- This incident clearly shows the unpredictable nature of conflict: it starts as a typical shoving match but it ends with a body on the floor. That kind of shoving match happens dozens of times all over the world, every day. But not every one of them ends with somebody losing his life over it, most don’t come even close to that. Because so few of them end in death, it is easy to assume they never will.
- A machete cut could have left a lifelong scar across the guy’s face.
- It could have hit him in a limb and cause a permanent injury due to nerve damage.
- It could have crippled him for life.
Between “nothing” and “death”, there’s a large gap that is filled with all sorts of unpleasantness. Just because those don’t always happen, doesn’t mean you can’t end up there when it’s your turn. Violence is a roll of the dice. No matter how good you are at it, it can always end poorly for you.
- Notice the machete strikes. The report said they caused injuries but were not life-threatening. Same as above: this is both positive and negative news. Just because the injuries are apparently minor in this case, doesn’t mean you will have the same results. So if you conclude from this incident that machete attacks are no big deal, you would be mistaking…
- The attacker loses his weapon and it is used against him, effectively I might add. Two quick points about that, first that weapons aren’t magical; they don’t do the work for you. Just having one isn’t enough; you need to use it correctly too. Second, weapon retention should be an integral part of your training. One aspect of weapon retention for knives and swords is making sure you don’t lose your grip when you strike. My students suffer hearing me go on and on about seemingly minor details when it comes to our weapon techniques. “You can do it that way, but you risk your sword jumping out of your hand upon contact.” is a phrase they often hear. Sounds unbelievable to beginners, until it happens to them. Not really something you want in a life and death struggle, so these details do matter.
Both these points need to be addressed in training. Ignore them at your own risk.
- China is not a Western country. It has a very different culture and legal system. Looking at the video, I’d be willing to bet that had it happened in the West, the conclusion wouldn’t have been self-defense. The man on the bike picks up the machete and then chases the driver as he hacks away at him. In many jurisdictions here, that would not be seen as self-defense as he was (arguably) no longer in danger of his life. Hence, he would not have been justified in using lethal force.
But that’s the West. Asia is different. Hell, Western countries are different from each other. My point is that you shouldn’t assume your legal standards to apply everywhere. That begs the question: how does your self-defense training reflect this reality? Or, does it even take this into consideration? If not, why not? It seems wise to answer these questions for yourself before you have to use your techniques in real life…
All that said, the best self-defense technique against road rage is to not get in an incident to begin with.
As this video shows so well, things can escalate rapidly and end up with somebody dying.
That somebody just might be you.