(Update: The video has been removed from Youtube, I’ll see if I can find it elsewhere and repost. Fingers crossed…)
One of the common problems with teaching somebody self-defense is that their views on violence are not realistic. I’ve already covered the reasons why many times before, but here I’d like to point out a specific problem. That of sticking your head in the sand when violence comes your way. All too often, people live their lives as if violence can’t or won’t happen to them. When trouble does start brewing, they act as if they have immunity from harm. This then leads to all sorts of tactical mistakes and next thing they know, they wake up in the hospital. Or not at all.
Case in point:
We don’t know what happened before the video started, what set the guy in the black t-shirt off. But he is royally pissed, we can see that. I don’t want to focus on him right now, the guy in the plaid shirt is the key figure for now.
- When black T-shirt takes off at first, the guy in the plaid shirt just looks at him.
- When black T-shirt comes back shouting “Come on! You!” and closes in fast, he just stares at him.
- When he gets popped in the mouth, plaid shirt still doesn’t react.
- When black T-shirt calls him out, his only response is walking forward slowly, pointing a finger.
- When black T-shirt rushes in in an aggressive manner, he doesn’t react.
The result of all this inaction is that he gets knocked out, hard. I have no idea what happened after the video ends but I hope the guy’s alright.
Here’s the thing: he could have avoided eating that punch. But only if he were paying attention and then acted upon the information that was plain for all to see. His behavior is consistent with somebody who is either unfamiliar with how violence actually happens or who doesn’t believe it will happen to him. Or both. Of course, you can argue that both of these are flip sides of the same coin, but I digress.
What I wanted to point out with this video is that there’s a key principle in self-defense, and I’m paraphrasing Peyton Quinn here,
Don’t deny violence when it’s happening.
See things for what they really are and act accordingly. Take action to de-escalate, get away or defend yourself but whatever you do, don’t get caught flat-footed like this because you believe you’re special and “that stuff doesn’t happen in my world.”
Before you decide to start your Super-Secret-Killer-Navy-SEAL training, take a step back for some perspective. You don’t have to go overboard and leap into heroic action when somebody looks at you with an unpleasant expression on his face. But the other extreme, not doing anything like plaid shirt did, that’s not the solution either. There are a lot of steps in between both extremes. It’s not a choice between either total submission or mortal combat. You can do a whole lot of other things aside of those two. My suggestion would be to train for all possibilities, not just the extreme ones.
All of the training is useless if you are in denial though. So above all else it would benefit you to be alert and accept that violence can happen to anybody, including you.
A final few words I want to get off my chest:
- You can see how plaid shirt’s body goes limp and then he bangs into the pavement, back of the skull first. The way he folds up on the way down means his body becomes a whip when his torso hits the ground. It accelerates his head into the concrete. This is how people crack their skull and die of internal hemorrhaging. So regardless of what led up to this altercation, Mr. black T-shirt should wonder if it’s worth potentially killing a man and going to jail for it because he did so in front of witnesses and on camera…
- To the person who was going “Oooh! Worldstar!”Ooh!”: You sound like you’re reaching an orgasm over the fact that somebody gets knocked out in front of your eyes, perhaps even dying. You’re an idiot.