The creative spirit of Maruyama Sensei can be found not only in differences between kokikai and other styles, but in the approach of his students to the art
Jorge McConnie-Saad has been a student at Philadelphia Aikido Kokikai since he was about 8 years old. He is now 20 years old and has achieved the rank of 2nd dan. Having studied for so long, Jorge’s aikido is as natural to him as breathing.
Saturday, January 14, 2012
While studying in Buenos Aires, during the fall semester, 2011, he and his older brother Pablo were out drinking with friends. After a time, Pablo left and noticed he was being stalked by 3 men. He texted Jorge to come to his aid. Jorge found the 3 men menacing Pablo and being verbally provocative, calling names, and threatening him. Jorge tried to diffuse the situation and got Pablo to walk away. Pablo walked across the street while Jorge spoke to the 3. But it seems they were really spoiling for a fight. They started calling out names which drew men out of the shadows who were just waiting to be called. They carried sticks and, blocking their escape, began beating Pablo. Jorge fended off some of the men and ran to get help at a nearby bar where he was thrown out. They had no intention of getting involved or even calling for help. When Jorge ran back to the scene, they came after him as well. He's not entirely sure what he did. It was chaotic, but he was able to fend off and seriously hurt 2 of the guys. Then he saw his brother fall and get clubbed over 30 times about the head. They held Jorge back, but when he saw Pablo fall, he believed his brother was dead. Being held by 4 guys, he somehow found the strength to throw them off of him and go to his brother, lying limp in the street. He put Pablo around his neck like a fireman's rescue and screamed at the assailants that they had killed his brother, for no reason at all. They replied that he was lucky they hadn't killed him as well. They then left into the night. Jorge had left 9 or 10 guys lying bloody on the street. Jorge got Pablo to the hospital where he remained in the ICU for 3 days, in and out of consciousness. Jorge estimates that about 25 assailants had been involved.
Jorge had suffered 4 blows to the head but wasn't seriously hurt. All of Pablo's injuries were above the neck. Incredibly after much care, Pablo has achieved a complete recovery