this guy is. I was about to say that I hope to be half as agile as he is when I'm his age, but honestly, I'd be happy to be half as agile as he is right how!

Ok, here's the excerpt from that article on self defense:




Coping In A Violent World


by Dennis Fink


Aikido Journal #102 (1995)


Random acts of violence seem to be on the increase, at least in the United States. Although many of us hope to improve our self-defense skills as part of our aiki training, just how realistic is this hope? Aikido Journal has asked four law enforcement professionals to answer a series of questions about how each of us can cope when confronted by violence. Using as a starting point the December 1993 Long Island Commuter train incident, in which a gunman gone berserk killed and wounded dozens of his fellow passengers, we asked our experts the following:


What advice would you give to a passenger seated in a train car in which someone has begun shooting?


Should the untrained individual attempt to disarm the gunman?


What steps might you personally take to deal with the gunman?


Are there any distracting maneuvers that could divert the gunman’s attention in another direction?


Are there techniques taught in the dojo that might be of use in such a situation?


What steps should be taken by bystanders afterwards, while waiting for the police and emergency personnel to arrive?


Is there any way to minimize the panic among passengers?


What common sense steps can we take to protect ourselves in crowded public places such as a train, subway, or bus?


Do you favor banning or placing restrictions on the sale of handguns in an effort to reduce the number of gun-related incidents?


What should people traveling abroad keep in mind when visiting large cities with frequent violence?


If you find yourself in this situation


Depending on the configuration of the train car utilize cover and concealment, if possible. Immediately take cover behind a seat or any other available object that might provide protection, or take advantage of concealment (any object that hides you, but does not provide protection-for example, hiding behind a curtain). This would apply in all three cases, especially if the distance between you and the gunman is too great. If the distance is close, the techniques demonstrated below may be attempted as they apply to each of the three cases indicated.


Should untrained people attempt to disarm?


In most cases, no. In the Long Island Railroad train incident the gunman was captured by untrained citizens, subsequently saving lives. This is, however, a judgment call that has to be made at the time.


The professional response


Please refer to the photos presented. However, nothing is engraved in stone. You cannot prearrange or choreograph a REAL situation. Each is unique.


Distracting the gunman?


The scenario specifies a berserk gunman. To distract a drug-crazed or berserk individual is difficult at best, if not impossible. They develop tunnel vision and are in somewhat of a trance.


Techniques to use


I cannot speak for all dojos. However, I believe that in most legitimate dojos, yes, there are useful techniques. They may need to be modified to meet today’s needs, as indicated in the techniques I demonstrate in this article.


The aftermath


Try not to have too many chiefs, which can confuse the situation further. Clear direction is needed at times like these. Call and wait for police and other emergency services to arrive. Avoid disturbing the crime scene (touching or moving things), assure victims that help is on the way and that everything will be okay. If possible, do not let victims (or family members) see wounds (cover with blanket/coat, etc.). You should be concerned with blood-borne diseases such as AIDS.


Minimizing panic


Attempt to help take charge and assure everyone that the situation is under control. Reassure people that the gunman has been subdued and encourage them to stay calm until help arrives.


Common sense self-protection


Be alert with regard to your surroundings (suspicious characters, gangs or groups of youth, etc.). Avoid confrontations, and whenever possible travel in groups of two or more. Keep jewelry, money, and other valuables unexposed. Avoid empty train cars. If possible, sit in a car with a conductor or motorman. Do not stand near the platform edge in train stations.


Does gun control help?


No. New York City is a perfect example. In New York almost all gun-related crime is committed with illegal, unlicensed guns. New York City has the toughest restrictions on gun permits in the country and has one of the highest incidences of gun-related crime.



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