There’s been a lot of hoopla in the news about the “knockout game” and how horrible it is. Fred asked me on my Facebook Page for some tips on how to defend against it and I thought it could make for an interesting post. So here goes.
First, a couple of points about the knockout game itself and then I’ll get to the self-defense part. I’ll state upfront that some of you will probably not like what I have to say. I understand why that might be so, but I don’t see the point in watering down what I believe is accurate information to please everybody’s world view. It’s not possible to to cater to everyone’s feelings, nor should it be. Bear in mind that this is also just my opinion, I could be wrong. That said, before you dismiss this article wholesale, think about the consequences for you and your family should you be on the receiving end of this knockout game. Imagine it’s your butt on the line. With that as a given, what would be your solution?
This caveat is now out of the way, so let’s start.
What is the knockout game?
Here are the points I wanted to make first:
- Nil novi sub sole. The knockout game isn’t new, not by a long shot. Here in Europe, they called it “happy slapping” and it’s been going on for years. It usually hits in waves and then simmers before coming back again. The same goes for the US and other countries. For some reason it’s all over the news again now, but it’s been going for ages. It used to be a street gang initiation rite: you had to KO/beat-up or even kill a random person to get in. Sometimes the thing they did was slashing some stranger in the face with a knife. Other times it was just a slap across the face. The details change but the essence stays the same: an unprovoked attack on an innocent passerby.
- Youtube or it didn’t happen! The last few years, the trend was to make a video of the attack and then share it on Youtube or Facebook. This mainly started when cellphones got to the point where the quality of the videos you make with them was getting good enough. Now, almost every cellphone has a camera more than capable of capturing such an attack. For whatever reason makes sense to them, the idiots who play that knockout game often put such videos online for all to see. I’ve seen lots of them where they comment, cheer, laugh and egg each other on. There’s stupid and then there’s stupid. By doing so, they admit to committing a crime/being an accomplice to one and provide the DA with evidence for when he drags them into court (which is fortunately increasingly the case.) It’s stupid when a guy like Renzo Gracie does that, it’s just as stupid when some 18-year old punk kid does it.
- You see it in all layers of society. Right now, there’s a lot of push to blame young black men for this trend. For sure, it’s certainly a factor in that group of society. But it happens just as well with rich white kids. So don’t dismiss a group of white kids when they walk up to you, it would be a mistake.
- Why do they do it? The pundits on the news give all sorts of reasons: those kids are bored, don’t know any better, it’s the fault of violent video games and movies, the economic crisis, global warming (just keeping you on your toes…). Personally, I see bad parenting and a lack of knowledge about violence and its consequences as the root cause. But that’s just me and my pet peeve. The thing about senseless/random violence is that it doesn’t make much sense. Trying to find a reason for it is usually fruitless.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, what does the knockout game look like?
Here you go: [Read more…]