Sunday, June 08, 2008

Hypothetically ...

In iaido, we spend a lot of time thinking about killing other people. We casually talk about cutting our opponent across the eyes to blind him before cutting his head and neck in half; we talk about the best angle to stab someone in the heart; we discuss the best grip for cutting off someone's head. Of course, it's all hypothetical, right?

Well, what IF ... I know it's a big if ... but what if you found yourself having to decide whether or not to intervene in a violent situation?

Today around noon, a man drove his car into a crowd in Akihabara, Tokyo, and then went on a stabbing spree. He killed at least 3 people and injured 14 others.
Read more about this story here.

I was in Akihabara on Friday night. I have been there in the past with my sword after an iai practice. So, forgetting about how unlikely it is, it is possible that you or I might find ourselves in this kind of situation.

I wonder whether I would be able to do anything, or if I would just stand there in shock. In the end, police apprehended the man responsible, but only after more than a dozen people had been injured or killed. I don't know karate; I don't know aikido, or krav maga or anything else - there's no way I could stop him short of cutting his arm off or something. Would I have the guts to do it?

I first started thinking about this kind of thing after this happened. A madman stabbed children to death in an elementary school. As an elementary school teacher (at the time) I wondered whether I would have been able to stop it had it been my school.

I can't quite explain why, but I think this is an important question for iaidoka, especially. I'm prepared to admit that this situation is almost certainly never going to happen. But am I mentally prepared to kill and/or die to save another person's life?


Anonymous Jarrod said...

I find myself thinking about this often too. Even though it seems so unlikely to happen.

Sometimes I think I would be to willing to do what's necessary and I worry about my mindset.

Until I'm in such a situation I don't think I can know for sure what I'll do. I can only base my guess on similar less dire situations. Still I think it's worthwhile thinking about how to disarm someone with the least amount of damage if possible.

I really don't want to kill or seriously maim someone.

1:29 AM  
Blogger Guelph First said...

I think you would do whatever you had to, to protect those who can't protect themselves.

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the posts of this blog are very interresting for me. Could I translate some posts to czech language (my girlfriend helps me - she speaks English very well) and public them on web for czech iaidokas? Do you give me assent to my proposal?

Petr - Czech Republic, Europe

2:09 AM  
Blogger Zen said...

One never knows until it happens...

10:22 AM  

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