Re: virus:Re: Buddhism and memetics

Eva-Lise Carlstrom (
Thu, 13 Mar 1997 00:26:05 -0800 (PST)

On Wed, 12 Mar 1997, Tim Rhodes wrote:

> On 11 Mar 1997, D. H. Rosdeitcher wrote:
> > I used to practice a martial art called 'aikido'. Aikido is a defensive
> > martial art in which the object is to defend yourself non-violently.
> > This is done by neutralizing and/or immobilizing the attacker, instead
> > of responding with strikes, chokes, etc. Sometimes this question would
> > come up to an instructor:
> > "If an aikidoist fought other types of martial artists in a street
> > fight, who would win?"
> > The instructor would evasively answer the question, by saying:
> > "A real aikidoist would never be in a street fight."
> You had a bad instructor, David dear. A good istructor would have said:
> "A real aikidoist does not fight to win."
> Too bad, you could have learned a lot from Aikido.

Good answer.
Actually, I really like aikido stories (my sometime tae kwon do instructor
and former near-husband told me some in college). But I've never heard
one that actually involved fighting. Here are two I know:

(Both in the voice of my instructor in TKD, speaking of his own
instructor in aikido)

Aikido Story #1:

I knew a guy who was taking aikido classes; he was just starting. He was
walking home late at night from aikido class, when two guys jumped him,
one of them with a knife, and demanded his money. He immediately thought
of what he'd learned in aikido. The first thing to do was, "Relax, and
breathe." He didn't know the next thing, because he'd only had two
classes. But he took a breath, let it out with all the tension, and

And they ran away.

Aikido Story #2:

My aikido instructor was in Japan, on a commuter train. A drunk,
disorderly man got on the train, smelling of sake and puke. He stumbled
around and jostled an old lady, who was frightened. Someone else had
harsh words with him, and it looked like there would be a fight. My
instructor started to stand up, thinking he might have to intervene. Then
a small old man said to the drunk, "Do you like sake? I like sake." The
drunk looked at him. The old man continued, "I like to drink a cup of
sake in the garden in the evening with my wife. Do you like to drink a
cup of sake in the evening with your wife?" The drunk stared at him. "I
don't have a wife," he said accusingly. "My wife is dead!" The old man
said, "I'm very sorry to hear that. Why don't you come sit here by me and
tell me about it." The drunk man did so, now docile, and told his woeful
tale to the old man, who by the end of my instructor's trip was holding
the filthy, stinking drunk's head in his lap while he cried, and
comforting him. My instructor said that old man was a master of aikido,
and he was humbled.

who thinks non-violent crisis-intervention training, as taught to Oregon
Country Fair Security, ought to be a core course in grade school