“Pranks Very Much” by John & Elaine Johnston


 

Currently there is a trend for posting pranks on social media sites. Some are funny, even hilarious, where as some are sick and irresponsible. Whichever they are it always means that someone must suffer.

For every action, there must be an opposite reaction. The people instigating the prank don’t always have full regard or an understanding of the consequences, which relates to something that happened to me just recently.

Initially I was going to keep it to myself but after thinking it through, I believe it might be of use to those people that like to perform pranks and to let them realise that things don’t always go to plan.

Before I tell you my story, I wish to say that I am not ashamed of my actions or could it be termed as an overreaction. To me it felt appropriate at the time, even seen through the scientific viewpoint of hindsight. Anyway, let me set the scene for you:

My wife Elaine and I are on our way to Ireland. We are scheduled to leave from Birmingham Airport, however the flight has been delayed by 1 hour. Its Friday afternoon and there are several events occurring in Dublin. It’s a packed flight.
one of the events just happens to be a stag party of about 8 lads, which means that they have an extra hour drinking at the Airport.
that’s never a good thing as it means for a lively and noisy flight. Thank goodness it is only about an hour’s flight!

Anyway, the flight has landed and we are in a hurry to get through the Airport as we have friends waiting to pick us up.
as the flight was packed, our hand luggage was placed in the hold. I am on the moving walkway just ahead of Elaine and I am steadying myself with my left hand on the rail. Suddenly a hand is firmly placed on top of mine. What happens next occurs within a few seconds. It’s just my reaction to someone else’s action. Out of the corner of my eye, I see someone I don’t know grabbing my hand. I react by turning my hand and catching his fingers. He pulls against my grip which in my mind signals that he is trying to take control of me.

I am unsure of his intentions towards me but it appears hostile and aggressive, consequently my next reaction is to strike him with my right hand. Fortunately for him, I am holding my kindle which has a padded case. He receives a solid slap to the left side of his face. It wasn’t hard enough to knock him down but good enough to stop him dead in his tracks. I have now turned so that I am facing my assailant who is momentarily shocked and stunned.

I now recognise him as one of the offensive loud mouths from the plain, together with his team of arse-hole mates. It takes a few moments before my action causes a reaction from him.  He starts by protesting that there was no need to hit him, as he was only having a laugh. I point out to him that he had no right to touch me and that I didn’t find it funny. Of course, his mates have now found their voice. I think it is best for me to walk away and ignore them as I know that they are not going to listen to reason. The lad that got slapped is following me after me offering to shake my hand whilst telling me that it was only a joke. I however continue to ignore him and walk away to the haranguing and verbal abuse from his mates. I must fight against my instincts to confront them as I know they would not understand that to touch someone without consent is an offense. And that under the circumstances it is also an act of bullying and intimidation and as such there will always be consequences, as in this case my assailant was extremely lucky. I only used enough force to neutralise what I perceived to be an attack.

He came out of it with the ability to still walk and talk and without any real damage done to him. I however was not so lucky. It cost me the price of a new kindle! As mine was too badly damaged. It is a good job that I didn’t find this out until later.

So why am I telling you this?         Is it to boast?     No its not.
am I proud of my actions?            No.
am I ashamed of my actions?      Definitely not.

I am relating this story so that people can be made aware of the fact that not all pranks are OK.

If its confined to your own circle of friends and doesn’t cause harm or distress and everyone including the victim can get a laugh out of it, then its fine. But to do it to a stranger and not know how it can impact on them, then its just not OK.

To me I think that your life should only impact on someone else’s life in a positive way. It’s nice to be nice.

“I’m only kidding mate”

“Well I’m only kindling”

 

John has allowed me to mention a few things about this incident as I was present.
there was a bunch of rugby players and their sons on the plane on the way back and they were being loud and having a laugh among themselves but never once did I feel provoked or threatened by them.
these lads from the stag party were being very provocative and their behavior was intimidating and the more alcohol they drank the more they overstepped boundaries belonging to other people.

Whilst john and I were sat in our seats on the plane waiting to stand up to leave these lads were shouting to each other at opposite ends of the plane because they weren’t all sat together. The loudest one was standing next to my seat in the aisle, he suddenly sat in the seat next to me (as I was sat in the middle seat with john next to the window) and used me to try and hide from his friend having a joke around. He invaded my personal space. I am very aware of my own self-protection and not allowing my personal space / boundaries to be crossed is part of it and the fact that he was drunk and behaving unpredictably made me feel very uncomfortable.

We were walking out of the Airport very fast because yes, we were late but also, I think because we wanted to get away from this bad situation. (it was disrupting my Feng shui) if anyone has ever been out with john, they will know how fast he walks, anyway I was on a mission to try to keep up with him on the moving walkways. I had to try to squeeze past one of the lads who was further ahead than his mates. I had to touch him slightly and apologised so I could get past. He was a little bit rude telling me to be careful and to steady on.

I managed to catch john up but only because two rather large individuals were blocking any further access. I stood behind john and very soon the lad that I had overtook was standing right behind me. I saw his loud-mouthed mate come up behind john sniggering to his friend who stood behind me saying “hey watch this” and I saw him put his hand on top of john’s hand. I thought “yes watch this” as I knew how john would react. I must be careful around the house myself not to sneak up on him…lol

I have seen John demonstrate grabbing someone’s hand in lessons many times, so I was interested to see how it is applied in reality. John twisted his own hand so that it was on top of his assailants and I saw him grip his fingers then simultaneously whilst pulling the hand towards him, Johns right hand came up and clunked this lad around the left side of his head whilst holding his kindle. It was sharp and to the point and yes, this lad was stunned, well what did he expect? Not everyone you’re going to meet is a pushover. I feared for the kindle! I dared not tell John that he would have damaged it because I knew how angry he would have been. He was really enjoying a story he was reading which is why he had it in his hand as he had been reading it on the plane. I knew that this lad would have been in serious danger if John had known that he had broken his kindle on his head!!

They seemed to be quite apologetic until their mates got closer, then their behavior became abusive.

This was pack mentality at its finest. A large group of lesser men building status among their own hierarchy by creating an environment where they can threaten and provoke other men and take advantages with other women. They think that their large numbers will allow them to go unchallenged by anyone. No one else said or did anything.

I am glad that john did what he did because this lad totally deserved it.

No one should have to be a victim to this kind of behavior.

In The Eye Of The Beholder


I often feel that people misinterpret Kata’s such as Tekki/Niahanchi and perform them in a fast and flicky fashion with hand techniques that start from the elbow rather than from the floor and with leg techniques from the knee not from the supporting foot and through the hips.

It seems to me that there is a disconnect from upper and lower body instead of a unification. My feeling is the Kata should be very robust in nature and the techniques are for short range power generation and close quarter delivery.

The Kata has the potential to be able to use grappling and manipulation, so if you think you could control and move someone’s body weight with just the use of arms you must have forearms like Popeye’s. There is a common principle in MA that if you wish to move someone’s body you must move your own body.  I fail to see that principle being applied with some of the static performances of Tekki/Niahanchi.

You would be in for a shock if you think that the technique you have just applied to a compliant opponent in the Dojo would work in a real situation. Remembering when you practice Kata as a solo exercise you have no real feedback, you must use intention along with genuine belief and understanding of your ability to apply your technique. Practise a technique that wouldn’t work is practicing to fail.

For me I prefer function over form. It boils down to two questions

1 Does your Kata look good (you don’t need to answer that)

2 would you care to be on the receiving end or hit by one of your techniques (you needn’t answer that either)

Very often you see Instructors making minor adjustments to a student’s stance or arm position, this is after they have finished moving. More importantly is how they transitioned to that position. Kata is about movement, not a series of still photographs. No point telling a student that something is very important and not showing or explaining the how or the why.

Your Kata should always have intention. Just making shapes is for shadow puppeteers.

 

If Beauty is only skin deep, some people must be living their lives inside out!