The man grabbing his 6 month old granddaughter from the ground after his wife was run down by a man who had just repeatedly smashed into them after cutting one person’s throat and stabbing another in the neck probably thought the same thing. After a road rage incident that left several dead and injured including the criminal, the gentleman who saved his granddaughter did so after coming to the harsh realization that so many of my clients lack when they first train in one of my seminars; only proactive steps will stop a criminal who intends on acting against you.
The tragic event also underscores two basic realities about the urban myth that, “It couldn’t happen to me”. The first reality is if there is another person around you, it can happen. Period. The second fact is that as we tell everyone who trains with us, “criminal violence is criteria-specific but random in its targeting”. No one expected a small bumper-to-bumper event to trigger an onslaught of violence like this. Who could?
But then the facts hit you squarely in the reality check button; when a man approaches with a blade you better know to get proactive because trying to hold up your hands and be defensive is just not going to get you out of there. It will get you hurt or dead. Nor is trying to run from the scene; sadly the grandmother trying to get her granddaughter out of there found that fact out when the animal ran her down. If an asocial predator is intent on violence he will continue to act as long as he can function physically and he will continue to act until he is satisfied and wants to stop or somebody physically intervenes to stop him.
Luckily the grandfather got to the tot to save her and then began proactive intervention. He got into a vehicle and tried to run down the criminal, an active enough intervention to drive off the felon before he could kill or hurt anyone else.
Again, this is just one more opportunity to point out the fact that to believe you are not a possible target of violence, you are fooling yourself. Your neighborhood, street, route to work or vacation trip, all of these things can be the place where criminal acts happen. Can you deal with that? Or do you write this off as a scare tactic in order to take away your sense of having some responsibility to prepare for protecting yourself? We train people in combatives because they are simple, deadly effective and level the playing field between bad guys and good guys. This is not sport based martial arts, because under criminal attack SURVIVAL IS NOT A SPORT.
Have you ever seen MMA cage matches result in death or maiming? No unless there is a horrible accident or underlying physical condition. Why not? It is simple; MMA is a sport and death or maiming the opponent are goals strictly outside the rules. Well a fight on the street can turn deadly right now and if you treat it like it were a competition in the ring, your very last words might be “this can’t happen to me” and your clinging to that belief might just have killed you and those you love.