What to do when violence FINDS YOU!
Your walking down the street answering a text and a random guy jumps in front of you with a knife. He grabs your shirt and says, “give me everything you have or I’ll slice you up”. Scary scenario isn’t it?
It happens hundreds of times per day all over America…Even in Hawaii where I live and especially where I’m from, Newark NJ, the crime capital of the East Coast.
Whenever I teach people street fighting I always say, “the best martial art is not to be there…RUN”! What if you can’t run though? What if there are walls or more attackers or for whatever reason you are prevented from disengaging and its GO time. Its best to keep it simple.
YOU must decide when it is truly GO Time! I have a hard and fast 3 foot rule…If I can touch you then you are in my space. If you move against me Im moving against you, hard and fast. If your in that space and in my mind your being aggressive, I’m initiating the contact. I do not wait for the perp to initiate the contact, I jump from 1 to 10 on the escalation of violence scale.
During a street encounter, you don’t try and talk people off cliffs, you dont hug them or talk about kindness…in that ugly place it is almost always a weaponized physical “fight for your life” encounter…and you should treat it that way…preemptive is much better than reactive in my book. I’ve had to many such encounters…and I treat every attacker the same. Big or small, young or old, I assume they are trying to hurt me so I deselect in my mind very quickly the level of violence I’M GOING TO USE against this situation. I quickly become, and tell my students to become, the aggressor versus the victim…believe me perps don’t like that…and the altercation will end quickly, not all but most will….
Here are some key takeaways:
Lesson #1: STOP LOOKING AT YOUR PHONE AS YOU WALK ON THE STREET ESPECIALLY IN STORE PARKING LOTS OR LONELY PARKING LOTS!
People have to become more situationally aware, predators look for the weak and distracted, don’t become a victim by setting yourself up through checking your phone instead of checking your surroundings.
Lesson #2: COMPLY TACTICALLY….nothing and I mean nothing is worth your life…give him/her what he/she wants. SLOWLY…try and de-escalate in a firm commanding voice…say things like, “I’m reaching in my pocket to get my wallet”, or “here is my purse, Take it and go”. Predators are just as scared as you are…be TACTICAL in your thinking and reactions…any quick movements may get you hurt…slow and easy will save your life.
Lesson #3: THE ONLY WAY TO COMBAT VIOLENCE IS BY OVERWHELMING VIOLENCE.
Understand that your life is in danger…if you roll over your family may be standing over your casket saying what a great person you were next week…Be TACTICAL in your thinking. Slow is fast and fast is slow…look for openings and weaknesses during these very fluid moments in time. There will be MANY chances to strike and or escape.
Lesson #4: Strike first…become the aggressor when threatened. Don’t wait because he’s not going to wait for you.
I don’t care how large and strong they are, perps all have weaknesses… eyes, ears, underarms, ribs, groin, shins, fingers are all points of pain and weakness for EVERY human.
Think about the weapons you carry with you every day…”But I don’t carry weapons!” Really?…You have nails, teeth, feet, hands and a will to win.
Men, you have belts that hurt like hell, shoes to guard against cuts (Put them on your hands to fight a knife) , Ties to choke with, shirts to choke and guard against bladed weapons, Carry a back back? Great barriers against blades, they hurt when wielded correctly. Wear glasses? Boy does it hurt to get poked in the eye by the frames.
Women, you spiked heels, hair accessories, pins, rings in the eye, pokes to the throat and eyes, swinging a bag, spraying perfume in their eyes, picking up a stick, slamming the ear with a phone and the list goes on.
What’s the idea?
When an altercation becomes physical, your MINDSET must be one of overwhelming violence.
You must counter with everything you have and don’t have.
Period, there is no talking your way out of it.
If your a martial artist, your skills will default to the simplest of techniques, the fight or flight condition will manifest itself in an instant and all of that hard training will go away. If you don’t think so, it’s because you have never been in a violent weapons based altercation.
If your not trained, don’t worry, your flinch reflexes and survival instincts will kick in. You must train your MIND daily and ask yourself, What if? What would I do? Keep your eyes open…the text or email can wait.
In street fighting, simplest is best…Be Tactical in your thinking, de-escalate if possible, overwhelm your attacker when it becomes physical. Let fear drive your will to survive. Trust me, when a weapon of any kind is pulled, bladed, blunt object or firearm…everyone’s lives in the general vicinity changes for good. It not fun to watch and it’s not fun to be in.
But if it happens to you, don’t be on the losing side…overwhelm the violence with overwhelming violence…use whatever is at hand or in the area to neutralize the threat…do whatever it takes to get back to your family and friends alive.
Be Safe…Be Strong …Be Vigilant