The events in the Philippines this week took me back in time. At 22 years of age, I was playing Victorian Country Basketball for Geelong against a neighboring Ballarat Team. In the first quarter of the game, as I was running down the court after a series of fast breaks, a player from the other team lined me up and kneed me in my mid-thigh. I played on in pain and managed to run the corked feeling out of my thigh by the first break. Then to my amazement, in the second quarter, the same player lined me up coming down the other side of the court, ready to place his hand on my shoulder and knee me in my other thigh or groin. My awareness and my anger heightened quickly in the final moments before the second impact. At the last second, I placed my left hand on his rising knee to stop it, and as my left hand came back and his knee dropped, I made a fist with my right and buried it hard into his diaphragm, winding him so badly, that he had to leave the basketball court for rest of the quarter.

I have played competitive basketball from the age of five till the present day and that incident was only time I have intentionally hit another player. At age 40, I learned Aikido, which would have been handy to know at the time, so I could have used a disarming strategy on him, instead of snapping back.

Both Philippine and Australian Basketball Players snapped this week. Basketball is very much a physical game in this day and age, and it was clear from the TV footage, that the Boomers have few skills in disarming, without striking back. Maybe it’s time for some Aikido training fellas?